Introducing our New Construction, 1 Time Closing for: VA, FHA & USDA-Rural Development Buyers

Introducing our New Construction, 1 Time Closing for: VA, FHA & USDA-Rural Development Buyers

Yup, that’s right! 

 If you are a buyer that wants to have a custom built home, but needs or wishes to finance with a Zero Down VA Loan, or a Zero Down USDA-Rural Development Loan, or a 3.50% Down FHA Loan we have the program for those who qualify. Or, if you are a custom builder, or Realtor looking to increase your sales volume, this is also a niche program that may be worth considering.

For the Buyer (Borrower), the lot can be purchased and paid off at the closing of the construction loan.  The benefit arises because the construction loan and permanent end loan are closed on the land and new home (to be built) at the same time.  This eliminates the extra cost of refinancing when the home is completed.  Furthermore, the rate can be locked in for up to 12 months during the construction stage and has a “Float Down” option where the borrower would get the lower rate at closing if rates were to drop.  This protects the borrower from the risk of rates going higher during the construction phase, but also from the risk of being held to a higher locked in rate if they were to drop by end of the construction phase.  There may be additional restrictions, but as of now they are:  (1) No Self-builds or self-subcontracting, (2) Lot size is limited to 10 acres, No non-traditional homes such as tiny homes, log homes, berm homes, (3) Credit score must be 660 for FHA, VA & USDA-Rural Development for our new construction loans.  We require a 620 score for existing homes.

To get your FREE New Construction overview pamphlet for Buyers

Click Here!

For the Realtor & Builder, the main advantage is to establish a niche in the new construction market that has always lacked supply for low down payment, government backed (VA, FHA & USDA-Rural Development) mortgage financing.   The Realtor is paid their commission from the builder and on the land at initial closing.  From there, they are out of the loop if they desire as the remainder of the work with the builder in terms of the releasing of draws is done with the lender.  Additional benefits for the builder is that there is no fall out later due to rising rates, or because the buyer may not qualify due to a change in their employment or credit before the home is completed.  Furthermore, using our money for the construction frees up the Builder’s bank construction lines allowing them to build more homes.

For requirements of the builder and to get a FREE New Construction pamphlet for Builders

Click Here!

If you wish, I would be happy to send you a buyer and/or a builder pamphlet on our construction program in the mail.  Please feel free to contact me to discuss this program further.  I respond to emails in the evenings and weekends.  By referral, I may be reached at:



Want to know the payment & Closing Costs of that house that just went up for Sale? (Now Offering Bridge Loan Financing!!)

Hello Friend!!
As you probably know, I like to stay in touch with my past clients, many of whom I’ve developed friendships with over the years. Regardless of how often we have stayed in touch since we’ve worked together on your last mortgage, I want you to know that I am always here to be of assistance to you, your friends, your family, and your co-workers.  I greatly appreciate your business as well as your referrals.  As an independent Loan Officer, your past business, repeat business, and your referrals are what keep me in business.  I cannot thank you enough.


In case you didn’t already know,

or as a reminder and an open invitation to you and those in your circle, I am always available to work up numbers on properties that are for sale without any commitment from you, or another interested party whom you’ve referred. To work up a “Dodd/Frank approved Loan Estimate” detailing monthly payment and closing costs, I simply need an email with the following information:
  1. Address of the property that is for sale (Note: We only finance owner occupied properties and true “second” homes).
  2. Price that I am to work up numbers on for the home that is for sale (Note: Homes for sale in the spring market of 2021 are often times selling for much more then they are listed for)
  3. Name and current address and phone number of the person seeking the information (Note:  If it is you, it is likely I already have your current information.  But if it is a referral, I will need them to also let me know they were referred by you as I continue to work “By Referral Only.”)
  4. I will need to know the total amount of funds available to work with for down payment, closing costs and pre-payment of an escrow account for property taxes and homeowners insurance.
  5. Permission to run a “Soft Pull” credit report which will give me an accurate (not estimated) TransUnion score.  This “Soft Pull” credit report does not show up as a “hit” or an “inquiry” on the person’s official credit report.
  6. Example of Loan Estimate
  7. We are now also offering Bridge Loans!  3 Ways to purchase your next home prior to first selling your current home – Bob Hein (

As of today, the inventory of homes listed for sale remains low and this continues to be a challenge for buyers. It may never be a better time to sell than then what we are seeing right here and now, in 2021. However, even with the recent uptick in interest rates, mortgage rates are still very low. Home affordability remains very strong, especially in West Michigan  and in comparison to other parts of the country.  If there is anything I can do to provide information, education, or value to you or anyone you know who is thinking about buying a home, I am available!!!

We greatly appreciate your business and hope to hear from you soon. Contact me with any mortgage questions.

Phone: 616-292-6703

– Bob Hein, Mortgage Lender
NMLS 162989


Repeat Home Buyer’s Who Are Eligible for First Time Home Buyer Programs

Dear Friends,

Did you know that the first time homebuyer programs through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) are in some cases available for repeat home buyers!?!?  There are 2 exceptions that allow a repeat home buyer to take advantage of these MSHDA programs. One exception would be when the repeat home buyer has waited 3 years between selling their current home and entering into a contract for a new home. The 2nd exception is if they are to buy within a “targeted area” and in this case the repeat home buyer does not have the 3 year waiting requirement. Targeted areas in Kent County are the Cities of Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Wyoming, Kent City and Spencer Township.  Targeted areas in Ottawa County are Allendale Township, Chester Township and the City of Holland.  The entire counties of Allegan, Barry & Newaygo are all targeted.

Over my career I have been blessed to have worked with over 2,000 first time home buyers.  I have gained the niche for working with first time home buyers by being a trusted source in educating them, being constantly available and responsive nights, weekends, and at all times for their questions and needs; and finally, having a keen sense in understanding all of the mortgage programs, and what best suits their personal situation.  As a client, I cannot thank you enough for your business in working with me when you bought your first home; but also so many of you in coming back to work with me again and again as you have moved up to your new homes, and when refinancing your current homes.  Likewise, I am forever grateful for all of the referrals you have provided me with over the years.  I would like to this opportunity to ask again for any referrals of your friends or family and co-workers that you may know who may be looking to purchase a new home and will be in need of mortgage financing.

Due to the increase in interest rates and the gradual shift from being a red hot seller’s market to a more balanced market between buyers and sellers, we are seeing first time home buyer programs offered by MSHDA become more relevant.  That is, offers with MSHDA financing are now being more widely accepted by sellers than in 2020 and 2021 when on average, they had more cash offers and appraisal gap guarantee offers to choose from.  Furthermore, the MSHDA programs are proving to be more advantageous for the buyer as the spread between their below market rates and existing mortgage market rates has become wider.

The 3 main MSHDA Programs are:
  1. The M.C.C. Tax Credit:  This is a program where homebuyers can credit 20% of their annual mortgage interest paid against their year end tax liability.  A tax credit is not a deduction in “taxable income,” but is a dollar for dollar reduction in tax liability.  The tax credit is allowed every year for the lift of the original mortgage (up to 30 years).
  2. The MI Home Loan:  This is a 30 year Fixed Rate mortgage with below market interest rate.  This rate as of 6/16/2022 is currently at 5.25% (APR 5.595%)
  3. The MI Home Loan with Down Payment Assistance (or DPA):  This is a program in which MSHDA will provide a 0% non-amortizing mortgage of either $7,500 or $10,000 depending on zip code.  The non-amortizing means there are no payments to be made on the 2nd mortgage until the house is sold or refinanced.  The buyer has to invest at least 1% of the sales price with their own funds with this program.  The first mortgage is a 30 year fixed rate and as of 06/23/2022 it is currently at 5.75% (APR 6.087%).

Note:  All 3 MSHDA programs have restrictions on qualifying and potential re-capture tax implications.

However, MSHDA does provide a re-capture tax reimbursement program for those whom it may apply – Learn more!

For an in depth discussion on MSHDA programs, or any other mortgage financing programs, please call me 616-292-6703 or email me at:

Thanks to you, I have been able to provide the most excellent service for my customers by working by Referral Only. You truly are a lifetime collection of the Best Clients any service provider could ask for. <3

Together Naomi and I have over 60 years of combined experience to assist you. Please let us know how we may help you, or your friends, family or co-workers this year. We <3 Referrals!

Home Loan Options Which is Best, When & Why?

Home Loan Options
Which is Best, When & Why?

Dear Friends,

When it comes to mortgage financing, most of us know there are several different programs to choose from. Usually, there is a specific program that is best suited for each individual borrower.

Below, you can find a summary of the 4 major types of mortgage financing, and a brief analysis of their advantages, disadvantages, and when they may best suited for a particular buyer.

Conventional Loan


It is a misnomer from some that a buyer has to put 20% down to purchase with Conventional financing. Although, it may be common for 2nd and 3rd time homebuyers to invest 20% down or more (or have 20% equity or more on a refinance), many first time home buyers take advantage of lower down conventional financing options. With conventional financing there is No Mortgage Insurance requirement (PMI) for down payments of 20% or more.  The PMI does apply for down payments less than 20%, but the rate of the PMI will decrease as the borrower’s credit score increases and as the down payment increases from 3%, to 5%, to 10% to 15% down, to not being applicable with 20% down or more.

See example of a 20% Down Conventional Loan Estimate based on a $300,000 sales price

Learn More


Advantages of the Conventional Loan:

  1. The mortgage insurance for Conventional financing is not backed by any Federal Agency. Therefore, the mortgage insurance on a Conventional loan is called “Private Mortgage Insurance” or “PMI.” For higher credit score borrowers, the monthly PMI payment will usually be cheaper than the mortgage insurance for FHA Loans. Furthermore unlike the FHA & Rural Development Loan, the PMI eventually come off the mortgage (Homeowners Protection Act of 1998 V. Lending —HOPA ( ). As stated earlier, PMI is avoided altogether with down payments of 20% or more.

  2. It is a generally held belief that with competing offers to purchase, a seller may favor a conventional buyer’s offer over other types of financing considering all other terms being fairly equal.

Disadvantages of the Conventional Loan:

  1. Conventional mortgage rates and PMI rates are more sensitive to credit scoring than the government backed loans, such as FHA, USDA-Rural Development and VA Loans.  Thus, lower down Conventional/PMI buyers with credit scores under 680 are likely to have a higher monthly payment than they would with one of the government backed mortgages.

  2. Conventional mortgages are more difficult to get approved for than government backed mortgages.  Generally speaking, Conventional loans are tighter on credit history than government backed loans as well as debt-to-income ratios than FHA & VA loans.

FHA Loan


FHA Loans require a down payment of only 3.50% of the sales price. The guidelines for approving a FHA Loan and the mortgage insurance collected is by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of the Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). This mortgage insurance, known as “MIP” (Mortgage Insurance Premium) is the same rate for every borrower, regardless of credit score. The MIP on a FHA loan is calculated by charging the buyer 1.75% of their base mortgage upfront which they can pay in cash at closing, but most elect to finance back into the mortgage. Additionally, the annual MIP is .85% of the base mortgage amount, and is divided out in escrow by adding it throughout 12 monthly house payments.

See example of a 3.50% Down, FHA Loan Estimate based on a $300,000 sales price

Learn More

Advantages of the FHA Loan:

  1. FHA mortgage rates are lower than Conventional rates since they are insured by a Federal agency.  Also, because the mortgage insurance (MIP) is fixed and not subject to credit scores, a 3.5% down FHA buyer with lower credit scores could have a significantly lower house payment than a low down Conventional/PMI buyer with the same credit scores.

  2. FHA is much more flexible in terms of approving prior blemished credit history, lower credit scores, and much higher debt-to-income ratios than conventional loans.

Disadvantages of the FHA Loan:  

  1. FHA loan are more expensive because of the upfront mortgage insurance which is 1.75% of the base mortgage.  For example, the $300,000 sales price FHA Loan Estimate example shows that the initial upfront mortgage insurance is $5,066 and is calculated in the total finance charges (as shown in Section B of the Loan Estimate).  This upfront mortgage insurance premium is paid to HUD from the closing, but most all borrowers will usually opt to finance back into the mortgage amount as shown in the FHA Loan Estimate.  Furthermore, the mortgage insurance that is included in the borrower’s monthly payment stays on for the life of a FHA loan.

  2. FHA Loans may have repairs required by the appraiser if they feel there is something that needs to be addressed to correct a safety or health hazard.  Because of this, and/or because a seller may feel that a conventional buyer is stronger, the FHA buyer may have a harder time competing against a conventional offer that is viewed as being otherwise fairly equal.

  3. For condos, FHA requires that the entire condo project be approved by the FHA.  The amount of condo projects that are FHA approved are very few in number.

USDA – Rural Development Loan


This is a Zero Down Loan, commonly referred to simply as the “RD Loan.”  The guidelines and mortgage insurance for this loan is governed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The mortgage insurance is termed to be a “Guarantee Fee.”  The upfront Guarantee Fee is 1.00% of the base mortgage and can be paid in cash at closing, but is usually financed back into the loan.  The annual guarantee fee is .35% of the base mortgage amount, and is divided out in escrow by adding it throughout 12 monthly house payments.

See example of a Zero Down, USDA – Rural Development Loan Estimate based on a $300,000 sales price

Learn More

Advantages of the RD Loan

  1. The zero down feature is what makes this loan very popular and a huge advantage to many first time homebuyers.  Like all the other loan types, the RD loan allows the Seller to pay all closing costs which permits many buyers to purchase a home for very little money out of pocket with this loan.

  2. Like the FHA Loan, the RD Loan has very low interest rates – lower than Conventional Rates.  Additionally, the annual mortgage insurance (“Guarantee Fee”) on the RD Loan of .35% is quite low and can be 10% – 15% lower than PMI rates; even for high credit conventional borrowers.  The low interest rate & low mortgage insurance rate on a zero down RD Loan will account for a monthly payment that is lower than a monthly payment for a 3% down conventional loan or a 3.50% down FHA Loan.

Disadvantages of the RD Loan

  1. The RD Loan has some restrictions.  For one, the home must be located in an RD Eligible area.  Secondly, RD loans also have an income limit that is based on “household income.”  This means that all people to be living in the home will have to have their income counted against the income cap even if they are not part of the mortgage application.  To see RD eligible areas and income limits for a specific area, click here.  Eligibility (

  2. RD Loans will usually qualify borrowers for less home compared to other loan types because of the more conservative debt-to-income ratio requirements with this loan.

  3. RD Loans will usually take and extra 2-10 days to close compared to other loan types .  The extra time depends on the local RD’s current underwriting turn times since RD Loans have to be first approved by the individual lender, and then the local RD office.  Because of this, and because the RD appraiser may also require repairs, some sellers may not view a RD offer as favorable as a conventional offer.

VA Loans

The VA loan was designed to provide a benefit to our service men and women by offering VA guaranteed, Zero down mortgages and low mortgage insurance.  A Veteran may use their VA eligibility over and over to finance a new home as long as they continue to pay off their existing VA loan.  The VA’s version of mortgage insurance is called an upfront “Funding Fee.”  The amount of the Funding fee will vary depending on down payment, and whether the Veteran has utilized their VA eligibility before.  For first time use, the VA Funding Fee is 2.3% of the mortgage amount, and like the FHA & RD Loans, the Veteran will usually elect to finance the “Funding Fee” back into the loan.  Furthermore, the Veteran will usually be “Exempt” from having to pay the “Funding Fee” if they are receiving VA Disability payments.

See example of a Zero Down, VA Loan Estimate based on a $300,000 sales price

Learn More

Advantages of the VA Loan

  1. The zero down feature is what makes this loan very popular and a huge advantage to many Veterans.  Like all the other loan types, the VA loan allows the Seller to pay all closing costs which permits the Veteran to purchase a home for very little money out of pocket with this loan.  However, unlike the RD loan, the Veteran is not restricted to purchase in specific rural areas, nor does the VA loan have income limits.  Additionally, there are considerably more “VA Approved condos” then there are “FHA Approved Condos.”

  2. Like the FHA & RD Loans, the VA Loan has very low interest rates – lower than Conventional Rates.  However, there is NO Monthly mortgage insurance on a VA Loan – nota, zilch, none.  Because of this, and the lower interest rates, a Veteran may elect to finance their 2nd, 3rd, 4th homes with VA financing; even though, they may have a substantial down payment to work with.  In most scenarios, the VA Loan will provide the Veteran the best overall terms compared to any other type of financing.

Disadvantages of the VA Loan

  1. The VA buyer may have some of the same challenges as FHA & RD buyers in competing against Conventional offers if they are looking to finance zero down.

  2. The VA Loan requires a Co-Borrower to be married to the Veteran.  Thus, a Veteran cannot apply jointly with someone who is not their spouse.

These mortgage loan program comparisons were determined for the vantage point of a home buyer.  In some cases, these programs may have different guidelines or cost differences that would make one program better for a particular borrower when refinancing; although, another program might be better for them when purchasing.   When refinancing, it is also very important to know your options.  As always, I begin dialogue with each refinance customer by preparing them the Refinance Loan Estimates that are best suited for their situation, along with detailed Cost/Benefit analysis so that they can make sure they choose the best program for them, and whether refinancing is advantageous at all.


Together Naomi and I have over 60 years of combined experience to assist you. Please let us know how we may help you, or your friends, family or co-workers this year. We <3 Referrals!

Attention ALL First Time Home Buyers

The recent increases in interest rates (and mortgage rates) finally appear to be having the intended beneficial effects on the Local housing market!  Ironically, higher interest rates may be helping millennials and Gen Z purchase their first homes.

Over the past 2-3 years, all too many have experienced that purchasing their first home has been unattainable given the heavy competition from 20, 30, and even 40+ offers on the same house.  Thankfully, for these buyers who have been locked out of the housing market because they have not been able to compete with large down payments, generous appraisal gap guarantees and cash offers, the local West Michigan housing market is FINALLY showing signs of changing.  Our local housing market is becoming much more friendly toward buyers and the change seems to be strong, unpredicted and faster than anyone would have thought.

In the past week, we have had some of our customers in the $200,000 to $400,000 price range get offers accepted on desirable homes in high demand areas that most would think would have been bid way up in the recent months and recent years.  These offers in the past week included:

  • $3,900 below list price, no other offers were made.
  • At asking price, no other offers were made.
  • 4,100 above list price, only 2 other offers were made.
  • $10,600 above asking price, only 6 other offers were made.

Not one of these offers had to offer an appraisal gap guarantee of any type, and 1 was successful with a government loan backed financing.  The data above is based on verbal information given to me and represents only a drop in the bucket of a larger sample being the entire West Michigan real estate market.  However, as a Loan Officer who was receiving purchase agreements with $30K, $40K, $50K+ appraisal gap guarantees that were necessary to beat out dozens of other offers just a year ago, I can’t help but believe this small sample size has to be more than just a coincidence.

While we will continue to see homes listed at asking prices that will generate a large number of offers, including still some with appraisal gap guarantees, finding the right home and how to best structure your offer should be left to the combined teamwork of the Buyer, the Realtor, and the Lender (Teamwork = Buyer + Realtor + Lender).  If you are a first time homebuyer and you have been locked out of the market in recent seasons, or even recent years, now is your time to shine.  Yes, you will be paying a higher interest rate than you would have had you purchased in 2020 or 2021, but today’s interest rates in the 5%’s are still lower than then average mortgage rate over the past 50 years.

By locking in an interest rate in the 5%’s, you’ll eliminate annual rent increases and be on your way to building equity and have the freedom of use of the property as an owner.  The rate increases we have seen over the past few months or so have been painful, but necessary.  Furthermore, paying on a mortgage with a rate in the 5%’s is much better than not having the chance to pay on a mortgage at all; as with rates in the 2%’s, it seems everyone is in the market.  Paying on a mortgage with a rate in the 5%’s is also much better than paying on a mortgage with a rate in the 10%’s. 😊

If you, or anyone you know is an active first time homebuyer or will be this year, please have them contact me for an analysis of programs, monthly payments, costs, and pre-approval.  Together, Naomi and I have over 60 years combined experience working with first time homebuyers and we are known to provide the most attention to detail and best communication in the marketplace.  We also assist in the financing of family sales from parents or grandparents to children, and work with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) in providing first time homebuyer programs, such as tax credits, below market interest rates and Down Payment Assistance.