Getting A Mortgage When Self-Employed: What You Need To Know

getting-a-mortgage-when-self-employed-what-you-need-to-knowThere is a common misconception that someone who is self-employed will not have the tax records or income necessary to qualify for a mortgage; however, that is not necessarily the case. In reality, if you are self-employed, there are a lot of home loan options available to you. It is true that it might require some additional paperwork and planning, but as long as you have the necessary information, you should be able to qualify for a mortgage. 

What Is Necessary To Qualify For A Self-Employed Mortgage Loan?

If you are interested in taking out a mortgage when you are self-employed, you will be held to the same standards as everyone else. This means that the lender is going to require a solid credit score, a long credit history, a favorable debt-to-income ratio, and enough money to cover the down payment. In addition, you will also have to demonstrate a solid income history, just like everybody else. 

That is where the difference comes into play. A W-2 employee may be able to provide a few pay stubs, but someone who is self-employed may be required to provide up to two years of self-employment income. 

How Do I Maximize My Chances Of Getting Approved?

If you are self-employed and want to maximize your chances of getting approved for a self-employed mortgage, there are a few steps you should take. First, you need to make sure your debt-to-income ratio is as low as possible. That way, you can reduce the risk to the lender. You can also improve your chances by preparing financial documents ahead of time. That might mean including profit and loss statements, two years of tax returns, and 2 years of business taxes if you have them. Do not forget that improving your credit score and putting more money down can improve your chances of getting approved. 

Lengthen Your Income History

Finally, if you are serious about getting approved, lengthen your income history. Show that you are willing to provide a longer track record of income, and the bank will feel better about providing you with a self-employed mortgage loan. That way, you have the financing to purchase the house of your dreams. 

 

What Is A Loan Contingency: An Overview

What Is A Loan Contingency: An OverviewIf you are in the process of looking for a new home, you need to find the right one to meet your needs. Sometimes, you want to learn more about specific properties before you decide if it is right for you. As a result, a lot of prospective buyers will include contingencies in their home offers that may allow them to back out without losing their earnest money. What are a few examples of loan contingencies, and how can you use them to protect yourself during the process? 

Examples Of Common Loan Contingencies

Even if you have agreed on a purchase price for the house, the closing date is probably not going to be for one or two months. This will provide you with time to complete your due diligence and make sure no issues come up. For example, there may be a contingency that allows the closing date to be extended if there are any issues with the financing process through the lender. 

You might also decide to include a contingency clause in case something develops with the home inspection. If something is wrong with the home inspection, you may provide yourself with an opportunity to pull out of the deal without losing your earnest money. 

How A Loan Contingency Clause Protects The Buyer

It is important for buyers to work with real estate agents who understand how loan contingencies work because this is an important protective measure. A contingency clause can protect the buyer because it provides the buyer with a way to back out of the contract without losing his or her earnest money. 

Typically, if the buyer backs out of the contract, he or she will lose his or her earnest money; however, if the buyer backs out for a reason that is protected by the contingency clause, then his or her earnest money might be protected. 

Some Buyers Waive Their Loan Contingency

If the housing market is particularly competitive, and you know you are going to purchase the house no matter what, then you might want to waive your loan contingency as a way to strengthen your offer. On the other hand, keep in mind that waving your loan contingency means sacrificing this important layer of protection. 

 

An Often-Overlooked Trick Can Help You Afford A Second House

An Often-Overlooked Trick Can Help You Afford A Second HouseThe whole idea of investing is to use a portion of your money now to get more down the road. It is important for everyone to diversify their investments, and you might be thinking about buying a second house to do so. Investing in real estate is a goal that a lot of people have, but how can you get started? It was challenging enough to buy your first house, so how can you afford a second one? 

Use A Cash-Out Refinance To Buy Your Second House

One trick that many people overlook is that they can actually conduct a cash-out refinance to purchase a second house. In general, your lender will allow you to cash out up to 80 percent of the value of your home during a cash-out refinance. This can give you a tremendous amount of flexibility that you can use to purchase a second house. For example, if your house is worth $300,000, you may be able to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars in equity.

What To Consider When Using A Cash-Out Refinance

When you apply for a cash-out refinance, there is a chance that the interest rate on your new loan might change. This might mean that you end up with a higher interest rate than before. You must make sure you can afford this new interest rate. Furthermore, you will be required to pay closing expenses. You need to have enough money set aside to cover those closing expenses. Keep in mind that the term of the loan might change as well. If you were close to paying off your house, this type of refinance might reset that clock. It might take you longer to pay off your mortgage than it did before. Consider these factors carefully before conducting a cash-out refinance.

A Cash-Out Refinance Might Be Right For You

In the end, a cash-out refinance could be a great way for you to withdraw equity from your home, using it to purchase an investment property. On the other hand, you need to ensure you can still afford the new loan after you take that equity out of your home. Work with an expert who can help you find the right option to meet your needs.

 

How Do You Actually Write The Check To Buy A House?

How Do You Actually Write The Check To Buy A House?After you have found the right house to meet your needs, you need to make the down payment to complete the transaction. Can you show up at the closing table with a suitcase full of cash? Of course, that would be a bit suspect, so that is not actually how it happens. What do you need to do to actually hand over the funds to buy the house? 

The Down Payment Is Verified Beforehand

First, understand that the down payment is usually verified before you agree to the deal. Your real estate agent will work with you and the seller’s agent to ensure that you actually have the funds needed to buy the house. For example, you might need to send screenshots of your bank balance or investment portfolio as proof that you have the money. Your agent will work with you to ensure your confidential information remains so.

The Funds Are Typically Given Using A Wire Transfer

When it is time for you to complete the actual transaction, the real estate attorney will handle just about everything. The attorney will be responsible for collecting the money from the sale and ensuring that everyone gets the money they are owed. The attorney will provide you with the account information for where you need to wire the money. Prior to the closing date, you need to go to the bank and work with one of their experts to ensure the money is in your account and wired to the correct account destination.

The Real Estate Agent Will Confirm The Process Is Done

It is best not to wait until the last minute to wire the money into the account. Try to do this process ahead of time, and make sure either the attorney or your real estate agent says that the process has been completed. You do not want to run the risk of missing your closing date. If you have questions about the process, make sure you give the attorney’s office plenty of time to respond to you.

Determine Your Budget With The Help Of Your Real Estate Agent

This process is important for making sure you can afford the house you want. Work with your real estate agent to ensure you have the necessary funds for the down payment.

 

House Poor: What It Means And How To Avoid It

House Poor: What It Means And How To Avoid ItThere is a good chance you have heard someone described as being house poor. What exactly does it mean? It is important to understand what it means to be house poor and how you can stay away from it.

House Poor Means Spending A Significant Chunk Of Your Income On Housing

Being house-poor means different things for different people. In general, it means spending a significant amount of your monthly income on recurring expenses related to your house. A few examples include your mortgage, the interest on your mortgage, your property taxes, and HOA expenses. Owning a house can be expensive, and it is important for you to budget carefully. In general, you could not spend more than one-third of your monthly pay on your rent or your mortgage. If you are spending significantly more than this recommendation, you might qualify as house-poor. 

How To Avoid Becoming House-Poor

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can follow if you want to avoid becoming house-poor. First, make sure you budget ahead of time. Understand exactly how much money you can spend on your home, and make every effort to stick to that number. Furthermore, before you purchase a house, make sure you get a home inspection completed. There are a lot of people who have their savings wiped out by unforeseen expenses. If you get an inspection before you buy a house, you can plan for those ahead of time. Finally, make sure you reduce your debt-to-income ratio before you buy a house. That way, you can qualify for the best home loan possible.

Do Not Spend More On Housing Than You Can Afford

In the end, it is critical for you to avoid spending more money on your house than you can afford. Remember that you should not spend more than one-third of your monthly pay on housing. If you do, your budget may be stretched thin and other areas, and you might have a difficult time covering other expenses. Do not hesitate to reach out to an expert who can help you find the right house for yourself and your family.

 

The Most Commonly Forgotten Item On The Home Budget List

The Most Commonly Forgotten Item On The Home Budget ListIf you are in the process of purchasing a home, it is critical for you to make sure that you budget appropriately. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who commonly overlook closing expenses. Even though it is important for you to have enough money for your down payment, you need to make sure you cover closing costs as well. What is included in closing costs, and how much money do you need to budget?

The Recommended Amount

Even though it is tempting to focus on the cost of your house, it is also critical to think about closing expenses. Usually, closing expenses are approximately two percent of the value of your home. For example, if you are planning on purchasing a house for $250,000, your closing expenses will probably be about $5,000; however, there is also a chance that your closing costs could be more or less than that. You should work with a professional who can help you estimate your closing expenses. 

Examples Of Items Included In Closing Costs

As you go through the process of buying your house, there are a lot of moving parts that have to come together to complete the transaction. There are several examples of items that could be included in your closing expenses. For example, you may have to pay an origination fee attached to your loan, and you will have to cover attorney’s fees for the closing attorney as well. You will need to purchase title insurance and conduct a title search, and you might also have to pay for the home inspection and home appraisal. If there is an HOA in the area in which you are buying your house, you may have to pay those when you close on your house as well. You should get a breakdown of these expenses ahead of time.

Ensure You Have Money For Closing Costs

You have worked hard to find the perfect house. You must make sure you have enough money to cover not only the down payment but also your closing expenses. If you have questions about how much money you will have to pay for closing costs, reach out to a professional who can help you. 

 

Pet Safety Checklist

Pet Safety ChecklistMany people view their furry friends as members of the family. If you have pets at home, you need to make sure they are well taken care of. That means taking a closer look at an important pet safety checklist. What are a few of the most important items you need to include on this checklist if you want to make sure your dogs and cats are safe?

Regular Checkups Are Critical

First, you need to make sure that you take your pets to the veterinarian at least once per year. Just as you go to the doctor once per year, your pets need to go to the doctor once per year as well. Regular check-ups are important because the veterinarian could identify issues that you might not otherwise have noticed. In addition, this gives a veterinarian an opportunity to make sure your pets’ vaccinations are up-to-date.

Spay Or Neuter Your Pets

Unless you plan on having kittens or puppies, you also need to make sure that your dogs and cats are spayed and neutered. There are already far too many animals in animal shelters, so if you are not planning on breeding dogs and cats, you do not want to add to the population unnecessarily. There might be opportunities for you to get this operation financed, which could make it more affordable.

Lock Up Unsafe Items

Keep an eye on your home environment as well. Keep a close eye on how much human food you give your dog or cat. There are certain items that are simply not healthy for dogs and cats, and some items could be poisonous. You should also make sure that any cleaning supplies are locked behind a cabinet door. That way, your pets do not ingest anything that could poison them.

Protect Your Furry Friends

These are a few critical steps that you need to take to make sure your dogs and cats are safe. If you are interested in learning more about the steps you can take to protect your furry friends, consider reaching out to a veterinarian who can help you.

Owning vs Renting: Why High Rents Are Worse Than a Mortgage over the Long Term

Owning vs Renting: Why High Rents Are Worse Than a Mortgage over the Long TermIf you’re at the stage in life where home ownership is nearly within your reach, you’re probably wondering whether you should start looking for a home or whether you should just keep renting. Renting is easier, people say, and it gives you more mobility. But over the long term, all that rent money can really add up – and it eventually reaches a point where buying a home is a better deal.

So why is paying a high rent a worse option than buying a house and getting a mortgage? Here’s what you need to know.

Renting Doesn’t Generate Equity

One of the single biggest sources of wealth in the United States is home equity – as you pay down your mortgage, you invest more and more of your money into your property, and it appreciates in value. When you eventually sell that home, you make a profit. The monthly payment is something you’d have to make anyway, whether you rent or own – but when you rent, your monthly rent money lines someone else’s pockets, while when you own, paying down your mortgage actually creates wealth for you.

Renting Doesn’t Give You Access To Homeowner Tax Credits And Deductions

There are all sorts of tax benefits available to homeowners that renters simply can’t access. As a homeowner, you can deduct your mortgage interest from your taxes owing, reducing your taxable income – but there’s no such deduction for renters. You can also deduct property taxes and some closing costs when you buy a home – there are no corresponding tax benefits for renters.

There are also several tax credits available to homeowners that aren’t available to renters. Things like renovations or simply buying a home for the first time can give you tax benefits that renters can’t access.

If You Can Muster Up A Down Payment, Owning Is Cheaper In The Long Run

One of the biggest hurdles keeping young people out of the real estate market is the down payment. It’s not easy, but if you can save up enough money for a down payment, you’re actually better off buying a home than continuing to rent.

According to Trulia, the median home price in metro Houston in Texas is just under $163,000, while the median monthly rent for an apartment is $1,550. That means renting would cost $18,600 per year, while buying a home (assuming a 20% down payment and 30-year term) would cost $9,384 per year in mortgage payments. In other words, owning is about half as expensive as renting in the long run.

Renting may be a good short-term solution, but over the long haul, owning is almost always better. Call a local mortgage professional to learn more.

How To Keep Your Address Private

How To Keep Your Address Private There are not many parts of your life that are private anymore. Today, it is relatively easy for someone to go online and look up your address in just a few minutes. At the same time, there are some people who have an easier time keeping their lives private. Celebrities, public officials, and other people who are frequently in the public light are able to conceal their addresses. Even if you aren’t famous, what do you need to do to hide your address?

Talk To A Real Estate Agent

If you want to keep your address private, the first thing you should do is talk to your real estate agent. There is a great chance that they have worked with someone who wanted to keep their address private in the past, and they can provide you with a list of steps you should take. Make sure the home you purchase is pulled off the MLS quickly. That way, someone has to go to the local Town Hall if they want to look up your home.

Use A Trust

You may also want to consider placing your home in a trust. A trust will specify how your assets are distributed after you pass away. You can use a trust to hide real estate purchases, meaning that only the name of your trust is going to be listed in public records. That way, people cannot find your address by simply looking it up online, as they will simply see your trust represented.

Form An LLC

You may also want to consider forming an LLC, also known as a limited liability company. The vast majority of locations do not restrict LLC ownership. This means that you can set up an LLC, specify the LLC as the owner of the property, and keep your name out of the public light. You may want to reach out to an attorney who can help you form an LLC.

Keep Your Address Hidden

The internet is a powerful tool, but you should not resign yourself to having your address listed online. Consider checking out a few of these options, and reach out to a professional if you would like help hiding your address after you purchase a new house.

 

Lower Your Interest Rate During The First Couple Of Months With A Buydown

Lower Your Interest Rate During The First Couple Of Months With A BuydownIf you are thinking about purchasing a house today, you have probably realized that mortgage rates have increased significantly. This has made it much harder for people to afford home loans, and these higher rates have had an impact on the lender’s business as well. In an effort to make it easier for people to afford a home, you might be able to access something called a buy-down loan or a buy-down mortgage. It could help you save a significant amount of money during the first few months or years of your loan.

How A Buydown Mortgage Works

If you decide to go with a buydown mortgage, your interest rate will be lower for a temporary period of time. For example, it might be two percent lower for the first year, 1.5 percent lower for the second year, and then one percent lower for the third year. It will normalize for the rest of the loan. Because the interest rate is lower, your monthly payments will be smaller for the first few years. This could be an attractive option for a buyer who expects his or her income to go up in the future. Or, this option could be provided by a custom home builder to get more people through the door. 

Who Funds The Buydown Account?

There are different ways a buydown account might be funded. It could be provided by a home builder, or it might be provided by the seller if you are purchasing the house from somebody else. It might even be offered by a mortgage lender that is having a difficult time getting people to sign mortgages. Depending on the current interest rates, there are different options available. For example, some buydowns give you a one percent break for two years, while others might start with a three percent break the first year, dropping by one percent each year until it normalizes.

Is A Buydown Mortgage Right For You?

Like any option, there are pros and cons. If you lower your monthly rate during the first few years, it is possible that the rest of your mortgage might have higher payments than it would otherwise have had. Be sure to talk to a professional who can help you figure out if this is the right option for your needs.