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So far First Ohio has created 145 blog entries.
13 06, 2017

Starter Homes: Pros and Cons

June 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|

 

Earlier generations often bought start homes initially and then would move into larger homes are their families and income grew. Now, coming up with a large down payment is a struggle for many. This results in renting and saving up for a down payment for a few years. There is also the option of buying a starter home and staying in it for longer than previous generations and paying down more of the mortgage. In order to help first-time home buyers, guide through these tricky decisions, we are going to look at pros and cons of a starter home.

Build stability quicker

When you buy a home in a certain area, many homebuyers can’t believe how much stability and roots they feel in a community. You are able to make any changes you want in order for it to feel more like your home. Overall home buyers feel a much great sense of stability.

Moving

It is no question that moving is not a fun task. Buying a starter home then upgrading in a few years will requires moving twice in a short time span. For some, it might be more cost-effective to save more and buy a bigger home instead of moving twice within a shorter time period.

Build Equity Sooner

If you can commit five to seven years to a home, there is a good chance you will come out on top in regards to building equity. If you make improvements that add value, you can take the equity you’ve built and apply it as a down payment on the next home. In essence, the start home might help you purchase your dream home.

Budget

In addition to mortgage payments and property tax, there are extra costs such as furniture, landscape improvements and buying items specific to […]

5 06, 2017

Building Credit 101

June 5th, 2017|Blog, General, Home Finances|

In order to purchase most of the larger things in life such as a house or a car, you need to have a good credit score in order to be approved for the loan to buy it. If you are a recent grad or a young professional, you may not have had any opportunity to build up credit thus far, now is the time to start. You might not think it matters that much but it does. Whether you are trying to qualify for a mortgage, auto loans even apartments, to some extent it will be dependent on your credit history.

Building a Credit History

Your credit history is one of the key factors that decides your credit score. The best time to build a credit history is when you are young. The point of a credit score is to show banker and lenders that you can handle your expenses each month and that you pay on time. Now is a good time to think about getting a credit card as well so you can start to build up your credit score as well but make sure you are paying it off every month and not building up interest.

Student Loans

Many people these days graduate with some amount of student loans. While you may be worried about lenders seeing your high amount of debt, do not be worried if you are handling your finances correctly. Be sure that you are managing your debt obligations and repaying them on time, every time.

Be Responsible

Credit card companies often offer cards with high spending limits. Do not take advantage of those if it is outside your means. It is crucial to ensure you are still living within your means with a credit card. Pay off your balances in […]

25 05, 2017

Moving Tips

May 25th, 2017|Blog|

Moving is stressful, there is no other way around it unfortunately. If you are planning to buy a home sometime in the next couple months, you have probably started packing up or thinking about the logistics of moving. If you have done your fair share of moving, then you have probably experienced a moving nightmare or two. With the right precautionary measures, moving can be a breeze!

This is truly one of the best ways to have a good moving experience. Organization is so important from start to finish of the moving process, whether you are packing up the old place or unpacking the new place, make sure to stay organized. Being prepared plays a huge role in the organization process as well.

  • Packing. Make sure to label the appropriate boxes with either their location or some kind of description. If they are essentials, make sure you label that as well. If you hire movers, be completely ready when they arrive, if you aren’t it could cost you extra time and money.
  • Documentation. Schedule the transfer of utilities for either the day you move or when you know you will officially be living in the residence for good that way you aren’t without electricity will trying to live in your new home. Be sure to update all addresses on bills, licenses and other important information so that it does not get forgotten about.
  • Movers. Ensure that if you hire a moving company, that they are experienced, have good credibility and will be there for you when you need them. It is so important to be sure the moves arrive on time, they are experienced and they handle your items with care.
  • Traffic. Running into bad traffic or an accident on the roadways is truly […]
4 05, 2017

First Ohio Platinum Sponsor for Build-A-Bike

May 4th, 2017|Blog|

First Ohio Home Finance is proud to announce that we were a Platinum Level Sponsor for Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association‘s 3rd Annual Build-A-Bike event! Here at First Ohio, we truly enjoyed being involved in the community and look forward to helping others. We were able to build 32 bikes for the Boys & Girls Club here in Central Ohio. Overall it was a great event and we look forward to next year! 

24 04, 2017

Mortgage Pre-Approval Frequently Asked Questions

April 24th, 2017|Blog, Mortgage 101|

Pre-Approval

What is mortgage pre-approval?

To be pre-approved for a mortgage means that a lender has looked at your credit and financial history and determined that you would be eligible for a mortgage. A pre-approval generally is a written statement from a lender stating that a borrower would qualify for a certain loan amount. Most pre-approval letters are good for 60 to 90 days.

How do I get pre-approved?

To get pre-approved, you will need to complete an official mortgage application and provide the lender with the necessary documentation to perform an analysis of your credit and take an in-depth look at your financial background. Some of these documents include:

 

  • Proof of employment
  • Proof of income
  • Tax documentation
  • Place of residence
  • Bank account statements
  • Credit information
  • Monthly expenses

 Is pre-qualification enough?

Pre-qualification is different than pre-approval. A mortgage pre-qualification is an estimate of how much the lender thinks you could be eligible to borrow based on your basic financial information. So no, pre-qualification is not enough. Pre-qualification can help give you an idea of how much you might be able to borrow, but errors on your credit report and other issues can get in the way of that. The lender is only showing you the loan that they believe you could be approved for if everything checks out. Pre-approval is much more involved than pre-qualification and gives you a more solid figure.

Why should I get pre-approved?

Getting pre-approved for a specific loan amount will give you a more accurate idea of how much home you can afford. It can also make your offer more attractive to sellers because he or she will know you are only a few steps away from obtaining an actual mortgage. Pre-approval can also help speed up the underwriting and loan […]

13 04, 2017

Refinancing: Is It Right For You?

April 13th, 2017|Blog|

It is no question that mortgage rates are still low right now, the real question is how long are they going to stay like this? Well unfortunately there is no exact answer for this but rates are looking to increase by this year. So would this be the right time for you to refinance? Let’s start with the basics.

What is refinancing? Refinancing is the process of obtaining a new mortgage in an effort to reduce monthly payments, lower your interest rates, take cash out of your home for large purchases or change mortgage companies. The reasons for refinancing are explained further below:

Securing a Lower Interest Rate

With rates being as low as they are now, refinancing might have crossed your mind. This is one of the most common reasons people refinance. The rule of thumb used to be that it was worth the money to refinance if you could reduce your interest rate by at least 2%. Today, some believe that even 1% savings is enough of an incentive. Reducing your interest rate will lower your monthly payments and also increases the rate at which you build equity in your home.

Shortening the Loan’s Term

When interest rates fall, homeowners often have the opportunity to refinance an existing loan for another loan that has a shorter term. If you currently have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, this could be a great chance to switch to shorter term mortgage. If you can afford a slightly higher monthly payment, it will be worth the change because you will save money on interest in the long run.

Converting between Adjustable-Rate and Fixed-Rate Mortgage

While ARMs start out offering lower rates than fixed-rate mortgages, ARMs are not locked into certain rates like Fixed-Rate Mortgages are, so therefore it is likely their rates have […]

27 03, 2017

Tips for buying a home this Spring

March 27th, 2017|Blog, Buying a home|

It is not a secret that spring is a great time to put your home on the market. Prospective homebuyers can look at homes and condos without having to worry about trudging through snow or bad weather. Plus families search for homes during this time so they can move in the summer without disrupting the school year.

A seller’s market means that buyers have to be smart and prepared if they want to get the right house at the right price. Agents suggest that prospective buyers start by looking at home online, narrowing down neighborhood choices and deciding between must-have and preferred features.

Here are tips for buying a home this spring:

• Get mortgage prequalification or preapproval before you start looking. As with any purchase, you need to know what you can afford. If you do this before you start shopping it will help narrow down your options and makes your offer more competitive.
• Do your research. Use the internet and different apps to research neighborhood and asking prices for the type of home you want.
• Have the documents ready. In order to obtain a mortgage you will need documentation to complete the qualification process. Check out the full list of what is needed on our website: http://firstohiohome.com/purchase-home/mortgage-checklists/
• Be ready to move fast. A well-located house in good condition and priced right will sell quickly; it can even be the first day it goes on the market. A buyer needs to be ready to commit if they find a home they like because they risk the chance of losing it if they don’t. One of the things First Ohio Home Finance is known for is how quickly they work for their customers.
• Understand that no house is perfect. Making your offer contingent on a […]

23 03, 2017

First Ohio Home Finance Welcomes 2 new Employees!

March 23rd, 2017|Blog|

 

First Ohio Home Finance welcomes two new employees to the Uniontown office. On the left, Ryan Hollendonner has been in the mortgage industry for over 10 years. He strives on earning the trust of his customers through outstanding customer service and satisfaction. He offers a complete line-up of mortgage products, including FHA, VA, Conventional and USDA, at very competitive rates. He believes truth is of the utmost importance in a mortgage transaction and you will get nothing less from him!

Ryan’s contact information:

330-896-1222

ryanh@firstohiohome.com

On the right, Mark Rodriguez. Mark’s mission is a commitment to high quality and personal service developing a relationship that extends beyond the initial transaction forming a lifetime partnership. He enjoys understanding people’s unique situations and helping them achieve their financial goals, whether it be through monthly savings or purchase their home. He loves making a difference in people’s lives.

Mark’s contact information:

markr@firstohiohome.com

 

 

7 03, 2017

Use your tax Refund to Purchase/Finance a Home

March 7th, 2017|Blog, Buying a home, General, Home Finances|

Use your tax Refund to Purchase/Finance a Home

It is tax season which also means refund season! Tax refunds help people either become homeowners or make an extra mortgage payment or two. 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! Sometime a tax refund may actually cover the whole 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 it straight into savings, you will have that down payment before you know it! Tax returns may be used as assets so down payment right away.

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 the final underwriting approval.

Do you already have a mortgage loan on your home?

That is […]

14 02, 2017

Being a Homeowner During tax Season

February 14th, 2017|Blog, Buying a home, Mortgage 101|

Tax season is upon us! Whether you already own a home or are looking to buy in the near future this is important information. For being a homeowner, there are many deductions you could receive when filing your taxes. Let’s check out a few:

  1. Mortgage Interest. When buying a home the interest payments can be pretty expensive but there is a silver lining to the situation. Interest that you pay on your mortgage is tax deductible, within limits. If you are married and filing jointly, you can deduct all your interest payments on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage debt secured by a first or second home.
  2. Points. There will be various fees when you first buy your home, one of which is called, “points.” One point is equal to 1% of the loan principal. One to three points are common on home loans, which can easily add up to thousands of dollars. You can fully deduct points associated with a home purchase mortgage. Refinanced mortgage points are also deductible, but only over the life of the loan, not all at once. Homeowners who refinance can immediately write off the balance of the old points and begin to amortize the new.
  3. Equity Loan Interest. You may be able to deduct some of the interest you pay on a home equity loan or a line of credit. However, the IRS places a limit on the amount of debt you can treat as “home equity” for this deduction. Your total is limited to the smaller of:
  • $100,000 (or $50,00 for each member of a married couple if they file separately), or
  • The total of your home’s fair market value – this is, what you’d get for your house on the open market – minus […]
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