financing

Get Your Credit Mortgage Ready

The path to homeownership can be stressful and often difficult. If you have less than perfect credit history, the obstacles might be even greater. Even if your credit is good, there are a few red flags that might prevent you from getting a mortgage (or the mortgage rate/type) that you are hoping for. Below is a list of items that can hinder the process of obtaining a mortgage:

Don't leave your credit score up to chance.

Don’t leave your credit score up to chance.

  • Bankruptcy– Some mortgages will work with a past bankruptcy. But you usually need to be several years past the discharge date and have rebuilt your credit. A bankruptcy, even when discharged, can stay on your credit report for up to ten years.
  • Foreclosure short sale – Some mortgages will work with a past foreclosure short sale. But you usually need to be several years past the sale date and have rebuilt your credit. Even when finalized, a foreclosure short sale can stay on your credit report for up to seven years.
  • Unpaid judgments– No mortgage lender wants to take the risk that an earlier debt could take precedence over their loan. All judgments must be satisfied, removed or vacated from your credit report. And, if paid, your judgment will stay on your report for seven years. Solve open judgments. Try to vacate them first or pay them and get proof that they’re paid. Yes, I know it hurts to take money out of your hard-earned down payment savings account. But that down payment won’t do you a bit of good if you can’t get a mortgage because of an old judgment from the cable company you fought with in your first apartment.
  • Open collections– If you don’t pay a bill, the company you owe may sell your debt to a collection agency who will try to get you to pay. ONLY PAY THEM OFF IF YOU ARE TOLD TO DO SO. Keep in mind that paying a collection will not raise your credit score, but LOWER YOUR SCORE. Once a debt has gone to collections, your credit is hit and can only recover over time.
  • Too much monthly debt– A good rule of thumb is that if you’re paying more than 5 percent of your gross monthly income for debt payments (credit cards, student loans, car payments, personal loans), you’re decreasing the amount of mortgage you’ll be approved for. If your income is high and housing prices are reasonable, high debt might not hurt you much. But if you have a modest income, debt can price you right out of a mortgage.
  • Pay your current bills on time, religiously – You’ll need the boost to your credit score if you’ve had problems in the past. And you’ll want to prove to a lender you’ve gotten past old issues and made a fresh start in rebuilding your credit.
  • Make sure the problems are right – If not, you must dispute them off. Experts disagree about how many people have serious errors on their credit reports, but I have witnessed a client who discovered that someone had posed as his spouse after finding lots of strange information on his credit report. Don’t pay the price for someone else’s mistake.

This piece is guest written by our partner, Credit Law Center (CLC). CLC helps clients achieve financial success by cleaning up their credit history and putting them on track for financial freedom. Contact them today at (800) 994-3070 or by visiting creditlawcenter.com.

How to Win a Bidding War

Now that the housing market is heating back up, you’re likely going face stronger competition from your fellow buyers. So what do you do when you’ve found the perfect home, and it turns out that someone else thinks it’s perfect too?

Here are some expert tips to help you come out on top in a bidding war:

In a competitive market, you might be facing multiple offers on homes.

In a competitive market, you might be facing multiple offers. Be smart and follow our simple tips for success.

Get Your Finances in Order

Getting pre-approved for a loan will go a long way towards winning a bidding war. It shows you’re committed and helps to eliminate any doubts a seller may have about your financial ability. In a competitive market, your offer might not even be considered if you do not have a pre-approval letter.

Master Your Cover Letter

Your offer should contain a cover letter along with a pre-approval letter or a proof-of funds document. Your cover letter should showcase why you want the home, what you do for a living, your interests, and also how you see your future unfolding in this property. If you truly love the home, don’t be afraid to reveal why you and or your family belong there. Creating an emotional connection can help you stand out among the other bidders and give you an added advantage.

Much like a cover letter for a job, your offer cover letter is a pivotal element to getting noticed by the seller and can make or break your chances of getting the home.

Be Swift

As they say, the early bird gets the worm. Be the first with an offer that matches the asking price or comes in slightly below, to increase your chances of winning a bidding war. It shows you’re a serious buyer and that you value the home you’re bidding on. To give your offer some added urgency, put an expiration date on it as well.

Make a clean offer

The simpler the offer, the more likely the seller is to accept it. While you may be tempted to outline all of your “must-haves” upfront, these are better left until after you’ve made it a few steps further in the buying process. You’ll still have an opportunity to negotiate repairs, closing costs, furniture, and any other wants after the inspection.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

Don’t let your emotions over-rule all of that hard work you put into researching asking prices, looking at schools and scoping out the neighborhood.  These are necessary to make a sound decision and sometimes all logic goes out the window when you fall in love with a home. Don’t let yourself step outside your price range in the heat of the moment. There will always be another home but there isn’t always more money.

If you’ve found yourself in the midst of a bidding war and need some expert advice, contact our knowledgeable and friendly team at 855-441-6288.

http://www.realtor.com/advice/how-to-win-a-bidding-war-on-your-dream-house/

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102640371

Launching: Educator Mortgage Program

  • Now Offering: Discounts for Educators

    Now Offering: Discounts for Educators

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In conjunction with Supreme Lending, we have introduced a special Educator Mortgage Program that will be made available to teachers and all employees working in any public or private education system. This program is designed to benefit those who spend their days bettering the lives of others. You shape our children, our communities, our future – let us serve you, your family, your future.

What’s offered?

  • Discounted closing costs
  • Real estate agent fee credits
  • Priority loan processing
  • School Donations

Who can participate?

  • Teachers/faculty
  • Coaches
  • Custodial/facilities staff
  • Librarians
  • Secretaries
  • Professors/adjunct faculty
  • Counselors
  • And any public or private school employee

If you work in the public service sector and you are looking to find out if this program could work for you, contact us or visit our dedicated website.

What to Know Before Using Gift Money as a Downpayment

  • Can you use gift money for a downpayment?

    Can you use gift money for a downpayment?

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Between its inception in 2008 and the end of 2013, crowdfunding- “the practice of raising funds from multiple individuals via the web”- became a $5 billion industry, according to a 2013 study by the World Bank.

While crowdfunding campaigns have been used for everything from producing a new product to making potato salad (seriously, the guy raised $55,000), they are now being used for something much more personal. People nationwide are now turning to crowdfunding sites to help them buy a house.

Many of these sites are targeted toward couples about to tie the knot. They work much like traditional wedding registry sites in that the couple registers online, creates a list of options for their guests to purchase, and then shares the site with their friends and loved ones. But instead of a toaster, the options include things such as $150 toward closing costs or $300 toward a down payment.

There are other sites that are more targeted to those already in their home and looking to renovate or remodel. Users can upload pictures or blueprints to share their vision with their friends and family and add options such as $100 for paint or $200 for a new fridge.

While this may be a good option for some, there is also debate over the tactfulness and even the legality of using others to fund your new home purchase.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with customers who have or are considering using these sites.

  • Gift funds must be properly documented when using them toward a down payment.
  • You will not qualify for a tax deduction for contributing to one of these sites. It is a gift, not a donation.
  • The money may be required to sit at the bank for 60 days before it can be used- just like cash would.

This is a guest post from our friends at Supreme Lending. Learn more about what their offering at SupremeLending.com.

http://www.infodev.org/crowdfunding

http://blog.credit.com/2014/08/can-you-crowdfund-your-mortgage-93992/

Can People Still Buy a Home with No Money Down?

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    mortgages

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Although it’s highly unlikely, yes – it is still possible to get a home without a down payment.  Prior to the mortgage crisis and recession, many lenders offered mortgages without any down payment. Some lenders even allowed consumers to borrow up to 105 percent of the home’s purchase price so they could finance their closing costs.  While we all know that mortgage requirements are much stricter, there are still loan options that can make homeownership a reality.

Today, a handful of government sponsored programs allow consumers with good credit and a steady income to buy a home. Here’s the low-down on loans with low/no down payment requirements.

VA Loans

These loans are only available to veterans, current members of the military and their spouses. While these loans don’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance, there is a funding fee that can be wrapped into the loan.

USDA Rural Development Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans to those with qualifying credit scores and income levels. Candidates for these loans must be able to afford payments but have a low or moderate income. Additionally, you must purchase a property in a designated area. These loans are primarily designed to help low-income families in rural areas purchase homes.

FHA Loans

Insured by the Federal Housing Authority, FHA loans come with a minimum down payment of 3.5 percent. FHA charges an upfront premium and additional premiums each month. The standards are usually pretty lenient but a series of guidelines are published and will give you exact eligibility requirements.

If you are interested in getting approved for a loan or learning about types of loans available,
contact our preferred mortgage partner – Supreme Lending. Their team is passionate about helping consumers make homeownership a reality.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved: What’s Really the Difference?

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As a first time homebuyer, getting a mortgage might seem a bit daunting. As you navigate the approval process, don’t be confused, a pre-approval is much different than being pre-qualified.

Here’s the skinny:

Pre-Qualified

This term refers to a general review of your finances and a recommendation of what you can afford. In a conversation with a banker, you would review your income, debts, desires etc. and s/he would be able to identify an approximate mortgage amount. Pre-qualification can be done quickly over the phone or internet and does NOT include a review of your credit report. Just because you are pre-qualified for a mortgage does not mean you’ll actually be granted a mortgage.

Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved is a more in-depth process, requiring a review of your credit history and a verification of your income and debts. After reviewing you finances your loan would be submitted to underwriting – and ultimately you’d be provided with a pre-approval letter that you can use when making an offer on a home. Pre-approvals are normally good for 120 days so it is important to make sure you have this documentation when presenting offers to home sellers.

Ultimately, there is no harm in getting pre-qualified but to have a good chance at getting a home and a mortgage, you need to be pre-approved.

Interested in more in-depth information about getting approved for a mortgage? Contact our lending partner, Supreme at (877) 316-0296 or visit www.UnitedHomeMortgages.com.

More Financing for More People

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  • Supreme Lending Square

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We’re proud to announce Supreme Lending as our newest mortgage partner. Supreme is full of out-of-the-box thinkers, just like us. Meaning, they are here to help provide more financing to more people. Have questions about financing or types of loans available, contact us. We’re happy to help.

Introducing Supreme
Supreme was established in 1999 by Scott Everett, and has since grown to become one of the nation‘s leading mortgage companies. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Supreme has over 100 mortgage offices in 48 states, and originated over $3.4 billion in mortgage loans in 2013. Inc. 500/5000 recognized Supreme as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in America, acknowledging their strength as a company and promise to fulfill their vision in becoming the Best Mortgage Banking Company in America.

Operations
Supreme only  hires the best mortgage professionals in the industry, and constantly invests in state of the art technology to keep their processes streamlined and efficient. Their associates follow through with exceptional communication and informative feedback throughout the loan pipeline, which helps produce an app to clear to close average of 24 days.

Supreme services all of their loans, ensuring that  clients receive top-quality customer service for the lifetime of their loan. In 2013, Supreme had an overall customer satisfaction rate of 95.6 percent, with a response rate of 79.8 percent (that‘s 14,307 customer survey responses!).

Our Products
Supreme offers a loan for any situation clients may have, from FHA to Jumbo. A popular programs is their 100% financing USDA loan. If your or your clients are looking to renovate or remodel a home, Supreme also offers a HomeStyle® Renovation loan.

Recognition
Supreme is a Scotsman‘s Guide Top Mortgage Lender, Forbes Top 100 Mortgage Company in America, a Mortgage Technology Tech Savvy Lender and Servicer since 2009, received the Lender Excellence in Customer Service Award by Lending Tree, Lending Excellence by Genworth US Mortgage Insurance, and has received numerous awards for associate satisfaction in Best Places to Work survey results nationwide.

Interested in talking to one of their mortgage professionals today?  Contact them at info@supremelending.com or call (877) 316-0296.

Budgeting Tips for New Homeowners

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    mortgage calculator

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The costs associated with buying a new home add up quickly. That’s why it’s crucial for you to make sure you have a budget in place. Otherwise, your new home could end up draining your finances.

Use the following tips on budgeting for new homeowners to ensure that you spend your money wisely:

  • Set aside money for repairs: Make sure you can afford to take care of minor maintenance issues before they become larger ones. You also never know when major problems will come up, such as a burst pipe.
  • Hire professionals: Look for qualified and reputable contractors to do repairs on your home instead of attempting to do them yourself, which could end up costing you more money.
  • Limit spending on decorating and remodeling: Take your time filling your home with new furniture and having things replaced or fixed up, so you won’t overspend right after buying your new home.
  • Hire an accountant for taxes: This helps ensure that you’ll include all of the homeowner deductions you’re entitled to, which helps maximize your refund.

Ready to begin looking for a new homeContact United Real Estate to speak to a local agent, and visit us on Facebook.

Three Easy Ways to Save for a Down Payment on a Home

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    coin stack

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Offering a down payment is a normal part of the home buying process, but it’s one that many struggle with. Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to wait several years to set aside enough money for this expense.

Here are a few simple tips on saving for down payment, so you can buy a new home in the near future:

  • Check out government programs for home buyers. Your local or state government might offer programs to help residents purchase a home. You might be able to get financial assistance as a first-time buyer or a loan to cover your down payment.
  • Cut down on regular expenses. You can save quite a bit of money by shopping around for lower insurance rates or by negotiating lower rates on cable, Internet and phone bills.
  • Use IRA money. If you’re buying your first home, you can take $10,000 or less from your IRA to use as part of your down payment. This transaction isn’t subject to early withdrawal fees.

Are you ready to start looking for your next homeVisit United Real Estate to find a local agent, and stop byour Facebook page for home buying tips.