25 09, 2018

Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home

2021-09-28T16:53:05+00:00September 25th, 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 […]

13 09, 2018

Using Gift Money For A Down Payment on a Home

2021-09-28T16:53:06+00:00September 13th, 2018|Buying a home|

A typical requirement when buying a home is a down payment. The down payment amount be a small percentage of the total home cost to 20 percent depending on the type of loan you have. One way homebuyers can reduce the burden of these down payment costs is by being gifted funds. There are guidelines to follow to make sure the process is done correctly and avoid any problems with the IRS later down the line.

Gift Letters

When being gifted money, your lender will require a letter from the person giving the money to prove that it is, in fact, a gift and not a disguised loan and there is no obligation to pay the money back. There is a specific format the gift letter must follow in order to document where this money is going and what it is being used for. For this, the lender will likely give the donor a templated document that covers all legal aspects. After the letter is completed, the homebuyer and the money donor will sign the letter. In order for the donor to prove that they have these funds available, he or she will also be required to provide a bank statement.

Get the Money And Documents in Advance

Waiting until the last minute to get the gifted money is not a good idea. It can take a while for the bank to process it. Also, your lender will need to make sure all the documents are legit and the money is actually available before scheduling a closing date.


Not Everyone Can Gift Money

The gift money donor must be a family member. In some cases, godparents can also give gift money. But, the buyer must prove that there is a close relationship. 

Limits for Gift Amounts

The IRS does not consider […]

7 09, 2018

All You Need To Know About Shopping For A Mortgage

2021-09-28T16:53:10+00:00September 7th, 2018|Mortgage 101|

If you’re looking to buy a home for the first time, there’s a good chance that you’re an amateur when it comes to shopping for the right mortgage. You may have heard terms like 30-year fixed and adjustable rate mortgage thrown around, but it still makes sense to do some research ahead of time, as a home loan is likely one of the largest financial investment you’ll make in your lifetime.

What Are Your Goals?

Be clear about your home-buying goals and what makes now the right time for you to buy. Some people are looking to buy an investment home, while others may want a home to start a family.  Also, narrow down the area that you want to live in to get a sense for market pricing.

Prospective buyers should start talking to real estate agents, family and friends to learn about their experiences. It’s a great way to help you learn about specifics to your area, such as the type of insurance required and average cost of utility bills.

You don’t have to have previous knowledge about what the housing market is doing because your mortgage lender and your real estate agent should be able to tell you about that. But, you do need to know your numbers and how large of a down payment you’re comfortable making and the amount of your monthly payment.

Check Out Company Profiles

The shopping process really comes down to finding a company and mortgage lender you trust. You need a certain level of comfort and confidence in a company’s track record of customer service.

To ease your mind, look up the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) number of the mortgage banker. Each banker and firm in the industry has a unique number assigned by the NMLS. This trackable number […]