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March 26th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Choosing the right home loan

One of the most important decisions you’ll make during the home-buying process is choosing how you will finance your new home. Several options are available, and factors such as down payment percentage and your credit score are important considerations.

One popular mortgage option is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) home loan. This type of loan is most frequently obtained by first-time homebuyers or individuals with less than excellent credit. Find out if an FHA loan is right for you by reading the following summary.

What is an FHA loan?
FHA is a government agency operating as part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It aims to promote access to homeownership and maintain stability in the housing market. The FHA was initially created by congress in 1934 and is currently the largest mortgage insurer in the world. The FHA program was established as a New Deal program during the Great Depression. Although often referred to as an FHA loan, the FHA doesn’t actually borrow the money to lend to home buyers. Instead, the FHA insures mortgages that meet a set of standards. By insuring the mortgage, buyers are able to obtain better terms and conditions than they would had they taken out a private mortgage. For a loan to be FHA-backed, it needs to come from a private lender authorized to deal in FHA mortgages.
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March 12th, 2015 at 12:00 pm

Second home questions

Choosing to buy your first home is a monumental decision, if you’re considering buying a second home, put as much thought and care into that decision as you did the first time around. As a seasoned homeowner, you know the work that comes along with owning your home. Consider if you’ll be prepared to make the same commitment with a second home. To help you determine what’s best for you, we’ve put together a few questions to consider before you make the leap into second home ownership.

  1. Why do you want to buy?

What is your motivation for a second home? Is it a vacation home, potential rental opportunity, or maybe a place to retire? By defining your motivation, you’ll be able to find a home that is suitable to your needs.

  1. How will you pay (cash or financing)?

Buying a second home is financially different than buying your first home. Typically, you’ll need a considerable down payment in order to buy. Lenders may require up to 25 percent down.

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February 26th, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Home appraisal process

Most buyers and sellers know a home appraisal is required as part of a real estate transaction. Not all of them realize, however, that the appraisal’s results pretty much run the show. The only exception is an all-cash deal.

An appraisal is an unbiased professional opinion of a home’s worth. In all 50 states, home appraisers are required by law to be licensed or certified. Each appraisal encompasses a variety of factors. Typical data for a single-family home include recent sale prices of similar properties nearby, amenities, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, floorplans, and condition of the property’s interior and exterior. Proximity to transportation and the community’s school district might even be factored in. Appraisers consider these and other information to determine the home’s fair-market value.
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February 12th, 2015 at 4:00 pm

final walkthrough checklist

The final walkthrough is an exciting time for homebuyers. At this point, you’re close to becoming a homeowner. Don’t let the joy and prospect of owning a new home let you forget the importance of a final walkthrough. Be sure you’re taking a careful look around your property. During a final walkthrough you can determine if repairs have been completed and confirm that the property is in adequate condition. To help guide you through the final walkthrough, we’ve put together this checklist. Print it out and bring with when you’re ready to inspect your property.
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January 20th, 2015 at 10:00 am

Foreclosure

When it comes to getting a mortgage, your credit history has a lot to do with whether you will qualify and what type of interest rates you’ll get. If you’ve foreclosed on a house in the past, the challenges of getting a mortgage are increasingly difficult, although not impossible. Typically, to get a new home you’ll be required to wait somewhere between one and seven years.

Your lender will start the process by looking at your credit history, credit rating, and how long it’s been since your foreclosure. There is no official timeline for how long you have to wait; rather, the amount of time depends primarily on your financial state. The loan type you apply for will also make a difference. Some loans are more forgiving than others.
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