REFINANCING YOUR PERFECT HOME
Refinancing Rundown – Part 1
What does it mean to refinance a mortgage loan? Refinancing is when you get a brand-new loan to pay off and replace your existing loan. This means the terms of the old loan are replaced by the new agreement.Read Article
Refinancing Rundown – Part 2
Refinancing is when you get a brand-new loan to pay off and replace your existing loan. Therefore, the terms of the old loan are replaced by the new agreement. We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help you better understand the ups and downs of refinancing your mortgage loan.Read Article
Renovations on the rise
Demand for home renovations on the rise After spending so much time changing the way we live because of the pandemic, homeowners have found new ways to make home life fit with our new realities. As part of that change, we’re doing home renovations to get more comfortable in our current live-work environment.Read Article
How Does Refinancing work?
Frequently Asked Questions
Various factors such as credit, equity, income and assets determine whether a lender will give you a home loan.
- It is possible to get a mortgage with no credit history or credit score, but the process could be more challenging to find the right lender and convince them you can repay the loan. You will probably need to provide extra documentation and show a record of paying bills on time.
- There are loan programs available for first time homebuyers with no credit, but you must be able to afford the upfront costs and monthly mortgage payments.
Great credit is not always required to get financing. A federal government-backed home loan, such as FHA, requires a lower minimum credit score than many conventional loans.
Everyone's situation is a little different, you may have certain debt, or extra income.
Check out the purchase calculator to find out what you are comfortable paying and contact your loan officer to find the right program for your needs.
Federal government-backed home loans require a lower down payment than many conventional loans. FHA offers 3.5% while some veterans can qualify for loans with no down payment.
A 20% down payment is common to get a mortgage at a good interest rate and it will allow you to avoid mortgage insurance.
- Closing costs are the fees you will pay for the services and expenses required to finalize a new mortgage.
- These fees are paid on closing day and typically range 2% to 5% of the amount you are borrowing.
Discuss available options with your Loan Officer to choose the right mortgage program for you.
Discuss the two options with your Loan Officer and decide what is best for you.
1. A fixed-rate mortgage offers predictability and stability for your budget because the interest rate and monthly payments remain the same for the life of your loan.
2. With an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), interest rates and monthly payments remain the same for a set period, then change periodically. This means your monthly payments can go up or down throughout the life of your loan.
Interest rates can be unpredictable and may fluctuate between the time you file your loan application and closing. If you want to avoid uncertainty and keep the rate already in your mortgage loan offer, then get a mortgage rate lock.
Discuss available options with your Loan Officer to choose the right mortgage program for you.
- Points are fees used to buy down your interest rate. Each discount point costs 1% of the mortgage loan and typically cuts the interest rate by 0.25%.- Buying discount points is optional and normally reduces your interest rate and therefore lowers the monthly payments. Typically, if you sell the home before hitting the break-even point, you will lose money on the discount points you paid.
- If you get a 15-year term your monthly payments will be higher than with a 30-year term. In return for a 15-year term, you will receive a lower interest rate and pay mortgage debt in half the time which allows you to save thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage.
- With a 30-year mortgage you can stretch out monthly payments over a longer period of time and keep more of your monthly earnings. A 30-year mortgage has a higher interest rate than a 15-year mortgage, and you will pay more in interest rather than principal payments.
Documentation that are usually needed:
1. Bank statements
3. Tax returns and W2’s
- Prequalification tends to refer to less rigorous assessments, while a preapproval can require you to share more personal and financial information with a lender.
- Being prequalified or preapproved is not a guarantee that you will be offered a loan. More information is required before you can be approved and receive an official loan offer.
Think of it as a savings account that is set up and managed by your lender who in turn deposits a portion of each mortgage payment into your escrow account to cover some costs associated with homeownership such as:
- Property taxes
- Homeowners insurance
- Private mortgage insurance
- Flood insurance
There are a number of reasons that trigger a longer time to close on a mortgage such as:
- Loan type
- Stringent underwriting
- Title-related delays
Ownership of the property will be transferred to the buyer. This includes:
- Buyer signing all loan documents such as the promissory note and a Closing Disclosure
- Transferring funds from escrow
- Providing mortgage and title fees
- Updating the deed of the house to the buyer’s name
Your mortgage payment may contain five components:
3. Property taxes
5. HOA (may not be applicable)
With a fixed rate loan, your Principal and Interest will remain the same, but your property tax and insurance may change.
Typically, refinancing is a good idea if doing so will:
- Save you money
- Help build equity
- Pay off your mortgage faster
There are down payment assistance programs available nationwide.
Mortgage rates are constantly changing depending on different economic factors, such as inflation, economic growth, federal reserve monetary policy, bond market and housing marketing conditions. Contact us now at 1-847-797-9500 to have our mortgage specialist help you.
Your loan number is what helps us identify your loan. It can be found by signing into your LoanCare account or on your monthly statement bill.
There are general steps to help raise your credit score:
- Build your credit file by having a long standing account with major credit bureaus.
- Pay loans and credit cards on time. Do not miss making payments.
- Get current on past due accounts.
- Pay down high balances on revolving credit accounts.
- Limit the number of times you submit credit applications.
You will still receive a record from the county as a tax bill, but it is getting paid by the funds in your escrow account.
Your lender will issue Form 1098 that reflects mortgage interest paid during the tax year.
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Glossary of Terms
|Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)||an attractive type of mortgage due to its lower interest rates compared to a fixed-rate mortgage. However, an ARM’s interest rate can change after a certain period of time called an adjustment period. An ARM will have a cap on how much the rate can increase or decrease during the adjustment period.|
|Adjustment Period||a time period when an ARM mortgage interest rate will increase or decrease according to the current financial market. The adjustment period occurs after the initial “fixed rate period” of 3, 5, 7, or 10 years depending on the type of ARM. Thereafter, the rate will usually adjust again every 6 or 12 months.|
|Annual Percentage Rate (APR)||the APR is how much the loan will cost annually, including the interest rate and any lender, broker, or 3rd party fees.|
|Appraisal||an analysis of the property being purchased to determine its value and overall condition. This ensures the home is valued at the price point the seller is asking, and they’re not hiding any major repairs or issues.|
|Appreciation||when your home increases in value and is now worth more than it was in the past. This usually occurs due to changes in the market, home improvements made, or changes in the neighborhood.|
|Closing Costs||these are costs are required to complete the real estate transaction. Closing costs are charged by all parties involved for their services: the lender, appraiser, settlement agents, etc.|
|Condominium||also known as a condo, these are most often single units in a multi-unit building, like apartments. One major difference is the resident owns the unit itself. Other owners will split the cost of repairing common areas like the exterior of the building. A monthly Homeowners Association (HOA) fee is paid to the association to cover shared costs.|
|Conventional||any loan not guaranteed by a government entity. These loans are popular and offer down payments as low as 3%.|
|Credit Report||a document provided by a credit reporting vendor to examine the amount of money borrowed and your payment history.|
|Credit Score||a specific number showcasing your credit profile. It is used to predict the likelihood that any money borrowed will be paid back.|
|Deed||a legal document proving ownership of the property.|
|Down Payment||a percentage of the home purchase price that is paid upfront.|
|Equity||the amount of money the home buyer has earned. Equity is earned when payments are made and the home appreciates in value. Many home buyers refinance and use their equity to make repairs or for life events. If a home buyer sells, the equity is theirs to keep or use towards their next home purchase.|
|Escrow||money the home buyer pays towards the taxes and insurance of their home.|
|Escrow Account||the most common type of escrow account is for real estate taxes and homeowners insurance. Escrow payments are included in the total mortgage payment and held in a separate interest bearing account with the lender/servicer. When taxes and insurance are due, the servicer pays the tax authority or insurance company on behalf of the homeowner.|
|Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac||entities created by congress to play a large role in the health of our housing market. These entities provide liquidity, stability, and affordability in the housing market by purchasing mortgages from lenders and bundling them into mortgage-back securities or them in their portfolios.|
|Fixed-Rate Mortgage||a popular type of mortgage in which the interest rate will remain the same throughout the life of the loan.|
|Hazard Insurance||also known as homeowners insurance. This type of coverage protects from loss or damage to the home or property.|
|HOA fee||HOA Dues are paid to the association or management company by each unit owner. The amount of the HOA dues depends on the maintenance required for the common area. These dues are not included in your mortgage payment, but the amount will be calculated into your monthly debt obligations when it comes to qualifying for the loan.|
|Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)||A HELOC is a type home equity loan. This type is most often a junior lien that acts as a credit card. The “draw period” is usually 10 to 15 years and another 10 to 15 years where it has amortize payments until it is paid off.|
|Home Inspection||a home inspection is ordered by the home buyer’s real estate agent. A qualified home inspector goes to the property to look for material defects. The inspector looks at the major home systems such as plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc. If a material defect is found in any of the following, the seller will be asked to fix the issue prior to closing.|
|Home Warranty||home buyers can purchase this policy upfront in case any expensive repairs pop up during their first year of home ownership. This can cover issues such as HVAC and A/C systems, washer and dryer, and/or plumbing. The cost of a home warranty is usually $400-$500 upfront. This can also be negotiated for the seller to pay for at an offer or contract agreement.|
|Homeowners Insurance||a type of insurance required for homeowners that protects the owner and lender from natural disasters or personal injury on the property.|
|Interest||the amount the home buyer pays to borrow money for buying a house.|
|Interest Only Mortgage||a mortgage in which the home buyer pays just the interest on the loan for a specific amount of time.|
|Investment Property||a non-owner occupied property purchased in order to make profits from reselling, renting, or to gain tax benefits.|
|Liabilities||monthly debt obligations including mortgage(s), car payments, installment loans, credit cards, child support, alimony and any other disclosed or undisclosed debt.|
|Lien||a claim or charge on the property for payment of a debt.|
|Loan estimate||a disclosure that includes all loan terms and settlement costs. This disclosure is required to be sent to the home buyer within 3 business day of the initial application and throughout the loan process if and when changes occur that affect terms and/or loan costs.|
|Lock-in Rate||reserving an interest rate for home loan product for a specific amount of time.|
|Margin||a percentage added to the index of an ARM to establish the interest rate on each of the adjustment periods.|
|Market value||the current value of a property being purchased. The appraisal usually determines this amount.|
|Mortgage Insurance Premium (MI)||monthly insurance premium required on certain government-backed loans such as FHA or USDA loans.|
Non-occupant co-borrower – also known as a co-signer and is another borrower on the loan but does not live in the property. Their income, assets, credit, and debt-to-income can help you better qualify if needed.
Origination Fee – an amount charged by a lender for processing the loan.
|Points||expressed as a percentage of the loan amount for certain costs ranging from lender fees to buying down the interest rate.|
|Principal||the amount of money borrowed to buy a home. If a home buyer has paid towards their mortgage, the principal would be the remaining balance yet to be paid off.|
|Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)||usually required when putting less than 20% down on a Conventional loan. This is an insurance that protects the lender in case the homeowner defaults on their mortgage.|
|Rate Cap||the maximum or minimum on how much an interest rate can increase or decrease each adjustment period.|
|Refinance||paying off an existing loan with a new one. A few common reasons homeowners refinance is take cash out of their equity or change the payment terms of their loan.|
|Servicer||performs functions after the loan closes and throughout the life of the loan like collecting mortgage payments, taxes and insurance, and holding escrow accounts.|
|Short Sale||Most often occurs when a homeowner owes more on their home than it could sell for. The lender/servicer is involved in the sale of the home by agreeing to the purchase price also agreeing to release the lien and considering the loan paid-in-full after the property is sold.|
|Temporary Buydown Mortgage||a type of mortgage loan in which the seller pays a lump sum upfront to reduce the monthly payment. There are other buy down programs that allow the home buyer to have a much lower interest rate for the first few years. An example is the 2-1 temporary buydown program offered at Platinum Home Mortgage.|
|Title||a legal document stating evidence that a person owns real property, such as a home.|
|Title Insurance||protects both homeowners and the mortgage lender from defects in a title.|
Underwriting – the process used to determine the conditions needed for final loan approval. During underwriting, the property appraisal, along with the borrower(s) credit profile, income and asset documents are reviewed.