Category: First-Time Homebuyers

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.

4 Signs You Are Ready to Become a Homeowner

Becoming a first-time homeowner can seem intimidating and many would-be buyers struggle with knowing when the time is right.  When it is right, buying a home can be a smart and exciting investment in your future.  Although every situation is different, there are a few indicators that can help you determine if you are ready.

  1. You Have Reviewed Your Budget and Can Afford a Mortgage Payment

    In many cities, a mortgage payment is comparable to the cost of renting. However, that is not always the case. Take a look at the type of properties you are interested in owning and use a simple mortgage calculator to determine the estimated monthly payment. How does it compare to your current cost for housing? Is it within your monthly budget? If so, choosing to buy will help you build equity, rather than simply spending money on rent each month.

  2. You Love Your City and Plan to Stay There A While

    The benefits of buying are significant if you plan to own your home for more than a few years. However, buying and selling under the two-year mark could potentially eliminate the financial benefits that a long-term buyer would see. If you intend to be in your current city for the foreseeable future, it’s great to consider buying rather than renting.

  3. You Know Your Credit Score and Have Addressed Any Issues

    Before you begin your house hunt, it is important to know where you stand financially. As a first step, you should be meeting with a Loan Officer to review your credit score and debt to income ratio to determine if there are any problems that you should address. Fixing or improving your credit score can have a dramatic impact on the interest rates available to you, saving you thousands of dollars in the long-run.

  4. You Have Built Up Your Savings

    Although it is a myth that you need to have 20% down in order to buy a home, it is important to have a nest egg ready for the costs associated with both the down payment, transaction, move, and any unexpected costs. When you’re a first-time homeowner, your Loan Officer understands and can review your goals and help you create an estimate for how much you should have saved. Regardless, if you think you may want to buy a home in the future, it is never too early to start setting money aside.

Contact Marketplace Home Mortage with any questions about being ready to purchase your first home.

Why The Best Deal Doesn’t Always Come At the Lowest Price

For many buyers, it can be tempting to think that the best deal comes at the lowest price. However, that is not always the case, especially when it comes to the housing market.  If you really love a home,  there are some factors that may be worth considering as you enter the bidding process.

Relative Prices – Our natural tendency to pay as little as possible is not as meaningful for an investment, such as a home, as it is for a consumable. In this case, what you pay now can affect your sales price later. There may be little difference in total earnings if you pay less and sell for less or pay more and sell for more.

Influencing Value – For appraisers, the last sale or “comp” in an area sets the value for similar homes. Whatever you pay helps to establish what your home and comparable properties are considered to be worth.

Setting the Trend – If you pay less for your home than was paid for the last similar home, you may be contributing to a downward price trend, which can be difficult to reverse. Conversely, helping to maintain a trend of price appreciation can end up paying you back many times over.

One Chance – No two homes are ever exactly the same. Even when structure matches, your land, your view, your address and your immediate neighbors will always be different. You truly may have only one chance at just the right house. Industry professionals have all seen buyers lose out on what they really wanted. We don’t want that to happen to you. Nor do we want you to pay more tomorrow for something less than what you could have had today as a result of increasing prices and rates.

Price vs. Payments – If you’re financing your purchase, you’ll probably never come close to paying the actual price. You’re making a comparatively small down payment and then paying interest on the loan until you refinance or sell. Yes, you will have a higher payment if you pay more for the home, but an extra $10,000 of mortgage money can add less than $50 per month on a low-rate, 30-year loan.

Every situation is different and you should work with an experienced Realtor and Loan Officer to determine what is the best option for you.  Reach out, and we’ll be happy to help you weigh your options for the home you would really love to own today. We’ll peel back the layers of the housing market so you have a better handle on what’s going on behind the scenes.

Questions? Contact your Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer today.
Not connected with a Loan Officer yet? Find one at a branch near you.
Content sourced from Top of Mind Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.

3 Reasons to Love Our On-Time Closing Guarantee

As a mortgage company, we are committed to making sure our clients have the best home buying experience possible. We understand one thing that gives many homeowners headaches is worrying about their closing date being pushed back. There are a lot of logistics that go into a real estate closing. If you plan for a closing date and move out of one home before you can close on and move into the next, things can get complicated and expensive. That’s why we created the Marketplace Home Mortgage On-Time Closing Guarantee *.

Here are 3 Reasons Our Clients Love It:

1. Make A Stronger Offer
Closing on time is important to both the Buyer AND the Seller. In today’s competitive market, our On-Time Closing Guarantee* helps you stand out during multiple-offer scenarios. It lets the seller know they can count on Marketplace to keep the financing on track and helps give them peace of mind.

2. Worry Less 
With the added protection of our guarantee, you don’t need to worry as much about the possibility of unexpected costs due to a delay. If for some reason Marketplace Home Mortgage is unable to close your new home purchase on or before your scheduled closing date, we will pay your first mortgage payment up to $1,500 and the seller of the property will also be paid $5,000*.

3. Enjoy the Excitement
With the On-Time Closing Guarantee * in place, you are able to focus on the exciting parts of your home purchase, like the joy of preparing and planning for life in your new home.

To learn more about our On-Time Closing Guarantee * and what it can mean for you during your home buying process, reach out to a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer today.

 

*For details see our complete Terms & Conditions.

 

 

Five Things to Avoid When Seeking A Loan Pre-Approval

When you are preparing to buy a house it’s important to make sure your finances are in order and well-documented.  There are a number of things you should avoid doing financially as you prepare to seek a loan pre-approval, and some of them might surprise you.   Even after you have been pre-approved you should be cautious to make sure that nothing disrupts your final closing. Here are five things you should not do to ensure a smooth loan process.

  1. Don’t 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 (or even borrow against retirement funds) consult your Loan Officer first.

  2. Don’t Change Jobs

    Probationary periods, career changes, or even status changes can be subject to very strict rules when it comes to mortgages. This includes changing from a salaried to a commissioned position, requesting a leave of absence, or accepting a new bonus structure. If you think a change in your job might affect your ability to secure financing speak with your Loan Officer.

  3. Don’t 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. Avoid depositing cash.

  4. Don’t Wait to Liquidate Funds From Stock or Retirement Accounts

    If you need to sell investments, do it right away and document the transaction. Don’t take the risk that the market could move against you which could leave you short of funds to close.

  5. Don’t Ever Be Afraid to Ask Questions

    If you’re uncertain about what you need or what you should do, your loan officer will be there to help you through the loan pre-approval process, even long before you intend to buy.

The Benefits of an FHA Home Loan

For some buyers, an FHA home loan may work when others can’t.

The FHA home loan program is designed to help promote homeownership. Loans distributed through this program are insured by the Federal Housing Administration. For many buyers, FHA loans make it easier to qualify for a mortgage.

When it comes to FHA Loans, here are a few of the features that can be beneficial:

  • Low Down Payments – As little as 3.5% down will work in most instances, and 5% covers most others.
  • Higher Loan Amounts – In some areas, FHA maximums can exceed conventional loan limits.
  • Lower Total Cash to Close – Sellers can help pay closing costs, and borrowers can receive gift money toward their down payments.
  • Streamlined and Cash Out Refinancing – Subsequent refinancing can be far easier and more lenient than with conventional loans.
  • Purchase and Rehab Financing – The FHA 203k loan can be a great option for the purchase of homes in need of a quick spruce up or even major remodeling when you don’t have sufficient funds to do it on your own.
Program details sourced from Top of Mind Networks, LLC. All rights reserved.
Questions? Contact a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer today.
Not connected with a Loan Officer yet? Find one at a branch near you.

Where Do I Begin? Taking the First Steps Toward Home Ownership

They say that the first step is always the hardest, and that can definitely be true when it comes to buying your first home. Many a first-time homebuyer knows that it makes more sense for them to buy than it does to rent but are not sure where to begin.

It is understandable that purchasing a home may seem daunting but you shouldn’t let intimidation get the best of you. You don’t need to know the finer details of the process to get started, and once you begin you will have experts to guide you. If you are considering becoming a homeowner, here are some simple first steps to get you on your way.

 

Step 1: Reach Out To A Loan Officer

Unless you are buying a home with cash, the first and most important step toward becoming a homeowner is to meet with a licensed mortgage Loan Officer. A Loan Officer will serve as your guide through the financial side of the home buying process. They will help you with everything from reviewing your credit and loan options, to securing pre-approval and financing.

If you don’t already have a Loan Officer in mind, and would like to work with Marketplace Home Mortgage, you can visit the “Find A Loan Officer” page on our website. Choose a branch near you, and then browse the websites of mortgage professionals who are available to help you at that location.

Once you have found a Loan Officer you would like to work with, call or email to set up an initial appointment. During this appointment, they will help you review your current financial standing by looking at things such as your credit score and income. They can help you determine if there are any credit issues you should work on before you start your house hunt.  If you are ready, your Loan Officer will work with you to determine what you can afford and help you get pre-approved.

 

Step 2: Select A Realtor®

Once you have found and met with a Loan Officer, the next step is to find a licensed REALTOR® that you trust. Your Loan Officer may be able to recommend an agent that their past clients have worked with, or you may have friends and family who have referrals from within their sphere. There is also an abundance of sites that can help you find an agent.

Just like with a Loan Officer you can browse their website, read reviews and meet with them to determine if they are someone you would like to work with.

 

Step 3: Find Your Dream Home

Once you have your home buying team in place you can start in on the adventure of choosing a home. Your Realtor® will help you find the perfect home and navigate the purchase process, while your Loan Officer helps with the remaining steps required to secure financing and make the purchase.

Although the home buying process may seem daunting, with the right team in place, you will have experienced professionals there to guide you through every step as a first-time homebuyer. The only one you have to take on your own is the first.

Give a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer a call and get started today.

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Lending services may be provided in certain states by Marketplace Home Mortgage, L.L.C. (NMLS#1082).  This is not an offer to lend or to extend credit, nor is this a guaranty of loan approval or commitment to lend.  The information here may not be up-to-date and may no longer be accurate.  Consumers must independently verify the accuracy and currency of available mortgage programs.  All loan approvals are subject to the borrower(s) satisfying all underwriting guidelines and loan approval conditions and providing an acceptable property, appraisal, and title report.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a first-time homebuyer, our loan officers can help you get started.

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5 Freedoms That Come with Homeownership

You’ve probably heard some of the logical reasons to become a homeowner. When you own your own home you are building equity rather than throwing away money on rent. You are eligible for valuable tax write-offs, and unlike rent, fixed-rate mortgage payments cannot rise over the years to come. However, many young people are still afraid of committing to owning their own home. What they might not realize is that home ownership offers many freedoms of its own. Here are 5 of our favorite homeownership benefits. READ MORE