What type of mortgage should I get?

There are a multitude of mortgage types currently available, though most mortgages fall into one of three categories: Conventional, VA or FHA.

Conventional mortgages are the most common and most flexible and are not insured or guaranteed by any government entity. Down payments typically range from 3% to as much as desired, though some 0% down payment programs are available. Typically, mortgage insurance (non-government) is required for conventional loans with down payments less than 20%. However, alternative options are available that provide loans without mortgage insurance even with very low down payments. A loan officer can best direct you to a program that meets your objectives.

VA loans are guaranteed by the Veterans Administration and are available to qualified veterans. The primary benefit of a VA loan is the ability to obtain 100% financing. The veteran pays a funding fee to the VA at closing, and the fee may be included in the loan. The funding fee varies from 0% to 3% of the loan amount, depending on a variety of factors.

FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans require very low down payments and are insured by the FHA. A one-time premium is paid at closing and a small monthly premium is included in the loan payment. The amount of the up-front and monthly premium varies with the term of the loan and the loan-to-value ratio.