8 Tips For Refinancing As Mortgage Interest Rates Rise

So you want to refinance, but mortgage interest rates are rising. Don’t worry — you haven’t missed the boat on your refi opportunity. Mortgage rates are still historically low, and they aren’t expected to exceed 5% in 2017, according to many economists and mortgage analysts.

1. Make your move fast

Even though rates aren’t expected to shoot through the roof this year, they’ll likely stay on a steady, upward trajectory.

“If you’re thinking about refinancing, now probably is the time to do it,” says Lauren Lyons Cole, a certified financial planner and money editor at Consumer Reports, adding that rates are probably not going to be lower than they are right now.

2. Prepare in case rates drop

You’ll want to get your refinance application in as soon as possible, not only to catch low rates before they rise, but also to avoid a backup in refinance applications should rates suddenly fall, according to Casey Fleming, author of “The Loan Guide: How to Get the Best Possible Mortgage.”

“This is the biggest mistake I think people make,” Fleming says. “If you’re not in the pipeline ready to go when the interest rates start moving down, all of a sudden you have to get in the back of the line, and oftentimes you miss the dip in the rates.”

3. Make sure your credit score is in good shape

Your credit score plays a big part in the rate you can get on a mortgage. Just because low rates are out there doesn’t mean you’ll qualify for them.

Lyons Cole says that, in some cases, your credit can be easily bolstered “from the 500s up to the 700s in about three months.”

Check your credit report for errors, pay bills on time and keep a safe distance from your credit limit.

4. Use rising home prices to your advantage

Along with rates, home values are rising. Now might be a good opportunity to tap into your home’s equity through a cash-out refinance, through a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.

5. Refinance into an ARM

Refinancing into an adjustable-rate mortgage in a rising rate environment can make sense since these loans tend to come with lower initial interest rates than fixed mortgages. They’re especially useful if you plan on staying in your home no longer than the fixed term of the loan.

6. Refinance to a shorter term

Refinancing into a shorter-term fixed-rate loan can save you money in two ways: the interest rate is lower than a 30-year fixed-rate loan, and the shorter term means you’ll save more money over the life of the loan by paying less interest.

Here’s an example: Using NerdWallet’s refinance calculator, we plugged in the numbers for a 30-year, $300,000 mortgage taken out in 2010 with a 4.75% fixed interest rate. We refinanced it to a 15-year mortgage with a 3.50% fixed interest rate. Savings equated to $52,975 over 15 years. While your original monthly payment of $1,565 would take on an extra $311 each month, you would save more money in the long run and build equity faster.

7. Pay points

Before your loan closes, you’ll have the option to pay points on your mortgage, which is paying money upfront, to permanently lower your interest rate. Fleming says that “if the additional cost makes sense, then absolutely pay points.”

8. Refinance out of an ARM, HELOC

If you’re concerned about the interest rate rising on your adjustable-rate mortgage or on your home equity line of credit, refinancing to a fixed-rate product can allow you to lock in a new rate to make your monthly payments more predictable.

Since mortgage interest rates are increasing, “anybody with a HELOC should definitely look at their options,” Fleming says.

Michael Burge is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website.

Breaking: Fed minutes show rate hike coming soon

Federal Reserve officials expressed confidence they can raise interest rates gradually, while a hike “fairly soon” might be appropriate to avoid the risk of an overheated economy, minutes of Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting showed.

“Many participants expressed the view that it might be appropriate to raise the federal funds rate again fairly soon if incoming information on the labor market and inflation was in line with or stronger than their current expectations or if the risks of overshooting the committee’s maximum-employment and inflation objectives increased,” the minutes released Wednesday in Washington said.

The record of the Jan. 31-Feb. 1 gathering showed Fed officials wrestling with uncertainty on issues ranging from the Trump administration’s fiscal stimulus plans to the headwinds a rising dollar may pose. The discussion of a rate hike “fairly soon” was tempered by other comments that indicated little concern about near-term inflation risks.

Many FOMC voting members “continued to see only a modest risk of a scenario in which the unemployment rate would substantially undershoot its longer-run normal level and inflation pressures would increase significantly,” the minutes said.

A few participants “noted that continuing to remove policy accommodation in a timely manner, potentially at an upcoming meeting, would allow the committee greater flexibility in responding to subsequent changes in economic conditions.”

U.S. central bankers left the target range for their benchmark lending rate unchanged at 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent at the conclusion of the meeting. Fed Chair Janet Yellen told Congress in her semi-annual testimony last week that “a further adjustment of the federal funds rate would likely be appropriate” if the economy continues to evolve in line with their expectations.

Rate-Hike Odds
Before the minutes were released, traders are pricing in about a one-in-three chance of a rate increase when the FOMC next meets March 14-15.

So far, the data are affirming the committee’s outlook. Continued employment gains are underpinning spending. Retail sales rose 0.4 percent last month, and corporate orders for capital goods rose in December. Sentiment indicators are also up on the expectation that President Donald Trump will boost growth through fiscal measures and deregulation.

Fed officials forecast in December the economy would expand at a 2.1 percent annual rate this year, pushing the unemployment rate down to 4.5 percent.

The minutes indicated their forecasts were little changed since the end of last year, and in their discussion of risks and uncertainties, they said “some time would likely be required for the outlook to become clearer.”

Inflation is rising toward the Fed’s 2 percent target. The personal consumption expenditures price index rose 1.6 percent last year; excluding food and energy, the index rose 1.7 percent.

U.S. central bankers discussed how to cease reinvesting proceeds from their $4.45 trillion balance sheet. In the January statement the FOMC repeated that reinvestments would continue until rate normalization is “well under way.”

Fed officials didn’t advance their plans for the balance sheet, saying they’d address it in later meetings, according to the minutes.

“Participants also generally agreed that the committee should begin discussions at upcoming meetings about the economic conditions that could warrant changes in the existing policy of reinvesting proceeds from maturing Treasury securities and principal payments from agency debt and mortgage-backed securities, as well as how those changes would be implemented and communicated.”

Copyright Bloomberg 2017

How American Mortgage Corporation Gets You Approved When Other Lenders Said No

If Denied, Try, Try Again

Almost one-in-four home purchase applicants is denied, according to mortgage software company Ellie Mae. Even more homeowners are turned down when it comes to refinance applications — more than 30 percent.

Not all lenders are created equal, though. Some banks, credit unions, and mortgage brokers do things that others can’t.Many times, it’s all about finding a knowledgeable lender that thinks outside of the box.

Don’t lose hope just because you have been turned down in the past.Following are true stories of successful home buyers who got mortgage-approved with American Mortgage Corporation despite being told “no” the first time.

Turned Down Because Of Low Credit Scores

Until recently, Ted and his wife Brenda, along with their three children, had been life-long renters.They did not rent simply because they enjoyed renting. They rented because Brenda was a stay-at-home mom, and with just one income.

Their budget didn’t extend far enough to cover their monthly bills.As a result, there were times where they were forced to live off of their credit cards. A couple of late payments and a few maxed out credit cards took a toll on their credit scores.

Ted’s credit score was 577. His bank turned him down due to his less-than-perfect FICO. Fortunately, thanks to a lender’s credit analyzer program, Tim was able to get a detailed game plan on how to get his credit scores up.

Eager to become homeowners, Ted and Brenda followed American Mortgage Corporation’s instructions to the “T”. All they had to do was pay down a couple of credit cards, and transfer a balance from one card to another.

With the help of a American Mortgage Corporation, they saw immediate results. In less than one week, Tim saw his credit score jump almost 50 points!

With Ted’s credit score now at 625, Tim and Brenda went home shopping that very weekend. They found their dream home, made an offer, and moved into their new home just 30 days later.

Being denied by one lender doesn’t mean you’ll be denied by every lender. There may be a number of loan programs available that may fit your situation. You just don’t know about them yet.

Don’t give up just because you’ve been turned down. Try, try again.

Customer Reviews And Testimonials About American Mortgage Corporation

Read Customer Reviews And Testimonials About American Mortgage Corporation And Learn About The Great Experiences That Our Clients Have Had With The Mortgage Process, Whether Borrowing A Loan To Buy A New Home Or Refinancing A Current Home Loan.

Below reviews are taken from Google, Facebook,Yelp & Birdeye. Each review is our clients we have had the honor of serving in the past 3 years.

Robert: Naples, Florida
Anthony and Joe were extremely helpful and caring throughout the buying process and beyond! I am so grateful to both of them!

Marc T. New Lenox, Illinois
American Mortgage Corporation personnel was a huge help in refinancing my property. I had a lot of credit card debt and haven’t had a raise is quite some time. Plus, because of short sales and foreclosures in my residential area, it was hard to see any equity in my house: something that AM has no control over, but AM was able to get me cash out and a low interest rate and was able to increase my monthly cash flow to pay down my debt over time. They also paid all of my closing cost with the lender credit. They are even supposed to reimburse my appraisal fee. It was truly a no cost transaction. I’m really lucky. Can’t wait to work with them again.

Gerald and Adriana S. Naples, Florida
I want to thank Anthony Azam and Joe Aldeguer for their professionalism. They walked Me and My wife through the process of getting our mortgage . Anytime we had a question , they were a phone call away and explained all our questions we had. I even recommend Joe to a few co-workers who reached out to him and he also helped them.

After a year in our home we could couldn’t be more please to have had the help of Joe and Anthony!!

M Brual Chicago, Illinois
Our purchase experience with American Mortgage was fast, easy and stress free.
Our mortgage agent was very knowledgeable. The processing staff was efficient and extremely helpful in keeping us informed throughout the entire process.
We were very pleased with the flow of our transaction from start to finish and plan on coming back in the future for our refinance

Nima Matin Lincolnwood, Illinois
Great service. Took care of all issues that came up and delivered as promised. Can’t ask for more from your lender. Highly recommend

Nora Hendron Peotone, Illinois

This was our first time buying a home..and I’m not going to lie. It was the most stressful time also. My husband heard a commerical about American Mortgage..I was going to go through Lending Tree. I was confused and lending Tree wouldn’t answer any of my question..so I called American Mortgage..they took the time to answer my questions..told me about my credit report..what to do..what not to do..they calmed my nerves..I was confident in my task ahead of us. We went with American Mortgage..and I’m so glad we did..I got to work with Anthony Azam and Rebecca..what a dream team. Thanks to American Mortgage..we’re in a beautiful home..and they’re going to help us refinace in 6 months..thank you again.

Blanca C. Naples, Florida
They are a different kind of company that really cares for their clients. As a Realtor, I highly recommend them. They done the best loans for my clients. They treat you with respect and professionalism. From the beginning to the end of the loan process and beyond, they are always there to assist. Thank you American Mortgage for helping my business grow!!!

ArQuintin M. Lake In The Hills, Illinois
Anthony and Henry were very helpful, honest and friendly.

Melissa: Naples, Florida
My home buying experience was made easy and I was confident in American Mortgages capabilities.

Nadia: Naples, Florida
Anthony Azam was amazing ..he’s extremely caring and compassionate. He guided me the entire way through closing on my home . In the start of my journey it seems that this was almost an impossible task but today I’m nearly a month away from moving into my home. My dream of being a home owner today would have not have become reality this soon if it was not for him. I’m so grateful for all he’s help.

Raji M: Naperville, Illinois
Very economical and got me the best possible rate available. No surprise fees at closing.

Loan Officer:
Clear communication and provided necessary information in order to complete the closing process without any issues. Easy to work with and always accessible and responsive to my questions. Customer satisfaction seemed to be high priority.

Where’s the best place to get a mortgage?

Borrowers in the Sunshine State are in some of the best positions when it comes to getting a mortgage, according to a new study.

Six of the top 10 best counties to get a mortgage are located in Florida, according to a study by financial information firm SmartAsset. Two more are on the opposite coast, in California.

SmartAsset determined the best places to get a mortgage by examining four factors: overall borrowing costs, ease of getting a mortgage, property taxes and annual mortgage payments. The company based annual mortgage payments on the annual principal and interest payments for a $200,000 loan.

Sumter County, Fla., took the top spot. In the Central Florida county, the annual mortgage payment on a $200,000 is $14,639, and the loan finding rate is 71.58%. Walton County, Fla., took the number two spot. Also making the top 10 were Okaloosa County, Fla. (4), Collier County, Fla. (6), Santa Rosa County, Fla. (8), and Indian River County, Fla. (10).

On the other coast, San Mateo, Calif., and San Francisco, Calif., were fifth and seventh, respectively.

Did your county make the list? Here are the nation’s top mortgage markets, according to SmartAsset:

Source: Mortgage Professsional Magazine

American Mortgage Corporation Explains: How To Save On Closing Costs

Closing costs are fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. This point in time called the closing is when the title to the property is conveyed (transferred) to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or the seller. A great alternative for homeowners looking to save on out-of-pocket expenses is a low, or zero-closing cost loan. If you’re buying a home, it’s not uncommon to ask the seller to contribute towards paying some or all of your closing costs.

Your loan program may limit the percentage of costs the seller can pay. Be sure to ask American Mortgage Corporation how much the seller can pay according to your particular loan.

Examples of typical closing costs

• Attorney (Lawyer) Fees, paid by either or both parties, for the preparation and recording of official documents. The principals and/or lender may each be represented by their own attorney. Typically required by institutional/commercial lenders to ensure documents are prepared correctly.

• Title Service Cost(s), paid by either party according to the contract but by default seller may pay the majority, for title search, title insurance, and possibly other title services. In some cases the attorney may do the title search or the title service and attorney fees may be combined. Required by institutional/commercial lenders and often by the real estate contract.

• Recording Cost, paid by either party, charged by a governmental entity for entering an official record of the change of ownership of the property. Required by the government for recording the deed.

• Document or Transaction Stamps or Taxes, paid by either or both parties depending on location (area of jurisdiction), charged by a governmental entity as an excise tax upon the transaction. Required by law.

• Survey Fee for a survey of the lot or land and all structures on it, paid by either party, to confirm lot size and dimensions and check for encroachments. Required by institutional/commercial lenders

• Brokerage Commission, paid by the seller to a Real Estate Broker, to compensate the Broker(s) involved in the sale for their services in marketing the property, finding a buyer, and assisting in the negotiations. Brokerage commissions are usually computed as a percentage of the sale price, and are established in a listing agreement between the seller and the listing broker. The listing broker may offer Buyer Agents a portion of their commission as an incentive to find buyers for the property. Payment is required if real estate brokerage service was used. This is often one of the largest closing costs.

• Mortgage Application Fees, paid by the buyer to the lender, to cover the costs of processing their loan application. In some cases, the buyer would pay the lender the application directly and prior to closing, while in other cases the fee is part of the buyer’s closing costs payable at closing.

• Points, paid by the buyer to the lender but may be reimbursed by the seller. Points are a form of pre-paid interest, charged by the lender as an alternative to charging a higher rate of interest on the mortgage loan. One point equals one percent of the loan principal, and usually reduces the interest rate by 1/8% (0.125).

• Appraisal Fees, usually paid by the buyer[citation needed] (although occasionally by the seller through negotiation), charged by a licensed professional Appraiser. Many lenders will require that an appraisal be performed as a condition of the mortgage loan. The purpose of this appraisal is to verify that the sale price of the property (upon which the underwriting of the loan is based) is equal to or less than the fair market value of the property.

• Inspection Fees, usually paid by the buyer[citation needed] (although occasionally by the seller), charged by licensed home, pest, or other inspectors. Some lenders require inspections (such as termite inspection) to verify that the property is in good condition, which is necessary to assure that the property will retain the necessary collateral value to secure the mortgage loan.

• Home Warranties, paid by either the buyer or the seller. Warranties are available on resale homes insuring major household systems against repair or replacement for the buyer’s initial year of ownership. Sellers will sometimes offer these warranties as a marketing strategy, or buyers can elect to purchase them at closing.

• Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), paid by the buyer but may be reimbursed by the seller. Lenders will typically require that a mortgaged property be insured if the Down payment is less than 20 percent, and will usually require that the first full year’s mortgage insurance premium (MIP) be paid in advance by the buyer. If the buyer has not already paid the insurance company directly, this would become another closing cost payable at closing. The buyer can request cancellation of PMI once their equity reaches 20 percent of the market value, and the lenders are required to automatically cancel the PMI once the equity reaches 22 percent by federal laws.

• Pre-paid Homeowner’s Property Insurance, paid by the buyer in advance to protect the home against fire, earthquake, flood (normally a separate policy from other hazard insurance), theft, and other casualties. The lender will require this coverage. Flood insurance may or may not be required, depending on the location.

• Pro-rata property taxes, paid by the seller, the buyer, or both. Most (but not all) jurisdictions assess taxes on real property, which are usually payable at a specified date annually. Since all but a tiny fraction of real estate transactions close on a date other than this one specified annual date, most transactions must include an adjustment to assure that both the seller and the buyer end up paying their share of the annual property tax, proportionate to the percentage of the year that each has ownership of the property. Usually required by institutional/commercial lenders and by the real estate contract.

• Pro-rata Homeowner Association Dues, paid by the seller, buyer, or both. If the property is covered by a Homeowner Association (HOA), the HOA will normally be funded by dues assessed against each property owner. Again, since the ownership of the seller and buyer are each fractional in the year of the transaction, there must be an adjustment made so that each owner pays their proportional share. Often required by institutional/commercial lenders and by the real estate contract.

• Pro-rata Interest, paid by the buyer but may be reimbursed by the seller. The monthly mortgage payment is calculated and payable on a specified day each month. If the closing does not actually fall on that specified date (which is usually the case), then an adjustment must be made to calculate the interest on the loan for the number of extra days until the first payment is due.

Other items in addition to the above may be common in some jurisdictions, and some transactions may include unusual or unique items as closing costs. In the United States, Federal law requires that all residential transactions financed by a mortgage have all closing costs documented in detail upon the standard HUD-1 form. This information must be provided to the principals but does not have to be sent to the government. Instead a Declaration or Statement by Buyer and/or Seller is often required to be provided to the government office recording the deed. Form 1099-S may be required to be sent to the United States Internal Revenue Service, but Federal law does not allow a charge for this

How Long Does it Take to Build a House?

According to the 2015 Survey of Construction from the Census Bureau, the average completion time of a single-family home is around seven months.

It’s important to note that factors, such as the complexity of the project — the land on which the home is being built, the area where the home is being built and the intricacy of the home’s floor plan — will affect the building timeline. Custom homes can take longer to complete than production homes, while manufactured homes typically can be completed in a few months.

After speaking with the experts, we’ve identified the five most commonly cited factors influencing construction time: pre-construction and permits, environment, workers and supplies, changes and construction style. Although knowing what to expect may not speed up the process, it might just help you maintain your sanity.

Pre-Construction and Permits

Before a builder can start building your home, the home’s lot must be prepared. That means clearing trees, rocks and other items, rough grading and leveling for the foundation. Depending on how much work is involved — say there’s an unexpected issue while clearing the lot — there can be delays during pre-construction.

Getting proper approvals and permits can also cause delays. “Factors like approval on building permit and inspections process can vary between locations and can lengthen the time to a completed home,” says Matthew Gaudet-Walters, a sales representative for Walters Homes.


Depending on where the home will be, building times can be affected by region of the country — homes in the Middle Atlantic Region averages about 9.5 months from start to completion, while the Mountain Region construction averages around six months. Construction in metropolitan areas is usually quicker — seven months, compared to nine months in more rural areas.

“Although construction workers can do a lot of work in the rain, such as trenching or cutting down trees, there are some things that can be held up because of the rain,” says Kyle Alfriend, a Realtor with the Alfriend Group in Dublin, Ohio. “Primary weather factors — including the winter freeze — prohibits the pouring of concrete for the foundation and spring rains saturate the ground so much that holes cannot be dug for basements without walls caving in.”

Availability of Workers and Supplies

The summer months are generally the busiest time for home construction, so you might find your new home’s construction delayed while waiting for the necessary labor to be available.

“One element in our construction time calculations is the available labor pool and how which specialists are needed among the subcontractors, like the electricians, plumbers and framers that the design calls for,” says Peter Di Natale, president of Peter Di Natale & Associates, a New York-based homebuilder and contractor.

Changing the Plan

Change orders will usually extend the build time, especially if they occur in the latter part of the process.

Di Natale also notes that when buyers wait until the last minute to choose their finishes, this can cause delays. “For example, cabinets usually take six to eight weeks to order and one to two weeks to install, so selecting cabinets when it is time to install them will cost you two months or more.”

To limit the amount of time lost to decision delays, you should maintain open communication with your builder. After all, throughout the construction process, there will be many decisions that you must make along the way.

Construction Style

The style of your home will also influence construction time. Custom-built homes average 10 to 16 months, while personalized production plans average four to six months. Because the floor plans used by production builders have been built many times before, there are generally fewer delays. “Choosing a standard floor plan will quicken the building process, because it eliminates any variations that the builder will need to work out,” says Gaudet-Walters.

So what can you do to make sure the construction of your new home is as painless as possible?

Collaboration is the key: “Engaging construction managers and going through adequate pre-planning and estimating as early as possible will save time and money in the long run,” says Di Natale. Delays in construction may be a fact of life, but knowing what to expect and how to manage your expectations can help make the building process less stressful.

Source: New Home Source

Breaking News: FHA Lowers Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums

In a move that will make home loans more affordable, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced today that it will reduce the annual premiums most of its borrowers pay on mortgage insurance premiums by 0.25 percentage points from 0.85% to 0.60%. The agency said that the new lower premium rates are projected to save new FHA-insured home owners an average of $500 this year.

American Mortgage Corporation supports this action to further boost the housing recovery and reduce the cost of housing for creditworthy borrowers, particularly for first-time home buyers. In response to FHA’s announcement.

American Mortgage Corporation commends the FHA for reducing its annual mortgage insurance premiums by 25 basis points to 0.6%. With mortgage rates rising in recent weeks, lower premiums will make home loans more affordable, particularly for creditworthy young families and first-time buyers. The new premium structure will also help to ease stubbornly tight credit conditions in the mortgage market, and represents sound policy given a recent actuarial report that shows that the agency continues to strengthen its financial reserves.

The new premium will be effective for mortgages closed on or after Jan. 27, 2017. For a full schedule of the new premium rates announced today, read FHA’s mortgagee letter.

For additional information, contact American Mortgage Corporation at 888-402-6097.