Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate



Posted by Titine Joyce on 1/28/2021

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the terminology of mortgages can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re also going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

In this article, we’re going to explain some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan, be it online or over the phone. By learning the basic meaning of these terms you’ll feel more confident and prepared going into the application process.

We’ll cover the acronyms, like APRs and ARMs, and the scary sounding terms like “amortization” so that you know everything you need to about the terminology of home loans.

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate vs fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization. It sounds like a medieval torture technique, but in reality amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity. Simply state, your equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability. It isn’t the title of a Jane Austen novel. It’s all about the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  




Tags: Mortgage   terminology  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 10/22/2020

If you’re in the market to buy a home, you’re probably learning many new vocabulary words. Pre-approved and pre-qualified are some buzz words that you’ll need to know. There’s a big difference in the two and how each can help you in the home buying process, so you’ll want to educate yourself. With the proper preparation and knowledge, the home buying process will be much easier for you.  


Pre-Qualification


This is actually the initial step that you should take in the home buying process. Being pre-qualified allows your lender to get some key information from you. Make no mistake that getting pre-qualified is not the same thing as getting pre-approved.


The qualification process allows you to understand how much house you’ll be able to afford. Your lender will look at your income, assets, and general financial picture. There’s not a whole lot of information that your lender actually needs to get you pre-qualified. Many buyers make the mistake of interchanging the words qualified and approval. They think that once they have been pre-qualified, they have been approved for a certain amount as well. Since the pre-qualification process isn’t as in-depth, you could be “qualified” to buy a home that you actually can’t afford once you dig a bit deeper into your financial situation. 


Being Pre-Approved


Getting pre-approved requires a bit more work on your part. You’ll need to provide your lender with a host of information including income statements, bank account statements, assets, and more. Your lender will take a look at your credit history and credit score. All of these numbers will go into a formula and help your lender determine a safe amount of money that you’ll be able to borrow for a house. Things like your credit score and credit history will have an impact on the type of interest rate that you’ll get for the home. The better your credit score, the better the interest rate will be that you’re offered. Being pre-approved will also be a big help to you when you decide to put an offer in on a home since you’ll be seen as a buyer who is serious and dependable.  


Things To Think About


Although getting pre-qualified is fairly simple, it’s a good step to take to understand your finances and the home buying process. Don’t take the pre-qualification numbers as set in stone, just simply use them as a guide. 


Do some investigating on your own before you reach the pre-approval stage. Look at your income, debts, and expenses. See if there is anything that can be paid down before you take the leap to the next step. Check your credit report and be sure that there aren’t any errors on the report that need to be remedied. Finally, look at your credit score and see if there’s anything that you can do better such as make more consistent on-time payments or pay down debt for a more desirable debt-to-income ratio.





Posted by Titine Joyce on 5/28/2020

Image by annca from Pixabay

You’ve finally found the perfect home. It’s got the number of bedrooms you wanted, a spacious kitchen, updated bathrooms, and even a beautiful vegetable garden out back. Now comes the tricky part—how to pay for it.

Numerous home buyers find financing their mortgages through a credit union to be a good option. According to Magnify Money, approximately nine percent of mortgages are held by credit unions. These non-profit organizations essentially operate like banks, but are more laid back, less aggressive, and easy to work with. Here are some of the top benefits you’ll find when financing your mortgage through a credit union.

Experience a Simplified Lending Process

As a part of their philosophy, credit unions put a higher priority on customer service than they do profits. They don’t have to answer to external stockholders and put priority on profits the way traditional for-profit banks do. As a result, credit unions are equipped to offer easier loan approvals and decent mortgage rates. Even if you have a lower credit score or have saved a smaller down payment than traditionally required, you can usually find a credit union willing to work with you.

Enjoy Lower Fees & Put Money Back into Your Pocket

Credit unions are known to offer fewer origination fees and lower processing costs because they don’t have the same requirements banks do. For instance, credit unions don’t have to pay federal taxes and need to break every year due to their non-profit status. These savings are usually passed onto their members.

Build a Personal Relationship with Lender

Many mortgage seekers find they enjoy working with an entity that strives to treat them as a person, not as a distant account number. Since many credit unions are smaller entities than their for-profit banking counterparts, they typically offer a “small-town” feel, even if they are a large credit union. This is because their memberships are limited to specific affiliations.

Also, a consideration you might find of value is the fact credit unions don’t typically sell out to other entities. Chances are you’ll have one lender to deal with through the lifetime of your mortgage (although not a 100% guarantee). If you borrow from a bank, chances increase for your loan to change hands many times over the years.

There are many benefits to knowing who services your loan. If a problem or other issue arises, you’ll almost always know who you can turn to and where to send your payment.

How to Join a Credit Union

Ideally, you’ll want to be preapproved before starting your home search so you know how much you qualify for and don’t waste time looking at homes out of your price range—this is no matter what lender you ultimately decide to take out a mortgage with. But if you’re looking for low maintenance and high- quality lenders, a credit union might suit your needs.

If you’re not sure you can join one, be sure to consider all of your personal and professional affiliations, be they your college alumni, employer, HOA or church, to name a few. You can find out which ones you are eligible to join by checking your affiliations at CUlookup.com.




Tags: home loans   Financing   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/26/2019

Photo by Gustavo Frazao via Shutterstock

Whether you’ve been saving up for a while or you’re just getting started, getting into a home might be easier than you think. If you’re looking to buy a home, but you just aren’t sure about tying all your savings into a house, check out the various loan options with low down payment requirements.

The Myth of 20%

A lot of misconceptions exist about the down payment required to buy a home. Particularly about the "20% down" rule. Even though many potential homebuyers think they need to save up that 20% — and they delay buying a home because they haven’t been able to — it’s actually not a rule. While it is a suggestion, and necessary for obtaining a “conventional” loan, it’s not required to buy a house. Some first-time buyers have the mistaken impression that having that 20% down somehow balances out a lack of stellar credit history, guarantees a better rate or a bigger loan.

None of this is true. It does improve your ability to qualify for a loan from a regular lender because it makes your loan easier for them to sell on the secondary market. Even with a 20% down payment, you’ll have to meet the 43% or less debt-to-income ratio to qualify for a loan. It also, however, means that you do not have to buy private mortgage insurance (PMI), which saves you the monthly outgo toward that premium.

On a side note, PMI is not your homeowner’s insurance. It is the coverage you pay for to protect your lender in case you default on your loan.

Buying with Less than 20%

You can buy a home with less than twenty percent down, and in some cases, with zero down. 

Here’s the skinny:

A Conventional 97 loan is one you may not have heard of. It is available through Fannie Mae and is a fixed-rate loan that requires just three percent down. The best part is that the down payment can come entirely from gifts by blood-related or marriage-related donors. A Conventional 97 loan cannot be greater than $484,350 (the number changes annually), requires a better than average credit score and is useful only for a single-unit dwelling. Conventional 97 loans are available to first time and returning homebuyers.

  • The HomeReady™ Mortgage is a specialty option among low- and no-down-payment mortgages. Backed by Fannie Mae, most US lenders offer it. The HomeReady™ mortgage boasts below-market mortgage rates, lower mortgage insurance fees and innovative underwriting practices. In fact, the income of everybody living in the house may qualify for mortgage-approval. That means if your parents live with you, your income and theirs are added together.
  • The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, insured mortgage requires just 3.5% in down payment. Also, FHA loan guidelines regarding credit scores are more liberal. Borrowers that have a lower FICO score can still qualify for an FHA loan when they have a reasonable explanation for why their score is lower.
  • Active duty and honorably discharged U.S. Military members and surviving spouses are eligible for a loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans offer a zero down payment options. In areas with a higher cost of living, VA loans are even available above the one million dollar mark.
  • The no-money-down, 100% financing option available to non-military borrowers is offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This Rural Development Guaranteed Housing Loan is also available to buyers in qualifying suburban neighborhoods. For many borrowers, the USDA loan is their lowest cost option.

While not everyone qualifies for a lower or zero down payment loan, if you are interested in home ownership and tentative about investing a big down payment, one of these options may be right for you. Ask your mortgage broker to explain the options to you for the home of your dreams.




Tags: Mortgage   FHA   20%   twenty percent  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Titine Joyce on 8/8/2019

A pre-constructed condominium is an excellent way of getting a new space at a decent price. One of the advantages of getting a pre-constructed condominium is that it can be customized to match your style. Here are the things you be aware of when buying a pre-constructed condo:

1. Many pre-construction condominiums get delayed. Understand that many condo projects are not always ready at the expected time provided by the developers. Therefore, you should plan to move in six months later than the proposed move-in date. 

2. Expect to put up to 20 percent down. You may buy a resale condo with as little as 5 percent down payment. But, such is not the case for pre-construction condominiums. The standard is about 15 to 20% down payment except in a few instances.

3. You will have to pay HST. Newly built condos are subject to HST, unlike resale condos. It is worth noting that your purchase may qualify for the New Housing Rebate Program of the GST/HST

4. New-build condo may attract additional closing cost. Your purchase price can be increased by 1 to 3 percent through expenses like utility connection fee, HST on new appliances, as well as builder/developer adjustment charges. 

5. You may be a tenant sooner than you planned. You should also be aware that your condominium may be ready for moving in before the building project completes. In that case, the building cannot be set up as a condo corporation. Instead, you can rent the unit from a developer instead of owning it.

6. Your condo fee may rise. Condo developers attract prospective buyers with reduced monthly maintenance fees. The fees will increase after two or three years of staying in your home. These condo fees can increase significantly, so you must keep that in mind during your budget planning. 

7. Lock in your mortgage rate beforehand. Developers usually work with their preferred mortgage providers. If you are in this circumstance, you will have the opportunity to lock in at current low-interest rates. This low-interest rate will come into play as soon as you close on your condominium. 

8. The building may not look exactly like what you saw in the video or showroom. Developers have the right to adjust their plans. The indoor-outdoor may not be what you saw in the video as some features may be optional or at additional costs.

Speak to your real estate agent today about your condo deal to know what to expect before starting.




Categories: Uncategorized