The PennyMac Mortgage Blog is where you'll find unbiased, useful info to help save you money, time and peace of mind during the mortgage process. If you have a mortgage or are about to get one, we think you'll find info here you can't always get elsewhere.
Like many American homeowners, your first mortgage may have been a loan with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Loans backed by the FHA are attractive to first-time homebuyers because FHA loans make it easier to obtain financing, requiring only minimal down payments and fair-to-good credit scores.
So you have your eye on a new home, but the loan you need is bigger than the conforming loan limit—what are your options?
When you’re evaluating home loan categories, it’s easy to get confused by the terms “conventional” and “conforming.” As similar as these two terms may sound, their definitions are different so it’s important to understand the distinctions. We’re here to clear the air.
Your home is typically one of your largest investments, and there are numerous ways that you can leverage this valuable asset in order to meet your goals. Subordinate mortgages, which can come in the form of a second mortgage, equity loan, or home equity line of credit (HELOC), can allow you to fund all types of projects.
Buying your own home has many benefits: you can gain equity, have access to potential tax savings, and on top of it all, gain a sense of security and freedom that comes from homeownership. Owning a single-family home also comes with responsibilities that you would occasionally need to set time aside for, such as landscaping and home repair projects. However, if you are looking for the benefits of homeownership in a lower-maintenance package, then buying a condo might be the right choice for you.
In a typical home buying scenario, the purchaser works with a lender to obtain financing for their dream home with a conventional mortgage. In certain situations another option may be better, assuming a mortgage. Assumable mortgages can save you a great deal of money during the buying process and beyond.
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is one of the most common ways to borrow money against the value of your home. Similar to a credit card, you can use your HELOC to buy things that you need now, and repay it with interest at a later time. Obtaining a HELOC requires (among other factors) that you have reasonable equity in your home.
Second mortgages can be a great way to use the equity in your home to free up cash for important needs. Just like any other loan, there are some important things you should know about second mortgages before you begin the application process.