Mortgage 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to Mortgages

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 process.

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 loan?

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 rates work?

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 qualify for.

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 get preapproved?

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. Click this 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 home.

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!

Top Tips to Remember When Moving to a New Home

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 suitable outfit.

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.

Looking for an Investment Property? Consider Shopping in your College Town

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.

If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact your local Inlanta Mortgage loan advisor today.

On behalf of Inlanta Mortgage, we want to wish all students a bright and successful school year ahead!

Mortgage Rates Remain Extremely Low

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.

General Rates

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/

The 10-year 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 soon appear.

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!

Buying a Home Despite Student Debt

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.

Bottom Line:

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.

To learn more about the mortgage process or to find a mortgage advisor in your area, contact us today. Discover how we’ve already worked with borrowers like you to evaluate their unique financial situations and how we helped make their dreams of homeownership come true.


How to Make Your Home More Environmentally Friendly

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:

Consider an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) Loan

If you’re looking to finance energy efficient home upgrades and improvements, learn more about Inlanta’s EEM program. Find a loan officer in your area or contact us for more info. 

Make Small Swaps

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.

Use Reusable

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!

Unplug

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.

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle (RRR)

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!

For more tips on ways to help preserve the environment and our natural resources, visit the United States of Environmental Protection Agency website today.

Renting vs. Owning a Home

Rent vs. Own

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. Here’s why:

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 Investment

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!

Inlanta Mortgage Named Top Mortgage Company By National Mortgage News

Inlanta Mortgage Named Top Mortgage Company By National Mortgage News

Inlanta Mortgage is kicking off 2019 in a big way!

Just announced at the start of the New Year, Inlanta has been recognized as a top 20 mortgage companies to work for 2019 by National Mortgage News.

The company was pleased to receive news of the award following a survey program sent via National Mortgage News to all Inlanta employees encouraging feedback regarding the company’s culture, benefits, policies, and more.

“This is a testament to our incredible employees and how they do business every day,” said Paul Buege, Inlanta President/COO. “We are so honored for this recognition and grateful to our employees for making this happen through their hard work, dedication, and commitment to delivering an exceptional customer experience every day.  We are one of the best mortgage lenders in our industry, wonderful seeing our company-wide success being recognized on a national level”

As a top mortgage lender, we consistently strive to invest time and resources into our Managers and Loan Officers to help increase sales, grow business, and build relationships year after year.

If you’re looking for a company with solid tenure, strong support, and outstanding culture, we’d love to talk to you about your 2019 goals today!

Please click here to visit our website to fill out a form for us to contact you or, you may contact our branch recruitment division at 262-439-4260 or email partners@inlanta.com.

We are looking to grow with you!

Check out our latest company reviews on SocialSurveyGlassdoor, and Indeed.

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud, or the broad term describing wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain is, unfortunately, something that happens everywhere, every day, negatively affecting the lives of many.

Fortunately, there are ways one can prevent falling victim to fraudulent acts, starting with educating oneself on the types of dangerous fraud schemes out there as well as what to watch out for.

Mortgage Fraud:

Mortgage fraud happens which is why it is crucial to work with a lender you can trust. According to stopfraud.gov, traditional mortgage fraud involves homebuyers and/or lenders falsifying information in order to obtain a home loan. Struggling homeowners are also often affected by “foreclosure rescue firms” claiming they can help these struggling individuals obtain home loans ultimately leaving them in more debt and distress. The first thing to watch out for in these situations is requests for all cash payments and to work only with credible lenders, real estate agents, and appraisers.

Other Types of Fraud:

According to FindLaw, there are many types of fraud offenses individuals can be duped by (often unknowingly) that include:

Click here to learn more and educate yourself on popular scams occurring today.

Preventing Fraud – What to Watch out for:

Some warning signs of fraud are more obvious, such as the telemarketing or internet schemes that ask you to “send money immediately” to receive an offer, or, those asking directly for your social security number.

Others can be more tricky and deceptive, even imitating people you know personally or professionally asking for help or money via email, false charity organizations asking for donations, or, pyramid schemes that offer big rewards for a “work from home” position.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to fraud:

  • New forms of fraud pop up every day. Educate yourself on the common scams happening presently
  • Keep your personal information confidential. Never give out personal information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone, through email, or over the internet unless the contact is verified.
  • Update your passwords and PIN numbers monthly to ensure your information is secure. Make sure to use a password that is strong in security and includes letter, numbers, and symbols.
  • Check your statements and online banking records regularly to ensure there are no unusual transactions.

If you think you or someone you know has been affected by fraud, begin by reporting the issue immediately to your local police department. Otherwise, take these steps from USA.gov:

 

Inlanta Mortgage Promotes Paul Buege to President

 Original press release from PR Web

Inlanta Mortgage Chairman, John Knowlton, announced the promotion of Mr. Paul Buege to the role of President.

Mr. Buege is currently the Chief Operating Officer and will continue those responsibilities. Nicholas DelTorto will remain as CEO. “I am proud to announce Paul’s promotion to President. It has been a privilege to work with and get to know him over the past five years. Paul and his team have developed a premier service platform for our loan originators and consumers. He is dedicated to Inlanta and the continued growth and success of our company,” Knowlton said in a company statement announcing the move.

“Our senior management team has positioned us for a solid future. We have worked together for many years and that continuity in leadership translates into a consistent focus on improving our platform, performance for the branches, and highest level of progressive services and technology for our referral partners and consumers,” said DelTorto.

“Paul has done outstanding work in developing a sales and service accountability culture at Inlanta. Our ‘mortgage banking for grown-ups’ approach allows the true mortgage professional to operate using their personally developed skills to build on their success,” Knowlton adds.

Inlanta announces this move as they celebrate 25 years in the mortgage business. “We are very proud to celebrate our 25th anniversary this year. In a business where so many have come and gone, Inlanta is looking forward to serving our customers and referral partners for many years to come,” Knowlton said.

About Inlanta Mortgage 
Headquartered in Pewaukee, WI, Inlanta Mortgage was established in 1993 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. The company has grown to over 40 branches in 20 states and over 250 employees. Inlanta Mortgage’s mission is to be the home financing partner that you trust to serve your family, friends, and community. Their team of dedicated mortgage professionals is committed to delivering an exceptional experience using honest and ethical lending practices.

Inlanta Mortgage was named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Top Workplace in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inlanta has also been recognized as one of the “50 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For” by Mortgage Executive Magazine and one of the country’s “Top Mortgage Employers” by National Mortgage Professional.

Inlanta Mortgage continually seeks branch managers and loan officers who want to grow their business. To learn about growth opportunities, please contact Brian Jensen (Midwest) at brianjensen@inlanta.com or 630-927-0380; or Kevin Laffey (Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska) at kevinlaffey@inlanta.com or 913-645-4647. To learn about opportunities in other locations, visit http://www.inlantapartners.com, call 262-439-4260, or email partners@inlanta.com.

Inlanta Mortgage, Inc. NMLS #1016.