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
Perhaps the single biggest decision you make when buying a home (other than picking the home itself) is finding the right mortgage. The "right" mortgage will get you the right payment options, the right interest rate and the right lender to work with. The wrong mortgage? Well, you could end up with trouble with a bad lender; you might end up paying thousands more if your interest rate is too high; and with the wrong payment options, you won't be able to get rid of your mortgage as quickly as you'd like. And after all, we'd all like to be mortgage-free faster, wouldn't we?
However, it can be very confusing choosing a mortgage. You have a lot of options! Do you want a traditional ARM? Do you want to lock in a rate for 3 or 5 or 7 years? Longer? Do you want to be able to have lots of choices in payment options? All these things require you to think about your spending habits, the kind of employment you have, and your tolerance for risk.
In most cases, the mortgage with the most flexible payment options gives you the most options in how you handle it. This can be especially useful if you have a type of "irregular" income, whether you are paid on commission or get a periodic bonus based on performance. If so, you likely want a mortgage that will give you the lowest possible regular payment (say a 30 year term) combined with the most generous extra payment options (say up to 25% of the total mortgage in a year, with no restrictions on amount, frequency or size of payment up to the 25% maximum). This kind of mortgage will allow you to pay off your mortgage as quickly as you can, while also giving you the security of knowing that you should be able to handle your monthly payment.
Perhaps you'd like to pay your mortgage off as quickly as possible, and you've just got a new job with a much higher salary. Well, in this case, you might actually want to shorten the term of your mortgage loan! The amount of money you will save if your mortgage is amortized over 15 or 20 years (as compared to a 30 year term) is astonishing. You can save tens of thousands of dollars. Of course, this approach will only work if you have the money to afford a larger payment and if you have the job security to allow you to take this approach without undue risk (like missing payments).
What if you took a shorter amortization last time you renewed your mortgage, and now you are finding the payments too high? It's time to talk to your lender. Many lenders will cheerfully renegotiate your mortgage (including a longer amortization period) if you are willing to lock in with them for a longer term. If you have 3 years left on a 5-year mortgage, you could offer to lock in for another 2 years (to give them another 5 year horizon with you) and they may then be happy to give you a longer amortization period as part of the deal. Most lenders will be very happy to work with you if you have a good credit history. Even if your credit history is a little spotty, your lender usually does better if you pay off your loan on time and regularly, than if they drive you into a foreclosure. Consider talking with your lender.
As for the majority of us, how do you know how to pick a mortgage? In general, stick with a 20 to 30 year amortization. This usually gives you a manageable payment. Also, consider your own tolerance for risk when picking a type of mortgage. The standard ARM mortgage gives you some predictability in interest rate as well as a chance to take advantage of lowered interest rates over time. However, it will also expose to you rising interest rates over time. This is the gamble with it. Most of us are willing to take some gamble in order to have a lower interest rate up front. This makes sense because your highest interest costs are also when your mortgage is at its largest amount. But you could end up with higher interest rates in the future, which will also mean higher payments.
If you don't like the idea of your payment changing as interest rates fluctuate, lock in to a rate for a longer term. You will pay more in interest for the privilege of locking in, but you will also know the exact amount of your payments for the full term of the mortgage, whether 3, 5, 7 or 10 years. Many people like this kind of security, and will find that their income goes up over the term of the mortgage, making life much more comfortable along the way.
So, keep in mind your life, your financial plans and your type of employment. Then, pick the type of mortgage that fits you.
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.