Financial Information

Why is My Credit Score Lower From My Lender?

If you have recently been on a personal finance site to check your credit score and then applied for a mortgage you may have been surprised at the difference in your credit score. That’s because more often than not, the score you received from the personal finance site is going to be higher than the credit score your lender receives when they pull your credit.
Credit algorithms
Personal finance sites that can access your credit history use a different algorithm to calculate your score. They are giving you more of a generic credit score that covers a wide range of credit […]

Are Piggybacks Making a Comeback?

Piggyback mortgages that is, not the ride children love. Piggyback mortgages, a.k.a. second mortgages, are a loan that rides on top of your primary mortgage. In combination with your down payment, these mortgages allow you to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). They were extremely popular in the early 2000s and then went almost extinct after the housing market declined in 2008. With the economy and the housing market on an upswing, it looks like Piggybacks are coming back.
Piggyback mortgages are ideal for several reasons

It’s great for borrowers who want to avoid paying private mortgage insurance but have […]

Ready to Move? Avoid These First-Time Home Seller Mistakes

If you thought buying your home was tough, selling your first home can be just as daunting. Make the process easier and more profitable by avoiding some common first-time home seller mistakes.
Mistake 1: Emotional attachment
Becoming emotionally detached from your home is one of the hardest things to do when selling. After all, this is where you made memories with friends and family members. Remember that your

home is a commodity, not your identity. The more you can separate yourself emotionally from your home (including neutralizing the interior) the more buyers will be able to picture themselves in your home. The […]

Waiting to Buy a New Home Could Cost You

Home prices
Thinking about buying a new home in the next few years? Moving up your timetable could save you money. As of February 2018, Zillow states home values have risen 7.6% in the last 12 months. It also predicts homes values will continue to rise another 3.5% in the next year. Each area of the country is different but the one thing you can count on is that when home prices rise you get less home for your money.
Interest rates
Interest rates have also been steadily climbing. The Economy Forecast Agency predicts rates to climb above 5% in 2018 and […]

Turn Your Dream of a Vacation Home Into a Reality

Ever been on a relaxing vacation watching a glorious sunset and wished you could own your own vacation home? If so, you are not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors Vacation and Investment Home Sales: A breakdown for 2017, thousands of buyers felt the same way and turned their dreams into a reality.
Financing a vacation home
There is a misconception that vacation home buyers pay in cash or have a large down payment. NAR cites that 72% of homebuyers purchasing a vacation property financed their purchase. Of those financing, the majority put down 30% or less as a […]

There is Hope After Bankruptcy or Foreclosure

Millions of Americans have been affected by a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy and may be afraid they will never be able to own a home again. Luckily, a derogatory credit item doesn’t mean an end to homeownership.

Check out the chart below to view waiting periods, by loan type, for homebuyers who have experienced foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, without extenuating circumstances.

*Foreclosure rates are cited from CoreLogic data highlighted in a January 2015 Forbes article.

The information voiced in this material is for general information and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All loans subject […]

Common Mistakes That Can Compromise Your Mortgage Loan

After months of searching, you have finally found the right community, picked out the perfect lot, selected your dream floorplan and have even been pre-approved for a loan. Now, as you wait to close on your beautiful new home it may be tempting to shop for beautiful new things to furnish it. Be cautious when doing so because buying those beautiful new things may compromise your mortgage loan.
From the time you apply for a mortgage to the day you close, your financial management decisions can impact whether you are approved or denied. Sounds scary, but with some simple financial […]

‘Nobody Told Me!’ Home-Buying Fees Explained Here

No matter your tax bracket or life circumstance, buying a new custom home is one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make. There’s no dismissing that fact, but if you’re a first-time buyer, you should understand that it-costs-lots-of-money means more than simply a big outlay of cash. For example, your credit health must be good. You must be approved for a mortgage. You must be able to make a down payment to activate your mortgage. But you also must pay obligatory transaction fees during the home-buying process. Here’s a primer so you won’t have to say, “but nobody told […]

Buying Vs. Renting Part 5: Our Best Advice

Should You Rent or Buy? A Guide

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Buying a home is a serious adult activity. None of it is one-size-fits-all. We’re as individual as our DNA and life situations, and it’s silly for us — or anyone — to dictate decisions to you. Our goal in Buying Versus Renting is drilling down to basics, using practical realities and our experience from more than three decades as Florida’s Custom Home Builder.

Once you’re ready to buy a new home, view your situation through the lens of our suggestions, just as you’d apply a magnifying glass to the fine print of an […]

Buying Vs. Renting Part 4: Home Sweet Where?

Should You Rent or Buy? A Guide

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When you’re deciding whether to leave the rent cycle and buy a new home, many factors compete for your attention. The financial one is the weightiest.

“Property taxes!” pundits, experts and media howl. “You don’t pay those as a renter.”

“Home maintenance costs!”

“You’ll lose money if you sell you home before you establish equity!”

Then there’s your financial health, the critical first step to becoming a new homeowner.

At some point you must form your own responses to the rhetoric above based on your life stage, age, career and family situation. Helping you do that is […]