Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA
RE/MAX Leading Edge | 781-944-6060 | marilynellis@remax.net


Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 10/12/2017

When you’re shopping for a home, there’s so much to consider. Between the questions of what neighborhood you should live in and what style house you like, you need to think of the most important thing: finances. When you think that you’re financially ready to buy a home, you often will get the notion that it’s a good time to just start shopping. There’s several steps that you must take first before you start shopping for a home. One of the first steps you should consider taking before you make the leap into home ownership is to get preapproved. While buyers still tend to skip the preapproval process, doing this can help you immensely throughout the home buying process. While it may seem an insignificant and kind of boring step, getting preapproved is important for your finances. It may even help you to land in a home that you love faster. It’s actually detrimental to make an offer without a preapproval, because some lenders won’t accept an offer without one. Many realtors verify and require that offers come along with the stamp of preapproval. What Does Getting Preapproved Involve? You may have heard of a prequalification. This is much different from being preapproved. Prequalification involves buyer provided information, just to get a sense of how much they can spend on a home. Preapproval involves credit scores, bank statements, tax returns and more. This process states exactly how much lenders will be willing to give to the borrower. All of the documents needed for preapproval are the same exact documents needed for a mortgage. This helps you as the borrower prepare ahead of time as well. These are some of the kinds of documents that you’ll need for preapproval: Pay stubs W-2s from the previous year Federal tax returns from the past two years Two Months of Bank Statements from all of your accounts A credit report While a preapproval is only one step in the long process of buying a home, it speeds up the later steps of securing a mortgage. The process also helps buyers face their financial reality. Don’t put off the important process because you fear that you won’t be approved for the amount that you need. It’s also common for buyers to assume that because someone they know has been approved for a certain amount of money that they will be able to get that same loan amount as well. This isn’t always the case and another great reason to get preapproved. Errors On Credit Reports Often, there are errors on credit reports. That’s why you need to check them often. If you have some errors on your credit report, getting preapproved is a great way to check if there are any errors and give you time to fix them before you apply for a mortgage.




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Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 1/19/2017

It is almost impossible to predict the future and predicting where mortgage rates may go can be difficult too. But if you know how to watch the indicators you will have some degree of advantage. It may help you decide whether to borrow funds or wait until rates drop. Consider that with any prediction there can always be a great deal of margin of error. Here are a few things to consider to make a more reliable mortgage rate prediction: History History can always be a good predictor. What is the economic climate? If rates are high in economic down times that you should predict that rates will rise when the same crisis hits the market. Look not only to long-term history but also to rates recent history. Watch for the changes carefully, track them by the month. Factors to consider are: Are the rates going up or down? What factors are causing them to behave in such a way? Influencing Factors Factors that influence mortgage rates can be controlled by you. One of those factors is the amount of down payment you have or if refinancing the amount of equity you have in the home. Also for consideration on the rate you will receive is your debt to income ratio and your credit score. Some factors you cannot influence include the state of the real estate market, the inflation rate and the funds available for consumers. Inflation Inflation drives most everything and always is a constant consideration of the mortgage interest. If inflation is higher, the interest rate will go up as well. Conversely, if inflation is low rates do down. Credit Availability How much credit is available? If limited funds are available than mortgage interest rates will be higher. The Bottom Line The bottom line is you have to be flexible. You can never predict what the exact mortgage rate will be. Instead, look to the factors that influence rates. This will give you an idea of where rates are and a better picture of if it is the right time for you to take on a mortgage.





Posted by Marilyn Ellis, CBR, CHMS, LMS, HAFA on 10/27/2015

To lock or not to lock that is always the question. If you are shopping for a home loan or refinancing a mortgage, your mortgage lender will require you to lock your rate on the amount borrowed no later than five days prior to closing. Locking a rate guarantees the interest rate for a set period of time. The decision to lock or not is a question of timing your purchase or refinance with the market. Consumers can get in trouble with a rate lock because there is a deadline on when escrow needs to close. Borrowers should comparison shop loans considering the mortgage rate locks vary in time length. If you are unable to meet the deadline the costs can accumulate. Here are some common options: 15-day lock: Is the “lowest-cost rate” available. The loan needs to be approved by underwriting to take advantage of this lock. 30-day lock: This is the fair market rate and is most commonly used for interest rate locking upfront before loan approval. 45-day lock: Used for transactions taking longer, whether the loan is approved or not. 60-day lock: Can be used in circumstances where the loan is prolonged. This option does not usually offer the best interest rate for the consumer. Interest rates can vary by as much as 0.25 percent on the longer rate locks compared against 30-day and 15-day rate locks. The bottom line, the longer the lock, the more risk the lender takes and the slightly more costly the loan.