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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
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!
Football season, fall and “back to school” days are here!
With this being a busy time of year for many, you may be wondering how you’re going to “do it all”. Especially when it comes to paying down debt and saving for a home and other financial goals simultaneously.
When it comes to home buying, people often wonder if they
should pay down their debt first or save up for a down payment. The following information should give you a
better idea of how to answer the complicated question of tackling debt and the
Average Down Payment
First, it is wise to understand how much money is needed for
a down payment. Most mortgages will ask the borrower to pay between 3.25% and 10%
up front as a down payment. For a home priced at $250,000 this would translate
to a down payment between $8,125 and $25,000.
The differences in the down payment requirement will depend on the type
of mortgage loan as well as the borrower’s credit history.
For most people, it will take at least a year, if not more,
to save up for this much of a down payment.
But that is not the full answer. With options available like low or no
down payment programs, gift funds, and
more, you may need less than you think to purchase your dream home. Contact your local Inlanta loan
expert today to find out how close you are to obtaining homeownership.
Paying Down Debt Will Improve
Ability to Borrow
When people apply
for a mortgage loan, the lender will examine the borrower’s credit history as
well as their debt ratios. The debt ratio compares the borrower’s current
income and current obligations, such as credit cards, car payments, student
loan fees, and any other debt. The
lender will also compare the borrower’s income to their current debt as well as
adding in the amount for the proposed home payment. If the ratio is too high, the lender will likely
decline the borrower for the mortgage.
lenders recommend paying down some of the debt for borrowers that are
contemplating a home purchase. The less
debt they have, the easier it will be to get approved for a home loan.
In fact, the best advice regarding debt reduction
is to focus first on credit card debt.
By making the payments on time and getting the balances as low as
possible, the borrower should see a noticeable improvement in their credit
Save While Paying Down Debt
Many mortgage experts recommend that potential homebuyers
use a double strategy; pay down debt while saving for a down payment. Instead of using all of their extra income to
do one or the other, it would be easier and psychologically beneficial to chip
away at the debt while also building up a down payment.
For example, if a young married couple had a total of
$11,000 in credit card debt and no savings, along with an extra $400 per month
coming from an extra job, it would be real enticing to spend all the $400
towards the credit card bills. That
would take approximately 27 months to pay off the balance. However, at the end of those 2+ years, the
young couple would have nothing saved for a down payment.
Conversely, if that $400 was split between the credit card
balances and savings, the couple would have $5,400 plus interest in savings at
the end of 27 months as well as having almost half of the credit card paid off.
There is no perfect answer to the question about paying off
debt or saving for a down payment, but attacking both at the same time will
likely help people reach their goal of home buying much faster.
So, you want to buy a house but don’t know where to begin?
Maybe you’ve heard of a mortgage loan before, but have no idea what it entails
or how to get one. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Almost everyone
who buys a home for the first time has many questions and is clueless about the
To assist in your search, here’s a crash course in the
basics of mortgage that answers the most common questions to help you feel more
confident about the process and what it involves:
Q: What is a mortgage
A: A mortgage is a
loan used to finance the purchase of your home. It’s essentially a contract in
which a borrower’s property is pledged as security for a loan that is repaid on
an installment basis. There are many different types of mortgage loans
available, so it’s important to talk to a mortgage advisor who can help you find
the right loan program for your specific financial situation.
Q: How do mortgage
A: Mortgage rates are
important and complex. Your rate, along with many other factors, determines
your monthly payment cost. Things like inflation, government bonds and state of
the economy also contribute to the rise and fall of mortgage rates.
Q: How do I qualify
for a mortgage?
A: First, you will
need to apply
with a lender who will gather all necessary information about your
income & debts to determine how much you can afford for a home and what you
Q: What is the first
step in the process?
A: The first step in the
purchase process involves working with a loan advisor to apply and
be pre-approved. This means that your loan advisor will need to collect
documentation like bank statements and W2s to verify your income and determine
your ability to repay the loan. It’s important to keep in mind that there are
no rules carved in stone for this process, and that each applicant is handled on
a case-by-case basis. This means that even if you come up a little short in one
area, your stronger point could make up for the weak one, so don’t hesitate to apply.
Q: Why do I need to
A: 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. This way you
know your budget and gain peace of mind in the process. Plus, you can get ahead
of your competition and increase your buying power to expedite your closing.
link to apply to get your free pre-approval with Inlanta today.
Q: What credit score
do I need?
A: Minimum credit
score needed depends on the type of loan you qualify for. Certain loan programs
accept FICO scores as low as 581. Contact your loan advisor directly for more
on credit requirements and what goes into determining creditworthiness.
Q: How long does the
mortgage process take?
A: The national
average for the mortgage process falls around 40 days, however, certain factors
can make the process move faster than average and help you close sooner on your
Q: How much do I need
for a down payment?
A: You may have heard
the myth that you need 20% down to purchase a home. In reality, the down
payment amount needed to buy a home 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.
Understanding the loan process and knowing the mortgage
basics will increase your confidence, making the process less complicated
overall to purchase a home. For more on home buying basics, contact your local
Inlanta Mortgage loan expert today!
Moving to a new home (at least, new to you) is usually an
exciting time. Learning the layout of the home, enjoying the neighborhood and
getting accustomed to a major change brings about a lot of emotions. Here are
some handy tips and mistakes to avoid when you are ready for your next move.
Don’t Hang on to Stuff
Most of us acquire stuff throughout our lives and feel that
we need to hold on to all of it. However, most people have items stashed in
cupboards and closets that we don’t really need. Instead of packing it away and
finding a hiding place for it at the next home, sell it online through sites
like Craigslist or eBay, or donate it to a local non-profit.
Make Sure to Notify the Right People in Advance
Moving to a new place can seem like a nightmare if there is
no electricity or running water. That is why it is a good idea to contact all
the local utilities well in advance of the move and get on their schedule. Each local agency, such as the internet
provider, electrical utility and the water & trash agencies will have their
own individual rules and schedules, so you will need to contact them all.
Also, get in touch with the post office and fill out a
change of address card. This will help get mail diverted to your new location. Also,
let all your creditors know of your new address.
Pack for Emergency
Regardless of how much planning you do, mistakes
happen. The water may be set to get
turned on the day AFTER you move in, or the electricity may get turned on only
to discover there is an issue with the fuse box. Pack a small bag with an extra change of
clothes and snacks. If you are forced to
spend the night with relatives, or at a hotel, you will have a bag packed and
ready to go without the need for opening multiple boxes to search for a
Change the Locks
If you are handy with tools, changing the locks on the
exterior doors is always a good idea.
Since you don’t know who has had access to the home, you really have no
clue how many extra keys are floating around to your particular place. Setting up new locks will give you a little
peace of mind and control over who has access to the place.
By following this advice and getting the movers lined up in
advance of the big day, you should reduce the stress that comes from moving to
a different home.
With the days of summer soon ending, it means “back to school” for millions across the country.
For college students, this means packing up to move into campus housing, which is often expensive and not necessarily homey. It also means investing dollars into housing that’s not tax-deductible, nor does it generate any equity.
For parents with college-bound students, or even investors looking for their next property, this presents a big opportunity to purchase rental property off-campus.
Buying a property near their school could a great investment when you consider:
If you have a student of your own, the cost of owning a rental could be cheaper than paying for a dorm or an apartment – especially if they share it with roommates who will pay you rent that you can put towards the mortgage
If you co-sign on a loan for your student on a rental property, you can help them build solid credit at an early age
By choosing a property located near a college or university, you’ll have a strong pool of renters who are looking for housing in that area even after your own student moves out
You could benefit financially with future value appreciation and accrued equity
For parents and investors alike, this opportunity presents the chance to diversify their portfolio as well as offers a large potential tenant pool in an area that is consistently in high demand.
As of this August, all major mortgage rates have remained
extremely low, thanks to recent economic indicators. The major trends in stock
market indexes, oil prices, gold prices and Treasury’s indicate that rates will
remain low for at least the near future.
The 30 year fixed rate offered by conventional lenders is
still at all time lows. Recent economic
news has indicated that rates will not be increasing in the short term. This is great news for potential homebuyers
and homeowners that wish to refinance their loans!
What is keeping Rates so Low?
Four major economic indicators are battling one another to
keep the mortgage rates at historical lows.
First and foremost, the average price of oil per barrel has
recently increased from $56 to $57 based on the watchful eyes of OilPrice.com. This slight increase reflects
overall higher cost for energy, which tends to move prices up in general.
Anytime that prices move up, mortgage rates could slightly increase with them.
On the flip side, the price of gold jumped up to $1,429 per
ounce from the previous $1,420. Anytime there is a serious upward change in the
price of gold, this shows that major investors have developed doubt in the
overall economy. Doubt about the economy tends to push mortgage rates down. The
latest prices in gold per ounce can be found at https://goldprice.org/
Treasury yield, which is the single most indicative indicator of mortgage
rates, has moved very slightly from 2.05% to 2.06%. When this yield starts to increase,
it usually means that mortgage rates will also soon rise with it.
Global Trade Continues to Have Negative Outlooks
Along with the previous economic indicators, the overall
global trade market has continued to keep pressure on lower mortgage rates.
While the US and China work out their spat and come to an agreement about
tariffs and other issues, many markets are holding their breath to see how the
trade talks will affect prices of goods coming from China. This keeps mortgage
rates low as some experts fear major price increases for imported goods may
There are also talks that trade with Europe may be troublesome
in the near future. Tariffs on goods produced in Europe have been threatened in
a counter measure to a new rule from France that is imposing taxes on American
based organizations within France. More tariffs mean higher prices which is
applying pressure to keep mortgage rates at current levels.
Recommendations for Mortgage Rate Locks
Major markets shift up and down throughout the months and
years. While it is impossible to predict exact details, broad generalizations
can be made which allow people to make educated decisions on mortgage rates.
If you are buying or refinancing a home, and the expected
close date is within the next 30 calendar days, then you should definitely talk
to your mortgage lender and lock
the rate now. Rates are extremely
low and while most of the market indicators show that rates should remain at
this level for the next few weeks, you don’t want to gamble on some unforeseen
event pushing rates up unexpectedly. Contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan
advisor today about rate locking, refinancing, or purchasing your home!
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.
Whether you’ve just graduated or have been making those pesky monthly payments for a while, student loan debt can be heavy, burdensome and downright defeating.
The weight of Student loan debt doesn’t have to affect other areas of life – such as buying a home. If you’ve
been dreaming about homeownership, but aren’t sure exactly how you can obtain such dream while having student loan debt, we’ve got some tips for you:
1. Talk to your Local Mortgage Pro for Advice
First and foremost, talk to a local mortgage pro as early as possible, whether you’re looking to buy a house this year or a few years down the road, to learn more about where your finances need to be to buy a home.
Your mortgage pro will be able to tell about the different loan programs available, and what down payment assistance and other first-time homebuying programs may be available to help you achieve the dream of homeownership sooner, and more easily.
2. Don’t Neglect your Payments
There’s one simple rule you must follow: make your student loan payments on time, every time. Missing a payment or even making a payment late could hinder your credit score, which is a key factor in evaluating your home-buying readiness. As difficult as it can be to make those payments, it is important to understand the negative impact it can have on your financial future. Setting up monthly auto payments is a great way prevent any potential issues.
3. Focus on Building Good Credit
Having a good credit score is essential when applying for a
mortgage. It provides your lender with a form of proof that you are a responsible borrower and good candidate to repay the loan. Work to build that good credit by staying below your credit card limits, making payments on time and swiping responsibly. Check out a few more tips on building and maintaining healthy credit.
4. Evaluate your DTI
DTI (Debt to Income) ratio is another important factor in
determining your readiness to buy a home. Your lender will review your finances to determine your DTI by evaluating see how much debt you have vs. how much pretax income you are bringing in. Talk to your lender about your DTI to determine where you need to be to buy a home. Check out our step-by-step guide to reduce debt to get started.
If you’ve got student loan debt, you’re not alone. According to the Student Loan Hero website, about 45 million Americans currently owe more than $1.56 trillion in student loan debt. While it’s a burden to many, it doesn’t have to prevent you from achieving your dream of homeownership. Start working early with an Inlanta mortgage advisor you help determine your financial path to make it happen.
This month, we celebrate World Environment Day – dedicated by the United Nations to encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment.
If you’re inspired to do your part to help Mother Earth, one
of the best places to start is with your own home. With a few simple updates,
you can help the environment and even see some cost and energy savings.
Here’s some tips to help make your home more environmentally friendly:
Sometimes little changes make a big impact both for the environment and your wallet. Swap out your current light bulbs for LEDs, set your heating/AC systems on a timer to use less energy when you’re not home, or swap out your showerhead to a low-flow one to help conserve water.
Save the landfills by using rags over paper towels, cloth napkins over paper, and a reusable water bottle over plastic.
Water at Night
Watering lawns or plants during the day wastes water through evaporation. By watering at night, you’ll use less water and have healthier foliage.
Add Window Treatments
Don’t let all of the heat or cold air escape through bare windows! Add window treatments to help insulate your home and keep costs low.
Maximize Appliance Use
Don’t run your dishwasher or laundry half full. It’s better to run your appliances when full, and let dishes airdry rather than use the heated dry, or even go old school and dry clothes on a clothesline. Not only will you save energy, you’ll prolong the life of your dishes and clothing too!
Your cell phone charger could be costing you more than you think. Make sure to unplug all of your cords when they are not in use.
It’s a great time to make simple changes around your home to help the environment while saving money and energy. There are many more ways to RRR such as installing solar panels, using rain barrels, shopping with reusable bags, donating unwanted items and even learning how to recycle properly or compost.
Help keep the world – our home – a beautiful place!