Mortgage

The Advantages of a Pre-Approval

The decision to purchase a home can be an exciting but sometimes confusing undertaking. When beginning your search for the perfect home, there are a number of factors that you will want to consider. Whether you are a first time buyer or already own a home and want to move up, getting pre- approval for your mortgage is a necessary and time saving step. Here are some of the benefits of getting pre-approved!

Know Your Budget!

Getting pre-approved means that you will have a clear picture of the credit you have available to you to purchase your new home, as well as your price range. This will prevent you from spending time looking at homes that may be out of your budget and perhaps getting attached to a home that you cannot afford. It means that if you find the home that is right for you, it can more easily become yours!

Close Quickly

pt_18_28420_oGetting pre-approved for your mortgage means that you can act more quickly once you find the home that is right for you. The process of getting the mortgage approved is generally the longest and most complicated process in any home purchase. It requires verification of your income and employment, an evaluation of your credit reports, and the completion of a loan application. Having this step completed can save weeks of time in the closing process. Pre-approval also means that you have an advantage should a bidding war begin. The seller can be confident that you can afford the bid you are making and that you can move quickly to finalize the sale.

Overall, there are a number of benefits to getting pre-approval for your mortgage before beginning the search for your new home. Most importantly, it can give you peace of mind in knowing that you are ready and able to make the commitment to homeownership, and that you are not wasting your time in looking at properties that you may not be able to afford.

Pre-Approval vs. Pre-Qualification

There is a major difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qual. When a lender pre-qualifies you, they don’t dig too deep into your financials and could easily miss something that could greatly affect your ability to purchase a home. When you get pre-approved, the lender digs deep to get a really good idea of your financial status. Most sellers require that you present a pre-approval letter from your lender when you submit an offer, and most won’t even consider a pre-qualification because it is so vague.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Refinancing After Divorce

Divorce is a difficult experience for everyone involved, and the details of sorting out property can be overwhelming. One of the items you will likely have to deal with is the refinancing of your home if both people were listed on the mortgage. How and when this happens will depend on the terms of your divorce. And of course, always consult your lawyer before making any decisions.

Refinancing To Remove An Owner

In the event that one of the previous spouses 188941811will retain ownership of the home, it will be refinanced to a new loan that is solely in that person’s name, removing the other party’s liability for the mortgage and property.

This can usually be done in a straightforward manner. The new sole owner will take out a loan and pay off the previous loan in the process. In this case the closing costs will be the responsibility of the new sole owner. Once the refinance is complete the other party will no longer be responsible legally for the mortgage or the home itself.

If there is any equity in the property, and cash is taken out during the refinance, the courts will determine how this is distributed during the divorce proceedings. It may be split or belong to one party or the other.

Divorce And Credit

In some cases, divorce can be hard on a person’s credit. This is especially true if there were a lot of debts incurred during the marriage or if a bankruptcy becomes part of the proceedings. A former spouse’s debts can continue to damage your credit for a while after the divorce is final.

This can make the refinance a little more difficult since it will affect credit and thus interest rates. Talk to your mortgage broker regarding the potential impact of your divorce on your credit and determine the best way to approach the refinance.

Who Pays The Mortgage

If child support or alimony is involved in the divorce, one party may continue paying part or all of the mortgage even though they no longer live in the house. This doesn’t mean that it can’t be refinanced out of that person’s name.

This matter should be determined as part of the divorce proceedings, and the home refinanced in accordance with the judge’s determination. Many mortgage brokers are experts in dealing with divorces, refinances, and their repercussions. It makes sense to talk with someone both during and after your divorce so that you know what your options will be.

 


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Tips to Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster

Saving-for-a-HomePaying off your mortgage is one of the biggest financial goals of most homeowners, and retiring debt-free can certainly give your golden years a greater sense of financial freedom and stability. Whether you’re nearing retirement age or are just looking to reduce your largest debt load more quickly, here are some great tips for paying off your mortgage faster!

Principal Versus Interest

Essentially, to pay off your mortgage you have to reduce the principal owing on your property. There are really two ways you can do this without dramatically reducing your monthly budget.

Increase Your Monthly Payments

Even increasing your monthly payments by a small amount can take years off the life of your mortgage. You can also choose an accelerated plan whereby you can make weekly or biweekly payments rather than monthly. This will allow you to make a few extra payments each year. Combining these efforts can really have a surprising effect on the principal of your mortgage over a short period of time. There are a number of free online calculators that can help you figure out the exact numbers for your particular situation.

Reduce Your Interest Rate

If increasing your monthly payments is not an option, you can still pay off your mortgage faster by refinancing your mortgage to negotiate a lower rate. Keep your eye on the financial markets to gauge the best time to make this move, and seek out the advice of a real estate agent or financial advisor to confirm that this is a viable option for your current financial situation. If you have a good history of payment and an excellent credit score, finding a lender shouldn’t be a problem.

Make A Lump Sum Payment On Your Mortgage

Another way you can decrease your mortgage principal and pay off your mortgage faster is by making a large lump sum payment. If you have come into extra money, have received a large income tax return, or just have a considerable amount of savings, this may be a wise financial decision. It will also dramatically decrease the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your mortgage and thus save you money. Just be sure your mortgage does not include a clause that will penalize you, and then determine whether it is still a good choice before going ahead.

The satisfaction a homeowner feels when they make that last mortgage payment is really unmatched by any other financial achievement, and following these simple steps can more quickly make that dream a reality.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Tips For Qualifying For A Better Interest Rate

When it comes to a home loan, the interest rate is a very important factor. It can make all the difference between being able to afford the home of your dreams and having to settle for something less. On a large mortgage, even a slight increase in the interest rate can make a big difference in the monthly payments. Thus, getting the best interest rate possible is the goal of every home buyer.

Your Credit Is Key

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The number one factor in determining what kind of interest rate you will get on your home loan is your credit rating. Keeping tabs on your credit is important for anyone, but especially for those hoping to own a home. Before you apply, you should check your credit report for any errors that you can correct ahead of time. You should also look for anything you can do to improve your credit.

If you have a high debt to income ratio it will hurt your credit. Try to pay off things like high interest credit cards before you apply for a home loan, or at least pay them down to a place where that ratio is improved. You should also avoid applying for credit in too many places—too many checks on your credit can adversely affect your score.

Lock It In

When rates are low, you should get that application for a loan in as soon as you can. In most cases you can lock in a certain interest rate for a particular period of time. Interest rates fluctuate all the time, and sudden changes in the economy can send them up. When they are low, you should be prepared to take advantage. Even with imperfect credit, the higher interest rate in a low set of rates is the better deal, so get it while you can.

Go With Who You Know

In some cases, a financial institution may offer a slightly lower interest rate to long time customers. Because they know your financial history and you have built trust with them, they will be more willing to disregard small credit problems and give you a better rate.

Your interest rate will make a big difference in how fast you pay off your home and how much you can afford. Be sure you do whatever you can to qualify for and lock in a great rate.


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

FHA Loans – What They Are And Who Qualifies

In your house hunting you may have come across a mention of FHA loans. FHA stands for Federal Housing Authority, and the loans available through this program are designed to help people qualify for loans and purchase homes more easily. If you are wondering about getting an FHA loan for your home purchase, the first thing to do is to learn a little about them and find out if you might qualify.

FHA And HUD

The FHA is part of HUD—the U.S. Departmentmortgage-lump-sum of Housing and Urban Development. It exists to help people who might not otherwise be able to apply successfully for a home loan purchase a home. The FHA insures the loan against default, which means that if the buyer fails to pay the mortgage, the lender will not lose the money because the FHA will cover it.

Who Can Get An FHA Loan?

Just about anyone can apply for an FHA loan. There are no income level requirements, either on the high or low end, and even people with some credit problems can qualify. You will have to meet a certain credit level, however, and you must have a debt to income ratio that is acceptable for the program to prove you can pay the mortgage.

There are specific FHA loan programs for first time buyers, seniors, and people looking to purchase a “fixer-upper” home as well. The many programs can suit just about any buyer.

Limits With FHA Loans

The main problem many people run into is that the limit on how much you can borrow on an FHA loan may make it difficult to purchase the house you need. Allowable amounts are usually on the low end of the market, and it can make house hunting a challenge. If you are willing to take on a home that needs some work, you will probably have better luck with an FHA loan.

If you need to buy a home with a low down payment and are having a little trouble qualifying elsewhere, an FHA loan might be a good option for you. Every state has different laws and requirements for qualification, so check with your state to find out what the process will be. FHA loans can help people get into a house who might not otherwise have the opportunity to buy.


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

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How to Determine Your Monthly Mortgage Payments

One of the first questions a homebuyer should ask themselves when they start their home search is, “How much home can I afford?”. A general rule in the real estate world is that your mortgage payments should not exceed 30% of your monthly income. One of the best ways to know what you can afford is to determine the possible payment range by comparing the price of the home with other important factors.

How Much Do You Want to Borrow?lowest-mortgage-rate

The first step to determining your monthly mortgage payment is understanding how much you are looking to borrow. What do you plan on putting down for a down payment? Subtract your down payment from the purchase price of the home, and that will give you the amount of money you will need to borrow from a lender.

Know Your Rates

Rates change all the time, so keep in touch with your mortgage lender to stay up to date on current rates. With rates still at an all-time low, now is one of the best times to buy a home. Your credit score has a lot to do with the rates you will receive – so be sure you have good credit.

Choose Your Loan Term

Your monthly mortgage payments will be determined by a number of factors, including the term of your loan. Say you borrow $175,000, your monthly payments would be more with a 15-year mortgage than it would be with a 30-year mortgage. Your mortgage lender can help you determine which loan term works best for you and your situation.

Don’t Forget About the Additional Costs

Many homebuyers don’t realize how much the additional costs add up. You need to take taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and depending on your downpayment, private mortgage insurance, into consideration.

 


Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

 

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The Advantages of a Pre-Approval

The decision to purchase a MetroWest MA home can be an exciting but sometimes confusing undertaking. When beginning your search for the perfect home, there are a number of factors that you will want to consider. Whether you are a first time buyer or already own a home and want to move up, getting pre- approval for your mortgage is a necessary and time saving step. Here are some of the benefits of getting pre-approved!

Know Your Budget!

Getting pre-approved means that you will have a clear picture of the credit you have available to you to purchase your new home, as well as your price range. This will prevent you from spending time looking at homes that may be out of your budget and perhaps getting attached to a home that you cannot afford. It means that if you find the home that is right for you, it can more easily become yours!

Close Quickly

Getting pre-approved for your mortgage means that youPre-Approval can act more quickly once you find the home that is right for you. The process of getting the mortgage approved is generally the longest and most complicated process in any home purchase. It requires verification of your income and employment, an evaluation of your credit reports, and the completion of a loan application. Having this step completed can save weeks of time in the closing process. Pre-approval also means that you have an advantage should a bidding war begin. The seller can be confident that you can afford the bid you are making and that you can move quickly to finalize the sale.

Overall, there are a number of benefits to getting pre-approval for your mortgage before beginning the search for your new home. Most importantly, it can give you peace of mind in knowing that you are ready and able to make the commitment to homeownership, and that you are not wasting your time in looking at properties that you may not be able to afford.


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

Tips to Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner

Want to pay off your mortgage more quickly? Use these tips:

  • Round up your monthly Indianiapolis-Mortgage-Payoffmortgage payment amounts. For example, if your mortgage bill is $1,175, pay $1,200 each month. Paying a little extra principal each month gradually lowers the interest you pay over the life of your mortgage.
  • Another method of paying extra is to take the amount of one mortgage payment and split it in to 12 smaller parts. Then, add one part to each of your monthly mortgage payments. Indicate to your lender the extra portion applies to the mortgage principal.
  • Set up an automatic payment for extra payments.
  • Refinance to lower your interest rate and shorten the term of your mortgage. Before you commit, confirm that the terms of the refinance save you more money than the cost of refinancing!

Mortgage accelerator programs are out there, but come with some major drawbacks:

  • Mortgage accelerator programs often require payment of hefty initial fees or the purchase of expensive software. Some mortgage accelerator programs cost up to $3,500 – money you could be using to pay off your mortgage yourself.
  • Mortgage accelerator programs require your total financial attention – all of your excess monthly income goes to paying off your mortgage principal.
  • Many mortgage accelerator program providers hold your money and make payments for you. If they make a late payment, you’re on the hook for extra interest, late charges and a negative mark on your mortgage payment history.

With a little budgeting and planning, you can avoid the use of an expensive middle-man and still achieve your early mortgage payoff!

Are you or anyone you know looking to buy or sell? Give me a call and set up an appointment today!


 

Looking to buy or sell a home in the MetroWest area? Real estate agent Robert Brown of RE/MAX Executive Realty services areas such as Hopkinton, Hopedale, Milford, Upton, Mendon, and many more. To learn more about MetroWest real estate agent Robert Brown, please visit the Meet Your Agent page on SellMyMetroWestHome.com

Homes for Sale in Hopkinton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopkinton, MA
Homes for Sale in Hopedale, MA | Real Estate Agent in Hopedale, MA
Homes for Sale in Milford, MA | Real Estate Agent in Milford, MA
Homes for Sale in Upton, MA | Real Estate Agent in Upton, MA
Homes for Sale in Mendon, MA | Real Estate Agent in Mendon, MA

5 Important Considerations for Choosing a Home Loan

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When you’re shopping for a new home, it’s important to shop around for your financing. Of course you want to get the most value for your money when purchasing a home, but you should also pay close attention to what types of home loans are out there.

Here are a few things you should consider.

  1. Definitely shop around for your home financing. As the interest rate and terms of your mortgage can have major impacts on what you’ll be able to buy, you want to have the best possible deal for the long-term. Don’t just settle on a single lender.
  2. The percentage rate on a  home loan matters. Even just 0.5% can make a big difference. For example, a 30 year loan of $200,000 at a 5% fixed-rate, will cost you about $22,000 more in interest than if the interest rate was instead set at 4.5%. Even a quarter of a percentage point can make a difference.
  3. Be aware of fixed vs variable interest rates. While variable rates can often be lower, be sure that there is a reasonable ceiling on the variability of your rate. Typically, fixed rates are much better due to the long-term planning ability they allow.
  4. Closing costs are an important expense to keep in mind. Mortgage companies will charge additional fees which include appraisals, origination fees, and title charges. Even credit checks may be charged to you, as well.
  5. Simply being pre-qualified for a loan doesn’t mean you should spend the absolute maximum allowed by your financing. A good rule of thumb is that your mortgage – which includes principal and interest – plus property taxes and homeowners’ insurance shouldn’t be more than 30 percent of your gross monthly income.

By considering these five items, you’ll be able to shop smarter for home loans and be aware that the smallest details can save you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.

Photo credit: Pixabay, Public Domain