Ellen McLaughlin - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



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 5/14/2017

If youíre finding that your finances are a bit tighter these days, you might need to adjust your budget a bit. Have you ever thought about alternatives in helping you to pay your mortgage? Thereís a few things that you might be able to do in your home to save a few bucks and be more comfortable with your budget and finances. 


Share The Space


This might sound crazy, but it works for many people. If youíre willing to share your living space with others, it could help you to make a dent in your mortgage. This works especially well if you have a home with a separate entrance like an in-law apartment or something similar. 


Make Adjustments To Your Expenses


There are many different costs that come along with owning a home. If you reduce some of these expenses, youíll be able to cut your overall spending. You donít need to completely adjust your entire way of living to do this. Some ideas:


  • Cut the cord on cable and install streaming devices
  • Go on a family cell phone plan
  • Skip the gym membership
  • Use public transportation
  • Cook at home instead of eating out
  • Use coupons


Put Tax Refunds To Good Use


If you normally get a tax refund, you can apply that money to your mortgage instead of using it to buy something else. You could also adjust your withholdings. This would allow you to get a bit more money in your paycheck each week. Youíll get less of a refund during tax time, but the extra money may help you to pay down bills throughout the year. 


Pay More Towards The Principal 


To make the most of your hard-earned savings, use your money wisely and pay down the mortgage faster. Just be sure that thereís no penalty for a prepayment of the loan. You can either make an extra loan payment each month or you can pay a bit over what you owe on the mortgage each month. If you pay the mortgage faster, youíll save potentially thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. Youíll need to check with your mortgage company to see what their process is for paying more towards the principal of the loan. Keep in mind that the first few yearsĎ worth of your mortgage payments will be going towards interest unless you specify extra payments to go elsewhere.


Whether youíd like a little more of a financial cushion or are just looking to get rid of all those pesky monthly bills, itís never a bad idea to focus on paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible.




Tags: mortgage   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized