Top Ten Questions To Ask When Buying A Home

Here is a top ten list of questions you should ask before buying a home
1. What is my budget?
We mean total budget, not just the sales price. Remember to include property taxes, insurance, any HOA fees, renovations costs and ongoing maintenance.
2. Did I get preapproved?
Most realtors want to see that your pre-approved (many won’t even talk to you until you are!). So get preapproved to show you mean business. And we can help! Contact us today for a preapproval letter!
3. Why is the seller moving?
This can be useful in seeing how motivated the seller is and can help in negotiating the price.
4. What comes with the sale?
Make sure you get in writing what is included in advanced – the washing machine, stove, blinds etc.
5. Is it in a flood or natural disaster area?
Make sure you know if its in a FEMA flood zone or other disaster coverage you may need.
6. What is the going rate for houses in the neighborhood?
Look at housing prices of other homes sold in the area to get a feel for prices
7. How long has the house been on the market?
If its been sitting on the market for a while, that can strengthen your negotiating position
8. How about the neighbors?
This is doubly important if you’re moving into an HOA, make sure you do your own intel on this. Talk to neighbors, drive around and see for yourself.
9. How’s the home’s health?
Make sure you get a thorough inspection and have any issues with the house identified in advanced and also get a history of renovations.
10. How’s the neighborhood?
Lastly make sure you check out the neighborhood too! Make sure to check the local schools, crime rates, what activities are available nearby and if you’re going to have a commute make sure you to check the drive time too!


Cash Out Refinance – 5 Key Things To Consider

If you haven’t heard interest rates are at record lows (I know you probably heard this on the radio the last ten years, but this time its true!). So if you have a mortgage, there’s a good chance you can refinance into a lower rate (generally a good idea 🙂 and may consider getting cash out, so here are five things to consider. First we will start with the pros….

Low Rates and Lower Rates.
As we said rates are low now – like really low. And if you’re considering a HELOC or home equity line of credit, rates on a mortgage refi are often lower. So you can lock in a low rate and have lower payments – sounds good right?

Debt Consolidation
If you have a lot of high interest debt (i.e. credit cards), you can pay that off and potentially save thousands in interest payments!

Cash On Hand
We are definitely in uncertain times and you might want a cash cushion to help pay bills and also if you’re income in the near future is uncertain. Or you can use that for home improvements like maybe a new home office or gym (this can often be used as a deduction as well).

And Some Cons
Don’t Rinse and Repeat
Ok we are trying to say don’t get the cash out and repeat the same debt spiral. If you’re cashing out and taking advantage of today’s great rates make sure you take advantage of the opportunity and avoid the temptation to go on an amazon shopping spree and run up the bills again.

Closing Costs and PMI
Make sure to check your closing costs aren’t more than the new savings! Also if you currently aren’t paying PMI and refi to more than 80% of the home value you may have to start paying PMI!

In general if you’ve been considering a cash-out refinance or just want to see if you can lower your monthly payments – contact us today and we’ll give you a run-down of your options and see what best fits your needs!


Creating An Outdoor Room

We don’t need to tell you that 2020 is presenting new challenges, but some of them can be opportunities. If you are lucky enough to have outdoor space consider making an outdoor room!
An outdoor room is a great way to enjoy the summer weather, get fresh air and Vitamin D from the sun (it helps strengthen the immune system 💪).
Creating an outdoor room you’ll want to consider what its primarily going to be used for: relaxing, dining or maybe working.
First, you’ll want to make sure it has a ceiling! Ok maybe not an actual ceiling if you have a tree for cover that’s great! If you’re super ambitious a pergola is awesome but you can always get an umbrella or a trellis and cover that.
Next you’ll want to get furniture! You can furnish similar to the indoors. If you’re going to be relaxing maybe low chairs and don’t forget side tables. If you want to be fashion-forward get throw pillows too 🙂 And of course make sure they are outdoor fabrics that are built to be weather resistant.
Also consider making a floor for your outdoor room – you can everything from an outdoor carpet to wood flooring to crushed shells under your dining area to adding some stepping stones!
Finally don’t forget the lights! You can hang some fun outdoor string lights that will make everyone jealous when you post pics of your new room 🙂


Housing Market Rebound

The housing marketing is showing signs of rebounding with pent-up demand from the lockdown and tight supplies.
Applications for new home loans reached an 11-1/2 year high last week! And there was a 14.4% increase in applications for new home construction in May.
Along with historically low interest rates we are seeing signs of the housing market helping to lead the economy back 📈


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday 🥳
Enjoy the weekend 😎
If you’re crazy like us and working maybe its a good time to try a free trial of our best in class digital platform


Multiple Branch Solutions

Do you have multiple branches and looking for a streamlined solution? 🏢
We’ve got you covered! We offer branch listings with branch location urls, branding and staff listings!
Give us a call at 310-466-0246 for more info or a free trial!


Secure Document Uploader Checklist

Do you need to customize the list of documents needed for your borrowers secure uploads?
Don’t worry! We offer an easily customizable checklist ✔ (of course we have your standard purchase and refinance checklists prebuilt and ready to go from day one!).
Contact us for more info – call 310-446-0246 or signup for a free trial!


Branded Apply Link URLs

Want to brand your company’s apply link?
No problem we have branded secure apply links where you can use your company name in the URL!
Oh and your loan officers can get branded links too! 🙋‍♀️
How much extra? Same price 🙂


Start Me Up

We recently rolled out a revamped start page for you borrowers to quickly and easily access your loan POS portal.
Each LO has their own start link option fully branded to them with photo and contact info. It looks so good you might think we are charging extra for it…. but we aren’t 🥳


Should I TikTok

In case you aren’t a Gen Zer or don’t associate with any, you might not know that half of the time Gen Z people are staring at the screen in their hand, the screen is showing the latest trend in Social – TikTok.
What is TikTok? its basically short videos usually with music.
The question for you is should I be marketing on TikTok?
Short answer: its probably not necessary (yet). However if you market to young people then you may want to consider it. As its a new platform it is also presents itself as an untapped market with potential. But if you aren’t looking to be a social star and have a mostly over 25 year old client base you can probably skip it.
But marketing on more traditional social channels, like FB, Instagram and LinkedIn are definitely something to consider. Please reach out to us if you’d like help starting a new campaign or taking your current one to the next level! 🚀