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Mortgage 101: The First-Time Homebuyer ExpandCollapse

Are you a first-time homebuyer? Not sure where to start? You have come to the right place! Here you will find helpful articles that will help you better understand the mortgage process from start to finish. We understand how stressful buying a house can be and want to help alleviate some of this stress by giving you the information and tips you need to be a successful homebuyer.

  • General
    • Home Inspections

        Home Inspections

        Every home should be inspected before purchase. An inspector helps buyers identify any serious issues and most lenders will require a home inspection before they approve a loan.

    • Using Mortgage Calculators

        Using Mortgage Calculators

        A mortgage calculator is a tool used to estimate your monthly mortgage payment. Learn how to use this tool to make the mortgage process easier to understand.

    • Mortgage Myths

        Mortgage Myths

        Mortgage myths make the mortgage process much more difficult to understand than it should be. Let’s debunk some of the most common myths and put your mind at ease.

    • 15 year vs. 30 Year Mortgage

        15 year vs. 30 Year Mortgage

        Borrowers will have to choose between a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage or a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. This decision depends on a few different important factors.

    • Fixed vs Adjustable Rates

        Fixed vs Adjustable Rates

        Before choosing a mortgage type, you need to consider a wide range of factors including your personal finances, economic realities, and the current market interest rates.

    • Mortgage Insurance

        Mortgage Insurance

        Mortgage insurance protects the lender if the borrower falls behind on their payments. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is almost always required by a lender.

    • Home Search Checklist

        Home Search Checklist

        Shopping for a home can be both exciting and stressful. It is helpful to use a checklist to track important details and features that you like about each house.

    • VA Loans - As a Spouse

        VA Loans - As a Spouse

        If you or your spouse are affiliated with the military as either active duty or veteran status, you may be eligible for a VA home loan. This home loan comes with multiple benefits.

  • Purchasing
    • Processing and Underwriting

        Processing and Underwriting

        Once you are under contract with the seller, your lender will send you a Loan Estimate. It is then time to choose a lender and enter the processing and underwriting stages.

    • Pre-qual & Pre-approval Steps

        Pre-qual & Pre-approval Steps

        Pre-qualifying means that you are getting an estimate of what you can borrow. Pre-approval is as close as you can get to confirming your credit and financial stability.

    • What to Expect at a Closing

        What to Expect at a Closing

        The final step in the process of purchasing or refinancing a home is the home closing. This is when you finalize all the details of the transaction and make sure every document is signed.

    • Fees & Closing Costs

        Fees & Closing Costs

        Before you decide to purchase a home, it is important to understand the various fees for the services and expenses required to finalize a home loan.

    • Tips for New Home Buyers

        Tips for New Home Buyers

        Buying a new home is an exciting experience. There will be stress involved in the process but knowing these tips will help make the journey go as smoothly as possible.

    • Questions to ask on Home Tours

        Questions to ask on Home Tours

        Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced one, it is important to know the right questions to ask during a home tour.

    • Facts About Modular Homes

        Facts About Modular Homes

        A great alternative to building a custom home is to purchase a modular home. They are cost-effective and can save you a lot of time and effort in the homebuying process.

    • About Downpayments

        About Downpayments

        Here is everything you need to know regarding down payments, minimum requirements for different mortgage types, and what you’ll need to plan for in the future.

    • Saving for a Downpayment

        Saving for a Downpayment

        Saving for the down payment is one of the most challenging parts of potential homeownership, but if you start saving early, it is very possible to save enough money.

    • Homebuying Do's and Don'ts
        New!

        Homebuying Do's and Don'ts

        While you are considering the purchase of your home, you should not do anything that will have an adverse affect on your credit score or employment while your loan is in process.

    • What Documents Do I Need to Buy a House?
        New!

        What Documents Do I Need to Buy a House?

        The best and easy first step to take when you decide to purchase a new home is to take the time to gather all of the documents a lender will ask for.

    • Mobile Home Loans
        New!

        Mobile Home Loans

        If you are looking for an alternative to traditional housing, a mobile home may be perfect for you. Mobile homes cost less than a traditional home without having to compromise on necessary features.

  • Credit
    • Improving Credit Score

        Improving Credit Score

        Before you start the mortgage process, it is important to understand your credit history and current credit score. If your score is low, there are several ways to improve your credit.

    • Loan Interest Rates

        Loan Interest Rates

        An interest rate is the percentage of your existing principal loan balance you pay your lender in exchange for borrowing money to purchase a home.

    • Shopping for Mortgage Rates

        Shopping for Mortgage Rates

        Shopping for mortgage rates is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. With help from your mortgage professionals, the right rate will be easier than ever to find.

    • Student Loan Debt

        Purchasing With Student Loan Debt

        Yes, you can qualify for a home loan despite having student loan debt. Student loan debt may impact your ability to qualify for a mortgage but does not make it impossible.

    • Understanding Credit Scores

        Understanding Credit Scores

        Understanding credit scores and their purpose will help you become a smarter home buyer, more knowledgeable mortgage applicant, and more aware of your finances.

    • Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

        Why Did My Credit Score Drop?

        Credit scores do fluctuate and a couple points here or there is not too much of a concern, but a major drop could be an issue. Here are some common reasons why this can happen.

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Mortgage 102: Current Homeowners ExpandCollapse

Are you a current homeowner and want to know the next steps in the mortgage process? Are you interested in a mortgage refinance or a second mortgage? In this section, we have articles related to current homeowners and the future mortgage options available to you.

  • Homeownership
    • How Long Will Your Home Last?

        How Long Will Your Home Last?

        A well-constructed home can last centuries, but the components inside the home may have a shorter lifespan and need repair or replacement to last longer.

    • What Is a Second Mortgage
        New!

        What Is a Second Mortgage

        Essentially, a second mortgage uses your home as collateral to create a second loan. A second mortgage increases your total debt and must be paid back to reduce the chance of foreclosure.

  • Refinancing
    • The Steps to Refinancing

        The Steps to Refinancing

        Refinancing is one way you can use your home to leverage your investment. When the time is right, refinancing is a great option to lower your monthly payments and much more.

    • When is the Best time to Refinance

        When is the Best time to Refinance

        A refinance may occur when a person reviews the terms of their mortgage and needs a new agreement. This may include a new interest rate or term length.

    • How Often Can You Refinance

        How Often Can You Refinance

        Whether you have just purchased your home or have been in your home for many years, here is a complete guide on how often you can refinance your mortgage.

    • Refinance Appraisal

        Refinance Appraisal

        A refinance appraisal is similar to the purchase appraisal process you completed while purchasing your home and provides a professional opinion of your home’s value.

    • Questions to Ask When Refinancing Your Home
        New!

        Questions to Ask When Refinancing Your Home

        We have developed a list of questions to ask yourself and your mortgage lender to ensure that you understand the refinance process and the products that are available.

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Mortgage 103: Investment Properties ExpandCollapse

Let’s talk investment properties! Current homeowners or those looking to get started in real estate investment will benefit from these articles that cover topics ranging from lake house properties to houseboat loans. Want to learn about the benefits of investing? You have come to the right place!

  • Uncommon Mortgage Types
    • Houseboat Loans
        New!

        Houseboat Loans

        Houseboat loans have increased in popularity over the past few years due to the appeal of living a marine lifestyle and being able to move around easily. But, financing this type of lifestyle is very different than purchasing a traditional home.

    • Condo Loans
        New!

        Condo Loans

        A condominium is a home, isn’t it? So why would getting a loan for one be any different than a single-family home? Well, the differences for financing your purchase of a condo may surprise you.

  • Secondary Residences
    • Should I Buy A Lake House?

        Should I Buy A Lake House?

        Have you always dreamed of owning a home on a lake? Before you dive-in and purchase the lake house of your dreams, here are some pros and cons to consider.

  • Investment Properties
    • How to Start a Rental Property Business
        New!

        How to Start a Rental Property Business

        There are many reasons why people invest in real estate. To reap the benefits of the seller's market we are currently in, many people are starting rental property businesses to make some extra money.

    • How to Invest In Real Estate
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        How to Invest In Real Estate

        Investing in real estate can be a really exciting and satisfying experience if you know what you are doing and the proper steps to take. Unlike investing in stocks and bonds, real estate investors can buy a property using leverage, paying a portion of the total cost upfront and then paying off the property over time.

    • Your Guide to Single Family Rental Investing
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        Your Guide to Single Family Rental Investing

        Due to the rise in home prices and current housing shortage, the demand for single-family rental (SFR) investing has increased dramatically. Have you considered investing in residential rental property but don't know where to start?

    • How to Rent Your House
        New!

        How to Rent Your House

        There are many reasons you as a homeowner may consider renting their home. Whether it is because you have extra space, you want regular income from a duplex, or you are not ready to sell your house quite yet.

Comments or Concerns?

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