Everyone has heard that mortgage financing is more difficult to obtain these days. What people may not be aware of, however, is the “why” behind the time it takes to get a loan approved and closed in the mortgage industry today.
Typically, your offer to purchase contract is written for a 30-day closing. In most cases, you would have already spoken to your Mortgage Consultant/Loan Officer (MC/LO) to handle the prequalification for your loan. Well, prequalification and full loan applications are two different things.
The most important thing you can do following prequalification is to meet with your MC/LO to complete the formal loan application. Make sure to have with you all your required documentation of income, employment and assets. In some cases you will also need to provide information on credit such as explanations for any late payments, inquiries, etc.
With so much mixed media about real estate today, I believe consumers who are considering purchasing a home are overwhelmed by what to believe and, against their best interests, have begun to shut it all out. By doing this, they are missing an unbelievable opportunity. Keeping this in mind, I promise to make this simple and to the point.
One of the main reasons to purchase a home now is affordability, which has never been better. Why you ask? Increased inventory is to the advantage of buyers and that, combined with historically low interest rates, has created an ideal scenario for home buyers.
Have you become an “accidental landlord”? If so, you are not alone. Here’s my story:
My husband and I got married in July of 2008. Like any good Realtor, I decided to stage his house and make the necessary renovations to get the house sold. It took 3 months instead of 2 weeks…but FINALLY! I changed the countertops, glazed the bathroom tile, landscaped and repainted.
The day that I put the sign in the yard, the stock market fell 679 points. (Do you remember October 9, 2008?) Needless to say, we decided to rent his house instead of sell it.
During the holiday season there are so many things going on (parties, events, vacations, etc). The hustle and bustle truly is setting in; however we still need time to ensure that you and your family are ready for winter. Little tips and chores that can help you prevent issues during the winter and also save you money on your energy costs can be shared by the whole family. Here are a few:
Rates have been rising over the past few weeks and although they are still at very low levels (the mid to high 4 percent range) they have jumped ½ a percent. This is the most significant consistent increase since the lows that we experienced in October.
Why has there been an increase you ask? Well, rates typically move on stronger economic news which we have had in the form of some resolution of the European debt issues as well as stronger indications in the US economy. Keith Gumbinger, Vice President of HSH Associates, state in a recent article on Marketwatch.com that, “General improvement in the economy over the last couple of weeks has also had an influence on the rise in rates.”
In a few months, I will have lived in my home for 10 years. I bought it in an up-and-coming neighborhood with good schools. My kids are growing up here. Like many homeowners today, I have no plans to move anytime soon. I love my house and my neighbors, and I am content to stay put, at least for now.
My home obviously knows this, because it’s been extra “needy” lately. In the past year, I’ve needed the services of a plumber (3 times), a handyman, a painter, a lawn care company and a carpet cleaner. I’ve also purchased three new major appliances; pressure-washed the exterior; and had my HVAC system cleaned and examined.
We recently had a “green” builder do a presentation in our office and what I thought would be a dull topic actually ended up being incredibly informative. With winter upon us, energy loss found in traditionally built homes became the focus.
It was amazing to learn how much energy actually seeps out of our homes. The estimates we were shown indicated that energy loss occurs through walls (35%), the roof (25%), doors (15%), floors (15%), and through windows (10 %).
While proper insulation is critical, one of the most cost effective things we can do as homeowners is weatherize by caulking around the outside of windows. It was also suggested that homeowners check under bathroom and kitchen sinks for gaps where the pipe or vents go through the wall and floors. Again, caulk was suggested to seal up small gaps. Also, we were told that locking your windows will make them tighter and draft resistant.