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Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, Academy has a customized solution for you at historically low interest rates. Our mortgage professionals are equipped with leading-edge technology and tools to satisfy even the most challenging situations with confidence and efficiency.
Cornerstones of Success
When it comes to helping individuals and families achieve successful homeownership, Academy is 1st CHOICE. For over 25 years, we have delivered exceptional mortgage service, in-house loan fulfillment, a broad portfolio of products and tools, and integrity-based mortgage banking.
It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity-based mortgage lending, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools.
Since joining Academy, I have helped many individuals and families attain the dream of homeownership. Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.
Academy is a direct lender, which means that my Branch and Regional Offices are equipped to complete the entire loan process in-house—all loan processing, underwriting, closings, and funding are handled locally. As a result, we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up-to-date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice.
I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.
Read these articles to educate yourself on the mortgage process and industry.
We are proud to be one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country. We achieved this distinction by continually providing exceptional customer service and by following responsible lending practices, especially in today’s rapidly changing economy.Adam Kessler, CEO, Academy Mortgage
Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight Under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act;
No, you don't need a 20% down payment to buy a house
Lack of inventory has made for a highly competitive housing market this year, which in turn has pushed home prices up.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average home price in February 2017 was $390,400. This compares to $355,300 in January 2017 and $349,400 in February 2016. Rising home prices makes it difficult for homebuyers to make a sizeable down payment and encourages bidding wars that increase the price tag even more.
It's generally said that a 20% down payment is typical or at least wanted by most sellers and real estate agents. According to a recent Redfin survey, 35.7% of real estate agent respondents said a 20% down payment is generally associated with a successful bid on a home.
With the average price at $390,400, a 20% down payment would be $78,080 - more than many homebuyers have saved up. As such, many are forced to make smaller down payments.
However, Redfin's study found that this might not be as big a detriment as one might think. Nearly one-fourth of respondents said down payments of between 3% and 5% seem to have a good chance at success. In fact, there are many ways to seal the deal on a home without putting up your entire life savings.
Make a connection
Many successful bids come from people who have established a connection with the seller. This doesn't mean they're best friends or even that they know each other. One Chicago area agent, Rano Khudayberdieva, told Redfin that writing a cover letter can greatly improve a prospective buyer's chances of getting a bid accepted.
"Writing a cover letter can improve a buyer's chances of getting a bid accepted."
"You'd rather have a committed buyer who put a little less down than a buyer with 20% down who may back out," Khudayberdieva explained.
Another Chicago area agent, Tim Zielonka, said a buyer who bonded with a seller over a common interest was able to beat out his competitors who made larger down-payment offers.
"I recently had an FHA-backed offer with 3.5% down beat out four other offers, each of which had conventional 20% down loans," Zielonka said. "The sellers were at the showing. I introduced them to the buyers and pointed out that both were huge enthusiasts of both vintage bicycles and classic cars, which put them at ease with one another and enabled them to form a natural connection. Had they not discovered this shared interest, my clients may not have gotten the property."
Explore other loan options
A conventional mortgage requires the buyer either make a 20% down payment or purchase private mortgage insurance, which could potentially add thousands to a home loan. There are, however, other loan products that allow for a smaller down payment without a PMI obligation - as long as you qualify.
If you or your spouse has served in the armed forces, you may qualify for a VA loan. These loans offer very low rates, plus don't require a down payment at all, as long as the sales price of the home is less than the appraised value, according to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.
The Federal Housing Authority has a loan program to encourage first-time homebuyers find a house they can afford while also reducing risks for lenders. Under the FHA program, a buyer can put as little as 3.5% down - as long as their credit score is 580 or higher. But if you've got a not-so-impressive score, don't worry. You can still put as low as 10% down on a home under the FHA program.
In an effort to aid low- and moderate-income families living outside major metropolises obtain adequate housing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a loan program in rural areas. Though it's often called a "rural home loan," it's actually available in the majority of the U.S., though not in very large cities. Like the VA loan, a down payment isn't required for USDA loans.
Seek out down payment assistance
Down payment assistance programs are available to many homebuyers, regardless of whether they've purchased a home before or not. According to research conducted by Urban Institute, these programs have aided in the purchase of many homes across the U.S., largely without risk to the lender or increased fees to the borrower. Every program is different, but many offer to pay a portion of your down payment or closing costs for you.
Though paying PMI can add to the cost of the mortgage, there are situations where purchasing this insurance product is actually your most cost-effective option. For example, if you have an excellent credit score, your lender may give you a generously low PMI rate. Additionally, you'll be able to cancel your PMI once you've paid off 22% of the home price or more. If you know you can reach this goal fairly quickly, it might be worth paying the PMI for a few months and cancelling it as soon as you can.
Coming up with the funds for a down payment is often one of the most difficult hurdles of making a home purchase. Luckily, consumers have myriad options for clearing this obstacle and carrying on with their homebuying journey.
3 home improvement projects to consider this summer
Now that summer has officially arrived, many homeowners will begin seeking out updates to make to their houses.
But not all home improvement projects were created equally. First, you'll want to choose something that'll improve your comfort or enjoyment in the home. Next, it's important that the project be feasibly completed with quality while still being within your budget. Finally, it's always a good idea to choose an upgrade that'll benefit the home's value.
Here are three popular options among homeowners this summer:
Build a deck
Summer is all about being outdoors with friends and family. Whether you're hosting a big gathering or just relaxing in your backyard, a deck can provide the perfect spot to grill or chill out. There are plenty of decking material options, but many consumers opt for wood. A wood deck has visual appeal, plus it's more cost-effective than composite options, FortuneBuilders reported.
The typical wooden deck project costs around $11,000, according to Remodeling. However, the average homeowner will recoup around 71.5 percent of that.
Though wooden decks might be more popular for aesthetics and upfront costs, composite decks tend to be more long-lasting and require less maintenance. These will cost closer to $17,000 upfront, though they'll likely get around $11,000 back in the sale of the home.
Upgrade your yard
Adding some dimension or color to your yard is another way to make outdoor get-togethers more appealing. Landscaping is one of the most popular home improvement project requests, FortuneBuilders noted. Plus, curb appeal is one of the best things you can do for your home's value - it is the first thing future buyers will see, after all.
Bushes, trees and flower gardens are all great additions. Plus, if you choose the right plants and the right location, you can improve your home's energy efficiency, according to the Department of Energy. To maximize this benefit, plant trees in strategic locations to provide shade to your home. If you plan to install several in your yard, orient them so they direct wind toward your home for greater cooling potential.
The cost of landscaping depends on the size and scope of the project. But, FortuneBuilders recommended estimating the price to be around $3,000; it could add around 28 percent to the home.
Clear away drafts with new windows
Summer is the perfect time to address those drafty windows that kept you cold all winter long. But new windows aren't just good for energy efficiency; dual-pane windows will also block more noise from the outdoors.
New windows can be pricey, but they're often well worth it. A wood frame window replacement generally costs around $18,759, and homeowners may get as much as $13,691 back in the sale. This option is generally chosen for aesthetics. The biggest downside is the upkeep - making sure the wood doesn't warp, and repainting when it begins to peel.
To avoid the maintenance and for a lower price, other homeowners go with vinyl frames. Replacing windows with this choice costs about $15,000. At the time of sale, homeowners may get around $11,000 back for these windows.
Financing home improvement projects this summer
Making updates to a house is often just a part of being a homeowner. However, there's no denying that while these upgrades are often fun and exciting, they can be a bit expensive. For this reason, many people seek out renovation loans to help space their payments out over time.
Academy Mortgage has several renovation loan options for homeowners looking to vamp up the property they purchase or refinance this summer. Ask about Fannie Mae's HomeStyle loan, which caters to homeowners planning on making structural updates or minor repairs to their houses this summer. Or, if you're ready to take on a larger project, consider the FHA 203(k) full loan. For this, a borrower should plan to spend $5,000 or more on structural changes or minor repairs. Rates are currently low, making this summer a prime opportunity for people to make home upgrades with a refinance and renovation loan.
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.
From pre-qualification to closing, Academy Mortgage will help you along the road to home ownership. You can count on us for responsible, honest, and ethical service in every step of the process.
1. Loan pre-qualification. Pre-qualification allows you to search for a home that you can afford based on your credit, income, and assets.
2. Home search. Once pre-qualified, start shopping with your real estate agent! When you decide on the right home for you, the terms of sale are negotiated and your agent presents your offer to the seller.
3. Formal loan application and product selection. After the seller accepts your offer, formally apply for home financing and select the ideal loan product to meet your needs.
4. Appraisal and home inspection. As your loan application is being processed, an appraisal is ordered to identify any discrepancies between the sale price and appraised value. An inspection of the property is also conducted if you request it. A home inspection is optional, while an appraisal is required by Academy Mortgage.
5. Processor’s and underwriter’s review. A loan processor reviews the entire loan file and sends all pertinent information to an underwriter who makes the final decision to approve the loan.
6. Final loan approval. Keep in mind that there may be financial conditions or property conditions that need to be met before final loan approval.
7. Closing. Final loan and escrow documents are prepared and signed by you (the buyer) and the seller.
8. Funding. A wire or check for the amount of the loan is sent to the settlement agent.
9. Close of escrow. The loan funds are disbursed to the entitles parties and escrow is "closed."
10. Confirmation of recording. Documents that transfer titles are recorded with the county to legalize you as the new property owner.
Ultimately the final step . . . MOVE INTO YOUR NEW HOME!