Category: Mortgage

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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16 Nov 2017

Understanding mortgage terms

You know when you meet up with friends and some members of the group are really close and basically have their own separate language? You feel left out, right? Don’t let that same uncomfortable feeling creep in when you go to buy a home. Know the ins and outs of the mortgage lingo with our help. ARM An adjustable rate mortgage has interest rates that fluctuate based on market conditions. The good news with an ARM is that the initial fixed interest rate is typically lower than a comparable fixed-rate mortgage. The less than favorable news here is the fact that the fixed interest rate does expire after a certain amount of time and is then affected by the market— keep in...
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26 Oct 2017

The lowdown on the pre-approval process

Just like a significant other will force you to DTR sooner or later, as a serious home buyer, you’ll need to get pre-approved before you take the relationship with your Realtor to the next level. Don’t let the term pre-approval give you cold feet: Yes, a pre-approval requires some effort on your part (just like a healthy relationship), but in the long run, getting pre-approved before you shop for homes works in your favor, trust me. Why get pre-approved A pre-approval scrutinizes every aspect of your creditworthiness and determines exactly how much you may borrow under a specific mortgage program. Not to mention the fact that it’s a great way to distinguish your offer in a highly competitive, low inventory market. What you’ll...
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12 Oct 2017

Everything you wanted to know about closing costs

When you’re buying a home there’s tons of new terms and processes you’ll be learning as you go, so it’s likely that upon hearing your Realtor utter the words “closing costs” for the first time, they went in one ear and out the other. And if that’s the case, don’t feel bad; suffice it to say, you’re not alone— a survey released last week found that over half of all first-time home buyers were surprised by the closing costs required to close on their soon-to-be home. Keep reading and you won’t be able to claim ignorance the next time these words find their way into a conversation. Closing costs: Explained I won’t waste any time beating around the bush here— closing...
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14 Sep 2017

Buying a home? Learn about your down payment options now

If you’re in the market to buy your first home, you’ve likely heard about the down payment you’ll be required to come to the table with. If, upon hearing this, your first thought was to plot a scheme to rob the nearest bank, don’t do that— I hear that’s frowned upon in many social circles. Instead, why don’t you take a breath and read through your options. Because you’ve certainly got options, and lots of them, when it comes to down payments. Conventional loans Available through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, these government-backed loans offer borrowers some pretty appealing mortgage options. Qualified buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3 percent down thanks to the good folks at Fannie...
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