Your Local Michigan Mortgage Specialists

Jonathan Arnold: Meet The Mind Behind The Mortgage Model

May 4th, 2017 by Ima Admin
Jonathan_MMLARisingStar-edit

Jonathan Arnold (Left) of Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids received the Michigan Mortgage Lender Association’s (MMLA) Rising Star award.

How do you turn the experience of buying a first home into a lesson in leverage and the power of investment? According to Jonathan Arnold, you teach your buyers to fish.

“I want to help people invest in real estate and build security. I am passionate about empowering people with information,” Arnold said. “Our industry has not always been as transparent with consumers as I’d like.”

Arnold is the Grand Rapids branch manager for Inlanta Mortgage, specialists in FHA and VA home loans, as well as Conventional, Home Renovation, and a full lineup of innovative mortgage products. He was recently fêted by the Michigan Mortgage Lender Association as a Rising Star during a ceremony held May 2nd.

How Arnold is Disrupting the Mortgage Industry

Considered by many in the industry to be a maverick in his approach to team-building, Arnold modestly shrugs off the accolades but becomes animated when discussing the root of his twin passions: changing the way that mortgages are processed by ‘pairing the talent to the task,’ and devoting resources to educate his clients.

His results have put his team in the top of Inlanta Branches for the third year in a row. That’s because his team produces almost three times the volume of the industry average. At the same time, the team devotes more time to the client experience and education.

“The difference is we really do treat our people like students and want them to learn. By educating our clients, they end up buying investment properties. They end up buying second homes. They end up doing well. It’s helping someone understand the philosophy of investing in real estate,” Arnold said.

Some might call these results magic. To Arnold, who was tracking mutual funds by the age of 8, it’s just math: incremental adjustments that net exponential results. The challenge was to find the right environment to put his innovative impulses to the test. In the early days, that proved a challenge.

Early Adventures On The Way to Leadership

Michigan Mortgage Lender Association Rising Star AwardAs a child, Arnold was easily bored, and folks marveled at just how much action he could pack into a day. For a time, it seemed he might follow his father’s footsteps in the finance industry, given his facility with numbers. But his path to the mortgage industry was anything but a straight shot; teen rebellion scuttled an early start.

“I’ve learned a lot in life, often the hard way. But my experiences are where I’ve forged my passion for helping my clients build a solid foundation. I know how important it is. You need solid ground under you to weather the storms,” Arnold says.

Arnold is no stranger to hard labor. One of his early full-time jobs after a stint in the service industry was running utility cable for an electrical company on a Kent County Airport project. He and summer college interns from across the state carried giant bundles of heavy cables down through foul subterranean tunnels under the runway. The 75-hour work week and the back-breaking nature of the work prompted Arnold to realize he enjoyed interacting with people more than cables and tunnels.

In a characteristically strategic move, he determined he’d rather work in automotive sales, where he sensed his potential as a high-volume producer. He networked his way into a large local dealership and began breaking sales records. After a time, he realized that while he enjoyed helping consumers navigate options, he could have a much bigger impact in the mortgage market. There, the deals were complicated and good stewardship and advice could make a lasting difference in someone’s life. Arnold loved a challenge, and loved crunching the numbers. It was his version of Sudoku. Before long, he joined a consumer mortgage company and began to build his model for success.

Learning to Think Outside the Bank

“What I realized early on in my finance career is that inside of a corporate structure, there are always people who embrace the status quo instead of looking deeply at what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. People fear or resist change. They don’t ‘think outside the bank. Before I discovered Inlanta, with its inspirational leadership, I needed autonomy in the firm I was with, and the ability to build my own team on my own model,” he said.

In those days, Arnold’s burgeoning model resulted in a small, highly skilled team doing business differently than the rest of the company. Referral networking was key, but not just through the traditional channel of realtors. Arnold instead focused on building a core of divorce attorneys, chartered accountants, estate planners and other professionals in key advisory roles. The result was a department that grew organically at a time when the industry was imploding.

“Our clients trusted us because we guided them in the right direction,” he said. “They wanted us to look after their clients, family members, investors, because they knew we’d do right by them.”

Focusing on advisory-type professions is an example of an incremental change that netted exponential benefit in Arnold’s business model.

Even more importantly, the emerging model lead him to realize the importance of matching the talent to the task. You don’t build those kinds of relationships stuck behind a desk.

“I don’t want a sprinter running cross-country. I don’t want a deep thinker pushing paperwork. I want people who are the best at each task focusing on the task they’re best at. The solution is support. Our system is better – that’s why we’re winning business.”

In the Mortgage Industry, Consumer Knowledge is Power

Today this approach is the foundation of the Grand Rapids Inlanta branch. Arnold’s Team originate significantly more mortgages each month than traditional mortgage offices. But they also have a much larger support staff working with them to ensure that every excruciating detail is managed and that client communication and education is paramount.

There’s an important reason Arnold advocates treating clients like students. Looking back on the industry’s unfortunate sub-prime era, he says many homeowners made choices that were misinformed, with disastrous results.

“If they’d have had the information, they probably would have made different decisions. Instead, I saw people in mortgages that were essentially spring-loaded traps, mortgages that impaired their ability to weather fluctuations in the economy. I love to help people get out of those traps. I love helping people make good decisions.”

Despite the flaws in the industry’s current patch-work of mortgage regulation and compliance — which Arnold feels should be streamlined to reduce consumer cost — the one important achievement that arose with increased regulation was better lending practices. His only wish was that these practices were delivered through a uniform, common sense model of governance.

“The simplicity of controlling predatory lending should be the basis of the regulatory climate. You shouldn’t give money to people who can’t repay the money…or on an instrument that is destined to explode,” he said. “It’s that simple.”

Who Motivates The Motivator?

Arnold ‘sharpens his saw’ with inspiration from the likes of Tim Ferris and Dale Carnegie, coupled with a habit of devouring business books such as Good to Great and The Power of Habit.

At closer range, he credits the Inlanta family and company president, Nick DelTorto, as being inspirational and instrumental to his continued strategic thinking. He also feels blessed to have the great counsel of the people around him, from his parents to his new wife Michelle, who works in immunology and volunteers for animal advocacy.

“She’s the love of my life,” Arnold said.

Together, they enjoy water sports, boating, and making the rounds to their children’s numerous sporting events. His daughter Bella, 13, loves to sing, swim, play volleyball and basketball. Jackson, age 10, likes to play basketball, lacrosse and football.

In addition to mentorship and family support, Arnold thrives on the energy of client success.

One of his favorite stories is the one about a client who referred her son to him. Arnold helped the son and his wife come up with a game plan to lower their monthly expenses and better manage student loan debts. This led to the couple being able to purchase a home. When they felt financially secure enough to start a family, they named their firstborn son in Jon’s honor.

One of the most rewarding elements of his leadership at Inlanta is helping his team aspire to excellence.

“I enjoy being a conduit to help my staff achieve their dreams,” he said. “When we help clients make great decisions, we’re working in a way that is genuine and we’re creating a better experience. As long as we can do these things, and are passionate about what we do, the sky’s the limit.”


Home Renovation Loans: Homestyle & FHA 203K Guide

April 7th, 2017 by Ima Admin

Renovation Loans Homestyle Vs. 203K FHA represented by couple remodeling kitchen Know Which Home Renovation Loan Suits Your Plans

By: Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids Team

The spring real estate market is ramping up in West Michigan, and for some, there’s no better time to consider a major home improvement project. In a hot market, there are many reasons why home renovation loans such as Homestyle and FHA 203K become popular. The team at Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids can help you find the perfect fit to finance your feng shui, depending on your needs, goals and current financial circumstances. We’ll take a look at different scenarios, including the benefits of home renovation loans in general.

4 Benefits of Home Renovation Loans

  • Low down payments available
  • Ability to wrap in all renovation costs into the loan
  • Good interest rates
  • Mortgage interest is tax deductible; other types of loans aren’t

Scenario A: Love the House You’re In

Many people decide to “stay put” when real estate inventory is tight and prices are strong. In other words, the motto for these folks is:  love the house you’re in.

Sometimes, it takes a bit of “work” to regain that lovin’ feeling, like a walk-in glass and slate shower or perhaps a gorgeous great room or marvelous man cave. Extending your stay and improving your home’s curb appeal can represent a smart investment, provided your project is scaled to values in your neighborhood. In a market where values are high and inventory is tight, deciding to stay put and improve your home can be a wise financial decision for some.

“Homeowners should look at their home value, equity, and plan for the future as part of their annual due diligence. With the right combination of circumstances, these home refinance programs can be a great tool to say goodbye to that 1970s shag carpet or that tile you can’t stand and really live out your HGTV fantasies while at the same time optimizing your available credit,” says Jonathan Arnold, Branch Manger at Inlanta Grand Rapids.

The upside is that instead of moving to a more expensive home that already features some of the upgrades you’d like, you’re improving the value of an existing asset, and thereby increasing the likelihood of bettering your future return-on-investment. This is true whether your home is a single family home or up to a 4-unit rental in which you reside.

Depending on how much equity you’ve accumulated and your loan-to-value ratio based on a new appraisal, you may be a perfect candidate for a Conventional Homestyle Renovation loan, which for those with higher credit scores and a LTV of 80% or lower, can avoid PMI (private mortgage insurance) entirely. (See Home Renovation Loan Programs below.)

Scenario B: The Purchase-Reno Combo

In this scenario, you’re a savvy shopper in the market for a new home. You might be a first-time buyer with your eye on a “fixer-upper” or a seasoned homebuyer trading up, or even an investor looking to purchase a 1-4 unit dwelling. In each case, you know that many of the well-staged, well-maintained properties are selling above asking price, and often with multiple offers submitted. But you also know that if a home has “good bones” and the right location, a sleeper can become a swan in the right hands – yours! In this case, you’d be a good candidate for a combination purchase-renovation loan.

Determining which loan program suits your circumstances will depend on your financial picture, but there are some common criteria to evaluate in order to determine which purchase-renovation mortgage is right for you:Contractor holding blueprints representing home renovation loan

  • You have access to an excellent contractor familiar with home renovation loan specifications.
  • You’re working with a lending specialist like Inlanta who is registered to offer both Homestyle Conventional and 203K Home Renovation loans, with and without a consultant.
  • You do not intend to do the work yourself. Some types of loans will be highly reliant on licensed, professional, line-item estimates from licensed or approved trades, as well as services such as engineering or architecture. These documents can be used in assessing end value of your home.
  • Whether or not you intend to reside at the residence (or up to a 4-unit dwelling) will make a difference as to which loan program will suit.

According to Brian Ferrick of Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids, renovation loans aren’t difficult by default, with one key provision: the team.

“Get the right team to be part of the transaction and things will go well.  You need a good Realtor, a good Lender who has done many of them, and a good contractor.  The team makes the transaction,” Ferrick said.

Home Renovation Loans offered by Inlanta Mortgage

Highlights of a Fannie Mae Homestyle Conventional Loan

(Purchase or Refinance & Remodel)

  • Fannie Mae offers a conventional renovation loan that allows clients to finance the cost of any repairs and renovations. You can do 1-4 units on Primary residences, 1 units on second homes and investment properties.
  • Purchase or refinance & remodel
  • 5% minimum down payment for primary, single-family residences (10% for second homes)
  • You can use gift funds for down payment & closing costs for owner-occupied, primary residences
  • 3% seller contribution allowed
  • Cosmetic and structural renovations allowed
  • Allowable improvements can include landscaping, appliances, swimming pools and more
  •  The maximum you can finance is up to 50% of the appraised amount.
  • Renovation-related costs that may be considered as part of the total renovation costs in addition to labor and materials include: Property inspection fees; Costs and fees for the title update; Architectural and engineering fees; Independent consultant fees; Costs for required permits; and Other documented charges, such as fees for energy reports, appraisals, review of renovation plans, and fees charged for processing renovation draws.
  • Lower interest rates than the standard home improvement loan.
  • Flexible mortgage term options with 15 or 30 years.
  • Does not require mortgage insurance (MI) if LTV is 80% or below.
  • LTV is taken into consideration after renovation is completed (can be great for homeowners who owe more than the value of your home).

Highlights of a FHA 203K Limited Loan (formerly known as 203K Streamline – “Cosmetic”)

(Purchase or Refinance & Remodel)

  • The 203(k) Streamlined Loan is designed primarily for cosmetic upgrades that do not require the use of a consultant, architect, and engineer or as many inspections as the Standard 203K (formerly known as the Full 203K).
  • Like a regular FHA new home purchase, down payment can be as low as 3.5% for primary, single-family residences.
  • It is a renovation loan that allows a minimum of $5,000 with a maximum up to $35,000 worth of renovations to be wrapped into an FHA loan. 
  • It is for primary residences only.
  • It is designed for any renovation that is connected to the home directly and does not include landscaping, blueprints, or foundation work.
  • This makes it a popular option when a typical FHA loan is considered since upgraded flooring, paint and a kitchen are key elements of cosmetic improvements to a home. This loan can imclude appliances.

Highlights of a FHA 203K Standard Loan (formerly known as 203K Full – “Additions, Structural, Etc.”)

(Purchase or Refinance & Remodel)

  • The FHA 203K Standard loan (formerly known as 203K Full) is intended for more complicated projects that involve structural changes such as room additions, exterior grading and landscaping.
  • Like a regular FHA new home purchase, down payment can be as low as 3.5% for primary, single-family residences.
  • A Standard K is also used if your project requires engineering or architectural drawings and inspections.
  • One benefit with this form of the 203(k) is that a single family property may be converted into a two, three or four-unit dwelling or vice versa so long as the owner occupies one of the units.
  • It is a renovation loan that allows up to the maximum financed amount of renovations to be wrapped into an FHA loan. 
  • It is for primary residences only and requires an FHA consultant.
  • By combining the construction funds with your home mortgage, an FHA 203(k) loan limits closing costs because it’s just one loan that provides you the necessary funds to buy a home and make the desired repairs or improvements.
  • An FHA 203(k) loan simplifies the home renovation process.
  • FHA 203(k) loans are backed by the federal government and are typically given to buyers who want to purchase a home and perform upgrades, repairs, remodel or customize to their needs and wants.

Comparing Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle and FHA 203K Home Renovation Loans:

Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle and 203k loan both finance improvements in concert with a purchase loan. The Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan’s minimum down payment is around 5 percent, while FHA 203k’s may only require 3.5 percent. HomeStyle lenders typically require higher qualifying credit scores but feature lower closing costs than those commonly charged on FHA 203k loans.

At the same time, a 203k loan can be used to complete renovations or upgrades on a new or existing home. As with HomeStyle mortgages, the borrower must use approved, licensed professionals to do the renovation work.

Fortunately, the experts at Inlanta can answer your specific questions about the types of repairs and renovations you can perform when you finance your home. Contact us for a deeper look at the smoothest route to your new or improved dreamhome.

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Grand Rapids Inlanta Mortgage Team Scores Recognition Trifecta

April 4th, 2017 by Ima Admin

Thank You Grand Rapids for Choosing Inlanta MortgageTeamwork Takes Grand Rapids Mortgage Lenders to Next Level…

The Grand Rapids Inlanta Mortgage Team wants to give a big shout out to its customers across West Michigan for helping it rank in the top 10 nationwide, with the Jonathan Arnold Team winning top producer for the entire company for the third year in a row.

“This is truly a team effort,” said Jon Arnold, branch manager in Grand Rapids. “We executed the plan we had in place to create a great customer experience. It took a team effort, from managing deadlines to communicating the process to customers and ensuring we exceeded expectations. It’s something we’re really proud of and will always be striving for,” he said.

Jon is an active member of the Grand Rapids Association of Realtors,  the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association, and the Women’s Council Realtors. He credits his community partners and the outstanding work of his teammates for the company’s continued trajectory. Most recently, Jon has received the “Rising Star” Award from the MMLA recognizing members in the industry who have excelled in their profession. 

Katrina Cole is “One to Watch”

Katrina Cole of Inlanta Mortgage, Grand Rapids MI as a 40 under 40Meanwhile, teammate Katrina Cole has added a personal triumph to the first two honors by being named one of the MMLA’s 40 under 40. She serves as VP of the West Chapter of the MMLA,  Co-Chair of Marketing on the West Michigan Chapter of the Women’s Council of Realtors, 2016 Strategic Partner of the year for West Michigan WCR, and the 2016 National Magazine Next 40 Mortgage Professionals to Watch.

Through these organizations, Katrina aims to foster a better understanding of the lending environment for realtors, and ultimately, a smoother transaction for clients by bridging any knowledge gaps between lenders and realtors. She’s been passionately involved in the WCR and the MMLA’s mission to attract young professionals and expand the exchange of information within the housing industry.

“I’m so proud but also humbled to be part of these types of organizations and recognized by so many great people in our industry. They’re always striving to be the best. They keep leading by example and getting more and more people involved in understanding what is best for our community as well as our industry as a whole,” Katrina said.

Cheers to Katrina for taking the Inlanta program to a new level of community involvement.

Backed by Inlanta Innovation

The team also credits the innovation of its parent company, Inlanta Mortgage, which continues to lead the field with innovative products like its 581-Score and No-Score programs. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.


Grand Rapids Mortgage Company Introduces Doctor Home Loan Programs

April 1st, 2017 by Ima Admin

Image of doctor representing Grand Rapids Mi Mortgages for Doctors - PhysiciansGrand Rapids is home to a burgeoning medical industry, and Inlanta Grand Rapids is excited to announce its new Doctor Loans program! It is no secret that doctors take on a lot of student loan debt to pay for medical school. If you are one of these everyday superheroes, you may be experiencing difficulty achieving your dream of homeownership as a result. Have no fear – Inlanta is here to help! We now have two loan options for qualified borrowers through our Doctor Loans program, designed with your unique needs in mind.

Our new program includes low down payment requirements, from 3% – 5%, and can exclude deferred student loan debt from calculations, which extends your buying power. The program is designed to cover medical, dental and orthodontic professionals. We are able to use new contracts to assist in qualification if you will start your contract within 60 days of close.

Read more to learn the program options and specifics or contact us for a personalized review of your eligibility.

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Get the Guide: 5 Secrets to Winning in a Tight Real Estate Market

March 13th, 2017 by Ima Admin

an image of the article written by Grand Rapids mortgage lender Jonathan Arnold on winning real estate bids
Jonathan Arnold, Branch Manager of Grand Rapids mortgage lender, Inlanta, has written the definitive guide to help prospective homeowners find their dream homes and win their bids in the most competitive real estate market in West Michigan history.

“It’s unbelievable. Even though the warm spell was followed by a cold snap, the real estate market isn’t waiting for March 21st to celebrate spring. We’re having our own March madness, and it’s not on the court,” Arnold said.

The region’s real estate market, ranked No. 4 in a recent survey of the nation’s hottest housing markets by Trulia.com, saw 13,593 single family homes exchange hands last year, a 3.7 percent increase over 2015. But the “hot” market also means a serious shortage of inventory that has would-be home-buyers scrambling to outbid the competition. Right now, the Grand Rapids Real Estate Association estimates that there is only 1.3 months of inventory and that there are fewer than 1,353 homes on the market year-to-date in Kent County.

If you’re ramping up to celebrate spring with a home-hunting fling, you’ll want expert help to get the jump on the competition. Follow this link to read and download his guide.


5 Ways to Love Your Home

March 13th, 2017 by Ima Admin

Image of man in chair in room in house representing happy homeowner in Grand Rapids MI from Inlanta Mortgage5 Ways to Love Your Home

So, you’ve found your dream home – or at least the one with the potential to be your dream home. However, you may be feeling like something is “missing” or that your house just doesn’t feel like a home yet. Like any good relationship, the feelings you have about your home will ebb and flow, but you don’t have to abandon ship if you’re not feeling the love right now! We’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can put some love back into your home and fall in love with it all over again.

 

Make it personal.

Display photos of your favorite memories with family, friends, and/or your significant other. Paint an accent wall in your favorite color, or use that color in your accessories. Create an art gallery to display your kids’ artwork in a creative fashion. Showcase your Star Wars lightsaber collection (or any of your other favorite collectibles). Whatever makes you, you, give it its own special place in your home where you will see it regularly. Adding a personal touch goes a long way in making your home feel like your own.

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New – Inlanta Mortgage offers Govt. Loan Options for Credit Scores as low as 581 & No Score Option

February 21st, 2017 by Ima Admin

Family in new home to depict Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids new low score program for government-backed mortgages

Grand Rapids mortgage lender, Inlanta, has new ways to help FHA, VA, and USDA home buyers qualify for government-backed loan programs, even if they have less-than-perfect credit, or in some cases, no credit rating.

“We know that people are more than their credit score,” said Jonathan Arnold, a branch manager and loan originator with Inlanta. “There are people who have never missed a payment, but come in with 581 credit scores. Meanwhile, there are people finishing up bankruptcies that have a score of 650. Sometimes the credit score just doesn’t tell the whole story.”

The new program, unique to Inlanta, allows for eligibility with scores as low as 581 — about 60 points lower than most other banks and lenders. But the lower threshold doesn’t mean automatic approval or imply subprime loan status.

“This is a 30-year fixed government-secured mortgage. It is designed to help people whose credit score may not tell their whole story – the people who’ve fallen through the cracks but truly deserve a home loan,” Arnold said.

For example, Arnold was recently able to assist a veteran who was earning a middle-class income and had a lower credit score simply because he doesn’t borrow money or use credit cards.

Low Credit Score Triggers Manual Underwriting

One of the reasons Inlanta is able to offer consideration to people with lower credit scores is because the company is willing to undertake manual underwriting, which is looked at more closely. For example, it’s critical that there are no outstanding, unpaid, non-medical collections, and that debt ratios are within guidelines. Careful consideration of all factors leads to better odds of approval.

“The government products are overlaid by investors risk tolerances. We want to make good loans. Our experience shows that it’s very possible to make a good loan to people who on the surface might otherwise look unqualified. People shouldn’t be punished for avoiding debt,” Arnold says.

Can You Qualify For a Mortgage With No Credit Score?

Young people who’ve never had credit and new immigrants are two groups of people who assume that home ownership eludes them until they establish credit. Yet owning a home is one of the safest, fastest ways to build financial security. One way to quickly developing a credit score is to get a non-secured credit card. But there are other ways to help turn the dream of home ownership into reality. With Inlanta’s new, government-backed No Score program for FHA, VA and USDA candidates, the company will qualify borrowers using non-traditional lines of credit, such as Insurance Premiums, Cellphone Bill, Rent History, and Utilities (water, internet, electricity).

“We’re happy to be able to help qualifying individuals achieve the dream of home ownership with this product,” Arnold says. “Owning a home is the best investment you can make.”

For the No Score program, applicants must be otherwise eligible for FHA, VA or USDA government-backed programs, borrowers must meet all qualifying criteria, including debt-to-income ratios. Pricing will be affected and may mean higher cost to the borrower. This program is not to overcome bad or delinquent credit history.

*VA loans are available for eligible veterans only. **Income and property restrictions apply on USDA loans.

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Quick Facts on USDA, VA & FHA  Programs & Eligibility

USDA: Rural Home Loans/Mortgages

Score581_USDA_160x94
  • No down payment required
  • closing costs can be financed into loan
  • 30-year loan at fixed rate
  • must buy home in USDA eligible area: town population under 20,000
  • flexible credit history requirements
  • first-time home buyers eligible

*property and income restrictions apply

VA: Veterans Administration Home Loans/Mortgages

Score581_VA_160x94
  • no down payment
  • no private mortgage insurance
  • cash reserves not required
  • closing costs and prepaid expenses can be paid by seller
  • streamline refinance available

*program available to veterans only

FHA: Federal Housing Authority Home Loans/Mortgages

Score581_FHA_160x94
  • low down payment
  • gift funds allowed
  • cash reserves not required
  • flexible credit history requirements
  • closing costs can be paid by seller
  • flexible debt-to-income ratios
  • streamline refinance available

Michigan Housing Shortages

January 26th, 2017 by Inlanta Staff

Where have all the homes gone?

On a national level there are only 1.65 million homes for sale equating to about 3.6 months of inventory, down from 3.9 months last year at the same time.  In an ideal situation, there will be six months of inventory to provide for healthy and well balanced market.  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) provided the info-graphic at the left comparing where existing home sales where in 2015 compared to 2016.

The city of Grand Rapids continues to be one of the hottest housing markets, thus causing a severe lack of available homes for sale.  According to The Grand Rapids Association of  Realtors (GRAR), there where only 1.7 months of inventory for sale at the end of 2016.

With these bleak levels of inventory home buyers must be prepared to act quickly, expect multiple offers and potentially need to offer over list price to get their dream home.


What does all this mean?


How can Inlanta Mortgage help you?

The Inlanta team is here to create a long-term relationship that starts with a great conversation.  It is important to learn up front what is most important to you, what makes the most sense for your life circumstances and what long term goals you have.  Our proactive approach means getting to know your story, so together we can meticulously prepare the best mortgage loan for you.

Lets Start the Conversation Today.


FHA and VA Increase Loan Limits for 2017

December 12th, 2016 by Inlanta Staff

fha_vaWe’re very pleased to announce that loan limits have increased for both Federal Housing Administration FHA loans and Department of Veteran Affairs VA loans. Any applications filed on January 1, 2017 or later will be subject to the limit increase.

Read this post from Inlanta Mortgage to get the full story on the increase and why it makes 2017 a great year to buy a home. Then, contact us to discuss your options or begin your application today!


Last week, we announced the news that the FHFA increased conforming loan limits. As a result, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) have also increased the limits for FHA loans and VA loans, respectively.

FHA loan limits have increased from $271,050 to $275,665. These new loan limits apply to FHA-insured loans that have an application date of January 1, 2017 or later.

VA loan limits will follow the new limits set for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans. The VA will use these limits to determine how much of the loan they will guaranty and how much an eligible veteran can borrow without requiring a down payment. Veterans should consult their loan officer for further details. You can also visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website for additional information about VA home loans.

A loan limits will follow the new limits set for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans. The VA will use these limits to determine how much of the loan they will guaranty and how much an eligible veteran can borrow without requiring a down payment. Veterans should consult their loan officer for further details. You can also visit the Department of Veteran Affairs website for additional information about VA home loans.

If you are looking to buy a home in 2017, this is excellent news for you! With rising home prices and the market’s return to pre-recession growth, the loan limit increase signifies a growing market. Many homebuyers will now be able to afford larger homes or homes in more expensive areas with better loan terms. If you need help getting started on your home loan journey, check out our blog for more details on the home buying process, FHA loans, and VA loans.


Maximum Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits Increase

December 1st, 2016 by Inlanta Staff

increased conv loan limitsMaximum Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits where increased by The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) from $417,000 to $424,100 for the first time since 2006. In higher cost counties the mortgage loan limit will increase from $625,500 to $636,150.

“The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) established the baseline loan limit of $417,000 and requires this limit to be adjusted each year to reflect the changes in the national average home price,” read the statement from FHFA. With this increase along with rising home prices is an indication that the housing market has returned to pre-recession growth.

With this increase in home loan limits homebuyers have an option of choosing a conventional home loan over jumbo loans which provides more favorable loan terms resulting in real savings to the consumer over the life of the mortgage.

All these changes only have an affect on mortgage loans that are closing on or after January 1, 2017. One advantage our Inlanta Mortgage Team has is that we are a direct mortgage lender with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and are able to start taking your loan application and lock your rate today.