Veronica Schoel

NMLS# 210134

Loan Officer

Veronica Schoel
Loan Officer

NMLS# 210134
State Lic: CA # CA-DOC210134;
995 Tharp Road
Suite B
Yuba City, CA 95993
Direct: (530) 671-4214
Mobile: (530) 682-4762
veronica.schoel@academymortgage.com

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Welcome!

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.

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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

NMLS# 210134

State Lic: CA: CA-DOC210134;

Corp Lic: CA: 4170013;

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

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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.

VA loan
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.

FHA loan
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.

USDA loan
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.

Pay PMI

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.

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3 hot housing markets to check out this summer

The homebuying season is heating up and though inventory seems slim in many areas, many homebuyers are taking out residential mortgages and finding their perfect places to move into. This summer, certain cities are experiencing particularly high demand as buyers look for homes in growing areas.

Here are three of the hottest - as in, most competitive - housing markets so far this summer:

Vallejo, California

This city on San Pablo Bay, California, has maintained the top spot for several months this year, according to Realtor.com. The trend can largely be attributed to the high price of housing in the San Francisco Bay area, East Bay Times reported. As prices in these areas continue to climb, consumers are seeking elsewhere for affordable housing, and that market is greatly attracted to Vallejo.

Aside from attractive housing costs, there are plenty of aspects drawing more residents to Vallejo. Two universities in the community, and more than 50 within 50 miles, mean that citizens have convenient access to good education. Additionally, with more than 3,300 local establishments, many residents are able to find a quality job. The two sectors that employ the largest percentage of the population are healthcare and social services, and retail.

Vallejo isn't all work and no play, though. Residents enjoy visiting Mare Island, where St. Peter's Chapel is located as well as the Mare Island Historic Museum. And, as Vallejo is just south of California's Napa Valley, Vallejo has easy access to high-quality wines and vineyards to tour.

Kennewick, Washington

Kennewick, Washington, came in third for Realtor.com's hottest housing markets of June 2017.

This Evergreen State city is often referred to as one of the Tri-Cities, the other two being Pasco and Richland, Washington. Together, the Tri-Cities enjoyed the fastest job growth in the Evergreen State, according to local CBS affiliate station KEPR. Industries fueling that growth include manufacturing, construction, healthcare, hospitality and education.

Jobs have a tendency to attract people, which is a large part of what's heating up this housing market. However, the beautiful region helps, too. Mountain bike trails are aplenty, and the winding Columbia River provides plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing and tubing, Movoto pointed out.

Good food is a big deal in Kennewick. The Tri-Cities are the French Fry Capital of the World, but they didn't stop there. Microbrewed beers, food trucks and potato doughnuts are among the local delicacies residents enjoy on a regular basis.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado, came in No. 8 on Realtor.com's Top 20 hottest housing markets of June 2017, and Credit.com reported it was the city with the highest pre-mover index of 251.

The index is calculated based on the number of mortgage applications with an estimated loan settlement date compared to the number of homes in an area. With 218,034 available homes as of June 1, according to Credit.com, many buyers are finding attractive houses to purchase.

Colorado Springs boasts a healthy job market, with a 3.9% unemployment rate and a job market index of 7 out of 10, U.S. News & World Report noted.

All across the state, Colorado attracts outdoor enthusiasts, and Colorado Springs is no different. Residents don't have to travel far to go hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.

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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Should you pay points in exchange for a lower mortgage rate?

Fluctuating mortgage interest rates always change the way consumers view the housing market. When rates go down, it's time to buy; when rates go up, making a purchase is a little bit less attractive.

However, there are ways for prospective homebuyers to acquire an affordable mortgage, even when rates are on the rise. Now, at a time when rates are trending up overall - despite the first two weeks of 2017 seeing modest declines - home shoppers are looking for options.

What are points?

One of those options is buying points to reduce the overall mortgage rate, a strategic move that costs a little bit more upfront, but could save a homeowner money in the long run.

"Discount points are like pre-paying interest."

Points vary in price depending on the mortgage, but they are always equal to 1% of the loan. So, one point for a $150,000 mortgage would cost $1,500. There are two different types of points: origination points and discount points, explained Bankrate.

Origination points are charged by the lender as a fee for creating the loan. They have no effect on the overall mortgage rate.

Discount points, on the other hand, are like pre-paying interest. They're an option you can choose, but don't have to. If you have a mortgage rate of 7% and choose to pay 2 points, you might be able to walk away with a 6.5% interest rate instead. This will save you a small amount of money each month. Over the years, you'll make up the difference and accumulate substantial savings.

Points becoming more prominent

In recent years, residential mortgage rates have been relatively low. The average interest rate in 2016 was 3.65%, according to Freddie Mac. One decade prior, it was 6.41%. Since rates were at historic lows, fewer homeowners were concerned with buying points. But as rates continue to increase, this option is beginning to come up in conversations with lenders and real estate agents more frequently, according to Builder Online.

"The rate hike has led to a conversation that I haven't had in a long time: the ability to buy down your mortgage rate," Arto Poladian, a Los Angeles-based real estate agent said, according to Builder Online. "It does mean having to pay more up front, but it is a powerful way to keep your monthly mortgage payment within the budget you set when rates were still below 4%. Now that rates are on an upward trend I expect more people will be exercising this option."

Is it worth it?

There's no clear-cut answer to whether paying points in exchange for a better mortgage rate is the right way to go. Everyone's situation is different, and, as noted by The Truth About Mortgage, pricing for points isn't based on any specific mathematical formula. Because of this, there's usually a point at which paying points is worth it and others where it isn't.

Before deciding whether to pay points or how many are best, look at all the options. Calculate how much you'll pay throughout the life of the loan with no points, with two points, and so on. Additionally, take into consideration how long you'll stay in the home. Be realistic; If you move in three years, paying points might not be the most cost-effective option, while staying for 10 years could save you a few hundred dollars.

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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