Why should I refinance? Is it really worth it?


Welcome back to my blog. This week we’re going to talk about refinancing. This has been a HUGE topic here lately, especially with the current rate drops caused by Brexit. Surprisingly, there are millions of homeowners that still have not taken advantage of lower interest rates and are still paying too much on their home. CNBC even wrote an article about this. So why would someone want to refinance? There are a quite a few reasons you would want to do so, now let’s talk about them.

  1. o-SAVE-MONEY-facebookRefinance to pay down your credit card or other debt. People typically look into doing this because of the variable and high interest rates that credit cards carry on them. Most people only pay the minimum balances on their credit cards, if you read the fine print it will tell you how many years it would take to pay it off. By doing a cash-out refinance, you can lower your over all monthly debt obligation and free up money every month. You could also use the savings to pay the mortgage off faster.
  2. lower-interest-rate-on-credit-cardsLowering your interest rate. When you bought your home, interest rates may have been higher than what they currently are. With that being said, homeowners will look into lowering their interest rate because lowering their rate can mean savings on your monthly mortgage payment.
  3. Cutting your mortgage term and payiMortgage_Payoff_Tipsng it off sooner. This is good way to cut the length of time you have a mortgage and could also lower your interest rate. You could refinance from a 30-year loan down to a 15-year loan and have your mortgage paid off in half the time. Paying off your mortgage in half the time could put you in line with any future plans that you have such as retirement or even saving for your children’s education costs.
  4. Refinancing to change from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a more featured-image12secure fixed rate mortgage. If you opted for an ARM when you purchased your home and now want a fixed rate, then refinancing is something you should do. Luckily, with rates as low as they are, you can secure a low-interest rate on a fixed rate mortgage.
  5. Refinancing to do some home improvements around the house. 6-top-home-improvement-projectsHomeowners may want to access some of their equity in their home in order to do some home improvements. Certain home improvements can be quite expensive and accessing the equity in your home would the perfect opportunity to be able to complete your home makeover.

These are just a few reasons that homeowners refinance, each situation is different and you may have a different reason to refinance. So this what I recommend, get together with your mortgage professional (Click here for the best one in the business) and let them know exactly what you want to accomplish with your refinance. Make a list of goals that you have and share that with them. The more information you provide, the more helpful we can be. Once this is done, make sure you get locked in to a low rate and make sure you get them what they need in order to complete the refinance.

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Thanks again and have an amazing week!



Closing Costs? Why Pay Them? Who Pays Them? I Don’t Like It

wasting-moneySome of the most common phrases that I hear when talking with buyers are, “What are closing costs? Who pays them? Why are there closing costs?” A very common misconception is that closing costs are the fees that lenders make on the purchase or refinance of a property. Many clients believe this as fact, that is until I enlighten them and let them know exactly where those costs go to and why they are required. So, what do you know about closing costs? Is this something that you believed as well?

Closing costs are a mixture of different fees associated with closing on a mortgage. These can include, but are not limited to, appraisal, application, underwriting, title, escrow, insurance, and other items within the loan process. The reason that there are fees associated with the loan is because there are costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. These costs are here to help you out. For example; an appraisal is necessary because you and the lender need to know the value of the new home. At the bare minimum, the appraisal should appraise at what you are buying it for, or more. If not, then you have the opportunity to renegotiate the purchase price. Title fees are to make sure that you are buying a home with no liens and you are getting it with a clean title.


Now, there are lenders out there with some high closing costs, such as origination points, discount points or broker fees. I actually spoke with a client about a month ago, and they knew a lender and planned on going through with them. After speaking with them, I was half percent lower in rate and about $3,000 lower in closing costs. I couldn’t believe how much they were charging for their services. I guess that is the downside of doing business with companies that have astronomical marketing costs, those costs get carried over directly to the consumer and you’ll notice that with the rate and costs associated with the loan. Check out this article from Money Magazine on what closing costs average.

Now there are ways to offset some or all of the closing costs. A simple way to do this is to negotiate the closing costs to be paid for by the seller. Most cases, the sellers will pick up the cost of obtaining the financing. You can also choose to have your costs paid for by the lender, in order for this to happen, you will receive a interest rate that is higher than the current market rate. Basically, you are financing the costs into the loan for however long the term of the loan is.  Another way to do so is to pay them yourself, this is the most ideal if you have the funds to do so. Paying your closing costs upfront is the most simplistic and cost effective way to pay for these. If you pay them upfront, you don’t have to worry about financing them into the loan by taking a higher than market interest rate.

So here is what I recommend. Talk to a pro, such as myself (you like that marketing plug right?) and figure out what is going to be the best path for your financial situation. You want to speak with someone who is going to achieve both your short term and long term goals. I recommend you download my FREE mortgage app for your cell phone and stay up to date on all market trends and interest rate trends. You can do so by clicking here. You can contact me anytime via my website at www.TheRockstarCloser.com or you can always call/text me at 219-973-6644. I will make sure to help you and give you the options that you deserve in order to make the best decision for you and your family.

Please fill out this form below, I’d like to know more about my readers. As always thank you for reading my blog, be on the lookout for next week’s blog post!


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What does Brexit mean for the U.S. Housing Market?

Welcome again to my blog and thanks for visiting. I want to inform everyone on what the whole “Brexit” vote means for the U.S. housing market. Below is a blog from Keeping Current Matters that I wanted to share with all of you so that you know exactly how this will impact rates.

“Now that much of the dust has settled and the panic has waned, let’s take a look at what impact Britain’s exit from the European Union may have on the U.S. housing market.

The most immediate impact of Brexit will be on mortgage interest rates. Interest rates have remained at historic lows for the last several years. Contrary to what many experts believed, rates have remained low throughout the first half of 2016.


Possible impact of Brexit on mortgage rates?

In a recent article, the Washington Post explained:

“Brexit has spawned the recent bout of volatility in global financial markets. That has anxious investors scurrying for safety — and few assets are safer than U.S. Treasuries. High demand for government debt pulls down interest rates.

That all translates into ultra-low mortgage rates for American households. And with Britain voting for Brexit, they could go even lower.”

However, the lower rates caused by Brexit may be short lived as Trulia Chief Economist Ralph McLaughlin pointed out in a recent post:

“While the departure of the UK from the European Union has driven down the 10-year bond, and thus mortgage rates, we expect them to rebound later in the year as uncertainty over the economic consequences of the departure lifts.”

Bottom Line

Rates are already at historic lows. The UK’s exit from the EU almost certainly guarantees they will remain low (and possibly go lower) over the next few months. If you were thinking of buying your first home or trading up to the house of your dreams, this may be the time to act. The cost of money may never be better for a potential buyer.”

If you have been on the fence about buying a home or refinancing, then now is the time to start getting serious about pulling the trigger. If not, you will only cost you and your family more money. The higher that interest rates go up means the less of a mortgage that you will be able to afford. So if you were looking at $300k homes today and rates go up by .25-.5% then your purchasing power could be diminished and can prevent you from buying the home that you want.

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Whatever you do, don’t be this person.

So you want to pull the trigger and see what you can do with refinanicng or buying?  This is what you need to do. Call me at 219-973-6644 and I can get some of your intial questions answered and work with you to reach your goals. You can also apply online through my website 24/7 at: The Rockstar Closer and click apply online at the top right. In order to stay up to date on interest rates, search homes and other useful real estate stuff, download my free mobile app at: The Rockstar Mortgage App for your mobile phone!

As always, thanks for visiting, don’t forget to subscribe and be on the lookout for my next blog coming to you next week. Have a Happy 4th of July, be safe and enjoy your time with your loved ones.


Ed StojancevichRockstar Closer_Website_Red

Do NOT do this when applying for a home loan…seriously.

Looks like I am going to give you a two for one in blog posts this week. I know I did one yesterday, but since I have fallen behind, I have to make up the difference. So with that said welcome to my blog. I want to inform you about something that can absolutely destroy your chances of getting a loan, even if your loan has already been approved but you  haven’t closed yet. Most people think that once their loan is CTC (mortgage jargon for Clear-to-Close) they are open to do whatever they want. Wrong! Most knowledgable lenders will tell you up front, do not make any purchases, do not apply for any new credit, do not make any late payments and make sure everything that you have disclosed to us remains the same or gets better. Nothing, and I mean nothing will make us give you the Bernie Sanders stink eye faster than seeing a new debt show up on the credit report. Now let me tell you why.

When we take a look at your overall credit profile such as income, assets, credit history, job history, debt ratios, ect. We have to make sure it fits “inside the box,” because let’s face it, this isn’t the mortgage industry of 10+ years ago. We have to make sure that everything is well documented. Now once we do that and we issue a pre-approval or pre-qualification, you are all set to go find your new home. In the meantime, make sure you do the following:

  1. Continue to pay your bills on-time
  2. Do not deposit cash in the bank
  3. Do not charge up your credit cards
  4. Do not apply for new credit or request credit line increases
  5. Do not spend your down payment on anything besides your down payment
  6. If you are unsure about anything, contact your mortgage expert

These may sound like simple rules to follow, but you would be surprised. Doing any of these can seriously impact your loan approval and could prevent you from purchasing your brand new home. The reason being is that it can negatively impact your credit score and can drive up your DTI (mortgage jargon for debt-to-income) ratios which could prevent you from getting the loan. So while you’re out looking at homes and when you get under contract, make sure you have a good talk with your mortgage expert and they can help you a guide you throughout the way. Consistency is the key. Maintain your current credit and financial profile and your loan should get approved with little to no problems.

So you want to stay up to date on all of this information? Want access to interest rate trends, home searches, calculators and a bunch of other useful stuff? Then you need to download my free mortgage app. It is 100% free and you have access to all of my info, including this amazing blog, 24/7. All you have to do is click here and it will direct you to the download link. C’mon, you didn’t think I’d give you an awesome blog and not ask you to do me a solid now did you? As always, thank you for viewing my blog. Check out my app and your life will become 10,000% better (well maybe not, but it’s a free app, so it can’t hurt right?).

Be on the lookout next week for some new info and a new blog. Leave me your feedback below if there is anything else you want me to focus on for future blogs.

Ed S.

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Housing Shortage Causing Bidding Wars and Spike in New Construction.


If there is one downside to a booming housing market, it’s that there are not enough homes on the market to satisfy the amount of buyers. You can refer to this as a seller’s market. Not enough homes on the market can mean buyers paying more for a home. This is not a bad thing, and in fact, can help home values. As a seller, take advantage of it. Quit listening to the “water cooler talk” at work when everyone thinks that they’re an expert at everything. There is a reason they are doing the job that they are doing and not selling homes, because they don’t have the slightest clue of what they are talking about! Check out this article from Realtor.com that gives you advice on how to win a bidding war.

So let’s get back at it. In the real estate market you will see peaks and valleys. It is the nature of the business. If you are considering selling your home, now is the time to get your home on the market. Demand is high and supply is low, this is bare basic economics and it doesn’t take rocket science to figure out that you will profit more than you would in  a buyer’s market. Well what happens if you are a buyer? You want a great deal, right? You want that amazing home that your family fell in love with, right? Then make an offer. Hire one of the areas Realtors (I can refer you to one if you don’t have one) and let them negotiate a great deal. In this business time is of the essence, so if you find something and you like it, then make an offer on the home. One of the common things that I hear buyers say often is that “I’m going to sleep on it and make an offer tomorrow.” Here’s the catch to that, someone else is thinking the same thing and by the time you are ready to submit an offer, the house is S-O-L-D and then they have regrets for not submitting an offer earlier.

Home builders are more than happy right now. What happens when people can’t find their perfect home? They build it. I was driving through Northwest Indiana the past few weeks and I have noticed a TON of new homes being constructed. It’s a good thing, but with the improved housing market comes higher price per square foot. You’ll be paying more for that home as well. Now, don’t get me wrong, building a new home isn’t a bad thing. You just have to be prepared to wait while it is being constructed. I have seen homes go up in as little as 90 days, then I have seen homes take a year. It all depends on what you are getting done, what kind of upgrades you’re getting and also the weather has to cooperate as well.

Why am I telling you this? I know what you’re thinking, “he is just trying to get us to buy a home quicker, or wants the quick sale.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. I have a list of buyers right now waiting to find their next home. Unfortunately, some of them have already made these same mistakes that I mentioned above and have missed out on homes that they fell in love with. I don’t want this to happen to you. Learn from the mistakes of others. So here is what I recommend:

  1. Get your ducks in a row (get pre-approved and get all of your financial documents together) Check out my blog about this here.
  2. Work with a Realtor and figure out where you want to buy and what is a comfortable price range.
  3. Once you find a home that you love, DON’T WAIT! Talk with your Realtor and submit a fair offer on the home.
  4. Get your offer accepted
  5. Work with the best mortgage guy in the business (me, of course!) and let’s turn that homeownership dream into a reality.

So now that you have some great tips about this market. I am going to ask you a favor. I need you to subscribe to my blog. I know I said I was going to do these weekly, but work has been SLAMMED. I owe it to you all to make this blog happen weekly, so my commitment to you is to have a new blog up by Wednesday of every week. In the mean time, go and download my mobile app. It has a link to my blog, a home search, mortgage calculators and so much more. You can get it by clicking here. I designed this app for my business partners and for my clients. Any feedback that you have, leave it below. Have any blog suggestions? Leave me a comment below. I will give you content overload, just let me know if you want me to touch on anything specific.

Thanks for reading and  the lookout next week!

-Ed. S

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The Perfect Storm in Real Estate is Now.


So what do I mean by the perfect storm? Is it because rates are low? Is it because buying a home is more affordable now than it ever has been? Is it because inventory is low? Actually, it is a blend of all of these factors, thus, the perfect storm. Get it? So let me tell you what I am currently experiencing and what local real estate professionals throughout my community are experiencing. People are finally starting to realize that now is a great time to buy a home. They are finally listening to what everyone has been telling them for the past 4 years. This is a good thing, but it does have a downside. If you are looking at a home and want to think about writing an offer on that home, you may have already missed the boat. Due to the lack of inventory, if you find a home that you really like, then you have to put an offer in right away or take the risk of losing that home. Many local Realtors have said that they had clients lose out on homes because they didn’t make an offer right away. So I have a word of advice, if you love it, then make an offer on the home. Make a good offer on the home as well, especially if it becomes a multiple offer situation.

If you are looking to sell your home, let me clear up a very common myth that people believe. “I am going to wait until Spring to list my home because homes don’t sell in Winter.” That is so inaccurate it makes me want to laugh. Ask any local Realtor and they will tell you that Winter is a great time to list your home. Why, you ask? The reason being is that inventory is typically low, like it is now, and you will attract more serious buyers. People who are out looking at homes when it is cold or snowing outside are more serious buyers, they are out looking in homes during the bad weather because they are serious about buying and ready to make an offer on the perfect home, which could be yours.

Look at these article from CNN Money, Realtor.com and Forbes. They are all stating that 2016 is the year to buy a home. Luckily, rates have hit a 3-year low, prices on homes have been consistent and there are programs available that offer down payment options that are well below the mythical 20%. It is shocking how many people believe that the only way they could buy a home is if they have 20% down payment. This is simply not true. There are plenty of mortgage options available. I recommend having a conversation with a knowledgeable mortgage loan officer and figure out what is going to be the best possible position for you and your family.

Bottom line, if you can buy, then do it now. You don’t want to be in the “I wish I would have done that,” crowd. Take action today and call a Realtor, call a loan officer, find out what your options are and see why so many people are buying instead of renting. You are literally throwing your money away each month you rent instead of buying. Contact me today and I can help you with the process and put you in contact with an amazing Realtor who can find you your dream home.

Click here to view a previous blog of what you need to start the buying process. I also have a free mobile app that you can download by clicking here.

If you want more useful information, then don’t forget to subscribe to my blog. See you all next week!


Why trusting a smart phone to close your mortgage is anything but smart.


So if you weren’t living under a rock, I assume that you watched at least a portion of Super Bowl 50. The game itself might not have been that impressive, but I did see some funny commercials. One in particular comes to mind, it was Rocket Mortgage from Quicken Loans. The commercial made it seem that it would be hassle free and easy to obtain a mortgage with their “push button get mortgage,” phrase. The voice actor states “you can get a mortgage on your phone, and if it could be that easy, wouldn’t more people buy homes?” I’ll be the first one to tell you, these ideas are the types of things that can cause a housing collapse. You know people thought loans that didn’t require borrowers to show proof of their income or assets were a good idea too, but that didn’t work out so well now did it? So now with Rocket Mortgage, Quicken claims that you can obtain an “8-minute mortgage.” I am not the only one that thinks this is encouraging another housing crash, check out this article by Time Magazine. The article highlights different tweets from people criticizing the company for “encouraging another sub-prime crisis.” Here is another article, this time by Yahoo! that drills Quicken for their ad. It’s amazing to think the same company that the United States filed a lawsuit against (find the Department of Justice Press Release here) for improperly originating FHA Insured loans is the same company trying to make an “8-minute mortgage.”

Here is a good analogy for you, and I know this first hand. Every year around tax time you see all these commercials for these online tax programs where you can do it yourself. At first, I thought that this was a great idea until I realized how much money I was losing by not utilizing an accountant. Quicker is not necessarily better, cheaper is not always better and obtaining a mortgage on a phone app…well that’s just ludicrous. There is a reason accountants are in business, because they can help you, they understand your situation and they try to minimize your overall tax burden.

Listen, here is what you need to know and it may not be what you want to hear. Obtaining a mortgage is not “easy,” and it shouldn’t be. Buying a home is a lot different than shopping for a pair of shoes or buying music online, that comparison is ridiculous. A home is a huge financial commitment and it requires having a team of local professionals who have your back. Having the right team working for you can result in a easy transaction. The importance of working with someone local is vital. It is important to work with local Realtors, loan officers, insurance agents, title companies and so on. These are the people that live in the communities that you’re buying in, they know the ins and outs of the communities and can help guide you in the right direction. When talking to a loan officer, you need someone who is going to understand what your financials are, help establish your goals, help overcome potential roadblocks, help you prepare when submitting an offer and many other important factors involving your home purchase. You will not receive this type of hands on treatment from your smart phone or a call center located halfway across the country. Local professionals have a personal commitment to make sure you’re happy and are taken care of. We will see you from time to time in the local stores, local sporting events and throughout the community. We are welcoming you to our community and we want the best experience for you and your family.

Now I can’t promise you and “8-minute mortgage,” but I can sure assure you a pleasant experience that you won’t forget. I can assure you that I will help you determine what will be the best loan program for you and your family. I can assure you that I can put you in contact with some of the top realtors in my area to help you find that dream home. I can assure you that from start to finish you will know the progress on your loan. Finally, I can assure you that you’ll be so happy with my service and loan program that you will refer me your family, friends and coworkers. If you are looking for an “8-minute mortgage,” I can confidently tell you that I am not your guy. If you’re looking for the best program possible to ensure your family’s financial success, then look no further, I can make this a reality.

I have a custom mobile app and you can click here to download my app. This was made specifically to give you housing market updates, mortgage calculations, a home search and other valuable resources. It is NOT intended to close your loan in 8 minutes 🙂

For more online resources visit my website by clicking here, or fill out the form below and I can add you to my email list.

Be on the lookout for my new blog next Monday.

P.S. Remember, that from time rockets do explode. #RocketsExplode