Tag Archives: Mortgage

#TaraMTG Tuesday: The Trick to Winning a Home Bidding War

DHREA 18/09/2018

 

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

 

There’s more than one way to win a bidding war. If you find yourself competing with multiple offers on the same house, know that there are others ways to sway favor in your direction other than offering more money.

The trick is to make your offer stand-out and to encourage the seller to make an emotional connection with it. You can think of it as a way to “sell your offer” to the home seller, and, in our experience, an offer letter is a perfect way to do it.

An offer letter is pretty simple, just like any other letter or email you write, and it accompanies your bid on the home.

Here’s a quick overview of key points to include in your offer letter:

1. Talk about what you love about the house

The seller likely spent years in the home and possibly raised a family in it, so they will probably have a strong emotional attachment to the property. Highlight the memories you hope to create in the home and acknowledge the hard work put into it. You can also mention any specific upgrades they’ve recently included and how much you admire the improvements.

2. Make it (just a little) personal

It’s helpful to reveal a little about yourself to the seller –but not too much. You can provide a short explanation of why you chose this particular house over other homes such as because it reminds you of your childhood home or you grew up in that community and want the same for your children. Whatever the reason, share it with the seller and let him know you’re the right buyer for the home.

3. Don’t mention any plans to remodel the house

While the sellers may realize that certain upgrades are necessary, most of the time, they don’t want to hear about it. The seller may have invested thousands of dollars to fix up the property, so they certainly don’t want to hear about plans to undo their work. Keep renovation plans to yourself.

4. Discuss your ability to afford the house

Include a pre-qualification letter with your offer and offer letter, so the seller knows you can afford the property. If the buyer is looking to make a quick and no-fuss sale, your pre-qualification letter may be just the thing to convince them to choose your offer.

5. Do you have anything in common with the seller?

You might also want to mention anything you have in common with the seller. Look for clues as you walk through the house and take mental note of any commonalities you have with the seller. Sometimes, it’s the little things (like both having a German Shepherd) that make a big difference.

6. Promise to take care of the home

A seller who invested to much time and effort into the home will prefer a buyer who will take care of the legacy. Include a promise to maintain and keep the house in excellent condition—whether you follow through on not making any changes is up to you. It may seem like a trivial thing to include in your letter, but it can have a tremendous impact on sentimental sellers.

7. Keep it short

Your letter should be both compelling and thorough but keep it brief. You want your letter to stand out, but you certainly don’t want to seem pushy nor do you want to overwhelm the seller with several pages of pleading. Keep your letter short, sweet and, optimally, a page or less in length.

Money isn’t the only way to compete in a competitive housing market. An offer letter and pre-qualifying letter can sometimes be more convincing than adding a few thousand to your bid.

Ready to get a pre-qualifying letter? Or maybe you’re just curious as to how much home you can afford? Contact Tara Mortgage Services with your questions today!

 

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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#TaraMTG Tuesday: What comes first, the sale or the purchase?

DHREA 11/09/2018

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

 

You may be wondering if there is a right order to buying and selling a home when you’re already a homeowner. For example, would it be better to sell first and then shop for a new home?

Or maybe it’s best to buy first then sell your current home?

This blog will help you to understand the advantages of each scenario as well as a creative alternative.

A lot has changed since the last time you applied for a home loan. Your income, your FICO score, and even how you apply for a home loan is different!

What To Consider When You Buy First:

One of the main perks of buying first is that you can take your time to shop around, similar to the way it was when you first bought your home. You can visit as many open houses as it takes to find just the right one without any pressure to rush your decision.

You can also take your time to plan the move, make any repairs or upgrades, and even move your stuff little by little instead of packing it all in one moving day. Changing your address, turning on utilities, and making changes to childcare and school can also be coordinated with ease when you buy first.

On the other hand, there may some overlap in mortgage payments if you don’t sell your current home within a month of buying your new home. If the possibility of carrying both mortgages sounds like too much of a burden then buying before selling may not be for you.

You’ll also want to consider that your income and debts affect how much you qualify for. In other words, it will be difficult to get approved for a new home loan if your income can’t support two mortgages.

What To Consider When You Sell First:

Selling your home first means that you’ll have your equity free and on hand, ready to make an offer on the next house. In a competitive market, having cash on hand is a significant advantage.

You’ll also save money by not having to pay two mortgages and utilities at the same time. It can even seem pretty wasteful to pay double when in reality you are living only one home.

While avoiding paying double would be ideal, you should know that there may be some overlap. For example, you will likely have temporary housing in an apartment while you shop for your new home. In this case, you’ll probably pay a month or so of rent plus your mortgage.

But this is still a better scenario than paying for two mortgages for an indefinite amount of time. Remember that when you buy first, you are at the mercy of other homebuyers. If instead, you’re renting, the worst that can happen is that you pay a fine for breaking the lease early.

Plus there’s also the feeling of being rushed to find a home. When you sell first and are renting an apartment, there’s a sense of urgency to buy quickly and stop “throwing money away” towards rent. 

The Homebuying-and-Selling Alternative

We’ve given you the pros and cons of both selling-first and buying-first scenarios.

Now we want to share an alternative to both: make an offer that is dependent on selling your current home.

This is called a “contingent offer.”

The main benefit is that it bridges your current home to your future home so that you avoid double mortgage payments and the need to rent an apartment.

You may be wondering what to use as a down payment if it’s tied up in the equity of your current home. A possible solution is to take a home equity line of credit (HELOC), and use it to cover the down payment while still paying the mortgage on your current home.

Whether you buy or sell first, it requires quite a bit of coordination, especially when it comes to qualifying for a new home loan. Find out the expert advice you need and learn more about your options by contacting Tara Mortgage Services today!

 

 

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
510 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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#TaraMTG Tuesday: The Difference Between Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents

DHREA 04/09/2018

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

 

Two professionals will quickly become your best friends when you’re buying a home: your mortgage broker and real estate agent. How do they differ and how do they work together to help you with your home purchase?

How Do Mortgage Brokers and Real Estate Agents Differ?

Real estate agents work on the buying and selling part of a property while mortgage brokers focus on the financing side of the purchase. Here’s how that breaks down.

A real estate agent helps you to sift through potential homes to find the perfect one. They have access to property listings, have knowledge about the local market, and have information about the neighborhoods, including which areas are up-and-coming and reputations of local schools.

A real estate agent may introduce various home loan options, however, knowing which mortgage program works best for you is a mortgage broker specialty.

**Working with a loan officer instead of a mortgage broker? They work essentially the same way, that it, helping you to get the rate and home financing you need. The difference is that loan officers work with a specific lender while a mortgage broker works similar to an “independent contractor,” working with several lenders.

Both have their perks and both guide you in comparing home loan programs to ensure that you’re getting the best rate.

Common Responsibilities of Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents help you sell a property or help you to buy one.

Types of Real Estate Agents

Here’s a quick overview of the most commonly encountered real estate agents.

Real estate agent: This is a state-licensed position, and they help their clients through the selling or buying of properties. Each state has its licensing guidelines. However, the training and standards are somewhat similar throughout the country.

Real estate broker: This professional is usually the owner or manager of a real estate office, though some work independently. They have the same training as a real estate agent plus additional higher-level training as they are the ones reviewing contracts as well as managing the daily operations. Just like real estate agents, licensing for real estate brokers vary by state.

Realtor®: A Realtor® is the official name for a real estate agent or real estate broker who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). The NAR is a private organization with their own set of realty standards and code of ethics that members agree to follow. To recap, all Realtors® state-licensed, but not all real estate agents and brokers are Realtors®.

Responsibilities of Mortgage Brokers

A mortgage broker is worth his or her weight in gold. They provide a critical service when it comes to navigating your home loan options, so their profession is heavily regulated. Every state has their licensing requirements, but all mortgage brokers are trained, bonded, and act with your fiduciary interests in mind.

Mortgage brokers and loan officers help you in other ways too! Consider them a trustworthy source for your credit score questions, property investments loans info, down payment coaching, and much more.

Mortgage Brokers Be Real Estate Agents Too 

It’s possible for your mortgage broker also to be a licensed real estate agent. Some prefer this all-in-one service, while others like to keep their mortgage and home shopping separate. However, note that real estate agents cannot originate government-backed loans (like FHA loans, for example) on behalf of their client.

Working Together for Your Best Home Buying Interests

Buying a home is critical life decisions and investments you will ever make. That’s why we’re dedicated to guiding you through the initial process home loan applications and keep you in the loop every step of the way. Whether you are already working with a real estate agent or are looking for a trusted recommendation, Tara Mortgage Services are ready to team up with you to make your homeownership dreams come true! Contact us today!

 

Connect with over 500 Real Estate Professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Workshop on MeetUp.com. Big event coming this Saturday!

Zero Money Down is not Impossible

Saturday, Sep 8, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

33 Members Attending

I know it sounds too easy to be true and I often preach that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. In this case I am confident saying that this can be done regardless if you have been in the business as long as I or if you are new to the business of Real Estate Investing. I am going to show you the step by step process to start your…

Check out this Meetup →

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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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Homebuying Tips For Unmarried Couples

DHREA 21/08/2018

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

 

Buying a home with a loved one is an exciting next step. However, home purchases between unmarried couples come with a few challenges. And since buying a home presents a significant financial investment and personal commitment, it’s important to know the challenges you may face before you sign on the dotted line.

Here are five things to plan for when buying a home as an unmarried couple.

Have an Honest Talk About Finances:

Even if you have already rented an apartment together and think you’re fairly familiar with your partner’s finances, it’s important to have a formal discussion about it. Make sure you talk about financial history, debt from credit cards, personal loans, school loans, or any other obligations.

 

FICO scores and income are other important details to know. Of course, if there are any financial factors that you kept private, this would be the time to share it. Once you begin the home loan application, all will come to light anyway –might as well be honest about it all now and start your home buying dreams on the right foot.

If it turns out that one of you has poor credit, as a couple, you may decide to work on repairing the credit before applying for a home loan. Likewise, as a couple, you might decide that the partner with good credit will apply on their own.

Decide How the House Payments will be Split:

You may already have a system in place for deciding who pays which bill. However, a mortgage payment may change that. Besides, the mortgage payment, you also need to decide how to split the down-payment and closing costs. There’s also emergency house repairs and ongoing maintenance to consider.

After deciding, you may want to consider writing a plan with a real estate attorney. This will help to keep things in order as well as and help make sure that each partner holds up to their homeownership commitment.

Some couples find it helpful to have a joint bank account dedicated to home-related expenses while keeping their other funds separate.

Know Your Homeownership Options:

Sharing the mortgage of the home does not automatically mean that each partner is on the title as well. Laws vary according to state but generally speaking, you’ll have three options when it comes to the title of the house.

  1. Joint Tenancy – Both partners own the property equally. In the case of death, the other partner inherits the other’s stake and owns the entire property.
  2. Tenancy In Common – Each own a specified percentage of the property. However, if something happens to one, the ownership interest transfer to whoever is specified in a living will or trust. If there is no will or trust, then goes to the next of kin — not the significant other.
  3. Sole Owner – It might make more sense for a single person to be on the title, especially if only one is on the mortgage. However, know that if you ’re paying for the home but aren’t listed on the title, it’s unlikely that you’ll able to deduct the mortgage interest on your taxes.

Consider the Future:

Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years? Think you’ll move for a job opportunity? What about starting a family –do you see yourself having kids soon? These changes can change everything and should be part of your decision-making process when buying a home. Typically, it takes about 5 years to build equity so you’ll want to discuss plans with your partner before deciding on a specific house.

Have a Plan B:

Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t turn out as you hope, and owning a home as a couple when you’re not a couple any longer can present some challenges We recommend drawing up a partnership agreement, similar to a prenup, to detail what happens to the home in the event of a split.

Remember, there are no legal protections between home purchases between unmarried couples. Avoid or at least minimize risk to each of you as a couple by going into the home purchase with a written agreement.

Despite the additional challenges, buying a home as a couple is an excellent investment for both of your futures! With some preparation and honest discussion, you and your partner will be prepared to take this next exciting step.

Whether married or unmarried, the home buying process begins the same way –getting pre-approved! Apply securely and quickly using our online application, and contact our office for more live assistance in buying a home as a couple.

 

Be the 500th Real Estate Professional to join Alex Deacon’s Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com! Click the box below!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
489 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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#TaraMTG Tuesday: Tips for Buying a Home When You’re Self-Employed

DHREA 07/08/2018

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

 

Self-employment has its perks, like making your own schedule, negotiating your pay, and maybe even have a little more free time to do the things you love! If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, you’re not alone — about a third the U.S. workforce is self-employed, and it’s projected to increase to 42% in the next 2 years.

Our office has also seen a rise in self-employed home loan applicants –and we’re excited to see the shift. In many ways, self-employment means freedom, and anything that helps our clients gain freedom in their lives and finances is something we want to be a part of.

With that said, there are a few more hoops that self-employed applicants need to jump through when applying for a home loan. It’s nothing too difficult, just a few more steps to verify income. Find out precisely what it takes to apply for a home loan when you’re self-employed, and see how close you are to even more independence with a low-rate home loan!

Getting Ready to Buy a Home When You’re Self-Employed

Traditionally, when applying for a home loan, applicants supply their W-2’s. As a freelancer or self-employed worker, you’ll need to prove your income and taxes differently. Here’s how to do it Your 1099 If you’re self-employed, you’ll report your taxes with a 1099 form rather than W-2’s. Freelancing can sometimes mean irregular income –meaning you’ll earn a little more one month and a little less the next.

So we have a more accurate picture of your income, we’ll ask for more financial information. Typically, this means providing two years worth of tax returns. If you’ve been self-employed for less than two years or don’t have tax returns for the previous two years, please call us to help you figure out the fastest way to qualifying for a home loan.

Saving for a Downpayment

Whether self-employed or not, the more you can put down for a home the better it is. Not only will your monthly payments likely be lower, but you’ll end up paying less over the life of the loan. But when you’re a freelancer, your savings takes on an additional meaning — it proves financial stability. Financing the self-employed borrower can be considered a little riskier, which is why more financial information is required.

However, with a savings backing you up, your application will look all the more favorable, getting you on the fast track to approval.

Don’t have much to put down? That’s okay! Call Tara Mortgage Services to see how they can help you find a home loan with flexible requirements ,and can help you find ways to come up with a down payment fast.

Review Your Credit

We’ve talked about credit scores many times here on our blog. That’s because your credit is so critical to your home loan rate and which loans you qualify for. And when you’re self-employed, your credit score is all the more vital! We suggest that you review your credit as soon as possible –you can even do that now by asking for a free credit report from the credit bureaus (you’re entitled one free report a year).

You can also let us request your credit report. When you apply for a loan with us, we’ll request your credit report and review it with you. If there are any discrepancies, we can give you tips on how to sort it out and possibly raise your score.

Be Thoughtful with Your Tax Deductions

One of the benefits of independent work is the ability to write-off expenses on your taxes. Expenses such as your Internet, cell phone, travel, lodging, supplies, and the like are all reasonable write-offs. But here’s a word of caution – the more you deduct, the less income is reported on taxes. So, if you’re in the market to buy a home or invest in property soon, reconsider how much you’re deducting from your taxes.

Learn About Your Mortgage Options

There’s a loan for every applicant, especially the self-employed! Besides the favorable rates and stability that a conventional home loan offers, there are other options that may be a good fit: FHA loan – Requires only 3.5% down! USDA loan –Zero down on homes in qualifying rural areas. VA loan – For active duty military, veterans and their families offering zero down.

Self-employment shouldn’t hold you back from reaching homeownership freedom. All it takes is some planning, thoughtful financial choices, and applying with Tara Mortgage Services!

 

Only 16 seats remain! Don’t miss out on Alex Deacon’s August Workshop! RSVP below!

Detailed Game plan from A-Z for your next Buy and Hold

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

34 Members Attending

This is a great session for those who want to buy and hold. This will give you an idea of realistic expectations that you can count on for your current and your future investments. We will look at some of my current and past buy and hold properties and take a close look to see what mistakes and successes I had made and lets learn from those and com…

Check out this Meetup →

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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#TaraMTG Tuesday: 7 Ways Mortgage Professionals Can Help You!

DHREA 31/07/2018

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

 

When you think of the kind of help a mortgage professional offers most likely you think home loan services. But did you know that we can do more?

It’s true! Our office does more than match you with the right loan at a competitive rate. We help you navigate every aspect of homeownership success.

Have questions? Give us a call or contact us through our online form located at the top and bottom of our website.

Trustworthy Credit Advice

Credit scores are a critical part of the mortgage process, so our expertise in credit scores comes with the territory. Because your credit score is essential to the mortgage rate, you want to make sure you have the facts about your credit score and how you can improve it.

So when you’re looking for honest answers about your FICO score, remember Tara Mortgage Services can help!

Explain the Homebuying Process

Curious about what it takes to buy a home but not quite ready to move toward applying for a loan?

Maybe you’re wondering:

  • Which loan option is best
  • About hiring a real estate agent
  • What fees to expect
  • How much home you can afford to buy

Offer Down Payment Tips

Many think that you need a 20% down payment for a home, but that’s not true! There are many loan options where you need as little as 3.5% down!

Need help coming up with down payment that won’t drain your savings? We’ll coach you on creative ways to come up with it. From monetary gifts to home buying assistance programs, we know all the tricks to buy a home with limited funds to start.

Do a Financial Checkup

Similar to your annual health checkup, your finances need a checkup too! We’ll take a look at your assets, income, and other financial obligations so that you can have a better understanding of your financial situation.

Just as a doctor gives you tips on how to improve your health, we’ll make some recommendations, like refinancing to a better term, to improve your financial health.

Explore Investment Property Options

Considering buying an investment property? We’ll clarify your loan options, and offer advice, so you decide if it’s a smart financial move.

Avoid Foreclosure

Foreclosure doesn’t have to happen to you. We can help you explore different options before it gets to the point where you can no longer afford your mortgage payments. If you think you might be at risk for missing mortgage payments, please contact us right away.

Look Out for Your Home Buying Interests

As mortgage professionals, we’re passionate about being a valuable home loan consultant in every way. From helping you decide whether you should refinance out of an FHA loan, or how to recognize housing scams, our duty is to serve you.

Mortgage Professionals at Your Service

Whether you’re a first time home buyer, an existing homeowner, a budding property investor with questions, or just looking for a financial checkup, we’re here to offer honest guidance and advice. Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for personalized assistance from an experienced mortgage professional.

Alex Deacon’s August MeetUp has been announced! These events fill up fast, so guarantee your spot today!

Detailed Game plan from A-Z for your next Buy and Hold

Saturday, Aug 11, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

9 Members Attending

This is a great session for those who want to buy and hold. This will give you an idea of realistic expectations that you can count on for your current and your future investments. We will look at some of my current and past buy and hold properties and take a close look to see what mistakes and successes I had made and lets learn from those and com…

Check out this Meetup →

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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#TaraMTG Tuesday: Your Questions About Closing Costs Answered!

DHREA 24/07/2018

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

 

This blog will answer the most common questions about buyers closing costs, including some ideas for minimizing paying closing costs upfront.

“Will There Always Be Closing Costs?”

Yes, there are always closing costs. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller or even refinancing, you’re going to have closing costs. If you’re the buyer, your mortgage closing costs account for about 2%-5% of the purchase price. If you’re the seller, about 6% of the sales price will go toward paying realtor fees.

“Can I Roll Closing Costs into the Loan?”

Typically, the only loan that allows you to include the closing costs into the mortgage is a USDA loan.

Home loans have a loan-to-value ratio (LTV ratios) that puts a cap on how much you can include in the loan. This is calculated by taking your loan amount plus the closing costs and then subtracting the down payment. The number you’re left with must not exceed the LTV limit for that specific loan.

The only exception to the LTV ratio rule are USDA loans. You can include your closing costs into a USDA loan just as long as your property appraises for more than the sales price.

“Can I Have The Seller Pay for My Closing Costs?”

You can negotiate with the seller to see if and how much of your closing costs, including realtor fees, they are willing to pay. One way to entice them to pay your fees is to offer to buy the home for a higher purchase price if they agree to pay for some of your costs.

You may be wondering if this is actually worth, but consider this: increasing your offer by $6000 in exchange for them paying $6000 in your closing fees amounts to only a few extra dollars a month in your mortgage payment. If you’re looking for a way to save on your fees upfront, this is how you want to do it.

Note that each type of loan has a max as to how much the seller can contribute to your closing costs. Call our office for more information.

“What’s Included in My Closing Costs?”

The following is not an exhaustive list, and the amounts will vary. However, you will have a precise breakdown of your closing costs when funding your home purchase with us.

  • Appraisal Fee
  • Attorney Fee
  • Escrow Fee
  • Closing Fee -charged by the title company
  • Courier Fee -sent by a carrier or delivery service, though we utilize digital mortgage processing as much as possible
  • Pre-Paid Interest
  • Real Estate Taxes and PMI Escrow Deposit
  • Pre-Paid Hazard Insurance
  • Up-Front FHA MIP -applicable only on FHA loans
  • Discount Points
  • Flood Certificate Fee
  • Recording Fees -for issuing a new deed
  • Transfer Tax -vary by county
  • HOA Transfer Fee Pest Inspection -required for all government-backed loans
  • Title Insurance
  • Title Search Fee
  • Underwriting Fee
  • Loan Origination Fee
  • Survey Fee
  • Wire Transfer Fee
  • VA Funding Fee -applicable only to VA loans.

Closing costs may not be the most attractive part of buying a home or refinancing your current mortgage, but it’s a small price to pay for the benefits that a home loan provides. Find out how much you qualify for by applying for home loan with Tara Mortgage Services today!

 

Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group is rapidly growing! Don’t miss out…join today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
470 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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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Starter Homes vs Forever Homes

DHREA 17/07/2018

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

 

When you’re a first-time homebuyer, the first thing on your mind is probably, “how much home can I afford?” and rightfully so! Knowing how much you qualify for is the first step to buying a home.

But here’s another crucial detail to consider: should you buy a starter home or a forever home? 

Starter Home vs Forever Home: What’s the Difference?

You can think of a starter home as a jumping off point in homeownership. When you buy a starter home, you probably don’t intend to live there for more than a few years. 

However, with a forever home, you’ll likely plan on living there for many years –maybe even for the rest of your life! So when comparing the two options, have in mind how time you intend to live in the home and how that fits into your goals.

Reasons to Choose a Starter Home

Potentially More Affordable Than a Forever Home

Condos and small houses are a favorite starter home among first-time homebuyers. A smaller house is likely to fit your budget better, and if you’re single or have a small family, a one to two-bedroom may be all you need anyway.

A lower-priced, modest home means a smaller downpayment too! When you pair that with an FHA loan that requires as little as 3.5% down, you can see why some are willing to sacrifice space (for a while, anyway) to buy a starter home.

Desire to Start Investing In Your Future

You’d think that a mortgage payment is more than rent, but often the opposite is true. Even if the overall house payment is slightly higher than your current rent, what you get in return is so much more.

You can think of a mortgage payment as an investment in your future, and with every payment, you own more and more of the house.

Plus the real estate market helps you out by possibly increasing the value of your home. Can your rent payment do that?

Improve Your Investment Without Commitment

Even if you don’t make any improvements to your home, the market could work in your favor and increase the value. But if you want to help it along, consider making some upgrades!

The key to home improvements in starter homes is to focus on those with a reasonable return on investment. So before you gut out the bathroom for a complete remodel, look into less drastic upgrades like replacing the tile and sink.

Another thing to consider, at least for style purposes, is to use designs that most appealing to homebuyers. So if you replace the kitchen countertop, consider a neutral colored granite instead of a stark black one. You’ll want to save those personal touches for your forever home.

Reasons to Choose a Forever Home

Have or Plan to Have a Family

Space for a growing family is one of the most common reasons to buy a forever home. A condo for a 2-3 person family might be okay for a while, but eventually, you’ll want more space in case you add to your family, you want a yard for the kids to play in, or even just a large enough dining area entertain.

It’s a Buyers Market

When market conditions are in your favor, you definitely want to consider a forever home versus a starter home. Not only will get more home for your money, but you’ll have the piece of mind that you got the best rate and a payment you can afford.

You’re Ready to Set Roots

It’s comforting to know that you won’t be moving any time soon. You can settle in, make lasting friendships with your neighbors, upgrade your home just the way you like it knowing that this is your home to do as you please.

Of course, you always have the option to sell to buy again!

When you buy a forever home with a loan with Tara Mortgage Services, you’ll know that you’ve got an amazing deal with a mortgage payment you can comfortably afford, and you can breathe a sigh of relief that you’re finally home.

Still not sure if you should buy a starter home or forever home? That’s okay! The most important thing is that you get pre-approved for a home loan first. You’ll still have time to think about what home to buy, but you don’t want to miss out on current low rates! Contact Tara Mortgage Services today!

 

 

Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Investing Networking group today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
467 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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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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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: 10 Credit Score Myths DEBUNKED!

DHREA 10/07/2018

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

Your credit score is one of your most powerful tools for planning your financial future –mostly because it determines the terms of loans like mortgages. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misunderstandings about FICO scores, and it can lead you to miss out on the benefits of your credit.

Myth #1 Checking Your Credit Lowers Your Score

There’s a difference between you checking your credit and a creditor checking your credit. When you apply for credit, the creditor conducts “a hard inquiry” to review your rating. Only hard inquiries affect your score. Inquiries stay on your report for 24 months, but only the ones from the past 12 months affect your score.

The good news is that one or two inquiries a year are nothing to worry about. But have been applying for credit or loans more than three times a year, it may start lowering your score.

Myth #2 Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Affects Your Score

Debt-to-income ratio is the amount of monthly debt obligations, like car payments, compared to your monthly gross income. Credit bureaus don’t have access to your income so there’s no way for them to factor it into your score. DTI ratios are most often used to determine how much home you can afford. Considering this, it’s a good idea to lower your debt to get a larger loan. However, when it comes to your credit score, your debt-to-income doesn’t affect it.

Myth #3 The Higher the Debt, The Lower the Score

Not all debt is the same! Debt from a mortgage, even a $300,000 mortgage loan, is considered “good debt” because a home is a financial investment. $15,000 credit card debt, on the other hand, is bad debt.

Keep your credit balances low, preferably below 15% of the credit limits, and you’ll be on your way to maintaining your FICO high.

Myth #4 Paying Off Collections Raises Your Score

This one is surprising. Once a collection agency is involved, your score is going to take major hit. Even after you pay off or settle the debt, the delinquency will still show on your report. The only way to remove it is by disputing it with all three major credit bureaus. It’s not easy but worth the effort!

Myth #5 Your Credit Becomes Joint with Your Spouse

When You Get Married Getting married doesn’t automatically include your spouse on your credit nor does it add you on theirs. If you want to be added to their account and possibly reap the benefits of their credit score, your spouse needs to call creditors to have them add you. 

Myth #6 A Better Job Means You’ll Have a Better Score

Despite credit bureaus having your employers information, they don’t have access to your salary or yearly income. So a better paying job won’t affect your credit score. On the other hand, higher income could mean you can now pay down debt –and that definitely increases your credit score! 

Myth #7 If You Don’t Use a Credit Card, You Should Close It

The longer your credit’s open, the better it is for your score, so you never want to close credit cards. However, creditors may end up closing it if there’s no activity so try to use it (and pay it off) every month to keep it open.

Myth #8 Opening a Credit Card will Hurt Your Score

This myth is a little tricky. While opening a new credit account will make your score drop initially, it’s only temporary. After a few cycles of payments, your new credit will start to rise again and even improve from where it was in the first place.

Myth #9 One Late Payment Won’t Lower Your Score Much

Payment history is the most significant factors in your FICO score. Even just one payment that’s late by 30 days lowers your score by 50 points or more. Don’t let this happen to you! Set up a reminder or automatic payment schedule and avoid making this costly mistake.

Surprised by some of these credit myths? We bet you’ll also be surprised by how much you qualify for and the great terms Tara Mortgage Services offer (even with less than perfect credit). Contact Tara Mortgage Services today!

 

Connect with over 460 Real Estate Investors! Join Alex Deacon’s MeetUp group today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
463 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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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: 7 Reasons To Refinance!

DHREA 03/07/2018

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

 

Do any of these 7 financial situations sound like you? If they do, then you might be ready to refinance your mortgage!

Top Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

1. Your Interest Rate is Higher than Current Mortgage Rates

Interest rates change, and in recent years, have adjusted in your favor! If your mortgage closed more than 5 years ago, the chances are that your rate is higher than current mortgage rates. Refinancing to lower the mortgage interest rate is the top reason that clients contact our office.

2. Looking To Lower Monthly Payment

When you refinance into a new loan, not can you get a lower interest rate but it also adjusts your monthly payments. For example, if your original loan was for 300k with a 30-year term and you’ve paid off 60k since then, your new mortgage will be for only 240k. What’s more, the clock for paying off the loan in 30 years restarts!

3. You Want to Make Home Improvements

A cash-out refi, home equity loan, or HELOC gives you access to the equity of your home. Each of these refinances options are different and one might be better suited for you than the other. Call our office for help deciding which refi is right for you.

4. You’re Nearing Retirement

If you’re approaching retirement age, a refi can lower your monthly payment into one you can afford more comfortably. If you’ve already paid off your loan, consider a reverse mortgage to help supplement your retirement income.

5. You Want a Fixed Rate

An adjustable rate mortgage starts low but eventually changes after a certain number of years, and usually, the rate goes up. Getting into a fixed-rate avoids these drastic changes and locks in a low rate for the life of your loan.

6. You Want to Pay Off Your 30-year Mortgage Sooner

Refinancing your 30-year fixed rate mortgage into a 10-year or 15-year mortgage will help you pay off your home sooner. Interest rates on 15-year loans can be as much as a full percentage point lower than a 30-year loan. This means that more of your payment goes toward the principle plus you also save money on interest!

7. Your Credit Score Has improved Since You Last Closed

Remember that your interest rate is largely dependent on your credit score. If it’s gone up since your closed your loan, that means that you likely qualify for a lower rate today! How low? Apply to find out! Use our free online application and we’ll let you know what rate you qualify for now.

There are many more reasons why people come to see us about refinancing their current loan. Want to find out if refinancing can help you out in your financial situation? Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for a no-obligation refinance consult!

 

Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Investing MeetUp Group is rapidly growing towards 500 members! Join today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
461 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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