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Hamilton for Heroes: Now Available to Help Even MORE Heroes!

Hamilton for Heroes: Now Available to Help Even MORE Heroes!

DID YOU KNOW?: The Hamilton for Heroes mortgage program is not only for active and retired Military and Veterans. These benefits are now available to active Police Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

We want to thank our Heroes for helping to make our communities safer places to live! When our Heroes purchase or refinance a home, we will waive our lender fees (a value of $1,590).

  • First responders (firefighters, police officers and EMTs), active and retired military, veterans and surviving spouses are eligible
  • No limit to the number of times an eligible borrower can take advantage of this offer
  • A variety of Hamilton purchase and refinance loan programs are eligible for the offer in addition to VA loans
  • VA loans offer additional benefits such as no down payment and no mortgage insurance to military personnel
  • Dedicated service from a team of mortgage experts who understand the unique needs of our heroes
Please call or email me today to learn more about how we can work together to help our Heroes become homeowners! You can also apply online.
Should You Use a Cosigner?

Should You Use a Cosigner?

Getting someone to agree to cosign on a mortgage with you means someone else has agreed to pay your mortgage for you should you no longer be able to do so. Yet while cosigning can help in some instances it’s not as pervasive a practice as it used to be. Lending guidelines have slowly pared back the benefits of cosigning sometimes to the point where it really doesn’t help very much after all. If you’re on the receiving end of such as request, it’s important to note that this is a real commitment and not something to be taken lightly.

When you agree to cosign on a mortgage, that information will very soon appear on your own credit report. You may not be making the monthly payments and perhaps over time you might have even forgotten about making that agreement but each and every month the primary borrower’s payment history on that mortgage is also being reported to your credit history. If for example the primary borrowers miss a payment and is made more than 30 days past the due date, your credit scores will be hit. Often without your knowing about it. Just make sure that when you agree to cosign you feel comfortable about doing so and looking at a recent credit report on those who are asking you for help.

Another way a cosigner can help is with additional income. Someone may have a temporary situation where income is lower than it normally is, or perhaps someone is buying a home but has yet to start the new job. Adding a cosigner can help with the additional income. But remember, with the additional income also comes additional debt from the cosigners. All income and credit obligations are added together.

One final note, a cosigner can’t erase bad credit of the primary borrower. If a couple applies for a mortgage and their credit isn’t up to par, in the past seeking out a cosigner could be an answer. Yet today, good credit from a cosigner doesn’t erase the bad credit of the primary borrower.

Your Home Loan Application Was Declined – Now What?

Your Home Loan Application Was Declined – Now What?

If your mortgage loan was declined, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a temporary setback.

There are many reasons why the lender says no to a buyer, but the most common reason is the Debt-to-Income Ratio is too high. If you owe too much of your monthly income on debt, they are more of a credit risk. Lenders have varying DTI limits, but you’ll find that 43% is the highest ratio a buyer can have and still get a qualified mortgage.

Key Points Regarding A Mortgage Decline:

  1. People are usually surprised that their credit is insufficient. Most of us don’t look at our credit score at all, or we only give a cursory look. Most often, applicants are checking their credit on one of the free online resources. While these sites are helpful, they are not as in-depth as what a lender is looking at. Lenders look at the entire credit profile, including credit history, debt-to-income ratio, employment, and other factors.
  2. Don’t give up. Having good credit isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. You can spend a few months or maybe up to a year to get mortgage-ready. When you find out exactly what you can do, whether it is decreasing your debt, or paying off any collections, you can take the steps necessary, and be able to get back to searching for a home. Owning a home is a life goal for many people. Buying a home is likely the largest financial purchase most people make, so it makes sense that it may take some time to prepare for it. This is why we encourage people to not only get pre-qualified, but pre-approved for a mortgage.
  3. Most of the time the debt-to-income problem is due to credit card payments. The good news is that credit cards are the easiest to take care of. However, they need to be taken care of in a strategic way; guidance from a credit counselor or a lender is helpful.
  4. It’s a good idea to check your credit report and know what your credit and debt situation is before you call a Realtor® or a lender. Know what’s on your credit report. You are able to access a free credit report each year from the top credit reporting agencies:  Transunion, Experian, and Equifax.
  5. If you don’t have little or no credit, it can take longer to build it. FICO® Scores are the credit scores used by 90% of lenders to determine your credit risk. The FICO score is based on several things, including your payment history. The longer the history, the better, but you will need at least 12 months of credit payments of some kind. If you don’t have enough credit, you’ll have to establish it and make timely payments to build it up.

How Underwriting Works

When you get declined by a lender, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a house, it just means you have a little work to do before you can. Working with your lender or a credit counselor can help you meet the criteria.

The loan officer (that’s me!) is the one who packages your loan. They know generally what the underwriter is looking for with each loan product and will collect the necessary paperwork from the borrower. Then they will turn it all over to the underwriter within 72 hours to a week before the scheduled settlement.

Underwriters decide whether to approve the loan, decline the loan, or if there is a third determination, suspend the loan. In this case, the borrower would be asked to supply additional documents to satisfy the underwriting requirements.

The underwriter usually wants to view the previous 12 months of financial activity. The FICO score also weighs the most recent 12 months more heavily. So, if you are declined for a mortgage, the good news is that you can make the changes necessary to improve your credit-worthiness within 12 months. In the grand scheme of things, that’s no time at all!

Apply today to see if you are pre-qualified for a loan!

You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire to Invest In Real Estate

You Don’t Have to be a Millionaire to Invest In Real Estate

You may think investing in real estate is something only millionaires can afford, but think again. Anyone can be a real estate investor—you just got to know the right steps to take.

Real estate is one of the most common ways consumers build wealth over time, and with rental property, along with the increase in equity, the property cash flows each month. The rent received is more than enough to pay for the mortgage, taxes, and insurance in most instances. With fixed rates in their current range, the principal and interest payment will never rise, even when rental rates do just the opposite.

Financing an investment property requires at least a 20% down payment, but you can get a slightly better rate with a 25% down. Your agent can find an ideal property that provides you with a solid monthly cash flow every month.

One caveat when buying your first rental—you’ll need to qualify for the new mortgage without the benefit of the income from the unit. Lenders need to see at least two years of landlord experience before allowing rental income to be counted. Lenders verify that experience by reviewing Schedule E from your federal income tax forms, which shows rental income and expenses.

But you’ll be surprised to find out that many first time real estate investors ultimately own multiple properties. Why?

Once you pass the landlord test, that rental income can be used to offset part or all of the financing costs, including taxes and insurance. When you find a property that cash flows, all you need is the down payment—you no longer need to qualify without the new rental income.

There are other guidelines for investor property loans, but this is the biggie. Let the renters pay your mortgage for you.

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