Category: Mortgage

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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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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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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