Want To Save Big Dollars? Pay Your Mortgage Bi-Weekly

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river2We get it. No one really enjoys making a mortgage payment each month. But here’s a secret: You can shorten the length of your mortgage loan without refinancing your loan to a shorter term.

You simply have to make bi-weekly payments.

Here’s how this works: Normally, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments a year, one each month. If you owe $1,000 on your mortgage each month, you’ll make 12 mortgage payments for a total of $12,000 a year. But if you split your payment into bi-weekly payments, you’ll pay $500 every two weeks.

This pays off in a big way: Because there are 52 weeks in a year, you’ll make 26 bi-weekly payments. That is equal to making 13 monthly payments in a year. That’s right, with the bi-weekly mortgage payment, you’d make one extra mortgage payment each year than you would when paying 12 standard monthly payments.

Bi-weekly payments reduce the payoff time of your mortgage loan. The number of months you chop off your mortgage varies depending on the size, interest rate and length of your loan. If you are paying off a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan of $180,000 with an interest rate of 4%, you’ll pay off your loan in 25 years and 11 months, eliminating four years and one month of payments. That means you’ll also save more than $20,000 in interest during the life of your loan.

Those are some compelling reasons to consider a bi-weekly payment plan. Call us today if you are interested. We’ll walk you through the process and help you make the right decision for your financial situation.

Categories: Mortgage, Mortgage 101, Mortgage choice, Mortgage ideas, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, mortgage rates, Mortgages, MPP mortgage, Uncategorized, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods

HEAVENLY Why You Don’t Need An Angelic Credit Score To Get A Loan Today

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You can get a Wilmington NC mortgage loan today even if your past financial habits have been more devilish than angelic.Here’s a look at the steps you can take this year to boost your odds to qualify for a home loan, even if your three-digit credit score isn’t as sky-high as you’d like.

Boost your income, cut your debts: The most important guideline associated with the new Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule might be the one relating to your monthly income and debts. According to the QM rules, a mortgage can only be considered a qualified one if borrowers’ total monthly debts—including their estimated new mortgage payment—equal no more than 43% of their gross monthly income.

So if you want to convince lenders that you’re a good risk, work to improve your debt-to-income ratio. You can do this by either boosting your monthly income or eliminating some of your monthly debts. The lower this ratio is, the more attractive you’ll look to mortgage lenders, even if your credit score isn’t perfect.

Consider An FHA Loan: A mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) does come with some extra costs. But it also comes with some big benefits for credit-challenged consumers. You can qualify for an FHA loan even if your FICO credit score is as low as 500. Of course, a higher score is better. If your score is at least 580, you can take out an FHA loan with a required down payment of just 3.5% of your home’s final purchase price. If your credit score is under 580 but at least 500, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but you’ll need a down payment of at least 10% of your home’s purchase price.

Your credit score makes a big difference in how much down payment is required. Consider a home that costs $150,000. A down payment of 10% will cost you $15,000. One of just 3.5%, though, will cost you a much more affordable $5,250.

Be Willing To Pay More In Interest: Mortgage lenders generally reserve their lowest interest rates for those borrowers whose FICO credit scores are 740 or higher. If your score is lower, though, this doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a mortgage loan, but you will have to pay a higher interest rate. If your score is 740, for example, you might qualify for an interest rate of 4.25% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loan of $200,000. But if your FICO score is just 640, you might have to take an interest rate of 5.5%—or higher—on the same loan. A higher interest rate will mean a higher monthly mortgage payment.

If your interest rate on that 30-year fixed-rate loan of $200,000 is 4.25%, you’ll pay about $983 each month in interest and principal. (This doesn’t include any money you’ll pay each month for property taxes and homeowners insurance.) If your interest rate on the same loan stood at 5.5%, your monthly payment—minus insurance and taxes—would be about $1,135.

Boost That Score: If your score is too low, of course, you will struggle to qualify for a home loan. But you can take steps to boost that score. Pay all your bills on time. Reduce your credit-card debt. If you gradually build a solid credit history, your score will rise. Just be patient. Boosting a credit score isn’t complicated, but it does take time. Expect to spend at least nine months to move your weak credit score high enough so that you’ll look like an angel to mortgage lenders.

Categories: Mortage options, Mortgage, Mortgage 101, Mortgage ideas, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, Mortgages, Uncategorized, wilmington nc real estate, Wilmington NC real estate stats 2014

What are some typical closing costs? | Wilmington NC real estate

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Cash In HandWhen you apply for a mortgage, the lender must respond with a Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs, which explains the costs you will likely have to pay at settlement. But the numbers on the form are estimates, and the final tally could be higher or lower.

Some of the more common charges are:

  • Loan Origination Fee: usually 1% of the loan;
  • Loan Discount Points: a form of accelerated interest; each point is 1% of the loan amount (who pays points is negotiable between buyer and seller);
  • Appraisal Fee: the charge to have a professional appraiser certify the value of the property being purchased;
  • Credit Report: the cost of getting a credit history from a credit service;
  • Tax Service Fee, Document Preparation Fee: charges to set up a tax escrow account and prepare mortgage documents;
  • Attorney Fees: the settlement agent’s charges for processing the sale closing;
  • Title Insurance: charges for insurance to guarantee the validity of the property’s title for the lender; buyers can also purchase title insurance at settlement to protect their interests;
  • Recording Fees, Tax Stamps: local charges to officially record the deed and mortgage, and transfer taxes;
  • Survey: the charge to verify the boundaries of the property being purchased.
  • Call us, we can help do a net sheet on your costs.
Categories: Mortage options, Mortgage options, Mortgage points, Mortgages, Wilmington NC Neighborhoods, wilmington real estate stats

Tips On What To Do IF Your Home Isn’t Selling | Wilmington NC real estate

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What to do if your home isn’t selling……

  Whether you’re in a bone-dry market or a sizzling selling season, if you haven’t received any offers on your home you’re probably facing the question of what to do.  A house that goes too long without selling begins to appear “stale” and can actually damage your future chances of a sale.

In Wilmington NC, how long is too long? It’s not an exact science, but there are some helpful indicators. In a dry market, a sales period of six months to one year isn’t unusual. Look at recent sales reports of similar homes nearby to determine a reasonable selling interval. In a hot seller’s market, a house that hasn’t sold within one month indicates a problem. In either case, there are several steps you can take before putting up the white flag.

Tips to improve your selling karma

  • Videotape your house, inside and out, and watch the tape as if you were a prospective buyer. Is the lawn weedy or the garden bare? Is your home uncluttered and spotlessly scrubbed? Sparkling-clean houses sell faster than those that look too lived-in or show an abundance of the owner’s personality.
  • Take a second look at your listing price. Visit open houses in your neighborhood. Are similar homes priced lower? Selling prices may have dropped since your first comparative market analysis. If you haven’t sold your home within one month, chances are good that you’ve overpriced it. If you do lower your asking price, consider a figure slightly below those of other comparable homes if you are interested in a speedy sale.
  • Do whatever it takes to be away from your home during showings and open houses. The presence of sellers makes it difficult for prospective buyers to take their time or talk openly with their partner and agent. Leave some treats out to make potential buyers more comfortable: beverages, nuts, cookies — anything that won’t lose freshness or be too messy.
  • Pay close attention to feedback from showings. The feedback can guide you in making home repairs, toning down your décor, making landscaping improvements and the like.
  • You can offer perks to buyers, such as a cash bonus, closing costs or buy down the interest rate to lower monthly payments. You could also consider creative owner financing.
  • Neutralize your color scheme. Most buyers prefer pale, neutral colors that make it easier to imagine a new home as their own. Houses with white exteriors are the highest sellers; for interiors, try whites, off-whites or pale grays.
  • Expose hardwood floors and buff them until they shine. It’s amazing how many buyers will not even look at a house without hardwood floors.
  • If you have dogs, cats, old carpeting, mildew or smoke problems chances are that a potential buyer may be offended by the odor. Ventilate the home and invest in an air-cleaning and deodorizing product to remove odors. Another option is a cleaning product with living enzymes that consume the odor causing agents and remove the smell permanently.
  • Staging your home is one of the very best ways to sell your home the quickest and for top dollar. Staging sets the scene throughout the home to create immediate buyer interest in the property. The way you live in your home and the way you sell your house are two different things. One idea is to pack up several large pieces of furniture and as much clutter in each room as possible. Don’t just shift to another room or garage- rent storage space and get it out of the house before showing.
  • Pay attention to lighting. Make sure light sources are clean. Cleaning them isn’t enjoyable, but the sparkling lighting will pay off. You may even increase the brightness factor of your rooms by adding brighter bulbs, or by placing accent lamps or cabinet lighting. Be sure and pull back the curtains and lift the blinds. For the best effect, use a balance of natural, overhead, and table or floor lighting
  • Try readjusting your sights. Determine the lowest price you find acceptable, and consider anything more as icing on the cake. In a longstanding dry market you may even have to sell at a loss, so it’s important to take every offer seriously. You don’t want to alienate a potential buyer who has solid financing because you’ve set your sights unrealistically high.
  • If the market is underwater, consider offering an increased commission or a bonus for your listing agent as extra incentive. If you do sweeten the pot for your agent, amend your listing contract to reflect the change, and be sure it’s added to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS)  — buyer agents will also be inspired to give your house extra attention.

For more information or to search Wilmington NC real estate, please visit our site www.cbaker.com

 

 

 

 

Categories: Home Selling, Mortgages, New Hanover county shcools, Waterfront Wilmington NC, waterfront wrightsville beach, wilmington nc real estate

Mortgage :: Insider’s Guide To The Latest Home-Loan Opportunities

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wilmington nc real estateMortgage lending is a continually changing industry. Here are some of the more recent changes in regulations, practices and products. Lenders Welcome Borrowers With Open Arms.

In Wilmington NC, affordable interest rates mean more people can qualify to buy a first home or move to a bigger home, and lenders are reaching out to make mortgages more attractive. Some lenders even sweeten the pot with low (or even no) closing costs. Recently, best buys have been 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. In many cases, the rates for these loans have been just above adjustable rate mortgage initial rates, which are low for a short period of time, then adjust (rise or fall) with the market. 

FHA Changes Mean Help For More Buyers

Changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) mortgage program opened FHA up to many more potential home buyers. Home buyers with an FHA-insured single-family home loan may now finance 100% of the closing costs on the loan. Previously, FHA allowed home buyers to finance only 57% of the closing costs, which added hundreds of dollars to the up-front cash home buyers need for settlement.A second important change to FHA was raising the maximum loan amount in high-cost areas and linking the maximum to local housing costs. The FHA’s mortgage limit varies by location and property type, depending on home prices in an area and the number of units in the property. In addition, FHA has higher limits in Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands because these are considered to be high-cost areas. You can check the current FHA loan limit in your area by going online to: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/hicostlook.cfm

Now borrowers will have to put down 3% of the first $25,000 of the loan amount; 5% of the loan amount between $25,001 and $125,000; and 10% of the loan amount above $125,000.

These changes will interest higher-end buyers in FHA loans and make FHA more accessible to those whom the program is primarily intended to serve — prospective buyers who do not qualify for conventional financing. Traditionally, FHA has served buyers who have lower incomes, make smaller down payments and purchase less expensive homes.

More Good News For Loan Shoppers

{short description of image}Federal regulation now mandates that mortgage brokers itemize all fees they receive to originate or close a loan.Previously, brokers were allowed to lump miscellaneous charges and premiums into a general fees category, which made it nearly impossible to comparison-shop lender fees. The law applies only to mortgage brokers, not mortgage bankers. Fees really do add up, so when loan shopping, ask up-front for an itemized breakdown of lender fees.

Mortgage Help For First-Time Buyers

An exciting Fannie Mae program may help open the door to home ownership for low- and moderate-income buyers.The Community Home Buyers Program allows for slightly more debt when qualifying for a loan than standard mortgage plans.

Although this program requires a 5% down payment, borrowers can make the down payment with as little as 3% of their money and up to 2% from a family gift or loan from a government or nonprofit agency. In addition, the Community Home Buyers Program waives the common requirement that borrowers have two months’ worth of mortgage payments in savings after closing.

There are special requirements to qualify: Borrowers must attend a series of home-buyer education classes and the borrower’s income must not exceed 115% of the median income in the area. For more information: Fannie Mae, Public Information Office, 3900 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016 or call (800) 732-6643.

Computer Programs Rate Borrowers

There’s a relatively new twist in mortgage lending. Recently, lenders have started to replace traditional underwriter’s judgements on an applicant’s creditworthiness with a computerized credit rating called “credit scoring.”Both ways of assessing a potential borrower’s ability to pay back the loan — the underwriter’s judgements and credit scoring — rely on much the same information: salary history, credit history from credit reporting companies, ratio of debts-to-income, etc. But credit scoring uses a computer program designed to predict who will default on a loan. It assigns a numerical score to each factor and then adds them up. Credit scoring is objective and designed to uncover hidden problems. For this reason, credit-scoring programs may assign more importance to some factors that the underwriters might overlook.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these new lending procedures, call or e-mail us. We’ll be happy to assist you.

 

Categories: Mortage options, Mortgage options, Mortgages, wilmington beach homes, Wilmington NC homes, wilmington nc real estate

What is the difference between loan pre-approval and pre-qualification? Wilmington NC

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Checkbook When looking at Wilmington NC real estate, pre-approval and pre-qualification are steps you can take to line up your mortgage loan before you start house hunting. They are different, so read on:

Pre-approval:

  • is actually applying for, and getting, a conditional commitment for a mortgage loan up to a specific amount of money.
  • is usually good for 60-90 days.
  • applies, even though you might not have chosen the home you will buy.
  • often requires a loan application fee.
  • gives you bargaining power, because it tells the seller you are ready to buy and able to get financing.

Pre-qualification:

  • is the result of a lender taking a cursory look at the buyer’s income, credit history and assets.
  • states the buyer probably could afford to buy up to a certain limit.
  • does not include a loan commitment.
  • tells sellers you’re serious about buying and their house is in your price range.
  • usually costs no more than the credit report fee.

Some advantages of pre-qualification and pre-approval are:

  • A pre-approval or pre-qualification can speed closing because the paperwork for the loan has already been started.
  • You will begin learning about the financing process, and any problems that might arise can be resolved early.
  • You know in advance how much you can borrow.
  • Your offer is more attractive to the seller, because the seller won’t have to guess about whether you can afford the house.

Where do you begin when it’s time to look for a new house? Start by calling or e-mailing us with your home-buying questions. We can give you an idea of how much home you can afford to buy, then you can follow up with your local lender.

For more helpful hints, we invite you to visit http://www.cbbaker.com
Categories: Mortgages, Pre-Approval, wilmington nc real estate, wilmington nc relocation, Wilmington nc schools, wilmington real estate stats


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Copyright © 2017 Wilmington NC Real Estate Guide. All rights reserved. Disclaimer: All content on this blog is my own opinion and should not be treated as fact or relied upon when purchasing or selling real estate.