Benefits of Rate Locking Before Home Shopping

Benefits of Rate Locking Before Home Shopping

Is a new home on your Christmas list this year? Then consider locking your interest rate before you start shopping and take the time you need to find just the right home for you and your family!

Here’s why:

Eliminates Rates Change Anxiety – With mortgage rates changing almost daily, locking your interest rate at the right time can make all the difference in where your final monthly mortgage payment ends up. If you’re on a tight budget, then even the smallest rate increase could mean a potential problem in keeping your mortgage payment within budget. With the Inlanta’s Lock and Shop program, you can better plan your budget and help keep your finances in check by knowing what your interest rate will be before you find your home.

Have the Upper Hand – Once you’ve found your dream home, there’s a good chance in today’s competitive market that you’ll be competing with other buyers.  To win the deal, you can set yourself apart from other buyers with a rate lock and a fully underwritten pre-approval that shows you’re not only ready to buy, but you’re more likely to close and the home buying process will be expedited.

Gain Peace of Mind – The home buying process can feel overwhelming at times. Give yourself some peace of mind by locking in your rate and getting pre-approved before you even begin your home search. A rate lock eliminates potential delays in closing caused by waiting for lenders to prepare, document, and evaluate your loan application. During that time, the cost of your mortgage could increase and create unexpected complications.­­­

NO Fees! – If you’re worried about how much it will cost you to take advantage of Inlanta’s Lock and Shop program, you’re in luck! Our program offers no fees to lock and hold your rate so you can save your money for more important things – like your down payment or furniture for your new home.

Wondering if you qualify for Inlanta’s Lock and Shop Program?  Features and eligibility requirements include:

  • No property address at time of lock
  • Fixed purchase mortgage only
  • Minimum FICO score of 680
  • 72-day lock period, *extension limits apply
  • One-time only rate renegotiation when property is selected

To learn how the Lock and Shop program could make your holiday dreams of new home ownership come true, speak to one of our expert loan officers in your area or apply today.

*Lock extensions are limited to no more than 30 days past the original 72-day expiration. . Restrictions apply on locked loan amount changing and product locked cannot be changed without voiding price protection. The loan must be conventional, FHA, USDA, or VA and carry a fixed rate. The final loan amount cannot vary by more than 20% of the original lock protected loan amount. The loan program may not be changed without voiding the rate lock protection. If a property is not found within lock period, the lock is cancelled.

Here’s What You Need to Know About Gift Funds

What You Need to Know About Gift Funds

It’s the holiday season and we’ve all got presents on the brain. Some gifts, however, don’t come from a store and can help us with one of the biggest purchases we’ll make in our lifetimes – a new home.

For first time homebuyers, coming up with a down payment is often one of their greatest barriers to homeownership. But did you now that you can leverage “gift funds” to help with your down payment?

What Are Gift Funds

Gift funds are simply contributions from other parties, such as family members, to be used for a down payment or to help cover closing costs, with no expectation of repayment by the borrower.

For most loans, generally acceptable gift donors include your family members by blood or marriage (closely related in most cases – mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandparent, spouse, etc.), fiancés, employers, charitable organizations, or government entities.

But the FHA (Federal Housing Administration) also allows gifts to come from a close friend with a clearly defined and documented interest in you, the borrower.  This means that someone with a long-standing or close relationship with you, such as an ex-step-parent that truly continues to think of themselves as a parent of a child.

How Do Gift Funds Work?

When you’re using gift funds, there’s mandatory documentation required to ensure the funds meet the approved criteria. In these cases, you can count on your mortgage company’s underwriting team to ensure there is proper documentation for the gift funds to document that adhere to the requirements.

Here’s how it works: It’s acceptable for the gift donor to borrow funds to gift to the borrower, as long as they’re not borrowed from an interested party to the transaction (seller, builder, realtor, lender, etc.).  Cash is not an acceptable method of giving gift funds as underwriters cannot document the source of the funds as coming from the gift donor.

Additional gift options can include gifts of equity, which occurs when a borrower is related to the seller of a property that they’e purchasing. In this case the seller, may choose to give a gift of equity to the borrower to reduce the amount of funds the borrower needs to have available for down payment/closing costs.

Gifts cannot be used to meet reserve requirements that may apply to the loan. For conventional loans, gifts are allowed for either owner occupied properties or second homes.  They are not eligible for investment properties.

For some loan types, the borrower might be required to bring a certain amount of their own funds to the loan in order to qualify (minimum borrower contribution).

Contact Us

If a new home is on your holiday wish list and you’re seeking down payment assistance, receiving a gift may help give you just what you need to achieve the home of your dreams.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about down payment assistance programs or to discuss which type of loan is right for you and your financial situation.

Simple Ways to Get Involved in Your Community

Simple Ways to Get Involved in Your Community

With the holiday’s right around the corner, it’s a good time to take a moment and reflect on the good we have in our lives. Most likely, we all can think of something that we’re grateful for, such as our family, our friends, or even our pets. During the holiday season, there’s no better way to express your gratitude than to get involved with your local communities in one of these 5 simple ways:

  1. Shop Local

Planning a shopping trip? Take a break from the big box stores and take your shopping lists to your favorite local shops which are likely owned by someone in your own community. Reminder – the Saturday after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as “Small Business Saturday,” marks the annual shopping tradition that supports these small, locally owned businesses and celebrate communities everywhere. So, grab a friend or family member and enjoy discovering your own local treasures!

  1. Become A Sponsor

Whether you have a student-athlete in your home or not, chances are you know someone who does. One great way to give back to your community that involves very little time and investment is to become a sponsor for a local sports team. Are the Arts more your scene? Sponsor your high school or community theatre’s upcoming production. Whatever your passion, there are local organizations and events that need your financial support.

  1. Volunteer

Volunteerism is a great way to put your passion into action, and feel great doing it. While time and a little internet research can uncover a variety of volunteer opportunities, you can narrow down your list by selecting an organization that needs volunteers with your skillset, or by choosing an organization that supports a cause you care about.

  1. Get to Work

Help build a better community by rolling up your sleeves and putting yourself to work! If you are physically able, why not use your time and energy to get involved in construction projects in your community? Try getting your hands dirty in a community garden, grabbing a hard hat to help build a home, or channeling your inner artist to help paint a mural.

  1. Talk to Your Employer

Employee volunteerism is important to many companies and organizations, so consider contacting your own HR department to find out ways your employer is involved with your local community. Some employers even offer incentives for volunteering on your own time, or even allow you to volunteer on their clock.

Our Favorite Ways to Give Back

Here at Inlanta Mortgage, giving back to our local community is an integral part of our culture and is ingrained in our mission and vision. In fact, Inlanta contributes to our communities year-round! Some of our favorite non-profit organizations include the Cancer Research Institute, the Lombardi Walk/Run to Tackle Cancer, the American Red Crossthe Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation, the United Performing Arts Fund, the local Pewaukee Food Pantry, and more. This year, we’ve partnered with Pets for Vets, an organization that pairs returning vets with shelter dogs, and are making a donation to their organization with every loan closing through the end of the year.

Inlanta’s Partnership with Vets

Inlanta’s Partnership with Vets

Our veterans have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedom. And Inlanta Mortgage believes in paying tribute to these heroes every day by partnering with them in many ways, every day, including:

VA Loans

Inanta is proud to offer our veterans and active military personnel VA mortgage loan options to help our heroes purchase or refinance a home. Designed specifically for service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses, these mortgage loans offer excellent benefits including:

  • No money down
  • No PMI* (primary mortgage insurance) required
  • More flexible credit guidelines

*PMI is typically required when purchasing a home with a down payment under 20%, and the payment is added to your monthly mortgage payment.

Pets for Vets

It’s our mission to help everyone achieve the dream of homeownership, including our returning service members who may find their transition to civilian life difficult. It’s important to have someone special waiting for them at home to provide friendship and comfort to make that transition easier. That’s why we’ve partnered with Pets for Vets, an organization that adopts shelter dogs, trains them and pairs them with a veteran in need, to donate a portion of every loan closed through the end of 2018. For more information on Pets for Vets, click here: https://www.petsforvets.com/

Homes for Heroes

Homes for Heroes is the largest nationwide network of affiliate real estate, mortgage and local business specialists committed to providing easy ways for heroes to save on a home. The organization was established shortly after 9/11 to give back to firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active, reserves & veterans), healthcare professionals and teachers. Team Inlanta has a network of Homes for Heroes mortgage professionals that are supporting its mission to help our heroes achieve the dream of homeownership. To find an Inlanta Homes for Heroes lender in your area, contact us today.

Inlanta Veterans

We’re honored to have military veterans on our Inlanta team who personally understand the sacrifice and selflessness of our vets and active military personnel. They are thrilled to have the opportunity to help their fellow veterans achieve the dream of homeownership and are prepared to help those who have served and their families obtain a mortgage loan. Contact us today if you’d like to find a veteran lender in your area.

Happy Veterans Day to all those who have served for our country and for our freedom!

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just around the corner! While this haunting holiday is often a magical time of year for kids filled with candy, costumes, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and more, parents know that Halloween festivities can turn from fun to scary quickly.

That’s why we’ve put together some top tips to help keep you and your family safe this Halloween.

Trick or Treat Tips:

  • Make sure kids under 12 are always accompanied by an adult during trick-or-treat
  • For older kids who plan to go alone with friends, discuss specific routes and a timeline
  • Remind your kids about stranger danger, and to never get into a car with someone they don’t know
  • Have kids use the buddy system to ensure no one gets lost or separated
  • Instruct children to walk slowly, look both ways before crossing the street, use crosswalks and follow traffic signals
  • Adults need to stay off electronics and keep their heads up and vision clear at all times. Older kids should do the same
  • Keep your kid’s costumes safe by adding reflective tape and stickers, and avoid masks that can obstruct vision. Consider using face-paint instead
  • Offer your kids flashlights or glow sticks to carry with them to help light the way and make them more visible to cars
  • If you’re out and about, drive more slowly and stay extra alert through residential areas, and enter/exit driveways and alleyways with caution
  • If you’re attending a party, drink responsibly and arrange for a designated driver to get home safely

For more on Halloween safety, please visit the National Safety Council website today. We hope these tips help prepare you to have a safe and spooky fun holiday. Happy Halloween from all of us at Inlanta Mortgage!