Choosing the Right Loan

loansChoosing the right lender is a very important component to buying a home. Lending products and services vary from organization to organization, company to company and bank to bank. Most importantly, learn about your options and find the best solution for your needs. Then, interview various lending institutions to find out what they have to offer. Below, please find descriptions for various lending products currently available from First Centennial Mortgage.


If you want to make sure your rate and payment remain the same throughout the life of the loan and you can afford a stronger down-payment (typically 20%), a Fixed Rate mortgage is the option for you. Fixed Rate mortgages are the most classic form of home loans in the United States. The most common terms are 15-year and 30-year mortgages. Lower down-payment options are available with Private Mortgage Insurance.

If you don’t expect to be in the home for a longer period of time, an Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ARM may be the right fit for you. The interest rate remains fixed for a certain period of time and then can adjust thereafter. ARMs generally carry a low initial interest rate. While it may be attractive to have a lower initial interest rate, since the rate can adjust, ARMs are not recommended for every borrower.

If you are unable to afford a traditional 20% down-payment or have less-than-perfect credit, an FHA loan is generally your best option. An FHA loan is a mortgage loan that is insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). With a down payment amount of 3.5%, FHA loans are a very popular option for first-time buyer.

If you have served or are presently serving in the U.S. military, we thank you for your service and would love to help you own a home with a VA loan. A fantastic benefit to a VA loan is that 100% financing is available without the need for mortgage insurance. You will need a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA to prove you are eligible for a VA loan. We can assist in getting the certificate on your behalf.

If you want to buy or currently own a home that needs repairs, we offer the FHA 203K Renovation Loan and the HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage from Fannie Mae. There are two types of the FHA 203K loan, one is intended for more extensive improvements and the other less complicated projects. HomeStyle® allows you to make renovations, repairs, or improvements totaling up to 50 percent of the as-completed appraised value of the property with a first mortgage.

If you are in the market for a home where your loan amount will exceed $417K, our Jumbo (non-conforming) loan programs are what you need. Jumbo loans are ideal for high income borrowers with a credit score of at least 650. The interest rate for a Jumbo loan is generally slightly higher than a conforming loan with similar terms.

If you plan to live in a more rural area, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a variety of loans to help low- or moderate-income individuals buy, repair or renovate a home. USDA loans often carry low effective interest rates and do not require a cash down payment. Not all properties qualify for these loans, so be sure to check with your Mortgage Loan Officer to ensure you meet the proper requirements before considering a USDA loan.

If you are a first time buyer, First Centennial Mortgage is proud to offer state specific programs that are designed to assist you with down payment and closing cost assistance. Restrictions and other requirements do apply so be sure to speak with your First Centennial Mortgage Loan Officer for details. May not be available in all states.

If you are over 62 years old and have either paid off your home loan or have a very small balance, which must be paid off upon closing of the reverse mortgage, you may be eligible for a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows qualified homeowners to take part of their home’s equity as cash.

Jim Francis will work with you one-on-one to tailor a financial solution that is specifically suited to meet your financing needs. Whether you are purchasing your dream home, refinancing an outstanding loan, or consolidating debt, our highly experienced team can help you find the right loan program. Be sure to consult with your Mortgage Loan Officer for specifics regarding each program.