Arizona Mortgage Blog by Kelly Zitlow

An Arizona Mortgage Specialist with over 15 years exp., Kelly produces this Arizona Mortgage Blog for realtors & home owners in Arizona who wish to be informed concerning the ever-changing Mortgage Market and FHA Loans, VA Loans, and Conventional Mortgages. Information about obtaining a Mortgage in Arizona can be found at

Archive for tag: Closing Costs

USDA Home Loans Add Insurance to New Arizona Mortgages

Starting October 1st the USDA started to add mortgage insurance to USDA Home Loans. For those buyers who wanted to obtain a mortgage in Arizona using an USDA Home Loan this is still a great program.

Still ZERO DOWN, 30 yr Fixed Rate, No Pre-payment Penalty, and more.

But I encourage everyone to check the USDA website Eligibilty Map to view boundaries, very easy to use.

To read more great highlights on a USDA Mortgage in Arizona, click here to view my latest update.

Feel free to call me with any mortgage questions you have.

Enjoy the cool fall weather this weekend!

~ Kelly

Arizona HomePath Properties with Mortgage Incentives!

Fannie Mae announced mortgage incentives for eligible Arizona HomePath properties for loans closing by June 30, 2011.  Arizona buyers who are purchasing the home as their primary residence are eligible to receive 3.5% in closing costs assistance and Arizona selling agents whose buyers purchase and close within the allotted time will receive a $500 bonus!

I am an experienced Arizona Homepath mortgage lender and these fantastic incentives have lead to a lot of interest from agents and buyers. It's a great time to buy using an Arizona HomePath Mortgage! Call me to discuss the details.

Click here to read highlights of the Arizona HomePath Mortgage Program

This Arizona mortgage program could be great for buyers you are currently working with or are trying to get started with. Don't forget to remind your buyers about the Homepath loan's flexibility as well as the great incentives Fannie Mae is offering through the end of June!

~ Kelly

USDA Updates Eligibility Boundaries for Arizona

USDA Updates Eligibility Boundaries for Arizona

USDA Rural loans have been an extraordinary mortgage tool for many cash strapped Arizona buyers by offering 100% financing with NO monthly Mortgage Insurance.  The USDA has recently updated their boundaries for homes eligible for Rural mortgage financing.  The following USDA website allows you to view an Arizona map and determine specific property eligibility within the Arizona market.  The map is very user friendly allowing you to zoom right in to view exact street locations.

As a whole, most of Maricopa County is ineligible for rural financing with the exception of Buckeye and certain parts of Anthem.  Most of Pinal County is eligible.  All of San Tan Valley and the Pinal County portion of Queen Creek are eligible.

If you have a buyer interested in rural financing, I encourage you to visit the USDA website and call me and I can assist you in determining an eligible Arizona property.

I've listed a few reminders of the mortgage program on my weekly newsletter post along with a couple of contract writing tips now that the new AAR Contract has been released. CLICK HERE

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about this wonderful ZERO down mortgage program!

80 degrees in the forecast! I hope you have the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful weekend ahead.


New Arizona Contract & Forms

New AAR Contract & Forms Underway!

The new Arizona Association of Realtors (AAR) contract will take effect Monday 2/28.  I know many of you have attended a class or two on the new contract and your heads might be spinning right about now! While some of the changes might feel a bit overwhelming, I'm confident the new contract will create better communication between all parties involved as well as provide mortgage details that agents have wanted over the years.  My team and I have systems in place to utilize the new forms and contract to their full potential. Keeping the buyer, and the agents informed of our progress has attributed to our success over the years and we intend on maintaining this goal by incorporating the PQF and LSU.

The biggest concern I'm hearing from Arizona agents regarding the contract relates to the LSU and getting Arizona mortgage lenders to complete the form. I'm shocked to hear there are mortgage lenders out there that don't understand their role in the home buying process. That being said my answer has been simple ~ .....find an Arizona Mortgage Lender that will provide the PQF and LSU!

I thought it might be helpful to you to share some of the key points regarding the Financing (section 2) portion of the new Arizona contract, the PQF and LSU. Click here to read my complete newsletter on this.

Below are links to the new forms in case you haven't had a chance to review them yet. ~ Sample Contract ~ Sample PQF ~ Sample LSU

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about the financing section of the new contract, the PQF or LSU.  I'm happy to discuss how we can work together to incorporate the new Arizona contract into our respective businesses.


Maximum Seller Paid Costs for FHA Loans, VA Home Loans & More

Know the maximum allowable seller concessions before you write the contract

Most of us in Arizona are aware maximum allowable seller closing cost contributions vary by loan type. But did you know the maximum allowable seller contributions vary dramatically on Conventional Mortgages?  It's true! The buyers down payment AND occupancy type (owner occupied, a second home or an investment property) will determine the maximum allowed. Knowing the following before you write a contract will keep you and your buyers happy.

I've seen several conventional mortgage transactions over the last few months with the seller contributions exceeding the maximum allowed by Fannie Mae. Investment properties have the lowest threshold with the maximum allowable seller contribution of 2%.

Imagine this scenario ~ Short sale takes 3 months to get approved. The executed Arizona contract calls for the seller to pay 3% of the closing costs. The buyer is buying a house that is an investment property and therefore the maximum seller contribution is 2%. You can see where this is going…not a fun phone call to make!

Here is a link to my Arizona Mortgage Market newsletter that covered the details. You will find a summary of the maximum seller concessions by loan type for Conventional, FHA Loan, and VA Home Loan.

Maximum Seller Paid Costs by Loan Type

FHA Announces 2011 FHA Loan Limits

This week HUD announced in mortgagee letter 10-40 the 2011 FHA loan limits.

Great news! The FHA Loan limit for Maricopa & Pinal Counties in Arizona will remain at $346,250 for all case numbers assigned January 1, 2011 through September 30, 2011.

All County FHA Loan limits for Arizona are accessible on the following website:

As a reminder $358,000 is the corresponding price point to maximize the $346,250 FHA loan limit. Other FHA financing features are as follows:

  • A low 3.5% down payment which can be gifted from a relative, borrowed from a 401K or provided through an approved Arizona state program
  • Seller can contribute up to 6% of the purchase price toward buyers closing costs and prepaids
  • 203K Rehabilitation FHA Loan ~ buyers can finance up to $35K in improvements to a home!
  • Non-Occupant Co-Borrowers are eligible
  • Will lend down to a 640 credit score

Our Arizona mortgage market has seen a significant increase in FHA loans over the last few years and we expect the trend to continue in 2011. If you have questions regarding FHA financing; how to complete section 79 of the purchase contract, need clarification on FHA's property flipping rules or have questions on condos for FHA buyers, don't hesitate to contact me. As many of you know, I teach a CE Financing course and these FHA Loan questions and more are answered in depth during the class. To register for my next class on Tuesday December 7th from 8:30-11:15 go to

Wishing you a wonderful Arizona weekend ~




Quote of the week: Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.' ~ Mary Anne Radmacher