Inlanta Mortgage Named Top Mortgage Employer

We are excited to announce that Inlanta Mortgage has officially been named a 2020 Top Mortgage Employer by National Mortgage Professional!

We love what we do and want to thank each and every member of #TeamInlanta for their hard work in operating with one unified corporate goal – to create a great consumer experience every day. #TopMortgageEmployer

Inlanta Mortgage is always looking for qualified, motivated mortgage professionals to join our team. If you’re interested in career opportunities with Inlanta, click here to view our current employment opportunities.

10 Ways to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

 

10 Ways to Protect Your Home while on Vacation

From booking travel arrangements to packing, a lot of preparation goes into planning a vacation. One thing many overlook though in the midst of pre-vacay chaos, is preparing their home for what may happen after they leave.

When you go out of town, especially for an extended period of time, ensuring your home is safe from possible intruders or other incidents should be a priority. Aside from checking that all of your doors and windows are locked, there are many other precautions you can take to protect your home.

Here are some tips to help keep your home safe while you’re away.

1. Give friends spare keys

Give a set of keys to a trusted friend or relative in case of emergency. If you have any spare keys outside under a flower pot, door mat, or other hiding spot, move them inside while you’re away.

2. Don’t advertise your vacation on social media

When you advertise your vacation on social media, your home becomes a target. You may think there is no need to worry since you are just sharing the information with friends. However, your friends are not the only ones that can see your posts online. Posts can reach friends of friends or even complete strangers if you do not have the proper privacy settings. These people may not be so trustworthy. Save the sharing until you are back from vacation.

3. Set lamps on timers to avoid looking vacant

A home that is noticeably dark for multiple days is a clue that you and/or your family are on vacation. Give the illusion that someone is home by putting lamps on programmable timers.

4. Have a friend Do a Safety check on your house

Have the same friend or family member you lent your spare key to check on your home while you’re away. Ask them to be on the lookout for any signs of a break in or home/property damage. Have them care for any pets that are still in the home and request that they bring in the mail if you do not suspend your mail service. This will help give the appearance that you are home.

5. Adjust The Thermostat

Setting your thermostat at a lower temperature during the winter, or a higher temperature during the summer can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs while you are away. You can even use this trick while you are at work every day to save money on your monthly energy bill!

6. Advertise home security with signs

If you have a security system, post signs outside to signify your home is protected. Burglars are less likely to approach a home if they know there is a risk of setting off an alarm.

7. Stow valuables in a safe place

Hide valuable items in a safe place, bring them with you or consider getting a safe deposit box at your bank to store your important items while you’re gone.

8. Unplug and switch off electronics

Reduce the chances of an electrical fire by turning off and unplugging non-essential electronics. Many electronics will still use energy even if they are turned off. Therefore, you will also save money on energy costs by unplugging your electronics.

9. Cover garage windows

If you have windows in your garage, invest in some curtains to cover them. If someone can clearly see there is a missing car or two from the garage, it could increase the chances of a break-in.

10. Park an extra car in your driveway

Parking an extra car in your driveway lets people know that someone is home. Whether they think it is just a visitor or the resident’s car, if there is one parked out in the driveway, it can be a red flag for a burglar.

 

You should spend your vacation relaxing and enjoying time with your family, not stressing out about your home security. Give yourself peace of mind while you’re away by taking these precautions before you leave. 

If you have any additional questions regarding your home or if it’s been a while since your last mortgage checkup, contact us today.

 

The Power of Pre-approval

The Power of a Pre-approval

Whether you’re currently looking for a new home or not, you’ve probably heard the phrase, “Get pre-approved” before.

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 Pre-Approval?

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: 

  1. Know your Budget
  2. Gain Peace of Mind
  3. Get Ahead of your Competition
  4. Increase Buying Power
  5. 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 or apply for your pre-approval today using our fast and easy online application process!

June Marks National Homeownership Month

June is National Homeownership month! A time dedicated to celebrating the many benefits that homeownership brings to families and friends in communities across the country.

What does homeownership mean to you? 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:

The man who was the second vice president and third president of the United States believed that property ownership was a citizen’s right. Thomas Jefferson pushed for legislation that helped define property lines and a system for purchasing land that was the basis for how real estate and ownership are described and transferred today, called the Land Ordinance of 1785.
President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law, which helped establish the western part of the country through migration. Settlers who paid a filing fee and completed five years of continuous residence received ownership of 160 acres of public land. Homesteaders also had the option of purchasing the land from the government for $1.25 per acre. The Homestead Act led to the distribution of 80 million acres of public land by 1900.
Bank collapses, millions of jobs and life savings lost during the Great Depression resulted in up to a quarter of the nation’s mortgages going into default. The number of mortgages dropped dramatically from nearly 6,000 in 1928 to under 1,000 in 1933. U.S. homeownership dropped to its lowest levels of the century in 1940.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was formed and provided access to flexible mortgage financing. Prior to establishment of the FHA, mortgages required 50% down payments and terms were generally five or ten years long and usually had large balloon payments due at the end.
Congress passed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act – more commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights. The GI Bill helped veterans pay for college and buy homes. The Veterans Administration (VA) still insures low- to zero-down payment loans for veterans, active-duty service members and their spouses.
A storm was brewing as lending thresholds and interest rates dropped, making mortgages easy to get and driving home prices up.
The nationwide real estate bubble that formed due to frenzied demand amidst loose lending practices burst, and home prices began a multi-year decline that led to approximately eight million foreclosures.
First-time home buyer tax credits and other housing stimulus programs were established to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.
U.S. housing prices bottomed out in March, having dropped by 33%.
U.S. housing values recovered all $9-trillion dollars lost in the housing crisis of the prior decade.
After a long-anticipated span of rising mortgage interest rates that began in 2018, rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages experienced the sharpest one-week drop in over a decade in late March, setting the stage for higher affordability heading into the traditionally busy home buying and selling season.
Questions about home values, mortgage interest rates or the path to homeownership?
We can help! Contact us today!
Sources: Library of Congress, CoreLogic, Freddie Mac, Zillow

Now is the Right Time to Refinance | Inlanta Mortgage

When is the Right Time to Refinance? Hint: Now!

Interest rates have reached a point that many people never believed would happen. With 30-year fixed rates dipping below 4%, millions of homeowners are in a position to refinance and save significant money. Here are some of the top reasons why you should consider refinancing any existing mortgage.

Better Rate Means Lower Payments

The most obvious reason that attracts most people to refinance is the appeal of a lower interest rate, resulting in a lower payment. For a mortgage of $250,000 a change in 0.75% in rate can lower the monthly payments by $110. A wider gap in rates, such as 1.25% or even 2% can mean a savings of over $200 per month. For most homeowners this is reason enough to consider the costs of refinancing.

Better Term with Similar Payment

There is a lot of math involved in this example, but the bottom line is that a homeowner can save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Suppose you or someone you know took out a home loan approximately 3 years ago at a rate of 5.25% with a beginning balance of $250,000. The balance would likely be around $239,000 as of this writing. By refinancing that $239,000 at 3.95% on a 20-year loan, you could save over $100,000 in interest payments over the next 20 years. The home payment would increase by approximately $50 a month, but it could be a great financial move in the long term.

Improve Your Annual Tax Deduction

In recent years, Congress has changed the rules concerning using mortgage interest for a tax deduction. The interest paid on a 2nd mortgage is no longer deductible if that mortgage was not used to purchase the home. This means that people with a HELOC or a fixed rate 2nd mortgage that was used to consolidate debts or any other reason no longer get the tax deduction for that 2nd mortgage. By combining the existing 2nd mortgage with the 1st and refinancing everything to one loan, you will regain that tax deduction.

Move to a Different type of Mortgage

Some people may have purchased their home using FHA. Others may have used a less than ideal type of mortgage with a high interest rate. If you have made your mortgage and other debt payments on time for the past 12 months, your credit may now be strong enough to refinance to a conventional loan. A conventional loan will have better interest rate and, even if you pay private mortgage insurance, the mortgage insurance will eventually drop off once the balance is low enough. With FHA loans, the new rules state that the private mortgage insurance must remain in place for the life of the loan.

Regardless of your situation, if you have purchased a home within the past 3 to 5 years, now is a great time consider refinancing and taking advantage of these historically low rates. Contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan expert today to get started.