New Year’s Resolution: Become A Homeowner!

sparklers

Image source: Marisol Casben

Its that time of year again when everyone is setting their sights on new goals. From being healthier to save money to try new things, January 1st is when we all want to set ourselves up for a successful year.

One major goal many people have is to become a homeowner. This is a huge goal but very attainable. With Hall Financial, we can make it very simple and easy for you to obtain a mortgage.

Here is a step by step list of everything you need to make your homeownership dreams come true:

  1. Obtain preapproval from Hall Financial, you will need:
    1. Two years of W2s
    2. Your most recent pay stub
    3. Two months of bank statements
    4. Copy of driver’s license
    5. Credit Report
  1. Start house shopping
    1. Need a realtor? No problem, Hall Financial has preferred partners.
    2. Find a house. Put an offer in, and get it accepted!
  1. Loan documents
    1. Sign all documents
    2. Obtain homeowner’s insurance and provide to your processor.
  1. Closing
    1. Review closing documents.
    2. Schedule closing with your processor.
    3. Confirm closing date, time, and place with your realtor and processor.
    4. Sign all final documentation.

Enjoy your new home!

Holiday Décor Shouldn’t Break the Bank

Happy Holidays 

Image Source: Unsplashed

The Holiday season is rough on everyone’s pockets! From gifts to hosting dinner parties and even decorations, there is a lot of cash being shelled out. There is nothing cheap about Christmas trees, garland, or outdoor lighting, but we have a few budget-friendly tips to help you as a homeowner save. 

 

Take advantage of the end of year sales

At the end of every Holiday season, stores put ALL of their seasonal decorations on sale. That means you will have incredible savings while finding all the décor your heart desires. 

 

Re-use what you have

There is no harm in decorating your home with what you currently have. Green garland and Christmas trees are pricey, and there is no need to buy those items new every year. Unless your décor is defective, there’s no reason to trash it. You can still make all your old items feel new by changing the colors of the accessories (bulbs, bows, ribbons, etc.). 

 

The dollar store can be your friend

I know shopping at the dollar store for the Holidays doesn’t sound glamorous, but that’s ok, it doesn’t need to be. Every year, the dollar store has a slew of seasonal decorations. With everything being $1, you can clean up on all things “Holiday” and still have extra money to spend how you please. 

3 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Fall home

Image Source: Unsplashed

Buying home is one of the biggest commitments you will ever make. Not to mention it is pricey, time-consuming and can be very intimidating. If you are a first-time homebuyer and don’t know where to start, these 3 tips could help you prepare yourself for the process.

Tip #1: Be picky about your Mortgage Lender

This is a major purchase and commitment! You need to be completely comfortable with your lender. Find a lender that is in tuned to your request, concerns and anxieties. You should never feel like you are being pitched some sales tactic and what you feel doesn’t matter. You will spend many long hours communicating with this company and they should be all about catering to you and showing you MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION.

Tip #2: Take your time!

The mortgage process can be extremely daunting. From picking a real estate agent, to your dream home, to the mortgage lender…there is a lot of decisions to make and you shouldn’t rush making any of them! Take your time throughout this entire process. If you aren’t loving the way your real estate agent is communicating with you, get a new one. Or you aren’t loving any of the houses in the current market for sale, wait till you find what you want!

Tip #3: Have money saved

Not only is it nice to have a good amount of cash saved for your down payment but, there are tons of other expenses to consider. Once you get approved for that new home, you are going to want to furnish it and fill it with things you like! Also, since buying a home is so expensive, you need buffer money, just in case some random expense occurs.

 

HOMEOWNERSHIP = HAPPINESS

Happy Couple Keys

Source: Google

Recent studies have shown that 93% of homeowners say that having a house makes them happier than renting did.

Why is that?

Experts are coining it “The Homeownership Effect” explaining that owning a home can make you a better person because you naturally find yourself enjoying new hobbies like gardening, landscaping, cooking, and if you are a big spender maybe even remodeling.

Besides allowing you to find and create more hobbies for yourself, it has been said by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that owning a home helps with financial responsibility and overall better well-being. These can be attributed to homeowners living in an affordable, comfortable home located in a connected neighborhood with a reasonable commute.

However, don’t think that owning a home is the magic key to happiness. There does take a level of preparation and making sure you can comfortably afford things like property taxes, insurance, and unexpected (but relatively normal) home repairs. If you are curious whether or not your family is ready for this next step – click here – to talk with someone today about your current situation.

3% or 20% – What’s Best For Me?

Down Payment

Image source: Google

It is no secret that times have changed since our grandparents and even our parents have purchased homes. So much so, that with new programs and requirements, brokers/lenders have stated, you aren’t required to have the 20% down payment that you heard about growing up.

But now you are thinking… how much should I save for a down payment?

Here’s the good news it doesn’t have to be difficult, and you can do what works best for you and your family. To put it in perspective, if we were still required to put down 20% on a home loan, based on Mr. Cooper’s math, it would take renters nearly seven years to save for a 200K home on an average salary of 56K a year. Seven years!

However, there is a benefit to putting 20% down.

1.     Right away, there is more equity in your home.

2.     Lower monthly payment.

3.     Lower rates.

4.     You aren’t that high of a risk to your lender.

5.     You won’t need mortgage insurance.

6.     Future buying power.

Click here to calculate your ideal mortgage down payment.

 

Mortgage Rates Hit Another 3-year Low

Mortgage Market Update (1)

According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to a 3-year low. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55% for the week ending August 22, 2019, down from last week’s 3.6%, which is close to 2018’s lowest percentage point. The drop-in mortgage rates benefit not only the housing market but also the economy as a whole. Home purchase demand is up 5% since 2018, and the refinance market has hit a significant surge. Homeowners that have refinanced are seeing close to a $140 of savings per month. The benefits of lower mortgage rates are also helping homeowners gain more equity.

Market Update: The Fed Rate Cut

Mortgage Market Update (1)

Last week the Federal Reserve made the decision to cut rates for the first time since 2008. With wages on the rise and unemployment rates at a 50-year low, the decision was made to help boost the economy. This means potential savings for homeowners across America looking to refinance or sell their home since home equity is also on the rise.

Fed news pic

*These numbers are based on the weekly average data pulled in from Freddie Mac

With rates being at their lowest point in 3 years, now is an optimal time to purchase and refinance. We want you to take full advantage of the housing market’s favorable conditions!

Give us a call for a free 5-minute mortgage review!

Unpack & unload: the best way to unpack and relax!

Upacking & organizing

{Image source: Google}

You’ve just moved into your new home, now what? Well, might I suggest first unpacking your unpacking kit? That may sound like an oxymoron, but I promise you it will save you as you work tirelessly to put your home into order.

What goes into an “unpacking kit”:
-a box cutter and or scissors
-trash bags
-hand soap
-toilet paper
-shower curtain and liner
-shampoo and conditioner
-all-purpose cleaning wipes or spray
-pain relief (Tylenol or Advil)
-pet food (if applicable)
-paper plates and bowls
-plastic utensils

Everything inside of this box should be self-explanatory, but you don’t want to have to unpack and starve or remain dirty after cleaning!

Now that you have your lifeline, here are our top two hacks for unpacking:

  1. This should go without saying, but just in case, as you unload your boxes from your car or from the moving truck, DO NOT LIFT WITH YOUR BACK!!! This is number one for a reason. Don’t cause a serious injury, instead, lift with your legs!
  2. Go with the flow: the unpacking flow. My recommendation:
    First, unpack your bathroom. The human body doesn’t wait for anyone! If you don’t want to unpack ALL your bathrooms, unpack at least one. Next, unpack your kitchen. There shouldn’t be terribly too many things, and you will, of course, need to refuel at some point. Then, move on to your bedroom. After unpacking most of your things, you will need rest! And of course, if you don’t get everything finished, you can at least sleep comfortably. Finally, everything else. Decorations, of course, should be last, as you must see where everything else fits first.

Market Update: Is Renting Cheaper Than Buying?

Mortgage Market Update (1).jpg

According to a recent survey done by Freddie Mac, 82% of renters think renting is more affordable than owning a home. But according to the actual data, renters spend more of their income than homeowners. Up to 36% of renters are spending a whopping 1/3 of income monthly! Even with these facts, renters still think it’s cheaper to rent due to the misconceptions of the amount of money needed for a down payment, as well as looming student loan debt.