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!

Renting vs. Owning

rentvsownRenting Vs. Owning

 

Renting vs. Owning is one of the greatest debates consumers face. What are the pros and cons of each? Which option is cheaper? What is better for my current lifestyle? These are some of the questions renters face when trying to decide whether home-ownership is the right choice for them.

Contrary to popular belief, renting may not actually be cheaper than owning your own home. Rent prices are on the rise and starting to exceed the cost of a mortgage payment, and there are many other benefits to home-ownership that you may not have thought of, such as investment opportunity, tax deduction, stability, and freedom.

 

Investment Opportunity

Some people say investing in a home is risky; but with no risk, there is no reward. Studies conducted by the Federal Reserve have shown that owning can provide a net worth that is from several to hundreds of times higher than that of renters. When you own, improving your home increases its value. When you rent, improvements only increase value for your landlord. Ultimately, paying rent will only get you a roof over your head. There are virtually no benefits that paying rent offers beyond having a living space. Further, making mortgage payments on time helps build your equity and credit score.

 

Tax Deduction

Some people benefit from claiming deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes. Others find a standard deduction more valuable. Even if you exclude the tax benefit, the real cost of owning can still be less than renting.

 

Stability and Freedom

When you move into a home, it is something that is truly yours. You are free to decorate your environment as you please without worrying about restrictions from your landlord. By settling into a home, you will likely find yourself more involved in the community, whether that is through volunteering, participating in your home owners association, or simply establishing relationships with your neighbors. Renting is typically less stable than home-ownership and relationships with those around you tend to be avoided. Payments for a mortgage can be consistent with a fixed-rate mortgage, making the payment process easier.

 

So, with the cost of rent on the rise, finally taking that leap into home-ownership may be well within your means and could prove to be beneficial. Consult with a loan officer in your area today and we can answer any questions you may have!

If you are thinking about home-ownership, you may want to check out our blog on Inlanta’s Home Loan Roadmap.

 

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

Tools Every New Home Buyer Needs

Tools

If you are a first time home buyer, there are some basic tools you will need for the handy-man (or handy-woman) projects that are bound to come up in your new abode. Since most of of us can’t afford to call a handy-person for every little project on our honey-do lists – we’ve put together a list of tools the new home buyer needs to tackle basic home projects.

Top Tools

1. Toolbox – Don’t worry – you don’t need anything fancy. Pick yourself up a decent tool box or tool bag (canvas) so you can keep all your new tools in one place. When the time comes to put your new tools into use – you won’t be hunting around your house for everything. We suggest buying your tools first and then selecting a tool box that could hold twice as many tools as you purchased. You don’t want to have to buy a new tool box when you add to your collection.

2. Hammer – This is a handy-person basic. We don’t need to tell you why you need a hammer. A few helpful hints: A hammer with straight claws is probably more useful for the homeowner rather than sharply curved claws. You should be able to swing the hammer without difficulty – nothing too heavy.

3. Screwdrivers – Pick up a mixed set of 1/4 and 3/8 inch flat heads and No.1 and No. 2 Phillips heads (plus heads – as some of us laughably call them). Quality counts when it comes to screwdrivers – a cheap set will not last.

4. Tape Measure – A 16 foot 3/4-inch-wide tape measure should be sufficient. Less than 3/4 inches won’t do the job. Spend a few more bucks to get a 20 or 25 footer to make room measurements a little easier.

5. Utility Knife – A utility knife with replaceable blades will be much more useful than you can imagine. Either buy a utility knife or plan on replacing your steak knives more often.

6. Safety Glasses – This should be at the top of your list and your toolbox!

7. Level – This tool is a must-have for hanging pictures or shelves. A torpedo level is a simple and affordable level.

8. Pliers – Needle-nose pliers are are good for work in tight places and channel-lock pliers are adjustable and used for gripping things such as nuts and shower heads.

9. Vise Grips – A good set of vise grip pliers are invaluable. Make sure to pick up a pair of these locking pliers.

10. Drill – The only “must-have” power tool on the list. For those on a budget  – who will not be using a drill all that often –  a corded drill will work fine. For more frequent use, a cordless drill is more appropriate. Select a drill with a ½” chuck although the smaller 3/8″ chuck is usually large enough. A small assortment of drill bits (from 1/8″ to 3/8″ plus a few spare bits) and a few screwdriver bits will also be necessary to go with the drill. Make sure it is a variable speed, reversible drill of at least moderate quality.

All these tools are available at your local home improvement center. Just remember that you get what you pay for when it comes to tools. No need to spend a fortune – but consider your purchases as an investment in your new home.

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

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

What is PMI?

 

What is PMI?

What is PMI?

If you are embarking on a new home buying adventure – you will soon encounter the term “PMI.” So, what is PMI?

PMI stands for private mortgage insurance. PMI is required of buyers who put down less than 20 percent on their home loan – which is usually the case for most home buyers.

What is the point of PMI? While home owners’ insurance protects your investment, private mortgage insurance protects lenders’ investments and encourages and enables lenders to help more first time home buyers. Essentially, if PMI didn’t exist, lenders would require a higher down payment to mitigate the inherent risk in lending to first time home buyers. Many of us, especially first time home buyers, are not in a position to put down a 20% down payment.

PMI is available in a variety of premium plan structures and offers payment options that can usually be tailored to the borrower’s needs. There are a number of private mortgage insurance providers and each structure their offerings a bit differently. PMI can be canceled after a stated LTV achieved and favorable payment history has been established.

As a quick note, don’t confuse monthly insurance premiums (MIP) for PMI. MIP is the government-administered mortgage insurance program for the FHA that has certain restrictions and has undergone a number of changes recently. Read more about MIP, FHA Mortgages & FHA Streamline Refinancing.

Are you a first time home buyer with more questions about the home buying process and what loan programs are available to meet your home financing needs? Contact a licensed mortgage loan professional near for more information.

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

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

15 or 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage?

 

15 or 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage?

15 or 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage? Which is right for you?

There is no shortage of decisions to be made when applying for a new mortgage loan. A common question mortgage professionals ask their home buying customers is whether they would prefer a 15-year fixed rate mortgage or a
30-year fixed rate mortgage. So how do you decide? Let’s review the major advantages of 15 and 30-year fixed rate mortgage loans.

Benefits of 15-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages

  • Pay off Your Mortgage Faster – The sooner you pay off your mortgage loan, the sooner you will have more income at your disposal for retirement, vacations, etc.
  • Save Money On Interest – The shorter your finance term, the less you pay in interest.
  • Build Equity Faster – Equity is the difference between what your house is worth and what you owe. Home equity builds as your property value increases or your mortgage balance decreases. With a 15-year fixed rate mortgage – you are paying down your principal balance faster than you would with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan.

Benefits of 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgages

  • 30-year fixed rate mortgages have lower monthly payments which often outweigh the benefits of a 15-year mortgage. A 30-year fixed rate mortgage may be more desirable if you are on a tight budget and need more wiggle room for unexpected expenses. Additionally, lower fixed payments may enable you to pay off other higher interest debt, make home improvements, or save for a rainy day – which may not have been possible if you elected for the shorter 15-year mortgage term.
  • Interest paid on a mortgage loan is tax deductible. Because 30-year fixed rate mortgages involve higher interest payments, this type of mortgage may be a better fit for people who need additional write-offs. For instance, high earners, self-employed people, and independent contractors may all benefit from a long-term mortgage. Even if you’re an employee with a modest income, you can still take advantage of a 30-year fixed rate mortgage to lower your tax liability. Consult your tax professional for more information on mortgage interest tax deductions.

Making Your Decision

Deciding between a 15-year mortgage and a 30-year mortgage is a major decision that will have long-lasting effects on your personal finances. Before settling on a term, consider your current financial situation and your long-term financial goals. Take into consideration your other debts and household bills.

If you are a first time home buyer, consider the amount of disposable income and personal savings you have. A 15-year mortgage can take a significant portion of your income, and if you don’t have a lot of extra income or a significant savings account, it’s likely in your best interest to skip the shorter term and stick with a 30-year mortgage.

15 and 30-year fixed rate mortgage are at all time record lows according to Freddie Mac. To take advantage of these record low rates, apply today or click here to located a licensed mortgage loan professional near you!

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

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

More First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

More First Time Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid
Last week we discussed some common first time home buyer mistakes.  To help you keep your sanity, cash, and to help you proceed through the home buying process as a more educated consumer  –  we have a few more to add to the list.

Mistake #4

Being ruled by the heart and not the head. Although, the decision to purchase a house often begins with your heart – don’t let you heart rule the process. For example, curb appeal can be a powerful force. If your heart is in love with the white picket fence or the expansive yard – make sure you are not overlooking other aspects of the home as a result.

Be objective and look at an assortment of homes. List the positives and the negatives of every home. Can you reduce or eliminate the negatives? Perhaps you could recruit a friend to view the home and give you objective feedback.  Think about how long you plan to own the home and if it will be difficult to resell.

Don’t exclude your heart from the process – just be sure your head is in charge.


Mistake #5
Buying into an unknown location. Don’t stop your inspection at the property line. Examine the surrounding area. Is it safe, well maintained, relatively quiet? Is is convenient to work, school, and shopping? Ask about zoning and that lovely forest of vacant land across the street. Could the highway be widened in a couple of years? If you are not familiar with the area, a real estate agent is essential. A licensed realtor will be able to help you with your questions and alleviate your concerns before you purchase.

Mistake #6
Signing without understanding the financing. Here is where it helps to do a quick study. First-time home owners contend with an assortment of mortgage types and the associated jargon. Pre-purchase counseling can help families prepare for homeownership. While your licensed mortgage loan officer is more than capable of explaining the process, many families find pre-purchase counseling classes to be extremely beneficial.  In the Milwaukee area, Housing Resources, Inc. offers a number of classes for first time home buyers.

 

Are you ready to become a new home buyer? Consult a licensed mortgage loan professional today!

 

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programsReview Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Avoid These Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Avoid These Common First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

It happens every day. First-time home buyers, partly due to enthusiasm or partly due to ignorance, make costly mistakes during the home buying process, like buying more house than you can reasonably afford. To help you keep your sanity and your cash, become an educated consumer and avoid the mistakes others have made before you. Here are a few common mistakes new home buyers should avoid:

Mistake #1

Not planning ahead. From the moment you think about buying a home, start planning. Start by requesting a copy of your credit report. Carefully examine it for errors and be prepared to answer questions about items on your credit report. Talk to your mortgage lender before you attempt to rectify errors on your report – in some cases your attempts to rectify credit report errors can cause a delay in the approval of your loan. An Inlanta Mortgage loan professional can provide you valuable guidance when it comes to improving your credit score or correcting errors.

Are you currently renting? Check your lease for an early release clause. If you’ll be subject to penalties, try to time your closing with the expiration of the lease.

During this planning phase, consider your life over the next five to seven years. Do you plan to start a family? Will an in-law eventually move in with you? Will you be working from home? The number and layout of the rooms you require will depend on your answers. If you qualify for financing based on a dual income, will you be able to survive on one salary in order to fulfill a long-range plan, such as one parent staying home to raise a child? Once you’ve answered these questions, establish a plan. Then direct the process with reference to the plan. Don’t let the process dictate to you.

Mistake #2

Failing to understand the home buying process. First-time homebuyers need to ask questions, lots of questions. Choose a real estate agent and mortgage professional who each have experience working with new home buyers. Experienced Realtors and financing professionals should be willing to explain the entire home buying process – from viewing homes, to negotiating, to financing, to escrow and closing in detail, and explain it again until you understand it.

Mistake # 3

Getting in too deep. It can happen when home buyers shop outside their budgets or over-extend themselves. What can you do to avoid getting hooked? Monitor your expenses for a couple of months. Then, based on your findings, develop a budget that truly reflects your lifestyle. Talk to a real estate agent who can provide insight into new home expenses and taxes. Then revise your budget.

Get pre-approved not pre-qualified. Pre-qualification only tells how much you can afford. Pre-approval goes a step further. Your lender will thoroughly evaluate your application, including verifying employment information and financial disposition, then clear you for a loan of a determined amount. Having your loan pre-approved makes you more attractive to the seller – a definite advantage when competing with investors for properties.

More to Come

Since this is obviously not an exhaustive list – next week we will provide a few more first time home buyer mistakes to avoid. Need more information now? Contact a licensed mortgage loan professional at Inlanta Mortgage. Our experienced team of loan officers can help you navigate through the home buying process and into the home of your dreams!

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

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Today!

Pre-approval or prequalification? Many new home buyers ask, “What’s the difference?”

A prequalification is an informal estimate of how much you can afford for a house. Your lender uses the information you provide about your income, finances, and credit history to make an educated guess about your ability to buy a home. What is important to note is that a prequalification doesn’t require a credit report and generally doesn’t provide you with any real credibility. A prequalification letter is mainly for shoppers in the early stage of the home buying process that want a basic idea about how much they can afford.

Getting a pre-approval for a mortgage loan is a different story. Pre-approvals carry a lot more weight and are a better indication of your ability to fully qualify for a mortgage loan. Lenders collect many documents during the pre-approval process including pay stubs, a credit report, bank statements, and tax documents.

After Inlanta Mortgage has thoroughly reviewed your documents and verified all pertinent information, he or she will issue you a mortgage loan approval letter detailing a specific amount that you are pre-approved to borrow. Click here to speak with a licensed mortgage loan officer near you about the mortgage loan pre-approval process.

Pre-approvals have several advantages over prequalifications:

  • Your Realtor knows you’re serious when you present a pre-approval letter – and will work even harder on your behalf!
  • Sellers prefer to negotiate with prospective buyers with pre-approvals over simple prequalification letters – often times sellers won’t even consider your offer without a pre-approval letter from a licensed mortgage loan originator!
  • Your mortgage pre-approval letter takes into consideration down payment percentages, interest rates, property taxes and mortgage insurance – which makes it clearer to you (the buyer) just how much you can truly afford to borrow.
  • A solid pre-approval will help you get your loan processed faster. Getting a pre-approval could take your offer from a 60 day closing to as little as 30 days – with Inlanta’s express underwriting you may be able to close even faster!

All that said, a pre-approval letter is not a binding agreement between you and your lender. Let’s say you put in an offer on a house and begin the formal mortgage loan process. Your lender will order an appraisal on the house you intend to buy and the loan will be subject to the details of that appraisal. What if you lose your job, interest rates rise, or you run up your credit cards over the holidays? All these factors will affect your ability to afford the amount your were originally pre-approved for.

Pre-approval letters trump prequalification letters in almost all scenarios.  If you are a serious shopper and want to carry more authority with sellers and real estate agents – click here to find a loan officer near you.

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

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.

 

Counseling Helps Families Prepare for Homeownership

Pre-Purchase Counseling Helps Families Prepare for Homeownership

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released two reports on May 16, 2012 on the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for those families who are purchasing their first homes and those struggling to prevent foreclosure.  In both studies, HUD found housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood homeowners remained in their homes.

The key findings of the first study regarding pre-purchase counseling include:

  • 35 percent of the study participants had become homeowners 18 months after seeking pre-purchase counseling.
  • Most purchasers had a FICO score of 620 or higher (71 percent), and were reported as having completed counseling by their housing counselor (72 percent).
  • Only one of the purchasers had fallen at least 30 days behind on mortgage payments 12-18 months after receiving pre-purchase counseling services.
  • Most were motivated to seek counseling to identify homebuyer assistance programs (58 percent) or to obtain down payment or closing cost assistance or to qualify for a specific loan program (58 percent).
  • Study participants were racially and ethnically diverse (52 percent African American, 32 percent White, 16 percent of another race or multi-racial, and 19 percent Hispanic), were more likely to be young (51 percent were under age 35), female (72 percent), have dependents under the age of 18 living with them (57 percent).

The key findings of the second report regarding foreclosure counseling include:

  • Most study participants attempted to contact their servicer when they first fell behind but were unsuccessful in negotiating with their lenders on their own.
  • With a counselor’s help, 69 percent of counselees obtained a mortgage remedy, and 56 percent were able to become current on their mortgages.
  • Nearly 70 percent of clients who sought counseling before becoming delinquent were in their home and current on their mortgage payments at the 18-month follow-up period, whereas only 30 percent of clients who were six or more months behind at the time they entered counseling were in their home and current at follow-up.

To read the press release in its entirety, and to also read both the housing counseling studies, please click here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage has recently earned the distinction of being named a 2012 Top Workplace in Southeastern Wisconsin.