Mortgage Checklist: Help First-Time Buyers Understand the Mortgage Process!
Before your clients can start hunting for their home, they must determine how much house they can afford. As a real estate professional, you know better than anyone the obstacles that many potential buyers face when trying to obtain a mortgage. This is especially true for first-time buyers who may already be overwhelmed by the idea of making the biggest financial decision of their lives. The good news is that they have you, the local expert, to navigate them through this uncharted territory. And the even better news is that  Homes.com has created a customizable mortgage checklist for you to share with these first-timers. Helping your clients ‘prequalify’ for a loan will provide them with a better idea of how much money they have to work with and demonstrate to sellers that they’re serious about purchasing a home. There are many factors that affect how much a buyer can be prequalified for, so it’s critical they understand what these factors are and their significance. The “First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Checklist” identifies four key areas that are considered by creditors when evaluating a person’s financial situation: Income, Assets, Credit and Employment. To help prospective buyers get a better handle on their finances before applying for a loan, each of these key areas contain their very own checklist to ensure every base has been covered. Here’s a sneak peek into the type of information home buyers will find in this valuable resource: Income: Highlights what forms of income must be present to qualify for a loan

– Qualifying income, rental income, social security, etc.

Assets: Identifies what resources can be used for a down payment

– Savings/Checking accounts, stocks and bonds, employer assistance programs, etc.

Credit: Provides different types of loans and their required credit scores

– FHA Loans: can be approved with a credit score of 580

Employment: Shows what employment history is required for approval

– Employment history of at least 2 years

As you can see, this checklist provides details into areas that many first-time buyers may overlook when seeking a loan for their first home. Providing this helpful checklist to prospective buyers will demonstrate that you know the ins and outs of the home buying process, proving once again why you are the local expert! What’s even more important is that this checklist is editable to include your own branding information, so when the day comes that your client has been pre-approved to buy their first home, they’ll remember you helped make it possible. Simply download the “First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Checklist,” add your branding information and print or save it to email to your networks! Looking for more valuable resources like this? From financial advice to preparing a home for the changing seasons, Homes.com offers a library of consumer resources that can help guide local buyers and sellers through every step of the home buying process or improve life in their current home.   [cf]skyword_tracking_tag[/cf]
Are FHA Loans Still A Good Option for Your First-Time Homebuyers?
Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have previously been used by fifty-five percent of first-time homebuyers. With that said, the FHA has made changes in their mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) that are forcing many of these first-time buyers to rely on more conventional sources of financing. What changes have occurred? The two biggest changes being made by the FHA involve their policies pertaining to MIP payment, which has seen gradual increases over the last 2 years. The previous base rate for annual MIP was 55 basis points or 0.55% of the loan amount. Unfortunately for upcoming homebuyers, these changes have caused the rates to skyrocket and are now high as 135 basis points or 1.35% of the total loan amount. This steep increase will likely make applying for an FHA backed loan less desirable for first-time homebuyers, who are already searching for ways to save money after making one of the biggest financial investments of their lives. Continue reading
Homes.com House Hunting Checklist
It’s “open season” for real estate again and with that comes an influx of homebuyers boldly (or blindly) searching for properties that accommodate their needs.  To a homebuyer, searching for homes can be stressful, overwhelming and exhausting – especially for first-timers.  As we know that your time is valuable, Homes.com has conveniently created a House Hunting Checklist that you can personalize and share with clients and prospects to make the home buying process easier for both you and your clients! Continue reading
How Has the Homebuyer Tax Credit Affected Your Business?
Homes.com We’ve discussed the homebuyers’ tax credit frequently on this blog, especially its’ specific targeting of first-time homebuyers. As many new home buyers flocked into the housing market in the past year, let’s take a look at some of the initial results. According to the latest consumer survey by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), first-time home buyers reached the highest market share on record during the past year. In fact, the number of first-time home buyers rose to 47 percent of all home sales, up from 41 percent in last year’s study. This marks the highest number on record dating back to 1981. Continue reading
New Deadline for tax credit approved by Congress
Homes.com Homebuyers who were under contract by April 30th and qualified for the original homebuyer tax credit, now have more time to close on their home due to a major backlog of mortgage applications. This amendment does not allow more time for additional homebuyers to qualify for the tax credit, but merely allows more time for those who have already qualified to close. With this new approval, the closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit has been extended from June 30th to September 30, 2010. According to Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the extension will allow lenders to clear a backlog of 180,000 homebuyers nationwide. Continue reading