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Deborah Hartwick, Paramount Residential Mortgage Group Inc.’s Anthem branch sales manager, recommends checking out the benefits available for many homeowners—even those who funded their mortgage a year ago. 

“Right now, we’re seeing historically low mortgage rates, as well as home values increasing substantially over the past two years,” Hartwick said. 

“Homeowners who currently have PMI (private mortgage insurance) may be able to refinance with no PMI, in addition to lowering their interest rate.  Homeowners with equity over 20% of the home’s value may be able to take cash out for home improvements, debt consolidation or savings. Maricopa County and the state of Arizona offer down payment assistance programs for purchase transactions. There is a conventional product with only 3% down payment required, and that offers lower PMI monthly cost than other conventional programs. These programs have income restrictions, and some are only for first-time buyers.

PMI is required for conventional financing with less than 20% down payment. It eventually drops off when the loan is paid down to 20% equity position of the original purchase price (approximately five years), provided the borrower meets the criteria.

FHA home loans are a great source for a mortgage for borrowers with lower credit scores or higher income-to-debt ratios, she said. FHA requires only a 3.5% down payment, which can be important to buyers with lower amounts to put down.

“Keep in mind that the borrower pays mortgage insurance premium (MIP) for the life of the loan, no matter the loan balance, and there is also upfront MIP charged that is added to the loan amount,” she said.

“Whether you are looking to help a child or grandchild get into their first home with a low down payment, want to pay off your loan in 15 years rather than 30, get cash out or if you want to reduce your current rate and payment, there has never been a better time than now. It pays to discuss your options with a knowledgeable lender to ensure you are getting the best loan program that aligns with your financial goals.”

Hartwick (NMLS #3203067) has more than 25 years’ experience in mortgage. 

The recently opened branch (NMLD #75243) is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 7, at its office, 3715 W. Anthem Way, Anthem. It is followed by a meet and greet at Amped Coffee Co., 3434 W. Anthem Way, Suite 102, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. For more information, call Hartwick at 480-310-1240 or email dhartwick@prmg.net.