Category Archives: First-Time Buyers

What Is PMI… And How To Use It As A Wealth Building Tool

Before buying a home, you would ideally save enough money for a 20% down payment. You can get a home loan with less than a 20% down payment, but you’ll probably have to pay for mortgage insurance. The purpose of the insurance is to protect the mortgage company if you stop making your monthly mortgage payments and default […]

How to Choose the Right Homeowners Insurance Deductible

Homeowners insurance deductibles are an essential aspect of owning a home. With homeowners insurance, owners select the amount of coverage they want to help protect their home and belongings, and the cost for this coverage is included in the monthly mortgage payment. While homeowners insurance is a common piece of the real estate puzzle, there […]

How To Get Your Earnest Money Back

In real estate, the importance of being earnest is measured not by a handshake and a “Sure, we’ll buy your house,” but cold hard cash—aka earnest money. This safeguard serves to keep fickle buyers from changing their minds unnecessarily, however,  there are plenty of reasons you can—and should—bail with your earnest money firmly in hand. Here we will discuss […]

Understanding Real Estate Value

The term “value” can take many forms, and when buying and/or selling a home it’s important to understand all of them. There are five distinct ways to classify value. Although there are dictionary definitions for each, they are best understood through real-world examples. 1. Market value is the amount that a particular home is worth to a particular buyer. The Uniform […]

Understanding Mortgage Rate Locks

A rate lock is a guarantee from a mortgage lender that they will give a mortgage loan applicant a certain interest rate, at a certain price, for a specific period of time. A rate lock protects the borrower from rising interest rates: So, if the borrower locks in a rate of 4%, s/he will only […]

Buying a Home – Things to Do After Closing

So you finally got through all of the loan documents, closed on your property, and got the keys to your new house… what do you do next? The home buying process can be an intensive and overwhelming experience and in a continued effort to be of service to our clients we’ve prepared a short list to ease your transition […]

Understanding Closing Costs and How to Reduce Them

When you take out a mortgage, whether it’s be to purchase or refinance a home, you must pay closing costs. These costs can vary and it’s important to know which costs are negotiable. There are fees that must be paid to the lender, those that must be paid to third parties, such as title/escrow and insurance, and […]

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Explained

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate and monthly payments varies according to a specific benchmark. The initial interest rate is usually fixed for a period of time after which it is reset periodically. The interest rate paid by the borrower will be based on the benchmark plus an additional spread, called an ARM […]

Understanding Real Estate Appraisals

Understanding how appraisals work will help you achieve a quick and profitable refinance or sale. When you refinance or sell your home, the lender involved will insist that an appraisal be performed. An appraisal is the process of valuing real property and is simply an opinion of the market value of your home based on […]

Buyer Frequently Asked Questions

Especially Helpful if you are a first-time home buyer Q. I’m thinking about buying a home. Where do I start? A. The first step for those considering buying a home is a credit check. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your credit reports so you can spot any mistakes and dispute them […]