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Mortgage Blog

The Essential Pre-Home Search Step

You have been saving to buy a home for a while and you are curious to see what’s out there. A quick internet search turns up a few intriguing properties. You start dreaming of what your life would could be like in those homes. Before you run out and book a real estate agent to show you around, there is one essential step you should take: line up your mortgage funding. While that might seem premature when you’re just in the “looking” phase, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the best way to start a search. Here’s why you should get pre-approved for a mortgag...

May 15th, 2019 | Purchasing a Home, Preapproval, Pre-qualification, The Essential Pre-Home Search Step

What is Mortgage Amortization?

If you have a fixed-rate home mortgage, you pay the exact same amount each month. But did you know that the amount of principal you pay toward the balance of your loan changes from month to month? This is called amortization and it is a method of distributing the interest and principal over the course of a loan so that it is completely paid off by the end of the loan term. Understanding how it works could help save you plenty of interest on your mortgage. How does it work? When you agree to buy a house at a certain price, in reality, you will end up paying way more than that price to you...

May 8th, 2019 | Credit, Interest Rates, What is Mortgage Amortization?

4 Things to Understand About Credit Scores Before Applying for a Mortgage

Your credit score is an essential factor in determining much about any mortgage loan you receive. A credit score is a measure of your trustworthiness as a borrower. It pays to know as much about your credit score as possible before applying for home loan funding. Here are four key points to understand: 1. Credit Scores Are Calculated by Financial Formulas Credit scores (also called FICO scores because they were created by the Fair Isaac Corporation) is determined by a several factors. The weightiest element - 35% - is your payment history. The more often you have been late on making your...

May 1st, 2019 | Credit, 4 Things to Understand About Credit Scores Before Applying for a Mortgage

How to Build Home Equity

While it is possible to get into homeownership with little upfront investment, there can be many benefits to building up equity in a property. Mortgage equity is the value of the homeowner’s stake in a home. It is basically how much the home is worth minus how much is still owed on the mortgage. Having plenty of equity helps protect against foreclosure in case of financial hardship, it makes it easier to sell or refinance your home when the time comes, and it can be a source of emergency funding.  The good news is some of equity building happens without you having to lift a finge...

April 24th, 2019 | Home Equity, How to Build Home Equity

How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

When you are ready to apply for a mortgage loan, your lender will ask you for all sorts of financial information. One of the things lenders do with this data is to calculate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. A DTI ratio is one of the most basic methods lenders use to determine how much of a monthly mortgage payment you can afford.  You can calculate this number before talking to a lender so that there will be no surprises about how much you might expect to borrow. First, total all your monthly liabilities – including the potential housing payment - and divide that number by your g...

April 17th, 2019 | Credit, Fixed Rate Mortgages, Conventional Loans, Preapproval, How to Calculate Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Can I Qualify for Down Payment Assistance?

One of the biggest obstacles to homeownership is coming up with enough cash for a down payment. When your own savings are not adding up quickly enough and you don’t have a rich uncle to tap for an early inheritance, you may find some help in a down payment assistant programs. Down Payment Assistance Programs Many state and local governments as well as local lending institutions and non-profit organizations have created down payment assistance programs because of their vested interest in helping residents and fellow community members become homeowners. Those who own homes are likely...

April 10th, 2019 | Purchasing a Home, First-time Homebuyers, Can I Qualify for Down Payment Assistance?