• When it comes to developing...

    "When it comes to developing character strength, inner security and unique personal and interpersonal talents and skills in a child, no institution can or ever will compare with, or effectively substitute for, the home's potential for positive influence."
    -Stephen Covey

  • A house is not a home...

    "A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body."
    -Benjamin Franklin

  • He is happiest...

    "He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home."
    -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Week 7: Reasons to Buy a Home

This week marks week 7 in our 26 Weeks of Reasons to Buy a Home.  When you have a family and it comes time to looking for a home, it's not just you and your spouse that you think about but it's also your children.  Is the home in a good school zone? Does the neighborhood have other kids close in age? What is the crime rate like? These are all questions you'll probably find yourself asking when it comes time to buying a home.  As a homeowner, you get to choose what home and neighborhood is right for you and your family.

Monday, August 11, 2014

What To Consider If You Are Anxious About Beginning the Mortgage Process

Once you've started thinking about a mortgage and buying a new home you pretty much can't stop. You probably feel very excited but also very nervous thinking, where do I even begin? Well, if you're anxious about getting a mortgage and you're here reading this article, than you are already on your way to homeownership. Research and self-education is the most important thing a home buyer can do before signing any loan documents. Online reading is where most people begin, according to research from the National Association of Realtors, or NAR. Not only can Researching online help you get comfortable with the process but it can also help you find mortgage and Real Estate professionals to contact.

Down Payment Myths

Many prospective home buyers still think they need 20 percent down to own a home.  However, that myth is long overdue.  An FHA loan in 2014 only requires 3.5 percent down.  Conventional loans with low MI require as little as 5 percent down.  Often times it's mortgage misconceptions like this that keep first time home buyers from ever beginning the mortgage process.

According to the National Association of Realtors the top 5 sources of down payment for first time homebuyers are: Savings accounts, gift from a friend or relative, 401k, sale of stock or bonds, or a loan from a relative or friend.   Note, that not every loan program allows the borrower to get help from someone else for the down payment but it's definitely an option worth considering if that's the route you have to take.

Choosing Your Team of Professionals

It's crucial that you find a Realtor and Lender that will work with you to ensure the smoothest loan closing and also give you a good deal.  Start by doing research online and reading reviews.  Many first-time home buyers prefer to work with a Realtor Lender team such as, RANLife, because it makes it easier to have your team of professionals together in one building.

It's important you find a good lender right away so that you can get pre-approved for a mortgage.  Most Realtors won't even want to work with you until they know you are approved and able to buy.  Once you've found good experts to work with, you can finally start thinking about the exciting part of shopping for homes.

Getting Your Finances In Order and Signing Loan Documentation

As you can probably imagine, the mortgage process can be quite lengthy.  Your lender will be asking you for lots of financial documents such as your W-2's, tax paperwork, bank statements, etc.  It's vital that you have this information on hand when they ask for it so you do not delay the mortgage process and risk the chance of having to close after your loan closing date.

Besides preparing your own documentation, you must be prepared to sign a lot of documents.  In fact, sometimes paperwork will come in packets at a time that will need a signature from you on every page.  It's okay, don't panic.  A good tip is to ask your lender to underline everywhere they want you to sign so that you don't miss any spaces and have to go back and resign paperwork again.

Knowing Your Comfort Level

After reading all of this, are you still freaked out about getting a mortgage? If so, you might want to talk to a professional directly and have them give you an opinion of where you stand in the mortgage process.

Also, just because you get approved doesn't mean you have to jump the wagon.  Make sure you take time shopping for a home and you are 100 percent happy with everything.  A mortgage is a big commitment but it does not have to be decided on overnight.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week 6: Reasons to Buy a Home

This week marks week #6 of our 26 Reasons to Buy a Home.  Have you ever felt like you don't have enough space at home to feel comfortable and put all of your things? The amount of living space is a common problem with renters and rental properties.  When buying a home, you have the freedom to choose whatever space works best for you. Whether you desire a big kitchen or spacious living room, having enough living space is vital to our happiness at home.  

Check out the other 26 reasons here.

New Updates to Mortgage-Rules Could Be Detrimental to Short-Sellers

If you're one of the millions of homeowners who had to undergo a short-sale in the last few years you may have to add some waiting time before your next chance at home ownership.  The new mortgage-rules, which take effect August 16th, will add about two years to the waiting period after a short-sale.

How will this affect home buyers? 

Currently as the rule stands you can buy a primary, secondary, or even income property just two years after a short sale.  But the waiting time to obtain a new mortgage will rise from two years after a short sale to four years.  Any home buyers with loan applications dated after the August 16th effective date will be affected by this new rule.

What can home buyers do? 

The best approach that a previous short-seller can take is to talk with a lender who can provide accurate waiting times for you and your particular situation.  It's possible that your lender will consider other compensating factors when reviewing your mortgage application.

Other than that, it's important that short-sellers immediately start to rebuild their credit.  A lot of the times derogatory items can be mistakenly put on a credit report after an event such as a short-sale or foreclosure so it's important to monitor it and make sure that everything is reporting accurately.  Over time, credit can be rebuilt and will help make a huge difference when trying to buy a home the second time around.

Get a Free Consultation from one of our expert mortgage officers and find out how you can become a homeowner again.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Week 5: Reasons to Buy a Home

We're bringing you 26 Reasons to Buy a Home and this week is reason #5: Tax Breaks.  One of the biggest benefits when it comes to buying a home is the tax writeoff you can claim for being a homeowner.  Many buyers forget this perk! As a homeowner, you're entitled to deduct interest paid, Private mortgage insurance, and even fees paid at closing. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

RANLife Home Loans Offers Alternative Solution to Long USDA Rural Home Loan Waiting Periods

The no money down USDA Rural Housing Loan is a popular home loan among home buyers in America but long waiting periods for USDA Commitments are forcing RANLife and their clients to explore other options for a faster loan closing.  

Salt Lake City, Utah (PRWEB) July 29, 2014

RANLife Home Loans, a USDA Direct Lender, is offering alternative solutions to clients looking for a USDA Home Loan to combat the long commitment times which stretch out up to 30 business days in some states. In order to ensure a faster loan closing, RANLife is taking every precaution possible to ensure they can still meet their client's mortgage goals.  

Read the full article on PRWeb here.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

3 Easy Tips to Pay Your Mortgage Off Quicker

Did you know that more than 20 million Americans own their home outright? That means, you can do it too. After all, isn't the end goal for everyone to get out of debt as fast as possible? 

However, paying off your mortgage faster is a lot easier said than done.  That's why it's about creating good habits and starting with small changes. Eventually, those little changes will catch up to you and you'll start to see a big difference in your loan amount.  Here are three tips that we suggest to get you going if you are determined to pay your mortgage off faster:

Start with a Dollar

No, seriously.  Start by adding an extra dollar to each month's mortgage payment.  Each month, increase your payment by $1. For example, pay $900 the first month, $901 the second month, and so on. For a 30-month, $900 per month mortgage with a 5% fixed interest rate on a loan of $150,000, you could reduce the term of the mortgage by almost six years.

Keep in mind that anything you pay each month over your monthly mortgage payment goes directly towards your principal and the smaller it gets the lower the interest you pay.

Pay a little more. 

Feel comfortable doing a little more? Start with where you feel comfortable.  Maybe that's an extra $200 a month or maybe it's an extra $20. Every little bit makes a difference.  One trick we suggest to start if your budget is really tight is to just round your payment up each month.  For example, if your monthly mortgage payment is $1271, round it to $1300. Or even to $1280.

Switch to Biweekly Payments

Since there are 52 weeks in a year and 12 months, if you pay half your mortgage payment every other week you'll end up making 26 half payments which is also equal to 12 full months at the end of the year.  This is a full extra payment and for homeowners that already get paid biweekly, this is a great option.  Check with your lender or bank to see if they offer biweekly payment plan options.

Did you find these tips helpful?  Please leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought or of any other tips you have used to pay off your mortgage faster!