Preparing Financially for the Mortgage Process

Purchasing a home is exciting and adventurous. Home buyers, particularly first-time home buyers, typically don’t know a lot about the process of financing a home. To avoid making mistakes, you need to know what you should expect. It is important to consider the state of your credit, the additional costs besides just the down payment, and the important questions dealing with the future.

 

The Credit Aspect

Your credit score is one of the first things a lender will look at when you apply for a mortgage. To cut through all that confusion, here are five tips you can act on right now:

  • Check your credit reports for free once a year through the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Why all three? Because the information in each of the three bureaus’ reports can differ. If one or all of the reports include mistakes, your credit score may be negatively affected, and you may need to address the errors before going house shopping.
  • Be strategic with credit card use. The percentage of your credit limit that you use every month can affect your score. Make sure your balance doesn’t come too close to your limit.
  • The simplest and most important tip? Pay off your balance each month. To maintain a healthy score, pay off the balance before the due date. Anything after 30 days past the due date can spell very bad news for your score.
  • Be consistent. Good credit behavior over the long term will keep your score high.
  • Don’t take on more credit. If you apply for several different credit cards, you’re sending a message that you may have maxed out your other accounts

 

Save enough for the down payment and other additional fees

You should plan to make a down payment of 3.5% – 5% at the very least when you are determining affordability. It is important to consider that down payments are not the only costs associated with the purchase of a home. Your lender should be able to provide you with a breakdown of your costs that you will be paying upfront and on a monthly basis. Here are some basic tips to help you save for the costs associated with buying a home:

  • Start a budget: Making a budget allows you to see your expenses, how much money is coming in, and what is left over to save or pay off debts. When you have a savings goal it, helps prioritize your money by eliminating or cutting down on unnecessary expenses.
  • Automate: Once you have created a budget and figured out how much you can comfortably save each month or paycheck, set up a specific amount or percentage of your paycheck to go to savings automatically. For some, it helps to open up an entirely separate savings account for their home’s down payment and expenses. This method allows you to see how much you are saving specifically for the home buying process and keeps you from accidentally spending this money on something other than your new home.
  • Increase your income: If you are worried about cutting back expenses, or just want to save for your down payment faster, consider finding ways to increase your income. Some ideas include working overtime, getting a second job, or finding alternative ways to making money such as selling items online.
  • Save any unexpected money: When you get a large sum of money, such as a bonus or your tax refund, itis all too easy to take on the extra cash and purchase that one expensive thing you’ve had your eye on for months. Instead of going on a shopping spree, take that money and put it into your savings right away to help you achieve your dream of homeownership sooner.

 

Affordability now and in the future

Regardless of the level of income you have today, you need to figure out what the future may hold before you sign on the dotted line. For example, if you’re planning to have kids sometime down the road, how will these happy additions impact your family income? What effect will job changes have on your current income level? And have you planned for monthly payments into your rainy day savings account?

Everyone who looks to buy a home will have a payment amount that is affordable today, but in the face of your answers to the questions above, will that number still work for you down the road? These are some questions to consider as you think about homeownership.

 

Feel free to talk with a loan officer in your area to determine if homeownership is the right path for you!

Additional Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

financial health

Additional Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

Last week, we gave you six habits to adopt for healthy finances. This week, we want to give you some more habits to consider incorporating into your life to strengthen your financial situation. Adopting just a few of these good habits could lead to a better financial future overall.

 

1. Set up Automatic Savings

If you have not set up automatic deposits to your savings, you should do so. Putting money in savings is crucial. To avoid having it slip your mind, opt to have it done automatically.

 

2. Organize Financial Records

Knowing where all of your important financial records are is important. You don’t want to be scrambling around when you need them for something. Keeping them organized will help save you frustration in the future.

 

3. Save More Than 10%

Putting 10% of your paycheck into savings is a rule of thumb for many people. Think about saving more than just 10% from your paychecks if you are able to. This gives you a little more cushion financially and can help you reach your goals quicker.

 

4. Record Everything you Buy

If you struggle with impulsive purchases, consider taking a week or so to do a financial diary. Write down all of your purchases day by day. Writing down every single item you purchase in a day will make you re-think what you should and shouldn’t be spending your money on. Even though your bank account keeps track of transactions, making an itemized list is more likely to make an impact.

 

5. Make a List And Stick to it

Take the time to think of what you need from the store and do not stray from that list while shopping. Impulse spending is much more likely to happen when you do not shop with a list.

 

6. Read a Financial Book

Many experts in the financial field have written books full of guidance on how to be smart with your money. Reading one of the many available financial advice books in your spare time can prove to be very beneficial. Author Dave Ramsey is a popular financial radio host and is also considered America’s trusted voice on money. His 2003 book, Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness, is a New York Times Best Seller.

 

Keep in mind these are not always a good fit for everyone. Assess your own financial situation and see which could potentially benefit you. If you need guidance, consult your loan officer or financial planner before making any changes.

 

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.

Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

 Financial Habits

Healthy Financial Habits to Adopt

 

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg explains that a habit loop consists of a cue, routine, and reward. For a habit to be formed, this loop gets repeated over and over again for the same action until it eventually becomes subconscious, or a habit to us. It is made clear that a habit cannot be erased completely, but rather covered up by another one. Utilizing this information can help you adopt financially responsible habits through repetition and realizing the ultimate reward.

 

1. Set Goals

Whether it’s paying off loans, owning a home, saving up for a renovation, or affording a vacation, set goals for yourself, review them often, and share them with family and/or friends. This will help you be held more accountable for those goals and least likely to give up.

 

2. Check Your Balances

Try to incorporate time to check your bank account balances every day. Assess how close you are to your financial goals and make sure you are on track to achieving them.

 

3. Pay Bills Ahead of Time

Scheduling a payment is a good feature to utilize if you do not want to commit to automatic payments. Take time to schedule your bill payments ahead of the due date.

 

4. Shop Without Your Credit Card

Credit is always a good thing to have but should be used very responsibly. Next time you go shopping, leave the credit card at home to avoid getting carried away.

 

5. Pay More Than Just the Minimum

If you are able to do so, paying more than the minimum payment amount on your credit card bill gets you to financial relief much quicker. Better financial habits will more than likely follow suit the closer you get to being debt free.

 

6. Replenish Emergency Fund Frequently

An emergency fund is useful for things such as job loss, health expenses, car problems, unexpected travel, and more. If you do not have an emergency fund yet, you should start one today and keep it well funded. Preparing for the unexpected will save you from stress later on.

 

This is post is the first in a two-part series about healthy financial habits. Check out our post next week for additional tips on healthy finances.

 

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.

3rd Annual Oconomowoc High School Reality Store

reality-store-oconomowoc

Next week, several loan officers will be joining students from Oconomowoc High School for their 3rd Annual Reality Store.

Oconomowoc High School Reality Store

The Reality Store is a financial simulation that tries to mirror real life scenarios to help students understand what they will experience in their lives in the future. Each student will choose an occupation with a salary, correlating student loan debt, have to pay taxes, buy housing and a vehicle. They will need to keep a check register as they buy their insurance and food by writing real checks for their purchases. Many area businesses, including Inlanta Mortgage, will help create a real life simulation.

Mortgage Needs

Oconomowoc students will need to make important housing decisions during this simulation. Loan officers Patty Napgezek, Jason Grubba and Steven March will be helping kids calculate each student’s debt-to-income ratios and help them determine if they have enough money left after college loans and auto payments to purchase a home.

Preparing Our Youth

Loan officer Patty Napgezek, a former Oconomowoc educator, is extremely honored to be part of the Reality Store program each year. She says the Reality Store really opens the kids eyes to what is in store for them.

“Any time that we can provide students the opportunity to reach beyond the curriculum and experience the “reality” of their future it is priceless,” said Patty Napgezek.

About Inlanta Mortgage

Headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993. The company has grown to 31 branches in 16 states and over 220 employees. 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 Fannie Mae, FHA/VA, FHA 203K and USDA. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Top Mortgage Lender in 2012 by Scotsman Guide and has been listed on Mortgage Technology’s Top 25 Tech Savvy Lenders List for the last four years. Inlanta has also been named to the Milwaukee Business Journal’s “Top 25 Largest Milwaukee-Area Mortgage Banking Companies” and Mortgage Executive Magazine’s “Top 100 Mortgage Companies in America” in 2011 and 2012. In addition, Inlanta was named a “Fastest Growing Firm” by Milwaukee Business Journal in 2013 and a “Platinum Million Dollar Lender” by the USDA Rural Development Program.

Inlanta Mortgage’s Mission

Inlanta’s 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.

For more information, please call Inlanta Mortgage at 262-439-4260, email info@inlanta.com or visit the company’s website at www.inlanta.com. For more information on branch partnership opportunities with Inlanta Mortgage visit inlantapartners.com or email partners@inlanta.com.