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Buying

Buying (10)

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Building A Home

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Thinking of Building Your Dream Home?

There are many things to consider when it comes to building a home.  I worked in the construction lending field for over 4 years and in that time helped hundreds of build build their dream homes.  Call me today for a free consultation.  Some of the variable we will consider are:

  • Construction financing vs end loan financing
  • Payments during construction
  • On Your lot or in the builders subdivision
  • Down payment options
  • Rate lock options
  • Sub-contractor options
  • Builder approval

The list goes on and on get with me today to hash out the details!

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Buyer Don'ts

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Things to avoid before buying a home

Many new home buyers make the mistake of rushing out to buy things to fill their home with as soon as the seller accepts their purchase offer and the lender pre-approves their loan. But there are still a few major hurdles to overcome before the keys are handed out. Here are some things to avoid during the home buying process to assure your transaction goes as smoothly as possible:

  1. Don't make an expensive purchase. It may be tempting to order that new sofa for your soon-to-be living room, but its best to avoid making major purchases like furniture, cars, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, or vacations until after the closing. Financing that furniture with a store credit card or even one of your own credit cards could jeopardize your credit worthiness during the time it means the most. Using cash to purchase big items can also create a problem because many banks take into consideration your cash reserve when approving your mortgage.
  2. Don't get a new job. Lenders like to see a consistent job history. Generally, changing jobs will not affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan - especially if you are going to be making more money. But for some people, getting a new job during the loan approval process could raise some concern and affect your application.
  3. Don't switch banks or move money around. As your lender reviews your loan package, you will likely be asked to provide bank statements for the last two or three months on your checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds and other liquid assets. To eliminate potential fraud, most loans require a thorough paper trail to document the source of all funds. Changing banks or transferring money to another account - even if its just to consolidate funds - could make it difficult for the lender to document your funds.
  4. Don't make any late payments. From time to time your lender may need to updated your credit information.  It only takes one late payment to change the whole loan picture.  Make sure you continue to pay your bills on time.
  5. Don't disregard your lenders requirements. You may have been pre-approved for the loan but your work with the lender is far from over. In order to process your loan, you need to meet certain requirements. Your lender will need copies of your bank statements, W2s and other paperwork. It is up to you to get it to him or her as soon as possible. Failure to submit certain qualifying documents could cause you to lose your loan and the financing you need to buy your home.


If you feel the need to do one of the above items PLEASE consult with us before you do.  We can help give you the direction needed to complete the transaction smoothly

(269) 488-9494

This is VERY Important!

Sunday, 12 December 2010 00:00

Why An Inspection?

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Why you should get an Inspection

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you should have a professional home inspection performed.

A home inspection will look at the systems that make up the building such as:

  • Structural elements, foundation, framing etc
  • Plumbing systems
  • Roofing
  • Electrical systems
  • Cosmetic condition, paint, siding etc

Also consider a pest inspection to look for wood destroying insects and a well & septic inspection to make sure everything is working properly.

If you are buying a home, you need to know exactly what you are getting. A inspection, performed by a professional inspector, will reveal any hidden problems with the home so that they may be addressed BEFORE the transaction is closed. You should require an inspection at the time you make a formal offer. Make sure the contract has an inspection contingency. Then, hire your own inspector and pay close attention to the inspection report. If you aren't comfortable with the findings you can re-negotiate the contract.

Other types of inspection you should stongly conder are:

1. Well & Septic Inspections - very important to make sure your water is safe to drink and your toilet isnt going to take a crap on you!

2. Pest Inspections - It could be very costly if something starts buggin' you!

(follow the above links for more info)

I'd be happy to recommend a reputable company to you. Give me call if I can help. 269-598-395

Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

Closing Costs

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There are certain standard costs associated with closing the sale of a house. These fees are split between the buyer and the seller, as spelled out in the sales contract.  As you go through this you will notice that there are many parties involved in the transaction such as the appraiser, title company, lender, government, real estate agent, insurance company, etc. . . .

I will walk you through the closing costs, answering any questions you may have explaining which costs are yours and which are negotiable.

Buyers will receive a "Good Faith Estimate" of closing costs at the time the full loan application is submitted to me.  I will be glad to review the "Good Faith Estimate," answering questions and highlight all the costs and estimates associated with purchasing a home.

When you purchase a home it's very common to ask the seller to help with closing costs.  Often times buyers are not bring any money to closing for closing costs.

 

Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

Pre-Approval

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Are you pre-approved for a loan?

Before you begin to shop for a new home, you should set up a time to meet with me so we can figure out how much you can afford. This will put you in a better position as a buyer.

To get pre-qualified for a loan, I will collect information about your debt, income, and assets. We’ll look at your credit profile and assess goals for a down payment and get an idea of different loan programs that would work for you.

Getting pre-approved for a loan gives you competitive advantage when the time comes to bid on a home because you have been approved for a loan for a specified amount.

A pre-approval letter is not binding on the lender; it is subject to an appraisal of the home you wish to purchase and certain other conditions. If your financial situation changes (e.g. you lose your job), interest rates rise or a specified expiration date passes, I must review your situation and recalculate your mortgage amount accordingly.

Get Pre-Approved!

Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

No to Low-Down payment

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There are a number of government loan programs out there to help people with little to no money down purchase a home.

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), plays a significant role in helping low- to moderate-income families qualify for mortgages. FHA assists first-time buyers and others who would not qualify for a conventional loan, by providing mortgage insurance to private lenders. Interest rates for an FHA loan are usually the going market rate, while the down payment requirements for an FHA loan are lower than conventional loans. The required down payment can be as low as 3.5 percent and the closing costs can be paid by the seller.

VA Loans

VA Loans are guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Service persons and veterans can qualify for a VA Loan, which usually offers a competitive fixed interest rate, no down payment and limited closing costs. While the VA does not issue the loans, it does issue a certificate of eligibility required to apply for a VA loans.

USDA Loans

The USDA also does more than just certify beef. They sponsor a little-known Rural Housing Loan Program. If you qualify, you can get a government-insured mortgage on that home you've been eying with no down payment, little mortgage insurance, and the sellers can even help you with your closing costs.

Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

Tips for Accumulating a Down Payment

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Having some money to work with is always a good thing when you are making one of the largest purchases of your life!  It gives you option and having options saves you money.

  • Save - Look for ways to reduce your monthly expenditures to save toward a down-payment. You could enroll for an automatic savings plan at your bank to have a portion of your payroll automatically transferred into savings. Most people save a couple of years for their down payment.
  • Borrow - Tap the 401k or even another asset.  Honestly I wouldn't recommend this for most buyer's, but you can get the down payment from your retirement plan.   Check the provisions of your retirement plan. You can borrow funds from a 401(k) plan for a down payment or make a withdrawal from an Individual Retirement Account. Be sure you understand the tax consequences, repayment terms and/or possible early withdrawal penalties.
  • Move - You may be able to save additional funds if you can move into less expensive housing.
  • Reduce - other higher interest rate debt. Paying off credit cards will initially reduce your savings, but the money you will save from higher interest rates will pay-off in the long run.
  • Sell some investments
  • Get a second job and save your earnings
  • Skip a year's vacation
  • Gift from Family - Parents and other family members are often anxious to help children buy their first home and may have the means to give you a gift of money for a portion or all of your down payment.
Thursday, 09 December 2010 00:00

Down Payment

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The amount you have available for a down payment will affect what types of loans for which you can qualify. Down payments typically range from 0 to 20 percent of the sales price for the property.  Of course the more money you put down typically the lower your payment will be so it never hurts to have as much money saved up as possible when entering into a real estate sales contract.  BUT. . . .

Yes, you can still purchase a home with NO MONEY DOWN!

WARNING: We document everything these days.  Take extra care to document the sources for any monies to be used for the down payment or closing costs.

 

Thursday, 11 November 2010 00:00

How Much Can You Afford?

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Deciding how much house you can afford is a personal decision.  Many factors come into play.  How much can I borrow?  How much can I put toward my down payment?  What size monthly payment can I afford? 

There are no black and white answers to these questions.  Its a matter of give and take.  If you plan on a 30 year mortgage, you can probably make a lower down payment (or perhaps no down payment at all) and still manage the monthly payments.  If, on the other hand, you plan on a 15 year mortgage, you'll probably want to make a larger down payment to keep your monthly payments in line with what you can afford.

How large a down payment can I make?

Many buyers look at their cash on hand as their only source for their down payment.  This simply is not the case.  One way to fund or partially fund a down payment is by using a gift.   Parents, grandparents and other family members are often eager to help by making a cash gift toward the purchase of your home.  And, of course, if you are selling a home, the equity you've built up can be applied to your down payment. 

But these are not your only options.  We can help you explore all your down payment options, including low down payment and 100% mortgage financing options that might be right for you.

What size monthly payment can I afford?

When determining what size monthly payment you can afford, you'll want to consider what other monthly expenses you have.   Tangible expenses such as car payments, day care and utility bills, all play a role in how large a monthly payment you can afford. 

There are also the intangible expenses or lifestyle expenses that you'll want to consider.  Things such as dining out, travel and when you buy your next car can effect how much you can afford.  Are you willing to curtail or delay some of these expenses in order to afford a larger monthly payment?  Sure we can tell you where WE would max you out at, but that doesnt mean you can comfortably afford it.

How much can I borrow?

This is a question you'll want to get answered before you begin your home search.   This is something that we're here to help you with.  Our mortgage calculators will help you see how your down payment, monthly payment and the amount you borrow are all interrelated. 

We can answer any questions you may have about the mortgage process.  But the best way we can help is by getting you pre-qualified for a mortgage loan.  To get started, simply give me a call at 269-488-9494 or click here to fill out the loan application.  We look forward to helping you buy your dream home.

 

Monday, 11 October 2010 00:00

Buying A Home

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Make no mistake, there's a lot involved in buying a home and getting a mortgage loan. In fact buying a home can be one of the most daunting processes you will ever go through.  But wait, dont let all of that scare you away.  We will help you through the entire process.  There are four main steps involved in getting a loan. You'll see that we've made your part in them as easy as possible, and we do all the work! That's what we're here for; dont hesitate to call us anytime with questions (269) 488-9494

 

 

Step One:  Pre-Approval

Mortgage App.

This is where we will work with you to determine how much you can borrow.  This is a function of a couple things:

  • Your unique credit history
  • Your employment history
  • Your income and debts
  • Most importantly your goals

Based on your information and standard lender guidelines, we'll get you a good idea of what kind of terms and loan program you can expect to benefit most from and run you through some different scenarios.  To start this process you will need to complete the Loan Application.  You can do so here on our website, at my office, or over the phone (269-488-9494).  This is where the rubber meets the road . You supply information about your employment, your assets, your residence history, and so on. Once we have found the right program we will give you an approval letter.  It's like a suitcase full of cash! Now it's time to go shopping.

Step Two: The House Hunt

It's best to work with a Realtor® when shopping for a home.  A real estate agent has access to all of the home currently listed for sale in your market.  They will help you narrow down your search, negotiate the price and terms of the sale, and see everything through to closing.  Typically you dont even have to pay them for their service because the seller will!  I would be more than happy to provide you with a list of excellent real estate agent.  Just give me a ring.

Step Three: The Loan Process! We Make It Easy!

Once you've made an offer and it's been accepted, it's time to complete the loan application.  Now's where the real fun begins.  The typical time line is as follows:

  1. Loan Documents signed
  2. Appraisal & title work ordered
  3. Loan reviewed by underwriter
  4. Conditions cleared
  5. File is cleared to closing

Step Four: Your Loan Is Funded

Your real estate agent and the seller's will work together to designate a title company to handle the funding of your loan once it's approved. We'll coordinate with the title company to make sure all the papers are in order and you'll sign everything at the title company's office.

You applied on-line, found a home, provided documentation and now you're moving in! AmeriFirst is in the business of mortgage loans -- so we do most of the work. Doesn't that make sense?  If not call me, I WILL help you through out the entire process.

"Working as a team to fulfill your dream"

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