Mortgage Lending
When someone is ready to buy, they often hop in their car and start browsing the local housing stock for their new home. It can be an exciting venture, especially when you’ve found a few in your price range.

But what is your “price range,” really? Do you know what that corner dream house with the covered patio and finished basement will cost you each month? The truth is, the sticker price in the homebuyers guide is just a part of the total housing cost and doesn’t take into account all the other costs and criteria that a lender will be considering when you apply for a mortgage loan.

There are distinct questions a lender has to answer before they can determine what a mortgage payment is going to look like. We’ll discuss these elements over the next couple installments, but for now… we will start at the beginning.

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Explaining how mortgage money works is a great way to alleviate any stress a buyer might be feeling during the home-buying process.

Sticker shock is one of the biggest reasons why people are anxious when buying a home. However, once they know how mortgage money works, they likely realize that their buying power is stronger than they thought.

All because they’re using other people’s money.

Key takeaways

  • Get exactly what you want
  • Better for your health
  • Easier to recoup your investment

Building Your Home: Getting a Dream Home is Only the Beginning to the Benefits

Buying a home is one of the largest investments a person will likely make in his/her lifetime. As such, a buyer must consider every angle when a purchase is made. Location, cost, local economy, school district, property taxes…it’s all important to the process.

And because those details will vary from person to person, one buyer’s ‘perfect home’ might be lacking for someone else. While new home construction may seem like an overwhelming solution, it’s a surefire way to get exactly what you’re looking for. In fact, with our area’s aging housing stock, there are several other benefits to building that you probably don’t even realize.


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FHA 203k: Before and After

FHA 203k: Before and After

After looking at numerous homes and not finding “the one,” first-time homebuyers Nick and Veronica Getsy were all but resolved to settle on something that was nice…but not perfect. It’s easy to get discouraged when you feel that the market has essentially priced you out of buying your first home.

Our office showed them that they can take a house they like, and turn it into a home they love. With the FHA 203k loan, the Getsy’s were able to find a home that had potential and make renovations that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to accomplish. Renovations included putting in a new air-conditioner, new energy-efficient windows, all new appliances, a new deck, new fence for the backyard, new carpet, and fresh paint throughout the whole house.

Watch this video to hear their story.

If there was ever any doubt of the popularity of renovation loans, a bit of good news out of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage should put those doubts to rest.

AmeriFirst_HM_logo_750Earlier this month, Inc. Magazine announced AmeriFirst earned the position of 2,192 in its 2014 Inc. 5000 list. This identifies AmeriFirst among some of the fastest-growing companies in America, with the average company this year growing at a rate of 516%.

This honor is a big deal for AmeriFirst, which recorded its best month ever in July. In an article published by Mortgage Professional America Magazine, Dan Moyle, AmeriFirst’s Creative Director of Marketing and Communication, shed some light on the numbers that drove this growth. AmeriFirst closed 625 units in July compared to its 550 monthly average. The company is on track to close nearly 700 in August, Moyle said.

Team at AmeriFirst in Boardman
Team at AmeriFirst in Boardman

One of the reasons for AmeriFirst’s growth is its niche offering of renovation loans. Speaking as a part of the AmeriFirst team, a majority of the business we do revolves around renovation loans, including the FHA 203k loan, HomeStyle loans, and HomePath loans. From our perspective, these loan types have been taking off, particularly among first-time homebuyers who may not be able to put 20% down on a home with a conventional mortgage. Here in Boardman, our success with renovation lending has been very exciting, and I’m proud to say that our office leads AmeriFirst in both renovation lending loan volume and loans closed YTD for 2014.

As the housing market in our area rebounds, no doubt those numbers will continue to climb as we continue to provide the best service to homebuyers in our community. More importantly, we will continue to help put credit-worthy customers in homes that they love.

As always, thanks for reading. Talk again soon…


The other day, one of my realtor friends called and asked if they should suggest that one of their sellers offer financial concessions to help sell the house. An interested buyer had the money for the down payment, but not enough funds to cover the costs & prepaids.

Of course, my answer wasn’t a simple “yes” or “no”…few of my answers ever are. But at the end of the day, if the seller is looking to close that sale ASAP, then Seller Concessions can be a beneficial utility.

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mortgage payments
In my last post, I discussed what drives a lending decision. I also want to take a look at payment ratios/formulas and how they impact the total monthly payment for a home. The dirt is in the details…let’s consider buying a house.

Whenever my team works with a client, maybe the most frequently asked question is, “How much will this house cost me every month?” It’s understandable….a necessary question. Buying a home is a huge financial investment. Not to mention one of the most important financial decisions a person will make. I find many clients are under informed about what home ownership truly costs.

The mortgage loan is simply one variable in the grand scheme of things. Instilling confidence by providing “how to” details is important…with financial clarity comes less anxiety.

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