Tag Archives: Tara Mortgage Services

#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 …

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: 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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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: How to Buy A Home This Summer With Zero Down (Blog & Podcast!)

DHREA 26/06/2018

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

 

It’s true…you can buy a home with no money down! 

If you’ve been toying with the idea of buying a house but the lack of down-payment funds is holding you back, you’re in luck! We’re going to show you how you can buy a home this summer even if you don’t have a penny saved for a downpayment.

No Money Down Home Loan Programs

USDA Home Loan

A rural development mortgage from the USDA is a zero-down loan for low-to-moderate income families. Besides the no money down, you’ll enjoy other perks like a mortgage insurance premium (mip) is that’s lower than most other home loans. There are a few limitations to this loan, mainly the location of the home and your income.

VA Loans

VA loans are for those who are currently serving in the armed forces, previously served and is now a veteran as well as for spouses of veterans.

In other words, if you currently receive or qualify for any benefits from the military, then you’re likely eligible for a VA home loan. In addition to the zero down-payment, you’ll also save money on mortgage insurance because VA loans don’t require it! VA loans are also flexible with credit score requirements. You’ll need a VA certificate so be sure to contact the Department of Veteran Affairs to get yours and contact us to get started with your loan application.

FHA Loans

FHA loans are government-backed with have flexible qualifying requirements similar to VA loans. While you’ll still need a down payment with an FHA loan, the minimum is much lower –sometimes as little as 3.5% of the purchase price!

Here’s a hint for using an FHA loan AND still pay zero down: use gifted funds!

While other loans have limitations as to how much of your down-payment can be gifted, and FHA mortgage allows you to use gifted funds for 100% of your down-payment. When you combine that perk with that of only 3.5% down, you can see how easy it is to buy a home with an FHA loan!

Contact Tara Mortgage Services today to see if you qualify for a zero money down!

JOIN ALEX DEACON’S REAL ESTATE INVESTING NETWORKING GROUP ON MEETUP!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
459 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: HUD Homes are One of the Best Deals Available. Here’s Why!

DHREA 12/06/2018

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

Pairing the low-rates of an FHA loan with a HUD home one of the best home-buying deals you can get! HUD homes are houses that were once financed with a government-backed loan. However, the owner was not able to make payments, and the home went into foreclosure. The home is now owned by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is called a HUD home.

The government will often sell these below market value, but the perks don’t stop there!

Check out these other benefits to buying a HUD home with an FHA loan:

  • Assistance with down-payment, up to 3% of your contribution!
  • Assistance with closing costs, up to 5% of the purchase price!
  • May close faster since HUD homes are already appraised by FHA approved appraiser
  • Preference as a primary residence buyer over real estate investors looking to just “flip” the home

HUD homes aren’t usually listed on traditional real estate websites, and bidding gets competitive fast. We encourage working with a realtor familiar with HUD home buying. Please contact us for trusted recommendations.

HUD home availability changes quickly, and the bidding competition even faster. So in addition to having a knowledgeable realtor guiding you, you’ll want to be ready with your FHA loan approval letter.

Not using an FHA loan? You can still buy a HUD home!

Although HUD homes are government-owned, you aren’t limited to government financing from FHA or VA loans. You can also purchase a HUD home with a Conventional loan. Also, there’s no special qualification process to buy a HUD home. However, you will be required to own the property for a year before listing it for sale again.

Interested in buying a HUD home? We don’t blame you! The savings you gain from purchasing a home from the government are many. And when you combine it with the advantages of government-backed loans like a VA or FHA, your savings snowballs.

No matter which loan you choose, remember to be ready to move quickly with your approval letter. Start the application today, and you could have your home in time to enjoy summertime grilling in your new home!

Have more questions about buying a HUD home or FHA loans? Contact Tara Mortgage Services today!

 

Join Alex Deacon’s Real Estate Networking Group Today!

Alex Deacon Real Estate Networking Workshops

Carnegie, PA
449 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: Win A Bidding War Without Going Over Budget

DHREA 22/05/2018

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

 

Summer is almost here!  The weather isn’t the only thing that is heating up — so is the competition for buying a home! Warmer months are a favorite time for home buying so don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a bidding war with other home buying hopefuls.

Afraid you’ll be outbid unless you offer more?

You don’t have to go over your budget to win in a home buying bidding war! There are other (lesser known) tricks for competing with other buyers.

But remember, that it all starts with the right financing! Making an offer that’s backed-up by an approval letter is the number one way to compete with other home buyers. Get started with your home loan by clicking on the link at the top of this page.

Best Tips for Competing with Other Home Buyers (Without Blowing Your Budget)

Know how much you can afford.

Buying a home is emotional, so it’s tempting to do whatever it takes to buy your dream home — even if it means offering more than you intended. The best way to avoid getting sucked into spending too much is to know exactly how much you can afford. Our office will go over the numbers and your mortgage options so you’ll have all the information you need to make a smart bid.

Here’s something else to think about: You don’t lose anything when you buy what you can afford to pay. Staying within your budget is a smart financial decision and a sign of a savvy home shopper.

Talk it over with the listing agent.

Make sure your real estate agent is talking to the listing agent! All too often, we hear of stories where offers are sent in without a follow-up. And when the listing agent is sorting through multiple offers that look just about the same, it’s easy for your bid to get overlooked.

Don’t let this happen to you! Ask your agent to contact the listing agent to make your offer personal and noticeable.

Suggest a shorter closing.

Every seller has a motivation, and if you can find out your seller’s motivation, then you’ll be able to win them over without spending a penny more! If the seller needs to sell fast, for example, you can offer to close sooner than the typical 6-week closing period.

But how do you go about closing in 3-4 weeks? Get pre-approved for a home loan!

Rent the home back to the sellers.

However, you might run into sellers that aren’t in a rush to move out of the house. Perhaps they are still working out the details of their next living arrangements and need a few months before they move out. In this case, you can offer to rent the home back to the seller in exchange for accepting your bid.

Submit an “as is” offer.

Offers that have minimal conditions are the most attractive to sellers, and an easy way to do that is to give an “as-is” bid. For example, you can suggest to lessen the inspection period to two days or skip the inspection altogether.

This is a risky move and may not always be allowed with certain home loans, but it’s something to explore when you’re competing for your dream home.

Did you find this article helpful? Share it with a friend! And remember that your best chance at winning the bidding war starts with a pre-approval letter.

Contact Tara Mortgage Services today and let them help you get you closer to winning your bidding war!

 

 

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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Getting Ready to Buy Your First Home? Here’s What To Do First!

DHREA 15/05/2018

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

There are so many parts to buying a home, and when you’re a first time home buyer, it can get overwhelming pretty fast. The good news is that you’re not alone! When you apply for your first mortgage with us, you’ll have a team of professionals helping you every step of the way.

How To Get Ready To Buy Your First Home

Here’s a checklist of 6 things to do first. You don’t have to follow the order of the list precisely. In fact, you may check off several at the same time when you apply for a home loan with us –making your first home purchase even easier!

1. Review Your Credit

In your eagerness to buy a home, you may think that the first step is to start looking at properties. However, we recommend that you look at your credit first. A low credit score affects your ability to qualify as well as partially determined the interest rate. So if you find any blemishes or mistakes on your credit report, you’ll want to correct those first.

You can get your free credit report from each of the three major credit-reporting bureaus, or you can have us pull it for you when you apply with us. We’ll review it with you and may make suggestions of ways that you can raise your score for an even better mortgage rate.

2. Create a Monthly Home Budget

Determine how much of a mortgage payment you can afford. It doesn’t have to be an exact number, but it can help you to see the big picture and gets you ready to budget for the responsibility of homeownership.

A mortgage payment is often more than rent. However, this is because there are taxes and insurance included in the monthly payment.

Don’t let a higher payment scare you! Remember that your mortgage payment is an investment in your property. Fannie Mae recommends spending a max of 28 percent of your income on your mortgage payment.

3. Gather Your Docs

Here’s the info you’ll want to have ready when you apply for your first home loan:

  • paycheck stubs
  • current bank statements
  • W-2’s tax returns for the past two years
  • statements from current loans
  • Contact info of your landlords for the past two years

4. Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

Pre-approval puts you in the best position when you’re house hunting. A pre-approval letter means that you have a lender that is ready to support your offer on a home –and, in many cases, it’s as good as cash!

5. Start Home Shopping

This is the fun part –looking for your dream home! We have resources to help you with your search, or you can search independently with the help of your chosen realtor.

6. Remember the Additional Costs

When creating your budget, you’ll also want to consider additional costs, like your down-payment, closing costs, as well as extra savings, should your home need repairs or appliances.

There are a few ways to try to lower these costs, such as asking the seller to pay for some or all of your closing, negotiating repairs, and asking the seller to include appliances with the sale of the house.

Another significant way to save money is with an FHA loan. Not only are the mortgage rates lower than most other home loans, but you can also get a house with as little as 3% down!

Buying your first home is easier than ever and current rates for first time homebuyers make it the best time to buy! Contact Tara Mortgage Services today and let them help you get you closer to finding your “forever home”!

 

 

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#TaraMTG Tuesdays: Can You Get a Home Equity Loan After Bankruptcy?

DHREA 08/05/2018

Looking to get a home equity loan but have a bankruptcy on your credit history? It may not be as bad as you think! Actually, it may be just the thing to help your credit recover. Find out the basics of a home equity loan and see how some of our clients are using it to help them bounce back after filing bankruptcy.

Need immediate help? Contact us via phone or use our online form, and we’ll have answers for you fast.

Home Equity Loans and Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy will appear on your credit history for about ten years. However, there are circumstances where you’ll be able to get a home equity loan much sooner than that. Each case is unique, so we encourage you to contact our office to review your needs.

Two issues that often lead to defaulting on financial obligations and make it difficult to recover:

  • high-interest rate loans
  • having multiple loans

That’s why many of our clients are looking for ways to consolidate into one, low-interest rate loan, and that’s what a home equity line of credit can do for you!

If you have a bankruptcy on your credit history or are on the verge of filing, you might want to consider a home equity loan as a way to pay off multiple debts and have just one easy loan to focus on.

What is a home equity loan?

A home equity loan taps into the equity, or accumulated value, of your property. The equity is determined by an appraisal, similar to the one you had when you first purchased your home. Once approved for your equity loan, sometimes called a second mortgage, you’ll be able to use your funds to pay off any outstanding debt.

Benefits of a Home Equity Loan

Interest rates on home equity loans are generally lower than other loans or credit cards. In fact, most of our borrowers use a home equity loan to pay for other items such as college tuition or medical expenses rather than applying for credit cards or getting a personal loan.

Home equity loans have flexible terms, offering you the choice between a fixed or adjustable rate. Another benefit is that the interest paid on a home equity loan is tax-deductible! The benefits of a second mortgage after you’ve filed for bankruptcy are also excellent.

Your single monthly payment will often be lower than your current multiple debts, making it easier to stay up-to-date with your obligations. And, after a few months of on-time payments, your credit score will begin to rise, helping your credit to recover!

Getting a home equity loan after bankruptcy can be a challenge, however, don’t let that discourage you! We have the experience and dedication to get loans approved in all sorts of financial situation.

Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for help with your mortgage needs!

RSVP To Alex Deacon’s FREE May Workshop Today! Limited seating is available!

Analyze a Buy and Hold Property. Its not all about the numbers.

Saturday, May 12, 2018, 10:00 AM

Hampton Inn Bridgeville
150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa

28 Members Attending

This workshop is one of the most important sessions if you want to learn how to analyze deals for buy and hold. Its not all about the ROI. There are many other factors to consider when you have a long term strategy. We will go into detail and look at various scenarios and different property styles and types. From an A area single family property to…

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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