With Labor Day right around the corner, and the holidays quickly approaching, have you done your Fall Planning?
Between apple picking, cheering on your favorite football team and pumpkin carving this Autumn, be sure you take the time to prepare your home for the approaching cold weather season!
Winter Preparation Checklist:
[ ] Gutters: Clean out your rain gutters after the leaves have fallen
[ ] Windows: Install storm windows, put winter plastic on inside window or use energy
saver curtains on them to prevent heat from escaping
[ ] Doors: Add weather stripping to doors
[ ] Emergency Kit: Prepare an “emergency” kit in case of power outages from snow
and ice storms with some key items: Food, Important documents, Family photos,
Flashlights and Batteries
[ ] Pipes: Wrap pipes in unheated locations
[ ] Energy Source: clean and prep your furnace, wood stove or back up generator
Once you’ve prepped your home against the winter elements, be sure to take a look at your winter household budget. How does your mortgage fit into your financial budget and goals? With interest rates still at historic lows, now is a great time to see if refinancing or purchasing a new home will be beneficial to you.
Looking at the 5 steps to turning yourself into a more successful mortgage candidate we started with research and asking questions to make sure you understand what to expect. Now, let’s talk about accepting the guidance we’ve been given.
Step Three: Accepting Guidance
You researched your questions, became an expert on your specific needs and asked for guidance on anything that remained unclear. You know what kind of mortgage you want. Time to pull the trigger. Jump in. Hit the big red button. Compare companies that offer the mortgage loan product you want and pick a winner. Done.
You absolutely can take that approach, and since you’ve done your research and understand your needs, you’re in better shape for the effort. In asking questions along the way you may have been given bits of guidance from a loan officer, though, and it’s worth taking a look at what they said.
Areas of Expertise
It’s a loan officer’s business to gather as much knowledge as possible on how mortgage products work, what little “quirks” or specific requirements there may be that could cause mischief, and whether there are state specific programs available to help depending on your needs. While you are the expert on your specific needs, a loan officer is going to bring expertise on mortgage loan products to the equation. It’s a good idea to keep an open mind while you’re researching. There may be a solution that didn’t come up in your research that is perfect for your situation.
Try not to get too caught up on one idea or plan. You may be focusing on one way of keeping your costs down while your loan officer is able to see that by shifting your focus to another area you could save much more. If they let you know, take a moment and listen.
Ultimately, the decision is yours. You’re going to be able to choose the path that you want. When you do, try to keep the guidance you’ve received in perspective. There may be an opportunity that didn’t come up in your searches, and who knows. It could be a money saver. And the next step and topic for next week… Eligibility vs. Comfortability!
Natural Disaster Alert:
RMS Disaster Services:
If you are affected by Hurricane Irma and have an active loan in process, please contact a RMS loan advisor at: 1-844-505-3917
- Our loan advisors are here to help, Monday through Thursday 8am – 8pm, and Friday 8am – 6pm, EST
Who should I call?
- If you have an active loan in process, please contact your RMS Loan Advisor directly or call us at 1-844-505-3917
- Our loan advisors will work with you to extend timelines and schedule a post disaster inspection if necessary
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can register with FEMA in person, online, or via phone by calling 1-800-621-3362
- FEMA offers grants to cover the gaps between insurance and SBA loans for things such as home repairs, temporary rent, and other items
- The Small Business Administration
- The SBA extends loans to replace or repair your primary residence whether you are renting or currently own a home
- Your homeowners insurance company, in addition to your flood insurance company, if this applies to your situation
- Your current mortgage servicer
The house I was purchasing was damaged or destroyed. What do I do now?
Please contact one of our RMS Loan Advisors at 1-844-505-3917. We will work with you to assess property damage and required repairs
RMS is committed to delivering a great customer experience with every customer in every transaction. Our team is here to help those customers and communities affected by Hurricane Irma get through this trying time.
We will work to ensure support and assistance is provided around relief efforts.
In this series we’re examining 5 steps to turning yourself into a more successful mortgage candidate. We’ve talked about the value of research, not necessarily to become an expert on the mortgage industry, but to become an expert on your own needs and preferences. The home buying and mortgage loan financing processes can seem complex and it’s important to understand what questions to ask to get the help you need. Now it’s time to formulate those questions.
Step Two: Ask Questions
If you don’t ask, you don’t know.
Picture this. You fill out your mortgage application and submit the documentation the mortgage company needs. Things like recent pay stubs, bank statements, photo ID, tax returns, W-2s, etc. In other words, kind of personal stuff. You’re not sure exactly why they need all of that but you want the approval so you can buy your house. “Thank you, we received your documentation,” they say. You sit back and wonder if you’ll have your mortgage approval by lunchtime.
Your first disappointment is in learning that it takes longer than a couple of hours to get through the mortgage process. Next, you learn that your intent to use that box of cash you’ve been saving up for the last year as down payment money isn’t a popular plan to the mortgage company. They’re asking whether you have other ways to pay those costs. Ways that can be documented. These misunderstandings are easily avoidable if you do some research on what happens during the mortgage process and ask questions about anything that remains unclear.
The mortgage process can go smoothly and quickly, and technology is playing a great role these days in speeding up what has been a lengthy process historically, but there are still important steps involved after you submit your application. Some of the steps have to do with documenting the security of your current financial standing and looking at your history of repaying debts. Other steps are in place to check that you aren’t trying to commit any kind of fraud or financial crime with this mortgage transaction. That may sound funny to most of us, but the mortgage industry is a big target for that sort of thing and extra caution is required.
Your loan officer and his or her team understand all of these factors and it’s their role to put your application package together completely and compliantly. The more they understand about your situation and your needs, the better they’ll be able to do that job and make sure you’re applying for the mortgage product that best fits your needs. The more you understand about how things work and what to expect, the more comfortable you’ll feel in those periods of time when you don’t have an answer yet, or when your mortgage team reaches out to you to get one more set of documents “…and quickly please.”
Your mortgage experience doesn’t have to be fraught with anxiety or delays due to misunderstandings. Ask about anything that you’re left confused or unsure over. Make sure you understand the answers you’re given. If you’re uncomfortable with anything, let your mortgage team know. And the next step and topic for next week… Accept Guidance!
Let’s face it. House hunting is the fun research that most people think of when contemplating buying a home. You learn about neighborhoods. You decide on numbers of desired bedrooms and bathrooms, look at the condition of the property and weigh the importance of finishes. School districts and nearby amenities may sway your decision. You research real estate agents and the value of working with a professional or taking your chances on your own. You envision yourself living in the new home with endless sunny days filtering in through those nice big windows. Then the question comes: “Are you pre-qualified?”
Unless you plan to pay the entire amount yourself, you’re going to need to get a mortgage loan to help with your home purchase. And this, folks, is where the confidence in what to research next often runs out. At what point do you get pre-qualified? How do you judge which is the right mortgage company? What kind of mortgage program should you ask for? How much money do you need to have saved? What are the fees? Does a good interest rate require negotiation skills? How long does it take to get approved and what if you get rejected? Can you just show the mortgage company an app on your phone and walk out the same day with keys to your new home?
In this series we’ll examine 5 steps to turning yourself into a more successful mortgage candidate.
Step One: Research
The Benefits of Research
The more you understand entering into your mortgage pre-qualification, the more comfortable you’re bound to be through the mortgage approval process. Following are some areas of focus that should help you get underway.
First Things First… Where to Start
The first step in house hunting ought to be mortgage pre-qualification. Real estate agents and home owners are likely to ask you whether you’re pre-qualified because they don’t want to waste time showing you the house, or talking offers, until they know that you’re deemed capable of making a home purchase.
Understand Your Needs
The best chance a mortgage company will have of meeting your needs is if you can clearly state what they are. You don’t have to become an expert on every mortgage product out there, but you are an expert on your personal situation. That is exactly what your loan officer is looking to learn from you so they can turn around and give you solid professional guidance.
They’ll want to understand:
- Your debt load compared to your income.
- Your credit history.
- What amount of monthly mortgage payment you would be able to pay consistently and comfortably.
- How much money you have already saved to cover closing costs and down payment.
- What is most important to you: low interest rates; low monthly payments; low down payment; using your VA benefits; not having to pay monthly mortgage insurance; not having to pay any mortgage insurance; getting assistance to buy your first home; seeing the house as a short term investment; planning to stay in the home for as long as possible; downsizing; upsizing; paying the loan off as fast as you can, etc.
It’s Okay. Play.
Mortgage calculators range from simple to complex, depending on where you look and how involved you want to get. Play around. Take a look at different ideas and get a feel for what that would mean for your wallet. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that mortgage calculators are broad brush estimating tools and may not take all of the facts into consideration. Still, in playing around, you may pick up on trends in one mortgage product or another that will help you to know what you’re looking for or inspire good questions to ask.
The more informed you are when you enter into your mortgage pre-qualification, the more you’ll be able to help get the kind of results you want. Poke around. Read up. And the next step and topic for next week… Ask Questions!