Among the many new terms you'll learn when buying your first home, "escrow" is apt to be one of the most challenging to understand. This is often due to the fact that escrow functions differently depending on where you are in the home buying process. Here are three things you need to know about escrow accounts as you prepare for homeownership.
Category: First-Time Homebuyer
More than half of Americans (56%) plan to move in 2021. That's up 21% from last year. The spike might be due to the pandemic's influence on the surge in remote work and the desire for a lower cost of living. Many people now work from home, and using the kitchen table or a small closet as an office isn't preferred as a long-term solution. A new home with office space and more square footage solves the problem, while also giving family members more space to enjoy their favorite leisure activities.
A mortgage loan can turn the dream of homeownership into a reality. Completing a mortgage loan application, gaining loan approval, and closing on the loan are necessary steps before unlocking the door to your new home. But, the mortgage process is about much more than meeting these critical milestones.
Congratulations - your home loan application has been approved! These life-changing words are the hope of many would-be homebuyers. Qualifying for a home mortgage can seem like the biggest hurdle to homeownership. But a mortgage loan approval doesn't mean you can actually afford your dream home. When mortgage lenders approve an application, specific lifestyle expenses are not factored into the decision.
Historically low interest rates might help unlock the doors to your dream home sooner than expected. Low rates can increase your buying power in a competitive housing market. You might also be able to afford more home, with money left over to fund other financial goals. But accessing the best rates often requires excellent credit scores (740 and above).
After weeks of browsing house hunting websites, driving neighborhoods, and touring a few select open houses, you're ready to buy your dream home. Unless you plan on paying cash, you'll likely need a home loan. As long as you can find a mortgage with payments that don't exceed your monthly budget, any loan will do, right? Maybe not.
COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives, including home buying. Like other states, Pennsylvania recently eased social distancing requirements and updated real estate market health and safety best practices. While buyers are eager to come out of hibernation and take advantage of the lowest 30-year fixed mortgage rates in history, taking time to understand current market conditions and updated safety precautions could make the home buying process less stressful.
When funds are sparse, but creativity is abundant, tackling budget-friendly remodeling projects might be the answer. Simple, low-cost makeovers can add value to your home while showcasing your unique personality. There's no need to hire a team of experts. Focusing on small changes can keep costs down and result in the updated look you desire - no contractors, architects, or designers required.
Financial missteps of the past can rear their ugly heads at the worst possible times. As you navigate the mortgage process, expect a spotlight to shine on your credit score. This numerical representation of your credit history plays a significant role in loan approval. While the score needed to secure financing on your new home will largely depend on the loan type, e.g., Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, etc., a record of late payments or high credit utilization can limit your financing options.
Rising property values and shrinking inventories make for a competitive housing market. You’ve probably witnessed homes that initially fell within your home buying budget succumb to a bidding war before vanishing from MLS listings, often within days. It can make you question whether homeownership is possible.