Lisa Coflin Heisner's Blog
More Info on this Property | Sign up for Updates
For many individuals, the homebuying journey often begins with getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Because if a buyer has a mortgage, he or she can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.
Ultimately, there are many signs that now may be the perfect time to apply for a mortgage, and these include:
1. You're ready to upgrade from an apartment to a home.
If you're tired of paying monthly rent for an apartment, purchasing a house offers a viable alternative. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can move one step closer to moving from an apartment to a house.
In most instances, a home offers a significant upgrade over an apartment. Many residences are available in cities and towns nationwide that offer more space than apartments. Plus, as a homeowner, you won't have to worry about dealing with a landlord.
2. You feel good about your credit score.
If you have a strong credit score, you likely are a great candidate for a mortgage. In fact, you may be better equipped than others to get a favorable interest rate on the mortgage of your choice.
Understanding your credit score is a key part of the homebuying journey. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, once you find out your credit score, you can determine whether you are in good shape to pursue a mortgage.
3. A buyer's market is in place.
In a buyer's market, there usually is an abundance of top-notch houses and a shortage of buyers. This means a homebuyer may be able to get a wonderful deal on a house, especially if he or she performs a comprehensive house search.
To find out whether a buyer's market is in place, you should check out the prices of recently sold houses in your area. Also, you may want to find out how long recently sold houses were listed before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and decide whether now is the right time to apply for a mortgage.
If you're interested in getting a mortgage and starting a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support at each stage of the property buying journey.
A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about pursuing a house. He or she will offer insights into the local housing market and ensure that you can conduct a successful house search. And if you ever have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.
Want to launch a home search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can take the first step to acquire your ideal residence.
Applying for a mortgage can be a lengthy and difficult process. Lenders want to know that they are going to get a return on their investment.
To ensure that they’ll see that positive return they will take a number of things into consideration, such as your income, credit score, employment history, and financial capital.
First-time homeowners often struggle when it comes to these prerequisites since they have fewer years of numbers for lenders to consider. If you’re one of those people, don’t worry--you can still purchase a home.
First-time homeowner loans, which are guaranteed by the U.S. government, and a number of private loans enable people to borrow money for a home without paying a huge down payment or having a vast credit history.
One downfall of said loans is private mortgage insurance, or “PMI.”
In this article, we’re going to talk about what private mortgage insurance is, how to avoid it, and how to get rid of it.
What is PMI?
If you make a down payment on a mortgage that is less than 20% of the loan amount, you will most likely have to pay private mortgage insurance.
PMI exists as a way for lenders to help guarantee they won’t lose money off of your loan. If you make a down payment of 20% or more, then lenders are typically satisfied that they won’t lose money from doing business with you.
PMI is not to be confused with home insurance, which protects you against damage and theft. Rather, it is an additional fee you’ll pay to your lender each month that is added to your mortgage payment.
PMI is calculated based on a few considerations. Lenders will take into account your down payment amount, the value of the mortgage, and your credit score.
In terms of costs, PMI typically costs between .5 and 1% of the total mortgage amount each year.
Naturally, it’s best to avoid paying private mortgage insurance altogether. Private mortgage insurance has no future value for you and your family since it doesn’t count towards building equity and doesn’t protect you from any potential financial harm (your lender is the sole beneficiary of PMI).
Saving for a down payment can take time, and sometimes you’ll need to rent or cut costs while you save. However, if you do take on a loan with PMI, you can still cancel it at a later point.
Canceling your private mortgage insurance
The first thing you should know about canceling PMI is that it usually isn’t easy. You’ll need pay off at least 20% of the home, write a letter to your lender, and wait for an appraisal of the home. Once you’ve done this, you still have to wait while your lender considers your request. In all, this process could take months--months that you’re still required to pay PMI.
Once common way to get out of PMI is to refinance. If the value of your home has increased since the time of you taking on the loan, the new lender likely won’t require PMI. However, you’ll want to make sure that refinancing will get you a lower interest rate and cover the costs of refinancing.
Trying to get your house ready for the real estate market? Ultimately, a home appraisal can help you set a fair price for your residence, thereby boosting your chances of a quick home sale.
During a home appraisal, a property inspector will evaluate your residence both inside and out. Then, this inspector will provide you with a report that details his or her findings, along with an estimated value of your residence.
With a home appraisal report in hand, you can establish home improvement priorities. Plus, you can enter the housing market with a good idea about your house's value and price your residence accordingly.
Clearly, there are many reasons to complete a home appraisal. But it also is important to do everything possible to get your house appraisal-ready to increase your chances of getting a high appraisal.
For those who are struggling to get their homes appraisal-ready, we're here to help.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prep your residence for an appraisal.
1. Take an Objective View of Your Residence
Consider how a homebuyer may see your house – you'll be glad you did. If you take an objective approach to selling your residence, you may be able to identify various problem areas before you list your house.
For example, cracked or chipped home siding may seem like a minor issue to you, but this problem can affect how homebuyers perceive your house. Conversely, if you fix cracked or chipped siding before a home appraisal, you can increase the likelihood of a favorable appraisal.
2. Spend Some Time Cleaning Your House
A tidy house is a pristine residence, one that will surely stand out to homebuyers. Meanwhile, if you allocate some time to clean your residence, you may be able to identify potential home problems that otherwise could hurt your residence's value.
If you need extra help with home cleaning, it certainly pays to hire a professional cleaning company. This business hires friendly, experienced staff members who will help you enhance your house's interior and exterior in no time at all.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Getting a house appraisal-ready may prove to be costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive extensive support as you prep your residence for an appraisal.
A real estate agent will examine your residence before an appraisal and offer honest, unbiased home improvement recommendations. In addition, he or she can put you in touch with the top property inspectors in your area to guarantee that you can receive a comprehensive appraisal.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent acts as a home selling guide. This housing market professional is ready to respond to your home selling concerns and questions and will do whatever it takes to ensure you can maximize the value of your residence.
Move one step closer to selling your house – use the aforementioned tips, and you can streamline the process of getting your home ready for an appraisal.