Tag Archives: Loan

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: The Essentials of Getting a Veteran Home Loan

DHREA 11/09/2019
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If you are an active member of the Military, a veteran or a spouse of a member of the armed forces, you may qualify for a unique mortgage program from the Department of Veteran Affairs. VA loans offer some of the most affordable ways to finance a home purchase. 

VA loans are exclusive to members of the Military and their spouses, and there are particular eligibility requirements. Here’s what you need to know about qualifying for a VA loan.

 Secure A Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

A Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is a document that proves you meet the requirement of being an active member of the Military, a veteran, a National Guard, a reserve member, or a surviving spouse. The COE, however, does not mean you qualify for a mortgage. It is just evidence that you are eligible for a VA loan program. 

If you had previously applied for your COE but have since misplaced it, you can easily apply for another. 

Check Credit Report for Errors

Your credit report determines your eligibility for a mortgage and the rate you qualify for. With a prequalifying application, we’ll do a “soft credit check” to give you an idea of where you stand. When you are ready to apply, a “hard pull” will provide you with a definitive view of your financial health. 

Review it for inconsistencies such as strange social security numbers, credit accounts you don’t recognize, late payments that never happened, or incorrect balances. 

If you find errors, dispute them with the credit bureaus. They now offer online dispute services, so correcting them goes by much faster. 

Limitations of a VA Mortgage

VA loans are for purchasing primary residences, not a rental or vacation property. To make sure you indeed plan to make the property your primary residence, you’ll be required to occupy the home within 60 days of closing. This may be waived if the house is undergoing significant renovations or if you are deployed. Note, however, that the spouse of the active military member can fulfill this requirement. 

What Out For These VA Qualifying Mistakes

After submitting your COE, qualifying for a VA loan is straightforward. However, two actions could make your deal fall through. 

Avoid Changing Employment

If you’re a veteran, hold a civilian job while an active member of the armed forces, or are a surviving spouse, do not to make any changes to your employment. The length of work, amount of hours, and income all factor into the loan qualification decision.  Changing employment while in the loan process could disqualify you!

Avoid Big Purchases

One of the factors used to determine your eligibility for a VA loan is your debt-to-income ratio which determines the amount of debt you carry compared to your income. So if you finance a big purchase, such as a car, it will increase your debt and change your ratio, disqualifying you from getting a VA loan. 

Want to learn more about the benefits of a VA loan? Contact Tara Mortgage Services! Our dedicated team of mortgage professionals has all the answers to your home loan and refi questions. 

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
711 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 …

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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
194 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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Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: Stop! Don’t Delay Closing Your Loan With These Mistakes

DHREA 05/07/2019
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(Each week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

You found the dream house, got approved for a mortgage at a payment you can afford and are now just waiting to close. Time to take it easy –maybe start shopping for new appliances or even look into taking that new job that’s closer to your new home.

Stop!

Making certain decisions before your loan has closed could jeopardize it. Why? Mortgages are approved based on current financial situations and making changes that affect your finances could cause problems.

Here are the top financial and life changes you want to avoid while waiting for your mortgage to close:

1. Opening new credit

Does your new home need a refrigerator? Perhaps a washer and dryer? If you’re a first-time homebuyer, chances are there are many big purchases that you need to make your house a home. But avoid the temptation to finance your new purchases!

Opening a line of credit, no matter how small, could put a halt to your mortgage approval. New credit affects your debt-to-income ratio and could make your credit score drop, sending red flags to the underwriter. Even if the closing isn’t delayed, your new credit score could redefine your terms.

2. Moving money around

You need to provide proof of assets such as your down payment plus money for closing costs, and maybe even additional cash in the bank. But you also want to show proof that these assets are stable.

For example, transferring money from a business account to a personal account to pay the closing costs could make it appear as if your business or finances are unstable. Don’t give underwriters a reason to doubt your stability and leave your money where it was when you were first approved for a mortgage

3. Closing credit

Getting your finances in order is a great idea, but don’t close any unused credit cards in the process. Just like opening up new credit, closing lines of credit also affects your score, potentially jeopardizing your loan.

4. New charges on credit cards

You guessed it! Using your already open credit could also be a red flag. Making small purchases should be okay, but large purchases and maxing out credit cards are a terrible idea. Remember, any changes to your credit affect your debt-to-income ratio and your credit score, and could delay closing for weeks, months, or even prevent it from closing at all!

5. Changing jobs

Lastly, don’t switch your employment while waiting for the loan to close. Your mortgage is largely based on your current employment situation –meaning both your income and years of employment. While moving into a higher paying job is certainly a good idea, wait until after you’ve moved to make any significant changes.

Remember, you want to show proof of soundness, including employment stability.

Delaying your closing isn’t just about waiting longer to move into your home, it could mean incurring additional costs, or losing the original deal completely. It’s just not worth it.

Still shopping for the right loan at a great rate? Contact Tara Mortgage Services and get the answers you’re looking for!

Network with nearly 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
688 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
162 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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Tara Mortgage Services featured blog: 3 Numbers That Matter The Most on Home Loan Applications

DHREA 27/06/2019
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(Each week we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

There are three numbers that matter the most when it comes to a home loan application. They are your credit score, your debt-to-income ratio, and your loan-to-value ratio. These specific numbers matter because they affect your ability to qualify for a home loan as well as your interest rate for the loan.

This article will give you a quick overview of those numbers and how they affect your mortgage.

Need more specific information? We’re here to help! Use our contact form and a mortgage professional will be in touch soon.

Your Credit Score

You’re likely familiar with this number. A credit score, also sometimes called your FICO score, is a three-digit number between 300-850. This number scores your borrowing history. It’s independently calculated by each of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) using your payment history, your current debt, your credit limit usage, along with other factors.

When you apply for a mortgage, we request your credit score from one or all of the bureaus using a” soft” or “hard” credit check. A “soft” check does not affect your credit score and is done early in the application process, such as during pre-approval. A “hard” check will have a minor impact (lowering by about 5 points) on your score, so it’s done when you’re ready to apply.

Your credit score helps to estimate your ability and the likelihood of you paying back your home loan. The various mortgage programs have a minimum credit score with government loans having the lowest score requirements.

Your score matters because it affects the interest rate you can get. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rates will also be.

Your Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

Your LTV is a way to measure the amount of equity in your home. You can think of it as the percent you still owe towards the principal to fully own your home. The way it works is that the higher your LTV ratio is, the more you’re borrowing.

Here’s how to calculate your LVT yourself: First, subtract the down payment amount from the value of the property. Divide that number by the value of the property. For example, if the home has a value of $200,000 and you put $20,000 down, then your LVT is 90%.

You can also calculate your LTV by subtracting the down payment percent from 100%. For example, if you’re down payment is 20%, then your initial LTV is 80%. Why this number matters There’s often a maximum LTV when you’re buying a home (you can also think of this as the minimum down payment).

The exact LTV max depends on factors such as the property type, loan amount, and whether you’re a first-time homebuyer. If your LTV is higher than the limit, that means that either you’ll have to increase your down payment or look for a lower-priced property. Another thing to keep in mind with regards to your minimum down payment is that if put less than 20% down, you’ll be required to pay mortgage insurance.

Your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)

Your DTI helps determine how much you can afford to pay every month given your current monthly payments. We calculate this number by adding up your existing monthly debt plus what your mortgage payment will be once you have your new home and then dividing that number by your gross monthly income. Why it matters The DTI help to set a limit to make sure that you can comfortably afford your mortgage now and in the future.

This number is critical in qualifying for a home loan. A high DTI is the most common reason mortgage applications are declined. DTI limits vary by lender and our firm is proud to offer more flexible limits than most competitors. Want to talk more numbers? GIve us a call! We can talk you through your numbers and help you determine the best course of action for getting a home loan at a rate you can afford. Schedule a conversation with Tara Mortgage Services today!

Network with nearly 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
688 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
160 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: “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

#TaraMTG Tuesdays: What You Must Know About Rent-To-Own Homes!

DHREA 04/12/2018

(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services!)

 

If you’ve browsed home sale listings, you’ve probably seen ads for “Rent-to-Own or “Lease-to-Own” homes. These agreements are similar to traditional rental contracts. However, they also give you an option to purchase the rental home.

Curious as to what renting-to-own involves or wondering if it’s a good option for you? Read on to understand the details of a rent-to-own contract and contact us for personalized mortgage advice.

The Anatomy of Rent-To-Own Contract

A rent-to-own contract usually has two parts to the agreement: a standard lease agreement as well as a separate document that outlines your option to buy. Both documents may be incorporated into one document or they exist as two separate ones.

Rent Agreement

In the rental part of the rent-to-own arrangement, it’ll state that the property will remain as the landlord property unless you choose to exercise the right to purchase the home. While this document will include language that mentions “purchasing,” this is still foundationally a rental agreement. It is not a purchase agreement. Just like any other standard lease agreement, it will include terms concerning the amount of rent to be paid, lease period, and outline the repair and maintenance responsibilities of the landlord.

Purchase Agreement

This difference is most notable in the rent that you’ll pay, as we mentioned above. You’ll still be required to make timely monthly payments, but the amount will be substantially higher than the rent of a similar property. This “extra” amount that you pay is usually put into an escrow account as part of your option to buy. It’s the landlord responsibility to set aside this additional portion of the rent aside to apply toward the principle or to refund it should you decide to purchase.

Your Rights and Obligations

Lease-to-own arrangements have unique features that differ from common lease agreements. This difference is most notable in the rent that you’ll pay, as we mentioned above. You’ll still be required to make timely monthly payments, but the amount will be substantially higher than the rent of a similar property. This “extra” amount that you pay is usually put into an escrow account as part of your option to buy. It’s the landlord responsibility to set aside this additional portion of the rent aside and apply toward the principle of the house or refund it to you upon purchase.

In a way, you’re building equity in the house during the rental period.

Maintenance is also different. Unlike a traditional lease agreement where the landlord is responsible for all repairs, in the rent-to-own contract, you’ll be responsible for the upkeep of the property. Most tenants and landlords consider it a fair agreement since, typically, the tenant will own the house eventually.

Other Details

Until your exercise your right to purchase, the property is legally owned by the landlord. Yes, even if you have made significant repairs and have invested several months of “equity,” you’ll still have to comply with the terms of the rental agreement. If any of the conditions are violated, the purchase option is voided. You’ll lose your option fee as well as the escrow percentage of the monthly rent payments.

Risks and Benefits

Many consider a rent-to-own agreement because they lack funds for the down payment, or their poor credit has made them temporarily ineligible for a mortgage (remember that poor credit can be improved!). With a rent-to-own arrangement, a tenant will be able to gradually build equity in a property while still having the possibility to opt out. However, financially, this could make the situation worse. If you choose not to exercise the right to purchase the property or fail to come up with the funds for the purchase, you could lose all of the funds you accumulated on the escrow account.

If you have poor credit or zero funds to purchase a home, you have other options other than rent-to-own contracts. Call Tara Mortgage Services for a free consultation to learn about your options!

 

 

 

Connect with nearly 600 other Real Estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com today, and be the first to receive updates regarding Alex’s FREE monthly workshops!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
590 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

 

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