Buying a home can be a daunting process, acknowledge the experts at TexasLending.com. Here, the award-winning mortgage brokerage team helps ease fears by offering a quick rundown of the process for first time buyers.
Q: What different types of loans are available from TexasLending.com?
TexasLending.com: We offer a wide range of loans to meet each individual buyer’s needs. We can help those with perfect credit, bad credit, and everything in between. Our mortgage experts will walk a new (or experienced!) buyer through every step of the process for FHA, conventional, jumbo, and VA loans.
Experts agree that 20% of a home’s purchase price should be a substantial down payment, but that can be a challenging number to come up with at closing. Here, the team at TexasLending.com offers advice for those planning to purchase their piece of the American Dream.
1. Start saving early.
According to TexasLending.com, it’s never too early to plan ahead. Even if your home ownership plans won’t begin to form for another decade or so, you can take available cash and invest it now. A diverse stock portfolio – about 50% stocks and 50% bonds – can help reduce the risk of loss while earning a tidy return.
Credit card debt isn’t something anyone really wants, acknowledge the home finance experts at TexasLending.com, but it happens. Here, the online mortgage company shares three secrets to getting out of debt and raising a waning credit score.
1. Understand credit utilization.
The experts at TexasLending.com explain that credit scores are not the only valuation lenders consider when deciding on whether to underwrite a mortgage. Credit utilization is the percentage of available credit a borrower is currently using. Most lenders offer the best rates to those currently taking advantage of less than 30% of their available credit, reports TexasLending.com.
While working for yourself is the American Dream, freelance workers actually have a much tougher time procuring a mortgage. Here, the experts at TexasLending.com offer advice on how to prepare for homeownership without a pay stub.
Q: I work from home and don’t get a W2, or even a 1099. How do I prove my income to a mortgage lender?
TexasLending.com: That can be difficult but as long as you’ve filed your taxes properly for at least the last two years, you should be fine. Most underwriters require at least two years of returns, a copy of your Schedule C, and possibly bank statements to confirm your earnings before making a loan decision. If you don’t receive a 1099, you may also need to show proof of payment history.
If the New Year isn’t so new anymore and you’re slacking on those resolutions again, here’s some help from your friends at TexasLending.com. While we can’t do anything about your diet, our mortgage experts can offer advice on how to keep your financial New Year’s goals on track.
Q: What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when they decide to stick to a budget?
TexasLending.com: When we’re talking about New Year’s budgets, it’s mostly that people don’t plan ahead. It’s just kind of a generic resolution people make, like “getting in shape.”
Q: So, you are saying that people aren’t specific enough?
TexasLending.com: Exactly. When I make a broad statement like, “I am going to save money,” I don’t really have anything specific holding me to that. But if I think more in terms of, “I will quit drinking expensive coffee shop drinks and brew my own at home,” then I have something specific that if I start to do it, I will trigger a response to avoid spending that money. It really all boils down to making a detailed plan and sticking to it.
Are you constantly struggling to make ends meet? Do you feel like you never have enough money to really enjoy life? You may have more cash than you think. Here, TexasLending.com answers common questions about ways to save.
Q: How can I save money on my grocery bill?
TexasLending.com: For most of us, grocery shopping is a major monthly expense. Often that’s because we are shopping the wrong way. Weekly shopping trips mean paying full price for most dietary needs. However, it’s possible to pre-plan meals around the highest-priced items (meats, dairy, etc.) by stockpiling as these items go on sale. Some experts report that a family of four can save over $500 a month by planning ahead.
Everything’s bigger in Texas…except the cost of winterizing your home, says the team at TexasLending.com. Here, the Dallas-based mortgage provider answers questions about getting ready for the big chill.
Q: How should I prepare my appliances for potentially freezing weather?
TexasLending.com: The majority of your home’s appliances are located in the finished areas of your home, so there’s no special preparation necessary. However, a garage-based hot water heater should be insulated and flushed to remove any sediment.
Q: What causes burst pipes in homes?
TexasLending.com: As water freezes, it expands. If enough water collects inside of pipes, the pressure brought about by this expansion can cause sudden and costly damage. Pipe insulation is an extremely affordable way to prevent busted pipes. It is available at most hardware stores and is easy to install without special tools, experience, or equipment.
Texas is leading the nation in growth with half of the top 16 fastest growing cities in the United States. Here, TexasLending.com speaks about the booming economy of the Lone Star State.
Q: What Texas city has seen the greatest economic growth?
TexasLending.com: Midland saw a substantial growth spurt between 2013 and 2014. With a median household income of nearly $56,000 and a $250,000 median list price for residential real estate, Midland has definitely become a city replete with jobs and well-priced housing.
Q: What city is considered the best value in Texas?
TexasLending.com: Depending on your definition of value, San Angelo, Texas, may fit the bill. In this charming town, a four-bedroom 2200 ft. home will average less than $200,000. The area has a respectable median income of $43,000 per year and is located within driving distance of some of the area’s best manufacturing jobs.
By now, 1099s and W2s should be in the hands of American taxpayers. However, before filing taxes you may want to know about the newest tax scams to watch out for. Scammers are looking for ways to steal money, especially during the tax season, says TexasLending.com.
Many citizens have reported receiving a call from con artists who pretend to be from the IRS and tell them they have to pay up right away or else. Don’t believe it. The IRS has formal processes in place for people with tax issues, and manipulative calls like these run contrary to IRS protocol. According to TexasLending.com, an IRS agent will not call about taxes owed without first mailing the taxpayer an official letter.
Other tax scammers try to rip off their victims by making them file false scams for nonexistent rebates, phony tax credits, or even refunds based on their social security benefits.
According to the team at TexasLending.com, you may physically recover after a hospital stay, but medical emergencies can really harm your financial health. A 2012 study found 75 million Americans had trouble paying their medical bills, damaging their credit scores. In 2014, the credit tracking agency announced a new plan (FICO Score 9) to lessen the impact medical debt has on its credit scoring. Outstanding medical bills no longer lower a credit score. TexasLending.com says the move makes it easier for consumers to borrow money and banks to lend. FICO even assigned a new number to the improvement. As of 2012 the FICO score was 689. Fico Score 9 could increase this score by 25 points, bringing it to 714. But why treat medical debt differently?
First, says TexasLending.com, medical debt is unpredictable, often causing short term problems, even for financially responsible people. Second, the consumer protection collection bureau says billing problems and confusion about what’s covered by insurance often mean that patients don’t know they owe money until the collection agency holds the debt and the credit score is impacted, adds TexasLending.com.