4 Reasons to Choose a VA Mortgage Loan

The veterans home loan, also referred to as the VA mortgage, has been around for a number of years and is still a great way to purchase a home. The VA stats show that these mortgages have the lowest occurrence of foreclosure among all types of home loans. While we could list several reasons to choose this mortgage, we are going to focus on the top 4 benefits of a VA home loan.

No Down Payment

The guidelines from the Veteran’s Administration for the VA home loan does not require a down payment for qualified buyers. This means a borrower can get a loan equal to 100% of the home’s purchase price. This one aspect of the loan can save a borrower thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses at the time of purchase.

Flexible Credit Rules Make It Easier to Qualify

A conventional mortgage often requires borrowers to have a rather high credit score and a strong history of repaying debt in order to qualify for their best rates. This is not the case with a VA mortgage.

The credit requirements for a VA mortgage are more relaxed.  This means that people will less than perfect credit history can often get approved for a VA home loan, opening the opportunity to qualify to many more people.

Mortgage Insurance NOT Required

Conventional loans as well as the FHA loan will charge borrowers private mortgage insurance if the borrower pays less than 20% down at the time of purchase.  This mortgage insurance protects the lender, not the borrower, in the event that the borrower is no longer able to make the payments and the home is foreclosed.  The mortgage insurance is calculated as a percentage of the outstanding loan balance and can get quite costly depending on the borrower’s credit score and the loan amount.

The VA home loan has no private mortgage insurance requirement.  This saves the borrower money each month compared to other types of mortgage loans.

Limit on Closing Costs

The VA guidelines state that there is a limit on the maximum amount of closing costs that can be charged to a borrower.  This provides an immediate saving when the home is purchased that is unique to this type of home loan.

Who is Eligible?

In order to be eligible for a VA mortgage loan, veterans and surviving spouses must meet requirements based on available entitlement and years of service. To learn more about our VA mortgage loans, contact your local Inlanta loan officer today.

To all of those who proudly serve or have served in our US military, we thank you for your service!

4 Mortgage Myths Debunked

Ghost stories, big foot, the loch ness monster. The mysteries of the unknown can leave us perplexed and questioning what’s truly real, and what’s not.

While certain myths are best left unknown, when it comes to the mortgage process, it’s important to know the truth between fact and fiction.

Here are 4 common mortgage myths to be aware of.

Mortgage Myth #1 – You Need a Perfect Credit Score

Do you have less than perfect credit? No problem! Certain loan programs accept FICO scores as low as 581, allowing you to buy a home without a perfect credit score.

If you’re credit score’s not quite there yet, don’t stress. There are plenty of ways to help improve your credit, including making payments on time, swiping responsibly, staying below your limit and more. Click here for more tips to build and maintain healthy credit.

Mortgage Myth #2 – You Need 20% Down

It’s common to think that you need 20% down to purchase a home. In reality, the down payment will depend on multiple factors, such as loan program type, credit score, home price/loan amount and more. Certain loan programs, such as VA loans, offer the benefit of low or no down payment options, and others like FHA loans offer as low as a 3.5% down payment. Plus, depending where you live, there may be local down payment assistance programs available to you based on your situation.

Mortgage Myth #3 – Renting is Cheaper than Buying

It’s not always true that renting is cheaper than buying a home. In fact, in many situations, you may be surprised to find a mortgage payment is actually cheaper than monthly rent.

It’s no secret that rents often change and are likely to increase over time. One of the many benefits of homeownership is being able to better control your budget by having a fixed mortgage payment each month, giving you the security of knowing exactly how much you’ll spend while avoiding surprise rent hikes from your landlord.

Mortgage Myth #4 – You Can’t Buy a Home with Debt

Got debt? You’re not alone. Many Americans struggle financially and while debt can be a burden to many, it doesn’t have to prevent you from buying a home.

DTI (Debt to Income) ratio is an important factor in determining your readiness to buy a home. When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will review your finances to determine your DTI by evaluating how much debt you have vs. how much pretax income you’re bringing in. This will help to decide whether you’re able to afford a home.

When it comes to the myths of the mortgage world, it’s wise to discuss what you’ve heard from what’s actually true with an expert lender before deciding your homebuying options.

To learn more about the mortgage process or to find a mortgage advisor in your areacontact us today. Discover how we partner with borrowers like you every day to evaluate their unique financial situations to make their dreams of homeownership come true.

10 Fall Decorating Ideas

Fall is here and you know what that means—cooler air, warmer clothes, fun seasonal activities and a change in scenery. For many, changes in scenery are not only reflected outdoors but inside the home as well.

Fall decorations are all about warmth. Incorporating warm colors such as reds and oranges along with warm aromas such as pumpkin, apple, orange and cinnamon make for a cozy home during the autumn season. 

Here are some of our top decor ideas to help make your home feel like the perfect fall getaway!

Gourd and Pine Cone-Filled Lanterns

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This easy porch decor idea will surely help make the outside of your home reflect the warm nature of fall. via hometalk

White Pumpkins with Fun Messages

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Don’t feel like carving pumpkins this year? Try writing out messages onto pumpkins with paint pens to create an inviting feel anywhere in your home. via The Perfect Palette

Vases with Candles and Fall Foliage

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Candles are a great way to make any space instantly feel warm and inviting. Incorporate a fall foliage mix in a big vase with a fall-scented candle to be used virtually anywhere in your home. Try placing one as a kitchen or dining centerpiece or use to spice up an empty side table! via listsy.co

Unique White Pumpkin Fall Basket

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This beautifully unique fall piece is a great way to incorporate a different color scheme to your fall decor. It would be perfect for a coffee table, side table or fireplace mantle. via Whipper Berry

Mason Jar Candle Centerpiece with Table Runner

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This simple yet warm centerpiece is an easy DIY project that won’t break your wallet. Click the link to find out how to make it! via Addicted 2 DIY

Simple Rustic Lantern Centerpiece

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This simple autumn centerpiece is easy to put together and perfect for any occasion! via Serendipity Refined

Fall Foliage and Candle Centerpiece

de6adaab0d96a6cf85faf2894d3c07a5This elaborate autumn centerpiece is perfect for Thanksgiving or any other special get-together you may be having this season! via Babble

Simple White Pumpkin Mantle Decor

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This arrangement is a simple way to spruce up your mantle for the fall season. It is festive but not too elaborate! via Dear Lillie the Blog

Comforting Fall Aromas

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Give your home the perfect fall aroma with these 8 scent hacks! via Chasing Foxes

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Of course, we can’t forget about autumn wreaths! This popular decoration piece has many different variations. From elaborate creations to simple elegance, these pieces are not only easy to find in stores, but they are easy and fun to make as well! via Laura Trevey

Bonus Tip:

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Since pumpkins are a staple in fall decorating, here are instructions on how to preserve pumpkins and other decorative gourds. via 365ish Days of Pinterest

Click here to check out our Pinterest page for other fun fall decorating ideas and more!

Fall is a great time of year to purchase or refinance your home! If you’d like to take advantage of low rates this season, contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan advisor today!

There’s Still Time to Refi

Time’s running out for a refinance!

If you haven’t started your refinance yet, now’s the time! Don’t miss out on these historically low rates by calling your local Inlanta Mortgage advisor today for a mortgage check-up to see if you could benefit from a refinance.

Here are a few reasons to consider refinancing today:

  1. Lower your interest rate: There’s a chance you could be paying a higher interest rate than today’s rates. By lowering your rate, you’ll save money on your monthly mortgage payments that frees up cash to help meet other financial goals or live more comfortably month to month.
  2. Shorten the life of your loan and save money: Refinancing to shorten a 30-year to a 20-year or even a 15-year term can save you money over the lifetime of the loan. With this extra cash if the loan is paid off earlier, you may be able to retire earlier, travel or even build up investment portfolio.
  3. Drop the PMI: With the current increase in many home values, a refinance could help you drop PMI (premium mortgage insurance) to help lower your monthly payment amounts.
  4. Pay down debt: Use the extra monthly cash saved by lowering your mortgage payment to help pay down debt, or even do a cash-out refinance to pay off credit card debt, car loans, personal loans, school loans, etc.
  5. Make necessary home renovations: If you love your home and plan to be there for a while, you may want to consider a cash-out refinance loan to get the money you need to make the home renovations you’ve always dreamed of, and have time to enjoy those updates!

These rates will not last, so don’t miss out on this window of opportunity! Refinance today.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is finally HERE!

While pumpkin spiced treats, hayrides and cozy sweaters make it a favorite time of year for many, the long awaited cooler temps also make it a great time to take care of some fall home maintenance tasks around the home.

Check these tasks off your list now so you can enjoy the cozy season ahead knowing your home is prepped and ready to take on winter.

Here is your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist:

INDOOR

  • Clean and store summer gear
  • Have furnace properly inspected
  • Remove any window air conditioners
  • Insulate exposed pipes as needed
  • Check accuracy of thermostat, clean and replace as needed
  • Seal/reseal doors and windows as needed
  • Deep clean your kitchen and appliances
  • Assess your home’s energy efficiency
  • Inspect and clean your chimney
  • Check your detectors and replace batteries as needed

OUTDOOR

  • Rake and remove leaves
  • Prune trees and shrubs
  • Clean gutters and rainspouts
  • Inspect roof and exterior of home
  • Clear and inspect your driveway, walkways, deck and railings to ensure winter safety  
  • Close or install storm windows
  • Store outdoor furniture and cushions inside
  • Remove hoses from spigots; drain and store indoors
  • Have chimneys and flues inspected and cleaned
  • Fertilize, reseed and water your lawn

We hope your fall is filled with joy, abundance and warmth. Enjoy!