June is National Homeownership month. Americans often think of their homes as more than just a place to “hang their hats.” Homeownership has long been considered part of the greater “American Dream” that includes “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as mentioned in our country’s Declaration of Independence.
Here’s a rundown of key events related to homeownership dating back to our nation’s infancy:
Questions about home values, mortgage interest rates or the path to homeownership? We can help! Contact us today!
Dogs vs cats, Netflix vs Hulu, pancakes vs waffles… rent vs
own? These are some of the great debates of our time and while we understand
that renting makes sense for certain situations – we want to make clear that we
are totally Team Own on this one.
Owning a Home is More
Attainable than you Think
We’re sure you’ve heard this before: you need 20% down to
buy a home. We’re here to tell you that statement is not a fact. While putting
20% down on a home allows you to skip the extra PMI payments,
today you can put as little as 3.5% down on a home or even no down payment
at all if you are a veteran or active military personnel. To put
things in perspective – 3.5% down on a $200,000 home is $7,000. 20% down on a
$200,000 is $40,000. While some of you may have $7,000 already in your savings,
chances are, that $40,000 is way more out of reach.
Owning a Home is an
Some say that when they are renting, they feel like they are
throwing money out the window. It may feel this way for renters because their
payments are going directly into the pocket of their landlord instead of into something
that has ROI. Owning a home allows you to build equity and invest in your
future as home values and prices tend to generate upwards.
Owning a Home Offers
Fixed Payments vs Rising Rent
It’s no secret – rents can change and are likely to increase
over time. One of the many benefits of homeownership is being able to get a
hold of your budget by having a fixed mortgage payment each month giving you
the security of knowing exactly how much you will spend while avoiding surprise
rent hikes from your landlord.
Owning a Home Allows
you to Plant Roots
Renters – here are some freeing words for you: when you own
a home, you are your own landlord! Want to re-do your kitchen, paint your ceiling,
or even remodel
your home to take after your favorite childhood cartoon? You can! Owning
a home allows you to put roots down in a place that’s yours offering stability,
comfort, and community.
Owning a Home is like
a Forced Savings Account
Do you set aside money for a 401(k) or a “rainy day” fund?
You may be interested to find out that owning a home is similar! Instead of spending
your money on rent or other things without return, having a mortgage is like
putting aside money into a savings account each month as home values/the equity
in your home tends to increase over time.
Bottom line: rates
are still at historic lows making now the perfect time to take advantage of the
market and invest in homeownership today. Get started now by getting pre-approved
with one of our local Inlanta Mortgage loan experts
or click this link to apply today with
our short/easy online app!
Building and maintaining healthy credit is important. A good credit score can help you achieve some of your biggest financial dreams, like owning a home or even starting your own business.
If you’re like most people, your credit score isn’t perfect – and that’s ok! There are plenty of steps you can take to begin building and maintaining solid credit.
Here are our top tips to help you build and maintain a healthy credit score:
A good rule of thumb for building solid credit is to only borrow what you can afford to pay back. This means, only using your credit card if you have enough available in your bank account to pay the balance off in full right away. It is also good practice to leave your credit card at home if you’re heading out shopping or somewhere you will be tempted to spend.
Stay Below Your Limit
Experts recommend keeping your credit spending at about 30% of your maximum balance. Avoid maxing out your credit cards to keep you in a good place financially and out of debt.
If you are just starting to build your credit, do your research and begin with opening only one card. The last thing you will want to do is open a number of new cards, creating additional debt to keep track of.
Never Miss a Payment
Missed credit card payments not only leave you behind in debt but also show lenders that you have a track record of being financially irresponsible. This can negatively affect your future when it comes to, for example, wanting to purchase a home as you are more likely to be approved if you have a healthy credit history and a higher credit score.
Pay More than your Minimum Due
If you’ve had a credit card for some time now, it is likely you also have built a balance on that card. This is not necessarily a bad thing for building credit, as long as you are consistently making payments on-time every month. If you are unable to pay off your balance in full, you’ll want to make sure you are paying more than the minimum payment due in order to pay off your balance as quickly as possible to help improve your credit score and avoid pesky interest payments.
Build a History
If you’ve just opened a new card, plan to keep it long-term to help you display a solid history of creditworthiness. Lenders appreciate at least a few years of experience in maintaining timely payments and the longer you keep your card, the more likely your credit score will increase.
Regularly Review your Account History
Take some time to review what you are spending money on. If you find yourself swiping your card every time you grab a latte in the morning, you likely aren’t using your credit wisely. Try designating your credit card for emergencies or basic needs such as groceries and gas to help promote good spending habits. Also, keep an eye out for any types of fraudulent purchases; if you notice anything strange, notify your credit card company immediately to save yourself from financial distress.
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, you may be
scrambling to find the perfect way to express your appreciation and gratitude
for the Mom in your life. While no gift, regardless of price, can thank her
enough, there’s plenty of ways to thank the woman who helped raise you without
breaking the bank. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?
Consider doing one of these five things for Mom this
Breakfast in Bed: A Mother’s Day tradition that never
goes out of style. This Mother’s Day, show your thanks by waking up before her
and bringing her breakfast in bed. There’s no doubt she’ll be overjoyed to
spend a morning relaxing and enjoying a meal in the comfort of her own bed, and
it’s a perfectly sweet way to show your gratitude.
Frame Favorites: Be prepared, this may bring on the
water works! Show your mom how much you care by giving her a framed photo of you
both of a special time you spent together. Or, if you’re feeling creative, take
the time to hand-write a personal poem or a heart-felt letter, then frame it
for her instead!
Give Her the Day Off: Flip the script and take on the
Mom duties! From the moment she wakes up, give her the day to herself to enjoy
and relax. Then, take on her usual tasks and tackle any chores she completes
throughout the day. She’ll be moved by your thoughtful gesture and feel
cherished on her special day, but most of all, she’ll enjoy a leisurely day
Spend the Day Together: As you grow older and your
own life becomes busier, finding time to spend with mom can be a challenge.
Devote this Mother’s Day to spending it with your mom doing what she likes to
do. Take her to a movie, out to brunch, shopping, or just relax at home and
catch up on life. Remind her how grateful you are for having her in your life,
and thank her for helping make you the person you are today.
Pamper Her: Treat your mom to a spa-like
experience to give her some deserved R&R. You can save money by turning
your living room into an at-home resort using candles, music and a variety of
lotions, oils and beauty supplies. Or, surprise her with a scheduled day of
pampering at your local spa. This thoughtful idea will surely give her a
Mother’s Day she won’t forget!
Thank you, moms, for all that you do! And to all of our friends and families in the communities we serve, we wish you and yours a Happy Mother’s Day!
We spend much of our time everyday at work and Inlanta works
hard to make our work-home the best it can be. And we’re being recognized for
this! We’re pleased to announce that Inlanta Mortgage has again been named a Top
Workplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 2019. We’re
honored to be recognized with this award that’s based solely on our employee
feedback, and we thank all of Team Inlanta for making this happen.
Top Workplace honors are awarded to companies whose
employees have rated their companies highly in categories such as leadership,
direction, ethics, culture, training and benefits. Top Workplace award winners
do not know whether their employees have rated them favorably until a
third-party, Workplace Dynamics, collects and reviews all results. Some
examples of questions employees were asked to answer include: “I believe this
company is going in the right direction,” and “At this company, we do things
efficiently and well.”
Join Team Inlanta
Learn more about what makes Inlanta a place people want to
work and why we’re committed to positively impacting everyone we touch while striving
to improve the lives of those we serve and work with in our communities. At
Inlanta, we’re proud to be a family-owned business since 1993 where we treat
our employees like family, and are employees are commonly referred to as
“Inlanta Family” or “Team Inlanta.”
Whether you’re currently looking for a new home or not,
you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Get pre-approved.” Perhaps it was through a
radio or TV ad, on social media, or from your friends or family. What you
should know is what being pre-approved means in the homebuying process, and how
it can make you stand out in a crowded buyer’s market.
What is a
To get a mortgage loan, you need to be pre-approved by a
lender. This means that your lender will need to collect certain documentation,
such as bank statements and W2s, to verify your income and determine that you
are able to repay the loan.
Why is it Important?
Getting a pre-approval from a trusted lender is a powerful tool
for homebuyers for many reasons, and is recommended before you even begin home
shopping so that you may:
Know your Budget
Gain Peace of Mind
Get Ahead of your Competition
Increase Buying Power
Expedite your Closing
With a pre-approval, your Realtor will know you’re a serious
buyer and understand your budget, helping narrow your home search to homes that
are a right match for you. It can save you from the heartache of falling in
love with a home you can’t afford, while letting your realtor know that you’re ready
and able to make an offer on a home anytime, anywhere.
For the sellers, a pre-approval makes you an attractive
buyer as it shows sellers that you are financially capable of purchasing their
home, giving them the peach-of-mind that your offer will stand.
Lastly, it expedites the closing process which means smoother
stress-free closings and getting you into your new home that much sooner.
Ultimately, getting pre-approved is a smart move if you’re
looking to buy a home anytime soon. To get your free pre-approval, reach out to
one of our loan experts in your area
for your pre-approval today using our fast and easy online
At Inlanta, we believe in honoring our Vets who have proudly served and sacrificed for our country to protect our freedom. And it’s personal for us, with our Vet loan officers representing every branch of the military.
If you are a veteran or active military member, it is our privilege to serve you to help make homeownership possible. We are all committed to serving Veterans with our VA loan program, and have also partnered with Pets for Vets, an organization that helps pair rescue dogs with at-risk returning veteran, and donated $25,000 to their cause earlier this year.
Why Choose a VA Loan?
A VA (Veterans Affairs) mortgage loan is designed specifically for service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses to help them purchase a home.
VA Loans offer excellent benefits that allow eligible VA borrowers to purchase a home with:
No money down
No Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) required
More flexible credit guidelines
PMI is usually required if a down payment of 20% is not provided when purchasing a home. With the VA mortgage loan, both the down payment and PMI requirements are waived for veterans.
What Can You Do with a VA Loan?
A VA loan is similar to any other conventional loan, allowing you to:
Purchase a home or condo
Build a new home
Refinance your current home
Make improvements on your current home, such as adding energy efficient features
Who is Eligible?
Veterans and surviving spouses must meet requirements to qualify for a VA mortgage loan, based on available entitlement and years of service. To learn more about our VA mortgage loans, contact your local Inlanta loan officer today.
Did you Know?
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the GI Bill! Passed in 1944 as the “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act,” the law that positively impacted millions of veterans and their families by providing a wide range of benefits to Veterans including low-cost home loans, education and vocational training, unemployment payments, and an expansion of Veterans’ health care.
It’s officially March Madness – the height of any college basketball fan’s year!
It’s also time for “mortgage madness” as we enter into the height of the homebuying season – the spring market.
You may have your team picked, your bracket filled in, and your wings pre-ordered for the big game, but do you also have your game face on for the competitive spring homebuying season?
Here’s some pre-game strategies to help you score big on the home of your dreams.
Find your Team
Did you know that you + your mortgage pro + your real estate pro = the dream team?
That’s right! Don’t go through this process alone when you can have a dynamic duo of industry professionals coaching you through it all. Buying a home is not a game-time decision and having that coach by your side will ensure that you’re taking all the right shots to score the home of your dreams. To find a mortgage expert in your area today, click here.
Before you even lace up your high-tops and hit the court, make sure to take advantage of Inlanta’s easy online application process and get your pre-approval before you even begin home shopping. This is crucial because it allows you to know exactly what you can afford, and also give you an edge over your homebuying competitors who don’t have the security of a fully underwritten pre-approval.
If you’re ready to take the winning shot and become a homeowner today, we’d love to chat with you! We have a deep bench of loan programs, as well as down payment assistant programs to help you score the home of your dreams. Inlanta Mortgage has been helping homeowners win the home of their dreams throughout the nation for more than 25 years, and we put our customers first in every transaction. See why our customers say trusting us with their mortgage transaction is a “slam dunk” here!
Whether you’re getting in the game or sitting on the sidelines this year, we hope you enjoy a successful spring!
Recent news of a positive spring market for home buyers probably has you wondering – what is my home worth and is it time put it on the market?
If you’re like most, you don’t know where to begin to determine your home’s value, so here’s some tips to help you get started:
1.1. Use Online Evaluation Tools
Today when we have questions, we turn first to Google. A Google search of “what is my home worth?” pulls up a multitude of online home evaluation tools that combine things like public records, property transfers, tax assessments, local listing prices, etc. to offer an estimated price for your home. You can find these tools on popular real estate hubs like Zillow or Redfin, however, the predicted price is just that – a prediction – so make sure to check into steps 2 & 3 below before taking the answer as final.
2.2. Chat with your Real Estate Agent
Working with a licensed real estate professional is important when determining your home’s worth. They will have the inside scoop on past home sale prices and comparable listings in your nearby neighborhoods. They’ll also be the ones who will put in the time, effort and research necessary to find out exactly how much your home will go for. They also know what’s selling currently, and can help you identify simple things to make your house more appealing.
3.3. Chat with your Mortgage Pro
Don’t count your mortgage pro out of the process just yet! They can provide you with the latest scoop on current market trends and mortgage rates, and can also connect you with trusted real estate professionals as well as skilled appraisers.
Why Is Knowing My Home Value Important?
Knowing exactly what your home’s worth can benefit you even if you’re not planning to sell your home anytime soon. You may find that your home value has increased giving you the chance to refinance your mortgage and utilize the cash to upgrade your home, help pay off debts or meet other financial goals. Contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan officer today to find out how best to determine the value of your home, then get prequalified for your next home, or learn about your refinancing options!
Dealing with debt can be overwhelming and straining on your finances. If it is your goal to be debt free in 2019, take a look at our top tips.
Set a Firm Budget – First and foremost, evaluate your income, debt and expenses, then set a firm budget using those numbers. This is a great way to figure out exactly how you’re currently spending your money, and where you are being frivolous, to help know where to make adjustments. If your income doesn’t cover your expenses, it may be time to consider asking for a raise at work, taking on a second job, or adjusting your lifestyle to live below your means and focus on paying off debt.
Use the “Debt Snowball” Method – If you haven’t heard of this debt reduction strategy, the debt snowball method presented by money management expert Dave Ramsey provides a plan to pay off debts in order of smallest to largest, then as debts are paid, rolling that money into the next smallest balance. Here’s Ramsey’s process:
Step 1: List your debts from smallest to largest.
Step 2: Make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.
Step 3: Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt.
Step 4: Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
Streamline & Simplify – Create an “automated budget” by setting up auto-payments for each paycheck to cover your bills and add to your savings account. This helps avoid spending income on non-essentials because you’ve spent the money before it even gets into your “spending” account. You can also simplify your lifestyle by cutting out unnecessary spending and putting daily practices into place, like making your coffee at home or packing your lunch for work. While this step can be one the hardest of all – we all love our Starbucks — remember that this is only temporary but is necessary to help give you financial freedom to do even more in the future.
Consider a Refi – if you’re a homeowner, there’s a chance you’re paying a higher interest rate than today’s rates. By refinancing to lower your interest rate, you can save money on your monthly mortgage payments that frees up cash to help pay down debt. Or, depending on how much equity you have, you could even do a cash-out refinance to pay off credit card debt, car loans, personal loans, school loans, etc.