Category: Mortgage

13 Dec 2018

How much house can I afford?

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Shopping for homes before realistically evaluating your monthly capacity to service a mortgage is like falling in love with a golden retriever puppy before you’ve read the rental property contract clause about pet ownership. And that’s no fun, my friends. “Many times we see buyers falling head-over-heels in love with a home only to realize it’s way over their budget," says Vice President of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage, Lisa Green. So for all of us who’ve been told not once, but maybe more than a few times that we have champagne dreams on a beer budget, this process is for you. Don’t hit the panic button just yet— here’s how to make sure your new home doesn’t break the...
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6 Dec 2018

What is a good credit score to buy a house?

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One of the keys to unlocking your dream home is understanding the state of your financial health, not wealth. If you will be using a lender to finance your home, you will need to know what is a good credit score to buy a house. While income, savings and downpayment are important, it’s your credit score that will qualify you for a loan and help determine the kind of interest rate you will pay. Before we dive too deep into what is a good credit score to qualify for a home loan, let’s start with the basics to help keep your head from spinning. What is a mortgage? This doesn’t have to be complicated. A mortgage is a loan issued by...
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16 Aug 2018

How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

If you’re seriously considering purchasing a home, one of your first steps is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The process is relatively painless and when you’re finished you can shop for homes with confidence. Don’t know the first thing about getting pre-approved and what’s needed to move forward with the process? Here’s everything you wanted to know about getting pre-approved. How does a pre-approval differ from a pre-qualification? I’m so glad you asked! It’s important to first understand the difference between the two terms, as they’re actually very different and you’ll want to make sure you understand what you’re getting into. A pre-qualification is an approximation based on info you verify as to how much you’re able to borrow from the bank. Approximation is...
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5 Jun 2018

Benefits of shopping local when it comes to a mortgage lender

In today’s fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it real estate market, buyers need all the help they can get. Many prospective buyers exasperated from losing bidding war after bidding war are looking for something—anything—that will help their bid stand out. So if you’re about to pick up a pen to compose a heart-wrenching letter to the seller of your dream home, read this first. Would it surprise you to find out that shopping locally for a mortgage is actually one of the best things you can do when it comes to having your bid accepted? “A lot of people think that the highest bid is the one the seller automatically chooses— and ultimately there’s a lot more to it than that,” says Allen Tate Mortgage’s...
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12 Apr 2018

Learn how to buy a home with gift funds

Remember when you were little and Grandma or Grandpa asked you what you wanted for your birthday? You likely handed them a JCPenney or Sears catalog with one or two (or 10, if you’re being honest) dog-eared pages of toys you’d like to add to your growing collection. These days the answer to that same question is probably a little easier: You’d like cold, hard cash. Why? Because being an adult is expensive, Grandma. And because you’ve been dying to give your roommate a 60 day notice and get your own place. Using gift funds to purchase your first home? Then you need our guide. Who can you receive a gift from? If you’re going the Fannie, Freddie, or VA Mortgage (conventional loans) route,...
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13 Mar 2018

6 ways to save for a down payment

Chances are you’ve heard a rumor that buying is actually cheaper than renting, so I’m here to set the record straight: In the long run, buying actually saves you a whole lot of cash. Of course, if you’re a newbie to the career world and just starting to learn what it’s like to not pay overdraft fees, (thanks, college) buying a home is likely easier said than done. So how do you go about saving for a home? Keep reading; you may discover it’s easier than you think. Learn about your options, first First things first, it’s a good idea to meet with a mortgage consultant to figure out what loan options are available to you. As a first-time homebuyer, you likely...
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27 Feb 2018

Credit score surprises and what to do about them

Smooth sailing. Wouldn’t you like to describe your mortgage application experience this way? You can – and this is true even if you encounter the “dreaded” credit score surprise, says Vice President of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage, Lisa Green. That’s right: You don’t have to fret over a credit score that’s not what you expected. In fact, Green continues, “You may discover that your homebuying credit score is higher than you thought it was.” Free credit score reports are offered today by many credit card companies and credit services. “But these companies use a different credit model than mortgagers do,” she explains. “Their model is designed for personal or car loans, or credit card applications, which are smaller commitments...
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20 Feb 2018

2018 tax tips for homeowners

The holidays have passed, Valentine's candy is 75% off, and the stores are already bursting at the seams with all-things-green, so it must be true: Tax season is upon us. Tax time got you working up a sweat? You're not alone. Turns out 100% of Americans dread April 15th with a passion. Turn up the love and dial back the hate in the love-hate relationship you have with taxes with these 5 tips. Mortgage interest “The largest tax break available to homeowners is directly tied to the monthly payment you’ve made each month, as for most, a significant portion of your total amount due goes towards interest,” says Lisa Green, VP of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage. The good news here is...
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23 Jan 2018

Thinking about buying a home? Do this first!

For many, the first stop on the train to homeownership is looking for homes online. But what if I told you that thought process was all wrong? Contrary to popular belief, smart homebuyers resist the urge to start thumbing through properties on their favorite home buying app before they have all their ducks in a row. Wanna be like your smart counterparts? Keep reading and ace this whole home buying thing. Build up your savings This might seem like an overly obvious first step, but many first-time buyers don’t realize just how much savings they’ll actually need. Beyond the down payment— which can range between zero to 20%, with a myriad of options in between depending on what loan program you can...
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14 Dec 2017

Conquer the closing

Reaching the closing table is like hearing the two minute warning in the fourth quarter at the Super Bowl— you’ve come this far; all you’ve got left to do is run the ball into the end zone. Itching to be in your new space sooner rather than later? Keep reading because we’ll let you in on everything you ever wanted to know about what to expect when you reach the closing table. Prior to closing Review your loan documents Theoretically, closing day should come and go relatively pain free, but that’s not to say some folks have had a less than pleasant experience. Make sure to stay in close contact with your loan officer in the weeks prior to closing day. I’ve heard stories...
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