We often hear mortgage and real estate terms and we recognize the term and have a general idea what it is, but here is a detailed explanation of what home equity really means. In the simplest terms home equity is how much of your home you own. So if your home is valued at $500,000 and you have a mortgage balance of $300,000 then you have $200,000 in home equity. If your home’s value appreciated and you have more home equity then you can use the equity for thins like a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or if the mortgage is paid off you may also consider a reverse mortgage. In any case if you’re curious about your equity and options schedule a consultation with us and we can review your options.
Economic reports last week gave signs that inflation may finally be slowing down. As a result, mortgage rates dropped significantly, Freddie Mac reported, the 30-year fixed-rate dropped to an average of 6.61% down from 7.08% the week before. This was the largest weekly drop in over 40 years, since 1981.
Freddie Mac economist Sam Khater noted, “while the decline in mortgage rates is welcome news, inflation remains elevated, there is still a long road ahead for the housing market.”
If you are considering buying, please contact us regarding pre-qualifying or a rate lock. Fill out our quick pre-qual app on our website to get started.
As a military family you may be accustomed to moving often and not having a permanent address. Just as soon as you feel settled in, you may receive orders to move, so here are some tips to help with buying and selling for military families.
Active service personnel receive Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) which varies on location, pay grade and number of dependencies, which they can use for renting or buying. Buying a home may offer lower monthly payments and the chance of appreciation, but if you think there is a good chance you will be transferred in the next couple of years, you may want to rent as you would be looking at having to recoup buying and selling costs.
If you do think you are in a stable situation you can be eligible for a VA loan which has benefits like no down payment or PMI payments, as such it maybe a good alternative if you are struggling with making the down payment.
Be sure to check with us on to see what best fits your needs in your unique situation and of course we are thankful to all of the military families for their service and sacrifice.
We’re often surprised that many homeowners don’t know about second mortgages.
First a second mortgage is like the name says, a loan in addition to your primary mortgage, that allows you to borrow money using your home as collateral and the first mortgage is not yet paid off. The second mortgage also like the name says, is second to the original mortgage. In case of default, the first mortgage is paid off first. As such the interest rates are generally higher than first mortgages but amounts borrowed are usually much lower, as well (of course you will need to have equity in your home to qualify for a second mortgage).
One benefit of a second mortgage is getting money needed for expenses, such as tuition or renovations at an interest rate that while higher than first mortgages is much lower than credit card interest rates.
Most second mortgages are in the type of a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The home equity loan is a lump sum payment of money that is then paid off monthly like your first mortgage.
HELOCs are more like a credit card where you will be approved for a line of credit based on the equity in your home and then you can borrower against that.
If you are interested in learning more file out our loan analyzer on our website or call and we can analyze your situation to see what best fits your needs!
Nationally, we have been in a seller’s market for quite some time, but there are signs that maybe changing. The seller’s market was fueled by tight inventory and high demand, and was punctuated with bidding wars and cash offers.
A move towards a buyer’s market would mean that houses stay on the market longer and prices stabilize or even drop. Signs of a buyers market include, higher inventory, prices getting lowered, the aforementioned increase in days on market, as well as things like incentives offered by the seller such as help with closing costs or renovations.
The old adage about everything in real estate being local means that some areas maybe in a buyer’s market while others not so much. And while it might not be a buyer’s market, it does seem that we are moving towards a more balanced market.
If you are thinking of buying check with us and we help advise on your area and the current market conditions.
As home prices have risen dramatically the last few years (yes, they are starting to inch down now), many people find their dream house seemingly out of reach. Don’t despair, here are some tips to save a thousands on your home purchase and lower costs.
Move Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Ok maybe not your comfort zone, but expanding your search area can make a big difference. If you are priced out of your preferred neighborhood, try expanding your search to nearby areas where housing prices can be significantly lower.
Check your credit score and see if there are any issues that need to be addressed. Since your credit score has a big impact on getting lower interest rates, if there are fixable issues it can make a difference!
Down Payment Support
If you need help with your down payment, there are a number of different programs as well as local ones that maybe able to provide support for the down payment.
For help on your specific situation, fill out our home purchase qualifier on our website to help find your best fit in todays environment.
As we continue to see low inventory in the housing market and high rent prices, many home owners are adding ADUs (which stands for Accessory Dwelling Units).
ADUs often called granny flats, are guest houses or rooms added to garages to create rental income for home owners. Home owners typically add ADUs to increase cash flow, as well as looking for their property value to appreciate. Whether ADUs are right for you, depends on a number of factors. ADUs often costs at least $100,000 to build so being in a high rent market helps to offset the initial investment. You’ll also need to make sure local ordinances allow them and what the regulations are.
The old real estate adage about location stays true for ADUs as well. If you are in an area where rents are high or a popular vacation destination, then ADUs can make sense. Again you’ll need to check the local zoning and if you build one you will also need to have updated insurance to cover the ADU. Check with us to learn more and to see what financing terms you qualify for.
You may not be familiar with a joint mortgage – this is where there are two or more parties on a mortgage. Commonly friends, family or a partner will combine their incomes and assets to buy a house. This is often done when one party cannot qualify or can’t afford a property on their own. Unlike a typical mortgage all parties are on the mortgage and all assume responsibility for paying it.
The main benefit of a joint mortgage is being able to afford or qualify for more of home than one party is able to on their own.
As you may have guessed this creates a more complicated situation where you can have co-ownership, and may be dependent on multiple parties making payments. Further you could have one party wanting to sell or refinance in the future. It can also affect one parties ability to get a loan in the future as they are tied to the joint mortgage.
So its best to be aware of all the requirements and scenarios before applying. And make sure you have a strong relationship between both parties including having similar interests and goals regarding the property.
If you were recently denied for a mortgage application, it doesn’t mean you can’t get approved somewhere else. There are some application issues that are fixable. The first thing you’ll want to know is why you were denied. We can take a look and shop for other loans options.
Credit issues are a common reason for getting denied. The first thing to do is to examine your credit report to see if there are any errors that can be fixed. There are also other loan programs if your score doesn’t fit conventional loans.
Debt to income ration or DTI that is too high is another common reason to be denied. The first thing if possible, would be to pay down debt. Another common source of debt is student loans – you may want to look into applying for the new student loan forgiveness program.
Simply being denied once does not mean the end of the road, we can consider multiple loan options. A co-signer is another option to consider, although this will make the application process less streamlined. Complete our quick qualifier and we can schedule a consultation to see what you can qualify for and for how much.
If you’re in the market for a new house, you’ve probably heard that you want to get pre… qualified or pre-approved?
What’s the difference anyways?
There’s actually a big difference. Pre-qualified is more of a preliminary step. It gives you a general idea of much home you can afford. We will examine your credit, income, assets, and debts and you’ll have a general idea of the price range you’re looking for. You may also see that you need to increase your savings or lower debts before you buy. While pre-qualifying is an initial step, pre-approval is a deeper dive and being pre-approved carries more weight with sellers.
To get pre-approved we will verify you income, assets, etc. and you will be more official (of course you still have to apply for a mortgage). Being pre-approved is almost a necessity in competitive housing markets, as realtors do not want to waste time and you will have a better chance of having your bid accepted. Now that we know the difference you may wonder what’s the point of getting pre-qualified – why not just get pre-approved? Good question – basically its much faster and it gives you a good starting point to start your home search. Pre-qualify or pre-approve we can help you with both – apply on our website or call us to get started.