Titine Joyce - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Scituate

Posted by Titine Joyce on 12/6/2018

Getting a mortgage is one of those things that everyone seems to have quite a bit of advice about. While people surely have good intentions, itís not always best to take the buying advice of everyone you meet. Below, youíll find the wrong kind of mortgage advice and why you should think twice about it. 

Pre-Approvals Are Pointless

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage can give you an upper hand when it comes to putting in offers on a home. Even though a pre-approval isnít a guarantee, itís a good step. It shows that youíre a serious buyer and locks you in with a lender so they can process your paperwork a bit more quickly when you do want to put an offer in on a home. 

Use Your Own Bank

While your own bank may be a good place to start when it comes to buying a home, you donít need to get your mortgage from the place where you already have an account. You need to compare rates at different banks to make sure youíre getting the best possible deal on a mortgage. Youíll also want to check on the mortgage requirements for each bank. Different banks have different standards based on down payment, credit scores and more. Youíll want to get your mortgage from the bank thatís right for you and your own situation. 

The Lowest Interest Rate Is Best

While this could be true, itís not set in stone. A bank with a slightly higher interest rate could offer you some benefits that you otherwise might not have. If you have a lower credit score, or less downpayment money, a bank offering a higher interest rate could be a better option for you. Low interest rates can have some fine print that might end up costing you a lot more in the long term. Do your research before you sign on with any kind of bank for your mortgage. 

Borrow The Maximum

Just because youíre approved for a certain amount of mortgage doesnít mean that you need to max out your budget. Itís always best to have a bit of a financial cushion for yourself to keep your budget from being extremely tight. When life throws you a curveball like unexpected medical bills or a job loss, youíll be glad that you didnít strain your budget to the end of your means. Even though the bigger, nicer house always looks more attractive, youíre better off financially if youíre sensible about the amount of money you borrow to buy a home.

Tags: Mortgage   mortgage rates   bank  
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Posted by Titine Joyce on 3/8/2018

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.

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Posted by Titine Joyce on 5/4/2017

The perfect neighborhood, modern amenities in every room, more than enough space and great curb appeal are features that you might love to find in your next home. Stylish kitchen islands, breakfast nooks, spacious bedroom en-suites and walk-in closets that are so big you could turn them into a home office are real head turners.

Important costs not to over look when you buy your house

Add in enough basement and outdoor space for your pets to roam freely and you could feel ready to ink the deal on a new mortgage. You could also be days away from taking on too much mortgage. This mistake is easier to make than you might realize. For example, you might be able to afford the principal that's tied to a property. But, you might not be able to afford expenses like:

  • Mortgage insurance
  • Enough down payment to avoid having to pay a large mortgage insurance
  • Home appraisal fees
  • Home inspections, including an independent home inspection
  • Title fees and title insurance
  • Mortgage application fees
  • Property taxes
  • Mortgage interest (depending on the type of mortgage you get, your insurance rates could fluctuate or remain fixed)
  • Monthly homeowners association fees
  • Homeowners insurance

These costs are not all inclusive. Depending on your lender and the type of mortgage you get, you could be responsible for other fees.

To truly afford a house, you should have enough money to pay for repairs. You should also have enough money to buy furniture and perform regular maintenance on your home. As much as you may want to, don't forget to check how much utilities like gas, water and electricity cost in the area where you're buying a house.

If you want to give yourself more space between the costs of maintaining your house and your budget, consider paying $100 or more extra a month on your mortgage. To realize savings, you may have to pay the $100 or more extra a month for several months. You can also create more financial space for yourself by paying down other debts and reducing your credit card usage.

Your realtor could help you avoid taking on too much mortgage

A near sure way to avoid taking on too much mortgage is to choose the right real estate agent. Even if you aren't aware of all of the costs related to buying a house,a good experienced real estate agent will be. This knowledge allows an experienced real estate agent to know how much house you can really afford. You might not give title fees, points, a mortgage down payment, homeowners association fees and mortgage insurance a second thought.

Your real estate agent should. They should think about these direct and indirect costs while they search for houses that match your space and amenities requests and your budget. A good real estate agent should also consider your personal situation. Each of these awareness areas could empower a realtor, helping him to help you avoid taking on too much mortgage.

Tags: Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized