Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 1/10/2021

Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

While your credit score will play a role what your mortgage interest rate will be, there are also various types of loans that can increase or lower your monthly mortgage payment. In general, there are two specific loan types, adjustable rate loans, known as an ARM and fixed rate. However, within these two categories, there are various options you should be aware of before shopping for a mortgage.

Fixed Rate Loans

The fixed rate loan is exactly what it sounds like. This means your interest rate will remain stable throughout the life of your loan. Keep in mind, this does not mean your payment will remain the same — if your property taxes or insurance premiums increase and are part of your mortgage payment, the monthly payment will increase.

There are four categories of fixed rate loans that are available to borrowers. The shorter the term of the loan, the lower the interest rate. However, the shorter the term of the loan, the higher your monthly payment will be. The four categories are 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, and the most popular, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Fixed rate mortgages can be as short as 10 years and as long as 30 years. Assuming you were able to secure a $100,000 30-year mortgage at a fixed rate of 3.92 percent, your total mortgage payments would be $172,000 over the life of the loan. If you were to secure a 20 year at a fixed rate of 3.5 percent, you would pay approximately $139,190 over the life of the loan. As you can see, a small decrease in rate, and decrease in time can make a significant difference.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

If you are considering an adjustable rate mortgage, your lender may offer you different options. The most common types of ARMs are 3/1 ARMs, 7/1 ARMs and 10/1 ARMs. What this means is the first number (3, 7 and 10) means your rate will be fixed over that number of years. The second number (1) means your rate will change every year after the fixed rate period ends.

ARMs typically have what is known as a “cap” which means the amount your loan can increase cannot increase more than a specific amount. The caps may be defined as how much the monthly payment can increase over the life of your loan, over how much the rate can rise over the life of your loan, or how much the rate can increase from year to year. Before agreeing to accept an ARM, make sure you have a full understanding of the terms. It is also worth noting that many ARMs also have prepayment penalties associated with them. This means you may pay a fee to the lender if you sell your home, or you decide to refinance your mortgage.

Deciding whether a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage is the right choice for you can be challenging. Some borrowers may opt for an adjustable rate, so they can meet other criteria such as debt to income ratios. Your real estate agent, and your mortgage lender can help you determine which loan is right for your needs based on the value of your home, how long you plan to own the home, and your current financial status.




Categories: Mortgage  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 12/20/2020

If you plan to pursue a home in the near future, there is no need to wait to get a mortgage. Because if you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you'll know exactly how much you can spend to acquire your dream house. As a result, you'll be able to map out your home search based on your property buying budget.

There are many things you can do to ensure you can get a great mortgage prior to launching a house search. These include:

1. Learn About Your Mortgage Options

Banks and credit unions offers a wide range of mortgage options. If you meet with these financial institutions, you can learn about all of the mortgage options at your disposal.

As you assess your mortgage options, it is crucial to weigh the pros and cons of each option. That way, you can make an informed decision about a mortgage and decide which option will serve you well in the years to come.

2. Ask Mortgage Questions

If you are uncertain about what differentiates one mortgage option from another, it is important to remember you are not alone. Fortunately, you can ask mortgage questions to home financing professionals to determine which mortgage option is right for you.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable home financing specialists who are ready to respond to your mortgage queries. Thus, if you discuss your mortgage concerns with home financing specialists, you can get the guidance you need to choose the best mortgage based on your individual needs.

3. Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score may have far-flung effects on your ability to get pre-approved for a mortgage. However, if you analyze your credit score, you can determine if you need to take steps to improve this score before you apply for a mortgage.

You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Take advantage of this complimentary perk, and you can analyze your credit score at your convenience.

If you have outstanding debt on your credit report, you may want to pay this off as soon as possible. Remember, the sooner you pay off outstanding debt, the sooner you can bolster your credit score.

In addition, if you identify any errors on your credit report, notify the agency that provided the report immediately. This will allow you to correct any credit report mistakes before you submit a mortgage application.

As you get set to apply for a mortgage and conduct a home search, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. A real estate agent can provide expert guidance as you pursue your dream residence. He or she will help you find a house that matches your budget, attend home showings and much more.

Ready to launch a comprehensive home search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can take the first step to establish a budget for the homebuying journey.




Tags: mortgage   Buying a home  
Categories: Buying a Home   Mortgage  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 2/23/2020

There are so many factors that go into buying a home. How much money do you have saved up? What is your debt amount? Hw much money do you make each month? Can you afford the neighborhood that youíd like to live in? All of these questions are swirling around the minds of all first-time homebuyers. Did you know that how long you have been at a job is just as important as your income as a factor in getting approved for a mortgage? 


Your ability to repay is why the lender is looking at so many different numbers and factors about your financial situation. Employment overall plays a large stake in the mortgage application. Lenders will look at your past employment history along with the job that your currently have. They are also concerned with your future employment status. Your lender will get an idea of your overall plan for your career and employment through looking at your history. 


As a first-time homebuyer, you most likely donít have the employment history of more seasoned homebuyers. Generally, most people who are buying a home for the first time are pretty young in their careers. As a rule of thumb, lenders will look at your employment history over the past two years. The lender wants to see your industry focus. Maybe you have stuck with one career direction, or maybe you have hopped around a bunch. As a hint, jumping around from job to job and field to field doesnít look very good to mortgage lenders. Job floaters tend to appear as if they have no plans for the future. 


Good Career Moves


Staying a software engineer, but moving from the medical industry to the financial industry is an acceptable and smart move in the eyes of lenders. Yet, leaving your stable job in accounting to pursue a career in acting would not be looked upon favorably in the eyes of a mortgage lender.


It doesnít matter how much money you have saved up, often, without employment history, a lender may not consider you as a dependable buyer. Your lender wants to see that your income is stable for a period of at least three yearís time.


Income Matters 


You wonít have the same work history as a first time homebuyer as you would if you were a bit more seasoned. When lenders look at your income history, not having a lot of work history can be a detriment to many factors. If your income is an annual salary, for example, your lender will divide that salary by 12 in order to get a monthly income. If you havenít been at the job for a full year or took a pay cut during times of training, those numbers will be affected.


For hourly employees, overtime may be a problem as it may not be factored in with the equation if there isnít a history of at least two years on the job. 


While it isnít impossible to buy a home with a short employment history, itís advisable to wait until you have some significant time under your belt before you dive into the home buying process.




Tags: finances   self employed  
Categories: Buying a Home   Mortgage  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 9/29/2019

Buying a home may seem like a smart financial move. However, it may not always be the right time or the right move for you. While buying a home is a great investment, you may not be ready to buy a home of your own. The following questions should help you to determine whether or not you are fully ready to buy a house in the near future.


How Much Money Do You Make? How Much Have You Saved?


buying a home is a significant expense. First, youíll need quite a large sum of money for a downpayment and closing costs on the home. Second, to get approved for a mortgage, the lender will look at every part of your finances from your income to your assets. Once the home is purchased, youíll also need quite a bit of capital for expenses including insurance, taxes, HOA fees, emergency funds, utilities, and furniture. You donít want to buy a home only to be overwhelmed with costs. You want enough of a financial cushion to enable you to furnish your home, decorate your home, and not have a completely empty bank account. Thatís why you should make sure that you do make enough money to buy a home.



How Much Debt Do You Have?


If you have established that your income is enough to buy a home, the next thing that you need to establish is that your debt isnít too high. Before you enter into the adventure of homeownership, youíll need to make sure that your bills are under control. These expenses include things like car loans, student loans, and credit card bills. Your lender will put your debt into consideration as a part of your entire financial picture. Your debt (including your proposed mortgage payment) should be less than around 36% of your gross income. Before you take the leap into buying a home, youíll need to make sure that your debt is under control. If you need to take a step back and pay your bills down before you start house hunting, you should as it will make buying a home easier for you.


Are You Seasoned At Your Job?


In order to secure a mortgage for a home, youíll need to show that you have been at the same job for a certain period of time. Your average income will probably be calculated based on how long you have been at the company and your job history. You should be able to explain any income gaps, changes in positions or companies. Otherwise, youíll appear to be an unstable person to lend to. Lenders want to know that youíll have a steady, stable income.


How Is Your Credit?


In order to secure a mortgage, youíll need to have a good credit score. Check on your credit report when you begin thinking about buying a home. If your credit is on the low side, youíll want to work on bringing that score up. 


     




Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Mortgage  


Posted by Ellen McLaughlin on 8/18/2019

Although being a first-time buyer can seem overwhelming, there was one advantage to the entire process: You didnít need to sell another property. If you would like to move out of the home that youíre currently living in and are in the process of buying a new place, your life is about the get complicated! Hold tight to your realtor and get ready for quite the ride. 


Since itís often unrealistic to pay two mortgages at once, thereís a certain way that you must complete the transactions so as not to cause a huge financial headache when moving from one place to another. Unfortunately, youíre going to have to deal with buying a new home and selling your current one simultaneously in most cases.    


The good news is that it can be done! Read on for tips to find out how you can make the process go as smoothly as possible. 


First, youíll want to understand the housing market that youíre in. Youíll know what strategies you need to employ if you understand the type of market that youíre dealing with. If the two homes are in completely different areas, this research will be even more important to you. 


Buying


While youíre searching for a new home and selling your current one, youíll want to leave your options open. That means not locking yourself down to just one home. Of course, youíll only put in one offer at a time, but knowing whatís out there for you to buy is important in case the purchase falls through on the first prospective home. This way you wonít have much chance of being ďstrandedĒ once your old home sells. 


Selling


You want your home to be sold in a timely manner. This means that your old home should be well-priced and ready to sell. Work with your realtor on staging, pricing, and holding open houses. The more effort that is put into marketing your home, the better chance youíll have of selling it. Extra time on the market means that youíll have a bigger headache when it comes to buying your new home. Selling quickly is not a bad thing so long as you have some other place to live. You can also put a contingency in the sale stating that you need to find suitable housing before you can move. Realtors can do a lot when their sellers are cooperative and proactive.           


Should You Buy First?


If you sell your home first, youíll have an easier time getting a mortgage on a new home. The problem here is that youíll need to find some sort of temporary housing before you even head out on the house hunt.


If you buy a home fist, your buying power may be less than if you sold your current home. Your debt-to-income ratio will be higher, giving you less money to spend on a new home.


While buying and selling a home simultaneously can be complicated, if you strategize correctly, youíll be able to go through the entire process with ease.   

 





Tags: Buying a home  
Categories: Selling Your Home   Mortgage