Tag Archives: Blog

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: “Getting a Home Improvement Loan: Scenario by Scenario”

DHREA 01/05/2019
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(Every week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

Home improvement loans can be used for minor upgrades or major repairs or even complete remodels. Everything from replacing old plumbing to making your home more energy efficient are great reasons to consider a home improvement loan. With much better rates than a credit card and more options for repayment, homeowners just like you are discovering how easy it is to make those necessary home improvements.

Speaking of options, you have quite a few and there are some that are better than others depending on the situation.

For a clearer picture of which home improvement loan is right for you, please contact Tara Mortgage Services!

Home Improvement Loans by Scenario

Little or No Equity Scenarios

If you’re doing minor repairs: An unsecured loan would be your only option. An unsecured loan means that your home is not used as collateral. Since you have little to no equity AND the repairs would not increase the value of your property, there is essentially nothing to use as collateral.

While not the best scenario to be in, we understand that there are circumstances that require getting a home improvement loan. Despite having a higher interest rate than other home loans, it’s often a more attractive option than putting it on a credit card.

If you’re doing major repairs remodeling: A few options in this scenario. If your current mortgage rate is low, consider a second mortgage. In this case, you keep your current low-interest home loan. However, if your current home loan has a higher rate than what is now available to you, refinancing your loan under a renovation loan or a cash-out refi would be the way to go.

In the latter scenario, we would need an itemized repair and remodel plan so that we could better assess the “after-improvements value” of your home. Both of the loans mentioned above have lower interest rates than an unsecured home loan, but remember to still include closing costs.

Significant Amount of Equity Scenario

If you’re doing minor updates: Consider getting an unsecured loan or even a line of credit if you’re in this situation. With a loan this small, it’s often better to use the option that has low or no closing costs. Another benefit of a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is that you can reuse it if needed.

If you have major updates or remodeling: In this scenario, you’re eligible for several different home improvement loans. A HELOC, a second mortgage, or a cash-out refinance are ones to consider. Ultimately, what will determine the best option is your particular financial situation or the desired goal. For example, if you want to keep your current interest rate, get a HELOC or second mortgage.

While they have higher interest rates on these, you’ll save on closing costs. However, if you prefer cash flow or can lower your interest rate on your first mortgage, look into a cash-out refinance.

We’ve outlined the basic situations for choosing the right home improvement loans, but there are many more factors to consider. Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for a no-obligation consultation with a mortgage professional.  We look forward to helping you!

Network with over 650 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
670 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
140 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

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: Considering Investing in Real Estate? Here are Five Tips to Know

DHREA 23/04/2019
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(Every week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

What’s the ultimate form of income? Passive income! And that typically comes in the form of investments. While there are many options, from stocks to funding start-ups, one of the most reliable investments in terms of return lies in real estate.

When purchasing an investment property, there are generally two intentions: either you plan to rent it or you plan to resell it. Both are great options and have the potential for earning a significant amount. In fact, many first time buyers are choosing an investment property before they buy their first home!

But investment properties aren’t without challenges or risks. Here are some things to consider before buying an investment property:

Decide What Type of Investor You Are

Decide if you are more of a “flip and resell” or landlord-type investor. Flip and resell is attractive because the payout occurs as soon as you sell the property. With renting, however, you have the benefit of building equity, the rent will pay off your loan, and you’ll enjoy “passive income” as long as you own the property.

Both options require time and money in addition to what you are paying for the property.

Do Your Research

Find out information about comparable investment properties in the area. If you plan on reselling, how is the market in the area? If the property requires upgrades or repairs, will the cost of repairs still allow for a profit considering the price of the comparables?

If you plan on renting it, does the property have curb appeal and is it located in an area where rental properties are in demand? You’ll also want to research property managers unless you plan on managing the property yourself.

Calculate Your Expenses and Profit

Along with doing your research and well before you purchase an investment property, you’ll want to take an honest look at what your expenses and potential profit could be. Being analytical about this part will help prevent making decisions based solely on emotions or “hunches.” Although the profits are certainly exciting, the risk is also high so it’s best not to romanticize investment property ownership.

Secure Your Downpayment

Unlike primary residences where 0-3% down is possible (depending on the loan program — call us for more details), investment properties require 20% down. If you’re thinking about buying an apartment complex, then you can see how this can be quite a big investment from the start. Remember that your 20% down does not take into account what you need to make upgrades or repairs. That’s why many investors take on partners. Which brings us to our next point —

Choose Your Partners Carefully!

Investing in an income property with a partner can go very well and be profitable but it can also go bad if the partnership sours. When partnering with friends or family, be careful not to blur the lines between relationship and real estate partnership. Make sure that all aspects are spelled out in a formal contract and consult legal advice before making decisions that could negatively impact the partnership.

There’s so much more to buying an investment property, more than we can share in this article. If you’re looking into buying a second home or possibly a multi-family home for profit, please contact us for guidance. It’s obligation free and the right place to start your investment opportunity.

Network with over 650 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
668 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
137 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

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: Severe Weather and Your Mortgage…What to Expect and How to Prepare!

DHREA 12/03/2019
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(Every week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

Across the U.S., severe weather is disrupting daily life. From hurricanes to heavy snow, torrential rains and flooding, cold snaps and other extremes seem to be affecting every corner of our country.

Even if severe weather hasn’t affected you directly, it serves as a reminder that we all need to be prepared should nature take a turn for the worse. The first place to start –put together an emergency kit.

Keep in mind that your emergency kit needs contain enough supplies to maintain you and your family for at least 72 hours without transportation, food, electricity, or water. Customize your kit according to needs and family size but here is a basic list to help you get started building your kit:

One gallon of water or more per day, per person.

  • Three days’ worth of non-perishable, ready-to-eat food. Remember the can opener!
  • First aid kit
  • Cell phone, charger, and backup battery
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Personal care items such as toilet paper, soap, moist towelettes, paper towels, toothbrush and toothpaste, hand sanitizer.
  • Tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches as you may need to turn off utilities.
  • A few changes of clothes, shoes, and jackets.
  • Important family documents in a watertight bag (or scan and store in cloud-based storage.)
  • Sleeping bags, pillows, blankets
  • Large plastic sheets and duct tape in case you need to make an emergency shelter.
  • Medication, extra eyeglasses, eye solution, etc.

Of course, those are just basic suggestions. There are products such as water purifiers, “space blankets,” pop-up shelters, and other innovations that you may want to consider for your kit.

Remember your pets need a kit too! Here are some ideas for a simple emergency kit for pets:

  • Medication and documentation for your pet
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable pet food
  • Collar and leash
  • Cat litter
  • Bottled water and bowl.
  • Where to Store Your Emergency Kit

The best place to store your kit is in a dark, dry, and cool place. Make sure everything is in an airtight, plastic container and easily accessible. Though a basement may seem like a convenient place, retrieving it in an emergency (or flood!) could make it impossible. You’ll also want to make sure that everyone in the family knows where the kit is located.

Remember to check it every year to ensure everything is still in good repair and the food has not expired.

What about your home and mortgage?

There are federal, state, and private programs that you can use to help repair your home and provide temporary housing if needed. Depending on the disaster, the location, and whether it has been declared a state of emergency, you may qualify for federal aid from FEMA. Private home and disaster insurance (this is separate from the insurance you may have on your mortgage) also provides much-needed assistance during times of disaster.

Your mortgage payments may also qualify for forbearance or partial payment. Call Tara Mortgage Services for more information.

At our office, we don’t just work with loans, we work with people –that’s why we feel it’s important that you prepare for an emergency. And please, forward this information to friends and family!

Alex Deacon’s Pittsburgh Landlord Group meets this Thursday, March 14th! Come network with other landlords as we continue last month’s conversation: Tenant Screening!

Tenant Screening II

Thursday, Mar 14, 2019, 6:00 PM

552 Washington Ave
552 Washington Ave Carnegie, PA

20 Members Went

Last month we had a Q and A about tenant screening and we ran out of time. Its such an important topic so this Thursday we will continue our conversation. One of our members is bringing a version of Landlord software that we can all use. If you have 1 unit or 100 units you can use this software which he is now currently using and its a very reasona…

Check out this Meetup →

Network with over 650 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
668 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 →

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

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: Got Student Debt? Here’s How You Can Buy A Home!

DHREA 05/03/2019
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(Every week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

When compared to past generations, the millennial generation is the most college educated. If you’re part of this group, you may recall being told that a college education is essential to career advancement and wealth.

The final word on whether college was absolutely necessary is a personal matter…only you can answer whether the debt is worth it. But one thing we can all agree on is that student debt is a significant burden. So much so that housing experts say that student debt may be the cause for a drop in homeownership among Millennials.

Can this be true? With stats that show that student loans account for about $1.5 trillion in debt, surpassing even credit card and car loan debt, it certainly appears to be true. And with the cost of tuition rising plus a job market competitiveness that requires education beyond a bachelor’s, we can expect these numbers to increase.

But you don’t need stats to know that this is true. If you’re a Millennial or a Baby Boomer with a Millennial still living at home after college, then you know it. While student debt poses a significant hurdle to homeownership, there are things you can do to make it easier.

Here are our best tips for buying a home with student debt:

Focus on your credit score.

Student debt may not be the only hurdle you have to buy a home. Your credit score could also hurt your chances. Your credit, or FICO score, is what’s used to determine not only if you qualify for a mortgage but also the amount and at what interest rate. If your credit score is too low or you have a credit history that’s plagued with late payments, then you out of the running for a mortgage.

Another thing to consider is that even if you do qualify for a mortgage with poor credit, the monthly payments may be higher than you can afford. That’s why our first tip is to work on building and repairing your credit.

Work on your debt-to-income ratio.

Another factor looked at when applying for a mortgage is your debt-to-income ratio. This number is used to determine whether you can afford to carry the additional debt of a mortgage payment. Essentially, can you pay your mortgage every month?

To raise the ratio, you’ll want to increase your monthly income and lower your debt. You can focus on one or the other, but we recommend doing both. Taking a side gig to earn a few hundred a month and using a portion of that to pay off debt can make a BIG difference pretty quickly.

Research down-payment programs.

Even with student loan debt, there several down payment assistance programs that you may qualify for. Government loans like FHA, USDA, and Veteran home loans have many perks, including down payment assistance. USDA loan even has zero-down mortgages! Contact Tara Mortgage Services to learn more.

Apply for a mortgage.

This tip may seem out of place, but there’s no better way to know how close you are to buying a home than to apply to see where you stand. When you get pre-qualified, we can give you a better picture of your financial standing. We’ll also give you personalized guidance as to what would make the most significant impact on your home loan-worthiness.

Whether student debt, credit debt, bankruptcy, or poor credit, having the answers to your homeownership obstacles puts the power back in your hands. When you know the big picture and a solid plan based on facts, you’ll see how close you actually are to buying a home. Who knows –you may qualify for a low rate RIGHT NOW. Contact Tara Morgage Services today to get mortgage answers and guidance!

Alex Deacon’s March Real Estate Networking Workshop has been announced, and he’s bringing in two huge guest speakers: Josh Caldwell and Matt Beam! The trio will be discussing Creative Financing Concepts, ideas, laws, etc. Don’t miss out on the most highly anticipated workshop of every year! RSVP below!

Creative Financing Concepts

Saturday, Mar 9, 2019, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

30 Members Attending

Last month we discussed the concept of Zero Money Down which is super valuable if you want to scale any business especially real Estate Investing. This month we will have two guest speakers and we will go into more detail on the methods, legal issues and paperwork needed to put such deals together. Josh Caldwell will cover the different methods of …

Check out this Meetup →

Join Alex Deacon’s Pittsburgh Landlord Group and be the first to receive updates on our monthly networking meetings!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
99 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

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: The Fastest Ways to Fund Your Home Renovation

DHREA 26/02/2019
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(Every week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

Whether you’re renovating for style or repair, making changes to your home is exciting –and daunting! Planning what to upgrade, where to purchase the supplies, who to trust to do the work are just some of the daunting tasks involved.

But there’s one other detail that needs to be figured out before anything else: how to finance the renovation.

The cost of renovation varies quite a bit, but generally speaking, we’re talking a few thousand.

As in most situations, saving for a big project is ideal, but it’s not always possible. You may be able to crowdsource some of the funding by asking your parents for help or possibly asking friends and family for cash gifts for your wedding or birthday. But it’s unlikely to be enough to finance your home makeover.

For a more sure way to get the money you need to repair or upgrade your home, consider these home loan options.

How To Fund Your Home Renovation

1. Refinance

This method is one of the most popular ways to fund many things, including home renovations. Similar to a savings, your home equity is a stash that you can tap into when it makes sense. What’s even better is that refinancing into another loan may also lower your monthly payment or otherwise save you money. There’s also more than one type of refi program. So depending on your credit and other qualifying factors, funding your project with a new home loan may not change your monthly payment at all!

The key here is that it “makes sense” for your loan and financial situation. To see if this is the right choice for you, please contact Tara Mortgage Services.

2. Get a HELOC

If your interest is already low or maybe you’ve already paid off your loan and rather not refi, then consider a HELOC. A Home Equity Line of Credit is a way to access your equity without refinancing. Similar to a credit card, you “borrow” money against your home as needed. Unlike a regular credit card, the interest rates are much lower. One thing to note is that a HELOC is usually an adjustable rate loan. However, fixed-rates HELOC’s are available, too.

Contact Tara Mortgage Services to run a quick scenario on both so you can compare payments and rates.

3. Use a Home Equity Loan

Another home loan option that does not require refinancing is a Home Equity Loan. This type of loan requires you to take out the funds all at once, rather than “as needed” in a HELOC. The benefit of this loan is having a lump sum, which may be just what you need for your renovation. You’ll also get the stability of a fixed rate with this type of loan.

Confused as to which loan is best for you? Tara Mortgage Services is here to help! Contact them today for an obligation-free consultation and get on your way to a renovated home at a cost you can afford.

Alex Deacon’s March Real Estate Networking Workshop has been announced, and he’s bringing in two huge guest speakers: Josh Caldwell and Matt Beam! The trio will be discussing Creative Financing Concepts, ideas, laws, etc. Don’t miss out on the most highly anticipated workshop of every year! RSVP below!

Creative Financing Concepts

Saturday, Mar 9, 2019, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

23 Members Attending

Last month we discussed the concept of Zero Money Down which is super valuable if you want to scale any business especially real Estate Investing. This month we will have two guest speakers and we will go into more detail on the methods, legal issues and paperwork needed to put such deals together. Josh Caldwell will cover the different methods of …

Check out this Meetup →

Join Alex Deacon’s Pittsburgh Landlord Group and be the first to receive updates on our monthly networking meetings!

Pittsburgh Landlord Group

Carnegie, PA
95 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

Read More
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