5 Tips for Beginning Your Home Search


5 Tips for Beginning Your Home Search

 

The home-searching process can be a lot of fun. You look at homes and imagine yourself living there with all your furniture set up, having family and friends over, and relaxing on a Friday evening in the living room with your favorite show on the TV. With all this excitement, your mind may (understandably) be in the clouds, however, there are important things to remember when searching for a home.

 

Below are five of our favorite tips:

 

Become Pre-Approved for a Loan

Lety Service, a sales associate with Ebby’s McKinney Office, recommends that potential buyers speak to a lender before looking for a home so they know exactly what price range to stay in. “It’s devastating to fall in love with a home only to have a lender tell you later that you can’t afford it,” she says. “If you are pre-approved first, you will find a home that you love and will be able to obtain financing within your price range. This will prevent the disappointment of comparing a home in your available price range to one that you aren’t qualified to purchase.”

 

Be Organized

During the process of buying a home and working with your lender, you will be asked to provide information and documentation. Have your W2s, pay stubs, bank statements and ID ready to give to your lender. After review of these documents, the lender may require additional information. You will also sign documents throughout the loan process. Getting your home inspection will be one of your first steps after submitting a purchase contract. Also, scheduling the following services to be placed in your name with a start date will need to be on your list: electricity, Internet, phone, cable, water, and gas. Organize what days you will devote to each task and the process will run smoother.

 

Keep Options Open

Lety advises future homeowners to start with an open mind because they might fall in love with something they didn’t think they would and to focus on the floor plan and location instead of cosmetic upgrades. “Looking at multiple houses in person, instead of online, will give you an idea of what you definitely like, don’t like, and maybe even some things you could settle for.” Keep in mind if you find a home with a perfect floor plan but can’t stand the carpet or countertops, you may be able to do a home-improvement loan and roll the costs into your mortgage.

 

Avoid New Lines of Credit

Debra Smith, a loan originator with Home Team Mortgage, advises that when you decide to start looking for a home you should avoid taking out new credit or making large purchases on credit. “This is especially important once you are in the middle of your loan process,” she says. “Any new account could affect your ability to qualify for your loan and cause you to lose the home that you may be a week away from moving into.”

 

 

Opt for a Bridge Loan

Are you a current homeowner looking to purchase a new home? If you want to use your current home equity to put down on your new home, the sale of your old home must close on or before the closing date of your new home. This makes everything time-sensitive and there is always a chance the financing of your buyer could fall through. Smith says a “bridge loan” may be the ideal solution for you. “You can use a bridge loan to use the equity in your current home even before you put it on the market,” she says. “So if you don’t want to sell before you move, or you don’t want to make your offer contingent on selling, our bridge loan may be just right for you.”

 

Considering purchasing a home? Home Team Mortgage Company, Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage company, has a track record of building long-lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office in each Ebby Halliday branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company.

 

 

 

Mortgage Insight: Dos and Don’ts of Mortgage Financing


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You’re in the midst of purchasing a new home and find yourself with a lot on your to-do list. The basic requirements – utilities, phone and Internet – are often accompanied by new furniture, décor and general replacing of the “old” with the “new.” It’s easy to get carried away, but before you do, the following is a list of dos and don’ts to assure your credit and loan approval are protected.

 

HTM

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, HTM loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

To learn more about the mortgage process and to determine how much you qualify to borrow for a home purchase, contact Home Team Mortgage at 972-665-1900 or customerserviceyhtm@yhtm.com.

Mortgage Insight: Breaking Down the Loan Lingo


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Buying a home can be overwhelming, especially when you add in the loan lingo and acronyms used by lenders and real estate agents, according to Alex Parker, sales manager at Home Team Mortgage – Ebby Halliday’s affiliated mortgage source. To help alleviate some of the confusion, below are some common terms frequently used in the mortgage process:

 

FHA Mortgage

FHA is a type of mortgage that offers lower down payments, lower credit and less income to qualify. These mortgages are government backed by the Federal Housing Administration.

 

VA Mortgage

VA mortgages are loans catered to qualified veterans, active-duty military personnel and reservists. These loans require no down payment and are guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

 

Conventional Mortgage

Conventional mortgages are loans offering a wide range of options for borrowers. Some features may include monthly or single premium mortgage insurance, second liens, and higher loan amounts.

 

Fixed Rate Mortgage

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate is fixed for the life of the loan. The principal and interest payment does not vary. As with every loan, the escrowed portion of the payment may fluctuate up or down depending on the tax or homeowner’s insurance changes.

 

Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)

This is a mortgage loan for which the interest rate may change annually, often after a set number of years. ARMs are tied to indexes which are used to determine changing rates to align with the current market. The principal and interest payment may vary up or down, along with the escrowed portion of the payment.

 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The APR illustrates the annual cost of financing, including interest rate, fees and charges and is expressed as an annual interest rate. Because you may be paying loan discount points and other prepaid finance charges at closing, the APR disclosed is often higher than the interest rate on your loan. This APR can be compared to the APR on other loan programs to give you a consistent means of comparing rates and programs.

 

Pre-Qualification

A process by which a lender assesses whether a borrower qualifies for a mortgage based on information provided by the customer. Typically, a prequalification is an informal review as a preemptive to pre-approval and full loan approval.

 

Pre-Approval

A process by which a lender verifies information including credit, income and asset information to assure the borrowers qualify for the mortgage. A pre-approval is much more powerful in negotiating as it provides peace of mind for buyers, sellers and agents.

 


 

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, HTM loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

To learn more about the mortgage process and to determine how much you qualify to borrow for a home purchase, contact Home Team Mortgage at 972-665-1900 or customerserviceyhtm@yhtm.com.

Mortgage Insight: A Guide to Home Buying


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By now, you have become familiar with our new blog series Mortgage Insight, where Home Team Mortgage —  a team of knowledgeable and seasoned mortgage professionals — offers tips on purchasing a home or refinancing a pre-existing mortgage.

 

At the end of each month, HTM will present a Q & A in relation to the home buying process. This week, Alex Parker — Vice President of Sales — will shed some light on a few key factors that go into purchasing a home below:

 

Q: In order to purchase a home, does my credit score have to be good?

 

A: One of the biggest misconceptions by most borrowers is that you have to have a perfect credit score to buy a house. However, this isn’t the case. We have loans that allow for a credit score of 600. It is important to note, however, the better your credit score is, the better the interest rate will be.

 

 

Q: What is the difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval?

 

A: A pre-qualification means you’ve spoken to a lender and have told them what you “think” your credit score, income and assets are. Pre-qualification letters specifically state that the lender has not verified any of the borrowers qualifying documents. A pre-approval means you have provided your pay stubs, W-2 forms, tax returns and bank statements to the lender and, in return, they have pulled and reviewed your credit history.

 

 

Q: At what point should I look into pre-approval for a home?

 

A: The pre-approval process should start before you start looking for a home. Most of the time, sellers will turn the other way if you have not been pre-approved, especially in today’s market, where sellers are receiving multiple offers on a home. Time is critical in today’s market and sometimes the best way to win a deal is to offer a short closing time. However, you can’t close quickly unless your lender has pre-approved you.

 


 

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, HTM loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company, an Ebby Halliday affiliate.

 

Mortgage Insight: Renting vs. Buying


HTMOn average, U.S. homebuyers pay an estimated 15 percent of their income on mortgages. According to a Zillow survey, renters pay nearly double that.

 

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions a person can make. See below on why it could also be the best decision:

Mortgage Insight

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company, an Ebby Halliday affiliate.

Mortgage Insight: Know Before You Owe


Mortgage Insight

For all new loan applications dated on or after October 3, 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is putting new rules in place that will help consumers better understand the mortgage process. The current mortgage disclosure forms, required by federal law, will be replaced with new and easier to understand “Know Before You Owe” forms. Realtors will be affected by this change. However, the biggest change will be the increased amount of time needed from contract to closing.

 

Initial Disclosure (ID)

 

Currently: Lenders must provide all initial disclosures, including the Truth in Lending (TIL) and Good Faith Estimate (GFE) within three business days of applying for a mortgage loan. Both disclosures are estimates that provide the customer with information about their financing and closing costs.

 

New Process: The lender still retains this responsibility. However, the GFE and TIL are now replaced by one form – the Initial Disclosure (ID). This form is easier to understand and provides more clarity to the buyer about their loan decisions.

 

HUD-1 Closing Disclosure Approval

 

Currently: Buyers can receive their HUD-1 settlement statement minutes before closing and still have the capability of closing on time.

 

New Process: The Buyer must acknowledge receipt of the final Closing Disclosure (CD) a minimum of three business days prior to consummation. If any changes to the CD cause the APR to change by more than .125 percent, the required three business days start over.

 

Closing Process

 

Currently: The Lender sends closing instructions to the settlement agent in order to prepare the HUD-1 statement. Once the Lender approves the HUD-1, the settlement agent provides closing information directly to the consumer and closing can begin as soon as possible.

 

New Process: The CD replaces the HUD-1 statement and it is the Lender’s sole responsibility to prepare, approve and send the CD directly to the buyer. Consummation will take place a minimum of three business days after the buyer acknowledges receipt of the final CD, with no exceptions to the three-day rule.

 


 

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company, an Ebby Halliday affiliate.

Mortgage Insight: Pre-Approval First, Save Time Later


Home Team Mortgage

We are excited to introduce our new, weekly blog series, Mortgage Insight, that offers tips on purchasing a home or refinancing a pre-existing mortgage, courtesy of Home Team Mortgage Company — a team of knowledgeable and seasoned mortgage professionals eager to assist in the home ownership process, affiliated with Ebby Halliday, Realtors.

 

This week, we discuss the difference between mortgage pre-approval and mortgage pre-qualification, two very different things.

 

With multiple offers becoming more common, buyers who want an advantage in the bidding process will need more than just a mortgage prequalification – they’ll need pre-approval. Pre-qualification means you have not provided documentation for a loan. However, a pre-approval shows you have given the mortgage lender documentation on your income, assets and liabilities, which may be checked and verified.

 

Below you will find multiple advantages a pre-approval has to offer:

 

Negotiation

Pre-approval for a mortgage shows homeowners you are serious about purchasing a home. Owners may debate between your offer and a higher offer from a buyer who hasn’t been pre-approved. Your status will allow for flexibility, and knowing how much you can borrow will give you an advantage over your competition, especially if you find yourself in a bidding war. You will be more strategic about your offers and understand what an offer increase could do to your monthly payments.

 

Price

Before spending hours house hunting, pre-approval enables you to search for homes you can afford, allowing you to realistically manage your expectations.

 

Quick Purchase

Pre-approval allows you to make purchasing decisions. Waiting until you find a house to become pre-approved will cost time and could potentially risk losing the home.

 

 

For 19 years, Home Team Mortgage Company has been committed to building long lasting relationships by providing exceptional service with competitive rates, and welcomes the opportunity to make your home buying experience the best it can be. With an office located in each Ebby Halliday Real Estate branch, Home Team Mortgage loan officers offer the convenience of one-stop shopping, coupled with expertise to ensure peace of mind for borrowers and agents alike.

 

For all your mortgage questions and needs, contact Home Team Mortgage Company, an Ebby Halliday affiliate.