Mortgage Rates West Virginia: Finding The Top Housing Deals In The Mountain State
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The high demand for housing in West Virginia has led to rising home prices, which may make it difficult for you to find good home deals. The good news is that a knowledge of the latest mortgage rates can help you get an affordable dream home in the state.
This guide covers all the essential information about mortgage rates in West Virginia. Read on to find the latest West Virginia mortgage and refinance rates as well as key information on the state’s homebuyer assistance programs.
Mortgage Options In West Virginia
West Virginia residents, like most American homebuyers, can choose from three main loan types when buying a home. Each type has its own features, benefits, and disadvantages, so make sure that you assess your financial situation and needs first to choose the best one for you.
Conventional Home Loan
Most mortgages not offered by a government entity fall under the category of conventional home loans. These are most commonly offered by banks and private mortgage companies and have amount limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).
Conforming loan amount limits are set at the national average of $548,250 for most of West Virginia, but Jefferson County has a higher limit of $822,375.
Conventional mortgages are further broken down into three loan types, each with unique features and rate schemes.
A fixed-rate mortgage offers static interest rates that don’t change for the entire loan term. This means that your monthly payment amounts won’t fluctuate regardless of market conditions.
Thanks to this stability, fixed-rate loans are very popular with first-time homebuyers. However, fixed-rate mortgages tend to have higher rates than other loans.
People most commonly take 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. However, you can also take 15-year or 20-year fixed-rate loan terms to get lower rates.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
An adjustable-rate mortgage’s interest rates shift annually based on a market index. This results in monthly payment amounts that may rise or fall throughout the loan’s life.
However, most ARMs have an introductory period with competitive fixed interest rates. These introductory rates tend to be lower than fixed-rate mortgages and are popular for short-term savings. The length of these introductory periods lasts anywhere from 3 to 10 years and are usually written in the loan’s name. For example, a 10/1 ARM features 10 years of fixed interest rates.
Lenders may offer you a jumbo mortgage if you’re looking to buy a home priced above local lending limits. Jumbo loans can exceed FHFA limits, but come with higher interest rates and stricter qualification requirements.
Government-Backed Loan Programs
The United States government sponsors several loan programs to target demographics like rural residents and veterans. They generally have competitive rates and reduced down payment requirements.
There are three main government loan types available:
FHA loans: These loans are designed to boost the homeownership rate among low-income borrowers, with lower credit score requirements and monthly payments. However, you’re required to pay mortgage insurance fees for the entire life of the loan.
VA loans: This zero-down loan is only available to active and former military personnel. You can take advantage of the no-down payment loan by paying VA funding fees worth 2.3% of the loan. Conversely, you can avoid the funding fees by putting some money down.
USDA loans: Since they’re designed to develop rural communities, USDA loans have strict area requirements – you must purchase a property in an eligible area to take out this loan. The upside is that you get a zero-down mortgage with low mortgage insurance premiums.
Refinances provide you with a new loan to pay off your existing mortgage. This is often done to accomplish one of two goals, which are:
Modify your loan terms: Rate and term refinancing helps you alter your loan type and length. For example, you can use it to shorten your loan and take advantage of lower rates or change an ARM into a fixed-rate loan.
Liquidate home equity: Cash-out refinances help you convert home equity into cash. Basically, you take out a loan that’s larger than your current mortgage balance. After you pay your mortgage off, any money left over can then be used for other needs.
Compare Mortgage Rates In West Virginia
Average mortgage rates in West Virginia have trended higher than national average rates in the past decade. For a look at the current West Virginia mortgage rates, check the table below. All the mortgage and refinance rates listed are taken from the nation’s top lenders.
Today’s Mortgage Rates in West Virginia
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The current mortgage rates are subject to change without prior notice. Your mortgage rate may also vary depending on your financial conditions and other factors.
Input your financial details into the calculator above this page to get a personalized West Virginia mortgage rate estimate.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs In West Virginia
New residents in the Mountain State can apply for one of the two programs offered by the West Virginia Housing Development Fund (WVHDF). WVHDF’s programs are available to first-time homebuyers and veterans who fulfill these general requirements:
Meet the minimum credit score of 640
Complete a homebuyer education course
Meet WVHDF income limits (varies by county)
Buy a single-family home in West Virginia as a primary residence
Purchase a home priced under WVHDF’s property value limits
WVHDF Homeownership Program
The state’s primary program provides a 30-year fixed loan with competitive rates for qualified borrowers. WVHDF Homeownership borrowers can also qualify for a down payment assistance (DPA) program.
WVHDF’s DPA program gives you a 15-year fixed-rate second mortgage that acts as down payment and closing cost assistance. Depending on your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, you may qualify for one of these two loans:
LTV is 90% or higher: $7,500
LTV is <90%: $10,000
WVHDF Movin’ Up
WVHDF’s Movin’ Up program is geared primarily for existing homeowners and repeat buyers who want to buy larger single-family homes. As with WVHDF’s primary program, you can combine this loan with a DPA program.
The DPA that comes with WVHDF’s Movin’ Up program also takes the form of a 15-year second loan with the following amounts:
LTV is 90% or higher: $5,000
LTV is <90%: $8,000
Buying A Home In West Virginia
Home buying can be a confusing process, and even “small” mistakes can saddle you with unwanted costs. To help you avoid costly errors or delays, learn about the entire home buying in six simple steps:
Step 1: Get Pre-Approved
Lenders pre-approve your loan through a credit check from the three major credit institutions. If you pass, you’ll receive a pre-approval letter containing key details of your loan like its mortgage rate, loan type, and maximum loan amount. Your pre-approval letter acts as a budget guide for your house hunt and demonstrates to sellers that you’re financially capable of buying property.
Step 2: Find An Experienced Realtor
Good real estate agents can help you secure the best housing deals and provide local expertise. Interview several agents and find one with the best review scores and the most experience in your area.
Step 3: Choose A House
Start your house hunt at the neighborhood level. Pick a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle, then search home listings in the area.
Try to find the most affordable house that still fulfills your needs. If you end up with a fixer-upper, you can use the money you saved by buying a cheaper house to pay for home improvements.
Step 4: Come Up With An Offer
You may face some competition when looking to buy a house. Be quick and make a good offer to the seller so you can catch their eye. Consult with your realtor about how much above the listed home value you should offer to avoid overpaying.
Step 5: Examine Your New Home
Always check your property before scheduling a closing date. Hire home inspectors and appraisers to give your new home a thorough look. Contact your seller to renegotiate a deal if you spot property defects or find out the home is overvalued.
Step 6: Finish The Transaction
Before settling on a closing date, prepare the money for closing costs and origination fees. Have your realtor present at the paperwork signing to answer your questions and ensure everything is legitimate.
How To Get Better West Virginia Mortgage Rates
Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you’ll make in your life.
Reducing your mortgage rate by a few points may not look like a lot of savings right now. However, because these savings add up over the years, you can save thousands of dollars in the long run. These tips can help you do just that!
Buy Mortgage Points
You can buy mortgage points to drive your interest rates down. Typically, each point is worth 1% of your loan and provides a 0.25% rate reduction. These points usually cost thousands of dollars and only apply to your current loan, so you should only buy points if you’re not looking to refinance in the near future.
Make A Larger Down Payment
A larger down payment reduces your main mortgage balance, which means you owe less money and bear less risk to the lender – resulting in lower interest charges. Paying at least 20% down also allows you to avoid mortgage insurance, further driving down your expenses.
Compare Offers From Multiple Lenders
Mortgage lenders compete for your business by offering lower rates or discounting their origination fees. It’s important to shop around so that you can find deals you otherwise would not have been able to spot.
You can easily compare offers from multiple lenders by asking for standardized loan estimate documents. Try to compare at least three or four of these loan estimates, then choose the one that represents the best value for you.
Other Rate Reduction Tips
In addition to the three tips covered above, you can also reduce your mortgage rates by:
Taking a shorter loan
Improving your credit score
Working with independent mortgage brokers
In a competitive housing market, being prepared can spell the difference between finding a great deal and losing out on your dream home. Understanding the home buying process as well as the latest mortgage rates enables you to act fast and save money in the long run.
If you’re searching for the best housing and mortgage loans in West Virginia, Wesley LLC is here to help. Contact our professional team today for more mortgage resources and advice!