Buying a Home When You’re Self-Employed

The Ability-To-Repay Rule Since the housing market collapsed in 2008, many regulations have been put in place to help ensure buyers actually qualify to make their mortgage payments. One of those is “the ability-to-repay rule.” According to the CFPB, “the ability-to-repay rule requires most mortgage lenders to make a good-faith effort to determine that you are likely to be able to pay back the loan.” What does this mean for the borrower? It means documentation is required to show the lender your financial ability to make those payments. When you work at a regular job, it’s a lot easier to prove your steady source of income with pay stubs and bank statements. But what about when you’re self-employed? Lenders typically look at the last two years of tax returns. Then, they take your average income from the last two years and determine what your monthly income is from there. This… Read more »

What’s more beneficial? A 15 Year Fixed Mortgage or a 30 Year Fixed Mortgage?

  Both of these loan terms have pros and cons and can each be beneficial for you, but it depends on your specific situation . Here we’ll explain exactly what each entail.   [ A “fixed” rate is an interest rate that remains the same throughout the life of the loan. ]   What’s more common? The 30 year fixed mortgage is the standard and is favored by most buyers.   A 15 Year Fixed Mortgage With a 15 year fixed mortgage, you will essentially have higher payments, but will pay off your loan quicker. The higher payments may make it seem like this is a more expensive route, but you can save more money in interest with a 15 year fixed mortgage, because a lender typically sees this type of loan as “lower risk,” therefore potentially giving you a lower rate. This is an advantage if you are looking… Read more »

The 20% Down Payment MYTH!

  Can you still buy a house if you don’t have 20% down? This question gets asked so frequently and it’s possibly one of the biggest myths in the home buying industry.   You do not need 20% down to buy a house!   Is it beneficial for you to have 20% (or more) down? Yes. Is it necessary? No!   Have you ever said (or thought) “I really want to buy a home, but I don’t have enough money for a 20% down payment?”   What if I told you that you may only need 3% down? And if you are an eligible Veteran, it could be 0% down. What does this mean for you?….  Would you be able to buy now?   There are many different products that have different down payment requirements and there are pros and cons to each, but these options give you something important… Read more »

Fall Home Maintenance Tips

  With the end of summer approaching and hoodie season coming in full swing, it’s a good idea to take some time out of your weekend to complete a few fall maintenance tasks that future-you will thank you for!   Service your furnace & replace filters   It’s a good idea to service your furnace and replace the filters before the temperature drops too much. There is nothing worse than going to turn on your heater on a freezing cold day, just to find out that it isn’t working correctly.   In addition, many costly repairs can be avoided by changing your filters when they’re dirty. Filters should be checked once a month and replaced when dirty. If you don’t change your filter enough it can cause a lack of airflow to the furnace, which could mean it will overheat and shut down. Filters are inexpensive and easy to replace…. 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 of the 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 the job for 90 days before you will be able to proceed with the home buying process.   Acquire 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… Read more »

5 Characteristics of a Great Real Estate Agent

When buying or selling a home, it’s a good idea to work with an experienced real estate agent. Real estate agents should know the market well and can help you get the most out of your offer.   1. 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 with all parties involved.   2. Problem solving skills There may be times when a problem or two may arise. Having a Real Estate Agent who is quick on their feet and isn’t afraid to roll up their sleeves to find a solution is vital.   3. Negotiation Skills Having a Real Estate Agent who can negotiate a killer deal that meets your needs is a significant advantage. This occurs when a Real Estate Agent has expert negotiation skills. There is nothing worse that… Read more »

3 Must Needed Outdoor Technologies for Your Home

When you think of technology, you typically think of items inside the home like computers, televisions, sound systems and other items, but people often forget about the use of technology outside of the home. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best outdoor technologies for your home.   Solar Roof by TESLA The Solar Roof by TESLA is a game changer for the solar power industry. Instead of chunky solar panels, they have created solar tiles with invisible solar cells. In addition to having the ability to customize the amount of electricity your Solar Roof produces, TESLA offers an infinite tile warranty on their tempered glass Solar Roof Tiles. These tiles come in multiple styles, including textured, smooth, Tuscan and slate. Check out these awesome solar tiles here. Zmodo Outdoor Cameras The Zmodo outdoor security camera is a great investment for homeowners that want to keep their home and… Read more »

12 Things to Consider When Viewing a Home

  Buying a home is an exciting and stressful time in your life and possibly one of the best investments you can make. But if you aren’t a home-buying expert, it can be hard to know exactly what to look (or look out) for. Location & Neighborhood Location is an important thing to consider when buying a home. Is the home near your work? Is it close to a freeway? What is the crime rate in that area? Do your neighbors take care of their properties? Are there any loud bars or event centers nearby that could create noise during the night? Are you on a busy road or a quiet cul-de-sac? These are all important things to ask yourself when searching for your home; especially a home you plan on staying in for a long period of time. To read Why Location Matters in Real Estate, click here. Floor… Read more »

Do you have a Credit Qualification or a Full Pre-Qualification?

  If you are like most people applying for a home loan, then you probably didn’t know that there is a difference between a Credit Qualification and a Full Pre-approval.   Here is the difference:   Credit Qualification typically involves a few questions and (maybe) a credit pull.   A Full Pre-Qualification actually involves going through an entire application together by reviewing your current living situation, pulling credit, gathering income documentation, verifying income, analyzing bank statements, running DU and running the full package by the ultimate decision makers- the Underwriter.   At times this might feel overwhelming and intrusive, but going through this process will ensure that you are as prepared as possible when making an offer and buying a home.   Can you see the potential problem with buying a home without this level of preparation?