Lakewood

300 Union Blvd Suite 650 & 505
Lakewood, CO 80228
Local: (303) 914-3820
Fax: (866) 571-3458

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Welcome to Academy Mortgage!

It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage Lakewood, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. We understand how important a home investment is to you and the impact it will have on your life. Therefore, our team of experienced mortgage professionals will make every effort to find the best loan program and pricing for your situation.

Our sole focus is on you—the customer—and you can count on us for exceptional service. A big part of this service experience is that every step of the mortgage loan transaction—processing, underwriting, closing, and funding—is handled locally, which results in our proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

We invite you to put us to the test. Let us show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be in Colorado.

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Read these articles to educate yourself on the mortgage process and industry.

Corp Lic: CA: 4170013; CO: 3113;

Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight Under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act;

Now is the time to buy a home

Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, released on June 4, indicated the average interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained the same on a week-over-week basis. However, Bankrate tracked a small decrease from the previous week. In both instances, the rates remained at a higher level than seen in 2015. 

Interested homebuyers may want to make their move now to take advantage of the current rates before they increase as a reflection of a stronger U.S. economy and job market. 

Mortgage rates stay at the highest level seen in 2015. While rates for 30-year FRMs remained the same from last week, the average interest on 15-year FRMs decreased to 3.08% from the previous week's average of 3.11%.

Rates for both 30- and 15-year FRMs remain below the average rates from a year ago at this time. This suggests it is still a good time for interested buyers to apply for conventional mortgages and secure these lower rates.

"Mortgage rates were little changed for the week following mixed economic data before bond yields began moving higher Wednesday afternoon," noted Len Kiefer, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Although real GDP growth was revised down to a negative 0.7 percent annualized rate, the Institute for Supply Management reported a modest growth in the manufacturing sector in May."

Bankrate tracks little change from the previous week. According to Bankrate, 30-year FRMs decreased slightly to 4.06% and 15-year FRMs jumped to a new 2015 high of 3.26%. Home prices and overall demand for housing may also be responsible for current rates. 

"The numbers are showing home prices growing just about everywhere," said Patrick Newport, an economist for IHS Global Insight. "I think that what's driving them isn't mortgage rates. It's the tight market inventory."

Experts recommend buying now to lock in lower rate. Most professionals in the lending industry believe low interest rates will not continue. If an interested homebuyer can afford a home, he or she should make the move toward purchasing real estate.

In addition, mortgage payments with current interest rates will likely be less expensive than renting a living space. 

"Most people expect the Fed to raise rates by midyear," Newport noted. "Mortgage rates are bottoming out right now."

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2014 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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November home sales tick up

November saw impressive gains in the real estate market, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors. Existing-home sales increased 0.7% month over month, landing at an annual rate of 5.61 million during the first 11 months of the year.

The gains put November 2016 15.4% ahead of November 2015 and marked the third month in a row during which growth was experienced in this area. Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist, noted that he wasn't surprised by the positive news.

"November marks the third consecutive month of existing home sale increases."

"The healthiest job market since the Great Recession and the anticipation of some buyers to close on a home before mortgage rates accurately rose from their historically low level have combined to drive sales higher in recent months," he said in a statement. "Furthermore, it's no coincidence that home shoppers in the Northeast — where price growth has been tame all year — had the most success last month."

Mixed predictions

While Yun commented that November's pace seemed in line with current circumstances, other industry experts had anticipated a slightly less productive month. CNBC reported some economists predicted home sales to fall 1% in November to 5.5 million.

These economists weren't all wrong. In fact, there were only two areas of the country that saw increasing home sales:

But in the Midwest and the West, home sales dropped 2.2% and 1.6%, respectively.

Rates and inventory affect market

As Yun noted, the high possibility of increasing interest rates could have encouraged prospective homebuyers to move quickly in November. Sure enough, the Federal Reserve voted to increase the key funds rate during the last Federal Open Market Committee Meeting of the year, which ended Dec. 14. While this may not immediately impact mortgage rates, there's a good chance residential mortgage rates will begin to creep up in the coming weeks and months.

Even though November proved to be a successful month in home sales, many industry experts believe there will be a slight dip heading into 2017. Rising mortgage rates could be a factor, but likely won't be the only cause. Throughout the course of 2016, a common theme holding back home sales still rings true: Inventory is too low to accommodate all of the home shoppers on the market.

"Existing housing supply at the beginning of the year was inadequate and is now even worse heading into 2017," Yun explained. "Rental units are also seeing this shortage. As a result, both home prices and rents continue to far outstrip incomes in much of the country."

Inventory at the end of November included 1.85 million existing homes, 8% fewer than in October and 9.3% fewer than November 2015. This is the 18th month in a row of year-over-year inventory decreases.

The very fact that there aren't enough homes to go around will slow down sales. But the problem is manifesting in another way as well: increasing home costs. The median existing-home price was $234,900, nearly 7% higher in November 2016 than it was in November 2015. Home prices have been steadily seeing year-over-year increases like this for nearly five years.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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Is an FHA loan or a conventional loan with PMI a better option?

Among the many decisions you'll have to make on your journey to homeownership will be the choice of how much to pay upfront, also known as the down payment.

The traditional amount to put toward your down payment is 20% of the home's value. But, as many prospective homebuyers know, this isn't always feasible. Many lenders will accept lower down payments, while requiring the buyer to also purchase Private Mortgage Insurance.

Another way to put less than 20% down is to look into other loan products, like an FHA loan. These are government-sponsored products that allow down payments of as low as 3.5%.

For the buyer who wants to put less than 20% of the price of the home down, both PMI and an FHA loan are good options. But for some, one might be more beneficial than the other. Before making this decision, it's important to know which is the more financially responsible choice.

History of FHA loans and PMI

The Federal Housing Administration was first created in 1934. At that time, the housing industry was struggling immensely, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The FHA helped many Americans become homeowners, and largely improved the market as a whole. 

Years later, in the late 2000s, another housing downturn came in the form of the Great Recession.

"Between 2007 and 2009, FHA loan originations increased 355%."

During this time, many homebuyers didn't qualify for PMI, so people who wanted to buy a home with less than a 20% down payment needed to find another option. This caused FHA loan popularity to soar. Between 2007 and 2009, FHA loan originations increased 355%, according to WalletHub. In 2009, a record 1.8 million FHA loans were issued, compared to the 402,000 just two years prior.

Meanwhile, conventional loans with PMI plummeted. In 2007, 1.5 million conventional loans with PMI were originated. By 2010, that number dropped to 260,000.

In the years that followed, FHA loans began to increase in price. Additionally, as the housing market continued to recover, PMI became affordable again. This gave rise to conventional loans with PMI once more.

In 2015, FHA loans were still more popular than those with PMI attached. However, FHA loans are trending downward overall, while PMI is gradually growing more popular. And while they both have their merits, it's important for homeowners to understand why one might be a better option than the other.

When does PMI make sense?

If you can pay 22% of the home's value quickly or plan on staying in the home for a long time.

WalletHub pointed out that the economic value of an FHA loan depends on several factors, including how long you plan to live in the home and what your credit score is. FHA options include mortgage insurance, but it's wrapped up in the price of the loan as a whole. PMI, on the other hand, is a completely separate product from the loan itself. PMI can be taken off after a few years, once the loan amount reaches 78% of the home's value. In the case of an FHA loan, however, the mortgage insurance will be included for the entire life of the loan.

If you have good credit.

There is no set amount that a lender can charge for PMI, but it's usually between 0.5% and 1% of the cost of the loan per year. One factor that contributes to how much it will cost is your credit score.

"The cost of PMI dropped 47% for people who had a credit score of 760 or more."

Generally speaking, the higher your score, the lower your PMI will be. WalletHub noted that between 2014 and 2016, the cost of PMI dropped 47% for people who had a credit score of 760 or more. But for people who had a credit score of 660 or lower, the cost increased 28%. For people with a good credit score, choosing PMI over an FHA loan could save them as much as $8,000.

When does an FHA loan make sense?

If you plan on refinancing soon.

PMI makes sense if you plan on staying in the home long enough to pay down 22% of the home's value, at which point you can get rid of the insurance and just pay off the loan. Likewise, if you don't plan on staying in the home for long, an FHA loan might be the way to go, since it's generally a bit less expensive right off the bat.

Additionally, Zillow pointed out that FHA loans are typically easier and cheaper to refinance than conventional mortgages through a process called "streamline refinance."

They also are assumable loans, which means they can be transferred to another party. This means that when it's time to sell a home, the buyer can take on the responsibility of the loan at the same time that he or she purchases the house. Since FHA loans typically have lower interest rates, this might end up be a good selling point.

If you have low credit.

If your credit score is 660 or lower, opting for an FHA loan instead of a conventional loan with PMI can save you as much as $11,000.

If you recently experienced a credit problem.

FHA loans also have looser restrictions for time elapsed between certain problems you might have encountered, like a bankruptcy or foreclosure. If you are pursuing a conventional loan, you'd have to wait four years after a bankruptcy or seven years after a foreclosure to qualify. But if you're looking for an FHA loan, you can qualify just two or three years, respectively, after the event.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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