Personal Finance

How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs?

October 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

How Much Should You Budget for Closing Costs? Let's Take a LookIf you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably trying to budget for all of the expenses that come with a home purchase. After all, the asking price isn’t necessarily the entire amount that you’ll pay – there are other expenses that will factor in to the final price. One such expense is your closing costs.

Closing costs are the miscellaneous fees you’ll pay when you sign the deal to buy your home. But how much do you need to save up for closing costs? Here’s what you need to know.

The General Guideline for What to Expect

Most mortgage advisors will tell you that you should expect to pay about 3 to 5 percent of your mortgage in closing costs. By law, your mortgage provider is obligated to give you a Loan Estimate form which is designed to help you understand the key features, costs, and risks of the mortgage loan. Three business days before the loan closes your mortgage provider will also give you a Closing Estimate form to review all of the costs of the transaction including all closing costs.

How Your Closing Costs Break Down

Your lender will give you a breakdown of costs in your Loan Estimate and Closing Estimate. But in general, there are certain closing costs you can expect to pay.

One cost that most lenders include is the loan origination fee, a small charge to compensate the lender for the time it takes to prepare the initial loan documents. There will also typically be a loan application fee, which can vary per lender.

Your lender may require you to get private mortgage insurance depending on your situation. The title search and title insurance to protect your lender from title fraud is another fee you should consider, and you’ll also likely want to buy title insurance to protect yourself.

There are also several other closing costs to keep in mind, like escrow fees, notary fees, pest inspections, underwriting fees, and the mortgage broker’s commission. All in all, you’ll want to budget approximately $5,000 in closing costs for every $100,000 you borrow.

Closing costs can be quite expensive, which is why you’ll want to make sure you budget appropriately when you buy your new home. A mortgage professional can help you to figure out how much you need to budget for closing costs. Call your local mortgage advisor today to learn more about budgeting for the home buying process.

James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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How to Assess Your ‘Debt-to-Income Ratio’ and Why

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Starting to Shop for a Mortgage? How to Assess Your 'Debt-to-Income Ratio' and Why This Number MattersThose who are looking to buy a home may want to start by shopping for a loan first. Having financing ahead of time may make it easier to get sellers to take a buyer seriously and help move along the closing process. For those who are looking to get a mortgage, the most important factor for having a mortgage application approved is the debt-to-income ratio of the borrower.

What Is a Debt-to-Income Ratio?

A debt-to-income ratio is simply the percentage of debt compared to the amount of income that a person brings in. If a person brought home $1,000 a month and had $500 worth of debt, that person would have a DTI of 50 percent. To improve the odds of getting a home loan, experts recommend that potential borrowers keep their DTI under 43 percent.

What Debt Will Lenders Look At?

The good news for borrowers is that lenders will disregard some debt when calculating a borrower’s DTI. For example, a health insurance premium would not be considered as part of your DTI while, and income is calculated on a pre-tax basis. This means that a borrower doesn’t have to factor in taxes when calculating their qualifying income.

What lenders will look at are any installment loan obligations such as auto loans or student loans as well as any revolving debt payments such as credit cards or a home equity line of credit. In some cases, a lender will disregard an installment loan debt if the loan is projected to be paid off in the next 10-12 months.

What Is Considered as Income?

Almost any source of income that can be verified will be counted as income on a mortgage application. Those who receive alimony, investment income or money from a pension or social security will have that money included in their monthly income when they apply for a loan. Wage income is also considered as part of a borrower’s monthly qualifying income. Self-employed individuals can use their net profit as income when applying for a mortgage. However, many lenders will average income in the current year with income from previous years.

How Much Debt Is Too Much Debt?

Many lenders will only offer loans to those who have a debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. However, government backed loans may allow borrowers who have a DTI of 50-55 to qualify for a loan depending on their income and other factors. Talking to a lender prior to starting the mortgage application process may be able to help a borrower determine if his or her chosen lender offers such leeway.

A borrower’s DTI ratio may be the biggest factor when a lender decides whether to approve a mortgage application. Those who wish to increase their odds of loan approval may decide to lower their DTI by increasing their income or lowering their debt. This may make it easier for the lender and the underwriter to justify making a loan to the borrower.

James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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Four Places To Look For Tax Deductions In Your Home

April 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Four Places To Look For Tax Deductions In Your Home Paying your income taxes each year leave your wallet a bit thin? There may be money hiding in your home that lessens your tax burden. Here are four places to look:

1. Home-Office Deduction

If you work from home, you could qualify for a home-office deduction. Taking the deduction can be a bit complicated; so many people who qualify don’t claim the exemption. An estimated 26 million Americans have home offices, but only 3.4 million claim them on their tax return.

Perhaps that’s why the Internal Revenue Service attempted to simplify the process in 2013.

The write-off takes into account depreciation, utilities, insurance, the amount of square footage dedicated for office space, whether you host clients at your house and other factors.

Because the parameters involved in filing a home-office exemption are rather complicated, it’s best to keep all business-related receipts, records of client meetings and other pertinent information to make things easier when you prepare your return.

2. Casualty Loss

Damage to your home from an act of God or a theft or burglary may qualify you for an income tax exemption. To qualify for the write-off, the causality loss must meet the “sudden event test.” That means it must be sudden, unpredictable, have involved some natural force and occur in a single instance.

To claim thefts and burglaries, you must be able to prove that a wrong doing has actually occurred. It can’t just be a case of a lost item that you suspect was stolen. Proof can come in the form of witness statements, police reports or newspaper accounts.

3. Energy Efficiency Upgrades And Repairs

Upgrading your home with energy efficient improvements can qualify you for a tax deduction. New roofs, insulation, windows, doors and a number of additional items qualify for the deduction. The deductions lets homeowners claim 10 percent of the total bill for energy efficient materials. The maximum credit is $500.

4. Real Estate Taxes And Newly Purchased Homes

New home owners should look at their settlement statement a bit closer. If the previous owner prepaid property taxes that cover any of the time you owned the home, you can include the prepaid taxes in your property tax deduction.

Don’t pay more than you have to when you file your taxes each April. Consider these commonly overlooked deductions that can lessen the amount you have to pay.

WelcomeHomeNWI

WelcomeHomeNWI.com was created to demystify the national real estate headlines and to provide unbiased real estate trends and statistics relevant to Northwest Indiana. Our mission is facilitated through a collaboration of professionals who are dedicated to the Northwest Indiana real estate industry. Welcome Home NW Indiana! Welcome Home! WelcomeHomeNWI.com is Your Home for Real Estate and Mortgage News for the Best Communities in Northwest Indiana.

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4 Tips To Save For That Down Payment

November 20, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

4 Tips To Save For That Down Payment In order to save up a huge amount of cash for the down payment on your first mortgage, you need a solid savings plan!

When you take out a mortgage on your new home as a first time homebuyer, the more you can pay as a down payment the better. The down payment on a mortgage reduces the principle of the loan and means that you will be paying tens of thousands less in interest payments over the life of the loan.

Most financial experts recommend that you should save up at least 20% of the value of the home as a down payment. Depending on the value of the home that you want to buy, this can be a serious chunk of money.

The conventional saving tricks of skipping your morning latte and eating dinner at home just aren’t going to cut it when saving up this much money! You will need some strategies for saving big.

Here are some tips to help you get closer to that down payment:

Make A Separate Savings Account

No matter how much you have already saved for your down payment, create a new savings account to put the money in. When the money is in your personal account it is so much more tempting to spend it on day to day expenses. Also, a savings account will give you a better rate of interest so that you can help you money grow.

Pay Off Your Credit Cards First

If you have credit card debt, you will be paying interest charges to the credit card company every month. These charges can really add up, especially if you are only paying the minimum on your loans. If you can pay down this debt you will have extra money every month to put into your savings instead.

Get A Part-Time Job

If you want to accelerate yourself towards having your down payment saved up, you could consider taking on a part-time job in addition to your full-time job on a few evenings and weekends.

It doesn’t have to be something that you do forever, but even sticking with it for six months to a year will give you thousands in extra income that you can put straight towards your down payment.

Make A Backwards Budget

Do you find that after you have paid all of your bills and your living expenses, there is nothing left over to save? Rather than calculating all of the money that you use on your monthly expenses and then saving whatever is left afterwards, why not make your budget the other way around?

Start off with how much you want to be able to save per month then subtract that amount from your net income. The number you have left is what you have to live off.

You will find that you naturally change your habits to make this amount of money work for you and if it if not enough you can increase your income by getting a side gig. These are just a few ways that you can save up for a down payment on your first home in order to save money over the years on your mortgage.

WelcomeHomeNWI

WelcomeHomeNWI.com was created to demystify the national real estate headlines and to provide unbiased real estate trends and statistics relevant to Northwest Indiana. Our mission is facilitated through a collaboration of professionals who are dedicated to the Northwest Indiana real estate industry. Welcome Home NW Indiana! Welcome Home! WelcomeHomeNWI.com is Your Home for Real Estate and Mortgage News for the Best Communities in Northwest Indiana.

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5 Reasons You Might Consider Non-Traditional Financing

November 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

5 Reasons You Might Need To Consider Non-Traditional Financing Private Money financing refers to loans collateralized by real estate, where the source of the funds used to close Real Estate transactions come from private investors.

The decision by the investors to make a loan is based primarily upon plenty of equity in the real property securing the loan thus reducing the risk of loss.

The ability to repay, and the borrower’s character is also considered along with how the borrower will pay the investor back in time.

Private Money loans are needed when a borrower or a property falls outside the standard underwriting rules of conventional lending sources like banks or other lending institutions.

The Primary Decision For Private Money Is Typically Based On The Simple ThreeFour Cs Of Private Money Lending:

  1. Capacity to repay the loan back
  2. Credit/Character of the borrower
  3. Collateral or property type

With risk of loss lessened, a loan may be a sensible deal from the Private Money Lender’s point of view, but it remains discarded to institutional lenders. To meet the continuing financing needs of these borrowers, an ongoing demand for private money has been created.

Mortgage brokers and bankers solicit and process these types of loans but the private investors are the ones that underwrite and close these private money loans.

After a loan request is processed and underwritten, the loan is funded by a loan investment product arranged by a Private Money Specialist.

Private investments may come from individuals, entities, or pension funds. Your private money investor or a private servicing company will service each loan until it is paid off or the property is sold.

The Reason Why People Need Private Money:

1. Loss of bank loans, including denial due to:

  • Use of cash out
  • Not perfect credit
  • Needing stabilized income
  • No reserves
  • Not operating with a bank account
  • Debt ratios too high
  • Property type or condition
  • Borrower type (i.e. trusts)

2. Borrower’s election to avoid the excessive loan conditions of an institutional loan saving time

3. Private Money Lenders ability to arrange loans secured by property types unacceptable to Institutional lenders

4. Borrower’s circumstances make it difficult to obtain institutional loans

5. Property’s characteristics make it difficult to obtain an institutional loan

If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you or you need more information about Private Money Loans contact me directly and I will help answer questions about Private Money loans.

James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?

November 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?How do you know what happens to your documents when you put a piece of paper in the trash? It can be difficult to know who is seeing it and what they are doing with it. It isn’t very common to burn trash anymore; therefore you can be sure that your paper garbage or recycling is likely to pass through several hands on its way to a landfill or recycling center.

StepByStep, Your Documents Can Get Pilfered

Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash.

Shredding devices are available at most office supply stores. Cross-cut shredders provide more security than strip-cut shredders. You may want to consider one depending on your level of concern. Shredding services or shredding events are often offered by financial institutions or community organizations.

Properly destroying sensitive personal information is a key step in helping to keep your identity secure. You really should shred any documents containing personal information, but be cautious not to shred financial documents that you may still need.

To Shred Or Not To Shred, That Is The Question…Or Maybe Its When To Shred

The Better Business Bureau offers these guidelines on when to shred:

  • Deposit, ATM, credit, and debit card receipts can be shredded once the transaction appears on your statement
  • Canceled checks, credit card statements, and bank statements with no long-term significance can go through the shredder after one year; if used to support tax returns, keep them for seven years
  • Monthly bill statements can be shredded one year after receiving, to allow for year-to-year bill comparisons (another good way to monitor your budget!)
  • Credit card contracts and loan agreements should be saved for as long as the account is active
  • Pay stubs can be shredded yearly after reconciling with your W-2 or other tax forms
  • Documentation of investment purchases or sales should be kept for as long as you own the investment and then seven years after that; shred monthly investment account statements annually after reconciling with a year-end statement
  • Always shred documents with Social Security numbers, birth dates, PIN numbers or passwords, financial information, contracts or letters with signatures, pre-approved credit card applications, medical and dental bills, travel itineraries, and used airline tickets.

James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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Read This Before Signing Your Reverse Mortgage

September 10, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Read This Before Signing Your Reverse MortgageThere are many reasons seniors want a reverse mortgage.

However, this option is usually considered by cash-strapped seniors who own their homes free-and-clear and are looking to ease the burden of their golden years.

The beauty of reverse mortgages is that you’ll receive money as long as you are current on property taxes and homeowners insurance. While this seems like an appealing opportunity, it’s a decision that should not be made lightly.

Not only is the reverse mortgage complicated in itself, but homeowners make all sorts of mistakes when they’re too quick to sign the dotted line.

So if you’re considering one, be wary of the common pitfalls below.

Buying Into A Scam

With reverse mortgages becoming a more common option for those over 62, mischievous opportunists are searching for ways to solicit seniors in need of help. Scammers will take advantage by charging high fees, funneling off parts of payments, creating fake loans or committing identity theft. Ensure you use a lender approved by the Federal Housing Association.

Confusing Your Payment Options

Reverse mortgages come in many forms. You can get the amount in one lump sum. Tenure payments are another option that give you a certain amount each month until you die or move out. There are also term payments, lines of credit, and modified tenure and term payments. You need to take the time to research your options and decide which one will be best for you in the long run.

Compromising Government Assistance

There are several government assistance programs that set asset limits on your monthly spending. These programs provide aid for low-income and disabled individuals. If any assistance programs financially support you, then be sure to consult their advisers before determining your reverse mortgage plan.

Disregarding Other Options

Reverse mortgages are extremely expensive and many people see them as their only option. However, there are other alternatives. Consider taking out a personal loan, downsizing or even taking on roommates. The Golden Girls always seemed to have fun.

A reverse mortgage could be just the thing to give you the extra cash flow you need and ease your mind. However, make sure you’re consulting a trusted HECM reverse mortgage specialist, reading the fine print and have carefully considered all your options.

James K Barath, CMPS®

James K Barath is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, Certified FICO® Professional, Certified Military Housing Specialist® and your FHA Home Loan Expert. He is also a graduate of Purdue University, The CMPS Institute, Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course & Napoleon Hill Foundation's PMA Science of Success Class. It's your home and your future. It's his profession and his passion. He is ready to work for your best interest. Contact James for your FREE Home Loan Approval !  His Motto: I Facilitate the American Dream Through Responsible Mortgage Lending and Financial Literacy!

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Think Twice Before Paying Off Your Mortgage Too Quickly

September 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Reasons to Think twice before paying off your mortgage too quicklyMost of the financial advice out there is focused on how you can pay off the mortgage on your home as quickly as possible, from making lump sum payments to switching to bi-weekly payments rather than monthly.

However, there are a few things that you might want to consider before you put all of your financial efforts into paying off your mortgage as quickly as possible.

Diversifying Your Investments

Of course, paying off your mortgage as fast as possible has a number of obvious advantages. You will be able to own your home a lot sooner and you will decrease the amount of interest you pay over the years. However, are you diversifying your assets?

Savvy investors know that they should decrease their risk by spreading their money into a number of different types of assets and investments so that they don’t have “all their eggs in one basket.”

If you have extra money and you want to invest it, you might want to make sure that you have a variety of investments including savings, stocks and bonds, rather than just investment in your home.

Liquid Assets

Another thing to consider is that having your money invested in your home means that it will not be a very liquid asset. If you needed the cash right away, you could have to sell your home or take out a home equity loan, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.

Before investing all of your money in your mortgage, consider creating an emergency fund as well so that you have some easily accessible money when you need it.

Earning More With Better Investments

Before investing all of your money in your mortgage, find out whether you would be able to earn more by investing it into other opportunities such as interest-bearing bonds. Sometimes stocks, bonds and mutual funds have better returns over time than the typical mortgage interest rates.

Perhaps paying off your mortgage as quickly as possible is the best option for you. However, make sure that you consider all of the factors before committing to this decision.

To find out more about mortgages and your home, contact your trusted mortgage professional today.

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WelcomeHomeNWI

WelcomeHomeNWI.com was created to demystify the national real estate headlines and to provide unbiased real estate trends and statistics relevant to Northwest Indiana. Our mission is facilitated through a collaboration of professionals who are dedicated to the Northwest Indiana real estate industry. Welcome Home NW Indiana! Welcome Home! WelcomeHomeNWI.com is Your Home for Real Estate and Mortgage News for the Best Communities in Northwest Indiana.

More Posts - Website

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