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. 

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.

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