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Dec 12

Always know your current home value with Homebot

As a Homeowner, you probably realize you should maximize the wealth in your home. And, like most, you probably realize there are many different ways to do so. But, it’s easy to get confused and you just don’t have the time to figure it out. Homebot is a monthly financial dashboard that gives you the answers.  Homebot shows you exactly what you can do when and precisely how much wealth you will build. HomeBot tracks: your current and historical estimated market value of your home; appreciation since you

Dec 2

Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Investing in Real Estate

Here are five of the most common pitfalls associated with investing in real estate: House Price Risk (up or down): what if the house goes down in value?  That’s why it’s important to evaluate mortgage, cash flow and debt planning strategies that won’t put you in a bind if house prices stagnate or go down a little bit.  On the other hand, what if the house goes up in value and you haven’t pulled the trigger yet?  That’s why it’s important to get yourself a solid mortgage approval BEFORE you go

Dec 1

How to Benefit From a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 Exchange could allow you to defer the capital gains tax on the sale of investment property if you roll over all the sales proceeds into a new investment property. Here’s how it works: The buyer of the investment property that you’re selling gives his/her funds to a “qualified intermediary” who keeps the funds in escrow on your behalf Within 45 days of the sale of your old property, you identify a replacement property that you’d like to purchase Within 180 days of the sale of your

Nov 30

Three Questions to Ask Before Investing in Real Estate

It’s important to ask these three questions when you invest in real estate: How can I increase my rate of return?  The cornerstone of any smart investment strategy is to calculate your rate of return.  With real estate this is done by running the numbers using an internal rate of return (IRR) formula that takes into account: Present Value (PV) – what am I paying out of pocket to get into this investment? Term (N) – what’s my timeline and how long am I going to hold this investment?

Jun 14

How the Fed Impacts Mortgage Rates

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committe (FOMC) meets at least eight times per year to discuss and vote on US monetary policy.  The Fed controls the Fed Funds rate, which is essentially a bank’s cost of money.  When the Fed increases the Fed Funds rate, short-term interest rates such as the Prime rate and LIBOR go up.  These are often used to determine interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages, home equity lines of credit, credit card balances, and business loans. However, interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages are not tied to changes in the Fed Funds rate.

May 24

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

Renters: Are You Ready to Buy a Home?

If you would like to buy a house at some point in the future, it is never too early to start preparing.  Between deciding how much of a payment you are comfortable with, saving up for a down payment and maximizing your credit score, there is plenty you can be doing.  Here are some tips and advice that can help you get ready to make the transition from renter to homeowner. Do the Rent vs. Own Math If you are used to renting, there are some homeownership costs

May 11

How much can I borrow on a VA loan?

How much can I borrow on a VA loan?

If you are planning to use your VA home loan benefit to purchase or refinance a home, you may be wondering how high you can go. VA does not set a cap on how much you can borrow to finance your home.  However, they do set a cap on how much liability VA will assume, which affects the amount of money you can borrow on a VA mortgage. Loan Limits The loan limits are the amount a qualified Veteran with full entitlement may be able to borrow with

Apr 27

Mortgage Guidelines Getting Easier

Mortgage Guidelines Getting Easier

I always love to hear about guidelines loosening.  In a business where everything is so complicated, it is nice to get some good news every now and then!  Fannie Mae made some changes the other day that will make it easier for some applicants to qualify for a mortgage.  Here are a few of the highlights: Student Loans – If you have student loan debt that is deferred or in any kind of forbearance, we can now use the student loan payment that shows on the credit report. 

Apr 17

Shopping for the lowest rate on a mortgage

Shopping for the lowest rate on a mortgage

Mortgage rates change every day, sometimes multiple times throughout the day. So when you get prequalified and start looking at houses, it is important to keep in mind that your rate could be higher or lower depending on the market when you are ready to pull the trigger. (Hopefully lower!)  Depending on the day, it may or may not pay off to look at options for getting a lower interest rate by “paying points.” Due to the nature of rates changing so frequently, there is no one bank that

Apr 13

Buying a House After

Buying a House After

If you or someone you know is one of the many Yumans who lost their home as a result of a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, there is hope! Not only is homeownership possible again, but it may be easier than you think. In most cases there is a waiting period before you are eligible to qualify for a home loan. But buying a house again doesn’t have to be complicated once you know the waiting period that applies to your personal situation and take the necessary steps to