How To Buy a Home Even With Student Loan Debt

Student Loan Debt may be at all-time highs, but Millennials aren’t letting that stop them from buying a home. In fact, a recent report shows that 27 percent of all First Home Buyers have student loan debt. And First-Time Buyers? A whopping 40 percent have student loans.

Family FinancesSo how do they do it? How do they keep making monthly loan installments while saving for a down payment or paying a mortgage at the same time? Here’s how today’s buyers are making it happen.

They’re choosing the right loan programs. For buyers with student loan debt, an FHA loan can be a great option. And both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have made favorable changes to how student loan debt factors into the mortgage qualification.

They’re getting gifts and co-borrowing. Many buyers are choosing to use gift money from family members to pay their down payment or other costs, while others are choosing to co-borrow their mortgage with a significant other or roommate. Both of these help lower the costs of home buying at the outset.

They’re taking advantage of down payment assistance programs. Saving for a down payment is often the hardest part when you’ve got student loan debt on your shoulders. Fortunately, there are hundreds of down payment (and closing cost) assistance programs that can help cover these expenses and more. Check your state, city and county to find out if there are any you qualify for.

They’re working on their credit. A great credit score means a great mortgage rate — and less money paid monthly and over the life of the loan. Today’s buyers are boosting their scores by paying down their debts, avoiding late payments and watching their credit reports carefully.

As they say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” And today’s Millennials are proof of that. Do you have questions about buying a home while dealing with student loan debt?
Reach out to Me to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE  JumpStart Mortgage Pre-Approval service

 

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Preparing To Own Your First Home

Preparing To Own Your First Home
referralAs a First Time Homebuyer, you’re about to make one of the biggest financial decisions of your life. For Millennials, a new home represents the most expensive purchase they’ll ever make. One of the best things you can do is read, research and learn about the mortgage application process. The more you prepare, the more confident you’ll feel about purchasing the home you want.

Mortgage Pre-Approval
Being pre-approved by a lender gives you the confidence to shop for a new house, knowing exactly how much you can afford. You can avoid looking at properties that don’t fit your budget. The pre-approval helps you know exactly what is possible right from the start. In fact, most realtors expect you to be pre-approved.

How Much Can You Afford?
A good place to start is to look at your current expenses. You probably have FHA MIboth “fixed” expenses… i.e. car payments, taxes, or day care … and “discretionary” expenses… i.e. things like travel, clothing, entertainment, or other areas where you can decide how much to spend.
Then, make up a budget. You’ll see how much of your monthly income is already committed to “fixed” expenses, as well as how much you have to spend on a mortgage payment, taxes, and insurance for a home.
Of course, how much you can afford also depends on how much debt you have. Long-term debt – i.e. debt that will take more than 10 months to pay off – is what lenders are most concerned about. If you have long-term debt that is considered “excessive” for your income, it will probably limit how much you can borrow. If you have a lot of long-term debt, you may want to pay off some of it before you apply for a mortgage.

mortgage financeRemember: I’m always here to help make things easier.  Reach out to Me at rick.cignoli@norcom-usa.com to discuss your mortgage options and to take advantage of my FREE Jump Start Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

It’s Not Too Late to Buy Your Dream Home This Season

Don't Sit on the Fence
Are you a Millennial? Are you a First Home Buyer? Are you thinking about moving up of downsizing? Is 2016 the year you’ve decided to get off the fence and buy that dream home?

Real estate professionals are always optimistic about the Spring Buying millenial 2Season. Sellers have finished staging their home for sale; the grass is green, flowers are blooming and curb appeal is at its peak. The Super Bowl is over; buyers are  out of hibernation and doing their on-line research to get prepared to make the biggest investment of their lives.

Spring is almost over, but it’s Not Too Late To Buy in 2016. Here are some facts to consider:
♠   Internet searches for real estate listings consistently peak in July.
♠   About half of all home sales occur between May and August making the summer months the busiest season nationally.
♠  About half of home sales occur in the “off” months of September through April. That’s a lot of traffic.
♠   Studies show that prices tend to peak in the busy Spring season. For Buyers, now is the time to buy..

The bottom line is this:  The best time to buy is when it’s best for yourGet Pre-Approved scenario. But, please don’t think your opportunity has passed. Low interest rates make now a great time for millennials to be in  the market for their First Home. Low financing costs make higher price points more affordable. Get Pre-Approved Now. Now is the time to buy!

 

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Open House Tips for First Home Buyers

In the real estate open housemarket today, there is little chance that as a prospective buyer you are entering a house before you’ve seen pictures of it online. While these shots can give you a good idea of whether or not you like a house, visiting it is still a primary requirement. An Open House can be a great opportunity to see a property in a more informal setting, letting you explore a bit on your own.

Check Out the Neighborhood   The first thing you should look into intentlyScope-out the-Neighbors.png doesn’t even concern the house at all. Explore the streets surrounding the house and take note of those who live there. Well-kept yards and kids playing outside can be signs of a great neighborhood while overgrown lawns and a lack of activity may be bad signs. Especially if a family is part of your plans, the neighborhood could be a crucial factor and is something that is difficult to get a feel for without visiting.

Check out the Curb Appeal   Once you arrive at the house, take a look at thecurb appeal outside before you head in. Does anything need repair or new paint? Does the roof look sturdy and intact? Chances are most things you notice will be cosmetic fixes, but if anything does jump out at you, you’ll be happy you took a look. Further, taking a lap around the house will let you know what level of privacy you have. Some people like to be able to always chat with their neighbors while some want to be left alone. Whatever your preference, it is good to know what you are getting into beforehand.

Check Out the House   Finally you should enter the house. Do a full tour and explore everywhere you are permitted. From the basement to the attic, you should look everywhere. It is always a great idea to take a tape measure with you to look at sizes of specific areas and the dimensions of drawers and cabinets. While you do not want to be overly pessimistic, it is vital to examine the home with a critical eye. Even the smallest spot of mold, for example, could be a sign of a bigger problem. Structural shortcomings can be tricky to spot as well, but are extremely important. foundation cracks, leaky walls and windows, and uneven floors can all easily go unnoticed, especially in darker areas like the basement. Besides crucial issues, there are some other factors to consider, many of them intangible. Things like the flow of the house and the way light enters are virtually impossible to tell through pictures, but can make a difference in person.

Check Out the Competition   Another great area to focus on is the people around you: the sellers, their agent, and other potential buyers. While you always want to remain extremely polite, you are certainly entitled to ask questions of the sellers and their agent. While they will put a positive spin on things, getting them talking about their reasons for moving can provide extremely valuable insight. Ask their opinion on the neighborhood, schools, etc. Also, keep your ears open to other buyers. They may know more about certain aspects of the area or point out something you may have missed. You should take advantage of every potential information source at your disposal.

Look At the Big Picture   While we focus on a lot of small things here, it is still very important to consider the bigger picture. Things like layout, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and square footage are all extremely important. However, chances are you are aware of all of these things before you visit the property. Even so, verify all of the details listed online to be sure there are no surprises later on. Between what can be discovered online and what you’ll see in an Open House, you should be able to get a great idea of whether or not you are ready to proceed with an offer.

Call Me to discuss to discuss the right mortgage option for your family.

Take advantage of my FREE Jumpstart Mortgage Pre-Approval service and be ready to make an offer on the home of your dreams.

“When You Work With a Professional, You Get Professional Results”

Four Reasons Why Buying a Condo is Different Than Buying a House

Buying a new home is a delicate dance. From the initial search to the final price negotiations, everything needs to be condotailored to the type of home you are looking for. However, because of their main differences, this process can look very different when buying a condo versus buying a house.

Reason #1: The Homeowners Association or HOA
As all condo owners will know very well, almost all condos come with some type of homeowners association or HOA.

The HOA generally handles common areas like swimming pools, the exterior of the building, and landscaping. Sometimes, the HOA may also beresponsible for holding social events throughout the year.

However, all of this comes at a few costs. The first is money; a HOA cannot operate or pay necessary expenses without charging residents a monthly fee. The second is freedom; most HOAs have rules that need to be followed.

When buying a condo, potential buyers will balance the costs of each HOA with the benefits.

Reason #2: Real Estate Investors
When buying a condo, it’s reasonable to expect a larger number of investors will be considering the property than when buying a home. After all, renting out condos is a big business. As a result, buying a condo places greater emphasis on being Pre-Approved for a mortgage, competing with cash offers, or even competing bids if the condo is on prime property.

Reason #3: The Type of Buyer
Different types of buyers look at a condo versus a home. For starters, condos are generally smaller, don’t have yards, have all landscaping handled professionally, and frequently come with amenities like a swimming pool or fitness center.

While a good majority of potential buyers with children would love a swimming pool with zero maintenance, they aren’t willing to make the trade for a smaller space. This means that when buying a condo, potential buyers will generally be single adults, newly married couples, or retired professionals looking to downgrade to an easier property.

Reason #4: Location, Location, Location
Every real estate agent knows that one factor, above all others, is most important when selling a property: location. Being close to town versus far away from traffic, near downtown excitement versus in a quiet neighborhood, or near shopping centers versus on the edge of nowhere all come into play for a property’s value and desirability.

Generally speaking, condos tend to be closer to urban areas, shopping, and entertainment. This also means that their price per square foot is frequently higher. As a result, owners looking to buy a condo should carefully consult with their real estate agent about the best way to make an offer at a fair price.

Call Me at 860.945.9284 to discuss the right mortgage option for your family and to take advantage of my  FREE Mortgage Pre-Approval service.

Credit Dos and Don’ts During the Mortgage Process

what-is-good-credit-score
A good credit score is critical when it comes to obtaining the best interest rates and terms on a mortgage. Here are some Credit Dos and Don’ts when looking for a mortgage.

  Do Stay Current on All Existing Accounts. One 30 day notice can hurt you.

­   Do Continue to Use Your Existing Credit As Normal. If it appears your are changing your pattern, it will raise a red flag and your score could go down.

 Don’t Apply for New Credit. Every time you have your credit report pulled by a potential creditor or lender, you can lose ponts on your credit score. This includes co-signing for a loan.

 Don’t Pay-Off Old Collection Accounts or Charge-Offs. Talk to your loan officer first. Yes, you are liable for these debts, but now might not be the time. If you must pay-off these old debts, do it through the closing process of your mortgage. Be sure to request a “letter of deletion” from the creditor.

 Don’t Close Credit Card Accounts. When you close an inactive credit card account, it may appear that your debt ratio has gone up. Closing a card will affect other factors in the score, including credit history.

 Don’t Max Out or Over Charge Credit Card Accounts. Don’t make any large purchases. Keep your credit card balances at 30% of your credit limit before and during the application process. If you do pay down balances, do it equally across the board.

 Don’t Consolidate Your Debt. When you combine all your balances into one or two credit cards, it will appear that you have “maxed out” on that card and you will be penalized.

­   Do Call Your Loan Officer. Talk to you Loan Officer before taking any action that may possibly affect your credit score.

What Not To Do When Buying Your First Home

referralDeciding to buy your First Home is not an everyday activity. There’s a steep learning curve, which explains why mortgage professionals see the same blunders over and over again. Here are six common — and costly — mistakes many First Home Buyers make.

1.  Believing the Listing Agent is Your BFF –  Unless you hire your own buyer’s agent, the agent selling that house works for the seller

2.  Setting an Unreasonable Time Table – Assuming you’ve been Pre-Approved for a mortgage and it’s a fairly simple deal, you may be able to close in 30 days, but 45 to 60 is more common,. Foreclosures may take 75 to 90 days and short sales have been known to take 6 to 9 months.

3.  Financing – One and Done – There should be a chemistry that develops between you and your loan officer. Educate yourself on the complicated mortgage process and the whole home buying experience

4.  Trash Talking as a Bargaining Technique – If you’re making an offer, you want to stress what you like about the place, Don’t forget: You’re a guest in someone’s home. Forgetting to be polite is a common home buying mistake.

5.  Believing You Can’t Afford Professional Advice – Sometimes the right professional advice from an attorney, home inspector, insurance agent saves far more than it costs. Do not hesitate to ask for it.

6.  No Reserve Fund – Many home buyers are tempted to stretch as far as possible – and drain all available savings just to buy their dream home. There are going to be some unforeseen circumstances that arise, either personally or with the house. Plan to keep an emergency fund available after closing to address those unforeseen situations that might arise, either personally or with the house.

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/mistakes-homebuyers-make-1.aspx#ixzz3a7khAOUj