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Homebuyer FAQs

We recommend that you take a homebuyer education class to learn more about the process and the responsibilities of becoming a homeowner. This type of education will empower you to make good decisions throughout the homebuying process and ultimately become a successful homeowner. Course information can be found here. When you are ready to move forward with a loan application, contact an MFA-approved lender.

You’re not alone. Most people have had issues with their credit at one time or another. The good news is that you don’t have to have perfect credit to get a mortgage. Typically, a credit score of 620 will meet the minimum requirement set by MFA and most lenders. If you are not there yet, contact a housing counselor. They may be able to help you raise your score.

Yes. This situation is not uncommon. A lender may be able to qualify you to buy a home, using only your income. Alternatively, you can encourage your spouse to consult with a non-profit housing counselor, who can show him/her how to improve their score over time. Perhaps postponing the purchase for a few months will eventually allow the two of you to buy a home together. We have a list of reputable counseling agencies on our website.

Yes. Generally, a blood relative can co-sign for you if they are willing. Having a co-signer will allow the lender to rely on your relative’s income should you ever have difficulty making a monthly mortgage payment. Co-signers need to be aware that they will be liable for the repayment of your loan for as long as your loan is outstanding. Being in this position could limit their future plans, so the decision should not be taken lightly.

Another way they may be able to help is to give you a gift of cash that you can use to make a larger than normal down payment. A larger down payment means that the amount you finance will be lower, which will decrease your monthly payment. An MFA-approved lender can provide details about allowable gifts.

We do not advise you break your lease. There are several things you can do to prepare for homeownership between now and the time your lease ends. For example, you can go ahead and take a homebuyer education class. Your certificate of completion will be valid for a full year. You can also focus on saving money and paying down debt and eliminating household clutter by donating or selling unwanted items. Staying focused on your goal of homeownership will help the time pass quickly. By completing your lease, you will avoid any legal or financial issues that could result from breaking your lease.

It is absolutely never too late to buy your first home! And, yes, if you qualify, you could certainly get a 30-year mortgage. Provided that an applicant is at least 18 and able to legally sign a contract, age is not a factor in the mortgage qualification process. The bank will want to see that you have a steady source of income, manageable debt payments and a credit score that meets their minimum requirement – typically a 620 credit score will be sufficient.

MFA programs are best described as an “accessory” package, which goes together with standard types of mortgage loans, including USDA, FHA, VA and Conventional loans. Because the USDA program provides 100% financing, you will not need a down payment; however, you’ll still have to pay for your closing costs. MFA programs can provide the funds needed to help you pay the closing costs on your USDA loan. Your MFA-approved lender can explain more about how this works.

MFA programs may be used to finance almost any type of single-family residential property, including a detached site-built, townhome, condominium, and multi-wide manufactured home on a permanent foundation. Homes in planned unit developments (PUD) are also allowed. MFA financing may be used anywhere within the State of New Mexico.

Because a VA loan requires no down payment, you’ll only need to pay for your closing costs. If you need help covering those costs, MFA programs can help. Our programs work together with several loan types, including VA. Your MFA-approved lender will be able to explain how this works.

Although you are qualified to purchase up to that amount, the deciding factor should be your personal comfort level. Let your lender know what monthly payment amount is best for you and they can calculate what price home you should shop for. It’s always wise to allow room in your monthly budget for future repairs, savings, emergencies and long-term financial goals, such as college expenses for your children or regular contributions to your retirement account. Taking responsibility for your own budget, as you have clearly done, is the best way to ensure long term success as a homeowner.

Your lender is correct. MFA must perform a compliance review on all loans prior to closing. The compliance review simply checks to make sure that a borrower and the property they’re buying meet our program guidelines. This process typically takes about three business days to complete. Once your loan receives MFA compliance approval, then your lender will move forward with closing.

Yes. Online and automatic payment options are available for both loans. After you close, your lender will instruct you to mail the first payment or two to them. At that point, you will receive a welcome package in the mail from MFA, which will give you all the details about how to set up payments going forward. There are also written instructions on the website for setting up online payments. [Link to written instructions on the MFA website].

There is no such requirement, as long as the home you plan to purchase and occupy is located in New Mexico.

Unfortunately, no. MFA programs are only used to finance homes that are considered a primary residence; therefore, second homes are not eligible.

No, MFA has no such requirement; however, we strongly recommend it. Real estate transactions are quite complex especially for someone who has no experience. Your Realtor will guide you through the transaction, coordinate with your lender, make sure that your rights are protected and ensure that all forms are properly completed in accordance with the law. They are also able to determine if the home is priced fairly based on recent sales of comparable homes. Realtors routinely represent buyers who purchase “For Sale by Owner” properties and have the ability to negotiate their fee with the seller. Buyers and sellers may choose to work with the same Realtor.

Targeted areas are neighborhoods that are identified as economically disadvantaged. Persons using MFA’s FirstHome program to purchase a property in a targeted area are entitled to these special benefits:

Targeted areas are neighborhoods that are identified as economically disadvantaged. Persons using MFA’s FirstHome program to purchase a property in a targeted area are entitled to these special benefits:

  • We will give a buyer the lowest interest rate offered in the preceding 12 months.
  • MFA will waive the requirement to be a first-time homebuyer.
  • We allow higher income and home purchase price limits.

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