Andrew Winkler Home Loans St. Louis A Few St. Louis, MO Mortgage Options 

By Andrew Winkeler 

Goals of Buying a Home in St. Louis, Missouri 

Are you a first-time buyer, tired of renting, and hoping to achieve your dream of homeownership? Are you looking to upgrade, possibly due to your growing family or income? Are you one of the many people frustrated by the lack of inventory in the current market? Are you considering renovating a house to your liking?

Not everybody has the same goals when buying a home. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to mortgages. That is why it is imperative that you work with a mortgage lender who will take the time to understand your homeownership goals and help you discuss a long-term ownership plan. First Integrity Mortgage Services offers more products and programs than any other lender in St. Louis, so we can accommodate our customers’ differing ownership goals.

First Time Homebuyers in St. Louis

There are a variety of programs specifically designed for first-time buyers. First-time buyer programs require a smaller down payment, reducing the amount of cash needed to close. Also, there are down payment assistance grants available, which lend the buyer funds towards closing, and are fully forgiven after a specified length of time. Many times, the buyer can negotiate with sellers to help pay for closing costs as well. First Integrity can help you navigate many options that don’t involve bringing a 20% down payment to closing.

Buying Your Next Home in St. Louis 

These days, buying your next home when you already own a home can be incredibly challenging. Many times, buyers plan to use the equity from the sale of their existing home for the down payment on their next home. In many cases, this requires financing to be contingent on the sale of your current home. It can be challenging to get sellers to agree to this in today’s seller’s market. Why? Many sellers know there is a strong possibility that as a buyer, you may not complete the transaction if the purchase of your current house falls through for whatever reason. 

The good news is there may be options that don’t require the sale of your existing home to purchase your new dream home. The plan may still be to sell your existing home, but working around the contingency can prevent you from losing the home you want to buy, especially if you’re not ready to list it. Sometimes, people don’t even realize they don’t have to sell their existing home. They could have the option of retaining as an investment or rental. Knowing all of your options can help you navigate this highly competitive seller’s market.

Renovating a Home - Home Improvement Loans in St. Louis 

The lack of available inventory in the current market drives more people to consider renovation loans, and for a good reason. It can be hard to reconcile offering thousands over the listing price for a house that may not fit all your needs and wants. 

I believe that a home improvement loan can be a great alternative for those thinking about new construction in many situations. With a home improvement loan, you’re able to buy a home and include money needed for simple upgrades, remodeling projects, or even more complex renovations. Monthly payments on home improvement loans are typically lower than personal loans and credit cards, and in some cases, the financing may also be tax-deductible. Although you may be able to pay for the home improvements with a personal loan or other types of financing, these methods often have higher interest rates and, subsequently, higher monthly payments. At this time, with a home renovation loan, you can finance a renovation period of up to six months with only one set of closing costs and absolutely no prepayment penalty. The total loan amount is based on the property’s after-improvement value, and the down payment can be as little as 3.5% after the initial appraisal.

Staying Stress-Free By Getting A Pre-Approved For a Home Loan in St. Louis

It's been my observation that most home buyers seem to share one goal: trying to reduce stress during the process. While stress may seem inevitable in today’s highly competitive housing market, it’s achievable. The biggest tip? You MUST get pre-approved!

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran, find a mortgage lender you trust and get pre-approved. At First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, we believe in making sure you get “pre-approved” and not just “pre-qualified”. The pre-qualification process is where a lender will rely on a verbal interview regarding finances, credit score, and debts to produce an amount they could be approved for. A true pre-approval is based on a review of a borrower’s credit report and supporting financial documents like pay stubs, tax returns, and asset account statements, and anything else that might be mandatory. Obtaining a pre-approval from a trusted, local lender like First Integrity is essential to submit a strong offer with confidence.

If you or someone you know is thinking about buying their first home, moving up to their next home, or interested in a renovation loan, have them reach out to First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis, Missouri today.

For more information about the process or if you have any questions or comments, please contact Andrew Winkeler, NMLS# 2001001, at (314) 471-5631 or

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


Josh Kemper Mortgages in St. Louis

Mortgage Company in St. Louis Believes in Community and Giving Back! 

By: Senior Mortgage Banker Josh Kemper 

When you are considering a business transaction, what is one of the most important qualities of the person or company with which you choose to do business? Most people want to have established trust and the feeling that it is more than a transaction, and that the business cares. That is what we work to do here at First Integrity Mortgage Services in St. Louis. We strive to show the customer that what sets us apart from our competitors is CARING for them and each other.

At the start of every month, we get everyone together to have a company meeting. One of the first orders of business at the start of the meeting is to go around and read our company’s core values and mission statement. The idea behind this is to reinforce the ideals we all hold; why we do what we do. 

First Integrity Mortgage Mission & Vision Statement 

As we go person to person reading through these values, we arrive at Community Focus. As a hometown company, this means a great deal to all of us. Giving back to the community that we call home is an essential part of our work. We strive to positively impact the surrounding community and each other. Our community focus branches out into two parts: Internal and external community. 

Our internal community is the key ingredient to our company’s success. We take great care in creating a strong culture of teamwork and family inside these walls. Unlike many lenders, we have our entire staff in one office. We have everyone from loan officers to underwriters, even the CEO of the company, right next to each other. Why? Because what’s most important to us is working together to achieve success, for all of us. If one of us succeeds, we all succeed. 

That brings us to the second part of our community focus: the external community. It is so important to us here to give back to the community that we call home. We use our knowledge and experience to help others around us achieve their dreams of owning a home. We strongly believe that not only existing in, but giving back to the community in which we work is the ultimate key to helping us grow and succeed. 

First Integrity Mortgage Services is dedicated to building strong communities in Missouri and Illinois. We also believe in supporting those who keep our communities safe. First Integrity has been a proud corporate sponsor of BackStoppers Inc.

BackStoppers Inc. is a Non-Profit Organization, which provides financial support and assistance to the spouses and dependent children of First Responders who have fallen in the line of duty. This amazing organization assists families who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our community’s safety.

In 2013 First Integrity Mortgage decided to create a program to support BackStoppers through employee donations and company contributions. First Integrity gives a $500 credit towards closing costs and a $250 donation to BackStoppers for any first responder that gets their mortgage through First Integrity. 

Currently, while continuing the Backstoppers program, we also elect, a new local charity to give to each quarter. Those charities are nominated by the employees. To have your charity nominated, you have to be personally involved or personally affected by that organization. The team members nominating their charity tell their story of involvement with that charity, then, we all vote. It is quite impressive to hear the personal stories of how our team gets involved in different charitable organizations around the St. Louis area.

Additionally, First Integrity helps out our veterans by waving our $985 origination fee for all VA loans. We are honored to give back to veterans in any way that we can. This is just another way in which we are tied to our community. It is our mission to continue to strengthen each other and the surrounding community for each to grow. Finding new ways to strengthen our communities is and will continue to be, a crucial part of our business. 

For any questions on this article, or any mortgage inquiries please reach out to Josh Kemper at 314-541-7766 or at NMLS # 200100.

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. 

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