Annemarie Torcivia - RE/MAX  Trinity



Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 11/6/2017

Securing a mortgage can take years of planning and saving. Depending on credit score and financial history, it can be difficult for some people to secure a mortgage with a reasonable interest rate and down payment.

As a result, the U.S. government--at both the federal and state level--has created several programs to make the goal of homeownership more achievable for more Americans. 

These programs are designed to help a number of people, including first-time homebuyers, low-income families, people living in rural areas, Native Americans, and veterans and servicemembers of the United States military.

In todayís article, weíre going to be talking about ďVA loans,Ē or loans guaranteed by the United States Department f Veterans Affairs.

What is a VA Loan?

When a bank chooses to approve someone for a mortgage, they have weighed the risks of that personís ability to pay back the loan. The less certain a bank is that they will see a return on their investment with a borrower, the higher the down payment and interest rate they will require.

One incentive that the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs offers its service members and veterans is the ability to receive a loan that is, in part, guaranteed by U.S. Government. That means that lenders can safely approve you for lower interest rates and down payments knowing that the money they are lending you is insured.

Who is eligible for a loan?

Loans guaranteed by Veterans Affairs arenít strictly for veterans. Active duty service members, including National Guard and Reserve Members may also be eligible. In addition to service members, people who are or were spouses of veterans or service members might also be eligible for a VA loan.

Specific eligibility requirements can be somewhat complicated, so itís a good idea to visit the eligibility page or contact your local Veterans Affairs office.

What are the perks of a VA Loan?

If youíve spent a significant portion of your time serving in the military, thereís a good chance that saving for a home has been placed on the back burner. Shopping around for a loan with an affordable down payment can be daunting or impossible for many.

Fortunately, with a VA loan eligible recipients are able to receive a loan with a low down payment or even no down payment.

In a time when down payments can average 20% of the mortgage, that can mean a lot of money you wonít have to spend up from. For example, a home that costs $275,000 would have a 20% down payment of $55,000.

What are the fees?

This great deal does come with one catch. As with many loan assistance programs, there is a fee charged for the services. On top of the funding fee charged by the VA, there are other costs associated with buying a home.

These may include appraisals, inspections, credit reports, and more. Additionally, lenders may charge a 1% flat fee for those using a VA loan.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 6/19/2017

Once you have gone through the pre-approval process and have narrowed down your home search, thereís a good chance youíll soon find a place that you want to make an offer on. This can seem like a huge step for any first time homebuyer. Even seasoned home buyers feel butterflies when the time comes to make an offer on a home they love. Before you even start your home search, you should become educated on how to make a good offer in order to land the property that you really want. Thereís so many factors that effect your offer including the surrounding properties and the current state of the market. Here are a few very important pieces of advice that you should heed in order to have a successful time securing a home and closing the deal. 

Craft A Persuasive Offer

In many areas thereís a low inventory of homes and a high number of those seeking to buy. This means that youíre not guaranteed to get a property that you have made an offer on. Lowball offers might not be at all competitive and even insulting to sellers in certain markets. Often, you may need to make an offer of more than the asking price if youíre in love with a home. By working with your real estate agent and doing the right research, you can craft an offer on a home that will be compelling for sellers.    

Decide On Your Contingencies 

Once an offer has been accepted, itís time to get to work on those contingencies. Be especially mindful of financing contingencies. If something falls through in the process, youíll want to be sure you can get the deposit you made back. Also keep in mind that sellers love reliable buyers who have already been preapproved.  

Home inspection contingencies are another area of importance. After you sign the purchase agreement and the inspection is complete, youíre allowed to ask the seller to make repairs or provide you with a counter offer. While this can be one of the more nerve-wracking aspects of home buying, it has many positives. Home inspections protect buyers from purchasing a home that they canít live with in cases of extreme mold, termites and other environmental and structural issues. 

The appraisal contingency is also important. In order for you to qualify for a loan, the property must be appraised. The property must be valued at or above the purchase price. A loan will only be approved by a lender up to the appraised value. If your home loan is $400,000 but your home of choice is appraised at $390,000, youíll have a problem.       

Your Finances Matter Until You Get To The Closing Table

Donít go crazy with all kinds of purchases before you reach the closing table. Opening a new credit account at your favorite furniture store, for example, could lead to a disastrous surprise on closing day. Hold off on big purchases until after you secure your home. Also avoid making large transfers or deposits from your bank account. donít do anything to negatively affect your credit score

  

Know What To Bring To The Closing

Donít show up to the closing for your home purchase unprepared. Youíll need to have the following items: 


  • Photo ID
  • Checkbook
  • Cosigners 



Think Ahead


Be sure that you think of the future when youíre purchasing your home. Youíll need to have enough cash flow to pay for things like property taxes, home insurance, utility bills and even new furniture for your home. Plan your future mortgage payments accordingly. Some companies have payments that are monthly or bimonthly. 


While buying a home is a huge undertaking, with the right plans in place, the process will be as seamless as possible. With the right plans, the moving truck will be pulling into the driveway before you know it.      




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 9/19/2016

Thereís so much to consider when to comes to buying a new home. The first issue is that of your finances. You need to make sure that youíre preparing financially for the home search, and not just making your list of ďwantsĒ for a new home. Itís an exciting time when youíre purchasing your first home, but donít let the excitement overtake your responsibility. Hereís some tips to keep you on the financial straight and narrow path when preparing to buy a home: Be Mindful Of Your Credit Score Thereís many factors that can affect your credit score. Applying for new credit cards is one of those factors. Your credit score will drop a few points every time you have a new credit inquiry or open a new account. If you do get approved for new credit, lenders may have concerns that youíll spend up maxing out your new approved credit limit on that account and possibly default on your loan. Closing credit accounts is another factor that greatly affects your credit score. You may think that closing unused accounts is a good idea to help get yourself financially ready for becoming a homeowner. This isnít true. Closing accounts lowers your amount of overall available credit. This means that your debt-to-credit ratio is larger. This lowers your overall credit score. You can certainly make these smart financial changes after you close on your new home. Keep Records When you move your money around, make sure you have records of it. Your lender will want to know about any unusual deposits and withdrawals. Youíll need to prove where your money comes from. All of the cash that youíll be using for your home purchase should be in one account before you apply for a mortgage. Keep Up With Your Bills Donít increase your debt. This will have an affect on the very important debt-to-income ratio which is one of the most vital aspects of loan approval. Also, be sure that you donít skip your payments on bills. Your history of payments is incredibly important as well. Be sure that you continue to make full, on-time payments on all of your bills. Keep Your Job Even though a new job could mean a raise, or a better situation for you and your family, it could delay you in getting a mortgage. Youíll need to have your employment verified along with pay stubs to prove your source of income. Lenders like to see a longer employment history. Keep Saving The biggest up front costs in buying a home is that of closing costs and the down payment. Those must be paid at the time of closing. Lenders may even verify that your savings is on hand. Keep saving steadily and be sure to keep your savings in place.





Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 6/27/2016

One of the requirements of buying a home is for the buyer to provide a down payment equal to somewhere between 3 and 20% of the price of the home being purchased. The reasons behind a down payment may have seemed a bit arbitrary up to this point. Home buyers know they need a down payment, but just how important a down payment is can often be overlooked. Once itís all explained here, it will make a ton of sense to all first-time home buyers. Why Is A Down Payment Important? The larger the amount of the down payment that you can provide, the better it will be for your home loan status. The amount of the down payment provided will affect the type of loan that you get the and amount of the loan that you get for the house you buy. For any down payment that is less than 20% of the purchase price of the home, youíll need to get PMI (private mortgage insurance). A smaller down payment may also mean that less of the closing costs will be covered up front. This is definitely something to look into because long term, it may not be a wise decision financially. Think of the down payment as the foundation of the biggest purchase youíll ever make. Check Your Finances If youíre not able to save up for a down payment, it may not be the best time for you to buy a house. The mortgage process makes you take a step back and really check out your finances. Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. If youíre unable to save properly for a down payment, you may not be ready to commit to buying a home. If you havenít been able to save up enough for a down payment, you may not be financially ready to buy a home. Itís a great way to take a look at your financial health when youíre thinking about acquiring a mortgage. A small down payment means that youíre eligible for fewer types of mortgages. Typically a down payment of 5% or less limits you to only a few different kinds of mortgages. This is important to keep in mind when planing your financial future. Also, keep in mind that the larger the down payment, the more keen lenders will be on actually granting you a loan. Renting Could Help You In The Long Term The thought of continuing to a rent over buy a home could be stressful for you. In the long term, however, itís much better to continue paying rent than to risk losing your home due to foreclosure. Being unable to make mortgage payments is a serious thing. The entire process of buying a home starts in acquiring for the down payment.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Annemarie Torcivia on 10/26/2015

If you are looking to buy a home you may be wondering how you will be able to come up with the down payment. One way that many buyers come up with down payment money is from gifts. †If you are planning on using gift money to help buy a home there are some guidelines you will need to follow. Here are some simple rules: 1. Get a Gift Letter If you are getting gift money to help you buy a house you will need a gift letter. The letter has a few requirements:

  • Have the letter hand-signed by you and the gift-giver
  • State the relationship between the buyer and the gift-giver.
  • State the amount of the gift.
  • State the address of the home being purchased.
  • A statement that the money is a gift and not a loan†that must be paid back.
  • A statement that says: ďWill wire the gift directly to escrow at time of closing.Ē
2. Document a paper trail Mortgage underwriters want proof of where the money came from and where it went.†Get copies of transactions showing the withdrawals and deposits. You will also need to make sure that the transaction is for the exact amount of the gift. Following these simple guidelines will get you to the closing table hassle free.