Monday, January 15, 2018

Post-Approval Do’s and Don’ts

After you’ve been approved for a mortgage loan, there are some things you should and should not do. Find out how to keep your loan status safe.

Today we’ll be discussing the do’s and don’ts you need to consider after you’ve been approved for your mortgage loan.

The first thing to do is always pay your bills on time. Numerous times throughout the transaction, I’ve seen people stop paying their debts after getting approved. Remember, all the way up until the day you close, your lender has the right to check your credit again. It doesn’t happen often but you don’t want to take the chance, so make sure you’re getting those payments in on time.

The next thing to do is keep your job. Your lender can also verify your employment status on the day of closing, so it’s very important to be honest with your loan officer if you have a job change in the future. Let them know immediately because changing jobs won’t get you denied, but it could slow down the transaction. You could lose the house you want if you don’t use proper communication.

Don’t forget: all the way up until the day you close, your lender has the right to check your credit again

You should also safeguard your assets. You need to continue to save money even after being approved because there’s always a chance that a bump in the road will come along and you’ll end up not being able to afford the home you want. That said, when you keep your assets, don’t deposit cash. Banks have to verify everything, including where all the funds come from, if, say, you receive a cash gift from a family member.

Lastly, don’t be silly. Most of the time when people are denied loans, it’s because they were
dishonest with their lender. Tell them what you’re going through; they’re there to help you
get through the next round. Additionally,
don’t make huge purchases right before closing or get

married. Keep in mind that lenders can pull your credit at any point before closing, and huge purchases
or changes to your marital status can have adverse effects on your credit, which could damage
your chances of getting the home you love.

If you have any questions or know someone who’s looking to buy, sell, refinance, or invest in real estate, feel free to contact us. We look forward to helping you, your friends, or your family close on their home in 2018.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Whether You Did or Didn’t Buy a Home in 2017, What Happens Now?

Both homebuyers and homeowners have different tasks and items they should focus on as we enter 2018.

Click here to refer a client or friend

If you purchased a house in 2017, what should you do next? There are three things you should consider doing over the next coming month to save money over the lifetime of owning that house.

The first is filing your homestead exemption forms, which you can do by clicking the links below for each county. Filing these forms will help you save up to 20% off your taxes. If you don’t file them now, you may receive an increase at the end of the year during the next holiday season. You can also go to your county

The second is protesting your property values. For the last 15 years, I’ve used a company called O’Connor & Associates to do this. Most people think protesting their home’s value will keep that value down and they won’t be able to sell that home for a better price in the future, but that’s not the case. All this does is keep the government from raising your property value so you don’t have to pay more in taxes.

It’s completely free to apply to protest, and O’Connor & Associates only charges 50% of what you end up saving. If they get your taxes reduced to $600, you only owe them $300. If they get them reduced to zero, you owe them 50% of nothing.

Third, take your HUD-1 Settlement Statement or your closing disclosure to your tax preparer. It’s tax season, and there are sometimes charges on there that you can write off on your upcoming return. Plus, you can also take the mortgage interest deduction that you’ve been paying interest on your property every year. If you’re one of the lucky ones who we help get into a mortgage certificate program, don’t forget that that program will give refunds of 30% to 40% of your interest you’ve paid on your home for the past year for the life of your mortgage.

What if you didn’t buy a house in 2017 but want to make that happen in 2018?

I hope to see you at the closing table in 2018.

With home prices and interest rates rising, it’s no longer feasible to rent. You’re just throwing away your money. In order to get qualified to buy a home, there are three things you must focus on, which we refer to as “CIA”—credit, income, and assets.

As far as credit goes, most lenders will offer loans for credit scores as low as 580, but the higher your score, the better. So, maintain good credit as you start 2018.

Second, make sure you have verifiable income. If you’re self-employed, make sure you claim your money on your tax returns. You can also use routes such as child support and social security income as verifiable income.

For assets, there are loan programs out there that offer 0% down, but most buyers will need about 3% out of pocket, which isn’t that much. In fact, it’s usually just as cheap as whatever your deposit and first month’s rent would be for your rental.

I hope to see you at the closing table in 2018. In the meantime, if you have any questions or need help buying or selling a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d be glad to help.

Applications for Homestead Exemption:

Harris County Application

Brazoria County Application

Galveston County Application

Chambers County Application


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

2 Programs to Help in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

The 203(h) and 203(k) loan programs are designed to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. I’ll explain how they work today.

The 203(h) and 203(k) programs can help those affected by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

The 203(h) program is offered through FHA and is designed for disaster victims. If you or a loved one has experienced flooding or damage from the hurricane in a property you own and it’s no longer habitable, you may qualify for 100% financing to buy a new home with no money down.

These programs are designed to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

This is a very simple program that works just like an FHA loan, except there is no down payment. The credit score requirement is fairly low and you don’t have to have a super low debt-to-income ratio. Don’t worry about any past debt that you’ve laid on after the storm, either. They will forgive that. A lot of the time, you can get a very low interest rate just like you would for an FHA loan.

You have up to one year to use the 203(h) program, so long as you have proof that you are a victim of that storm.

The second program is the 203(k) program, which was designed by the FHA for homeowners and homebuyers.

If you own a home that got damaged during the storm and insurance didn’t cover the repairs, you didn’t have flood insurance, or some repairs were covered by insurance but you want to do some remodeling, this program is a great option for you.

The 203(k) offers a streamlined refinance of your current property that allows you to roll in up to $35,000 in repairs. It’s a very easy process.

If you are buying a property with a 203(k) loan, the program works a little bit differently. Like with an FHA loan, you will put 3.5% down. In the wake of the storm, many people are selling homes that have been flooded or damaged without fixing them up. If you want to buy the home, the 203(k) finances the purchase of the property and gives you up to $35,000 in repair so that you can fix it up after you make the purchase.

If you have any other questions or are interested in either one of these programs, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!