As a Valley Mortgage customer, you will be treated as an individual and not just another number. Unlike the “BIG Banks” or giant online companies, we are independent and that’s a huge advantage for you. We provide you with the benefit of access to a large variety of loan programs. Every person is unique and finding the best financing program for you is our highest priority. We aren’t “locked in” to a small number of options like many banks and credit unions.
From no-down or low-down-payment options to traditional conventional loans, first-time home buyer programs, FHA and VA loans, USDA Rural Housing loans, even programs for those who are credit challenged...we provide a large menu of options. We will walk you through every step of the way making sure your loan is processed on time.
Many Loan Programs for You
Our success is partially based on the large number of loan programs we make available to our customers. Unlike many banks credit unions that usually only have a few loan programs, Valley Mortgage has a full menu of options for everyone from first-time homebuyers, to empty-nesters wishing to down-size, families wishing to refinance their current mortgage for a lower monthly payment or to get cash for a special project, those wishing to purchase a lake home and even the folks who have had a credit history with some challenges.
Rough Credit History?
If you’ve had some credit issues along the way, Valley Mortgage will gladly provide guidance and advice on how you can get to a point where you qualify for a mortgage loan. Don’t give up, contact one of our professional loan officers for help in developing a plan unique to your situation.
As you can see, we offer a loan program for nearly everyone. Valley Mortgage likely has an excellent program for you. Contact us soon so we can visit, no-cost – no obligation.
When you search for your dream home or you are hoping to upgrade your current home - whether it be in Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, Valley City, Crookston, Roseau, Wahpeton, Fergus Falls, Casselton, Glyndon, the Minnesota lakes country, a rural location, small or larger town, we’d be happy to talk with you about what you’d like to accomplish with a home financing program.
We’ll help you every step of the way - start to closing-day. You can choose to visit us in our office building on 45th Street South in Fargo, we can come to you in the comfort of your home, talk by phone, on a Zoom or Facetime call or by exchanging emails. If you are in the market for a new home, refinancing your existing mortgage or if you just want to lower your existing mortgage payment, contact us by phone 701-461-8450, or online.
Please see our examples of Valley Mortgage Loan Programs below!
A conventional loan is any mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the government (such as those provided by Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or Department of Agriculture loan programs).
Loan Program Details
- The most common type of home loan
- Available in Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
- Loan amount must be $484,350 or less in most counties and may be as high as $726,525 in high-cost counties. Contact Valley Mortgage to find out the loan limit in your county.
- If your down payment is less than 20%, you’ll typically need mortgage insurance which can be paid monthly, financed into the mortgage or lender paid.
- To better understand the term “Fixed Rate” click here.(links to section “hidden” later in this file)
- To better understand the term “Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)” click here.
Fixed Rate Mortgage
By far, the most popular mortgage loan.
- The Fixed Rate Mortgage features a specific interest rate known by you before you sign the paperwork.
- The interest never changes throughout the mortgage contract period.
- Your monthly principal and interest total payment never changes
- They are known for “lower risk, no surprises” home loans
- Usually a higher initial interest rate than an ARM
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Most Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) start at a lower interest rate than fixed rate mortgages. This initial rate may stay the same for months, one year, or a few years. When this introductory period is over, your interest rate can change and the amount of your payment can go up or down. There will specific adjustment dates listed in your mortgage paperwork. Most ARMs are based on a 30-year loan term.
Part of the interest rate you pay will be tied to a broader measure of interest rates, called an Index, which usually reflects the current economic condition in the country. Your payment goes up when this index of interest rates increases. When interest rates decline, sometimes your payment may go down, but that is not true for all ARMs. Some ARMs set a cap on how high your interest rate can go. Some ARMs also limit how low your interest rate can go.
Know how your ARM adjusts.
Before taking out an adjustable rate mortgage, find out:
- How high your interest rate and monthly payments can go with each adjustment
- How frequently your interest rate will adjust
- How soon your payment could go up
- If there is a cap on how high your interest rate could go
- If there is a limit on how low your interest rate could go
- If you will still be able to afford the loan if the rate and payment go up to the maximums allowed under the loan contract
A construction loan covers the cost of building a new home for renovation of an existing home. Unlike a traditional mortgage, a construction loan is short-term, usually for less than 12 months. Instead of lending the entire amount of the loan at one time, a construction loan pays a series of advances, more commonly called “draws,” as the building project progresses. Home construction loans can be used to purchase land and build a home, or to construct a home on land you already own. Once construction is complete, you will need to secure a traditional mortgage loan.
Loan Program Details
- This is a relatively short – term loan, usually for 12 months or less
- There is usually a higher interest rate on construction loans than a traditional mortgage
- Designed to pay construction expenses as the project progresses, usually with five to seven “draws.”
There are many mortgage loan programs available for the first-time homebuyer. Our best advice is to contact us at Valley Mortgage to discuss your options. This will be a no-cost, no obligation conversation. There are many options, so review the possible details below.
Loan Program Details
These are details taken from various programs and may not all apply to a single loan
- Loan assistance availability or down payment and closing costs
- Seller may pay closing costs
- Lower mortgage insurance
- Lower credit scores acceptable
- Flexible qualifying guidelines
FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934.The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) - which is part of HUD - administers a program of loan insurance to expand homeownership opportunities. FHA provides mortgage insurance to FHA-approved lenders to protect these lenders against losses if the homeowner defaults on the loan.
Loan Program Details
- Low down payments – as low as 3.5%
- Low closing costs
- Easier credit qualification
- Available for 1 to 4 unit properties
- Allows for inclusion of the costs for energy improvements into an FHA Energy-Efficient Mortgage
The Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) offers a mortgage loan program for eligible veterans, current servicemembers, and surviving spouses . The loans are made by private lenders and guaranteed by the VA.
Loan Program Details
- Are available with low or even zero down payments, but may be more expensive than conventional loans if you have significant down payment funds and good credit.
- Often offer low-cost, streamlined refinance options and additional protections if you have trouble paying your mortgage later on
- Do not require monthly mortgage insurance premiums, but usually require an upfront-fee at closing.
The US Department of Agriculture offers a similar program to the FHA and VA, designed for low- and moderate-income borrowers in rural areas.
Loan Program Details
USDA loans can be a good option for borrowers who have little available savings. They offer zero down payments and are usually cheaper than FHA loans. Borrowers will pay an upfront fee as well as ongoing mortgage insurance premiums to the USDA.
To find out if you are eligible, click here.
Mortgage insurance is required by all USDA loans. For information about mortgage insurance, click here.
Nearly all North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) mortgage loans require a $500 out-of-pocket investment, which makes this an excellent loan program for those with limited resources. Participating lenders originate affordable home loans on behalf of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency. Once a loan closes, it is sold to and serviced by the state agency.
Loan Program Details
- Lower than average down payment requirements
- Lower than average closing costs
- You must occupy the home as your principal residence
- You must meet certain income limits
- The purchase price of the home must meet certain limits
- Must be secured through an NDHFA-participating lender
- Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is usually are requirement on loans with less than 20% down payment.
What are some good reasons to refinance your mortgage?
- Lower your payment
- Convert and ARM to a Fixed Rate loan
- Use your home equity to better manage debt
- To get cash out to make home improvements
- Pay off your loan faster
- Get a low rate for the life of your loan
What Is Refinancing?
Refinancing is the process of replacing an existing mortgage with a new loan. Typically, people refinance their mortgage in order to reduce their monthly payments, lower their interest rate, or change their loan program from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage. Additionally, some people need access to cash in order to fund home renovation projects or paying off various debts, and will leverage the equity in their house to obtain a cash-out refinance.
Regardless of your goal, the actual process of refinancing works much in the same way as when you applied for your first mortgage: you’ll need to take the time to research your loan options, collect the right financial documents and submit a mortgage refinancing application before you can be approved. Contact us to hear how easy it can be for you.
Benefits of a Home Refinance
There are several reasons to refinance your mortgage. Some of the potential advantages include:
- Lowering your monthly payment. With a lower monthly payment, you are free to put the savings toward other debts and other expenditures, or apply that savings towards your monthly mortgage payment and pay off your loan sooner.
- Remove private mortgage insurance (PMI). Some homeowners who have enough property appreciation or principal paid off will not be required to pay mortgage insurance which will reduce your total monthly payment.
- Reducing the length of your loan. For homeowners who took out a mortgage in the early stages of their career, a 30-year mortgage may have made the most financial sense. But for those who want to pay off their mortgage sooner, reducing the loan term can be an attractive option. For example, it could be possible to change your 30 year term to a 15 year term and keep your payment the same. Contact us and let us do a quick calculation for you.
- Switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate loan. When you have an adjustable-rate mortgage, your payment can adjust up or down as interest rates change. Switching to a fixed-rate loan with reliable and stable monthly payments can give homeowners the security of knowing that their payment will never change.
- Consolidating your first mortgage and your home equity line of credit (HELOC). By rolling these into a single monthly payment, you can simplify your finances and focus on one debt. HELOCs often have adjustable rates, so refinancing into a fixed-rate loan could potentially save you money in the long run.
- Using the equity in your home to take out cash. With rising home values, you may have enough equity to do a cash-out refinance. This money can be used to finance home improvements, pay off debts or to fund large purchases.
Frequently Asked Refinancing Questions
Before you choose to refinance, it’s important to be prepared. To gauge your refinancing readiness, consider the following questions.
Should I refinance if I only plan on living in my home for a few more years?
Similar to when you initially purchased your home, you will have to pay fees, taxes and closing costs on your refinance mortgage. It is important to determine how long it will take to reach your “break-even point” when refinancing a mortgage. The break-even point is the point at which the monthly savings created by a mortgage refinance offsets the cost of refinancing.
Per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, you should consider how long it will take for the monthly savings to pay for the cost of the refinance. Review the closing costs you paid for your original loan to purchase the home. Refinancing costs can be about the same amount. A common rule of thumb is to proceed only if the new interest rate saves you that amount over about two years (in other words, if you break even in about two years).
So, make sure you do the math and understand how the new loan will affect you.
How does my credit score affect refinancing?
Your credit score not only helps determine your mortgage refinance approval, but also determines the interest rate your lender is going to offer. Simply put, the higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate is going to be.
For example, a borrower with an average loan size of $250,000 and a credit score of 640 may pay around $2,500 more a year in interest payments than a borrower with a credit score of 760. If your credit score has fallen since you first obtained your mortgage, you can expect to pay higher rates—which may negate any potential benefit of refinancing.
What’s my remaining loan balance?
Before signing a new mortgage, you’ll need to assess your current loan balance. If you’re currently on the 15th year of your 30-year loan, you may want to look at your options for refinancing with a shorter term. This makes sense for a lot of homeowners because it allows them to take advantage of historically low rates without pushing out their payoff date, which can often provide substantial savings.
Do I need flexibility or a rigid payment schedule?
A common use for refinancing is to shorten the length of a loan and pay it off earlier. If current mortgage interest rates are lower than your current interest rate, it’s common to have a similar monthly payment amount while shaving years off your mortgage.
For example, homeowners with a 30-year mortgage may refinance into a 15-year loan. This can be a great choice, but there are things to consider:
First, most lenders will allow you to pay off your mortgage early. So, if you want to pay off your 30-year loan in 15 years by making extra payments, you may be able to do so. This can help you build equity faster and save on interest payments. If circumstances change and times get tough, you have the freedom to revert to the original contractual 30-year payment.
On the other hand, a 15-year loan typically offers even greater interest savings, and can also help you build equity quickly—so you can own your home free and clear sooner rather than later.
Is Refinancing available for FHA, VA, Jumbo, or USDA loans?
Yes, depending on your current situation, one of these options might make sense for you. Also, if you currently have a Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo, or USDA loan, there are options available..
Is Now the Right Time to Refinance?
Ultimately, it’s critical to crunch the numbers to see if refinancing makes sense for you. Even if you’ve been unable to refinance in the past, loan programs and rates are always changing. These changes, along with rising home values in several markets, may enable you to reduce your rate or lower your monthly payments.
At Valley Mortgage we would be happy to visit with you about the options of refinancing your current mortgage loan(s). Contact us today for a no-cost, no-obligation assessment. and guide you along the path to a successful refinancing.