home buying: The best budgeting apps to help you save for a down payment - 05/18/18 01:27 PM
Saving for a down payment is often the hardest part of purchasing a home. With conventional loan programs requiring 20% down or more and government programs still requiring a minimum of 3%, people often struggle to come up with the money to get themselves into their very own home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of budgeting tools out there to help you figure out where all your money is going and give you better control over your expenses. These applications are sometimes free and sometimes paid, but the small investment you make in them will help you get better results in the long-term. … (0 comments)

home buying: 5 tips on successfully buying a home in a seller’s market - 05/18/18 12:42 PM
In many neighborhoods, it's a seller's market. This means prices are high and demand is even higher, so what can you do to score a nice home without overpaying for it?
#1 Know What You Want
Houses sell fast in a seller's market, which is why you need to be very clear on what you want in your home. Not only will this make life easier for your real estate agent, it will also enable you to narrow your search down to houses that really fit your needs. When you find a house you really like, check it against your list of must-haves … (2 comments)

home buying: 5 ways to help small business owners qualify for a home mortgage - 05/18/18 12:15 PM
When it comes to things like getting personal credit and loans, small business owners often find themselves longing for the days when they were traditionally employed by another business. There's something lenders find comforting about seeing a "boss" listed on your application. Fortunately, you can still qualify for personal credit and loans as long as you have your paperwork in order.
If you are looking to qualify for a home loan, owning your own business shouldn't hinder your application so long as you've kept things thoroughly organized and documented through the years. Of course, the longer you have been in business and … (0 comments)

home buying: Which is right for you: being prequalified or preapproved for a loan? - 04/10/18 05:07 PM
While the terms "prequalified" and "preapproved" are often used interchangeably by borrowers, the meanings are actually a bit different.
What does it mean to be prequalified for a home loan?
You’ve likely gotten pre-qualification offers in the mail before, because they’re super easy to come by. A pre-qualification simply means that some available information about you (like your location, time of employment, etc.) might mean you qualify for a loan product. Having a pre-qualification letter is the first step, and it's also very simple.
To get a pre-qualification letter, you need to let your lender know about the overall picture of your current finances, … (3 comments)

home buying: 12 ways to save for a down payment - 04/10/18 05:05 PM
One of the hardest parts of buying a new home is having the up-front cash to put down on your purchase. While certain loan programs, like the one offered by the FHA, allow you to buy a home with just 3% down (and some special programs like VA home loans allowing as little as $0 down), saving your downpayment can sometimes be easier than for others. But, no matter how large of a down payment you need to save, finding a way to pinch your pennies isn't always that simple.
First, decide how much money you need. Most conventional home loans require … (5 comments)

home buying: 10 tips for home buyers: Things you should know BEFORE house hunting - 02/13/18 12:31 PM
Owning your first home, especially when house hunting in Princeton, Texas, is an enticing adventure that brings to mind comfort and stability. But, the road to get there can be very daunting and stressful. In the midst of all the house-hunting excitement, it's important you keep your mind focused on your budget, your needs, and what you really want.
Your real estate agent is likely going to show you countless beautiful homes that have all the bells and whistles, but if it's across town from where you want to be or has a twice as long commute to your job, is it … (2 comments)

home buying: 6 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers Ready to Make an Offer - 02/13/18 12:21 PM
You've found the perfect house in the perfect location, and it's so close to being yours! But, before you can make an offer, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to be sure that everything goes as planned.
1. More or Less?
Making an offer on a home isn't always about getting a discount off the list price. Oftentimes, especially when you know other buyers are looking, you might be entering into a bidding war. If your initial offer happens to be below the asking price, the seller is likely to come back with a counter-offer that's higher. If your … (2 comments)

home buying: Buy now before the houses are all gone... - 02/10/17 04:17 PM
There are plenty of reasons to buy a home now.
Interest rates, rising home rates, and a shrinking inventory are all reasons why 2017 is so crucial to home buyers. We all know by now that those record low-interest rates cannot last forever. With two more interest rate hikes on the horizon, this is a good sign for our economy, even though it means goodbye to very low-interest rates. If you have not told potential buyers that the feds plan on increasing the interest rates by at least June, tell them now!
Home inventory is getting thin.The past two years of declining unemployment … (2 comments)

home buying: Mortgage Rates Drop after a wild week - 02/09/17 02:42 PM
As new administration sets in, fiscal policies take notice. As the weekly jobs reports come in,  economists are uncertain of several aspects of the current market. This has caused the 30-year fixed rate mortgage to dropped to 4.17%. This is slightly lower than last weeks 4.19% but still higher than the 52-week rate of 3.65% from last year. 
The 15-year Fixed-rate mortgage has also lowered a bit from last week's rate of 3.23%. With the new rates in, Home buyers are urged to lock into a loan as they are still at historic lows. The current administration is set to make huge changes to Dodd-Frank and the … (0 comments)

home buying: New Administration, New Loan Changes for First Time Buyers - 01/24/17 02:49 PM
Sorry new home buyers, you won't get that mortgage insurance cut.Within hours of taking office, the Trump administration removed a newly created benefit that would allow new, first time homebuyers to save approximately $500 per year on their $200,000 FHA home loan. The cut was tied to  FHA Mortgage Insurance, an option that millions of new home buyers would have been able to take advantage of starting this week. The standard FHA home loan has become the most popular home loan among first-time buyers recently. With lower basic requirements and added benefits like rolling closing costs and other fees into the … (0 comments)

home buying: Why Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM's) Are Better - 01/19/17 04:59 PM
How do adjustable rate mortgages work?           
With beneficial qualities that appeal to those looking for low interest rates at the expense of a fixed interest rate; adjustable rate mortgages or ARM’s as they are also known offer lower monthly payments as a result of the lower interest rate.
This is a great benefit for those that move frequently or those that do not like the idea of being tied down to one local for too long. However if you have found your dream home and do not desire to move soon, you may want to explore other options. Adjustable Rate Mortgages or ARM's have … (1 comments)

home buying: Is a Conventional Loan right for me? - 12/30/16 01:46 PM
What is the best home loan for me?Ready to buy a home, but not sure what type of loan is the best fit for you? There are two major groups of home loans: government-backed and conventional. No matter which type works best for you and your family, we are here to make sure you get the best deal, the best loan, and the best home you can get.
What is the difference between a conventional loan and a government-backed loan?Government backed loans are insured to private lenders by the government, whereas conventional loans are not insured and can cost the mortgage lender … (1 comments)

home buying: Veterans and Service Members, don't make this mortgage mistake - 12/23/16 03:33 PM
VA Loan
With Interest Rates still relatively low, most people just go with the first loan they get approved for without exercising all of their loan options. FHA, Conventional, USDA, they are all loans that people hear about all the time but, for Service Members and Veterans, the VA Loan is the best option.
With so many service members enlisting in the military in the past decade and the housing crises slowly "normalizing", now is the best time to use your VA Loan. Interest rates are rising and a home, whether as an investment or a first-time buy, is only going to get more … (2 comments)