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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! 

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 […]

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