Looking to Close Faster? Follow This Easy Guide to Speeding Up the Mortgage Process

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on June 10th, 2021

Looking to Close Faster? Follow This Easy Guide to Speeding Up the Mortgage ProcessIf you’re buying a home, you’ll want to try to get your mortgage processed as quickly as possible. Improperly filed mortgage applications are one of the biggest reasons why home sales get delayed, and if you have a hard move-out date already set, it’s critical that your mortgage process goes smoothly.

With careful planning, though, you can shorten the mortgage process and get your financing approved faster. Here’s what you need to do to speed up the approval.

Get Your Paperwork in Order Before You Apply

One of the biggest reasons why mortgages get delayed is because the applicant is missing a vital piece of paperwork. Something like a missing pay stub or a forgotten home insurance document can hold up the mortgage process, so make sure you have everything you need before applying for your mortgage.

When you apply for your mortgage, you’ll need pay stubs dating back four weeks, plus a bank statement for the last 30-60 days. Note that you’ll need the actual statement from your bank – online screenshots don’t qualify. You’ll also need a homeowner’s insurance declaration document and any legal documents pertaining to your finances, like a divorce decree.

Keep Your Finances Consistent Once You’ve Applied

Once you’ve started the mortgage approval process it’s critical that you keep your finances fairly consistent, as major changes will mean your mortgage lender will need to restart the evaluation process. Try to avoid making larger than usual bank deposits, and don’t take out a new loan or credit card. Keep your credit card usage similar to where it’s been in the past.

If you do end up making major changes to your finances, make sure you send the proper documentation to your lender as soon as you can. Call ahead of time to make sure you know what you need to send.

Don’t Forget to Mention Assets and Debts

Before your mortgage is approved, your lender will want to take a thorough look at your existing debts and assets. If you exclude information, your lender will need to spend extra time untangling the situation and determining your proper finances. Make sure you tell your lender about any and all investment properties you own, mortgages on other homes, or loan and credit card balances that are past due.

Getting a mortgage is a complicated process, but having your documents in order can speed things up and ensure you get your mortgage on time.

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How to Become a Homeowner: First Time Home Buyer Guide

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on May 14th, 2021

How to Become a Homeowner: First Time Home Buyer GuideBecoming a homeowner for the first time is exciting. However, for many potential buyers, the process can also be confusing. Below is an overview of the steps you need to complete in order to buy your first home. 

Work Out The Finances

The first step in buying a home is deciding on a price range. This price range will be determined by your income, as well as your own comfort level with home prices and monthly payments. Consider all of these factors to determine the maximum amount you are willing to spend on your new home. 

In most cases, you will be required to pay the downpayment and closing costs upfront, even if you are financing the rest of the home’s purchase price.

In general, most lenders will expect a downpayment equal to 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. Otherwise, you may be required to pay mortgage insurance. Before buying a home, set enough money aside to cover these expenses. 

For most homeowners, the next step in the home buying process involves looking into different mortgage options. Unless you have enough money to purchase your home for cash, you will need a mortgage. Be sure to compare quotes from different lenders before making a choice to be sure you are getting the best deal.

Once you have chosen a lender and a specific type of mortgage, ask for a preapproval letter that you can attach to any offers you make so that you will be a more reliable and attractive buyer. 

Hire An Agent 

When searching for the perfect first home, hiring a real estate agent to represent you throughout the process is highly recommended. Your real estate agent will act as a buyer’s agent, which means they will have your best interests at heart. When you don’t have a buyer’s agent, you will be dealing only with the seller’s real estate agent instead. Because this individual has been hired to represent the seller, they will always put the seller’s needs above yours. 

Find The Right Home

Once you have a qualified agent to represent you and a preapproval letter from your lender, it is time to start looking for your new home! Your real estate agent will help you comb through listings and choose the properties you want to see. Next, you will walk through each home until you find the one that is right for you. After you have chosen a home, your real estate agent will help you prepare and submit an offer to the seller. 

The process of buying your first home may seem overwhelming at first. However, by following these steps, you can simplify the process and become a homeowner with ease. 

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 19, 2021

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on January 19th, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - January 19, 2021Last week’s economic reports included readings on inflation, retail sales, and a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

 Inflation Rises as Retail Sales Fall, Fed  Says Current Monetary Policy Won’t Change

The Consumer Price Index rose to 0.40 percent in December as compared to November’s reading of 0.20 percent. The CPI measures inflation and the Core CPI measures inflation without the volatile sectors of food and fuel. December’s Core CPI reading fell to a rate of 0.10 percent growth from November’s reading of 0.20 percent.

Retail sales were dampened by the coronavirus, but December’s negative reading of -0.70 percent sales was lower than the    -1.40  percent rate reported in November.  December sales excluding the automotive sector were -1.40 percent lower in December as compared to November’s reading of -1.30 percent.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell dispelled fears of rising inflation and said that the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee will not raise its current federal interest rate range of 0.00 to 0.25 percent any time soon. Chair Powell also said that the Fed would not decrease its purchase of Treasury Bonds as a further measure to stabilize the economy.

Mortgage Rates, Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 14 basis points to 2.79 percent. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.23 percent and were seven basis points higher. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by 37 basis points to 3.12 percent on average. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for  5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 965,000 claims filed last week as compared to the prior week’s reading of 784,000 initial claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also rose with 5.27 million claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of  5.07 million continuing claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index was lower in January with a reading of 79.2.  Analysts expected an index reading of 79.2 based on the December reading of 80.7.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include the National Association of Home Builder’s Housing Market Index and reports from the Commerce Department on housing starts, building permits issued. Sales of pre-owned homes will also be reported along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – December 28, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on December 28th, 2020

Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes and consumer sentiment. Weekly average mortgage rates were also released, but readings for jobless claims were not released due to the Christmas holiday. Single-Family Home Sales Fall in November Sales of new and previously owned homes were lower in November. Fear of rising covid-19 cases and the usual slump in home sales during the winter holidays contributed to fewer home sales. Rapidly rising home prices cooled buyer interest; short supplies of pre-owned homes for sale drove prices of new homes higher as demand increased. Inventory of new homes increased by 14 percent as the median price of a new single-family home rose to $335,000, which was five percent higher year-over-year. George Ratiu, a senior economist with Realtor.com, said that would-be homebuyers were dealing with an increased divide between their home-buying preferences and affordability. Rising materials costs continued to drive new home prices up; builders faced challenges in constructing affordable homes due to higher materials costs and lower profit margins. November sales of previously-owned homes were lower with 6.69 million sales reported on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to October’s reading of 6.86 million sales. Short inventories of available pre-owned homes caused a dip in sales as buyers competed for fewer available homes. Shortages of available homes are expected to persist into 2021 and to drive home prices higher. Affordability will challenge many buyers even as mortgage rates remain at or near record lows. Mortgage Rates Lower Rates for fixed-rate mortgages dipped last week according to Freddie Mac. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was one basis point lower at 2.66 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.19 percent and were two basis points lower. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.79 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages, and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. The University of Michigan reported a lower index reading of 80.7 for December as compared to an expected reading of 81.0 and November’s reading of 76.9. A post-Thanksgiving surge in Covid-19 cases caused consumer sentiment to fall. What’s Next This week’s scheduled economic readings include Case-Shiller’s Housing Market Indices, pending home sales, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims. Last week’s economic news included readings on sales of new and previously-owned homes and consumer sentiment. Weekly average mortgage rates were also released, but readings for jobless claims were not released due to the Christmas holiday.

Single-Family Home Sales Fall in November

Sales of new and previously owned homes were lower in November. Fear of rising covid-19 cases and the usual slump in home sales during the winter holidays contributed to fewer home sales. Rapidly rising home prices cooled buyer interest; short supplies of pre-owned homes for sale drove prices of new homes higher as demand increased.

Inventory of new homes increased by 14 percent as the median price of a new single-family home rose to $335,000, which was five percent higher year-over-year. George Ratiu, a senior economist with Realtor.com, said that would-be homebuyers were dealing with an increased divide between their home-buying preferences and affordability.

Rising materials costs continued to drive new home prices up; builders faced challenges in constructing affordable homes due to higher materials costs and lower profit margins.

November sales of previously-owned homes were lower with 6.69 million sales reported on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis as compared to October’s reading of 6.86 million sales. Short inventories of available pre-owned homes caused a dip in sales as buyers competed for fewer available homes. Shortages of available homes are expected to persist into 2021 and to drive home prices higher. Affordability will challenge many buyers even as mortgage rates remain at or near record lows.

Mortgage Rates Lower

Rates for fixed-rate mortgages dipped last week according to Freddie Mac. The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was one basis point lower at 2.66 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.19 percent and were two basis points lower. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages was unchanged at 2.79 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages,  and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

The University of Michigan reported a lower index reading of 80.7 for December as compared to an expected reading of 81.0 and November’s reading of 76.9. A post-Thanksgiving surge in Covid-19 cases caused consumer sentiment to fall.

What’s Next

This week’s scheduled economic readings include Case-Shiller’s Housing Market Indices, pending home sales, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – September 21, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 21st, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - September 21, 2020Last week’s economic news included readings on housing market conditions, housing starts, building permits issued, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

National Association of Home Builders Reports Record High Builder Confidence

The NAHB reported record high builder confidence in housing market conditions. The Housing Market Index had an index reading of 83 in September as compared to August’s reading of 78. Analysts said that this builder confidence reading was notable due to rising costs for building materials.

Component readings of the NAHB Housing Market Index also rose in September. Builder confidence in current single-family housing market conditions rose four points to an index reading of 88; builder confidence in housing market conditions in the next six months rose by six points to 84. Builder confidence in buyer traffic in single-family housing developments rose by nine points to a record index reading of 73.

Builder confidence readings over 50 reflect growing builder confidence in housing market conditions. March and April fell below 50 but rebounded as demand for larger suburban homes took hold as working from home increased. Record low mortgage rates are allowing home buyers to buy larger homes with more amenities. Robert Dietz, the chief economist for the NAHB, said that “Builders in other areas of the country have reported receiving calls from customers in high-density markets asking about relocating.”

Housing Starts and Building Permits Drop in August

The Commerce Department reported 1.42 million housing starts on a seasonally-adjusted basis in August as compared to July’s reading of 1.49 million housing starts. 1.47 million building permits were issued on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis;

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported mixed changes in mortgage rates; rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 2.87 percent and rose by one basis point. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages were two basis points lower on average at 2.35 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.96 percent and were 15 basis points lower. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims fell to 860,000 from the prior week’s reading of 893,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims also fell; 12.63 million were filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 29.67 continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index also indicated economic growth with an index reading of 78.9 as compared to August’s reading of 74.1. Analysts expected am index reading of 75.9 for September.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic readings include reports on new and existing home sales along with weekly reports on mortgage rates and jobless claims.

 

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Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple Steps

Posted in Real Estate Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 28th, 2020

Get Your Finances In Order With A Few Simple StepsIf you are looking to buy a home one day but don’t think you are ready just yet, you are not alone. One of the most important tasks that you have to complete involves getting your finances in order.

There are a few ways to get your finances in order before you buy, no matter how long you have been waiting to buy a home. Getting your finances in order with these simple steps can help you become a more competitive applicant both for a mortgage and a home that is on the market.

Focus On Your Credit Score

While it is true that your credit doesn’t have to be perfect in order to get a home, a strong credit score will increase your chances of getting approved. In addition, a great credit score can also help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

Some of the ways that you can improve your credit score include disputing errors that might be on your report, reducing your debt, producing a long track record of on-time payments, and avoiding late payments. All of this will help you get ready to apply for a mortgage.

Open A Bank Account For Homeownership

The cost of a home is far more than a down payment and mortgage bills. The reality is that owning a home comes with a variety of expenses for which you must be prepared. Therefore, it is a prudent idea to open a bank account that is solely for homeownership expenses. This account should contain a variety of funds including those for utilities, maintenance, landscaping costs, and even renovation expenses. This will help you visualize the amount of money that you have set aside.

Calculate The Budget

Finally, it is also smart to calculate a budget for the home. Some of the factors that are going to play a role in the sticker price of a home include the down payment, closing costs, and potential taxes. For help with this calculation, it is a smart idea to meet with a trained mortgage professional.

Prepare To Buy A Home

These are a few of the steps that you should follow to get your finances in order. These steps will make you a more competitive applicant for a mortgage.

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – July 27, 2020

Posted in Financial Reports by Michigan Real Estate Expert on July 27th, 2020

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - July 27, 2020Last week’s economic reporting included readings on sales of new and previously owned homes. State and federal data on new and continuing jobless claims were released along with Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates.

Sales of New and Existing Homes Rise in June

Sales of new homes rose at their highest rate in 13 years according to the Commerce Department. New homes sold at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace of 776,000 sales, which exceeded the expected reading of 710.000 new single-family homes sold and May’s reading of 682,000 new homes sold. Analysts said that increased interest in relocating to suburban areas and low mortgage rates fueled buyer interest in new homes.

The National Association of Realtors® reported a sharp increase in sales of previously-owned homes during June. Sales were nearly 20.70 percent higher than in May; 4.72 million previously-owned homes were sold in June at a seasonally-adjusted annual pace. May’s reading for pre-owned homes sold was 3.91 million homes sold. June’s sales pace for previously owned homes was the highest month-to-month gain since 1968.

Sales of previously-owned homes were sharply lower than pre-pandemic levels; potential home buyers were sidelined by concerns over jobs and the general economy.

Mortgage Rates Rise, Jobless Claims Mixed

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week. Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.01 percent and were three basis points higher. Rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by six basis points to an average of 2.54 percent; Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.09 percent and were three basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.80 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.70 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages. Discount points for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 0.30 percent.

Initial jobless claims rose to 1.42 million claims from the prior week’s reading of 1.31 million claims. State and federal jobless claims fell to 2.35 million state and federal jobless claims from the prior week’s reading of 2.47 million initial jobless claims filed. Ongoing state jobless claims fell to 16.20 million claims as compared to the prior week’s reading of 17.30 million ongoing jobless claims. State and federal continuing jobless claims fell to 31.80 million claims from the prior week’s reading of 32.00 million ongoing claims for state and federal jobless claims.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings from S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, data on pending home sales and the Fed’s FOMC post-meeting statement and press conference. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new and continuing jobless claims will be released along with a monthly report on consumer sentiment.

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