FHA and VA Home Financing
FHA Mortgages FHA 203K FHA & VA Streamline Refinances Down Payment Asstance Programs VA Loans Loan Application


So you are ready to buy a house, and unsure where the down payment is going to come from. You have enough money saved, but then your family tells you they will help you with the down payment. Is this something that will work? If it does, that sure would help!

Well the answer is simple, and that is yes. To a point. Meaning, they have to be a family member, domestic partner, fiancé. So it can't be your buddy down the street.

How do they give you the money for the down payment on the FHA mortgage? Well when you talk to your lender you may get different accounts of how to do this. In my opinion, if I were getting gift funds to buy a house, I would have them give it to me before I started shopping for a home. This can help to cut down on the paperwork. You see they will have to sign a gift letter saying they don't expect repayment of the money. Also, from there the giftor will need to supply their bank statements or a letter from a personal banker that the money was in their account. From there, we get the paper trail showing you have received the money.

Bear in mind, if you are under contract when all of this happens, it can add stress. You see the underwriters have to show you have physically received the money in your account and it is available to use before closing. So now you may understand why I say do this before shopping for a home.

Getting a gift for down payment on an FHA mortgage can be a great thing! Just make sure to bring it up to your lender early in the process.

Posted in:General and tagged: FHA
Posted by Ray Williams on April 22nd, 2015 7:48 AMLeave a Comment

Well it has been about 3 weeks since FHA lowered it's mortgage insurance premiums on new FHA mortgages. How is this helping? We have already been able to refinance a handful of past client families into lower payments. On average they have been saving about $200/ month in payment. Imagine? $200/ month in your budget , what could you do? I showed one of my loan officers how to grow his clients monthly savings to $600/month within 18 months of closing. The premise is built off taking the savings, paying off other debts. Then taking that and so on. You get my drift.

For those buying homes in Denver, the lower FHA mortgage insurance has given them options. How? Well for those who were putting down around 5% and doing a conventional mortgage, this change opened the door to thinking about an FHA loan. It affords them lower interest rates, and less money due at closing. The payment compared to a conventional with 5% down on average is almost the same (with higher credit scores. Now if you have scores under 700, FHA really is something to think about with the new lower mortgage insurance.

FHA made a smart move here with the lowering of their mortgage insurance premiums. Take advantage of it, when buying or refinancing your home in Denver this year's real estate market. To read move about it, or some of the F.A.Q's HUD posted on this topic, check out this link here. Be well

If you have questions, send me an email or give a call

Ray Williams

Branch Manager

Summit Mortgage Denver



Posted in:General and tagged: FHA Mortgage Insurance 2015
Posted by Ray Williams on February 20th, 2015 7:33 AMLeave a Comment

December 8th, 2014 4:20 PM

In case you missed the announcement last Friday, FHA announced the new loan limits for 2015.  These new limits will go into effect as of January 1, 2015 and will be in affect through the end of the year.

To all of those who think FHA is going away anytime soon, then they may want to rethink this notion because right now there are way too many people who need FHA financing. Whether it is due to lower credit scores, lower down payment, recovering from previous foreclosure and/or bankruptcy, whatever the reason, FHA is not going anywhere.

Here's a list of Colorado most common counties and their new FHA loan limit increase:

Denver-Adams-Arapahoe-Broomfield-Clear Creek-Douglas-Elbert-Gilpin-Jefferson-Park

$424,350 (Single Family); $543,250 (2-unit); $656,650 (3-unit); $814,050 (4-unit)

For a complete list of all counties in Colorado visit HUD's website here, make sure to adjust the "limit year" to 2015.  To apply for an FHA loan today, click here.

Posted in:FHA Mortgage and tagged: FHAFHA Loan Limits
Posted by Ray Williams on December 8th, 2014 4:20 PMLeave a Comment

October 14th, 2014 1:53 PM
If you were deserted on an island by yourself and had no way of getting to the mainland and suddenly a small boat shows up, would you use it?

Well, that is what an FHA loan can do for you.  If can't qualify for a conventional home mortgage but can qualify for an FHA mortgage, would you use it?  Would it matter if you had mortgage insurance?

Mortgage insurance is irrelevant if that is what you need in order for you to buy a home.

Now, that being said there are ways to get out of your mortgage insurance.  How about refinancing?

Click here to read more and find out other reasons you may want to refinance your home.

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on October 14th, 2014 1:53 PMLeave a Comment

July 27th, 2014 4:47 PM

If you are looking to purchase or refinance and need to get pre-approved, you need to send your financials (W2's, paystubs, bank statements, tax returns) to your lender.  Now, I know that many of you are hesitant on doing this. 

Despite your hesitations, you need to understand that without such documents your lender cannot provide you with a complete pre-approval.  Without looking through these, your lender can not foresee any possible future issues, nor can they calculate your income sufficiently, which could cause an inaccurate estimate of purchase price, loan amount and most importantly, loan pre-approval.

If you are concerned about privacy and are uncomfortable submitting financials through the web, then discuss with your lender and find alternative ways of sending or better yet, take them to your lenders office personally.

Now, please understand that by bringing your financials to a lender does not require you to work with them, nor does it mean you are locked into anything.  Ultimately you are responsible for doing your research beforehand when choosing a lender, and then, if after meeting and/or talking with them and supplying the required documents, you decide if you feel secure, confident and comfortable in working with them.  You are hiring them to be part of your team and you should feel as if they are working for you and are going to be responsive, honest and efficient.  

Make sure you give the lender a chance, let them review your documents, see how they can help and what they can offer to you.  A lender cannot give you their full service without you sending your financials. If a lender is not asking or requiring you to send in your complete financials in order to receive a lender letter, you should be concerned. It may seem easier and less inconvenient for you by not providing these essential documents but you need to remember the ultimate goal is to be approved and close on your loan.  You don't want to be left with any surprises or looking to provide needed documentation at the last minute, especially when something could have been caught upfront and ahead of time.

Just a little something for you to chew on~

Give us a call or send us an email if you have any questions or should require our assistance. We are always here to help.

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on July 27th, 2014 4:47 PMLeave a Comment

April 29th, 2014 11:51 AM

Right now if you are looking to buy a home you probably already know that there are more buyers than there are properties!  What does this mean for you?  Well, it means that getting pre-approved is even more critical.  Most sellers won't even look at an offer unless you have a lender letter. Although in some cases, a lender letter can hold no ground, which means you need to be mindful if you are receiving a lender letter without providing any financial documents.

“What does that mean?”

It means there are many lenders out there that will provide a lender letter for you without physically looking at your financial documents.  You may be asking yourself, "What is wrong with that?", "I know I make decent money, my credit is fairly good, I pay my bills on time, and I have a steady job, so there is no reason why I couldn't qualify for a mortgage." 

Well, I don't want to burst your bubble but just because you "say" you make "x" amount of money and you "think" your credit is good or that you have a full time job which you have been at for 4+ years.  This doesn't mean that you’re not telling the truth BUT there may be areas where this can fall into a gray area.  Per your credit report, your pay stubs and your W2's, this may not be completely accurate.  This is why a lender needs to review the documents to make sure there aren't any unforeseen issues or “gray areas”, that could cause your loan application get denied, after your under contract.

My team and I know that pre-qualifications are not an option. If you call my office wanting to see what you qualify for and if we can give you an approval, we won't give you an approval or provide you with a lender letter unless we review all your financials, as per my previous blog Pre-Approved vs. Pre-Qualified.  

Last month our office had 8 clients whom came to us AFTER getting declined from another lender, asking for help while because they were under contract.  Their current lender didn't look at their complete financial picture before sending them a lender letter and allowing them to go under contract. 

Going under contract without being pre-approved is dangerous, you are setting yourself up for unnecessary stress, headaches and possibly disappointment. Yes your rate and fees are important, but really are irrelevant if you can't qualify.  Again, I can’t stress this enough, be on high alert if you are looking to get pre-approved and your lender doesn’t ask you to send over your financial documents (paystubs, bank statements, W2’s, tax returns) before giving you a lender letter!

As always if you have any questions please contact us, we are always eager to help.


Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on April 29th, 2014 11:51 AMLeave a Comment

March 13th, 2014 10:44 AM

Inventory is low and that can cause stress in trying to find a home. With that being said, for some reason some people out there looking are forgetting the most important factor in putting in an offer on a property.  They are NOT getting pre-approved prior to going under contract! 

I honestly can't stress enough the importance of getting pre-approved, NOT pre-qualified, pre-approved!  There is a huge difference between the two approaches.  Getting pre-qualified does NOT include physically looking at your financial documents (paystubs, W2's, tax returns, bank statements, etc.).  I get it that you may not want to send these financial documents in to a lender prior to going under contract because you are just wanting to get the house and figure you can deal with all of the details later.  I am just going to warn you now, you are making the assumption that you will qualify or that there are no real concerns in qualifying.  Rather than letting the lender review your financials thoroughly and understand your individual situation (i.e. recent entry to job force, move to Colorado, job changes, debt paid off and so on).

Getting a mortgage is the most important step in preparing to buy a home.  You can't buy a house without the financing correct?  Unless your paying cash.  Just because you disclosed your financials over the phone (income, work history, etc.) and maybe even had your credit ran, this is getting pre-qualified, which does not give you security that you are approved for a mortgage.  An experienced lender will review your financial documentation through the eyes of an underwriter and project what else will be needed by underwriting, ask for it, and review that as well.  They will be thorough, and that may seem slow to you if you are hastily trying to write an offer and didn't properly prepare in advance.  Your goal is to write an offer and close on a house, or simply to write an offer and flip your life upside down?

I say this because already 3 times this month I've been contacted and asked to "save" a deal.  The reason is because a previous lender didn't do their due diligence and pre-approve a client before giving them a lender letter.  Of course, I am more than happy to help and in most cases I'm able to "save" the deal.  In reality most of the stress the clients get put under trying to transfer all the needed documents and usually under a very tight time crunch, all could have been avoided.

My suggestion is that if you are looking to purchase a home, make sure you get pre-approved, NOT pre-qualified!  Take the extra time upfront to gather the needed documents, find a lender and get pre-approved prior to looking at properties and putting in an offer and going under contract.

If you have any questions please make sure to contact us.  We are always here to help.

Ray Williams

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on March 13th, 2014 10:44 AMLeave a Comment

February 26th, 2014 4:07 PM

Your credit score is vital!  I can't stress it enough.  Your credit score is your key to getting a mortgage.  Whether you want to refinance or purchase.  If your credit score is not in good standing then the hopes and dreams of home ownership are non-existent.  There is no sugar coating this, you will not qualify for a home mortgage if your score is too low.  It just is what it is. 

Sure you may hear something on the radio or see something flash across your computer that you can get a loan with a credit score of under 600.  The question would be "what kind of loan?" What are the rates, terms and requirements?  You are at a higher risk and would need to make sure to read between the fine lines.

The biggest mistake I usually see is that most individuals don't know their credit score.  And I'm referring to your FICO score.  You may not know that a past parking ticket can show up on your credit report,  or that the late payments you had on a bill will show up and affect your credit.  Or how about the collection or judgment that is on your credit that you were never aware of? 

If you can take away anything from this, my request is that you take this...Check your credit!

I'm not talking about the creditkarma or freecreditreport.com.  Many times those services have hidden fees and don't offer you your true FICO score. 

You are allowed to receive a FREE copy of your credit once a year.  So go to each credit bureau and get it, Transunion.com, Experian.com & Equifax.com.  You don't need to sign up for a regular service and get monthly monitoring, just get your one free copy every year.  Review your credit report and make any needed corrections.  The last thing you want is something sneaking up on you and your credit keeping you back from purchasing a car, renting an apartment/home or get pre-approved for a mortgage.

If you need any assistance please don't hesitate to contact us.  We are always happy to help.

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Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on February 26th, 2014 4:07 PMLeave a Comment


The 203k loan has been around for a while, it is just until recently that is has gained some exposure.  Many are looking to either buy an older home that has great "bones" but needs some updating and work, or those who have a great home but need more space and would rather keep the home they have then to sell and buy a new one.  A 203k is a great loan option for both those situations. Below is a list of some improvements and/or renovations that you might want to consider a 203k loan. 

  1. Home improvements-as little as new carpet & paint to larger tasks such as refinish basement, remodel a kitchen, bathrooms, including upgrade to appliances and fixtures
  2. Energy efficiency upgrades
  3. Structural repair
  4. Additions to home
  5. New siding, roof & windows
  6. Air conditioning/HVAC

Again, these are just some of the them, there are definitely a few other situations or needs you may have that can be done with a 203k.  First off, there are two types of 203k loans, the full (aka, the standard) and the streamline.  The difference in the two is the amount of repairs needed as well as if there is structural work needing to being done.  The streamline is for $35,000 and under of repairs (including fees & contingencies).  The standard is for $35,000 and above.  The other key factor for the standard is “structural”, if any structural work is needed then it will automatically be a standard 203k, no matter what the amount of repair.  Also you can only do landscaping work with a standard, not a streamline.

Whether you are needing the full or the streamline, they both require a significant amount of involvement.  The 203k sounds very appealing and a viable option for those who don’t have the funds to put into their home for such upgrades and/or repairs BUT the 203k may not be for everyone. 

You need to be able to take the time to find a GC and/or contractors to get the work done, communicate and be involved with the work on the home.  It will take time, patience, and organization.  Not everyone is cut out to be a “Foreman” so to speak and control the operations.  Although it does help to hire a great GC and/or contractor that you trust and feel comfortable, one that is on the same page as you.  Make sure to put all the plans out on the table and discuss any questions and concerns upfront. 

If you have questions or would like to know more about the FHA 203k, please contact us.  We do specialize and have experiences with both the full and the streamline 203k.  If you would like to see if you qualify for the 203k please complete our secure online loan application.


Ray Williams

Branch Manager-Mortgage Maestro Group at Summit Mortgage Corporation


Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on February 3rd, 2014 2:06 PMLeave a Comment

So I have been working with a buyer on their VA application. They had numerous accounts in dispute on their credit report. The challenge that this creates is that the underwriting engines can't read your credit as "valid", it can kick you out as a "refer". Now this doesn't mean we can't help you. But it does mean more documentation and paperwork for you.

So this client chose to put in to have all of their disputes removed. Today was go day! and low and behold all disputes are removed and we have an approval. So this will mean less paperwork and an easier time with the underwriters for this client.

Sound advice is important when you select your lender. Make sure they "get it". And watch those disputes on your credit. Not to say don't, but I am saying to be very mindful and get professional advice before blindly disputing information on your credit.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us, we are always here to help.

Be Well~

Ray Williams
Branch Manager
The Mortgage Maestro Group
@ Summit Mortgage

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on January 14th, 2014 1:13 PMLeave a Comment

December 31st, 2013 11:03 AM

Those who are looking to get a VA loan coming up should already know, there is no real loan limit for VA loans. This means, if you are buying a home say $600,$700,$800,000 you can obtain VA conforming (normal) interest rates.

Now it doesn't mean you can put no money down, but you would be surprised how little you would have to put down, on what is normally a jumbo loan for you.

From there, if your loan is conforming amounts the major metro area have been INCREASED to $425,000 this coming year. So that is great news!

From there, if you have questions about outlying areas let me know.

"Happy New Years to my Veteran brothers and sisters and peace be with you!"

~ Ray Williams

Branch Manager Summit Mortgage- Denver

Mortgage Maestro Group 

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Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on December 31st, 2013 11:03 AMLeave a Comment

As you may have already heard, guidelines will be undergoing some more changes in the New Year. Some of the changes may make it more difficult in obtaining a mortgage so you need to be prepared. If you are looking to purchase a home this coming year, you should start preparing and getting your financials in order at least 6 mos. to a year prior to purchasing, if possible. I’ve listed below are few areas of communication that cannot be left out. These are situations that need to be disclosed up front and should ideally be discussed prior to going under contract on a home.

1. Bankruptcy- You need to know the date it was discharged and you will need to gather all documents regarding your bankruptcy, which includes all court documents.

2. Foreclosure and/or short sale- Must disclose date of foreclosure and be prepared to disclose all foreclosure documents

3. Student Loans- You will need to have current or have paperwork documenting your payment schedule if you are in deferment or forbearance (can get this from student loan servicer), be prepared that your lender may also need to document that your payments are current.

4. Funds for down payment-This is better to discuss this early in the process because there are strict guidelines regarding sourcing funds for down payment especially if getting gift funds. Your lender can help you prepare for what documents will be needed to provide and to properly source the funds.

5. Co-Signer-If you are a co-signer on a loan it is helpful to know this beforehand so your lender can see if this will be something that may need to be addressed and if you should require any documentation from the loan.

Again, this is just a list of the most common areas that can cause problems. If they are not disclosed to your lender in the beginning, they will show up during your loan processing and underwriting and could cause a delay and/or a decline of your loan approval. It is better to prepare yourself and make sure you have all your ducks in a row before you put an offer on a home.

If you are unsure about anything that may be of concern for loan application and/or approval, make sure to ask your lender. There are no "stupid" questions when looking to get approved for a mortgage. This is probably the biggest financial decision you will make in your lifetime so make sure you educate yourself and ask many questions. You want to feel secure and safe knowing that you are working with someone you trust.

If you have any questions, you are always welcome to contact us. We are here to help in any way we can.


Ray Williams

Branch Manager

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Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on December 30th, 2013 12:34 PMLeave a Comment

December 12th, 2013 11:03 AM

Again, not to be confused with "mixed martial arts" but the Metro Mortgage Assistance Plus Program. 

This unique program that offers a 4% grant for down payment assistance and/or closing costs.  Over the past couple weeks two new areas have been added.  The city and county of Broomfield and the city of Thornton. 

If you are looking to buy, NOW is the time.  Heading into the New Year there will be some guideline changes going into affect for FHA as well as Conventional loans.  Check back soon because we will be posting the upcoming changes for 2014.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us

~Ray Wiliams

Branch Manager

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on December 12th, 2013 11:03 AMLeave a Comment

December 10th, 2013 4:59 PM

For the first time in some time, FHA has lowered it's FHA loan limits for the Metro Denver and surrounding areas.

Check it out! Not by much, but slightly.

6 Major Metro Counties- 

**(Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Jefferson, Denver, Douglas)

  • 1 Unit- $391,000
  • 2 Unit- $500,550
  • 3 Unit- $605,050
  • 4 Unit- $751,900


  • 1-Unit $408,250
  • 2-Unit $522,600
  • 3-Unit $631,750
  • 4-Unit $785,100

Make sure to check other applicable counties changes if you are taking out an FHA loan soon! https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicost1.cfm

Talk Soon~

Ray Williams

Branch Manager

Summit Mortgage- Denver


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Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on December 10th, 2013 4:59 PMLeave a Comment

The 203k loan has been around for a while but it seems to be gaining more exposure. I think this is because more people are researching options in which they can fund a repair and/or rehab work into their homes or those who are wanting to purchase a home that needs repairs and/or updating.

When do you consider getting a 203k loan?

It is a good option for getting the home you love that is just in need of a little (or a lot) of TLC or your existing home that needs a little updating, without using a credit card (which would have a much higher interest rate) or a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), which you may not have enough equity or other qualifications to be accepted for one.

Certain investors will require a minimum $5,000 of improvements made to the house. From there, the FHA loan limits dictate how much you can put into the house. So in essence you can get creative and really do some major improvements. Make sure to ask your lender about your specific situation.

My main point is that there is a loan option out there if you find a home that needs some paint, carpet, furnace, etc. Or if you love your existing home but need to add an addition, a room, pop the top, upgrade your kitchen, bathroom, garage, etc. and don't have the funds to do it. In essence you become the designer of your home.

Give us a call and/or contact us if you have any questions. Click here to find out more on the FHA 203k loan.


Ray Williams


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Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on December 3rd, 2013 6:33 PMLeave a Comment


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