Buying a Home

4 Misconceptions Millennials Have About Buying a Home in Denver

When it comes to buying a home in Denver, millennials are moving much slower than previous generations. Part of the reason is because there are some major misconceptions that make millennials not want to buy a home.

Before you wait too long to buy or jump into the market with little knowledge, you should try to find out everything there is to know about buying a home. That’s why in this blog, we want to help debunk the top four misconceptions millennials have about buying a home in Denver.

Misconceptions Millennials Have About Buying a Home in Denver

1 – Denver’s Housing Market is Too High to Buy

The latest craze in the Denver real estate market is talking about how high the market is. Many people, specifically millennials, are under the impression that the housing market is too high to buy right now — however, that’s no longer the case.

According to the Denver Post and the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, the market is beginning to cool down. This is great for buyers in the area because when there’s less interest in a home, the seller will typically lower their asking price. It’s hard to predict the future when it comes to the housing market, but right now it’s in the buyers court.

2 – Paying Rent is Cheaper

A lot of millennials are still paying rent because they think it’s more affordable than buying a house. However, paying off your mortgage can actually result in a lower monthly payment. Especially because the rent prices in Denver seem to increase every year.

Also paying off your mortgage each month allows you to invest in a property and create equity, whereas paying rent does not benefit you in any way longterm. If you’re already paying a significant amount in rent each month, you should definitely look into becoming a homeowner.

3 – I Can’t Afford the Down Payment

If you’re worried that you can’t afford the down payment on a house, then rest assured. There are many programs designed to help you make the payment. Once you speak with a mortgage broker, they can help you determine if you qualify for a local, state or federal program.

Through FHA, USDA and VA loans, along with down payment assistance programs, there are plenty of options out there. The FHA loan can help you lower your down payment 3.5 percent. The USDA loan could help so you don’t have to pay any down payment at all. Then the VA loan is for veterans that have served in the military and can help with the payment.

4 – I Need to Pay My Student Loans First

According to Market Watch, 83% of non-homeowners said the reason they can’t buy a home is because of their student loan debt. Many millennials believe that because they have to pay off their student loans, they will have a high DTI and won’t be able to save enough money to buy a house.

However, once you meet with a lender, you’ll see that there are a lot of options out there that can help you buy a house, even with student loan debt. The lender will take a look at your DTI, but they will also consider how much money you make, how long you’ve been at your job and how large your down payment is before they determine if you’re eligible for a loan. This means your DTI isn’t the only factor used when it comes to getting a loan for your house.

Find a Home Today!

Are you ready to start your search and find a home today? Buying a home in Denver can be easier and more affordable than you think. Plus, now that you know the truth about buying as a millennial, you can look into the best options for you.

If you’re looking for homes for sale in Denver CO, give West + Main Homes a call. We’re

Denver’s top real estate firm and we help people find and sell homes throughout the Denver Metro Area. When you’re ready, give us a call at 720-299-6635 or send us an email at

5 Common Mistakes that Borrowers Should Avoid

It’s is very common for Mortgage Loan Originators to provide inaccurate credit tips when working with their borrowers.


So we put together a list of things NOT to do when trying to improve a borrowers credit.


Don’t do these things:


1. Don’t Pay Off Collections or “Charge Offs”. If you want to pay off old accounts, do it through escrow, making sure that the debt is yours. Request a “letter of deletion” from the creditor.


2. Don’t Close Credit Card Accounts or it may appear that your debt ratio has gone up. It also affects other factors in the score, including credit history.


3. Don’t Max Out or Over Charge Credit Card Accounts. Keep your balances below 40% of their limit during the process. Pay down balances if possible.


4. Don’t Consolidate Your Debt. When you consolidate all of your debt onto one or two credit cards, it will appear that you are “maxed out” on that card and you will be penalized.


5. Don’t Do Anything That Will Cause A Red Flag To Be Raised By The Scoring System. This includes adding new accounts, co-signing on a loan or changing your name or address with the bureaus.


Colorado Mortgage Group can now offer $679,650 Conventional High-Balance loan program

On March 1st, 2018, Colorado Mortgage Group will offer conventional high-balance loans in Colorado, providing access to a more cost-effective loan product in areas that previously lacked high-balance loans.

Currently, only 7% of U.S. counties (220 out of 3,234) have access to loan amounts over $453,100, through FHFA conforming loan limits, with the most expensive areas going up to $679,650. For the rest of the country, the only option is a true jumbo loan, which comes with higher fees, additional guideline requirements and stringent overlays.

We are filling this gap by offering a conventional high-balance loan program that covers every county in Colorado. The program gives consumers access to a $679,650 loan amount, competitive rates, a streamlined underwriting process and the accessibility of an $849,570 purchase price with a 20% down payment.

With lower rates, more flexible guidelines and fewer requirements than jumbo, Conventional High Balance is popular with many lenders.

Guidelines of this High-Balance Colorado Loan include:

  • 680 minimum FICO
  • 43% debt-to-income
  • 80% loan-to-value
  • Primary and second homes
  • Average turnaround time of 15 days or less from submission to closing

Some areas of Colorado have an average purchase price well above the Conforming loan limits and High-Balance Loan Limits. Jumbo loans often have more rigorous requirements than conventional loan limits. This is a great opportunity for home-buyers who might otherwise not be able to qualify for a home loan.

CHFA SmartStep Program

CHFA SmartStep Program

CHFA SmartStep purchase mortgage program is open to home-buyers that have a mid credit score of 620 or higher. This program features CHFA’s lowest mortgage interest rate.  It features FHA, VA, and USDA Rural Development. If you qualify, you may also pair CHFA SmartStep with CHFA’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs.  You may also add a CHFA Statewide Mortgage Credit Certificate (CHFA MCC) for an annual tax credit. Continue reading

CHFA Advantage

CHFA Advantage

Do you have a minimum mid credit score of 680? It could be possible for you to purchase or refinance with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with only 3 percent down and no mortgage insurance.  On a traditional loan borrowers would need to contribute 20 percent down to avoid paying for costly mortgage insurance (MI). Continue reading

CHFA Preferred Loan Program

​With CHFA Preferred, you could save money up front and throughout the life of your loan with a lower down payment requirement and lower monthly mortgage insurance payments than similar programs in the market.

The CHFA Preferred loan may be paired with CHFA’s down payment and closing cost assistance programs.


​CHFA Preferred offers the following unique benefits:perferred photo

  • Only 3 percent down payment requirement (similar conventional programs require 5 percent)
  • An optional CHFA Down Payment Assistance Grant (CHFA DPA Grant) to help cover down payment, closing costs, and/or prepaids
  • Reduced-cost mortgage insurance
  • The possibility to cancel your monthly mortgage insurance payments once you reach 80 percent loan-to-value (competing FHA mortgage programs do not allow the same flexibility)
  • Eligible homebuyers may also be able to increase their savings with a CHFA Mortgage Credit Certificate (CHFA MCC​).

CHFA Preferred Qualifications

​Applicants must meet the following minimum criteria:​

  • Have a mid credit score of 620 or higher
  • Meet income limits​​​
  • Complete a CHFA-approved homebuyer education class prior to loan closing
  • Contribute a minimum of $1,000 toward the transaction

Looking to the Future

Want help or advice to start moving forward into a new home, we would love to help at Colorado Mortgage Group. Call today at (303) 444-5251 or email us at

CHFA Down Payment Assistant Programs

What is CHFA?

CHFA’s mission is to strengthen affordable housing and economic development across the state. They offer many financial resources to strengthen homeownership, affordable rental housing, and businesses. They also offer education classes and technical assistance to help borrowers succeed.

CHFA has invested more than $10 billion in Colorado’s economy. Their resources have helped:

  • 84,472 Colorado homebuyers achieve homeownership;
  • 97,761 households attend homebuyer education classes held statewide;
  • 58,628 affordable rental housing units be developed or preserved; and
  • 3,670 business access capital to support 49,570 jobs.

Home Finance Programs:

borrower qualifications vary by program; however there are certain ones that apply in all or most instances:

  • No first time homebuyer requirements on most loan programs
  • CHFA-sponsored homebuyer education required with purchase programs and CHFA Mortgage Credit Certificates (CHFA MCCs)
  • $1,000 minimum borrower contribution required (may be a gift) on most loan programs

You will find below a brief overview of CHFA programs, along with key benefits of each to help you determine which might be best for you.


home finance program comparison chart

Take the next step towards your future with confidence by financing your home with Colorado Housing and Finance Authority (CHFA). Need Help feel free to call us with any question at (303)-444-5251 or email at
couple colorado photo

Down Payment Assistance Grant-CHFA

CHFA Grant Program

The number one hurtle first time home buyers constantly struggle with is the traditional down payment needed to start your investment.  If having a down payment has been a source of frustration in the past, you are not alone.  CHFA has a down payment assistant grant created to help Colorado residents become home-owners.  CHFA’s new grant is available to either first-time or non-first-time homebuyers under most of its 30-year, fixed rate, first mortgage loan programs. Borrowers who meet income requirements, have a mid-credit score of 620 or higher, contribute $1,000 toward the transaction, and complete a CHFA homebuyer education class (online or in-person) prior to loan closing may be eligible. 

CHFA has been offering down payment assistance in various forms since 1991, and this is the first time in more than 10 years CHFA has offered a grant as part of its loan programs for homebuyers. The CHFA grant program may be used toward the down payment, closing costs and/or other fees. ​ Below is the details to get started moving forward today.

How much Assistance can I get?

You can get a grant for up to 3 percent of your first mortgage loan to help cover some of your down payment and/or closing costs.  That would mean up to a $5,100 for a $170,000 for your first mortgage loan.  Another benefit of this program is you never have to pay it back.  With the CHFA DPA grant, you can have the freedom of owning your own house and not stress about ever paying it back.  

 How can this Grant be used? mountain home colorado photo

  • Save money up-front
    Use the CHFA DPA Grant to help with your down payment, closing costs, and/or prepaids.
  • Keep your savings
    Use the CHFA DPA Grant and keep more of your money in savings.​
  • ​Improve your new home
    Use the CHFA DPA Grant to leave more of your money available to make your home your own​.​

How To Qualify:

  • Your total household income and the purchase price must be within the limits. Income Limits can be found at:
  • You must complete a CHFA homebuyer education class (online or in-person) prior to loan closing
  • You must contribute a minimum of $1,000 toward the purchase of a home
  • You must have a mid-credit score of 620 or higher

Looking to the Future

Want help or advice to start moving forward into a new home, we would love to help at Colorado Mortgage Group. Call today at (303) 444-5251 or email us at

New FHA County Loan Limits for 2016

Loan Limits in the State of Colorado

What is a Loan limit? Loan limits have a definition very closely related to their name. A loan limit is the maximum allowable loan size for a mortgage. Loans for amounts above loan limits cannot be approved. Mortgage loan limits can vary by product and by ZIP code. An example would be the particular loan limits set for FHA Loans that differ from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  A VA which is managed by the Department of Veteran Affairs also has a different set of specific limits.  For 2016, the limit for all counties is $417,000 for single-unit homes.  This is the set default mortgage loan limit nationwide.

The Federal Housing Administration released its maximum mortgage limits for 2016 on Wednesday December 9th 2015.  Limits will increase in 188 counties due to the changes in home prices, and no counties will have decreasing loan limits.

Below are are the Colorado limits for 2016 and the previous years limits:

  • Adams County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Arapahoe County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Boulder County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $474,950 (2015: $456,550)
  • Broomfield County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Clear Creek County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Denver County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Douglas County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Elbert County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Gilpin County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Jefferson County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)
  • Park County, Colorado 2016 Loan Limit: $458,850 (2015: $424,350)

What Are My Options As A Borrower?

Want help choosing a loan program listed below are the general details for conventional, FHA, and VA programs.


  • No Overlays
  • PIW’s accepted
  • 97% LTV – Fixed
  • 90% LTV – 5-7 year ARM’s
  • 620 Min FICO
  • Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac
  • LPMI Available
  • DU Refi Plus and Open Access


  • Make Sense Underwriting
  • FICO’s down to 580
  • Streamlines to 580 (mortgage only credit)
  • Extra .5% for purchase above 680
  • Extra .5% for streamlines


  • Make Sense Underwriting
  • 100% Cash Out
  • FICO’s down to 580
  • Streamlines to 580
  • Extra .5% for purchases above 680
  • Extra .5% for streamlines

Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage Mortgages

Program Overview:

Are you currently looking for a new house, or have you been frustrated with the process in the past? Freddie Mac Home Possible advantage mortgages offer outstanding flexibility and options to help meet your needs. With Home Possible, you’ll capitalize on opportunities to meet the home financing needs of low- and moderate-income borrowers looking for low down payments and flexible sources of funds. Freddie Mac Home Possible AdvantageSM offers more flexibility for maximum financing. This offering adopts the responsible and affordable flexibility of Home Possible, but with additional requirements. Below are some of the key features of the Home Possible Advantage Mortgage.

Feature Home Possible Home Possible Advantage
Property Types
  • 1- to 4-unit primary residences
  • Condos
  • PUD
  • Manufactured homes (with restrictions)
  • 1-unit primary residences
  • Condos
  • PUDs
Eligible Mortgage Products
  • Fixed-rate mortgages.
  • 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs if secured by a 1- or 2-unit primary residence.
  • 5/1 ARMs if secured by a 1- or 2-unit primary residence other than a manufactured home.
  • Construction Conversion and Renovation Mortgages.
  • Mortgages with an RHS Leveraged Second.
  • Fixed-rate mortgages.
  • Construction Conversion and Renovation Mortgages.
Maximum LTV/TLTV Ratios
  • For Home Possible: LTV/TLTV/HTLTV ratio of 95 percent.
  • For Home Possible Advantage: 97 percent LTV/ 105 percent TLTV.
Eligibility/Underwriting A Home Possible mortgage may be submitted to Loan Prospector® or may be a manually underwritten mortgage. See Guide Section A34.8 for credit underwriting requirements.
Requirements for Minimum Borrower Contribution and Sources of funds See Guide Section A34.10 for requirements on minimum contributions from borrower personal funds, reserves and permitted sources of funds.
Homebuyer Education See Guide Section 34.12 for homeownership education and landlord education requirements related to:

  • Borrower(s) who are all first-time homebuyers.
  • Restrictions on parties that may provide the homeownership education.
  • Homeownership education documentation  that must be retained in the mortgage file.
  • Acceptable types of homeownership education, including Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart®
  • Borrower disclosure requirements.
  • Landlord education (2- to 4-unit primary residences) requirements for purchase transactions.
Delivery Fees See Guide Exhibit 19 for:

  • Special postsettlement delivery fees are applicable to Home Possible mortgages and Home Possible Advantage mortgages.
  • Delivery fee exclusions.
Special Delivery Requirements See Guide Section 17.18(b) for special delivery instructions for Home Possible mortgages.
Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Refer to Guide Chapter A34.

colorado house photo

Key Features and Flexibility

  •  Fixed-rate mortgages with a term of up to 30 years.
  •  Eligible properties: one-unit properties, condominiums, and planned united developments. (Manufactured homes are ineligible.)
  •  All borrowers must occupy the property as their primary residence.
  •  Maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is 97% and maximum total loan-to-value (TLTV) is 105%.
  •  Reduced mortgage insurance coverage (18%).
  •  Temporary Subsidy Buydown plans lower initial monthly payments.
  •  No reserves required.
  •  More eligible sources of funds for down payment and closing costs.
  •  Eligible annual income up to 100% of Area Median Income or higher in select counties and no income limit in underserved areas.
  • May be submitted through Loan Prospector® or manually underwritten


  • No minimum borrower contribution from borrower personal funds.
  • Gift from related persons and other sources of funds permitted for down payment and closing costs.
  • Lower monthly payments from reduced mortgage insurance coverage levels.
  • Lower monthly payments means less income needed to qualify.
  • No minimum LTV limit.
  • No reserves required, lowering cash needed to close.
  • Flexible closing cost funding options.

Home Possible Advantage or FHA?

Comparison of Home Possible Advantage with monthly PMI vs. FHA using $150,000 sales price.

30-year fixed rate mortgage scenario Home Possible Advantage
18% Monthly MI Coverage
4.375% Note Rate**, 97% LTV
FICO Ranges 680-719 / 720-759
FHA No FICO Cuts 3.750% Note Rate* 96.5% LTV
Base Loan Amount $145,500 $144,750
Upfront MIP Rate (%) 0 1.75%
Upfront MIP Cost ($) 0 $2,533
Total Loan Amount $145,500 $147,283
Down Payment $4,500 $5,250
Monthly MI Rate (%) .80%/ .60% 0.85%
Monthly MI ($) $97/$73 $102
Principal/ Interest $726 $682
Total Monthly Payment $823/$799 $784


The Freddie Mac Home Possible advantage mortgage could be a great option. Call today to get more information and started on the loan process today!