mortgage financing and programs

Posts Tagged ‘Home Mortgage Tips’

Should You Finance The Sale Of Your Home By Yourself?

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Should You Owner Finance Your Home For Sale?You’ve decided to put your home up for sale. Now, how are you going to make the most money selling it and get it sold the fastest? Perhaps you should consider providing owner financing, also known as seller financing. 

Why Isn’t The Buyer Getting Bank Financing?

Usually a buyer gets bank financing when buying a home. If the buyer approaches you with a deal that involves you doing the financing, you’ll want to ask why. 

It could be that they can’t afford a big down payment, and can’t be approved for a loan without it. Or, they may not be able to get financing at all, due to no credit or bad credit.

In that case, you’ll want to evaluate if you can afford the risk. Can you make the monthly mortgage payment in the event they default?

If you determine that the deal isn’t too risky, you can finance the home yourself for a greater profit. But, there are some instances when you won’t be able to owner finance your home for sale.

When Can’t I Owner Finance My Home?

You may not know that in order to finance your home yourself, you have to be able to pay off your current mortgage in full prior to making the sale. If you can’t afford to make the full payment, you won’t be able to owner finance the property.

If you already own the house outright, you’ll be able to finance the property. You may decide to owner finance part of the sale price for a higher interest rate. 

This would be an ideal situation for a buyer who can qualify for a bank loan for most of the sale price, but is unable to be approved for a higher loan amount to get the rest.

After a year of making payments to the bank, the buyer may be able to finance the remaining amount, and then you’ll receive a lump sum for that amount. 

What Else Do I Need to Know?

There are a lot of things to take into consideration before deciding if owner financing is right for you. Be sure to do your homework and understand the benefits and risks of owner financing. It is also wise to consult with a real estate lawyer and a professional real estate agent.

Thinking of listing your home for sale and offering owner financing? Let me help you determine if owner financing will benefit you. Call your trusted mortgage professional today.

Here’s How You Can Leverage Your Home To Reduce Your Tax Burden For Next Year

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It's Tax Time - Here's How You Can Leverage Your Home to Reduce Your Tax BurdenEach year around April, we can find ourselves becoming a little more tense at the thought of what is about to occur: tax time.

Instead of falling into the trap of procrastinating your taxes, however, it’s much more beneficial to face tax time head-on and do your research on your applicable deductions well in advance.

Your home is good for many things, but using your home to reduce your tax burden may be one benefit you haven’t thought of. Here are some tax benefits that can be leveraged with your home, and some ways to lower your tax bill in 2014.

Deduct Interest On Home Loans

Though interest paid on personal loans isn’t deductible on your tax return, interest paid on mortgages is.

Home mortgage interest, for both your primary residence and a second home such as an investment property, can account for a large bill near the end of the year, and can significantly decrease your tax bill for 2014.

Interest paid on a line of credit for your home or a home equity loan is also usually deductible, and you may also qualify to deduct the insurance premiums on your private mortgage if this was a requirement from your lender. Ensure you keep your Form 1098 from you lender, and be sure not to miss each of your interest deductions.

Deducting Points Paid For A Better Rate

If you paid points in order to get a better interest rate on your home mortgage, the IRS will allow you to deduct these, too. If you meet the requirements for this deduction, one of which is that you paid the points in the same year that you purchased your primary residence, be sure to add the points to your list of deductions.

Deduct Property Taxes

Property taxes are also deductible on your tax return, and since they make up a significant portion of your home expenses each year, they certainly shouldn’t be excluded from your list of deductions in 2014.

As an annual deduction for the entire period you own your home, ensure you don’t forget about your first year in your home. If you’ve just purchased your home, the property taxes would have been split between the seller, the previous homeowner, and you, the buyer, at the time of the property transfer. Your portion of your first year’s property taxes for the home is also fully deductible.

Tax-Free Sales Gain

If you’ve owned and lived in your home for a minimum of two years and are ready to sell, you likely qualify for up to $250,000 dollars of tax-free profit, or up to $500,000 for married couples.

If the sale falls short of the two year mark, the IRS provides some tax relief if the sale is due to a list of unforeseen circumstances, such as changes in employment or health. Be sure to see where you qualify, and leverage the sale of your home for tax-free sales gain.

Having the ability to leverage your home in order to lower your tax burden is, of course, another benefit of being a homeowner. Often, reaping the full benefits of tax deductions is a simple matter of doing your research or speaking with a professional to get the information applicable to you.

For more information on the financial benefits of homeownership, including those related to taxes, call your trusted mortgage professional today for the answers you need.

Whatever You Do, Don’t Make These Common Mortgage Mistakes

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Whatever You Do, Don't Make These Common Mortgage MistakesAre you applying for a mortgage on your home? Keep in mind that a mortgage is a major financial decision and choosing one will have a significant impact on the rest of your life.

Many people go into this decision without understanding all of the essential mortgage information they need to know, which means that they are likely to make poor choices that will result in paying much more than they need to.

If you want to save yourself from throwing away your hard earned money, here are a few common mistakes to avoid:

Trying To Bottom Out the Market

Many people will wait too long to make a decision to lock in their mortgage rate, trying to wait until they think that the rates have hit bottom. However, unfortunately most of the time this leads them to wait too long and end up with a higher interest rate.

If you are waiting things out, keep a very close eye on the economic indicators. Your daily newspaper will be a good source of information about the fluctuations of interest rates.

Forgetting About Closing Costs

In addition to saving up a down payment for your mortgage, don’t forget to factor in the closing costs. These can range from two percent all the way up to six percent of the value of your home. Make sure that you have budgeted for this in advance, so that these fees don’t catch you by surprise.

Not Considering All Loan Options

There are many people out there who haven’t considered certain loan products, such as an adjustable rate mortgage, because they just don’t understand how they work.

However, if you do this you might be missing out on an option that would really work well for you. Make sure you do your research and gain an understanding of the loan options available to you.

Looking At Just The Mortgage Rate

Remember that the mortgage interest rate is only one factor that you should consider when choosing a mortgage. Don’t forget to also consider the time frame of the mortgage, the restrictions on lump sum payments and any other important factors.

These are just a few of the common mistakes people make when choosing a mortgage, so make sure to avoid falling into these traps yourself.

For more information about home buying and mortgages, you can call your trusted mortgage professional. 

The Happenings In A Reverse Mortgage

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The Happenings In A Reverse MortgageWhen you’re looking for ways to supplement your retirement income, there are a number of different options to consider. A reverse mortgage is becoming a more popular and more common way to provide income when your retirement savings don’t leave enough to live on.

But with all the information out there, how do you know what happens in a reverse mortgage and whether it’s a good option for you?

What Is A Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage essentially reverses the typical actions of a mortgage. Instead of making payments on your home, you receive payments against your home’s equity. The amount you are loaned is dependent on your age, your home’s value, the interest rate and any restrictions placed by state or local laws.

Then when your home ownership changes through sale, death or moves out permanently, the loan comes due and is paid for out of the sale of your home. If you borrow more than the value of your home, you or your heirs will not have to make up the difference.

If your home’s value increases and it sells for more than the total of the loan, you or your heirs receive the difference.

There are a number of requirements that must be met that were implemented in late 2013. These include a the home being your primary residence, reaching a minimum age of 62, an increasing progressive percentage of your home’s value that can be borrowed against based on your current age and limitations on exactly how much value you can borrow against in the first year of the loan.

Let’s Break It Down

As an example, a 62-year-old could borrow 52.6% of their home’s value and receive a disbursement of 60% of that percentage. So if their home had 500,000 in value, they could borrow $263,000 and take out $157,800 the first year. By comparison, a 90-year-old could borrow 66%, so the same home would let them borrow $330,000 and they could take out $198,000 the first year.

Disbursements typically are awarded in three ways: as a lump sum at closing, as periodic payments over the life of the loan or as a line of credit with a checkbook. It is also common for a combination of these three ways be used for disbursement.

4 Of The Best Questions To Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage

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The Best Questions To Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage1) Do I Have Enough Equity To Get A Mortgage?

To get a conventional loan, you will usually need to have at least 20 percent equity. This means that your house will have to be worth at least $250,000 to get a $200,000 loan. If you have less equity, you could end up having to pay for private mortgage insurance, which can easily add $100 or more to your monthly payment.

2) How’s My Credit?

Most lenders will look at your credit score as a part of determining whether or not to make you a loan. With conventional lenders, your rate will depend on your score and the higher it is, the lower your payment will be. Other lenders, like the FHA and VA programs have an all or nothing rule.

If you qualify, your rate won’t be based on your credit, but if your score is too low, you won’t be able to get any loan. Generally, 620 credit scores are the lowest that will qualify you for any loan.

3) What Do I Want To Accomplish?

Mortgages typically offer a choice as to their term. While the 30-year loan is the most popular, shorter term mortgages save you money since you pay less interest over their lives. They also get you out of debt sooner, at least as regards your house.

The drawback is that they carry higher payments since you pay off more principal every month. This can make them less affordable for some borrowers.

4) How’s My Current Loan?

If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, you may want to switch to a fixed rate mortgage simply for the additional security it offers you. On the other hand, if you are planning to move relatively soon, your current mortgage could be a better deal whether it’s fixed- or adjustable-rate.

When trying to decide what to do, compare the cost of refinancing with what it would cost you in additional interest to hold on to your existing loan. While the breakdown is different for every borrower, generally, you’ll need to keep your current house and loan for anywhere from three to six years to break even on the costs of refinancing.

Deciding what to do with your mortgage can be complicated. Working with a qualified loan broker that can consider every angle with you can help you to make a better decision.

Are Interest Rates On The Rise – What’s The Next Move?

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Interest Rates on the Rise What's the Next MoveAs the federal reserve continues to taper quantitative easing measures, financial experts project mortgage interest rates will climb in the next two years. Could this be the much awaited ray of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel for builders and investors or will it drive hesitant home buyers to dig in and shelter in place?

Homeowners who are vacillating between refinancing for a lower interest rate and staying the course may find the time has come to make a decision.

Shrinking unemployment numbers and rising retail sales figures signal that the economy is improving. Even if no one is ready to label the US economy as recovered, Fed Chairman Janet Yellen’s decision to follow through on tapering plans reinforces other market indicators that the economy is gaining strength.

What’s The Next Move

Bob Moulton, president of Americana Mortgage, told BankRate that people thinking of buying in the next year should move quickly if they find a property they like. Inventory is still fairly tight. Although there is no guarantee that rates will suddenly escalate, Moulton recommends locking in a property as soon as possible.

Harris Interactive reported that 39% of homeowners who planned to invest in renovations to increase property values in 2013 did not follow through with their plans. If upgrades and renovations are on the agenda, homeowners should evaluate how a 1% or 2% increase in interest rates will affect their budget.

Mortgage rates are still historically low based on the average over the past couple of decades. As the economy strengthens and mortgage lenders lose a steady stream of customers seeking home equity loans, less-stringent lending requirements emerge.

Forbes reported that as much as 80% of mortgage activity in late 2012 was refinancing applications. Consumers with lower credit scores and budgetary constraints have a better chance of securing a loan with a higher rate.

Refinance Or Pay Down The Mortgage

Deciding whether to refinance or pay down the mortgage quicker is tricky for some homeowners. Cost of financing isn’t the only consideration. It is essential to consider long-term goals and risks. If doubling up on the mortgage compromises retirement planning, it defeats the purpose.

Likewise, refinancing to gain a lower interest rate within one or two years of plans to sell the home would probably produce insignificant financial gains.

BUSTED: 4 Myths About Buying Your Home That Just Aren’t True

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BUSTED 4 Myths About Buying Your Home That Just Aren't TrueIt can be pretty intimidating to dip your toes into the realm of home ownership, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. To make things worse, there are a number of myths floating around out there surrounding the home buying process.

Such misconceptions have many kept many would-be homeowners from realizing the personal and financial rewards of owning a property. To clear things up, here are 4 myths about buying your first home that simply aren’t true.

Myth #1 - It’s Cheaper To Rent Instead Of Own

If you buy a property that is within your budget and your mortgage terms allow you to make comfortable monthly payments, the cost of rent can often be higher than mortgage payments.

Sure, there are other expenses associated with owning a property that you wouldn’t be responsible for if you were renting, but one thing that many people forget is the fact that renting does not allow you to build equity.

The ability to build equity into a property that you own is like paying into a savings account – if you buy a home for $200,000, and pay down your mortgage to $175,000 in 5 years, you’ll have $25,000 in home equity that can be tapped into later if you need a lump sum of cash to pay for other large expenses.

If you sell your property down the line, any equity that the property has accumulated will provide you with more profit from the sale of the home.

Myth #2 - Whatever Shows Up On The Inspection Report Is The Seller’s Responsibility

Most offers on a home usually come with a home inspection condition that makes the offer contingent on the acceptance of a home inspection report by the buyer. Many buyers, however, are under the impression that sellers are responsible for any issues that show up on the inspection report.

Although the seller is required to make certain major repairs as stipulated by the lender, everything is still negotiable. A buyer may ask the seller to fix a minor crack in the basement wall or repair any scuff marks on the hardwood flooring, but the seller can essentially refuse, leaving the buyer with the decision of whether or not to continue with the offer anyway.

Myth #3 - The Perfect Home Is Out There – I Just Have To Wait For It

Buyers have a tendency to focus too much on all the little things that may be wrong about a house rather than on the majority of the things that are right. Homes are much like people – they aren’t perfect. Even brand new homes might have a few minor flaws.

The goal of a house hunt is to find the perfectly acceptable home – one that may have a couple of quirks that you can either live with or fix, but is otherwise ideal. An experienced buyer’s agent can help you identify issues that are deal-breakers, and help keep some perspective by separating irritating details from the big picture.

Myth #4 - I Don’t Need A Real Estate Agent To Buy A House

Without the proper team behind you – especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer – you could potentially find yourself in a compromised position. Many buyers don’t take the time necessary to shop for an agent who can best represent them in their purchase.

Think about it this way – would you perform surgery on yourself? Do you feel comfortable filing your own income taxes, or do you opt to use the services of an accountant? Being represented by a licensed real estate agent will give you the benefit of professional skills and knowledge, including the ability to find financing and close the deal with your best interests put first.

It’s always in your best interests to have an experienced, knowledgeable agent representing you in a home purchase. With such a major investment on the line, you want to have someone who can help you complete a purchase leaving no stone unturned, and ultimately saving you money – and a lot of headaches.

A professional real estate agent will be able to sort the myths from the reality and make your first home-buying experience a positive one. 

4 Important Questions To Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage

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4 Important Questions To Ask Before Refinancing Your Mortgage

So you are thinking of refinancing? Well you are in luck because I have 4 quick and important questions you should ask yourself before doing so.

1) Do I Have Enough Equity To Get A Mortgage?

To get a conventional loan, you will usually need to have at least 20 percent equity. This means that your house will have to be worth at least $250,000 to get a $200,000 loan.

If you have less equity, you could end up having to pay for private mortgage insurance, which can easily add $100 or more to your monthly payment.

2) How’s My Credit?

Most lenders will look at your credit score as a part of determining whether or not to make you a loan. With conventional lenders, your rate will depend on your score and the higher it is, the lower your payment will be.

Other lenders, like the FHA and VA programs have an all or nothing rule. If you qualify, your rate won’t be based on your credit, but if your score is too low, you won’t be able to get any loan. Generally, 620 credit scores are the lowest that will qualify you for any loan.

3) What Do I Want To Accomplish?

Mortgages typically offer a choice as to their term. While the 30-year loan is the most popular, shorter term mortgages save you money since you pay less interest over their lives. They also get you out of debt sooner, at least as regards your house.

The drawback is that they carry higher payments since you pay off more principal every month. This can make them less affordable for some borrowers, generally, you’ll need to keep your current house and loan for anywhere from three to six years to break even on the costs of refinancing.

4) How’s My Current Loan?

If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, you may want to switch to a fixed rate mortgage simply for the additional security it offers you. On the other hand, if you are planning to move relatively soon, your current mortgage could be a better deal whehter it’s fixed- or adjustable-rate.

When trying to decide what to do, compare the cost of refinancing with what it would cost you in additional interest to hold on to your existing loan. While the breakdown is different for every borrower, generally, you’ll need to keep your current house and loan for anywhere from three to six years to break even on the costs of refinancing.

Deciding what to do with your mortgage can be complicated. Working with a qualified loan broker that can consider every angle with you can help you to make a better decision.

What Financial Preparations Should I Make Before Applying For A Mortgage?

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What Financial Preparations Should I Make Before Applying For A Mortgage?Getting a mortgage isn’t an easy thing to do. Before a lender will put down tens of hundreds of thousands of dollars, it wants to know that the borrower can handle the loan so that it will get paid back. to this end, there are three things that a potential homebuyer can do to prepare for the mortgage approval process.

Managing Debts

For many homebuyers, managing their credit score is the biggest challenge. Mortgage lenders like buyers with strong credit. While getting strong credit usually isn’t something that can be done overnight, paying bills on time, all of the time can help to build a positive profile.

Using as little credit as possible is also helpful, since high utilization of existing credit lines can harm a borrower’s score. Having less debt can also reduce monthly payments, making it easier to qualify for a larger mortgage.

Managing Income

Lenders look for two things when it comes to a borrower’s income:

  • Stable incomes are preferred, so being able to prove the income with a W-2 form or other documentation is usually required. Self-employed people will typically need to prove their income with their tax returns, so taking high write-offs can make it harder to qualify.
  • A borrower’s income should be significantly higher than his total monthly debt payments. Lenders divide a borrower’s monthly payments including their proposed mortgage into the gross monthly income. If the payments exceed a set percentage, the lender will shrink the mortgage until it considers the payment affordable.

Managing Paperwork

To qualify for a mortgage, borrowers typically need to submit a comprehensive file of supporting documentation. This can include tax returns, pay stubs and bank and investment account statements.

Since lenders frequently want some historical data, it can be a good idea for people considering applying for a mortgage to start collecting documentation months before they actually begin the mortgage application process. That way, they will have everything the lender wants and when the lender needs it.

Don’t Make These Mistakes When You Want To Get A Home Loan

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Don't Make These Mistakes When You Want To Get A Home LoanGetting a home loan can be a challenging process, and a finicky one. Qualifying can be challenging and once a buyer gets approved, it can be surprisingly easy to derail the process. Here are some mistakes to be avoided:

Not Pre-Checking Credit

Once a borrower makes his application for a mortgage, his fate is largely sealed. One way to increase the chance of qualifying for a home loan is for a borrower to check his credit before applying. That way, he can address any issues before they become problems for the lender.

Changing Jobs

Lenders judge borrowers on their ability to repay the loan. While a borrower’s credit rating is a good indicator of past performance, his current job and income provides some assurances that he can make his payments.

Changing jobs or losing a job interrupts the income, and can make a lender decide not to lend to that borrower.

Taking On New Debt

New debt can derail a mortgage in two ways. First, adding debt can lower credit scores from the inquiry that comes as well as worry lenders. Second, new debt increases monthly payments, which lower the amount that a borrower can take out on a home loan due to the limitations imposed by the lender’s debt to income ratio.

Fudging The Numbers

Some borrowers might be tempted to tweak some of the numbers on their mortgage applications to make them more attractive to the lender, but lying on a mortgage application is a very bad idea.

First, lenders investigate what gets entered and they’re likely to catch it. Second, it is also fraud and could leave the borrower subject to prosecution.

In general, people considering a home loan should remember the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take. Its message — do no harm — is a good rule of thumb for applying for a mortgage.

Applicants that keep their financial status the same throughout the process without making any changes are more likely to emerge at the end with their new home and their original loan.

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