Tag Archives: Blog

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog! Locked vs Floating Mortgage Rate: Which Is Better?

DHREA 19/11/2019

Mortgage rates have been relatively consistent, but don’t let that get you too comfortable. Rates are changing all the time…by how much, and whether it will be in your favor, we cannot say. We can make intelligent guesses, but we can’t predict with any certainty.  

However, that doesn’t mean that you are entirely powerless when it comes to taking charge of the mortgage rate you qualify for. 

You hold a lot of power, including the ability to qualify for a lower rate by improving your credit score, buying points, and exploring the rates of various home loan options. 

And here is another idea for getting a low mortgage rate in an uncertain market: get a floating mortgage rate. 

Bookmark this post for future reference and read on to understand the difference between a locked-in rate versus a floating rate. 

Locked and Floating Mortgage Rate Compared

Mortgage Rate Lock

“Locking” a mortgage rate means the interest rate won’t change from the time we offer it to you until the closing of your loan. When the rate rises—as they’re expected to—your rate won’t budge. Sounds great, right? It is! 

However, you should know that there are a few stipulations to a mortgage rate lock, such as:

  • Closing within the predetermined time frame
  • No changes to your mortgage application
  • Rate lock timeframes range from 30 to 60 days, though longer terms are sometimes available. 

Even with a locked rate, some circumstances can still cause a locked rate to adjust, namely:

  • You change the type of mortgage or the amount of your down payment. 
  • Your home appraisal is higher or lower than expected. 
  • Your credit score changes. 
  • There was trouble documenting your additional income such as bonuses or overtime

There is also a fee associated with locking in a rate, and the longer the rate lock term, the higher the fee. Plus, if the rate drops, you won’t be able to take advantage of the lower rate—unless you have a “float down” option.

What is a Float Down Option?

A “float down” option means that you’re able to reduce your interest rate if market conditions cause rates to drop during your lock term. This mortgage rate option is dependent on the daily market fluctuations. So if the interest rate goes up by the time you close on your mortgage, you’ll lose some buying power. 

But if the rate falls, you’ll gain some buying power. 

Choosing to float your mortgage rate is considered riskier because one can’t truly predict what rates will do from one day to the next. But the potential for savings is very attractive, which is why many mortgage applicants choose it. 

When Should You Choose to Float? 

When rates are decreasing steadily from week to week, it might be a good idea to float it. There’s a chance you’ll get a better rate when it’s time for the loan transaction to take place. 

On the other hand, if rates a less steady or are moving higher, then you’ll want to lock in your rates.  

How much can a rate impact your monthly mortgage payment? Let’s look at an example. A mortgage payment on a $200,000 home at a 4.5 percent interest rate would be $1,013. However, at a 4.75 percent interest rate, the payment would be $1,043. 

That $30 difference that adds up to nearly $400 over a year!

Need more personalized guidance about interest rates and which you should choose based on the current market? Call Tara Mortgage Services, your local mortgage experts!

(This blog was originally published at tara-mtg.net)

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Carnegie, PA
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Carnegie, PA
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This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

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Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

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Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: How Identity Theft Affects Your Home Loan Approval

DHREA 13/11/2019

It makes everyone cringe at the mere possibility of it — identity theft. Unfortunately, about 1 in 15 Americans are victims of it. And the way most find out that it’s happened to them is when their credit is pulled, and they notice something suspicious. Indeed, identity theft can even negatively affect your home loan application. Here’s how identity theft affects your mortgage application and the steps you can take to help you get approved despite the fraud.

Types of Identity Theft And How It Affects Your Home Loan Application

There are many types of identity theft. While all are serious, only one can hamper getting a home loan. With financial identity theft, a criminal is using your identity to get approved for credit. While a $300 shopping spree probably won’t affect your ability to get approved for a mortgage, it could lower your credit score and change the mortgage rate you qualify for.

However, fraudulent charges of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars are sure to halt your loan approval and here’s why:

Part of getting approved for any loan is demonstrating that you can be trusted to pay it back. And, essentially, that’s what a credit score shows. The higher the score, the more financially responsible you appear to be, and the more lenders will trust that you can and will pay back the loan.

So when it comes to mortgage approval, you can imagine how much weight your credit score carries. And if your credit shows that you have a $12,000 debt that’s currently in collections, that’s a red flag that no lender wants to see.

Home loan denied. Well, for now, anyway.

Fortunately, that’s not the end of the story! While it’s not a fast process, there are steps you can take to help clear up the crime from your credit history and get you well on your way to home loan approval.

What You Can Do If You’re a Victim

First thing you want to do it report the crime to the police. You’ll also want to file an affidavit with the Federal Trade Commission. Sometimes, a copy of the police report and the affidavit is all that the underwriter needs to move your application towards approval. Unfortunately, even with proof of a crime and loan approval, your rate may remain on the higher end of the scale because rates are determined when you first applied for the home loan.

Now we come to a fork in the road. Accept the higher rate and move forward with the home purchase. Or wait until everything gets cleared from your credit history and start the process all over again.

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

If you decide to purchase now, you’ll have the certainty of buying in the current favorable conditions. Your rate may be high now but, then again, it could be high later too. The market is changing all the time, and we cannot predict what your future rate would be.

However, if you decide to take the extra steps to clear your history and wait to purchase, you’ll have the peace of mind that you are getting the best rate based on your actual credit score. Your rate may also be lower than it was the first time around, possibly saving you thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Plus, you also have to consider the housing market. The availability of homes for sale in your price bracket may not be the same in six months. Are you willing to wait and see?

Identity theft isn’t something that’s fixed overnight. After you’ve filed a police report and an affidavit with the FTC, you still need to submit copies to the credit bureaus. This will trigger an investigation and should also stop them from showing the fraudulent info on your report. The time it takes for your report to be completely cleared varies quite a bit. It can take as little as weeks, but in some cases, it’s taken years.

We hope that you are never a victim of identity theft, in any form. However, know that there is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to buying your dream home even if this does happen to you. Do you know what rate you qualify for? Contact us today to see how low your rate can be!

(This blog was originally published at tara-mtg.net)

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
743 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
234 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

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Tips for Ensuring a Smooth Move for Seniors!

DHREA 01/11/2019

Moving can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone some of our great seniors. Here’s some tips to make their move as easy as possible.

1. Communication and Choice

Seniors can be emotionally vested in the home they’re leaving, and it’s expected that there will be sadness and apprehension about the move. It can be a tough conversation to have with your aging parent, but give them time to grieve the change and talk about where they will be living and why they are moving, in order to help make the transition smoother. When seniors are asked to leave their longtime homes, a frequent cause of distress is their perceived loss of control, so give your loved one as much choice as possible as they plan and implement the move.

2. Plan Effectively

Before families begin the sorting and organizing process, it will help to have a visual of what they are getting into. What rooms need to be furnished? How many square feet is the new residence? Writing for AARP, Ann Goyer recommends plotting the floor plan of your loved one’s new home on graph paper, and suggests cutting out pieces to represent furniture.

3. Enlist Relatives

This will undoubtedly be a big job, so enlist help from your family. Encourage siblings or other close family members to take a few days off of work. Even children and younger members in the family can participate. Surrounding your senior parents with loved ones who are supportive and encouraging could help ease the emotional stress of moving as well.

4. Sort and Organize

Moving your elderly parents will involve downsizing. Go through the house item by item with your support team. You can categorize objects to make the process easier: items to be moved, keepsakes to be left with family, items to be sold or donated, and items to be thrown out. Don’t allow yourself to become a packing robot lacking feelings. Honor the emotional attachment to personal belongings and allow your senior parent to reminisce as you help sort out their possessions. Remember, these are not just things you’re moving; they’re memories. Also, be open to your own emotions, especially if this was your childhood home.

5. Clean and Repair

After the organizing and packing is complete, there is work that still needs to be done. Whether the house is going to be sold, rented or passed on to another relative — the general requirements are the same. The house should be cleaned, and they should consider making any required repairs now before any get worse. It’s better to take care of maintenance issues all at once rather than dealing with them later while the house is for sale (or after renters move in).

6. Plan the Moving Day

There are a few different strategies for moving your senior loved one into their new home. A full service mover is the easiest way to go, but also the most expensive. They will load everything, deliver to its destination and put things in place. We looked at quotes from movers and found the cost of moving the contents of a two bedroom home across the country exceeds $6,000.  Families can save some money on the move by using a self-service mover, which means their family will load the moving truck, but the cargo will be hauled by a professional mover.  Then there’s the do-it-yourself (DIY) option where you can rent a moving truck or trailer. But, even the DIY option of renting a U-Haul or Ryder is not cheap: a move from Atlanta to Los Angeles in a 26 foot truck could exceed $3,000 when you factor in gasoline.

Of course, each family’s circumstances are unique, so we’re hesitant to give blanket advice. However, I hope these tips help you better plan and execute your elder loved one’s next move!

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
738 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
227 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog! The Financial Benefits of Buying a Home in a College Town

DHREA 28/10/2019

Even if you’re done with college or if your children are years away from higher education, there are still many benefits to living in a college town. And don’t think that college towns are all small towns. College towns can be as urban as Tallahassee, Florida, thriving with business while remaining surprisingly low-cost.

Here are some of the financial benefits of buying a home in a college town, and remember to contact Tara Mortgage Services for even more savings options! Low mortgage rate and steady home prices (so far) make it a great time to buy a home.

Low-Cost Entertainment and Cultural Events

Colleges are known as “tastemakers” in the entertainment industry and often attract touring musicians, theater performances, and speakers, many of which wouldn’t typically come to smaller cities. Surrounding businesses host these events as well. Local theaters, bars, and city parks are great places to catch concerts that are open to the public. Let’s not forget that the colleges aren’t just hosting; they’re producing performances as well. Tickets are less expensive than even the most modest-priced Broadway show and are a great way to support your local artists.

State of the Art Medical Services

Medical schools are yet another low-cost benefit of living in a college town. Under the supervision of a licensed practitioner, medical students offer a wide variety of medical services in the university-sponsored clinic or large hospital. And since university medical facilities are the benefactors of non-profit donations, they usually have the most advanced medical equipment while remaining relatively low-cost.

Smart Rental Property Investment

If you decide to rent your property, a college town will ensure it will never be without a renter. The demand for housing is steady, and in the case of public universities, the need can be high. The caveat is that the turnover rate for renters is higher in college towns. But if you purchase a rental property in a college town like Boston or Denver, the likelihood of finding a long-term renter easier.

Whether you are buying a property for living in or renting, this could be the smartest investment of you life. Contact Tara Mortgage Services today to learn about mortgages and investment properties in our city!

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
738 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
226 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

Read More

Control Mold!

DHREA 24/10/2019

Mold spores can be frustrating to homeowners, renters, and investment property buyers. From potential health issues to property damage, mold is often one of the most overlooked pain points for any property. Here is a list of tips and tricks to help reduce exposure and minimize growth inside your home and property. Some are common sense, some are things we all overlook. Whether you’re sensitive to mold spores and want to protect your health, or you simply want to protect your home or investment, check out the list I compiled below!

Exterior:

  • Avoid outdoor places where mold is likely to be in high concentration. These include shady areas, compost piles, kennels, and piles of leaves, grass, or straw.
  • Promptly repair and seal leaky pipes and roofs.
  • Have the yard mowed and raked regularly.
  • Keep rain gutters clean. Clear leaves and debris from drainage areas around your home and yard.
  • Store firewood away from the house.

Interior:

  • Cleaning your house regularly and properly can help reduce mold.
  • Clean with a commercial anti mold product. Choose a product containing a mixture of bleach and detergent or make your own anti mold cleaner. Mix 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach and 1 quart of water.
  • Clean carefully, especially in areas where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.
  • Empty refrigerator drip pans and thoroughly clean them with a commercial anti mold product.
  • Keep garbage cans and trash compactors clean and free of mildew.
  • Store things carefully. Don’t store newspaper, clothes, and other items in damp areas because they can become moldy. Store only completely clean and dry clothing and shoes. Even small amounts of grime can stimulate mold growth.
  • Throw away any moldy foods lurking in your refrigerator and cupboards.

Air Circulation:

  • Use a fan in the bathroom to remove damp air. If you don’t have a fan, open a window and consider having a fan installed. In bathrooms without windows, open a door when you’re finished, and consider using a dehumidifier.
  • Use a dehumidifier to dry out a damp basement, but be sure to empty the water from it and clean it regularly. Water left in dehumidifiers allows mold to grow.
  • Don’t use humidifiers or vaporizers. Putting extra moisture into the air encourages mold growth. If you choose to use these appliances, follow the manufacturer’s instructions about regular cleaning. Even special humidifiers designed to lessen mold growth require regular and thorough cleaning.
  • Ventilate closed rooms by opening doors and installing fans.

Miscellaneous:

  • Avoid sleeping in areas of the house that are below ground level.
  • Don’t put carpeting directly on concrete or damp floors. The carpet may become moldy.
  • When painting damp areas, choose mold-inhibiting paints. They can be found at most paint stores.
  • Remove all carpets and wallpaper with visible mold or mildew.
  • Don’t over-water plants. A few household plants probably will not cause problems if you’re mold-sensitive, but standing water promotes mold growth.
  • Keep windows sealed tightly. You may need to replace weather stripping on older windows.
  • Eliminate dark areas. Most mold needs darkness to grow. In the basement or in closets that tend to be damp, install a light on a timer. Add windows or skylights to dark rooms.

 

(Editor’s Note: These are merely suggestions and what has worked for others in the past. Results may vary.)

Network with over 700 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group on MeetUp.com, and be one of the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
738 Members

Learn investing from a local expert with a vast amount of experience in the Pittsburgh market. Alex started investing in 1993. We will review hands on examples, analysis, and …

Check out this Meetup Group →

Join Alex Deacon’s fast-growing Pittsburgh Landlord Group on MeetUp.com! Connect with other Landlords for monthly seminars with Q & A! Click below!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
224 Members

This is a great venue for Real estate investors, real estate agents and property managers to expand your knowledge and to help others in the field of being a landlord. We will…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Visit our affiliates!

MACE Property Management: www.PittsburghPropertyManagement.com

Tara Mortgage Services, LLC: www.Tara-MTG.net

HDH Settlement Services, LLC: www.HDHTitle.com

Burkhead Insurance Services: Burkhead.Insure

Bin There Dump That: www.PittsburghDumpsterRental.com

Red Tree Mortgage: https://www.redtreemtg.com/

Read More
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