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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.

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 […]

24 10, 2017

5 Reasons to Buy a Home this Fall

October 24th, 2017|Blog, Buying a home|

Real estate markets flow up and down as the seasons change. The spring and summer markets experience high volume, then as the weather cools down, the market seems to slow down as well. Fall signals the beginning of a slow market, which could be good for buyers. If you are in the market for a new home, now could be a good time, let’s check out why:

Leftover Inventory

If a home is still on the market from spring, the sellers probably listed the house too high out of the gate. This could mean a series of reductions in price during the spring and summer months. By October, buyers are likely to find desperate sellers and prices that may, in fact, be below a home’s true market value.

Fewer Buyers

Most families do not have the flexibility to move once their children start another school year, therefore they will not resume shopping for a home until the following spring. These people have exited the market, which leaves less competition for those who are still looking. This means more opportunities. Taking out an entire segment of the housing market provides millennials, single and baby boomer buyers some breathing room.

End of the Year Approaching

The end of the year is rapidly approaching, for those motivated sellers they will see a new year as a hard deadline for wanting to have sold their home. Sellers may want to take advantage of a gain or loss during this tax year. Ask why the seller is selling and look for listings that offer incentives to close before the end of the year.

Home Sales Near the Holidays

If someone is selling their home during the holiday season, that usually means they are an extremely motivated seller. The holidays are a time […]

25 09, 2017

Single Women Home Buyers

September 25th, 2017|Blog, Buying a home|

Building equity is important for everyone, no matter if you are male or female. Single women home buyers face challenges, but no challenge is big enough to stop them from achieving their home buying dreams and increasing the value of their homeownership in a timely manner. First Ohio Home Finance wants to help you start achieving those goals as soon as possible, here are a few tips to get started.

Getting Started  

Can you afford to buy a home? Is your credit score strong enough? Do you have enough for a down payment and closing costs? These are questions to ask yourself before you start shopping. Affording a home means more than making a mortgage payment. It also includes paying taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance, utilities and possibility HOA dues and other fees. It is important to research these hidden fees and find out if you can afford them. Our mortgage calculator can help you answer some of those questions!

If saving for the down payment is an issue, our Loan Officers are here to find the right loan for you. They will also help you get pre-approved. This will give you a competitive edge when you go to buy a home and sellers will respect your offer more with a mortgage pre-approval.

Long-Term Investment

You want to love the home you purchase. There may be things you love about the house and things you aren’t in love with but willing to work with. When looking at home, focus on the potential profit. As much as we want these homes to be forever homes, it usually does not happen that way. New jobs, kids, pets and many more circumstances could affect the amount of time you spend in a home. When it comes time to […]

12 09, 2017

Loan Officers & Real Estate Agents

September 12th, 2017|Blog|

Loan officers and real estate agents are key players in the home buying process. Real estate agents may from time to time get a cash buyer, but in most instances buyers are taking out loans, which requires a loan officer’s help. Long-term relationships with referrals from real estate agents help loans officer keep volume up, which means it is important for them to cultivate these relationships. Here are tips to help loan officers and real estate agent relationships.

Be Accountable

No matter what team you are on, every member needs to be accountable. This team is no exception. Each member of the team needs to be upfront with the other person about timelines, any problems that arise and goals. As long as you are accountable for your part in the process, the other members will respect that and honor that in future transactions. During your first interactions with the real estate agent, be clear about your role and what you can and cannot accomplish. Real estate agents will respect that and want to work with you in the future because of these qualities.

 Establish a Communication System

Throughout the home buying process, communication plays a key role for all parties involved. From the start, it is best to establish what form of communication works best for everyone. Some people prefer texting, phone calls or emails so it is best to talk about that in order for the process to move as quickly as possible. The real estate agent is often the first line of communication for the customer, it is up to the loan officer to ensure they are informed about everything that is going on on their end. If you have a system for how you work, make sure to communicate that to the […]

2 08, 2017

Welcome Lee Talley to the Central, Ohio Office!

August 2nd, 2017|Blog|

First Ohio Home Finance is thrilled to welcome Lee Talley to our Central, Ohio office. He is joining the team as a Senior Mortgage Banker.

Lee was born and raised here in the heart of America; Ohio. He has personally lived or owned properties in northern, southern and southeast Ohio. He is certainly no stranger to the multiple services provided by a mortgage company/broker. He uses his personal experiences to ensure his clients receive the best service.

Lee epitomizes hard work, integrity, dedication and energy in every detail of his clients’ needs; whether they be buying a new house or refinancing a home. He is passionate about his clients’ peace of mind and strives to ensure excellent consumer satisfaction during their journey with him through the home buying/refinancing experience.

In his spare time away from clients, he enjoys spending time with his family. He enjoys vacationing, staying active through multiple modalities and is an outdoor enthusiast. He currently resides in Powell, Ohio with his wife, daughter and their family dog. He looks forward to working with you for your immediate finance needs and developing a long lasting relationship.

NMLS ID #: 1626682
OH LO.016231.001
Phone: (614) 496-4680
24 07, 2017

Refinancing Qualifications

July 24th, 2017|Blog|

If you are a homeowner or even make payments on your car loan then you have probably been approached about an option to refinance your loan. Refinancing is simply financing your home or automobile again at different loan terms, usually at a lower interest rate. For most homeowners, this is a good idea if rates drop significantly lower than what they current have. Refinancing can mean a savings of $100 or more per month depending on the loan terms and this is significant for anyone living within a strict budget. Refinancing, however, is not available to everyone. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to refinance.

  1. Do you hold at least 20% stake in your equity? – Your lender will likely want to see that you have a significant amount invested into your equity, usually 20% is ideal. To determine the amount of equity you have, divide the principal amount that you are trying to borrow by the value of your home. (Example: Your home is valued at $300,000 and you want to borrow $200,000, you have a loan-to-value ratio of .66 or 67%. This means that you have a 33% equity position in the home. If your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac you may be able to qualify for federal programs to help you refinance without having a 20% equity in the home.
  2. Do you have a good credit score? – Most lenders require a minimum score of 600 to 650 to approve refinancing applicants while some lenders (credit unions and banks) look for scores of 720 or above. It is important to remember that the breakdown of your credit score comes from five different factors, payment history (35% of your score), utilization (30%), length of credit history […]
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! 

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