Ebby Halliday Realtors Names Hillary Hansen Sales Leader of New Plano West Office

Hillary Hansen has been named Sales Leader of Ebby Halliday Realtors’ Preston Plano Parkway and Plano Willow Bend offices, which will merge in late 2021 to become Ebby’s new Plano West office. Chris Kelly, President and Chief Executive Officer, recently made the announcement.

“A widely admired North Texas real estate industry professional, Hillary brings a thorough understanding of all aspects of real estate, from marketing and lead generation, to coaching agents and teams to reach their full potential,” Kelly says. “She is the ideal person to succeed Curt Kastan, who is returning to working in his family’s business.”

Says Vice President of Brokerage Malinda Howell, “We are so excited to welcome Hillary to her new role with our beautiful new Plano West office, located at the corner of Parker Road and the Dallas North Tollway. Day in and day out, Hillary lives out the Ebby Halliday Companies’ People First mission.”

Hansen, who has been an Ebby agent for the past nine years, most recently served as the Associate Development Director for the brokerage’s Plano and Allen offices.

“I am so excited with the direction of the Ebby Halliday Companies and to be a part of the momentum,” she says. “I’m passionate about real estate and the opportunity we as agents have to be a constant during a time of transition in people’s lives.”

Hansen is a servant leader at heart who leads by example. She is a strong believer in the professional development and mentoring opportunities offered to agents at the Ebby Halliday Companies.

“When working with agents, I like to cheer, to educate, and to always create leaders around me,” she says. “I get a lot of joy from watching others succeed. I’m excited about growing our new Plano West office and I am very much looking forward to working with each of our agents on their business plans and helping them achieve their goals.”

Hansen’s passion for real estate and leadership is second only to her family. She and her husband, Dan, a loan officer at Ebby’s McKinney and Denton offices, are the proud parents of a 3-year-old daughter.

In addition to her service to the real estate industry, Hillary is committed to serving the North Texas community. She is a longtime member of the Junior League of Collin County.

“I am honored and excited to take on this new leadership role,” Hansen says. “I’m looking forward to supporting the extraordinary agents who will make up our new Plano West office, as well as growing the Ebby brand across North Texas and beyond.”

To contact Hillary Hansen, email hillary@ebby.com.

Having celebrated 75 years of service in 2020 to North Texans and those moving to the region, the Ebby Halliday Companies are Texas’ leading residential real estate services firm. The Ebby Halliday Companies were acquired in 2018 by HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and the country’s largest residential real estate company based on transactions in 2020. The Ebby Halliday Companies’ core-services brands include Prosperity Home Mortgage, Home Team Insurance, Texas Premier Title and HSTX Title. For more information, visit ebby.com.

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration


Members of the Ebby Halliday Companies leadership team recently gathered for a fun – and productive – team-building event.


Held at PINSTACK in Plano, the event was divided into two halves: an interactive session that addressed such topics as, “How can we better support our sales associates?” and “How can we better communicate as an organization?” The collaborative environment produced answers that leadership throughout the organization can implement to create a more successful and creative workplace for all members of the Ebby Halliday Companies.


The second half of the event – bowling as team members – provided the opportunity to meet people from throughout the company one might not ordinarily interact with while performing their day-to-day job duties. It was a great opportunity to create genuine connections and lay the foundation for an even brighter future for everyone fortunate enough to be associated with the Ebby Halliday Companies.


The Ebby Halliday Companies include real estate brands Ebby Halliday Realtors, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Williams Trew and affiliated core-service companies Home Team Mortgage, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title.



Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration


Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Team-Building Event Fosters Connections, Collaboration

Catherine Sims Named VP of Core Services


Catherine Sims Named VP of Core Services


Catherine Sims has been named Vice President of Core Services for the Ebby Halliday Companies. Chris Kelly, president and CEO, recently made the announcement. Ebby’s affiliated core-service companies include Home Team Mortgage, The Lending Partners, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title.


When making the announcement, Kelly emphasized the Ebby Halliday Companies’ distinct position in the North Texas marketplace as an organization that meets the needs of its sales associates and clients during the entirety of the real estate transaction.


“To ensure this unique distinction and ability remains at the forefront of our business strategy, we have created the role of vice president of core services,” Kelly said. “Catherine Sims possesses an intimate understanding of the strength and capabilities of our core services through her past leadership role within The Lending Partners, where she was frequently at the forefront of connecting and communicating with our sales associates and their clients how our amazing mortgage, title and insurance teams deliver an exceptional experience.”


Sims has been with Home Team Mortgage and The Lending Partners for over 10 years. She has served as a loan originator and in sales-management positions.


Said Sims, “Tom Parker, president of Home Team Mortgage and The Lending Partners, and Betsy Sproat, vice president, have been pivotal in my career. I am grateful for the exceptional mentoring they have provided me over the years.


“My new role will be the ‘glue’ that pulls together each of our core services,” Sims said. “This model has been very successful within the HomeServices family of companies, of which we are a proud member.” The Ebby Halliday Companies became part of HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, in 2018.


“In my mind, there’s no ‘you’ or ‘us,’ it’s just ‘we,’ ” said Sims. “Simply put, at the Ebby Halliday Companies, we are positioned to be grandly successful for both our agents and our clients. No other company in North Texas makes being a one-stop exceptional experience for its agents and home buyers and sellers a priority the way we do. Each and every day, we are helping clients realize a dream. The goal is to make the experience memorable and exciting for them.  In doing so, we all have hit a homerun.”


With locations across North Texas, the Ebby Halliday Companies is one of the most respected full-service residential real estate firms in the country. Its real estate brands include Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Fort Worth-based Williams Trew. Its affiliated core-service companies include Home Team Mortgage, The Lending Partners, Home Team Insurance and Texas Premier Title.



The Future is Bright for the Ebby Halliday Companies

Ebby Halliday Companies Intends to Join HomeServices of America, Inc.


Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc. announced today at a companywide meeting that it intends to be acquired by HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. The acquisition will include Ebby’s three real estate brands: Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Fort Worth-based Williams Trew Real Estate, as well as the firm’s affiliated mortgage and title companies. The Ebby Halliday portfolio of companies brands will continue to operate under their current brand names. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Serving the residential real estate needs of North Texas since 1945, Ebby Halliday is one of the most-respected real estate companies in the country. The firm, which participated in more than 18,800 transactions in 2017, with a sales volume of more than $8 billion, ranks 12th in the nation in sales volume.  Through membership in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, Luxury Portfolio International, Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate, and numerous other national and international real estate industry networks, the Ebby Halliday Companies and its sales associates are ideally positioned to represent buyers and sellers across North Texas.


The Ebby Halliday Companies includes Dallas-based Ebby Halliday Realtors and Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Fort Worth-based Williams Trew Real Estate, as well as affiliated companies Home Team Mortgage and Texas Premier Title. For more information, visit ebby.com.


HomeServices of America is the country’s second-largest residential real estate brokerage company and, through its operating companies, is one of the largest providers of integrated real estate services. HomeServices of America is the owner of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Real Living Real Estate and Prudential Real Estate franchise networks. HomeServices is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a consolidated subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. HomeServices’ operating companies offer integrated real estate services, including brokerage services, mortgage originations, title and closing services, property and casualty insurance, home warranties, and other homeownership services. HomeServices Relocation, LLC, is the full-service relocation arm of HomeServices of America, which provides every aspect of domestic and international relocation to corporations around the world. Information about HomeServices is available at homeservices.com.




PHOTO: Ebby Halliday Companies CFO Ron Burgert, Ebby Halliday Companies President and CEO Mary Frances Burleson and Chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America Ron Peltier.

Mortgage Lingo Made Easy

Mortgage Lingo Made Easy


Buying a home can feel overwhelming, especially when you add in the loan lingo used by lenders and real estate agents, according to Alex Parker, sales manager at Home Team Mortgage – Ebby Halliday Realtors’ affiliated mortgage source. To help alleviate some of the confusion, below are some common terms frequently used in the mortgage process:


FHA Mortgage

FHA is a type of mortgage that offers lower down payments, lower credit and less income to qualify. These mortgages are government backed by the Federal Housing Administration.


VA Mortgage

VA mortgages are loans catered to qualified veterans, active-duty military personnel and reservists. These loans require no down payment and are guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs.


Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages are loans offering a wide range of options for borrowers. Some features may include monthly or single premium mortgage insurance, second liens, and higher loan amounts.


Fixed Rate Mortgage

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The principal and interest payment does not vary. As with every loan, the escrowed portion of the payment may fluctuate up or down depending on the tax or homeowner’s insurance changes.


Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate may change annually, often after a set number of years. ARMs are tied to indexes which are used to determine changing rates to align with the current market. The principal and interest payment may vary up or down, along with the escrowed portion of the payment.


Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR illustrates the annual cost of financing, including interest rate, fees and charges and is expressed as an annual interest rate. Because you may be paying loan discount points and other prepaid finance charges at closing, the APR disclosed is often higher than the interest rate on your loan. This APR can be compared to the APR on other loan programs to give you a consistent means of comparing rates and programs.



A process by which a lender assesses whether a borrower qualifies for a mortgage based on information provided by the customer. Typically, a prequalification is an informal review as a preemptive to pre-approval and full loan approval.



A process by which a lender verifies information including credit, income and asset information to assure the borrowers qualify for the mortgage. A pre-approval is much more powerful in negotiating as it provides peace of mind for buyers, sellers and agents.


To learn more about the mortgage process and to determine how much you qualify to borrow for a home purchase, contact Home Team Mortgage at 972-665-1900 or customerserviceyhtm@yhtm.com.


Mortgage Minute: Be Patient During Underwriting


It’s natural to want the home buying process to begin and end quickly, however, it’s important to be well-versed in the mortgage process. Our friends at Home Team Mortgage are here to help you every step of the way. Check the Ebby blog often to familiarize yourself on a variety of mortgage topics.


Keep your finances as boring and steady as possible between the time you apply for a mortgage and the time you close on the loan.


That sounds simple in theory, but it’s sometimes difficult in practice, especially for first-time homebuyers. What it means is this: Don’t charge up your credit cards and don’t apply for new credit while the mortgage is going through the underwriting process.


When you apply for the mortgage, the lender looks at your credit report and your credit score. Then, shortly before closing, the lender surveys your credit again. If there’s a substantial change — say you maxed out your credit cards to buy furniture and appliances, or you got a loan to buy a car — the lender might have to delay your mortgage closing. In drastic cases, you could torpedo your mortgage and have to apply all over again.


Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.


For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.

Pulling Back the Curtains on the Loan Process

Pulling Back the Curtains on the Loan Process


Buying a new home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be one of the most challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the mortgage process and its many requirements. Much of this stress can be avoided, however, if you understand the steps involved with purchasing a home.


Are you wondering what happens during the loan application, approval and closing process? We’ve laid it all out for you in five steps, along with more details on exactly what happens at closing. Below is a step-by-step explanation of the home mortgage process.


Loan Officer

Loan Officers are subject matter experts who stay up to date with the mortgage industry so they can informatively answer questions homebuyers may have about various loan types. They are also licensed to discuss current rates and get a homebuyer locked in at the best available rate a loan type offers.


Chris Crenshaw, a loan officer with Home Team Mortgage, says, “It is so important to dive deep into the financial situation of each client to present to them the best options available. Then you can discuss the pros and cons of each loan type, so they can make a well-informed decision.”


Loan Officers are on standby for their clients, and they keep everyone updated on the loan status. Dan Hansen, a loan officer with Home Team Mortgage, says, “On average, I would say that I speak with a single client at least three or four times a week. I always try to speak with the borrower before the weekend to update them on the status of their loan and explain the next steps of the process to them beforehand. If they are new home buyers, I try to reach out more often to go over more – in case they don’t know what questions they should be asking.”



In some cases, processing is the most important step in the mortgage loan approval process since it is decided early on whether a potential homebuyer will be approved for the loan. Processors come in after the loan officer enters a homebuyer’s data into the system and uploads required documentation such as paystubs, bank statements and the loan application. They have a variety of responsibilities, from reviewing bank statements for any large deposits that need to be sourced to verifying employment to calculating income based off W2s, tax documents, and paystubs.



A more in-depth analysis follows once underwriters ensure the loan application is completed with all supporting documentation required for the loan. Underwriters consider the loan-to-value (the amount one puts down on their home compared to what is owed) and debt-to-income ratio (total funds left after debt including the potential mortgage payment) to factor a borrower’s ability to pay. They also cite other compensating factors beyond numbers and calculations, such as stable employment history and high liquid assets with a low loan to value. Once the review is completed an underwriter creates specific loan conditions for the loan closer to clear so the file can be completed per state and federal regulations. The loan is then in the final approve stage.



Mortgage loan closers pick up the file once it is final approved. This department works with title companies to finalize all fees and the escrow account (taxes plus insurance), if applicable, to create a final Closing Disclosure. A closer also creates and prepares documents for borrowers to sign, such as the Note and Deed of Trust. Before documents are created and a Closing Disclosure is finalized, the file and system are reviewed for any discrepancies and any required underwriting conditions are cleared, or pushed to be cleared at funding. Funding takes place after the borrowers and seller’s signed closing documents are reviewed and remaining conditions are cleared.


Post Closing

Many borrowers are unaware of the loan progression after closing on their home. Typically, a mortgage company will sell the loan for profit. This requires reviewing, organizing, and auditing the loan file to deliver to the selected investor (usually completed electronically). The investor will then purchase the loan or send notice for conditions they require prior to purchasing. Each loan contains a Mortgage Identification Number and is registered through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). Once the loan is purchased, it is transferred to the investor via MERS. Upon completion of the transfer, the new investor provides borrowers with a welcome package identifying contact information, monthly payment required, and information on how and where to send mortgage payments.  The former lender will also provide borrowers with a “goodbye” letter confirming to whom their loan has been sold and the date future payments should be made to the new investor. The homeowner’s insurance company will also receive notification of the sold mortgage along with a request to update the mortgage holder on the borrower’s policy. Additionally, government loans require the lender to insure the loan by completing an application and occasionally sending in an audit binder (an organized binder with supporting documentation a lender has on file) prior to insurance approval. The “insuring” process can take anywhere from 5 minutes to two or three weeks, depending on any conditions requested of the lender.


Are you or someone you know interested in buying a home? You are invited to listen to local experts discuss the home-buying process in today’s market.


Questions that will be addressed:

*  Is now the right time to purchase a home?

*  Rent vs. Buy: What are the benefits of each?

*  How does the interest rate affect a house payment or size of home for the buyer?

*  What is the process of purchasing a home?

*  What are the qualifications for purchasing a home?

Join us for a free seminar on Thursday, April 27, 6-8 p.m. or Saturday, April 29, 10-noon at the Irving Convention Center, 500 W. Las Colinas Blvd. in Irving.


Seating is limited. Please reserve your seat by texting/calling Renee Michon at 248-707-0260. Please provide your name, number of attendees and which date you would like to attend.



5 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score

5 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score


When it comes to improving your credit history and score, time is your best friend. If you’re one of the many people who have encountered credit challenges, it’s possible to increase your score and be in good standing again after only a year. Below are some helpful tips to get you started:


Pay Your Bills on Time

While this may seem obvious, many people don’t realize late payments are one of the most common causes for a drop in their credit score. It’s important that at least the minimum payment is made in a timely matter. According to FICO, 96 percent of people with excellent credit scores (those over 800) pay their bills on time. Keep in mind that your payment history is 35 percent of your credit score and that setting up automatic payments for the minimum amounts owed ensures your bills are always on time.


Pay Down Credit Card Debt

Prepare a plan to reduce your total credit card debt and your overall utilization. For example, if you have a $1,000 credit limit on a card, ideally you should maintain a balance of less than $300 and make timely monthly payments on the balance that is above the required monthly minimum payment. Your credit card utilization rate is the second-biggest factor that makes up your credit score at 30 percent. If your credit score is low because of high balances, paying these down is one of the fastest ways to improve your credit score.


Have a minimum of two credit cards and use them every single month, advises Alex Parker, sales manager at Home Team MortgageEbby Halliday Realtors’ affiliated mortgage source. Maintain a balance-to-limit ratio of less than 30 percent (meaning no more than a $300 balance if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit). Ideally just charge items and pay them off every month to avoid paying interest on a carried balance.


When creditors see that you’re actively using your credit cards but not carrying a high balance on those cards it will reflect very favorably on your credit rating. It shows them you’re using your available credit responsibly and not abusing it. In many cases, this is when you’ll see creditors increase your available balance. This could entice you into making a bigger purchase that you can’t immediately pay off. Avoid this if possible and the increased credit line will help improve your score.


Keep Track of Your Score

Since your credit can affect so many major purchases, it’s wise to make sure the information is correct. There are multiple websites that offer free credit reports. Once you have received your report, check it closely for errors. If you do spot an error, initiate a dispute in order to have it corrected or removed. Repairing incorrect information on your credit report can be a long and tedious process, but it’s well worth it.


Ask Your Credit Card Company to Raise Your Limit

Although it may seem counterproductive to helping your credit score, remember that utilization is a huge factor in your credit score. The lower your utilization rate, the higher your credit score will be. You can typically obtain a higher credit limit simply by calling your credit card company and requesting to raise the limit. The downside of a higher credit limit is the temptation to spend more. Thus, it’s important to remember to keep your balance of each of your revolving credit accounts below 30 percent of their credit limits.


Pay Your Bills with Strategy

If you have multiple cards open with debt attached, find your utilization ratio and pay off a higher amount to the account that has the higher ratio.


For instance:

Account 1: There is $5,000 available credit and you have used $2,000 of the available credit. Divide 2,000 by 5,000 (2,000/5,000) and it equals .4. Move that decimal over two spaces to the right and you have 40 percent of your total available credit being used.


Account 2: There is $2,000 available credit and you have utilized $400 of the available credit. (400/2000) = .2, or 20 percent of your total available credit being used.


As mentioned above, you should only use up to 30 percent of your available credit. In this instance, you would want to pay down Account 1 quicker than you would want Account 2 paid off since Account 1 has a higher percentage, over 30 percent being used. Pay the minimum amount required by your account issuer on Account 2 and put down more into paying down Account 1.


If it’s affordable, paying your credit card bills twice a month can also increase your credit score since the account issuers typically only report your history once a month. This lowers your next reported amount due and can help increase your score quicker.


Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.


For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.



5 Tips for Beginning Your Home Search

5 Tips for Beginning Your Home Search


The home-searching process can be a lot of fun. You look at homes and imagine yourself living there with all your furniture set up, having family and friends over, and relaxing on a Friday evening in the living room with your favorite show on the TV. With all this excitement, your mind may (understandably) be in the clouds, however, there are important things to remember when searching for a home.


Below are five of our favorite tips:


Become Pre-Approved for a Loan

Lety Service, a sales associate with Ebby’s McKinney Office, recommends that potential buyers speak to a lender before looking for a home so they know exactly what price range to stay in. “It’s devastating to fall in love with a home only to have a lender tell you later that you can’t afford it,” she says. “If you are pre-approved first, you will find a home that you love and will be able to obtain financing within your price range. This will prevent the disappointment of comparing a home in your available price range to one that you aren’t qualified to purchase.”


Be Organized

During the process of buying a home and working with your lender, you will be asked to provide information and documentation. Have your W2s, pay stubs, bank statements and ID ready to give to your lender. After review of these documents, the lender may require additional information. You will also sign documents throughout the loan process. Getting your home inspection will be one of your first steps after submitting a purchase contract. Also, scheduling the following services to be placed in your name with a start date will need to be on your list: electricity, Internet, phone, cable, water, and gas. Organize what days you will devote to each task and the process will run smoother.


Keep Options Open

Lety advises future homeowners to start with an open mind because they might fall in love with something they didn’t think they would and to focus on the floor plan and location instead of cosmetic upgrades. “Looking at multiple houses in person, instead of online, will give you an idea of what you definitely like, don’t like, and maybe even some things you could settle for.” Keep in mind if you find a home with a perfect floor plan but can’t stand the carpet or countertops, you may be able to do a home-improvement loan and roll the costs into your mortgage.


Avoid New Lines of Credit

Debra Smith, a loan originator with Home Team Mortgage, advises that when you decide to start looking for a home you should avoid taking out new credit or making large purchases on credit. “This is especially important once you are in the middle of your loan process,” she says. “Any new account could affect your ability to qualify for your loan and cause you to lose the home that you may be a week away from moving into.”



Opt for a Bridge Loan

Are you a current homeowner looking to purchase a new home? If you want to use your current home equity to put down on your new home, the sale of your old home must close on or before the closing date of your new home. This makes everything time-sensitive and there is always a chance the financing of your buyer could fall through. Smith says a “bridge loan” may be the ideal solution for you. “You can use a bridge loan to use the equity in your current home even before you put it on the market,” she says. “So if you don’t want to sell before you move, or you don’t want to make your offer contingent on selling, our bridge loan may be just right for you.”


Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.


For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.




Want to Lower Your Down Payment?


5 Loans Without a 20 Percent Down Payment


The home-buying process can be exciting and stressful. The good news is that there are plenty of loan types out there to fit your individual needs. Trey Belmore, a loan officer with The Lending Partners, says, “There is a misconception among a lot of first-time home buyers in the marketplace that 20 percent down is a requirement to purchase a home, but that is not the case.”


Before modern mortgages came into existence in 1934, buyers weren’t able to qualify for a mortgage unless they had 50 percent down. That didn’t happen until the Federal Housing Administration decided to initiate a new kind of mortgage, which aimed at lower down-payment requirements in hopes of pulling the U.S. out of the Great Depression. They did this by insuring the mortgages and qualifying buyers based on their ability to pay back the loan. Private mortgage insurance, required for some Conventional loans, was authorized in the U.S. in 1956. The moral of this bit of mortgage history: It is much more affordable for buyers to purchase a home today than in the past, and, it is always advisable to have a loan officer by your side to guide you in the right direction.



The Federal Housing Administration is a great way to go, especially if you’re a first-time home buyer. The benefits include a low down-payment of 3.5 percent, a lower interest rate compared to a Conventional loan, easier qualification with challenged credit (The Lending Partners qualifies as low as 600), higher debt ratios allowed, and no reserves requirement. This can assist buyers so all they have to pay for is their down payment. If a homebuyer chooses to move forward in purchasing a home in need of repairs, they can opt for an FHA 203k streamline, which means they can roll in the cost of repairs into their loan. Luke Wroten, a loan officer with Home Team Mortgage, says this loan type also allows higher seller-paid closing costs.



If you are a qualified veteran or active-duty service member, a VA loan can help you purchase a home with no required down payment or no mortgage insurance; it does, however, require a funding fee, which can be rolled into the loan amount. The funding fee amount depends on the size of the loan amount and down payment, whether you served or are currently serving. Veterans can be totally exempt from a funding fee if they receive certain disability benefits. VA loans can even be used to finance homes exceeding the conforming unit, when combined with a down payment. It can range anywhere between 1.25 and 3.3 percent. You can qualify for a VA loan with a credit score as low as 600.


Conventional with Mortgage Insurance

If you have good or excellent credit this loan type might be right for you. You can be approved with a credit score as low as 620 with this loan type and a down payment as low as 3 percent, but the price of mortgage insurance weighs heavily on your score. The higher your credit score, the better your interest rate will be. There are two ways this loan can work for you: Single premium mortgage insurance lets you pay the full amount upfront each year. Though your overall rate will be higher, your monthly mortgage payment will likely be lower. The other option is to have the monthly insurance amount rolled into your mortgage payment so you pay less upfront. The good news about mortgage insurance is that if you make $75,000 or less each year it is tax deductible; the rate is tax deductible for people making over and less than this amount.



Are you looking for a home in a rural area? This loan type may be right for you. It gives you the option for 100 percent financing and comes without mortgage insurance. This program does carry stricter guidelines with employment and income. USDA has an annual fee which is similar to PMI. The annual fee is recalculated each year based on the new balance of the mortgage. The annual fee is currently only .35 percent, which began October 1, 2016. The annual percentage fee on USDA loans stays for the entire 30-year term, but because it is based on the annual mortgage balance, the dollar amount decreases each year. You can qualify with a credit score as low as 600, so be sure do discuss this with your loan officer.


Second Lien Option

You could use this loan type to avoid mortgage insurance and still put down less than 20 percent. Consider this option if your monthly mortgage payment would be lower than a loan option that requires mortgage insurance. As an example, if you have 10 percent to put down on your home and need another 10 percent to make your down payment the full 20 percent needed to avoid mortgage insurance, you could opt for a second loan to go toward your down payment. Contact your loan officer to see if you can qualify. There is not a set standard for a minimum credit score, so it may vary per situation.


Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.


For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.