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.

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 […]
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