Three Things to Know about the Fed’s Rate Decision

The Federal Reserve just increased the Fed Funds rate .75%. What does that mean, and how does it impact the mortgage market? Here are three things to know about today’s news:

1. The Federal Reserve Influences Mortgage Rates, They Do Not Set Them

Many have the misconception that the Federal Reserve’s actions have a direct impact on mortgage rates. Many assume that if a mortgage was offered 6% this morning, it’s now 6.75% after this afternoon’s announcement. That isn’t the case, however. The Federal Reserve sets the rates banks charge each other, not the rates lenders offer borrowers. The Fed’s actions influence the overall rate environment; it doesn’t set those rates.

2. The Federal Reserve is Trying to Ease Inflation

The Federal Reserve is heavily-focused on easing inflation in the US economy. They are trying to be aggressive in their actions to stop inflation before it takes hold for the long haul. This is good news for home affordability; lower inflation helps boost borrower buying power.

3. Today’s Rate Decision is a Step in the Right Direction for the Economy

The Federal Reserve has two goals: full employment and price stability. The unemployment rate remains low at below 4%, but increasing inflation is causing problems in the US economy. The Federal Reserve’s focus on reining in inflation and today’s announcement will make a significant impact in helping to stabilize the economy as a whole.

Contact us or one of our qualified Loan Officers to learn more!

Author: James Baublitz, VP Capital Markets

Mortgage-Related Agencies to Know

When buying a home and exploring mortgage options, you’re likely to encounter different agencies you may not be familiar with. What do these mortgage-related agencies do and why are they important?

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two separate entities that purchase mortgages from banks. Fannie Mae is short for the Federal National Mortgage Association while Freddie Mac is short for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Both Fannie and Freddie’s purpose is essentially to give lenders more capital via the sale of mortgages which, in turn, allows the lenders to continue offering loans to additional borrowers. Fannie is the older organization of the two, having been established in 1938 while Freddie was established in 1970. They have different requirements for the kind of mortgages they purchase, and a key difference between the two is that Fannie Mae generally tends to buy loans from bigger lenders and commercial banks. In contrast, Freddie Mac tends to buy loans from smaller banks.


The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA for short, is a government agency that falls within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, otherwise known as HUD. The FHA was founded as part of the National Housing Act of 1934 introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as part of his famous New Deal. The FHA offers mortgage insurance-backed mortgages to consumers via specific FHA-approved lenders (of which First Home Mortgage is one). FHA loans are often thought of as allowing individuals, particularly those with lower incomes, to obtain homes they would otherwise not be able to afford. FHA loans are known for their 3.5% down payment and lower closing costs and credit requirements.


The United States Department of Agriculture, also known as the USDA, is the federal department tasked with overseeing public policy related to agriculture, food, natural resources, rural development, and more. The USDA offers home loans for properties in eligible rural areas to low- and moderate-income households who meet certain requirements. USDA loans offer 100% financing (no down payment required), but borrowers must meet income eligibility; their income can not exceed 115% of the property area’s median household income. Check out their online eligibility tool to see if a property is USDA eligible.


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, more commonly known as the VA, is the executive branch department that oversees healthcare and other benefits and services for military veterans. One of the services offered to veterans by the VA is home loans. VA loans are available to eligible current and former service members and surviving spouses. VA loans are known for not requiring a down payment or mortgage insurance, much like USDA loans, but there are no limitations on where a property may be purchased. To determine if your service qualifies you for a VA loan, speak to a Loan Officer and check out the VA’s requirements.

Are you thinking about buying a new home or refinancing your current mortgage? Contact one of our highly knowledgeable Loan Officers today to discuss your financing options.

BREAKING NEWS: First Home Mortgage Offering New Conforming Loan Limits!

It’s no secret that home prices are increasing nationwide. There is good news, however, the amount you can borrow is increasing, too!

Every year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac evaluate the conforming loan limit, which can differ from county to county. In 2021, for example, the maximum conforming loan amount in most counties increased from $548,250 to $647,200 – an increase of roughly 18%. This annual evaluation, which often results in an increase, typically takes place in late November.

With home prices continuing to increase First Home Mortgage is getting ahead of the curve and is delivering a significant increase to the conforming loan limit now. Effective today, First Home Mortgage is now allowing for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans up to $715,000, an increase of more than 10%.


Contact us or one of our qualified Loan Officers to learn more!

Author: James Baublitz, VP Capital Markets

Connect With Us