Category: Blog

Is a Home Inspection Required?

In the mortgage industry, we are often asked if a home inspection is mandatory. In many cases, the answer is no. However, even when it is not required, a home inspection is certainly recommended.

You are making a large investment when you buy a home, and having a professional home inspector look at it could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Doing a home inspection up-front can also be helpful in the event that an appraiser finds a deficiency in the condition of the home. Should this happen, the underwriter will ask to see that section of the home inspection (sometimes referred to as an Engineer’s Report).  Having secured an inspection will save time and keep your mortgage process moving smoothly. Additionally, identifying issues early in the process may mean the seller will remedy them prior to sale.

Purchasing a home with the assurance of good condition –or at least the knowledge of any potential issues – makes for more accurate pricing and cost expectations. Both of these are clearly to your benefit. By comparison, the cost of a home inspection is small.

Source: Top of Mind Networks, LLC.

Looking Back on 2017

As we head into another year at Marketplace Home Mortgage L.L.C., we have a lot to be thankful for. 2017 was a year of tremendous growth.

We opened new locations in Sioux Falls, SD, Clive, IA, and Portsmouth, NH. We also hired 130 new employees across the country.

Throughout the year we were honored to receive some awards and recognition. In August, Marketplace Home Mortgage was named Best Mortgage Company in the Twin Cities by voters in the 2017 Twin Cities Business Magazine Reader Poll. As the year progressed, we were also recognized as Number 27 on the list of the 50 Fastest Growing Companies in the Twin Cities by Twin Cities Business Magazine.
View the video below to see all of the highlights from this year, and the fun we were able to have in-between.
Thank you to all of the employees, clients, and referral partners who made this such a great year. We are grateful to have spent another year helping people and families achieve their dream of home ownership.



What To Do (And Avoid) When Refinancing

Mortgage interest rates are always changing, and if you bought your home when rates were higher, refinancing the existing mortgage could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your home loan. When you are preparing to refinance there are certain things you should avoid leading up to the transaction. Take a look at the list below and contact a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer to learn more about how you can get started.


Continue To Make Your Regular Payments
However, if you have a payment due just prior to your scheduled closing, consult with your Loan Officer first. It may be best to pay at the closing rather than to risk having the payment and payoff letter cross in the mail.

Prepare Your Home For Appraisal.
The appraiser will take photos of the inside and outside of your home. While a messy house is not truly worth less than a clean one, a property appraisal is part art, part science. First impressions can make an impact with an appraiser just as they would with a prospective buyer.

Keep Your Paystubs and Bank Statements Available
Underwriters may request the latest documentation before loan approval or as a condition of loan commitment. Having these on hand will help the process to go more smoothly.

Understand That Things Have Changed.
Underwriters require more documentation than in the past. Even if requests seem silly, intrusive or unnecessary, please remember that if they didn’t need it, they wouldn’t ask.



Apply For New Credit
Changes in credit can cause delays, change the terms of your financing or even prevent closing. If you must open a new account, consult with your Loan Officer first.

Change Jobs During The Process
Probationary periods, career, or even status changes (such as from a salaried to a commissioned position, leave of absence or new bonus structure) can be subject to very strict rules.

Make Undocumented Deposits
Primarily large, but sometimes even small deposits must be sourced unless they are identified. Make copies of checks and deposit slips. Keep your deposits separate and small and avoid depositing cash.

Start Any Home Improvement Projects
Small cosmetic projects like painting are not usually a problem. However, anything that can disrupt the functionality of your home can be an issue if undertaken before the appraisal. Delay projects that require a building permit, create structural changes or involve a bathroom or kitchen renovation.

Be Afraid To Ask Questions
If you’re uncertain about what you need or what you should do, never hesitate to reach out to your Loan Officer.

With the help of your Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer, you will be on your way to saving money and achieving your goals.

5 Tips for Moving in the Winter

Winter can be a great time to become a homeowner. In many areas, the real estate market tends to slow down during the colder months.  With fewer buyers to compete with, you could get a great deal. One of the downsides to buying in the winter is having to move in unfavorable weather conditions, but with the right strategies and preparations, you can make sure your move goes as smoothly as possible.

Although moving in the winter can require a little more effort, when it’s all said and done, you will be ready to cozy up in your new home before the spring housing craze even hits.

Here are some tips and tricks to help:

  1. Get An Early Start

    With fewer daylight hours, starting your move early in the day can help you get settled or on your way before it gets too dark.

  2. Prep All Walkways

    Make sure to do as much snow removal as you can prior to moving day. Shovel all areas that will be trafficked and thoroughly salt any steps or walkways. It is also a good idea to keep extra salt near key areas so it can be used throughout the day as needed. Consider hiring someone to do snow removal at your new home and pack salt and a shovel in a place that will be easily accessible upon arrival.

  3. Dress For Success

    Wear layers during your move so you can regulate your body temperature throughout the day. Choose slip-resistant footwear and make sure not to pack away winter gear such as hats, gloves, and scarves.

  4. Protect Your Floors

    Moving in the winter means you run the risk of wet shoes going in and out of your old home and new home. Protect flooring by taping down carpet scraps, heavy cardboard or plastic sheeting in major walkways.

  5. Make Sure The Utilities Are Working

    Before heading to your residence, ensure that all of your utilities are set up and working properly. Consider having your heat turned on in advance so that the house is comfortable upon your arrival.

With a little planning, you can make your winter move as pain-free as possible. Before you know it, you will be settled and ready to enjoy the rest of the season in your new home.

Tips for Buying A Vacation Home

Vacation homes can be a great way to invest in real estate. Whether it’s in the mountains, on a lake, or by the beach, a vacation home is a wonderful place where your friends and family can make memories for generations to come. With interest rates still historically low, now could be a great time to buy. If you are in the market for a place to call home, away from home, here are several things to consider as you start your search.

  1. Choose An Area You Love
    This may seem all too simple, but if you are looking to buy a vacation home, make sure you choose an area that you are certain you love spending time in.  In most cases, it is best to visit several times before you confirm it is a place you would like to invest. Consider factors like logistics and convenience, how easy or difficult is it to get to from your current home? Is it close to the places you like to spend time at when you are in the region?
  2. Estimate Maintenance and Carrying Costs
    Look into what you will be spending on property taxes, insurance, and any caretaking that you will need to have done while you are away. Factoring these costs into your budget will help you make a more informed decision when comparing properties.
  3. Talk to the Locals and Do Your Research
    The more you can learn about the area, the better. Of course, you will want to work with a trusted REALTOR® who knows the area, but talking to the locals is a great way to get a feel for the location as well.  Ask about what the region is like during the off-season. Learn more about the weather year round, local businesses, and if the area is growing. You might learn something that will help shape your purchase.
  4. Decide How You Will Use Your Vacation Home
    Decide in advance how you will be using your vacation home. Do you plan to live there seasonally or for weekend getaways? Do you intend to use the property to generate rental income or will it be primarily for family use?
    If you are financing the home, you could purchase it as either a second home or an investment property. The difference between the two is whether or not you are able to use the property to generate rental income. Each option has its own pro and cons.Are you ready to get started? To learn more, reach out to a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer. They can help you prepare for your purchase and determine the loan program that is best for you.