Posted by Sandra Tessier on 5/15/2018

For many individuals, the homebuying journey often begins with getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Because if a buyer has a mortgage, he or she can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Ultimately, there are many signs that now may be the perfect time to apply for a mortgage, and these include:

1. You're ready to upgrade from an apartment to a home.

If you're tired of paying monthly rent for an apartment, purchasing a house offers a viable alternative. And if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can move one step closer to moving from an apartment to a house.

In most instances, a home offers a significant upgrade over an apartment. Many residences are available in cities and towns nationwide that offer more space than apartments. Plus, as a homeowner, you won't have to worry about dealing with a landlord.

2. You feel good about your credit score.

If you have a strong credit score, you likely are a great candidate for a mortgage. In fact, you may be better equipped than others to get a favorable interest rate on the mortgage of your choice.

Understanding your credit score is a key part of the homebuying journey. You can request a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion). Then, once you find out your credit score, you can determine whether you are in good shape to pursue a mortgage.

3. A buyer's market is in place.

In a buyer's market, there usually is an abundance of top-notch houses and a shortage of buyers. This means a homebuyer may be able to get a wonderful deal on a house, especially if he or she performs a comprehensive house search.

To find out whether a buyer's market is in place, you should check out the prices of recently sold houses in your area. Also, you may want to find out how long recently sold houses were listed before they sold. By reviewing this housing market data, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market and decide whether now is the right time to apply for a mortgage.

If you're interested in getting a mortgage and starting a house search, you may want to hire a real estate agent too. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can receive extensive support at each stage of the property buying journey.

A real estate agent will teach you everything you need to know about pursuing a house. He or she will offer insights into the local housing market and ensure that you can conduct a successful house search. And if you ever have concerns or questions along the way, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Want to launch a home search? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and you can take the first step to acquire your ideal residence.




Tags: Buying a home   Mortgage  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 5/8/2018

Let's face it Ė the process of packing up your belongings and moving them to a new home can be exhausting. However, if you prepare plenty of healthy, delicious snacks, you and your moving day team will be better equipped than ever before to conquer any challenges that come your way.

Ultimately, preparing snacks before moving day is essential. Yet determining which snacks to offer sometimes can be difficult, particularly for those who have large groups of family members and friends ready to provide moving day assistance.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you plan ahead so that you can provide your entire moving day team with outstanding snacks.

Now, let's take a look at five tips for preparing moving day snacks.

1. Get a Headcount

You know that family members and friends are happy to help you move, and you should get a headcount to understand just how much food that you'll need to keep your loved ones happy and healthy on moving day.

Remember, when it comes to moving day snacks, it usually is better to err on the side of caution. And if you end up with extra snacks after moving day concludes, you can always give these treats to family members and friends. Or, you can celebrate the completion of a successful move by enjoying your extra snacks on your own.

2. Ask People What Types of Snacks They Like

Learn what types of snacks that your family members and friends like. If you ask these loved ones about their preferred snacks several days or weeks prior to moving day, you'll have plenty of time to get snacks ready that your entire moving day team can enjoy.

3. Identify Any Dietary Restrictions

Ask friends and family members about any dietary restrictions that they may have. By doing so, you can avoid the risk of preparing snacks that certain members of your moving day team won't be able to eat.

4. Don't Forget About Drinks

Providing water and sports drinks on moving day usually is a good idea. Offering various beverages will make it easy for your family members and friends to stay hydrated while they move large, heavy boxes into your new house.

5. Be Ready to Call for Takeout

Even a well-planned morning or afternoon move can stretch late into the evening. As such, if you run out of snacks, you should be ready to call for takeout.

Make a list of takeout restaurants near your new home before moving day Ė you'll be glad you did. With this list, you'll be ready to call for takeout if moving day runs long and you need extra food.

Lastly, if you need additional assistance as you get ready for your move, it often pays to collaborate with a real estate agent. In addition to helping you buy or sell a home, this housing market professional can offer expert moving day tips.

Get snacks ready for moving day Ė use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble providing your moving day team with delectable treats.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 5/1/2018

You may have heard of an FHA loan, and you probably werenít sure if you were eligible for one. FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration which is a part of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.  

 If you have an FHA loan, it includes special mortgage insurance which helps to protect lenders from a loss should the loan be defaulted on.  

Why An FHA Loan?


Due to the extra insurance lenders can offer these loans at an lower interest rates. These loans are also easier to qualify for. This makes affordable housing more accessible. 


Things To Know About FHA Loans


The minimum credit score depends upon the type of loan that you need.

If you have a credit score of 580 or higher, you can provide a down payment as little as 3.5% with an FHA loan. 

If your credit score is lower than 580, you are required to make a down payment of at least 10%. 

If your score is lower than 500, you may be ineligible for an FHA loan all together. 


FHA loans require a low down payment, which is why it is so enticing to buyers. While these types of loans may have limited availability, itís good to do your research and see if youíre eligible. 


Securing The Down Payment


Generally, buyers use their own savings to make a down payment on a home. Some states have government assistance programs that provide grants to be used for a down payment on a home.  


Incentives With FHA Loans


The Federal Housing Administration has special provisions to allow sellers, builders and lenders to pay for some of the other costs incurred while buying a home including the closing costs, appraisal, credit report, or title expenses. This allows builders and sellers to provide incentives to entice buyers. This could have an effect on the interest rates associated with the loan if the lender agrees to pay these costs. Buyers can compare rates with different lenders for these purposes.            


Mortgage Insurance And FHA Approved Lenders


The Federal Housing Administration is a provider of insurance and not a lender. You must be sure that you go with an FHA approved lender in order to get your loan in check. This is where itís important to shop around for benefits, loan standards and rates.  


The re are 2 required insurance premiums for FHA loans. The upfront premium is about 1.75% of the loan amount. This is paid at the time the loan is secured and can be financed as part of the loan amount. The second premium is the annual premium which is paid monthly and varies based on factors such as the length of the loan.  


As you can see thereís many benefits for home buyers who need additional mortgage insurance and assistance in buying a home. Talk to your lender about how you can secure an FHA loan today and make buying a home a reality. 









Tags: FHA loans   Financing   home loans  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/24/2018

Your living room is one of the most used rooms of the house. Itís where the family gathers and company comes to chat. If the furniture in your living room is not arranged comfortably, then you may not enjoy the space as much as you should. Heed the tips below in order to get the furniture in the living room is arranged for comfort and practicality.  


See How Conversations Will Play Out


You want your living room to be a place where face-to-face conversation actually thrives. Even in the age of the smartphone, people still like a certain kind of connection with one another. Make sure that food and drinks will be in easy reach and that the seating is arranged in a way that allows everyone to be involved with a conversation. 


Use Dividing Factors


If you have a large living room, youíll need to divide the space with either a room separation apparatus or a piece of furniture. Using furniture actually keeps the room cozy and free from feeling stuffy. If the living room bleeds into another room with an open floor plan, this becomes especially important. Use a sofa, and allow it to face away from the dining area in order to divide the conversation spaces and keep your homeís interior design flowing. 


Use A Focal Point


Most living rooms have a TV or a fireplace, or both. You can keep both on the same wall, or create separate spaces for both activities in order to have some division in the room. There are many different strategies that can be used in order to keep both the fireplace and the television in the same space without making a dizzying focal point.


Think Outside The Box


By arranging your furniture at a diagonal, or different angle than simple straight lines, youíll be able to give your living room some flavor. First, set the sofa and the coffee table, then create the rest of the space around these establishing angles. This will make the room feel bigger and give it a sense of symmetry with flavor.          


Matching Furniture Gives Flow


By getting matching sofas, chairs, and side tables, youíll be able to create a sense of symmetry in the room. The way you arrange the furniture ultimately depends on your needs and tastes, but youíll have a few anchoring pieces to work with that will allow you to make the living room your canvas and your furniture your subjects. Have fun playing with the layout and design of the room. Thereís really no right or wrong answers, just simply what will make you happy and what looks good in the space.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Sandra Tessier on 4/17/2018

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.




Categories: Uncategorized