Sarah Morard Va Loans You Have Served And Earned The Right For This VA Loan Advantage!  

By: Sarah Morard

I want to start by thanking all the men and women who served or are serving this country. It gives me great pleasure knowing that I can give back in a way that helps our Veterans not only own a home but also receive benefits that aren’t like any other. These individuals have fought for our country and sacrificed for our freedom. We are forever indebted to them.  

VA loans have benefits such as 100% financing, no monthly mortgage insurance, and lower interest rates! The VA loan program is insured by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Instead of mortgage insurance, there is a VA Funding Fee. This is an upfront fee that is typically rolled into the loan and doesn’t affect the amount of out of pocket cash needed to close. The funding fee is its highest when making no down payment and obtaining 100% financing. Making as little as a 5% down payment significantly reduces this fee. Making a 10% down payment reduces the fee even further.

Although there are indeed less up-front fees for a conventional mortgage than a VA mortgage, the interest rates for a VA mortgage are so much lower than a conventional mortgage. Most of the time a borrower can save significantly more money with a VA loan over the life of the loan. VA mortgages also allow borrowers to obtain more of their home’s equity with a cash-out refinance than a borrower otherwise could with an FHA or conventional mortgage.

We have full underwriting authority for VA loans at First Integrity Mortgage Services. We love serving members of our military and veterans. We’ve helped our heroes close on homes even as they’ve been deployed, via video conference! We also waive our standard commitment fee of $985 for veterans.

Whether you are looking to purchase or refinance a home, and regardless of how much down payment you are making or how much equity you have in your home, veterans should always give VA mortgages consideration when financing a home. After all, it’s an earned benefit. I find that VA mortgages almost always provide a valuable option.

If there are any questions regarding your eligibility for a VA Loan, I would be happy to request your Certificate of Eligibility from the Dept. of Veteran Affairs. I simply need a copy of your DD214 to get that started

We would love to earn your business! Check out our reviews on Google, visit our website at, and call First Integrity today at (314) 878-7900.

For any questions regarding this article, please contact Sarah Morard at 314-623-4922, or NMLS# 2009867. 

David True Mortgages in St. Louis Renovation Loan in St. Louis - Extreme Makeover of Your Home?

By: David True

Have you considered an “extreme” makeover for your home such as an addition or a swimming pool? Or, have you found that home in the perfect location, but it has not been updated since the 1980s, and it will take a lot of money to update it to today’s standards?

First Integrity Mortgage Services has a robust platform of renovation loans available to our clients. Whether you are looking to purchase a new home that needs renovations or you simply want to renovate your current home, we have specialized programs that many other lenders do not offer today. 

If you are in the market to purchase a home these renovation loans give you, the buyer, the ability to purchase the home and renovate it with borrowed funds. Some of these programs allow for as little as 5% down. We also have a proprietary program, called the “Design Plus” Program that allows for loan amounts up to $810,400. These rates will be equivalent to conventional rates. 

If you live in your current home and want to complete an “extreme makeover,” then these programs are right for you too! These renovation programs will lend based on what the home will be worth AFTER the renovations are completed. 

Besides the different programs we have to offer, we have a renovation specialist on staff, who specifically works with our clients as they go through the process. Ryan Cox was a general contractor for 15 years and understands the business. He is now on the financing side and he can help contractors and clients throughout the process. 

With the inventory shortage today in most markets, this is the perfect solution for a buyer and real estate agents to get the deal done! 

Many people are living in their perfect location, and don’t want to move. However, they are outgrowing the home and they don’t know what to do. These are the perfect people that can utilize these programs to obtain the funds today to complete the renovations needed to expand the home they are in currently.

For more information about the process or if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please contact David True, NMLS# 604989, at (314)566-6200 or

Denise Grabb Mortgages in St. Louis Portfolio Loans in St. Louis, MO! 

By: Denise Grab

2020 has made a mark in history! I mean, who would have ever thought that finding a pack of toilet paper at Sam’s was like winning the jackpot at the casino? Some have come out ahead and others are struggling to stay afloat. If I told you that I had a Win-Win option for both sides of the pandemic you would probably think I was crazy BUT actually, I do! 

Have you ever thought about purchasing an investment property? Is now the time to expand that portfolio? YES! 2020 is the year to take the leap of faith and just do it! Let me tell you why…You have probably heard that interest rates are at all-time lows on ALL mortgage products and programs. If you own a home and have not called your favorite mortgage banker about refinancing, you are doing yourself a disservice. These low rates make purchasing an investment property even more appealing and affordable! You can purchase an investment property with just 25% down. It may seem like a lot but depending on the amount of the monthly payment vs. the rental rate you can charge, your breakeven might be much sooner than you think. Let alone, this could be a major tax break for you with Uncle Sam. 

So while you are earning that extra commission and working hours of overtime, use that money to save and apply it to a down payment for your first investment property or for that ever-expanding portfolio. The difference of what you earn in the traditional mortgage payment and the rental rate you charge can be an extra source of income for you when times are tight. Eventually down the road, this will end up being just another stream of income once the loan is paid off and you are saving the rental income that you are charging every month to your renters. You will still have to pay the taxes and insurance for the property, however the monthly income with more than cover that. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are aggressive with your mortgage payment, it can happen much sooner than you think! 

The other genius idea would be to purchase a primary residence multi-unit property and live in one of the units and rent out the other 1 or 3 depending on the property. This has several benefits! Your renters pay your mortgage payment and you earn a monthly income. Just to be clear, it is not acceptable to have a single-family and rent out rooms in your house. Unfortunately, it is not the same thing! You can purchase a multi-unit property with as little as 3.5% down and have a VERY attractive rate because again, it is your primary residence!

Remember, 2020 is your year and one that will go down in history! Make your own mark in history and become a landlord! Real estate has produced many of the world’s wealthiest individuals and you could potentially be the next. 

Don’t let your next opportunity pass you by. Call us today for more information on your next opportunity. For comments or questions, please contact Denise Grab at 314-220-9620 or, NMLS# 738524. 

Chris Reh Mortages in St.Louis By Chris Reh

If you've been listening to the radio, following the news, or even just talking to friends and family, you may have heard that mortgage rates are at an all-time low and that maybe it is the right time for you to refinance your current home mortgage, if you have one. But, though the interest rate is important to your mortgage, it is not all about the interest rate. Let’s talk about how the refinance works, and then you can decide if it is indeed the right move for you right now

The way a refinance works

When you refinance any type of mortgage loan, you are exchanging an existing loan for a new one. The new loan pays off the current mortgage and then becomes your mortgage moving forward. The goal of refinancing could be to switch from one loan type to another loan type, or to improve your mortgage situation by securing a lower rate and or lowering your monthly obligation/payment.

For example, let’s say you have a 30-year fixed mortgage with a 4% interest rate and you’re able to refinance to a 3% interest rate, on that same 30-year term, you'll not only lower your monthly payment, you will also reduce and save a full interest point off of your overall loan term.

You will have closing costs and prepaid escrow fees at the time of closing. These can be rolled into your loan if you have enough equity to cover them. You get your full escrow balance refunded from your current mortgage that you are paying off after closing. You can also skip two months of payments, keeping additional money in your pocket to pay down some debt or make some home improvements. With enough equity, you may pull out cash for some debt consolidation and or home improvements.  

You must do the math to determine the break even when deciding if a refinance is worth the cost. So, if you are looking at $4,000 in closing costs, but refinancing also lowers your monthly mortgage payment by $200. In that case, you'd need to stay in your home for 20 months just to break even. So will you be living there for longer than 20 months? If not, it might not make sense to refinance as the costs will outweigh the savings. Talk to your lender today to learn about your specific options.

Is it time to refinance your mortgage right now

Essentially, while it does make sense for some homeowners to refinance their mortgages right now, that doesn't apply across the board to all home owners. You need to think about you, your goals and your situation. Things such as how long do are planning to stay in the house, and is your credit score high enough to get that low competitive rate that you hear talked about every day, will determine whether a refinance is the right move for you. I welcome you to call me today for your free mortgage checkup so I can help get you the information you need to make this potentially life changing decision to refinance your current home mortgage.  

For more information about the process or if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please contact Chris Reh, NMLS# 1773185, at 314.420.3122 or

First Integrity Mortgage Services is licensed in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and California.

Why First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis! 

Michelle Lewis Loans in St. Louis

By: Michelle Lewis

When considering which lender to choose for your mortgage loan, why should you think First Integrity Mortgage Services?  

First Integrity because We Care! We Think! We Deliver! For us, those words are more than just a slogan; they are a source of pride in who we are and what we do. It is our priority to provide you with the best service, process, and options! We are local, offer a refined process along with competitive products and pricing, we are relationship-oriented and community involved, educated, experienced, and here for you.  

Why First Integrity? We Care! We genuinely care about our clients, community, employees, and referral sources. You are not just a number but are our priority, and we care about providing you with the best service and options available!

As a testament to our commitment to client satisfaction, see what over 400 of our clients have said in their 5 Star Google Reviews (check out our 5 Star Google Reviews).

We also care about our community, and we give back; every month, we donate to a charity in our community that a member of our First Integrity Family is personally involved with because we believe in community involvement. We also contribute annually to our primary local philanthropy The BackStoppers, who assist families of fallen first responders. 

Why First Integrity? Because our leadership cares about employees, providing us with the tools and support needed to be best equipped in the industry. They invest in their employees, offering education and insight above and beyond any other lender in the area. This backing from leadership is rare and priceless in the mortgage industry.

Speaking of leadership, we have the best! Our leader, Joe Bayer Jr., was previously the president of the St. Louis Chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and currently as the Secretary of Mortgage Bankers Association of Missouri. Also, he is currently serving (as appointed by the governor of Missouri himself) on the Residential Mortgage Board.

Kiara Johnson, a loan officer at First Integrity, is the current president of the St. Louis Mortgage Bankers Association chapter. Her installation made history as she is the first African American President in the chapter.  

At First Integrity, we are encouraged to become involved within the communities we serve. This community involvement keeps our fingers on the pulse in our industry, keeping our enterprise educated and most informed so that we can best serve our clients, community, and referral partners.

Why First Integrity? We think!  We think outside of the box. We do not conform with the way things have always been done, but do them differently, with better results! Also, due to the structure, The First Integrity Difference (check out the video here), of our enterprise, we have the unique opportunity to offer rational lending. We know that not everyone fits in the same little box, and we can offer solutions with make-sense lending practices. To put it simply and to quote our SVP of Sales, Dan Goldman, we have more products and programs than any other lender out there, from home improvement loans to first time home buyer products, to healthcare workers loans, to hobby farms. We also have the ability to fund the loan ourselves, so you are not waiting for a wire from someone (in another state) to send over funds.   

Why First Integrity? We deliver! We have a proven and improved process. We do not have the typical segmented, outdated “assembly line” approach to mortgage lending like most companies, where five or so different strangers in different departments work on your loan. With these lenders, you may have your loan processed, underwritten, closed in all different locations. With that structure, your processor may be in Iowa, underwriting in Florida, closing in Dover (with none of the staff knowing each other or having any working relationship) leaving you to feel like a ping pong ball bouncing around people’s desks! At First Integrity, we collaborate and work as a team. We have on-site underwriting, management, and operations and solid working relationships.  

So Why First Integrity Mortgage Services? We understand that when you choose a lender, there are many factors to consider. Call us today to learn more about what we can offer you, and to see first-hand how we care, we think, and we deliver!

If you or someone you know is thinking about homeownership or refinancing at this time, have them reach out to First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, MO today.

For more information about the process or if you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please contact Michelle Lewis, NMLS# 640206, at (314)662-0364 or

First Integrity Mortgage Services is licensed in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Arkansas, and California.

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