Monthly Archives: February 2020

//February
25 02, 2020

How to Set Financial Goals for the Short and Long Term

February 25th, 2020|Blog, Buying a home, General, Home Finances, Tips & Advice|

Owning a home is something that most Americans wish to do but feel it’s unattainable because they struggle to feel comfortable financially. High amounts of debt and stagnant wages have made saving money almost impossible for many Americans. In order to potentially save more money, pay off debt and be able to put money toward a down payment on a home.

Short Term Goals

Short-term financial goals can be taken care of in a few months to years. One of the biggest short-term goals is paying down credit card debt.  It is important to pay your credit card statement balance every month and avoid just paying the minimum. Paying the minimum payment allows interest to rack up and costs more money in the end.

Another short-term goal is to get rent and utilities to be 30% or less of your income each month. If you are paying more than 30% of your income to rent or utility bills, you may be putting yourself in a position to never get out of the check-to-check cycle.

Putting money back for emergencies can seem daunting. If you are barely paying your bills, saving money seems easy to skip. However, financial planners encourage everyone to have three to six months’ worth of living expenses put aside in case of a layoff, car repair or other costly events. Try putting money into an interest-earning account to see your money do more for you.

Most people have a car loan to pay off. Paying a car loan off can take an average of six years and is one of the most expansive things a person owns. Putting this as a priority can get rid of a fairly large monthly payment sooner.

Long Term Goals

Paying off student loans is usually one of the most mentioned long-term financial goals. Depending how much your loan […]

21 02, 2020

Mortgage Documents

February 21st, 2020|Blog, Buying a home, General, Home Finances, Loan Products, Mortgage 101, Tips & Advice|

You have determined the amount your loan could be and what type of loan you want to use, but what paperwork do you need to have ready for your

Columbus Ohio Mortgage Lenders

loan officer to get you approved?

This list of documents may be handy when you’re taking this final step.

Personal Information

  • Photo ID
  • Proof of Social Security number (copy of SS card or W2 statement)
  • Residence addresses for the past two years
  • Copy of green card, if not a U.S. citizen

Employment

  • Pay stubs (past 30 days)
  • Names & addresses of each employer (last two years)
  • W-2s (last two years)
  • Tax returns: 2-year returns are required for the self-employed

Banking

  • Three months of statements for: bank accounts, mutual funds and investment accounts
  • Large deposits: explanation and source of deposit. If deposit was a gift you need: signed gift letter, copy of gift check and copy of deposit receipt.

Property Information (if in contract)

  • Purchase agreement
  • MLS sheet and legal description
  • If you already sold your current home: need copy of settlement agreement
  • If you are currently selling your home: need copy of listing contract
  • Value of personal property and furniture

Business owner (own 25% or more of business)

  • Corporate | Partnership tax returns

Self-employed

  • Last two years of tax returns (with all pages and schedules)
  • Profit and Loss statements (for current year) prepared by an accountant
  • K1’s for last years for all S-Corps

Retired

  • Pension award letter
  • Social Security award letter

Rental Property

  • Current rental agreements and tax returns (last two years)
  • Child support as income
  • Need copy of divorce settlement
  • Need copies of cancelled child support checks (12 months)

Divorced

  • Copy of divorce decree
  • VA Loans
  • Report of Separation and copy DD form 214

Debt information

  • Info needed on all current loans: names, addresses, account numbers, monthly payments and balances (typically found […]
17 02, 2020

Home Warranty 101

February 17th, 2020|Blog, Buying a home, General, Tips & Advice|

Ohio Home Mortgages

Buying a home comes with many questions. What features are most important? What is the best rate? What is my price range? As if you needed another question to ask, there’s the question on if you should purchase a home warranty or not. Let us explain a few things about home warranties to help you make an informed decision.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a contract provided by a home warranty company to a homeowner to provide discounted repair and replacement services on major pieces of the home, such as the furnace, air conditioning, plumbing, and electrical systems. A home warranty could also cover other major appliances, such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, and swimming pools.

A home warranty is not the same thing as homeowner’s insurance, which covers events such as fires, hail, property crimes and some types of water damage that could affect the entire structure of the home or the homeowner’s personal belongings.

Most plans have a basic component that provides all homeowners who purchase a policy with certain coverages. Homeowners can also purchase additional components that provide other coverage for an additional cost.

What to Consider with a Warranty

A home warranty can cost a few hundred dollars a year. The plan’s cost varies depending on the property type—single-family detached, condo, townhouse, or duplex—and what type of warranty plan the homeowner chooses.

The age of the home usually doesn’t affect the cost of the warranty, unless the home is brand new, which increases the cost of coverage. The home’s size also doesn’t usually matter, unless it’s more than 5,000 square feet. Separate structures, such as guest houses, usually are not covered by the basic policy, but can be covered for an additional cost, but garages should be covered by the […]

11 02, 2020

Refinancing Traps to Avoid

February 11th, 2020|Blog, Refinance|

Refinancing is a great idea if you’re looking to pay less monthly or in the long run however, there are a few traps when it comes to refinancing that we recommend keeping an eye out for.

Automatic Payments

If you have automatic payments set up for your mortgage, remember to cancel it well in advance of your refinanced loan. Some automatic payments may take two or more weeks to be cancelled which means you could end up paying for the same month twice.

Missed or Late Payments

Even if you’ve applied for a new loan, you must continue payments on your old loan until your refinance is approved and active. Be sure your last payment is made and goes toward your payoff balance. Missing payments could negatively affect your credit score.

Tax Escrow

An escrow account is typically held by your bank and used to pay property taxes and insurance. With an original mortgage, you usually need to put two months of pro-rated insurance and taxes in the account.  With a refinance, you may need more based on the fact that your original escrow account may be held until the current loan is paid off.

Insufficient Funds

If something such as a low appraisal affects the amount your loan is, this could cause you to have less money than needed to cover your refinanced loan and closing costs. Many loans are set up to cover all closing and escrow funds, so if you end up with a lower amount then you may need to adjust your cash to close.

We want you to be aware of these potential pitfalls before they have a chance to occur. We will work with you and on your behalf to prevent and avoid them. Contact us to start your refinance today.

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