Lock your Rate up to 180 Days, then Re-Lock it!

question manWhat if I were to tell you that I have a special mortgage program??

What if I were to tell you I have some of the best mortgage rates??

What if I were to tell you I have very competitive closing costs??

Yup…ordinary, just like all the other mortgage companies, banks, credit unions etc!  Pretty dull and boring when it comes right down to it.

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Relock Today!

But what if I were tell you that you could lock your mortgage rate in at todays rate and if the rate drops during the process of your mortgage, you could re-lock to the lower rate.  And…It’s FREE!!  Yes, FREE!  No additional premiums, no inflated start rate and it’s offered on fixed rate mortgages.

Buying new construction or Building a new home?  These homes can typically take 3 to 6 months to complete.  In this volatile market of rates changing daily, you can lock in your mortgage rate for 180 days and if the rates drop, you can take advantage of the lower rates.  This allows you the security locking and peace of mind knowing you can still float your mortgage rate down.

But Wait!!!  There’s more!!!  What if you don’t have a signed offer on hand or have even identified a home?  How about if I told you that you could LOCK into a mortgage rate while you were shopping for homes.  This allows you focus on your new home and not have to worry about the markets and at what point rates will move.

This is for fixed rates mortgages up to $417,000.  Don’t be fooled by other lenders that offer these programs and then require you to use an Adjustable Rate or charge you a premium.    I have attached a flyer so that you can share this great program with your friends, clients, builders and whom ever may be in the market.

Click here for your own Float Down Flyer: Float Down

You must have applied for a mortgage through Bill Nickerson and PrimeLending.  You must meet Fannie Mae guidelines and be approved for a mortgage. This article is not a commitment to lend nor does it guarantee the program without first verifying credit, income and all financial documents.  Please call me at 978-273-3227 or wnickerson@primelending.com to see if you qualify for a mortgage today.


The Good Faith Estimate

gfeA good faith estimate (GFE) must be provided by a mortgage lender or broker in the United States to a customer.  The estimate must include an itemized list of fees and costs associated with the loan and must be provided within three business days of applying for a loan.  These mortgage fees, closing costs and pre-paid items cover every expense associated with a home loan from legal fees, recording fees, title insurance, taxes and other charges.  A good faith estimate is a standard form which is intended to be used to compare different offers (or quotes) from different lenders or brokers.

The good faith estimate is only an estimate. The final closing costs may be different; however the difference can only be 10% of the third party fees.  Once a good faith estimate is issued the lender/broker cannot change the fees in the origination box.

It is important to look at everything that is listed, but it is especially important to see if additional costs are being built in such as Points, Broker Fees or high Administrative fees.  In all, a consumer should look at the bottom line number of the cost;  one, to make sure it is affordable to them and two, to be sure the costs are accurate and not over inflated in any way.  Click for more details about closing costs.

For more information about the good faith estimates or if you have questions regarding other home financing, please email me at bill@billnickerson.com or call me at 978-273-3227

Home Buying Checklist

shopping for a houseHave you ever been out looking at houses to buy and found that after about the 5th or 6th house, they all start to blend together?  You can’t remember the individual features of each house…what you liked and didn’t like about each of them.  Looking at houses can be a fun but a daunting experience.  One can get easily tired and overwhelmed.  To help with your house hunting process, please take a look at my home buying checklist.  Print some copies to take with you when house shopping.  I’m sure you will find it a helpful tool!

Bill’s Homebuying Checklist

Print off as many as you would like!!

For questions regarding home financing or the economy, please email me at bill@billnickerson.com  or call me at 978-273-3227

The Government Shut Down

The current shutdown of the Federal Government has left many homebuyers and real estate industry partners with many questions about how the shutdownAmerica is Closed will impact their ability to do business. Merrimack Mortgage will continue to operate at full capacity during the shutdown; however, the shutdown creates some challenges for lenders. We hope  you find this piece informative and that you will share it with staff and colleagues, as well as potential homebuyers and sellers.

FHA LOANS                                                                                                                                FHA Single Family Housing –  Government Shutdown FAQs Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/contingency-plan

Q: How will this impact the housing market? A: Because we are able to endorse loans, we don’t expect the impact on the housing market to be significant, as long as the shutdown is brief. If the shutdown lasts and our commitment authority runs out, we do expect that potential homeowners will be impacted, as well as home sellers and the entire housing market. We could also see a decline in home sales during an extended shutdown period, reversing the trend toward a strengthening market that we’ve been experiencing.

Q: Will FHA have staff available to answer questions if there is a government shutdown? A: Limited FHA staff will be available to respond to questions, emails or other correspondence.

Q: Can I get an FHA case number? A: Yes. Lenders will be able to obtain an FHA case number from the FHA Connection.

Q: Will FHA insure any loans during the government shutdown? A: Yes, FHA will endorse single family loans; however, it may take a little longer to endorse.

Q: Will the Credit Alert Interactive Voice Response System (CAIVRS) be available during a government shutdown? A: Yes. CAIVRS will be available to determine if a borrower has a delinquent federal debt.

Q: Can lenders submit packages for condo approvals? A: No. FHA will not approve condo projects during a government shutdown.

Q: Can lenders file a claim and convey a property if there is a government shutdown? A: Yes. Lenders can file a claim and convey a property. The properties will be assigned to an Asset Manager and listed for sale. Claims will be paid.

Q: Will HUD Homes be listed? A: Yes. FHA’s Asset Managers (AM) will handle the sale of HUD Homes.

Q: Will I be able to place a bid on a HUD-owned property via the HUD Home Bid site during the shutdown? A: Yes. FHA contractors will handle the sale of HUD Homes and the bidding site (www.hud.gov/hudhomes) will be available and maintained during the shutdown.

Q: If I’m selling my home to a buyer utilizing FHA-insured financing will I still be able to complete the sale? A: The shutdown may delay the processing or closing of your FHA-insured loan. Please contact your lender for the exact status of your FHA loan.


The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to operate during the government shutdown so there should be no interruption of essential loan functions. We can still obtain VA case numbers, borrower Certificate of Eligibility and order appraisals as normal.  


RURAL DEVELOPMENT LOANS The government shutdown will create issues for all new Rural Development originations as the USDA will be shutting down all essential functions. The RD GUS automated underwriting system will be unavailable during the shutdown and no local loan analysts will be reviewing loans. Borrowers may want to review secondary options with their loan officer.  


As the IRS will be closed during the shutdown, no tax returns transcript will be processed. If a loan requires use of non-salaried income from the tax returns for qualifying purposes such as self employment income or rental income, Merrimack and other lenders may not be able to close without the processed returns to ensure the validity of that income.  


Merrimack Mortgage will be able to process flood certificates during the shutdown and that will not be a cause for delay. However, a closing will likely be delayed if a property requires flood insurance, as FEMA is shut down and unable to issue flood insurance guarantees.  


Any homebuyer or homeowner whose income is used for qualifying on the loan and whose current position has been furloughed without pay, will not be able to close their loan until a verbal verification of employment confirms they are back to work at the same rate of pay. Thank you for your cooperation and patience during this time. Merrimack Mortgage will make every reasonable effort to close loans during this process but in some cases will be limited by the individual situation.

Mortgage rates remain overall flat during this time as government reports are not available in regards to the economy.  The opinion of many, after the shutdown, rates make get the boost they need in order to put our housing market back on track.

For more information, feel free to call me anytime at 978-273-3227.  You can also email me at wnickerson@merrimackmortgage.com

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FHA to increase fees…Again!!

ImageFHA is once again increasing mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) on all new purchase and refinance transactions. Effective for FHA loans that have been assigned on or after June 3, 2013 and in addition to this increase, the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium will remain for the life of the loan. Meaning, you can only remove the mortgage insurance by refinancing out of the mortgage or selling the home.

FHA had just increased all its rates just over a year ago to 120 basis points (1.2% of the loan amount) of the loan amount and now it will be as high as 155 basis points. On a $100,000 loan amount, the old mortgage insurance payment would have been $100 per month; the new Mortgage Insurance payment will be $129.17. Considering just 2 years ago, the mortgage insurance premium on all FHA loans was 55 basis points (just over a half percent) and that payment on $100,000 would come to $45.83.

So even though mortgage rates have come down over the last 2 years, this increase in Mortgage Insurance has caused the cost of this loan to increase dramatically. Also with this additional cost, you can no longer have the mortgage insurance just drop off once you gain 20% of equity in the home.

Now, these may not seem like big increases to you, but for someone borrowing $400,000; this would have the Mortgage Insurance going from $183.33 to $516.67. Imagine…paying $516.67 for mortgage insurance!!

Now is the best time to get pre-approved by a qualified Loan Officer to give you several choices of mortgage programs. It is not always wise to chase to the lowest rate available without truly understanding the overall mortgage program.

Call me to find out about low down payment loans, as low as 3% with-out any mortgage insurance at all.

I can be reached at 978-273-3227 or feel free to email me at bill@billnickerson.com

Winter, it’s only a state of mind!


Winter, it's only a state of mind.

Winter, it’s only a state of mind.