Category Archives: Financing

Common Closing Costs for Buyers

You’ll likely be responsible for a variety of fees and expenses that you and the seller will have to pay at the time of closing. Your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of all settlement costs. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for:

  • Down payment
  • Loan origination
  • Points, or loan discount fees, which you pay to receive a lower interest rate
  • Home inspection
  • Appraisal
  • Credit report
  • Private mortgage insurance premium
  • Insurance escrow for homeowner’s insurance, if being paid as part of the mortgage
  • Property tax escrow, if being paid as part of the mortgage. Lenders keep funds for taxes and insurance in escrow accounts as they are paid with the mortgage, then pay the insurance or taxes for you.
  • Deed recording
  • Title insurance policy premiums
  • Land survey
  • Notary fees
  • Prorations for your share of costs, such as utility bills and property taxes

A Note About Prorations: Because such costs are usually paid on either a monthly or yearly basis, you might have to pay a bill for services used by the sellers before they moved. Proration is a way for the sellers to pay you back or for you to pay them for bills they may have paid in advance. For example, the gas company usually sends a bill each month for the gas used during the previous month. But assume you buy the home on the 6th of the month. You would owe the gas company for only the days from the 6th to the end for the month. The seller would owe for the first five days. The bill would be prorated for the number of days in the month, and then each person would be responsible for the days of his or her ownership.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

How Big of a Mortgage Can I Afford?

Not only does owning a home give you a haven for yourself and your family, it also makes great financial sense because of the tax benefits — which you can’t take advantage of when paying rent.

The following calculation assumes a 28 percent income tax bracket. If your bracket is higher, your savings will be, too. Based on your current rent, use this calculation to figure out how much mortgage you can afford.

Rent: _________________________

Multiplier: x 1.32

Mortgage payment: _________________________

Because of tax deductions, you can make a mortgage payment — including taxes and insurance — that is approximately one-third larger than your current rent payment and end up with the same amount of income.

Source: National  Association of REALTORS®

Buying More Affordable Than Renting

In the majority of U.S. housing markets, buying is more affordable than renting.  While housing values have been on the decline in recent years, rents have been on the rise as the demand for rental properties have increased.

If your currently renting, now might be the best time to purchase financially. Housing values are at all time lows along with interest rates. These conditions are not expected to continue indefinitely. In fact; housing values are already showing signs of rising along with interest rates.

You might be asking yourself; how much house can I buy, and will I actually be better off purchasing a home versus renting? Your best resource to get answers to these questions would be either a mortgage broker or your banking institution. They will be in a position to tell you how much house you would qualify for, how much cash you will need to close and what your projected monthly payment would be.  Once you have this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision.

If you’ve decided that now is a good time to buy a home, then the next step is to contact a REALTOR® who will assist you with the house hunting process through the closing on your new home.

Act today; don’t keep putting your future plans on hold.

Tips For a Smooth Loan Approval

•Don’t apply for new credit

•Don’t co-sign on a loan

•Don’t dispute anything on your credit report

•Don’t change bank accounts

•Don’t close any credit card accounts

•Don’t finance any elective medical procedure

•Don’t make a major purchase (car, boat, jewelry, etc.)

•Don’t max out or over charge your credit card accounts

•Don’t open a new credit card account

•Don’t take out a new loan

•Don’t transfer balances from one account to another

If you encounter a special situation, it is best to discuss it with your lender.

Source: Mortgage Options Lending

Mortgage Credit Availablity Reaches 3-Year High

Access to mortgage credit is at its highest level in three years, and credit standards are expected to loosen even more this year, according to a newly released index by the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Mortgage Bankers Association index rose to a 114 reading in March of this year, which is the highest reading in the gauge’s three year history.

Mortgage underwriting standards have gotten easier over the last two to three years, but nowhere near the loose standards of the 2005 and 2006 era.

Nearly 17 percent of the large banks recently eased their credit standards for prime purchase mortgages, while 5.6 percent have tightened their standards. The remaining banks have left their standards the same. This information comes from the Federal Reserve’s recent senior loan officer survey.

Source: Realty Biz News (4/14/2014)

Keep Your Mortgage Application on Track

Follow these tips to improve your odds of getting a mortgage application approved:
•Do not quit or change jobs.
•Do not make any large purchases.
•Do not have your credit pulled.
•Do not deposit large sums of money.
•Do not open, close or transfer asset accounts.
•Do not increase your credit balances.
•Do not stop making payments on anything.
•Do not start a home improvement project that would require a loan.
•Do not co-sign a loan for anyone.
•Do not fudge on any of the facts on your loan application.

The Six Elements that Determine if a Home Sells

Price – This is probably the most important element of the six items listed. A property needs to be properly priced to attract buyers in the first place. Pricing a home too high will most often lead to a lower sales price and longer market time than if priced right in the beginning.

Property Condition – Properties that are in tip top shape will usually sell much quicker than a property that’s in disrepair or needing updating. Properties that are in substandard condition will often draw low ball offers from investors and those folks looking for fixer uppers. Additionally a property that’s not up to certain minimum standards will not be considered for government backed loan programs, which significantly reduces the pool of available buyers if your limited to cash or conventional buyers.

Terms – This item rates high on the list of elements because if a buyer is unable to locate the needed financing, then they will not be in a position to purchase your property in the first place. If interest rates are at an attractive level and lending standards are reasonable, then terms should not be an issue. If you have a hard to sell property, then you might consider offering seller financing. This would open up your property to those buyers that are unable to secure traditional financing.

Agent Marketing – Selecting an agent and firm that has your best interest in mind is most important. You want someone that will provide you the necessary information, so that you can make informed decisions throughout the process of buying and selling. Visit www.KnoxSold.com to find out more about agent marketing.

Market Conditions – This is one of the elements that you have little to no control over. Market conditions will determine a property’s value at any given time based upon the law of supply and demand. The market is ever changing as the supply of available properties for sale rises and falls. Values will rise as the supply of available properties dwindles, and values will fall if the supply of properties exceeds buyer demands.

Property Location – Location greatly affects the value of a property. Property values are mostly influenced by neighboring property values. Usually you will find like valued properties in company with with one another. When pricing property you will usually need to be priced in relationship to other properties in the immediate area.

Avoid These During the Mortgage Process

1. Make large undocumented bank deposits
2. Fail to disclose you are on probation, disability or maternity leave with your employer
3. Close credit accounts with a zero balance
4. Co-sign a loan for anyone else
5. Change your job status from full to part time
6. Spend your down payment or closing cost money
7. Apply for new loans or credit
8. Stop paying your bills on time
9. Get married or divorced
10. Quit your job

Recover from a Foreclosure or Short Sale

If you lost your home due to a foreclosure or short sale, you probably would like to own a home once again. The good news is that a number of guidelines have changed which may allow you an opportunity to buy a new home sooner than you think.

The traditional waiting period after a foreclosure is seven years. However; these waiting period guidelines may change and you would be best served to get up to date information from a qualified mortgage professional. Many lenders will shorten the waiting period some if there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the foreclosure of your home. Was there a death or illness that prevented you from earning enough money to meet your mortgage obligations? Did you loose your job or incur a substantial pay cut for some reason? These and similar reasons might be enough for a lender to shorten your waiting period after a foreclosure.

Your credit is often re-established quicker after a short sale than a foreclosure. Generally lenders will require only a two-year waiting period before they will consider you for another mortgage. Once again; seek the advice of a licensed mortgage professional to obtain the latest information on their qualifying guidelines.