After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To Complete

After Closing On A New Home: The Top Tasks To CompleteClosing on a new home is exciting and many people view their closing date as the finish line; however, even after closing a new home, there is still a lot that has to happen. What do new homeowners need to do after closing on a new home?

Mark The Date Of The First Payment

Every homeowner needs to know the first date of the new mortgage payment. They need to get their bank account set up for an automatic draft, or they need to send a physical check by that time. Keep in mind that the first payment might include a partial payment from the prior month as well.

Understand That The Loan Servicer Might Change

Anyone who is sending a physical check needs to be aware that the loan servicer might change. Many banks sell their loans to another entity, which means physical checks might need to go to a new address. 

Watch For Potential Scams In The Mail

Many new homeowners receive a lot of junk mail and deceptive advertisements from scam artists. Anyone who has questions about the information they receive in the mail might want to talk to their real estate agent or lawyer to see what is real or what is fake. Sometimes, people try to sell homeowners on policies they already have, such as home insurance or mortgage insurance.

Make Sure Property Taxes And Homeowners Insurance Are Set-Up

Homeowners also need to make sure their property tax payments and homeowners’ insurance are set up. Often, the lender will escrow these payments, saving homeowners a significant amount of stress. This also means that homeowners need to make sure the lender is taking enough money every month to cover home insurance and property tax bills at the end of the year.

Look Past The Closing Date

These are a few of the most important tasks all new homeowners need to complete after closing on a new home. That way, nothing important gets overlooked, and homeowners are not surprised by anything they receive in the mail. Talk to a real estate or mortgage professional to learn more.

Looking for an Eco-friendly Upgrade? Try These Easy Ways to Save Water Around the Home

Looking for an Eco-friendly Upgrade? Try These Easy Ways to Save Water Around the HomeWith the impact we have on our environment becoming a matter of greater concern, it’s becoming more important for the average citizen to know they’re doing their part. While there are many simple tricks for saving water that will make you feel better about your environmental footprint, here are a few easy upgrades that will make that saving a little more automatic.

Consider a Cistern Device

With outhouses a thing of the past, flushing the toilet has become one of the ways in which household water is being overused the most, but flushing less simply isn’t a viable option. Instead of wasting water in this way, purchase a displacement device and place it in your toilet’s cistern. Without you having to do anything at all, it will instantly reduce the volume of water that is used with each flush.

Learn to Work a Water Meter

It’s ideal to help the environment by saving water, but it’s even better if you can save yourself money at the same time. If you happen to be among those who pay for their water, installing a water meter will enable you to take a closer look at where your water use is going, and can assist you in helping to trim down this expense.

Drain It From the Rain

In the event of an intense downpour, there’s often a lot of water that runs off into the gutter and can’t be absorbed by the grass or the trees. Instead of letting it go to waste, install a water butt to your drainpipe so that you can use the runoff when it’s dry outside to water your plants or even wash your car. There’s no reason that any of the moisture from a good rainfall should have to go to waste.

Invest in Water Efficient Items

From showerheads to washing machines, going energy efficient with your household appliances is becoming quite popular. The next time you have to replace a small appliance or there’s a leak with a household item, consider heading down to the drugstore to look for environmentally friendly options that will instantly reduce your footprint.

With so many options for environmentally friendly items on the market these days, there’s no reason you can’t save water at home with a few easy changes. From making use of the rain that falls to learning to work with a water meter, some simple shifts may make your house the most environmentally friendly one on the block.

The Timeline: Prequalifying To Closing

The Timeline: Prequalifying To ClosingEven though purchasing a new home can be exciting, it can also be stressful. There are a lot of tasks that need to be completed between qualifying for a mortgage and receiving the necessary funds. Therefore, potential homeowners need to understand the timeline so they make sure they are on track to meet their closing dates. What are a few examples of important milestones that have to be accomplished? 

Make An Offer On A Home

After getting pre-qualified for a mortgage, the next step is to make an offer on the right house. An offer on a home has a lot of information. This includes the offer price, the size of the down payment, the name of the closing agent, a targeted closing date, and any closing costs that the buyer wants the seller to pay. If the offer is accepted, it is time to move on to the next step. 

Review The Disclosures On The Mortgage

After having an accepted offer, buyers need to get a mortgage locked in. Important components of a mortgage include the interest rate, the monthly payment, the closing costs, and any prepayment items. A lot of this can be negotiated with the lender, and this mortgage needs to be approved prior to closing. 

Complete The Home Inspection And Appraisal

Buyers will also need to conduct a home inspection and appraisal. In many situations, the lender will set up the appraisal; however, homebuyers need to work with a real estate agent to get a home inspection set up. That way, if there are any major repairs, they can be addressed. 

Renegotiate If Necessary

Based on the appraisal and the inspection, potential home buyers might want to renegotiate the price of the house. Even though it will not necessarily change, homebuyers might want to ask the seller to cover additional repairs that were discovered on the inspection. 

Close On The Home

Finally, after all of this is done, it is time to close on the home. The lender will be responsible for wiring the funds to an attorney, who will disburse the funds to all appropriate parties. From start to finish, this process usually takes about a month.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 11, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 11, 2021Last week’s scheduled economic news included readings on public and private-sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also published.

Non-Farm Payrolls: Jobs Growth Dips Sharply in September

U.S. jobs growth dipped sharply in September according to the federal government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report. 194,000 public and private sector jobs were added and fell far short of the expected reading of 500,000 jobs added. 366,000 public and private sector jobs were added in August. Hiring lagged as continuing concerns over Covid kept workers at home. Less hiring at public schools reduced September’s jobs growth at a time when schools traditionally hire for the upcoming school year.

ADP reported 568,000 private-sector jobs added in September; analysts expected 425,0000 jobs added based on 340,000 private-sector jobs added in August. In related news, the national unemployment rate fell to 4.80 percent in September as compared to August’s jobless rate of 5.20 percent. Analysts expected the national unemployment rate to drop to 5.10 percent in September.

Mortgage Rates Mixed, Jobless Claims Fall

Fixed mortgage rates fell last week as the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell two basis points to 2.99 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by five basis points on average to 2.23 percent. The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages rose by four basis points to 2.52 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages

New and continuing jobless claims fell last week as 326,000 initial jobless claims were filed as compared to the previous week’s reading of 364,000 first-time claims filed. Analysts expected 345,000 initial jobless claim filings. 2.71 million continuing jobless claims were filed last week as compared to the previous week’s reading of 2.81 million ongoing jobless claims filed.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on inflation, retail sales, and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims will also be published.


Baby on the Way? Helpful Advice for Managing a Mortgage With Only One Parent Working

Baby on the Way? Helpful Advice for Managing a Mortgage With Only One Parent WorkingIf you’re dealing with paying off your mortgage and going down to a one-income family, it can be complicated to determine how to financially swing it. However, becoming a parent and managing a mortgage are quite common nowadays with maternity leave and the modern family. While managing a mortgage on just one salary can be a challenge, there are a few simple things you can do to make it work.

Buy The House You Can Afford

It may sound much too simple, but many people get so wrapped up in the concept of a dream home that they forget about what makes the cost of it manageable from month to month. While affordability is important, it becomes even more important when you’re dealing with one income, so ensure you have a monthly payment that you can pay off with one salary. Even if interest rates shift or an emergency comes up, you’ll still be able to handle your monthly payment.

Create A Budget

Budget may very well be the dreaded ‘b’ word when it comes to finances, but there is nothing that’s going to be a better friend to you in managing a one-income mortgage than sticking to it. Instead of leaving your expenses to chance, make sure that you’ve set aside the appropriate funds for your mortgage, groceries, car payments or transportation, necessities and any extras that go along with living. Keep in mind that while starting a budget is good, you may want to schedule weekly meetings to ensure you’re sticking to it.

Maintain An Emergency Fund

Since it may be a struggle to pay off your mortgage and pay for day-to-day life on one salary, it’s important that you’re prepared for any emergencies that come up. Because these will be the things that arise that can sink your budget, like your car breaking down or a window needing to be replaced, you should be setting aside money each month to cover the incidentals. Tossing aside your budget for an emergency can have serious financial implications, so be prepared for what can arise.

It goes without saying that managing a mortgage on one income can be a challenge in this day and age, but this is a situation that many families find themselves in when they decide to have children. If you’re currently trying to determine how you’ll be able to manage your mortgage on one income, contact your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

Exploring Asbestos Prevention And The Top Green Alternatives

Exploring Asbestos Prevention And The Top Green AlternativesHouses across the country come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are older than others, so they might come with aspects that are a bit outdated. Unfortunately, there are a lot of locations where older homes might still have asbestos in them. While this should be something that comes up on the inspection, buyers need to be aware of these serious issues. If the home was built before 1980, there is a major chance that the building might have asbestos in it. Fortunately, there are alternatives to this type of insulation.

Where Is Asbestos Found In The Home?

There are a number of locations where asbestos might be hiding in the home. For example, asbestos is commonly found in the floors, in the pipes, in popcorn ceilings, and even in the roof. It was used throughout the 20th century because it is thin and strong; however, it can easily be inhaled in the lungs, where it can cause severe lung damage. In some cases, it might even cause mesothelioma, which is a severe respiratory condition that usually has a poor prognosis.

What To Do About Asbestos In The Home

If there is asbestos in the home, or if there are concerns, a home inspector needs to come and take a look at the situation. He or she will be able to recommend the best course of action. If the asbestos is not removed correctly, the fibers could be tossed into the air, where they might harm other people. In many cases, the asbestos needs to be removed by a contractor who has specific training to remove it safely. The most important thing for homeowners to remember is that they need to work with a licensed professional.

Exploring Potential Green Alternatives To Asbestos Insulation

Now, there are new construction practices that use alternatives to asbestos. For example, lcynene, cellulose, and cotton fiber could be used as green alternatives to asbestos. They are a healthy alternative and they could help homeowners reduce their energy expenses. Homeowners need to work with professionals who can help them save money and protect their health when it comes to the insulation in their homes. There are multiple green options available.

Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time Homebuyer

Getting Your Mortgage Application Approved As A Self-Employed, First-Time HomebuyerA significant number of people are self-employed, which means they might be relying on this income to apply for a mortgage. It is true that people who are self-employed may face additional challenges when trying to get approved for a home loan when compared to someone with traditional W2 income, these are obstacles that can be overcome. With the right qualifications and documentation, even first-time homebuyers who are self-employed should be able to qualify for the home loan they need.

Lenders Assess Someone’s Ability To Repay The Loan

First, lenders are trying to make sure the person will repay the loan. Lenders believe that someone with W2 income has a stable job and a guaranteed salary, which means they are more likely to repay the loan; however, someone who is self-employed has other ways of demonstrating that he or she can repay the loan. Self-employed individuals can use tax returns, payroll receipts, and records from financial institutions that serve as documentation of the applicant’s income or assets. This means standard W2 forms and pay stubs might no longer be necessary.

Navigating Eligibility Requirements

Next, self-employed individuals need to meet the eligibility requirements. This includes two years of self-employment, a reliable income, a strong credit score with a clean credit report, cash for a down payment, and a low debt to income ratio. It is possible for a first-time homebuyer to get a loan for less than five percent down; however, closing costs can be significant. Realistically, first-time homebuyers should plan on spending close to five percent of the home’s value to get approved for a first-time home loan.

Understanding Mortgage Options

Finally, self-employed first-time homebuyers should be aware that there are multiple loan options available. For example, there are FHA and VA loans for those who qualify. USDA loans and jumbo loans might also be an option. There are bank statement mortgages and conventional options available as well. Self-employed individuals might have to visit several of these programs to see which ones work the best. The programs vary in terms of their down payment, minimum credit score, and credit history requirements. It is prudent to work with a professional loan officer who has experience helping self-employed, first-time homebuyers get approved.

The Top Benefits Of Having Mortgage Debt

The Top Benefits Of Having Mortgage DebtThe vast majority of people need to take out a loan to purchase a home. While there are many forms of debt that people would rather avoid, some types of debt can actually be a positive. This includes mortgage debt. What are a few of the top benefits of having mortgage debt?

Access To Extra Liquidity

One of the biggest benefits of having mortgage debt is that homeowners will have access to more liquid cash. If someone spends all of their money buying a house in cash, they might not have anything left over to cover other expenses. Examples include deaths in the family, medical bills, and repairs on cars and the house itself. Many people like to have access to extra liquid cash, and they are willing to take out a mortgage to do it.

The Payments Do Not Change

It is entirely possible that someone’s income will go up during the life of the mortgage. Even if someone’s income goes up, the size of the mortgage payments will not change. The payments might stay the same size for 30 years, which could make the house more affordable. The same cannot be said of rent payments, which usually go up every time the contract is renewed. 

Access To Tax Deductions

Homeowners have access to a significant tax deduction. This comes in the form of mortgage interest. Even though it is important for everyone to meet with a trained tax professional to go over their taxes, the interest attached to a mortgage is usually tax-deductible. This can be a significant tax advantage for homeowners.

A Better Credit Score

It is critical for all homeowners to make sure they make their mortgage payments on time. In doing so, the homeowner’s credit score will go up. People might not think that their credit scores matter much after taking out a home loan, but this could make a difference when applying for car loans or future home loans. Therefore, having a long track record of on-time mortgage payments can make a major difference.

Take Advantage Of Mortgage Debt

These are a few of the top benefits of having mortgage debt. All homeowners need to leverage these benefits for their financial gain down the road.


What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – October 4, 2021

What's Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week - October 4, 2021Last week’s economic reporting included readings from S&P Case Shiller Home Price Indices, the National Association of Realtors®’ report on pending home sales, and the University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index for September. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims were also released.

S&P Case-Shiller Reports 4th Consecutive Month of Record Home Price Growth

July Home Prices grew at a year-over-year pace of 19.70 percent as compared to June’s home price growth rate of 18.70 percent according to S&P Case-Shiller’s National Home Price Index.

The S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index reported that July home prices grew by 19.90 percent year-over-year; 17 of 20 cities posted higher home price growth rates in September than in August. The top three home price growth rates in the 20-City Home Price Index were held by Phoenix, Arizona at 32.40 percent; San Diego, California home prices grew by 27.80 percent, and Seattle, Washington home prices grew by 25.50 percent year-over-year in September.

Craig Lazzara, managing director and global head of investment strategy for S&P Dow Jones Indices, said “The last several months have been extraordinary not only in the level of price gains but in the consistency of gains across the country.” This differed from the traditional pattern of rapid home price growth in high-demand coastal metro areas as the covid pandemic drove homebuyers to seek out less congested and less expensive metro areas.

Pending home sales rose by 8.10 percent in August according to the National Association of Realtors® and far exceeded analyst expectations of 1.20 percent growth and July’s reading of -1.80 percent growth in pending home sales. Pending home sales are sales for which purchase contracts are signed, but the transactions are not completed. Real estate pros and mortgage lenders use pending home sales to predict future home sales and loan closings.

Mortgage Rates, Initial Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates last week as the yield on 10-Year Treasuries rose. The average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose by 13 basis points to 3.01 percent; rates for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages also rose by 13 basis points and averaged 2.28 percent. Rates for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 2.48 percent and five basis points higher. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages; 0.60 percent for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages and 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

Initial jobless claims increased to 362,000 first-time claims filed from the previous week’s reading of 351,000 new claims filed. Ongoing jobless claims decreased to 2.80 million continuing claims filed as compared to the prior week’s reading of 2.82 million continuing jobless claims filed.

The University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index rose to an index reading of  72.8 in September from August’s reading of 71.0. Analysts expected no change from August’s reading. 

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reporting includes readings on public and private sector jobs, the national unemployment rate, and weekly readings on mortgage rates and jobless claims.


Understanding the Reverse Mortgage and How to Best Use This Unique Financial Tool

Understanding the Reverse Mortgage and How to Best Use This Unique Financial ToolIf you’ve studied the real estate market recently, you’ve probably heard about the reverse mortgage. This unique tool is a financial arrangement designed for senior citizens who have limited incomes and want to use the equity in their homes to meet their everyday expenses. And although it’s becoming increasingly popular, few homeowners truly understand it.

So how does a reverse mortgage work, and when is it appropriate for a homeowner to get one? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Reverse Mortgage?

A reverse mortgage is a loan that uses your home equity as collateral – essentially, you borrow money against the value of your home. But unlike home equity loans, you don’t have to repay a reverse mortgage until you sell your home or are no longer able to meet the terms of the reverse mortgage. If you’ve paid off your home in full, a reverse mortgage can be a great source of income if you don’t have other income streams to rely on.

However, there are tight restrictions around who can quality for a reverse mortgage. To receive a reverse mortgage, you must be at least 62 years old and you must use the property in question as your primary residence. You also need to have equity in your home – you can’t owe more on the property than it’s worth.

The Benefits and Risks of This Arrangement

A reverse mortgage is a fast and easy way to access funds. The most popular kind – a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage – is a federally insured reverse mortgage that offers strong borrower protection. Most reverse mortgages don’t have any income requirements or monthly payments, and they can provide elderly seniors with a much-needed supplemental income.

Reverse mortgages can be risky. The processing fees can be high as 5% of your home’s value. If you spend the funds irresponsibly and miss property tax or homeowners insurance payments, your reverse mortgage may come due.

How to Make a Reverse Mortgage Work for You

The best way to use a reverse mortgage is to take it in the form of a variable-rate line of credit. And according to the AARP, longer loan terms are better – especially if you may need long-term care.

A reverse mortgage can be a great tool for meeting your expenses if you’re beyond your working years. But it also carries some risks, which is why you’ll want to make sure you have a thorough plan for how you’ll use the funds. Contact your trusted mortgage professional to learn more about reverse mortgages and if they will work for you.