Purchasing a house is a very exciting time. Being able to be prepared will help you make an informed decision. So, take this opportunity to learn more about homebuying and the mortgage process.
Ask yourself this question, “Am I Ready to Buy?” Buying a home offers many advantages, one of the most significant being that it allows you to build equity (ownership) when you pay your mortgage each and every month. A common myth is that monthly mortgage payments are more expensive than rent payments. However, in most cases, mortgage payments can be MUCH less than rent.
So, when considering homeownership for the first time, you will need to decide whether buying makes financial and practical sense for you right now or if renting is better. You should however consider both the advantages and disadvantages to renting as well as buying. Let’s take a look at a few advantages and disadvantages of both.
How much house can you afford?
The first step toward finding the right home is to figure out your purchasing power and determine how much you can really afford to pay each month. This saves time by allowing you to focus on homes in your price range. Keep in mind, during the planning stage you should consider both up-front costs and ongoing costs associated with purchasing a home. Take a peek at our affordability calculator which will tell you how much you are able to borrow from a lender.
Getting pre-qualified is also a good idea. It will help to narrow down your options so you can focus only on home you can afford. Click here to get pre-qualified today.
Upfront Costs Include:
Down payment: Typically ranges from 3-30% of the cost of the house. The more you can put down, the greater equity you will have in your home and the lower your monthly payment will be. For down payments less than 20% you may also need to pay mortgage insurance. 

Closing Costs: Typically range from 2-6% of the loan. However, this amount depends on your area. 

On-going Costs: Your housing costs can include the following:
  • Monthly mortgage payment
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Mortgage Insurance
  • If applicable - Flood Insurance
  • If applicable - Property taxes
  • Utilities
  • Maintenance
Are you a first-time home buyer? Download our FREE First-time Homebuyer Guide for everything you need to know about the mortgage process.
Questions about the Mortgage Process or which type of Loan best fits your financial situation? Check out our library of loan programs or contact us directly and one of our expert loan officers will help.


For the Week Ending January 25, 2019


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.



The government shutdown continues to impact markets, with delayed economic reports keeping investors in the dark. Mortgage rates are unaffected so far.
Plenty of global economic reports are available to cause concern for traders, though. China and Europe both show signs of slowdown.
Jobless claims fell to a 49-year low last week. However, claims for several states were estimated and may be overstating the health of the labor market.


Existing home sales fell by 6.4% in December, an unusually large drop likely caused by October's rapid rate increase. Rates have since retreated.
The supply of homes for sale rose more than 3% compared with a year ago. Low supply has been stifling sales since last spring.
Unconventional mortgages are making a comeback. Lenders issued $34 billion in non-QM loans in the first 3 quarters of 2018, a 24% increase year-over-year.

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.

For the Week Ending January 18, 2019


Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.


The government shutdown, now the longest in U.S. history, hasn't yet slowed down the economy. It is expected to, however, the longer it continues.
Economic data has been affected though, with delays on many reports due to closed agencies. This is causing concern for investors and impacting trading.
Despite tightening labor markets and the wage pressure that can result, inflation has remained below the Fed's 2% target. This bodes well for interest rates.


Homebuilder sentiment improved in January after dropping for the last two months. Lower mortgage rates and higher sales expectations have helped.
Reports on monthly housing starts and builder permits weren't released this week due to the shutdown. Estimates indicate a 3% gain over December 2017. 
A Fed study shows student loan debt plays a significant role in keeping many in the 24 to 32 age group from buying a home. 

Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.


Are you refinancing your mortgage or selling your home?  Now it’s time to prepare your home for a real estate appraisal.
Here are some simple steps you can take to prepare for the appraisal and to get the most beneficial value for your home. 
You can expect that the appraiser will need access to all interior rooms including bedrooms and bathrooms, and will take pictures of most rooms which will be included in the appraisal report.  If you are having your home appraised for a government sponsored loan program like VA or FHA, there are specific requirements that the appraiser will check for – utilities on and operational, chipping or peeling paint, and any “health or safety hazards” as defined by these organizations.
Make sure the appraiser has access to the property that he/she requires.  The appraiser will measure the home and sketch the floor plan.  The exterior of the home will be examined and photos taken of the front, rear, street, and any additional exterior features.
Prepare you home in advance to get the best results for your appraisal inspection. Look at your home with a critical eye.  The appraiser will note both positive attributes as well as any adverse conditions (leaks, pealing paint, exposed wires, loose railings) so it’s important to have these remedied prior to the appraisal inspection.  Do some minor sprucing up, declutter and clean to give an overall positive impression.
Lastly, let the appraiser know if you’ve done any home improvements and point these out during the inspection.  After all, who knows the house better than you….
Did you know that an appraisal is not the same as a home inspection? Learn more about the differences here.

This was a guest post written by MaxVantage AMC.

MaxVantage AMC        
For all of your real estate appraisal needs.

MortgageCast #9 | Homebuying Strategies

Day 1 Certainty, Layered Risk and TBD Approvals

Being a home buyer in the current market can be challenging. Luckily we have tools, resources and strategies to be sure our clients have the best chance of securing a home and mortgage.

It's been a bit since the last MortgageCast was released but Erin the Expert dives deep into the tools and strategies she uses to make sure her clients have the best shot at buying the home of their dreams. This one is a bit longer but there are many important concepts to be learned. The mortgage business is ever changing and technology is advancing rapidly so being aware of it and knowing how to leverage it is an advantage Erin and her team have over other mortgage lenders. When you're ready to start the home buying (or refinance) process be sure to reach out to me directly.

by Erin the Expert

Day 1 Certainty (D1C)

Layered Risk

TBD Approvals

Additional Resources

Are you a first time home buyer?

Consider downloading our FREE homebuying guide specifically for those new to the process. It's packed with useful information, checklists and tip sheets to get you off on the right foot.

Are you ready to take the next step?

It's time to get pre-approved with Erin the Expert!

Contact Erin Directly

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