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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 […]
6 02, 2017

Columbus Mortgage Bankers Inaugural Banquet 2017

February 6th, 2017|Blog|

On Saturday, January 28th, the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association held their Inaugural Banquet. The event is a way to recognize the industry leaders and induct the new board members of the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association into their current positions.

At the event, our associates Steve Beskid, Matt Berardi and Shelley Young were recognized as top producing Loan Officers in Central, Ohio. As well as our other associates at First Ohio Home Finance, this group of Loan Officers goes above and beyond for their customers. They are great with meeting the buyer’s deadlines and truly want to help buyers through every step of the home buying process.

Also at the event, First Ohio Home Finance Co-Owner, John Igoe was inducted as the new President of the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association! John has served on the board as Treasurer and Vice President for the past few years. He will serve as the President for the next two years. John serving as President not only will help First Ohio be more known throughout the Central Ohio area, but it will also help our associates stay up to date with industry news and be more connected to the Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association.

We are so proud of these four associates. We want to thank our Loan Officers and John for all their hard work and dedication to the industry and First Ohio Home Finance. We are looking forward to continue successes from this group, congratulations!

23 01, 2017

Mistakes to Avoid for First-time home buyers

January 23rd, 2017|Blog|

Buying your first home is a huge milestone! You should be extremely proud of yourself for getting to that point in life. The process may seem overwhelming at some points but here at First Ohio Home Finance we want to make it easier for you. Let’s take a look at common mistakes made by first-time homebuyers and figure out how to avoid them.

Common Mistakes

  1. Renting or buying. The first mistake people make it when they casually start looking for homes online, then fall in love with a home and are unsure whether they can afford it or not. It is important to sit down with a financial advisor, real estate agent, housing counselor or lender to decide if buying is the right thing for you or if renting for another year or so in order to save up more money.
  2. Looking at home out of your price range. Getting pre-approved before you start shopping for a home is a great way to avoid buying a home you cannot afford. When you get pre-approved, your lender will look at 2-s, tax returns and pay stubs which will determine how much you can afford and what range of prices of homes to be looking at. Learn more about pre-approval here.

Learn the Process

The more you know, the more confident you will feel about the process. First-time home buyers should spend some time researching the process of buying a home, the different types of people you will be working with and the different loans types before diving too far into the process.

Get Professional Advice

Give us a call! That is what we are here for, our Loan Officers are extremely knowledge, informed and want to help you make the right decisions. We can review your current […]

15 12, 2016

Buying in 2017: Be Prepared

December 15th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home, Home Finances, Tips & Advice|

Are you planning to buy a home in 2017? If so, you have probably already taken a couple steps to prepare. If you haven’t, that is okay too! We are going to discuss a few things that you can be doing now to get ready to buy a home. There is plenty to do to keep busy!

  1. Check your credit score. A credit score is a number that represents your credit report. FICO scores range from 300 to 850 and the higher the score the better. The better the credit score, the better the chances are that you will get a lower mortgage rate. If you credit score is not where you would like it to be, then start repairing it. Pay bills on time, limit unnecessary purchases, do anything you can financially to make sure you pay your credit card bill on time or even over pay it.
  2. Don’t open new credit cards. The holidays are tempting time for credit card holders. Almost every time you step up to check out at a store, someone is offering you a credit card. The savings sound great, but opening more accounts create more lines of credit. That credit line and what is borrowed, can change the application numbers and jeopardize your application. Also, don’t over spend during the holiday season and rack up more credit card debt.
  3. Suggest financial gifts. You are going to need to prepare for the down payment and also the closing costs and moving costs that are associated with buying a home. You should also consider setting aside money for unexpected repairs and costs. So instead of getting gifts this holiday season, ask your family to give you cash towards your potential new home. It will help in the long […]
9 11, 2016

Think Twice Before Renewing your Lease

November 9th, 2016|Blog, Buying a home|

Low section view of a man standing by text Rent and Own with arrow sign represents the concept of home ownership.

Out of the conventional living options, renting often comes with the least amount of pressure. That is not meant to imply that renting is always stress free or that renters do not want security or longevity. They just retain the right to move. With renting you may have a lot of freedom but you aren’t necessarily building equity. Finding the right place to rent takes effort. Most places require renters to sign a 12-month lease. So even though it doesn’t lock you into that place for life, it does require that you pay rent for 12 months. Here are a couple reasons why you might not want to renew your lease this time around.

Rent is going up

You would think tenants would be rewarded for their money invested or for not jumping around from place to place but unfortunately landlords usually do the opposite. Landlords tend to raise rent when it comes time to sign a new lease. Check out the top ten cities where rent is rising the fastest here. Landlords usually send a letter or email to tenants about the raise in rent and sometimes it is only weeks before you have to resign or move out. Don’t let this happen to you, think twice before renewing your rent.

Landlord Issues

Many people start their own business because they want to ‘be their own boss’, well the same thing works for buying a home. Buying a home is being your own landlord, you get to choose the paint colors that you want, if you want to hang stuff on your walls or not and what appliances you will have in your home. It […]

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