First Time Homebuyer

Buying a home will be the biggest purchase of your life. It makes sense to do your research and really break down what to be prepared for. No need to be overwhelmed – as it is our job to make sure you can enjoy the process!

First, Congratulations on making the first step in buying a home…. Researching! We say this is the most important step and hope our website can give you some information.

There are many ways you can go about buying your first home. Whether you’re interested in a First Time Homebuyer’s Assistance Program to help with closing costs, or if you have been saving your pennies! Whichever way you decide to go, what an exciting adventure awaits!

There are many different loans and Programs you can be qualified for. Your Loan Officer can help you navigate what would be best for you!

We take care of our First Time Homebuyers.

It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage Yuma, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. We understand how important a home investment is to you and the impact it will have on your life. Therefore, our team of experienced mortgage professionals will make every effort to find a great loan program and pricing for your situation.

Our sole focus is on you—the customer—and you can count on us for exceptional service. A big part of this service experience is that every step of the mortgage loan transaction—processing, underwriting, closing, and funding—is handled locally, which results in our proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Purpose

Our purpose is to build, nurture, protect, preserve, and promote a culture that Inspires Hope, Delivers Dreams, and Builds Prosperity in the lives of our employees, partners, homeowners, and communities.

People

Our People are the most valuable currency we hold. We are invested in and committed to attracting, retaining, and bonding with like-minded individuals (People who share our Passion for Purpose).

Passion

We are Passionate about creating FANS. We do this through the delivery of FANomenal experiences to homeowners, partners, and employees, which separates and differentiates us from our competition in ways that will drive market share.

Productivity

We commit to continuous improvement, measurement, and accountability, with a hyper-focus on key practices and behaviors that increase personal, team, and organizational Productivity.

Performance

Performance is about winning, which at Academy Mortgage is about our ability to sustainably drive profit, to Build Prosperity for our People, and achieve our Purpose.

Ray Ochoa

Senior Loan Officer

NMLS 214114

State Lic: AZ LO-0915882, TN 238287

PHONE: (928)246-5937

PHONE: (928) 247-9089

Brenda Hurtado

Loan Officer

NMLS: 2333849

State Lic: LO-1039337

PHONE: (928) 304-3183

Rosa Castillo

Senior Loan Officer

NMLS# 799138

State Lic: LO-0944489

PHONE: (928)920-2831

PHONE: (928) 247-9089

Brian Aungst

Loan Officer

NMLS: 2031470

State Lic: LO-1038828

PHONE: (928) 514-1592

Bill Craft

Sales Manager

NMLS 1621885

State Lic: LO-0942496

PHONE: (928)366-1639

PHONE: (928) 247-9089

Derek Egeberg

Branch Manager

NMLS 180899

State Lic: AZ LO-0915245, TN 236104

PHONE: (928)246-0422

PHONE: (928) 247-9089

Academy Mortgage Yuma - Robert Wright

Robert Wright

Loan Officer

NMLS# 1989817

State Lic: LO-1012538

PHONE: (928) 247-9089 X33917

PHONE: (928) 366-1637

Corey Seward

Corey Seward

Loan Officer

NMLS: 2137785

State Lic: LO-1026723

PHONE: (928) 247-9089 x33935

What is a Conventional Mortgage?

A Conventional mortgage is a home loan that is not guaranteed by any federal or state agency like the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Veterans Affairs Department (VA). Many borrowers will take advantage of a conventional loan. Conventional mortgages can have better interest rates than non-conventional mortgages and can be a great option for those with a 20% down payment. It is possible to get a conventional loan with a smaller down payment. However, you can have your down payment be as low as 3%- though if you choose to do this, mortgage insurance (make a definition hover: Mortgage insurance is an insurance policy that protects a mortgage lender or titleholder if you default on payments, pass away, or is otherwise unable to meet the contractual obligations of the mortgage. Also known as PMI/Private Mortgage Insurance) will be placed. This percentage is in regards to your purchase price. Example: So 3% of a $200k home is $6k. This is ONLY your down payment. Closing costs {make a definition hover: Closing Costs take care of extra fees such as appraisal, title, PMI possibly, lender fees. These fees depend on parties’ quotes in the transaction.} are NOT counted in this.

Academy Mortgage Yuma - Child Building

Common Questions and Answers:

What types of homes can I purchase with a conventional loan?

 You can purchase property types such as: single-family homes, condos,  and townhomes.  These homes can be purchased as primary residences, second homes, or investment properties.

Will I need mortgage insurance with a conventional loan?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)  is typically required on a conventional loan any Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loan when there is less than a 20% down payment.

What credit score do I need to qualify for a conventional loan?

Credit score requirements for conventional loans vary from lender to lender, but a conventional loan may require on average a higher credit score than an FHA loan.

How much do I need for a conventional loan down payment?
The minimum down payment amount for a conventional loan is 3% for a fixed-rate mortgage, and 10% for adjustable-rate mortgages. It is best to have as much saved up as possible for a conventional loan down payment as a down payment of 20% or more can eliminate the need to pay monthly private mortgage insurance (‘PMI’).
How much can I borrow with a conventional loan?

Conventional loan limits are set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and can vary by different areas in the U.S. Please ask your Loan Officer for more information.

What are the benefits of a conventional loan?

Conventional loans may offer some of the advantages of other loan types. They require down payments as low as 3%, there may be less paperwork, and you will not have monthly primary mortgage insurance (‘PMI’) with a down payment of at least 20%.

I’m sure you may have many, many more questions as a responsible interested home-buyer should!

Please feel free to send us your name, number, E-mail, and additional questions here:
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Academy Mortgage Yuma - First Time Homebuyer

What is a VA Home Loan?

Here at Academy Mortgage, we want to honor our Military by giving the best lending advice for a VA Home Loan. A VA loan is a $0-down mortgage option issued by private lenders and partially backed, or guaranteed, by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Eligible borrowers can use a VA loan to purchase a property as their primary residence or refinance an existing mortgage. VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission to serve you, they provide a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing-related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy.

The following individuals do not pay the VA funding fee:

  • Veterans receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability.
  • Veterans are entitled to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability, but receive retirement pay or active service pay.
  • Un-remarried surviving spouses of Veterans who died in active service or from a service-connected disability.
  • A service member with a proposed or memorandum rating from VA, prior to loan closing, is eligible to receive compensation as a result of a pre-discharge claim.
  • Service member on active duty who provides, on or before the date of loan closing, evidence of having been awarded the Purple Heart.
    The VA Home Loan is often the best home loan product for Veterans. Some benefits include:
  • No down payment as long as the sales price is at or below the home’s appraised value (the value set for the home after an expert review of the property) See VA Appraisal section below
  • No loan limit with full entitlement if you can afford the loan, VA will back loans in all areas of the country, regardless of the home price.
  • Competitive terms and interest rates from private banks, mortgage lenders, or credit unions
  • No need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) or mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) o PMI is a type of insurance that protects the lender if the borrower ends up not being able to pay the mortgage. It’s usually required on conventional loans if the down payment is less than 20% of the total mortgage amount. o MIP is what the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requires borrowers to pay to self-insure an FHA loan against future loss. Not having to pay PMI could save a borrower on their monthly mortgage payment
  • Fewer closing costs, which may be paid by the seller, lender, or any other party
  • No penalty fee for paying off the loan early

Common Questions and Answers:

Who is eligible for a VA Home Loan?

Active-duty service members and Veterans with discharges other than dishonorable, National Guard and Reserve service members and Veterans with an honorable discharge, certain eligible spouses, and other uniformed service personnel may be eligible for VA home loan guaranty benefits.

Is there a fee to use the VA Home Loan Guaranty?

Yes, but the funding fee can be waived (see list below). To keep the program viable, Congress instituted a program funding fee, which is a percentage of the total loan amount. This user fee varies based on whether the loan is a first-time or subsequent (second, third, etc.) use of the benefit. The funding fee may be paid in cash or included in the loan at closing.

What if I want to buy a home while I still have another VA Home Loan?

While you can buy a home for any loan amount, you must either sell your previous home or understand VA rules on subsequent purchases and remaining entitlement. Those who purchase a subsequent home without selling their previous VA-guaranteed home will continue to follow their county conforming loan limit for the VA loan guaranty. This may mean a down payment on any amount above the loan limit.

What is acceptable proof of military service?

If you are still serving on regular active duty, you must include an original statement of service signed by, or by direction of, the adjutant, personnel officer, or commander of your unit or higher headquarters which identifies you and your social security number, and provides your date of entry on your current active duty period and the duration of any time lost.

How do I apply for a VA guaranteed loan?

You can apply for a VA loan with any mortgage lender that participates in the VA home loan program. At some point, you will need to get a Certificate of Eligibility from VA to prove to the lender that you are eligible for a VA loan.

How do I get a Certificate of Eligibility?

Complete a VA Form 26-1880, Request for a Certificate of Eligibility: You can apply for a Certificate of Eligibility by submitting a completed VA Form 26-1880, Request For A Certificate of Eligibility For Home Loan Benefits, to the Atlanta Eligibility Center, along with proof of military service. In some cases, it may be possible for VA to establish eligibility without your proof of service. However, to avoid any possible delays, it’s best to provide such evidence.

Can my lender get my Certificate of Eligibility for me?

 Yes, it’s called Web LGY. Most lenders have access to the Web LGY system. This Internet-based application can establish eligibility and issue an online Certificate of Eligibility in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through Web LGY – only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records. However, veterans are encouraged to ask their lenders about this method of obtaining a certificate.

I sold the property I obtained with my prior VA loan on an assumption. Can I get my eligibility restored to use for a new loan?

In this case, the veteran’s eligibility can be restored only if the qualified assumer is also an eligible veteran who is willing to substitute his or her available eligibility for that of the original veteran. Otherwise, the original veteran cannot have eligibility restored until the assumer has paid off the VA loan.

Are the children of a living or deceased veteran eligible for the home loan benefit?

No, the children of an eligible veteran are not eligible for the home loan benefit.

I’m sure you may have many, many more questions as a responsible interested home-buyer should!

Please feel free to send us your name, number, E-mail, and additional questions here:
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Academy Mortgage Yuma - First Time Homebuyer

What is an FHA Home Loan?

FHA stands for Federal Housing Administration, and the FHA is a government agency that insures mortgages. It was created just after the Great Depression, at a time when homeownership was prohibitively expensive and difficult to achieve because so many Americans lacked the savings and credit history to qualify for a loan. The government stepped in and began backing mortgages with more accessible terms. Approved lenders began funding FHA loans, which offered more reasonable down payment and credit score standards loans do.

Pros and Cons

Low down payment. Down payments make up the majority of cash to close in any purchase loan, and saving up for one can be a significant barrier for some borrowers. FHA loans make it possible to put down as little as 3.5% upfront and still get competitive rates. Mandatory MIP payments. FHA loans are more lenient, but they also come with insurance costs to mitigate risk to the lender. You’ll have to pay Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) no matter what—either for 11 years or for the life of your loan, depending on your down payment.

Lower credit score. Credit scores can be a major hurdle when it comes to conventional loans, but borrowers with credit scores starting at 500 can qualify for FHA loans. Less competitive. Sometimes sellers can be more hesitant to accept FHA loans. In a competitive market, you might not win out against conventional loan bids.

Higher DTI accepted. Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio gives lenders an understanding of other major financial obligations in your life. This ratio is a key factor in any loan application because it indicates your ability to afford a mortgage based on current household income and existing debt. Again, FHA loans offer more leniency here and borrowers at or below 43% DTI can qualify. Stricter property standards. To offset risk and further protect lenders, FHA loans have strict criteria when it comes to assessing the condition of any property being purchased with an FHA loan. The downside? The house you want to buy might not qualify for an FHA loan. The upside? You’re less likely to be financially burdened by a home that requires expensive repairs or updates.

No income limitations. It’s a common misconception that FHA loans are only available to first-time homebuyers or borrowers with limited income—but they’re not. There’s no maximum income limit that would disqualify you from this type of loan. Loan limits: FHA loan limits are typically lower than conventional loan limits, which means you might not be able to get funding for more expensive houses. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it helps ensure that borrowers get loans they can afford to repay.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are federally backed mortgages designed for homeowners who may have lower-than-average credit scores.
  • FHA loans require a lower minimum down payment and a lower credit score than many conventional loans do. (640 is recommended by our Loan Officers here at Academy Mortgage. We’re here to help!)
  • Federal Housing Administration loans are issued by FHA-approved banks and lending institutions; these institutions will evaluate your qualifications for the loan.
  • In order to secure the guarantee of the FHA, borrowers that qualify for an FHA loan are also required to purchase mortgage insurance, and premium payments are made to FHA.

Common Questions and Answers:

How do I qualify for an FHA loan?

To qualify for this program, borrowers generally need to have good credit, a down payment of at least 3.5%, a manageable level of debt, and a steady income that is sufficient to repay the loan. Those are the minimum requirements.

Are FHA loans easy to obtain?

 It is commonly said that FHA is easier to qualify for when compared to conventional or “regular” home loans. There is some truth to this. But you’ll still need to have good credit.

What’s a good credit score for borrowers?

The official minimum credit score for this program is 500, according to HUD. But mortgage lenders have the final say, and most won’t go that low when approving borrowers. Recent data suggest that 600-and-up is a good score for FHA.

What’s the average credit score?

As mentioned above, the lowest possible score for an FHA-insured mortgage loan is 500. But many of our readers have also inquired about the average score among borrowers who use this program. It’s around 683 for home buyers, according to Ellie Mae.

Are they just for first-time buyers?

There is a common misconception that FHA-insured mortgage loans are reserved for those who are buying their first home. This is not true. People who have owned a house in the past can also use this program, as long as they meet the basic criteria.

How much income is needed to qualify?

The Federal Housing Administration does not have an official minimum income requirement for this program. But they do have specific limits regarding the borrower’s “debt-to-income” or DTI ratio of 43% or less.

Can my down payment be gifted?

In a word, yes. One of the benefits of using an FHA loan to buy a house is that the down payment funds can be gifted by a family member, a friend, or other approved donor.

Is there a credit check before closing?

Your lender will check your credit reports and scores when you apply for a loan. But they might check it again a few days before closing. So it’s best to preserve the status quo in between.

Can the seller pay my closing costs?
Current HUD guidelines allow the seller to contribute money toward the home buyer’s closing costs, up to 6% of the sale price in most cases. But the seller is not required to do this.

I’m sure you may have many, many more questions as a responsible interested home-buyer should!

Please feel free to send us your name, number, E-mail, and additional questions here:
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USDA Loan/Home Plus/Home Buyer Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance Program

How does it work?!

Administered by the Arizona Industrial Development Authority (Arizona IDA), a nonprofit corporation and political subdivision of the State of Arizona, the HOME+PLUS Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program provides a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage combined with down payment assistance (DPA) ranging from 0% – 5% depending upon the new underlying first mortgage. This program is self-funded and without the assistance of taxpayer funds. The DPA can be used toward the down payment, closing costs, or a combination of the two.  The DPA is only available in conjunction with a HOME+PLUS mortgage.

Here are some of the following terms/conditions of this loan:

  1. Three-year, no interest, no payment, deferred soft second mortgage, forgiven monthly at a rate of 1/36 over the term of the lien.
  2. The DPA second mortgage is fully forgiven after the 36th month (3-years).
  3. The homeowner can choose to refinance or sell their HOME PLUS first mortgage at any time, however, if a refinance or sale occurs in the first 36 months, the DPA 2nd lien would need to be paid (note amount less the number of forgiven months from closing date).
  4. AzIDA does not subordinate or provide exceptions to the DPA repayment terms.
  5. Home Plus has a home buyer education requirement that must be met by taking a course during the loan process. The course completion certificate is good for one year and must be completed prior to closing.
  6. Debt-to-Income Ratio and Credit Score are taken into account. (Please ask your Loan Officer what these requirements look like.)

Common Questions and Answers:

Can a buyer use DPA funds to bridge the gap when the purchase price is greater than the appraised value? Is it allowed? How would it work?

Yes. It will, however, require the buyer to contribute some of their own funds. For more info, ask your Academy Mortgage Loan Officer.

Do I have to buy from a specific list of eligible homes?

No. The Home Plus program allows home buyers to buy either new OR existing single-family, townhomes, condos, manufactured homes, and 2-unit properties throughout the state. Currently, 3-4 unit properties are not eligible.

Is mortgage insurance required?

If the new underlying first mortgage is a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgage, with less than 20% down, yes mortgage insurance is required. On the Fannie and Freddie products, the charter minimum mortgage insurance coverage is much lower than mortgage insurance coverage outside of the Home Plus program. Your lender should be able to provide you interest rate and mortgage payment (including mortgage insurance) comparisons between the Home Plus program options and a standard mortgage in which you provide the down payment and closing costs. You can then determine your best course of action.

My credit score is below the program minimum, what can I do now?

  If your credit score falls below the minimum program requirements you are not currently eligible for the Home Plus program. However, here at Academy Mortgage in Yuma- all of our Loan Officers offer Credit Repair and Plan Services. Call us today to schedule an appointment! (928) 247-9089.

How do I apply for the HOME+PLUS Down Payment Assistance Program?

The Home Plus program does not require a direct application from the home buyer. All you have to do is select your Loan Officer of choice to see if you qualify! 

Is this a big government, taxpayer funded program?

The Home Plus program is a true public / private sector partnership. We raise funds in the national capital markets and form partnerships with lending institutions to deliver the Home Plus program throughout the State. NO taxpayer funds are used for the Home Plus program.

My elderly parent lives with us and collects social security. Is this income counted against the program income limit?

The Home Plus income limit is based on “borrower” income, not “household” income. If your parent will be a borrower on the new underlying first mortgage, the income is counted. If your parent will NOT be a borrower on the new underlying first mortgage, the income is NOT counted.

Do I need to shop different HOME+PLUS approved mortgage lenders for the best interest rate?

The interest rates for the respective new underlying first mortgages are set by the Home Plus program and are the same regardless of which program-approved participating mortgage lender you use. Expertise in down payment assistance can vary by Loan Officer. Luckily, here at Academy Mortgage Yuma, we are very educated on this loan program, and are ready to help!

Why can’t my mortgage lender lock my interest rate immediately?

Great question. The Loan Officer has ten days from the interest rate lock date to finalize ALL aspects of the new underlying first mortgage. If the mortgage is not within ten days of completion, the interest rate lock should not occur. It is the lender’s responsibility to manage each stage of the Home Plus process and to communicate and coordinate with the homebuyer and Realtor accordingly.

I’m sure you may have many, many more questions as a responsible interested home-buyer should!

Please feel free to send us your name, number, E-mail, and additional questions here:
Name(Required)
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.