5 Ways to Love Your Home

5 Ways to Love Your Home

So, you’ve found your dream home – or at least the one with the potential to be your dream home. However, you may be feeling like something is “missing” or that your house just doesn’t feel like a home yet. Like any good relationship, the feelings you have about your home will ebb and flow, but you don’t have to abandon ship if you’re not feeling the love right now! We’ve put together a list of 5 ways you can put some love back into your home and fall in love with it all over again.

 

Make it personal.

Display photos of your favorite memories with family, friends, and/or your significant other. Paint an accent wall in your favorite color, or use that color in your accessories. Create an art gallery to display your kids’ artwork in a creative fashion. Showcase your Star Wars lightsaber collection (or any of your other favorite collectibles). Whatever makes you, you, give it its own special place in your home where you will see it regularly. Adding a personal touch goes a long way in making your home feel like your own.

 

Add natural beauty.

Buy a plant or flowers to add a touch of nature to your home.  Many living plants are air purifiers, bringing an actual breath of fresh air into your home. Don’t have a green thumb? These plants are low maintenance and air purifying (win-win)! Plants and flowers also boost your mood when you see them, which can be especially helpful during the cold and dreary winter months and you’re dreaming about spring & summer (Wisconsin, we’re looking at you!) Simply indulging in the occasional flower bouquet from your local grocery store can make you, and your home, feel special.

 

Create a Zen area.

Create an area in your home that is dedicated to peace and relaxation. Whether it’s a special reading nook for you to cozy up with your favorite book in or a space dedicated to meditation, prayer, or yoga, find a place in your home (or your garden) where you can retreat when you need time to re-connect with yourself and re-focus your mind.

 

Clean, de-clutter, and organize.

Seeing a mess can stress you out, so keeping your home clean, organized, and de-cluttered can help you enjoy your home more. Take some time to de-clutter and organize your house. Before you purchase any new items, find 10 items and either donate (if they’re in good condition) or throw them away (if they’re broken). Purchase some inexpensive storage containers at the Dollar Store or your local thrift shop. You can even turn cleaning and de-cluttering into a game: set a timer for 10 minutes and see how much you can de-clutter and organize before the timer runs out. If you live with someone, challenge each other to get the most cleaned and organized before the timer runs out – winner gets to decide what the reward is!

 

Have an attitude of gratitude.

It can be easy to focus on all of the areas that your home lacks – maybe it’s a fixer-upper and you haven’t been able to make those improvements yet (if you need financing, we can help). Or, perhaps it’s a little on the small side, needs more bathrooms, or the décor doesn’t reflect your style yet. While making sure your home fits your needs and tastes is important, you likely chose the home for a specific reason. Take time to remember the reasons you said “yes” to this home in the first place. If you look closely, you will find that there is plenty to be grateful for (like the fact that you own a house! Many people haven’t achieved that dream yet). Practice gratitude and give thanks for all that your house has been able to provide you. When you count your blessings instead of your shortcomings, you instantly feel happier and more satisfied.

 

 

Is an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Right for you?

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Is an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage right for you?

 

When you shop for a mortgage, whether it’s for a new home or a refinance, you’ll soon hear about adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs). For some, an adjustable-rate mortgage is an automatic no. If that is the case, it is usually for one of three reasons:

  • They’re uncomfortable with any risk;
  • They’re unaware of just how an ARM works;
  • They can predict the future with relative certainty.

While ARMs definitely have their advantages, make sure you understand them before getting into one.

 

How ARMs work

All ARMs start out as fixed-rate mortgages for the first 3, 5, 7, or 10 years. An ARM will appear like this, where the first number in the terms “3/1,” “5/1”, or “7/1” denotes the number of years that the rate will be fixed. Usually the lower the number is, the lower the initial rate. During the fixed period, there is no risk and typically a healthy savings. The second number shows how many years before the rates can be adjusted once that fixed period has expired.

After this fixed period, the rate can fluctuate. The rate itself is made up of both fixed- and variable-rate components. The variable component will be based on some index such as Treasury bonds. This is added to the fixed-rate component set by the lender when you determine your starting rate.

Your decision to obtain an ARM should be based on how long you plan to live in this home. Having reasonable expectations for future sale or refinancing is all it can take to make an ARM worth considering. If you believe that you could be living there for a long time, you may want to consider opting for a fixed-rate mortgage. The reason? If you have an ARM and have to refinance at some time in the future when rates are higher, you might find yourself in a fixed-rate mortgage with a much higher rate.

 

Inside Information

Lenders give you a discounted rate up front because they know the rate will float with the market later on. If you sell your home or refinance again prior to that happening, it’s their loss. You have the advantage here because you control the timing of your next step.

 

Managed Risk

One way to prepare for the possibility of a higher rate and payment later is to pay extra principal each month to reduce your balance faster. If the rate ultimately adjusts up, your balance will be lower and the payment change will be less as a result. As well, you would already be accustomed to paying more.

 

The Bottom Line

A fixed-rate loan provides the certainty that it will never change. An ARM provides a guaranteed savings but for a limited period of time. The best way to decide is to balance your expectations for using any particular loan with the peace of mind that can come from being assured of stability, even if your timeframe changes.

 

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Pewaukee, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 35 branches in 16 states and over 240 employees. Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

In 2016, Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third consecutive year. Inlanta has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Inlanta Mortgage continues to expand its branch network and encourages ethical lending professionals to learn more about our support platform and discover how an Inlanta branch partnership with Inlanta Mortgage is essential to long-term success.

Locate an Inlanta Mortgage loan officer at www.inlanta.com/locations. For current employment opportunities, visit www.inlanta.com/join-our-team/employment-opportunities. Learn more about Inlanta Mortgage branch partnership opportunities at www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

10 DIY Outdoor Projects to Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

diy-outdoor10 DIY Outdoor Projects to Spruce up Your Curb Appeal

 

People often make the mistake of thinking that creating an inviting outdoor environment is always extremely expensive and a lot of work. Even the littlest things can make the outside of your home more inviting. Here are some ideas to make your outdoor area a retreat.

 

  1. Create posts to hold hanging flowers or lamps.

This simple addition can be done many ways, but it can make a great difference. Good lighting and small decorative touches can instantly transform your outdoor area into a unique & inviting living space.

Pinterest: DIY Patio Area with Texas Lamp Posts

 

  1. Add a fire pit and bench to your outdoor seating area.

Cozying up next to a blazing fire in your own backyard fire pit can make those cool summer and fall nights even better. Skip the portable fire pit and plastic chairs that you have to put back in storage every winter, and trade up to this exceptional bonfire area that everyone is sure to love!

Pinterest: DIY Fire Pit and Benches Project

 

  1. Add black mulch and/or a stone path to spice up your outdoor curb appeal.

The contrast of this black mulch with some stone and plants really makes the landscaping around your house pop! Your house will surely stand out with this amazing addition.

Pinterest: Black Mulch and Stone Path

 

  1. Use reclaimed wood to add a walkway from your patio or driveway to your yard.

This is a simple yet inviting thing you can do that is sure to get noticed. Repurposing wood can help keep your costs down and is environmentally friendly, so you can feel good about making this upgrade to your outdoor space!

Pinterest: DIY Pallet Wood Garden Walkway

 

  1. Add rope lights to your outdoor space.

When it comes to creating a trendy, eye-catching backyard or outdoor area, simply adding unique lighting, such as rope lights, can have a great impact. Line your walkway with rope lights or add them to your deck railings to create a dynamic effect.

Pinterest: 3 Ways to use Rope Light Outdoors

 

  1. Plant an herb garden.

Doing this has two benefits: not only does it look great, but you also have fresh herbs to make a fantastic meal. Fresh herbs make all the difference when it comes to cooking. You can plant them in small pots and continue growing them inside in the winter, or you can pick the remaining herbs and dry them out.

Pinterest: Growing Herbs in Window Boxes

 

  1. Turn a Pallet into a flower planter.

Pallets have become a versatile material for many DIYers. If you need to spruce up your curb appeal, consider using them to create planters for your flowers. The pin below is one of our favorite ideas.

Pinterest: Pallet Planter for Butterflies

 

  1. Make your own outdoor furniture with just some pallets, paint, and cushions.

Outdoor furniture can be pretty pricy. Here is another creative way to use pallets to spruce up your curb appeal. Outdoor couches and sectionals provide a great seating area that is different from your average table and chairs.

Pinterest: DIY Pallet Sofa Ideas and Plans

 

  1. Create sensational tiki torches out of old wine bottles.

Tiki torches are an extremely popular outdoor staple. Instead of buying the standard torches from the store, kick it up a notch by creating your own. Use glass jars or bottles that reflect your personality to add a little more character to your torches.

Pinterest: DIY Wine Bottle Tiki Torches

 

  1. Use faux stone to make the exterior of your home more appealing.

Skip the expensive aesthetic projects on the outside of your home. Putting in real stone can be extremely expensive and more than likely cannot be done on your own. This fake stone looks just like the real thing and makes your home’s exterior look ten times better!

Pinterest: Faux Stone Exterior Update

 

It doesn’t take much to spruce up your curb appeal. Even on a small budget, a little time and ingenuity can transform your outdoor space into a place where you will love to spend your time. Like our suggestions and want more project ideas? Follow us on Pinterest!

 

 

 OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations, and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for the third consecutive year in 2016. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Home Loan Road Map

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Home Loan Road Map

If you are just embarking on the purchase process, you may be unsure of what lies ahead on your journey. Here are the steps on Inlanta’s Loan Road Map to help guide you on your way to homeownership.

 

1. Get Pre-Approved

Submit your application and the documents needed to verify your income, assets, and debts, including thirty days of recent paystubs, last two years of W-2s, and two recent bank statements.

 

2. Home Search and Offer

Your Realtor will help you find the perfect home and write up an offer letter to the seller, which details the price you are offering to pay for a property and any applicable conditions.

 

3. Purchase Agreement

Your Realtor will write up the contract for you and the seller to sign. A deposit is generally required. This agreement will outline all of the required dates, deadlines, and contingencies.

 

4. Home Inspection

If the offer is accepted, a home inspection is next. Home inspections are not required, but highly recommended. A home inspector will look for any issues or violations with the property.

 

5. Application and Disclosures

Your loan officer will have you review and sign a number of documents and disclosures, including your mortgage application and a Good Faith Estimate, which details the estimated costs of financing.

 

6. Appraisal and Title

An appraisal (an estimate or property value) will be ordered and provided to the underwriting team. Your loan officer will select a title company to research the property title.

 

7. Homeowners Insurance

Proof of insurance is required prior to closing. Your first year’s premium must be paid in full. Have your insurance agent contact your loan officer to ensure they receive the proper insurance binder.

 

8. Final Approval

Underwriting will review all the documentation necessary to approve your mortgage loan additional verifications may be necessary at this point. If all of the documentation is acceptable, you will be clear to close.

 

9. Closing Disclosure

You will get a final breakdown of all costs and money required at closing. For closing, you will need government issued identification and a certified check to pay closing costs.

 

10. Your Loan Closing!

It’s closing time! Did you bring your government issued identification? Do you have a certified check to cover closing costs? During the closing, a representative from the title company will review all the loan documents with you. They will get signatures from both you and the seller. After all money is distributed, the deed will then be recorded with you as the new owner of record!

 

Rest assured you are not on this journey alone. Your loan officer will be with you every step of the way and will be able to answer any questions that arise. Click here to find your local Inlanta loan officer.

 

 

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

Prequalification and Pre-approval may sound like the same thing but they are actually two very different things. Getting these two mixed could be a mistake you really don’t want to make. So if you’re looking for a place to start in your home buying journey check out the video and find out the difference between getting pre-qualified and pre-approved!

 

 

What do you think happened?

What do you think happened to Fast Freddie and Thorough Theodore?

  1. Fast Freddie and Thorough Theodore both closed right on time
  2. Fast Freddie closed on time, but Thorough Theodore closed late.
  3. Fast Freddie’s Mortgage loan fell through, and Thorough Theodore closed right on time.
  4. Both Mortgage loans fell through. Poor Freddie and Theodore!

 

If you answered #3 you’re correct! Turns out that Freddy’s prequalification had a lot of PRE, very little QUALIFICATION, and a complete absence of APPROVAL.

A prequalification can be done quickly, but without verified information, it may not be worth the paper it’s printed on. A pre-approval is much more thorough and accurate. Once you have one of these in hand, your credit and income are well known. All you’ll probably need to do next is find the right house.

In other words, a little extra spent up front, can actually save you lots of time in the end.

If you want to get pre-approved before you start home shopping, please reach out to one of our licensed loan officers. We’ll be happy to help!

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty, and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

ABOUT INLANTA MORTGAGE

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.

Questions to Ask Your Loan Officer

Loan Officer with Couple

 

Questions to Ask Your Loan Officer

It’s easy to get nervous about something as big as applying for a mortgage. What is not so easy is putting our minds at ease if you’re in the middle of the process and things aren’t going the way you had thought they would. Here is a list of questions you can ask your loan officer before you begin the process to help you prepare for what’s ahead.

 

1. What are the steps and process for getting a loan approval?

To avoid any delays or surprises, be sure your loan officer takes the time to clearly explain the process and the steps from application to closing.

 

2. Interview your loan officer.

Be sure he or she is someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.  Ask about their experience with your loan type. Be sure you explore all the loan programs with your loan officer to determine that you are selecting the best choice for you.

 

3. What are the total fees / costs associated with the loan?

Borrowers pay fees at closing for services provided by the lender and other parties, such as title companies. Be sure you have a full understanding and a breakdown of all costs you will incur from application to closing. You should also be made aware of any out-of-pocket expenses you will have associated with the loan (i.e. appraisal fees, homeowners insurance, etc.)

  • Lenders may also charge discount or origination points. One point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. (i.e. on a $150,000 mortgage, one point would be a fee of $1,500 added to your closing costs.) Discount points reduce the interest rate or are used to buy the rate down. They are prepaid interest and are typically tax-deductible. Origination points are fees charged by the lender to cover the costs of originating the loan. Ask your loan officer if this will apply to you.

 

4. When can I lock the interest rate?

Interest rates can and do fluctuate. To prevent risking a higher rate, you can lock in your rate based on the market the day of locking. Locks are based on a set time frame, typically 30, 45, or 60 days.  Shorter term locks typically offer the best pricing.  Because the rates can change daily based on market, it is always your decision when to lock in your rate. Ask your loan officer about how you can lock in the best rate.

 

5. Is there a prepayment penalty on this loan?

Be sure you ask up front if your loan has a prepayment penalty.  Some lenders charge a penalty if you prepay on the mortgage. Some apply only when you refinance or reduce the principal balance by more than a certain percentage.

 

6. What is the minimum down payment required for this loan?

Be sure to explore your options regarding down payment.  The bigger down payment might mean a lower interest rate and better loan terms. With a down payment of less than 20 percent, you will likely have mortgage insurance (PMI) that will either increase your monthly payment or your rate.  By exploring your options you may also find that there is a program that will allow you to not have to make a down payment and keep those funds for reserves.

 

7. What documents will I have to provide?

Your loan officer should be able to provide you a list of required documents.  Understand the documents requested are required per federal lending guidelines and the sooner you provide those documents to your loan officer, the better they will be able to direct you.  Most Lenders require proof of income and assets, including bank statements, tax returns, W-2 statements and recent pay stubs.  More may be required based on your individual situation.

 

8. How long will it take to process my loan application?

There are a lot of moving parts to getting a mortgage from application to closing.  The timeframe can vary based on the type of loan program and all the parties involved responding to requests in a timely manner.  Purchase offers are typically written with closing dates anywhere from 30 to 60 days from accepted offer date.  As soon as you have an accepted offer, be sure you are notifying your loan officer right away to keep things rolling.  Your loan officer should be able to provide you an estimated time line along with frequent updates on status so you know you are on track for closing on time.

 

9. What can I do to ensure a timely closing?

Keeping your loan officer informed that you are writing an offer and provide updates until the offer is accepted.  Responding to your loan officer in a timely fashion is important. Asking what else you can do to keep the process moving along can help things go more smoothly.

 

10. What might delay approval of my loan?

Be sure you are up front with you loan officer, one of the things that can slow the process is when information is uncovered that was not known at the time of application.  If a job change, a decrease in salary, a new debt, a change in your credit history, or a change in marital status happens during the loan process, it is imperative that you communicate this with your loan officer as early in the process as possible so they can assist you in avoiding any delays.  The best way to avoid that is to put your financial life in a holding pattern until you reach the closing table.

 

Remember, you and your loan officer are on the same team, working together to get you into your new home as quickly and smoothly as possible.

 

 

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

 

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016

Know Your Home Inspector

couple-with-home-inspector

What to Look for in a Home Inspector

No one wants to buy a home without knowing what they’re getting themselves into. As a buyer, the mystery that comes with not knowing the condition of a home is unnerving. This is why getting a home inspection is essential. It is also important to know your home inspector and their procedures before starting the process.

Questions to Ask a Potential Home Inspector

Before you hire a home inspector, ask them the following questions to help you make the best decision:

  1. Are you a member of a professional home inspector association?
  2. Are you experienced in residential inspection?
  3. How long have you been inspecting homes for?
  4. What does the inspection cover?
  5. Am I able to attend the inspection?
  6. How much will it cost?
  7. How long will it take?
  8. Do you offer any repairs or improvements based on the results of the inspection?
  9. What kind of report do you provide?
  10. How long will it take to receive that report?

Asking these questions will allow you to spot any red flags and help you determine if your home inspector is as good as they claim.

Look for Red Flags

Here are some red flags to look for when asking your home inspector the above questions:

  • Not providing documentation or identification that shows they are a member of a professional home inspector association. While being a member of a home inspector association doesn’t guarantee that the inspector is an expert, it is safe to assume that non-members are not experts.
  • Not providing referrals or work history upon request. If the inspector is unwilling to provide referrals or their related work history upon request, they may not be as qualified or experienced as they claim.
  • An inspector will not let you attend the inspection. It is important for you to attend the inspection. Not only are you able to make sure the inspector is thorough, but you will also be able to address any concerns about the home firsthand instead of after the report has been filed. A good home inspector will let you come on the inspection with them; a great inspector will talk you through it as they inspect each area of the home.
  • The inspector will not let you see a copy of their inspection report prior to the start of inspection. Your inspector should let you see a copy of the inspection report before they begin. The report details everything that will be covered during the inspection, and receiving a copy of it beforehand will allow you to ask any questions or add on specific areas you want to be inspected.

Other Important Information

An average inspection can take two to three hours. You should expect to receive the full, completed report within 24 hours. Not all inspectors make repairs onsite, but if they do, make sure to utilize their services. Finally, the cost of an inspection can vary, but an average range can be from $300-$500.

Make sure your home inspector answers the questions above before you begin, and always take precautions when you notice red flags.
Check out the Department of Housing and Urban Development website for more details on choosing the right home inspector.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.
Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016

The Importance of a Home Inspection

HomeInspection

The Importance of a Home Inspection

Many buyers will choose to opt out of a home inspection to save some money or if it means getting an accepted offer on the home they are trying to purchase. However, waiving your right to a home inspection can be a costly mistake in the long run. Getting a home inspection can tell you the overall health of the home you are about to purchase, give you an idea of potential repairs, and allow for a home inspection contingency to be added to your contract.

What a Home Inspection Examines

A good inspector should examine certain components of the home you want to purchase and then produce a report covering his or her findings. Be sure to get a copy of the report, but also make sure you attend the inspection, too. You will be able to ask questions, get a firsthand explanation of the inspector’s findings, and see any problems the inspector finds in person. Inspections typically last 2-3 hours, so a little time now could help you get the full picture of your potential new home.

The inspector’s report should include:

  • whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect
  • which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced
  • items that are suitable for now but that should be monitored closely

Some common problems found during home inspections include:

  • Faulty wiring
  • Roof problems
  • Heating/cooling system defects
  • Plumbing issues
  • Poor home maintenance
  • Structural damage
  • Poor drainage around the structure, etc.

Download our home inspection checklist here

Home Inspection Limitations

A home inspection checks for visual cues to problems, so it cannot find all of a home’s defects. For example, if the home’s doors do not close properly or the floors are slanted, the foundation might have a crack. However, if the crack cannot be seen without pulling up all the flooring in the house, a home inspector cannot tell you it is definitely there.

In addition, most home inspectors are generalists. For example, they can tell you that the soil is too close to wood outside the home, but will recommend that you hire a pest inspector to check if the home has termites and the extent of the damages. Home inspectors also do not check for issues like site contamination, mold, and other specialized issues. Hiring additional inspectors will cost extra money, but if it is a serious enough issue, it is better to know about it now than later down the road.

Home Inspection Contingency

Home inspections can be used as a contingency in your purchase offer. If the home inspector finds significant damages and defects, the contingency allows you to back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe. These issues must be too expensive or too significant to fix in order for you to rescind your contract.

What Happens After an Inspection

What can you do once you have your inspection?

  • If your purchase contract has a home inspection contingency, you may choose to walk away from the purchase if the problems are too significant or expensive to fix.
  • You can ask the seller to fix any small or large problems. If they will not fix them, you can ask them to reduce the purchase price or give you a cash credit at closing so that you can fix the problems yourself. This is where a home inspection can pay for itself.
  • If these are not viable options (e.g. a bank-owned property that is being sold as-is), you can get estimates to fix the problems yourself, come up with a plan for repairs, and prioritize which repairs need to be done in order of importance.

 

Overall, a home inspection can give you a clearer picture of the health of the home you are about to purchase, signify any repairs that may be needed before or after you move in, and allow you to back out of a contract if repairs would be too costly. If there are no major problems, you will at least have the peace of mind in knowing that your new home is safe and move-in ready. You are making a large investment when you purchase a home; make sure you are getting the most value out of it.

 

 

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends and community. Through our family of dedicated mortgage professionals, our commitment is to deliver an exceptional experience. Our unwavering dedication to integrity, honesty and ethics is the foundation of all of our relationships.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016

Advantages of Pre-Approvals for Buyers

Advantages-Preapproval

There are many advantages of pre-approvals for active home shoppers. Here are some common questions and answers about pre-approvals.

What are the Advantages of Pre-Approvals?

A pre-approval will tell you how much a lender is willing to lend you. If you are shopping for a home, it’s important to know your price range early in the game. If you know what you can afford, you won’t needlessly shop for homes out of your price range.  Being comfortable with your limits will help you negotiate a home purchase with confidence. Plus, since sellers like a sure thing, you’ll have an advantage over buyers who may not have been through the pre-approval process.

Why Should I Be Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan?

A pre-approval takes your income, credit and assets into account.  By engaging in the pre-approval process, you can uncover any potential financing issues early in the process. It’s better to know that there are issues to be handled before you get your heart set on a specific home. On the bright side, you might not have any issues to overcome and you will be able to truly enjoy the home shopping process.

How Long is the Pre-Approval Valid?

Your pre-approval is typically good for the “shelf life” of the documents used to create it. These will include a credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, W2s, tax returns, etc. The usable life of these documents will vary, yet it’s usually safe to say that your approval is good for approximately three months. During this time, it pays to file all important financial documents so they’re readily available for future updates.

What if I Change My Mind?

That’s perfectly fine. There’s no obligation to purchase a home or use a particular loan program once you’ve been pre-approved. On the flip side, a pre-approval is not a contract and provides no guarantee of a loan approval. Usually, a loan approval is contingent on a home appraisal and a thorough review by mortgage underwriters. Your licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer can explain the process in great detail but there is no argument – the process of purchasing a home is easier when you have financing in place before you make an offer. We’re here to help you get started, and it’s never too early to do exactly that. Give us a call when you’re ready – find a loan officer near you.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016

Saving for a Home?

Saving-for-a-Home-Purchase

Saving For a Home?

Everyone wants to save up a large down payment when purchasing a home. Yet, when prices are on the rise, saving quickly enough to keep pace with rising interest rates and property values can be extremely difficult. In times such as these, why not let the market build equity for you instead?

Building Equity

Owning a home in an appreciating market can build equity faster than most people can save. For example, a $200,000 home that appreciates by 6% gains $1,000 per month in equity.  In this article by Consumer Affairs, home prices continue to edge up.

Getting Ahead of Rising Prices and Rates

Purchasing a home with a small down payment usually means that you’ll be required to pay mortgage insurance (MI or PMI). Click here to learn more about mortgage insurance. Your total monthly payment will be higher; however, the cost of mortgage insurance today can be a lot less expensive than buying a more expensive home at a potentially higher rate tomorrow. It pays to view mortgage insurance as a means to an end. In all likelihood, it will be a temporary cost, which may pay for itself over and over again.

Is a Down Payment Always Needed?

If you live in a rural area, you might even be able to purchase a home using a USDA no down payment mortgage loan. Property and income restrictions apply with USDA loans – please contact a loan officer to see if you qualify.

In addition to USDA loans, VA loans also require no down payment. VA loans are available to eligible veterans only. Learn more about VA loan eligibility requirements on the VA website.

Diverting Rent Payments to Equity

If you’re currently renting, chances are good your monthly expense is already similar to a mortgage payment. When you consider that part of your payment is a reduction of the mortgage’s principal balance, the real net cost can be far less.

Using Appreciation to Your Advantage

While you’re saving to buy, appreciation (or rising home value) works against you. After you’ve purchased your home, rising value works with you to build equity and may even mean you can eliminate cost or mortgage insurance more quickly.

Earning Tax Advantages

Many homeowners enjoy income tax savings based on the mortgage interest and real estate taxes they pay each year. Talk to your tax professional to see if tax advantages may reduce the actual cost of owning for you too.

Contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan officer to discuss what would benefit you more – buying now or saving for a later purchase. Use our branch locator to find a loan officer near you.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, Inlanta Mortgage is a growing mortgage banking firm committed to quality mortgage lending, ethical operations and strong customer service.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is an agency approved lender for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was recently named a Top Workplace for a third time in 2015. Inlanta has also received the Platinum Million Dollar USDA Lender Award and has been recognized as a Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional and a Top 100 Mortgage Banking Company and 100 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For by Mortgage Executive Magazine.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016