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Are you looking to buy a new house in the near future? If so, one of the choices you will face is constructing your own brand-new home or buying an existing home. The idea of building a new house on the right piece of land might sound enticing, but what if you could have a larger, more luxurious existing home in the same neighborhood for a much lower cost?

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Investing in real estate is one of the oldest means of building and storing wealth. However, it is only just recently that "flipping" of houses – buying at a low price, renovating and selling at a higher price – became popular. For many, house flipping has become a full-time career and their primary source of income.

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Are you in the market for a new home? If you are planning on borrowing some or most of the home's purchase price, you'll want to prepare yourself for the mortgage process. Let's take a look at four key questions that you will want to ask your mortgage professional when you first meet to discuss your home loan.

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Because flood insurance is not covered by your standard homeowners policy, you will need to consult your insurance agent or mortgage professional to determine if it is required for your property.

If there is the possibility of a chance of flooding, it is wise to purchase a policy that covers the structure and your personal belongings.

Your lender may require flood insurance even if the property is not in a high-risk area, but instead in a moderate- to low-risk area. Claims that come from areas outside of mapped high-risk flood zones account for 20% of all claims. Keep in mind that during the life of the loan the maps may be revised and the property could be designated high-risk. Your lender will notify if the status changes and that you now must purchase flood insurance. With The Newly Mapped procedure, policyholders may purchase coverage at the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) rate for the first 12 months after new maps are drawn up. After the first year, the rate begins its transition to a full-risk rate with annual rate increases of no more than 18 percent each year.

Flood insurance can be purchased from an insurance agent or company under contract with the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA), part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The local government has to have adopted adequate flood plain management regulations under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for flood insurance to be available.

 

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There were days when the marketing of a home involved plunking a sign into the front yard, but with the power of the Internet, there are many mediums through which home sellers can find potential buyers. If you’re currently looking at ways to use the power of social media in order to get your ideal purchase price, here are some things you can do to best harness its capabilities.

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Are you listing your home for sale? If so, it is time to get ready to meet with buyers and their real estate agents. And while you surely want to sell your home as quickly as possible, you will also want to do your homework to make sure you're selling to the right person. Let's explore the process of buyer qualification and why it's important to do a little digging into potential buyers of your home.

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You've scoured the new home listings, been to all the open houses and have finally found the home of your dreams. It is now time to draft an offer and begin the negotiation process. Below we'll share four mistakes that you will want to avoid when making an offer on your dream home.

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Whether you are just starting to shop for a new home or you've been paying off your mortgage for years, the news of potential interest rate increases may be worrying. Of course, interest rates naturally cycle higher and lower over time, so is there anything to be genuinely concerned about? In today's article, we'll explore interest rates and how you can prepare for an upward trend in rates if and when the time comes. 

Speak With Your Mortgage Advisor First 

If you already have a mortgage, the first step would be to speak with your lender to discuss what's coming in regard to interest rates. If you are locked into a "fixed" rate, check and see how long you have left before this needs to be adjusted. If you are on a floating or adjustable rate, you may be able to lock that in for a few years. 

If you do not already have a mortgage advisor or if you want a second opinion, we can help. Get in touch with us at your convenience. 

Refinance When The Time Is Right 

It is always a good idea to understand when the best time to refinance your mortgage might be. In short, refinancing refers to the process of swapping out your current mortgage loan for a new one. Your new mortgage pays off your old mortgage, and you continue to pay down the new loan. This is typically done when interest rates are on the way down, but refinancing applies to many home owners at different times. Have an honest discussion with your lender to determine if refinancing is right for you. 

Start Tucking Aside Extra Cash 

Finally, if you are truly concerned that you may have to spend a bit more to cover your monthly mortgage payment in the future, it's best to start saving now. Put aside an extra $25 or $50 each month into a savings account where it can stay until you need to use it. The upside is that, if you don't need it, you'll have a nice nest egg which can be invested or added to your retirement savings. 

Aside from preparing yourself financially, there is little else you can do about the direction of mortgage interest rates. To learn more about rate trends or to discuss how they might impact your mortgage, contact us today. We're happy to share our experience and insight to help you make the best decision.

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Is it time to move on from your house, townhouse or condo? If a sale is in your near future, you will want to start looking for a professional selling agent or broker to help manage the process. Let's take a look at our quick and easy guide to finding the best real estate agent to handle your home sale.

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If you are in the market for a new home, you've probably begun the process of choosing the neighborhood or community in which you want to live. The perfect spot to call home will depend on your age, the size and composition of your family, your working life, and other factors. However, one thing you may not know is that the community you choose to live in can also impact your mortgage. In today's post, we'll explore how the local area in which you live can affect your mortgage financing and interest rate. 

Lender Pricing Varies By State 

As you might imagine, the mortgage market is subject to a variety of legal rules and regulations. These laws vary from state-to-state, which means that they affect mortgages differently depending on where you live. All lenders have slight differences in their pricing depending on where you're going to live. 

Also, if you are looking to buy in a rural area which isn't close to a major city, that can affect your mortgage as well. Some lenders might not service rural areas in your state, so you won't be able to access their mortgage products. 

Are Other Local Homes Driving Up Prices? 

Price is another factor that can change your mortgage. If you are buying a home in a popular or luxurious community, that will drive the price up. Moreover, while you may be approved for that bigger mortgage, it may also come with a higher interest rate because of the higher amount of risk involved. 

Is The Local Market Hot Or Cold? 

Don't forget that the pace of the local housing market may impact your mortgage as well. For example, if fewer new homes are being built or added to the local inventory, you may find that scarcity is causing prices to increase. Conversely, if no new homes are being built because there is no demand, prices are likely to be trending downward. Also, while few lenders set their rates on a community-by-community basis, if the statewide or nationwide trend is a decline in home purchases, you are likely to see interest rates decline to entice new buyers into the market. 

In closing, it is important to remember that the community you choose to live in is one where you could find yourself situated for decades. Your mortgage interest rate should be less of a concern than ensuring you have access to great amenities, quality schools and a safe environment. To learn more about mortgage costs in your community of choice, contact our professional team and we'd be happy to help.

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