Author - Jonathan

Top 5 Things To Check Before Buying a Fixer-Upper

In today’s market of rising home prices, many people are considering buying a fixer-upper.
We’ve all seen the home make-over shows with amazing before and afters but should you do it?
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Know Your Limits How much of the work can you do. How much time do you have to put into renovations. Are you prepared to live in a work zone for a while
2. Work Out Costs In Advance Have a contractor walk through the inspection with you and get a written estimate for work he would do. If you are doing the work yourself price the costs of supplies, either way add 15% to the costs because surprises are likely.
3. Check Permitting Costs and Procedures Check with local officials to see if the work requires a permit and the permit costs.
4. Be Extra Careful with Structural Issues If the house requires structural repairs then double check the work and pricing. Hire a structural engineer to do an inspection and if structural work needs to be done make sure your bid discounts this work
5. Include Inspection Contingencies Make sure you hire professional inspectors and check for hidden issues like mold, piping issues, pest damage etc. And if things come up ask for discounts. And if too many red flags come up or the seller won’t properly discount the costs for repair then you may want walk away and keep looking!

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10 Programs to Help First Time Home Buyers

Many first-time home buyers are looking for ways to get into a house – here are ten programs that can help!
1. FHA Loan – This is most common assistance loan and you may already be familiar with FHA loans, these are widespread and help buyers with lower credit scores and less money saved for a down payment. 2. USDA Loan – are for lower-income borrowers in rural areas (but check with us you may not realize you are in a rural area 🙂 3. VA Loan – this is a great option for those who have service in the military and their families as it allows no down payment! 4. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Loan – these are conventional loans that are a good option for those with good credit scores but can put down as little as three percent. 5. Good Neighbor Next Door Loan – this HUD program provide aid for first responders and teachers. 6. FHA Section 203k Loan – if you are getting a fixer-upper this is a great option as home improvement costs can be rolled into the FHA primary mortgage. 7. HomePath ReadyBuyer Program – this is program pays ups to 3% of closing cost assistance for Fannie Mae properties in foreclosure (you must complete an educational course as well) 8. Native American Direct Loan – this program is for Native American veterans on federal trust land. 9. Energy-efficient Loans – there are a few federal programs that allow for savings on homes rated as energy efficient or loans that allow the borrower to add efficiency upgrade costs into the primary mortgage. 10. Local State and City Programs – last but definitely not least there are many local options people often don’t know about that can provide assistance to first time home buyers! Check with us and we can review your situation and help you decide if any of these are a good fit!

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New Year Mortgage Market Outlook

As we enter a new year our mortgage outlook sees pressure on rates to increase. The Mortgage Bankers Association expects an increase from records lows but rates should still remain historically lower.
The fed is likely to raise rates as it faces inflationary pressure for the first time in decades. Of course things are extremely fluid and subject to change. For those looking to refinance, we recommend acting now to lock in low rates. Cash-out refinances will still be attractive for some with moderate rises in interest rates as many have seen a large rise in equity. Purchase loans will likely be an increasing portion of mortgages overall.
Check with us to see how all this affects you and we will recommend the best course of action based on your needs!

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Happy 2022 🥳

Happy New Year 2022! 🎉
We wish you and your family a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy new year! A New Year and New Beginnings!

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5 Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

Getting a good credit score is part of getting approved for a mortgage as well as a lower interest. Here are some quick things to do to check and possibly improve your score.
Before we get started though, the first thing you should do is get your credit report! You can order it free here – https://www.annualcreditreport.com
Now that you have your report lets get to those tips! 🤓
1. Check for Errors! You want the report to be clean and mistake free. Check if there are misspellings of your name or addresses. Other things might be duplicate accounts, incorrect account information, closed accounts that are still listed as open, fraud etc!
2. Clean up the Errors! If you found something wrong the next step is to get the errors fixed. You can contact the major three bureaus directly to fix any errors! Be prepared with paperwork to back up your case! Here are links to the three bureaus on how to address errors: https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/credit-education/faqs/how-to-dispute-credit-report-information/ https://www.equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/credit-dispute/ https://www.transunion.com/credit-disputes/dispute-your-credit
3. Pay Late Or Past Due Accounts This is important! Pay these off whenever possible. Here is a pro-tip: if you have an account with a late fee or in collection – contact them before paying and ask them to remove the record entirely if you pay the account off. This will really help your score!
4. Pay On Time Ok this is obvious but its important too – even if its the minimum payment make sure you get the payments in on time.
5. Open New Accounts Or Increase Your Limits This will help your credit to improve your credit utilization rate – how much of your available credit you use. The lower the rate used the better so don’t open a new card and max it out – just open it and use it a little and pay it off monthly if possible. These are five quick tips that can really help boost your credit before you apply for a mortgage. If you are ready to apply contact us today and we will be glad to review the options with and see what best fits your needs!

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15 or 30 Year Mortgage?

The 30 year mortgage is the default standard for home owners, but many ask about 15 year mortgages as well.
You may have noticed rates on a 15 year mortgage are amazingly low. A lower rate is better right? Well its not quite that simple.
Most people of course get a 30 year mortgage. Lets review the pros and cons. The main pros of a 15 year mortgage are the aforementioned lower rate. You are also paying less in interest over the lifetime of the loan. For example a $200,000 mortgage at 15 years with today’s current rates you’d be looking at less than $45,000 in interest. While the same loan at 30 years you’d pay over double that, over $100,000 in interest over the life of the loan. You also have the benefit of paying of the loan free and clear in half the time. Sounds great, why don’t people do it more? Well the kicker is higher monthly payments. Most people are looking for lower payments (especially with higher real estate prices). The above loan for 30 years would have a monthly payment around $850, while the 15 year loan would have a monthly payment of over $1300. That’s a big difference to most people. If you’re already saving comfortably for retirement, college, have savings and little other debt then the 15 year might be the call. But most people are looking for financial flexibility and the much lower monthly payment, hence the popularity of the 30 year term. But either way rates are low and we recommend taking advantage, so fill out the free consultation on our website and we can review your situation and see what program best fits your needs!

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Higher Fannie Freddie Loans for 2022

There’s some good news for home buyers looking to get a loan through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for the sixth year in a row, the loan limit will increase for almost all counties in 2022.
The Federal House Finance Agency (FHFA) said conforming loan limits will increase for most from $548,250 to $647,000 in 2022. That is almost a $100,000 increase in one year and reflects the increase in home prices nationwide. In “high-cost” areas with even higher home prices like coastal California and the NYC area the maximums are even higher, the limits will got up to $970,000 in some of those areas.

The limits are based on local real estate prices but as prices went up nearly everywhere the limits almost certainly increased in your county as well – contact us for the specific new loan limits in your county. You can schedule a free consultation and we can access your loan limit based on your individual needs. The new limits take effect on January 1, 2022.

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Happy Thanksgiving 🦃

We are wishing you and your family a joyous, safe and tasty Thanksgiving day 🦃
Spending time with family and loved ones over a delicious meal is one of life’s gifts so please enjoy.
On this Thanksgiving day we are grateful and we are thankful for our relationship with you!

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Buying A Fixer-Upper – Pros and Cons

The housing market tight in many parts of the country and affordability a big issue for a lot of buyers, so buying a fixer-upper is something you might be considering.
We’ve all seen the home make-over shows with amazing before and afters but is it right for you?
Here are a few things to consider:
1. Know Your Limits
How much of the work can you do. How much time do you have to put into renovations. Are you prepared to live in a work zone for a while
2. Work Out Costs In Advance
Have a contractor walk through the inspection with you and get a written estimate for work he would do. If you are doing the work yourself price the costs of supplies, either way add 15% to the costs because surprises are likely.
3. Check Permitting Costs and Procedures
Check with local officials to see if the work requires a permit and the permit costs.
4. Be Extra Careful with Structural Issues
If the house requires structural repairs then double check the work and pricing. Hire a structural engineer to do an inspection and if structural work needs to be done make sure your bid discounts this work
5. Include Inspection Contingencies
Make sure you hire professional inspectors and check for hidden issues like mold, piping issues, pest damage etc., if things come up ask for discounts. And if too many red flags come up or the seller won’t properly discount the costs for repair then stand firm and walk away and keep looking!

Read more...