Tag Archives: Mortgage

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

DHREA 12/03/2019
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is download.jpg

(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

15 Members Attending

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
651 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
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is download.jpg

(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

Realtor Nation w/ Ian Hoover (Podcast): Special Guest Jason Horr from Tara Mortgage Services

DHREA 28/02/2019

Ian Hoover sits down with Jason Horr of Tara Mortgage Services to discuss the mortgage industry! Don’t miss these two seasoned vets talk a little shop, and find out some new techniques to use. Don’t miss this episode!

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

24 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
96 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
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is download.jpg

(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

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: Using A Second Mortgage Like Your Secret Stash

DHREA 05/02/2019

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

A second mortgage is a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit, and just like your original mortgage, a second mortgage is secured by your home. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to take out “another loan” on your home, a second mortgage is a way for you to tap into your resources without selling your home.

All About Second Mortgages

The two primary types of second mortgages are home equity loans and home equity lines of credit. One of the main differences between these two home loans is how you receive the money and how you repay it. Just like a traditional loan, a home equity loan gives you a lump sum which you’ll repay at regular intervals over time. Interest rates are typically fixed with a home equity loan.

A home equity line of credit works more like a credit card. And just like a credit card, you use your credit only when you need it. Also, interest is charged only on credit used. Interest rates are typically adjustable with this type of second mortgage.

How To Use a Second Mortgage

Homeowners use their second mortgage for a variety of projects such as to pay for home improvements or repairs, buy a second home or pay off debt. There are some limitations as to what you can use the funds for, but generally speaking, you have many options.

A word of caution, however. While there may not a be a restriction on using the funds for items such as vacations or a lavish shopping spree, we recommend that you don’t use your second mortgage for these expenses. Remember that your home secures the second mortgage, and a tour of Europe, no matter how grand, is not worth risking your home.

The Benefits of Second Mortgages

The biggest advantage is that you get a large amount of money all at once and can use it immediately on pretty much whatever you want. Also, any interest you pay may be tax deductible. Talk your tax adviser for more information.

Possible Disadvantages of Second Mortgages

The primary downside of second mortgages is the inability to repay the loan and losing your home.

Another disadvantage is that there are fees involved, much like there was with your first loan. Also, if your score isn’t all that great, your interest rate will be on the higher end of the spectrum.

How Much Money Can You Get?

The amount depends on how much equity is in your home, your credit score, and the loan-to-value ratio. If the combined loan-to-value ratio of both your first and second mortgage is greater than 75 to 85 percent, it may not be possible to get the second mortgage.N

Where to Get a Second Mortgage

It’s not necessary to get your second mortgage with the lender where you have your first. This is great news because that puts the power back in your hands! You’re not tied down to one lender and you can take advantage of the unique opportunities we offer at our office.

Have more questions? Curious to see how much you qualify for? Contact Tara Mortgage Services today!

Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking group has reached 625 members! Click below to RSVP to Alex’s FREE February Real Estate Networking Workshop and network with the best! 

Zero Money Down Concept For An Infinite ROI

Saturday, Feb 9, 2019, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

56 Members Went

Our Guest Speaker will be Chris from M and M RE Holdings. Chris brings a vast knowledge of how the hard money world works, and his company has millions of dollars at their disposal for lending on your upcoming projects! He will discuss their underwriting process and show us how we can position ourselves so, not only does the hard money lender want …

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

Read More

Tara Mortgage Services Featured Blog: 5 Reasons to Refinance When Rates are Rising

DHREA 22/01/2019

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

In previous posts, we talked about the current rise in mortgage rates and whether it’s still a good time to buy a home (yes it is!).

This week, we want to focus on refinancing and whether you should consider it in this market. While it may not be the right time to refinance for all homeowners, some situations make it the ideal time to refi. Here are a few scenarios where refinancing your mortgage makes sense even during times of rising rates.

Not sure if you fit these situations? Need personalized answers? Contact Tara Mortgage Services for expert mortgage assistance!

Five Scenarios That Suggest Now Is the Right Time To Refinance

1. Your ARM is due to reset soon

If your adjustable rate mortgage is due to reset within the next year or so, switching loans now could save quite a bit. Whether switching to a fixed-rate mortgage or another ARM, changing your about-to-expire ARM means that your rate is guaranteed for a longer time, despite market fluctuations.

2. You want to consolidate loans

Student loans, medical bills, and credit cards typically have higher interest rates than even the highest mortgage rates. If you are looking save money by consolidating your loans into a lower interest rate mortgage, refinancing can make it happen. You’ll also have the convenience of getting rid of multiple payments. Sometimes the additional cost comes from accidentally missing a payment, resulting in late fees.

3. Your credit improved

If your credit score has increased since you first got your original mortgage, then refinancing could make sense. The best rates and loan programs are often reserved for those with favorable credit scores. So if you weren’t able to qualify for a special home loan program before, you could be eligible now!

Depending on when you first got your loan, there could be new programs now that didn’t exist before. This is often the case in the mortgage industry –new home loan programs are available and eligibility standards adjust as the market and regulations change.

4. Your income has increased

If your income has increased since you last qualified, your debt-to-income ratio has likely also changed. More disposable income with little to no difference in your debt makes you much less of a “credit risk.” And just like the above scenario, you’ll likely qualify for mortgage programs this time around that you didn’t before.

So if you’ve gotten a raise, your spouse has gotten a raise, or if you changed employment where you earn more, then refinancing your current mortgage may be right for you.

5. Your home is located in a “hot market” area

If you live in an area where property values are rising, and you want to use your home equity, then you’ll want to consider a cash-out refinance. Remember that property is an investment and the “earnings” from rising home values is often your best option when you need cash. Use the money to make home improvements, help pay for your children’s college tuition, start up a business, or anything else where a lump sum is needed.

Everyone’s financial situation and goals are different, and truthfully, it may not be in your best interest to refinancing your loan at this time. Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for an honest, fast, and personalized refinancing assessment.

Network with over 600 other real estate professionals! Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Workshop group on MeetUp.com, and be the first to receive updates on upcoming events!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
615 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 Featured Blog: Is Paying Off Your Mortgage Early Worth It?

DHREA 10/01/2019

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

Paying off debt as soon as possible is always is a good thing –but does that rule also apply to mortgage debt? Is making an extra payment each month to pay off the mortgage early worth it?

In this week’s post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of paying off the mortgage early.

Not a homeowner yet? We can help! Get started the pre-qualification process now using our secure online application.

Pro: Save On Interest

Making an extra payment to the principal balance of your mortgage helps save you money by lowering the amount of interest you pay. Although you can make an additional payment towards your principle at any time, this method is most effective when you first get your loan. This is because the principle is higher at the beginning of the loan. Hence, you are paying more in interest. Making an extra payment will result in saving in interest over time.

Con: Miss Out On Other Investment Opportunities

If you have the extra cash to put toward making an extra payment, that means that you have the extra cash to invest. Instead of trying to save money on your mortgage, you could, instead, making your money work for you. Making additional contributions to your 401(k), especially when you’re 10 years or more away from retiring, can result in significant earnings –sometimes more than what you could save by paying off your mortgage early.

Pro: Peace Of Mind

Reducing monthly expenses brings peace of mind and considering that your mortgage payment is likely your biggest expense, you can start to imagine how good it would feel to eliminate it early. Also, when calculating the cost of living, inflation, and what the average, fixed, retirement income is, getting rid of a housing expense becomes even more attractive.

Con: Prepayment Penalty – Sometimes

Some mortgages carry a prepayment penalty, meaning that you’re limited as to how much you are allowed to pay off and when. Though this may seem unfair, it’s not all bad news. The types of loans that carry prepayment penalties often have lower interest rates or other perks that save you money.

When it comes down to it, deciding to pay off your home loan early is a personalized is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It depends on your ability to pay, the type of loan, how mature your loan is, whether your extra cash would be more useful in other investments, how close you are to retiring, as well as other factors.

Even if you don’t currently own a home, if you plan to pay off your mortgage early, then you’ll want to make sure you choose a home loan that allows for prepayment.

Call Tara Mortgage Services today for expert and personalized home loan guidance, and together we can find a mortgage option that works for you.

Come out this Saturday between 10am-12pm at the Hampton Inn in Bridgeville for “Alex Deacon Real Estate Workshop: Planning Your Next Buy & Hold“. Click below for full details about this workshop, to RSVP and guarantee your seat in the room, and grab directions to the event. See you Saturday!

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

Saturday, Jan 12, 2019, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

41 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

Read More

#TaraMTG Tuesday (On a Wednesday): Increased Mortgage Rates — Should You Still Buy In 2019?

DHREA 02/01/2019

(Every Tuesday we feature a blog from one of our fantastic affiliates, Tara Mortgage Services! We opted for Wednesday this week due to the holiday.)

Does the news of rising rates make you second guess buying your first home in 2019? It shouldn’t and here’s why:

Higher Rates But Not Frighteningly High

With headlines that read “Feds Hike Up Mortgage Rates — Highest Since 2014,” it’s no wonder that you doubt that it’s a great time to buy your first home. While it’s true that the mortgage rates are higher than 2014, historically, the increase tells a different and promising story. Homebuyers in 2017 took advantage of a prime environment that included higher employment rates and low mortgage rates.

However, we must keep in mind that although interest rates were low, they were, in fact, higher than they were in years prior!

As many of you can remember, 2008 marked the beginning of a horrific economy in the U.S. Unemployment inched closer and closer to 10 percent, and those that were employed didn’t have much job stability. Understandably, the Feds had to take measures to pull us out of recession by lowering rates –but the goal had always been to increase rates gradually as the economy recovered.

And that’s what they’ve been doing, slowly increasing in relation to the strength of the economy.

You Can Still Afford to Buy a Home Despite the Increase

In a competitive housing market, you’re worried that you’ll be outbid. But in a higher mortgage rate market, does that mean you’re out altogether? No!

While the current rate increase and planned increases by the Feds change things, it does not substantially change your buying power as a potential homebuyer.

How much you qualify for is more a matter of your income, debts, credit score, and the amount you can put as downpayment –and less to do with mortgage rates.

The rates do, however, impact your monthly payment. So for those homebuyers with a set monthly mortgage payment window, rising rates may change the listing prices of the homes you’re looking at. On the bright side, an increase in rates sometimes means lower asking prices –again, ensuring that you can still buy your dream home at a reasonable cost and affordable monthly payment despite higher interest rates.

2019 Is A Great Time To Buy A Home

Don’t let the hype of higher rates scare you into thinking you missed out on buying your first home. When you look at current mortgage rates in a historical lens, you’ll see that it’s a sign of a strong economy and the modest increase does little to affect your buying power.

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 Tuesday: Buying Versus Building a Home: Which Is Cheaper?

DHREA 18/12/2018


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

Is it less expensive to buy or build a house? That’s a question that many homebuyers have –whether their first-time buyers or looking for toward their next move. Considering that “buy-and-flip” investors are less active and many developers have slowed down a bit, you’ll soon realize that you have more home buying options than ever.

Here’s what you need to know about buying an existing home versus building a custom home.

The Upfront Costs

Existing Home: The price of a home vary widely as it depends on the area, the square footage, the condition, the amenities, as well as many other factors.

Building a New Home: All things being equal and generally speaking, building a new home costs about $60-$70k more than buying an existing home with similar attributes. But that is not always the case. There are some instances where the cost per square foot comes out significantly less in a custom built home than in an existing home.

Here’s something else to consider –when you build, you also have the advantage of only paying for what you want. While an existing home may have additional perks, like a basement or hardwood floors, it may not be something that you want or are willing to pay for.

Home Maintenance

Existing Home: Older homes require more maintenance because they have more wear and tear. Some homes may even need a big-time overhaul! As with any home purchase, never skip the home inspection and understand that even with well-maintained homes, repairs are inevitable.

Building a New Home: Maintenance on a new home is very little, and it’s one of the central benefits of building a new home. Since everything from appliances to the HVAC system is new and under warranty, you’ll enjoy several years of worry-free living. Some contractors even offer a whole the home warranty that protects the house for up to 10 years!

Outdoors

Existing Home: A mature garden with large trees and well-established landscaping is a big plus of buying an existing home. Mature trees and landscaping not only add value to the property but can even help to reduce energy costs by providing shade and efficient drainage.

Building a New Home: Professional landscaping can cost thousands plus many years to come to fruition. The benefit, however, is that you’ll be able to design your outdoor precisely to your liking and it very little time. Depending on the project, you can have a custom-designed yard in two weeks or less.

Energy Efficiency

Existing Home: Older homes that have had little to no-updating use more energy. Appliances that are older than ten years, single-pane windows, and poor insulation are some updates you’ll want to consider if you buy an existing home.

Building a New Home: When it comes to energy efficiency, new construction can’t be beat. On average, new homes use about 21% less energy than older homes. However, this saving comes mostly from high-efficiency appliances. Meaning that if you purchase new HE appliances for an existing home, you can save just as much money on energy with an existing home as you would with new construction.

Appreciation

Existing Home: With an existing home, you make your purchase with some context. You can see the home’s previous sale prices, the cost of similar homes in the area, and have a good idea of what the market value of your home will be in the future.

Building a New Home: New homes, especially those in up-and-coming neighborhoods, can be more of a gamble. Without any sale history or comparables to reference, you have very little to go on when thinking about the future value of your home. Of course, if this is your forever home, which is often the case with custom-built homes, then not having a history to predict the future may not matter.

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
591 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

#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

 

Read More