Category: Mortgage

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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24 Aug 2017

5 Ways to improve your credit score

When I was young and naive, I thought having a credit card was synonymous with being a mature adult. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for the retailers I frequented (I’m looking at you, Target), I was just a little too naive to handle the responsibility of actually having one. Fast-forward to purchasing a car on my own after college and realizing that credit cards (and how you treat them) will come back to haunt you. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but when you go to buy a car or even a house, you can bet your less-than-positive credit habits will show up in the form of increased interest and more conditions. Have a sneaking feeling you might need to help your...
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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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