While I’ve seen some ridiculous appraisals, the rules are pretty straight forward so the results are fairly predictable. After purchasing 15 homes plus multiple refinances, it was time to refinance my new home in Florida. What I didn’t expect was a bad appraisal. After my rebuttal (my first) accomplished nothing, I knew it was really … Read More
What's the Best Way to Finance a Home?
Saving up a down payment for a house can be challenging. You've also got to figure out the best financing for your situation whether you're buying your first home, up sizing, down sizing or looking for a fixer upper to flip!
In fact, financing is the very first thing you need to figure out, regardless of your reasons for moving.
How Much House Can I Buy?
While there are lots of financing options, most are based on how much you will borrow, how much you can put down and your credit score. All of these factors are used by lenders to determine how much they're willing to lend you. Read Confusion Between Pre-Qualified and Pre-Approval.
The loan amount plus your down payment will determine how much house you can you buy. But too often, people end up house poor. They have to spend so much on their home that it affects their lifestyle in ways they didn't expect.
How Much House Can You Afford Comfortably?
Everyone has to make trade-offs when buying a house. A bigger house might require a longer commute to work. If you want to live in a walking community, you might need to buy a smaller house.
Here are the other homeowner costs to consider when deciding how much house you can afford:
- Higher property taxes which along with insurance, might be collected monthly by your lender.
- Higher homeowner insurance costs. You might also need flood insurance or PMI if you don't put 20% down.
- Homeowner association dues plus lawn care/plowing if these aren't provided by your HOA.
- Higher heating and cooling costs.
- Home maintenance for your HVAC system.
- More costs for home repairs plus you've got to build up an emergency fund for the inevitable new hot water heater, washing machine or roof.
We'll help you navigate the home financing terminology filled with acronyms like DTIR and PMI and give you tips from my experience buying, refinancing and selling 15 homes over the last 40 years.
Today I’m wrapping up refinancing for my Florida house. I’ve done lots of closings in person, a few mail closings and today is my first online closing. You can laugh but I’m actually excited. As I review and sign-off on each document, it’s the perfect time to document the title and purpose. This will help … Read More
What happens when you can’t pay your mortgage? If you have a federally backed mortgages, a new federal law, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, gives you the right to request a forbearance for up to 180 days (plus an extension for up to another 180 days). If you don’t have a … Read More
Completing a mortgage application is never easy, even if you’ve done it before! You’ll have to submit lots of documents and waste hours finding the necessary documentation, scanning pages and pages so ultimately you can upload all these documents to the lender you’ve picked. You can fight the bureaucracy or recognize that reviewing your financial … Read More
This article is meant to change the culture at Allstate, and other corporations like them, that to date do not recognize the gender bias built into their business processes. I have been treated respectfully by my Allstate insurance agents. Sadly they have little/no influence on changing the way Allstate’s software applications are implemented.
Our world is changing in many ways. Uber is changing how we think about cars, so maybe you don’t need one? AirBnB is changing travel, making overnight trips affordable. Unison is a new disruptive mortgage lender redefining how we buy houses.
When you apply for a mortgage, banks look at your debt-to-income ratios (DTIR), to determine how much they think you can afford to pay for your home. They also look at your total debt, including car loans, credit cards and student loans. If you have trouble getting a traditional loan, there are several types of band-aid loans … Read More
Cancellation of debt (or COD) is the term used to describe a default on your mortgage through a foreclosure, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure or some other type of settlement. You may not have to pay the bank, but the money you are forgiven turns into taxable income according to the IRS. Here’s … Read More
Most homeowners assume all types of mortgages have similar terms and conditions. They don’t, and when the housing bubble burst in the late 2000’s, many learned a hard lesson. There is a huge difference between non-recourse loans and recourse loans. While the terminology is strange, the difference is an important one worth taking the time to understand. … Read More
If you refinance your home, or at least think about it, you’re in good company. The mortgage that you’ve got right now might not be the best you could get, especially if it’s been a while since you financed your home. But a refi isn’t guaranteed, and there’s a lot to consider before you take … Read More