“Finally, the government did something right!”
Do you owe more than your home is currently worth? Many Americans purchased their home during the “real estate boom”, when home prices were appreciating every year and everyone was buying a house. Then, in 2008, the bottom fell out from under all those homes. In the hottest markets across the country, homes were decreasing in value to half of what they were worth. Locally in Eastern Idaho, homes were losing 10% to 50% of their value. Home values by 2011 had begun to stabilize and since then have even appreciated. But many homeowners still owe more on their home loan than they could sell it for. This is sometimes called an “underwater mortgage.”
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) was created by the government to help underwater homeowners refinance their home. It is a program for borrowers who are making their payments and want to stay in their home, but they want to get a better rate. The only thing prohibiting them from refinancing is the value of their home. Through HARP, no appraisal is necessaryand it even has more lenient guidelines than normal conventional refinance loans. Ask yourself these three questions to begin to see if you qualify for a HARP refinance:
- Have you always made your mortgage payments on time?
- Was your loan originated before May 31, 2009?
- Does Fannie Mae own your loan?
It is possible Fannie Mae owns your loan even if you make your payments to another mortgage company – the mortgage company could just be the servicer of your loan and your loan is actually with Fannie Mae. Many times this is transparent to you as the homeowner. Click on this link to see if Fannie Mae owns your loan: https://knowyouroptions.com/loanlookup.
Even if you don’t think you qualify for HARP, still give me a call. There are other programs for underwater home loans and some other tips and tricks to help you refinance your home!