Thoughts and ideas from
VA loans cheat sheet: What to know
September 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
This is an image of a service member who bought a house with VA loans.

Buying a house is exciting, but it can also be a complex and stressful process. You will likely need a loan, but how do you know which is right for you? How do you go about getting a loan? If you’re a current or former military service member, you may qualify for a VA loan. Here’s your handy VA loan cheat sheet to help you find out if it’s the right option for you.

What is a VA loan?

A VA loan is a type of loan offered through the Veterans Administration for eligible military service members. The loan can help you buy, build, or improve a home.

Who qualifies for a VA loan?

Eligible service members, including veterans, reservists, and active duty personnel, plus eligible family members, may qualify for a VA loan.

Benefits of getting a VA loan

VA loans offer a variety of benefits.

  • There’s no down payment required
  • Your down payment and closing costs may come from a gift or grant
  • Available options allow flexibility in income, debt and credit requirements
  • There’s no requirement for mortgage insurance
  • Loans are available in fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options

Types of VA loans

When it comes to VA loans, there are a number of different loan types available.

Purchase loan: A purchase loan can help you get better lending terms when seeking a loan to buy a house.

Native American Direct Loan (NADL): The NADL program helps Native American veterans as well as veterans married to a Native American receive a loan to purchase, build, or improve a home on federal trust land.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL): If you already have a VA-backed home loan, you may be able to qualify for a VA-backed IRRRL to help reduce or stabilize your monthly payments.

Cash-out refinance loan: A VA-backed cash-out refinance loan allows you to take cash out of your home equity in order to pay for other needs, such as school costs, paying off debt, and more.

How to get a VA loan

Interested in getting a VA loan? There are a few steps you’ll need to take in order to do so. First, you’ll need to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). You can apply for one on the VA’s website, through the VA’s Web LGY system, or by mail.

Next, depending on which type of loan you’re seeking, you’ll need to work with a private mortgage company, such as Mortgages by Jill. I’ll help you through the loan process.

Before a loan can be given, I’ll request a VA appraisal of the house, which will give me more information about its market value, and I’ll look at your income information and credit score. If you qualify for the loan and your application is accepted, we’ll discuss the next steps for getting you into your new home.

About Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill

In my 30 years of experience, I’ve helped a number of people become homebuyers by personally funding more than $2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. In addition to VA loans, my company offers a variety of other loan types and programs, including programs for first time homebuyers, medical professionals, community personnel, and more. I know how big of an impact having your own home can make, and I’m passionate about making that a reality for residents in North Carolina and beyond.

There’s a lot to consider when applying for a loan. Mortgages by Jill is here to make the process feel less overwhelming. Click here to learn more or apply for a loan today.

5 Things You Need to Know about Lot Loans in North Carolina
August 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
lot land ready for development in north carolina

Many homeowners want to explore various options when developing their forever home. Questions come up like, “Is it best to purchase a turnkey home?” or “How much would it cost to renovate an older home?”

One question that comes up is “Should we purchase land and build our own custom home?” However, lot loans in North Carolina can involve quite a bit more than you’d expected.

That’s why you need a loan officer with experience in lot loans. I’m here to help guide you through five things you need to know about lot loans, so you can decide if buying land in North Carolina is the right choice for you.

1. Not all land is lot land

If you’ve found an area of land that you like, you’ll want to be sure you know what kind of land it is. You need to find out if this is lot land or raw land. Lot land is more suitable for residential development for several reasons. It typically has access to utilities, septic systems, and roads.

2. Lot land is more financially viable than raw land

Raw land is not usually ready for residential development. This is because raw land is typically not surveyed or zoned for boundaries. So can be many more risks involved to bring the raw land up to code. Since lot land is ready for development, banks are more likely to offer lot loans for a more secure investment.

3. A lot loan down payment depends on land usage

Just the same as a business investment, banks will determine the down payment for a lot loan based on the use of the land. Banks can see immediate return on investment for an existing home, whereas building a new home on land can lead to many unexpected hurdles. This is another reason why raw land is less favored by banks, and lot land is a safer investment.

4. The better the land, the lower the cost

If you are looking to build your dream home, you’ll want to find the highest quality property to build it on. There are many reasons for this, one being that better quality land typically requires a lower down payment. This is because it will take less time to get residential property onto the land. So be sure to review all the information about the land once it has been zoned and surveyed.

5. There are various loan options available for lot loans

Here is another reason why it’s important to work with a loan officer. Since there are several different aspects involved in financing land, there are several loan options to review. There are home equity loans, HSDA loans, credit unions, and seller financing to name a few. All of these loans should be carefully considered. Working with a loan officer will help make sure you find the best option for your land.

Ultimately, there’s a lot to learn about land loans. By all means, don’t let this discourage you from your dream of building your own custom home on a unique property. But it’s best if you work with a loan officer with experience in the area. You’ll have access to an invaluable resource throughout the process, so you can feel confident in your investment.

When you work with me, you’ll be working with a loan officer who cares. I have experience in helping clients obtain lot loans in Greensboro, Winston Salem, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities throughout North Carolina. And with 30 years of experience, I promise to help you find the best option as you plan for your future.

Contact me today to start building for your future.

The Benefits of Working with a Mortgage Expert in Winston-Salem, NC
July 15, 2020 at 4:00 AM
get the Winston-Salem, NC, home of your dreams with a mortgage expert's assistance

When it comes to selecting a mortgage expert to help you finance your Winston-Salem, NC, home, taking the time to find someone with the right experience and expertise is essential. Whether you’re buying a home for the first time or this your second or third home, unrivaled guidance can make a huge difference.

For 30 years, people have turned to me to help them get the loans they need to move into their homes. In that time, I’ve funded more than $2 billion to help individuals and families finance their homes—and helped them understand their options before reaching a decision that works best for them.

Here’s how I can help you get the loan you need.

Offering Expert Advice to My North Carolina Neighbors

In the past three decades, I’ve had the privilege of guiding North Carolinians through the often complex process of exploring, choosing, and getting approved for a loan. My experience extends beyond Winston-Salem; I’ve helped homeowners in Greensboro, High Point, Clemmons, Raleigh, Charlotte, Piedmont Triad, and other cities get the loans they need.

My 30 years of experience working across the state (and outside of it) has given me the opportunity to see countless unique situations and to understand how to best provide guidance to ensure you get the right loan for your situation. These diverse circumstances have helped me better understand individuals’ needs and, while each case is unique, see where ceratin situations overlap and apply those learnings to others’ cases.

When you reach out to me for your 30-minute consult, I’ll get the chance to learn more about your financial circumstance and personal needs. This helps me understand which loan(s) may be best for you.

I especially enjoy helping first-time homebuyers understand the lending process, grants, down payment assistance, and special financing options so they can experience the pride and peace of mind that comes with owning a home.

But first-time homeowners and others alike have several options. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans help future homeowners of all income levels receive the financial assistance they need to own their home. These loans are great for you if you anticipate owning a lower-priced home with a small down payment or do not have much cash upfront for either the down payment or closing costs.

But for those who need significant financial assistance, I can help you get a jumbo loan. These loans are perfect for those who need up to $3 million to secure the home of their dreams.

I’m also proud to help those who serve our communities get the financial assistance they need to own their homes. Through medical professional mortgages and community partners loans, I can help healthcare professionals, law enforcement, firefighters, educators, and first responders receive the assistance required to get the home they deserve.

Let’s Get You into the Home of Your Dreams

I understand that no two potential homeowners have the same financial situations, personal wants, needs, or dreams. But in my 30 years of experience, I’ve come to understand that, no matter a person’s background or financial situation, everyone deserves a home—and I’m proud to help my Winston-Salem, NC, neighbors get the funding they need to move into theirs. Reach out to me today to take the first step to get the loan that’s right for you.

Jill Burgess’ Top 3 Tips For Buying Your First Home
June 9, 2020 at 4:00 AM
I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

I’m Jill Burgess, and at Mortgages by Jill, I’m dedicated to helping North Carolina residents find their dream home at a price point they can afford.

Buying a home for the first time can be an intimidating process. There are countless different types of available loans, eligibility can be multi-tiered and complicated, and the whole experience can quickly go from exciting to stress-inducing. That’s why I’m committed to demystifying the complex aspects and putting your perfect home within your reach.

Here are my top 3 tips for buying your first home.

NC Home Advantage Mortgages

An NC Home Advantage Mortgage has the potential to make a dramatic difference in your first home-buying experience. Through this 30 year fixed rate loan, you can receive down payment assistance up to 5% of your total loan amount. Better yet, that’s without having to pay any interest. It can be used in association with FHA, VA, USDA or conventional loans.

As a result, money saved through an NC Home Advantage Mortgage can be reallocated to furniture, moving, and other associated moving costs.

Down Payment Assistance

There are multiple available forms of down payment assistance for purchasing your first home in North Carolina.

For instance, you might qualify for the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program if you meet the following conditions:

  • Be a first-time home buyer.
  • But a new or existing house as a primary residence.
  • Meet specific income limits.
  • Receive no more than 20 percent of the purchase price in DPA.
  • Complete a HUD-approved 8-hour, in-person homebuyer education course.
  • Secure a fixed-rate, 15- or 30-year mortgage.

Similarly, NC 1st Home Advantage Down Payment provides $8,000 in down payment assistance. You could qualify for up to $30,000 of down payment assistance depending on the specifics of your circumstances as a first-time home buyer.

As a mortgage expert for 30 years, I can help narrow down your options and ensure you receive the most possible assistance.

Core City Homebuyer Incentive Program

The Core City Home Buyer Incentive Program provides financial benefits to homebuyers in particular areas of Core City. This is done in order to increase income diversification in the area.

The program provides $5,000 of assistance via a 5-year loan at 0% interest, forgiven at 20% per year. This is provided that your property sales price does not exceed $200,000 and is located in the Core City or Springbrook Meadows.

Don’t neglect to consider these kinds of incentive programs when choosing your new home’s potential location. It could make a dramatic difference for your budget!

Contact Mortgages By Jill Today

These aforementioned tips could potentially save you thousands of dollars, but they’re only a small fraction of my knowledge on mortgages. From the High Point City Wide Home Buyer Assistance Program to the Good Neighbor Next Door Program, there are multiple routes towards buying your first home— but only one of those paths is the right path for you.

If you want my expertise on your team, contact Mortgages By Jill today to schedule a consultation. Let’s find your dream home together without breaking the bank.

What You Didn't Know About First Home Mortgages
May 11, 2020 at 4:00 AM
first home mortgages

If you're like most first-time buyers, you need a home loan, or mortgage, to finance your first property purchase. However, if you've never applied for a home loan before, the whole process can seem daunting and overly complicated. Don't worry. It's actually much more straightforward than it looks! Here's what you should know about first home mortgages and why it's easier to apply for a home loan than it seems. 

You Don't Need a Certain Down Payment

I'm not sure why so many people believe that they need to make a 20% minimum down payment on a property, but it's simply not true. Sure, you might secure lower interest rates if you make a higher down payment, but you can still qualify for a home loan with as little as a 3% down payment. 

Down Payment Assistance Is Available 

Struggling to save up for a down payment? Don't worry! This is common, and there are various down payment assistance programs on offer to help you out. I'm familiar with all the home incentive and down payment assistance products available across the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area, and I can advise you on everything, from your eligibility right through to making your initial application.  

Shopping Around May Save You Money

When you're looking for a first home mortgage, you should do two things: do your research and speak with a professional loan officer. Shopping around is the only way to ensure that you understand all the loan options available and find the one best suited to your unique circumstances. And, by working with an experienced loan officer like me, you'll get all the support you need to weigh up the pros and cons of the different options. 

Support Exists for Low-Income Buyers

Even if you're a low-to-moderate-income buyer, it's still absolutely possible for you to secure a home loan. There are numerous support programs available, including High Point's City-Wide Homebuyer Assistance Program and USDA loans. Whatever your financial situation, you deserve a shot at joining the property ladder, and I'm here to help you take that first step. 

Bad Credit Isn't Fatal

Seriously – a less than ideal credit rating is no reason to give up on finding a home loan. Although it's true that a better credit score makes it easier to secure a mortgage, there are financing options out there for every first-time buyer. Government-insured loans such as Federal Housing Administration (FDA) loans only require minimal down payments, and they are open to applicants with pretty low credit scores. I can talk you through all the options available in your specific circumstances.

Some Cities Have Their Own Incentive Schemes 

Some cities, such as Greensboro, offer down payment assistance to first-time buyers who want to purchase a home within the city limits. These incentive schemes encourage new homeowners to get on the property ladder – the Housing Connect Greensboro 10K Down Payment Assistance Program, for example, pays up to $10,000 towards closing costs and your down payment!

Ready to Apply for Your First Home Mortgage?

Don't let the first home mortgage application process stress you out – instead, let me help you secure your dream home! With over 30 years' experience in personal finance and home loans, I'm perfectly placed to support you through each step of the mortgage application process, from shopping around for the best deal to signing the final contract. To find out more about home loans and my service offerings, contact Mortgages by Jill today. 

A Brief History Of Home Loans
April 14, 2020 at 4:00 AM
We are your resource for information about home loans and mortgages.

You’ll often hear the term “mortgage” used in conversation, and especially when discussing the market crash of 2008. If you’re looking to buy your first home, you will be more acquainted with the concept and must familiarize yourself with how a mortgage works. A mortgage is a loan that you take out when you are buying a home. Over the course of a set period of time, you will pay off this loan through a series of routine installments. Americans have been taking out and paying off mortgages for decades, but when did this become common practice?

Loans have been in society practically since the beginning of recorded history. The loan industry covers more than just home loans and can be used to purchase a wide variety of different assets. However, home loans are particularly significant because they provide middle and lower class citizens with the opportunity to purchase homes that they would otherwise not be able to afford. Initially, mortgages were issued exclusively by banks and were not readily accessible to all citizens. Only a select few were able to successfully file for a loan until Fannie Mae instituted under President Roosevelt changed the mortgage market and its influence is still significant today. Since then, receiving approval for a mortgage is far more common.

After the 2008 market crash, mortgages unjustly received a bad name. However, the market today is back to normal and precautions have been established to prevent any sort of mishap. Citizens may now safely take mortgages out with the full confidence of the lender as long as your credit score is good. To ensure that all those receiving mortgages fully understand the dynamics of what they are signing up for, lenders provide intricate details to educate the lendee in hopes to avoid misinformation and ultimately prevent another crisis.

Mortgages by Jill is the professional, personal, and passionate office that over the impressive span of 30 years has personally funded 2 billion dollars worth of mortgage loans. Jill is uniquely devoted to her clientele, whether they be first time buyers or previous clients looking to move into a larger home. It takes a professional with the adequate experience Jill boasts to help you navigate the rough terrain of the mortgage world, and see you safely through the process. As a result, Jill will protect your money, assets, and your home. Please get in touch with us today and learn how Jill’s unique services can help you!

Can You Get a Home Loan With Bad Credit in Greensboro?
March 17, 2020 at 4:00 AM
home loan bad credit greensboro.jpg

You may have been monitoring your credit score on one of those credit websites and worried your scores are too low. You may have a bad credit score because you had financial issues in the past, and conventional lenders might not consider you. However, there are still several ways you can secure a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro.

Try a Credit Union

First, you should consider a credit union. They offer services similar to banks, but they're owned by members and are not-for-profit institutions. They're more likely to look past your bad credit history and may consider factors like your character as well. Look for credit unions that are linked to your life in some way. Perhaps your local community or employer has a credit union, and there are special ones for professions like teachers and the military.

Get a Co-Signer

If you'd prefer instead stick with a conventional bank, consider asking a family member or friend to be a co-signer on your home loan. The lender will calculate rates based on the person with better credit. Just know that your co-signer is doing you a huge favor. The loan payment information is recorded on both of your credit scores. So if you default or you're late, you'll hurt their credit, too.

Leverage Your Assets

Some lenders will offer what's called a secured home loan in which you borrow against things you own. These things can either be physical stuff, like another house, car, or boat, or, in some cases, assets like stocks. Secured home loan amounts are determined based on how much equity you have in the underlying asset, so another home is the collateral most likely to be approved. Know that if you default on the loan, however, you lose that asset.

Improve Your Bad Credit

There are a few other options, like unsecured loans, personal loans, and peer-to-peer lending. But perhaps the best tip is to improve your bad credit. Pull your free credit report and learn where you stand. Make smaller payments, like half a payment every two weeks instead of once a month, and do it on time. Don't close any credit cards and other accounts, like store accounts. Having a lot of available credit that you don't use helps your score, as does an account with a long history. Debt consolidation can also help. It takes three to six months of good credit behavior to boost your score, but the effort is worth it.

Consider Credit Repair

There are a lot of credit repair agencies that will take you on as a client. It may be anywhere from a three-month process to a six-month process. Sometimes it's up to a 12-month process, depending on how much credit you have on the bureau and if there are errors to be removed. It is possible that you paid off a loan, for example, but it still shows on your report. So, you are better off trying to clean your credit before purchasing a home versus going in with a bad credit score. This is because your credit score will affect the interest rate that you're going to pay over a 15- or 30-year period.

Want to learn more about how to get a home loan with bad credit in Greensboro and how you can make yourself a more attractive loan candidate for that dream home you've always wanted? Reach out today to Mortgages by Jill at 336-740-9068. Or simply fill out our handy contact form, and we'll get back to you. We can't wait to hear from you!

Jill Burgess | Your Trusted Loan Officer in North Carolina
February 28, 2020 at 5:00 AM
jill burgess loan officer.jpg

About Jill Burgess | Loan Officer 

Whether securing a loan for homebuyers, helping rescue at-risk pets, or participating in community projects, I'm all in! Nothing makes me happier than a job well done, especially when helping people purchase the home of their dreams.I'm happy to say that I am a preferred loan officer with the North Carolina Finance Authority. Proudly, I'm also a 5-star rated mortgage professional. I know the housing market and loan products available for every home buyer, from first responders to the self-employed, and everyone in between. This extensive knowledge allows me to make your home buying experience easy.I've funded over 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans. I want to bring that loan officer experience to you! 

Products and Services 

There are dozens of mortgage products and home buying incentives available to home buyers in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem area. I know them all. Best of all, I demystify the mortgage process. Here's a list of current products and services available through Mortgages by Jill:Medical Professional Mortgages: a loan program designed to accommodate medical professionals' circumstances, covering specifics such as time on the job, student loan debt, and downpayment requirements.First Time Homebuyer Programs: specialty loan products and downpayment assistance programs designed to build neighborhoods through homeownership. Portfolio Loans: Yes! I can help you secure a mortgage with loans retained at our institution. These loans give us greater flexibility for borrowers who don't fit the standard mold.The Ameris Edge Jumbo Loan: this product is designed for primary and secondary home purchases up to $3,000,000. Community Partners Loans/FHLB: these loan programs support our first responders, teachers, and other helping professionals be homeowners with special financing, downpayment, and purchasing requirements. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans: federal mortgage products designed to help buyers of all income levels who have limited funds for down payments. USDA Rural Housing Loan: special mortgage products for homebuyers in rural areas that assist with up-front costs, closing costs, and downpayment requirements.Veterans Administration (VA) Loans: these loan products are designed to help eligible service members become homeowners. Products offer flexibility and assistance with the downpayment, closing costs, and insurance requirements.Conventional 97 Loans: a loan product designed for first-time homeowners with limited funds for their downpayment. These loans allow for a 3% downpayment, and a 97% loan-to-value loan ratio. Click here to learn more about the products offered at Mortgages by Jill!

What Sets Jill Apart as Your Mortgage Loan Officer?

I know the people, places, and loan products that help home buyers have a drama-free home buying experience. My roots are in the Greensboro, Winston-Salem areas of North Carolina, but my reach extends nationwide.  With 30 years and 2 billion dollars worth of experience, I've surely helped someone exactly like you find a way to their dream home. That's why I'm a 5-star loan officer know for bringing friendly, professional expertise to every detail of the home buying experience. I know mortgages, I know North Carolina, and I'd love to get to know you!

I'm looking forward to working with you!

Are you ready to start the application process? Great! Click here to apply.Want to talk a bit first? Even better! Click here to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.Welcome to Mortgages by Jill, where your mortgage experience is personal, professional, and dedicated!

5 Top Benefits Offered by USDA Loans in Greensboro Winston Salem, Point North Carolina
January 24, 2020 at 5:00 AM
by Ameris Bank Mortgage Services

If you’re one of those people who’s been renting their place for seemingly forever, you might want to look into the possibility of finally owning a home through USDA loans. These loans, which are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are part of the USDA Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan program.

USDA loans are designed to benefit potential home buyers with low-to-average income for their area. They come with several benefits you won’t see in other loan programs. Let’s take a closer look at each one of those benefits below:

1. Zero down payment

One of the greatest draws of the USDA loan program is that it enables homebuyers to receive 100 percent financing. Most applicants have no trouble qualifying for most types of loans. However, the ability to gather enough funds for a down payment is one of the biggest hurdles for first-time homebuyers – a difficulty you won’t encounter with a USDA loan.

With Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, borrowers need to have at least a 3.5 percent down payment. For most conventional loans, on the other hand, a 5 percent down payment is required, at the minimum. This makes USDA home loans more accessible to borrowers. 

2. Competitive interest rates and loan terms

Although actual interest rates tend to vary for every lender due to specific factors, such as your credit standing and prevailing market conditions, the USDA guarantee offers some reassurance that participating lenders will offer some of the lowest interest rates on the market. Moreover, you can qualify for a USDA loan with the usual mortgage terms; that is, 15 years or 30 years.

3. Low Monthly Fees

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a requirement for conventional loans if the borrower is unable to provide a 20 percent down payment. Moreover, even FHA loans are known to have high annual mortgage insurance fees.

A USDA loan won’t have a PMI as it uses two different fees instead. These fees comprise the upfront guarantee fee (1 percent of the total financed amount), which needs to be paid once the loan is closed, and the annual fee (0.35 percent of the current loan balance), which is actually lumped into your monthly mortgage payment. It’s also good to know that the USDA loan funding fee is the lowest of its kind among all government-backed loan products.

So, if you have a $200,000 mortgage, for example, the upfront funding fee would be $2,000, and the 0.35 percent annual fee would be calculated at $58 per month. An FHA loan of the same amount would cost you $3,500 upfront (1.75 percent) and $139 per month (0.85 percent annual fee).

4. Flexible credit guidelines

If you think your less-than-ideal credit history might disqualify you for a USDA home loan, you might want to check for certain. While a minimum credit score of 660 is required by the majority of typical lenders, 720 is usually the minimum if you are to qualify for the lowest interest rates.

Fortunately for you, to qualify for a USDA home loan, there is no minimum credit score. But, to avail of the USDA's automated underwriting system, you need to have at least 640 or a higher credit score. Those with credit scores lower than 640 qualify for USDA loans through manual underwriting.

5. Millions can qualify

The majority of U.S. citizens can qualify for a USDA loan, or an estimated 97 percent of the country. Of course, the goal behind this provision is to encourage population growth in non-urban areas. However, note that the USDA definition for what a rural area is, is quite broad. In simple terms, it can be any area with a population below 35,000.

Ready to discuss your options with Ameris Bank Mortgage Services?

If you are seriously considering applying for a USDA loan, Ameris Bank Mortgage Services is here to help.

We can provide expert advice and guide you throughout the entire process.

Trends to Watch With FHA Loans in 2020 - From Ameris Bank, Your Loan Connection Experts
December 17, 2019 at 5:00 AM
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With interest rates still exceptionally low, employment levels exceptionally high, and conditions overall favorable, the US housing market should enjoy a strong year in 2020.

Along with the economic optimism and performance, signs point to a year of increased activity from the Federal Housing Administration in helping qualified individuals get into the homes they want. FHA loans provide many with their best opportunity to get into a new home. 

At Ameris Bank, we proudly partner with the FHA to help as many of our clients as possible get into the home of their dreams at a reasonable price. 

What the Federal Housing Administration Does

The FHA, an agency of the Department of Housing and Urban Development,  works to provide qualified borrowers with low interest loans. Established as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal era reforms, the FHA is one of the largest providers of mortgage loans in the world.

FHA, however, does not directly lend money. It works with private sector lenders who dedicate themselves to great client service daily. FHA assists both lenders and borrowers by insuring loans, making them less risky for providers and more accessible for buyers. 

Why Clients Desire FHA Loans

FHA loans offer buyers a number of benefits and advantages not found in an uninsured loan. For example, buyers only need a 3.5 percent down payment. It's our experience that this is much lower than is typically requested in a non-insured loan.

Lower credit scores also do not always disqualify those seeking a loan. If you have a credit score as low as 500, you may still qualify for a loan, with a deposit of 10 percent or more.

The FHA’s loan program aims to help those who have negative credit marks, but still have the ability to pay off a loan. Along with USDA, Veterans Administration, and other programs, they help a number of capable individuals achieve home ownership that would be otherwise impossible.

<h3>Loan Limits Expected to Rise in 2020</h3>

Growth in the housing market has pushed prices of single family homes higher. To respond to that development, FHA low-cost area home loan limits rose from just under $315,000 to approximately $332,000. Loan limits for higher cost area residential properties will rise from $727,000 to about $767,000

The differences in these numbers reflect the huge disparity of housing costs seen in different parts of the country. Homes that sell for hundreds of thousands or even millions in markets such as San Francisco or suburban Washington DC bear much lower prices in more rural and economically struggling urban regions.

FHA Housing Applications Will Continue to Grow Over the Next Year

As FHA interest rates continue to hover around 4 percent, many have sought to take advantage before conditions change. We feel this is a smart move. 

Loan applications for not only new home buyers, but also refinancing, continued to rise in the last weeks of 2019. Refinancing applications grew by nearly 30 percent. Purchase applications declined slightly toward the end of the year, but remain five percent ahead of the same levels from this time last year. 

With so many incentives for using FHA loans to purchase or refinance a home, it’s no wonder why we have seen growth in applications.

Reach Out Today

We invite your to learn more about FHA and other helpful federal loan programs available through working with Ameris Bank. Our staff understands that these programs are complex and will answer any questions about them and how we help clients obtain them. We can also set up an appointment to get your application started.

Call or message us today. Let us be your first step toward financing the home of your dreams. 

Ameris Bank Offers Customized Mortgage Services For You
November 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM

We understand that finding ways to finance a house purchase can be overwhelming, frustrating, and exhausting.

A first time home buyer I particular feels the pain of uncertainty. Which mortgage services and programs will provide the best value? Which will cost the least in the long term? How can I best position my credit score while preparing for getting a loan?

What most home buyers need from a mortgage lender, besides the loan, is patience, understanding, and thoughtful education on the process.

Ameris Bank believes in a comprehensive approach to client services. We want to make sure that you achieve your lending goals as much as possible.

Our Mission

Over the past three decades, we have earned a reputation for using the three Ps to provide elevated client service.

This means taking a personal, professional, and passionate approach to making sure that our clients get the best possible mortgage services solutions from Ameris Bank. We not only work with home buyers to get them great terms through us, but also connect clients with helpful government assistance programs when they qualify.

Our Range of Mortgage Services

We have worked to create a number of loan packages designed to help as many categories of home buyers as possible.

For those seeking out upscale homes for residence and investment, we offer jumbo loans up to $3 million.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have a number of special loan packages for first time home buyers. Many of these include financial assistance in the form of grants, down payment assistance, and special financing plans.

First time home buyers can also take advantage of a number of incentive programs. Those who are currently in the military or have left the service can qualify for VA on loans. Others can take advantage of USDA programs that help reduce burdens on first time home buyers. From FHLB comes assistance for those who serve the community as first responders and in other key positions.

Most people buying their first home have little knowledge about the many government programs designed to make it easier to obtain a loan. Our commitment to client services includes educating you on all of the options for which you may qualify.

Many buy housing not for their own use, but as revenue generating investments. We have options for investors looking to build their portfolios.

We take our commitment to engaging our clients very seriously, as we help them get what they need from the lending process.

Our Dedication to Client Service

Client service starts with a conversation. At Ameris Bank, we do not push loan packages that serve our needs more than the client’s. We speak with clients, determine their wants, their needs, and their financial situation.

After establishing the groundwork, we then work to connect the client with the best possible loan package. We can also advise on how to improve credit scores to the point at which clients may qualify for better rates or certain programs.

At Ameris Bank, we give the needs and concerns of clients top priority.

Reach Out Today

Looking to purchase a new house, but feel overwhelmed by an avalanche of information and questions? Call Ameris Bank today. We can set up an appointment to go over all of the information that you need to prepare for applying for a loan, as well as the options for which you may qualify.

When you work with Ameris bank on home financing, you get peace of mind that allows you to focus on the fun of finding your next home.

Your introduction to
October 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Securing a mortgage or finance against your home doesn't always have to feel like a struggle. At, I have 30 years of experience in helping my clients secure finance. With a strong success rate, I always deliver a personal service using my passionate approach. As an Ameris Bank Mortgage Services representative, I'm here to show you why you should choose me for your next mortgage or loan.

Securing billions of dollars for people throughout the area

Over my 30-year career, I've secured billions of dollars for my clients throughout Salem, Winston, Greensboro, and other areas of North Carolina. Alongside my team, I provide a service that's professional, personal, and passionate.

As a mortgage broker, I know that dedication is the key to helping my clients succeed. Whether you're a first-time buyer, trying to build your portfolio, or someone else, I'll personally commit myself to help you find your mortgage.

With years of experience behind me, I know that reliable communication is the key to success. When you turn to, you'll enjoy my consistent approach to communicating with my clients.

Finding down payment assistance solutions

Depending on the type of mortgage you're searching for, you may need a significant downpayment. As you may already know, finding a downpayment often means saving the money yourself or asking a family member for assistance.

As a preferred loan officer in the North Carolina Finance Authority, I work with a variety of downpayment assistance programs. Depending on your circumstances and the reason for your mortgage, I may be able to provide you with downpayment assistance. As a result, using brings you closer to your property ownership dreams.

Securing niche loan products

When you're looking for a niche loan product, such as a jumbo loan, you need a professional with plenty of experience. At, I combine my professional experience with the support of a strong team.

Whether you need a jumbo loan or a LTV product, I'm here to help. Using my experience, I can bring you closer to your financial dreams. Additionally, I always act in your best interests. As a result, when you seek advice from, you're getting an honest opinion that'll help you protect your future.

Working with specialist groups

When you fall into a specialist group, such as being a veteran, it's always advisable to seek specialist advice. At, I can provide the advice you're looking for.

In some circumstances, veterans can access preferential rates for the mortgages and loans they're seeking. However, it isn't always to find these rates, especially when you don't know where to look for them. Using my professional background, I can find the rates and services that individuals such as veterans and medical professionals seek. 

Faster closing periods than when you go it alone

At MortgagesByJill, our entire team understands how frustrating long closing periods are. Sometimes loans and mortgages take a while to close because financial institutions don't have the right information to hand. In other cases, they're not communicating clearly enough. No matter what the reason for a long closing period is, it can make life more difficult for you as a customer.

With my experience in the financial industry, I ensure no stone is left unturned. As a result, every application I submit features all the required information the first time around. My approach makes it easier for you to enjoy a quick close. In some cases, this can happen as soon as 21 days after the initial application.

If you need a mortgage or loan and you're looking for help, come to To learn more about what I can do for you, call 336 740 9068.

Doctor and First Time Home Buyer Loan
October 12, 2019 at 12:00 AM

The Doctor and First time Home Buyers Loan

Considering a mortgage is one of the most important financial decisions one could make. You dedicate a lot of time and resources into building your career. You deserve to live a peaceful and happy life without worrying about your finances.

One of the common and safe assets one could have is their house. You could get a secure loan against your house. There are different types of mortgages you could avail of. The type of mortgages varies depending on the type of borrowers like a veteran, medical professionals, or people belonging to rural areas.

Mortgages for Medical Professionals

Doctor mortgage or Medical professional mortgages are specifically designed for medical workers. These kinds of loans have fewer restrictions compared to other kinds of loans. A decent credit around 700 or more then that could help get a loan with no or very less down payments.

There are several advantages of physician loans, with one being that you could present the offer letter as proof of income even if you have not started your job yet.

Who qualifies for a Doctor Loan?

There is no difference between a physician mortgage loan and doctor mortgage loan; both are the same things. Generally, they are referred to as doctor loans.

Following are the professions or jobs that come under the category of doctor loans:

· Licensed Medical Professionals

· Medical Physicians

· Dentists

· Pediatrics, Optometrists are also offered Doctor Loans by some lenders

If you are a medical professional in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, High Point areas of North Carolina, and considering a doctor loan, you have a chance to avail the expertise of Jill. With years of experience, she will help you draw out a suitable plan according to your needs.

Why Are Physicians Mortgages Special?

When we come across doctor or physician loans, we notice that these loans are different from other kinds of mortgages that are offered to other professionals. One of the major reasons is that doctors or physicians make a lot more money than other professions. Plus, the added benefit of job security.

The lenders have a keen interest in observing how much you make from your profession. When it comes to doctors, besides making good money, they also have opportunities for loan forgiveness that is offered by state programs.

Doctors also have fewer default rates as compared to other professions. Reportedly doctors have a default rate of just .2% vs. the 1.2% default rate of the average consumers.

Major Benefits of Physician Loan Programs

Very Low or Zero Down payment: As compared to other professions, doctor loans have very less or zero down payment in some cases, depending on the lender.

NO PMI: There are no private mortgage insurances required

High Loans: Lenders could allow loans up to $850k/$1.5 Million

Employment Contract: If you are starting a new job, the employment contract may be enough proof to prove your income and get started with the process.

The expenses of Mortgage:

Total Sum of mortgages is not just about the monthly payments. There are few expenses besides monthly payments.

Interest: Interest is based on the interest rate, the loan balance, and loan repayment terms.

PMI: PMI is a fee that is to be paid until reaching 20% of equity.

Buy your home using Medical Professional Loan

Buying your own home is a dream of almost everyone, but over time, it is becoming more and more difficult. If you are someone who has recently graduated, buying a home for you might seem impossible. The overall expenses of education combined with family expenses makes it very difficult to have enough savings to buy a home.

The professional medical loan is designed in such a way to make home-buying easy while keeping in view the needs and demands of your profession. The professional medical loan allows you to close home faster than other traditional ways of mortgages. Factors like student loan debt, total job experience, and the down payment are considered in medical loans.

If you try to handle all the things related to loan on your own, you might end up missing some important points. An expert could help you in this regard. Jill Burgess, from Mortgages by Jill, is an experienced financial advisor when it comes to professional medical loans.

Jill understands the needs properly and will work out a great plan for you according to your needs. Her knowledge and expertise will make sure that the overall process runs smoothly, and your finances are in good hands.

There is a good opportunity for Medical professionals residing in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem areas of North Carolina to get connected to an expert like Jill, who properly understands the needs of Medical professionals.

First Time Home Buyer Loan

Financial decisions are all about deciding between the need and wants. The purpose that leads you to go get a loan should be clear and precise, so you don’t end up spending too much on wants instead of on your needs.

Buying a home is one of the most difficult financial decisions. A lot of people, paperwork, and signatures are involved. It is quite difficult for a first time home buyers to go through all this process. There is a lot of information that could confuse you in making your decision.

We will try to cover the basics of buying your first home. The current real estate trends might tempt you to go for a big purchase that might be not so good for your overall financial goals.

The first step is the decision where you want to live. The costs of places vary a lot. There are some tools available online that you could use to estimate the costs of living in differing areas. The second major step is understanding what you could afford based on your financial decisions. Then the factors like credit score come into play. The higher the credit score is, the more are the chances of getting a better interest rate. Saving for a down payment is also one of the necessary features of buying a new home.

Top Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Pay of Debt: If you are under debt and still considering buying a home, you might need to reconsider your decision. Owning a house has its expenses when you own a house; you are responsible for all the maintenance, bills, and other expenses. Adding that cost to your previous debt would make things difficult for you.

Building up emergency-funds is one of the solutions to get out of this problem. If you enter your new home with only a mortgage on your hands and a good amount of emergency funds, that means you have prepared yourself well for the future decisions.

Save Down Payment: To avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), you need to save for a down payment of at least 20% or more.

Some of the mortgage options with no down payment include:

VA Loans: VA loans help the veterans to buy a home with no down payment. The main issue with VA loans is that if in future the market trends change, you may end owning way more than the market value of your home. Also, these kinds of loans come up with a bunch of fees, and interest rates are higher as compared to other forms of loans.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): In ARM Loans, the initial interest rate is less, but the lenders could adjust the rate to transfer the risk of rising interests to you.

FHA Loans: FHA mortgage could be availed with just 3.5% of down payment. But you have to pay the mortgage insurance premium as long as the loan is there. That might be thousands of dollars.

Get home in Your Price range:

The online world had made it easy to buy homes. You could select the house as per choice. You could select one based on your needs and price range and could ask a real estate agent to have a look at the house yourself. An expert real estate agent could help you choose the best house as per your needs.

Contact an Expert

If you are somewhat confused about all the plans and their details. You might need an expert to help you out. Also, these plans have different terms and condition depends upon your state.

Apply for First time home buyer Grants

There are several first time home rants that one could avail. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a lot of beneficial loan programs for both first-time buyers and even repeat buyers.

There are a number of programs, and it is difficult to choose one. Ideally, you will need to talk to an approved lender. We at MortagegsByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess. Jill’s experience that spans around three decades could help you select your plan. If you want to get all the information before making an important financial decision, feel free to get a consultation from Jill and make your dreams come true.

Jill Burgess Delivering Mortgages to Medical Professionals in the Triad and Beyond!
October 7, 2019 at 4:00 AM

Jill Burgess joined Ameris Bank Mortgage Services in 2017. Having worked with the management team in previous companies, she was familiar with the team and the support given by Ameris Bank.

In a short time, she has established herself in the market as the go to person for mortgages for medical professionals-more commonly known as doctor loans. However, her program is not just for doc tors. She caters to a wide variety of medical professionals in Greensboro, Winston Salem, Durham, Charlotte and Wilmington. Given that Ameris Bank is headquartered in Atlanta, she is even servicing customers in surrounding states because of her loyal customer base and referral business.

Doctor loans provide special financing to medical professionals. The current roles being serviced are MDs, DO's, osteopaths, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians, physician assistants, chiropractors, podiatrists and optometrists (including residents and fellows). These programs allow for 100% financing. Typically, SunTrust has been the dominant player in the North Carolina Market for Doctor Loans. But they have been unable to match the service levels offered by Jill Burgess in Greensboro and she has gained traction in the market with her loyal customer base and dedication to her craft.

Working with physicians at Wake Forest Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Duke University Hospital in Durham, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Winston Salem, North Carolina, UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, Novant Hospital in Charlotte, are just a few of the hospitals in the area. She also works with Medical Professionals though out North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.

How the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates
August 30, 2019 at 12:00 AM

How the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates

Buying or renting a home can lead to confusion, anxiety, and frustration. Many homebuyers do not understand how mortgage rates are calculated, but they often feel the impact of increased mortgage rates. While mortgage rates can be frustrating, so can rises in rent costs. If you are looking to buy a home or debating between buying and renting, it is important to understand how the Federal Reserve Affects Mortgage Rates.

What is a mortgage rate?

When you borrow money to purchase a home from a lender, such as a bank or financial institution, you will also agree to a mortgage interest rate. The mortgage interest rate is the amount of money you pay in addition to the loan principal, and it directly impacts your monthly payments. With the costs of homes being in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, even a slight increase in the mortgage interest rate can send your monthly payments through the roof. On the other hand, lower interest rates can provide the break some potential home buyers need to purchase their first home.

There are so many factors that go into determining the mortgage interest rate at any given time. Some of these factors are controlled by the borrower, such as credit score, down payment, and property location. Other factors rest with the lender, such as the loan type, loan term, and interest rate type. Many home buyers also look at the Federal Reserve as a determining factor for mortgage rates. But, how big of a part does the Federal Reserve play in setting mortgage rates?

The Federal Reserve does not set mortgage rates.

This is a common misconception among home buyers when it comes to mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve actually sets the Federal Funds rate, which is an overnight lending rate for banks and other financial institutions. A higher Federal Funds rate means that it is more expensive for banks to borrow money from other financial institutions.

Short-term adjustable-rate mortgages and variable interest rates are most directly impacted by the Federal Funds rate. These rates will rise or fall based on the decisions of the Federal Reserve. If a bank has to pay a higher rate to other banks in order to borrow money, they typically pass that additional cost on to their clients as well. Consumers may experience the following when the Federal Funds rate increases:

· Increased interest rates on lines of credit

· Higher interest rates on auto loans

· Possible higher interest rate on mortgages

The Federal Reserve does impact mortgage rates, to some degree.

An increase in the Federal Funds rate alone is not enough to directly cause an increase in mortgage rates. Again, the Federal Reserve is not responsible for setting mortgage rates. However, that does not mean their decisions are isolated from mortgages.

Whenever the Federal Reserve lowers the Federal Funds rates, borrowers utilizing variable-rate loans get the most benefit. Their home equity lines of credit or adjustable-rate mortgages can become less expensive. The results will likely not be instant, but some benefit will come over time.

Fixed-rate mortgages are aligned with market rates.

The Federal Reserve’s decisions can send a message to lenders and home buyers. Whether they lower or raise Federal Funds rates, can be perceived as the Fed promoting growth in the U.S. markets or not. This decision can indirectly impact mortgage rates in some way as markets react.

The Federal Reserve typically lowers interest rates if they perceive that the economy is slowing or may slow in the near future. Lower rates encourage businesses to invest and consumers to spend. The goal of lowering rates is to propel economic growth. However, sometimes the Fed feels that the economy is growing too fast. In order to combat this, they raise interest rates in an attempt to slow financial decisions.

While mortgage rates may not receive a direct hit from the Federal Reserve, home buyers do. Their businesses could prosper or suffer based on the Fed’s decision. They may have more money to save for a down payment, thus lowering their overall mortgage rate. Or, buyers could have less than usual and be unable to make higher monthly payments. The Federal Funds rates impact the following things that play into home buyer’s decisions.

· Credit card rates

· Savings rates

· CD rates

· Home equity line of credit

· Short-term adjustable rates

· Auto loan rates

Lower rates encourage spending and can make it easier for potential home buyers to achieve their goal of home ownership. Higher rates can lead to decreases in spending and significant financial cuts. People on a tighter budget are less likely to commit to a mortgage loan and high interest rate.

Slight changes in interest rates make big changes in cost.

Homes are expensive. The loan principal for a home is already a major cost but factoring in the mortgage rate can raise monthly payments significantly. An increase as small as 1% in mortgage rates can lead to more than $100 extra per month on mortgage payment. If mortgage rates are up, people tend to delay purchasing a home. They fear they cannot maintain the monthly payments, or they do not have enough for a down payment large enough to reduce their rate. Either way, home ownership and purchasing decreases.

When home buying decreases, people may opt to continue renting a home instead of buying. This pattern of behavior can drive up the cost of rent due to increased demands. Higher rent leads to more financial strain and frustration and can actually cause consumers to research purchasing a house again.

Rent spikes can also cause a decrease in the cost of a home. With so many people choosing to rent instead of buy, people selling their homes may lower the cost in order to attract buyers. While mortgage rates may still be high, a lower loan principal can greatly reduce monthly payments.

In short, mortgage rates follow a weird and complicated cycle.

The Federal Reserve may have some impact on mortgage rates, but there are more factors than we can count that determine rates. A home buyer’s down payment, credit score, home location, and more can all raise or decrease their mortgage rate. There are also a wide range of factors controlled by the lender and determined by the current housing and rental markets that affect interest rates.

Overall, home buyers should research current mortgage rates and shop around to find the right lender and rate for their budget. A mortgage expert, such as Jill Burgess of Mortgages by Jill, can help you navigate the difficulties of mortgage rates. She can understand your unique loan situation and determine the best cost of action to meet your financial needs.

Brought to you by: Ameris Bank Mortgage Service / MortgagesWinstonSalemNC

Down Payment Assistance Programs
September 17, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
first time home buyer mortgage

First-Time Home Buyer Grants In NC

Looking to own a home in North Carolina? Then, it’s important you remember that you don’t have to spread yourself thin and erode your finances while trying to do it all by yourself.

First time home buyers in NC are entitled to something commonly known as First-Time Home Buyer Grants, and this affords first time home buyers a wonderful opportunity to acquire houses without overly straining their pockets.

But it doesn’t just stop at that. One of the good things about the first home buyer loan is that, even as it sounds like something for only the first-time buyers, people who have owned homes before are not excluded.

That is, even though you have owned a home before, you can still get first home buyer grants provided you meet certain easy-to-meet requirements. If you meet the maximum income limits and are looking to acquire a property that is not too expensive -- and one that you have been renting for the last three years -- you could be eligible for the grant, which is really the government’s way of assisting people who want to own homes in NC.

Of course, you have your questions -- How does it work exactly? How much do you get? And will you rue the decision to take the grant for the rest of your life being that you will be looped into insanely high monthly payments on a house because you took government money?

Well, for starters, the answer is definitely “no” for the last part. And here are other important things you should know about the first time home buyer grants.

How Does One Apply For First Time Home Buyer Grants

The first thing you must know is that there are several different First-Time Home Buyer Grants available in NC, and we shall explore them.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) offers a number of loan programs with unique benefits for both first-time home buyers and repeat buyers. And one of these programs could help you buy a home sooner.

But even as there are a number of programs to choose from, you’d have to go through basically the same process when applying for any of those grants.

Ideally, you’d have to talk to an approved Lender (we at MortgagesByJill are on top of that list, and you want to get in touch with Jill Burgess, who throughout a storied career spanning three (3) decades, has personally funded no less than 2 billion dollars in mortgage loans).

After the loan applicant makes contact, lenders would generally look for the following information from the loan application:

· If the applicant exceeds the $87,500 maximum income limit for the whole state. Typically, USDA Home Loans NC goes higher than that depending on the household income. But with the First Time Home Buyer Grant program, people who are on the application are the ones being looked at. This usually makes it easier to qualify for.

· If the applicant has a minimum credit score of at least 640, because this is based upon the middle credit score, you will be home and dry if you had 3 scores that looked like 622, 641, and 649. And that's because at least two of those exceed the 640-mark.

· If the applicant has been renting, or living with parents, or schooling for the last three years.

After all these are determined, and provided you meet the basic requirements for the First Time Home Buyer Grants, we as your lender will determine which mortgage program is best suited to your needs, and how much grant you qualify for.

Note This:

The government-sponsored grants are generally called “mortgage grants” due to the fact that there is no interest charge, there are no payments to be made, and there is ‘monkey on your back’ in the form of an expected repayment of any of the money you receive for the down payment.

These are some of the perks that come with the grant, and it holds true, except for cases where the beneficiary moves out of the property or refinance before the dates assigned by a specific down payment assistance program.

“Forgivable loan” is a common way of referring to this down payment assistance program. As part of the provisions of the program that best suits the loan hopeful, a portion of this down payment assistance will be forgiven on a schedule that will be shared by the lender (that’s us) when the applicant (that’s you) applies for the loan.

Such funds are made available to lenders like us through the NCHFA, but interest rates vary from lender to lender depending on the rates set by the NCHFA.

Mortgage Programs That Support First Time Home Buyer Grants

Only down payment and closing costs are covered by the First-Time Home Buyer Grants. Any type of mortgage loan can be accessed using the grants, though each of the mortgage programs comes with a fair share of perks and quirks.

Having said that, it is completely true that you get any of the FHA Mortgage, VA Mortgage Loan, USDA Home Loan, or even a Conventional Loan, using the First-Time Home Buyer Grants.

Note The Following:

· The grants can be used for a down payment.

· The First-Time Home Buyer Grants can also be used to cover Mortgage Insurance, PMI or a VA Funding Fee, or to pay for closing costs.

· The grants can be used together with a seller paying closing costs and/or a gift you might receive.

What Grants And Programs Are Available In NC?

There are three different First-Time Home Buyer Grants that one can access;

· First, there is a grant that provides first-time homebuyers with 3 percent, which can be used for closing costs or a down payment on a Conventional Loan or an FHA Loan. Another program allows 5% in down payment grants for all Government Loans.

· Additionally, there is an $8,000 down payment available in every county in NC, though a limited offering. This is the newest of the bunch and does come with guidelines that slightly differ from both the 3% and 5% grants on the subject of income caps.

This new grant can also be put to use as payments for closing costs on programs that do not require any down payment such as the USDA Home Loan or the VA Loan.

· NCHFA also offers a Conventional Loan Grant Program which comes with the requirement of a down payment of 3%, while supporting closing costs from a gift, savings, or the seller. It's arguably the most flexible of all the programs, and it comes with low PMI rates.

And what’s more, the grants are available for homes that you qualify for, which implies that there is no maximum sales price for the program.

In any case, when using the grant as a down payment on an FHA Loan application, there are some restrictions -- you will have to make do with the maximum FHA Loan for the county in which the house you are buying is located.

Moreso, a USDA Home Loan application in NC, does come with additional income limits that are determined by the USDA Loan limits within the county where the house in question sits.

Mortgage Tax Credits Available for First Time Home Buyers

Besides the Grants, you could also get something called “Mortgage Tax Credit” in NC. This is especially available to people who have not bought a home in the last three years.

Tax credits are often associated with the tax deductions that come with owning a house. But a tax credit is preferable in that it comes straight off what you owe in federal taxes, whereas a deduction merely decreases your basis for taxation.

The rationale behind the program follows from the thinking that persons who are paying less in federal taxes can use the additional income to take care of any extra costs incurred in the process of buying a home.

Across NC, the maximum sales price for the Mortgage Tax Credit is $250,000, but there are also varying income cap requirements from county to county.

How Can One Benefit From The Mortgage Tax Credit Program?

Just like the First-Time Home Buyer Grants, Mortgage Tax Credits are provided to those who qualify for it at the time of closing.

Of course, there is some paperwork involved, and perhaps some waiting too due to the additional underwriting time (it has to go to the agency to get approved).

But provided you meet the basic requirements for the first time home buyer grants -- that is, you gross a yearly income of less than $87,500, you have a debt-to-income ratio of less than 45 percent, and the house you are buying is somewhere in NC, then you have strong claims to the money.

But remember, not all lenders offer this program and the money is not yours to have if you go ahead to buy a house before applying for the mortgage tax credit or the First-Time Home Buyer Grants in NC. You are only eligible if you apply for the tax credit at the time of buying the house in question, not after.

Mortgages for Medical Professional - Doctor Loans
September 14, 2019 at 4:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
medical professional loan mortgages

Mortgages for Medical Professionals

Special loan programs for medical professionals in Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, and Winston Salem, NC, Charlotte, NC, High Point, NC, Wilmington, NC

Medical professionals dedicate their time and career to caring for others. If you are a medical professional in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem, Charlotte, Wilmington, High Point areas of North Carolina, you have a new highly rated choice for your mortgage needs! You can benefit greatly from mortgages designed specifically for medical professionals. The Medical Professional Loan from Ameris Bank offers a unique loan solution to meet your needs and reward your service to your community.

Medical professionals have unique financial needs.

You probably had to take out considerable student loans for your medical education. Even if you do not face high loan debt, you incurred countless costs throughout your training and as you established your career. It is also possible that student loan debt has affected your ability to qualify for a home loan or find a mortgage rate that is manageable for you and your family.

In the past, only doctors or dentists were able to access specialty home loans for physicians. These mortgages often excluded their student loan debt from the rate or based the mortgage rate on income-driven repayments. However, these benefits are no longer limited to medical professionals with “MD” by their name. Generous underwriting guidelines can be applied to a wide range of medical professionals and offer unique mortgage solutions to fit your financial needs.

What is a Medical Professional Loan?

You can access medical professional mortgages at any stage of your career, including residency and growing your practice. This type of loan can help you reach your goal of home ownership despite student loan debt. Ameris Bank offers this specialty style of mortgage for medical professionals who need a flexible approach to underwriting guidelines. This loan also considers time on the job and flexibility around your down payment.

There are many benefits of the Medical Professional Loan.

You can receive up to 100% financing and private mortgage insurance is not required. Loans can be granted in amounts up to $1,500,000 depending on your need and qualifications. The following medical professionals can qualify for a Medical Professional Loan. These categories also include residents and fellows.

· MDs

· DO’s

· Osteopaths

· Dentists

· Pharmacists

· Veterinarians

· Physician assistants

· Chiropractors

· Podiatrists

· Optometrists

With a Medical Professional Loan, you can close on your loan before your employment start date. You will just need to have an employment contract with a start date within 60 days of closing. This loan can help you find a home during or after school or your medical training without requiring significant time on the job. You can stop worrying about saving extensively after graduation and focus on growing your career or your practice while owning your own home.

The Medical Professional Loans from Ameris Bank are available to medical professionals in the following states.

· Alabama

· Florida

· Georgia

· North Carolina

· South Carolina

· Tennessee

How do you qualify for a Medical Professional Loan?

In addition to meeting the professional requirements above, there are a few other stipulations for qualification. The loan must be for a primary residence only. You will also establish a relationship with Ameris Bank in the form of a personal checking account. You can use this account to set up mortgage payments from the account to auto-draft monthly.

The program is limited to medical professionals who are not more than 10 years out of their residency or fellowship. There may be other requirements for eligibility based on your specific circumstances, but your loan professional can assist you with all qualifications.

Make home buying possible with a Medical Professional Loan.

If you are recently out of school or close to graduation, home buying may seem impossible. For medical professionals caring for themselves or their family, finances are often a source of stress or concern. However, a Medical Professional Loan can make home buying possible and reduce the financial strain on your family.

Enjoy a loan that is designed for you and your profession. Close on your home faster than other traditional methods and benefit from the flexibility of a loan that considers your student loan debt, time on the job, and down payment.

Jill Burgess from Mortgages by Jill understands the unique needs of medical professionals. She will work with you to find a Medical Professional Loan that aligns with your circumstances. Her knowledge and expertise make the entire process as smooth as possible and provide the satisfaction of knowing your finances are in good hands. Medical professionals in the Greensboro, Durham, Raleigh, or Winston Salem areas of North Carolina can also benefit from having a qualified loan expert in their area who understands Medical Professional Loans. Launched
September 11, 2019 at 6:00 PM
jillo blog post 1 pic.JPG

Jill is pleased to announce the launching of her new branded website to better serve her clients! Ameris Bank Mortgage Services in Winston Salem, and Greensboro continue to see exceptional growth each month!

Ameris Bank Completes Legal Merger with Fidelity Bank
July 1, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by Jill Burgess
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In December of last year, Ameris Bank announced its plan to merge with Fidelity Bank headquartered out of Atlanta, Georgia. This announcement marked the beginning of an incredible new chapter in the history of both Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank. We are pleased to share that Fidelity Bank has merged with Ameris Bank. We look forward to their transition to Ameris Bank’s systems and signage in November of this year.

The culture and banking philosophies of Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank are in sync—we are like-minded community banks with similar core values, a passion for excellent customer service and a belief in the power of our communities. At this time, customers will not notice any changes. Fidelity Bank will continue to operate normally, as a division of Ameris Bank. Our customers remain our number one priority, and we are making every effort to minimize any impact they may feel.

We welcome Fidelity Bank customers and colleagues to the Ameris Bank family! As we begin this exciting new chapter, below are some important things we would like our Fidelity Bank customers to know:

  • Access will not be interrupted. Customers are to continue to bank as normal. Fidelity Bank customers are to continue using their Fidelity Bank branches, checks, debit cards, credit cards, ATMs, online and mobile banking. At this time, Fidelity Bank accounts, loans, pricing, terms and conditions remain unchanged. All mortgage loans currently in process, and the timing and instruction for making any Fidelity Bank loan payments, will continue as normal.
  • Continue to contact your local representative or branch with account questions or concerns. Fidelity Bank’s operating systems, accounts, services and signage will transition to Ameris Bank in November 2019. In September, Fidelity Bank customers will receive more information in preparation of this transition. Until the transition occurs in November, Fidelity Bank account assistance is only available at Fidelity Bank locations.
  • Our goal is to make the transition to Ameris Bank a smooth one. Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank will keep all our customers fully informed well before any changes occur. We ask that Fidelity Bank customers ensure their mailing address, phone number and email address are up to date, so we can reach you with valuable communication.

Do you have accounts at both Ameris Bank and Fidelity Bank? FDIC Deposit Insurance is $250,000 per depositor per ownership category. However, if you currently hold accounts at both Fidelity Bank and Ameris Bank and the combined total deposits exceed $250,000 per ownership category, you are subject to the special FDIC insurance rule. This rule indicates that because of the transition of the Fidelity Bank branches, deposits will be considered separately insured, as if the two banks are still operating separately, for at least six months and possibly longer for certificates of deposits (CD). For more information about FDIC insurance coverage please contact us or visit

To learn more about the financial aspects of our merger with Fidelity Bank, please click HERE or visit the investor relations portion of our website to find the financial press release and SEC filing. Customers may call Fidelity Bank at 404.248.LION (5466) or the Ameris Bank Customer Care Center at 866.616.6020 with questions or concerns. For all account inquiries, Fidelity customers should continue to contact their Fidelity Bank representative.

Again, welcome Fidelity Bank customers and colleagues!

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