Mortgage Forbearance Explained

This video explains that Mortgage Forbearance is part of the CARES Act of 3/28/2020 that allows those with government loans to suspend mortgage payments for up to 1 year. I asked my good friends Jim and Stacy Brebner to do this video to explain Mortgage Forbearance and when is a good time to take advantage of it. With rates so great, you may want to refinance, but it would not be possible if you have already started the forbearance process. Activating Forbearance does not affect your credit score but the Forbearance is still on your credit report and will make it hard to buy a new home, refinance to lower your mortgage rate or to get cash out for at least 1 year. For more info contact The Brebner Team at 253-576-7968 or brebnerteam@apmortgage.com.

Work from home

A home office is more desirable than ever!

Now more than ever a home office is important. With stay at home orders, having a good place to work from home is crucial! If you have been thinking of selling your home and have a home office, your home will be more desirable and sell quickly. This article is courteous of Keeping Current Matters, Inc.

Why Home Office Space Is More Desirable Than Ever

For years, we’ve all heard about the most desirable home features buyers are looking for, from upgraded kitchens to remodeled bathrooms, master suites, and more. The latest on the hotlist, however, might surprise you: home offices.

Homes selling faster with offices

In a recent article by George Ratiu, Senior Economist with realtor.com, he notes how listings with an office are selling quickly.
“As more companies have been embracing remote work, buyers are driving demand for houses with home offices higher. Homes featuring the term ‘office’ are selling 9 days faster than the overall housing inventory.”

More people are working from home

Today, more and more people are working remotely, and that’s not just because the current pandemic is prompting businesses to operate virtually. According to the same piece and the most recent data available, the number of employees working at home was fairly steady from 1997 – 2004 but has been climbing ever since (see graph below):Clearly, the work-from-home population is growing, and technology is making it possible. Just last month, according to an article on Think Google, searches for telecommuting hit an all-time high, and that’s certainly no surprise given our current situation.

People all over the U.S. are looking for answers on how to be most effective at home, and it’s making the ideal workspace more and more desirable. In fact, best practices from seasoned work-from-home professionals, like Chris Anderson, Senior Account Executive at HousingWire, tout that having a dedicated space is a must for productivity.

With today’s increasing demand for home offices, it’s a great feature to highlight within your listing if you’re selling a house that may meet this growing need. From bright natural light with large windows to built-in bookshelves or a quiet and secluded atmosphere, whatever makes your office space shine is worth mentioning to buyers when you’re ready to list your house.

Ratiu concludes:
“For housing, the continued increase in the share of remote workers implies that demand for homes with offices or dedicated work spaces will continue to increase. The current coronavirus pandemic offers a dramatic indication of the fact that companies and employees will have to develop plans and clearer policies for remote work beyond the current crisis.”

Bottom Line
Remote work may become more widely accepted as this current crisis teaches businesses throughout the country what it takes to function virtually. So, what seems like a business challenge today may be more of the norm tomorrow. With that in mind, if you have a home office, your house may be more desirable to buyers than you think.

Ready to purchase a home? Let’s talk finances

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Are you ready to purchase a home? Have you considered creative financing? Don’t worry — it’s not illegal! But there are some terrific personal finance hacks for homebuyers. 

Understand the Process

Before you can reach full home-buying-hack potential, you should understand the basic process. As Curbed explains, you should start by getting a handle on your budget. Tally up what you normally spend in a month, calculate your income, and decide how much can go toward a mortgage and homeownership. Remember to include things like utilities, insurance, and homeowner association fees. You also need enough in your bank account to cover the down payment and closing costs.

Once you have a general idea, it can help to play with a pre-qualification calculator. This will help determine what you can afford. Then, you should get pre-approval for your loan with a lender.  Pre-approval will be based on your ability to afford a home and will review documentation proving income, employment, and identity. The lender will also consider your credit history. Those pieces of information will help decide how much your loan will be and for what interest rate. You can then make a serious offer on a property.

Keep Finances Stable

One of the first things you should know about buying a home is to leave your bank account alone. HGTV points out that you should try to avoid any substantial expenditures within three to six months of your home loan application. Not only will it help you to have that cash handy for a down payment and closing costs, lenders like to see a reliable, stable financial situation. 

Credit Facelift

Another way to enhance the appearance of your finances is to improve your credit score. This may sound complex, but it’s actually pretty simple. Make sure you pay your bills in a timely fashion, pay down your debts, and keep credit card balances low. Also, don’t apply for credit unless you really need it. Opening unnecessary accounts generally won’t help you. 

Down Payment Information

The traditional down payment for a mortgage is 20 percent. However, you should research the market where you plan to buy and know the average down payment in your target area, as well as the percentage of homes that sell under their list price. It’s also incredibly important to determine how much house you can afford before diving in. Even if you can afford the down payment, you might not be able to afford the mortgage

Finding Assistance

If you don’t have the money sitting in your bank account for your home purchase, you still have some options. You can get down payment assistance, which typically comes through programs operated by state or local housing authorities; for example, Redfin explains that FHA loans, VA loans, and rural housing loans can help you purchase a home if you don’t have enough to put down. Depending on your situation, this can mean coughing up substantially less cash for your down payment, and for some home buyers, there may be no down payment at all. 

View the Home Differently

Instead of looking for your dream home, some experts recommend looking for a property that’s a good investment. Even if you don’t intend to “flip” a house, chances are you will move on at some point. Instead of looking for the house that most appeals to you, you can make the most of your purchase by buying a home that will be desirable when it comes time to sell. Look for areas that hold their value well (ask your Realtor). Also, don’t buy the biggest and nicest home in a neighborhood. You’re actually better off buying the worst home in the neighborhood, as it’s most apt to give you a good return on your money.

Legal and Smart

Thinking outside the box can help with financing a home purchase. Get a firm idea of your numbers, improve what you can, get help if you need to, and reframe your ideas for the right home to buy. Your financially savvy choices will help you become a happy homeowner!

Think outside the box when its time to finance a home


Think Outside the Box When It’s Time
to Finance a Home

Are you ready to purchase a home? Have you
considered creative financing? Don’t worry — it’s not illegal! But there are
some terrific personal finance hacks for homebuyers.

Understand
the Process

Before you can reach full home-buying-hack
potential, you should understand the basic process. As Curbed explains, you should start by getting a
handle on your budget. Tally up what you normally spend
in a month
, calculate your income, and decide how much can go toward
a mortgage and homeownership. Remember to include things like utilities,
insurance, and homeowner association fees. You also need enough in your bank
account to cover the down payment and closing costs.

Once you have a general idea, it can help to
play with a pre-qualification calculator. This will help
determine what you can afford. Then, you should get pre-approval for your loan
with a lender.  Pre-approval will be
based on your ability to afford a home and will review documentation proving
income, employment, and identity. The lender will also consider your credit
history. Those pieces of information will help decide how much your loan will
be and for what interest rate. You can then make a serious offer on a property.

Keep
Finances Stable

One of the first things you should know about
buying a home is to leave your bank account alone. HGTV points out that you
should try to avoid any substantial expenditures within three to six
months of your home loan application. Not only will it help you to have that
cash handy for a down payment and closing costs, lenders like to see a
reliable, stable financial situation.

Credit
Facelift

Another way to enhance the appearance of your
finances is to improve your credit score. This may sound complex, but it’s
actually pretty simple. Make sure you pay your bills in a timely fashion, pay
down your debts, and keep credit card balances low. Also, don’t apply for
credit unless you really need it. Opening unnecessary accounts generally won’t
help you.

Down
Payment Information

The traditional down payment for a mortgage is
20 percent. However, you should research the market where you plan to buy and
know the average down payment in your target area, as well as the percentage of
homes that sell under their list price. It’s also incredibly important to
determine how much house you can afford before diving in. Even if you can
afford the down payment, you might not be able to afford the mortgage

Finding
Assistance

If you don’t have the money sitting in your
bank account for your home purchase, you still have some options. You can get
down payment assistance, which typically comes through
programs operated by state or local housing authorities; for example, Redfin
explains that FHA loans, VA loans, and rural housing loans can help you purchase a home if you don’t have
enough to put down. Depending on your situation, this can mean coughing up
substantially less cash for your down payment, and for some home buyers, there
may be no down payment at all.

View
the Home Differently

Instead of looking for your dream home, some experts recommend looking for a property
that’s a good investment. Even if you don’t intend to “flip” a house, chances
are you will move on at some point. Instead of looking for the house that most
appeals to you, you can make the most of your purchase by buying a home that
will be desirable when it comes time to sell. Look for areas that hold their
value well (ask your Realtor). Also, don’t buy the biggest and nicest home in a neighborhood. You’re
actually better off buying the worst home in the neighborhood, as it’s most apt
to give you a good return on your money.

Legal
and Smart

Thinking outside the box can help with financing a home purchase. Get a firm idea of your numbers, improve what you can, get help if you need to, and reframe your ideas for the right home to buy. Your financially savvy choices will help you become a happy homeowner!

Article by Kelli Brewer info@deploycare.org

Biggest mistakes homebuyers make when getting a loan