New Home Construction Numbers Start Stronger Than Expected

The amount of new construction permits rose in January 2019 as compared to December 2018 estimates.  Housing starts in 2019 rose by 18.6% from the December estimate but is still down from January 2018.    Single Family residence actually had an increase of 25% from the December estimates, this brought the single family production to 4.5% higher than the previous January.   With more mortgage lender making it easier and more affordable to purchase a new home, now is a great time to look at what it take build a home.

The Pacific Northwest saw an increase of roughly 29% in the starts compare to December, but they were 32% lower year after year.    New home permits were down 8.9% and 7.7% while completions rose 37% and 15%.  So a few less new home starts but more of them were also completed.

When it comes to building  home a person can really pick and choose every aspect of the build, from a custom kitchens, bathrooms, yards, and so much more one can really get overwhelmed in the process.   Ensure your financial house is covered by getting your lender involved as early in the planning process as possible to ensure you have all the accurate information for the planning process.

We at Manifest Mortgage have also seen an increase in the demand for construction financing.  Luckily our company has aligned with some of the best construction loan providers to help people when looking to build a home.  If you have questions about what it takes to build a home please give us a ring or contact us as soon as possible.


Americans See Home Affordability Conditions Improving

Americans See Home Affordability Conditions Improving

Last year’s housing market had its challenges for sure. Though there was plenty of interest from home buyer, too few homes for sale, rising interest rates, and high prices dampened some of the enthusiasm.

Now, according to the recent Home Purchase  Index from Fannie Mae, Americans are feeling more optimistic about their home purchasing options.

In addition to an eight percent increase in the number of respondents who say their income is substantially higher than it was at the same time last year, there is still a declining number who feel home prices and mortgage rates will continue to rise.


Consumers feel more confident in their money and see home affordability conditions starting to improve. Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, says the optimism and more favorable market conditions will help home sales this year. “Overall, these results are in line with our forecast that, amid improving affordability conditions, home sales should stabilize in 2019 after declining last year for the first time in four years.” More here.

Rent Vs Own What Home Living Situation Is Right For You

Rent Vs Own- What Home Living Situation Is Right For You

When looking at renting VS buying a homes there are many factors to consider and this a guide to help with the decision making process.

Buying your first home is a huge investment, it doesn’t mean just a financial decision.    You may have a number of reasons why renting a home may make more sense than purchasing but investing in real estate is never really a bad idea.

What is really better? It really depends on your goals, individual scenario, future plans, income, expenses, ability to repay, personal savings or lack there of, and a few other factors. This day in age there is a number of home lending products that cater to first time home buyers with minimal and no down payments.

The amount of rents especially in the greater Portland Market have been on a steady increase as time has been going by. Also interest rates don’t look to be going down anytime in the near future with most forecasts pointing to increased rates over 2019. Right now locking on a fixed rate mortgage on a 30 year fixed rate loan guarantees you home payments for the next 30 years. How much has rent been increasing each year? Hmmmmm..

Think of owning a home like a huge savings account. The more you pay in mortgage the more you save, its your home and your equity as well what ever decision are made about the property are your decisions. There are some instances there it makes more sense to rent vs buy, and in those cases we will advise you that way, but real estate is such an amazing investment. It has changed my life 10x over and I am sure it can help you too.  Let’s chat about what it takes to get you into the home of your dreams now! Schedule a call here.


Major things to consider when deciding if its better to rent vs own.  

Renting a home
Financials- All money for rent goes to landlord.   I.E.  if you rent is $1500 that is all going to your landlord’s payments and equity not yours.
Control- Home’s general maintenance and major issues are controlled by landlord
Property Tax And Insurance paid by landlord
Customizations- As a renter you cant customize the home or add value to the home with sweat equity
Monthly Payment-  Rents are controlled by the landlord


Owning a home
Buck stops with you- want to make an addition, go ahead, heater breaks, you also have to fix
You are responsible for everything
You reap all financial rewards
You have a huge savings account with your home
Can have tax benefits- contact your CPA or accountant for more details

When deciding if its better to rent vs buy just contact one of our licensed loan originator and have them complete a rent vs buy analysis for you to see if your money can be working harder for you.

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FHA 3.5% Down FHA Loan VS 3% Conventional Loan Which Is Better

People ofter wonder what type of mortgage loan would be better as a first time home buyer.  It all really depends on the individual scenario and as an individual you need to take multiple factors into consideration.   The main considerations to review would be things like- Credit Score Requirements, Mortgage Insurance Differences, Down Payment Differences, Income Limits and Debit to Income Ratio Requirements and more… 
3% Down Conventional Mortgage Loans Fannie Mae- Home Ready, Freddie Mac- Home Possible.  This program is great for a person or persons with a good credit profile a low down payment, and make under the income restrictions the program has.   This program is a great alternative to an FHA loan as this product has a monthly mortgage insurance factor but the mortgage insurance can be removed once the mortgage reaches a 20% equity position.   This product is also good because it has a reduced mortgage insurance factor as opposed to a regular conventional loan.
In addition to its down payment requirement of as little as 3 percent, Home Possible now offers more options to responsibly increase homeownership for more of your borrowers. Do-it-yourselfers can apply sweat equity to assist in meeting their down payment and closing costs, co-borrowers who do not live in the home can be included for a borrower’s one-unit residence, borrowers are permitted to own other properties, and more – all with competitive pricing and the ease of a conventional mortgage.
 3.5% Down FHA Loans Ginne Mae and the dedicated FHA lenders originate FHA mortgage loans.   An FHA loan typically starts with a minimum down payment of 3.5%, does not have income restrictions, typically will have a bit lower interest rate than a conventional loan, and has non-cancelable mortgage insurance.    FHA loan sometimes will also allow higher debt to income ratios, allow the use of gift funds in more instances, and has a different set of underwriting and packing guidelines that a conventional loan.   FHA loans are also great for multiple family owner occupied purchased as well because you can purchase a duplex, triplex, or 4-plex with a minimal down payment.

A Quick Comparison

Loan originators should always explore Fannie Mae’s HomeReady® mortgage program with any low-to-moderate income borrower considering FHA financing. Although we will delve into HomeReady®-specific underwriting considerations shortly, the following is a comparison of these loans’ basic differences:

Although standard FHA 203(b) mortgage financing offers borrowers down payment options as low as 3.5%, Fannie Mae’s conventional HomeReady® program allows low-to-moderate income borrowers the opportunity to close on a home with a down payment of as little as 3%.

Fannie Mae’s conventional HomeReady® alternative allows borrowers to petition for the removal of their mortgage insurance once their LTV amortizes down to 80%.

Now all information on this page is subject to change and interpretation from an underwriter, this is just a basic outline of the main differences between FHA mortgage loans and Conventional Mortgage Loans.

First Time Home Buyer Programs – Down Payments From 0% to 3.5% Down

First Time Home Buyer Programs

Both FHA and Conventional lenders are now lending with minimal down payments to help people purchase homes as a first time home buyer.    FHA offers a 3.5% down First Time Home Buyer Program.    Conventional lenders wanted to match FHA programs and now have a 3% down conventional first time home buyer program as well.   Both Conventional and FHA loans will have Mortgage Insurance, but with conventional if you have a full 20% down your wont need Mortgage Insurance, or once you reach an 80% equity position you may be eligible to get the mortgage insurance removed off of the loan.  FHA loans charge an upfront factor as well as a monthly amount for mortgage insurance, and the fee in on the loan for the life of the loan not matter the equity position.

Now another great program for first time home buyer is the USDA home loan.  The USDA can be a great product for those individuals that live in the qualifying USDA coverage areas.  With a USDA home loan they offer 100% financing to eligible borrowers if they meet all of the USDA eligibility requirements and the property is in a USDA covered area.

Now if you or your spouse have ever served in the US military, The Federal Veterans Home Loan maybe the better loan for you.   The Federal Veterans Home Loan Program is a zero down home loan so we can lend up to 100% of the homes value.  The Federal Veteran Home Loan Program can be an excellent loan for any woman or man that has served our county.  Now the VA loan doesn’t have Mortgage Insurance per se, instead they call it the VA funding fee..  The VA funding may be can be waived for those men and women that suffered from a service related disability while serving our country.  Find out more about loan products now from lenders that will compete for your business.

Ask Manifest Mortgage to check all options to see what loan product is the best for your.   Also make sure to ask about down payment assistance as well.  Manifest Mortgage does have a 1.5 down FHA down payment program, where a person can get a normal FHA loan but get a 2% grant to help with the downpayment.   This program sometimes makes sense for the right candidate, but it does have a higher interest rate than a normal FHA loan.   Ask your loan officer for more information about the 1.5% down FHA mortgage product.