To Top

How to Find Assumable Mortgages: Expert Advice for Buyers

Imagine finding a treasure chest brimming with financial benefits. That’s akin to discovering a home with an assumable mortgage. In today’s housing market, where interest rates have climbed steadily, assumable mortgages offer a glimmer of hope for potential buyers. By taking over the seller’s existing loan, you could secure a significantly lower interest rate and potentially save hundreds of dollars on your monthly payments.

This article delves into the world of assumable mortgages, explaining how to find assumable mortgages, what they are, and the pros and cons to consider before embarking on this path. Buckle up and get ready to unlock valuable insights into navigating the exciting realm of assumable mortgage financing.


What is an Assumable Mortgage?

how to find assumable mortgages

oppenheimlaw | Instagram | Assumable mortgages enable buyers to take over the seller’s existing loan instead of securing a new one.

An assumable mortgage allows a homebuyer to take over the seller’s existing mortgage instead of securing a new one. This becomes particularly advantageous when the seller’s loan boasts a lower interest rate secured during a period with more favorable rates. In essence, you step into the shoes of the previous homeowner, inheriting their interest rate, principal balance, repayment schedule, and other loan terms.

Consider it a financial win-win. You benefit from a potentially lower interest rate, and the seller enjoys a smoother transaction by not having to fully repay their existing loan. However, it’s important to remember that not all mortgages are created equal. Not every loan qualifies for assumption.

What Types of Mortgages Are Assumable?

The key to finding assumable mortgages lies in understanding the loan type and its specific conditions. Here’s a breakdown of some common assumable mortgage types:

  • FHA Loans: Backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), these loans are often assumable with lender approval. Buyers must meet standard FHA loan requirements, including a minimum credit score of 580 and a down payment of at least 3.5%.
  • VA Loans: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans are generally assumable. Notably, even non-veterans can assume these loans, with the primary emphasis placed on creditworthiness. A minimum credit score of 620 and VA approval are necessary. It’s important to note that a standard 0.5% VA funding fee typically applies.
  • USDA Loans: Subject to specific conditions, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans can also be assumable. While assumption often leads to a new interest rate and terms, exceptions exist, like in family transfers where the original rate and terms might be retained without the borrower meeting all the eligibility requirements.
  • Jumbo Loans: In rare instances, some jumbo loans originated by large banks and not sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can be assumed. But, these situations are uncommon, and determining which jumbo loans are assumable can be a challenge.
  • Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs): While not widespread, Freddie Mac confirms that certain ARMs can be assumable. In such cases, the new buyer assumes the existing rate and terms. It’s crucial to understand that assuming an ARM might mean giving up the option to convert it into a fixed-rate mortgage. Additionally, if a conventional ARM loan has been modified or deferred to help the borrower avoid default, it’s likely not eligible for assumption.
  • Conventional Loans: Typically, conventional mortgages, particularly those backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not automatically assumable. These loans often come with a “due on sale” clause, requiring full repayment when the property changes hands. But, there can be exceptions in specific situations, such as after a death or divorce. In these cases, the loan contract must include an “assumption clause” permitting the transfer of the loan to another party. Even with this clause, lender approval is still mandatory, and the new borrower must meet the original loan’s eligibility criteria.

How to Find Assumable Mortgages: Unveiling the Hidden Gems

Discovering a home with an assumable mortgage requires a strategic approach and a dash of perseverance. Here are some effective methods to help you unearth these hidden gems:

  • Partner with a Savvy Real Estate Agent: An experienced real estate agent, particularly one familiar with the intricacies of assumable mortgages, can be your guiding light. They have valuable access to listings and networks that may not be readily available to the public. Their expertise can significantly streamline your search for homes with assumable loans.
how to find assumable mortgages

Image by freepik | An experienced real estate agent familiar with assumable mortgages can be your guiding light.

“Finding the property initially is probably the most important part,” emphasizes Eric Broesamle, a top Michigan real estate agent. “Your agent can search for listings with assumable loans,” he says, highlighting the importance of an agent’s role in navigating this process. Broesamle underscores the need to reach out to the seller’s agent to confirm loan details and inquire about the loan company to determine assumability.

Use Real Estate Websites with Strategic Keywords: The rising interest in assumable mortgages has prompted many real estate listing platforms to adapt. Websites like Redfin and Zillow have witnessed a surge in the number of listings promoting the presence of assumable mortgages.

Most real estate listing websites provide advanced filtering options. You can leverage these filters by incorporating keywords like “assumable mortgage,” “assumable,” or “assume” into your home search. If the seller or their agent is aware of the loan’s assumable nature, they’ll likely include this information in the listing description. Some Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems even have a built-in “Assumable” filter, allowing you to target your search specifically.

Note: If a website’s filter doesn’t offer an “Assumable” option, don’t be discouraged. Try using the suggested keywords mentioned earlier. This technique can help filter out irrelevant listings and steer your search towards properties with potentially assumable loans. When using prominent websites like Zillow, the keyword search function can be found under the “More” menu or the “Advanced Search” tool. You can also experiment with including keywords related to assumable loan types, such as “VA loan,” “FHA loan,” or “USDA loan.” On some platforms, property details might include a “Mortgage History” section that reveals loan type information.

But, it’s important to acknowledge that there will be other homes on the market with assumable mortgages that won’t be identified through a standard keyword search. Here’s where we delve into some additional techniques:

  • Assumable Loan Websites and Online Services: The digital age has given rise to innovative websites and online services dedicated to connecting buyers with sellers offering assumable mortgages. These platforms serve as a focused resource, streamlining your search process.

Here are a few examples (remember, the availability of these services will vary by location):

  • Regional Websites: These platforms specialize in surfacing assumable mortgage listings within a specific geographic area. Research online to see if any regional websites are catering to your area’s real estate market.
  • What is Roam: This is a recent real estate service start-up designed to simplify the search for assumable mortgages with low interest rates. According to the company’s founder, Raunaq Singh, Roam is the first real estate service to offer a data feed exclusively populated with homes eligible for loan assumption. Their website boldly proclaims, “Assuming a 2% mortgage could cut your monthly payments in half.”
how to find assumable mortgages

Image by freepik | Revolutionizing real estate with simplified searches for low-interest assumable mortgages.

Roam’s secret lies in its ability to cross-reference mortgage data with public records. This allows them to pinpoint and showcase homes financed by assumable FHA or VA loans (currently, USDA loans are not included in their coverage area). It’s important to note that there is a cost associated with using Roam’s services – 1% of the property’s sale price. But, when you consider the potential savings garnered from a lower interest rate assumption, this fee could be offset within a few months through reduced monthly payments. Roam currently operates in select areas of Georgia, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and Florida.

By combining these strategies – partnering with a knowledgeable agent, utilizing real estate website filters and keywords, and exploring assumable loan websites – you can significantly increase your chances of finding a home with an assumable mortgage.

So, are you ready to embark on your assumable mortgage treasure hunt? With the right tools and guidance, you can unlock much savings and navigate your path to homeownership with a more favorable financial outlook.

More in Loans & Mortgages

You must be logged in to post a comment Login