Lorrie Parajeckas' Blog
If you are thinking of refinancing your mortgage, there are so many options available to you that address your needs. Whether you want to do some home improvement projects or provide a down payment for another property refinancing can be a good option for you. There are many different options when it comes to home loans and refinancing. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular choices and what they mean for your mortgage and your finances.
A standard refinances requires that you have a certain amount of equity in your home. If you want to avoid Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI on the refinance, you need 20% equity in the home. Different lenders have different requirements for the amount of equity that you need in order to do this primary refinancing of your home loan. Keep in mind that a good credit score is also a requirement to do this type of loan.
Refinancing With Cash Out
This option is great when you need to take some of the equity out of your home. This way, you can get some of the equity out of your home without selling the house. This way, you’re able to refinance the mortgage, get a good loan term that’s affordable, and borrow a part of the equity you have built up in your home.
You can use the cash that you take out for just about anything you need including college, home renovations, business start-up costs, or to consolidate other debt you have. The only drawback is that you’re not able to borrow 100% of your equity. Usually, the highest percentage you’re eligible to borrow is 80%. The amount is based on both the equity you have built up in your home along with your income. Also, keep in mind that after you take out one of these loans, the amount of equity you have in your home decreases.
Short refinances may not be offered by all lenders. If you don’t qualify for a HARP loan or standard, refinance this could be a good option for you. If you hope to avoid foreclosure and are struggling to pay your mortgage each month, your lender may agree to the terms of this type of loan. The loan is in effect is a combination of a short sale and a refinance. The lender agrees to pay the existing mortgage off. The loan s replaced with a new mortgage. Beware that if you choose this option, your credit score may go down significantly. If you’re able to keep up with the new mortgage payments, you’ll be able to repair your credit score over time.
One of the challenges that individuals and couples face when buying a house is finding the money to put toward their mortgage down payment. Since you'll work with a lender to cover the balance of your mortgage, taking on another loan to cover your mortgage down payment may not be what you want to do.
Build your mortgage down payment early
The sooner you decide to buy a house, the sooner you can start cutting back on spending and increasing your savings. This single move keeps you from taking on unnecessary debt. It also teaches you better money management skills.
Expenses that you could trim or cut out altogether to improve your savings include clothes, tickets to live entertainment events like concerts and stage plays and jewelry. Money spent on eating out at sit down restaurants, out-of-town trips and electronics are other expenses that you could cut and invest in your savings.
In addition to cutting back on spending, following are more ways to find more for your mortgage down payment. Use three or more of the steps to make it easier for you to build $10,000 or more in savings.
Open separate bank account - Start a bank account that you use solely to invest in your mortgage down payment. This bank account should not be attached to a debit or credit card. Use the account strictly to deposit money for your down payment into.
Pay off accounts that require you to pay interest - Examples of these accounts are credit cards, computers and furniture accounts that attach interest to your payments. Definitely, pay off high interest accounts as soon as possible. You could make payments 10 or more days before they are due to reduce the amount of interest you pay on the accounts. Similar to how American Express works, try to pay off your total credit card balances within 30 or 31 days. Some credit card companies charge higher rates if you keep balances on a card for two years or longer.
Invest in certificates of deposit (CDs)- If you have an IRA or 401(k), consider working with your financial advisor to purchase CDs. You'll get a bigger return on CDs if interest rates increase.
Contact state housing agencies - You may be able to get financial assistance from state housing agencies. This help may come in the form of grants or loans. To avoid taking on debt, opt for the grant path.
Sell products and items - Raise money for your mortgage down payment by selling clothes, shoes and household items that you don't use. Online resellers are just one avenue that you could use to raise money by selling items.
Freelance or take on contract work -The freelance community is growing. All you need is a computer and a skill to start earning money as a contractor. Jobs you could take on as a freelancer include web designer, writer, virtual assistant, life coach or consultant. You could also find money for your mortgage down payment through gigs with taxi and transportation companies.
Despite your current financial situation, you can grow your savings. You can find money to put toward your mortgage down payment. To successfully save your mortgage down payment, you need to focus. You need to track your monthly expenses. If you're striving to become financially disciplined, you may need to track how much you spend on a weekly basis.
Buying a home is one of the more complicated purchases that you’ll make in your lifetime. It’s not something that you can just open your wallet, pull out a wad of cash and buy. There’s a warm-up period for a house hunt. You need to prepare before you even start the process of the purchase. There’s a lot of different things that you should do to ready yourself to buy a home. You’ll need to organize your finances, find a real estate agent and ready yourself. If you’re looking to buy a home in the near future, it’s time to get busy!
Keep Your Credit Score In Check
Your credit score is so important for so many reasons. The highest your credit score can be is 850 and the lowest it can be is 300. You’ll get a really good interest rate on a home if your credit score is 740 or above. A lower interest rate can save you a lot of money over a year’s time.
The good news is that you can spend time repairing your score. This will include paying down debt, asking for credit limits to be raised and correcting errors that may be on your credit report. You want to be sure that you’re using 30% or less of your total available credit. As always, if your bills are paid on time, it will help you to keep that score up. Also, stay away from opening new credit cards, as this can bring your score down due to frequent credit checks.
Put Gifts To Good Use
Whenever you get a financial gift, whether it be for a wedding, a Christmas bonus, or a birthday gift, make sure that you save it for your home purchase. You’ll need quite a bit of capital between closing costs, fees and down payments. You’ll be glad you saved the money once you start the home buying process. You’ll also want to make sure that you have and emergency fund built up. You don’t want to buy a home without some sort of a financial cushion behind you.
Research Real Estate Agents
Your real estate agent will be your right hand person when it is time to buying a home. You’ll want to know that your agent is knowledgable and can help you in this big decision. Your real estate agent is the person who will help you reach your goals, and you want to feel comfortable with them. Ask for recommendations and do your research.
Sellers love buyers who have been preapproved. This shows that they’re reliable and financially able to buy a home. A preapproval can be done a few months in advance of buying a home. It will take an in-depth look at your finances including:
- Proof of mortgage or rent payments over the last year
- W2 forms for the past 2 years
- Paycheck stubs for the past 2 months
- List of all debts including loans and court settlements
- List of all assets including car titles, investment accounts and any other real estate you may own.
Buying a home is a big deal but with the right preparation, you’ll be on the road to success and ready to secure a home purchase.
Being a first-time home buyer is tough. It can seem like you have undertaken one of the most overwhelming processes ever. There’s so much to learn in the process of securing a mortgage and closing on a home. If you go into buying a home prepared with knowledge, it will be that much easier for you.
There’s a lot of terminology to learn about the home buying process. You’ll need to know who should be involved with the transaction including agents, lawyers and bankers. You’ll need to be prepared for the fees involved in buying a home as well. There are many different programs available to help first-time homebuyers that can help you save money and secure your first home. Here’s just some of those programs:
This is the Federal Housing Administration and it’s a very popular go-to for first-time home buyers. It’s also great for people who have tarnished credit history. As a borrower with FHA backing, you can qualify for a loan with as little as 3.5% down. These FHA loans have an additional cost built into them which is mortgage insurance. In case you default on the loan, this protects the lender.
The Department Of Veteran’s Affairs
This resource helps veterans, service members and their surviving spouses to buy homes. Often, this program requires no down payment or mortgage insurance. The problem is that getting these kinds of loans can take awhile to process, so you can’t be in a big hurry to buy a home.
Good Neighbor Next Door
This program is meant for teachers, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical responders, which is why it’s called the “Good Neighbor” initiative. This is a program sponsored as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It allows 50% discounts of the price of homes in places considered revitalization areas. All you need to do is be in one of the said professions and commit to living on the property for at least 3 years. The catch is that these homes are listed for just 7 days on the Good Neighbor Next Door website.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
These are government-sanctioned companies that work with local lenders to offer good mortgage options for first-time home buyers such as 3% down payment options.
The U.S Department of Agriculture has its own homebuyers’ assistance program. The benefits are for people who live in rural areas and allows 100% financing by offering lenders mortgage guarantees in return. There are income limitations that can vary by region.
Assistance Isn’t Hard To Find
As you can see, there are many programs available to help first-time homebuyers. From downpayment assistance to ways that you can keep your mortgage payments low, you can find some help if you need it. You may feel that purchasing a home is something that’s far in the future the future, but with federal programs, more people can realize their dreams of home ownership.
A fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) offers one of many financing options for homebuyers. It enables homebuyers to lock in an interest rate on a home loan and pay a set amount each month for the life of a mortgage. As such, an FRM remains a popular option for homebuyers across the United States.
Ultimately, there are many benefits to choosing an FRM, including:
1. Easy Budgeting
With an FRM, your mortgage payments will always stay the same. Thus, after you get approved for an FRM, you can budget accordingly.
An FRM often serves as a great option for homeowners who struggle to maintain a budget. It ensures your mortgage payments will never rise or fall for the life of your loan, which may make it easier for you to map out a weekly, monthly or annual budget.
In addition, an FRM will stay intact regardless of market conditions. This means you won't have to worry about your mortgage costs rising even if interest rates increase nationally.
2. No Price Fluctuations
An FRM minimizes headaches for homebuyers, and for good reason. After you agree to FRM terms with your lender, you will know precisely what you'll be paying for your home.
Comparatively, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) may be difficult for homebuyers to understand. This type of mortgage may fluctuate over time, which means the amount you pay in the first few years of your loan could escalate.
For example, a 5/1 ARM ensures that your interest rate will remain intact for the first five years of your loan. After the initial period, the interest rate may change annually. As a result, your monthly mortgage payments may fluctuate over the life of your loan.
3. Simple to Understand
Your lender will be able to outline the terms of an FRM with ease, as this type of mortgage ensures an interest rate is set in stone until your loan is paid in full. Plus, after you receive an FRM, you can focus on what's important – acquiring your dream home and enjoying this residence for years to come.
With an ARM, the interest rate for your loan may move up and down over the years. The factors that cause the interest rate to fluctuate are based on numerous market factors as well. Therefore, it can be tough to plan ahead for your monthly mortgage payments due to the fact that various factors may impact your loan's interest rate.
Determining whether an FRM is right for you can be challenging. Thankfully, banks and credit unions can define all of your home financing options and respond to any concerns and questions.
Furthermore, your real estate agent may be able to put you in touch with lenders in your area. This real estate professional also is happy to offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can get the financing you need to secure your dream house.
Examine all of your home financing options closely, and you should have no trouble obtaining a home loan that matches your budget.