Friday, November 30, 2007

100% Financing Mortgages

100% finance mortgages are mortgages with zero money down required at the time of the initial loan. The main advantage of this type of loan is the ability to buy a home with almost no money down. Providing 100% financing of the purchase price of your home, this mortgage is specifically designed for homebuyers who have limited available cash, but excellent credit. 100% financing offers complete financing of your property. The other option, 80/20, finances your mortgage with two loans. If you have a strong credit profile but have limited funds to commit to a down payment, then an 80/20 mortgage is just right for you. Lenders typically require a down payment of at least 20 percent of the purchase price. If the loan amount is for more than 80 percent of the purchase price, PMI is usually required. You can avoid paying PMI by getting a second mortgage ('piggyback loan') to back up your first mortgage.The first mortgage is provided for 80 percent of the cost of the home and the 'piggyback' second mortgage is for the remaining 20 percent. The 80 percent first mortgage can be a fixed-rate (15-year or 30-year), adjustable-rate (usually 5/1, 7/1 or 10/1 fixed period ARM) or interest-only loan. The 20 percent second mortgage can be a home equity line of credit that changes with the prime rate. Combined, the two loans allow you to purchase 100% of your home with no money down. Both loans may be carried by your lender, but sometimes the seller or a second lender is required to carry the 20% mortgage.Each lender has their own criteria for deciding who will meet the required qualifications for a zero-down loan. Most sub-prime lenders require any bankruptcies or foreclosures to have been at least twelve months ago. A conventional loan requires these to be discharged for two to four years ago.While a credit score of 600 or higher is best, large cash reserves can also qualify you. Six to twelve month’s worth of cash reserves in the form of savings, money market, or other liquid assets are considered ideal.If you choose 80/20 financing with the seller carrying the second mortgage, you can qualify with sub-prime lenders with a score of 560.You will also want to decide what type of mortgage you want. An ARM is easier to qualify for and has lower rates. A fixed rate mortgage offers the safety of a constant interest rate over the life of your loan.Typically an ARM will be a better deal if you plan to refinance within a couple of years. After you have improved your credit history, you can refinance for a conventional mortgage with low interest rates.The two main benefits of 100% financing are: constant monthly payments - with a fixed rate mortgage, your monthly principal and interest payments stay the same throughout the life of your loan, so you are protected against any unexpected interest rate increases; frees up cash - existing funds can be used for closing costs or other needs, rather than a home down payment.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smart Mortgage Shopping - 3 Steps to Take

Most people wouldn't just purchase the first car they look at, so why would shopping for a mortgage be any different? New would-be homeowners are looking for ways to simply just secure financing that they forget that they are the ones in control of their terms. To help you get the best mortgage deal for your current financial situation and for your future, here are three steps you will want to take.Before you can take advantage of any of these steps, it will help if you to gain a basic understanding of the mortgage process and terms you might run across as you begin your search. There are a number of helpful books and websites you might want to look into that can help you begin to find your footing in this maze of mortgage-speak.First of all, you need to look at the lending information from several different lenders. You have a number of options for borrowing money - credit unions, banks, thrift institutions, and mortgage companies. So, with those places in mind, you will want to start asking around for the amount of money that you will want to borrow to see what offers you might get. And while a mortgage broker can do this footwork for you, they will need to be paid for their services, which may not be something you want to pay. However, their services are worth it due to their experience and how many lenders they can access.The next step in finding a mortgage is to start asking these lending institutions what kinds of terms they can offer you. The most important term that you will come across is the rate of interest. When you are purchasing a home, you will be paying not only money for the house itself, but also for the borrowing of the money - interest. This allows the lender to make money from your transaction as most interest is calculated over the time period and the amount of the loan. Thus, the longer and bigger the loan, the more money they will make. But since you're interested in paying for a home and not the bank, you will want to start looking for the lowest rates you can.You will find that rates are divided into fixed and adjustable. You will want to make sure that the lenders are up front about how current their latest posted rates are. Note that fixed rates mean that your mortgage payments will not change, while adjustable rates will make your monthly payment vary. In addition to the interest rate, you will want to get a thorough explanation of the points and the APR associated with the lender to get a comprehensive idea of what a loan from them will entail.The third step in shopping for a mortgage is often the most intimidating for the borrower and that's negotiation. You have a right to negotiate for the terms that you want, though you might not get them. It will help as you are looking at the various lending institutions if you begin to create an 'ideal' mortgage plan in your head. That way, you can talk to other lenders about what other institutions have offered you so that they can match that price or reduce their rates to attract your business.You are in the driver's seat when it comes to your mortgage, so be sure to speak up when you think something is too high or ask for an explanation of every number that you see. If you're not happy, you can always look elsewhere for a lender.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do You Really Need A Secured Loan?

If you've watched any amount of daytime TV, especially on minority channels, you can't fail to have seen some of the many adverts extolling the virtues of taking out a loan secured on your home. These adverts all seem to follow similar themes - a busy family situation with smiling children but a somewhat saddened parent pondering on their financial troubles, with the suggestion that taking out a loan will free you from your financial worries and lead to a brighter, happier life.The implication of these promotional messages is that taking out a secured loan is a beneficial part of everyday life, and one which you'd hardly need to think twice about pursuing. In actual fact, a secured or homeowner loan represents a very significant financial decision with ramifications far into your future, and at least one loan company has recently been censured by the financial regulators for not sufficiently emphasizing the gravity associated with such a financial commitment.Of course, there are times in life when we really do need a helping hand, especially when existing debts are becoming unmanageable or we're faced with an essential but unaffordable expense. In these kinds of situation, a secured loan can work out well if properly researched and planned for.However, many people are tempted by the prospect of having some extra cash available to buy luxuries or improve their homes, and take out a loan when they don't really need one, or take out a larger loan than is necessary to fix their financial problems. This is a very bad idea, as the whole point behind a secured loan is that you're using your house to guarantee that the debt will be covered. If you get into difficulties somewhere down the line you run the very real risk of losing your home. You may also be tied to your loan for a long period of time, with repayment terms of up to 25 years not uncommon. The amount of interest you'll pay over that period can be considerable, and if you work out the figures you can easily find that you're paying well over the odds in the long term for a short term luxury.Not that this means that you should never take out a secured loan, but it will stand you in good stead to properly consider whether the serious commitment of a secured loan is the most suitable course of action to take, or whether an unsecured method of finance such as a smaller personal loan or an cheap rate credit card might be a more sensible option.After all, if you do have money worries at some point in the future, the last thing you'll need is the additional stress of facing the prospect of losing your home.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is a Bad Credit Mortgage?

Things such as County Court Judgements (CCJ's) or a poor credit history can scupper the chances of you getting a personal mortgage because mortgage companies deem you a high risk.If you are self-employed, and even have a pristine credit history, you may find it just as difficult to get a mortgage due to your circumstances, which is unfair.However, there are more and more specialist mortgage companies that are sympathetic and able to offer bad credit mortgages to people - as well as mortgages for the self employed.Many of these companies do not charge excessively high interest rates as they have done in the past, meaning that you should be able to get a mortgage and pay a fairly realistic interest rate. Apart from the obvious benefit of taking out a mortgage for whatever purpose you need it for, having a mortgage can actually improve your credit scoring - making it easier for you to borrow money and get credit in the future! However, you will need to make your monthly repayments on time, and this will help improve your credit score over time.Of course, when choosing a bad credit mortgage, do shop around. While there are understanding lenders out there willing to provide a mortgage without charging you the Earth, there are still, sadly, some unscrupulous mortgage companies.Do your homework - get several quotes; check out the interest rate and any financial penalties you would be liable for should you pay the mortgage off early. And make sure you are fully happy with the amount you are repaying.How the web can help you if you are looking for a bad credit mortgageIf you have a poor credit history, finding a mortgage specifically for people with bad credit can be difficult. And even if you do find a mortgage, how do you know that it is the right one for you?Using the internet can help. There is tons of information on there relating to bad credit mortgages such as free guides, as well as access to providers of bad credit mortgages.Going online also allows you to compare multiple providers so that you can look at all the product features and benefits to decide whether it is right for you. There are also websites that accept online mortgage applications and there are hundreds that offer free and immediate online quotes. This means that you can see how much you can really afford to pay out for a mortgage.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Can your Mortgage be your Savings Account?

It is becoming increasingly popular to use a mortgage in lieu of a low-interest savings account. Is this a good idea?The latest version is a home-equity line of credit that is used to buy a home. It is marketed as a way to pay down your mortgage faster than the traditional mortgage. But it only works at this if you use it correctly. It could be both good and bad that you can use the funds from the account whenever you want to. All you have to do is write a check.It is basically an adjustable-rate home-equity credit line that is based on the value of the property. You make interest-only payments for the first 10 years. The balance is then fully amortized over the next 20 years. You will pay both the interest and the principal at this time.If you go ahead and own the home for ten years, you could be facing amazing monthly payments. Your monthly payment could more than double on you. Yet, there is no negative amortization on this loan program. The interest is capped for five years and high-credit score borrowers are currently looking at a cap of 8% over the starting rate. In today's world, the maximum the interest rate could hit is in the 14% range. Yet, after five years, the cap could revert to either 21% of the state's usury.This plan could work well for the dedicated purchaser who puts all extra money and bonuses into the mortgage account as payment on the balance. The interest is then lowered and the loan is paid off much faster. Most borrowers must have a score of over 660 to be approved.Many advisors suggest the use of a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with interest-only payments for the first ten years instead. Yes, the payment will go up after the inital ten years, but the interest rate won't. The concern against the equity-line to purchase is that borrowers would simply write checks without thinking about the addition to their mortgage balance. Plus, the interest rate is adjustable -- always a risk.If you are considering an alternative loan program for the purchase of your home it is important that you sit down and do all of the necessary math. For example, you should calculate how high the payment could go due to rising interest rates on an adjustable rate mortgage. You should be able to afford the worst. If you can't, you probably should look to a less expensive home.If you only plan on living in a home for three to five years, a loan in which the interest is fixed for five years is perfect for you. You get the lower rate, but you have to be sure that you are going to want to move in the time period. It still remains that the best long-term bet for a mortgage is the 15-year fixed rate mortgage. You pay less interest and build equity faster.Other new trends to watch for in the marketplace include mortgages that can be automatically converted into reverse mortgages and longer fixed-rate term mortgages.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Get a Mortgage With Bad Credit

In the old days if your credit history was less than perfect, the only mortgage you would be offered would be one with extortionate interest rates from a shady broker. Nowadays, there are more sympathetic lenders who will offer you a bad credit mortgage without charging you sky-high interest charges. And because there are more lenders out there now offering these non-standard mortgages, it has driven the interest rates on them down which is good news!The term ‘Bad credit’ can be anything from County Court Judgements (CCJ’s) on your credit file to something like having missed a mobile ‘phone payment or made a few mortgage payments late. More and more people now have a ‘bad’ credit file. Rising inflation and credit companies making it easier for people to borrow means that just because you have a bad credit file, you are not rubbish with money!So, what can you do to get a mortgage, without being ripped off by greedy lenders?First of all, if you are considering using a mortgage for debt consolidation, do bear in mind that it will probably cost you more in interest in the long run. And also the debt will be secured against your home, so you must really ensure that it is affordable to you.And when it comes to choosing a mortgage, do not apply for the first mortgage that you see. TV adverts saying that they can help people with bad credit are all very well – but many of them charge as much as a 3% fee to arrange a sub-prime mortgage. So, on a £150,000 mortgage, they get £4,500! Get independent advice from an independent mortgage specialist as well as doing your own research. ‘Bad credit’ no longer has the financial stigma it used to, so hold out for the right deal for you. How the web can help you if you are looking for a bad credit mortgageIf you have a poor credit history, finding a mortgage specifically for people with bad credit can be difficult. And even if you do find a mortgage, how do you know that it is the right one for you?Using the internet can help. There is tons of information on there relating to bad credit mortgages such as free guides, as well as access to providers of bad credit mortgages.Going online also allows you to compare multiple providers so that you can look at all the product features and benefits to decide whether it is right for you. There are also websites that accept online mortgage applications and there are hundreds that offer free and immediate online quotes. This means that you can see how much you can really afford to pay out for a mortgage.Steps to improve your credit ratingIf you have recently applied for credit and have been turned down or you have been offered credit but at higher interest rate than advertised, then this is probably because of your credit rating.Even if you never miss payments or do not have any debts such as a loan or credit card, you could still have a low credit rating.This is because you can be penalised if your credit record is empty. Prospective creditors like to see positive entries on your credit fie and if you have no financial history, they are unable to judge how well you manage your credit.The solution is to develop your credit file by adding positive entries on your record. Running bank and savings accounts as well as paying your mobile phone bills on time are a good start as are well managed credit card and store card accounts. If you do not have any credit accounts, then gradually apply for them. Don’t apply for lots of credit all one go as this will look like you are in financial distress. Instead, get one card at a time with a low credit limit and pay the balance off in full every month. Open up a bank and savings account. And pay your bills on time – even the small ones!Start building a financial history gradually and over time you will find it easier to get credit, and at a better interest rate too.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mortgage: First Time Buyer Tips

Taking out a mortgage is always a huge decision. With interest rates varying and different mortgages to choose from there are right ways to go about getting a mortgage and ways you shouldn’t. Taking your mortgage from the salesman who makes commission from selling is not the best way to go. In many cases, they are going to sell you the costliest deal possible so always shop around and to get an idea of the best deals available. That way you will be better informed should you choose to use a broker or financial adviser.Some companies will include mortgage payment protection insurance (MPPI) along with your mortgage but you should realise that in most cases, this isn’t compulsory. By including the cost of mortgage payment protection insurance in your mortgage, it can boost up the price by hundreds of pounds. Again by shopping around you can purchase MPPI independently at a much lower cost. Of course if you are looking for a 100% mortgage it will cost you more. By going, say, for a 95% mortgage with a deposit, your options are more open with greater savings being made on the repayments. An option you will then have to take into account is where you are going to get the deposit from. The bottom line is, shop around for your mortgage. Don’t go for the first one you are offered no matter how good a sales pitch you are given. Shopping online is a great way to make comparisons from many providers and also allows you to research the different types of mortgage available.Interest Only Mortgage a good option?Anyone needs to consider the type of mortgage they are going to take out before rushing into it, but for the first time buyer this is even more crucial.It is only common sense to go for the best deal possible, but you should also go for the shortest mortgage too. One type of mortgage to consider when taking the first steps in home buying is the interest only mortgage.Of course as with any mortgage, there are good and bad points to consider. In the long run, the interest only mortgage can end up costing more but the monthly repayments are less. By just paying the minimum interest payment you could leave yourself wide open should the housing market take a downturn. This means that you could be paying more for your mortgage than what the actual property is worth.A way to counteract this is by putting down a deposit of around 10% to 15%, rather than get a 100% loan. However, you then have to take into account how to raise the deposit. Whichever mortgage you choose to go with it is essential that you have researched it thoroughly and know you can afford to make repayments. Providing you can afford a mortgage and particularly if you think you might wish to sell within a few years, then an interest only mortgage could work to your advantage.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mortgage: The Key Points that You Should Know

A mortgage is a kind of an agreement made to pay the money, which was loaned, to a person by keeping the house as collateral. Mortgage is a promise made to pay the debts by putting it in writing basically. Mortgages have terms and interest rates which are either adjustable or fixed.Mortgage terms: Mortgages are designed in such a way that they can be paid in installments for a certain period. The time frame which allows the person to pay back his mortgage is called the term. The term may be 10 or 15 or even 30 years. The length of the term determines the amount of money to be paid, which is actually spread in installments.Mortgage interest rate: The interest rate depends on the percentage to be paid on the mortgage loan amount. The interest rates vary according to the credit score of the person. If the credit score of the person is very high, the interest rate and the amount of monthly installments are lower. If the credit score is lower then the interest rates and the monthly installment amount are higher. Hence a good credit score will help getting lower interest rates to the debtor.Types of mortgages:Mortgages - Adjustable rate of interestUnder this type of mortgages, the interest rate changes from period to period according to the fluctuations of the market. The degree of change of mortgage interest rate is directly associated with the index to which it is tied. Since index will differ as they may be tied to a foreign bank rate of interest in certain cases, it is good to ask to which index the adjustable rate of interest is tied to. Usually they are fixed for a period of 1-5 years and then become adjustable.Mortgages – fixed rate: The interest rate of the loan amount is fixed in the case of fixed rate mortgage till the end of the term regardless of the market fluctuations. The debtor will never have to pay more than the fixed interest rate at any cost. The only means by which a fixed rate mortgage can change is through Refinancing.Refinancing: It is a process of changing the existing mortgage terms of agreement. The debtor can go for refinancing when the interest rates are lower so that he can save money qualifying for the lower rate of interest. The length of the term can also be adjusted to be either long or short using refinance option. Care needs to be taken when going for refinancing of mortgages as it entails for new closing costs. Fees and closing costs are involved in this method.Appraisal: The crucial part of mortgage is the appraisal. Before going for a loan from a bank, the value of the house must be assessed properly. An appraiser can determine how much the house is worth actually by inspecting the features of the house and by comparing it with the neighborhood houses. If any addition or embellishment is made to the house, it can raise the value of the house, but may require to appraise the new value of the document.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Finding the Best and Right Mortgage Loans

The home mortgage might be biggest personal financial commitment of a borrower in his or her lifetime. Hence, it becomes very important to choose the right kind of home mortgage to save money as well as save from headaches which might crop up in the future. Mortgage is a kind of a pledge or guarantee made by the home purchaser or borrower to repay the loan to the lender. A right home mortgage loan can save thousands of dollars in the long run. Hence, it becomes very important and crucial to the borrower.Important factors to be considered while selecting the right kind of mortgage loans:The purpose for the borrower should be solved: The home mortgage selected should fit the purpose of the home buyer. If the home purchaser intends to live in the house he has purchased then the most suitable will be the home mortgage loan while an investor will need a residential investment loan.The loan structure: The loan structure or the type of loan should suit the interests of the borrower. It depends on the fact whether the borrower is interested in the flexible paying option or whether he is interested to pay at regular intervals, or whether he is interested to go for a variable interest rate or a fixed interest rate, or requires an additional credit option for home improvements or for purchasing a car etc. The term of the loan should also be suitable for the borrower in selecting the right kind of mortgage loans.Loan features too need to be considered by selecting the right kind of mortgage loans: To find out the features of the loans enough homework has to be done to analyze each and every feature of the loan, for making the right selection of mortgage loans.Features of many loan products are listed below for selecting the right mortgage loans: Some loans offer credit facilities which can be used for home improvements and furnishings by increasing the credit limit of the current loan. This avoids the need to go to another lender for borrowing money.Certain loans allow additional repayments through which the borrower can pay from their year end bonuses. This option saves thousands of dollars for the borrower and also reduces the loan period considerably.Accounts consolidation option helps to merge all the transactions. It simplifies the banking, saves money paid as interest towards the loan making every penny working for the benefit of the borrower.The option of income transferred to the loan account helps the borrower to save interest calculated on the mortgage, while allowing to access cash or allows to pay bills by making automatic transfers set into another transaction account.Linking the mortgage with the borrower’s transaction account enables every single dollar in the transaction account to offset the interest calculated on the mortgage.Parental leave option helps to reduce the repayments up to 50% for nearly six months time which is again subject to certain conditions and terms.Redraw option allows to get access to additional money paid over and above the normal schedule of repayments. Refix option allows to get into another fixed interest loan at the end of the present fixed interest rate term period.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Find The True Cost Of Your Mortgage

When comparing mortgages, it isn’t just a case of looking at the difference in interest charging and choosing the one with the lowest rate. There is so much more you need to consider finding out the true cost of a mortgage.First of all, how much is the arrangement fee? This can vary from lender to lender. Sometimes it will be a flat fee of around £500. With others it can be a percentage of the loan amount. With the latter, as an example, a charge of 1.5% of the loan amount as a fee equates to £2,625 on a £175,000 mortgage. Also look at valuation, legal, early redemption costs and exit fees. Some providers will offer a free valuation or similar as an incentive for you to buy their product which could save you money.Do bear in mind that overall, high charges do not necessarily mean that the mortgage product is a no-go. If you have a bigger mortgage it is more likely in the long run that you’d be better off choosing one with higher charges and a lower interest rate.The key is to sit down and calculate the overall costs for each mortgage product for the period of time that you plan to keep the mortgage.This will give you a solid basis when choosing the one that is the most financially attractive to you.Why Mortgage Affordability MattersMore and more mortgage lenders are now changing their criteria when considering how much they will allow you to borrow. Rather than basing it on multiple incomes, lenders are now actually looking at affordability.This is great news for homebuyers, particularly First Time Buyers (FTB’s). According the Council of Mortgage Lenders, FTB’s now get offered an average borrowing of 3.24 times their income. For most, this is not normally enough to buy where they want to live. However, this does not need to be the case. By looking at affordability rather than straightforward income multiples, lenders can see what a potential homebuyer can realistically afford. This is a real boon for potential borrowers, especially FTB’s trying to get that first foot on the property ladder.Moneyfacts, the independent research company, revealed that five of the top 10 mortgage lenders now look at affordability (also known as ability to repay) in preference to income multiples. The good news too is that even some of those lenders who still work on the income multiples basis have refined their criteria. This means that they may lend more where there are larger salaries or a bigger deposit involved. If you are looking to mortgage or remortgage, the most important thing is to borrow how much you realistically think that you can afford. Just because a lender believes that you can afford x amount every month, if you feel that it would be over stretching yourself, then don’t go ahead with the mortgage.Free Yourself From Fees!If you are looking for a new mortgage or remortgage, it is not just the interest rate that is important. While it looks like you may get a good deal initially, once fees have been added, it could be a whole different ballgame.There are around 8,000 home loans out there, so there is a wide choice. When choosing a mortgage, most people will look at how much their monthly mortgage repayments will be and then base their decision on that. However, while this is a valid exercise, you should not base your decision on which mortgage to take out solely on this figure. To ensure that you really are getting a good deal, you need to check out what fees you will need to pay. These could include one or all of the following: fees for booking, administration, arrangement and application; valuation or survey fees; and mortgage indemnity premiums (also known as a mortgage indemnity guarantee). And don’t forget to look at what fees you will be charged once you come to moving your mortgage such as early redemption penalties and exit, sealing and deeds fees.The latter, in particular, has recently come under the scrutiny of the Financial Services Authority (FSA). In June 2006, lenders were warned that massively increasing exit fees could be unfair. It has asked for justification of these hikes.So take a bit of time to check out exactly what fees you will be charged - it could save you money in the long run

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

10 Questions to Ask Your Mortgage Lender

When you sit down with a mortgage lender, you should be the one in the driver's seat; after all, you are the one that will be paying for this mortgage in the coming years. To help you stay in control of the things that are happening as well as stay informed of what you need to do next or if you are dealing with the right lender, here are ten questions you need to ask.What is the interest rate I will be getting with this mortgage?Obviously, this is the most important question that's already on your mind. In order to negotiate for a good interest rate, you need to ask what you will be offered from a number of lenders, keeping in mind that a poor credit rating might be negatively affecting what you can expect.Can I set up a way to lock in my interest rate?The goal of any home mortgage is to get the lowest interest rate. But if this isn't possible in the current market, you might want to choose a loan that has a variable interest rate, keeping you available to lock in the lowest interest rate once it comes up in the market. This means that you might have to pay a higher interest rate for a while.And depending on the lender, you might need to stay in this variable interest rate setup for a certain time period. Check to see just how long that is and how much it might cost you to lock in your low interest rate.A good interest rate of about 6 to 7% is something a person with good credit can expect to get, though this does vary from region to region, lender to lender.What are closing costs can I expect?This question is especially important when you don't have a lot of money to spend during the mortgage process. If you can determine the amount of the closing costs now, you can add these onto your loan to help you move the purchase along.Will I be penalized if I pay my loan off more quickly?If you've set up a 30 year fixed mortgage payment plan, but you think you can pay it off more quickly, check to see how much it might cost you to do so. Since the lender will be losing money from the interest you won't be paying on the loan, they tend to create a penalty for those that pay off their homes sooner.What down payment is necessary?In most cases, the lender will require that you provide 10 to 20% of the home's value as a down payment. However, this is not necessarily something that needs to come from your pocket – at least, not right now. You can actually add on the down payment to your mortgage with some lenders.Find out what the down payment will be and then if you can create a loan plan that will handle those costs too.How many origination and discount points will I be responsible for?If you don't know what points are, read up before you head in to talk with your lender. These points can mean that difference between a high mortgage payment and additional costs and having a very reasonable agreement.How long will the loan process take?If you have a particular house or moving date in mind, knowing how long the lending process will take will help you choose the best mortgage company.What might delay my loan or the approval of the loan?By finding out what the potential problems can be during the loan process, you can make sure you are avoiding them.What do I need in order to qualify for this loan?This is a great question to ask when you're not in the market at the current time. It will give you a change to get your credit and your affairs in order so that you are the best possible candidate for a mortgage agreement. Ask the lender to be as specific as they can about what you need to do.What documents will I have to have available? Since not all of us are great record keepers, you will want to ask well in advance of your loan process what you will need to find and have on hand for your loan application.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Best Type of Mortgage for Investment Properties

Considering buying properties either as investments or to sell? If so, you need to look at mortgages differently. In order to make the most money, borrow as little money as possible. Remember: retaining the capability to turn the property around to the buyers without causing you payments in the process is important. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can mortgage these investment properties to everyone's benefit.What Can You Afford Now?As with any business, there is an initial start up fee. In the investment properties business, this means that you will make payments on any property that you are unable to immediately sell again (or 'flip' as the popular term is). However, if you do not have a lot of money to spare, there are ways to ensure that you can still get into real estate sales without having to spend a lot of your money in the process.Take a moment to review your current financial status. If you can afford a down payment on a house, you may want to go ahead and use this to your advantage. With every subsequent house, you will then be able to use that same equity to help build your profits as well as the number of investment properties you have.The Best Mortgage for YouSince you want to spend as little money as possible when you are buying properties to sell, you will want to choose a mortgage agreement that requires little money from you over the time when you will be trying to sell the property. For example, you may want to choose a no deposit loan as this will help you cut down your costs, plus the initial mortgage payments will be smaller than they would be in a traditional mortgage agreement. Also, look into hybrid loans that allow you to have certain time periods in which you will pay certain interest rates and then they will increase to higher interest rates (and thus mortgage payments). This will also give you some motivation to sell off those properties before the payments become higher for you.All in all, you will want to choose a mortgage in which you will spend as little money as possible. Other options include the 80-20 mortgage and any of the newer exotic loans that are available for homeowners and real estate investors. Look for loans with low initial interest rates or loans that pay off the interest first too.How to Get the Best Loan for Your NeedsWhen you find a property that you wish to sell, you will need to sit down with several banks and lending institutions that will assist you with your loan. Explain your plan for the property as well as what monetarily you are able to contribute. It is best to work with lenders that work with other investment property holders as they will have a better idea of what your needs are and what has worked for them in the past.When you are investing in real estate, you are investing in a win-win business. Since everyone is interested in either owning or leasing their own place, you will never run out of possible ventures of increasing your revenue. The key is to pay as little money as you can during the purchasing process - and there are plenty of loans that can help you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where to Start When You Have Bad Credit

Whether they realize it or not, more people than ever have bad credit. When it comes to buying a home, this is bad news for the prospective buyer. If you are ready to buy a home, you need good credit in order to impress the lenders you will be asking to loan you money. But sometimes it can be confusing to see where you should begin to repair your credit. With so many leaks in your financial history, how do you begin to plug them up?Find Your Credit ScoreThe best thing you can do is find credit score. This is a free process in most cases. Each citizen is entitled to one free credit report every year. Even if you already have your credit report, you can also pay to receive this report from one or all of the three major credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. This report will tell you what your rating is from 350 to 850. The higher your credit rating is, the better you will look to lenders. While you may never have a perfect credit rating, you want to have it as high as possible.Look at Paying Those Bills on TimeOne of the easiest ways to help improve your credit score is to start paying your bills on time every month. When you don't make a payment on time, it affects your credit score negatively, which can cause lenders to be hesitant to lend to you. After all, if you can't pay your regular bills on time, they may worry that you won't pay your mortgage payments on time too. If you have troubles paying your bills on time, you need to look into automatic bill pay options. This will deduct the money from your checking account every month so that you don't have to write a check and mail the bill physically. If this is not something that appeals to you, you may also want to set up a filing system at home that reminds you when you pay your bills on time. Remember to send your bills at least a few days before they are due to be sure they arrive on time.Reduce Your Credit Card DebtThe biggest concern for many would-be homeowners is their credit card debt. With the average credit card debt total around $2000 per household; it is no wonder than more people are seeing red when it comes to credit cards. However, in order to increase credit card ratings, the first step is paying these debts down. When you carry higher balances, it can seem as though you are living beyond your means and that is not what a lender wants to see. Try paying more than the minimum balance each month in order to reduce the balances as quickly as possible.Think about Credit CounselingIf you are still having trouble with increasing your credit score, you might want to look into a credit counseling service. They can talk to your credit card companies to get your interest rates reduced, thus reducing your credit card balances more quickly. These companies can also help you learn better spending practices to help you learn how to spend and save more wisely.Getting rid of bad credit is simple when you know what caused the trouble in the first place. From this point on, show lenders that you are a reliable customer.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Co-Signing a Mortgage for Your Child

When your children get older, it's absolutely normal for them to strive to become independent, and living separately is the first step towards that. And it is also absolutely normal for you as a parent to be willing to help your children as much as possible. So, when your child decides that the time has come for him or her to buy a home of his/her own, should you assist by co-signing the home mortgage? This is a very tricky matter, and it takes a lot of thinking to decide what is best for you both, because co-signing a mortgage for your child can with equal chances turn out to be a very good idea or not so good at all. Everything depends on what you want your role to be.First of all, let's look into the concept of co-signing in general. Why would a lender require a co-signer at all? The answer is simple: a lender will only require a co-signer, if an applicant for the mortgage does not meet all of the important criteria. A co-signer in this case is a person, who assumes responsibility in the event the borrower defaults on his mortgage obligations, e.g. fails to pay timely.The first thing you should do before making a decision on co-signing is to carefully study all the terms of the mortgage and the proposed scheme of payments. It's very important to have a clear idea of what you and your child are getting into and what is expected from you both in this regard. Is your son or daughter actually ready for all those house payments? If he/she needs a co-signer, the answer to this question is quite likely to be "no".If the financial status of your son or daughter is not quite sound, co-signing a mortgage for him/her may be a very bad idea, unless you have enough money to take the blow or just like to risk. It can once come and backfire on you, which is surely not what you want. So in this case the risk is probably not worth it, because you wouldn't like to get into a situation in which the only thing that can happen to you is something bad. If this is the case, the wisest idea would probably be to convince your child to wait until he/she becomes financially sound and the situation becomes less risky for both of you.If your son or daughter is overly anxious about getting a house, try to explain him/her that it's not a failure if they do not achieve this goal right away - on the contrary, getting a house to quickly may well turn out to be a failure. In order to be ready for all the necessary house payments, your child should be financially backed, and the only way to achieve this is to work and build up a solid credit score. A good credit score means a possibility to make a good down payment and keep the monthly payments on a reasonable and affordable level, which is surely better than buying a house on high interest and oversized monthly payments. The main thing your child needs to realize here is that being too anxious will not pay off. Only patience and common sense will help to achieve the goal.So, if the financial risk behind co-signing is too large, talk to your child candidly and explain why such responsibility is too much for you to take. However you should also explain him/her how he/she can work to improve the situation and make it acceptable for both of you. If everything is done correctly, in the end your child will not need a co-signer at all, which would be the wisest idea possible.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Pre-Payment of Home Mortgages: to Be or not to Be?

We all have home mortgages and have to pay monthly mortgage payments that put a substantial burden on our budget. And we all want to get rid of that payments as soon as possible. So if your current financial situation allows you to repay you mortgage early, why not go for it? It could be a wise thing to do, if you can afford it, but there are some matters you should account for. Let's see, what things you should pay special attention to when paying your mortgage off ahead of time.Advance repayment sounds like a totally good idea both for you and for your lender company, and the common sense says that your lender should appreciate such decision. But the main catch here is that in fact some lender companies don't want you to pay early. Why? The answer is very easy: they take advantage of the interest you are paying and are willing to extend the interest payment period for as long as possible. That is why, in order to prevent early repayment, some lenders often impose pre-payment penalties on their borrowers, and those penalties can sometimes be even worse than the interest you are paying. Thus the first thing you should do is to check whether your mortgage provides for pre-payment penalties and how large they are, because if this is the case, it would probably be wiser for you to give up the idea of early payment - the game might well not be worth the candle.Now the second matter: calculate what you will be saving by early repayment, because that's the way to find out whether pre-payment is worth the effort. Decide how much extra principal payment per month you can afford on top of your usual monthly payment, and then calculate by how much this will reduce your overall mortgage repayment period. Sometimes as little as extra $25 per month can in the end cut your repayment period by two full years. You need to know whether those extra payments are worth your effort and time, so take time to calculate the whole scheme in advance.Finally, you should do all the planning yourself - at least as much of it as you can. Do not let the lenders decide for you. They might think that they know the matter better than you and might try to tell you what to do, but in fact you are the only one who actually knows your situation. Plan you budget before you go for early repayment and see how much extra you should pay per month and whether you will be able to afford it. Account for all the possible factors - you are the only one able to do this for your particular situation.Summarizing the above, let's emphasize that repaying your mortgage as quickly as possible is ideal, but only in case it is done correctly. Use your head, calculate and plan everything carefully and make sure that everything you do with regard to your mortgage is in your best interest, because you surely don't want to pay more than you have to or end up with holes in your budget.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Avoid Disqualification For Mortgage

For new homebuyers the common mistake is buying up things to fill the homes. In doing so they will not found any difficulties as the lender will provide them enough money whereas the seller has nothing to refuse the deal. But some hurdles are still there invisible to the naked eye and should be overcome before you make some decision. Things which you need to avoid during the process of home buying to ensure your transaction will go smoothly are:-a. It is always tempting for buying new items to make your new home a comfortable one. Major purchases including electronic equipment, jewelry, cars, or furniture must be avoided until you finish your home and all the transactions. Financing these stuffs when you are already paying up transactions for your home could jeopardize your credit worthiness no matter whether you use your own credit card or a store credit card. Using cash to buy these products also have some impact on approval of your mortgage where banks take into consideration of the cash reserve of the borrower. b. The mortgage process needs a permanent job or at least the client must be working for last three years. Lenders often want to see about the job consistency of the client. Frequent change of jobs might not affect the qualification for a mortgage loan especially when it is for making more money but surely raise some concerns among the lender.c. For mortgage process the lender needs bank statements of the client for about the last two or three years in terms of checking accounts, money market funds, savings accounts and other liquid assets. They go thoroughly to avoid any type of potential fraud. In this situation changing of banks or transferring money to other accounts will create difficulties for the lender in documenting the funds.d. Even after your loan pre-approved by the lender don’t disregard the requirements of the lender. Supply them all the necessary documents such as bank statements, W2s or any other paper works. Failure in providing such important documents may cost you the loan. To finalize the process you need to submit these documents.e. There is one important thing you must remember in mortgage process. You should not deposit a good faith directly to the seller in a FSBO purchase. This belongs to you until the deal finalized. The FSBO seller must not know the good faith fund is applied at your expenses; instead you could take the help of a third party till the deal closes. In case the transaction fall through you must be sure that the purchase contract dictates to you.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tips on Finding a Mortgage with Bad Credit Score

Bad credit score is not an uncommon thing. The question is, can you actually qualify for a mortgage if you have a bad credit? The simple answer is: yes, you can! Even if your credit is less than flawless, you still have a chance to find mortgage that will meet your requirements and suit your needs. The main trick here is that you will probably have to put down more money than in case of a usual loan just to convince the lender of your reliability, but after that your monthly payments will be the same as for a borrower with a flawless credit.There are several ways to find a bad credit lender. The best place to start your search would probably be online. There are some internet-based companies directly specializing in lending money to individuals with bad credit scores, and such companies will be willing to work with you and will propose you the best rates they can. Perhaps that would be a right way to get funds for the house you want.Another place to visit is your bank. Of course, most banks will treat you as a giant risk and will most likely refuse to lend money to you, but they might as well point you in the right direction - they may know and advice you to turn to some lending companies that can potentially be willing to work with you.After all, you can just ask other people - maybe some of them were in similar bad credit situations and know where to turn to for reasonable mortgage options.Once you have found a few lenders willing to lend money to you, you should do a careful research to choose the one that suits you the most, and below we shall discuss the main points you should pay special attention to.First of all, ensure that the lender is credible. Check the actual company to make sure that it is legitimate.Second, verify if there are any additional costs. Most likely you will have to make a large down payment, but that is normal in a bad credit situation. The thing to be on the lookout for is that there are no additional monthly fees or overly high application costs. Don't neglect this point - checking it in advance can well save you from a lot of trouble in future.Finally, check out all the basic facts, as you would do with a usual mortgage. Is the mortgage fixed or adjustable? Can you pay off more each month without penalty? Whatever your credit score is, these basic matters do not become less important.All in all, be very careful when choosing a lender - having a bad credit does not mean that you can't find a suitable mortgage option that will provide reasonable rates and save your money. On the other hand, remember that if an option looks too good to be true, then most likely it actually is.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Choosing a Mortgage: Adjustable Rate vs. Fixed Rate

What type of mortgage to choose is a very important question when buying a house. Will it be more appropriate to choose an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or a fixed rate mortgage? Many potential homeowners ask this question, willing to know what are they in for with this two options. The first thing to understand here is that the type of mortgage you choose actually determines the amount of interest payable and the overall size of your monthly mortgage payments. Initially ARMs offer lower costs, which look very attractive to smart investors, but the reverse side of this option is that the mortgage rate is subject to fluctuation, which introduces high degree of uncertainty. Fixed rate mortgages, on the contrary, provide high degree of certainty, but are generally more expensive. Thus your particular situation will determine what type of mortgage is more suitable for you, and in this article we shall try to give you some hints that will hopefully help you in choosing between the above two options.ARMs are a great option for homeowners who don't intend to live in a house for a very long time: if mortgage rates are falling and you are not planning to live in the house for a period long enough for them to start rising when the market situation changes, then an ARM might be your perfect choice. Moreover, because ARMs offer lower rates at the initial stage of the mortgage period, you get a chance to buy a larger and more expensive house that you could afford with a generally more expensive fixed rate mortgage. Besides, if you a lucky enough to see mortgage rates falling during your mortgage period, then, with an ARM, you are able to take advantage of lower monthly payments and save some of your money.But ARMs also have a substantial downside, which is a possibility of mortgage rates to dramatically increase over a short period of time. To partially eliminate the devastating consequences of mortgage rate rises, ARMs provide lifetime caps, but these caps can sometimes be reached in as short as three years since the beginning of your mortgage period.Fixed rate mortgages are much more secure, because they do not depend on fluctuating factors like inflation or current situation on the housing market. Whatever happens, you always have the same monthly payments, which gives you a better chance to plan your budget and presents less surprises during thee mortgage period. Fixed rate mortgages are thus generally easier to understand and are much more stable than ARMs.But there are downsides in this option as well. Since the mortgage rates are fixed and independent of market fluctuations, a borrower will have to refinance his home in order to take advantage of falling mortgage rates, which requires a lot of additional paperwork, closing fees, processing fees etc. Besides, fixed mortgage rates are almost identical in all banks, and thus a potential borrower will not have much choice when searching for a lender.Well, these are basically all the main facts. Carefully assess you current situation before making a choice - you surely want to get the best deal possible.

Monday, November 12, 2007

How can you benefit from a Reverse Mortgage?

Reverse mortgages are government insured home loans specifically designed for senior homeowners. This type of loan allows a homeowner to payoff their existing mortgage along with a combination of the following: establish a credit line, receive monthly checks, or withdraw cash. The amount of cash available depends on many factors, which we will discuss shortly. If you choose to get cash with your reverse mortgage loan, you can choose from the following methods:Tenure – equal, monthly payments. Modified Tenure – line of credit combined with monthly payments. Term – equal, monthly payments for a fixed period.Modified Term – line of credit combined with monthly payments for a fixed period.Line of Credit – payments or installments at the borrower’s discretion (much like a standard credit line – use the money only when you choose to).Perhaps the most worthwhile benefit of a reverse mortgage is that the borrower will not be required to make any mortgage payments for the duration of their stay. That’s right: zero payments for the rest of their life or until they move from the home. As you can imagine, zero house payments could drastically alter a person’s lifestyle in a positive manner and could do so almost overnight. In regards to qualifying for a reverse mortgage, there is yet another benefit that is often over-looked: you do not need to verify your income since the loan is based on your home’s value. There are no payments to be made, remember? Essentially, you do not need any income nor do you need an outstanding credit report. When reverse mortgages were first introduced, they allowed the lender to have a stake in the future value of the home. In essence, the lender would profit from your equity even if it extended beyond the original loan amount. Fortunately for seniors, times have changed for the better: regardless if your home goes up or down in value, you will never owe more than the loan amount or your home’s current value, whichever is lower. Another question often asked is: can I outlive my loan? You can never outlive a reverse mortgage loan. So long as you are alive and living on the property, you will never have a mortgage payment for your reverse mortgage. Nor can a lender take your home away from you. As long as you live in your home, pay your taxes and insurance, you can live indefinitely in your home without making a single payment. The amount of money that can be borrowed with a reverse mortgage is dependent upon many factors, including but not limited to: the age of the borrower, the amount of money currently owed on the home, the interest rate, the value of your home, and FHA’s lending limits for your area. Typically, the older you are and the less money you owe on your home, the more you can borrow. However, every situation is unique. To get an accurate, approved loan amount, you should speak with an approved reverse mortgage lender or broker in your local area. Do not be intimidated about contacting a loan broker! HUD requires that you speak with an approved, HUD counselor prior to any loan funding to ensure that you are fully aware of how a reverse mortgage works. You may call 1-800-569-4287 to acquire a list of FHA approved lenders for your particular area. They can also give you names and phone numbers for HUD-approved counseling agencies. Reverse mortgages are truly designed to help seniors live a higher quality life. If you or someone you know is 62 years of age or older, you should take the time to find out about a reverse mortgage.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Refinance your Home Loan and Get Extra Cash

Many things have to be considered, you should compare lenders, rates, costs, interest types, etc in order to make a well informed decision. Refinance Mortgage ExplainedWhen you decide to refinance a mortgage you’ll be canceling a previous loan with the money amount obtained from a second loan. Unless of course your motive is that you are not being able to meet the monthly payments you should make sure that the new loan has overall better conditions than the previous one. Refinance Advantages The first thing to consider is the interest rate. You may be able to obtain a refinance with a lower interest rate because market conditions have improved or because your credit and financial situation have improved. Either way, pay special attention to other costs as you may be paying as much in extra fees as what you can save by reduced interests. If your current mortgage interest rate is variable you may want to refinance your home loan and obtain a fixed interest rate, this will give your monthly payments certainty so you don’t have to worry about sudden increases on your expenses. Fixed rates tend to be a bit higher but the peace of mind that they imply is well worth the small difference. You can also get a cash-out refinance, you’ll be refinancing for a higher amount than the amount owed so you’ll end up with extra cash for home improvements, buying a car, going on vacations or any other purpose you may think of. Just make sure that you are able to meet the monthly payments. Given that your new debt will be higher, your monthly payments will probably be higher too, unless of course you get a longer repayment program too. Cash requirements Bear in mind that there are certain expenses that must be paid separately, like attorney fees, closing fees, etc. However, if you don’t have the cash available, you can opt to charge this amounts to the loan principal, thus avoiding the need to find the money in order to close the deal. How long does it take?The refinance process is usually completed in a reasonable amount of time. A length ranging from ten days up to a month can be considered acceptable. If you are short on time, make sure to push for a quick closing when you talk about the loan conditions with the lenders as the time they can take is rather flexible. However, if you are not in a rush, you’ll better take your time to request quotes from many lenders and compare rates and other conditions in order to get the best deal available for you. Finding the lender The refinance can be obtained from the same lender that holds the previous mortgage or by other lenders. Don’t rush in; compare what the many lenders in the market have to offer. There are online sites offering access to a complete and up-to-date list of lenders dealing with mortgage refinance and this will make the process a lot easier.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What Is a Flexible Mortgage?

A flexible mortgage is a secured loan, which can be paid back in differing amounts while providing access to the housing equity (within pre-agreed limits).There are five key features with a flexible mortgage: the ability to pay the mortgage off early through overpayments or lump sum payments, the ability to borrow money back by withdrawing lump sums, making underpayments, and having payment holidays. A flexible mortgage gives you more control than with a traditional type of mortgage, and the overpayment feature can significantly save money on your mortgage, for example:Example 1: £140,000 mortgage, interest rate 6%, mortgage term 25 years.Monthly mortgage payment was £902 and increased by £50 to £952 – the overall cost saved would be £16,193 and the adjusted mortgage term would be 22.2 years.Example 2: £100,000 mortgage, interest rate 7%, mortgage term 30 years.Monthly mortgage payment was £665 and increased by £50 to £715 – the overall cost saved would be £31,193 and the adjusted mortgage term would be 24.2 yearsLump sum payments can also make a significant difference to your mortgage. For example, £150,000 mortgage, interest rate 7%, mortgage term 25 years – if you made a £10,000 lump sum payment after 5 years of having the mortgage, the interest saved would be £26,576.81 and the time saved would be 2 years and 10 months. If you made the £10,000 lump sum payment after 1 year of having the mortgage, the interest saved would be £36,949.05 and the time saved would be 3 years and 8 months (all figures are approximate).Two additional reasons for making overpayments on your debt with a flexible mortgage are:Save interest – the interest charged on your mortgage is normally higher than the average savings account. Consequently, it is better to pay off your mortgage with an interest rate of 6.9%, than putting your money into a savings account with an interest rate of 4.3%. Reduce the capital debt – all the extra payments reduce the capital debt rather than just paying the interest on your flexible mortgage; in the beginning, up to 95% of your monthly mortgage payments goes on paying the interest and only a small amount of your monthly payment is paid on the capital debt.A flexible mortgage can be tailored to a borrower’s lifestyle and needs as there are different types of flexible mortgages in the market place. Some flexible mortgages can be quite restrictive with no underpayment facility and limited access to overpayments, whereas another type of flexible mortgage can give enormous scope for borrowers’ to deposit and withdraw sums of any amount at any time. A flexible mortgage has a higher interest rate than a conventional mortgage, but the key selling point for a flexible mortgage is the longer-term savings on interest that can be made by making overpayments and lump sum payments to get ahead in the repayment schedule, thus paying off the mortgage early. In a recent survey of borrowers’ who had a flexible mortgage: 32% had used the overpayment facility, and 90% who had overpaid would do so again. 51% who had not made overpayments were planning to do so in the future. 69% of borrowers’ who had made overpayments had been doing so for more than six months, and 87% intended to continue overpaying until the mortgage was paid off. Most overpayers looked upon overpayments as a long-term plan for clearing their mortgage debt and saving money in the long run.Although the flexible mortgage is a fairly new type of mortgage on the market, it is becoming an increasingly popular choice for borrowers’, and lenders predict that the flexible mortgage will become more accommodating for borrowers’.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Advantages of Refinancing Your Mortgage

When you refinance a mortgage, you use money from a new mortgage to pay off your existing one. When done at the right time, refinancing can be an excellent way of reducing your total debt or providing you with significant savings on your monthly mortgage payments. It should be noted that there are some costs associated with the process. Refinancing typically costs 3-6% of your current outstanding mortgage principal. This is mostly due to the fact that taking out a new mortgage involves payment of closing costs, and in some situations you may be liable for a prepayment penalty on your existing mortgage. In the long run, however, refinancing at the right time for the right reasons will save you more than getting that second mortgage will cost.Benefits of RefinancingFor most people, the sole benefit of refinancing is to obtain a mortgage with a lower interest rate and save money on future repayments. If you purchase your home at a time when interest rates are high, refinancing once those rates drop can save you a large chunk of money. However, as noted above it is important to consider the costs when you are deciding whether or not to refinance.Refinancing can save you thousands of dollars in interest if your second mortgage has a shorter term than the first, even if you do not lock in a lower interest rate on the second mortgage. If, for example, you are six years into a 30 year mortgage, and find that you are able to afford higher mortgage payments, you might consider switching to a 20, 15 or 10 year mortgage. This will not only mean significant savings in the amount of interest you pay, but will also allow you to build up equity in your home more quickly.Another good reason for refinancing is in situations where you want to exchange some of the equity in your home for cash. However, this does mean that you will be borrowing more money than you currently owe, meaning that you will also be extending the terms of your mortgage. In general, this is only a good idea when you plan to use that cash to add value to your home, either by remodeling or by building onto your property. Refinancing is not a good idea when you plan to use the money to pay off credit card debt, or buy assets that depreciate quickly, such as a new car.When is Refinancing a Good Idea?In some situations, refinancing is unlikely to help you pay off your mortgage faster or reduce your monthly mortgage repayments. For example, refinancing is almost never a good idea when your credit rating is worse than it was when you got your original mortgage. In this case, your lower credit score will usually mean you cannot get an interest rate that is favorable enough to lower the cost of the new mortgage enough to make refinancing worthwhile.In general, refinancing is a good idea when:
You will be living in your home long enough for the costs of refinancing to be recouped by the savings you make on your new mortgage payments. In most cases this will take five to seven years.
Your new loan is for less than 80% of the current value of your home.
Your new loan balance does not exceed the total amount owing on your existing mortgage.
Your credit rating is equal to or higher than it was when you took out your original mortgage.If you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), refinancing may be a good option even in situations where some of the above points do not apply. For example, if you financed your home with an ARM when interest rates were low and they now look set to rise over the next few months, refinancing to a fixed rate mortgage may be a good idea. Another good reason to refinance out of an ARM is in a situation where you originally bought your home with the intention of moving within a few years, but have since decided to stay there for the long term. Sticking with the ARM is risky in the long term, and it is often more prudent to switch to a fixed rate mortgage if you plan to keep the property.The benefits of refinancing also depend on the age of your mortgage. If you are twenty years into a 30 year mortgage, refinancing should be approached with caution. Taking out a new mortgage at this stage will reduce the equity you have in your home if you borrow more than your current outstanding balance, because conventional mortgage repayments are front loaded with interest, and by this stage your repayments are mostly for principals. If you have already paid off more than half your mortgage balance, refinancing will not usually save you money, even if you do lock in a lower interest rate.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chosing the Best Mortgage

One of the things we always look at with our customers is the type of mortgage that they have. That is also one of the questions we get asked the most.There are basically 3 different types of mortgages: conventional, FHA, and VA.A VA mortgage is available to those who have served our country in the armed forces. An FHA mortgage is one that is backed by the Federal Housing Administration. While there is nothing inherently bad about either of these, they are usually not the best deal because many times you will be putting less money down in the process.The other is a conventional mortgage, which most people have. Within these, there can also be fixed-rates, adjustable rates, balloons, and many other sorts of things designed to make owning a house more affordable.For the sake of brevity, please, do NOT buy a house unless you either pay cash, or take out at most a 15 - 20 year fixed rate mortgage. An adjustable rate is just what it says; the interest rate of the loan adjusts on a schedule and thus so do your payments. You will never know what your payments will be at any point in the future. Interest rates are still near the lowest point they've been in the last 40 years. They will most likely only go up from here.Simply put, if you cannot afford to make payments on a 20 year fixed-rate mortgage, then you cannot afford that particular home. Adjustable rates are one of the biggest reasons for foreclosures today, and it is only getting worse.If you are not in a fixed-rate currently, check out to see who we trust to help you get you in an affordable mortgage.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Advantages of Mortgage Refinancing

The basic concept of mortgage refinance is that it acts as a second loan availed of on a property or home substituting any previous loan on the same property. Mortgage refinance offers low interest rate, also cuts down the loan repayment term by refinancing the house or property and in turn lowers the mortgage payment. For many people, mortgage refinance provides an opportunity to improve the monthly cash flow by helping them get back on their feet. Mortgage refinancing can be an advantageous move financially as many home owners benefit out of refinance for the purposes of either cash out or to change from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate or debt consolidation to lower their interest rate if they are either locked into an adjustable rate mortgage or fixed rate mortgage. Even though the refinancing option does not always help a person save more money, it provides a good opportunity for improving the loan terms and the benefits of debt consolidation making it an option worth considering.When the interest rates drop drastically, people think of refinancing their loans got towards a car or home. It is worth to consider mortgage refinance or refinance loan when a person is paying high interest rates. The mortgage refinancing option can be very enticing as the interest rates are lower than when the person originally got his mortgage loan.The person needs to know if he plans to live in the house which he is refinancing for more years or even for the rest of his life. This will help him come to a conclusion regarding the type of refinance loan he would like to go with. Before going for a refinance it is good to be sure of it first.The person should be aware of his budget. Before going for a refinance he needs to know how much he can afford. He should have a realistic monthly payment plan so that he can be sure of paying it without any problem on time every month. The fine print of the refinance loan needs to be read in a detailed manner especially when it offers a very low interest rate. There may be a catch as those who are eager about getting a lower interest rate may not read the fine print carefully. Such persons end up paying a huge amount at the end. They should look for any penalties levied if the loan is paid early as the lender is assured of getting more interest rates and in turn more profits. Understanding the loan is very important. In case any queries required to be clarified, there is no harm in asking questions, as it will only make the process smooth. If required, the help of a legal professional can be had to review the documents on the behalf of the borrower. This saves both money and time. Only after careful review, documents need to be signed. Apart from all these things, the credit history or credit score should be known to the borrower, as it will determine the money got through refinance loan and the loan terms.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Mortgage Loans And The Value Of The Home Appraisal

Home mortgage loans are not created from thin air. The home appraisal is vitally important to financing your home loan at the correct value. If your property is priced too high, it may sit on the market much longer than it has to. If it is priced too low, you leave too much money on the table. While home owner loans are gaining in popularity, there are some very important things you need to know that will not only save you some money, but help make you more money as well.Some homes in smaller markets have a difficult time getting bank financing simply because of the size of the mortgage loans. Size does matter. If your loan requirements are too small for the traditional lenders, you have to create home loan lending solutions.That is exactly what happened in this case. The property seller provided a home owner loan so the buyer could purchase the single family residence in a south Georgia community. The home owner determined the sale price of the property would be $45,000. The buyer provided a $2,000 down payment. A promissory note was created for $43,000 at 10% interest and interest only payments. There was a balloon payment due in five years. The buyer's credit was fair, leaning towards good. No home appraisal had been ordered.Four payments had already been made on the loan, and things were moving along according to plans. At this point the seller and I discussed the possibility of pulling his cash out of the transaction with a note sale. Naturally he agreed to take a look.All of the required information was gathered, processed, and evaluated. We developed a couple of options for the seller to consider. Of course one solution was for a purchase of the whole note, and another was for all of the payments and a portion of the balloon note.Honestly, the quotes were very good. Either solution would have been an excellent return for the seller. He actually agreed with me. Then he shared this truth. He had sold the property to the buyer at a discount. Of course I asked how much of a discount and he was not sure, but he thought it was pretty big. When I checked the value of the property, I determined it was worth somewhere between $66,000 and $77,000. Remember he sold it for $45,000. That means his sale price discount was between 32% and 42%! In his efforts to quickly move the property he actually left between $21,000 and $32,000 on the table! He went on to provide a home owner loan to finance the transaction!This was a perfect example of what not to do with seller financing. By agreeing to such a large sale price discount, the seller simply left entirely too much money on the table. Even though the cash we offered was substantial, it was not possible to make up the difference created by such a large sale price discount.Ideally, a home owner loan will justify a small premium in the sale price because of the added risk by the property seller. The home appraisal is an excellent tool for determining current market value. If he had simply ordered one he would have easily made a lot more money on this transaction.For reasons like this, our philosophy is the home appraisal of the property should also be the contract sale price for the property. Even though we deal in discounted mortgages, our payouts are typically much greater than you might expect. In a case like this one, the seller would certainly have been able to capture close to 90% of the money left on the table.Each transaction is unique and requires special attention and analysis to provide the biggest payout possible. If you are considering a seller provided home owner loan for your buyer, you might want to take advantage of the services of a discount mortgage professional. We can not only help you save money, but we can help you make more money as well.In the example described above, it was a great deal for the buyer, but not nearly as good as it could have been for the property seller. The property seller chose to maximize his cash flow and profits by having the transaction run to full term. Even then he will never recapture the money lost with the discount he gave the buyer.In the current residential home sales market, you really need to explore non-traditional lending sources. It will probably save you some time and money. When you get a professional home appraisal to validate the sale price of your property, that is a great start. From there your buyer evaluation, deal structure, and subsequent mortgage loan will more closely resemble a win-win situation for the seller and the buyer.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Should You Really Consider Family or Employee Health Insurance(By Emmanuel St Cyr)

In the establishment that you work at, how does your company or employer treat you? Are you content with your wages? How about your health benefits, I’m sure they provide some sort of benefit?
In this day in age, this is a necessity for all employees or workers. Just think of your kids or family for a minute and how they would need that extra protection in case of some real medical emergency. This might obviously be an important aspect to consider for some when in search of employment, but there are many people out there who fail to take that into consideration. They are too busy looking at the job hours provided and the salary that comes with it. However, you really don’t want to have to sell yourself short. Family health benefits are essential necessities for all of us. We need these assertive plans to be there for us in case something should catch us off guard. So ask yourself this question. When last did you check to see what your family or employee health insurance covered you for?
Ever had to take a trip to the emergency room? Maybe you accidentally broke cut a finger in some tool of sort, broke your arm or foot, or maybe your child had some sickness you did not know how to take care of. All of these are goo reasons you should demand good family or employee health insurance benefits from your employer. In the real world, we have no way of knowing what may occur at any given moment. Even for those of us that have some idea, we all know that nothing is definite. You must prepare yourself for life’s surprises with the proper insurance and health plans. Lets say you need to see the dentist, then you probably need to have dental insurance to cover those check ups and or any other problems that may occur. This is all part of your family or employee health benefit package. A good and decent health and dental plan should be offered by nearly every company. In the long run, those plans can save you a good amount of money.
So what do you really know about your family or employee health benefits? Are you well aware of their importance in regards to your children and the ones you love. You would be surprised how many times you would need the assistance of a doctor, and those trips can add up. Take time to consider and looking more into finding a good health insurance benefit package and what your job may be offering to you.
For More Tips on Family Health Insurance Benefits for you and your family. Visit We can help guide you towards your health insurance needs.
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Sunday, November 4, 2007

Male Specific Health Insurance(By Michael Bell)

It is widely known that women outlive men and more female babies survive than male. Nowadays men live an average of 5 years less than women, which is 4 years more than it was almost a hundred years ago. Why is this the case and how can men correct this problem? Some of the reasons are rooted in the way men take care of themselves in general and how they approach purchasing health insurance. Other reasons are simply because of how men don't take care of themselves physically and when selecting or even purchasing health insurance policies.
Most men don't even bother with health insurance, nor do they even consider looking for it. More and more women are purchasing health insurance for their spouses, but what about all the single men out there? If you obtain a quote for a man's health insurance, it will usually be higher than that for women. Men don't just slack off on the health insurance coverage, they don't seek medical help even if they do have medical insurance. Getting a good health insurance policy is one of the few steps to a healthier and longer life.
A man's health is not just important to him, but to his offspring and to his spouse. If you die, what will happen to your wife and kids? Health insurance and life insurance for men go hand in hand sometimes, and you should get both. Since the men tend to bring home the bread more, or earn more income, it is important that men have a decent health insurance plan to cover them and probably their family for when things go wrong. Being covered not only physically but financially by a good health plan will reduce the risk of death for not only you but for your entire family. It would be wise to obtain health insurance early on or just finding the best plans available on the market today.
Health insurance becomes more important for men as they age, as this is usually when more and more health problems and risks arise. Widows are left with expensive medical bills and post postmortem expenses after their husbands die from easily preventable diseases and complications. With health insurance men are more inclined to see the doctor and are better cared for by health professionals since necessary tests are covered. Guys wouldn't bother with tests if they weren't paid for and convenient for them, thus health plans will help them stay healthier.
Men leaving their wives in poverty is becoming more common as they die without life and health insurance, leaving their entire family to deal with the left over medical expenses. There are more elderly women than men in the United States and it seems to be getting worse while men don't take care of themselves. Men need to get out there and find those popular health plans aimed specifically to males so you can be there for your wife and kids. For single guys this means living longer than your ex-girlfriends and your other friends!
Mike Bell is the owner and operation of the Insurance Options Guide. A site dedicated to providing users with appropriate information to make informed insurance decisions.
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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Skin Care Secrets - Anti-Aging and Anti-Aging Products(By George Christodoulou)

The Process of Aging
Aging is a part of life that everyone has to face at some point in their lives, and the one thing we all have in common, no one wants to face it. Sadly, the proof of aging shows on our faces in the form of wrinkles, a noticeable reminder that the aging process has begun. However, with time naturally passing, sunlight as well as other unavoidable factors, most are left with one question: “How can I stop aging?” Unfortunately, you can’t, but there are many anti-aging products available to mask the wrinkles.
Anti-aging Surgeries
Common surgical procedures are one way to make wrinkles magically disappear. The bad news is that on top of costing anywhere between $300 and $500, there are many other complications that may not be worth it.
Procedures such as Botox and face lifts can do permanent damage to your face. It can lead to drooping and bruising in the treated area as well as infections from unsterilized tools and pain that may last weeks after the surgery.
Natural Anti-aging Secrets
There are many things you can do to keep wrinkles from appearing prematurely without using many products.
• Don’t smoke• Protect your skin from the sun• Use moisturizers• Use products that contain sun screen
All of these things contribute the depletion of collagen in the face, which ultimately leads to wrinkles.
Anti-aging Products
There are many products on the market that will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Anti-wrinkle creams are safe to use and generally will cost less than $100. Creams such as “Athena 7 Minute Lift”, “Hydroderm” and “Dermitage” contain natural ingredients that can help stimulate the body’s natural production of collagen and can help keep skin moisturized and are clinically proven to lessen wrinkles.
However, when using products, take some precaution and make sure there are no ingredients within the product that may not work well with your skin. Be aware of any allergies you may have and stay away from products that contain them. Otherwise, Anti-wrinkle creams are a fast, efficient way to solve wrinkle problems.
For more information about Dermitage and the best anti wrinkle cream for eyes please visit
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Friday, November 2, 2007

Find The Right Family Health Insurance Program(By Pam Jenkins)

Finding the right family health insurance program can be quite a challenge. Even if you are fortunate enough to work for an employer offering group coverage, your family health insurance program may not include everything that you would like. In truth, finding affordable and adequate health insurance can be quite difficult. Here are a couple of tips to help you choose coverage that is right for you.
Prepare to shop...
Before comparing family health insurance programs you should make a list of benefits that you consider essential. This should include not only benefits you could use today, but carefully consider what you may require in the future and list these also.
Make a rough estimate of your family's average yearly health expenses. Break this information into broad categories such as office visits, prescriptions, dental, vision and any other major category you define. This will really help when comparing programs that offer copays and prescription coverage. Such a list may also alert you to areas that require more consideration than you realized.
Begin your search...
The internet is a great place to gather information. Any questions you might have can be answered in no time on the internet. Terminology can be quickly translated and explained by experts. Many sites even offer free comparison quotes.
Initially you should screen plans based on the services offered, location, and cost. In the early stages of searching you must decide how much importance you place on convenience, flexibility, and choosing your providers. Once you have defined the candidates that provide coverage that fits your needs and budget your ready for the final evaluation.
Details, details, details...
First and foremost, read the fine print. It is essential that you clearly grasp what is included in your coverage as well as what is not going to be covered. Be sure to take note of the amount of the deductibles. Find out the amount of your maximum out of pocket expense. Make sure you know whether or not the plan covers major medical, lab fees, x-rays, prescriptions, maternity or any other specifics you require.
This seems like a lot of work, but the benefits are worth every minute of the time you spend. Just think of the peace of mind you will have when you find the right family health insurance program.
For more information about health insurance and a free quote visit =>
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Thursday, November 1, 2007

How To Choose The Best Individual Health Insurance?(By Yazed Jamal)

Make a list about your health coverage is the first thing you must do. This will help you to determine which is the best individual health plan you should choose. You may be want to make list about your existing health conditions, such as a diabetes, heart problems, or any health problems that you may have. Choosing the right individual health insurance policies can help to prevent you from unwanted conditions. As you finished making your health coverage list you may want to consider the premium plan of individual health insurance.
Premium plan of individual health insurance is where you agreed upon fees paid for coverage of medical benefits for a defined benefit period. A premium health insurance is more expensive than the usual health insurance. It is because it’s cover more areas of health insurance.
After you make a list of your health coverage, you’re ready to dig the informations online. Sit back and relax. Prepare a cup of coffee if you want, because this will make you stay focus. You can start the research by typing ‘individual health insurance’ in the Google or Yahoo search box. After you get millions results, choose top ten or twenty companies from the results list, and put it in your note. The next thing you should do is research each companies background. Find out how long they’ve been in this business, how fast they process each claim, what’s their individual health insurance plan cover, and so on. This will shrink your companies list into two or three companies.
The two or three companies left, is easier to take care off. All you have to do is compare each companies features by using your wanted health coverage list as the main point. After you get one best of the best health insurance company, you can apply for it. Remember, choose it wisely, since this company will take care of your individual health insurance plan.
Getting the best individual health insurance plan is not a rocket science. You’re only required to be focus, patience, and persistence while you’re searching on it. Most companies will claim that they have the best features and benefits, but you already know the truth. That’s why you need to do these simple steps before you buy any individual health insurance because it will save you more money than you think.
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