The New Year is traditionally a time when people look for new beginnings. For some, this means starting a gym membership, enrolling in school, or giving up an old vice. However, according to the mortgage experts at Texas Lending, the one resolution everyone should consider is revisiting their financial situation and making a plan for the coming months.
First things first – credit cards. Texas Lending representatives explain that credit card debt is the single most detrimental financial crisis for many homebuyers. A good rule of thumb is that credit cards not paid off at the end of each month are being used too much. If this is the case, it’s the perfect opportunity to see where spending habits may be altered to reflect a more realistic financial lifestyle that fits better with available income.
Finding the right neighborhood is important. Read on as Texas Lending explores ways to pick the perfect community for your next new home.
Q: What sort of things should I look for during my initial search?
Texas Lending: Before you even begin browsing the MLS, take some time to write down what you really want. Is it access to top-notch schools? A community swimming pool? Do you need a large yard or want to live in an HOA neighborhood that provides lawn care? Your “wish list” is going to be as unique as you.
A failing foundation can make or break a home buyer’s decision to sign a contract, warn the experts at TexasLending.com. Unfortunately, many prospective owners assume that minor issues are not a big deal. Read on to find out more.
Q: How do I know if there is a problem with the foundation of a home I am interested in purchasing?
TexasLending.com: Oftentimes, these issues are not exposed until the home inspection phase of your purchase. If discovered, you are still out the cost of the inspection and possibly the appraisal as well. A few things you can look for during the initial walk-through are uneven floors, windows and doors that get stuck or don’t shut all the way, or cracks along the brick exterior or in the interior drywall.
TexasLending.com is one of the area’s leading providers of VA loans. Our experienced mortgage professionals work closely with U.S. servicemen and women to ensure a stress-free transaction every time. In the following brief question-and-answer session, we have provided basic information on VA loans and the home buying process.
Q: What is a VA loan?
TexasLending.com: A Veterans Administration (VA) loan is a loan guaranteed by the Federal Government on behalf of eligible/entitled veterans. These loans were first made available in 1944 when the U.S. Congress approved the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, which offered certain financial benefits to soldiers returning from war.
Rebuilding your credit score is a lot like building a house. You must start with a good, solid foundation and pay attention to the details. The mortgage experts at TexasLending.com offer this advice:
Know your credit score
According to the financial advisors at TexasLending.com, your credit score tells lenders a lot about you. For instance, a bank can determine how long you’ve been paying your bills on time and just how much of your credit you’re currently using. Keep an eye on your credit report and score and remember, a higher score opens more doors!
Mix it up
Try to keep a good mix of different credit accounts. TexasLending.com suggest having a proportionate number of installment and revolving loans. However, avoid applying for a bunch of different loans at once, as that can raise red flags for potential lenders.
Texas Lending has earned a reputation as one of the Lone Star State’s leading mortgage providers. Here, the finance experts offer advice on saving for your biggest investment.
Q: How can I save for a down payment?
Texas Lending: Saving for a down payment can be a daunting task for homeowners, but it’s much easier once you get past the first $1,000! The first step is to create a monthly budget. You’ll need to take a close look at your spending habits and decide exactly how much money you want to save each month. Track your progress if possible and above all, stick to the plan.
Great customer service isn’t all it takes to be one of the best mortgage banking firms in Texas, says co-founder Kevin Miller. That’s a feat that requires dedication, expertise, and a commitment to excellence. Texas Lending has established five core values to which all employees subscribe, both on and off the clock. These are:
According to the Texas Lending mortgage experts, integrity means exhibiting personal responsibility and rectitude at all times. It is a simple principle that carries over from one’s personal life to all professional endeavors.
Some mortgage companies are satisfied to offer customers a single loan product and close the deal with little explanation or follow up. Not Texas Lending. The idea of “wow service” stems from Miller’s own experiences. He never felt satisfied with the level of service other lenders offered and wanted Texas Lending clients to walk away surprised at just how easy obtaining a mortgage could be.
Buying or refinancing a home is a big decision and one that shouldn’t be entered into without plenty of thought, foresight, and a little advice from people who know the industry thoroughly. Here, the experts at TexasLending.com weigh in on mortgage trends for 2016.
Q: Is it cheaper to buy a home or rent?
TexasLending.com: That really depends on where you live, and the state of the market at the time you are planning to move. Currently, it’s less expensive to buy a home and make monthly mortgage payments than it is to lease in most major markets across the US. The average rent for a two bedroom apartment in Dallas is close to $1,500 a month. By comparison, a mortgage of $200,000 may be less than $1,000. (Hint: check out TexasLending.com for calculators).
Applying for a mortgage can be an intimidating endeavor. But, according to the experts at Texas Lending, it doesn’t have to be that way; understanding the process from the get-go is paramount to saying goodbye to stress and anxiety. Here, the Texas-based home lending experts answer questions and dispel common myths about mortgages.
Q: What are “points?”
Texas Lending: There are two types of points that mortgage lenders may charge: discount and origination. Discount points are essentially pre-paid interest and they are a tax-deductible expense. Origination points are assessed by the lender to cover loan origination costs.
Q: Is there a benefit to “locking in” an interest rate?
Texas Lending: Absolutely. Since interest rates fluctuate, if you apply for a mortgage when the rates are low, locking the rate keeps you from spending more in the long term. Even a marginal upward shift can cost thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Points may be locked as well — for a specified period of time. Keep in mind, however, that fees will often apply for this privilege.
Many homeowners have thousands of dollars in available assets just waiting to be utilized for home improvement projects or other needs. In the following question-and-answer session, mortgage experts from TexasLending.com offer insight into home equity loans.
Q: What is a home-equity loan?
TexasLending.com: An equity loan is a mortgage product that utilizes the equity in primary residential property as collateral. These types of loans often come with low interest rates and low to no lender fees. Home equity loans are often referred to as “second mortgages” and may require a reasonable loan-to-value ratio as well as good credit.