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House Hunting? A Pre-Approval Could Make a Purchase more Viable

For the last several years, the lack of residential property inventory has been a plaguing issue with too few homes available on the market for too many active buyers. This phenomenon, coupled with historically low interest rates, has driven contract prices higher, often above the (asking) list price of the subject unit. Those searching for a home today will find themselves competing with multiple offers and having to distinguish themselves.

As a buyer in this highly competitive market, what can you do to make your proposal more attractive than your opposition?

While “cash is king,” most prospective buyers lack enough of…


Financing Options for the First-time Homebuyer

We have so much information at our fingertips thanks to technology, but there are still many misconceptions about residential mortgage financing for the first-time homebuyer. Most prevalent is that consumers need a significant amount of cash available to make their first home purchase. There is also a lot of misinformation about credit, debt and qualifying.

Let’s begin with the definition of a first-time homebuyer (FTHB). As counter-intuitive as it may seem, the FTHB as defined by most of the residential mortgage agencies is, “an individual who has not held an ownership interest in a residential property within the…


Home Equity Financing 101

Thinking of consolidating debt? Need to fund a college education? Entertaining a home improvement project? Looking to finance a “bucket list” vacation? If you are a homeowner, the financial resource may literally be all around you – home equity financing allows the applicant to borrow against the equity of their home by using the house as collateral to obtain a home equity loan or line of credit.

What’s the Difference? HELOAN vs. HELOC

Both a home equity loan and line of credit are useful, but are also very different. A home equity loan (HELOAN) is a fixed rate product with a…


How Impactful is Good Credit When Buying a Home?

The home buying process can often be surprising for first-time buyers. One thing that comes as a shock, even in this era of free online credit reports, is the direct impact credit scores can have on the cost of financing. There are several approaches to calculating a credit score. It is important to know that those used by mortgage lenders are often the most comprehensive. That is because mortgage lenders have a fiduciary duty to ensure a borrower has the ability and willingness to repay what, for many, will be the largest financial obligation of their lives.

So, how much…


Building a Home? Tips to Maintain Your Credit

Dreaming of building a new home? One of the first steps in the process should be speaking with a lender about mortgage pre-qualification. This preliminary conversation will be highly educational and will help you to choose the financing that is right for your situation.

During the pre-qualification process, your lender will review your credit report, but it will likely be many months before you are ready to move into your new home. Here are three tips to keep your credit on track during the building process:

Maintain your typical financial habits. If your credit score is in a healthy range at…


Navigating the Home Buying Process

If you’re new to the home buying market or haven’t gone through the process recently you may be in for a surprise at how challenging it can be these days, especially if, like most of us, you need to obtain a mortgage. Looking back over the past 20 years or so, there have been significant changes in the mortgage industry.

In the early 90’s most mortgage loan applications required full underwriting which meant documenting and proving a borrower’s ability and willingness to repay an obligation by verifying income, assets, credit profile and the subject property’s value/condition. Then things began to…

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