So You’ve Been Pre-Qualified! What’s Next?

  So you’ve been pre-qualified, which is a GREAT first step in the mortgage process.  Now, you may be wondering “what happens next?” These next few weeks will be an exciting and stressful time for you, so knowing the process is essential to keeping yourself sane. Here’s what happens after you’ve been pre-qualified to purchase a home. Start looking for a home: Once your loan officer lets you know you have been pre-qualified, he/she should contact your real estate agent to let them know the details of your loan (like the amount and loan type). Once your agent has been informed of this information, they can now take you to see homes that are in your price range with your desired features. This is the fun part, so make sure to enjoy the hunt!   Put an offer in: Once you find your dream home, it’s time to put an… Read more »

5 Reasons to Upgrade From an Apartment to a Home

People upgrade from renting an apartment to purchasing their own home for many different reasons. If you’re still unsure if it’s the right move for you, take a look at these five reasons an upgrade may be right for you! 1. Your family is growing If you have a large family, you know that space is a valuable thing. Weather you already have kids or you’re expecting your first bundle of joy, having enough room is an important advantage to upgrading from an apartment to a house. 2. You want to be able to paint and decorate as you please Renovating your home can be a fun and much needed project when you’re looking for a little change in your life, but most apartments -or rental properties- won’t allow you to make those changes. If you own your own home, you can make those renovations as often as you please!… Read more »

Earnest Money – Why is it Important?

Don’t lose your hard earned money. Here are the dos and don’ts of earnest money. Earnest money is an amount of money that is paid to either the title company or real estate broker (depending on the state you live in) which shows the seller that you are committed to purchasing the property. Near the end of the loan process, the funds are released and used towards your down payment or closing costs. Earnest money is an important part of the loan process and you could actually lose the money if you’re not careful. If your financing falls through or your home inspection shows something wrong with the house and you choose not to purchase the home, you may receive your earnest money back most of the time. But there are certain circumstances that can cause you to lose that money, like missing important deadlines or after a loan contingency… Read more »

3 Things NOT to Do During the Loan Process

Buying a home is an exciting and important process. It’s crucial to follow the correct steps to ensure a smooth home buying process. There are a lot of things you should do in the mortgage process, but here are a few DON’TS: Change or Quit a Job If you change or quit a job during the loan process, it could mean your loan gets delayed or even worse; your loan may get denied. In most cases, when you change your job, you will have to stay at that job for 90 days before you will be able to proceed with the home buying process. Acquire Any Additional Debt It’s important to make sure that you don’t acquire any additional debt. This means you shouldn’t purchase a car, buy furniture on credit or use your credit cards while you are going through the loan process. The reason for this is because… Read more »

4 Tips For Preparing Your Home For Spring

Warmer weather is approaching, which means it’s time to start preparing for spring time! As exciting as that is, sometimes finding a place to start seems unsettling. Here are some tips for preparing your home for spring. Out With The Old In anticipation of spring, it’s a good idea to go through your closet, bathroom, pantry, fridge and other parts of the home and get rid of any clothes you don’t wear, items you don’t use or food/products that have expired. This also might be a great chance to sell some of those clothes or items to make a little money or donate to those in need. Click here to find a detailed decluttering guide! Deep Clean After a long cold winter that is mostly spent indoors, spring cleaning is a must. Wash walls, clean above the cupboards, shampoo your carpets and anything and everything else you can think of…. Read more »

5 Common Reasons Why a Pre-Qualification Gets Denied

There is nothing worse than going through the application process for a home loan just to find out that you don’t qualify immediately. Here are five common reasons why a pre-qualification gets denied. High debt to income ratio Your debt to income ratio is the ratio of the monthly debt you currently have versus your monthly income. The debts included are from things like car loans, student loans and credit card payments. The ratios vary from loan product to loan product, but the best way to overcome a high debt to ratio income is to pay down any reoccurring debts you have. Poor employment history When you apply for a loan, the first step is to provide the mortgage company with documents needed in order to get you approved for a loan. One of the items that will be requested is a two year history of your employment. You don’t… Read more »

How to Choose the Perfect Realtor

There is no denying that buying a home is one of the most important purchases you’ll make in your life. That’s why it’s crucial to choose a Real Estate Agent that will guide you through the home buying process and get you into the home of your dreams! Here are five traits to look for when choosing your Real Estate Agent.   COMMUNICATION Communication is a huge deal during the home buying and selling process. It is critical that your Real Estate Agent not only communicates with you, but it’s important for them to communicate with all parties involved, including your loan officer and the seller’s or buyer’s agent. The home buying and selling processes rely heavily on timelines and deadlines, so having an agent who is quick to get information to you will ensure a smooth process.   Problem Solving Skills We’d like to hope that buying or selling… Read more »

5 Tips for Moving Into Your New Home

Packing up your old house and moving into your new one seems like a never ending task. Spending a little time planning now can save you time and headaches later. Take a look at these 5 moving tips and prepare yourself for the big move into your new home! Declutter BEFORE you move You know that old dresser in your storage closet that you promised you would paint and fix up… five years ago? If you don’t have serious plans to fix it up and paint it before you make the move, donate it or get rid of it before you do.  Nothing reminds you how much random, useless items you have quite like packing up and moving your whole house, so create a solid decluttering plan (like this one!) and only move the stuff that will be put to good use! Don’t purchase boxes immediately There are a lot… Read more »

Creating An Energy Efficient Home

Energy Efficient Home More and more people are becoming environmentally conscious and want to find ways to live green and help preserve the environment we live in. There are plenty of things that people can do around the house that can help make your home more energy efficient and help you save a few pennies along the way. Electronics Using Energy Star electronics, like laptops and television systems, will help save energy and money through the life of the electronic product. Energy Star is a government voluntary program that helps lower energy use on products for Americans. To find certified Energy Star electronics, visit *Quick Tip: Using power strips to plug in all your electronics makes it easy to turn off at the end of the day, resulting in saving energy and money. Appliances Energy Star appliances, including an energy star refrigerator and dishwasher, will help you save energy,… Read more »

Tax Deductions & Mortgages

Tax Deductions & Mortgages Tax time is upon us! If you’re a home owner this can be good news for you, because there are several costs that may be tax deductible.   Property Taxes A property tax is based on the value of a property and they may be considered a deductible from your taxes starting from the day you purchased the house. Each district in your city and county have different rules and regulations that determines the property’s value, which then determines the tax you pay. Mortgage Interest Mortgage interest is usually included in the monthly mortgage payment you make to your lender. The interest you pay on your primary and secondary residence can be applied as a tax deduction. Discount Points A discount point is a prepaid amount of interest for your mortgage that lowers the amount of interest you have to pay on your monthly mortgage payment…. Read more »