Groups are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain. Join groups created by others. or start your own and
get others to join
This is the place to view the past and present contests put on by ActiveRain and its members. Everyone can join the
group and help encourage each other. Current contest will be highlighted posts so it's easy for you all to see. Let it
Curious as to what others in your profession think about a certain product or tool?
AR's community takes the time to leave honest and transparent reviews of their experiences
so you can be a bit wiser about your purchase.
Broken down by categories and subcategories for easy finds
Get an unfiltered look at what real users are saying
Leave a review yourself for others to benefit from
Add new products as you use them and gain points for doing so
ActiveRain University (ARU) provides free on-line training. We coach, consult and support real estate professionals about real estate trends, technology and social media.
ARU Calendar provides class types and registration links
Watch short tutorials on updating your photo, inserting a hyperlink and much more
Sign up for the Daily Drop so you don't miss out on AR's daily happenings
Find answers to most FAQ's
Whatever it is you're into and wherever you are, AR surely has a group for you to join.
Brand, off the wall, specific subject matters…whatever it is you're looking for.
Each time you write a post you can syndicate your post to 5 groups.
And if by chance you don't find what you're looking for, start a new group today!
Get your content in front of more eyes
Search by location or type
Feel free to start your own group
Find some that are close to home and close to heart
Each month AR runs numerous contests as a way for our members to engage in activities
that will boost their business and increase their visibility in the community and beyond.
Earn points by partaking in these contest and climb the leaderboard
Do what's good for you and your business by participating
If you have an idea for a contest, just let us know
Stay motivated and on track with new contests popping up each month
Ask a Real Estate Question
Here's another avenue for you to build relationships with others. Share your expertise with someone searching for answers.
Play the teacher role and help someone out today
Your Homepage will alert you of new questions in your state
A wonderful way to open a door to a possible new client
Ask a question yourself to get help
These state pages or hyper-local pages provide content directly related to a specific geographical location.
State, County, City and Neighborhood pages make it easy for consumers to find what they're looking for.
Post your listings, school information, local events, market reports and more
Consumers peruse these pages for information
Farm your niche market and cover all the happenings in your neighborhood
Buying a home can be one of your most significant investments in life. Not only are you choosing your dwelling place, and the place in which you will bring up your family, you are most likely investing a large portion of your assets into this venture. The more prepared you are at the outset, the less overwhelming and chaotic the buying process will be. The goal of this page is to provide you with detailed information to assist you in making an intelligent and informed decision. Remember, if you have any questions about the process, I'm only a phone call or email away! DETERMINING HOW MUCH HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD Low mortgage rates and special incentives for first-time buyers are making the dream of home ownership a reality for more individuals and families. As you begin your search, you'll want to determine how much house you can afford and what type of mortgage is best for your budget. In general, four factors will influence your ability to buy that dream home. They are:
How much of a down payment you will make. The more cash you put down, the less you'll have to borrow.
The amount you need to borrow (your mortgage) to cover a monthly payment for the loan principal (amount borrowed), interest ("price" charged for your use of the lender's money), taxes (a portion of property taxes), and insurance.
The mortgage interest rate.
The repayment terms of your loan.
When applying for a mortgage, your current earnings and expected income during the next few years may influence your borrowing power. Outstanding long-term debt and how long you expect to stay in the home you're buying may also be considered. Most Realty agents recommend getting preliminary approval, usually by getting "pre-qualified" or "pre-approved" for a certain monthly payment. Getting approved for a loan requires having myself verify your financial situation, including your current assets (income, savings, investments and other sources of revenue) and your liabilities (existing loans, credit card balances and other obligations).
Using this information, I will evaluate whether there are sufficient funds for the down payment, whether you have adequate income to make monthly payments, and your overall credit-worthiness, which is based on a review of your borrowing history. According to many real estate professionals, the biggest reason people get turned down for a loan is poor credit. That's not always the case. Reviewing your credit status and correcting any mistakes before applying for a loan can help you avoid surprises or disappointments. Pre-qualification, based on numbers you supply to me, is an indication of the range of what you can afford. Getting pre-qualified is neither a commitment to loan you money, nor is it an obligation by you to borrow from a particular lender.
I typically use one of two guidelines when evaluating a loan request. Most lenders will limit the loan amount to a percentage of your gross monthly income or to a multiple of your annual household income. As a general rule, individuals or families can usually handle a housing payment that amounts to 25- to-28 percent of their gross monthly income. Following this guideline, if gross monthly income is $3,500, monthly payments (inclusive of taxes and insurance) in the range of $875 to $980 are considered reasonable. Some lenders use an alternate ratio that allows 36 percent of total monthly income for housing expenses and other long-term debts, such as car loans, credit card payments and obligations for child support. (Monthly living expenses for utilities, groceries, entertainment, medical and auto insurance are not calculated in this formula.)
Another guideline, based on gross annual household income, assumes most borrowers can afford up to 2.5 times their gross annual income. This means a borrower with total income of $40,000 may qualify for a loan of up to $100,000. Whether using a "multiplier method" or a "percentage method," prospective homebuyers should allow for closing costs and moving expenses. (Closing costs are the fees and taxes that are paid when the deed is transferred. These usually amount to 5-to-10 percent of the mortgage amount. Moving expenses include costs for movers, as well as "move-in" deposits for utilities and other "necessities").
Many lenders provide work sheets and charts to help you calculate your borrowing power, along tables so you can compare payments at different rates and for different loan periods. (Some real estate brokers and financial institutions even have "mortgage calculators" on their Internet site to help you determine what you can afford.) Your borrowing power can be increased with favorable interest rates and terms.
With lower rates, you can borrow more money. Different types of loans and the duration of the payback period will influence the interest rate that will be applied to your mortgage. In general, the shorter the term of the loan, the lower the interest rate. There are dozens of different types of mortgage programs from a wide variety of financial institutions, including mortgage companies, saving and loan associations, commercial banks and credit unions. Olympic Northwest Mortgage will find the right one that fits your particular situation.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.