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Discovering the Hidden Gems of Down Payment Assistance
July 2, 2024 at 10:00 PM
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Homeownership is a dream for many, but the daunting down payment often stands in the way. For those living in Greensboro, down payment assistance programs can be the key to unlocking this dream. This article will explore various types of down payment assistance, offering insights, practical tips, and examples to help you secure your new home.

Understanding Down Payment Assistance

Before we jump into the different types of down payment assistance, let's clarify what it is. Down payment assistance programs are designed to help homebuyers cover the initial costs required to purchase a home. These programs can come in various forms, including grants, loans, and tax credits. By reducing or eliminating the down payment, these programs make homeownership more accessible.

Why Down Payment Assistance Matters

Down payment assistance is crucial because it helps potential homeowners overcome one of the most significant barriers to buying a home. Many people can afford monthly mortgage payments but struggle to save enough for a down payment. These programs provide the financial support needed to bridge this gap, making it easier for individuals and families to achieve their dream of homeownership.

Who Can Benefit from Down Payment Assistance?

Down payment assistance programs are available to a wide range of homebuyers, including first-time buyers, low-to-moderate-income individuals, and residents of specific regions, such as Greensboro. By understanding the eligibility criteria and available options, you can take advantage of these programs to secure your new home.

Different Types of Greensboro Down Payment Assistance

There are several types of down payment assistance programs, each with its unique benefits and requirements. Let's explore the most common options:

  • Grants for Down Payment Assistance

Grants are a popular form of down payment assistance because they do not need to be repaid. These funds are typically provided by government agencies, non-profit organizations, or private foundations. Grants can significantly reduce the financial burden of buying a home, making it easier for buyers to save for other expenses.

  • Zero-Interest Loans for Down Payment Assistance

Zero-interest loans are another valuable option for down payment assistance. These loans provide the necessary funds for a down payment without charging interest. This means you can borrow the money you need without incurring additional costs.

  • Deferred Payment Loans

Deferred payment loans are another option for down payment assistance. With these loans, repayment is postponed until the borrower sells the home, refinances the mortgage, or pays off the mortgage. This allows buyers to focus on their monthly mortgage payments without worrying about immediate repayment of the down payment loan.

  • Low-Interest Loans for Down Payment Assistance

Low-interest loans provide down payment funds at a reduced interest rate. These loans make it more affordable to borrow the money needed for a down payment, helping buyers manage their finances more effectively.

  • Tax Credits for Homebuyers

Tax credits are another form of down payment assistance. These credits reduce the amount of income tax you owe, providing additional funds for a down payment. By lowering your tax liability, these programs make it easier to save for a home.

How to Apply for Down Payment Assistance

Applying for down payment assistance involves several steps, including researching programs, gathering documentation, and completing any required education courses. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

Research Available Programs

Start by researching the various down payment assistance programs available in your area. This includes local government initiatives, non-profit organizations, and private foundations. Be sure to review the eligibility criteria and requirements for each program to determine which ones you qualify for.

Gather Required Documentation

Once you've identified the programs you're eligible for, gather the necessary documentation. This may include proof of income, credit reports, and information about the property you're purchasing. Be sure to have all required documents ready to streamline the application process.

Complete Required Education Courses

Some down payment assistance programs require applicants to complete homebuyer education courses. These courses provide valuable information about the home buying process, financial management, and maintaining your new home. Completing these courses can also improve your chances of being approved for assistance.

Trust the Experts for Greensboro Down Payment Assistance

Down payment assistance programs are a valuable resource for homebuyers, making it easier to achieve the dream of homeownership. By understanding the different types of assistance available and how to apply for them, you can take advantage of these programs to secure your new home.

If you're a Greensboro resident, get in touch with the down payment assistance experts at Mortgages by Jill. With our help, you'll be well on your way to finding the financial support you need to purchase your dream home. Contact us for your consultation today!

Pros and Cons of Jumbo Loans

June 9, 2024 at 4:00 AM
<p>Pros and Cons of Jumbo Loans</p>

Are you in the market for a home that is above the conforming loan limits? If so, you may have come across the option of obtaining a jumbo loan. Jumbo loans are mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limits set by government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While they offer the opportunity to finance larger, more luxurious homes, jumbo loans also come with their own set of pros and cons.

In this blog post, we will break down what jumbo loans are, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining one, and determine who might benefit from getting a jumbo loan.

What Are Jumbo Loans?

Jumbo loans are mortgages that exceed the conforming loan limit set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). In most areas of the United States, the conforming loan limit is $548,250 for a single-family home in 2021. Any loan amount that exceeds this limit is considered a jumbo loan. These loans are typically used to finance high-priced properties and are often associated with luxury real estate markets.

Jumbo loans can be used to purchase primary residences, second homes, and investment properties. They offer flexibility in terms of loan amount, allowing borrowers to finance expensive properties that may not be covered by traditional conforming loans. However, because of the risk involved with lending large amounts, jumbo loans often come with stricter qualification requirements and higher interest rates compared to conforming loans.

Pros of Jumbo Loans

Jumbo loans offer several advantages for borrowers, including the ability to finance high-priced properties that may not be eligible for conventional loans. This makes jumbo loans a great option for individuals looking to purchase luxury homes or properties in expensive real estate markets.

Additionally, jumbo loans often come with competitive interest rates and flexible repayment terms, allowing borrowers to tailor their loans to fit their financial needs. Another pro of jumbo loans is that they provide an opportunity for homeowners to invest in their dream home without having to come up with a significant amount of cash for a down payment.

Moreover, jumbo loans can also be used for investment properties, giving investors the opportunity to finance lucrative real estate ventures that may not be feasible with conventional loans. This provides a pathway for individuals to grow their real estate portfolio and increase their potential for long-term financial success. Overall, the ability to finance high-value properties, competitive interest rates, and flexibility make jumbo loans an attractive option for many borrowers.

Cons of Jumbo Loans

One of the main drawbacks of jumbo loans is that they often come with higher interest rates compared to conforming loans. This means that borrowers may end up paying more in interest over the life of the loan, which can significantly increase the overall cost of homeownership. Additionally, the higher interest rates associated with jumbo loans can make them less attractive to potential borrowers, especially those who are shopping for more affordable financing options.

Another disadvantage of jumbo loans is that they typically have stricter eligibility requirements compared to conforming loans. Lenders may require a higher credit score, a larger down payment, and a lower debt-to-income ratio in order to qualify for a jumbo loan. This can make it more challenging for some borrowers to secure financing, particularly if they do not meet the stringent criteria set forth by lenders. As a result, obtaining a jumbo loan may be more difficult for certain individuals, potentially limiting their ability to purchase a higher-priced home.

Reach Out for Jumbo Loan Help With Mortgages By Jill

If you’re in need of a jumbo loan, get in touch with our team at Mortgages By Jill. We can help you get the financing you need for your new home, investment property, or commercial project. Call us at 336-740-9068 or send a message using the online contact form on our website after business hours. We'll be sure to get back to you.

FHA Loans: A Comprehensive Guide
May 2, 2024 at 4:00 AM

Are you dreaming of owning your own home but struggling to find a loan that fits your financial situation? If so, you're not alone. Luckily, there's a solution that could make homeownership a reality for many people: FHA loans. In this article, we'll explain what these loans are, outline the criteria needed to qualify for one, and highlight the benefits of using one to buy a home.

What is an FHA Loan?

FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration, which is a government agency established in 1934. One of its main goals is to make homeownership more accessible for more Americans. To achieve this, the FHA created this loan program, which provides lenders with mortgage insurance on loans that meet certain criteria.

Unlike conventional loans, which are not insured by the government, these loans offer more flexible qualification guidelines and lower down payment requirements. This makes them ideal for first-time homebuyers and those with less than perfect credit. Thanks to the program, individuals who may have been considered too risky for a traditional loan can now achieve their dream of owning a home.

Couple Moving into a new home

Qualifying for an FHA Loan.

Credit Score.

Although these loans are more forgiving when it comes to credit scores, having a reasonably good credit score is still important. A minimum credit score of 580 is generally required to qualify for a 3.5% down payment option. If your credit score is lower, you may still be eligible for a loan, but you might need to make a larger down payment.

Employment and Income.

Lenders will evaluate your income stability and employment history. Typically, you'll need to have a steady job and provide proof of income, such as pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements.

Debt-to-Income Ratio.

The FHA also considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is the comparison of your monthly debts to your monthly income. Most FHA loans require a debt-to-income ratio of 43% or lower.

Down Payment.

One of the primary advantages of these loans is the lower down payment requirement. You can secure an FHA loan with as little as 3.5% down payment. This is significantly lower than the standard 20% down payment required for conventional loans.

Benefits of Using an FHA Loan.

Lower Down Payment.

As mentioned earlier, these loans require a smaller down payment compared to conventional loans. This reduces the amount of upfront cash needed to purchase a home and makes homeownership more attainable.

Flexible Credit Requirements.

FHA loans are more lenient when it comes to credit scores. Even if you have had past financial challenges or a lower credit score, you may still be eligible for one.

Assumable Loans.

These are assumable, which means that if you decide to sell your home, the buyer can take over your loan and its favorable terms. This can be a significant selling point when it comes time to move on.

Streamlined Refinancing.

If interest rates drop or your financial situation improves, you can take advantage of FHA's streamlined refinancing option. This allows you to refinance your loan with minimal documentation and paperwork, saving you time and money.

Foreclosure Protection.

These loans offer enhanced protections against foreclosure, providing borrowers with additional security and peace of mind.

Are You Looking for a Home Loan?

If you’re in the market for a new home, then it’s essential that you understand all of your loan options, or else, you can end up paying drastically more for the property than you need to. That’s why so many homebuyers choose to partner with As a professional mortgage lender with thirty yeas of experience, Jill Burgess can give you confidence that you’ve found the perfect loan for you. You can learn more about her services online, or get in touch to schedule a consultation.

A Step-by-Step Guide for First-Time Homebuyers

April 6, 2024 at 4:00 AM
Alarm clock friends situation with hand

Are you a first-time homebuyer feeling overwhelmed by the process of purchasing your first home? Don't worry, you're not alone! Buying a home for the first time can be a daunting experience, but with the right guidance and information, it can also be an exciting and rewarding journey.

In this blog post, we will outline how the process works for first-time buyers, providing a step-by-step guide to help you navigate each stage of the home-buying process with confidence and ease.

Understand the Homebuying Process

Before diving into the exciting world of homeownership, it's crucial for first-time buyers to have a solid understanding of the home-buying process. This involves researching and familiarizing yourself with the various steps involved, such as securing a mortgage, searching for the right property, making an offer, and completing the necessary paperwork. By having a clear understanding of how the process works, first-time buyers can navigate the real estate market with confidence and make informed decisions along the way.

Furthermore, understanding the homebuying process also involves familiarizing oneself with the terminology and legalities involved in purchasing a property. It's essential for first-time buyers to educate themselves on critical terms such as escrow, earnest money, and contingencies, as well as the laws and regulations governing real estate transactions in their area. With this knowledge, first-time buyers can approach the homebuying process with a greater sense of awareness and preparedness.

Preparing for Your First Home Purchase

So, you've made the decision to buy your first home - congratulations! But before you dive into the world of real estate listings and open houses, it's important to take some time to prepare for this major purchase.

The first step in preparing for your first home purchase is to get your finances in order. This means taking a look at your credit score, saving for a down payment, and getting pre-approved for a mortgage. By getting your financial house in order, you'll be better positioned to make a competitive offer on a home when the time comes.

Next, it's essential to research the housing market in the area where you want to buy. This means looking at home prices, property taxes, and school districts. You should also consider what kind of home you want to buy—are you looking for a condo, a townhouse, or a single-family home? By doing your homework and understanding the local real estate market, you'll be better equipped to make informed decisions as you start the homebuying process.

Navigating the Closing Process

Once you've found the perfect home and your offer has been accepted, it's time to navigate the closing process. This is when all the necessary paperwork and legalities are taken care of before you officially become the owner of the property. The closing process involves things like finalizing the mortgage, signing the necessary legal documents, and completing any remaining inspections or appraisals.

It's crucial to work closely with your real estate agent and lender during this phase to ensure everything goes smoothly. Additionally, it's essential to stay organized and responsive to any requests for information or documentation to keep the process on track. Finally, on the day of closing, be prepared to review and sign a significant amount of paperwork and bring any necessary funds for closing costs and the down payment.

Reach out to Mortgages by Jill!

If you are a first-time home buyer, you’ll find an experienced and passionate loan officer at Mortgages by Jill. Our team can help you find mortgage options that best fit your needs and plans, including FHA loans and other programs for first-time home buyers.

If you want to purchase a home in Greensboro or the surrounding areas in North Carolina, contact us today to see what mortgage options are available to help you.

Real Estate Jumbo Loans: What You Need to Know
March 5, 2024 at 5:00 AM
Real Estate Jumbo Loans: What You Need to Know

Real estate has always been a lucrative investment opportunity, and for those looking to purchase high-value properties, jumbo loans can provide a viable financing option. In this helpful article, we will explore what these loans are, the benefits they offer, and the top ways to determine eligibility for this type of loan.

What is a Jumbo Loan?

In the world of real estate financing, this loan refers to a mortgage loan that exceeds the conforming loan limit set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises that buy most mortgages in the United States. This limit is typically updated annually and varies by location, but in general, a loan with a principal amount higher than $548,250 is considered a jumbo loan in most areas.

Benefits of Using a Jumbo Loan for Real Estate.

High-Value Real Estate.

These loans allow borrowers to finance the purchase of luxury homes and high-value properties that may be out of reach for traditional conforming loans. This opens doors to a broader range of property options for buyers.

Flexible Financing.

These types of loans typically offer more flexible underwriting guidelines than conforming loans. Borrowers may be able to qualify with a higher debt-to-income ratio, lower credit scores, or a smaller down payment. This flexibility makes it easier to secure financing for properties that would otherwise be unattainable.

Lower Interest Rates.

Contrary to the perception that jumbo loans have higher interest rates, they often compete with conforming loans in terms of interest rates. This is due to intensified competition among lenders and the increased demand for jumbo financing.

Tax Deductibility.

These loans can offer potential tax benefits. Mortgage interest payments on loans up to $1 million are generally tax-deductible, which can result in significant savings for borrowers.

Determining Eligibility for this Type of Loan.

While jumbo loans provide attractive financing options, not everyone qualifies for them. Here are the top ways to determine whether or not you qualify for this option:

Credit Score.

Lenders typically look for a higher credit score when considering these loan applications. A credit score of 700 or above is often required to secure favorable terms. It's essential to review and improve your credit score before applying for a jumbo loan.

Income and Debt.

Lenders closely examine the borrower's debt-to-income ratio to assess their ability to handle high loan amounts. Aim for a debt-to-income ratio below 43% and provide comprehensive documentation of your income, including tax returns, bank statements, and pay stubs.

Down Payment.

These loans usually require a higher down payment compared to conforming loans. Be prepared to provide a down payment of at least 20% of the purchase price. However, some lenders may offer options for lower down payments, albeit at potentially higher interest rates.

Reserve Requirements.

Lenders may require borrowers to have a specific amount of cash reserves available after closing. This ensures that borrowers can continue to make mortgage payments even in the event of unexpected financial hardship.

Property Appraisal.

The property being purchased with this type of loan must also undergo a rigorous appraisal process. The property's appraised value must support the loan amount being requested.

Are You Interested in Expanding Your Portfolio?

No matter what type of real estate you’re considering investing in, can help you secure the best financing options for your goals. Jill Burgess (NMLA #100425) has personally funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans over her career spanning 30 years. As a preferred loan officer with North Carolina Finance Authority, Jill works with various city-wide down payment assistance programs to help qualifying candidates obtain the financing they need.

You can learn more about our services online, or reach out to schedule a consultation today.

What to Expect at Your Mortgage Closing
February 5, 2024 at 6:00 AM
It is essential to seek out reliable mortgage services as you embark on your home-buying journey

Buying a home is an exciting journey, and the final step in this process is the mortgage closing. This moment signifies more than just a financial transaction; it represents the realization of your homeownership dreams. As you approach this milestone, it's natural to have questions and a bit of uncertainty.

At Mortgages By Jill, we understand the importance of transparency and ensuring our clients feel confident every step of the way. Continue reading as we guide you through what to expect at your mortgage closing, and how to prepare for this crucial moment in your home-buying experience.

The Personal Touch of Mortgages By Jill

Before diving into the closing process, it's essential to highlight the personalized and professional touch that sets Mortgages By Jill apart. With over 30 years of experience and having funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans, Jill Burgess has earned an incredible reputation in the field of mortgage services.

Her dedication extends to clients from various backgrounds, including medical professionals, first-time homebuyers, first responders, and those moving to larger homes. With offices in Winston Salem and Greensboro, Jill is always available for appointments, ensuring that the mortgage origination process is seamless for her clients in the North Carolina Triad and beyond.

Understanding Mortgage Closings

As you approach your mortgage closing, it's crucial to understand the key elements of this process. The closing is the final step, where all necessary paperwork is signed, and ownership of the property officially transfers to you, the homebuyer. Here's a breakdown of what you can expect:

Document Review

At the closing table, you'll be presented with a stack of documents to review and sign. These documents include the closing disclosure, which outlines the final terms of your loan, and the mortgage note, a legal document detailing your commitment to repaying the loan. Recognizing that this can be an overwhelming moment, it's essential to work with professionals who prioritize clarity and thorough explanation.

Loan Funds Transfer

Once all documents are signed, your lender will transfer the funds to the seller. This process may take a few days, but rest assured that a trusted mortgage professional like Jill Burgess will handle it efficiently. Our dedicated team at Mortgages By Jill understands the importance of a swift and secure fund transfer, ensuring that the final steps of the process are executed with precision.

Key Handover

After the funds are transferred, you'll receive the keys to your new home. This moment marks the completion of the home-buying process, and you officially become a homeowner.

Closing Costs

Be prepared to pay closing costs, which cover various fees such as loan origination fees, appraisal costs, and title insurance. When you work with Mortgages By Jill, we will provide you with a detailed breakdown of these costs in advance to avoid any surprises.

Why Mortgages By Jill?

As a preferred loan officer with the North Carolina Finance Authority, Jill Burgess goes above and beyond to assist clients in obtaining grants and down payment assistance through various city-wide programs. Her expertise extends to a wide range of loan programs, including jumbo loans, medical professional loans, FHLB loans for community personnel, conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, and portfolio loans.

In the world of mortgage services, where each client’s situation is unique, having a seasoned professional like Jill by your side is invaluable. With her extensive experience and passion for facilitating home ownership, she can navigate you through the process with ease.

Are you in search of a trustworthy mortgage service provider in North Carolina to secure a successful home purchase? Reach out to us today to find out if you qualify for a loan.

Common Questions About VA Loans
January 7, 2024 at 5:00 AM
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If you're a veteran or currently serving in the military, you may have heard about VA loans as a potential option for purchasing a home. However, you likely have a lot of questions about these types of loans, including what they are, who qualifies for them, and how they differ from regular home loans. This blog post will answer these common questions and provide you with the information you need to understand VA loans and their benefits.

What Is a VA Loan?

A VA loan is a mortgage loan program specifically designed for veterans, active-duty service members, and some eligible spouses. These loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, providing a number of benefits such as no down payment requirements, lower interest rates, and no private mortgage insurance (PMI) premiums. To qualify for a VA loan, individuals must meet the service requirements, which generally include a minimum term of active duty service. Veterans, active-duty service members, and National Guard and Reserve members may be eligible, as well as some surviving spouses of deceased veterans.

VA loans are an excellent option for those who qualify, as they offer significant savings and advantages compared to traditional mortgage loans. Understanding the qualifications and benefits of a VA loan is key to taking full advantage of this valuable program.

Qualifying for a VA Loan: Requirements and Process

Qualifying for a VA loan involves meeting certain eligibility criteria set by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To be eligible for a VA loan, you must be an active-duty service member, a veteran, a member of the National Guard or Reserves, or a surviving spouse of a service member who died in the line of duty. In addition, you must have a sufficient credit score, stable income, and a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) from the VA. The COE verifies to the lender that you meet the VA’s service requirements and are eligible for a VA loan.

The process of qualifying for a VA loan involves applying for a COE from the VA, providing documentation of your income and employment, and meeting the lender’s credit and income requirements. Unlike conventional loans, VA loans may not require a down payment or private mortgage insurance (PMI), making them an attractive option for eligible borrowers. Additionally, VA loans offer competitive interest rates and flexible terms, making them an appealing choice for veterans and active-duty service members.

Understanding the Difference: VA Loans vs. Regular Loans

When it comes to financing a home, there are various options available to potential homeowners. One common question is how VA loans differ from regular loans. The main difference is that VA loans are specifically designed for veterans, active-duty service members, and certain eligible spouses, while regular loans are available to anyone who meets the lender's requirements. VA loans also come with several benefits, including no down payment

requirement and lower interest rates.

Another key difference between VA loans and regular loans is the eligibility criteria. While regular loans typically require a minimum credit score and a certain debt-to-income ratio, VA loans have more flexible eligibility requirements. Additionally, VA loans do not require private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can save borrowers a significant amount of money over the life of the loan. Understanding these differences can help individuals determine which type of loan is right for their specific situation.

Learn About What Specialty Home Loans You May Qualify for With Mortgages By Jill

When it comes to both conventional and specialty home loans, you can place your trust in Jill Burgess. Jill has been helping aspiring homebuyers successfully apply for loans for over 30 years. In that time, she has personally funded over $2 billion in mortgage loans.

If you’re dreaming of buying a home, give Mortgages By Jill a call at 336-740-9068 or reach out through our online contact form. We look forward to helping you secure a home loan that fits your needs.

Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid: Mortgages By Jill’s Guide for Success
December 4, 2023 at 10:00 PM
Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid: Mortgages By Jill’s Guide for Success

When it comes to making one of the most significant financial decisions in your life, having the proper guidance can make all the difference. Mortgages By Jill is here to share valuable insights to empower you as you embark on your home-buying journey.By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools necessary to navigate the home-buying process confidently. So, let's dive in and discover how to avoid common pitfalls and make your dream of owning a home a reality.

Common Home-Buying Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to buying a home, there are several common mistakes that many people unknowingly make. Avoiding these pitfalls can save homebuyers time and money in the long run.

  • Do your research! It's essential for potential buyers to thoroughly research the neighborhood, property values, and market trends to ensure they are making an informed decision.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage before house hunting. By getting pre-approved, homebuyers will have a better understanding of their budget and will be able to act quickly when they find the perfect home. Making an offer without pre-approval may result in losing out to other buyers who are better prepared.
  • Consider additional costs such as property taxes, insurance, and maintenance fees, which can lead to financial stress after the purchase. It's crucial to account for these expenses to avoid any unexpected future costs.

Mortgages By Jill’s Key Tips for Success in Home Buying

When it comes to home buying, success depends on a combination of factors. These essential tips, provided by our mortgage expert, will help you confidently navigate the process and avoid costly mistakes.

Start with a budget

Before you dive into the world of home buying, it's crucial to determine how much house you can afford. Be honest about your financial situation and consider all the associated costs, such as down payments, closing costs, and ongoing maintenance. Setting a realistic budget will ensure you're searching for homes within your means, reducing the risk of future financial strain.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

A common mistake among home buyers is not securing pre-approval for a mortgage. By getting pre-approved, you'll clearly understand how much financing you can obtain. This step also shows sellers that you're a serious buyer, giving you a competitive edge in a competitive market. Remember to shop around for the best mortgage rates and terms, as even a tiny difference can significantly impact your financial situation over the life of the loan.

Work with a reputable real estate agent

Partnering with a trusted and experienced real estate agent can make a world of difference in your home-buying journey. They will provide valuable insights, handle negotiations, and protect your interests throughout the process. Look for an agent who specializes in the area you're interested in and has a proven track record of successful transactions. With their expertise, you'll have a guiding hand to assist you in finding your dream home while avoiding potential pitfalls.

Expert Advice From Mortgages By Jill

A mortgage expert like Mortgages By Jill can provide valuable insights on various mortgage options available to you, such as fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, or government-backed loans. We can assess your financial situation, credit history, and future goals to help you select the most suitable loan program. Furthermore, such experts understand the various terms and conditions associated with mortgage contracts, ensuring you are not taken advantage of by lenders. With our guidance, you can confidently navigate the complex world of mortgages and make informed decisions that align with your long-term financial plans.

By following these key tips, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the home-buying process and increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember, a mistake in this significant financial decision can have long-lasting consequences, so it's crucial to approach it with knowledge and guidance from a mortgage expert. Get in touch with Mortgages By Jill today to discuss your home-buying journey!

Mortgage Application Checklist: Documents You'll Need to Apply
November 13, 2023 at 8:00 AM
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At Mortgages by Jill, we understand that applying for a mortgage can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re tackling it for the first time. There are so many documents to track down, financial details to gather, and paperwork to complete. It’s easy to feel lost in what can seem like a maze of mortgage application requirements.

That’s why we’ve created this checklist - to provide clarity and guidance. We want you to have the full lay of the land when it comes to the key documents lenders will need from you. Our goal is to make the application process as seamless and stress-free as possible. With this roadmap, you’ll know exactly what to prepare in order to submit a comprehensive, mortgage-ready application file. We’ll also be with you every step of the way to answer questions, offer advice, and help explain anything that seems confusing. Let’s get started!

Identification documents

Lenders require government-issued ID to verify your identity and legal residency status. This includes a current driver’s license, passport, permanent resident card, or military ID. Make sure the ID you provide matches the personal information on your mortgage application.

Social security number

Your lender will need your Social Security number to pull your credit report and employment history. Provide an original Social Security card if possible or a W-2 form, 401k statement, or previous year’s tax return showing your full SSN.

Income documentation

Lenders analyze your income sources to determine the loan amount you qualify for. Be prepared to provide recent pay stubs, bank statements, W-2 and 1099 forms, and at least two years of federal tax returns. Self-employed applicants should have profit and loss statements. Retirement or rental income will also need documenting.

Asset statements

Asset documentation proves you have funds available for the down payment and closing costs associated with the mortgage loan. Provide the most recent statements for bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement plans, real estate owned, and any other assets. Gift funds and cash reserves will also need sourcing.

Property information

Your lender will need to review details on the property you wish to purchase or refinance. Provide listing information, MLS sheets, purchase contracts, tax assessments, association bylaws, deed restrictions, and any other relevant property documents. Your loan officer can guide you on specific requirements.

Credit history report

As part of underwriting, lenders will obtain a credit report on all borrowers listed on the application. Be prepared to explain any derogatory items, late payments, collections, or bankruptcies recorded on your credit history. Past issues don’t necessarily preclude approval but do require investigation.

Homeowners insurance

Lenders require borrowers to maintain hazard insurance on the property securing the mortgage. Provide quotes from insurance agents to demonstrate the property will be covered. You'll need to supply the policy declaration page before closing.

Earnest money deposit

When purchasing a home, lenders verify you have skin in the game by providing an earnest money deposit with your offer. Obtain documentation from your real estate agent showing the escrow account where earnest funds are held.

Fees and closing costs

In addition to your down payment, be prepared to pay upfront loan origination fees and closing costs at mortgage settlement. Lenders itemize these mortgage-related expenses in a Loan Estimate they will provide. Plan to bring certified funds to closing.

Get in touch with our team at Mortgages by Jill for assistance with mortgage loans and more!

Having all your documents ready shows lenders you’re an organized, prepared borrower. It helps speed up the approval process and gets you one step closer to your dream home. While the mortgage application checklist may seem long, our team is here to help gather items, explain requirements, and ensure you submit a complete file.

At Mortgages by Jill, our focus is you. We want to provide an exceptional, personalized experience that takes the hassle out of getting a mortgage. Our mortgage advisors truly partner with you throughout the home buying journey. We’re invested in your goals and committed to making your financing experience a stress-free one. Don’t hesitate to lean on us as you prepare to apply - we’re excited to help your homeownership dreams become reality!

First-Time Homebuyer? Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage
October 9, 2023 at 4:00 AM
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First-Time Homebuyer? Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage

Buying your first home can be both exciting and frightening at the same time as you’re making a long-lasting financial decision. It’s a significant event, which is why it’s essential to know everything about getting a mortgage. Knowing all the options available to you — whether it comes to the mortgage lender or mortgage — will allow you to make the right decision.

This article will discuss everything you need to know about getting a mortgage.

What is a first-time homebuyer?

In traditional terms, a first-time homebuyer hasn’t owned a home before. However, the definition tends to be broader than expected. You can qualify as a first-time homebuyer even if you’ve been a homebuyer in the past as long as you haven’t owned or purchased a home in the last three years.

Homebuyers purchasing for the first time are generally eligible for specific programs and discounts, which can make home-buying more affordable. For example, an FHA loan is designed to help first-time homebuyers and requires as little as a 3.5% down payment.

Tips for getting a mortgage as a first-time homebuyer

Here are some suggestions for getting a mortgage as a first-time homebuyer:

1. Review your finances.

When applying for a mortgage, you’ll want to have your finances in order. Mortgage lenders want to have confidence when they back your mortgage, which is why they want to see that you have good credit. That’s why you should prioritze paying down high-interest debt before you prepare to buy a house.

In general, mortgage lenders will want to know every detail about your financial life. You’ll have to show proof of income so they know you can afford to make monthly mortgage payments. They’ll also confirm your debt-to-income ratio, which is the amount you pay toward all your debt each month divided by your monthly income. This includes things like student loans, auto loans, credit card debt, and any other obligations you’re making payments on.

2. Determine how much of a down payment you can afford.

One of the most significant reasons to pay off debt before buying a home is that it can free up the money you were putting toward credit card and loan payments. A 20% down payment or more can help you secure a lower interest rate, making you an attractive candidate to mortgage lenders.

Another reason to pay more upfront if you can is because lenders will require you to purchase private mortgage insurance with a lower down payment, which will be tacked onto your monthly payments.

3. Know your home loan options.

Knowing all the mortgage types can help you find the best home loan program for your financial situation. While the most standard type of home loan is a 30-year fixed mortgage, the right loan will vary depending on your circumstances.

Here are some of the most common home loan types:

  • FHA loans
  • VA loans
  • USDA loans
  • Fannie Mae conventional
  • Freddie Mac home possible
  • Fannie Mae HomeReady mortgage
  • Good Neighbor Next Door
  • Energy Efficient Mortgage

Reach out to Mortgages by Jill for an experienced loan officer.

If you are a first-time home buyer in Greensboro, you’ll find an experienced and passionate loan officer at Mortgages by Jill. Our team can help you find mortgage options that best fit your needs and plans, including FHA loans and other programs for first-time home buyers.

If you want to purchase a home in Greensboro or the surrounding areas, contact us today to see what mortgage options are available to help you realize your home ownership dreams.

What Do The Best Mortgage Lenders Have in Common?
September 16, 2023 at 7:00 AM
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Shopping for a mortgage can be an overwhelming process with countless options to consider. How do you even begin to narrow down your choices among the sea of mortgage lenders out there? While every homebuyer's needs and priorities are different, the best mortgage lenders all tend to share some key traits in common that set them apart from the rest. In this blog post, we'll explore what characteristics the top mortgage lenders have in common, so you can look for these markers during your search.

The best mortgage lenders in Greensboro, NC stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends, rates, and regulations. They have a deep understanding of the mortgage process from start to finish, and they use their knowledge and experience to educate and guide their clients every step of the way. The best mortgage professionals are constantly honing their skills through continuing education and training. This expertise allows them to make the lending process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Now, let’s explore how to find the best mortgage lender for you!

Outstanding customer service

Perhaps the most important commonality between the best mortgage lenders is that they provide top-notch customer service. From your very first interaction with a lender, you should feel like a priority. Mortgage professionals who promptly return calls and emails, patiently answer all questions, and proactively communicate throughout the entire lending process are demonstrating a dedication to service that sets them apart. The mortgage process involves mounds of paperwork and can be time-consuming. Quality lenders will handle the heavy lifting for you, providing exemplary service that makes the process as painless as possible.

Market expertise

Truly great mortgage lenders have their fingers on the pulse of the market at all times. They stay completely up-to-date on interest rates, economic trends, regulatory changes, and loan products. This high level of market knowledge enables them to quickly evaluate your financial details and match you with the optimal mortgage solution. Expert lenders are constantly researching loan options to ensure they can offer you the absolute best rates and terms. They are also able to provide sound forecasts and projections about where rates and the housing market may be headed. Their market savvy can save you money now and in the future.

Variety of loan products

Along with market expertise, the top mortgage lenders provide an wide variety of loan products to meet diverse financing needs. From conventional and government-backed mortgages to jumbo loans and adjustable rate options, excellent lenders offer numerous programs and terms. They will take the time to thoroughly explain the features and tradeoffs of each product to help you select the one that best fits your unique situation. Great lenders want to provide the ideal loan, not just the one that's most convenient or profitable for them. Their access to multiple mortgage products through trusted wholesale lenders means you have plenty of financing choices.

Strong relationships and networks

The best mortgage professionals maintain strong relationships with key industry players, which expands their capabilities and resources. Premier lenders have established partnerships with appraisers, home inspectors, real estate agents, insurance agents, and title companies. These networks help top lenders provide ultra-efficient and streamlined services for a smooth mortgage process. For example, a lender with strong ties to appraisers can often get yours scheduled and completed quickly. Additionally, relationships with real estate agents give lenders valuable neighborhood and market insights. When examining potential lenders, look for ones with diverse and well-established connections.

Ethical, transparent practices

All lenders have to follow federal mortgage regulations and guidelines, but the very best go above and beyond when it comes to ethics and transparency. They clearly explain rates, fees, penalties, terms, and their entire lending process so there are no surprises. The top mortgage professionals won't push you into products, rates, or terms you're uncomfortable with. They keep your best interests at heart. Premier lenders also prioritize data security and only share your personal information with essential third parties. Additionally, they are committed to fair lending practices that ensure every borrower is treated equitably. When a mortgage lender conducts themselves ethically in every facet of the business, clients can rest assured their needs come first.

A personalized approach

While expertise and access to diverse loan options are crucial, the best lenders also recognize that every borrower's situation is unique. Top mortgage professionals take the time to truly understand your short and long-term goals, finances, and circumstances to recommend products that align with your needs. Elite customer service means pampering clients with undivided attention and customized options instead of pushy salesmanship. The premier lenders will get to know what mortgage structure and terms fit your lifestyle. Your comfort and confidence should matter to them.

Mortgage lenders that exhibit these top qualities earn your trust and business. You want to find professionals who make the lending process smooth and straightforward even when buying a home is stressful. Carefully vet potential lenders to ensure you select one that will provide exemplary service and personalized options. The right mortgage lender-client relationship can save you money and make your homebuying journey enjoyable.

Get in touch with Mortgages by Jill to learn more about the best mortgage lenders in Greensboro, NC!

Finding the right mortgage lender for your unique needs and financial situation is key to getting the best loan for your circumstances. While every top mortgage lender may do things a little differently, they share core attributes like strong customer service, market expertise, and ethical business practices. Taking the time to research potential lenders and ask the right questions will help you find a mortgage pro who you can trust to provide exemplary service and competitive rates.

The mortgage lending process can seem complex, but the right lender will simplify it for you and make financing your home an exciting journey. With an experienced lender, like those at Mortgages by Jill, in your corner, you can feel confident that you are getting the perfect loan to match your budget and goals. The result will be a smooth closing and long-term satisfaction with your home financing decision.

How Do You Know When It's Time to Refinance?
August 3, 2023 at 4:00 PM
mortgage refinance.jpg

If you own a home, you may have considered the idea of refinancing your mortgage. Doing so could lead to lower monthly payments, a shorter loan term, or even a switch from an adjustable rate to a fixed-rate mortgage.

However, the decision to refinance is not one to take lightly. For one, you’ll want to make sure it is absolutely necessary. So, how do you know when it's the right time to do it?

Let’s quickly go over the main signs indicating when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage.

1. When interest rates fall

If there ever was an opportune time to consider refinancing your mortgage, it’s when interest rates are dropping. As interest rates fluctuate, you may find that rates have dropped since you first obtained your mortgage, making it an opportune time to refinance and reduce your monthly payments.

As a rule of thumb, a 1% or more rate decrease could make refinancing worthwhile. Check out Ameris Bank refinance rates to do a quick comparison.

2. When your credit score improves

If your credit score has significantly improved since you initially purchased your home, you may qualify for more favorable refinance rates. A higher credit score demonstrates better financial responsibility, making you a more attractive borrower to lenders.

The average FICO Score in the U.S. is 714. If your credit score increased from 650 (Fair) to 720 (Good) on the FICO scale, you could qualify for lower interest rates, potentially saving you thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.

3. When your financial situation changes

Life circumstances change, and your financial situation may have evolved since you first bought your home. If you now have a higher income or have paid down significant debts, you may be in a better position to refinance and secure more favorable terms.

Most commonly, people who now have the cash to spend may opt to shorten the loan term. If you have a long-term mortgage but now want to shorten the loan term by making larger monthly payments, a refinancing agreement may be warranted. This helps you save on interest and become debt-free sooner.

4. When you want to cash out your home equity

If you’ve built significant equity in your home and need access to quick cash, you could consider cash-out refinancing. This option allows you to borrow against your home's equity, providing you with a lump sum of cash that can be used for various purposes, such as home improvements, debt consolidation, or other investments.

5. When you want to switch from adjustable-rate to fixed-rate mortgage

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) can be advantageous in the beginning, but they come with the risk of interest rate fluctuations. If you prefer the stability of a fixed-rate mortgage or anticipate rising interest rates, refinancing into a fixed-rate loan may be a wise choice.

Considerations before refinancing

  • Length of time in the home — Typically, the longer you’ve stayed in your home, the more it makes to refinance.
  • Pre-payment penalty — Some loans have a pre-payment penalty included in the agreement. This is an additional charge billed to you if you pay off your loan before a certain point in the term. Check your home loan agreement to see if this penalty applies.
  • Refinancing costs — Certain costs apply when refinancing your mortgage. These typically include payments for loan origination, home appraisal, and mortgage insurance.
  • Components that affect the refinance approval — Generally speaking, lenders will look at your income, credit score, payment history, the refinance amount, and current home appraisal of the house you want to refinance.

Talk to us about refinancing your mortgage

At Mortgages By Jill, we work with you to find the right home loan solutions in the Greensboro area. If you’re looking to refinance your mortgage or explore other loan options, we’re here to help ensure a smooth and successful process.

Schedule a quick 30-minute consultation now by calling 336-740-9068 or through our contact form.

All About the Greensboro First-Time Homebuyers Program
July 6, 2023 at 7:00 AM
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Are you a first-time homebuyer in the beautiful city of Greensboro, North Carolina? If so, you're in luck! The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program is designed to provide financial assistance and guidance to individuals or families looking to purchase their first home in this vibrant city. Read on to learn more about the key features and benefits of this program, helping you understand how it can make your dream of homeownership a reality.

What is the Greensboro first-time homebuyers program?

The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program is an initiative aimed at assisting individuals or families who have never owned a home before. It offers financial support through down payment assistance, affordable mortgage options, and educational resources to help participants navigate the home buying process successfully. The program is administered by the City of Greensboro, in collaboration with mortgage lenders and community organizations.

Benefits of the Program:

The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program offers a wide range of benefits that are specifically designed to support and empower individuals or families looking to purchase their first home. Let's explore some of the key advantages of participating in this program.

  1. Down payment assistance: One of the most significant barriers for first-time homebuyers is the initial down payment. The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program provides eligible participants with grants and loans to help cover a portion of the down payment, making homeownership more affordable and attainable.
  2. Affordable mortgage options: Through partnerships with lenders like Mortgages By Jill, the program offers favorable mortgage terms and interest rates tailored to the needs of first-time buyers. This ensures that participants have access to competitive financing options and can secure a mortgage that aligns with their financial situation.
  3. Education and counseling: The program places a strong emphasis on education and counseling services. Participants are required to attend homebuyer education courses, where they can learn about budgeting, credit management, the homebuying process, and other essential topics. This valuable knowledge empowers individuals to make informed decisions and increases their chances of long-term success as homeowners.
  4. Community support: The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program works in collaboration with local community organizations and resources to provide additional support. These partnerships may offer workshops, seminars, or counseling services to address specific needs and challenges faced by first-time buyers.

By availing yourself of the benefits offered by the Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program, as an aspiring homeowner, you can overcome financial barriers, secure favorable mortgage terms, gain essential knowledge, and receive dedicated support from the local community. These advantages work in synergy to create an environment where first-time buyers can confidently embark on their homeownership journey and achieve their dreams of owning a home in Greensboro.

Working with Mortgages By Jill:

As a preferred loan officer with North Carolina Finance Authority, Jill Burgess of Mortgages By Jill has extensive experience working with various city-wide down payment assistance programs, including the Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program. With over 30 years of mortgage lending experience, Jill is well-equipped to guide first-time buyers through the complex process of obtaining a mortgage and accessing available grants and assistance.

Whether you're a medical professional, a first responder, or simply a first-time buyer looking to enter the Greensboro housing market, Jill's dedication and passion will ensure you receive personalized assistance and support. Her expertise in loan programs such as Conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, and Portfolio loans allows her to find the best fit for your unique situation, even if you don't fit traditional underwriting criteria.

Get in touch with Mortgages By Jill to learn more about the city of Greensboro first-time homebuyers program!

The Greensboro First Time Homebuyers Program, in tandem with the expert services here at Mortgages By Jill, offers a valuable opportunity for individuals or families seeking to purchase their first home in Greensboro, North Carolina. By providing down payment assistance, affordable mortgage options, and educational resources, the program aims to remove barriers and empower first-time buyers on their path to homeownership.

If you're considering buying your first home in Greensboro, reach out to Jill Burgess at Mortgages By Jill for a quick 30-minute consult. With her years of experience and commitment to client satisfaction, she can guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful home buying journey. Take advantage of this fantastic program and make your dreams of owning a home in Greensboro a reality.

What Kinds of Work Are Mortgage Officers Qualified To Do?
June 11, 2023 at 7:00 AM
<strong>What Kinds of Work Are Mortgage Officers Qualified To Do?</strong>

Mortgage officers play a crucial role in the home-buying process, assisting clients in obtaining the necessary financing to purchase their dream homes. These professionals possess a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the mortgage industry, allowing them to navigate the complex world of loans and mortgages. In this article, we will explore the various responsibilities and tasks that mortgage officers, such as Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill, are qualified to handle.

Mortgage consultation

One of the primary responsibilities of a mortgage officer, similar to loan officers in Winston Salem, is to provide expert advice and guidance to clients seeking mortgage loans. Mortgage officers like Jill Burgess, with her 30 years of experience, offer personalized consultations to understand clients' unique financial situations and goals. They assess clients' creditworthiness, income, and debt-to-income ratio to determine the type and amount of loan they qualify for. Through these consultations, mortgage officers ensure that clients are well-informed about their options and can make confident decisions.

Loan pre-approval

Mortgage officers also assist clients in obtaining pre-approval for mortgage loans. This process involves collecting and reviewing clients' financial documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements. Mortgage officers evaluate this information to determine the maximum loan amount that clients can afford. Pre-approval gives homebuyers an advantage in competitive housing markets by demonstrating their credibility to sellers.

Loan application and documentation

Once clients have identified a property, mortgage officers guide them through the loan application process. They help complete the necessary paperwork, ensuring accuracy and completeness. Mortgage officers are well-versed in the documentation requirements of different loan programs, including conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, and portfolio loans. Their expertise ensures that clients submit thorough and compliant applications, avoiding potential delays or rejections.

Loan processing and underwriting

Mortgage officers act as a liaison between clients and lending institutions during the loan processing and underwriting stages. They collaborate with loan processors and underwriters to gather additional information, resolve any outstanding conditions, and address any concerns that may arise. Mortgage officers leverage their experience to navigate potential obstacles, ensuring a smooth and efficient loan approval process.

Mortgage product knowledge

A significant aspect of a mortgage officer's expertise lies in their comprehensive understanding of different loan programs and products. Jill Burgess, for example, has experience working with jumbo loans, medical professional loans, FHLB loans, and down payment assistance programs. They can assess clients' unique circumstances and recommend the most suitable loan options tailored to their needs. This extensive knowledge helps borrowers access financing solutions that align with their financial goals.

Compliance and regulation

The mortgage industry is subject to various regulations and compliance standards to protect consumers and ensure fair lending practices. Mortgage officers are well-versed in these regulations and ensure that loan applications and processes adhere to them. They stay up to date with changing laws and guidelines to provide clients with accurate and compliant information.

Ongoing Client Support and Relationship Building

Mortgage officers don't just assist clients during the loan application process; they also provide ongoing support and maintain long-term relationships. Even after the loan is closed, mortgage officers like Jill Burgess continue to serve as a resource for their clients. They answer questions, provide guidance on refinancing options, and help clients navigate any changes in their financial situations.

Furthermore, mortgage officers understand the importance of building strong relationships with their clients. They prioritize personalized service and take the time to understand clients' individual needs and goals. By fostering trust and open communication, mortgage officers can better tailor their services and offer customized solutions.

Mortgage officers also stay in touch with their clients through newsletters, educational resources, and periodic check-ins. They provide updates on market trends, interest rate fluctuations, and any relevant changes in the mortgage industry. This commitment to ongoing support and relationship building sets mortgage officers apart and ensures that clients have a trusted advisor throughout their homeownership journey.

Get in touch with Mortgages by Jill if you’re in need of a dedicated loan officer in Winston Salem!

Mortgage officers, like Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill, bring valuable expertise and guidance to the home buying process. With their comprehensive knowledge of mortgage products, loan programs, and regulatory requirements, these professionals help clients navigate the complexities of securing a mortgage. From initial consultation to loan approval, mortgage officers play a vital role in ensuring a smooth and successful home buying experience. If you're in the Triad of North Carolina or beyond and seeking personalized service and expertise, reach out to a seasoned mortgage officer like Jill Burgess to guide you through your mortgage journey.

How is a Portfolio Loan Different From a Traditional Mortgage?
May 2, 2023 at 10:00 PM
Symbolic house made from one hundred dollars isolated on white background

Are you considering buying a home in Greensboro, North Carolina? If so, you're likely looking into mortgages and researching the various loan options available to you. While many people opt for traditional mortgage loans when purchasing their homes, another option - portfolio loans - may better suit your needs.

What is a portfolio loan, you ask? Simply put, it’s a loan option that is becoming increasingly popular in the real estate industry for its flexibility and customizability. It is important, however, for borrowers to understand the difference between securing a mortgage loan and a portfolio loan in Greensboro, North Carolina. In this blog post, we will explore the five key differences between a portfolio loan and a traditional mortgage. Soon you'll have all the information necessary to decide which type of loan best fits your needs. Read on for an overview of both loan types, along with some helpful tips on applying for a portfolio loan in Greensboro.

FAQ: Mortgage vs. Portfolio Loan in Greensboro, North Carolina


When applying for a traditional mortgage, your creditworthiness is one of the most important factors considered by lenders. Applicants with scores of 700 or higher are often preferred. However, with a portfolio loan, lenders take a wider range of factors into consideration, such as assets, income, and other investments. This means that even if your credit score is less than perfect, you may still qualify for a portfolio loan.


Portfolio loans offer more flexibility than traditional mortgages. For instance, traditional mortgages have strict guidelines and requirements set by the government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. In contrast, portfolio loans are not bound by these guidelines and allow for more flexibility in the loan terms, repayment options, and interest rates.

Non-warrantable properties

A significant difference between portfolio loans and traditional mortgages is that portfolio loans are suitable for non-warrantable properties such as investment properties, condos, and co-ops that don't meet specific government agency guidelines. Traditional mortgages cannot be used for such properties.


Portfolio loans are known for their quick turnaround times. Traditional mortgages can take months to process. On the other hand, portfolio loans can typically be approved within days, and the funds can be disbursed within weeks.


Underwriting is the process that lenders use to determine how much risk they are taking on when issuing a loan. With a traditional mortgage, the underwriting process is generally inflexible, and the criteria are typically the same for all applicants. In contrast, portfolio loans are underwritten on a case-by-case basis, which means each application is evaluated based on the borrower's unique set of circumstances. This can make it easier for borrowers to qualify for portfolio loans than traditional mortgages.

The Best Portfolio Loans Greensboro, North Carolina

In conclusion, portfolio loans offer distinct advantages over traditional mortgages. They offer more flexibility, are more accessible for individuals or investment properties that don’t meet specific guidelines, and they tend to be processed much faster than traditional mortgages. If you are a Greensboro, North Carolina, homeowner or a prospective homeowner looking for the best portfolio loan, you are in the right place. Jill Burgess specializes in providing expert mortgage services, including portfolio loans, to residents of Greensboro, North Carolina. With her wealth of experience in the industry, she can help you navigate the portfolio loan process and secure a loan that is best suited to your unique needs. Contact Mortgages By Jill today to get expert advice on securing your portfolio loan.

How to Find the Best Mortgage Lenders in Raleigh NC

Understanding what a mortgage lender is and why finding a good one is critical can make all the difference when buying a home. Essentially, a mortgage lender is a financial institution or individual who provides loans to those looking to purchase a property. They assess your financial history, determine your eligibility, and provide you with the funds necessary to seal the deal. Finding a competent mortgage lender is vital because it can mean better interest rates, lower fees, and generally smoother transactions. With the help of a trustworthy lender, you can feel confident that you are making the best choice for your financial situation and securing a comfortable future in the home of your dreams.

Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, choosing the right mortgage lender can make all the difference. But how do you know where to begin with so many options in Raleigh, NC? Fear not! We've compiled five tips for finding the best mortgage lenders in Raleigh, NC.

5 Steps to Choosing the Best Mortgage Lenders in Raleigh, NC

Determine Your Budget and Needs

Before beginning the search for the best mortgage lender, you must determine your budget and what you're looking for in a home loan. Knowing what you can afford and what loan you need will help narrow your options. A good lender will be able to find a loan that best fits your budget and financial goals.

Ask for Referrals and Read Reviews

Asking friends, family, and real estate agents for referrals is a great way to find potential lenders. These individuals likely have experience working with various lenders and can provide you with insight into their experiences. It's also a good idea to read reviews from reputable sources like NerdWallet, Yelp, or Google to understand how satisfied past clients have been.

Check for Accreditation and Professionalism

It's crucial to ensure that any potential lender is legitimate and accredited. Look for credentials such as the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) number to verify a lender's legitimacy. Additionally, a professional appearance, timely communication, and transparency are essential qualities to look for in a lender.

Compare Interest Rates and Fees

While you'll want to find a lender who will work with you and is trustworthy, you also want to compare interest rates and fees to ensure you're getting a competitive rate. While lower interest rates may seem the most attractive, they can come with more significant fees or vice versa. A reputable lender will provide a breakdown of all fees and costs associated with your loan.

Choose a Lender that Offers Variety

A good lender offers various loan products to give borrowers choices that best suit their needs. So, whether you're looking for a fixed or adjustable rate loan, a conventional or government-backed loan, or a mortgage with private mortgage insurance (PMI), the best mortgage lenders in Raleigh NC will have options that work with your budget and financial goals.

Use the Best Mortgage Lender in Raleigh, NC

Choosing the wrong mortgage lender can have devastating consequences. It may seem like a minor decision, but it can cost you dearly in the long run. A lousy lender may offer you unaffordable terms or deceptive rates, putting you at risk of defaulting on your mortgage. This can lead to foreclosure and a significant hit on your credit score. Additionally, falling into the trap of a predatory lender may leave you saddled with debt for years to come. That's why it's crucial to research, compare rates, and choose a reputable lender with a track record of transparency and fairness. Don't let a bad decision haunt you. Instead, protect yourself by doing due diligence and choosing the right lender.

By determining your budget and needs, asking for referrals, verifying credentials and professionalism, comparing interest rates and fees, and choosing a lender that offers a diverse range of products, you'll be on your way to securing the best mortgage for your future dream home. Following these tips, you can confidently navigate the home-buying process and ultimately land the best mortgage lender in Raleigh, NC.

When you are ready to work with the best in the business, contact the best at Mortgages By Jill. Jill Burgess (NMLS #100425) has personally funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans over her career spanning 30 years. She has earned the respect of her peers and her clients. She has been described time and time again by her clients and colleagues as professional, personal, and passionate. Get in touch today to start your application!

How a Greensboro, NC mortgage loan officer can help you buy your first home
March 6, 2023 at 10:00 AM
Mortgage loan officers in Greensboro NC are helping first-time buyers secure their dream homes

Entering the real estate market for the first time is an exciting endeavor that can involve a lot of stress if you do not have access to the right expertise. When seeking out professional assistance to support you throughout the home-buying process, real estate agents and financial advisors may be the first characters that come to mind. A mortgage loan officer, however, is another valuable type of service provider that can help facilitate a successful purchase.

Mortgage loan officers help clients pinpoint the most suitable types of mortgages at their disposal. If you are searching for a reliable mortgage loan officer in Greensboro, NC, Mortgages by Jill is your top choice. Continue reading to learn how this type of service can assist you as you purchase your first home.


First-time home buyers typically do not have enough cash to make a full purchase without applying for a loan. The key is to understand which properties are within your budget based on the amount of money that you have saved for a down payment. In other words, it is important to know what percentage of your purchase will be covered by your mortgage. A pre-qualification is an estimation of the loan amount that a prospective buyer is eligible for based on a number of factors. Mortgage loan officers can provide an extremely accurate pre-qualification, which will inform your search. They will take into account your credit history, current loans, income, and other relevant factors.


Paying down a mortgage can take several decades depending on the borrower’s income and the total value of the property. Carrying over a loan of this size is a major decision which should be made using a strategic approach. Mortgage loan officers provide useful information surrounding the different types of mortgages and which options are best suited to your needs. Options like the NC Home Advantage Mortgage or the Core City Homebuyer Incentive Program are important to know about to ensure you save as much money as possible.

Submitting applications

Filing an application for a mortgage incorrectly can affect your access to funds and delay the entire home-buying process. These applications are highly involved, and should include a variety of financial documents such as the applicant’s tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and more. A mortgage loan officer can ensure all of your forms are up to date, and in compliance with the lender’s application guidelines.

Loan processing

Once you have your eye on your first home, we guarantee you will want to move in as soon as possible. Unfortunately, mortgage loan processing times often delay real estate purchases. A mortgage loan officer can expedite this process, providing the client with access to funds faster. One of the main causes of delay is when an underwriter requires clarification on the applicant’s documents or other information. A mortgage loan officer can answer questions on the client’s behalf, providing prompt, clear responses that make it possible for banks to disperse funds.

Buyer assistance programs

If you are ready to buy your first home, but are unsure of whether or not you have enough upfront cash, a buyer assistance program can help. As a mortgage loan officer in Greensboro, NC, Jill Burgess has access to a variety of resources such as NC 1st Home Advantage 8K Down Payment Assistance, the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program, and more. Working with a professional ensures you never miss out on a great financial opportunity.

Contact us today to learn more about how a mortgage loan officer in Greensboro, NC can help you navigate the complex world of real estate.

What you should know about bank statement mortgage?
February 14, 2023 at 1:00 AM
Image of a house that was purchased using a bank statement mortgage.

Buying a home is one of the best things you can do to invest in your future and build equity. However, getting approved for a mortgage can be challenging if you're self-employed or have an inconsistent income.

Bank statement mortgages provide a solution to this problem by considering your income based on your bank statements rather than tax returns. This blog discusses what you should know about bank statement mortgages, including their requirements and benefits.

How do bank statement mortgages work?

A bank statement mortgage is a loan program that considers the borrower's income based on their personal or business bank statements rather than tax returns.

Lenders look at several factors to determine a borrower’s income, including:

  • The average balance in the account
  • Number of deposits
  • Consistency of the deposits

A bank statement mortgage is designed for those whose tax returns may not accurately reflect their financial circumstances, such as:

  • Self-employed individuals
  • Independent contractors
  • Those who can’t document their income through tax returns

Many ways to earn a living aren't accurately reflected in a tax return. Even if you're not ready to purchase a home, speaking with an experienced loan officer can give you insight into the application process and the steps to make your bank statements appealing to a lender.

Organizing your finances early in the home-buying process will make your journey to ownership much less stressful and can even help you to secure better terms for the loan.

What are the requirements for a bank statement mortgage?

To qualify for a bank statement mortgage, borrowers must have at least 12 to 24 months of bank statements, and the average balance in the account must be consistent and sufficient to support the loan amount.

Lenders also look for a minimum deposit amount and require the deposits to come from a legitimate source of income.

There are still the traditional mortgage requirements as well, including:

  • A good credit score
  • Low debt-to-income ratio
  • A satisfactory debt history

What are some of the benefits of bank statement mortgages?

One of the main benefits of bank statement mortgages is that they’re e a flexible solution for self-employed people or have inconsistent income.

Evaluating a borrower's income based on bank statements avoids the need for tax returns. It’s a straightforward way to avoid the difficulties of documenting income when you don’t have a traditional 9 to 5 or salary.

Additionally, bank statement mortgages often have a faster application process, and the loan terms can be more favorable than traditional mortgage loans.

Things to consider when seeking a bank statement mortgage

While bank statement mortgages offer many benefits, there are also some considerations to keep in mind.

The interest rates for bank statement mortgages are often higher than traditional mortgage loans, and the loan terms may be less favorable.

Give yourself plenty of time to find the right lender for your needs because requirements vary between institutions. Shop around and compare all your loan options before making a decision.

Learn more about bank statement mortgages and apply for one with help from Mortgages By Jill

Even if you don’t have a traditional income, it doesn’t mean buying a home is out of reach. Bank statement mortgages offer a solution by considering the borrower's income based on their bank statements.

Jill Burgess is a preferred loan officer with the North Carolina Finance Authority. She’s a professional with over 30 years of mortgage experience, eager to help self-employed individuals find the right lending solution on their journey to home ownership.

No matter your situation, Jill provides the same professional, personal, and passionate service. Apply for a bank statement mortgage today.

What Type of Ameris Mortgage Is Right for You?
January 9, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Brown house blue roof

Not all home loans are the same. That’s why knowing what kind of loan is most appropriate for your situation is essential. This ensures you are prepared for any scenario and for talking to lenders to get the best deal.

This article will discuss the various types of Ameris mortgages available to North Carolina residents.

What loans are offered by Ameris?

Here are the various types of mortgage options offered by Ameris:

  • Fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed-rate mortgage is a type of home loan with a locked-in interest rate for the entire term of the loan. This means that the interest rate on the mortgage will not change over the lifetime of the loan, and the borrower’s interest and payments will remain the same.
  • Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARMs). This type of mortgage is a home loan with an interest rate that adjusts over time based on the market. ARMs generally start with a lower interest rate than a fixed-rate mortgage, but your monthly payments will fluctuate based on market conditions.
  • FHA loans. These loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. FHA loans are insured by the FHA, which means that the owners of your mortgage are protected against loss if you default on your loan. This type of loan is generally available with low down payment options and minimum credit score limits.
  • VA loans. VA loans are a type of government loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA gives specific guarantees to private lenders that handle these loans, which typically feature no down payment to veterans and less stringent requirements.
  • USDA loans. A USDA home loan is a mortgage option that helps make it more affordable for low-income individuals to purchase a home in designated rural areas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) backs loans the same way the Department of Veterans Affairs backs loans for veterans and their families.

What to do before applying for a mortgage

As you prepare to buy a home, there are several things you can do to prepare before applying for a mortgage. These include:

  1. Creating a financial plan. When you purchase a home, you may need money for the down payment and the closing costs for the home.
  2. Understand your credit score and credit history. Mortgage lenders look at your credit score and history to see how you handle credit. Your credit score can affect the loan you’re eligible for, along with your interest rate.
  3. Determine how much you can borrow. Before house hunting, consider getting prequalified to help estimate the amount of money you can spend on a home.
  4. Know your loan options. There are several different types of loan options, and your mortgage banker or broker will work with you to find the one that fits your situation.

Jill Burgess works with future homeowners to get them mortgages in North Carolina.

Mortgages by Jill provides professional, personal, and passionate service to first-time and existing homeowners in the Triad of North Carolina. Jill works with individuals who have excellent credit profiles but don’t necessarily meet post-housing crisis underwriting criteria. The mission of Mortgages by Jill is to bring common sense back to mortgage lending.

Buying a home can feel overwhelming, but working with an experienced, knowledgeable loan officer can give you clarity and insight into the entire process. From collecting the necessary documents to finding the right lender, Mortgages by Jill helps homeowners get mortgages.

Top Things to Know About USDA Home Loans in NC
December 11, 2022 at 8:00 AM
A bird's eye view of a North Carolina small town.

If you’re dreaming of a home in an area with warm weather and beautiful landscapes, North Carolina may be the state for you. It’s one of the fastest-growing states in the United States, and with the USDA home loan program, you could be one step closer to affordable living in the Tar Heel State.

USDA loans are awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture from the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. They offer 100 percent financing with no downpayment required and low mortgage insurance rates. This article will cover everything you need to know about USDA home loans in NC.

Overview of USDA home loans in NC

In North Carolina, there are three types of USDA loans available to residents:

  • The Single Family Direct Loan: This loan assists low and very-low-income applicants and is fully funded, serviced, and insured by the USDA. The USDA direct loan has repayment options for 33 years and 38 years, depending on your income level.
  • The Single Family Guaranteed Loan: This loan is intended to help moderate-income borrowers. It’s funded and serviced by private lenders but is partially insured against default by the USDA. The USDA-guaranteed loan has 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate options.
  • The Single-Family Housing Repair Loan and Grant: This loan enables low-income borrowers to improve or modernize their homes or remove health and safety hazards. It’s funded entirely by the USDA.

In general, USDA loans are more affordable than other loans. That’s because USDA loans provide 100 percent financing for borrowers with no down payment required, unlike conventional and FHA loans.

However, some borrowers believe USDA loans are stricter than other loan types due to eligibility requirements. The essential requirements are income and property eligibility. Luckily, several rural areas in North Carolina may qualify for USDA loan property eligibility. Areas that are not eligible are around major cities like Charlotte and Raleigh.

Basic requirements for a USDA home loan in NC
There are a few basic requirements you must meet to be eligible for a USAA home loan in NC:

  1. You must hold U.S. citizenship or have permanent residency.
  2. You must have dependable income for a minimum of 24 months.
  3. You must be able to make a monthly payment, including principal, interest, insurance, and taxes, that is 29 percent or less of your monthly income.
  4. Your total debt payments cannot exceed 41 percent of your income.
  5. You must have an acceptable credit history, with no accounts converted to collections within the past 12 months.

Ways to use a USDA home loan in NC

There are several ways you can use or benefit from a USDA home loan in NC. These include:

  • Purchasing new or existing residential property to be used as a permanent residence
  • Buying a site with a new or existing dwelling
  • Refinancing your current home
  • Adding special design features or permanently installed equipment to accommodate disabilities
  • Purchasing essential household equipment (ex. Carpeting, ovens, refrigerator, washers, dryers, etc.)
  • Installing energy-efficient appliances (ex. insulation, solar panels, double-paned glass, etc.)
  • Installing fixed broadband service

Secure your dream home in NC with Mortgages By Jill

If you're planning to buy a home in North Carolina, working with a mortgage broker is the best way to simplify the process and get a great deal.

At Mortgages by Jill, we’re here to help you secure the financing you need to make your dream home a reality. Start your mortgage loan application online now. You can also schedule a consultation by calling 336-740-9068 or through our contact form, and get started on your journey to homeownership.

Why partner with Mortgages By Jill for your first home buying experience
November 16, 2022 at 7:00 AM

Taking out a mortgage to purchase a home is often considered to be one of the most important financial decisions that a person will make—especially as a first-time home buyer. With so much to consider prior to purchasing a house, and the staggering amount of money you must borrow to seal the deal, it’s important to work with an experienced professional to secure a reliable and fair mortgage.

Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill is a savvy mortgage broker with extensive experience helping potential buyers like yourself find the right mortgage for them. This article is going to explore what a mortgage is, how it works, and the benefits of working with a mortgage expert like Mortgages by Jill to obtain one.

What is a mortgage?

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, you may not be familiar with all the minutiae that go into buying a home, such as the details of a mortgage. A mortgage is a loan given by a bank or other lending institution to purchase property, such as a house or commercial building. The borrower pays back the loan by making monthly payments over an agreed-upon period of time. Mortgages are typically long-term loans with fixed interest rates that can last from 15 to 30 years.

Mortgages are generally secured by the property being purchased, meaning that if you don't make your monthly payments, your lender can take possession of your home in order to recoup their losses. Mortgages can also be unsecured, which means they're not backed by any collateral and have higher interest rates because there's more risk for lenders.

As a first-time buyer, working with a reputable mortgage professional like Mortgages by Jill will be essential to your success in securing a fair and reasonable mortgage.

Types of Mortgages

Another aspect of the home-buying process that first-time homeowners may not be aware of, is the various kinds of mortgages. There are two main types of mortgages: Fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages have a fixed interest rate over the entire life of the mortgage, while variable-rate mortgages have an interest rate that changes periodically.

Fixed-rate mortgage is more expensive than variable-rate mortgage in terms of monthly payment, but it is more stable in terms of repayments. Variable rates may fluctuate up and down as market conditions change, but they also offer lower initial payments than fixed rates. Variable-rate mortgages are adjustable-rate mortgages with an interest rate that is periodically adjusted based on an index that reflects the cost to the lender of borrowing on the credit markets.

The loan may be offered at the lender's standard variable rate/base rate. If all this sounds complicated to you, you’re not alone. Many first time home buyers look to the guidance of a reputable mortgage broker to show them the ropes and walk them through the mortgage process. Mortgages by Jill will show you a few options for your mortgage and help you pick the best one for you!

What services does Mortgages by Jill offer?

By now you’re probably considering working with the fantastic Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill, but you’re probably wondering what services she can specifically offer. As a seasoned mortgage professional Mortgages by Jill offers clients specialized mortgage services for their unique lifestyle and positions. She offers everything from medical professional mortgages to a special first-time homeowner program.

As a first-time homeowner, you should reach out to Jill Burgess for a unique first-time homeowner program to help you through the mortgage process. As a top-producing loan officer for The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, Jill has been helping first-time home buyers for over 30 years!

Reach out to Mortgages by Jill today for comprehensive mortgage support!

How to Find the Best Mortgage Lenders in Greensboro, NC
October 8, 2022 at 7:00 AM
Shooting in my office

If you’re looking to purchase a home, you should prepare to be in it for the long haul. That’s because you’ll make mortgage payments for the next 15, 20, or 30 years. For this reason alone, it’s wise to shop around to find the best mortgage lenders possible for your situation.

This article will explain everything you need to know to find the best mortgage lenders in Greensboro, NC.

How to look for the best mortgage lenders in Greensboro, NC

Regarding home mortgage loans, the best lender for you may not be the best for someone else. This is because mortgage lenders vary by the types of home loans they provide and the rates and fees they charge. As you prepare to purchase a home, you will want to have your finances in order to learn what types of home mortgage loans you may qualify for.

Here are several tips on how to find the best mortgage lender in Greensboro, NC.

  • Put your finances in order. You will want to get your finances in shape, including your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, to help you qualify for the best mortgage rates in Greensboro, NC.
  • Compare rates from several mortgage lenders. You can compare rates that you are given from several mortgage lenders to find the best one possible for your situation.
  • Find out what mortgage loan is right for you. There are several different types of home mortgage loans. Understanding your options can help you find the best mortgage loan rates possible.
  • Get preapproval for a home loan. There’s no better way to show mortgage lenders and real estate agents that you’re ready to purchase a home than getting preapproved for a home loan.

Tips on how to find the best mortgage lenders in Greensboro, NC

We’ve added several tips on how to find the best mortgage lenders below.

1. Strengthen your credit

Before you start looking for a mortgage lender and apply for a loan, improve your credit standing if needed. This means pulling your credit score and reports to determine how much debt you owe and making a plan to get it down.

2. Determine your budget

An essential part of finding the right mortgage is knowing how much you can afford before speaking with a lender. Your mortgage lender may qualify you for a loan that could max out your budget and leave no room for unexpected expenses. Lenders preapprove you for a home mortgage based on your gross income, outstanding loans, and resolving debt. They don’t look at other monthly bills like utilities, gas, daycare, insurance, or groceries.

3. Compare rates and terms from multiple lenders

Settling on the first mortgage lender you speak with isn’t the best idea. You will want to shop with different lenders like banks, credit unions, online lenders, and local independents to ensure you get the best deal possible on rates and terms. Pay special attention to how mortgage lenders communicate and how their online technology works.

Secure your dream home in Greensboro, NC with Mortgages By Jill

If you're planning to buy a home in the Greensboro area, working with a mortgage broker is the best way to simplify the process and get a great deal.

At Mortgages by Jill, we’re here to help you secure the financing you need to make your dream home a reality. Start your mortgage loan application online now. You can also schedule a consultation by calling 336-740-9068 or through our contact form, and get started on your journey to homeownership.

Signs You're Ready to Buy Your First Home
September 14, 2022 at 6:00 PM

In Greensboro, first-time home buyers may have different reasons for wanting to purchase their first property. Some might see it as a right of passage into adulthood, while others consider it an important step toward starting a family or a reward for finishing school and building a career.

Regardless of your motivation for wanting to buy, you will eventually encounter the financial realities of buying your first home. From qualifying for a loan to saving for a down payment to ensuring you can handle monthly mortgage costs, there are plenty of requirements to consider before you can be confident in your decision to purchase.

Are you really prepared to buy your first property? Here are the signs that Greensboro first-time home buyers are ready for the challenges of purchasing real estate.

You have steady income for monthly payments

You will need to prove that you have income during the mortgage application process. Also, you do not want to create extra financial stress by getting a mortgage with monthly payments that you can't afford.

How much can you pay? Advice varies, but most experts suggest not spending more than 28% of your gross income before taxes on housing.

You will need to collect documentation to prove your income. In some cases, this is as easy as saving paystubs. If you have your own business or work as a contractor, you should save invoices, payment receipts, and tax returns in case they are needed for proof.

You are ready to settle down in your chosen area

Yes, you may move to a different area after selling your first home. However, the real estate market is hard to predict, and you may spend years building equity before you are ready to sell.

Greensboro first-time home buyers should be comfortable with local schools, amenities and services, and commute times before they make an offer on a property.

You have a good credit score

Lenders will look at your credit history to assess your lending risk level. Your FICO credit score credit score is an indicator of how you handle debt. Most lenders consider applicants with a "good" credit score, which is at least 670 on the FICO scale. However, those with a "very good" rating of 740 or higher can qualify for lower interest rates and better mortgage terms.

If you do not have a high credit score, you can take steps, such as paying down existing debt, to qualify for a mortgage or get better interest rates.

You have some savings

There are two reasons you need to have a savings account with enough to handle three to six months of living expenses and mortgage payments.

First, if you lose your income, you will need to continue making payments while you seek a new job. Second, you will have to cover the cost of unexpected home repairs from time to time, and having money saved can reduce the stress caused by this emergency maintenance.

Your debt is under control

Your debt-to-income ratio shouldn't exceed 36% for a standard mortgage, though it could be as high as 55% for FHA loans. Since the mortgage payments will likely take up a large portion of your debt-to-income ratio, you should not have too much additional debt.

You have an experienced loan officer on your side

Greensboro first-time home buyers will find an experienced and passionate loan officer at Mortgages by Jill. We can help you find the mortgage options that best fit your needs and plans, including FHA loans and other programs for first-time home buyers.

If you are seeking a home in Greensboro or the surrounding areas, contact us today to see what mortgage options are available to help you make your home ownership dreams a reality.

How to Get a Land Loan in North Carolina
August 4, 2022 at 7:00 AM
Into The Horizon

Potential home buyers may not only be perusing homes for sale but also land where they can build a home. While the initial cost may seem high, there are ways to make it more feasible for first-time homeowners. Land loans can often be the perfect resource.

If you choose to build a home, you may have to apply for a land loan. We’ll explain how you can get a land loan in North Carolina in further detail below.

What is a land loan?

A land loan, also referred to as a lot loan, is used to finance the purchase of a plot of land. You can take out a land loan if you want to buy a piece of land to build a home or utilize it for business purposes.

Land loans are sometimes confused with construction loans, which is another type of loan often used by people who want to build a house. So, what’s the difference? If you want to buy a plot of land and build a home right away, you’ll want a construction loan. These short-term loans are intended for prospective home builders who want to start their project immediately and already have everything planned and ready to go.

On the other hand, land loans are a better choice for future home builders who plan to build a home but may hold off for a period of time. If you plan to build within a year or so, getting a land loan is probably one of the best options.

Types of land loans

There are three common types of land loans, including:

  • Raw land loan: Raw land is undeveloped land with no electricity, sewers, or roads. Getting a loan to finance undeveloped land can be difficult, so it’s vital that you create a solid, detailed plan for how you want to develop and use the land. This will show lenders you are committed to the project. Additionally, you may increase your chances of qualifying for this loan if you make a sizeable down payment and have good credit.
  • Unimproved land loan: Unimproved land is similar to raw land but is slightly more developed. It may have some utilities and amenities but typically lacks electric and natural gas meters. It isn’t as risky as getting a raw land loan but can still be challenging to obtain.
  • Improved land loan: Improved land differs from raw and unimproved land because it has access to roads, electricity, and water. It’s the most developed of the land and may come with a higher price point. However, interest rates for improved land are significantly reduced compared to raw land loans and unimproved land loans.

How to get a land loan

The easiest way to get a land loan is from a community bank or credit union near the land you want to purchase. As with any loan, you will need to prove you have a good credit score and explain how you intend to use the loan, which can vary depending on what type of loan you’re interested in.

You should highlight aspects of the land that need to be checked, such as zoning, land-use restrictions, surveyed boundaries, and access to utilities. Providing these factors upfront can give lenders an idea of how risky the loan might be.

Once these factors are considered, the land loan rates and obligations can be issued. Interest rates tend to be higher than standard mortgage rates because they’re riskier. However, you may qualify for lower rates if you have a good credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio.

After the loan rates have been determined and approved, you will need to make a down payment and have a plan to pay back the loan at the decided interest rate.

Secure your North Carolina land loan with Mortgages by Jill

Are you planning to apply for a North Carolina land loan? Let Mortgages By Jill help you get the funds you need to secure your land and start building. Apply for a loan now or contact us for more information.

Top down payment assistance programs in Greensboro, NC
July 5, 2022 at 7:00 AM
A set of keys next to the house that someone received after purchasing.

Purchasing a home is an exciting but intimidating investment. While this is the start of a magical chapter of your life, navigating mortgages is complicated, and steep down payment prices can make buying a home feel like a pipedream. Fortunately, down payment assistance programs in Greensboro, NC, can turn your homeownership dream into a reality.

What is down payment assistance?

Down payment assistance programs help first-time homebuyers by reducing the money needed for a down payment. Most programs are run at the city or county levels.

While these programs are intended for first-time home buyers, repeat home buyers who haven’t owned a home in the last three years are also eligible. These programs are often meant for low-to-moderate-income (LMI) buyers and neighborhoods, though this varies from state to state.

What are some down payment assistance programs in Greensboro, NC?

NCHA Home Advantage Mortgage

Intended for first-time and move-up homebuyers, this program provides qualified borrowers with fixed-rate mortgages and assistance of up to 3% of the loan amount.

This program only requires repayment if you sell, refinance, or transfer your home before year 15 of your mortgage, and they forgive this assistance at 20% per year between years 11 to 15, with total forgiveness at year 15. To be eligible, you must:

  • Purchase a home in North Carolina.
  • Occupy the home as your principal residence within 60 days of closing.
  • Earn no more than $126,000 annually.
  • Have a credit score of 640+.
  • Be applying for an FHA, USDA, VA, or conventional loan.
  • Be a legal US resident.

The Community Partners Loan Pool (CPLP)

This program covers up to 20% of the home’s sales price as long as it does not exceed $30,000 when matched with an NCHFA Home Advantage Mortgage.

You can also use this program to cover up to 10% of the purchase price in conjunction with a USDA Section 502 loan. The CPLP assistance program is a zero percent interest, deferred second mortgage whose term matches the first mortgage’s term.

This loan does not require a monthly payment, and homeowners typically repay it when their home is sold, refinanced, at the end of its term, or when the borrower no longer lives in the home.

You can also use this program in conjunction with the North Carolina Home Advantage Tax Credit and other down payment assistance loans or grants.

Greensboro Homebuyer Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

This program is intended for people purchasing homes inside Greensboro city limits. It provides up to $10,000 in assistance and closing costs as a five-year, forgivable loan at zero interest.

You do not have to repay the loan if you reside in the home for five years. It is forgiven at 20% per year for each full year you live in it. Those purchasing a home in redevelopment areas can receive an additional $5,000. To be eligible, you must:

  • Secure a fixed-rate, 15- or 30-year mortgage.
  • Be a first-time homebuyer.
  • Make a cash investment of a $500 minimum.
  • Earn up to 120% of the area’s median income for households with two or fewer people.
  • Earn up to 140% of the area median income for households with three or more people.

Reach out for a free consultation today!

Understanding what down payment assistance programs in Greensboro, NC, are right for your situation requires considerable expertise and extensive experience. With so many available, we advise speaking with a loan officer to find which programs you qualify for and are ideal for your situation. At Mortgages By Jill, we boast 30 years of experience and have personally funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. Time and time again, our clients refer to us as professional, personal, and passionate, which is why they keep coming back. Schedule a free consultation today!

Your guide to Charlotte, NC land loan down payments
June 8, 2022 at 4:00 AM
A piece of land seen from a sky view.

When the time comes to secure property for a home or business, you have more options available than to just purchase a pre-existing structure. Buying property in this way does have its advantages, such as giving you a space where most of the basic setup and structural work is already completed, but it ultimately limits what’s possible if you’re interested in achieving a particular look, feel, or functionality for your property.

If you want more control over what your property is going to look like, you may find that your best bet is one that’s altogether different; buying land without a pre-existing structure already built on it. This is often a cheaper option up front, but one that requires more work from you long-term; however, it’s also one that affords you the opportunity to truly build your home or place of business from the ground up in the way that you want.

While buying land can be cheaper than buying a house or commercial structure, it’s still most likely to be an investment of at least tens of thousands of dollars, meaning that you may need a Charlotte, NC land loan if you plan to build within this area. There are several things you’d need to secure a loan, but one of the most important ones is a down payment. In this blog post, we’ll explore what you need to know about land loan down payments, as well as provide more information about land loans overall.

What’s a land loan, and why might you want one?

As mentioned previously, a land loan (much like other property loans such as a mortgage) allows you to secure a piece of property without paying its entire value up front. In this case, unlike with a pre-existing house or commercial building, you’re securing a loan for an undeveloped piece of land.

While this creates more work for you than other options would, there are advantages to this option, depending on your goals. To reiterate, buying vacant land gives you the freedom to develop your property in the way that you see fit from the ground up, allowing you to tailor it to your goals or future interests.

There are three types of land that you can buy: raw land, which is almost entirely undeveloped and lacking features like road access or sewer lines; unimproved land, which may have access to some basic infrastructure but doesn’t offer all utilities you may need; and improved land, which provides full infrastructural and utilities access for any property you build on it.

How much of a down payment will you need for a land loan?

Land loans are offered by a variety of lenders, including banks, credit unions, government programs, and more. As a result, not every lender has the same down payment requirements for a land loan; additionally, not every lender actually offers a land loan. Those that do, however, will typically expect a higher down payment than in the case of a more traditional type of loan like a mortgage, as a land loan presents a bigger risk to the lender.

While each lender is able to set its own requirements for land loan down payments, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) sets minimum requirements for these loans. These minimum percentages vary based on the type of land you’re seeking a loan for. For raw land, the minimum percentage for a down payment is 35%; for unimproved land, the percentage is 25%; for improved land, which is most prepared for new construction and therefore presents the least risk to lenders, the percentage is 15%.

Secure your Charlotte, NC land loan with Mortgages By Jill

Are you planning to apply for a Charlotte, NC land loan? Let Mortgages By Jill help you get the funds you need to secure your land and start building. Apply for a loan now or contact us for more information.

Is it worth it to work with a mortgage broker in Greensboro?
May 3, 2022 at 4:00 PM
Mortgage broker sitting at his desk

Buying a property takes a lot of work, research, and effort. It should be an exciting time, and it usually is, but there is no denying that a lot of stress also comes with it. You'll be surprised at the many little things that you have to consider — closing costs, down payments, credit score requirements, legal fees, interest rates — just to name a few.

Working with a mortgage broker can be a great way to simplify the process and ensure you get a great deal. In addition to helping you better navigate the real estate market, A mortgage broker has many years of experience dealing with the various lenders in your area, allowing you to easily compare loans and options.

When it comes to finding a professional mortgage broker in Greensboro, Jill Burgess is here to provide all the assistance you need. Are you looking to become a homeowner in the Greensboro, NC area? Here are a few reasons why working with Mortgages By Jill could be the best decision that you make.

1. It’s super convenient for you

Having someone working on your behalf can make the process a lot simpler and easier. While you are working to secure financing, a mortgage broker will be busy finding a lender and reviewing loan options to find the right loan for you.

A mortgage broker can also help with the paperwork. This is a process that most buyers dread because it can be very confusing. A mortgage broker will help make sure that everything is in order so you can focus on other things.

2. You’ll understand the process better

Buying a home can be a complicated process. There are so many things to consider and it's easy to get overwhelmed. However, with the help of a mortgage broker, you’ll understand the process better as they will walk you through every step.

They can help you understand what each part means, as well as explain all of your options. This way, you can be confident that you are making the best decision for your unique situation.

3. They have access to more lenders

When you work with a mortgage broker, you have access to a wide range of lenders. This gives you the ability to compare rates and terms to find the best deal possible.

If you were to go through the process alone, it would be very difficult to get in touch with all the different mortgage lenders in your area. This is something that a mortgage broker can do easily.

4. They can handle negotiations on your behalf

Negotiations can often be long and tiring. Having an experienced mortgage broker in your corner can ensure that you get the best deal possible. They will negotiate with lenders on everything from interest rates to monthly payments and even better overall terms on your loan agreement.

Plus, you'll be confident that you're getting a great deal because a mortgage broker is required to disclose any commissions they earn.

5. They can help you get lower fees

While you’ll pay your mortgage broker a fee, it will be well worth it in the end. They can help you find and secure a loan that has lower fees and interest rates, which will save you money in the long run.

This includes additional fees such as application fees, appraisal fees, organization, and more. With their years of experience in dealing with lenders, they can easily negotiate for lower fees or even have some charges waived.

Secure your dream home with Mortgages By Jill

If you're planning to buy a home in the Greensboro area, working with a mortgage broker is the best way to simplify the process and get a great deal.

At Mortgages by Jill, we’re here to help you secure the financing you need to make your dream home a reality. Start your mortgage loan application online now. You can also schedule a consultation by calling 336-740-9068 or through our contact form, and get started on your journey to homeownership.

How do you build on land with a lot loan?
April 4, 2022 at 4:00 AM
mortgages by jill lot loan north carolina

One rule of thumb for buying a house is location, location, location.

Finding the right location is crucial to creating a home you want to stay in forever.

But what if you find the right location in North Carolina, but there isn’t a home on the property? It’s time to think about buying a lot and building your custom home in the perfect spot.

While many people know how to find a home to buy, there are fewer instances where people know how to buy a lot. But there are plenty of resources out there to help you obtain lot loans in NC and create the home of your dreams. And that’s what Mortgages By Jill is all about. Here’s how you can build on land with a lot loan.

What is a lot loan?

A lot loan, or a land loan, is much like a loan to buy a house; it allows you to have the finances necessary to purchase a lot and build a home or business on it. These are different from construction loans used for short-term projects that are already ready to go. Building a home takes time, and you shouldn’t feel rushed to get started right away. Finding a great lot loan allows you to set up your perfect home and work with the right contractors.

How do I build a house with a lot loan?

There are a few different types of lot loans you can apply for, and they differ depending on the status of the land. For example, if you have land that isn’t ready for construction, you’ll want to get a raw land loan. This loan allows you to implement necessary elements for residential construction, such as electricity, sewage, roads, etc. If you have land with a few elements available, you may want to apply for an unimproved or improved lot loan. It’s best to work with a professional to determine what loan is right for your situation. Once you get your loan, you can start working with an architect and contractor to develop and start plans for your home.

What are the benefits of getting a lot loan?

While lot loans may be used less, they are incredibly beneficial for homeowners. It allows you to create a customized home that’s tailored exactly to your preferences. And you can focus on finding the right location instead of the right home, which gets rid of any availability restrictions. And there are often more lots available than houses for sale. There may be some cons to getting a lot loans, such as potentially higher down payments and interest rates. But the pros far outweigh the cons when you build the home you’ve always wanted in the very spot you want to live.

I’ve worked with many potential homeowners who can’t find the right home. That’s when we start exploring lot loans and discussing possibilities of purchasing land to build a new home.

My job is to help you find your ideal lot, explore loan options, and make your ideal home a reality. Contact me today to learn more about lot loan options and how you can build your home using a lot loan plan.

When should I refinance my mortgage in Greensboro?
March 9, 2022 at 7:00 AM
When should I refinance my mortgage in Greensboro?

There are plenty of reasons someone would want to refinance their house. From taking out equity for a home improvement project to lowering their monthly payment, homeowners often have their reasons for choosing to refinance their mortgage. However, the time isn’t always right. At Mortgages By Jill, we can help you decide if the time is right for you to consider refinancing your mortgage in Greensboro. Read our guide below to learn a few situations when it would be a good idea for you.

If your current rate is above 4.10%.

Mortgage rates are relatively low at this time. While a rate of 4.10% isn’t something to turn your nose up at, you can do better these days if you have a strong credit rating. Depending on the length you’re looking for when refinancing, some homeowners can qualify for mortgage rates under 3.0%. Moreover, it’s not uncommon to find rates that are below 4.0%. Although, if you already have a rate below 4.10%, it’s not worth the cost to try to lower it a few tenths of a percentage.

If your credit score is at least 620.

The process of refinancing your mortgage is similar to getting your original mortgage and having a strong credit score as one of the requirements. The difference in the rate for which you get approved can be vast if your credit score is lower than 620. In fact, a financial institution might not even consider your application if your score is below that threshold. If your credit score needs some work, take time to bring it up because the financial difference will certainly be worth your while.

If you have a good debt-to-income ratio.

One of the determining factors for your credit score is your debt-to-income ratio. This is calculated by adding everything you pay for your monthly bills, which includes your mortgage, electrical bills, credit card payments, and everything else you pay. Take that number and divide it by your gross (before taxes) monthly income. Ideally, you should come out to be 36% or lower. This is a good number for lenders to see to determine that you can afford to refinance. Of course, one of the goals of refinancing is often lowering that number even more, so that’s something to keep in mind when approaching a lender or broker.

If you’re planning to stay for a while.

The process of refinancing your home is getting one lender to buy out your current mortgage and replace it with one that has a lower interest rate. Similar to when you buy your home, a lender isn’t likely to loan you the money you need if you’re not planning on sticking around for a while. For those who are planning to move within a few years, it’s best to stick it out with your current mortgage and wait until you get to your new home. If you’re in a home you want to stay in for another 10 or 15 years, then you’re a prime candidate for refinancing.

Call to refinance your mortgage.

If you’d like to learn more about mortgages in Greensboro and find out if you should refinance, get in touch with us at Mortgages By Jill. We can help you explore your options and evaluate whether refinancing is worth it for you right now or if you should wait. Schedule a meeting with Jill Burgess today by calling 336-740-9068 or send a message using our contact form. We’re available to take your call seven days a week.

How a loan officer in Greensboro can help you get the best value
February 3, 2022 at 7:00 AM
How a loan officer in Greensboro can help you get the best value

Buying a house can be a fickle process. It’s not like grocery shopping, where you know what you’re going to be paying for your gallon of milk based on the price on the shelf. The money you pay for a home is much more complicated than simply putting in an offer for the listed price. Much of it has to do with the type of loan you get, the interest rate, and the state of the housing market where you’re buying. Working with a loan officer in Greensboro can help you get the best value for your home. If you’ve never considered what a loan officer can do for you, our team at Mortgages by Jill has put together a guide that highlights some of the ways we can help.

Extensive knowledge of loans

Not all loans are the same. They differ based on eligibility, interest rates, repayment terms, and more. Furthermore, loans are fluid, and what you learned about them last year before you started shopping for your home might not be true today. Your loan officer has extensive knowledge regarding the availability of mortgages so you can get the best loan for your personal and financial situations.

Help find the right loan

There are many different kinds of mortgages that are appropriate for different situations. For instance, you might need a jumbo loan if you’re looking for a home that’s more than $647,200 for a single-family home in all states except Hawaii, Alaska, and a few markets that are federally designated as high-cost. Those who are buying homes less than that amount can qualify for conventional loans, while those who served in the military will likely qualify for a VA loan. Ask your loan officer which is right for you, and you can work toward getting approval.

Assist with pre-approval

Getting a pre-approval before shopping for your home can help to save you boatloads of time. Rather than searching the area you want to buy in for any home you love, you can narrow your search to homes in the area that are also within a specific budget. Your loan officer can help you with a pre-approval before you even start the process, so you can shop more efficiently and truly stay within your budget.

Understands assistance programs

It can be tough buying a home. Not only is a mortgage sometimes intimidating, but putting tens of thousands of dollars down for a down payment isn’t always accessible, despite being able to afford the monthly mortgage payment. Fortunately, assistance programs can make it much more affordable to buy a home.

Offers suggestions to improve qualifications

There are often strict qualifications that homebuyers need to meet to qualify for a mortgage. Your loan officer can provide you with suggestions to help you be better qualified to buy a home. They’ll often suggest things like paying off some of your debt, continuing to save for a down payment, and more. While you might not be approved today, following your loan officer’s advice can not only help you get approved later but also save you money by getting a better interest rate.

Reach out to get started

You can get started on the home-buying process today by getting in touch with us at Mortgages by Jill. She’s a loan officer in Greensboro who can help you find the loan you need to get the right house for your family. Schedule an appointment by calling 336-740-9068 or send a message using our online contact form. We’re available to talk seven days a week.

What Documents Do I Need to Get a Mortgage in Greensboro?
January 17, 2022 at 10:30 PM
Image of a woman who&#x27;s confident that she has all the documentation she needs to get a Greensboro mortgage.

There’s no denying that the home buying process is time-consuming and stressful. Finding a lender, realtor, and property is daunting even in the best of circumstances. One of the best ways to eliminate stress and confusion when you’re shopping for a house is to work with experts with years of experience in their field. Competent real estate professionals can guide you and answer whatever questions arise. If you’re shopping for a mortgage in Greensboro, one of the first things you need to do is gather documents for your application and the underwriting process. Here are the documents Mortgages by Jill recommends getting in order when you’re ready to buy a home.

Credit history

Your credit report tells the complete story of your borrowing history, repayment, and current debt load. Along with your credit score, your credit history impacts the terms of the Greensboro mortgage a lender will offer you. The lower your credit score, the higher your interest rate.

Even if negative items are on your credit report, you can write lenders a letter to explain previous foreclosures or evictions. Ultimately all the documents in this list are how lenders determine if you’ll be able to repay the mortgage.


Proof of income

Greensboro mortgage lenders want to see not only your earning history but your current income. They usually ask for pay stubs from the past couple of months. If your company uses electronic payroll, this will be easy. However, if you receive paper checks, start filing your pay stubs in preparation for your house hunt.

If you’re someone with non-traditional income, you’ll still be required to show documentation to prove your income. Lenders may ask for direct deposit slips, 1099 forms, or other proof.

Tax returns

Tax returns give a snapshot of your financials over several years. Lenders want to ensure yearly earnings don’t fluctuate and match your reported income. You have to give explicit permission to the IRS for lenders to request your tax returns.

By filling out a Form 4506-T, lenders can get access to your last year’s return. In general, to get a mortgage, you’ll need to show two years of consistent earnings that match the figure on your application.

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Statement of assets and bank statements

When you’re getting ready to apply for a mortgage, consider that lenders will be closely examining your earning and spending habits. They’ll ask for proof of insurance, including life insurance and statements for your investment accounts.

Greensboro mortgage lenders will look to see that you’ve had your down payment in your account for several months. They’ll also want to know that you have several months of mortgage payments and monthly expenses saved as well.

Renting history

If you’re a first-time homeowner, you’ll need to show lenders that you’re responsible and make monthly housing payments on time. You can do this by showing your rent payment history for the past year or asking your landlord to write a letter attesting to your on-time payments.

Your rent history is as important as your credit history. In the years leading up to purchasing a home, make sure to pay on time to build up a record of documentation you can show to mortgage lenders.

Jill Burgess works with future homeowners to get them mortgages in Greensboro and North Carolina.

Mortgages by Jill provides professional, personal, and passionate service to first-time and existing homeowners in the Triad of North Carolina. Jill works with individuals who have excellent credit profiles but don’t necessarily meet post-housing crisis underwriting criteria. The mission of Mortgages by Jill is to bring common sense back to mortgage lending.

Buying a home can feel overwhelming, but working with an experienced, knowledgeable loan officer can give you clarity and insight into the entire process. From collecting the necessary documents to finding the right lender, Mortgages by Jill helps homeowners get Greensboro mortgages.

Beware of These Junk Fees in Greensboro Mortgage Lending
December 22, 2021 at 10:30 PM
Image of a woman feeling frustrated trying to find a mortgage lending product in Greensboro without fees.

Many first-time homebuyers don’t realize that junk–or garbage–fees are negotiable. When considering a Greensboro mortgage lending product, it’s crucial to review all of the closing costs and fees diligently. You can reduce or eliminate many of the fees lenders and brokers tack onto a mortgage by asking questions. Another way to avoid overpaying for your mortgage is by working with an ethical, trusted loan officer. At Mortgages by Jill, we never add extraneous fees, and doing right by our clients is our top priority.

Here are some of the most common mortgage junk fees borrowers should look for in their loans.

Application fees

One typical fee you’ll encounter is an application fee that initiates the loan process. If you don’t see the application fee in the mortgage documents, it’s likely included in the Total Loan Costs. Even when these junk fees are lumped together, it’s crucial to ask for a breakdown as an initial step of negotiating to reduce or eliminate the application fee.

Lenders charge for processing the loan documents. When the total loan costs include processing and underwriting, you can leverage the cost of those fees to eliminate the application fee.

work flow

Underwriting fees

Underwriting fees are one of the ways that lenders pay for the administrative costs of creating loan documents for mortgages. They’re a standard part of the closing costs of a mortgage. Depending on your lender, they can range anywhere from $400 to $900. Not a considerable cost compared to the mortgage total, but these small junk fees can add up to make closing costs skyrocket into the thousands.

Loan processing fees

Loan processing describes all of the administrative costs of the loan. It can be redundant if there is an application and underwriting fee. When lenders are unwilling to negotiate the loan processing fees and total loan cost, borrowers have the option of working with a different lender.

Keep in mind while you’re applying for mortgages, you’re also looking for a lender you’ll work with for the duration of the mortgage, so they should be someone with whom you’re comfortable.

Fees to lock mortgage rates

Mortgage rate lock fees are becoming rarer. Typically, they range from 0.25 to 0.50 percent of the loan amount. A rate lock ensures that you can still access a lower mortgage rate, even if it goes up while your lender is processing your application.

However, you also won’t be able to take advantage of lower interest without a “float-down” provision in your rate lock.

Asking questions about fees and features of your loan ensures you’re not over-paying for the mortgage and can take advantage of all the tools available to you.

Hanging artwork in the new house.

Broker fees

If you work with a broker, they may charge you a fee to act as an intermediary between you and the lenders. You can find a lower cost or a broker that doesn’t bill the lender anything by shopping around for different brokers.

Make sure you interview your broker to find one that can meet your unique needs and your budget for closing costs.

Mortgages by Jill finds our clients Greensboro mortgage lending without hidden junk fees.

Get professional, personal, and passionate service when you’re shopping for a mortgage by working with Mortgages by Jill. We have over 30 years and $2 billion of experience connecting clients with mortgage lending products. Jill’s goal is to make home-buying stress-free by providing straightforward, expert guidance and insight. We work across the Triad of North Carolina with first-time home buyers, first responders, and previous clients who want to move into bigger properties.

When you’re ready to buy a home, it can be hard to find trustworthy resources for everything from finding a property to securing a loan. Contact Mortgages by Jill for reliable Greensboro mortgage lending free from junk fees.

Tips for improving your chances of qualifying for mortgage loans
December 6, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Tips for improving your chances of qualifying for mortgage loans

Buying a home is a big deal. There’s plenty to stress about, from finding the right home to securing your mortgage loan. At Mortgages by Jill, we want to help you prepare by letting you know what you can do to qualify for a mortgage, so you have one less thing to worry about.

Check your credit score

Your credit score is the top determining factor considered by lenders as to whether or not you qualify for a mortgage or not. It also determines the interest rate you’ll get with your home loan. The score itself is based on your ability to pay bills on time as well as your debt-to-income ratio. You’ll see your score shown as a three-digit number between 300 and 850. Scores are organized into four categories as follows:

  • Bad: 300 to 629
  • Fair: 630 to 689
  • Good: 690 to 719
  • Excellent: 720 to 850

Fix errors on your credit report

Beyond your credit score, your credit report contains additional information like your name, address, social security number, and old debts. It’s vital to ensure that all of this information is correct so mistakes don’t affect your score poorly. Submit your corrections at least six months before you start shopping for a house, so they have time to take effect on your report.

Improve your credit score

One reason it’s essential to check your credit months before you start shopping for a house is so you can work on improving your score before you apply for a loan. If your credit score is in the fair or even good range, you’re going to have a difficult time getting a favorable interest rate or even securing the loan at all.

If you’re having a hard time thinking of ways to improve your credit score, consider paying off small debts first. These small loans can be an easy way to lower the amount of debt on your report and help your score. Continuing to pay your bills on time will go toward improving your credit score as well. If you don’t have any debt, consider opening a credit card or line of credit with your financial institution.

Lower your debt-to-income ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio is not only part of your credit score, but lenders will also look at it as a gauge for how well you manage your money. Your DIT ratio is determined by gross monthly income divided by the total dollar amount in debt you pay each month, including monthly housing payments, student loans, credit cards, car payments, and others. You can improve your debt-to-income ratio by taking on another job or paying down some of your debts.

Don’t make any other large purchases

When you’re trying to buy a house, your financial focus should be on qualifying for and buying a home. It’s not uncommon for individuals who recently got a pay raise at work to let their eyes get big and try to buy the house, car, and boat all within a few months. Even if you have the money, this isn’t a good idea because it looks impulsive, and lenders will think that your wild spending puts you at a higher risk of defaulting on your mortgage loan.

Save for a down payment

You shouldn’t rush into buying a house. It should be a decision that you take several months or years to plan for so you can find the home that’s right for you and your needs. You should also take time to buy a house because it’s highly recommended that you save for a down payment. Putting as much as 20% down on a home tells the lender that you’re serious about the purchase, as you’re demonstrating a willingness to put your own money toward the investment.

Reach out to speak with a loan expert

If you’d like more information about ways to improve your chances at qualifying for mortgage loans, get in touch with us at Mortgages By Jill. We’ll happily help you start planning for your purchase by evaluating your credit score and matching you with loan qualifications. Give us a call at 336-740-9068 or send a message via our contact form.

Mortgages by Jill’s expert guide to specialty house loans
November 2, 2021 at 7:00 AM
A personholding the keys to their new home. Specialty house loans can help you find the perfect residence.

Purchasing a home is a wonderful milestone. However, qualifying for loans is not always easy. Luckily, many lenders offer specialty house loans to help people turn their dream home into a reality. If you’re unsure where to start, you’ve come to the right place. At Mortgages by Jill, Jill has personally funded over $2 billion of loans over her stellar 30-year career. She dedicates herself to finding tailored solutions catered to your unique situation.

Here’s our guide to specialty house loans:

Good Neighbor Next Door loan (GNND)

GNND house loans provide affordable opportunities to individuals who work in specific public servant fields.

These loans are only applicable to property in ‘revitalization areas.’ GNND loans equate to a 50% discount on the purchase price. Unlike the 3.5% down payment with traditional loans, these loans require a minimum down payment of $100.

For eligibility, you must verify your employment status, find a HUD-owned, single-family property through the HUD Homes database, and purchase it through this program within seven days. Moreover, you must agree to live in the home for a minimum of three years.

If you think you qualify for a GNND loan, at Mortgages By Jill, we’ll find the perfect financing solution to get your dream home.

Energy Efficient Mortgage (EMM)

EMMs are specialty house loans that enable borrowers to add more sustainable features to their homes without having to make a larger down payment or pay a higher interest rate.

You can either add the cost to the mortgage used to purchase a home or roll it into your current mortgage through an energy-efficient refinance. This enables you to make improvements to your current home, and it means you only have to make one mortgage payment per month.

Green upgrades can be a costly investment, but they can save significant amounts of money in the long term. This makes sustainable features more affordable and accessible. Lowering utility bills also makes more income available for mortgage payments by lowering utility bills.

However, the improvements must be cost-effective and exceed IECC standards during a qualified home energy assessment. EEM loans can also help you qualify for a larger mortgage for a property that is already energy efficient.

If you’re interested in energy-efficient upgrades to save money in the long run, at Mortgages by Jill, we’ll find the perfect financing package for you.

Physician loans

Physician house loans are mortgages designed for medical professionals. Typically, these don’t require a down payment.

With many other conventional loan types, lenders often expect borrowers to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if their down payment does not exceed 20%. However, physician loans enable you to circumvent paying both the down payment and PMI.

More importantly, they have looser credit standards. These loans are intended for medical professionals just entering the industry. Doctors often have difficulty qualifying for typical mortgages early in their careers.

New doctors usually have a significant debt-to-income ratio (DTI) after medical school. To complicate matters further, they are also unable to provide proof of employment and income if they just graduated or started their residency.

These loans can offer up to 100% financing, and they typically have higher limits. Lastly, physician loans can only be used to buy or refinance a primary residence, meaning you have to live in the home you’re purchasing for most of the year.

Apply for a specialty house loan now!

If you’re interested in getting your dream home but are having difficulty finding the right financing option, Mortgages by Jill can help you find the perfect house loan for you. With over 30 years of experience, Jill has helped countless homeowners make their dream home a reality. Apply for a loan now! We can’t wait to make your dreams come true.

How to find the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers
September 14, 2021 at 7:00 AM
How to find the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers

It can be confusing to buy your first home. There are a lot of hoops to jump through that are meant to determine if you can handle the financial burden of the home as well as protect the lender. Because the process for buying a house is so different from most other things in life, it’s important that you work with the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time home buyers. At Mortgages By Jill, we can help you make informed decisions when choosing a lender and buying your home. To get started, we’ve included six questions you can ask to make sure you’re working with the right people.

What kind of credit score do I need to get a mortgage?

The simple answer to this question is that it depends on several factors. These include the type of loan you’re getting, how much money you want to put down, and how much you’re willing to pay in interest. The better the credit score you have, the better your chances of getting a low interest rate. So, if you feel like your credit score could use some work before buying a home, it’s probably not a bad idea to pay off some debts before you look to buy.

What interest rate can I get?

It’s not uncommon for buyers to get interest rates that are going to be around 3.0%. The final rate that you get from your lender will depend on the final property value, the amount of the loan you apply for, the term of the loan, and your credit score. We can work together to find a loan that works best for your budget and meets the needs of the home you plan to buy.

Do you offer a mortgage rate lock?

A mortgage rate lock is an important part of buying a home because it ensures that the rate you were given at the time you started closing on your house won’t change. For instance, if you started buying a home today and were offered a 3.05% interest rate on the loan but it takes 60 days to close on the loan, you could see an increase in your rate to 3.25%. While this feels like an insignificant increase now, you could end up paying hundreds of dollars more in your loan every year. Locking your mortgage rate is a great way to make sure that you get the rate you were initially offered.

Can you do prequalification or preapproval?

When you’re shopping for a home, you can quickly narrow your search by getting a prequalification or preapproval. Doing prequalifications and preapprovals sound like they’re the same process but they are somewhat different. The principle behind them is to make sure that you do qualify for the cost of a home you’re looking at buying, but the processes are slightly different. A prequalification is much less formal and the lender will simply ask for financial information to provide you with an amount you qualify for. Preapprovals require official documentation of W-2s, bank statements, tax returns, and more to provide you with a more accurate number.

How much of a down payment do I need?

Whether or not you need a down payment depends entirely on the type of loan you’re getting and the size of the loan you’re applying for. Many lenders will require some type of down payment as evidence that you’re serious about buying the home. This means that you have a significant amount of money invested and are considered less likely to default on the loan. A 10% down payment is not uncommon but 20% can improve your chances of getting approved for a loan and even help you get a lower interest rate.

Reach out to speak with a lender

If you’re looking for the best mortgage lenders in NC for first-time buyers, get in touch with us at Mortgages By Jill. Our team can help you get started buying your first home and securing a mortgage. Give us a call at 336-740-9098 or send a message with your inquiry. We look forward to being a part of your home-buying experience.

4 specialty home loans with Greensboro mortgage companies
August 17, 2021 at 5:00 AM
A mother and father looking at a board game while their young child stands in front of them, looking ready to play. Image accompanies a blog post on specialty home loans people may qualify for by working with Greensboro mortgage companies.

Thinking of buying your first home or an additional property? Before you start looking up Greensboro mortgage companies, it’s important to have a general understanding of the different types of specialty home loans you may qualify for. This could be the difference between getting approved for a loan and missing out on the house of your dreams!

Here at Mortgages By Jill, we’re dedicated to providing education along with high-quality mortgage lending services. Below, you’ll find some information on a few different specialty home loans.

What is a specialty home loan?

If you aren’t able to qualify for a conventional home mortgage, you may find that a specialty program can help you secure a loan. Specialty home loans are available to certain professions, such as doctors, veterans, firefighters and other first responders, and more. They can also apply to unique situations, such as being a first-time homebuyer or wanting to add energy-efficient features to a home.

Types of specialty home loans

Medical professional loans

Medical professionals often carry significant student loans or other debt that can affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage. Luckily, there are physician loan programs designed especially for them. These types of loans typically come with a very low down payment, with no private mortgage insurance required.

You don’t necessarily need an “MD” by your name to qualify for this type of loan, either — dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, and a range of other medical professionals may qualify.

VA loans

This type of mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. If you’ve served or are serving in the military, you automatically qualify for a VA loan. That means veterans, reservists, active-duty personnel, and even family members can qualify. Typically, VA loans don’t require a minimum credit score or down payment.

FHA loans

An FHA loan is offered through the Federal Housing Administration and is designed to help homebuyers who have limited funds for down payments. This program is available to people of all income levels and allows for a co-applicant to improve your chance of qualifying for a loan. You will still need a credit score of at least 500, however.

FHA mortgages can require a down payment as low as 3.5 percent, but the downside to these is that you’ll have to pay the mortgage insurance premium — which can be thousands of dollars.

USDA rural housing loans

It may come as a surprise, but an estimated 97 percent of U.S. citizens can qualify for a USDA home loan. These loans are offered through the United States Department of Agriculture as part of the Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan Program. As you might guess, the program is designed to encourage more people to move to non-urban areas.

If your income is low to average for your area, this program is a great option — namely because you can secure up to 100 percent financing! That means no scrambling to cover a large down payment. Other benefits include some of the lowest interest rates on the market, low monthly fees, competitive interest rates and loan terms, and flexible credit guidelines. There is no minimum credit score, although you’ll have to qualify through manual underwriting if you have a score below 640.

Find out what specialty home loans you may qualify for with Mortgages By Jill

When it comes to both conventional and specialty home loans, you can place your trust in Jill Burgess. Jill has been helping aspiring homebuyers successfully apply for loans for over 30 years. In that time, she has personally funded over $2 billion in mortgage loans. If you’re dreaming of buying a home, give Mortgages By Jill a call at 336-740-9068, or reach out through our online contact form. We look forward to helping you secure a home loan that fits your needs.

Little-known facts about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans
July 12, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Little-known facts about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never bought a home or it’s been decades since you have, it can be difficult to learn the ins and outs of home loans. With, you can get expert advice navigating the housing market. From interest rates to qualifications, you can learn more about what it takes to buy your next house. Keep reading below for some facts that you might not know about Greensboro mortgage brokers and home loans.

Shopping around can save you money

When you’re trying to secure a home loan, you don’t have to take the first loan you’re offered. You can sit down at a bank and they’ll offer you a mortgage with a specific interest rate and term. You can usually hold onto this offer for an extended period of time of as much as six months. Speak with other lenders and work with a mortgage broker to find the best rate for you and your budget. This could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your mortgage.

You don’t always need a down payment

You’ll hear a lot of advice that says you need to save somewhere around 20% for a down payment when you buy a home. This is a considerable amount of money and if you’re renting somewhere with a high rent it can take a very long time to get there. A down payment is recommended so that you can buy a larger home than without it and you can show a lender that you’re committed by putting your own money in the pot. While this isn’t the case with all loans, you can still qualify without making a down payment.

Your mortgage broker can help you refinance

Whether you’re looking to get a lower monthly payment from a lower interest rate or want some cash-out for some remodeling, you can reinforce your mortgage. Work with a mortgage broker to find a better interest rate. This will not only give you the option of a lower monthly mortgage payment, but it will also make it easier for you to pay it off much sooner than if you kept your original mortgage.

Paying a little extra goes a long way

You can pay your mortgage off years in advance by making payments even $100 above your minimum monthly payment. This amounts to $1,200 every year and $12,000 over the course of 10 years. You could pay off your mortgage early and save thousands of dollars in interest. However, it’s important to be aware of potential early payoff fees that are attached to your mortgage as banks will often include them to recoup what they’ve lost from years of interest.

Self-employment can make it difficult to qualify

Those who are self-employed often have difficulty getting approved for a loan that they would normally qualify for. This is because they typically write-off expenses so their tax documents show that they’re making less money than they really are. When this is the case, you’re going to want to be able to document your true income to demonstrate to your lender that you are indeed qualified.

Get in touch to learn more

If you have any questions about working with Greensboro mortgage brokers, please don’t hesitate to reach out to We’ve been helping our neighbors secure financing for a home loan for 30 years and will do the same for you. Give us a call at 336-740-9068 or send a message using our online contact form. We’re here for you seven days a week because you never know when you’re going to find the home of your dreams.

5 myths about Greensboro down payment assistance programs
June 8, 2021 at 7:00 AM
5 myths about Greensboro down payment assistance programs

Buying a home can be a time-consuming and expensive process. For some, the prospect of saving money for years to have a large enough down payment to buy a home can seem difficult or even unattainable. Fortunately, there are Greensboro down payment assistance programs that can help homebuyers get the funding they need to purchase a home. At, I know there are some myths surrounding down payment assistance, so I’m here to dispel them.

Myth #1: For first-time buyers only

A first-time homebuyer isn’t necessarily someone who hasn’t ever purchased a home. In fact, to satisfy the requirement of a first-time buyer, you only have to go three years without buying a home. That being said, you don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for down payment assistance. These programs are specifically for buyers and aren’t available for investors. This means that the home being purchased must be a primary residency and cannot be used as a rental property.

Myth #2: It’s difficult to qualify

Qualifications vary based on specific criteria for each program. It can be difficult to qualify if you don’t find a program that’s right for you and your needs. The best strategy for finding a program that you qualify for is to begin searching early in the buying process. Once you find funding that you qualify for, begin the application process as soon as possible so you’re ready when you find the right house.

Myth #3: Programs are no longer funded

The idea that down payment assistance programs are no longer funded is false. There are public and private programs available that make millions of dollars available every year. Additionally, there are tax credits and affordable fixed-rate mortgages that you can look into during your research.

Myth #4: Down payment assistance is for cheap homes

It’s believed that assistance programs are designed to encourage buyers to purchase homes in specific neighborhoods. However, funding is available for those looking to buy homes that range from as low as $200,000 to $700,000 and more. Moreover, studies have shown that more than 70% of homes are eligible for funding.

Myth #5: Programs require long closing timelines

Closing on a home takes time no matter what kind of funding you’re using. Although, there’s a myth surrounding down payment assistance programs that it will bog down your buying time. While this might be true if you put off starting your application, it’s not if you get started right away. The timeline to close on your home is measured based on the date that you complete your application. Get as prepared as you can before you start the buying process and it will all go much smoother for you in the end.

Get in touch to learn more

If you’re considering buying a home and want more information about down payment assistance programs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’ve worked with home buyers over the course of 30 years and funded more than two billion dollars in mortgage loans. I’m confident that I can help you find the financing that you need to buy your next home. Get in touch with me at You can reach me by calling 336-740-9068 or send a message using the contact form. I look forward to working with you as you buy your new home.

Steps to getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC
May 11, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Steps to getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC

Buying a house can be a long and stressful process. This is especially true if it’s your first time and you don’t know what to expect. Fortunately, Jill Burgess of can help walk you through the process. Our team has put together a list of the steps for getting a mortgage in Greensboro, NC so that you can plan accordingly if you’re looking to buy a house.

1. Pre-approval

Before shopping for a house, you have to know what your budget will be. You can, of course, hypothetically browse homes in the areas of town where you would like to be and look at different price ranges. But you won’t know which houses you can realistically afford before going through a pre-approval.

The pre-approval process doesn’t take a lot of time and is designed to make for a smooth home buying experience. A lender will pull your credit report to see your credit history and find a loan amount that you will qualify for. This not only makes it easier to shop within your budget but shows a seller that you are someone who can be considered a serious buyer of a home.

2. House shopping

When you’re shopping for a home, get help from a local real estate agent. They’re going to have inside knowledge of the housing market in the area as well as listings that you might not find on national sites like Zillow. With their insight into the local housing market, you can feel confident that you’re going to find a home that’s within your price range and has what you want. While the national listings are a great place to start, they aren’t going to show you the whole picture or provide you with a comprehensive view of homes in the area where you’re shopping.

Once you find the home that you want to buy, you’re going to make an offer on the home. An official offer comes with contingencies that include completed appraisals, inspections, and loan approval. You will also need to put down earnest money, or a deposit that lets the seller know that you are going to see the sale through to completion. With an accepted offer comes a purchase agreement, which will be signed by both you, the buyer, and the seller.

3. Mortgage application

In order to qualify for and finalize your loan, you’re going to need to provide more information to the lender. Most of it is related to employment and income, but there will be additional information to gather regarding assets and debts. If you have any items on your credit report that might draw negative attention from a lender, be prepared to explain what happened in that specific situation.

While applying for a loan, you’re going to have to choose which is best for you from the following options:

  • Fixed or adjustable
  • Conventional
  • Government-insured
  • Jumbo

4. Underwriting

The underwriter is the person who makes the final decision on your loan. They review all the material that’s provided from your credit history to your income and projected ability to pay back the mortgage. Once a final decision is made, it can either come with a straight approval or an approval with conditions. One such condition could be an explanation of a previous foreclosure or debts going to collections.

After the final approval is made, verification is required that all contingencies are met that were previously agreed upon. A meeting with a title company can now be arranged so you can sign the final paperwork and close the deal on the home.

Get help with

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are looking for a change, Jill Burgess with can help. She has more than 30 years of experience in the mortgage industry and has personally funded more than $2 billion in loans. Give our team a call today at 336-740-9068 or send us a message using our online contact form. We’re here to help you get the right home for you and your family.

Understanding Different Options for Home Loans in Greensboro, NC
April 7, 2021 at 11:00 PM
Home loans in Greensboro, NC.

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s understandable that you’re having a tough time figuring out all the home loan options you can access. Or even if you’re now looking to purchase an additional property, the type of home loan you applied before may not fit your current circumstances.

After funding over $2 billion of mortgages here at Mortgages By Jill, we’ve developed an expert understanding of home loans in Greensboro, NC.

Go through this list and find one that fits your needs and circumstances.

Conventional mortgages

Conventional mortgages are those that lack any kind of backing from the government.

30-year-fixed mortgage

This is the most common type of home loan in Greensboro, NC, and all over the U.S.

Once you take out a 30-year mortgage, your interest rate never changes for the entire life of the loan.

And you’ll also have lower monthly payments than with a home loan covering a shorter repayment period.

You could decide to repay the loan faster by adding to your monthly payments.

15-year-fixed-rate mortgage

This type of home loan is often used for refinancing, and it has an interest rate that is set for the life of the loan.

The interest rate is typically lower than that for longer-term mortgages, but the monthly payments also tend to be higher.

Adjustable-rate mortgage

Adjustable-rate mortgages start with an initial rate that’s fixed for a specified period. Then, after that period, the interest rate is adjusted at agreed-upon intervals.

As an example, a 5/1ARM will have the same interest rate for the first five years. Each year after that, the rate is adjusted annually.

The initial rate, also known as the “teaser rate” tends to be lower than that for most other types of home loans.

Jumbo mortgage

Jumbo home loans are mortgages that exceed a certain amount, which varies from county to county and is adjusted periodically.

A jumbo mortgage can have either fixed or adjustable rates, and it often requires a credit score of 700 or higher to qualify.

The down payment is almost always 10% or more.

Interest-only mortgage

With an interest-only mortgage, you only make payments on the lender’s interest charge. The loan balance or principal amount doesn’t change during the payment period.

Before you can get approved for this mortgage, though, you’ll have to demonstrate to lenders that you own substantial assets or that you have a proven ability to make consistent payments.

Government-backed mortgages

Government-backed mortgages are those that are guaranteed or issued and backed by various departments of government. These include the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Agriculture.

FHA mortgage

An FHA mortgage is a home loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. It’s backed by the government and meant to help borrowers on lower incomes purchase homes.

Unlike other types of home loans in Greensboro, NC that require down payments of 20%, FHA mortgages can stipulate down payments as low as 3.5%.

VA mortgage

A VA mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and you automatically qualify if you’re a serving member of the military or a veteran.

There’s typically no down payment required for this type of loan.

USDA mortgage

This type is issued by the US Department of Agriculture. There’s no down payment on most properties,

However, this option is subject to income limits and value caps on properties.

Let Mortgages By Jill help you decide on options for home loans in Greensboro, NC

Jill Burgess has been helping aspiring homebuyers like you apply for mortgages for over 30 years. Whether you’re still trying to figure out the right type of home loan or you need an expert to help you apply, let Jill help. Get in touch today by calling (336-740-9068), or leave a message to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways to Get Down Payment Assistance You May Not Know
March 2, 2021 at 10:30 PM
Down payment assistance can help get you into your first home faster.

When you’re ready to buy your own home, saving up a down payment can be a daunting task. Conventional wisdom says you should put down at least 20% of a home’s cost for manageable monthly payments, better interest rates, and to improve your LTV Ratio. For many families, putting away a significant amount of cash, including enough to cover closing costs and the first few months of mortgage payments, can be a genuine struggle.

There are down payment assistance programs (DPAP) available to help you get initial cash to make an offer on your dream home, just like these five.

#1. Community Partners Loan Pool North Carolina

The CPLP program is a second, 0 percent interest, and deferred second mortgage approved alongside a North Carolina Home Advantage mortgage. It doesn’t require a monthly payment–you repay it either when you sell your home or at the end of your mortgage.

  • Get up to 20% of the purchase price, up to $30,000.
  • Combines with other DPAP grants and loans.

There are some guidelines and requirements for applicants:

  • Credit score over 640.
  • Less than 43% debt load.
  • Income at 80% or less of NC median income.

I can help you establish if you qualify for the CPLP and sign you up for the required eight-hour class.

#2. NC Home Advantage Mortgage

The Home Advantage Mortgage is like the CPLP. It’s a second, concurrent mortgage with 0 percent interest and deferred until the end of the first mortgage’s terms. The Home Advantage differs in that it’s forgiven after year 15 if you don’t sell your home.

  • Provides payment help up to 5% of the loan amount.
  • First-time buyers and military veterans can get up to $8,000.

Veterans and first-time buyers can combine their DPA with the Home Advantage Tax Credit, saving them up to $2,000 in taxes each year.

#3. Greensboro Housing Connect

This $10,000 down payment assistance is for first-time homebuyers. It’s restricted to those buying a home in Greensboro. It provides an additional $5,000 for those buying a home in a city’s designated redevelopment area.

  • Five-year, 0 percent, forgivable loan as long as you remain in the home.
  • Only approved for fixed-rate 15- or 30- mortgages.

Applicants must complete an eight-hour course and meet specific income requirements to qualify.

#4. High Point City Wide Home Buyer Assistance Program

This program is specifically for low- to middle-income families purchasing homes within High Point city limits. The house can’t exceed 95% of the median purchase price, and the buyer must meet specific income requirements.

  • Buyers must put $500 towards the home purchase and have less than $10,000 in liquid assets.
  • The High Point program assists with both the down payment and closing costs.

The maximum amount awarded to applicants is $5,000 with a three-year deferment and 3% interest for five years.

#5. Good Neighbor Next Door Program

There are enormous opportunities for down payment assistance and significant money off the list price of a home for individuals in certain professions. If you’re a firefighter, EMT, K-12 teacher, or law enforcement officer, you qualify for the HUD Good Neighbor Next Door Program.

  • 50% off the list price for FHA loans on foreclosed homes owned by the HUD.
  • Buyers must live in the house for 36 months to qualify.

Participants in the program get early access to The HUD Store with current listings of available properties.

Apply for a mortgage with Jill Burgess to learn more about down payment assistance opportunities.

I work with down payment assistance programs at the state and local level to help first-time homebuyers get into their dream homes. As a preferred loan officer for North Carolina Finance Authority, I’m uniquely qualified to help home buyers navigate the complicated path to homeownership.

Buying your first home is possible, even if you don’t have perfect credit or tens of thousands in savings. Get in touch to get connected to down payment assistance resources or apply for a mortgage today.

Why do jumbo loans matter?
February 3, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Why do jumbo loans matter?

If you’re looking to buy or build a large home, you might be in need of a jumbo loan. At Mortgages By Jill, I can help you find out if this particular type of loan is right for you. Keep reading to learn more about jumbo loans and why they matter to you.

What’s a jumbo loan?

Mortgage loans that are larger than what is typical for the area and exceeds the limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Because a jumbo loan is established by the local market, the limit loan will vary from state to state and there’s a maximum percentage that the loan can be used to finance your build. At Mortgages By Jill, I can help you get 95% financing and up to $3 million. Even with the financing limit, there is still a down payment required to qualify for your loan, which is typically about 20%.

Are lenders at risk?

The short answer is yes. Lenders are at tremendous risk with jumbo loans because they are not backed by Fannie Mae (FNMA) or Freddie Mac (FHLMC), which are government-sponsored organizations that provide security for lenders. Jumbo loans are not supported by these organizations because the limits are outside of limits that are insured.

Are interest rates higher?

Despite the tremendous risk for lenders, jumbo loan interest rates are not typically much higher than a traditional mortgage. In fact, if you have a high credit score you could qualify for a lower interest rate with a jumbo loan.

Are there special considerations for a jumbo loan?

Lenders might have different standards to qualify for a jumbo loan, but a few things to think about when considering a jumbo loan are:

  • What do your cash reserves look like?
  • Do you have a steady income?
  • Are you prepared for underwriting?

Cash reserves

Remember, lenders are not insured by the FHFA with jumbo loans and are at risk of losing out on large amounts of money if you default on your loan. Before you qualify for a loan, your lender might want to see that you have large cash reserves so you can continue to pay on your loan should there be a change in your steady income. Six to 18 months of payments are typically what a lender might want to see in your account.

Consistent income

As with any loan, a lender is going to want to make sure that you have income and the ability to continually pay on your loan. While consistent income is necessary, those who aren’t considered high income (more than $200,000 a year in North Carolina) aren’t likely to qualify.

Manually underwritten

A lender who is providing you with a jumbo loan will want to take an in-depth look at your finances. This means they’ll go through your income, debts, property details, and assets with a fine-toothed comb. This can take time, which means securing your loan can take longer than usual.

Is there a minimum credit score to qualify?

You will need to have a very good credit score to qualify for a jumbo loan. A minimum credit score can vary from lender to lender, but a minimum score of 680 is typical. Additionally, lenders will want to see a low debt-to-income ratio that comes in at around 40%. This means that your bills account for about 40% of your monthly income.

Get a loan from Mortgages By Jill

If you’re in need of a jumbo loan, get in touch with the team at Mortgages By Jill. I can help you get the financing you need for your new home or commercial project. Give me a call at 336-740-9068 or send a message using my online contact form after business hours. I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Mortgage options for new businesses in Winston-Salem, NC
January 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Mortgage options for new businesses in Winston-Salem, NC

If your new business is looking for a way to obtain funding, Mortgages By Jill can help you find the right financing option. While financing can be an issue for new businesses, we can help you learn more about how to get a mortgage in Winston-Salem, NC as well as which type is best for you. Keep reading to learn more about available options.

Permanent loan

What is it?

A permanent loan is typically a long-term loan that comes with a term of at least five years but 25 years is typical. These loans typically come with the lowest available interest rates. This type of loan is most similar to a residential real estate loan as it doesn’t come with any additional risks.

How do you qualify?

Qualifications require that a business owner hold a credit score above 700 as well as sustain one or more years in business. A debt 1.25 debt service coverage ratio is also required.

Hard money loan

What is it?

A hardy money loan is a fast way to get money for a property purchase or renovation. While most loans and mortgages are granted based on the borrower’s credit score and repayment history, a hard money loan is valued based on the value of the property. As with all mortgages, there are pros and cons to hard money loans. While this is a convenient and flexible method of borrowing, you will likely end up paying more in interest over a shorter period of time than other options. However, a hard money loan could be right for you and your business if you’re in a pinch.

How do you qualify?

In order to qualify for a hard money loan, you must have previously completed at least one to three commercial projects. Additionally, you, as the business owner, must have a FICO credit score of at least 600.

SBA 7(a) loan

What is it?

SBA 7(a) loans can range in amounts from $50,000 to $5 million. This funding can be used to buy or expand a business or purchase capital for operation. An SBA 7(a) loan offers the flexibility of the borrower to use the funding for these tasks, while other loans do not. However, you will find that a down payment and interest rate are not as friendly to the business owner.

How do you qualify?

An SBA 7(a) loan qualification requires a personal FICO score of 680 and above as well as at least two years of operation and two years of stable cash flow. A minimum 10 percent down payment is also required. Your business must have between 10 and 1,000 employees and own 51 percent of the existing building as well.

SBA 504 loan

What is it?

When a business owner obtains an SBA 504 loan, it’s important to have an understanding of the necessary requirements for using funds. An SBA 504 loan can be used for purchasing real estate and equipment, each of which come with their own fixed terms of 20 or 25 years for real estate and 10 years for equipment. Furthermore, this loan offers amounts from $125,000 up to $20 million with a fixed interest rate.

How do you qualify?

To meet qualification standards for an SBA 504 loan, the business owner is required 51 percent owner occupancy in an existing building as well as a 10-year minimum economic life on any financed equipment.

Get in touch with Jill

Get started finding the right mortgage option for your new business today. Get in touch with Jill Burgess and the rest of the team at Mortgages By Jill so we can help you get approved for your mortgage in Winston-Salem, NC

How to get mortgages for people with bad credit
December 3, 2020 at 7:00 AM
A personholding the keys to their new home. Specialty house loans can help you find the perfect residence.

Are you wanting to buy a home but have bad credit? Don’t let your credit score slow you down, because there are ways people just like you get mortgages for bad credit every day. In fact, most homebuyers don’t have perfect credit. More than 60 percent of homebuyers have a credit score that falls between 700 and 800. Mortgages By Jill offers information and resources to help you know the best things you can do to get a mortgage and fulfill your dream of owning your home.

How low is bad credit?

If you’re unsure where your credit score falls on the spectrum, a score between 580 and 669 is considered fair, while anything below 580 is poor. Anything above 670 is classified as good, very good, or excellent. If you’re concerned about your credit score, there are still options out there for you. Specific types of loans and lenders require a minimum credit score. For homebuyers who have credit below 600, your best options would be to ask your lender about FHA and USDA loans. FHA loans require a minimum credit score of 500, while USDA loans have no minimum requirement. However, a lender may have its own minimum score requirement. VA loans do not require a minimum score as well, so be sure to ask your lender about what it takes to meet the specific requirements for these loans.

Know your options

Like any other major decision you make in life, it’s important to do your research and figure out what options are available beforehand. Know your credit score and understand the options that are available to you. It’s also to gain a strong understanding of what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re looking to get a mortgage with bad credit, be aware that you’re much more likely to get handed a high interest rate. While your mortgage broker can help you get the lowest available rate, you’re likely not going to get a rate as low as somebody who has a better credit score.

Save for a large down payment

A great way to show a lender that you’re in this mortgage for the long run is to save a large down payment. Putting at least 10 percent down on your home is a good place to start. This means that if you’re looking to buy a home that costs $150,000, you’ll want to save at least $15,000. Does this take time? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Lenders like to see that buyers have a personal investment in your purchase, so you’re more likely to get approved for a loan with a sizable down payment.

Pay down debt

The best way to get a home loan with bad credit is to improve your credit. You can do this by making a concerted effort to pay down your debts. Something that lenders consider when approving or denying mortgages is your debt-to-income ratio. By paying down your debts and improving your ratio, you’ll be much more likely to get approved for the loan for which you’re applying.

Get a cosigner

There are times when you simply haven’t had a chance to improve your credit. Maybe you’re young and have not had any debt yet, but you are in a place financially where you can afford to buy a home. Get a cosigner to help. A cosigner gives a lender peace of mind that there’s a lower risk of defaulting on your loan.

Contact Mortgages By Jill

Jill Burgess of Mortgages By Jill has funded over $2 billion in mortgage loans over her 30-year career. You can be confident that Jill knows the necessary steps that need to be taken to ensure that you get a home loan. She is familiar with lenders in the Greensboro, NC area who will fund mortgages for bad credit. Call Mortgages By Jill at 336-740-9068 today or fill out our online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Why Should I Work With a Loan Officer Near Me?
November 17, 2020 at 10:30 PM
A loan officer is your partner in finding home financing and can help you secure a mortgage.

If you’re just beginning your journey to homeownership, you’re probably overwhelmed with questions. What’s a loan officer? Do I need one? Are there any loan officers near me? The path to securing a home mortgage isn’t always straightforward. Think of a loan officer as your guide to financing your home purchase.

Loan officers are the human face of financial institutions. They meet with clients, evaluate their eligibility for financing, and find the right loan to help them buy a home. Even if you’re not in a traditional situation, a loan officer can help you get financing or on the path to future approval.

What does a loan officer do?

A loan officer represents a financial institution, like a bank or credit union. Loan officers use their comprehensive understanding of the loan application process to help clients find the best financing options. While much of the mortgage application now takes place online or digitally, a loan officer is the bank’s human face. They’re ready with answers to whatever question you might have as you choose a loan and apply.

It will probably be a loan officer who does the initial screening for your application to determine your eligibility for different mortgages. There’s not a one-size-fits-all loan for homebuyers. A loan officer assesses your finances, credit history, and down payment to find the best financing product for your situation.

As a preferred loan officer with North Carolina Finance Authority, I’ve helped countless clients with unique financial and credit situations to find the best financing for their homes over the last three decades.

How do I apply for a mortgage with a loan officer?

If you’ve tried to tackle a mortgage application alone, you know personalized, experienced help is invaluable. A loan officer works with you on the application to ensure everything is accurate and in order before sending it to the bank’s underwriter. It’s the underwriter who determines the applicant’s credit eligibility and approves the application.

Unfortunately, getting approved for a mortgage is just the start of the paperwork. A loan officer collects all the necessary closing documents. Every mortgage has different paperwork requirements, and it can vary by city and state. Your loan officer will make sure everything is in order for closing, as they’re familiar with the various requirements.

What kinds of loans can a loan officer find me?

You may not realize the various financing options the first time you walk into a bank to apply for a mortgage. If it’s your first home, there’s greater flexibility for the required credit history and down payment. If you’re a veteran, first responder, or teacher, there are even more options. Here are a few types of mortgages a loan officer might consider for you:

  • Medical professional mortgages
  • First time home buyer programs
  • Portfolio loans
  • Community partner loans
  • FHA loans

You don’t have to know the different requirements for these financing options because a loan officer has extensive knowledge about various programs and their applications.

If you’ve been dreaming of buying a home for a while, it’s worth it to make an appointment with a loan officer to discuss your options. You may be closer to homeownership than you think.

Are there loan officers near me?

I work with clients throughout the Triad of North Carolina with offices in Winston Salem and Greensboro. As a loan officer, I’m familiar with loan programs in cities across North Carolina, including High Point, Raleigh, and Charlotte. However, location doesn’t restrict my services. Many of my past clients, even out of state, get in touch when they’re ready to upgrade their homes. I’m always available by appointment to answer questions about the loan application and home buying process.

Do You Meet VA Loan Eligibility Requirements?
October 19, 2020 at 5:00 AM
Find out if you meet VA loan eligibility

Buying a home is one of the most exciting times of our lives, but it’s not always a simple process. In fact, it rarely is. However, VA loans help streamline the process for veterans and their families to get the homes they deserve.

If yo