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Understanding Which Mortgage Loan Is Right for You: An Interview with Bud Gunter of Sharpe Mortgage

By Bud Gunter

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We are a full-service mortgage brokerage company for residential loans in the state of Florida.Our specialties are working with relocations, self-employed and condos.

What is one of the most important things for potential homeowners in Florida to know when they're starting to look at the different types of home loans?

Be aware of what their goals are: low down payment or low monthly payment. And also know their credit scores. For people with higher credit scores, the conventional loans will have the lowest payment. But for those with lower credit scores the FHA product is best. If by chance they have a VA benefit, nothing beats the VA loan pricing.

Is there a common misconception about mortgages that you've seen first-time home buyers have?

That there are ample government funds for first time home buyers. Pretty much the FHA product was designed to help the new buyers.

How should people approach trying to understand the types of loans that are available to them and deciding which one is the best fit?

Get with a mortgage broker that can produce an "options sheet". It makes decision making much easier when you can see it in black and white.

What are two the most common types of loans that people apply for in Florida and the main benefit of each one?

Most common: conventional fnma type loan, lowest payment if your credit score is high; and FHA: lowest down payment and cash to close feature with minimum 3.5% down and up to 6% seller credit towards closing costs. It has the lowest rate but the highest monthly mortgage insurance payment.

What advice would you give to prospective home buyers who want a lot of flexibility with their mortgage?

Get a good prequalification in the beginning so that they know their price range and mortgage options. Also be familiar with your credit score. Review your report for errors. Dispute any errors way in advance of the mortgage process to maximize their credit score. And then SAVE money for their new home, minimize the balances on credit cards and don't co-sign for anyone on anything and it will materially affect your ability to get a mortgage.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Best way is to email in for a telephone appointment. People need to have quiet time when they speak to their mortgage broker and should plan for 20 minutes for the first phone call. Second best is to just call in.If nothing else, to set a time when both parties can set aside time to talk.

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