Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A Refinance

Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A RefinanceThere are a lot of people who have spotted the record-low mortgage rates right now and are wondering if they can refinance successfully. While many people apply for a refinance of their current home loan, not everyone will be approved. Furthermore, a home refinance is not the best option for everyone. Those who want to qualify for record-low refinance rates need to keep a few key points in mind.

Be A Strong Refinance Candidate

First, homeowners need to make sure that it is actually worth their time to refinance to a lower home mortgage rate. In general, homeowners want to make sure they are able to save at least three-quarters of a percentage point when compared to their current home loan to make a refinance worth their while. If they cannot save this much money on their home loan, then they may end up spending more money on the refinance in closing costs.

Act Quickly

The real estate market is volatile right now. Therefore, home refinance rates are often moving targets. As a result, the interest rates that are published this week could change in the span of a few days. By the time loan packages are returned to the lender, the rates might not even be accurate anymore. Therefore, all homeowners need to be willing to act fast. Have pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns ready to go when the lender asks for it.

Have The Money For Closing Costs

One of the most common reasons why homeowners lose out on the best interest rates is that they do not have the money ready to pay closing costs. By the time the homeowners get the money together, the refinance rate might have passed them by. Usually, closing costs fall somewhere between two percent and five percent of the total loan amount and this amount is usually due at signing.

Qualify For The Best Mortgage Rates During A Refinance

With mortgage rates falling to record lows, now is a good time for many homeowners to refinance. On the other hand, homeowners need to set themselves up to qualify for the lowest mortgage rates. Following these steps can place homeowners in a position to be successful when they apply for a refinance.

Purchase The Right Amount Of Home Insurance

Purchase The Right Amount Of Home InsuranceFor most people, their home is the most valuable investment they will ever make. Therefore, it needs to be protected. This is where homeowners’ insurance is critical. At the same time, buying the right amount of homeowners’ insurance can be a bit of a challenge.

A home that is underinsured leaves the homeowner vulnerable to situations involving fires, floods, and theft. On the other hand, nobody wants to throw away money unnecessarily by over-insuring the home. How can everyone purchase the right amount of homeowners’ insurance?

Review The Coverage Every Year

First, people’s needs are going to change from year to year. Therefore, everyone should review their policy annually. For example, actual cash value only reimburses someone based on the current condition of the home. For example, if a home was built ten years ago, the actual cash value will only provide someone with the depreciated value of the home and not the original value. While this might be enough at the beginning, it may not be enough ten years from now. Everyone has to make sure they purchase enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the home, excluding the cost of the land.

Overlooking Valuables And Liability

Another common mistake that people make when it comes to homeowners’ insurance is overlooking issues such as valuables and liability. Most people have enough insurance for the structure of the home. Most people do not have enough insurance to cover liability claims and valuables. Liability claims might arise if someone gets hurt on the property and the homeowner gets sued. Valuables are important if the home burns down or if someone steals something from the home. All homeowners must have enough homeowners’ insurance to protect themselves against potential liability claims (such as someone slipping and falling in the home) and the loss of valuables (such as electronics and jewelry). Everyone has to make sure they document these valuables appropriately.

Purchase The Right Amount Of Homeowners’ Insurance

Make sure you include everything to purchase the right amount of homeowners’ insurance. Review current construction costs as part of the process. Finally, review the fine print of the homeowners’ insurance policy every year to avoid being underinsured or over-insured.

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?If you are looking for a home, then you probably have a budget in mind. You also need to know about the most common factors that influence the price of a home. One factor that always seems to play a role in the price of a home is the quality of the school system. This makes sense. After all, a lot of people who are looking for a home have children (or are planning on having children) and want to make sure they have access to a quality education. At the same time, is it truly worth the price increase to have access to a better school district?

The Quality Of The School District And The Price Of The Home

Numerous surveys have consistently shown that the majority of homeowners are willing to go over their budget price for the perfect and home and the location certainly plays a role. In this manner, the quality of the school system absolutely factors into the right location.

When people think about going over budget, they often think about a higher monthly mortgage payment; however, other costs are going to increase as well. For example, you might need to pay a higher down payment, pay more in home insurance to protect the home, and pay more in property taxes. Therefore, is this truly worth it?

This Is A Subjective Decision

In the end, the answer to this question is always going to be subjective. Therefore, you need to decide what matters most to you and your family and compare this to the premium that is put on the home. For example, the school rankings and test scores are certainly important factors. At the same time, they only tell one small part of the story.

For example, you also want to see how much money the school district spends on each of its students. The more money they spend, the more they care about their students. You also want to think about the diversity of the school district as well, as this is closely correlated to the overall quality of the education each student receives. Compare these factors to your budget to see if it is worth the price of living in that school district.

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down payment

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down paymentIf you are thinking about purchasing your first home in the near future, then you need to be aware of the costs that you are going to take on. When you are looking at the cost of a home, it is very tempting to focus on the sticker price of the home. Even though the down payment is going to be the largest check you are going to write, this is not the only cost that you are going to pay.

There are numerous other costs for which you need to budget as well. By thinking about all of these costs ahead of time, you can make a smart financial decision for you and your family.

Think About The Real Estate Taxes

Depending on the part of the country in which you live, real estate taxes can be significant. For example, it is not unusual for even a modest home to cost thousands of dollars in real estate taxes per year. Therefore, even though you have budgeted for your monthly mortgage payment, make sure that you have budgeted for real estate taxes as well. Usually, your mortgage lender is going to hold your real estate taxes in escrow for you so you don’t end up having to write a large check at the end of the year.

Homeowners’ Insurance And Utility Costs

In addition, you also need to think about homeowners’ insurance and utility costs. Some of the utilities that you have to pay for include internet, phone, cable, gas, electricity, and water. When this is added to your homeowners’ insurance expenses, this can also add up to several hundred dollars per month. Therefore, make sure that you can afford not only the mortgage payment but these recurring monthly expenses as well.

Budget For Your First Home Accordingly

Some of the other expenses that you might have to incur when it comes to your first home include maintenance and repair bills. Therefore, you should make sure that you sit down with an experienced planner and ensure that you can afford the combined expenses. Otherwise, you might end up being priced out of your first home before you realize it.

 

The Top Questions Everyone Should Ask Before Renovating A Home

The Top Questions Everyone Should Ask Before Renovating A HomeThere are a lot of people who are looking to improve the home in which they live. One of the top ways to do this is to renovate the building; however, it is also important for everyone to make sure they know exactly what they are doing before they get started. There are several questions that everyone should ask before they start a home renovation project.

Is The Home Worth Renovating?

One of the top reasons why people renovate a home is that they think this is going to increase the value of the home. While this is certainly possible, everyone has to run the numbers and make sure they are either going to recoup their investment when they sell the home or that they are going to be in the home for a long time before they sell it. If the home is worth renovating, then it is fine to proceed.

What Is The Budget On The Renovation Project?

Next, it is also important for everyone to know what the budget is one the renovation project. Remember that there are always going to be expenses that are not foreseen, so be sure to include some room at the top in case the contractors come asking for a budget increase. They almost always do.

What Are The Offers On The Home Renovation Project?

Finally, it is also important to collect multiple offers. Talk to designers, contractors, and architects. Collect a few referrals. Then, talk to all of these individuals and see how much money it is going to cost to complete the project. This is one of the top ways that everyone is able to save money on their home renovation projects and make sure they get exactly what they asked for when the project started.

Answer These Questions Before Starting A Home Renovation Project

By planning ahead of time, everyone is able to plan accordingly, making sure they know what they are doing before the project gets started. When homeowners take the time to plan a home renovation project, they increase the chances of the project being a success. This includes not only an aesthetically pleasing project but a wise financial investment as well.

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage Rate

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage RateFor those who are thinking about buying a house in the near future, they want to make sure that they get the best mortgage rate possible. At the same time, if people who want to reduce the interest rate on their mortgage, then they need to do everything you can to make yourself as attractive as possible to lenders. When they are negotiating for a better rate on your mortgage, they need to keep a few important points in mind.

Make A Larger Down Payment

If people want the lender to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, then borrowers need to think about making a larger down payment. By doing everything they can to reduce the risk they present to the lender, they will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. If borrowers are willing to put more money down, then that is less money that the bank has to lend out. Therefore, the risk the bank takes on is going to be reduced and borrowers will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. Make a larger down payment to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage.

Improve the Credit Score

Another way that people can reduce the risk that they present to the bank is to improve their credit score. What can borrowers do to make this happen? They can check your credit report first and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. After this, they should take a look at any existing debt they have and try to pay down as much of it as possible. By reducing the amount of debt they owe, the credit score will improve, helping them qualify for a lower interest rate on their mortgage.

Take Advantage Of Discount Points

Those want to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, could use something called discount points. These are points that the borrower will pay directly to the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. By providing the lender with more money up front, they can secure a reduced payment over the life of the loan.

Reduce the Interest Rate

These are a few of the fastest ways that people can secure a lower interest rate on their loan. This can save them a tremendous amount of money.

The Ultimate Payoff: Getting Debt Free Before Retirement

The Ultimate Payoff: Getting Debt Free Before Retirement

Try To Keep Housing Costs Low

First, it is important for everyone to try to keep their housing costs as low as possible. Housing is one of the major sources of death of people have when they retire. This could come in the form of a mortgage that has been stressed out for a longer period of time in order to send kids to college.

At the same time, as people start to approach retirement, they should try to attack this debt as much as possible. Remember that cash is king. Paying off a mortgage before retirement can really help people improve their quality of life on the other side.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

Ideally, individuals are able to pay their credit card bills in full every month. Yes, it is great to take out credit cards because of the rewards that they provide and the positive credit history this can create. At the same time, if individuals end up carrying a lot of credit card debt, this can end up hurting them in the long run. In addition to damaging someone’s credit score, this can also take money away from retirement. Therefore, it is important for everyone to try to pay down their credit card debt as quickly as possible. That way, they do not have to worry about this when they retire and have more money they can spend every month.

Get Ready To Retire Debt Free

By following these tips, everyone is able to enjoy their retirement just a little bit more. By trying to find ways to retire without any debt, everyone is able to set themselves up for success. That way, they will be ready to take advantage of everything that retirement has to offer.

 

How Are Different Mortgage Lenders Handling Student Loans During the Pandemic?

How Are Different Mortgage Lenders Handling Student Loans During the Pandemic?The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on everyone. This pandemic has led to massive economic issues as well. Given the ongoing crisis as it relates to student loan debt, many students are wondering how the pandemic is going to impact their student loans and how their student loans are going to impact a potential mortgage payment. There are a few points to keep in mind.

Freddie Mac

In general, loans backed by Freddie Mac are going to use the student loan payment that is marked on the credit report. If this amount is $0 or unknown, then the lender is going to use 0.5 percent of the outstanding loan balance. This should also be reported on the credit report. Then, the lender will provide the borrower with information on possible mortgages.

Fannie Mae

When it comes to loans that are backed by Fannie Mae, students might still be on an income-driven repayment plan. In this case, the monthly payment might be zero and the lender may qualify a potential borrower with this $0 payment. On the other hand, if the loans have been deferred or are in forbearance, then the lender may calculate a payment that is equal to approximately 1 percent of the remaining balance on student loans. 

FHA Loans

For individuals going through FHA, the lender is going to run a few calculations. The lender may look at one percent of the remaining balance on the loan, the monthly payment that is reported on the credit report, or the actual documented payment as long as the borrower provides ample evidence. The lender will likely use the greater of these amounts in calculations. 

Why Do These Student Loan Payments Matter?

Credit reports are an essential part of the home-buying process. It is critical for everyone to understand what their student loan payments are and how they might impact their credit report. Furthermore, their student loan payments are also going to have an impact on the monthly mortgage payment they can afford. Therefore, it is important for everyone to make sure the information documented on their credit report is accurate when it comes to their student loans.

 

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New Home

Buying A New Car Impacts The Ability To Buy A New HomeThose who are in the process of buying a new home need to be aware of some of the factors that might influence their ability to do so. Even though credit score, income, and assets will play major roles in whether or not someone might be approved for a loan, there are other factors that will play a role as well.

Buying a new car might even have an impact on the homebuying process.

Why is this the case?

The Debt Payments On The Car Will Play A Role

There are multiple ways to buy a car. Some people elect to pay cash for the entire vehicle. While this is a challenge for most families, this will prevent any new debt from being added to the family’s finances. At the same time, this could also reduce the amount of cash the family has on hand to put toward the new home.

Most families end up putting a down payment on a car and taking out a loan for the rest. While this is a financially responsible decision, this can also make it harder to purchase a new home. This is because the payments on the car are going to be added to the family’s existing debt. A potential lender is going to see these debt payments and reduce the amount of money they are willing to provide. This could make it hard for a family to purchase their dream home.

Factor In The Cost Of The Car

Those who need a new car need to factor the monthly cost of the car into the home buying equation. For example, if the monthly payments on the car are going to be $200, then this is $200 less that the family can afford for the mortgage payment. The same math has to be done by removing the down payment for the car from the potential down payment on the house.

Do The Math Carefully

People need cars to get around in most parts of the country. At the same time, the financially responsible decision is to take the cost of the car and deduct this from the assets that are available to pay for the home to avoid any surprises. The lender is going to do the same thing.

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Had An Impact On The Home Lending Process

4 Ways COVID-19 Has Had An Impact On The Home Lending ProcessThe COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone and this includes the real estate industry. One of the biggest impacts that this pandemic has had involves the home lending process. Because many people are looking for ways to buy a home while engaging in proper social distancing measures, the industry has had to adapt. Learn more about some of the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has forced on the home lending process.

Homes Are Getting More Affordable

The demand for homes right now is high; however, homes are still more affordable than they have been in the past. Lenders are trying to find ways to encourage people to purchase homes because they have seen a drop in their business as well. As a result, many lenders are willing to provide potential homeowners with great offers and opportunities to purchase a dream home.

Online Applications Are Becoming More Common

Next, online applications are becoming more common as well. In order to help people buy a home while still engaging in social distancing, it is possible to complete the home application process online. This is usually provided through an intuitive system that provides clear instructions on what has to be submitted for the application process.

Buying Power Is Going Up

Because many homeowners and potential home buyers are realizing that now is a great time to buy, they are learning that they have a lot more power. They might be able to afford a larger home or carry out a home improvement project after buying their home. This provides more flexibility for homeowners.

Refinancing Is Becoming More Common

In addition to changes in the home buying process, there are changes taking place in refinancing as well. Many current homeowners are realizing that they have a unique opportunity right now as well. As a result, they are taking advantage of the opportunity to complete a refinancing deal to save money.

Home Lending Is Changing

These are just a few of the major changes that have taken place in the home lending process due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who owns a home or is thinking about buying a home should consider looking at their available options as well. There could be opportunities to save money.