Preparing for Your Refinance

From radio ads to TV commercials, newscasters and co-workers, lots of people are talking about refinancing. Trouble is not everyone meets the basic requirements for a refinance, nor do they know how to prepare for one. But the good news is preparing for refinance isn’t difficult. More people could meet those basic requirements with a little research and preparation. It’s no different than earning a better score on the SAT or ACT exams for entrance into a better college. The only way to succeed on the test is to know some of the questions that will be asked. The same can be said when it comes to working with mortgage lenders. Knowing what to expect from lenders and familiarizing yourself with their requirements will better prepare you for a refinance and could result in a faster closing. Here are some things to keep in mind.Continue reading

What President Obama’s Reelection Means for Homeowners

Though both presidential candidates were short on specifics about their housing policy, refinancing, new mortgage regulations and mortgage interest deduction all won on Election Day. Here’s what President Obama’s reelection means for homeowners.

While Mitt Romney talked about economic stimulus throughout much of the campaign, the Obama Administration made it easier for homeowners to refinance with historic low mortgage rates and plans to make refinancing available to even more borrowers in the next four years. Refinancing gives homeowners more spending money and is a form of economic stimulus. Housing policies that help for folks on the verge of losing their homes are still in the works.
New mortgage regulations are coming like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau established by the Dodd-Frank Act. Set to take effect by January 2013, these new mortgage standards will trigger legal and financial implications for lenders should a mortgage be judged to be beyond a borrower’s ability to repay. Critics of the Dodd-Frank Act, like Mitt Romney, have argued that such a plan holds back mortgage lending. Legislators will need to strike a delicate balance between giving lenders the incentive to expand mortgage credit while also protecting consumers from high risk loans.Continue reading

Using Seller Concessions to Help Finance Your Home Purchase

With a depressed housing market on the mend, this presents a great opportunity people looking to buy their first home. As is with most first time home buyers, cash is at a premium. Today we’ll talk about a clause in a real estate purchase used to help called seller concessions.

What are seller concessions?

Seller concessions, like it sounds, is where the seller of a home, “concedes” some of their proceeds to help the buyer pay for mortgage and other closing costs and or prepaids on the purchase of a home. The offer to buy the real estate normally comes with a minor upward adjustment to sales price to allow the seller to get to the same net figure. If done correctly, this can reduce the amount a borrower has to bring to closing by thousands of dollars.
How do seller concessions work?

For example, Michelle, in Kansas City is buying a home for her first time. She wants to buy a home for $200,000, qualifies for a 95% mortgage and has roughly $10,000 to put down. Michelle can offer $204,000 with $4,000 in seller concessions. The math works out as follows:

No Seller Concessions With Seller Concessions
Purchase Price $200,000 $204,000
Closing Costs and Prepaids $4,000 $4,000
Seller Concessions $0 $4,000
Total Due $204,000 $204,000
Loan Amount $190,000 $193,800
Due at Closing $14,000 $10,200

The above example illustrates how offering a higher sales price, but asking for seller concessions to pay for closing costs allows the seller to get to their target sales price but helps the buyer get into their home with the minimum amount of cash possible. The mortgage balance is a little higher but the change to payment is negligible and cash is at a premium.

To conclude, the use of seller concessions will help a buyer purchase a new home when money for closing costs is scarce. This helps credit worthy buyers purchase homes and sellers obtain what they were hoping to get out of their property.

Climbing Out of Debt – Part 2

In “Climbing Your Way out of Debt Part I,” we looked at the cost of paying down debt by focusing on credit cards with the highest balance before focusing on lower debt balances and loans. This time we examine how much money it will cost over the long term if you pay down credit cards charging the highest interest first. We’ll also examine the costs of emotion when it comes to borrowing money from family members.Continue reading

Climbing Out of Debt – Part 1

Like many Americans, you have a few credit cards and do your best to manage your money responsibly but it seems every month you come up a few hundred dollars short. Trouble is your annual raise hasn’t kept pace with the rising costs of gas, groceries and other necessities let alone discretionary or luxury items like movie tickets, your fitness club membership or trips to the spa. You know if you don’t rein in your spending, you’re debt will grow and climbing your way out of debt will be even more difficult than it is right now. Nobody wants, or likes, to be in debt especially in today’s tough economy. While climbing your way out of debt may seem like achieving the impossible, there are several ways to do it.Continue reading

When is a HELOC Right for You?

Of all of the mortgage products on the market, today we’ll talk about a Home Equity Line of Credit or HELOC – what is, how it works, benefits vs. drawbacks and if it would be right for you.

What is a HELOC?

A HELOC is a revolving line of credit that your home secures. Think of it a cross between a credit card and mortgage, only with a lower interest rate because your home secures the underlying debt. An additional benefit is since the debt is secured by your home, the interest is tax deductible. Continue reading

Making a Licensed Mortgage Loan Officer

When inquiring into mortgage rates or dealing with a mortgage application, you will deal with a licensed Mortgage Loan Officer. On any email or business card, there will be 6 digits behind a Loan Officers name, which is their NMLS ID number. Today we will discuss what it means to be an NMLS licensed loan officer, the history of how licensing came to be, the benefits to the consumer of Loan Officer Accountability, and what goes into getting a Mortgage Originator’s License. Continue reading

Good Credit to Great Credit

Many people ask when looking into refinancing their mortgage ask why their credit is considered good, but not excellent. It is a common misconception that simply because you pay your bills on time every month that your credit is viewed as excellent.

There are other important factors involved in credit score ratings derived by credit reporting agencies. For instance, the 3 credit bureau agencies, Trans Union, Equifax and Experian look at how many credit cards you currently have open, how long they have been open, and how much is currently owed with each creditor associated with the credit limit available. These factors can make a big difference when looking to get a refinance approved and the program qualified for. A consolidation home loan refinance is a productive way to pay off credit card debt in full.

Also, it often increases credit scores from good to excellent in a quick time period, since credit cards that were once listed as owed with high balances are reported as paid in full through the debt consolidation refinance program.