Home Equity Loans—What You Need to Know

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 20, 2017

Let’s talk home equity.

As we navigate the complex world of home financing, it’s important to know exactly what the term means, and how it relates to you. Here’s a basic definition as it pertains to the homeowner:

Equity is the difference between how much your home is worth and how much you owe on it.

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Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 16, 2017

The Thanksgiving meal—a time for hosting family and friends in your home, and also forgetting that dietary preferences for half your guests don’t fit the menu you planned.

Whether your family serves hors d’oeuvres while comfortably waiting for the main event, or waits in tense silence for the turkey to finally finish,

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Home Warranties: Do You Need One?

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 13, 2017

A home warranty sounds like a good idea, but do you really know what it covers? Depending on your situation, it may not be necessary (and you can put that hard earned cash back into your newly purchased home).

Services

Many home warranties are over $300 a year,

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Before You Hire: Essential Questions To Ask A Handyman

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 8, 2017

A great handyman is worth their weight in gold. Finding someone you can trust can be a daunting task, but putting in research and effort on the front-end could prevent a lot of inconvenience and expense over the long term. Consider employing these must-ask questions before you shake hands and sign a contract with anyone working inside your home.

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What To Know About Flying The U.S. Flag At Your Home

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 6, 2017

The pride of home ownership often includes keeping up your property’s curb appeal. The stars and stripes might be the perfect finishing touch, but did you know there are special guidelines for displaying and handling a U.S. flag? We’re here to guide you through it so you’re ready to go by Veteran’s Day,

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VA Loans, Refinancing And Home Modification Grants For Veterans

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 3, 2017

VA loans are home mortgages designed specifically for veterans that have served a minimum of 90 days on active duty. Developed and guaranteed by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, approved lenders can issue home loans to veterans without the stipulations of a traditional loan. Here’s everything you need to know (and more) if you’re a veteran looking to buy,

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Home Staging Tips For A Great Fall Look

Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 1, 2017

“No personal photos!” Some experts say it’s the first rule of home staging when you’re putting your house on the market. But what else should you do to beef up your curb (and interior) appeal? As you put those precious memories in storage to prepare for your home’s market debut,

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Aging Gracefully: 7 Activities To Help You Stay Young At Heart

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 24, 2017

At Open Mortgage, it is our belief that we should all be on a journey to self-improvement. As we age, there are additional considerations to apply to this journey we call life, but the heart of it remains the same: How can I improve myself and,

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The Ultimate Timeline For Planning The Big Move

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 19, 2017

Buying a house is exciting. Moving is not. But there are strategies that can help you make it as painless as possible. If you’re moving within six weeks, you’ll have no problems mastering a mega move. Moving in less time than that? Some of these plans can be reorganized to fit your schedule.

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Spookify Your Front Porch Just In Time For Trick-Or-Treaters

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 16, 2017

Want to bring your A-game to Hallow’s Eve this year? Here are a few easy ways to make a hair-raising impression after sundown.

Mood Lighting

Changing the bulbs around the exterior of your home is perhaps the easiest (and least expensive) method of transitioning your house from welcoming to creepy.

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Halloween House Parties Sure To Be The Hit Of The Neighborhood

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 12, 2017

Part of the joy of home ownership is settling into the neighborhood and forming long-lasting friendships. Starting an annual Halloween party tradition brings the community together for something to look forward to all year long, whether guests are eight or 80 years old. Here are three ideas that are sure to be the hit of any neighborhood.

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Student Loans & Mortgages: Here’s What You Need To Know

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 10, 2017

Student loan debt have you worried about applying for a mortgage? It isn’t the loan itself that can affect your mortgage qualifications, but the amount you owe on that loan compared to your income, as well as the amount of the mortgage itself. Here are some basic factors that your lender will consider.

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The Road To Recovery: How A 203(h) Loan Can Help

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 5, 2017

No one expects to lose a home in a natural disaster, so when the worst is realized, we do our best to put one foot in front of the other. That said, picking up the pieces following a catastrophic storm like Hurricane Harvey or Irma can be overwhelming and confusing.

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3 Plants Every Homeowner Should Keep Inside The House

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 4, 2017

Are you green with envy when you walk into someone’s house beautifully adorned with well-maintained plants? Don’t be! Anyone can have a house full of plants if you pick the right ones. House plants don’t only function as beautiful reminders of the outdoors for homeowners, they also help purify the air,

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4 YouTube Channels To Help You Become A Master Gardener

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 3, 2017

Home gardening can be a great relaxing hobby, but it can also be intimidating if you’re inexperienced. Luckily, there’s a YouTube channel for that. In fact, there are quite a few YouTube channels for that. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, knowledge or instruction, these four YouTube channels are some of the best resources around when you’re looking to get your hands dirty.

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Your Home-Buying Style: Fixer-Upper or Move-in Ready

Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 2, 2017

You’re thinking of purchasing a home. Congratulations! Now for the big decisions. Do you want something that you can put your personal fingerprint on, or something with fingerprint-proof appliances? Do you want to retile the bathroom to your ideal color and shape, or enjoy a relaxing bath without eyeing the grout lines?

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Why Now is a Great Time to Upgrade to a Solar Powered Home

Posted By Micah on September 25, 2017

Although solar power has been around for generations, it was not long ago where the technology was both expensive and inefficient. Early solar panels could only convert a small percentage of solar radiation to energy, and the cost per watt of the technology was well outside of the range necessary to bring about a good return on your investment.

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Fast Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying for Your Mortgage

Posted By Micah on September 18, 2017

Your FICO credit score plays a key role in your ability to apply for a low interest mortgage. The higher your credit score, the more lenders are able to offer you a competitive rate on your loan. For those who are looking at buying a new home, it’s important to prioritize fixing your credit score in order to ensure that you receive the best rate possible.

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Options for Mortgage Holders Suffering from Flood Damage

Posted By Micah on September 14, 2017

Only a couple weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Hurricane Irma has devastated Florida this past weekend. There is no denying that homes all over the region are going to sustain damage, including flood damage from each hurricane’s harsh rain.

If your home has been affected by flood,

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What Happens if You’re Under Contract to Buy a Home That Has Been Damaged

Posted By Micah on September 13, 2017

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many uncommon homeowner and mortgage scenarios have been thrust into the spotlight. As those in Houston and the surrounding areas are faced with unimaginable challenges from this surprise hurricane, the following tips may give guidance and peace of mind.

One such situation involves a house that is damaged during escrow – when the homebuyer is under contract to purchase the home,

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Video: Getting a Mortgage While Self-Employed

Posted By Brandon Simmons on September 11, 2017

If you’re self employed, it’s still very possible to get a mortgage, though it can be more challenging.

This video details how you can get a mortgage if you’re part of the fastest growing segment of America’s workforce (freelancers and the self-employed).

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Video: 5 Ways to Keep your Mortgage Rate Low

Posted By Brandon Simmons on September 5, 2017

Many people don’t realize how much money they can save over time by securing a lower mortgage rate.

This video provides some practical tips on securing a low interest rate when applying for a mortgage.

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Video: Comparing Homeownership to Renting

Posted By Micah on August 28, 2017

The choice between buying a home and renting is one of the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. Each have their advantages, but what’s best for you depends on your circumstances.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, watch this video to learn some of empowering benefits that could be in your future.

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Ready to Buy a Home? Consider its Utility Costs and Energy Efficiency

Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 21, 2017

When searching for homes, it’s typical to tour many homes (and spend months looking online) before discovering the home you want in your price range.

When you finally experience this home in person, you’ll likely feel joy and excitement. After all, this home could be the setting for your next life stage!

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Video: Is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Right for You?

Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 16, 2017

Home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), also known as reverse mortgages, let eligible Americans 62 and older borrow money from their home equity.

While HECMs can be a powerful tool for certain individuals and families, they’re not meant for everyone. Watch this video to learn if a HECM could be right for you.

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Types of Eco-friendly Renovations Available for Your Home

Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 14, 2017

Over the past few years, more and more homeowners are investing in environmentally friendly home renovations. Not only are these upgrades good for the environment – they also have the potential to improve the value of your property and increase your home’s equity, while possibly decreasing energy consumption costs as well.

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Video: Items Needed When Buying a Home

Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 7, 2017

When you begin the homebuying process, your mind can have a million thoughts all over the place.

Let this video sort out everything you need to focus on for buying a house.

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Five Benefits that Reverse Mortgages can Offer Seniors

Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 3, 2017

Baby boomers: the ideal reverse mortgage candidate?

According to newly-released government data, 32% of Americans aged 65 to 69 are employed—the highest percentage in 55 years.

In addition, 19% of Americans aged 70 to 74 are still working,

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Five Questions to Ask a Prospective Realtor

Posted By Brandon Simmons on July 31, 2017

Five Questions to Ask a Prospective Realtor

When it comes to buying and selling your home, having the right Realtor can help you buy your dream house or sell your existing home quickly.  

Realtors perform literally hundreds of functions for individual homebuyers and sellers,

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Don’t Forget School Districts When Home Shopping

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 25, 2017

Everyone knows the most enjoyable part of buying a home is house hunting (we even enjoy watching other people search for their homes!). It’s fun to explore different neighborhoods and settings while planning your future.

When looking at different homes, there are many things to consider,

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Five Mistakes that Can Cause You to Lose a Home Purchase

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 24, 2017


It’s getting hot out there, particularly in the housing market.


With bidding wars increasingly common in many locations, buying a home requires discipline and strategy—and knowledge of mistakes that cause homebuyers to miss out on homes.

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Video: Five Ways to Keep Your Mortgage Rate Low

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 20, 2017

Many people don’t realize how much money they can save over time by securing a lower mortgage rate.

This video provides some practical tips on securing a low interest rate when applying for a mortgage.

 

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Mortgage Industry Highlights – June 2017

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 18, 2017

June was another busy month in the red-hot mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights and tips for homeowners:


Fed hikes interest rates and brightens economic outlook

The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday,

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Seniors: Buy a Home and Have No Mortgage Payment

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 17, 2017

Until the last decade, if you were 62 or older and and wanted to buy a new home, your options were limited by the equity accessed from selling your home, your cash savings, and the size of any mortgage you could obtain.

But in 2009,

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Home Inspections: a Critical Part of Your Homebuying Experience

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 13, 2017

Buying a home is one of the largest purchases you can make.

It takes most people 30 years to completely pay off their home, as around 90% of homes are purchased using 30-year mortgages.

Because of the high value of your home,

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Ready to Remodel Your Home? Consider Using a 203K Loan!

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 11, 2017

Remodeling can dramatically improve your home’s livability, make it more attractive, and can boost your property value.  

Even if you’ve never thought of remodeling, consider the following locations in your home, and imagine whether you could improve them:

  • Kitchen
  • Master bathroom
  • Living room
  • Outdoor landscaping
  • Patio / deck

If you can think of obvious improvements to any of these locations,

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Video: Owning vs Renting

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 10, 2017

The choice between buying a home and renting is one of the biggest financial decisions that many adults make. Each have their advantages, but what’s best for you depends on your circumstances.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, watch this video to learn some empowering benefits that could be in your future.

Read More


Six Ways to Lower Your Home’s Fire Risk

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 6, 2017

For many homeowners and homebuyers, fires are a distant concern.

But recent data gathered by the National Fire Protection Association paints a different picture.  In 2015 alone, fire departments across the United States responded to a staggering 365,000 home structure fires,

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The Facts About Home Equity Conversion Mortgages [Infographic]

Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 5, 2017

Discover the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), a remarkable tool that can provide seniors increased financial stability.

The infographic below breaks down:

  • How seniors 62-and-up can strategically use the $6.2 trillion of equity stored in their homes
  • Reasons why you or a family member might consider using a HECM
  • The HECM’s wide range of payout methods
  • How to buy a new home using a HECM and never have a mortgage payment

If you’re interested in speaking about the HECM,

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VA Loans Help Military Veterans Become Homeowners

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 29, 2017

The VA loan allows veterans, active members of the military, and surviving spouses to purchase a home with zero down payment unless required by a lender, or unless a purchase price is more than a property’s reasonable value.

In addition, VA loans don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI).

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Video: Self Employment and Mortgages

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 27, 2017

When you’re self employed, it’s still very possible to get a mortgage, though it can be more challenging.

This video details how you can get a mortgage if you’re part of the fastest growing segment of America’s workforce (freelancers and the self-employed).

 

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Why Refinance? Mortgage Rates are Historically Low

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 26, 2017

On June 8, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped to a seven month low, and averaged 3.89% for the week.

This compares to a March 2017 mortgage rate of 4.3%, and counters early year predictions of rising mortgage rates throughout 2017.

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Prevent Identity Theft and Help Preserve Your Credit Score

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 22, 2017

For homebuyers, having a good credit score is an important part of the mortgage process, and it can save you you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

While you can build a good credit score with a range of strategies,

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Choose Wisely When You Insulate Your Home

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 20, 2017

For homebuyers, your mortgage payment is one of several monthly costs you’ll have to pay. Other monthly costs include your property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowners association (HOA) fees.

On top of these, homeowners can expect a substantial monthly power power bill. In the summer of 2017 alone,

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USA Today: Reverse Mortgages a Critical Part of Retirement Planning

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 19, 2017

Reverse mortgages continue to receive positive publicity in the news media, this time from USA Today.

In a recent article, titled “Want financial security? Home equity and retirement accounts are key,” reverse mortgages are described as being a critical part of retirement planning.

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Mortgage Industry Highlights – May 2017

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 15, 2017

May was another busy month for the mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights, and homeowner tips:


U.S. pending home sales fall; housing market recovery intact


Contracts to buy previously owned U.S.

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Five Ways to Build Home Equity Faster

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 13, 2017

One of the biggest advantages of owning a home is building home equity.

Home equity is the current market value of a home minus its outstanding mortgage balance. In simple terms, it’s home ownership that you build by making monthly mortgage payments.

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To Pool, or Not to Pool: the Pros and Cons of Buying a Home with a Pool

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 8, 2017

Summer officially begins on June 20, and thermometers are on the rise. Some parts of the country have already experienced triple-digit temperatures.

This makes cooling down in a pool an appealing thought for many people. But what about buying a home that comes with a pool?

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How a Secured Credit Card Can Help Get Your First Mortgage

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 6, 2017

Good credit is important if you’re planning on buying your first home; your credit rating impacts your ability to get a mortgage as well as the mortgage rate you receive.

Considering that a lower mortgage rate can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan,

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Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Term Payment)

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 5, 2017

If you’re a senior citizen, there are times you you may require extra income for a specific period of time. This income could be for unexpectedly needing several months of physical therapy, or to take up a new hobby such as golf lessons.

Regardless of why you need this extra income,

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Five Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 1, 2017

When you commit to buying a home with a mortgage, it’s usually with the plan of paying it off with monthly payments over 15 or 30 years.

During this long timeframe, your life circumstances could change, or the economy could change. When either of these occur,

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Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Tenure Payment)

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 30, 2017

Senior citizens sometimes require extra income to supplement their social security, savings, and investments. Whether it’s for medical expenses, building savings, or to take up a new hobby, this extra income can be obtained through a reverse mortgage.

As discussed in our previous blog post,

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How to Lower Your Summer Air Conditioning Costs While Staying Cool

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 25, 2017

As we head towards June, summer is on our doorstep!

With weather forecasters predicting a hotter-than-average summer for much of the country, and with the average household facing a $410 monthly electricity bill,

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Why You Shouldn’t Shop for a Car Before Buying a Home

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 24, 2017

If you’re planning on buying a home, you have an empowering journey ahead that can provide long-lasting benefits.

Whether it’s six months or a year before you buy a home, it’s important to have your finances in order. We recommend improving your credit (most importantly,

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Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Line of Credit)

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 22, 2017

With Americans living longer than ever, it’s harder for seniors to remain financially stable while extending their savings.

This is causing many seniors to delay retirement so they can work more years. Others are downsizing their homes or turning to family for assistance.

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Six Compelling Reasons to Buy Your First Home

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 18, 2017

For individuals and families considering buying their first home, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and question whether you should keep renting.

After all, buying a home commits you to years of monthly home payments (and risk) in an uncertain global economy. Owning a home also provides a long list of benefits,

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Video: Six Questions to Ask Your Realtor When You Find a Home You Love

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 17, 2017

Your Realtor is an important part of the homebuying process, your Realtor is an important part of the process, and a valuable resource for you.  

One of the most exciting homebuying moments is discovering a home you love. When you find that house, here are six essential questions to ask your Realtor:

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Loan Comparison: How USDA Loans Measure Up to FHA Loans

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 15, 2017

Those looking for a low to no down payment mortgage have options. From VA loans to HomeReady Loans to loans only available via the state, there are many different mortgages available for those who do not have the traditional 20% down payment.

The most common of these home loans is the FHA loan,

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Five Tips for Obtaining a Mortgage for a Rental Property

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 11, 2017

The housing market has recovered considerably since the crash. Homes are now back in high demand, and – thanks to stricter lending practices – the likelihood of another crash in the future has been drastically reduced.

For investors, this means that now is a great time to consider purchasing a rental property.

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Mortgage Industry Highlights – April 2017

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 8, 2017


April was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights and homeowner tips:

Two Blockbuster Months In A Row Signal Steaming Home Market

Pending sales, which are home purchase transactions in which a buyer has signed a contract,

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Study: the Five Best States to Retire

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 2, 2017

If you’re planning your retirement or are already retired, the state you live in matters.

Because individual states have different tax laws, varying affordability levels, and a range of  benefits (and drawbacks) for retirees — where you retire will have a dramatic impact on your life.

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Five Essential Online Resources for Homebuyers

Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 1, 2017

If you’re planning on buying a home, there’s a vast range of online resources available at your fingertips.

Contrast today’s virtually endless resources with 25 years ago — homebuying research was mainly limited to home listings in newspapers, books / magazines (which needed to be purchased or checked out from libraries),

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Low Income Mortgage Loans: You Can Afford More Than You Think

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 27, 2017

It’s easy to feel like home buying may not be possible based on your income. Homes are expensive, and it’s not uncommon to hear horror stories about how difficult it is to qualify for a loan, how often borrowers took out loans that were more than they can handle,

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Five Fast Strategies to Qualify for a Higher Loan Amount

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 26, 2017

In most cases, mortgage loan originators look into your past, present, and likely future to determine if you qualify for a home mortgage. They look at your payment history, your credit score (which takes years to develop), your income for the year, and more.

Many of these factors are difficult to change by the time you apply for a home loan.

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Tips to Fix Your Credit Before Refinancing

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 25, 2017

Mortgage rates are on the rise, and that means if you have been putting off a refinance, it may be time to hurry. The longer you wait, the more likely the interest rates will increase – at least in today’s economy – and that reduces the value of refinancing in the future.

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Mortgage Tips for Single Parents

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 24, 2017

If you’re a single parent looking for a home loan, it can seem challenging to find one that suits your needs. Although mortgage lenders generally don’t look at marital status when reviewing home loan applications, they do look at the following:

  • Debt and payment obligations
  • Total household income
  • Net income after taxes,

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Video: Learn About the Different Home Loans

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 20, 2017

If you’re starting the homebuying process, it’s normal to feel confused by the different loan types.  

One of the best ways to address your concerns is learning as much as possible. After watching our new five minute video, you’ll know about the major home loans,

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What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Your Mortgage Rates

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 19, 2017

Over the past several years the economy has improved. The stock market recently reached an all time high, investments have risen, and the unemployment rate has dropped.

Now that the economy has improved, interest rates are starting a slow climb to pre-2008 levels. Recently, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rates by a quarter of a percent,

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Six Home Security Tips for First-time Homebuyers

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 18, 2017

If you recently bought your first home (or are planning on it), you have much to look forward to.

It’s also important to protect your property. New homeowners are especially vulnerable to  security risks as you’re likely new to your neighborhood and just beginning to understand your home.

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Should You Build or Buy Your Home?

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 17, 2017

The longer you explore the housing market, the more you see finding your “dream” home can be difficult. Every home has flaws, and nearly every home requires that you “settle” a little on your vision. But not all families want to settle, and that is why you may consider exploring the idea of building a home yourself – one created from scratch according to your specific needs.

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Learning About Reverse Mortgages? Read these Articles!

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 13, 2017

If you or a family member are considering a reverse mortgage, it’s important to research them beforehand.

Websites such as the Federal Trade Commission provide excellent and credible information on reverse mortgages, and are a great place to start your research.

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What Types of Home Loans Cover Renovations?

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 12, 2017

Is your property the perfect home and the perfect investment? If you’re like most homeowners, there are upgrades, renovations, and restorations you can make on your property that will either increase its value, or help improve how comfortable you are with the look and feel of your home.

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Five Things to Know About Mortgages for Second Homes and Investment Properties

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 11, 2017

Residential properties are great investments. That’s why homeowners often want to purchase more than one. These properties usually fall into one of two categories:

  • Investment properties
  • Second homes

Regardless of your purchase,

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Best Ways to Use Your Home Equity Line of Credit

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 10, 2017

Your home is an investment you can use for financial purposes in the future. For example, some seniors 62 and older take out reverse mortgages, while others take out home loans.

But you may find that you need access to extra financing during specific scenarios.

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How to Prepare Your Home for Stormy Weather

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 6, 2017

Spring has arrived, and along with it, increased storm chances in much of the US (especially the midwest and southeast).

Whether your home is in an area that gets strong spring storms, tornadoes, or high winds, preparing it for these events can help prevent damage.

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Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Here are Fees you can Expect

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 5, 2017

Are you a retiree who wants to build your financial safety net? If so, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage!

Reverse mortgages let Americans 62-and-up convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash, a monthly check, or a line of credit.

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Mortgage Industry Highlights – March 2017

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 4, 2017

March was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent news articles and highlights:

Federal Reserve Raises Interest Rates for Second Time in Three Months

The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and signaled that any further hikes this year will be gradual.

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Five Ways to Soundproof Your Home

Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 3, 2017

If you’re a homeowner (or planning on becoming one), you probably desire a quiet home. And compared to apartment buildings, standalone homes are usually quieter.

However, a quiet home is is not always the case. Whether it’s noise from nearby traffic, railroads, airplanes,

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How Do Lenders Determine Mortgage Rates?

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 29, 2017

When it comes to home loans, there are usually three numbers that borrowers pay attention to. The first is the total amount of the mortgage, in order to make sure that the amount covers the cost of the home. The second is the amount they are going to pay each month,

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Tiny Home Loans

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 27, 2017

Interested in tiny homes? You’re far from alone!

Fueled by growing demand from millennials under the age of 35, there are an estimated 10,000 tiny homes in the United States.

Tiny homes range from 100 to 400 square feet (the typical American home is around 2,600 square feet),

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FHA Loans: Your Complete Introductory Guide

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 23, 2017

FHA loans are one of the most common types of mortgages, especially for first time home buyers, and those without enough money available for a down payment. Backed and insured by the Federal Housing Administration, these loans allow borrowers to buy a home with a lower down payment and generous terms.

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How to Buy a New Home Before Your Home is Sold

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 22, 2017

Your home is your greatest asset. The longer you live in your home, the more you will develop equity that you can then use to make other important financial decisions.

But you may not want to live in your home forever. Your family status may change,

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Want to Retire in a New Location? Consider the HECM for Purchase Loan

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 21, 2017

Are you retired and thinking about moving to a new location? This is common, as 64% of retirees expect to move at least once during retirement.

Whether you want to relocate to a warmer state or move across your city to be near your grandchildren,

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The Top Five Most Affordable States for First-time Homebuyers

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 20, 2017

If you’re thinking about buying your first home, you have much to look forward to. In addition to being an excellent investment, owning a home provides you with stability, comfort, and privacy.

While many US housing markets are increasingly unaffordable for first-time homebuyers, there are exceptions,

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Six Reasons to Consider Adding Home Insulation

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 16, 2017

When it comes to homes, insulation matters! And according to recent research, 90% of US homes are under-insulated.

If you’re one of the many Americans living in an under-insulated home, here are six reasons to consider adding insulation:

It helps keep your home comfortable
If your home feels uncomfortably cold during winter or hot during the summer,

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Want to Apply for a Mortgage? Here are Six Important Documents You’ll Need.

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 15, 2017

If you’re planning on buying a home with a mortgage, you can expect substantial paperwork during the mortgage application process.

This paperwork helps lenders verify important information about you, such as your income history and overall financial stability. If you begin gathering important documents several months before applying for a mortgage,

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Spring Pest Control Tips

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 14, 2017

As we move into March, spring is on our doorstep, and temperatures are warming in much of the country.

For homeowners (and soon-to-be homeowners), this means spring cleaning! While there are many good articles offering spring cleaning tips,

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Mortgage Industry Highlights and Articles from February 2017

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 13, 2017

February was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent highlights and helpful articles:

Goldman Sachs: Mortgage interest rates will rise to 5.5% by 2019

Goldman Sachs’ analysts are predicting the 30-year mortgage rate to rise to 5.5% in 2019,

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Seven Signs Your Home Has Foundation Problems

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 9, 2017

Your home’s foundation is an critical part of its wellbeing. If something goes wrong in your foundation, your home can can develop structural problems that cost significantly more to repair than foundation problems alone.

There are three major reasons home foundation problems occur:

  • Stem walls can deteriorate.

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Four Things Believed to Increase Home Value — But Actually Don’t

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 8, 2017


If you’re a homeowner (or planning to become one), upgrading your home is an empowering activity. Whether you want to knock down a wall (to create a larger room), upgrade your energy efficiency, or improve your lighting, there are a variety of exciting possibilities.

Regardless of your home upgrade project,

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New Tools Can Help You Understand Reverse Mortgages

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 7, 2017

If you’re a retired homeowner, you might have wondered about reverse mortgages.

Reverse mortgages, also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), let Americans 62-and-older convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash, a monthly check, or a line of credit.

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Mortgage Refinancing: Cash-Out vs. Rate-and-Term

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 6, 2017

If you’re a homeowner, you’ll be aware of your monthly mortgage payment and interest rate. And you might have wondered about refinancing your mortgage to change these figures.

Refinancing lets you replace your current mortgage with a new one. Two of the most common mortgage refinance methods are rate-and-term,

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Three Easy Ways to Incorporate Solar Power into Your Home

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 2, 2017

Whether you’re a long-term homeowner or ready to buy your first home, you’re likely aware rising energy costs. America’s lowest-income families currently spend around 22% of their total income on energy while electricity prices have risen by 30% over the last decade.

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Why Do Reverse Mortgage Restrictions and Requirements Exist?

Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 1, 2017

Reverse mortgages are a unique type of loan that has quickly become popular with senior homeowners. With a reverse mortgage, a homeowner may receive a sizeable percentage of their home equity (wealth) and continue to live in their home for the rest of their life provided they pay their property taxes,

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Second Home Loans: How to Qualify and What You Need to Know

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 28, 2017

There is no greater investment than owning a home. That’s why many people decide that one home isn’t enough. They find that, given their financial situation, they are interested in purchasing a second home, and using that home for any number of purposes, including:

  • Vacation Home
  • Investment Property/Rental
  • Home for Family Members

For those who are interested in purchasing a second home,

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Five Powerful Home Energy Improvements and their Costs

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 27, 2017

If you’re a homeowner or planning on becoming one, it’s normal to want to upgrade your home. While there are many exciting home upgrade methods, such as improving your kitchen or adding a swimming pool, one of the best is improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Fortunately,

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How Much Are Closing Costs When Purchasing a Home?

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 23, 2017

If you are buying a home, you’ll often hear the phrase “closing costs” thrown around by your lender or real estate agent. The term itself refers to all fees that are paid to third parties during the process of buying or selling a home.

Some closing costs are paid by the seller,

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Five Ways that Rising Interest Rates Can Be Positive

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 22, 2017

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you may have heard that interest rates are rising. Rising interest rates have powerful effects on the mortgage industry and individual homebuyers.

While many of these effects are seen as negative (such as buyers having higher mortgage payments),

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LTV – What it Is, Why It’s Important

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 21, 2017

Your credit score. Your down payment. Your closing costs. You may already know about the many different considerations and factors that go into owning a home. But you may not know about one of the most important terms of all: Loan-to-Value ratio, or LTV.

What is LTV?

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Birthplace Homes of Past Presidents

Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 20, 2017

Today (February 20, 2017) is Presidents’ Day.

Presidents’ Day is celebrated on the third Monday of February, and was originally established in 1885 to recognize President George Washington, the first United States president.  

Within the federal government,

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