The Marketplace
Home Mortgage Blog

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 and 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.

DO

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.

 

AVOID

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.

FHFA Announces an Increase in Loan Limits For 2018

On Tuesday, The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced an increase in maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2018.

The FHFA stated that loan limits will be raised to reflect the change in U.S. home prices. The press release distributed by the agency states:

According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 6.8 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017.  Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage.” – Federal Housing Finance Agency 

This is the second straight year that limits have increased. Throughout most of the United States, the 2018 maximum conforming loan limit for one-unit properties will be $453,100, an increase from $424,100 in 2017. Designated High-Cost areas will also see a loan limit increase.

To learn more about loan limits in your area and what they mean for you, contact a Marketplace Home Mortgage Loan Officer today.

To read the full press release visit:  http://bit.ly/LoanLimits2018 

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.

Marketplace Home Mortgage branches into New England market

At Marketplace Home Mortgage, we’re continuing to grow our footprint and are currently expanding service in the state of Massachusetts and the New England real estate market.

Marketplace Home Mortgage loan officers are already helping area real estate agents and home buyers meet their goals of achieving home ownership and we have now tapped industry professional Rick Schlager to lead our efforts in the Bay State.

new england real estate market
Rick Schlager

“I joined Marketplace because no other company offers New England the technological edge we can,” Schlager said. “As a service-oriented loan originator, I know that kind of convenience is going to thrill the Massachusetts market by combining the great tools Marketplace utilizes with the focus of producing outstanding customer service.”

Presently, Marketplace has offices in Bedford and New Hampshire, with plans to open a second New Hampshire location in Portsmouth in the fourth quarter.

“We see New England as a major growth focus for the Marketplace team,” says Eastern Division Manager Michael Wesson. “With the overwhelming response our efforts have received, we plan to hire more than a dozen new loan officers and support staff within the next year.”

The New England team will continue building its reputation for quick, dependable mortgage service in the coming months.  In addition, we will build the infrastructure – such as fully local underwriting and processing – to ensure that Marketplace can continue to provide outstanding service and results to consumers and referral partners in the New England real estate market.

“It’s no surprise that Rick has a laser focus on achieving high levels of customer service,” said Marketplace CEO Keith White. “That sincere, tangible connection to home buyers and Realtors is what makes our company stand out.”

 

Marketplace Home Mortgage Voted “Best of Business”

We are proud to share that Marketplace Home Mortgage was voted Best Mortgage Company in this year’s TC Business Reader Poll.

Each year, TC Business Magazine works with DataJoe Research to accumulate votes for their “Best of Business” Awards.  Through the process, they survey thousands of professionals to determine which companies exemplify excellence in their respective industries.

We are honored to be recognized. Thank you to all of the clients and industry peers who voted for us. Our mission is to provide our customers with the best possible mortgage experience, and we are so proud to know that you are experiencing the excellence we always strive for.

Thank you for your business. It is truly an honor to serve you.

As always, contact us with any questions or concerns.

Marketplace Home Mortgage Launches Commercial Lending Division

Stephanie SafeMarketplace Home Mortgage, L.L.C. is excited to be adding to our product line as we launch our new Commercial Lending Division.  With the acquisition of First Financial Commercial, a 20-year Commercial Lender owned and operated by Stephanie Safe, Marketplace Home Mortgage now offers commercial lending to clients across the nation.

Together, Stephanie, and Marketplace executive, Greg Ettinger, will be leading the effort.

With her long list of industry contacts, Ms. Safe and Mr. Ettinger will connect commercial clients to the resources, support and unmatched talent Marketplace provides.

“Marketplace is built on relationships, expertise and technology that simplifies lending,” Ms. Safe said. “Now that commercial lending is under the same roof, we can guarantee great service for every possible type of customer demand.”

Ms. Safe has spent the past decade running her own commercial lending company, headquartered in Minnesota while closing transactions across the United States. Her national experience with projects from Multi-Family, Senior Facilities and a variety of other commercial real estate puts a new tool in the arsenal of the 180-plus Marketplace loan officers across their footprint.

“With Stephanie on board, we don’t have to point customers interested in commercial options to the lender down the street,” said Chief Development Officer Greg Ettinger. “Marketplace becomes the go-to option for any and all real estate related lending services.”

Marketplace is well into an expansion that has seen new offices in Iowa, South Dakota, New Hampshire and other states in the past year. CEO Keith White – who’s known Ms. Safe for years – said he envisioned her for the company’s commercial lending leadership long ago.

“Stephanie brings a lot more than her Rolodex to our team,” White said. “She’s charismatic, hardworking and committed to stellar results. Whatever your commercial lending needs, our team will deliver – faster and smarter than anyone else.”

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.

 

 

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.
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