Monthly Archives: December 2018

//December
26 12, 2018

5 Home Maintenance Tips to do Before the First Winter Storm

December 26th, 2018|Tips & Advice|

Cold temperatures and harsh weather conditions can cause damage to your home during the winter months. Check out these helpful tips to make sure your home stays in its best shape and saves you money this winter.

Prevent Pipes from Freezing

When water freezes, it expands and can cause your pipes to burst. To prevent frozen pipes, insulate pipes near windows, doors and in areas of the home that are unheated. Disconnect your garden hose from the outside faucet. Set the heat to no lower than 55 degrees F.

Check Batteries in Smoke and Carbon monoxide Detectors

This is especially important during winter when we keep windows closed and use wood-burning stoves and fireplaces more often. Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each bedroom, on each floor of the house and in the kitchen. Check detectors monthly and change batteries as needed.

Remove Window Screens

Removing screens from windows can boost natural light and improve natural heat from the sun. During winter storms, snow can also get trapped between the screen and window, which could cause moisture damage to window frames and sills.

Inspect Insulation

Sufficient insulation will help keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. If your insulation is inadequate, your heating system will have to work overtime this winter. By adding some insulation to your attic, walls and crawlspace, you can save money on heating costs.

Check for Air Leaks

Be proactive now on your home maintenance checklist to save on heating costs during the winter months. Be sure to check for air leaks around windows and doors, including cracks in caulking or weatherstripping. Replace caulk and weatherstripping if needed.

For more home maintenance […]

19 12, 2018

What to Expect on Closing Day

December 19th, 2018|Buying a home|

Congratulations! You made it to the last step in the home buying process, the closing. After all the documents have been signed and the funds have been distributed, the ownership of property will be transferred and the property will finally be yours! Here are some things that you can expect during the closing process.

Before Closing

A few days before the date of the closing, you will receive your initial closing disclosure. This document shows closing costs, terms of the loan and how much money you will need to bring to the closing. Be sure to review this document carefully and make sure everything is correct. If you have any questions or something doesn’t look right, do not hesitate to reach out to your First Ohio Home Finance loan officer.   

Day of Closing

If you have sent money electronically to the title company, bring the proof of the money transfer. It’s also a good idea to bring your checkbook just in case there are any last minute changes to the closing disclosure. Be sure to bring a form of identification such as your driver’s license or passport.

A few different people may attend your closing. Your real estate agent and title company agent will be there to guide you through the closing to make sure everything runs smoothly and also answer any questions you have before signing. At First Ohio Home Finance, many of our loan officers make it a priority to also attend since we have been there with you every step of the way and we’re excited to watch you receive the keys to your new home!

You’re going to be signing a lot of documents on the day of closing so make sure […]

11 12, 2018

Can I Buy A Home With A Low Credit Score?

December 11th, 2018|Mortgage 101|

If you have bad credit and you’re nervous that you won’t be able to be approved when applying for a mortgage, don’t worry just yet. You could still be able to get a mortgage with a low credit score. It will depend on a few components. Before talking yourself out of applying, talk to a mortgage lender at First Ohio Home Finance to see what possible options are. We’re here to help you find solutions and help you achieve the dream of homeownership.

Low Credit Score Loan Options

Although you might have a low credit score, there are still options for buying a home. Among other qualification requirements such as income, down payment, and employment status, mortgage loans have credit score requirements. The minimum credit score you’ll need depends on the type of loan. For instance, the minimum credit score required for a conventional loan is 620. On the other hand, you can qualify for an FHA loan if your credit score is above 580. So if your credit score is lower, your best bet may be applying for an FHA loan. It’s important to remember that different lenders could have different requirements based on other factors such as your down payment amount or income.

Improving Your Credit Score

There are some steps you can take now to start on the path to better credit.

  1. Pay your bills on time
  2. Pay off as much debt as possible
  3. Eliminate old credit card balances
  4. Limit credit applications
  5. Fix your credit utilization ratio

Be sure to check your credit score regularly to make sure there are no mistakes or possible fraud incidents that could affect your […]

7 12, 2018

What is a Jumbo Loan?

December 7th, 2018|Mortgage 101|

In some parts of the country, property values have greatly increased. This has caused the need for homebuyers to apply for jumbo loans in order to finance their mortgage. Jumbo mortgages, or jumbo loans, are those that exceed the dollar amount loan-servicing limits put in place by GSE’s Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. This makes them non-conforming loans.

Recently the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced that the 2019 conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will increase nationwide from $453,100 to $484,350. Additionally, due to the underlying formula, the maximum limit in high-cost areas will increase to $726,525

Jumbo Loan Approval

Qualifying for a jumbo loan can be a little more difficult than qualifying for a conforming loan. This is because the loan isn’t backed by Fannie or Freddie so the lender has to mitigate financial risk in other ways. The qualifications tend to be more stringent. Borrowers often must meet a higher credit score, income, and have reserves in order to qualify.

A loan doesn’t have to be seven digits in order to be considered a jumbo loan. Even just a dollar over the conforming loan amount can be considered a jumbo loan.

To learn more about jumbo loans or about the increasing conforming loan limits, reach out to First Ohio Home Finance!

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