Category: Mortgage

10 Aug 2017

7 Ways to save for a down payment

Remember when Mom used to say “Don’t sweat the small stuff?” Well, when it comes to saving money, Mom was actually wrong— it’s the small stuff that really makes a big difference. And if you’re buying a home, you’ll need some cash. Just how much dough you’ll need to come up with, though, depends on how much you want to put down. Today’s mortgages offer qualified buyers the option to put down from as little as zero to 20 percent. Never been a self-proclaimed penny pincher? No problem! Here are some easy (and painless) ways to save a buck or two. Set a budget This is priority numero uno. Without a budget, your finances have control over you instead of the other way around....
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27 Jul 2017

How much can you afford?

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...
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13 Jul 2017

Is now the time to buy?

Roommates driving you nuts? Tired of trying to decipher what in the world your upstairs neighbors are doing to make so much noise? (Surely they’re bowling, right?!) Maybe it’s time to stop renting and start looking for your first home. Most first-time home buyers are surprised at just how easy it is to afford a home— you may even be paying less for your mortgage each month than your monthly rent...
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23 May 2017

What you need to know about a home appraisal

It’s a busy market in the Carolinas, but if you’re a buyer with a contract on a house, you may be scratching your head at the to-do list. For instance, why is there an inspection AND an appraisal? “Yes,” said Lisa Green, Vice-President, Origination, Allen Tate Mortgage, when I talked to her last week. “It’s important for a buyer to understand the difference between a lender appraisal and a home inspection. In fact, one of the most common real estate misconceptions is that a bank appraisal and a home inspection are one and the same.” “First, if you are paying cash for a house, an appraisal is not necessary, unless you just want to have one,” she said. “An appraisal is a professional opinion...
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19 May 2017

Do you wanna buy a house? Here’s step 2: How much can you afford?

We see you, potential homebuyer. Once you decided to stop renting and start looking for a place to call your own, you’ve been crusin’ through Pinterest’s home section like it’s your job. And good thing your dream home board has unlimited storage because you’re definitely saving every other pin, all the while adding to your ever-evolving can’t live without list. While compiling no less than 4,756 photos of updated, craftsman-style, open floor plan bungalows is certainly a fun step in the home buying process, a more important exercise in this stage of the game is figuring out just how much house you can afford.  Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds--here’s how to make sure your dream home doesn’t...
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3 Mar 2017

Tax deductions for homeowners

You’ve known this was coming; all the same, familiar signs have been haunting you for weeks.  And after driving around seeing folks dressed up in teal green robes waving frantically as you speed by, and receiving shiny flyers with Uncle Sam angrily pointing in your direction--you can’t ignore the facts anymore: It’s tax time, ready or not. But don’t sweat it too much, because as a homeowner you’ll likely be able to qualify for tax deductions related to owning a home. Not quite sure what deductions apply to you? For expert advice, I talked with Lisa Green, VP of Loan Origination with Allen Tate Mortgage to learn about the different deductions available to homeowners. Mortgage interest “The largest tax break available to homeowners...
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14 Feb 2017

5 tips for getting the right mortgage for you

Shopping for a home? Then you are likely shopping for a mortgage. But there’s no need to panic or even worry. I recently spoke to Chris Cope, President of Allen Tate Mortgage, and he gave me some tips to share on how you can make sure you get the right mortgage for your situation. 1) Start shopping by getting referrals. These referrals could be from a friend who had a good experience, or from professionals like your Realtor, your builder, or even from your attorney, accountant or financial adviser. “I would always look for a relationship-based referral with an emphasis on trust, relatability and experience. You want someone who will be there with you, application to closing, and every step in between,”...
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27 Jan 2017

#FBF Before closing, don’t do these 5 things

You’re approved! The contract is signed on the house, the closing date is set and you are ready to go! But hold on. Don’t go buying new appliances for the new house or a new car for the new commute just yet! Why? Because your credit is monitored right up to the day you sign the contract. Lenders will question any big transaction or change in financial status until you have the keys in hand. So be aware that not only is a credit check run when you apply for a mortgage, but another is run just before you close. So avoid these 5 things before closing on your home—or risk losing it before it’s even yours! Don't change your job status. Banks...
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28 Dec 2016

Real Estate resolutions for 2017

  What positive changes do you plan to make in 2017? If you are looking to lose weight, stop smoking or eat healthier, we wish you well, but we probably can’t help you. But here are a few “real estate resolutions” to consider that can save you time, money, frustration or all of the above in the New Year: I will only buy or sell a home with the assistance of a professional Realtor (ideally, an Allen Tate Realtor®). Unless you have previous experience in real estate (and even if you do), going the For Sale by Owner (FSBO) route is just a bad idea. Real estate can be complicated and even a simple mistake can be costly. You need a professional. ...
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28 Sep 2016

Some Closing Thoughts on Closings

A common question I often hear from homebuyers is this: How much closing costs will I need to pay? First of all, good question. A smart homebuyer asks questions to fully understand the process and their financial and legal obligations. But while many people have purchased a home - or multiple homes - few can actually detail what they paid in closing costs (without digging out paperwork.) Here are the basics. Every mortgage loan has closing costs. They can be paid by the borrower, the lender or a combination. Sometimes, the seller even agrees to pay a portion of the closing costs. If the mortgage lender pays the closing costs, the borrower will pay a higher interest rate. The rate will depend on...
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