FHA Vs Conventional Loans

Today we are going to discuss two common mortgage loan products, and the pros and cons of both: FHA versus Conventional Loans.
Many people are familiar with the 20% down, good credit 30 year fixed conventional loan scenario. FHA loans are designed for people who have difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan to buy a house.
FHA Loans offer down payments as low as 3.5% and are more lenient on credit scores and past financial issues. Borrowers can qualify for FHA loans with as low as 580 credit scores.
One of the downsides of FHA loans are mortgage insurance requirements, if you put down less than 10% you will be required to pay monthly insurance for the duration of the loan, as well paying Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium.
The best choice for you? Give us a call or apply online and we will analysis what programs suits your needs 😊

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Market Watch – Rates Drop 📉

This week we saw the benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage fall below 3% again according to Freddie Mac. While 15-year fixed-rate are down to 2.27%. This opens opportunities for refinancing and rate locks for many borrowers.
Sam Khater the chief economist at Freddie Mac noted that this creates a lot of opportunity for borrowers to refinance and increase monthly cash flow, with nearly $2 trillion in conforming mortgages able to refinance and reduce their interest rate by at least half a percent. He said last year homeowners who refinanced their 30-year fixed-rate mortgages saved more than $2800 annually.

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Market Watch – Rates Drop 📉

This week we saw the benchmark 30-year fixed rate mortgage fall below 3% again according to Freddie Mac. While 15-year fixed-rate are down to 2.27%. This opens opportunities for refinancing and rate locks for many borrowers.
Sam Khater the chief economist at Freddie Mac noted that this creates a lot of opportunity for borrowers to refinance and increase monthly cash flow, with nearly $2 trillion in conforming mortgages able to refinance and reduce their interest rate by at least half a percent. He said last year homeowners who refinanced their 30-year fixed-rate mortgages saved more than $2800 annually.

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Renting vs Buying in Major Markets? Buying Wins

We’ve seen housing prices rising throughout the country so you may ask is buying still better than renting? According to a recent study from researchers at Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University, it is still better to buy than rent in most areas.

The study looked at the top 23 metropolitan markets and analyzed if buyers bought a house and built equity or rented and reinvested the remaining income. Overall they found it was better to buy with savings coming from today’s still low interest rates, which lowered home owner costs even with the rise in housing prices. Of course all real estate is local so while the overall message of buying being the better strategy, results varied region to region.

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3 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

There are a few primary factors in getting qualified for a loan, today we’ll talk about one, that you might be able to easily update – the credit score. Here are a few tips to make sure your score is accurate and possibly improve it. Before getting started you’ll obviously need to know your credit score and you can order a free report from one of the big 3 or get a merged credit report.
1. Avoid late and missed payments – this is a big one. If you have trouble keeping track and paying bills consider setting up automatic payments because late payments can be an easily avoidable ding on your score.
2. Make Sure Balances aren’t too high. If you are carrying balances of more than 30% of your limit, try paying balances down. If you have high balances and are getting a stimulus check soon, consider using it to pay down your balances.
3. Not too much – Not too little. If you have too many new accounts or applications for credit this can be a point docker. On the flip side if you don’t have enough types of credit open it can hurt your score. This doesn’t apply to most people but if you only have a credit card consider getting a gas or retail card as well.
And remember to check you credit report for inaccuracies – they happen and are correctable!

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Market Watch – New Home Sales UP 📈

Forget earlier this year when we saw new home sales actually drop. New home sales for March went up… a lot, up more than 20% in March compared to February, according to data provided by HUD. In fact it wasn’t just a monthly increase but March saw the strongest new home sales in over 14 years! Not since September 2006 have new home sales been at a faster clip.

A combination of low interest rates and high demand look to fuel new home growth for the foreseeable future. The biggest obstacle to new home construction now is a surge in lumber prices which is adding on over $35,000 to the cost of average new single family home according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Overall new home sales growth is up in most of the nation lead by the Midwest and South are up over 50%.

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How To Win A Bidding War

The housing market has extremely tight inventory and as a result there are often multiple bids on a home. If you find yourself competing with multiple bidders, here are some tips to come out on top and win a bidding war.
Preapproval Letter
Have a preapproval letter. A preapproval letter shows you are serious and there won’t be trouble getting a mortgage. Without this other bidders will be in a much stronger position.
Make A Higher Offer
Before doing this, make sure you stay within your budget, but a higher offer is (as common sense dictates) often a key to a winning bid. Your real estate agent can be helpful here to get an idea of how many bids are coming in as well as current market prices in the area.
Escalate
A really good strategy is to add an escalation clause. This helps you avoid overbidding, you can say you will outbid competing offers by a certain amount (for example $5,000) up to a set maximum price.
Write A Letter
A personal letter to the seller about why you love the property and perhaps why you can’t bid higher can be effective. If you explain what you love about the property and give some background on why you can’t bid higher it can leave a great impression and of course it doesn’t cost you anything to write a letter!
Backup Offer
If your bid does not get accepted, then its normally time to keep looking, however you can try to make a backup offer if there is a kick-out clause and have your realtor stay in touch to see if there are issues with the accepted buyers offer.

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Market Watch – Rates Drop – Housing Red Hot

Market Watch – Rates Drop – Housing Red Hot
This week we’ve seen rates drop below 3 percent for the first time in months. Freddie Mac reported the average for 30-year-rate-mortgage was 2.97%. This is the first drop below 3% in months and makes refinancing more attractive. The 15 year rate was nearly 2 and a quarter with Freddie reporting the 15-year fixed-rate average was 2.29%

The housing marketing remains scorching hot. Cities are seeing increased activity now as well. Inventories are at extremely low levels which is pushing prices higher as more buyers are entering the market. With inventory so tight and many buyers entering the market, we recommend you consult use for a free qualification to see how much you home you can finance and get a pre-qualification letter to help you get a hand up in the buying process.

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Real Estate Investing 101

A lot of folks want to invest in real estate as a way to build wealth. Here are some basic starting points if this is something you’ve been thinking about.
There are two main models that people use when investing in residential real estate – fix and flip or using it as a rental property.
Regardless of which one you want to focus on, the old adage of location, location, location still holds.
A property in need of TLC in a good neighborhood or an area that is up and coming are great strategies.
Build a network and actively research – it’s a good idea to be in touch with a few realtors who can alert you of new listings that are coming to market.
You’ll also want to have a clear idea of your goals, budget and commitment. If you’re fixing and flipping – who is going to do the fixing, if its you, how much time do you have to focus on it.
If you’re renting you’ll want to know the market rents and have clear renting guidelines – the old 1% rule is not used as much anymore as it doesn’t apply to many or most markets but with low interest rates you can try something like 0.8% rule.
Whatever your plan, you’ll definitely want to get per-qualified first. Give us a call and see what you can qualify for and we’ll help get you that pre-qual letter!

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How To Boost Your Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is real, it matters, and it’s one of the easiest, lowest cost ways to increase the value and sellability of your home. All those expressions about making a first impression fit houses too! So here are a few tips for boosting curb appeal that can be done in a weekend on a budget.
Make an Entrance
Your entrance and front door should be inviting. You can repaint, restain or maybe replace the front door. Also plants and flowers can really help, often two pieces on either side of an entryway will help frame the entrance.
Lighting
Having some lights to frame the house in the evening can really make it pop, so check your garage and porch lights and consider investing in some new ones, there are good solar ones now that go on automatically at night and don’t require wiring.
Numbers Numbers Numbers
If your house numbers are old and hard to read, consider getting some new ones and we advise making them easy to read.
Return the old Mailbox to sender
If your mailbox is old and weathered, a new one can really help.
These are all low cost little steps that make a huge difference!

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