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Four Surefire Ways to Ensure That You Get the Best Possible Deal on Your Mortgage
By Peta-Gay
July 10, 2015

Taking time to set up your home mortgage is one of the best steps that you can take to promote financial health and security. The best home mortgage is one with an affordable payment, that does not empty your bank accounts of necessary financial reserves and that will help you to establish equity at a fast pace. If you want to ensure that you get the best deal on your mortgage focus on these tips.

Consider the Loan Term Carefully

The most common loan term options are a 15, 20 and 30 year term. There will be a slight interest rate difference between these options, but the term itself will play a critical role in how quickly your equity increases as well as what your mortgage payment is. The payment should be affordable, and you do not want to set up a payment that is so high that you run the risk of defaulting. However, a shorter term with a higher monthly payment can result in less interest charges and faster debt reduction.

Think About the Pros and Cons of a Larger Down Payment

The amount of your down payment is also critical to setting up the right mortgage. When you make a larger down payment, you will have lower payments and may even qualify for a better rate. However, you also may be tying up your extra funds that could be used for investments or for debt reduction into your mortgage.

Shop For the Best Interest Rate

The interest rate variation from lender to lender may be fairly minimal when factors like the down payment, the term and your credit rating are constant. However, even a quarter or a half-percent difference in the interest rate will impact your payment amount and equity growth significantly. It can also impact your interest charge for your annual tax deduction.

Review the Closing Costs

A final point to consider is the closing costs. Some lenders may take on a higher fee with closing costs in exchange for a lower interest rate. It is important that you consider the difference in the mortgage payment and equity growth over time. Think about how long it will take you to recoup the up-front cost differential with the monthly payment differential. This can help you to determine which loan option is the most affordable overall.

Many will pay attention to the interest rate and loan term when shopping for a new mortgage. These are important factors to consider, but they are not the only ones that are important and relevant. Keep each of these points in mind if you want to set up the best overall mortgage.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

 

Selling Your Home? 3 Reasons Why You May Need to Accept a Bid That's Below Your Asking Price
By Peta-Gay
July 13, 2015

When a homeowner makes the decision to sell his or her property, it is most common for a skilled real estate professional to provide valuation services so that a reasonable asking price can be established. While the asking price may seem fair to the homeowner, the fact is that not all properties will sell at the original asking price. There are several instances when a homeowner may need to consider accepting a bid that is below the asking price.

When The Property Has Been On The Market For A While

Most homeowners will learn about the average listing time for similar properties in the market through their real estate agent, but some homes will remain on the market for longer than average. When this happens, a homeowner may begin to get concerned, and the real estate agent may even bring up the idea of reducing the asking price. When an offer is received below asking price in this situation, a homeowner may need to consider the offer.

When There Is A Question About Property Style Or Condition

There are many factors that will play a role in the desirability of a property in the marketplace, and some of these factors relate to the property style and condition. Some similar homes in the local area may be selling more quickly or for a higher price than others due to better overall condition or improved style. If the homeowner has concerns about this or if the real estate agent or others who have toured the property have voiced concerns about style or condition, accepting an offer below asking price may need to be considered.

When The Homeowner Needs To Sell Quickly

Even if property has not been listed on the market for a long period of time or the property style and condition are desirable, the owner may consider accepting the first offer received regardless of the asking price in some cases. For example, a homeowner may need to sell the property quickly due to financial issues, because of a job relocation or to take advantage of other financial opportunities. Unless the offer is unreasonable, the homeowner may consider accepting a lower bid in these situations.

Homeowners often wonder if they should wait for a higher bid or accept the offer that has been presented to them. Each situation is unique, so there is not a catch-all answer to this question. Those who are thinking about selling their home in the near future can contact a trusted real estate professional for further assistance.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

An Inside Look at Mortgage Closing Costs and How to Minimize the Amount You Will Pay
By Peta-Gay
July 1, 2015

When buying a new home, you may be focused on finding a mortgage program that has a down payment requirement that is manageable for you. However, some home buyers will overlook the costs that they are responsible for at closing. These costs can vary, but it is common for home buyers to pay between two to three percent of the loan amount in closing costs, if not more. This can be a hefty sum of money that you will need to budget for. The good news is that there are some steps that you can take to keep these costs to a minimum.

Shop For a Title Insurance Company

There are numerous fees that will be listed on your closing statement, but one of the highest fees is the title company charge. The title charges vary from company to company. Most lenders and real estate agents have preferred title companies that they want to work with, but you typically have the ability to shop around and compare the fees. You simply have to inquire what the lender's or real estate agent's preferred title company is and what the fees are. Then, you can shop around to find a better deal.

Consider Your Escrows

Another large expense on your closing statement will be the prepaid taxes and insurance as well as the escrows for these amounts. One idea is to ask your lender to waive escrows. This request is not always granted, but it can drastically reduce the amount of money you need to pay for out of your pocket at closing. You can also shop around for a better deal on property insurance to lower your escrow expense.

Ask the Seller to Pay for Closing Costs

While you are ultimately responsible for many of the closing costs, you may be able to structure your sales contract so that the seller pays for some or all of the costs. This is generally something that may be negotiated at the time the original offer is made, but you could also submit a revision request to the contract through your real estate agent.

Understanding what the closing costs are and which costs can be negotiated or shopped around for is important. You can also look at how gifts from the seller or other parties can be used to reduce your out of pocket expenses when buying a new home.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Buying a Home This Summer? Our Guide to Finding the Perfect New Neighborhood
By Peta-Gay
July 2, 2015

Finding the perfect home to purchase is easier said than done, and savvy home buyers understand the importance of researching the neighborhood as well as the home. All home buyers have unique things that they are looking for in an ideal neighborhood, and these factors will play a major role in how enjoyable a homeowner's living experience is. Those who are shopping for a new home this summer may focus on a few points to find the perfect neighborhood to live in before deciding which home to purchase in that community.

Get A Feel For The Ambiance And Energy Of the Neighborhood

Some home buyers want to find a lovely home in a quiet, mature community. Others may be searching for an active community with kids playing freely in their yards and people taking walks of jogging in their free time. Home buyers can get a great feel for the ambiance and energy of the neighborhood by driving around at different times of the day during the week as well as on the weekend.

Look At Neighborhood Amenities

The amenities in the neighborhood are important for many home buyers, and you can easily research amenities by driving through the area. Look for everything from a fitness center and community swimming pool to parks and hike and bike trails. Home buyers may research this aspect of the neighborhood further online to determine if the neighborhood regularly hosts community events or special activities.

Focus On Security

Security is a top concern for home buyers, and it is possible to research crime rates online or with assistance from a real estate agent. However, home buyers can also gauge the general feeling of security that residents have by looking for home security features on various homes in the community and by paying attention to how many people are outdoors on nice weather days. Many will find comfort in selecting a neighborhood where the residents feel safe and secure on a daily basis.

A primary factor to take into consideration when buying a home is its location. While the area of town is important to consider, the neighborhood is a more localized environment that will have a greater impact on a homeowner's living experience. Those who are in the market to purchase a new home can begin researching neighborhoods with the assistance of their friendly real estate agent soon.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com

Buying a New Home? 3 Tips for Being Approved for a Second Mortgage - and How to Manage It
By Peta-Gay
July 6, 2015

Applying for a second mortgage is a great way to keep your down payment amount to a minimum and to keep more of your cash in your bank account. It can also help you to avoid making PMI payments, and some lenders may even waive escrows for taxes and insurance if you use a second mortgage instead of a higher first loan amount. Whether you want to enjoy some or all of these benefits, you may be wondering what it takes to set up a second mortgage. With a focus on these tips, you can more easily get the financing structure that you desire.

Make Your Request Up-Front

Financial circumstances can change over the course of the loan process, but it is usually best to request a second loan up-front. A second mortgage will change how the first loan request is underwritten, and it may change the terms that you qualify for. In addition, there is often a different underwriting process for the second mortgage. By making both loan requests at the same time, you can save time and minimize the need to backtrack through underwriting.

Work With a Mortgage Broker

Some mortgage lenders will provide you with both a first and a second loan, but it is far more common for these two mortgages to come from different financial institutions. Some banks and direct lenders will only work with a handful of second loan companies, but a mortgage broker may be able to shop around to get the best overall deal on your second mortgage terms. Therefore, if you plan to apply for a second mortgage, there may be benefit with working with a mortgage broker.

Consider Paying Off Debts

You will need to qualify for both your first and second loans separately, but the payment for both will be considered during underwriting. If you have a high debt-to-income ratio, you may consider applying for a higher second mortgage to pay off some outstanding debt. Speak with your trusted real estate professional to think creatively with regards to the best overall structure of your financing and to determine if any debts need to be paid off prior to or at closing.

About the Blogger - Peta-Gay Lewis, MRP is Owner and CEO of Property Locators, LLC™. She is a licensed REALTOR in DC, MD, and VA with Douglas Realty, LLC (8096 Edwin Raynor Blvd Suite C Pasadena, MD 21122). Her contact information is 202 683-0158 (c), 410 255-3690 (o) or agent@propertylocatorsllc.com