Tag Archives: Mortgage

Getting a Wheatfield Mortgage is a Detailed Endeavor

Buying a Wheatfield home can’t help but be about as thrilling a purchase as you can make, whether you’re a first time buyer or an experienced homeowner. ‘Buying’ a Wheatfield mortgage, on the other hand…well, the experience may be slightly less exciting, but if your team has managed to secure a good one, it’s actually a comparable accomplishment.

In the same way that it’s the features and condition of your new Wheatfield home that give it extra value, there are multiple elements of a local mortgage that make signing on the dotted line an action you look back on with satisfaction. Having a knowledgeable Realtor® on your side is one part of making sure that happens—knowing how the process works, familiarizing yourself with the terms involved, and fully comprehending the significance of the paperwork elements is the other part. Here is a brief overview of the key elements that come into play:

· Being 100% clear about the financial terms prior to signing is the primary order of business. How much you will be paying each month, how much your interest rate is, whether it is fixed or variable, what additional costs accompany your Wheatfield mortgage—this is the ‘meat-and-potatoes’ of your loan.

· An application fee is the charge that covers the lender’s costs for processing your application. This sometimes includes the credit report and property appraisal—you’ll want to know whether these fees were included as part of your application fee.

· An appraisal fee is included to make sure your home is professionally appraised (it may or may not be part of the application fee).

· A loan origination fee includes the additional expenditures associated with your application. It’s usually presented as a percentage (point) of the loan amount.

· Title insurance covers the title search that investigates whether the property is lien-free. This also covers the legal recording costs, and indemnifies against legal costs for defending the property from future claims. It can sometimes pay to comparison shop between title companies.

· Other amounts may also be included: if, for instance, you and the seller have agreed upon certain things, those details will be listed and costs added onto the total of your Wheatfield mortgage. Property taxes and insurance may also be prorated and included in the monthly payment.

Before the closing, expect to receive a HUD-1 form—the federally-mandated settlement statement that lists all fees, charges and costs. If there is a problem, this is the time to address it. And keep this and the other papers in a safe place…and remember where they are! You’ll save time later, because some of them may be required in future financial dealings. You will also receive a final Truth-in-Lending statement, a mortgage note, and a Deed of Trust. It’s important to make sure all the due dates are clearly understood—it’s not a bad idea to list them on your own personal “To Do” sheet to keep track for your own reference.

If you are thinking of buying a home in Wheatfield this summer, it’s time to get pre-qualified now.  Contact us for an introduction to an experienced mortgage broker—then we can get started with the fun part: finding your future home!

Niagara Falls Home Sellers May Benefit from New U.S. Mortgage Rules

U.S. Backs Off Tight Mortgage Rules” screamed the top headline on the front page of The Wall Street Journal last week. For Niagara Falls mortgage shoppers, it could scarcely have been better news. Probably.

‘Probably’ because any change is not yet a done deal, but it’s hard to see what will derail the likely full reverse of the federal establishment’s years-long tight home loan policy. Why is this suddenly in the cards? The full answer is complicated, but here is a quick (admittedly over-simplified) summary of what’s been happening to Niagara Falls mortgage applicants—and what probably lies ahead.

The ongoing real estate recovery has been less of a boon to banks (including Niagara Falls’ mortgage originators) than to other participants because of tightened lending guidelines. Since the economic meltdown had been triggered by the crash of too many ‘easy money’ mortgages that had been repackaged and sold to Wall Street investors, regulators created mortgage guidelines that were much stricter.

Although borrowers found it harder to qualify for mortgages, at the same time, the Federal Reserve held interest rates at such bargain-basement levels real estate sales hummed. But first-time borrowers found it hard to qualify.

But lately, observers of the national scene have been worrying. Over the past months, the gradual cooling of real estate activity may have been welcome in the sense that the torrid rate of activity had slowed from an unsustainable pace—but some economists began to fret. Even though there was still some growth, now there wasn’t enough—and that could stall the recovery for the whole economy.

Washington has decided to listen to the worrywarts: hence last week’s WSJ headline story. It reported on the first speech delivered by Mel Watt, the new boss of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants whose policies largely guide what happens when you apply for a Niagara Falls mortgage.

Among a number of other rules, there had been in place a basic guideline calling for minimum 20% down payments (and punishing repercussions for banks who didn’t agree). But one result came as a surprise to regulators: lenders were newly fearful of requirements that might penalize them for even reasonable loans that went bad, so they became even tougher than the guidelines! Real estate loans began to dry up. It had been hoped that private lenders would take the place of Fannie and Freddie, allowing the government to gradually back out of its leading role. But the lenders sat on their wallets.

Of his decision to lighten up on credit barriers, Mr. Watt explained that he hoped “that lenders will start operating more inside the credit box that Fannie and Freddie” provide. In other words, that mortgage originators will add to the easing effect by hewing to the guidelines instead of exceeding them. If so, we can expect an influx of long-frustrated first-time homebuyers.

If you have been thinking of offering your own Niagara Falls NY home for sale anytime soon, that should be a most encouraging development!

Lewiston Mortgage Rates May Rise—But You Can Still Save!

 Mortgage rates may rise or fall this spring (lately they seem to be falling!)—but that needn’t prevent you from saving even more money when it’s time to structure your own Lewiston mortgage. The underpublicized fact is that mortgage rates are only one of the factors that affect how much you wind up paying. No matter what happens to mortgage rates in 2014, here are some keys to making mortgage decisions that result in significant savings:

Tailor the term

 Evaluate your budget and see whether it is possible to increase the amount of your monthly payment. By increasing monthly repayments, you reduce the term of your Lewiston mortgage. Over the course of the loan, this can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Refinance for five years instead of two

 The interest you pay on a refi loan isn’t the only cost. The origination and other fees can easily end up costing four figures. It’s a numbers game: simply calculate the anticipated savings from refinancing, then subtract the amount of the fees. The difference tells you your net savings…and demonstrates why one of the easiest ways to grow those savings is to refinance less frequently.

Change to biweekly  

 Changing to biweekly payments instead of monthly payment can save you more than small change. The reason is on the calendar: there are 52 weeks in a year, but only 12 months. If you make 26 1/2 payments every year, that equates to 13 monthly payments. It’s a stealthy way to make an additional month’s payment every year without really noticing it. When choosing a loan, opt for one where the bank allows you to choose biweekly payments (as long as they don’t want to charge an additional fee). Also request that the extra payments be deducted from the principle.

Improve your credit score

 On this count, every mortgage guru sounds like a broken record. Although the average quoted mortgage rate may rise or fall, that’s not necessarily the rate that you pay. Your FICO score is the primary determinant of your Lewiston NY mortgage rate. The difference between a good FICO score and a bad one can be significant, so get a copy of your credit card record and challenge any damaging inaccuracies. Lenders want to see a long history of paying on time with a mixed use of credit.

 Mortgage rates in Lewiston will almost certainly increase in the future because they’re still well under historical averages. But there are plenty of steps you can take to cut thousands of dollars from your ultimate Lewiston mortgage costs. And if you are ready to buy a house in Lewiston this spring, contact us today—We’re ready to show you what’s coming up at your price point!

Some Lewiston Jumbo Mortgages Go Mini

We call them oxymorons: terms with built-in contradictions. George Carlin made fun of ‘jumbo shrimp’; Jerry Seinfeld pointed out the unlikelihood of anything being ‘found missing’ or ‘clearly misunderstood.’

But for some Lewiston homebuyers, there is more reason to smile than laugh over the new popularity of a formerly miniscule part of the home loan market: what I call ‘mini jumbo’ mortgages.

That’s not the name Wall Street Journal writer Lisa Selin Davis used in a fascinating article in their Mansion section earlier this month. She called them ‘starter jumbo’ loans in a nod to their popularity among younger, upwardly-mobile borrowers. But whether you call them that, mini jumbo mortgages, or just jumbo mortgages, Lewiston, NY homebuyers may well find increasing availability for home loans above the Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae limits—but still under $1 million.

“Loans at the lower end of the jumbo market are on the rise,” writes Davis, “…driven…primarily [by] the rebounding real-estate market.” Although the issuing of higher-ticket jumbo loans has been on a slight decline since the start of the year, those between $417,000 and $625,000 have jumped from 19% of jumbo loans in 2009 to a full 29% last year.

Corelogic echoes the theme, pointing to the fact that sales of homes between $800,000 and $1 million rose more than 32% from 2012 to 2013. “It’s the safest and most popular part of the market,” according to the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance; pointing to their appeal both to buyers and lenders.

Lenders see mini jumbo mortgages as a good way to attract new borrowers. Bank of America, who reports that 75% of its jumbo loans were under the million dollar mark, recently lowered its minimum down payment requirement from 20% to 15% to attract such loans.

And for borrowers, the interest payments that accompany big ticket (but not too big ticket) jumbo mortgages can maximize the tax advantages of home ownership. For some Lewiston NY jumbo mortgage candidates—especially those who don’t intend to stay in the same home for 30 years—jumbo mortgages can make irrefutable financial sense. Whether your own plans include regular, mini jumbo, or traditionally-defined jumbo mortgages, the first step is finding the right property…which is your cue to give us a call!