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So far First Ohio has created 153 blog entries.
12 03, 2018

How to Compete Against All-Cash Home Buyers

March 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Couple Buying a Home

When buying a home, it can be a scary thought to think about competing against those who are making a cash offer on a house. Cash buyers can perform and close quickly and provide sellers with a sense of comfort. Does that mean to rule yourself out of the fight? Absolutely not.

If you can’t make a cash offer on a house? That is OKAY! There are a lot of people who cannot make a cash offer. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a 20% down payment?
  • Are you well employed?
  • Do you have cash reserves in addition to your down payment?
  • Do you have very little debt?
  • Do you have good credit?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, your offer should be just as good as the cash buyer.

Here is how to stay competitive:

  • Pre-approval. This will make you so much more competitive in the eyes of the buyer because pre-approval is proof to the buyer that you will be approved for the loan and can make the purchase. In addition to the pre-approval letter from your lender, be open to allowing your agent or lender to provide the financial information with your offer. If you bring a statement of how much you make, how much you have in the bank, credit reports, etc. then they will be able to see for themselves that you are the same as the cash buyer, financially.
  • Shorten the loan and appraisal contingencies. Ask your lender how quickly they can send an appraiser to the property and how long the loan would take to turn around. First Ohio Home Finance prides our company on how quickly we are able to turn loans around for our customers.
  • Inspect quickly. […]
6 03, 2018

Homebuyers: How to Compete in the Spring Buying Market

March 6th, 2018|Uncategorized|

It is no question that every year, the spring market is competitive. People usually take a break from home buying and selling in the winter then are ready to hit the ground running as soon as warmer weather is on the horizon. This is for many reasons: most people do not want to move during the winter, therefore buyers have trouble selling, many people do not want to move mid school year if they have children and frankly properties do not look as nice during those grey months.

So, spring is right around the corner and you want to jump into the market and most importantly, you want to be competitive. First Ohio Home Finance is ready to help you every step of the way, let’s check out how you can stand out among other buyers to help you get the home of your dreams. When you find the home, make an offer. Here are tips to help you win the offer:

Get Pre-Approved

If you get a lender to look over your financials ahead of time and they preapprove you for a mortgage, you will be able to show the seller you can buy their house. You will need to prepare documents, which can be done way in advance to the purchase. The documents you will need are:

  • Tax returns for the past two years W-2 forms paycheck stubs from the past few months
  • Proof of mortgage or rent payments for the past year
  • A list of all debts, including student loans, auto loans, credit cards and alimony
  • A list of all your assets, like auto titles, real estate, any investment accounts and bank statements.

Down Payment

By this point in the buying process, you probably know how much of a down payment you have thus […]

12 02, 2018

Using Your Tax Return to Fund A Down Payment

February 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Tax season is upon us, which means many people will shortly be receiving their tax returns. This is an exciting time for many, the much-needed extra money after the holidays or a chance to boost your savings. If you are looking to buy a house this year, take this opportunity to help you get closer to achieving your home ownership dreams.

For first time homeowners, one of the biggest obstacles is coming up with the down payment. So, there is no better time to qualify for a new home than now if you save your tax refund! If your tax refund is large enough, it may cover the entire down payment on a home purchase. If your tax refund does not cover your down payment, you will be in better shape financially than you were before you got the refund. If you put the refund directly into savings you will have that down payment before you know it!

If you are applying for a loan that does not require a down payment (click here to learn about those loan types) it is still smart to save your tax refund. You could use the tax refund for any of the following:

  • Pay closing costs
  • Pay off debts to help you qualify
  • Keep the refund in the bank as reserves. The more reserves equal better chance of approval
  • Pay down credit card balances to raise credit scores
  • Have money for furniture and emergency funds as a homeowner

It is perfectly fine to apply for a mortgage loan when you have not yet received your refund yet. When you are filling out the application, we can just assume the amount that you will be receiving. As long as we can prove that the funds are in your account prior to […]

8 02, 2018

First Ohio will be at The Dispatch Home & Garden Show Feb. 17-25

February 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|

The Dispatch Home & Garden Show is right around the corner! First Ohio Home Finance will have Loan Officers at booth 314 ready to discuss your renovation, refinance and purchase loan needs.

Make sure to stop by the check out our exclusive deal, up to a $400.00 value!

Get your tickets for the show here:

8 01, 2018

Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home

January 8th, 2018|Blog|

Secret #9: Keep Your Money Where It Is

Three to six months before buying a new home, it’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. You want lenders to see you as reliable and you will need a paper trail to get the best loan possible.

Secret #8: Get Pre-Approved for Your Home Loan

There is a big difference between a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage and a buyer being pre-qualified. Anyone can get pre-qualified, getting pre-approved means a lender looked at your financial information and let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy and gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal.

Secret #7: Avoid a Border Dispute

Getting a survey done on your property so you know exactly what you’re buying is essential. This also will help to save yourself from future disputes with your neighbors. Property tax is likely based on how much property you have, so having an accurate map drawn up is best.

Secret #6: Don’t Try to Time the Market

Don’t get caught up trying to time the market to figure out when is the best time to buy. It is impossible to anticipate the housing market, the best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it.

Secret #5: Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Even though everyone’s drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block; bigger is usually not better. The largest house only appeals to a very small audience and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to sell it in the future.

Secret #4: You’re Buying […]

2 01, 2018

Top Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

January 2nd, 2018|Blog|

The challenge of buying a home for the first time can seem intimidating, it can be enticing to just buy the first house in your price range or continue to rent. To help with the process and get the most out of your purchase, here are some tips to consider before you buy, what to expect from the buying process and some tips to make life easier after you purchase your home.

Before you buy, here are some things to consider:

First, you need to determine what your long-term goals are then how home ownership fits in with those plans. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine what your home ownership goals will point are.

  • What type of home best suits your needs?

There are several options, a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, a co-operative or multi-family building with two to four units. So, you need to decide what property type is for you.

  • How much mortgage do you qualify for?

When lenders are deciding how much to offer you, they will look how much debt you have, your monthly income and how long you’ve been at your current job. Calculate how much home you can afford here:

The Buying Process:

Now that you’ve decided to go for it, lets go over what to expect from the process itself. This is a chaotic time, but if you prepare for the hassle you can get through the process with your sanity, mainly, intact. Here are the steps you can expect:

  • Find a home
  • Consider your financing options and secure financing
  • Make an offer
  • Obtain a home inspection
  • Close or move on

Congratulations! …Now What?

You’ve signed the papers, paid the movers and the place is starting to feel like home. Here are some final […]

12 12, 2017

7 Steps to Prepare You for Buying a House in 2018

December 12th, 2017|Blog, Uncategorized|

Now is the perfect time to “warm up” for the house hunt so you can be ready in the new year. The prep work is basically the same wherever you are looking.

  1. Check your credit score

The higher the score the better. FICO scores typically range from 300 to 850. If your score is 740 or above, you’ll get the best interest rate on a loan. A lower rate can lead to saving thousands of dollars in a year. If your score is less than this, start repairing it now. Start paying your bills on time, correct any errors that may be on your report, and get your credit limit raised. You should only use 30% or less of your total available credit and not max it out every month.

  1. Don’t open new credit cards

As tempting as it gets to open a new credit card to save at the checkout, resist! Opening a new card may hurt your chances of getting a mortgage or even getting the best rate on a loan. What could save you a few dollars right now, could cost you way more in the long run if your mortgage payments end up higher.

  1. Suggest financial gifts for the holidays

Along with a mortgage loan, you will need a considerable amount of cash to buy a house. There are closing costs, a down payment and moving costs. Also, you should set aside money for unexpected costs and repairs.

  1. Interview potential real estate agents

You owe it to yourself to show around for the perfect agent. Make sure they are not new or unaware of how to do a specific transaction. The end of the year is typically a slow time for agents, which can lead to them being more […]

7 12, 2017

Reasons to Buy a Home This Winter

December 7th, 2017|Blog|

Usually spring and summer are the prime seasons for anyone house hunting or selling. It is more common to shop when the weather is nice. However, there are very compelling reasons for going shopping for a house and moving in the winter as well. Here are some advantages that show the benefits from house hunting in the winter.

Fewer buyers to Compete With

Real estate wisdom says to shop in the spring and summer, which is what makes this the most obvious plus. As a result of this popular advice, there are less buyers in competition during the winter months. The low demand will work in your favor.

Prices are Lower

Just as economics teaches us, with fewer buyers in the market, supply will exceed demand. Typically, this causes prices to be lower than during the peak seasons.

Sellers are Motivated

With low activity in the winter being common, sellers are far more motivated to sell. Agents know that during the slow winter months sellers are more willing to negotiate. These negotiations can be on selling price, closing costs, closing date or even terms of the sale, even including household appliances and items are included in the sale.

Your Real Estate Agent Will Work Harder For you

Your realtor will give you undivided attention and work harder for your due to the low activity in the winter. Since there will be lower sales volumes, realtors try just a bit harder to negotiate a sale.

Don’t be discouraged if your circumstances lead you to house hunting in the winter. Remember that in the US it is still a great time to invest. So, grab your coat, brave the cold and get out there and find your future home.

13 11, 2017

First Ohio Home Finance A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau

November 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|

First Ohio Home Finance is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. We are proud to be accredited by the BBB, it is another way First Ohio goes above and beyond to ensure our customers we are the ones to work with!

7 11, 2017

First Ohio Partners with The Veterans Resource Project

November 7th, 2017|Blog|

First Ohio Home Finance is proud to announce a new partnership with The Veterans Resource Project. The mission of the organization is to connect local businesses with Veterans and Veteran organizations in the community in a way that is beneficial to all parties involved. The Veterans Resource Project believes this is a way to strengthen the community as a whole and promotes awareness and respect to those that protect this great nation.

First Ohio Home Finance could not be happier about the program and the partnership. Often, Veterans are unaware of the opportunities they have in regards to home ownership. It is our job as mortgage lenders to ensure Veterans know about their home buying options and that we go above and beyond to help them through every step of the process. Here is some information about VA Loans, who is eligible and the advantages:

What are VA loans?

Veterans Affairs (VA) home loans are mortgages that are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.   VA loans became available in 1944 as part of the Serviceman’s Readjustment act, also known as the GI Bill. Qualifying veterans have the opportunity to purchase a home without putting any money down, through the VA home loan program. Borrowers must obtain a VA Loan through a participating private lender. The VA doesn’t loan any money; they insure a portion of the mortgage which allows lenders to offer more favorable rates and terms to veterans who qualify.

Who is Eligible for a VA Loan?

Veterans, active-duty personnel, members of the National Guard and Reserves, and eligible surviving spouses may qualify for VA home loans. Eligibility is based on length and type of military service and discharge conditions. In order to apply for a VA loan, borrowers will need to […]

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