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We're finding it difficult to find a single family home in our desired Chicago, IL neighborhood that falls into a comfortable price range, so we're considering financing a condo that we love, but which is smaller than we like, using an FHA 5/1 ARM, so that we can build some equity quickly and trade up in the next 5-7 years. I have a little bit of finance background, but trying to figure out the possible pitfalls/risks is boggling my mind, possibly because new baby=lack of sleep. I've seen a lot of really good advice on these boards for other situations, so any help identifying catches or unforeseen risks would be appreciated. Here's the scenario: Purchase price: likely ~280-300kTotal cash available to us for down payment/closing: ~35kCredit: 780+First-time buyers, currently renting month to monthWe can easily afford the payments on this loan on our salaries, including insurance and assessmentsI also have a second contract job, which pays another $1200 a month that can go entirely to extra paymentsI know that FHA ARM 5/1s have an initial rate cap of 1% and a life rate cap of 5%, which gives me a bit of comfort, as we could afford the payments at 8%, albeit not comfortably.This condo is in a very stable neighborhood, so I wouldn't expect huge price appreciation or depreciationI'm assuming we can remove the PMI after 5 years to compensate for the first years rate increase, if any What am I missing? Will I be in a good equity position after 5 years or will I be scrambling madly for a re-fi, if we're not ready to move yet? Would I be better off just getting the 30 year fixed? Is there anything I'm failing to consider here? Thanks for any advice! by maggiemilfordd from Chicago, Illinois. Jul 5th 2011 Reply


Jamie Chenoweth (jchenoweth)
#22 ranked lender in Illinois - 7 contributions

Hello there!I am a loan officer in the Quad Cities area and I am licensed to do loan in Iowa and Illinois. From your email, it seems you are very educated in the financing department. FHA does offer very good loans and we can look at doiing an ARM or even a fixed rate too if you desire as the rates right now are historically low. In order to do a full assessment, I would need to talk to you and fill out a full application. I will be out of the office tomorrow for a charity event but would love to hear back from you. Can you email me at jchenoweth@bncnationalbank.com today or tomorrow and let me know if you are interested? It only takes a few minutes on the phone or you can apply online at www.chenoloans.com. I can get back to you first thing on Thursday when I get back in the office. The application doesn't take much time and is at no cost or obligation to you.Thanks for your inquiry. Look forward to hearing from you.Jamie ChenowethLoan OriginatorBNC National Bank563-344-7778

Jul 5th 2011
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Terry Taitel (terry@resourceplus.com)
#33 ranked lender in Illinois - 7 contributions

It sounds like you have some good information.The only question that I have is, have you checked to see if the condo is FHA approved?If you would like to give me the name of the condo and possibly the address I can check on the FHA website.Terry Taitel 847-359-5300 or terry@resourceplus.com

Jul 5th 2011
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MIKE CONVIN (mconvin)
#6 ranked lender in Delaware - 202 contributions

hi: I would sit down and compare the 5 yr arm payment vs a 30 yr fixed. If you see a difference pending your financial status and employment stability, then weigh the pros and cons. With FHA you have that monthly PMI either if you put 20% down. If interested I work with private investors that fund residential loans with no MI just a 30 yr fixed no prepay as an alternative. (Mike 703 505 5300)

Jul 5th 2011
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James Barath (JamesBarath)
#9 ranked lender in Indiana - 352 contributions

Hi Maggie. You are asking some very important and specific questions. You might be surprised to know that there are other mortgage strategies that you could leverage your money and cash flow better than what you have proposed. As a Certified Mortgage Planner in the Chicagoland market, would be happy to discuss your home loan options with you. You can reach me at james@jamesbarath.com or call me at 219-662-0166 x21. BTW: Hope you're enjoying this beautiful day in Chicago with the baby.

Jul 6th 2011
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