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.

 

Ways to Save on Your Monthly Payments

mortgage savings

Source: Google

The mortgage industry has been experiencing an amazing year so far. The Federal Reserve (FED) has continued to cut rates. Need proof? Last week the FED dropped rates another quarter percent, we are currently hovering at a 2-2.25% rate.

What does that mean for you?

Well if you are looking to purchase you have the ability to buy more home for your money; however, if you are looking to refinance you are looking at saving money over the life of your loan, on top of potentially being able to lower your term.

Refinancing is one of the various ways you can utilize to help save money overall; however, if you find yourself needing alternative options and are looking to be proactive in your home financing needs, here are a few out-of-box ideas.

  1. Buy a Cheaper House – this is self-explanatory, learning to live below your means is a valuable lesson to learn and helps you budget more efficiently.
  2. Choose a Bi-Weekly Payment Option – Most loan servicers provide this option. When you choose to go this route, you end up making 26 payments a year; which adds up to you paying 1 extra payment towards your principle each year.
  3. Choose an ARM – this option is great if you don’t plan on living in your home very long. What’s the point of fixing yourself in a 30-year term if this isn’t your forever home?
  4. Extend Your Repayment Term – Example if you are in a 15-year term you can switch to a 30-year; this doesn’t change the amount of your loan but will overall lower your payments because you are extending the term.
  5. Make a Larger Down Payment – This option would make your parents feel like you are listening to them. You grew up with them harping you to save for a 20% down payment and there is a good reason why: it helps keep your monthly mortgage payment LOW.
  6. Get Rid of Your PMI – this option takes some time if your purchasing and your sellers don’t want to pay this off while negotiating. To be able to get rid of your PMI you must gain at least 20% equity in your home; once you achieve that you can request that your lender drop PMI.
  7. Pay for Points – when you pay for points you are paying for a lower interest rate. There may be more you pay for upfront in closing costs; however, over the term of your loan you aren’t acquiring unnecessary interest.

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

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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.

 

3 Reasons Why Waking Up Early Puts You Ahead

Alarm

{Image source:Julian Hochgesang}

We’ve heard the saying, “the early bird gets the worm” but how true is that? While the idea behind getting up early and getting a head start on your day is accurate… it’s more about what you’re plan of action is and how you maximize each minute! Here are 3 reasons why waking up early puts you ahead.

Discipline

Waking up early is hard! Who doesn’t want to lay in their warm and comfortable bed for just a little bit longer each day? But, developing the discipline to get out of bed early, will serve you well! Learning discipline in all areas of your life will greatly benefit you but, learning to discipline your time, will be a game-changer.

Productivity

Sure, you have the same 24 hours in a day as every other human on this planet, but do you sleep/lounge the day away like most? The key to waking up early is having something to wake up to do! Planning your day, the night before and having a routine, will ensure you are maximizing every minute.

One Step Ahead

Simply put, as an early riser you are one step ahead of the crowd. While everyone else is sleeping, you are planning your day, crossing off your daily task and strategically thinking of your next move. You can get into the office sooner, so you don’t have to worry about loud coworkers and other distractions.

Bills, Bills, Bills

Bills, bills, bills

{Image courtesy of Google}

You toss and you turn as payday approaches and all you can think about is as soon as your paycheck hits… so do your automatic payments. As soon as the money comes in, the money goes out and that’s just the revolving door we watch as working middle-class individuals. However, today’s mortgage market update comes with some positive money saving news!

CoreLogic released it’s latest “Loan Performance Insights Report” and over the last 16-months, the national delinquency rate has been declining. Nationally we are currently sitting at 3.6% which is the lowest it has been in over 20 years.

Core logic pic

{Image courtesy of CoreLogic}

In other national news, two housing bills were passed on Tuesday, July 9th, 2019, to await Senates vote before heading over to Trump’s desk for final approval. The first bill that passed was the “Protect Affordable Mortgages for Veterans Act of 2019”. This law will now allow a 210-day window of time to pass after the loan is established to start on the due date of the initial loan. This will help brokers and lenders remain compliant and allow those who are helping clients refinance know when the 210-day seasoning period starts.

The next bill that passed yesterday was the “Housing Financial Literary Act of 2019”. This bill will specifically help those who are purchasing a home for the first time.

How? You ask?

If the bill is to pass the Senate, those first-time homebuyers who take a pre-ownership counseling course, they will receive a 25-basis-point discount on their mortgage insurance. However, the bill is specific to only FHA loan products. In hopes that this bill passes it would allow first-time homebuyers to take more advantage of their financial futures and opens up more opportunity for those who are on the fence of being able to purchase their first home.

Live On Real Estate’s 100th Episode!

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It was a big week here at Hall Financial. Our in-house podcast, “Live On Real Estate” recorded the 100th episode on Wednesday! Hosts Patrick Ali and Chris Puzzuoli sat down with David Hall our owner, CEO, cheerleader, mentor and occasional host from time to time.

Top 3 Quotes from DHALL himself:

  1. Life is short… and I want to WIN!
  2. “If you aren’t embarrassed by your first launch, you launched too late”
  3. Being impatient for results… makes for a great CEO

Here at Hall Financial, we came from humble beginnings. David worked hard in his career. He came to a point where he wanted to take everything, he liked about the companies he has worked for and created a platform (company) for those who wanted to learn and grow in a fast-paced environment. He didn’t want to do what others were doing.

This year one of our major goals is to reach 1000 5-Star reviews by the end of 2019, and eventually reach 10,000! Why? Because we breathe MORE PERSONAL ATTENTION. It is our mission to make sure our clients are well educated and feel comfortable with huge financial transactions. Currently, we are at just over 700 5-star reviews, which puts us well on our way to this year’s goal!

You are in for a treat with this episode, you will hear David be more candid and transparent than you ever have before! Click the radio below to listen to the 100th episode!

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You’re Always Auditioning

All hail to sails

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We’ve all heard the saying “first impressions are lasting impressions” and that couldn’t be truer. Think about a moment you really wanted to amaze someone you were interacting with for the first time. Whether it was an interview, an audition, a team try out, or even a first date you made sure you were putting your best foot forward, and that you were READY.

You arrived 15 minutes earlier, ready to impress and to display your passion for the potential opportunity. Knowing how important this moment was, you went above and beyond to leave a great impression and to secure your spot. Think about all the things you did to outshine your competition and make yourself stand out.

The trap that many of us fall into is letting our guard down once we’ve been awarded the opportunity we worked so hard to get. Huge mistake.

The truth is, the way you conduct yourself after the gig is yours, is what determines the level of success you will reach. You need to keep the same level of enthusiasm and crispness that got you in the door, to begin with. You have to remember; people are ALWAYS watching you. You don’t have time to rest on your laurels!

If you make it a habit to continue to shine and outwork the hardest working person in the room, when new opportunities for advancement arise, you will always be the obvious choice.

 

Stand Up to You. [DH Sweet 16 #16]

It’s sad we often define a goal as “too big”, leading us to settle for what’s easy because it’s safe. Goals that are considered “too big to achieve” are lies coming from our own worst enemy: our mind.

Have you ever stopped and thought, “What if I decided to think bigger?”

Too often people don’t realize their potential. It’s one of the many faults we have as humans. We stop ourselves short of greatness by settling for what’s easy and not looking outside of our comfort zone.

How many times have you stopped yourself from pursuing a life-long dream because it feels unattainable? How many times have you settled for mediocrity because you feel it’s easiest? That small-minded thinking will never get you farther than where you are right now. You want to be a doctor? Aim to be the chief of staff at a hospital. You want to be a writer? Aim to be an international bestseller. Want to be a good golfer? Aim to win the state championship by age 45. Want to be an amazing dad? Aim to be the Dad all the kids look up to and want to have around.

We set goals to drive our success, a source for our ambition. Make them great.

It’s like when you run 5 miles and you push like hell through the last leg, thinking that cramp in your side is too much to bear and the dehydration is almost overwhelming, but then you do it. You finish. What was the motivating factor? What pushed you to run through the agony? The answer: you thought bigger. You decided for a moment that your goal was bigger than your pain. In these tough moments where you think you can’t go on but you decide to push yourself beyond your limits, that is where the growth happens. These are the moments—when you think big—anything can happen.

It takes strength to think and push yourself to be bigger than what you’re likely capable of but nobody ever went anywhere without having grand thoughts and taking big leaps. That’s the key to success.

You have to think anyway, why not think big? Our brains are not static, we have thoughts that take up space all day. Manipulate those thoughts.

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And that’s the epitome of David’s last Sweet 16: Think

Big. “There is always room in your life for thinking bigger, pushing limits, and imagining the impossible.” But there’s only one thing that will ever stand in your way: you. You have to be the one to choose daily that you are going to think bigger thoughts than you’ve ever thought before. You have to be the one to decide your dreams are bigger than your fears. You.

Only you.

What are you going to do today to push yourself to think bigger?

Want to be great? Aim to be the individual everyone looks up to and admires. Ready to think bigger and accomplish some even bigger goals? Send us your resume and aim to do more than you’ve ever done.