Loans & Programs

The Best Loan for Your Lifestyle

Finding the ideal loan for your needs is our Mortgage Planner’s specialty. By navigating through the conditions of each loan, Fairway’s goal is to find the best loan for your lifestyle. From loans that require no money down all the way up to jumbo loans for luxury homes, our only objective is to ensure that you are comfortable in your payment and get you approved quickly and easily.

We have the experience and knowledge, which you will surely find invaluable and unmatched in the Charlotte area.

VA Loans

VA loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans for the purchase or refinance of a home

Guaranteed home mortgage loans

We are proud to offer and specialize in VA home loans for Charlotte, as well as all of North and South Carolina! VA-guaranteed home mortgage loans are made by Fairway Independent Mortgage of the Carolinas and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to eligible veterans for the purchase or refinance of a home. The guaranty means that the lender is protected against loss if the veteran should fail to repay the loan. In most cases, no down payment is required on a VA-guaranteed loan and there are no monthly mortgage insurance premiums on VA loans.

If you are active duty military and you have PCS (Permanent Change of Station) orders to Fort Bragg or Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina; Seymour Johnson in Goldsboro, North Carolina; or in South Carolina at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter or Fort Jackson in Columbia, here are five reasons to consider using your VA Home Loan Benefits to purchase a home in your area:

  1. Competitive Interest Rates: Even with less-than-perfect credit
  2. 100% Financing
  3. Flexible Credit Requirements: We’ll work with your credit and give you plenty of options along the way
  4. No Monthly Mortgage Insurance: Unlike conventional and FHA loan products with monthly mortgage insurance premiums that could add to your monthly payment, there is NO monthly mortgage insurance with the VA loan
  5. VA Funding Fee Financing: The VA funding fee can be financed into the loan

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First-Time Homebuyer

Work with a Mortgage Planner to ensure that you are aware of the entire loan process, and have all of your questions answered

Buying your first home is one the biggest financial decisions you will make in life

It is too important to trust just anyone to guide you through the process of what loans are right for your lifestyle and budget. At Fairway, we employ Mortgage Planners who work tirelessly with first time homebuyers to ensure that they are aware of the entire loan process, and answer all of your questions along the way.

We want our new homebuyers to feel that they:

  • Understand the entire loan process from start to finish
  • Are not wasting money
  • Are prepared to safely own a home
  • Have a sound financial plan that will allow them to live comfortably in their new home

 

We have a variety of home loan programs available for first-time homebuyers. Even if you do not have a long credit history or a large down payment, our Mortgage Planners are happy to meet with you for a complimentary look at whether now is the best time to buy your first home.

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Jumbo Loans

If the house of your dreams exceeds the maximum $424,100, jumbo loans offer higher but flexible rates and terms and no pre-payment penalties

What is a jumbo loan?

A jumbo loan, also called a non-conforming loan, is a home mortgage loan that allows financing for loan amounts that exceeds the maximum $424,100. Since home prices for larger or luxury homes can often exceed this amount, this loan might be perfect for the house of your dreams. A jumbo loan is your best (or only) option if you need to borrow between $424,100 and $3,000,000 for a home purchase or refinance, and are looking for higher but flexible rates and terms and no pre-payment penalties. With the fluctuating market, jumbo home mortgage loans do call for stricter requirements than in years past, but still follow a similar process that a typical loan would. You will generally need a 20% down payment and will be able to potentially receive lower fixed or adjustable rates offering flexibility for financing with a bigger loan.

When choosing a jumbo loan . . .

You must consider that you are looking at higher interest rates, but also recognize that a jumbo loan provides the convenience of one loan for the entire amount you are looking to borrow instead of several loans. Plus, you can add extra features such as interest-only payments or temporary buy-downs.

Refinancing

Our Mortgage Planners make the process of refinancing easier than you’ve ever thought possible

Let us help you refinance your mortgage

Interest rates have been quite low for the past few years, but if you didn’t take advantage, there is still time before rates go up. Our Mortgage Planners discuss your financial goals to analyze the best loan product to meet your refinancing needs.

There are many benefits to refinancing your home:

  • Paying down current debt
  • Reducing monthly mortgage payments
  • Funding large life events such as college tuition or a wedding

 

We would be happy to take a look at your current mortgage interest rate and provide you with details on whether refinancing is right for you.

USDA Loans

Owning a home outside of city limits may be easier than you thought with USDA home financing from Fairway

Let us show you how you can afford your home

USDA loans can be an excellent option in lending. There are a variety of reasons why this loan may be good for you, but the bottom line may be its affordability. Since this loan is one of the few that require no money down, it is a popular choice for first-time homebuyers.

Some of the benefits of USDA loans are:

  • Fixed interest rates
  • No down payment
  • No maximum loan amount
  • Available for new or existing homes
  • 100% financing
  • Seller can pay closing costs
  • Affordable 30-year loans

 

The government insures USDA loans. They are limited to certain “rural” areas, although many of the available areas are very close to urban areas. USDA has set maximum allowable household income limits for the program. Call Fairway today to discuss the USDA Loan Program or to find out about other loans that may fit your needs.

NCFHA Home Loans

The North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage offers eligible buyers competitive interest rates along with down payment assistance

North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage helps buyers finance their homes

Attention renters! Now is time for you to stop renting and buy a home! Perhaps you are ready, but the lack of a down payment is holding you back. If you need a boost to buy your first home or move up to your next one, the North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage might be right for you.

The North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage offers eligible buyers competitive interest rates along with down payment assistance up to 3% of the loan amount at 0% interest. According to the Housing Finance Agency, if you qualify, the down payment amount not only helps you get into your new home, but also enables you to build equity more quickly. Also, you don’t need to repay the down payment unless you sell, refinance, or transfer the home. Even better, the down payment amount is completely forgiven at year 15 and reduced by 20% a year in years 11 through 15. With 30-year fixed rates, the North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage is perfect for buyers who are looking for safe and affordable financing.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible for even more savings by combining Mortgage Credit Certification (MCC) with the North Carolina Home Advantage Mortgage. According to the Housing Finance Agency, if you qualify, you can claim 30% of your mortgage interest – up to $2,000 per year – as a credit on your federal income taxes, while still claiming the remaining 70% of interest as a deduction. You can receive an immediate benefit from your MCC tax credit by filing a revised W-4 with your employer to increase your take-home pay and help make your house payments more affordable.

Curious to know if you are eligible? You may qualify if:

  1. You are buying a new or existing home in North Carolina
  2. You occupy the home as your principal residence within 60 days of closing
  3. Your annual income does not exceed $85,000
  4. You are applying for an FHA, USDA, or VA loan through a participating lender and meet the sales price limits of  the loan type
  5. You are a legal resident of the United States
  6. You meet a minimum credit score, and
  7. You are buying either a new or previously owned:
    • Single-family home
    • Townhome
    • Condominium, or
    • Duplex

203(k) Home Loans

Thinking about renovating a home? An FHA 203(k) loan might be right for you

The idea of buying a fixer-upper and turning it into your dream home can seem like a great idea. The reality, however, may not be so great – starting out. You will soon discover how much it will cost to remodel and you may realize that you can’t afford it or that a lender will not give you a loan because the home is considered “uninhabitable.” That is where an FHA 203(k) loan may come in handy!

A 203(k) loan is offered by the Federal Housing Administration, a government agency that designed these loans to encourage lenders to fund seemingly risky home purchases. The goal was to allow neighborhood revitalization and greater homeownership opportunities. An FHA 203(k) loan is designed for houses that are damaged or in need of rehabilitation. This loan covers not only the cost of the property, but also the cost of necessary home repairs. A vast range of repairs, including bathroom remodeling, roofing, flooring, and air conditioning systems can be funded with this loan.

Often the loan will also include up to 20% “contingency reserve” so that you will have the funds to complete the remodel in the event it ends up costing more than the estimates suggested. The remodeling funds include parts and labor and the work must be performed by a licensed general contractor.

Which houses qualify for the Streamline 203(k)?

There are two types of FHA 203(k) loans, regular and streamlined. Streamline 203(k) loans are for homes that do not need structural repairs and have limits on the amount of renovations being done.

In order to qualify, homeowners must plan to live in the home they are repairing. The following types of residences qualify:

  • Existing construction that is at least a year old
  • Single-family, two-family, three-family or four-family dwellings
  • Condos, if they have been approved for FHA loans
  • Buyer must have a minimum credit score of 640
  • Maximum loan amount is $271,050 in the Charlotte area

Conventional Loans

Charlotte, NC, continues to reflect a vigorous economic recovery as it boasts a very busy and healthy real estate market. Fairway was excited to see Charlotte listed as number 1 on Yahoo Finance’s ‘Best Cities For High Pay and Low Expenses’ and number 4 on Forbes’ list of ‘The Fastest Growing Cities Since the 2007 Recession.’ We have seen a lot of homes going up on the market and spring is sure to bring even more. Are you ready to list your home to move into a larger home? A conventional loan might be right for you!

If you are planning to borrow less than $417,000 for a single-family home, you should be looking at a ‘conforming’ conventional loan. Conventional conforming loans are not made by a government entity, like FHA and VA loans, but instead follow the terms and conditions that follow the guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These established guidelines generally call for a minimum credit score, certain income requirements, and a minimum down payment (generally between 5% and 20%).

Conventional home mortgage loans have either fixed or adjustable rates. A fixed-rate mortgage, or FRM, means that your mortgage monthly payments remain fixed for the period of the loan and typically have a term of 15 or 30 years. A shorter-term loan usually results in a lower interest rate. An adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, fluctuates in relation to the rate of a standard financial index; therefore, monthly payments can go up or down accordingly.

Due to origination fees, down payments, mortgage insurance, points, and appraisal fees, borrowers completing a conventional loan may have to show up at closing with a sizable sum of out-of-pocket money, or be prepared to roll over some of these costs into their mortgage amount, which may result in a higher loan rate. If you are selling your current home, however, you will likely have money from your sale to offset these costs. Because these mortgages generally require higher down payments than the other options, the home’s equity can build up quicker.

FHA Loans

Fairway makes FHA loans easy

An FHA loan is a mortgage that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FHA does not loan money to borrowers; rather, it provides lenders protection through mortgage insurance. This FHA insurance allows lenders such as Fairway to provide home loans with down payments as low as 3.5% of the purchase price. FHA loans are also very useful to refinance and consolidate debts into a low, fixed-rate loan.

Fairway specializes in FHA mortgage loans

Fairway Independent Mortgage of the Carolinas is a Charlotte-area specialist in FHA mortgage loans, especially for first-time homebuyers or those without a 20% down payment. For those with a lower credit score or credit issues, our underwriters can explain some variances in payment and put your loan on the road to success. Even in the case of filing bankruptcy, a borrower may obtain an FHA loan after two or more years of re-establishing good credit. Our Charlotte-area FHA loan programs are particularly beneficial to those buyers with less available cash. The rates on FHA loans are generally market rates, while down payment requirements are lower than for conventional loans.

NCHFA Grants

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) has released a down payment assistance program available to first-time homebuyers and military veterans in five North Carolina counties. This program offers $15,000 in down payment assistance from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund to those who are eligible.

Eligible counties include Cabarrus, Cumberland, Guilford, Johnston, and Mecklenburg. Eligible buyers in these areas can receive a five-year, deferred, second-mortgage loan. The down payment assistance is combined with the NCHFA Home Advantage Mortgage and is forgiven at a rate of 20% per year for each full year the buyer stays in the purchased home. After five years in the home, the buyer is not obligated to repay the grant.

This program is only available to first-time homebuyers and military veterans who meet certain household income requirements. Buyers must have a credit score of 640 or higher and must be purchasing a previously owned home with a maximum sales price of $245,000.

Fixed or ARM

Mortgage Planning: Fixed or adjustable?

For a Charlotte homebuyer, once you have determined the down payment size, the next most critical piece of a mortgage plan is to decide which loan program is best for you. Over the past year, most Charlotte homebuyers chose a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. As recently as 2010, Freddie Mac reported that over 95% of homeowners who refinanced chose a fixed-rate mortgage.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with a fixed-rate mortgage – it’s just that for some people, they can save a lot more money by strategically choosing an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). However, not all ARMs are the same.

In the sub-prime days of 2003 to 2007, many homeowners got in trouble with ARMs, but these were not the same ARMs that are offered today. The sub-prime ARMs adjusted after just two years, and they had a very high margin so that rates could jump by 5-8% on the mortgage. These loans also carried a pre-payment penalty – leaving a homeowner stuck with either a higher interest rate for the third year, or they would have to pay a pre-payment penalty to get out of their ARM.

Sub-prime ARMs were rarely a sound part of a mortgage plan and, in fact, were often pushed on homebuyers by greedy lenders. Homebuyers were usually overly optimistic as well, so they can shoulder some of the blame for buying something when they didn’t know all of the risks. However, the good news is that sub-prime 2-year ARMs no longer exist, so they aren’t a threat to a Charlotte homebuyer.

Today’s ARMs are much different and pretty safe for some Charlotte homebuyers. They usually will have a fixed-rate period for the first 5 or 7 years, and then will adjust after that. The trick to these loans is to only use them if:

  • You are going to save too much money to pass them up
  • You are pretty sure you will only use the money for 5-7 years
  • You have a plan to pay off the loan in 5-7 years

 

Saving too much money to pass up an ARM?

As part of a mortgage plan, a homebuyer could choose a 7/1 ARM and then apply the monthly savings to paying off the loan faster. For homebuyers making a less than 20% down payment and paying PMI, a 7/1 ARM can be a great loan strategy for a disciplined homebuyer to use to build equity faster – as long as the monthly savings are used to pay down the loan faster to get rid of PMI. If you are only going to own your Charlotte home for 5-7 years or less, the lower rate on an ARM could make sense for you, as well. For some people, the plan is to carry a mortgage for 5-7 years.

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