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How Do You Know When It's Time to Refinance?
August 3, 2023 at 4:00 PM
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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 you’re exploring a VA loan, it’s important to understand VA loan eligibility requirements and determine whether or not you meet each requirement. Learning more about your qualifications can help speed up the process before reaching out to a lender or mortgage specialist. I’ve helped many veterans get the funding they need for their homes, and I can do the same for you. Here’s what you need to know about VA loans.

Who qualifies for VA loans?

Any military service veterans, including active-duty members and reserves, may qualify for a VA loan. Some eligible family members may also qualify. However, veterans must also have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and meet their lender’s minimum credit and income requirements.

Those eligible for a VA loan must meet one or more of the following:

  • Minimum 90 days’ consecutive active service during wartime
  • 181 days’ active service during peacetime
  • Six years’ service in the National Guard or Reserves
  • Marriage to a veteran who died during service or due to a service-related disability

Why is a COE required?

While COE’s are required, you do not need to have one before you apply for your VA loan. Do remember, though, that your COE confirms with your lender that you qualify for a VA loan and its benefits. Most lenders can look up your COE via the VA’s system, through which roughly two-thirds of COEs are brought up and issued.

Veterans have three common ways by which they may get a COE for their loan, including:

  • Through a VA-approved lender
  • Online application via the VA’s portal
  • By mail with a VA Form 26-1880

While the timeline of getting your COE is quick, you’ll need to provide specific documents depending on your type of service. For National Guard and Reserves, NGB Forms 22 and 23 are required. Other veterans must most often provide DD Form 214. However, other documents may be required as well.

Why choose a VA loan?

VA loans come with several benefits, including no VA-mandated minimum credit score, removing one of the most challenging barriers for many first-time homebuyers, and those who may have had trouble getting loans in the past.

Eligible applicants also benefit from no down payment requirements, removing another substantial hurdle for homebuyers of all backgrounds and circumstances. Additionally, any down payments made may come from a gift or grant. VA loans are also more accessible as they offer flexible income, debt, and credit requirements, and come with both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options. VA loans also do not require mortgage insurance.

Benefit from a VA loan from Mortgages by Jill

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, are fixing up your home, or buying a new one, VA loans help make the process much simpler, and get veterans the homes they deserve with less red tape than other types of loans impart.

If you have questions about your VA loan eligibility or you’re ready to get started and approved for your VA loan, reach out to me today.

VA loans cheat sheet: What to know
September 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
This is an image of a service member who bought a house with VA loans.

Buying a house is exciting, but it can also be a complex and stressful process. You will likely need a loan, but how do you know which is right for you? How do you go about getting a loan? If you’re a current or former military service member, you may qualify for a VA loan. Here’s your handy VA loan cheat sheet to help you find out if it’s the right option for you.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a type of loan offered through the Veterans Administration for eligible military service members. The loan can help you buy, build, or improve a home.

Who qualifies for a VA loan?

Eligible service members, including veterans, reservists, and active duty personnel, plus eligible family members, may qualify for a VA loan.

Benefits of getting a VA loan

VA loans offer a variety of benefits.

  • There’s no down payment required
  • Your down payment and closing costs may come from a gift or grant
  • Available options allow flexibility in income, debt and credit requirements
  • There’s no requirement for mortgage insurance
  • Loans are available in fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options

Types of VA loans

When it comes to VA loans, there are a number of different loan types available.

Purchase loan: A purchase loan can help you get better lending terms when seeking a loan to buy a house.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL): The NADL program helps Native American veterans as well as veterans married to a Native American receive a loan to purchase, build, or improve a home on federal trust land.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): If you already have a VA-backed home loan, you may be able to qualify for a VA-backed IRRRL to help reduce or stabilize your monthly payments.

Cash-out refinance loan: A VA-backed cash-out refinance loan allows you to take cash out of your home equity in order to pay for other needs, such as school costs, paying off debt, and more.

How to get a VA loan

Interested in getting a VA loan? There are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to do so. First, you’ll need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for one on the VA’s website, through the VA’s Web LGY system, or by mail.

Next, depending on which type of loan you’re seeking, you’ll need to work with a private mortgage company, such as Mortgages by Jill. I’ll help you through the loan process.

Before a loan can be given, I’ll request a VA appraisal of the house, which will give me more information about its market value, and I’ll look at your income information and credit score. If you qualify for the loan and your application is accepted, we’ll discuss the next steps for getting you into your new home.

About Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill

In my 30 years of experience, I’ve helped a number of people become homebuyers by personally funding more than $2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. In addition to VA loans, my company offers a variety of other loan types and programs, including programs for first time homebuyers, medical professionals, community personnel, and more. I know how big of an impact having your own home can make, and I’m passionate about making that a reality for residents in North Carolina and beyond.

There’s a lot to consider when applying for a loan. Mortgages by Jill is here to make the process feel less overwhelming. Click here to learn more or apply for a loan today.

5 Things You Need to Know about Lot Loans in North Carolina
August 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
lot land ready for development in north carolina

Many homeowners want to explore various options when developing their forever home. Questions come up like, “Is it best to purchase a turnkey home?” or “How much would it cost to renovate an older home?”

One question that comes up is “Should we purchase land and build our own custom home?” However, lot loans in North Carolina can involve quite a bit more than you’d expected.

That’s why you need a loan officer with experience in lot loans. I’m here to help guide you through five things you need to know about lot loans, so you can decide if buying land in North Carolina is the right choice for you.

1. Not all land is lot land

If you’ve found an area of land that you like, you’ll want to be sure you know what kind of land it is. You need to find out if this is lot land or raw land. Lot land is more suitable for residential development for several reasons. It typically has access to utilities, septic systems, and roads.

2. Lot land is more financially viable than raw land

Raw land is not usually ready for residential development. This is because raw land is typically not surveyed or zoned for boundaries. So can be many more risks involved to bring the raw land up to code. Since lot land is ready for development, banks are more likely to offer lot loans for a more secure investment.

3. A lot loan down payment depends on land usage

Just the same as a business investment, banks will determine the down payment for a lot loan based on the use of the land. Banks can see immediate return on investment for an existing home, whereas building a new home on land can lead to many unexpected hurdles. This is another reason why raw land is less favored by banks, and lot land is a safer investment.

4. The better the land, the lower the cost

If you are looking to build your dream home, you’ll want to find the highest quality property to build it on. There are many reasons for this, one being that better quality land typically requires a lower down payment. This is because it will take less time to get residential property onto the land. So be sure to review all the information about the land once it has been zoned and surveyed.

5. There are various loan options available for lot loans

Here is another reason why it’s important to work with a loan officer. Since there are several different aspects involved in financing land, there are several loan options to review. There are home equity loans, HSDA loans, credit unions, and seller financing to name a few. All of these loans should be carefully considered. Working with a loan officer will help make sure you find the best option for your land.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to learn about land loans. By all means, don’t let this discourage you from your dream of building your own custom home on a unique property. But it’s best if you work with a loan officer with experience in the area. You’ll have access to an invaluable resource throughout the process, so you can feel confident in your investment.

When you work with me, you’ll be working with a loan officer who cares. I have experience in helping clients obtain lot loans in Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities throughout North Carolina. And with 30 years of experience, I promise to help you find the best option as you plan for your future.

Contact me today to start building for your future.

The Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Expert in Winston-Salem, NC
July 15, 2020 at 4:00 AM
get the Winston-Salem, NC, home of your dreams with a mortgage expert&#x27;s assistance

When it comes to selecting a mortgage expert to help you finance your Winston-Salem, NC, home, taking the time to find someone with the right experience and expertise is essential. Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or this your second or third home, unrivaled guidance can make a huge difference.

For 30 years, people have turned to me to help them get the loans they need to move into their homes. In that time, I’ve funded more than $2 billion to help individuals and families finance their homes—and helped them understand their options before reaching a decision that works best for them.

Here’s how I can help you get the loan you need.

Offering Expert Advice to My North Carolina Neighbors

In the past three decades, I’ve had the privilege of guiding North Carolinians through the often complex process of exploring, choosing, and getting approved for a loan. My experience extends beyond Winston-Salem; I’ve helped homeowners in Greensboro, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities get the loans they need.

My 30 years of experience working across the state (and outside of it) has given me the opportunity to see countless unique situations and to understand how to best provide guidance to ensure you get the right loan for your situation. These diverse circumstances have helped me better understand individuals’ needs and, while each case is unique, see where ceratin situations overlap and apply those learnings to others’ cases.

When you reach out to me for your 30-minute consult, I’ll get the chance to learn more about your financial circumstance and personal needs. This helps me understand which loan(s) may be best for you.

I especially enjoy helping first-time homebuyers understand the lending process, grants, down payment assistance, and special financing options so they can experience the pride and peace of mind that comes with owning a home.

But first-time homeowners and others alike have several options. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans help future homeowners of all income levels receive the financial assistance they need to own their home. These loans are great for you if you anticipate owning a lower-priced home with a small down payment or do not have much cash upfront for either the down payment or closing costs.

But for those who need significant financial assistance, I can help you get a jumbo loan. These loans are perfect for those who need up to $3 million to secure the home of their dreams.

I’m also proud to help those who serve our communities get the financial assistance they need to own their homes. Through medical professional mortgages and community partners loans, I can help healthcare professionals, law enforcement, firefighters, educators, and first responders receive the assistance required to get the home they deserve.

Let’s Get You into the Home of Your Dreams

I understand that no two potential homeowners have the same financial situations, personal wants, needs, or dreams. But in my 30 years of experience, I’ve come to understand that, no matter a person’s background or financial situation, everyone deserves a home—and I’m proud to help my Winston-Salem, NC, neighbors get the funding they need to move into theirs. Reach out to me today to take the first step to get the loan that’s right for you.

Jill Burgess’ Top 3 Tips For Buying Your First Home
June 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM
I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

Buying a home for the first time can be an intimidating process. There are countless different types of available loans, eligibility can be multi-tiered and complicated, and the whole experience can quickly go from exciting to stress-inducing. That’s why I’m committed to demystifying the complex aspects and putting your perfect home within your reach.

Here are my top 3 tips for buying your first home.

NC Home Advantage Mortgages

An NC Home Advantage Mortgage has the potential to make a dramatic difference in your first home-buying experience. Through this 30 year fixed rate loan, you can receive down payment assistance up to 5% of your total loan amount. Better yet, that’s without having to pay any interest. It can be used in association with FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loans.

As a result, money saved through an NC Home Advantage Mortgage can be reallocated to furniture, moving, and other associated moving costs.

Down Payment Assistance

There are multiple available forms of down payment assistance for purchasing your first home in North Carolina.

For instance, you might qualify for the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program if you meet the following conditions:

  • Be a first-time home buyer.
  • But a new or existing house as a primary residence.
  • Meet specific income limits.
  • Receive no more than 20 percent of the purchase price in DPA.
  • Complete a HUD-approved 8-hour, in-person homebuyer education course.
  • Secure a fixed-rate, 15- or 30-year mortgage.

Similarly, NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment provides $8,000 in down payment assistance. You could qualify for up to $30,000 of down payment assistance depending on the specifics of your circumstances as a first-time home buyer.

As a mortgage expert for 30 years, I can help narrow down your options and ensure you receive the most possible assistance.

Core City Homebuyer Incentive Program

The Core City Home Buyer Incentive Program provides financial benefits to homebuyers in particular areas of Core City. This is done in order to increase income diversification in the area.

The program provides $5,000 of assistance via a 5-year loan at 0% interest, forgiven at 20% per year. This is provided that your property sales price does not exceed $200,000 and is located in the Core City or Springbrook Meadows.

Don’t neglect to consider these kinds of incentive programs when choosing your new home’s potential location. It could make a dramatic difference for your budget!

Contact Mortgages By Jill Today

These aforementioned tips could potentially save you thousands of dollars, but they’re only a small fraction of my knowledge on mortgages. From the High Point City Wide Home Buyer Assistance Program to the Good Neighbor Next Door Program, there are multiple routes towards buying your first home— but only one of those paths is the right path for you.

If you want my expertise on your team, contact Mortgages By Jill today to schedule a consultation. Let’s find your dream home together without breaking the bank.

What You Didn't Know About First Home Mortgages
May 11, 2020 at 4:00 AM
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If you're like most first-time buyers, you need a home loan, or mortgage, to finance your first property purchase. However, if you've never applied for a home loan before, the whole process can seem daunting and overly complicated. Don't worry. It's actually much more straightforward than it looks! Here's what you should know about first home mortgages and why it's easier to apply for a home loan than it seems. 

You Don't Need a Certain Down Payment

I'm not sure why so many people believe that they need to make a 20% minimum down payment on a property, but it's simply not true. Sure, you might secure lower interest rates if you make a higher down payment, but you can still qualify for a home loan with as little as a 3% down payment. 

Down Payment Assistance Is Available 

Struggling to save up for a down payment? Don't worry! This is common, and there are various down payment assistance programs on offer to help you out. I'm familiar with all the home incentive and down payment assistance products available across the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area, and I can advise you on everything, from your eligibility right through to making your initial application.  

Shopping Around May Save You Money

When you're looking for a first home mortgage, you should do two things: do your research and speak with a professional loan officer. Shopping around is the only way to ensure that you understand all the loan options available and find the one best suited to your unique circumstances. And, by working with an experienced loan officer like me, you'll get all the support you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options. 

Support Exists for Low-Income Buyers

Even if you're a low-to-moderate-income buyer, it's still absolutely possible for you to secure a home loan. There are numerous support programs available, including High Point's City-Wide Homebuyer Assistance Program and USDA loans. Whatever your financial situation, you deserve a shot at joining the property ladder, and I'm here to help you take that first step. 

Bad Credit Isn't Fatal

Seriously – a less than ideal credit rating is no reason to give up on finding a home loan. Although it's true that a better credit score makes it easier to secure a mortgage, there are financing options out there for every first-time buyer. Government-insured loans such as Federal Housing Administration (FDA) loans only require minimal down payments, and they are open to applicants with pretty low credit scores. I can talk you through all the options available in your specific circumstances.

Some Cities Have Their Own Incentive Schemes 

Some cities, such as Greensboro, offer down payment assistance to first-time buyers who want to purchase a home within the city limits. These incentive schemes encourage new homeowners to get on the property ladder – the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program, for example, pays up to $10,000 towards closing costs and your down payment!

Ready to Apply for Your First Home Mortgage?

Don't let the first home mortgage application process stress you out – instead, let me help you secure your dream home! With over 30 years' experience in personal finance and home loans, I'm perfectly placed to support you through each step of the mortgage application process, from shopping around for the best deal to signing the final contract. To find out more about home loans and my service offerings, contact Mortgages by Jill today. 

A Brief History Of Home Loans
April 14, 2020 at 4:00 AM
We are your resource for information about home loans and mortgages.

You’ll often hear the term “mortgage” used in conversation, and especially when discussing the market crash of 2008. If you’re looking to buy your first home, you will be more acquainted with the concept and must familiarize yourself with how a mortgage works. A mortgage is a loan that you take out when you are buying a home. Over the course of a set period of time, you will pay off this loan through a series of routine installments. Americans have been taking out and paying off mortgages for decades, but when did this become common practice?

Loans have been in society practically since the beginning of recorded history. The loan industry covers more than just home loans and can be used to purchase a wide variety of different assets. However, home loans are particularly significant because they provide middle and lower class citizens with the opportunity to purchase homes that they would otherwise not be able to afford. Initially, mortgages were issued exclusively by banks and were not readily accessible to all citizens. Only a select few were able to successfully file for a loan until Fannie Mae instituted under President Roosevelt changed the mortgage market and its influence is still significant today. Since then, receiving approval for a mortgage is far more common.

After the 2008 market crash, mortgages unjustly received a bad name. However, the market today is back to normal and precautions have been established to prevent any sort of mishap. Citizens may now safely take mortgages out with the full confidence of the lender as long as your credit score is good. To ensure that all those receiving mortgages fully understand the dynamics of what they are signing up for, lenders provide intricate details to educate the lendee in hopes to avoid misinformation and ultimately prevent another crisis.

Mortgages by Jill is the professional, personal, and passionate office that over the impressive span of 30 years has personally funded 2 billion dollars worth of mortgage loans. Jill is uniquely devoted to her clientele, whether they be first time buyers or previous clients looking to move into a larger home. It takes a professional with the adequate experience Jill boasts to help you navigate the rough terrain of the mortgage world, and see you safely through the process. As a result, Jill will protect your money, assets, and your home. Please get in touch with us today and learn how Jill’s unique services can help you!

Can You Get a Home Loan With Bad Credit in Greensboro?
March 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM
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You may have been monitoring your credit score on one of those credit websites and worried your scores are too low. You may have a bad credit score because you had financial issues in the past, and conventional lenders might not consider you. However, there are still several ways you can secure a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro.

Try a Credit Union

First, you should consider a credit union. They offer services similar to banks, but they're owned by members and are not-for-profit institutions. They're more likely to look past your bad credit history and may consider factors like your character as well. Look for credit unions that are linked to your life in some way. Perhaps your local community or employer has a credit union, and there are special ones for professions like teachers and the military.

Get a Co-Signer

If you'd prefer instead stick with a conventional bank, consider asking a family member or friend to be a co-signer on your home loan. The lender will calculate rates based on the person with better credit. Just know that your co-signer is doing you a huge favor. The loan payment information is recorded on both of your credit scores. So if you default or you're late, you'll hurt their credit, too.

Leverage Your Assets

Some lenders will offer what's called a secured home loan in which you borrow against things you own. These things can either be physical stuff, like another house, car, or boat, or, in some cases, assets like stocks. Secured home loan amounts are determined based on how much equity you have in the underlying asset, so another home is the collateral most likely to be approved. Know that if you default on the loan, however, you lose that asset.

Improve Your Bad Credit

There are a few other options, like unsecured loans, personal loans, and peer-to-peer lending. But perhaps the best tip is to improve your bad credit. Pull your free credit report and learn where you stand. Make smaller payments, like half a payment every two weeks instead of once a month, and do it on time. Don't close any credit cards and other accounts, like store accounts. Having a lot of available credit that you don't use helps your score, as does an account with a long history. Debt consolidation can also help. It takes three to six months of good credit behavior to boost your score, but the effort is worth it.

Consider Credit Repair

There are a lot of credit repair agencies that will take you on as a client. It may be anywhere from a three-month process to a six-month process. Sometimes it's up to a 12-month process, depending on how much credit you have on the bureau and if there are errors to be removed. It is possible that you paid off a loan, for example, but it still shows on your report. So, you are better off trying to clean your credit before purchasing a home versus going in with a bad credit score. This is because your credit score will affect the interest rate that you're going to pay over a 15- or 30-year period.

Want to learn more about how to get a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro and how you can make yourself a more attractive loan candidate for that dream home you've always wanted? Reach out today to Mortgages by Jill at 336-740-9068. Or simply fill out our handy contact form, and we'll get back to you. We can't wait to hear from you!

Jill Burgess | Your Trusted Loan Officer in North Carolina
February 28, 2020 at 5:00 AM
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About Jill Burgess | Loan Officer 

Whether securing a loan for homebuyers, helping rescue at-risk pets, or participating in community projects, I'm all in! Nothing makes me happier than a job well done, especially when helping people purchase the home of their dreams.I'm happy to say that I am a preferred loan officer with the North Carolina Finance Authority. Proudly, I'm also a 5-star rated mortgage professional. I know the housing market and loan products available for every home buyer, from first responders to the self-employed, and everyone in between. This extensive knowledge allows me to make your home buying experience easy.I've funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. I want to bring that loan officer experience to you! 

Products and Services 

There are dozens of mortgage products and home buying incentives available to home buyers in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area. I know them all. Best of all, I demystify the mortgage process. Here's a list of current products and services available through Mortgages by Jill:Medical Professional Mortgages: a loan program designed to accommodate medical professionals' circumstances, covering specifics such as time on the job, student loan debt, and downpayment requirements.First Time Homebuyer Programs: specialty loan products and downpayment assistance programs designed to build neighborhoods through homeownership. Portfolio Loans: Yes! I can help you secure a mortgage with loans retained at our institution. These loans give us greater flexibility for borrowers who don't fit the standard mold.The Ameris Edge Jumbo Loan: this product is designed for primary and secondary home purchases up to $3,000,000. Community Partners Loans/FHLB: these loan programs support our first responders, teachers, and other helping professionals be homeowners with special financing, downpayment, and purchasing requirements. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans: federal mortgage products designed to help buyers of all income levels who have limited funds for down payments. USDA Rural Housing Loan: special mortgage products for homebuyers in rural areas that assist with up-front costs, closing costs, and downpayment requirements.Veterans Administration (VA) Loans: these loan products are designed to help eligible service members become homeowners. Products offer flexibility and assistance with the downpayment, closing costs, and insurance requirements.Conventional 97 Loans: a loan product designed for first-time homeowners with limited funds for their downpayment. These loans allow for a 3% downpayment, and a 97% loan-to-value loan ratio. Click here to learn more about the products offered at Mortgages by Jill!

What Sets Jill Apart as Your Mortgage Loan Officer?

I know the people, places, and loan products that help home buyers have a drama-free home buying experience. My roots are in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem areas of North Carolina, but my reach extends nationwide.  With 30 years and 2 billion dollars worth of experience, I've surely helped someone exactly like you find a way to their dream home. That's why I'm a 5-star loan officer know for bringing friendly, professional expertise to every detail of the home buying experience. I know mortgages, I know North Carolina, and I'd love to get to know you!

I'm looking forward to working with you!

Are you ready to start the application process? Great! Click here to apply.Want to talk a bit first? Even better! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.Welcome to Mortgages by Jill, where your mortgage experience is personal, professional, and dedicated!

5 Top Benefits Offered by USDA Loans in Greensboro Winston Salem, Point North Carolina
January 24, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by Ameris Bank Mortgage Services

If you’re one of those people who’s been renting their place for seemingly forever, you might want to look into the possibility of finally owning a home through USDA loans. These loans, which are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are part of the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program.

USDA loans are designed to benefit potential home buyers with low-to-average income for their area. They come with several benefits you won’t see in other loan programs. Let’s take a closer look at each one of those benefits below:

1. Zero down payment

One of the greatest draws of the USDA loan program is that it enables homebuyers to receive 100 percent financing. Most applicants have no trouble qualifying for most types of loans. However, the ability to gather enough funds for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles for first-time homebuyers – a difficulty you won’t encounter with a USDA loan.

With Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, borrowers need to have at least a 3.5 percent down payment. For most conventional loans, on the other hand, a 5 percent down payment is required, at the minimum. This makes USDA home loans more accessible to borrowers. 

2. Competitive interest rates and loan terms

Although actual interest rates tend to vary for every lender due to specific factors, such as your credit standing and prevailing market conditions, the USDA guarantee offers some reassurance that participating lenders will offer some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Moreover, you can qualify for a USDA loan with the usual mortgage terms; that is, 15 years or 30 years.

3. Low Monthly Fees

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a requirement for conventional loans if the borrower is unable to provide a 20 percent down payment. Moreover, even FHA loans are known to have high annual mortgage insurance fees.

A USDA loan won’t have a PMI as it uses two different fees instead. These fees comprise the upfront guarantee fee (1 percent of the total financed amount), which needs to be paid once the loan is closed, and the annual fee (0.35 percent of the current loan balance), which is actually lumped into your monthly mortgage payment. It’s also good to know that the USDA loan funding fee is the lowest of its kind among all government-backed loan products.

So, if you have a $200,000 mortgage, for example, the upfront funding fee would be $2,000, and the 0.35 percent annual fee would be calculated at $58 per month. An FHA loan of the same amount would cost you $3,500 upfront (1.75 percent) and $139 per month (0.85 percent annual fee).

4. Flexible credit guidelines

If you think your less-than-ideal credit history might disqualify you for a USDA home loan, you might want to check for certain. While a minimum credit score of 660 is required by the majority of typical lenders, 720 is usually the minimum if you are to qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Fortunately for you, to qualify for a USDA home loan, there is no minimum credit score. But, to avail of the USDA's automated underwriting system, you need to have at least 640 or a higher credit score. Those with credit scores lower than 640 qualify for USDA loans through manual underwriting.

5. Millions can qualify

The majority of U.S. citizens can qualify for a USDA loan, or an estimated 97 percent of the country. Of course, the goal behind this provision is to encourage population growth in non-urban areas. However, note that the USDA definition for what a rural area is, is quite broad. In simple terms, it can be any area with a population below 35,000.

Ready to discuss your options with Ameris Bank Mortgage Services?

If you are seriously considering applying for a USDA loan, Ameris Bank Mortgage Services is here to help.

We can provide expert advice and guide you throughout the entire process.

Trends to Watch With FHA Loans in 2020 - From Ameris Bank, Your Loan Connection Experts
December 17, 2019 at 5:00 AM
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With interest rates still exceptionally low, employment levels exceptionally high, and conditions overall favorable, the US housing market should enjoy a strong year in 2020.

Along with the economic optimism and performance, signs point to a year of increased activity from the Federal Housing Administration in helping qualified individuals get into the homes they want. FHA loans provide many with their best opportunity to get into a new home. 

At Ameris Bank, we proudly partner with the FHA to help as many of our clients as possible get into the home of their dreams at a reasonable price. 

What the Federal Housing Administration Does

The FHA, an agency of the Department of Housing and Urban Development,  works to provide qualified borrowers with low interest loans. Established as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal era reforms, the FHA is one of the largest providers of mortgage loans in the world.

FHA, however, does not directly lend money. It works with private sector lenders who dedicate themselves to great client service daily. FHA assists both lenders and borrowers by insuring loans, making them less risky for providers and more accessible for buyers. 

Why Clients Desire FHA Loans

FHA loans offer buyers a number of benefits and advantages not found in an uninsured loan. For example, buyers only need a 3.5 percent down payment. It's our experience that this is much lower than is typically requested in a non-insured loan.

Lower credit scores also do not always disqualify those seeking a loan. If you have a credit score as low as 500, you may still qualify for a loan, with a deposit of 10 percent or more.

The FHA’s loan program aims to help those who have negative credit marks, but still have the ability to pay off a loan. Along with USDA, Veterans Administration, and other programs, they help a number of capable individuals achieve home ownership that would be otherwise impossible.

<h3>Loan Limits Expected to Rise in 2020</h3>

Growth in the housing market has pushed prices of single family homes higher. To respond to that development, FHA low-cost area home loan limits rose from just under $315,000 to approximately $332,000. Loan limits for higher cost area residential properties will rise from $727,000 to about $767,000

The differences in these numbers reflect the huge disparity of housing costs seen in different parts of the country. Homes that sell for hundreds of thousands or even millions in markets such as San Francisco or suburban Washington DC bear much lower prices in more rural and economically struggling urban regions.

FHA Housing Applications Will Continue to Grow Over the Next Year

As FHA interest rates continue to hover around 4 percent, many have sought to take advantage before conditions change. We feel this is a smart move. 

Loan applications for not only new home buyers, but also refinancing, continued to rise in the last weeks of 2019. Refinancing applications grew by nearly 30 percent. Purchase applications declined slightly toward the end of the year, but remain five percent ahead of the same levels from this time last year. 

With so many incentives for using FHA loans to purchase or refinance a home, it’s no wonder why we have seen growth in applications.

Reach Out Today

We invite your to learn more about FHA and other helpful federal loan programs available through working with Ameris Bank. Our staff understands that these programs are complex and will answer any questions about them and how we help clients obtain them. We can also set up an appointment to get your application started.

Call or message us today. Let us be your first step toward financing the home of your dreams. 

Ameris Bank Offers Customized Mortgage Services For You
November 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We understand that finding ways to finance a house purchase can be overwhelming, frustrating, and exhausting.

A first time home buyer I particular feels the pain of uncertainty. Which mortgage services and programs will provide the best value? Which will cost the least in the long term? How can I best position my credit score while preparing for getting a loan?

What most home buyers need from a mortgage lender, besides the loan, is patience, understanding, and thoughtful education on the process.

Ameris Bank believes in a comprehensive approach to client services. We want to make sure that you achieve your lending goals as much as possible.

Our Mission

Over the past three decades, we have earned a reputation for using the three Ps to provide elevated client service.

This means taking a personal, professional, and passionate approach to making sure that our clients get the best possible mortgage services solutions from Ameris Bank. We not only work with home buyers to get them great terms through us, but also connect clients with helpful government assistance programs when they qualify.

Our Range of Mortgage Services

We have worked to create a number of loan packages designed to help as many categories of home buyers as possible.

For those seeking out upscale homes for residence and investment, we offer jumbo loans up to $3 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a number of special loan packages for first time home buyers. Many of these include financial assistance in the form of grants, down payment assistance, and special financing plans.

First time home buyers can also take advantage of a number of incentive programs. Those who are currently in the military or have left the service can qualify for VA on loans. Others can take advantage of USDA programs that help reduce burdens on first time home buyers. From FHLB comes assistance for those who serve the community as first responders and in other key positions.

Most people buying their first home have little knowledge about the many government programs designed to make it easier to obtain a loan. Our commitment to client services includes educating you on all of the options for which you may qualify.

Many buy housing not for their own use, but as revenue generating investments. We have options for investors looking to build their portfolios.

We take our commitment to engaging our clients very seriously, as we help them get what they need from the lending process.

Our Dedication to Client Service

Client service starts with a conversation. At Ameris Bank, we do not push loan packages that serve our needs more than the client’s. We speak with clients, determine their wants, their needs, and their financial situation.

After establishing the groundwork, we then work to connect the client with the best possible loan package. We can also advise on how to improve credit scores to the point at which clients may qualify for better rates or certain programs.

At Ameris Bank, we give the needs and concerns of clients top priority.

Reach Out Today

Looking to purchase a new house, but feel overwhelmed by an avalanche of information and questions? Call Ameris Bank today. We can set up an appointment to go over all of the information that you need to prepare for applying for a loan, as well as the options for which you may qualify.

When you work with Ameris bank on home financing, you get peace of mind that allows you to focus on the fun of finding your next home.

Your introduction to
October 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Securing a mortgage or finance against your home doesn't always have to feel like a struggle. At, I have 30 years of experience in helping my clients secure finance. With a strong success rate, I always deliver a personal service using my passionate approach. As an Ameris Bank Mortgage Services representative, I'm here to show you why you should choose me for your next mortgage or loan.

Securing billions of dollars for people throughout the area

Over my 30-year career, I've secured billions of dollars for my clients throughout Salem, Winston, Greensboro, and other areas of North Carolina. Alongside my team, I provide a service that's professional, personal, and passionate.

As a mortgage broker, I know that dedication is the key to helping my clients succeed. Whether you're a first-time buyer, trying to build your portfolio, or someone else, I'll personally commit myself to help you find your mortgage.

With years of experience behind me, I know that reliable communication is the key to success. When you turn to, you'll enjoy my consistent approach to communicating with my clients.

Finding down payment assistance solutions

Depending on the type of mortgage you're searching for, you may need a significant downpayment. As you may already know, finding a downpayment often means saving the money yourself or asking a family member for assistance.

As a preferred loan officer in the North Carolina Finance Authority, I work with a variety of downpayment assistance programs. Depending on your circumstances and the reason for your mortgage, I may be able to provide you with downpayment assistance. As a result, using brings you closer to your property ownership dreams.

Securing niche loan products

When you're looking for a niche loan product, such as a jumbo loan, you need a professional with plenty of experience. At, I combine my professional experience with the support of a strong team.

Whether you need a jumbo loan or a LTV product, I'm here to help. Using my experience, I can bring you closer to your financial dreams. Additionally, I always act in your best interests. As a result, when you seek advice from, you're getting an honest opinion that'll help you protect your future.

Working with specialist groups

When you fall into a specialist group, such as being a veteran, it's always advisable to seek specialist advice. At, I can provide the advice you're looking for.

In some circumstances, veterans can access preferential rates for the mortgages and loans they're seeking. However, it isn't always to find these rates, especially when you don't know where to look for them. Using my professional background, I can find the rates and services that individuals such as veterans and medical professionals seek. 

Faster closing periods than when you go it alone

At MortgagesByJill, our entire team understands how frustrating long closing periods are. Sometimes loans and mortgages take a while to close because financial institutions don't have the right information to hand. In other cases, they're not communicating clearly enough. No matter what the reason for a long closing period is, it can make life more difficult for you as a customer.

With my experience in the financial industry, I ensure no stone is left unturned. As a result, every application I submit features all the required information the first time around. My approach makes it easier for you to enjoy a quick close. In some cases, this can happen as soon as 21 days after the initial application.

If you need a mortgage or loan and you're looking for help, come to To learn more about what I can do for you, call 336 740 9068.

Doctor and First Time Home Buyer Loan
October 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The Doctor and First time Home Buyers Loan

Considering a mortgage is one of the most important financial decisions one could make. You dedicate a lot of time and resources into building your career. You deserve to live a peaceful and happy life without worrying about your finances.

One of the common and safe assets one could have is their house. You could get a secure loan against your house. There are different types of mortgages you could avail of. The type of mortgages varies depending on the type of borrowers like a veteran, medical professionals, or people belonging to rural areas.

Mortgages for Medical Professionals

Doctor mortgage or Medical professional mortgages are specifically designed for medical workers. These kinds of loans have fewer restrictions compared to other kinds of loans. A decent credit around 700 or more then that could help get a loan with no or very less down payments.

There are several advantages of physician loans, with one being that you could present the offer letter as proof of income even if you have not started your job yet.

Who qualifies for a Doctor Loan?

There is no difference between a physician mortgage loan and doctor mortgage loan; both are the same things. Generally, they are referred to as doctor loans.

Following are the professions or jobs that come under the category of doctor loans:

· Licensed Medical Professionals

· Medical Physicians

· Dentists

· Pediatrics, Optometrists are also offered Doctor Loans by some lenders

If you are a medical professional in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, High Point areas of North Carolina, and considering a doctor loan, you have a chance to avail the expertise of Jill. With years of experience, she will help you draw out a suitable plan according to your needs.

Why Are Physicians Mortgages Special?

When we come across doctor or physician loans, we notice that these loans are different from other kinds of mortgages that are offered to other professionals. One of the major reasons is that doctors or physicians make a lot more money than other professions. Plus, the added benefit of job security.

The lenders have a keen interest in observing how much you make from your profession. When it comes to doctors, besides making good money, they also have opportunities for loan forgiveness that is offered by state programs.

Doctors also have fewer default rates as compared to other professions. Reportedly doctors have a default rate of just .2% vs. the 1.2% default rate of the average consumers.

Major Benefits of Physician Loan Programs

Very Low or Zero Down payment: As compared to other professions, doctor loans have very less or zero down payment in some cases, depending on the lender.

NO PMI: There are no private mortgage insurances required

High Loans: Lenders could allow loans up to $850k/$1.5 Million

Employment Contract: If you are starting a new job, the employment contract may be enough proof to prove your income and get started with the process.

The expenses of Mortgage:

Total Sum of mortgages is not just about the monthly payments. There are few expenses besides monthly payments.

Interest: Interest is based on the interest rate, the loan balance, and loan repayment terms.

PMI: PMI is a fee that is to be paid until reaching 20% of equity.

Buy your home using Medical Professional Loan

Buying your own home is a dream of almost everyone, but over time, it is becoming more and more difficult. If you are someone who has recently graduated, buying a home for you might seem impossible. The overall expenses of education combined with family expenses makes it very difficult to have enough savings to buy a home.

The professional medical loan is designed in such a way to make home-buying easy while keeping in view the needs and demands of your profession. The professional medical loan allows you to close home faster than other traditional ways of mortgages. Factors like student loan debt, total job experience, and the down payment are considered in medical loans.

If you try to handle all the things related to loan on your own, you might end up missing some important points. An expert could help you in this regard. Jill Burgess, from Mortgages by Jill, is an experienced financial advisor when it comes to professional medical loans.

Jill understands the needs properly and will work out a great plan for you according to your needs. Her knowledge and expertise will make sure that the overall process runs smoothly, and your finances are in good hands.

There is a good opportunity for Medical professionals residing in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem areas of North Carolina to get connected to an expert like Jill, who properly understands the needs of Medical professionals.

First Time Home Buyer Loan

Financial decisions are all about deciding between the need and wants. The purpose that leads you to go get a loan should be clear and precise, so you don’t end up spending too much on wants instead of on your needs.

Buying a home is one of the most difficult financial decisions. A lot of people, paperwork, and signatures are involved. It is quite difficult for a first time home buyers to go through all this process. There is a lot of information that could confuse you in making your decision.

We will try to cover the basics of buying your first home. The current real estate trends might tempt you to go for a big purchase that might be not so good for your overall financial goals.

The first step is the decision where you want to live. The costs of places vary a lot. There are some tools available online that you could use to estimate the costs of living in differing areas. The second major step is understanding what you could afford based on your financial decisions. Then the factors like credit score come into play. The higher the credit score is, the more are the chances of getting a better interest rate. Saving for a down payment is also one of the necessary features of buying a new home.

Top Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Pay of Debt: If you are under debt and still considering buying a home, you might need to reconsider your decision. Owning a house has its expenses when you own a house; you are responsible for all the maintenance, bills, and other expenses. Adding that cost to your previous debt would make things difficult for you.

Building up emergency-funds is one of the solutions to get out of this problem. If you enter your new home with only a mortgage on your hands and a good amount of emergency funds, that means you have prepared yourself well for the future decisions.

Save Down Payment: To avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), you need to save for a down payment of at least 20% or more.

Some of the mortgage options with no down payment include:

VA Loans: VA loans help the veterans to buy a home with no down payment. The main issue with VA loans is that if in future the market trends change, you may end owning way more than the market value of your home. Also, these kinds of loans come up with a bunch of fees, and interest rates are higher as compared to other forms of loans.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): In ARM Loans, the initial interest rate is less, but the lenders could adjust the rate to transfer the risk of rising interests to you.

FHA Loans: FHA mortgage could be availed with just 3.5% of down payment. But you have to pay the mortgage insurance premium as long as the loan is there. That might be thousands of dollars.

Get home in Your Price range:

The online world had made it easy to buy homes. You could select the house as per choice. You could select one based on your needs and price range and could ask a real estate agent to have a look at the house yourself. An expert real estate agent could help you choose the best house as per your needs.

Contact an Expert

If you are somewhat confused about all the plans and their details. You might need an expert to help you out. Also, these plans have different terms and condition depends upon your state.

Apply for First time home buyer Grants

There are several first time home rants that one could avail. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a lot of beneficial loan programs for both first-time buyers and even repeat buyers.

There are a number of programs, and it is difficult to choose one. Ideally, you will need to talk to an approved lender. We at MortagegsByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess. Jill’s experience that spans around three decades could help you select your plan. If you want to get all the information before making an important financial decision, feel free to get a consultation from Jill and make your dreams come true.

Jill Burgess Delivering Mortgages to Medical Professionals in the Triad and Beyond!
October 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Jill Burgess joined Ameris Bank Mortgage Services in 2017. Having worked with the management team in previous companies, she was familiar with the team and the support given by Ameris Bank.

In a short time, she has established herself in the market as the go to person for mortgages for medical professionals-more commonly known as doctor loans. However, her program is not just for doc tors. She caters to a wide variety of medical professionals in Greensboro, Winston Salem, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington. Given that Ameris Bank is headquartered in Atlanta, she is even servicing customers in surrounding states because of her loyal customer base and referral business.

Doctor loans provide special financing to medical professionals. The current roles being serviced are MDs, DO's, osteopaths, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists (including residents and fellows). These programs allow for 100% financing. Typically, SunTrust has been the dominant player in the North Carolina Market for Doctor Loans. But they have been unable to match the service levels offered by Jill Burgess in Greensboro and she has gained traction in the market with her loyal customer base and dedication to her craft.

Working with physicians at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Charlotte, are just a few of the hospitals in the area. She also works with Medical Professionals though out North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.

Down Payment Assistance Programs
September 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
first time home buyer mortgage

First-Time Home Buyer Grants In NC

Looking to own a home in North Carolina? Then, it’s important you remember that you don’t have to spread yourself thin and erode your finances while trying to do it all by yourself.

First time home buyers in NC are entitled to something commonly known as First-Time Home Buyer Grants, and this affords first time home buyers a wonderful opportunity to acquire houses without overly straining their pockets.

But it doesn’t just stop at that. One of the good things about the first home buyer loan is that, even as it sounds like something for only the first-time buyers, people who have owned homes before are not excluded.

That is, even though you have owned a home before, you can still get first home buyer grants provided you meet certain easy-to-meet requirements. If you meet the maximum income limits and are looking to acquire a property that is not too expensive -- and one that you have been renting for the last three years -- you could be eligible for the grant, which is really the government’s way of assisting people who want to own homes in NC.

Of course, you have your questions -- How does it work exactly? How much do you get? And will you rue the decision to take the grant for the rest of your life being that you will be looped into insanely high monthly payments on a house because you took government money?

Well, for starters, the answer is definitely “no” for the last part. And here are other important things you should know about the first time home buyer grants.

How Does One Apply For First Time Home Buyer Grants

The first thing you must know is that there are several different First-Time Home Buyer Grants available in NC, and we shall explore them.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a number of loan programs with unique benefits for both first-time home buyers and repeat buyers. And one of these programs could help you buy a home sooner.

But even as there are a number of programs to choose from, you’d have to go through basically the same process when applying for any of those grants.

Ideally, you’d have to talk to an approved Lender (we at MortgagesByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess, who throughout a storied career spanning three (3) decades, has personally funded no less than 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans).

After the loan applicant makes contact, lenders would generally look for the following information from the loan application:

· If the applicant exceeds the $87,500 maximum income limit for the whole state. Typically, USDA Home Loans NC goes higher than that depending on the household income. But with the First Time Home Buyer Grant program, people who are on the application are the ones being looked at. This usually makes it easier to qualify for.

· If the applicant has a minimum credit score of at least 640, because this is based upon the middle credit score, you will be home and dry if you had 3 scores that looked like 622, 641, and 649. And that's because at least two of those exceed the 640-mark.

· If the applicant has been renting, or living with parents, or schooling for the last three years.

After all