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Today’s Rates for First Time Homebuyers in Iowa
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Mortgage rates are at 4.23% for the 30 year fixed loan program and at 3.42% for the 15 year fixed. As for variable rates, the 5/1 ARM rate currently stands at 3.50%. Check out FHA and VA rates as well if you are doing low or no down payments.
Iowa First Time Home Buyer Checklist
Get educated about loan program options. If you're moving to an eligible area, you may qualify for a zero down payment loan through USDA. Veterans may be eligible for VA loans, which do not require cash down. The content in the paragraphs below should give you an idea of where you may fall.
Know your credit score. It should fall somewhere above 600, but some lenders accept scores in the 500s. If your credit score needs love, work on improving it before you try to take out a mortgage. Once annually, you're able to request a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus.
Survey interest rate quotes from different lenders in Iowa. Choose one who not only provides a great offer, but carries a robust rating from the Better Business Bureau.
Get pre-approved or pre-qualified. Once you've picked a lender, provide income documentation with your last two pay stubs and tax returns from the past two years.
Formulate a budget. You could be pre-approved for a loan amount that is bigger than you had expected, but do not base affordability on the sum provided alone. Remember, only you know what you can truly afford.
Commence with home shopping. Be sure to avoid making extravagant purchases before your loan closes, as it could result in mortgage application denial. Lenders will check your accounts again to verify your financial standing.
Low Down Payment Loans Through FHA
If you’re a first time home buyer without a lot to put down, an Iowa FHA loan may accommodate you. FHA loans are backed by the government and designed to help home buyers with limited upfront funds receive financing.
Down payment: 3.5%
Minimum acceptable credit score: 580 (varies)
Mortgage insurance: Upfront (1.75% loan amount) and monthly
Property guidelines apply and are verified via home inspection
You can find additional information about FHA loans on the Iowa page of the FHA website.
No Down Payment Loans Through USDA
The United States Department of Agriculture backs home loans for zero down to Iowa home buyers looking to move to or live in rural areas. Find out if your buying city is eligible by searching the USDA's property map. Note that popular areas like Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport are not eligible.
Down payment: None required; financing up to 102% available depending on home appraisal
Minimum acceptable credit score: 620
Mortgage insurance: Upfront (2% loan amount) and monthly