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Category: First-Time Homebuyer

April 14, 2021

Should You Build or Buy Your Next Home?

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.

March 24, 2021

3 Things You Can’t Afford to Ignore During the Mortgage Process

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.

October 23, 2020

Can I Afford a Mortgage?

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.

September 29, 2020

What Are Mortgage Points?

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).

July 14, 2020

What Makes up My Mortgage Payment?

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.

June 08, 2020

3 Foolproof Ways to Remodel on a Budget

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.

May 11, 2020

Shopping for a Home? Improve Your Credit Score First

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.

April 10, 2020

How Credit Affects Your Home Buying 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.

March 26, 2020

Types of Mortgage Loans: A Quick Comparison

If you’re shopping for a new home, figuring out financing options is likely on your to-do list. The earlier you learn about your mortgage choices, the more time you have to prepare financially for closing. While this is good news, it doesn’t make reviewing home loan details feel less intimidating. A vast array of possibilities, lengthy explanations, and confusing terms can make it seem like you’ve enrolled in a college-level finance class against your will.

October 11, 2019

How Student Loans Affect Mortgage Eligibility

A college education is associated with increased earnings, fewer periods of unemployment, and greater job satisfaction.1 However, paying for college without incurring debt remains a challenge. Tuition, fees, and living expenses often surpass the amount set aside in college savings plans or available through federal and state grant programs. For many students, scholarship opportunities are limited, leaving loans as the…

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