Posted by Sandra Tessier on 8/15/2017

Purchasing a home is a sign of new financial responsibility for many people. The leap into homeownership is a big and important step. Finding a home and securing a mortgage isn’t easy. Getting ready to take on a mortgage can require a lot of research and education on your part. Before you get too confused, you’ll need to learn the basics of a mortgage and what you should know before you apply. 


Be Prepared


This is probably the best advice for any first time homebuyer. Find some good lenders in your area. You can sit down with a lender and talk about your goals. The bank will be able to explain all of the costs and fees associated with buying a home ahead of time. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you head into a purchase contract without any surprises. 


What’s Involved In A Loan? 


Each mortgage is a different situation. This is why meeting with a lender ahead of time is a good idea. Your real estate agent can suggest a mortgage lender if you don’t have one in mind. No one will be happier for you than your real estate agent if you have a smooth real estate transaction. You’ll be able to walk through the mortgage process step by step with a loan officer and understand the specifics of your own scenario.


What You’ll Need For A Mortgage


There’s a few things that you’ll need to have ready before you can even begin searching for a home. 


Cash For A Down Payment


You’ll need to save up a bit of cash before you know that you’re ready to buy a home. It’s recommended that you have at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down towards your loan initially.   



A Good Working Knowledge Of Personal Finances


You should have an understanding of your own finances in order to buy a home. Not only will this help you save, but it will help you to ensure that you’re not going to overextend yourself financially after you secure the mortgage. To get your finances in order, honestly record all of your monthly expenses and spending habits, so you know exactly what you can afford.   


The Price Range Of Homes You’re Interested In 


If you have an idea of what kind of home you’d like, it will make your entire house shopping experience a lot easier. You’ll be able to see exactly what you can afford and how much you need to save. When your wish list equates to half-million dollar homes, and you find that you can only afford around $300,000, you don’t need to go into shock! It’s good to have an idea of how much house you can afford and what it will get you. When you do a little homework, you’ll discover that buying a home isn’t such a hard process when you’re prepared!





Posted by Sandra Tessier on 5/16/2017

There’s many different myths about buying a home that may have been presented to you as fact. All of these rumors could have you believing that being a home owner is a dream. Here, we’ll debunk some of the most common misconceptions about home buying and give you the tools to solve any issues that you may come across in the process of securing a home loan.


If You Don’t Have 20% To Put Down On A Home, You Can’t Buy


Many conventional loans do require a 20% down payment on a home. There’s also many different loans available that may suit your needs. From Federal Housing Administration loans to Veteran’s programs to down payment assistance programs, there’s many different things that can be done to help you buy a home. Keep in mind that any time you put less than 20% down, you’ll need to provide additional mortgage insurance, also known as PMI or private mortgage insurance.  


If Your Credit Score Is Terrible You’re Out Of Luck

If you want really good mortgage rates, having great credit is very important. If your credit score is low, your rates tend to be much higher. A really low credit score could keep you from getting a loan completely. FHA loans allow you to still qualify for a loan with a credit score as low as 580.


You Need To Make Bank To Get Money From The Bank


Monthly annual income is just one of the factors that’s considered when it comes to getting a loan to purchase a home. Your debts matter just as much if not more. People with significant credit card debt and other loans may be denied a home loan even if they have a substantial income. 


You’re In The Clear If You’re Pre-Qualified


Pre-qualification is much different than pre-approval. Pre-qualification involves giving your lender basic information about your finances in order to estimate how much of a loan you can get. This will give you a ballpark figure of about how much you’ll be able to borrow. Of course, this is very helpful in the home search process, but you’re not done. To get pre-approved, you’ll need a complete mortgage application in order to have your complete financial background check and credit rating.  


If You’ve Met One Real Estate Agent, You’ve Met Them All


This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your relationship with your real estate agent is going to be quite close. You’ll need to share somewhat personal information in order to secure a house you’ll love. Agents are involved in one of the biggest decisions that you’ll ever make. Each agent has his or her specialties and knows different neighborhoods better than others. Definitely go with a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and knows their stuff.  


Closing Costs Aren’t Your Responsibility


Sometimes, sellers do pay the closing costs in the sale of a home. It all depends upon how the negotiations go with the home. You’ll need to be prepared for upfront costs in buying a home. These include a credit check, attorney fees and property insurance. As a buyer, you’ll be paying anywhere between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price of the home.  


It’s important to be prepared and to stay informed in order to make sound financial decisions throughout the process of purchasing a home. Everything will be that much more exciting when you have all of the pertinent information that you’ll need.




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Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/26/2016

When it comes to mortgages there is a lot to know and a lot of choices. One loan that was popular before the housing crisis was the interest-only loan. An interest-only loan is an adjustable-rate loan with an initial fixed period when only interest is due. They are typically available in 5-, 7- or 10-year terms. Economists blame interest-only loans for the foreclosure crisis citing they were issued too freely. Today, interest-only loans are more difficult to obtain. Borrowers were using interest-only loans to qualify for a more expensive home and when the interest-only term ended the payment went up leaving many homeowners unable to afford the mortgage payment. Interest-only loans are now being used by wealthy borrowers as a financial tool to help them manage irregular cash flow, reap a tax benefit, or free up cash for investment elsewhere. Lenders that offer interest-only loans have strict qualifying standards. They generally require 30 percent equity in a property, and a minimum FICO score of 720. Lenders also look at the ability to pay back the loan is based on the fully amortized payment, not the interest-only payment.    





Posted by Sandra Tessier on 12/1/2015

Paying off your mortgage early and having no bills sounds like a no brainer. The answer however is not so simple. The answer really is; it depends. First you need to ask yourself a few questions. 1. Have you capitalized your employer’s match to your retirement savings? If the answer is no and you are not contributing the maximum than you are throwing away free money. You may want to consider putting your money here before paying down your mortgage. 2. Do you have other debt other than your mortgage? Pay off high interest credit card debit first. It makes no sense to pay off a lower interest loan and carry high interest debt. 3. Do you have an emergency fund? Experts suggest at least a three month supply of living expenses. Some even go as much as twenty four months of living expenses after the turn in the economy and job market. It makes more sense to have money set aside for a sudden loss of income before you pay off your mortgage. 4. Do you owe more than your house is worth? If you are upside down you are more susceptible to foreclosure. Ask yourself how much how much you enjoy living there. Would you be willing to buy it again for more than it is worth now? 5. Do you have life, health and disability insurance? If you are the main source of income in your household what would happen if you were no longer able to make the payments? Putting safety nets in place first is a wise idea. 6. Do you believe you can get better return investing elsewhere? Paying off your mortgage is an investment decision. Ask how does paying off my mortgage stack up with other investment options? 7. Are you thinking of retiring and want to live with the worry of a payment? The thought of living on a fixed income can be scary. Paying off your mortgage may give you peace of mind. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. It really comes down to what is most important to you. Sometimes, the answer is not based just on dollars and sense and more on what works for you, your life, your family situation and just plain old personal preference.





Posted by Sandra Tessier on 11/11/2014

Are you looking to buy a bigger home? If you are looking to make the move a jumbo mortgage might be right for you. A jumbo mortgage is a home loan with an amount that exceeds conforming loan limits set by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) or better known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently, the loan limit is $417,000 in most parts of the United States, but can increase to $625,500 in the higher cost areas. OFHEO sets the conforming loan limit size on an annual basis. Jumbo loans have slightly higher interest rates because they carry more credit risk.




Categories: Buying a Home