Archive for the ‘Personal Finance’ Category

Comments Off on How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs? Let’s Take a Look

How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs? Let’s Take a Look


2015
10.14

How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs? Let's Take a LookIf you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably trying to budget for all of the expenses that come with a home purchase. After all, the asking price isn’t necessarily the entire amount that you’ll pay – there are other expenses that will factor in to the final price. One such expense is your closing costs.

Closing costs are the miscellaneous fees you’ll pay when you sign the deal to buy your home. But how much do you need to save up for closing costs? Here’s what you need to know.

The General Guideline for What to Expect

Most mortgage advisors will tell you that you should expect to pay about 3 to 5 percent of your mortgage in closing costs. By law, your mortgage provider is obligated to give you a Loan Estimate form which is designed to help you understand the key features, costs, and risks of the mortgage loan. Three business days before the loan closes your mortgage provider will also give you a Closing Estimate form to review all of the costs of the transaction including all closing costs.

How Your Closing Costs Break Down

Your lender will give you a breakdown of costs in your Loan Estimate and Closing Estimate. But in general, there are certain closing costs you can expect to pay.

One cost that most lenders include is the loan origination fee, a small charge to compensate the lender for the time it takes to prepare the initial loan documents. There will also typically be a loan application fee, which can vary per lender.

Your lender may require you to get private mortgage insurance depending on your situation. The title search and title insurance to protect your lender from title fraud is another fee you should consider, and you’ll also likely want to buy title insurance to protect yourself.

There are also several other closing costs to keep in mind, like escrow fees, notary fees, pest inspections, underwriting fees, and the mortgage broker’s commission. All in all, you’ll want to budget approximately $5,000 in closing costs for every $100,000 you borrow.

Closing costs can be quite expensive, which is why you’ll want to make sure you budget appropriately when you buy your new home. A mortgage professional can help you to figure out how much you need to budget for closing costs. Call your local mortgage advisor today to learn more about budgeting for the home buying process.

Comments Off on The Down Payment: Four Great Reasons To Make The Largest Down Payment You Can Afford

The Down Payment: Four Great Reasons To Make The Largest Down Payment You Can Afford


2015
08.05

The Down Payment: Four Great Reasons To Make The Largest Down Payment You Can AffordIf you’re looking for a new home, you’ve probably heard lots of advice about down payments. About how it’s okay to just have a five percent down payment – you’ll still get approved. About how you should make the down payment as small as possible to avoid cash flow problems.

In truth, you’re actually better off making the largest down payment you can possibly afford. Even if you have to slice up other areas of your budget, save for a few more years before you buy, or take a second job on the weekends, it’ll be worth it in the end. Here are just four reasons why you should make the largest down payment possible.

You Can Avoid Useless Insurance Premiums

Although you can buy a house with as little as a five percent down payment, it’s in your best interest to make a much larger down payment if you can. Mortgage insurance premiums can be as high as one percent of the loan’s value, which means until you’ve invested 20 percent of the home’s value in equity, you’ll have to pay an extra one percent every year. If you pay at least 20 percent of the purchase price upfront, you’ll be able to avoid having to get private mortgage insurance – so you keep more of your money in your own pocket.

You’ll Pay Much Less Interest

The less you have to borrow, the less you have to pay back – for more reasons than one.

When you take out a mortgage, the interest rate applies to the principal amount that you owe – and over time, the interest can run on top of interest, quickly outpacing the original sum. Having a larger down payment means the interest applies to a smaller sum. And that means it accumulates slower and ends up being a smaller amount over time.

You’ll Have More Ammunition In A Bidding War

Offering up a larger down payment is also a great way to make sure you get your dream house, especially if it’s a popular property with multiple offers. The seller isn’t just going to consider who offers the most money – they’re also going to consider which buyer is most likely to get a mortgage. After all, failing to get a mortgage is one of the most common reasons why real estate deals fail.

If you can show that you’re able to make a larger down payment, you’ll have a better shot at getting a mortgage – and that means sellers will prioritize you over other buyers.

You’ll Get A Great Start On Building Equity

Your home equity is equal to the difference between your home’s fair market value and the amount of debt invested into the home. If you don’t have enough equity in your home and home prices in your neighborhood fall, you may find yourself in a situation where you owe more money on your home than it’s worth – a phenomenon known as negative equity. By making the largest possible down payment you can, you’ll have a great head start on building your home’s equity – which may help you profit if you decide to sell in the future.

Buying a house isn’t easy, but making the largest down payment you can afford will give you a great financial head start on home ownership. Want to learn more about how to afford the home of your dreams? Contact your local mortgage professional today for practical advice to help you maximize your down payment.

Comments Off on 5 Reasons You Might Need To Consider Non-Traditional Financing

5 Reasons You Might Need To Consider Non-Traditional Financing


2013
11.12

5 Reasons You Might Need To Consider Non-Traditional Financing Private Money financing refers to loans collateralized by real estate, where the source of the funds used to close Real Estate transactions come from private investors.

The decision by the investors to make a loan is based primarily upon plenty of equity in the real property securing the loan thus reducing the risk of loss.

The ability to repay, and the borrower’s character is also considered along with how the borrower will pay the investor back in time.

Private Money loans are needed when a borrower or a property falls outside the standard underwriting rules of conventional lending sources like banks or other lending institutions.

The Primary Decision For Private Money Is Typically Based On The Simple ThreeFour Cs Of Private Money Lending:

  1. Capacity to repay the loan back
  2. Credit/Character of the borrower
  3. Collateral or property type

With risk of loss lessened, a loan may be a sensible deal from the Private Money Lender’s point of view, but it remains discarded to institutional lenders. To meet the continuing financing needs of these borrowers, an ongoing demand for private money has been created.

Mortgage brokers and bankers solicit and process these types of loans but the private investors are the ones that underwrite and close these private money loans.

After a loan request is processed and underwritten, the loan is funded by a loan investment product arranged by a Private Money Specialist. Private investments may come from individuals, entities, or pension funds. Your private money investor or a private servicing company will service each loan until it is paid off or the property is sold.

The Reason Why People Need Private Money:

1. Loss of bank loans, including denial due to:

• Use of cash out

• Not perfect credit

• Needing stabilized income

• No reserves

• Not operating with a bank account

• Debt ratios to high

• Property type or condition

• Borrower type (i.e. trusts)

2. Borrower’s election to avoid the excessive loan conditions of an institutional loan saving time

3. Private Money Lenders ability to arrange loans secured by property types unacceptable to Institutional lenders

4. Borrower’s circumstances make it difficult to obtain institutional loans

5. Property’s characteristics make it difficult to obtain an institutional loan

If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you or you need more information about Private Money Loans contact me directly and I will help answer questions about Private Money loans.

Comments Off on When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?


2013
11.05

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?How do you know what happens to your documents when you put a piece of paper in the trash? It can be difficult to know who is seeing it and what they are doing with it. It isn’t very common to burn trash anymore; therefore you can be sure that your paper garbage or recycling is likely to pass through several hands on its way to a landfill or recycling center.

StepByStep, Your Documents Can Get Pilfered

Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash.

Shredding devices are available at most office supply stores. Cross-cut shredders provide more security than strip-cut shredders. You may want to consider one depending on your level of concern. Shredding services or shredding events are often offered by financial institutions or community organizations.

Properly destroying sensitive personal information is a key step in helping to keep your identity secure. You really should shred any documents containing personal information, but be cautious not to shred financial documents that you may still need.

To Shred Or Not To Shred, That Is The Question…Or Maybe Its When To Shred

The Better Business Bureau offers these guidelines on when to shred:

  • Deposit, ATM, credit, and debit card receipts can be shredded once the transaction appears on your statement
  • Canceled checks, credit card statements, and bank statements with no long-term significance can go through the shredder after one year; if used to support tax returns, keep them for seven years 
  • Monthly bill statements can be shredded one year after receiving, to allow for year-to-year bill comparisons (another good way to monitor your budget!) 
  • Credit card contracts and loan agreements should be saved for as long as the account is active
  • Pay stubs can be shredded yearly after reconciling with your W-2 or other tax forms
  • Documentation of investment purchases or sales should be kept for as long as you own the investment and then seven years after that; shred monthly investment account statements annually after reconciling with a year-end statement
  • Always shred documents with Social Security numbers, birth dates, PIN numbers or passwords, financial information, contracts or letters with signatures, pre-approved credit card applications, medical and dental bills, travel itineraries, and used airline tickets.
Comments Off on 3 Common Myths About Real Estate Short Sales

3 Common Myths About Real Estate Short Sales


2013
02.21

3 Common Short Sale MythsThere is a lot of misleading and incorrect information about Phoenix real estate short sales.

Many people don’t have a clear understanding of the purpose of short sales or how they actually work.

Essentially, a short sale is when one sells their home for less than the balance remaining on the mortgage attached to the property.

The proceeds from the sale are used to repay a pre-negotiated portion of the balance to settle the debt.

A short sale can be a solution for homeowners who really need to sell their home but owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth.

Understanding the short sale process can help make the most out of a real estate sale.

Here are some common myths and why they are false:

A short sale damages one’s credit record as much as foreclosure

In many cases a short sale is less damaging to your credit record than a foreclosure. Some lenders may think that the short seller acted in a more responsible manner than simply walking away from the property.

Although the amount paid may have been less than the mortgage balance outstanding, the loan was settled with the lender. Opting for foreclosure is often seen as a lack of responsibility.

To qualify for a short sale one must be behind on payments

This might have been true in the past, but it’s not anymore.

You just need to be able to prove that you are in financial hardship, which could be due to death in the family, divorce, job loss, mortgage rate hike or even loss of property value.

After a short sale you can’t buy again for five to seven years

This may be true in some cases, but not all. In certain situations the waiting period can be reduced as low as two or three years before you are allowed to purchase another home.

It would be wise to speak with licensed real estate professional or home financing specialist to get the most current options in the marketplace.

Pass it on

These are just a few examples of commonly believed short sale myths. A clear understanding of the short sale and the benefits it  can provide is important for financially strapped homeowners.

Feel free to pass this important information on to someone that you feel would benefit from it.

 

 

Comments Off on Why Buying Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial Move

Why Buying Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial Move


2013
02.15

Owning Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial MoveBuying Scottsdale real estate doesn’t just give you a place to live; it can also be a very smart financial move.

This is because owning a home can be like having a forced savings account, which you are committed to for the long term.

Consistent Saving On Autopilot

Sometimes saving money on our own each month is difficult. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain a consistent savings plan.

However, paying your mortgage every month means that you are paying down the principal and working toward eventually owning the property outright.

In the early years of the mortgage, the payments will go primarily to the interest on the loan.

But over time, the portion of your payment dedicated to principle increases, which accelerates paying off the entire mortgage.

Make Yourself Wealthy Instead Of Your Landlord

In the long term, owning your own home may be a much better financial arrangement than renting a home. No matter how long you pay monthly rent, you will never own the real estate that you are living in.

When you are renting your home, it may also be possible for your landlord to increase your rent every year.

On the other hand, paying a mortgage on your real estate means that every month you get closer to owning the home.

In fact, most home mortgage lenders offer a fixed interest rate mortgage. This gives you a sense of control over how much you are paying every month, year to year. 

In a fixed rate mortgage, every mortgage payment pays down a portion of the principle on your mortgage loan.  In many cases this builds equity in your property and increases your net worth.

It’s a good idea to check with a professional mortgage lender to get an idea of the most up-to-date programs available.

Real Estate May Increase In Value Over Time

Over the years, your home might appreciate in value. Many experts say that the average home value increase each year over longer stretches of time, although this will vary according to the area you live in, the current economy and other factors.

Your home’s value may very well fluctuate throughout the years, but history has shown that over the long term, buying a home can be a very beneficial financial decision.

Understanding the benefits of home ownership, including the potential financial upside of purchasing your own home, can be an excellent way to further your overall personal financial plan. 

 

Comments Off on Clever Tips for Paying Off Your Home Mortgage Faster

Clever Tips for Paying Off Your Home Mortgage Faster


2013
02.12

Pay Off Mortgage FasterPaying off the mortgage on your Phoenix home faster not only means that you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with completely owning your property sooner, but you may also save thousands of dollars in mortgage interest payments over time.

Below are seven clever tips to help you get your mortgage payments on the fast track.

Save for a large down payment
Make as large of a down payment as you can reasonably afford. The more cash you can put down, the less you’ll have to borrow from the bank. This will reduce your monthly mortgage obligation.

Read the fine print
When you are choosing a mortgage, ask your lender if there are restrictions related to paying extra principal monthly. Some lenders will charge you for making extra or early payments. 

Prepay early in the life of the mortgage
The early years of a mortgage are interest-heavy. On a 30-year mortgage, throughout the first five to seven years, you payments are mostly interest. Request an amortization schedule of your mortgage to get a clear picture of how this works.

Be smart with unexpected fortune
If you get an unexpected chunk of cash, such as a gift, prize, work bonus, inheritance, tax refund or other windfall, consider applying it directly toward paying down the principal on your mortgage.

Double-check your records
When you make extra payments, ensure that they are processed correctly. Sometimes when the lender receives a payment that is outside of the monthly cycle, they may not know what to do with it. Make a special note and keep track of the payments yourself, so you can make sure they’ve been applied to your principal.

Increase your payment
Even increasing your monthly mortgage payment by a small amount may take years off the length of your mortgage. Consider how much additional you can afford to pay every month rather than just the minimum required payment amount.

Think about a bi-weekly payment
Many lenders offer accelerated, bi-weekly mortgage payment programs which can reduce your loan term by several years, saving mortgage interest over the life of the loan.

These are just a few techniques you can use to pay off your mortgage more quickly. Remember, the fewer years you pay on your home loan, the less mortgage interest you will pay over time.

Comments Off on When Can You Buy Real Estate After Foreclosure?

When Can You Buy Real Estate After Foreclosure?


2013
02.08

Waiting Periods After ForeclosureIf you lost your Phoenix home due to foreclosure, you probably haven’t given up on the dream of owning a new home. The good news is that a number of guidelines have changed which may allow  you an opportunity to buy that new home sooner than you think.  

There are a few guidelines that lenders follow to determine when you’ll qualify for financing after foreclosure. Arming yourself with this information may help you qualify again for a mortgage.

Foreclosure With Extenuating Circumstances

Generally, lenders will take into consideration any extenuating circumstances surrounding the foreclosure on your AZ real estate.

Was there a death or illness that prevented you from earning money to pay your mortgage? Did you have a job transfer that came with a steep pay cut? Were you severely injured and temporarily disabled as a result?

You can add a memo that explains any lapses in credit worthiness to potential lenders. This report can be as long or as short as needed.

Many lenders will shorten the waiting period for documented extenuating circumstances. Traditionally the waiting period after a foreclosure is seven years. However, these waiting period guidelines may change and you would be best served by getting up to date information from a qualified mortgage professional.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure and Short Sale

You may be wondering what the waiting period for financing is if you have exercised a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or successfully negotiated a short sale. Fortunately many lenders offer options if you were able to avoid an actual foreclosure.

Traditionally the waiting period for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can be four to seven years. If there were special circumstances surrounding the deal, you might be able to qualify in as little as two years. The lender may have certain down payment or credit score requirements as a condition of approval.

Getting financing after a short sale generally has the shortest waiting time before qualifying for a new home loan. Generally the lender will only require a two-year waiting period before they’ll approve financing. Once again, a call to a licensed mortgage professional will give you the most up-to-date information.

The good news about financing after foreclosure is that it is possible. Your dreams of owning a home can be fulfilled even if  you have experienced a foreclosure in your past.

Comments Off on When Can You Buy Real Estate After Foreclosure?

When Can You Buy Real Estate After Foreclosure?


2013
02.08

Waiting Periods After ForeclosureIf you lost your Mesa home due to foreclosure, you probably haven’t given up on the dream of owning a new home. The good news is that a number of guidelines have changed which may allow  you an opportunity to buy that new home sooner than you think.  

There are a few guidelines that lenders follow to determine when you’ll qualify for financing after foreclosure. Arming yourself with this information may help you qualify again for a mortgage.

Foreclosure With Extenuating Circumstances

Generally, lenders will take into consideration any extenuating circumstances surrounding the foreclosure on your AZ real estate.

Was there a death or illness that prevented you from earning money to pay your mortgage? Did you have a job transfer that came with a steep pay cut? Were you severely injured and temporarily disabled as a result?

You can add a memo that explains any lapses in credit worthiness to potential lenders. This report can be as long or as short as needed.

Many lenders will shorten the waiting period for documented extenuating circumstances. Traditionally the waiting period after a foreclosure is seven years. However, these waiting period guidelines may change and you would be best served by getting up to date information from a qualified mortgage professional.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure and Short Sale

You may be wondering what the waiting period for financing is if you have exercised a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or successfully negotiated a short sale. Fortunately many lenders offer options if you were able to avoid an actual foreclosure.

Traditionally the waiting period for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can be four to seven years. If there were special circumstances surrounding the deal, you might be able to qualify in as little as two years. The lender may have certain down payment or credit score requirements as a condition of approval.

Getting financing after a short sale generally has the shortest waiting time before qualifying for a new home loan. Generally the lender will only require a two-year waiting period before they’ll approve financing. Once again, a call to a licensed mortgage professional will give you the most up-to-date information.

The good news about financing after foreclosure is that it is possible. Your dreams of owning a home can be fulfilled even if  you have experienced a foreclosure in your past.

Comments Off on 6 Tips For Buying An Older Home

6 Tips For Buying An Older Home


2013
02.05

Buying older homesOlder Phoenix homes sometimes offer more charm and character than the newer houses of today. They boast gabled roofs, crown moldings, hardwood floors and antique fixtures.

Buying an old house is like buying a piece of local history. Its beautiful period features can give it a timeless beauty and grace that is hard to resist.

However, buying a house from another era can be an endeavor fraught with potential problems. Older houses are not necessarily built to the same electrical or plumbing standards of today. Plus, if they have not been maintained correctly through the years, they can turn into a serious money pit or a potential hazard.

Here are six tips to keep in mind if you are considering buying an older home:

  1. Always hire a professional real estate inspector to take a close look at the property. A professional inspector is trained to spot structural damage or issues that might seem minor, but may cause major problems in the future.
  2. Look for signs of moisture damage. Many old houses have problems with moisture because over the years they have settled.
  3. If the old house you are considering has vintage wiring, such as the knob-and-tube technology that was popular around the 1920s and 1930s, plan to completely update the wiring for your safety.
  4. You might need to add insulation. Many older homes don’t have insulation in the walls or attic, which can increase the size of your energy bill.
  5. Be on the look out for iron pipes, which were popular up until 1940. They can become clogged with rust and may need to be replaced.
  6. Have the house tested for asbestos, if it was built before the 1960s.

These are just a few things to which to pay attention out when buying an older home.

Take time to inspect the property thoroughly. With proper attention, you can mix today’s modern technology with your home’s period features to create a combination of charm and safety.