Tag: valparaiso

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.

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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!

-Ed

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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.

BIDDING WAR

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

rockets

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

-Ed

 

 

Why it’s smart to get qualified BEFORE you start looking at homes.

the more you knowSo you have been looking online at homes. You end up seeing one that is everything that you have been wanting. You call a Realtor to show you the home. You go and see the home and you fall in love. You want to submit an offer, then it hits you…THIS HOME IS OUT OF YOUR PRICE RANGE! Unfortunately, this tends to happen when people start the home buying process. Everyone is eager to start looking at homes, but they fail to get their ducks in a row and line up their financing before they start looking. It is a lose/lose situation when you start the home search before you get your financing in line, and I’ll tell you why.

One of the most important steps of buying a home is making sure you are qualified to purchase a home. The last thing that you want to happen is to fall in love with a home then come to find out that you can’t afford it, or there is something preventing you from buying a home in general. There are many benefits to getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a home. When you are ready to submit an offer, the sellers will know that you have already done the work beforehand to obtain financing and that you are a qualified buyer. This can also help you with the negotiation when buying a property. There are 2 main people that you need to become comfortable with and trust during this process, a Realtor and a loan officer. Ultimately you want to work with a great, and I emphasize great, Realtor that has local knowledge and can negotiate a fair price for you. Another must when buying a home is make sure you are working with a loan officer that knows their stuff. Sure, any bank has a loan officer that is getting paid a tiny salary, sits behind a desk all day and will tell you exactly what you want to hear. That’s easy! Make sure you are dealing with a professional who knows the ins and outs of the mortgage business in order to find you and your family the best program possible. Often times, what you want to hear is a lot different than what you need to know, so work with someone who will guide along the right path the first time around.

Here are some of the items that you should consider gathering together when you want to start the home buying process, and believe me, your loan officer will LOVE YOU if you are well prepared. Again, this is just some brief information and each situation can be different, but if you have the majority of this ready to go, you’ll be in great shape.

  • Identification ( State IDs or Driver’s License or Passport)
  • Most recent pay stubs for the past 30 days
  • Most recent 2 years of Federal tax returns and W2s or 1099s (if you’re self-employed, let them know because there is additional requirements that will be needed)
  • Recent bank statements for the past 2 months
  • Homeowner’s insurance agent name and number
  • Addresses of any additional properties that you own
  • **If applicable** Divorce decree/Bankruptcy discharge paperwork/Child support order

All of this is information that is extremely useful because it will help your loan officer better comprehend your current financial position and see if you are eligible to purchase a home. Also, let the loan officer know how much you are comfortable with spending. I hear way too often that a loan officer will issue a pre-qualification for a set price and it’s a price way higher than what the buyers want to spend. The way I look at it is that I want to put people in a mortgage that is comfortable for them, so it doesn’t matter if you qualify for a $400,000 home if you are only comfortable spending $250,000. So make sure you are prepared with how much you are comfortable spending for the down payment and for your monthly mortgage payment.

Now to the meat and potatoes of my blog! If you want a no-nonsense, straight to the point, knowledgeable loan officer with access to some of the best programs in the industry, then you need to look no further. OK, well maybe a little bit further. First, you need to contact me and I will give you a FREE home financing analysis to see if I can get you qualified to make that first step.  Secondly, I work with some of the area’s top Realtors and I can put you in contact with them to help you find your dream home. Next, we close your loan and you move into your home. Finally, because both the Realtor and myself were so good at getting you the perfect home, the perfect loan and amazing service all you need to do is refer your friends, family, co-workers, heck even strangers, over to us so that we can help make their dreams come true as well.

Now I want to offer you all something else that is completely FREE! You can download my free mobile app for your cellphone. It has a ton of resources at the palm of your hands. You can search homes, local schools, taxes, mortgage payments, rates and a bunch of other cool stuff absolutely FREE, all you have to do is  CLICK HERE.

Now that you’re a little more prepared for your home search, leave me some feedback below on what you want me to blog about next. Be on the lookout every Monday for a new blog post, and thanks for reading!

 

If you’ve considered listing your home, now is the time to do so.

The first thing I looked at when I opened up my web browser this morning was an article by The Wall Street Journal writer Ruth Simon and The headline was “Is It Safe To Sell Your House Now?”  Now I have talked to numerous area realtors and I have had transactions on homes that had numerous offers on them, many of them full asking price, but the same issue is still coming up “we need more listings” is a common phrase among the areas realtors. The trend right now is that there are more buyers in the market than homes for sale, which in turn make it a seller’s market. some of the realtors that I have talked to said they are selling their listings faster than they can get more, which believe me is not a bad thing, but at the same point in time is making it a market for buyers to be more aggressive with their offers.

If at any point within the past couple of years you have been considering on selling your home, now may be the time to do so. Now may be the time to list your property so you can move, upgrade, or get into a different home that better fits your needs. This could be a great opportunity to increase the odds of you getting full asking price when listing your home. Here are a couple of tips I recommend doing if you plan on listing your home.

  • Contact a local realtor, or contact me if you need a great recommendation
  • Get a CMA (Certified Market Analysis) or BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) done on your home, this will give you an idea of what to list the house at.
  • Do some early “Spring Cleaning” take away all the clutter, change the light bulbs, and take down any family pictures you have. You want for potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home, the family pictures could be a distraction from that.
  • Fresh coats of paint, clean the floors, and shampoo the carpets. You want your house looking as lean and clutter free as possible.

For more tips on what you should do to help sell your home fast please go to my contact page and leave me your information and I will send you a complimentary copy of “33 Ways to Sell Your Home Fast”

Thank you for viewing my blog, please write me with any questions, feedback, or if I can help you in any way. Don’t forget to subscribe!

Foreclosure filings, lowest since April 2007

Welcome to my blog everyone!

I want to share some helpful real estate news with everyone, so based on an article by CNN Money it looks like foreclosure filings have been at its lowest level since April of 2007. What does this mean for you? This means that it is a good indication that the housing market is starting to make a turnaround from where it has been the past 7 years, and that homes values may start gaining momentum instead of losing like they have been the past few years. The pending home sale report index rose in January by 4.5% and is at its highest level since April of 2010  according to the National Association of Realtors.

Source: RealtyTrac
Source: RealtyTrac

2012 was a very busy year in the industry, with rates being low and home prices affordable, many people are starting to take advantage of purchasing homes. In many cases it is much cheaper to purchase a home than it is to rent.

If you have any further questions about this blog or would like to find out more about the real state in your area, please feel free to contact me. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog, don’t forget to subscribe.

Ed Stojancevich