Monthly Archives: October 2015

//October
31 10, 2015

Wondering if You Qualify for Refinancing?

October 31st, 2015|Blog, Tips & Advice|

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If you are a homeowner or even make payments on your car loan then you have probably been approached about an option to refinance your loan. Refinancing is simply financing your home or automobile again at different loan terms, usually at a lower interest rate. For most homeowners, this is a good idea if rates drop significantly lower than what they current have. Refinancing can mean a savings of $100 or more per month depending on the loan terms and this is significant for anyone living within a strict budget. Refinancing, however, is not available to everyone. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to refinance.

  1. Do you hold at least 20% stake in your equity? – Your lender will likely want to see that you have a significant amount invested into your equity, usually 20% is ideal. To determine the amount of equity you have, divide the principal amount that you are trying to borrow by the value of your home. (Example: Your home is valued at $300,000 and you want to borrow $200,000, you have a loan-to-value ratio of .66 or 67%. This means that you have a 33% equity position in the home. If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you may be able to qualify for federal programs to help you refinance without having a 20% equity in the home.
  2. Do you have a good credit score? – Most lenders require a minimum score of 600 to 650 to approve refinancing applicants while some lenders (credit unions and banks) look for scores of 720 or above. It is important to remember that the breakdown of your credit score comes […]
24 10, 2015

Reasons to Buy a New Home this Fall

October 24th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home|

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The fall is a great time of year for many reasons, let’s see, there is the pumpkin-flavored everything, the trees are changing to beautiful red, orange and yellow hues, did we mention all the comfort foods that taste so much better this time of year?! All of these are great reasons to love the fall season, but do you know there is another reason to love the fall? It is a great time to buy a new home! You know how you are able to score great deals at some of your favorite retailers when the seasons change? Well it works in the same type of way with Real Estate. We are going to give you five great reasons why you should purchase a new home this fall.

  1. Inventory from spring needs to sell! – Homeowners looking to sell tend to list their home at the first signs of spring. Sometimes these homes get listed too high and sits on the market through the summer. If the home is still on the market by the time fall arrives, the price most likely gets reduced. This is a great time to take a look at the properties you might have had your eye on in the spring and summer and see what they are listed for now.
  2. Less competition in the buyers market – Most families with children have already found a new home at this point as they want to be moved in at the start of the school year. These buyers are not likely shopping around anymore which means less competition for you. The open houses may be less crowded therefore giving you an opportunity to make an offer with a little more breathing room.
  3. Sellers are more motivated to close quicker – Since a […]
17 10, 2015

5 Things You Can Do to Secure Your Financial Future

October 17th, 2015|Blog, Home Finances, Tips & Advice|

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While money may be able to buy you tangible things like cars, clothing, and food, it can also buy you intangible things like freedom and choice. The reason being is the more money you acquire and allocate to the proper places, the more financial security you will gain, therefore setting yourself up for financial freedom in the future. Practicing good financial habits will not only set you up for financial freedom but it will give you more leverage when it comes to obtaining a mortgage loan too! Here are five things you can do now that will help to secure financial freedom for you down the road.

  1. Track your spending – In the day and age that we live in, cash is not the primary way to spend money anymore. With debit cards and even credit cards, we don’t realize the amount we are spending as easily because we do not see it diminish like we would with cash. This makes it hard to understand how much is leaving our account each day. In order to feel secure with your money each month, it is imperative to track your spending habits and set a budget. There are a lot of great online resources to help you do that such as Mint.com and LevelMoney.
  2. Set financial goals –  Have you ever traveled without a map (or should we say the map on your iPhone) ? It would be difficult, if not impossible, to get to your destination, right? Just like traveling, we need to follow a map for our finances too! By setting financial goals and dates in which you want to achieve these goals, it will help you to stay accountable and on track, helping to eliminate useless spending and reach goals (ie, saving for down […]
10 10, 2015

Before Signing on the Dotted Line, Ask these Questions

October 10th, 2015|Blog, Buying a home, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

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If you have ever signed a loan for anything you know how intense it can feel. The stack of papers that require your signature seem never ending and that is just for the new living furniture set you just purchased! Signing a mortgage comes with its own stack of documents, all of which are very important and required, but that doesn’t mean it is any less overwhelming. The fine print can begin to look confusing and you will want to read everything. This is where you can simply hit the pause button, slow down and ask any questions you have. When we sit down with our clients during a closing we want them to ask questions; we want to make sure there is a clear understanding of every document and what it means. To help guide you through the process, we have provided some questions that you can ask during your closing that will help you have a better understanding and feel more at ease.

What is APR? 

Believe it or not, there is a difference between asking, “What’s the interest rate?” and “What’s the APR?” The APR includes all the necessary costs of the loan such as interest rate, discount points, and loan origination fees. The interest rate only reflects that one specific piece. It is important to understand there is a difference between the two. By law, lenders are required to disclose the loan APR so make sure that is what you are asking for.

How long will my rate lock? 

As we discussed here, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan in which your interest rate will remain “fixed” for a limited number of years (usually three, […]

3 10, 2015

Tackle this List Before You Close on Your Home

October 3rd, 2015|Blog, Buying a home|

iStock_000020185704_SmallThe home buying process is both exciting and sometimes a little stressful too! Between negotiations, mortgage paperwork,  home inspections and the number crunching, it can leave you feeling a bit overwhelmed. Of course, it eventually calms down and you find yourself nearing the closing date. Up to this point you probably have not thought about the little things that need to be done before you close on your home, but now you are in a time crunch trying to finish up the last minute to-do’s. To stay on top of it all and keep a little organization throughout the process we have provided a checklist of things to do before signing on the dotted line.

  1. Clear your calendar– This may seem like a no-brainer but closing day is not always a quick process and feeling rushed can make it stressful. Clear your calendar of any meetings or appointments, let your co-workers know you may not be easily available. When you don’t have other obligations you can actually take the time to enjoy this moment!
  2. Book the movers– Once you have the closing date in hand, you want to book your movers! During the busy moving months (i.e, June-September), moving companies book up quickly. If you are planning to do the move yourself you still need to reserve the moving truck and any additional equipment or supplies you need.
  3. Hire a Babysitter/Pet sitter–  An antsy or screaming child is something you do not want to have to deal with on closing day. They may not understand what is going on or how important it is and that is understandable, they are kids! To save you a little headache, consider hiring a babysitter or have a family member watch your child while you close on your home. This […]
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