Archive for Mortgage

Investment Property Down Payments: How Much Will You Need?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 14th, 2020

Investment Property Down Payments: How Much Will You NeedInvesting in real estate is a great way for someone to diversify his or her assets; however, there is a common hurdle that almost all real estate investors face. This comes in the form of a down payment. 

It can be a challenge for someone to come up with enough cash to fund the down payment on a home or piece of land, let alone multiple properties. At the same time, how big of a down payment does someone really need? There are a few factors that someone is going to need to consider.

The Conventional Mortgage

There are plenty of investors who like to stick with a conventional mortgage for their investment properties. This makes sense because this is a format they are familiar with. For a conventional mortgage, the down payment is going to fall between 10 and 25 percent.

When taking out a conventional mortgage for an investment property, the lender is typically going to want a larger down payment. For a single-family property, most lenders are going to expect at least 15 percent of the purchase price. This number can be as high as 25 percent of those who are investing in an apartment building, condo structure, or any multifamily unit.

Those who are looking to put down a smaller down payment will need to finance the investment property as a second home. While this might be an interesting thought, anyone looking to purchase an investment property as a second home will need to spend at least some of their time at this location. For a second home, someone might be able to get away with a 10 percent down payment.

A Smaller Down Payment For Multifamily Buildings

There is another way that someone might be able to successfully apply for a smaller down payment. FHA mortgages tend to have higher fees; however, they require smaller down payments. For example, even a multifamily property may only require a 3.5 percent down payment with an FHA loan.

In this example, someone could purchase a multifamily building for $600,000 and only have to put $21,000 down. Those who are willing to stomach higher fees might want to check out the possibility of an FHA loan.

If you are interested in purchasing an investment property, be sure to consult with your trusted real estate professional.

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Green Energy Tax Credits For Home Improvement & Energy Efficiency

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 13th, 2020

Green Energy Tax Credits For Home Improvement & Energy EfficiencyMany individuals and families are looking for ways to reduce their energy consumption. Running the heater during the winter and the air conditioner during the summer can have significant impacts on someone’s energy consumption and costs. It should come as no surprise that many people are trying to reduce their HVAC usage to save money; however, there is a better way.

Individuals and families can permanently reduce their fossil fuel usage and carbon footprint by investing in home improvements. Better yet, local, state, and even the federal government wants everyone’s home to be more environmentally conscious, or “green.” Many utility companies want people to act in the same way. That is why there is a slew of incentives for homeowners who are willing to make their homes more Earth-friendly.

Government Tax Credits For Green Initiatives

Many of the tax credits the government is offering for “going green” are going to run through the end of 2021. They are available to any homeowner in the United States who files a federal tax return. Applying for tax credits is done by filling out Form 5695 from the IRS.

Some of the biggest tax credits come from solar energy generation. The first example of a solar energy system comes in the form of a solar water heater. All Energy Star-rated solar water heaters will qualify for this tax credit. Typically, solar water heaters cost somewhere between $2,000 and $5,000. 

The other biggest source of solar energy comes in the form of solar panels. Solar panels need to generate electricity directly for the residency and must meet all safety codes. Typically, solar panels cost between $25,000 and $35,000. Even though these sound expensive, the costs are dropping quickly and the tax credit makes the system worth it in the eyes of many homeowners.

Wind Energy

Homeowners can also qualify for green energy tax credits through the use of wind energy. The cost of a wind turbine strong enough to power a home will vary widely. Some may cost $15,000 while others may cost $75,000. 

Keep in mind that, in addition to the tax credit, these systems may drastically cut someone’s utility costs. Eventually, these systems should pay for themselves. For this reason, green energy has become an attractive option for many homeowners. 

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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4 Things To Do Before Co-Signing A Mortgage For Your Child

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 12th, 2020

4 Things To Do Before Co-Signing A Mortgage For Your ChildIt can be hard to convince a lender that a young person is ready to buy a house. There may not be a long credit history, a lack of assets might make it hard to fund a down payment, and the buyer’s age can cause banks to hesitate. One of the ways for parents to help with this process is to co-sign on the mortgage. Before doing this, there are a few important steps to keep in mind.

Look At Your Own Qualifications

Remember that co-signers are going to go through the same vetting process as the primary borrower. This includes someone’s income, credit history, assets, debts, and credit score are all going to be scrutinized. It might be a while since the co-signer has had to go through this process. Be sure to take a look at one’s own qualifications. Remember that any mortgage, including acting as a co-signer, will act as an outstanding debt. This might make it hard to refinance in the future.

Think About Paying The Loan

While nobody wants to think about their child being unable to pay back the loan, there is always the chance that this may happen. Therefore, think about what would happen if you need to step in and make these payments. If you cannot handle the burden of having that additional co-payment, you may want to think twice about co-signing. Failing to make these payments will not only hurt your child’s credit score but yours as well.

Protect Yourself

As a co-signer, it will be important to protect yourself before signing on the dotted line. First, be sure to do some estate planning with your child. You should encourage your child to take out a life insurance policy. While no parent wants to think about burying their child, if something happens to him or her, the co-signers are going to be on the hook for the rest of the loan. Furthermore, be sure to monitor the loan payments as well. Sign up for email or text alerts to make sure payments are being made on time.

Plan Ahead

Many parents are going to reflexively act as a co-signer for their child; however, it is important to plan ahead. Be sure to think about all possibilities and make sure that both you and your child are ready to handle an added loan payment.  

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

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The Average Mortgage Payment Is Declining. Here’s Why.

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on February 7th, 2020

The Average Mortgage Payment Is Declining. Here's Why.According to a report that was recently published by the United States Census Bureau, the average mortgage payment has been dropping. According to the bureau, the average payment is just over $1,500 per month. This is shockingly close to the average cost of renting, which is just under $1,500 per month. 

This data shows that the average mortgage payment is declining, down by around three percent in the past 18 months. This trend is expected to continue. Some people might be surprised that the average mortgage rate is dropping, given that the average real estate value continues to rise across the country. There are a few reasons why mortgage payments are dropping.

Why The Average Mortgage Payment Is In Decline

The average mortgage rate is dropping because the average interest rate applied to each home loan is dropping as well. They are hovering around three-year lows. 

This means that even though the principal of the loan that someone might take out to purchase a home is staying the same (or going up), the total cost of the mortgage is going down. This is great news for anyone who is looking to buy a home in the near future. Low interest rates may make the cost of buying a home more affordable. 

The Importance Of The Average Mortgage Payment

It is important to remember that the average mortgage payment is simply a statistical measure. These statistics are evaluations of the overall trend. In reality, every mortgage is going to be different. Two people who are buying properties that are very similar may end up with mortgages that look very different.

The mortgage payment is based on numerous factors that can vary widely from person to person. In addition to the interest rate applied to the loan, other factors include the size of the down payment, the buyer’s credit score, how much debt someone might have, their average income, and the possible requirement of private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Lowering A Monthly Mortgage Payment

Anyone looking to lower their monthly mortgage payment has a few tools at his or her disposal. Consider making a larger down payment, improving the credit score, or reducing any current debts. This can help someone negotiate for more favorable mortgage terms.

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 A Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Long-Term Care

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 28th, 2020

How A Reverse Mortgage Can Help With Long-Term CareAnyone who has paid attention to the TV recently has likely seen a lot of commercials for something called a reverse mortgage. For those who might not know, a reverse mortgage is exactly that. In this option, people receive monthly payments from a lender in exchange for equity in their homes. In essence, this functions as an annuity.

One of the major benefits of a reverse mortgage is that it can be used to cover the costs associated with long-term care. Over the next few decades, the number of elderly individuals in the United States is projected to double. For this reason, long-term care is projected to become a major expense.

How Can A Reverse Mortgage Pay For Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is one of the biggest unexpected expenses encountered by the elderly. Often, coinsurance associated with a health insurance policy, combined with the lifetime caps on many policies, can shift significant medical costs to the individual. This leaves many elderly individuals looking for an immediate for some cash. Because many elderly individuals and families are on a fixed income, there are not a lot of options. 

This is where a reverse mortgage can come in handy. Many elderly individuals have paid off their houses entirely. This can act as an immediate source of equity, providing seniors with a much-needed cash infusion to cover the costs associated with long-term care.

Improving On Reverse Mortgages And Long-Term Care

With long-term care expected to become a bigger issue as a larger percentage of the US population reaches retirement, suggestions have been offered to address these costs. One of these suggestions has been to marry long-term care and reverse mortgages with improved social services.

Many experts have been suggesting ways to tie the equity in someone’s home to Medicare and Social Security. This could be used to create a nice safety net that might support seniors by covering the costs of long-term care. Given the stress that an unexpected medical expense can create, this can offer a much-needed respite for seniors and caregivers alike.

Taking Advantage Of A Reverse Mortgage

In the meantime, it is important for seniors to note that a reverse mortgage can offer an immediate cash infusion. This can be used to cover an unexpected cost, such as a medical bill. It will be interesting to see how reverse mortgages evolve in the future.

If you are interested in purchasing a new home or listing your current property, be sure to set up an appointment with your trusted real estate professional.

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Is A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage Right For You?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 24th, 2020

Is A 15 Or 30 Year Mortgage Right For YouWhen someone is looking to purchase a house, they need to think about how long they want their mortgage to last. While a bank can structure a mortgage to last for any number of years, the most common lengths are 15 and 30 years. While a 30-year mortgage is typically more affordable, a 15-year mortgage is cheaper overall. 

When someone is trying to decide how long they want their mortgage to last, there are a few important tips to keep in mind.

The Benefits Of A 15-Year Mortgage

There are a few important benefits that everyone should know about a 15-year mortgage. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • With a 15-year mortgage, people are going to pay off their home more quickly. This will free up cash to spend in other places. Those who are looking to retire without a mortgage may want to go with a 15-year mortgage. 
  • Next, a 15-year mortgage is going to come with a lower interest rate. Because the bank is going to get their money back more quickly, they are going to reward the borrower with a lower interest rate. Overall, the bank is taking on less risk.
  • Finally, a 15-year mortgage is also going to be cheaper overall. With a lower interest rate and a loan that is paid off more quickly, the bank is going to take less of someone’s money over the life of the loan. 

The Benefits Of A 30-Year Mortgage

A 30-year mortgage has some notable differences when compared to a 15-year mortgage. There are a few important benefits that people need to remember. These include:

  • The monthly payments are going to lower. Those who are planning on paying for their children’s college education, or who envision a car payment in the near future, may want to have extra cash on hand to fund them.
  • As someone pays off their mortgage the interest paid on the loan is tax-deductible. Since more interest is paid on a 30-year mortgage, there will be greater tax savings as well. This means that people will get some of their money back.
  • Finally, a 30-year mortgage is also more flexible. During the loan, people may elect to make extra payments. This allows someone to pay off their home more quickly.

These are a few of the most important points people need to remember when trying to decide between a 15-year and 30-year 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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3 Crucial Questions To Ask Before You Co-Sign A Mortgage

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 17th, 2020

3 Crucial Questions To Ask Before You Co-Sign A MortgageA mortgage is a significant responsibility. For this reason, many people have someone co-sign with them on their mortgage. Before agreeing to co-sign on any mortgage, it is important to ask the right questions. There are several crucial questions that everyone should ask before they co-sign on someone else’s mortgage.

What Does It Mean To Co-Sign On A Mortgage?

Before signing that piece of paper, it is important to understand the responsibilities involved. Co-signing on a mortgage is a little bit different than co-signing for a credit card.

The person who is buying the home, the primary signer, lives in the property in question. The co-signer, typically, does not. On the other hand, both people signing the mortgage take on the financial risk of the mortgage. Before co-signing, understand the financial risk involved.

Is It Smart To Trust The Borrower?

One of the most important questions to ask is whether or not the borrower can be trusted. Remember, if the primary signer cannot make the payments on the mortgage, the co-signer is on the hook for those payments. Before placing any financial assets on the line, make sure the borrower can be trusted to maintain gainful employment, make smart financial decisions, and keep up with the mortgage payments.

What Are The Risks Involved?

There are a few risks that people need to think about when it comes to co-signing a mortgage. First, think about the risk to the credit score. If the primary signer makes late payments, these can impact the co-signer’s financial health and credit score as well.

In addition, there are relationship risks that everyone should think about. Most people co-sign a mortgage for a family member or friend. Having this type of financial arrangement can complicate relationships among loved ones.

Understanding The Process Of Co-Signing A Mortgage

These are only a few of the many questions that people need to ask when they are thinking about co-signing on a mortgage. Everyone who is considering co-signing must consider the financial health and responsibility of the primary signer in addition to the risks they will be taking on. Co-signing on someone else’s mortgage is a big decision. Consider the various factors involved in this decision.

As always, speak with your trusted real estate and mortgage finance professional for advice on your personal situation.

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10 US Cities With Highest Mortgage Denial Rates

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 16th, 2020

10 US Cities With Highest Mortgage Denial RatesFor many, owning property is seen as a rite of passage. At the same time, for most people, accomplishing this dream is largely dependent on the approval of a mortgage. For this reason, it is important for people to think carefully when deciding who to ask for a mortgage. Some cities have a higher mortgage approval rate than others.

Identifying Problems With A Mortgage Application

Before applying for a mortgage, it is important to think about the most common reasons why someone might be rejected. First, if someone has a debt to income ratio that is too high, they are more likely to be turned down for a mortgage.

It is understandable that if someone already has too much debt, they are unlikely to be able to handle the added burden of a mortgage. Another possible reason for being turned down might be out of someone’s control entirely. This has more to do with geography.

Application Problems In The Sunshine State

For those who might not know, the sunshine state is Florida. Many of the cities with the highest rejection rates are right here. For example, Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Orlando are all among the cities with the highest rejection rates on mortgage applications.

Some of the other cities on the list include New York, San Antonio, San Jose, Detroit, Birmingham, and Houston. Those who live in these cities need to make sure that their mortgage applications are in excellent shape. Otherwise, it could end up in disappointment.

Take, for example, Miami, Florida. More than one in nine mortgage applications are rejected. The most common reason why someone might be denied a mortgage in this major city is debt to income ratio.

Another common reason why those applying for a mortgage in this city might be denied is a lack of collateral. Florida has a reputation for attracting retirees; however, most of the jobs in this state have to do with hospitality. This is an industry that is largely seasonal and has low wages, contributing to a high rejection rate on mortgage applications.

Preparing For The Application Process

Anyone looking to buy property, particularly in these cities, must make sure their application is in order. Getting approved for a mortgage is a critical part of buying a home. For this reason, try to maximize credit scores while minimizing outstanding debt. This can go a long way toward getting approved.

And as always, talk with your mortgage professional for personal guidance through the application process. They are experienced and have the best vantage point to make sure your application is set up for success.

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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Can A Reverse Mortgage Impact Your Social Security Or Medicare Benefits?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 8th, 2020

Can A Reverse Mortgage Impact Your Social Security Or Medicare BenefitsOne of the most common worries that people have is money. When it comes to those golden retirement years, many people worry about running out of money. At the same time, most people who reach their retirement years have a lot of equity in their home.

Therefore, many people think about drawing on the equity in their home as a source of income. A reverse mortgage will allow someone to do exactly that. On the other hand, can receiving payments from a reverse mortgage impact the benefits that someone can receive from Social Security or Medicare?

The Basics Of A Reverse Mortgage

First, people need to think about what a reverse mortgage truly means. When someone takes out a mortgage loan to purchase a home, they make regular monthly payments to the lender to repay this loan. A reverse mortgage is exactly that: a mortgage in reverse.

Instead, the bank pays the borrower. People withdraw money from the bank against the equity of the home. Then, this money doesn’t have to be repaid until someone sells the home, moves out of the house, or dies. Some of the fees that people may need to pay that are associated with a reverse mortgage include closing costs, origination fees, and insurance premiums.

Impact On Social Security And Medicare

First, people can rest easy. In general, a reverse mortgage is not going to have any impacts on someone’s Social Security benefits. The amount of income someone brings in from a reverse mortgage will not impact someone’s monthly benefits.

In addition, a reverse mortgage is not going to impact the benefits that someone receives from Medicare. On the other hand, it might impact someone’s Medicaid and SSI benefits (supplemental security income). Those who need clarification regarding this should speak with a trained and experienced attorney.

Is A Reverse Mortgage The Right Move?

Some people might be thinking about whether or not a reverse mortgage is right for them. It is important for everyone to think about their own individual financial situation because what is right for one person might not be right for the next. A reverse mortgage has the potential to provide someone with added financial security.

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 Are Mortgage Rates Determined?

Posted in Mortgage by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 20th, 2019

How Are Mortgage Rates DeterminedWhen someone is interested in buying a home, there are a number of factors that people need to consider. Some of these include the budget, the size of the home, and the mortgage interest rates. 

The mortgage rate is going to play a tremendous role in whether or not someone is going to be able to afford their dream home. For this reason, it is critical for everyone to know how a mortgage rate is determined. There are a number of factors in someone’s financial history that are going to impact the mortgage rate the lender offers.

The Credit Score

One of the most important factors that a lender is going to consider is someone’s credit score. A credit score is a reflection of someone’s risk to the lender. The higher the credit score, the more likely the loan is going to be repaid, in the eyes of the lender.

If someone’s credit score is too low, the lender might not make an offer at all. In order to reduce the interest on someone’s mortgage, it is important to correct any inaccuracies on the credit report ahead of time. This will make someone more competitive when applying for a mortgage.

The Employment History

The lender’s biggest concern is making sure their loan is repaid. In order to make mortgage payments on time, the borrower needs to have a steady stream of money coming in. This means maintaining a steady job.

In order to predict this, the lender is going to look at someone’s employment history. The longer someone has been employed, and the fewer gaps someone has in their employment history, the lower the interest rate on the mortgage is going to be. 

The Current Financial Market

Some of the factors involved in a mortgage rate are outside of the borrower’s control. Mortgage rates are also impacted by the current financial market. Like the stock market itself, the mortgage rates are going to rise and fall with the real estate market. It is important for everyone to think about the current financial market when applying for a mortgage.

Thinking About Mortgage Rates

These factors will play a role in the mortgage rate someone is going to be offered. Everyone should think about the interest rate on a mortgage when looking for a home. 

Talk about your personal financial situation with your trusted home finance professional. They are a valuable and experienced resource that can answer all of your questions regarding the best fit for your mortgage.

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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