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Lake Charles First Time Home Buyer

Apply to Get a Mortgage Loan to Buy Your First Home in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Down Payment Assistance - Best Program Options - Low Interest Rates

Lake Charles, LA – First Time Home Buyer

Are you looking to purchase your first home? Our first time home buyer programs might be the perfect solution to help you obtain the financing you need to purchase the home you desire. We provide excellent home financing options, and encourage you to compare our offered loan terms to other mortgage lenders.

Bend, OR – First Time Home Buyer Loans

There are 5 types of first time home buyer loans.  You may select different loan terms, such as a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage, and the number of years to repay the loan (such as a 30 year fixed rate mortgage).

Types of Mortgages:

  • Conventional Loans – Conventional loans offer the best loan terms to borrowers with good or excellent credit, as well as those who can afford to place a larger down payment.  If you are able to put 20% or more down, you will be able to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI).  However, conventional loans also offer low down payment options, such as programs that only require 3% down.
  • FHA Loans – FHA loans are a good option for borrowers who may not be able to qualify for a conventional loan.  The qualification requirements for FHA loans are much more lenient than conventional loans.  This includes options for home buyers with credit scores as low as 500 (in order to qualify for a 3.5% down payment, you must have a credit score of at least 580).
  • USDA Loans – USDA loans provide home buyers the opportunity to purchase a home without any down payment.  These loans are intended for borrowers with low-to-moderate income.  In addition to not requiring any money down, you can also finance the closing costs into the loan.  This means you can essentially buy a home with no money out of pocket!
  • VA Loans – Active duty military members and veterans can apply for a VA loan which allows you to buy your first home without any down payment.  These loans are not available to the general public, but exclusively to military/veterans.
  • Jumbo Loans – Any loan that does not meet the conforming or FHA loan limits is a jumbo loan.  Lake Charles is part of Calcasieu Parish, which the FHA loan limits for as follows:  Single unit: $314,827.  Two units: $403,125.  Three units: $487,250.  Four units: $605,525.  For conforming loans, which are used for conventional and VA loans, the maximum loan limits are:  Single unit: $484,350.  Two units: $620,200.  Three units: $749,650.  Four units: $931,600.  If you want to buy a more expensive home, and have the income to qualify, we provide what are known as jumbo loans up to $2,000,000.

The above 5 types of loans are the main first time home buyer options that exist.  We can help you determine which loan is the right fit for you based on your particular needs and eligibility.

Click Here For a Quick and Easy Application to Get Pre-Approved

Lake Charles, LA – Down Payment Assistance Programs and Grants 

For local assistance, the area of Lake Charles brings its citizens a basic offering of financial help for mortgages. Residents of this area of Louisiana seeking to purchase a home without currently making certain levels of income are invited to invest a small amount into a larger dream.
City of Lake Charles – Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program
The main form of local assistance for residents of the city, the City of Lake Charles’ program provides home ownership opportunities to those falling into the low to medium income bracket. Used for either new or existing homes, successful applicants are awarded a forgivable second mortgage complete with zero percent interest for a period of five years. Over this time span, the amount due depreciates until it is fully forgiven. The total amount available is a maximum of $10,000.Qualifications
In order to be an eligible applicant, the following guidelines must be met.

  • All families that apply cannot have a combined annual household income over 80% of the area’s median income. Currently, this is based off of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) income figures from 2009. This total also changes based on the number of people within the household. For instance, a family of one can make a maximum of $30,450 while a family of six can earn $50,450. These figures are subject to change.
  • Families must be first time homebuyers as defined by HUD. This means that members cannot have owned a home in the past three years unless the person is a displaced homeowner.
  • For the program’s period of five years, the property must be lived in as the main residence. Should it be sold, the amount supplied will then be due immediately.
  • Prior to receiving down payment assistance, the family must obtain a first mortgage from a qualified lender. Its interest rate can be no more than three points higher than the market’s current rate as determined by the lender.
  • The monthly bill cannot be more than 35% of the family’s monthly income.
  • Eligible applicants are not allowed to have more than $5,000 in savings or other form. Should they have more, all the additional money is required to go toward closing costs.
  • All participants are required to attend a homebuyer education course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • As it is a local program, the property in question must be located within Lake Charles’ city limits.
  • The property’s sale price cannot exceed the area’s mortgage limits. In addition, only single family residences will be covered.
  • An appraisal must be held to verify the unit has enough living and sleeping space for the family in order to deter overcrowding. This is based on the number of family members. For example, families of two to four individuals must have a home with at least two bedrooms.
  • Buyers are to be provided with the “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home” pamphlet to underline the dangers of lead based paint.

Once all of the documents requested are turned in, the Lake Charles Community Development Division begins processing the information in a series of six stages.

  • The first is to simply ensure that all information is complete and correct.
  • Following this, the property is evaluated and inspected to assess both the site and property. Should it be located adjacent to any form of hazard, such as a flood plain, the buyer will be notified and eligibility will be forfeit until all concerns have been properly addressed.
  • Next, the living space is measured to determine sufficiency.
  • A purchaser and realtor appointment is scheduled.
  • The mortgage and title company are notified of the impending purchase.
  • All legal documents are prepared for loan closing in relation to the financial assistance provided by Lake Charles.

You can learn more about the Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Program on the City of Lake Charles website.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Your First Home

How much do I need for a down payment?
It depends on the type of loan you want.  USDA and VA loans often will not require any down payment.  FHA loans require a 3.5% down payment, which if you get down payment assistance, only .5% is required.  Conventional loans typically require either 3% or 5%.

How do I know if I am ready and prepared to own a home?
It is critical to consider the often unexpected expenses of buying a home. This includes repairs, maintenance, and of course furnishing the home, monthly utilities, and all other expenses that are associated with homeownership. A common mistake is to just look at the difference in rent to your total mortgage payment. Almost every year, you can expect to have to pay for various upkeep to keep the property functional. This can include anything from repairing a hot water heater that broke, to landscaping, and various maintenance.

Something else financial consultants advise is that you have at least 3 months of reserves. This means that you could afford to make your new mortgage payment for at least 3 months in the event that you lose a job or have some other unforeseen circumstance that the savings would be needed for. This is not a requirement for most home loans, but it is good advice to consider.

How much can I afford to borrow?
The amount that you can borrow depends on your particular loan type and income. There are maximum loan limits which are set at the county level. Conforming loan limits are the maximum lending amount allowed for conventional mortgages. FHA loans have their own loan limits. You can search the maximum loan amount for your county for each particular loan type by entering your zip code (or any zip code for the county you want to buy a home in). This will display the maximum amount available for all loan types. This is not necessarily how much you can borrow though, but the max amount in your location. Your personal limits will be based upon your income and how much debt you have. For instance, with most loans, you can not have a mortgage payment and debts exceed 43% of your income.

Can I buy a home without a real estate agent?
It depends on your state and the type of loan program.  For some states, you must use an agent.  In other states, you are not required to use a real estate agent for many loan program, such as conventional mortgages.  However, some loan types require that you use a real estate agent regardless of your location, such as USDA loans.

Can I buy a home if I owe tax debt?
For government-backed loans, such as FHA, VA, and USDA loans, you can buy a home with tax debt as long as you have made a payment plan with the IRS and are not behind on the payments. Any federal debt must be in good standing in order to get a government-based mortgage. If your tax debts have moved into the status of a tax lien, this will prevent you from getting a home loan until it is resolved.

Can I buy a home if I have student loans?
As long as you are not delinquent on the student loan payments and the monthly payments do not cause excessive debt-to-income ratios, you can still get a mortgage.

Can I buy a home without my spouse?
A common question is if you can buy a house without your wife or husband.  The short answer is yes. There are numerous reasons someone may want to exclude their spouse from a mortgage application, such as lower credit, lack of job history or income, or one spouse having excessive debt that could prevent an approval. You may be able to qualify and get a home loan without your spouse.

Can I buy a home after foreclosure?
Most loan programs will require you to wait 3 years before you can buy again after a foreclosure.  There are some instances that you might be able to get an approval in as little as 12 months.  This includes the FHA extenuating circumstances program (more commonly known as the “FHA back to work program”).  If you lost your job due to a job loss or some other event out of your control, you might be able to purchase a home with a FHA loan after only 1 year.

Have more questions about buying your first home?  Give us a call at 1-800-731-3560.

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