5 Mortgage Misconceptions Set Straight

Getting a mortgage can be a breeze or a slog, depending on what you know about the process. To get organized and set your expectations properly, let’s debunk some common mortgage myths.

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1. Lenders use your best credit scores

If you’re applying for a mortgage jointly with a co-borrower, logic suggests that your lender would use the highest credit score between both of you.

However, lenders take the middle of three credit scores (from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) for each borrower, and then use the lowest score between both borrowers’ “middle scores.”

So, if you had a middle score of 780, and your co-borrower had a middle score of 660, most lenders would qualify and approve you using the 660 credit score.

Rates are tied to credit scores, so in this example, your rate would be based on the 660 credit score, which would push your rate up significantly — or potentially even make you ineligible for the loan.

There are exceptions to this lowest-case-credit-score rule. Most notably, if you have the higher credit score and are also the higher earner, some lenders will allow your higher credit score on the file — but this is mostly for jumbo loans above $417,000.

Ask your lender about exceptions if you have credit score disparity between co-borrowers, but know that these exceptions are rare.

2. The rate you’re quoted is the rate you’ll get

Unless you’re locking in a rate at the moment it’s quoted, that rate quote can change. Rates are tied to daily trading of mortgage bonds, so most lenders’ rates change throughout each day.

Refinancers can often lock a rate when it’s quoted — as long as you’ve given your lender enough information and documentation to determine if you qualify for the quoted rate.

You typically receive a quote when you’re beginning your pre-approval process, but a rate lock runs with a borrower and a property. So until you’ve found a home to buy, you can’t lock your rate. And while you’re home shopping, rates will be changing daily, so you’ll need updated quotes from your lender throughout your home shopping process.

Rate quotes also come with an annual percentage rate (APR), which is a federally required disclosure that shows what your rate would be if all loan fees are incorporated into the rate.

This can make you think that APR is the rate you’ll get, but your loan payment will always be based on your locked rate, and the APR is just a disclosure to help you understand fees.

3. Fixed-rate mortgages are always better than adjustable-rate mortgages

After the 2008 financial crisis, many borrowers started preferring 30-year fixed loans. For good reason too: The rate and payment on a 30-year fixed loan can never change. But the longer the rate is fixed for, the higher the rate.

So before settling on a 30-year fixed, ask yourself this question: How long am I going to own this home (or keep the loan) for?blue-rendered-outline-house-and-yellow-percent-sign_573x300.jpg

Suppose the answer is five years. If you got a five-year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) instead of a 30-year fixed, your rate would be about .875 percent lower. On a $200,000 loan, you’d save $146 per month in interest by taking the five-year ARM. On a $600,000 loan, the monthly interest cost savings is $438.

To optimize your home financing, peg the loan term as closely as you can to your expected time horizon in the home.

4. Real estate agents don’t care which lender you use

A federal law enacted in 1974 called the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) prohibits lenders and real estate agents from paying each other fees to refer customers to each other. So as a mortgage shopper, you’re always free to use any lender you choose.

But real estate agents who would represent you as a buyer do care which lender you use. They’ll often suggest that you use a local lender who’s experienced with your area’s nuances, such as local taxation rules, settlement procedures and appraisal methodologies.

–You can contact us to get more information about lenders in our area!

These areas are all part of the loan process and can delay or kill deals if a nonlocal lender isn’t experienced enough to handle them.

Likewise, real estate agents representing sellers on homes you’re interested in will often prioritize purchase offers based on the quality of loan approvals. Local lenders who are known and respected by listing agents give your purchase offers more credibility.

5. Mortgage insurance is always required if you put less than 20 percent down

Mortgage insurance is a lender-risk premium placed on many home loans when you’re putting less than 20 percent down. In short, it means your total monthly housing cost is higher. But you can buy a home with less than 20 percent down and avoid mortgage insurance.

The most common way to do this is with a combination first and second mortgage — often called a piggyback — where the first mortgage is capped at 80 percent of the home’s value, and the second mortgage is for the balance of what you want to finance.

 

We hope that you found this information helpful!
Any questions, feel free to contact us!
304.645.2255

Safety Tips for Vacant Home While Vacationing

b882bcbf0960c7ca9942d9e815bec54dVacation season is upon us!  Kids are nearing their last days of school, the weather is getting warmer and we just can’t wait to get our toes in the sand or go to our favorite theme park.

While packing your bags and making sure you have everything ready is very important, what are you doing to make sure your home is safe while you are away?

We have done some research and have made a small list of things to do (or not do) while on vacation to make sure your home will be protected.

  • Ask a friend or neighbor to come over and periodically check on the house.
  • If possible, hire a “House Sitter”.
  • Keep the curtains open!  May sound strange, but it gives the persona of someone being home.
  • Have a friend or neighbor turn a light on at night or set a timer.
  • Call the post office to stop the mail from being delivered or have someone pick it up.
  • (This one can be hard) Do not post on Social Media that you are on vacation.   Post the pictures the week after you come home from vacation with a heartfelt Thank You to whomever watched the house while you were away.
  • Make sure to Unplug your Televisions and Computers while you are away, just in case of a storm.

Wherever you go and whatever you do this Summer, we wish you a safe and wonderful time with family and friends!

New Listing

Immaculate and Updated home in Lamplighter Valley Lewisburg. Features a 2 story foyer, Formal Living and Dining area. Gourmet Kitchen and Family Room with gas Fireplace. Huge master suite on 2nd level with large walk-in closet and master bath. Hardwood flooring, crown molding, custom built-in cabinets and wainscoting are some of the extra details through-out this home. The unfinished basement is great storage area or ready for you to finish for additional living space. Easy access to downtown Lewisburg’s restaurants, shopping and more!

Offered at $349,900

At Greenbrier Real Estate we work hard to assist buyers and sellers with all of their Real Estate needs in the Greenbrier Valley and surrounding areas.

When you are ready, feel free to call us at 304.645.2255 and one of our professional REALTORS will be happy to help you in any way!

1047 Washington Street East
Lewisburg, WV. 24901
304.645.2255
Greg Allman, Broker
http://www.GreenbrierRealEstateService.com

Ready to List your Home?

20170406151120400008000000-oAre you thinking about selling?

You may be ready, but is your house ready to be put on the Market?   As a REALTOR, we want to share some tips with you based on buyer feedback that will help sell your home quickly and get top dollar asking price.

Here are some things that a homeowner may miss, but a potential buyer notices immediately.

SPRING CLEAN YOUR HOME: 

  • Clean Windows
  • Fresh Paint
  • Clean Grout in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Have the carpets professionally cleaned
  • Replace furnace filters

SPRUCE UP THE LANDSCAPING:

  • Mow the lawn
  • Plant flowers
  • Trim bushes and trees
  • Fresh Mulch
  • Pressure wash home and deck

START PACKING:

  • Pack away winter clothes
  • Sell or donate items that you don’t use
  • Pack personal cherished belongings and valuable items
  • Stage the cabinets, shelves, and closets

COLOR COLOR COLOR:

  • Buy new bedding with pillows that incorporates fresh bold color
  • Replace the old heavy drapes with light curtains
  • Add pops of color by painting older furniture
  • Replace towels, shower curtains and bathrugs
  • Beige is OUT….It is ok to go a bit bold with color (just don’t go overboard!!)  Make sure the colors compliment each other and flow throughout the home.

Lamplighter

Carnegie Hall and the Gingko Tree

 

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Did you know that Lewisburg is home to one of four Carnegie Halls still in use in the world?

Built in 1902, Carnegie Hall Lewisburg still has numerous live performances, workshops, Art exhibits and classes including:  pottery, art, dance, basket weaving, creative writing, and photography to name a few.

This time of year the gingko tree is in full bloom at Carnegie Hall, as people anxiously await the day that the golden leaves start to flutter to the ground one by one until the tree is bare.   If you have not had a chance to witness the phenomenon, you still have the chance.  The leaves have not completely fallen yet, but we are expecting it to happen soon.

Just some of many beautiful attractions in the Greenbrier Valley and why we love Lewisburg and the surrounding areas.

ILoveLewisburg.com

 

 

No Tricks…Just Treats

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Just some tips for your little Ghouls, Goblins, Super Heroes and Fairy Princesses to follow for a safe and Happy Halloween:

  • Avoid clothing that dangles or has accessories that could make a child trip or fall.
  • Chose your “weapons” wisely…Any swords, guns, lasers or costume accessories should be soft or flexible to avoid injury in case your child does fall.
  • Make sure the kids are visible at night, especially if their costume is dark in color.
  • Go Trick or Treating in a neighborhood you are familiar with and make sure older children who may be going alone has a designated time to be home.
  • Children under 10 should be accompanied by an adult.  Just in case they get lost from you, have a designated area to meet.
  • Charge your Cell Phones. Also the Flashlight option on your phone will be a great accessory to lead the way.
  • Be aware of your surroundings if you are driving!!   Please…DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE.

Have a wonderful and safe Halloween from the Realtors and Staff at Greenbrier Real Estate Service!!

Replace Your Home Restore Your Dreams

movement

In the wake of a devastating natural disaster, homeowners like you simply want to get back to the way things were. The faster you can get into something new or rebuild your dream home, the more quickly you can return to normal.

Movement Mortgage is excited to offer the FHA 203(h) Disaster Relief Program, which provides mortgages for victims of major disasters who have lost their home and are buying a replacement home or restoring what nature destroyed. If your previous residence was destroyed by a flood, fire, storm, hurricane, earthquake or another federally declared natural disaster, you may qualify.

WHY USE MOVEMENT MORTGAGE?

At Movement, we understand buying or restoring your home after a disaster is a serious decision for you and your family. Our fast, innovative 7 Day Process was created for us to help get you through loan approval and to closing within days and without hassle. We won’t give you the run-around, and we’ll treat you like family. Let us make life a little easier with the best service and support in the industry.

WVLiving

http://www.wvliving.com/Winter-2008/Living-in-Lewisburg/

Article from WVLiving Magazine.    By:  Nikki Browman

Home Buyers Checklist

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Buying a home can be one of the best feelings in the world. Nothing beats the feeling of security and satisfaction when you open the door to a new home and are happy with your purchase. The question is, how can you best ensure that feeling is going to happen? The real estate world has many pitfalls, and naturally you will want to avoid them and end up with a great home. Here are some great tips on how to streamline your home purchase and keep those headaches from cropping up.

 

  • Enough cannot be said about being financially secure and aware. If you spend some time organizing your finances before making an offer on a home, the process becomes much less stressful. First, you should research your credit history and find out if there are any outstanding issues or problems and take care of them. Unresolved problems can negatively affect your chances of getting a good mortgage, so it is in your best interest to clear up any credit issues up before the buying process starts. Most mortgage companies will offer you a pre-qualification; this is nice to have, but you are better off to take it a step further and obtain a pre-approval for your mortgage. A pre-approval gives you an absolute number to work with. Not only does this make shopping for a home easier on you, but it gives you a significant amount of leverage in the actual sale.

 

Greg Allman from Greenbrier Real Estate says….”There’s nothing worse than having prospective buyers fall in love with a home, only to discover later that they are not able to afford it. After that, no other home will compare. Your best defense to this kind of disappointment is to come into the process aware of your finances.”

 

  • The next logical step is to begin working with your realtor on finding homes that suit your needs. Let your realtor know your list of wants and needs and let them come up with a list of fitting homes. During this time, you can also research the available homes in your chosen area on the internet to find places that appeal to you. With this information, you and your agent will be able to view properties with confidence and easily find a home that is agreeable to your needs, wants, and wallet.

 

  • Once you have located the perfect property, have an inspection done. This step cannot be stressed enough. Be wary of sellers who are willing to sell to others on the “no inspection” clause. This is never a good thing, as much of the time they do not want an inspection done for a reason. As the potential new owner of the home, you have the right to know everything there is to know about it. The inspection is an extremely important step in ensuring your protection. After all, this is going to be your home, right? Do not ever sell yourself short.

 

Buying a house can be a daunting task, but if you follow these simple tips it can be a very exciting and rewarding experience!

 

 

Humane Society Donations

“A pet is the only thing on Earth that loves you more than it loves itself”

We at Greenbrier Real Estate Service have a soft spot for our pets. With the recent flooding in our area, we have decided to not only help our local communities, but also donate to the Greenbrier Humane Society. Molly, Maggie, Diesel and Harry were very glad to be in the office today, helping out their furry friends…..(Not pictured 9 more office pets!!)

We ARE a pet friendly office….bring in your fur baby for a visit!

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