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Getting a mortgage does not have to be difficult  

You've read the news and heard about the mortgage problems. But what does it mean to those looking to get a mortgage and take advantage of the lower home prices? Can someone still get a mortgage in today's volatile market? The answer is yes. While the credit markets have certainly tightened compared to a few years ago. There is still plenty of money available to potential borrowers who know how to properly position themselves for success.

Just a couple of years ago, the mortgage process were incredibly simple, and it seemed mortgage funding was available to everyone. All you had to do was pick up the phone, put in an application, and wait until closing. That was it. While a lot has changed, getting a mortgage today can still be a simple process, if you plan ahead. This means understanding documentation requirements, your credit history, minimum down payment requirements, and how to structure your mortgage. It also means working with an experienced mortgage professional who knows what lenders are looking for.

This means being prepared to supply income and asset documentation to support what is on your application. This include your most recent pay stubs and bank statements, W-2s and, tax returns for the previous two years.

If you want the best interest rates, you will need a credit score of 720 or higher. However, even with FICO scores in the low 600s, you can get a lower interest rate on a home loan guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). You'll need a minimum investment of 3.5% for the down papment. This is a great option for you if you do not have the 10% or even 20% you might otherwise need to qualify for a low-interest fixed-rate mortgage.

To qualify for 100% financing today, you will have to qualify for either VA or USDA loans from the government. The Veteran's Administration (VA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have special programs that allow 100% financing for those who qualify. What is particularly attractive about both of these loans is that monthly mortgage insurance is not required and interest rates are very competitive.

For first-time home buyers (that's anyone who hasn't owned a home in the last 3 years), the State of California has also created a special tax credit of 10,000 for those who qualify. While you can't use the money as a down payment, this temporary credit can help lower your state income taxes. Be sure to ask your lender about this special tax credit.

In the end, no matter which mortgage compamy you choose, the best path for anyone buying a home today is to get yourself pre-approved. With a pre-approval in hand, you won't have to worry about the credit crisis. You will know exactly what you qualify for, and by getting pre-approved, your real estate agent will typically have the ability to negotiate either better terms or a lower price for you. That puts you in the driver seat to take advantage of some great real estate opportunities in the current market.  

TNG Real Estate ,   Phone 714-519-1149  Email me at