Robin V. Wish - Real Living Realty Group



Posted by Robin V. Wish on 5/28/2018

Buying your first home is a huge financial accomplishment and life milestone. The process is long, and can seem complicated at times. However, if you do your research and manage your money carefully, buying a house can be an excellent financial asset that will serve you for decades to come. 

Many people who hope to own a home in the near future arenít sure of the best way to start off on their path toward homeownership. This uncertainty leads them to put off their preparations. If you want to stop renting and start building equity, this is time wasted.

In todayís post, Iím going to give you some advice on how to start planning for homeownership, regardless of your current circumstances.

Build credit responsibly

One thing that will help you on nearly all mortgage applications is a good credit score. For those of us who had a difficult time paying off bills or had loans go into default, it can seem like a daunting task to ever raise your credit score into good standing.

However, when your score is low, it is actually easier and faster to raise than if it is already in high standing.

To boost your credit score, make sure your current debt is paid on time each month. If youíre thinking about taking on a new line of credit, consider setting it to auto-pay each month for the full statement balance. This way, youíll still improve your credit score but can also avoid costly interest payments.

Read up on mortgages and fees

There are many different types of mortgages available to borrowers in the United States. Some, such as USDA and VA loans, are guaranteed by the U.S. government. This means they often have less stringent credit and down payment requirements.

Donít be afraid to shop around between lenders. You may see different interest rates from similar lenders in your area.

Finally, make sure youíre familiar with the type of closing costs and property taxes youíll be responsible for. Itís one thing to be able to afford your monthly mortgage payments, but there are other costs to consider when it comes to being a homeowner.

Budget and save

Budgeting and saving are both skills that need to be learned and developed over time. None of us are born with the knowledge of how to best budget their expenses and earnings. However, there are some free tools available in most app stores.

When it comes to saving, remember that the more you save for a down payment, the lower your interest rate can be. The difference may seem small now, but over the lifetime of your mortgage can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Wouldnít you rather that money end up in your retirement fund than in your lenderís pocket?

Before you apply for a mortgage

If youíve saved for your down payment and built credit and are ready to take the next step and get preapproved, be aware that opening new lines of credit will temporarily decrease your score.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 1/8/2018

Finding a mortgage lender should be easy, particularly for homebuyers who want to purchase a high-quality residence without having to worry about spending too much. However, many mortgage lenders are available nationwide, and the sheer volume of lenders can make it difficult to choose the right one.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.

Now, let's take a look at three tips that homebuyers can use to accelerate the process of choosing the perfect lender.

1. Know Your Credit Score

Your mortgage interest rate may vary based on your credit score. As such, you should learn your credit score before you begin your search for the right lender. This will enable you to boost your credit score if necessary Ė something that may help you get a preferred mortgage interest rate.

You are eligible for one free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Request a copy of your credit report, and you can find out your credit score and map out your search for the ideal mortgage lender accordingly.

2. Meet with Several Mortgage Lenders

There is no shortage of mortgage lenders in cities and towns around the country. Therefore, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to meet with several credit unions and banks to explore all of your mortgage options.

Each lender can provide details about fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages, how these mortgages work and other pertinent mortgage information. This information can help you make an informed decision about a mortgage.

In addition, don't hesitate to ask questions when you meet with a mortgage lender. If you obtain plenty of information from a mortgage lender, you'll be able to understand the pros and cons of various mortgage options and make the best choice possible.

3. Review a Mortgage Closely

A mortgage may enable you to secure your dream residence, but it is important to understand all of the terms and conditions associated with a mortgage before you select a lender.

For example, if you decide to purchase a condo, your mortgage might only cover the costs of your property. Meanwhile, you still may be responsible for condo homeowners' association fees that total hundreds of dollars each month, so you'll need to budget properly.

Of course, you should feel comfortable working with a mortgage lender as well. The ideal mortgage lender should be available to answer your concerns and questions at any time and help you stay on track with your monthly mortgage payments.

If you need extra assistance as you consider the mortgage lenders in your area, you can reach out to a real estate agent for additional support. This housing market professional can provide insights into mortgage interest rates and may even be able to connect you with the top local lenders.

Take the guesswork out of finding the right mortgage lender Ė use these tips, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to buy your dream residence.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robin V. Wish on 5/22/2017

Monthly mortgage payments for first time home buyers are generally lower than they are for repeat home buyers. As a first time home buyer, you could pay $1,200 or less to own a house. If you're a seasoned home buyer or have bought two or more houses, your monthly mortgage payments might hover around $1,400 a month or higher.

Using mortgage payment savings to invest in other areas of your life

The higher monthly mortgage payments could reflect income increases, job promotions and demands of a growing family. Yet, even with a higher salary, it's smart to lower the amount of mortgage you're responsible for. There are so many things that you can use the savings for. You could use money that you shave off your monthly mortgage payments to:

  • Grow your retirement savings
  • Invest in your or your children's education
  • Fund the startup of your new business
  • Pay off student loans, credit cards and other debts
  • Cover the costs of home repairs, upgrades and general home maintenance
  • Travel internationally

Practical steps to lower monthly mortgage payments

Saving on a mortgage can yield long term rewards. It also requires discipline. Five steps that you could take to lower your monthly mortgage payments are:

  • Send in $100 or more above your required minimum monthly mortgage installment. For example, if your monthly mortgage is $1,426,send 1,526 or more. You may have to pay $100 or more a month for several months before you notice a drop in your principal. Therefore, if you take this approach, stick with it.
  • Refinance your mortgage when rates drop. An example of this is if you purchased your house when interest rates were 8%. Should rates drop to 3.6%, your monthly mortgage payments could drop significantly. There are fees associated with refinancing a mortgage. Among these fees are the mortgage application fee, loan origination fee, home appraisal fee, closing costs and documentation fees. It's advisable to refinance only if you plan on keeping a house for several years.
  • Rent out part of your house. If you're concerned about renters paying on time, rent to two people. Charge enough so that you can cover at least half of your rent with payments from one renter.
  • Move your business to your home. Instead of paying a second mortgage for a separate business location, operate your business from within your house.
  • Apply for a longer repayment term. Your overall principal won't drop, but your monthly mortgage payments should go down.
  • Put a healthy down payment on your home. Check with your lender and ensure that the lender will let you forego mortgage insurance payments if you increase your down payment.

Life changes like job layoffs, new business startups and marriages and divorces could call for you to make lower monthly mortgage payments. Despite what you might think, you have options. One or more changes could keep you in your home. The extra money could also give you the finances to invest in other parts of you and your children's futures.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robin V. Wish on 1/9/2017

Do you know the difference between adjustable-rate and fixed-rate mortgages? An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) includes an interest rate that will change periodically based on market conditions. In many cases, homebuyers prefer fixed-rate mortgages (FRMs), as these mortgages enable homebuyers to pay the same monthly mortgage payment for the life of their loan. Conversely, an ARM may start with lower monthly payments but could rise over an extended period of time. This means that an ARM is likely to result in mortgage payments that vary over the years. Although an ARM may seem like an inferior option to its fixed-rate counterpart, there are several scenarios in which a homebuyer may prefer an ARM, including: 1. A Homebuyer Is Purchasing a Residence for the First Time. A first-time homebuyer may enter the real estate market with lofty expectations. But upon realizing there are few housing options that meet his or her needs, this buyer may settle for a house that represents a short-term residence. In this scenario, a homebuyer may be better off selecting an ARM. With an ARM, a first-time homebuyer may be able to make lower monthly payments in the first few years of homeownership. And then, when a better homeownership opportunity becomes available, this buyer may be able to work toward upgrading from his or her starter residence. 2. A Homebuyer Expects His or Her Income to Rise. The economy may fluctuate at times, but those who are assured of a higher income over the next few years may be better equipped to handle an ARM. For example, a student who is enrolled in a medical residency program may be a few years away from becoming a doctor. At the same time, this student wants a nice place that he or she can call home and may consider an ARM because it offers lower monthly payments initially. After this student completes the residency program, he or she likely will see a jump in his or her annual income as well. Thus, this homebuyer may be best served with an ARM. 3. A Homebuyer Is Facing an Empty Nest. Will your children soon be moving out of the home in the next few years? If so, now may be a great time to consider an ARM if you'd like to move into a new residence. Parents who are facing an empty nest in the next few years may be better off living in a larger residence for now, then downsizing after their children leave the nest. Therefore, with an ARM, parents may be able to buy a nicer home with lower monthly payments. And after their kids move out, these parents always can look into downsizing accordingly. Deciding which type of mortgage is right for you can be challenging for even an experienced homebuyer. Fortunately, lenders are available to answer any concerns or questions you may have, and your real estate agent may be able to offer guidance and tips as well. Explore all of the mortgage options at your disposal before you purchase a new residence. By doing so, you'll be equipped with the necessary information to make an informed decision that will serve you well both now and in the future.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 10/31/2016

At a glance, buying a home seems like a daunting and complicated process. If it's your first time buying a home you're probably hearing a lot of terms that don't mean much to you like "rate commitment," "prequalify," and an array of acronyms that no one has ever really explained like APR and ARM. What many first time homebuyers don't realize is that the mortgage application process is relatively straightforward. It's a way for lenders to determine if they will lend money to the homebuyer. The lender will require some documentation on your part and you'll want to do your homework when it comes to choosing the right mortgage for you, but if you're confused about where to begin, here's everything you need to know about the home mortgage application process.

Gather your documents

Each lender will be slightly different when it comes to what records and documents they require from you. In general, lenders will require two years of work history, proof of income, and tax papers. They†will also ask for your permission to run a credit check.†Some things you should bring when applying for a mortgage include:
  • Your most recent pay stubs (at least two)
  • Your most recent W-2 forms
  • Completed tax returns
  • Bank statements
  • Gift letters
  • Debt - credit cards, student loans, etc.

Filling out the application

The actual application for the mortgage is pretty simple. Be expected to provide your personal and marital information, as well as your social security number. When you apply for a loan you'll also be determining if you're applying singly or with another person, such as a spouse. Some people apply jointly to seek a higher loan amount. However, you should be aware that if this is your plan of action the lender will require income and credit information from both of you. Keep in mind that it isn't easy to remove one person from a home loan once the contract is signed, so you should make certain of this decision before applying jointly.

Locked-in interest rates

It won't come as a surprise to you that, like in other industries, interest rates on mortgages fluctuate. For this reason, many home buyers attempt to "lock-in" their interest rate, meaning the lender is no longer allowed to change the interest rate after signing. The benefit of locking in your interest is that it can avoid having your interest rate raised before you sign on the home. The disadvantage is that since rates fluctuate, you could miss out on a lower one. This is also the difference between APR (annual percentage rating) and ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). With an APR, the cost of borrowing money (interest) is fixed. For an ARM, the interest rate can increase, decrease, or stay the same at different points in the repayment process.

Refinancing

Your financial situation is bound to fluctuate throughout your life, hopefully for the better. At some point down the road, it might make sense to refinance on your mortgage. Essentially this means you are agreeing to change the details†of the mortgage to either accept a different interest rate or to alter the length of the loan term. Refinancing usually involves fees, however, so you don't want to rely on it too heavily as a fallback.







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