If that were the case, lenders would only offer 30-year loans. It is true that 30-year mortgages guarantee the lowest monthly payments. However, 30-year mortgages do not offer the best lending terms. You will spend more money over time because it equates to a greater amount of interest and a shorter amount of principal paid at each payment. Shorter term loans, at 15 years for example, have higher payments, forcing more money to principal sooner. Considering your lending options and getting educated will help you make smarter lending decisions. Ask us how.

Mortgages are likely the largest debt a person will ever have. And with mortgage money typically being the cheapest type of debt, paying more money to the largest debt and the cheapest debt, is not the most economical approach for money management. It’s much smarter to pay off consumer debt carrying higher payments and higher interest costs than it is to spend more money on your mortgage loan. Also, when you pay off your home, you will lose your mortgage tax deduction that most folks get, and you will also still have monthly obligations consisting of property taxes and homeowners insurance. So paying less on your mortgage allows folks to save additional money for essentially rainy day funds, emergency reserves and avoid more expensive debt like consumer debt. Get educated about mortgage money management. Ask us how.

In real estate, cash, believe it or not, is not always king. Informed sellers are interested in the bottom line; more money talks. So getting pre-approved shows the seller that you are ready to present an approved offer and a buyer simply needs an address to associate with that pre-approved loan. Be strategic and execute your strategy by developing a game plan for making offers. Working with your realtor allows you to shorten the loan process when your offer is accepted. Confidence in your strategy promotes fewer, if any buyer contingencies when presenting your offer. Also, sometimes a letter to the seller appeals to their personal side. Be confident and learn how your loans help. Ask us how.

FHA loans are not exclusively used for first-time homebuyers. FHA loans can be used to refinance your home. They can be used for repeat buyers, buying a second home or third home. And like with any loan, credit and your debt to income ratio and financial reserves all impact loan approvals. FHA loans have fewer restrictions than conventional loans and require much less cash to close. Simply use the right lending tool when buying a home. Ask us how.

House payments have a few parts referred to as your total housing obligation. There are three, and sometimes four factors to a monthly house payment. Your homeowners insurance, property taxes, and a mortgage insurance premium, sometimes referred to as a guarantee for VA loans, USDA loans or PMI, private mortgage insurance. Also, different neighborhoods have different property taxes. So qualifying for a mortgage is dependent on your ability to repay the loan. Your monthly payment varies based on a few factors, so not all homes priced at the same amount have the same monthly payment. Get educated. Be smart when buying a home. Ask us how.

This week, we’ve decided to share in some Christmas cheer and in true Christmas spirit, did grandma actually get run over by a reindeer? I’ve come to one of two conclusions that are most likely. Grandma either had way too many Christmas spirits and went up to Santa’s workshop. Or, grandma got an Uber and went home, and we just haven’t found her yet. Does Santa Claus enjoy milk and cookies, really? I’m not sure that Santa really enjoys milk and cookies. We all know Santa is lactose intolerant and has recently taken up Crossfit training. How else is he getting around the world in one night and not have to use Pepto? Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh. In the middle of December, really? It isn’t. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas and happy holidays.

In the real estate market, there are few perfect homes. Renovation loans provide more buying opportunities. There will almost always be something that you want to change about a house to make it your home. You can buy a house in the right location and renovate it. Mortgage money is so much cheaper than consumer debt. Mortgage money also allows folks to maintain savings and prevent cash crunches. You can consider energy efficient upgrades and spend less money on carrying costs. A newly renovated home will have less maintenance and utility costs. Again, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a house that is actually perfect and checks all the boxes per say. So consider renovation lending when you find a house you like and make it a home you love. Ask us how.

Technically, you can buy a home without a realtor, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Real estate markets throughout our country can be tricky. Local realtors are licensed professionals and can most always negotiate better than the average person. So as a buyer, working with a realtor typically promotes a cleaner transaction. Buying a home can be a emotional experience and a good realtor helps folks break through those emotional barriers. Realtors know the market and will do research that you are looking for in a home and also help with the fine details and paperwork. Do you need a realtor? Ask us for one.

Like most anything else, once the pre-approval process has started, we only need to tweak a few things to update your pre-approval. Your pre-approval is valid for 90 to 120 days. Said another way, your pre-approval is good until your credit report expires. Consider multiple loan pre-approvals as well. That’s a perk that our team offers. Doing so allows you to make offers on most any type of property. Vacant land, sure. Homes that need renovation, why not? And homes that need little or nothing, we can do that too. Using the same information promotes efficiency in the marketplace when making offers, creating a good baseline; essentially starting right. Doing so allows updating your pre-approval to happen seamlessly. Be smart. Ask us how.