How Much Of A Down Payment Should I Make On My Home?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 6th, 2019

How Much Of A Down Payment Should I Make On My HomeThere are a lot of steps that people need to take when buying a home. One of the most common issues that people discuss is the down payment. Most banks will require a down payment so that they aren’t the only ones taking on the risk of buying a home. The common question people have is how much of a down payment they should apply.

The Rule Of Thumb

Most people have heard about placing 20 percent down on a house as a solid rule of thumb. This number has been passed down from prior generations who purchased houses with similar down payments.

On the other hand, the price of housing has risen over the past few decades and this down payment might not be possible for some people. While 20 percent down might work for some people, it might not be feasible for others. 

Other Considerations

There are several additional factors that homebuyers need to think about. First, how big of a down payment is the bank requiring? Some banks might not lend to someone at all if they don’t reach a certain threshold. In other cases, the lender might ask someone to purchase something called private mortgage insurance, often abbreviated PMI.

This is an insurance policy that the borrower will have to purchase for the lender. If the borrower loses the home in foreclosure, the lender gets its money back through this insurance policy. Obviously, borrowers do not want to have this added expense. This is where the down payment is important.

In addition, banks might also be willing to lower the interest rate on the mortgage if the borrower increases the size of the down payment. With a lower interest rate, this can save someone a substantial amount of money down the road. Try to see if the lender will lower the interest rate in exchange for a larger down payment.

Deciding The Down Payment

These are a few of the many factors that homebuyers should think about when thinking about the down payment. While nobody wants to pay more than they should, the down payment is only one of the financial aspects people need to consider.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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3 Signs You’re Not Ready To Buy A Home

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 3rd, 2019

3 Signs You're Not Ready To Buy A HomeThose who are looking at buying a home need to think about whether or not they are truly ready for this responsibility. When someone takes out a mortgage, this is frequently the largest loan someone will ever apply for in their life. Furthermore, owning a home also means homeowners insurance, real estate taxes, home maintenance, and home repairs.

There are a few signs that signal someone is not ready to buy a home. Identifying and rectifying these situations ahead of time will ensure that someone is the right position to take on the responsibility of homeownership.

Too Much Debt

One of the biggest signs that someone is not ready is own a home is too much personal debt. A mortgage is another (albeit different) form of debt. It someone already has a large amount of debt, they might not be able to handle an additional loan.

Some forms of debt that people might have include student loans, credit card debt, and car loans. Cutting down this debt before applying for a mortgage will make someone more competitive when applying for a mortgage.

Not Enough Savings

In addition to reducing debt, it is important to build up savings as well. First, people need to have enough money for the down payment. It is highly unlikely that a lender is going to hand out a loan to someone who is not able (or willing) to put up any of their own capital.

In addition, savings are important for potential home maintenance or home repair costs. Owning a house is a major financial investment. People should be able to put up some of their own money when buying a home.

Location Is Not Determined

People move from place to place. It is a reality of school, employment, relationships, and more. At the same time, it is hard for someone to buy a house they don’t know where they want to live.

While this might seem obvious, this factor is frequently overlooked. Think about where “home” is going to be before deciding to buy a home. Consider the overall cost of living in that location, the potential commute, and the potential HOA.

Buying A Home

It is important for everyone to think about whether or not they are truly ready to buy a home before applying for a mortgage. This is a significant responsibility that should not be taken lightly.

Talk with a home mortgage professional to discuss the options that will get you on the path to homeownership. Although it may take time and planning, buying a home is absolutely possible for everyone. When you are ready, your trusted real estate professional can help you find your new home.

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3 Positive Reasons To Get A 15-Year Mortgage

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 19th, 2019

3 Positive Reasons To Get A 15-Year MortgageMost people can’t pay for a home outright, so they finance it with a mortgage loan. 30-year mortgages are more conventional, but they also come with a significant interest price tag.

People who have a stable career and the income to afford larger payments, or who are nearing retirement, may want to take out a 15-year mortgage. Here are some reasons to consider one.

Save Money Over The Life Of The Loan

The total interest paid on a 30-year loan can be nearly as much as the principal. While it can be difficult to see the bigger picture when facing a mortgage payment that will be a good bit higher, consider this: Paying off a loan in 15 years versus 30 years will save tens of thousands of dollars in interest, and in some cases, as much as $100,000.

Interest rates on 15-year mortgages are also typically lower than other longer-term home loans, which provides additional mortgage interest savings.

Build Equity Faster

Equity refers to how much of your home you’ve already paid for plus what it appreciates in additional value over time. If your home is worth $250,000 and you owe $190,000 on your loan, you have $60,000 in equity.

Since more money is going toward the loan principal rather than interest on a 15-year loan, you build equity faster, which is beneficial for numerous reasons. It lowers your loan-to-value ratio and may improve your chances of getting a home equity loan, which can be used for large expenses.

Become Mortgage-Free Sooner

Instead of having a housing payment later in life, that money is freed up for retirement or other expenses. 

If retirement is on the horizon for you in the next 10-20 years, ditching your mortgage payment sooner rather than later is wise. Once you are on a limited income, you will want as few expenses as possible. Plus, having the option of a home equity loan for emergencies is attractive.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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Common Reasons Why Buyers Are Denied A Mortgage

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 15th, 2019

Common Reasons Why Buyers Are Denied A MortgageWhen you are buying a new home, it is an exciting process. You have spent months searching and have found the home you want to purchase. You are ready to move into the home of your dreams. 

Unfortunately, you have found out that your request for a mortgage has been denied. This can be a deflating experience. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this by understanding the most common reasons why a buyer is denied for a loan.

The Loan Requirements Have Changed

One of the most common reasons why you might be denied a mortgage is that the terms of the loan have changed. For example, the lender might have raised the minimum credit score requirement. This might sound unfortunate; however, it does happen from time to time.

Loan requirements might change from the pre-approval stage. If this happens, think about searching for a loan from a different lender.

You Added Debt

The debt to income ratio is going to matter when applying for a loan. If you are pre-approved for a loan and your amount of debt changes, the lender is going to look at this closely. Common forms of debt include student loans and credit cards.

Even small changes in your debt amount can impact your ability to qualify for a loan. Try to avoid buying a new car or maxing out a credit card during the mortgage application process. This will help you keep the loan you’ve worked so hard to earn.

You Changed Jobs

Finally, employment status also matters to the lender. When you take out a loan, the lender needs to know that this will be repaid. This depends on you having a steady stream of income from your job. 

If you decide to change jobs between the time of pre-approval and the time of purchase, your employment history and income stream do not mean as much. While changing employment will not totally disqualify you, make sure to discuss this possibility with your lender. Changing jobs within the same field is likely fine; however, moving to a new career entirely can be a red flag.

Mortgage Denials are Frustrating

It is frustrating to have your request for a loan denied. Fortunately, understanding these common reasons can help you avoid this deflating experience. Think about all of these possible scenarios when you apply for a home loan. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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3 Ways To Avoid Mortgage Insurance

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 14th, 2019

3 Ways to Avoid Mortgage InsuranceWhen you are buying a home, you may run into a number of hurdles to complete the purchase. One of the items that you may be asked to purchase is called private mortgage insurance, often shortened to PMI. This is a unique insurance policy that your lender, such as the credit union or bank, may ask you to buy in order to protect themselves. In this insurance policy, the bank protects themselves against losing money if you end up defaulting on your loan.

Unfortunately, if you are asked to purchase PMI, this will increase your monthly mortgage payment. Therefore, most people try to avoid it. Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this.

Increase the Size of Your Down Payment

Typically, the lender will ask you to purchase PMI if your loan to value ratio is off. In most cases, the lender will ask you to buy PMI if you put down less than 20 percent. It is important to remember that this is still handled on an individual case-by-case basis and each lender handles this differently. 

Invest in a Piggyback Mortgage

Another option to avoid PMI is to invest in something called a piggyback mortgage. In this case, you are splitting your mortgage into two policies. For example, if you put down 10 percent, you would need to take out a mortgage for the other 90 percent.

When you take out a piggyback mortgage, you split this 90 percent loan into one mortgage for 80 percent and the other for 10 percent. The drawback of this policy is that the second loan might have a higher interest rate than the first. This can help you avoid having to take out PMI.

Try Building the PMI Into the Loan

Finally, the last option is to roll them into the cost of the loan. In this case, the lender avoids asking you to purchase PMI and instead charges you a little bit more money for the loan. You won’t have a section on your bill for “private mortgage insurance” but you will have a slightly higher monthly payment anyways. Remember that you can refinance to a lower rate later, saving some money; however, it might be harder to eliminate PMI.

Avoiding Mortgage Insurance

These are a few ways that you can avoid purchasing PMI. This will help you keep your monthly payments low. As always, speak with your trusted mortgage professional for personal advice on your specific situation.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

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How Does My Existing Debt Affect Getting A New Mortgage?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 8th, 2019

How Does My Existing Debt Affect Getting A New MortgageCarrying debt is a common problem that people have. Some of the most common types of debt include student loans, credit cards, and motor vehicles. When you are interested in buying a new home, you often think about whether or not your debt is going to hurt your chances of qualifying for a new mortgage.

Fortunately, you may still get a new home with that debt. There are several factors that may determine whether or not you qualify.

Your Debt to Income Ratio

The debt to income ratio is a major factor that the mortgage lender is going to consider when deciding whether or not you will qualify for a new mortgage. In general, the magic number is 43 percent. If your debt exceeds 43 percent of your total income, the lender will have a hard time giving you that new mortgage.

For example, if you make $5,000 per month, you will want to have less than $2,150 in monthly debt payments. To make yourself a more attractive candidate for a mortgage, try paying off some of your existing debt.

Taking A Look At The Credit Score

The lender is also going to consider your credit score. The higher your credit score is, the more likely the lender will reward you with a loan. In order to keep your credit score high, make sure you manage your debt well.

Making your debt payments on time will keep your credit score high. Missing debt payments will lower your score. Manage your existing debt well and you will have a better chance of qualifying for a mortgage.

Making Sure You Can Handle A Mortgage

Finally, the lender is also going to take a look at whether you can take on the responsibilities of owning a home. The monthly mortgage payment isn’t the only expense you will be taking on. Some of the other issues you will have to handle include property taxes, maintenance costs, and homeowners’ insurance. 

The bank or credit union will want to ensure you can handle these costs. To make these expenses easier to bear, it might be a good idea to pay off some of that existing debt.

Investing In A New Mortgage

Looking for a new home is exciting. You can purchase a house with existing debt as long as it is minimized and managed well. Think about these factors before investing in a mortgage.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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What Is Owner Financing When Buying A Home?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on November 1st, 2019

What is Owner Financing When Buying A HomeThere are many options when it comes to taking out a loan on a new home. One of the options that people might have heard about is called owner financing. In general, the property owner takes the place of a traditional lender.

Instead of someone taking out of a loan from a bank or a credit union, they take out a loan from the owner of the property. Similar to a traditional loan, the buyer will make payments to the seller over a period of time with a certain interest rate.

The Structure Of Owner Financing

If someone elects to go with owner financing, there are several terms that will specify the repayment structure. The most common structure is called a note and mortgage.

This is a secure form of financing. It is also the closest in structure to a traditional mortgage from a bank. The seller will put together a note that specifies the size of the loan and how it will be repaid. The mortgage will secure the seller with the property in case the borrower cannot repay the loan.

The buyer is still placed on the title of the home. Then, the mortgage is recorded with public records, just as in a traditional loan. There are other types of seller financing; however, this is the most common structure.

The Structure Of Repayment

You may have questions regarding this type of financing when compared to a traditional mortgage. Just as in a traditional mortgage, the repayment terms can vary. You will still have the opportunity to negotiate the terms of the loan.

Typically, interest rates are close to that of a loan from a bank or credit union. There are still options to set up a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage as well.

The Benefits Of Seller Financing

There are several benefits for both the buyer and the seller. First, seller financing may allow the seller to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the property. This can also help the seller offload a property that otherwise might not sell.

The buyer will also be able to purchase a home without having to borrow from a bank. Often, there is less paperwork and fewer fees. Finally, a buyer that might not qualify for a traditional bank loan might be able to buy a home through seller financing.

Understanding Owner Financing

It is important for everyone to think carefully before signing up for this type of financing. This is a unique option that you should understand when looking for a home. Consult with your home mortgage professional to get the best answer for your particular situation.

If you are interested in buying a new home or listing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional.

 

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What To Know About Specialty Mortgages

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 24th, 2019

What To Know About Specialty MortgagesRecent medical school graduates, saddled by high student loan debt, sometimes have a hard time qualifying for a first mortgage. Now, however, a growing number of lenders will consider future earnings potential of high earners in the medical profession as a way to offset high debt ratios. But specialty mortgages for young physicians aren’t the only unique loans available today.

Nationwide, there are a number of unique programs designed to help first-time buyers qualify for a mortgage loan. While some target specific professions, others are open to a wider range of applicants. They are definitely worth exploring if you’re interested in buying a home, but are not able to qualify for a standard home loan.

Here are some of the better known, widely-available options:

Good Neighbor Next Door

A HUD-sponsored program, this not-so-well-known option is available to firefighters and law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and teachers. The loans provide a discount of up to 50 percent of the asking price in select zones in the country known as revitalization areas. One stipulation is that the borrower must agree to live in the home for at least three years.

VA Loans — Zero Down

For anyone who has served in the military, and certain authorized civilian employees of the government, the zero down VA loan is one of the best specialty mortgages available.

Home Path

Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac programs offered to low and moderate-income families also provide guidance and home-ownership information that can be invaluable for first-time borrowers. The education programs are specifically designed to address the common misconceptions about buying as well as providing education about property maintenance and financial responsibility.

Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM)

This specialty mortgage allows homebuyers to add green features to a home without making a larger down payment or paying a higher interest rate. The cost of energy-efficient improvements is simply rolled into the primary FHA or VA mortgage. It can be a cost-effective, simple way to add desirable improvements as well as value to a home.

FHA Rehabilitation Program

If a fixer-upper seems like the way to go for your specific situation, the FHA 203(k) program offers a loan option that might be a good fit. Basically, this mortgage is based on the value of the home after improvements are completed, and carries a down payment requirement as low as three percent. The funds needed for rehabilitation are included in the primary loan.

Native American Direct Loan

Essentially a VA loan for Native American veterans, this mortgage program is for homes on federal trust lands; it is a zero down 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a low interest rate.

State And Municipal Programs

Many states and cities have grants or specialty programs available. It is always worth checking with local jurisdictions to what is offered that you might qualify for.

Interest Only Or Extended Term

Two other types of mortgage that are available to serve special needs borrowers are interest only loans and mortgages with terms up to 40 years.

Be sure to ask your mortgage broker or lender for specifics about which financing option may be best for you.

With your financing pre-approved, you are now ready to contact your trusted real estate professional to help you find your new home.

 

 

 

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What Exactly Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 23rd, 2019

What Exactly Is Private Mortgage InsurancePMI, which is also called private mortgage insurance, is protect that the lender may ask the buyer to purchase. In the event that the buyer defaults on their home loan and the home enters foreclosure, the lender has a way to recoup their losses.

While the lender may not ask everyone to purchase PMI, there are some situations where the lender may ask the buyer to purchase this insurance policy to qualify for the loan.

Every lender is a little bit different; however, there are some trends throughout the industry. Most lenders ask the buyer to place a down payment of about 20 percent of the total price of the house. If the buyer is not able to put at least 20 percent down on a home, the loan is riskier for the lender. In this case, the lender may ask the buyer to purchase a PMI policy.

The Structure Of A PMI Payment

Typically, the PMI policy is paid in a monthly manner. It is included as a part of the total mortgage payment as the buyer pays the loan back to their lender. The positive news is that the buyer typically does not have to pay PMI for the life of the loan. Once the equity in the home reaches about 22 percent, the lender typically terminates PMI. 

In some situations, the buyer may be able to contact the lender and ask for PMI termination at an earlier date. Some people can negotiate this percentage or time period in advance of taking out the loan.

The Cost Of Private Mortgage Insurance

In general, the cost of a PMI policy is dependent on the value of the mortgage loan. It typically runs somewhere between 0.5 percent and 1 percent of the total value of the mortgage loan. Therefore, this can raise the monthly mortgage payment by a significant amount.

For example, if someone receives a $300,000 loan from the bank with a PMI policy of 1 percent, the buyer will have to pay an extra $3,000 per year as part of their mortgage payment. This is an extra $250 per month on their total payment. For some people, this additional cost might make their dream house unaffordable. 

Therefore, whenever possible, buyers should try to work with their trusted professional mortgage lender and look at options to avoid purchasing PMI. Every lender is a little bit different when it comes to private mortgage insurance.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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How To Get Your Free Annual Credit Report And Why You Need It

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 16th, 2019

How To Get Your Free Annual Credit Report And Why You Need ItYour credit report influences whether or not you’ll qualify for a mortgage and what kind of interest you’ll pay on that loan. This isn’t something you can safely ignore. Smart homebuyers understand the importance of monitoring credit scores and credit reports. Here is some information about how to get your credit report.

Free Credit Report Available

You’re entitled to free credit report, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can get one free report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus; Experian, Equifax and Transunion.

The easiest way to get your free report is to go to AnnualCreditReport.com. This is the official site that was originally established by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. 

How To Get Your Free Credit Report

Once you reach the site, create an account by registering. Have as much of your available credit information available when you request your free credit report. The reason is because the site will need to verify that it’s actually you requesting the credit report. If you have your information at hand, it will be easier and faster to confirm your identity.

This is just a process that the site has in place to protect your identity from fraud. They might ask you things like past residences, past credit card companies, or something else. 

Why You Need To Get Your Free Annual Credit Report

When you apply for a home loan, the lender will pull your credit report and review it. They’ll look for signs that you are a good credit risk. Things they consider include how you handle your debt to income ratio, whether or not you pay your bills on time and if you have any negative notations on your credit report.

For this reason, you should look at your own credit report before applying for a mortgage. This gives you a chance to fix anything that is incorrect in your credit report and an opportunity to improve your credit report if it’s not in great shape. 

You Can Help Prevent Identity Fraud

Another important reason to review your free annual credit report is to prevent fraud. If you see anything unfamiliar on your report, such as loans you didn’t take out or balances for things you don’t recognize, you can immediately act on those issues so they don’t affect your chance at getting approved for a home loan.

Always be proactive when it comes to your credit history. By availing of your right to a free annual credit report, you can ensure that your credit is in as good as possible condition when you go to apply for a mortgage.

If you are looking for a new home or interested in listing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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