Posted in Home Mortgage Tips

3 Different Types of Loan That Will Negatively Impact Your Ability to Get a Mortgage

3 Different Types of Loan That Will Negatively Impact Your Ability to Get a MortgageA good credit rating is built on a number of financial factors including paying your bills on time and the length of your credit history, but loans can also be a source of bolstering your credit score in a positive way. While this means that loans can actually be a good thing, there are also the kinds of loans that can have a damaging impact on acquiring a mortgage. If you’ll soon be pursuing your own home purchase, here are some loans that may have a negative impact.

Borrowing For Education

When you are young, student loans are an ideal means of paying down your debt and developing a positive credit history. However, if these loans are left to linger they can have a marked effect on your chances of a mortgage approval. Since paying back your student loans will be one of the first times in your financial life that you’ll be able to prove your reliability, you should ensure you pay them on a consistent basis in order to lower your overall debt-to-income ratio.

Credit Card Debt

Many people don’t think of the purchases that go on their credit card as loans, but the money on your credit card does not really belong to you until it’s paid off. While credit cards can be a great boon for establishing your credit in the early days, if you rack up a lot of credit card debt and do not pay your minimum payments by the due date, it will cause a considerable dip in your credit score. In addition, taking on too many cards can be a negative signal to lenders.

Payday Loans

In recent years, payday loans have sometimes been broken out separately from other loans on a person’s credit report. However, unlike many other types of loans, payday loans can be seen in a bad light by lenders because they can be indicative of someone who’s experienced significant financial setbacks, which would negatively impact their ability to pay a mortgage. While some mortgage lenders will not decline an application due to payday loans, some have already started to take this step.

Acquiring loans can be a good means of developing a credit history, but there are types of loans that may look bad on your mortgage application and won’t be of service if you can’t pay them off consistently. If you’re considering submitting a mortgage application, contact your local real estate professional for more information.

Posted in Home Mortgage Tips

Can You Get a Mortgage after a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge? Yes – But You’ll Have to Wait

Can You Get a Mortgage after a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Discharge? Yes - But You'll Have to Wait There was a time when it was possible to acquire a mortgage shortly after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but with the shifts in the financial sector, the timeline on such a mortgage approval has changed in recent years. If you’re currently undergoing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and are wondering how this will impact home ownership, here are the basics on this type of bankruptcy and what it may mean for you.

What Is Chapter 7?

While a Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the kind of financial situation that requires debt repayment, Chapter 7 is different in that it involves the liquidation of an individual’s personal assets to pay back the debt that is owed. A trustee will be designated to take care of the bankruptcy process, but a Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain on your credit report for 10 years and have a negative impact on your credit score, which can mean increased interest rates on a mortgage down the road.

Re-Building Your Credit Score

The most important step to obtaining a mortgage following a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is keeping on top of your credit. Because your credit score will be lowered and bankruptcy will remain on your report for a long time, paying all of your bills on time in full and ensuring every aspect of your financial health is in check is of primary importance. Since most lenders will not even consider your application if you’re delinquent with payments, impeccable form is necessary in this case.

The Timeline On A Mortgage

According to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), anyone applying for a mortgage must wait a minimum of two years after the discharge date of their Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which is the date they are cleared of obligation to their debt. While this is good news for those who want to apply for a mortgage in the near future, it’s important that a good credit history is developed and all FHA requirements are met to ensure approval.

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can be a hard financial pill to swallow, but by keeping your credit history in check for the duration of the 2-year period, you can be well on your way to a mortgage approval. If you’re planning on being in the market for a home in the near future, contact your trusted real estate professional for more information about opportunities in your community.

Posted in Mortgage Rates

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 15, 2016

Last week’s economic news included reports on job openings, retail sales and recurring reports on mortgage rates and new jobless claims. Job openings and hiring increased, which provided further evidence of stronger economic conditions. Retail sales were flat in July, new unemployment claims dropped and mortgage rates changed little.

Labor Reports Suggest Stronger Economic Trends

The Labor Department reported more job openings in June with 5.60 openings as compared to 5.50 million job openings in May. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, 5.13 million workers were hired in June as compared to May’s reading of 5.15 million hires. June’ JOLTS report also showed that voluntary quits were nearly double the rate of quits during the worst part of the recession. Analysts consider quits an indicator of worker confidence in job markets; in times when jobs aren’t easily found, workers are more likely to stay with current jobs rather than risking uncertainties associated with quitting.

New jobless claims were lower with 266,000 new claims filed against the prior week’s reading of 267,000 new claims filed and expectations of 265,000 new claims filed. Last week’s reading continued a long streak of new jobless claims under 300,000 per week. Labor market trends impact housing markets, as prospective homebuyers typically consider job security as a significant factor in decisions to buy homes.

Mortgage Rates Show Little Change

Freddie Mac said that average mortgage rates held near steady readings last week. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose by two points to 3.45 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was also two basis points higher at 2.76 percent and rates for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage averaged 2.74 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for all three loan types reported. Consistently low mortgage rates help to ease concerns caused by rapidly rising home prices caused by short supplies of available homes.

Consumer sentiment fell short of the expected index reading of 91.50 with a reading of 90.40 but surpassed July’s index reading of 90.00. Participants in the University of Michigan Survey cited concerns over increasing prices coupled with slow income growth. Analysts said that consumer participants had grown acclimated to low mortgage rates, which may have offset consumer concerns about stagnant wages and higher prices.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic releases include the National Association of Home Builders Housing Market Index, Commerce Department Consumer Price Index and Core CPI reports along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips

Buying a Home This Summer? Use These Four Tips to Uncover Hidden Flaws and Issues

Buying a Home This Summer? Use These Four Tips to Uncover Hidden Flaws and IssuesIn a hot market it’s easy to be blinded by the competition and succumb to the pressure to make an offer on a home before you’ve adequately assessed it. If you’re looking to buy a home this summer, use these four tips to uncover hidden flaws before you put your offer in.

1) Hire A Pro

One of the most reliable ways to identify potential and existing problems within a property is to hire a professional home inspector to evaluate it. Home inspectors are trained to find issues that the average person may overlook, which can save you from putting in an offer on a money pit.

2) Do It Yourself

If you can’t afford to hire a home inspector, conduct a thorough home evaluation yourself. Ensure that the roof doesn’t have any significant damage or leaks, check window caulking for holes, and scan the basement thoroughly for asbestos and black mold.

Within the house, pay special attention to the bathrooms for leaks around the tubs, showers, and toilets, as this may indicate leaky pipes which can be a costly fix. Likewise, check underneath the kitchen sink and around appliances for leaks, which may also be a sign of a more expensive fix.

Even if you’ve hired a home inspector, always inspect the home yourself to the best of your ability. The more sets of eyes that look over the property the better, and you may find small problems that aren’t considered huge deficiencies to an inspector but may be deal breakers for you, such as peeling paint or cracked tile.

3) Seek Strata Minutes

If the home you are looking at is a condo, ask for copies of the strata minutes. Strata minutes serve as a record of any past issues that the building has had and will include notes on any upcoming costs that are already identified. Take these into consideration when estimating your condo fees and the value of the property.

4) Hire Help

Real estate agents can not only take a lot off of your plate when it comes to buying a home, but they also possess specialized knowledge and experience in uncovering flaws in homes. They know what to look for!

A real estate agent will take care of the property research for you, sifting through past strata notes or pointing out any deficiencies that they can identify when you are considering a home. With a trained professional on your team, you are more likely to find issues that could devalue the property.

Ready to find a home that’s fit for you? Get in contact with your trusted real estate agent today.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips

Thinking about a ‘Fixer Upper’? Understanding the Balance Between Purchase and Reno Costs

Thinking about a 'Fixer Upper'? Understanding the Balance Between Purchase and Reno CostsFixer uppers can come with huge price benefits and opportunity, as well as problems. Make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into before you purchase a home that needs significant restoration.

Carefully Calculate

Do the math very carefully before jumping in. Add up the expected renovation costs based on a thorough evaluation of the property. As some of the expected costs will lie within a grey area, it is important that you base your estimation on the higher end of the price range. Be sure to account for all materials and labor.

Once you have calculated your expected renovation costs, subtract this number from the home’s projected post-renovation market value. It is important that you base this projection on comparable listings in the same neighborhood. Consulting a real estate professional can offer very valuable assistance with this step.

To be conservative, deduct at least another 10 percent for any unforeseen costs, mistakes, or issues that arise. That final number should be the highest offer you make on the property.

Work With The Right Team

When looking for a fixer upper that is a sound investment, make sure that you have a solid team of professionals to work with. Choose a real estate agent who is familiar with the area and type of property that you are interested in, and make sure that all laborers you hire are not only competent to deal with the problems that you’ll face during renos, but who won’t cut corners. Aesthetically appealing housing don’t always pass inspections – it’s important to make sure that the property is fit for sale or it may never close at your asking price.

Aesthetic Problems Are The Best Problems

If you’ve managed to find a home that’s in great condition but is visually unappealing, you may have found yourself an excellent fixer upper. Ugly carpet, old appliances, and tacky wallpaper are easy fixes that won’t eat up much of your budget or your time.

Asbestos, leaky water lines, a cracked foundation, or a rotted frame are examples of more significant issues that will require the help of a professional. Be wary when investing in a property that has one or several of these problems, as they are the kind of issues that snowball into larger costs and a longer timeline for repairs.

Ready to find a great fixer upper and tackle it as your next investment? Move forward with the help of your trusted real estate professional today.

Posted in Around The Home

Need a DIY Summer Project? How to Paint Your Home’s Exterior in a Weekend or Two

Need a DIY Summer Project? How to Paint Your Home's Exterior in a Weekend or TwoIf you want something hands-on to do this summer, look no further than the outside of your house. There are many reasons to refresh the paint job on your house, including increased protection against weathering, and increased curb appeal. Whatever your reason, read on to learn just what you’ll need, and need to do, to paint your home’s exterior.

What You’ll Need: Materials, Tools, Protection

A DIY paint job is easily doable, and costs only as much as the materials, tools and protection you need. Those materials include the paint itself, the primer and the caulking (to seal cracks and joints). For tools, look for paintbrushes and rollers, sanders, and scrapers. You’ll also need drop cloths (to protect your lawn/garden), masks/respirators (to protect yourself), and a HEPA vacuum/suit if you’re stripping lead-based paint.

What You’ll Do: Step One

Essentially, house-painting boils down to three steps. First, prep the surface. You’ll need to wash the house, scrape loose paint off and sand it smooth to make it an ideal surface to which the new paint can adhere. Note, if your house was built before 1978, test for lead-based paint (which will just require a little more protection while you’re scraping it off). Lead-testing kits can be purchased online.

What You’ll Do: Step Two

Next, patch and prime. Fill in smaller imperfections with something like epoxy. Bigger gaps and joints will need caulking but do this only after the primer is applied. Take this patching time to fix any rot or potential rot problems signaled by improper water drainage. Then prime the whole exterior this seals the wood and makes it even easier for paint to adhere to the walls.

What You’ll Do: Step Three

Finally, the paint. Water-based latex (or acrylic) paint is more flexible, easier to clean and more environmentally friendly than oil-based paints. Read the paint can they contain tips and instructions on using the paint that can come in handy. With DIY, brushes and rollers are better to use than a paint-sprayer, which can be hard to control. Three tips: always start at the top of the house and paint down, it’s always better to do two coats, and stay in the shade while you’re working painting in direct sunlight causes the paint to dry too fast and flake.

What You’ll Do After: How To Maintain An Exterior

Once your exterior has dried, keep it looking fresh with consistent caulking, touch ups for peeling paint and removing mold and mildew whenever you spot it.

For more tips or advice on improving your home’s value in your neighborhood, talk to your local real estate agent.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips

Three Key Points to Remember When Investing in a Cottage or Waterfront Getaway

Three Key Points to Remember When Investing in a Cottage or Waterfront GetawayIf you’re looking to invest in a cottage or waterfront getaway, there are three key things to keep in mind throughout your search.

How’s The House?

Even if the lake is the highlight of a property you’re considering, it is important to make sure that the home is equally as great as the beautiful body of water it borders.

How’s its orientation? Is it built on the ideal angle to take full advantage of the sun? Does the deck or large windows face another house directly? The orientation is an important factor to consider as it can make or break the comfort of the property.

You’ll also want to consider the lot itself, as many waterfront properties are not built on level lots, but rather on sloping hills. If this is the case with a cottage you are looking to buy, it is important to have the land inspected to uncover any potential dangers or deficiencies. This is especially significant if you want to pursue further construction on the property in the future.

The waste system is another factor to consider, as many lakefront properties utilize a septic tank or public sewer system, which may differ from what you are used to and could cause more hassle than the home is worth.

Just How Lakefront Is It?

It is also important to consider the proximity of a house to the water, as there are unique risks that come along with bordering on a body of water. If the home is very close to the lake, research the typical rise and fall of water levels throughout the year as well as whether ice or frost develops in winter.

Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the lake specifics as well. Know the lake rules, what types of water crafts are permitted for use, how deep it is, and how busy it is throughout the year. A lake may look beautiful, but it’s equally important to ensure it will provide the experience you are looking for as well.

Protect Your Privacy

Lake front getaway homes often come with limited privacy as many properties may face each other across the water. Additionally, since space is limited around a lake, properties may be squished together to make the most of the land that’s available, and that can also compromise your privacy. Be sure to check out who you can see and who can see you, and take note of whether or not there are substantial tree barriers between you and your potential neighbors.

If you’re serious about finding a waterfront getaway home, speak with your trusted real estate professional today to find the property of your dreams.

Posted in Mortgage Rates

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – August 8, 2016

Last week’s economic reports included construction spending, personal income, and multiple reports on employment. Freddie Mac’s mortgage rates survey and new jobless claims were also released.

Construction Spending Dips in June

According to the Commerce Department, construction spending fell in June to -0.60 percent as compared to expectations of an increase of 0.50 percent and May’s reading of -0.10 percent. Spending was even across public and private construction spending. The Commerce Department said that construction spending on June rose to $1.13 trillion was 0.30 percent year-over-year and was 6.20 percent higher for the first six months of 2016 as compared to the same period in 2015; construction spending appears to be trending upward in spite of recent month-to-month declines.

Consumer spending rates in June met expected growth of 0.40 percent and matched May’s reading. Core consumer spending fell to 0.10 percent in June according to expectations, which were based on May’s reading of 0.20 percent.

Labor Reports Indicate Stronger Economy

Inflation remains lower than the Federal Reserve’s annual rate of 2.00 percent, but labor news released last week supports reports of strengthening economic conditions. ADP Payrolls, which covers private-sector job growth, reported 179,000 jobs added in July as compared to June’s reading of 176,000 jobs added.

Non-farm payrolls grew by 255,000 jobs as compared to expected growth of 185,000 jobs. Neither July’s reading nor did expectations of 185,000 jobs added meet June’s reading of 292,000 jobs added, but analysts and media reports touted private and public sector job growth as a strong indicator of economic recovery.

The national unemployment rate held steady at 4.90 percent against expectations of 4.80 percent and June’s reading of 4.90 percent. Analysts said that this reading was better than it appeared due to more people joining the work force in July.

Mortgage Rates Lower:Jobless Claims Rise

Mortgage rates fell across the board last week according to Freddie Mac. 30-year fixed rates averaged 3.43 percent, which was five basis points lower than the previous week. Average rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage fell by four basis points to an average of 2.74 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell five basis points to 2.73 percent.

New jobless claims rose to 269,000 against expectations of 263,000 new claims and the prior week’s reading of 266,000 new claims. There’s good news; new jobless claims remained below the key reading of 300,000 for the 74th consecutive week.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes releases on retail sales and consumer sentiment along with weekly reports on new jobless claims and mortgage rates.

Posted in Home Seller Tips

Selling Your Home? Here’s Why You’ll Want to Keep Your Emotions out of It

Selling Your Home? Here's Why You'll Want to Keep Your Emotions out of ItSelling your home can be an extremely emotional process, but it’s important that you don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Learn which common mistakes emotional sellers make when selling their home so that you can identify them during your own sale and overcome them before it’s too late.

Price Paralysis

You love your home, you know the value it provides to its owner, and you think it’s special compared to other houses on the market… and that it should be priced as such!

Be wary of this thought pattern though, as sellers who are emotionally attached to their home tend to overprice their listing, ignore market data, and be stubborn in negotiations.

It is perfectly normal for your emotions to cloud your judgement when first listing, but it is important that you listen to your real estate agent’s advice and stick to reason, or you may find your home failing to close.

Pricing Based On Need

Your home has a market value, and you can’t ignore that. It’s a fact.

When moving to a new property, it is essential that you understand that you cannot price your current home based on the amount of money you need to purchase your desired next home. This mindset is unrealistic, and can drag out your home sale.

If the purchase of a new home is contingent upon how much you make from selling your current home, be sure that you do not celebrate too early. Wait until you have closed the deal before gauging what you can afford to buy next, or stick to a property that is definitely within your budget.

Maintain An Open Mind

While you may love the way your personal items and interior design pieces make your home feel, it is best to stage your home very impersonally for showings. This may require re-painting rooms to more neutral tones, taking down your favorite family photos, and using professional staging furniture rather than your own. Doing so isn’t admitting that you have bad taste, but rather accepting that buyers have a wide variety of taste themselves, and you want to appeal to them all.

You should also keep an open mind when it comes to who you sell your home to. You may have an idea of what you consider to be the perfect buyer, but ultimately the goal is to sell your home. What the buyer does with it after the fact is up to them.

To avoid these emotional home-seller mistakes, work with your trusted real estate professional who can guide you through the process and keep you on the right track.

Posted in Home Buyer Tips

5 Tips to Make Moving With Kids Easier

5 Tips to Make Moving With Kids EasierSometimes a move is unavoidable, regardless of how much you or your kids’ would rather stay in your current home. If your young ones are not looking forward to a change in scenery, here are a few tips to help them make a smoother transition into their new home.

1. Involve Them

Involving your children in the moving process will not only help them to better understand the move, it will also make them feel as though they are more in control of the situation. By taking them to open houses they’ll become familiar with the neighborhoods you’re considering moving to, and will have the chance to see first-hand some of the benefits that a new home would offer over your current one.

2. Say Goodbye

Moving can be an emotional time for children, and it’s important to allow them to face and embrace their feelings. Hosting a goodbye party will provide closure to an important chapter of their life, and creating a memory book will offer comfort on days when they miss your old home. It is totally normal for there to be some sadness associated with a move, so do not feel guilty if your child is upset, but be there for them if they struggle with letting go.

3. New Beginnings

Although it’s okay for your child to feel sad about leaving your old home, it will help their transition if you give them something to be excited about, such as a new bedroom. By allowing your child to help plan and pick out the layout, paint colors, or bedding for their room, you will give them something to look forward to.

4. No Benchwarmers

When it comes to packing and unpacking, don’t let your kids sit on the sidelines as mom and dad do all the work. By helping you pack and unpack, your children will feel secure knowing that their belongings are all on their way to your new home, and will feel more welcome knowing where items have been put when they’re unpacked.

5. Make Friends

Being the new kid on the block can be lonely, which is why it’s important to encourage your child to socialize within your new community. Make an effort to meet the neighbors, enroll them in an extra-curricular activity, and schedule play dates with classmates if they have had to move to a new school. It can be intimidating for a child to socialize when faced with a whole new environment, but a little extra encouragement can go a long way.

Considering moving your family into a new home? Speak with your real estate professional who is experienced in family relocation today!