Home Improvements With the Biggest Payoff

Over time, people change their sense of style and want to make their home look like they are up to date. One of the main reasons why people remodel their homes beside to fit their taste is to add more value to their property. Not only can someone try to save money to pay for the renovations themselves, but one of the most popular ways to finance their home project is to use a 203k loan. However, which projects will be worth it in the long run? What do people mainly like to see on a “renovated” home?

  1. Major Home Maintenance – When homeowners want to do some upgrades and construction on their homes, the most overthought but necessary items that should be on their list should be the overall maintenance of their home. We are talking about maintenance that needs to be done to make the home in a livable condition like the roof or moldy leaky pipes. Think about this: would your house still be livable if you remodeled your kitchen but let the plumbing go that causes leaks and flooding in the home? Home Maintenance is a very common make-it-or-break-it factor on the value of the home as well as the price tag if you decide to sell the place. If you watch those shows on HGTV, you hear more people being concerned moving into a house that wasn’t well maintained than a house with the wrong color top of a stove or cabinets.
  2. Kitchen – If you want an investment that can generate a return 100% or more, start with the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the areas where people spend time in their homes. When it comes to first impressions on a good home, the kitchen is the one area where anyone can see if the money is well spent or not. So what kind or remodel makes everyone go “wow”? When it comes to your kitchen, think very traditionally. Nothing says traditional more than having all-wood cabinets, flooring made out of natural wood or stone, stone counter tops like marble or granite, and modern appliances that have that commercial grade look. Even if you aren’t a huge cook, having an updated, traditional kitchen will put the wow factor in your property and bring the value up.
  3. Curb Appeal – Growing up, our adult peers always told us, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. While that may be true for people, that is rarely the case when it comes to the housing market. If people aren’t impressed by what you have on the outside or it looks like it can use some TLC, most likely they will have a negative reaction of your place or not even step foot inside. You want to convey the sense of welcome to not only prospect buyers in the future, but for your family and friends as well too!
  4. Additions – When you add more room and space to a property, you can almost guarantee a good return value overall. Bathroom additions are known to have the highest return value with an average of 86.4% Think about this: if you have a 4 bedroom, one bathroom house, that can be very chaotic for multiple people, especially if it’s a full house. Even a half bathroom can pay off in the end as well. Any other additions like attics, bedrooms, even family and sun rooms returned from 70 to 80 percent of the money spent. You also don’t have to think about gearing the additions for a growing family. Some people want more room and space to store their hobbies or have a home office.

One of the benefits why people go from renting to buying is to have the ability to remodel their home to their look, style, and taste. Not only does a remodel update the look of the area, but remodels in general are known to raise the value of the home overall. If you are trying to remodeling your home specifically to up the property value of your home, take a look at the list above and see which one you would like in general.  Either you are using cash up front or a 203k loan, some renovations are worth the overall process and some don’t pay off as much as one thinks. When it comes raising your property value, think about these common remodels.

5 Common Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Made and How To Avoid Them

Learn from their mistakes!

It’s time! You’ve decided to step up in the big world and make your first huge purchase. Congrats first time home buyer! However, purchasing a home is not similar to when you were 5 years old and you were about to purchase your very candy bar. Purchasing your very first home can be either the smoothest transition of your life, or it can be the most stressful event in your life. A lot of mistakes can pop up during the process, but here are 5 of the most common mistakes that were made, and how you can avoid them when your time comes.

  1. Not checking your credit report and score – Your credit report and score can and will make a drastic impact on your interest and approval rate. So before you dive right into the home buying experience, take a good look at your credit score and report. We understand, checking your credit score is the same as checking how much money you have in your account. If you don’t check at all, then it must be a good number and you are afraid of the actual number! However, if you don’t know your score, that number can hurt you. If it isn’t up to date or it is a bit low, you can make some changes to it before you start the home buying process and you will have a good idea what you can expect in the long run. So remember: take advantage of your annual free credit report and give yourself an idea on your credit score and history before it bites you back.
  2. Not getting pre approved – Yes, we’ve talked about being pre approved a lot and the benefits of a pre approval VS. not being pre approved, but we might as well mention it here in our list as well. Say it with us, “I want to get a pre approval!”
  3. Failing to create a long-term budget plan – Remember the housing crisis back in 2008? Mortgages were giving to people who couldn’t afford to pay the banks back. Why is that? People didn’t know about the long-term cost of owning a home and didn’t “budget” enough for the future. So to prevent a repeat of 2008, you should create a budget on how much you want to spend for each monthly cost before you dive right into the process. A good rule of thumb is trying to devote a third of your monthly household income to your mortgage payment that includes taxes and insurance. Remember to put money away for the long run as well for life little mishaps, like replacing a furnace or fixing a water leak that can lead to a mold issue.
  4. Not hiring the right agent to help you – Let’s face it, buying a home can be a long, confusing, and anxiety-ridden procedure any one will make, especially first time home buyers! That is why you would want to find an agent who will be a perfect match for you and your purchase situation. You’re going to want an agent you feel comfortable with to ask questions and help you from the start to the end. There are some agents who specialize in first time home buyers and other specialties like type of homes you are looking for or the type of loan you are working with. Plus read and learn the signs of agents you might want to avoid and go somewhere else.
  5. Not considering the overall value of your home –First time home buyers treat their first purchase as their “happily ever after” and forward on home. Yet, with life in general, you should prepare to the possibility of selling and moving. What if your job needs you to transfer to another state, or your growing family happens to be growing more than expected, or worse, decreasing? When you purchase your first home, consider the re-sell value of the home. One of the most overlooked items that are common is the neighborhood. Even if raising a family isn’t on your to-do list, the property value of the home are higher in neighborhoods with a good school district compared to those that are not in nicer areas. The number of bedrooms and bathrooms will also drastically affect the overall value as well.

These 5 mistakes are very commonly made by first time home buyers. Fortunately for you, you can learn from their mistakes and try tip toe around them. Make the time you dedicate on purchasing a home be as smooth and easy as possible. No one should have to go to the hospital to get a mental check after they purchase their own home!

Do You Realize How Crucial It Is To Get a Pre Approval?

Get pre approved and don’t get behind in this game!

One of the most important, and the most expensive, purchases anyone could make in their entire life is buying a home. If you are one of the lucky few who have a couple of grand, more like $100k give or take, lying around, you are able to pick out your home and buy it in an instant just like purchasing your favorite double latte at your local coffee shop. However, if you don’t happen to have that much stashed under your mattress or savings account, home ownership is still within reach for all. In fact, millions of Americans apply and use a mortgage to make their home purchase come true. Since the banks will be lending a huge chunk of change to make it happen, banks are going to take their time to see if one qualifies for a loan while dotting their i’s and cross their t’s to see if they will be paid back or not. That is why it is VERY important to get a pre approval before you start shopping so you can save some time and make it easier for everyone. People who are pre approved have a leg up and a huge advantage from those who weren’t pre approved. Here’s why.

  1. You will have better knowledge of how much you could afford – If you are looking online for a house and found a home you love for $525k, do you know how much your monthly payment will be on top of home owners insurance, taxes, interest, and other fees like condo association fees and such? If you can figure out those calculations, wow! And even with our mortgage calculator, it does not take in consideration of things like knowing the exact interest rate you will have. You think you can afford that $525K house, but does the bank, who will be providing the money, think you could afford it and pay them back? Why would you put in time, energy, and hopes on a house when the bank knows from the very start you wouldn’t be able to afford it? When you get pre approved, you will know what your home budget will be. So with that in mind, you can start searching for house that’s a better fit for you and your budget and faster compared to those who are going out on a limb without being pre approved.
  2. You’ll get better results and service form your realtor – Presenting your realtor your pre approval status shows them that you are very serious in making the next step in your life and know a little about the process of buying your home. With this information, realtors will know what your budget is and can help you find the home of your dream instead of taking a shot in the dark on how much the bank might grant you. Remember that $525k house you wanted? If you were only pre approved for up to $400k, the realtor can take that into consideration and find a home that is similar to the expensive house, but more in your price range.
  3. Sellers will take your offers more seriously than those who aren’t pre approved – All sellers have one thing on their mind: they want to sell their house for the right price and get the transaction closed as quickly as possible. By showing the sellers that you were pre approved to begin with, all hands will be on deck and they might take your offer. In fact, that pre approval letter also gives some extra wiggle room for negotiation like the asking price and what comes and what doesn’t come with the house. Buyers without pre approvals are gambling away their chances of their offer being approved by the seller and any kind of negotiation they want to ask on top of it. Why would the seller gamble away their time on selling a home if they don’t know in the first place if there are a chance of being approved or not?

With the reasons above, you can now see why it is imperative for one to get a pre approval before they begin their process of buying a home. Not only does a pre approval drastically help you buy a home, but it also gives you an understanding your budget, give you a competitive start on buying a home, and most importantly, save you time and the heartache. In a world where time is money, it is no wonder why anyone will do anything to make sure their most important purchase in their life goes smoothly and easy. Obtaining a pre-approval helps make the home buying process with as little hiccups down the road as possible.

Things About Your Realtor That You Might Want to Think Twice About…

Let’s face it, any kind of financial transactions one decides to do with homes and properties will be a major one.  When a transaction like this is involving your shelter, the basic need for survival, and your daily comfort, one would want the best professional to handle your transaction. However, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there and there is no “one” realtor or agent who fits all wants and needs. So when you make the first step in homeownership or selling your home, you might search around the internet for agents or ask around for some names as well. However, it is always best to do a little history check on them in general, especially if someone describes the agent as such or if these thoughts were running through your mind.

Have you considered my friend/family member?” – Yes, we all want to help out people we know personally. When it comes to personal recommendations, you should treat the name and recommendation similar if one wants to be your roommate and share a common area with. Do they have the credentials you want and need? Are you okay if your agent slacks off representing you as one might slack off on their household chores? And what happens if a problem arises? Problems can generally cause a strain on your relationship with the other, and can be worse if the problem is involving your friend or family member. For this reason, it is not worth the pain and heartache onto one self and the other.

Wow! Your presentation is out of this world! You’re hired! – Think of the realtor’s presentation as one of those ads you see on TV for the mop that never gets dirty or for a cooking appliance you can set it and forget it. It sounds amazing at first, but please do some research. It is possible Agents could be hiding the real truth or exaggerates about their skills to get your business. Take a look at the reviews, and pay special close attention if they cater to your wants and needs. For example, are you a first time homebuyer and/or seller and not too sure about the process? Are you looking to purchase using a VA loan and want the right person to represent you all the way? When it comes to who you hire, make sure you cross your t’s and dot your i’s, because down the road it could be difficult and impossible to switch agents without it hurting you.

This agent has the lowest commission rate! – Ever heard of the saying “you get what you pay for”? That saying applies here, especially if you want to sell your place.  The commission accumulates pays for more than a living income for the agent. The commission also pays for the marketing and advertisement created to the public. And if you didn’t know already, the buyer’s agent gets their commission from the commission from the seller’s agent. The buyer’s commission rate is listed in the seller’s agent’s instructions. If your selling agent is offering a low rate for the buyer’s agent, the buyer’s agent will look somewhere else for their clients. Do you know anyone who would do the same amount of work for a lower price?

Every realtor passes the same exam to get their license, so it doesn’t matter who I choose.” – True, in order to buy and sell real estate, one must pass the same exam as the next person, but, let’s compare this process to when you were in high school and you had to choose your science lab partner. Thinking back, would you have chosen the teacher’s pet who worked extra hours to ensure your volcano was the best one in the class, or your friend who did the bare minimum and was happy with mediocre results just so they get the C or D? Now, let’s take a look at those qualities again, but this time we are depending on the person to provide a home instead of a grade to pass to the next level. You do want to find the best professional who will work hard to make you satisfied in general. Plus, the real estate market is constantly changing. The best agents out there are the ones who stay on top of the market and who will go above the minimum education requirement to benefit you, their customer. A little extra hard work in general will help everyone get the results.

Thankfully, when it comes to finding an agent, “there’s plenty of fish in the sea”. However, not every agent out there is what you want and deserve.  Let’s face it: buying and/or selling a house may be one of the most major and expensive transaction anyone will make in their life time. With that in mind, it’s no wonder why someone would want the best person to help. So do your homework and research more information about the agent to see if they are a perfect fit for you. But don’t take our word for it!

How to Dispute any Credit Reporting Errors

Don’t let these errors hurt your credit history!

As we all know, your credit history contains information about your financial history that’s used when applying for a credit card, insurance, employment, and loans in general. The higher your score is, the better your interest rates will be and your chances are better on getting the approval for loans, jobs, and credit cards. However, a low score come with a high interest rate and may even disqualify you from a loan or job. Under the FCRA, the credit reporting company and the provider that’s listed are required and responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information on your credit report. Now with that in mind, isn’t it worth to take some time out of our day to make sure everything on your credit history is accurate? Do you know how long a negative entry on your report will stay on your report?
The first step is to actually obtain your credit report. Know that there are three credit bureaus: Exquifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are they required by an amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months. One of the most trusted sites you can obtain your free report from all three bureaus is annualcreditreport.com. If you obtain the report elsewhere, make sure it is a well trusted site to avoid identity theft. Be able to provide to them your name, address (and previous address if you moved within the last 2 years), Social Security number, and your date of birth. Once you obtain your report, take a close look at it. If the report is accurate, ta da, you are done! But, if you found an error or two, you might want to continue reading.
First step is to write a letter. In writing, inform the appropriate credit bureau(s) and the provider (in other words, which company pulled your credit information) the information you think is inaccurate and copies of documents that support your position. Also send a copy of your credit, circling and highlight the information you believe is false and why. Once you prepared the letter and information to be mailed, mail them to the appropriate bureau(s) and providers. For extra security on your behalf, mail the letter and documents via certified mail with a “return receipt requested”. Keep copies of everything as well to – from the letter to the marked up credit report paper.
Once the credit bureaus receive the written request, they are required to investigate about the item(s) that are in question, unless the dispute to be frivolous or unnecessary. This process usually takes within 30 days. The bureaus send a notice of a dispute to the provider along with the data they received from you. The provider must then investigate the dispute and then report their findings to the bureaus.
Once the provider reports their findings to the bureaus, the credit reporting company must give you the results in writing and a free copy of your credit report if there were any changes to your report from the dispute. The updated copy of your report is free and will not count towards your annual free report amount. If changes were made to the report, the credit bureaus cannot put the item back to be disputed, unless the provider gives them additional information that is verified and complete. If those changes were made to your report, the bureaus must provide you a written notice about the dispute and provide you the name, address, and phone number of the provider that changed your account. When the changes are made on your report, you are allowed to ask the credit bureaus to send notices of the correction to anyone who has received your report within six months, or two years for employment purposes.
However, if the investigation result doesn’t rule in your favor, you are allowed to ask the credit reporting companies to keep the statement of the dispute on your file and to be included on future reports. Also for a fee, you are allowed to ask them to send an updated copy of your report to anyone who has received your report in the recent past.
Any negative information that is accurate can be reported by the reporting companies for 7 years from the start date while bankruptcy can be reported for 10 years of the start date. If you have any unpaid judgements that are against you, they will be reported for 7 years of the start date or until the statute of limitations runs out, which ever time period is longer. However, keep in mind that there is no time limit for reporting information on criminal convictions, information reported in response to your application for a job that pays more than $75,000 a year and any information reported when you’ve applied for credit or life insurance worth more than $150,000.
Yes, the information that we presented to you can be overwhelming, but they are a great asset, especially if you found a negative mistake on your report. A false negative entry on your report can stay on your report for 7 to 10 years. Do you want that false entry to hurt your chances of obtaining a loan, getting you hired, or raise your interest rates?

Financial Tips for Millennials

It’s not too early to start thinking about your financial future!

If you were born from 1980 to 1995, you are considered to be a part of Generation Y, or as commonly known to the public, the Millennial Generation. And let’s face it, you have a lot of financial responsibilities on your plate like student loans or bills. Saving money may be the last thing on your mind, but it is important as that money can be used to put a down payment on a home (since millennials like you are predicted to be the top buyers of 2017) or saving for retirement. The thought of saving in general sounds impossible, but with some simple tips, the thought of savings is possible. It’s never too late to start!

1. Create a game plan – Just like your favorite sports team, the best chances to win is to have a game plan set. All game plans can be set for short term and long term goals and they can be tweaked to fit the current situation you are in. If you are still lost on how to start the game plan, try going backwards; visualize where you want to be in five, ten, even twenty years and how will you reach that goal.
2. Promote good financial habits –Start by saving your dollars and cents and start investing and or putting it away in a saving account, even if it’s a small amount. Put yourself in the “I am paying myself first” mentality and don’t make saving money an option. We aren’t saying when you get a raise, use all of the money from your raise for the “non-fun” options and accounts, but don’t use your raise for all fun options. When you start putting away money in different accounts, you will start building a special kind of interest: compound interest. “Saving $50 a week for a year, which is 52 weeks, will amount to $2,600. When adding compounding interest to the mix, that same $50 weekly to retirement savings at 2% interest (which is a relatively conservative interest rate), you will have saved over $8,000 after three years, over $16,000 after six years, and over $29,000 in 10 years!” says Melissa Lonie, Financial planner at MassMutual. When you use an account that uses compound interest, you can see how much extra money you will accumulate overall.
3. Start a 401(k) plan – When you use your employer’s plan, you are storing away money before taxes can be taken out. If your employer offers a match as well, that is another reason why to use their plan – free money in the long run! However if your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan, you can open up a Roth IRA account. While your contribution to your account will be taxed, the money you earned in interest and withdraw from the account will be tax-free.
4. Pay off your high-interest debt first – Say, for example, you have a high interest credit card that’s 7% or more. If you invest your money in an account that earns you 7%, the amount you paid in interest will eat up the money you have accumulated in your savings. To avoid this situation, pay off any debts you have that are high in interest, from credit cards to student loans.
5. Risk VS. Reward – You might feel “old”, but you have more time on your side compare to Generation X or the Baby Boomers generation. Millennials can afford to take the ride up and down of the stock market. As you get closer to your target retirement date, you can see what’s going on with the market to make shifts to your assets and make lower-risk decisions as well. Another option to think about with Risk VS. Reward is insurance, and we are talking beyond your basic health insurance. When you start investing in life insurance, you are taking advantage of the low premiums while you’re in good health, unlike when you obtain it mid-life with some mid-life health complications. You can also lock in your low premium when you are in your 20’s and 30’s so it won’t increase when you hit your 40’s or 50’s. Life insurance can also be used beyond the death benefit, as it can help with living benefits. The cash value that accumulated in a permanent life insurance policy can be used to help pay for life’s anticipated, or even unanticipated, moments that goes on in your life.

As we predicted before, the millennial generation will be the top buyers for buying a home. With tricks like these that are targeted for the age gap, they can help you secure a more financial future and help you save your hard working income. For more information on investing your first home, contact us at 973-577-7008.

Melissa Lonie can be reached at MassMutual Greater Philadelphia to help live within your means while saving for the future.

How To Obtain A Mortgage If Your Spouse Has Not-So-Perfect Credit

For better or for worse

When you and your future significant other step onto the altar to say your “I Do’s”, the last thing that might be on your mind is your spouse’s credit history. While you do not inherit your spouse’s less-than-perfect credit history, it can still hurt your odds and chances of obtaining a mortgage to start your journey to “The American Dream”. Before you say goodbye to homeownership, or put on your online dating profile “swipe right if your credit score is 620 or higher”, here are some ways the both of you can buy your first home together.

  1. Know what the score is to start with and try to improve it – Before the two of you have a panic attack and get anxiety over the fear of being denied, know what the score is first. You can find out what the three digits score will be from sites like creditkarma.com or freecreditreport.com, which are free, by the way. Once you and your spouse get the score, see if the score is considered low (619-500) or bad (500 or lower). Once you know what the actual number is, try to make a game plan to raise the score. First plan, if you or they don’t do this already, is to make sure your payments are on time. Payment history holds a huge impact on a credit score that can either hurt or help someone. Yet one late payment in general could stay onto the report for up to seven years! Another factor that impacts your score is your debt-to –income ratio (DTI). DTI ratio is determined by the amount of monthly debt one has compared to the monthly gross income they make. Keeping your DTI ratio low is another game plan that can be used on raising a credit score. Pay off majority of debt that was obtained and avoid making large purchases like a car or a $5,000 Prada purse before applying for a mortgage.
  2. Check your credit history for any errors – Any and all kinds of errors, frauds, and unauthorized accounts on a credit history can lead to higher interest rate or a denial for a loan. Find out if you have any on your history and learn how to dispute the errors. Also keep an eye on your report and credit activity. By staying on top, you can prevent any negative activity that can hurt you.
  3. Make a larger down payment on the property – Putting down a high down payment shows lenders how responsible and creditworthy you and your spouse can be in the long run and also lower your loan-to-value ratio; it shows them you are serious on paying your mortgage on time. Lenders typically offer better interest rates to anyone who have a high credit score or who have a large down payment. The other bonus is if you put down 20% or more, you avoid extra fees, like private mortgage insurance, onto your monthly payment.
  4. Be open and honest with your loan officer – We aren’t talking open like how open you are to your father in the confession booth. We are talking about being open and honest about your credit and its history. The best person who can help you buy your first home with your credit situation is your loan officer! If you have financial and income documentation as back up, it will help build a stronger case for the loan officer to present to the lender to get approval.
  5. Going solo – on the loan! – If you’re afraid the co-applicant’s credit history will make the interest rate extremely high or you won’t get approved to begin with, try applying alone on the mortgage. Remember though, when you apply for a mortgage solo, you will qualify for a smaller amount since it’s only factoring in your income and assets for the loan. However, if your co-applicant happens to have a higher income and their debt is low (the lower DTI ratio we talked about earlier) you might want to reconsider going solo and have them apply with you. Not too sure what to do? Ask your mortgage loan officer on what to do and they will be able to guide you on the best way to get approved.

There are many reasons why you would or would not want to marry the person you are with now or in the future. The final factor shouldn’t be their credit history, especially when there are solutions out there to help the both of you purchase a home. And if you happen to come across a situation where your spouse’s credit score is not as desirable as the odor from a dump yard, talk to LO. Your LO is there to help you get to “The American Dream”! However, your LO might not be the best to ask if you should swipe left or right on someone’s profile. For more information on bad credit history, how to repair your credit score, and the best possible loan scenarios for you and your spouse, contact Residential Home Funding at 973-577-7008.

Want To Reduce Your Closing Costs?

How to get the best costs and to finish the deal to homeownership

To obtain a mortgage, we have to pay miscellaneous fees regarding the title, land surveyor, the government for their taxes and recording the deed, and other fees. The closing costs alone can be an additional 6% of the loan.  However, the closing costs are not set in stone and there are ways to reduce the cost itself.

  1. Know that different areas will equal different costs – Yes, not only does the location of your property depend on the price overall, but it can affect your closing costs. Areas where taxes are more expensive will have a higher closing cost overall. It also depends on what state you live in as well. Bankrated.com did a study where they asked lenders representing each state for an estimated closing cost for a $200,000 single family home mortgage with 20% down. As of August 2016, Hawaii’s average closing cost of $2,655 was the highest while the lowest closing cost was in Pennsylvania with $1,837.
  2. Know what costs you can negotiate on – Some of the fees on your closing costs are negotiable. One of the costs you can negotiate will be your homeowner’s insurance. Shop around to see how much each company will charge you, and try to see if there are deals like if you bundle your auto and other insurance together or discounts like if you are buying a new home versus an existing one. Not too sure what other costs are negotiable and which aren’t? Ask your loan officer and they will help you out.
  3. Don’t pay extra points to lower your interest rate – Homebuyers have the option to pay for points in exchange of lowering your interest rate. While interest rates are low as they are now, it might be a cost not worth putting into. However, you can also refinance in the future if rates are lower than they are now.
  4. Take a look at Reissue Rates – Want a discount on your homeowner’s title insurance policy? Take a look to see if you qualify for a Reissue Rate. In most states, the seller has to purchase the home and insurance policy within 10 years to qualify. Take a look at the seller’s policy to find out. If you can’t find that information, your title company can locate it and see if you qualify for a Reissue Rate or not. This task can save you hundreds on closing costs alone.
  5. Ask the seller if they will pay a portion of the costs – If the seller is desperate and the market is struggling, you can ask if the seller can pay a portion of the closing cost. Trust your real estate expert and ask if it’s the right move. If the seller is motivated enough to sell you their property, you might save some money on your cost.
  6. Review the closing cost forms and take a look for red flags – When you shop around comparing costs, feel free to ask questions. For example, if one lender is not disclosing a fee up front, ask why they didn’t include it. If you notice one company is charging dramatically less than another company, ask about the price difference. By reviewing and asking questions, you will know the estimate of your closing cost will be. If you are not sure what you are being charged for, ask your loan officer.

While there is no “one cost” to rule and set them all, closing costs can easily be negotiated. With the tricks and tips we’ve presented, you can channel your inner “car salesman” and negotiate to save hundreds on your closing cost.

Reverse Mortgages

A program to gain money!

What is a reverse mortgage? What if we told you that there was a way to convert a portion of your equity on your home and turn it into cold, hard cash that’s also tax-free? If you are or you know somoeone who is 62 years old or older and are in need for more cash, why not take a look into a reverse mortgage? Still confused? Take a look at our video:

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

However, there are some facts and myths that are floating around about reverse mortgages. We are here to help you find out what statement is fact and what is actually false.

“If my love one obtains a reverse mortgage, he or she will be giving up ownership of the house that they worked hard on paying for!”

That statement is a myth. When they apply for a reverse mortgage, they are NOT giving up ownership of the home as long if the property is well maintained and they continue to pay the taxes and home owners insurance. The title and deed are still in their name.

“Reverse mortgages have flexible payment plans on how the consumer receive their cash.”

Correct! Once a consumer gets approved for a reverse mortgage, they are able to get a lump sum payout, paid in monthly installments, or have it added to their credit line. By obtaining a reverse mortgage, the consumer can extend the life of their retirement savings and delay Social Security benefits. The longer Social Security gets delayed, the bigger the benefit will be.

“If my parents get a reverse mortgage, they will have to stay in the house they got the reverse mortgage on.”

That statement is false. Many consumers who obtained a reverse mortgage use the money obtained to buy another property.

“Oh man, how much are the taxes on the reverse mortgage that was granted?”

There’s always a catch when you are handed over money or even win expensive items like a car: taxes. Yes, taxes will b e the death of us and we will continue to pay taxes, but the sum from a reverse mortgage is tax-free. Yes, you heard that right, tax-free!

“My parents don’t qualify for a reverse mortgage because they still owe the bank x amount of dollars on their mortgage.”

The only requirements for a reverse mortgage is the person obtaining the mortgage must be the homeowner and they are at least 62 years old. There are only two requirements to obtain a reverse mortgage If the consumer still owes the bank money, they can still obtain a reverse mortgage. In fact, some consumers use their cash they got on paying off their mortgage, which leaves more money in the long run for other things.

A reverse mortgage is a great way to obtain more cash income and help their current financial situations.  If you or your love one are struggling with their retirement income or need extra money to help pay for expenses, why not take a look into a reverse mortgage. For more information and how much a reverse mortgage program can help, give us a call at 855-750-0879