universal home mortgage: Down Payment Fund for a Wedding Gift - 08/25/18 05:07 PM
Many couples are asking their wedding guests to contribute to their “Down Payment Fund” for a wedding gift rather than fulfilling a traditional registry. This is fueled by the fact that many couples live together prior to marriage and already have the necessary items to make a house a home…they just need the house!
The average wedding in the United States has 120 guests who give wedding gifts valued, on average, at $186. This means that couples could walk away from their nuptials with over $22,000 towards their down payment!
Services like HomeFundMe allow friends, family members, and almost anyone else in a buyer’s network … (1 comments)

universal home mortgage: Whether You Rent or Buy, Either Way You’re Paying a Mortgage! - 07/27/18 08:39 AM
There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:
“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”
Christina Boyle, Senior … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: How to Calculate Escrows/Reserves Required at Closing - 07/19/18 04:05 PM
When most mortgage lenders calculate escrows/reserves required at closing they look for 14 months of reserves.  The key in figuring how many months will be collected at closing will depend on when the first mortgage payment will be due, the renewal dates of their insurance policy, and when the taxes, if any, are due. 
Example:  The closing date is January 31st with a first payment due March 1st.  Taxes are due December 31st.  Homeowners insurance premiums are due July 11th. 
Taxes:  How many payments would they make before the taxes would be due?  They would pay into their escrow account March, April, Many, June, July, … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: How is Housing Affected by the Predicted Economic Slowdown? - 07/19/18 01:06 PM
Some experts are calling for a slowdown in the economy later this year and most economists have predicted that the next recession could only be eighteen months away. The question is, what impact will a recession have on the housing market?
Here are the opinions of several experts on the subject:
Ivy Zelman in her latest “Z Report”: “While economic activity appears to have accelerated so far in 2018, some prominent economic forecasters have become more cautious about growth prospects for 2019 and 2020…
All told, while solid long-term demographic underpinnings support our positive fundamental outlook for housing, in the event micro-economic headwinds surface, we would … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: First-Time Homebuyers in Louisiana Have Low Down Payments - 07/18/18 09:52 AM
According to the Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors, 61% of first-time homebuyers purchased their homes with down payments below 6% in 2017.  Many potential homebuyers in Louisiana believe that a 20% down payment is necessary to buy a home and have disqualified themselves without even trying, but in March, 71% of first-time buyers and 54% of all buyers put less than 20% down.
Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist and Founder of Veritas Urbis Economics, recently shed light on why buyer demand has remained strong,
“The fact that we now have four consecutive quarters where owner households increased while renters households fell is a strong sign households are making the switch from … (1 comments)

universal home mortgage: The VA Home Loan- A Great Loan Option for Heroes - 07/06/18 04:26 PM
Since the creation of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Home Loans Program, over 22 million veterans have achieved the American Dream of homeownership with a VA home loan. Many veterans in Louisiana looking into buying a home do not know the details of the program and therefore do not take advantage of the benefits available to them.
If you are a veteran or you know someone who is, here is a breakdown of the VA Home Loan benefits that can be used to achieve the American Dream!
Top 5 Benefits of a VA Home Loan The greatest benefit of a VA Loan is that borrowers can buy a home … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: Interest Rate Comparison- July 2011 vs. July 2012 - 07/06/12 03:48 AM
Today’s low rates are terrific for both home buyers throughout Louisiana and existing homeowners looking to refinance. As compared last year at this time, mortgage rates are down by 98 basis points — nearly one full percentage point.
Mortgage payments are much lower today as compared to July 2011 : 
July 2011 : $512.64 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed July 2012 : $455.77 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed Today’s rates yield an 11 percent payment discount as compared to last year.
Mortgage rates are unpredictable so there’s no guarantee that low rates will last forever, much less through the … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: FHA Raising Mortgage Insurance Premiums April 1, 2012 - 03/13/12 01:55 AM
The FHA is once again raising mortgage insurance premiums (MIP) on its newly-insured borrowers.  It's the FHA’s fourth such increase in the last two years.
Beginning April 1, 2012, upfront mortgage insurance premiums will be higher by 75 basis points, or 0.75%; and annual mortgage insurance premiums will be higher by 10 basis points per year, or 0.10%.
For borrowers with a loan size of $200,000, the new MIP will add $1,500 in one-time loan costs, plus an on-going, annual $200 increase in total mortgage insurance premiums paid.
All new FHA loans are subject to the increase — purchases and refinances.
The … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: Top 100 Apps for Real Estate Professionals - 02/08/12 05:55 AM
Are you looking to be more productive when it comes to your technology?  I found a great report that includes the Top 100 Apps for Real Estate Professionals and it's PACKED with killer tools and gadgets. Check it out, and tell me what works for you.  
Here's the link:

universal home mortgage: Take Steps to Success - 01/24/12 03:44 AM
Are you working on a project but can't see the whole path to completion clearly? Can you see the first two or three steps? Take those. When you do, the next two or three will come into focus, then take those. Be diligent and before you know it, you'll have another notch in your belt of completed projects. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and actually improve your sense of well being. Take the next step(s) on at least one project today.  Dive right in!!!

universal home mortgage: Gas Stations Leave Clues About Future Mortgage Rates - 06/12/09 12:52 AM
For people trying to time the mortgage market for the best rate, clues about the future of mortgage rates may be at the local gas station.
Rising gas prices are indicative of the rising cost of energy and, indeed, crude oil appears to be on a continual rise upward.  As these energy costs grow, so do inflationary pressures on the U.S. economy.
Inflation, of course, is awful for mortgage rates. When it's present, mortgage markets deteriorate and rates tend to rise -- often sharply and with little advance warning.
So, for today's homebuyers-in-process and would-be refinancers, prices at the pump may foreshadow bad news … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: Receiving Cash as a Gift for Downpayment - 06/12/09 12:39 AM
Tighter mortgage guidelines since late-2008 are forcing home buyers to make bigger downpayments.  Anecdotally, the change has led to a surge in buyers taking gifts of cash from family members.
If you're among those accepting a cash gift from family, it's important to know that you can't just deposit the money in your bank account. 
There is a proper way to accept a cash gift and it requires 3 distinct steps:
Complete and sign an acceptable gift letter Document the gifter's withdrawal of funds with teller receipts Document the giftee's deposit of funds with teller receipts See, mortgage lenders pay close attention to gifts-for-downpayments.  For one, … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: Why Rates Have Gone Up - 06/12/09 12:36 AM
Since Memorial Day, conforming mortgage rates have jumped by more than 1.125 percent, adding thousands of dollars to the annual cost of homeownership.
To the casual observer, the moves may seem random.  There's a reason this is happening, however. 
It starts with inflation.
As an economic force, inflation erodes the value of the U.S. Dollar.  Left unchecked, it drives up the Cost of Living as each dollar "buys less" at the supermarket, gas station, or anywhere else.
But with respect to mortgage rates, inflation's impact is more immediate.  Because inflation devalues the dollar over the long-term, it renders long-term mortgage bonds a less attractive … (0 comments)

universal home mortgage: Credit Repair VS. Credit Optimization - 03/23/08 01:18 PM
There is a big difference between credit optimization and credit repair.  Credit optimization focuses in on the fact that nearly 4 out of 5 credit reports include errors.  65% of a credit score is made up of items other than payment history (ex. revolving balance due vs. balance maximum allowed, inquiries, recency of delinquent events, etc.). Credit optimization performed by experienced lending professionals focuses on discrepancies in a credit report.  Credit repair often disputes actual delinquency that, if not countered by the reporting lender, must be removed.  In a lending environment where agency (Fannie/Freddie) loans are significantly more expensive for borrowers … (3 comments)

universal home mortgage: Lender Vs. Broker- What's The Difference? - 03/23/08 07:43 AM
Basically, you have three main business models in the mortgage profession: Bank related mortgages, correspondent lenders, and mortgage brokers.  Their business models are as follows:Bank related mortgage- Bank funds loans from bank funds and has loans securitized in a pool of mortgage backed securities in a sale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to replenish funds to bank.  Banks have commonly known names so many people use them for their mortgage lending needs.  The problem is that many banks do not have great pay plans so they take on a lot of new loan officers or they take on seasoned loan … (7 comments)