Plano Home Real Estate MortgageWhether you’re just out of college, recently married or simply haven’t jumped into the market yet, buying your first DFW home is an exciting prospect. It can also be an expensive one, which is why most people will take out a mortgage to help finance the cost.

If you are planning on engaging with a mortgage lender, you’ll need to have your finances in order. In today’s post, we’ll share a few key reasons why you’ll want to check your credit score well in advance of buying your first home.

Your Credit Score Is A Signal For Lenders

As you know, mortgage lenders have a responsibility to lend to those individuals and families who are at a low risk of default. So when a mortgage lender starts to dig into your financial background, they are looking at your credit history and credit score to help them assess that risk.

Note that having a low score doesn’t necessarily mean you have bad credit. If you’re still in your 20s and have only had a credit card, your score might be low even though you are fully capable of managing a mortgage.Plano Home Loan

Your Score Impacts Your Mortgage Interest Rate

As mentioned above, your credit score helps to signify your risk. If your credit score is in a lower range, perhaps a 640 or 660, you’re presenting a greater risk than someone with a score of 760 or 800. Because of this, the interest rate that you pay on your mortgage will in part be determined by your credit score. Those individuals who present a higher risk pay a higher rate to compensate. And vice versa, if your credit is spotless you can expect to pay a lower interest rate.

You’ll Need Time To Challenge Any Issues

Finally, you’ll need to give yourself some lead time to challenge any irregularities with your credit report. The credit reporting agencies aren’t perfect and they do make mistakes. There may be some old, retired credit card or other debt sitting on your report which is holding the score down. Even worse, there may be some incorrect delinquency or other error which ends up as a big red flag for potential mortgage lenders.

Plano mortgage ratesAs you can see, it’s worth spending the time to check your credit score. You get to check it for free once per year, so take advantage of the opportunity. And when you’re ready to discuss buying your first home, contact Warren Whitaker by phone or text at 972.523.8353 or He will share how to navigate the credit score and mortgage process so you can land the home of your dreams.

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Plano Home SearchIn many cities around the country, real estate prices are on the rise and potential buyers are working hard to find a home they can feel good about. However, finding the right home in a tight DFW area market can be even more of a challenge when it comes to striking the right balance. If you’re hedging around the market in the hopes of finding the perfect home, here are some things you should do to ensure you don’t miss out on a good opportunity.

Keep An Open Mind

When wading into the real estate market, it can be very easy to get so enamored with the kind of house you want that you don’t see what’s in front of you. However, not paying attention to the potential of a particular house can mean a missed opportunity that will end up costing you down the road. Instead of waiting around for your dream home, make sure you take a look at homes you might not have thought about as they may end up being a welcome surprise.

Be Confident, But Not Too ConfidentPlano real estate

Since many homeowners have history with their home, they want a homebuyer who’s going to be just as invested in their property as they were. On the other hand, though, it’s important not to be too excited about a home as the seller may use your interest to get a higher offer. Instead of playing on opposite poles, show your interest and get into the game with a respectable offer, but be willing to back off if the seller isn’t interested.

Don’t Demand Too Much

Plano home loansMany potential homebuyers have been told to be aware during the home inspection and ensure they get the repairs they’re requesting, but in a tight market you may want to let a few things slip. While ignoring certain items like foundation or roof issues can be a major misstep, letting small things like a broken doorknob or peeling paint slide may be something you can easily remedy that won’t push you out of the game.

It can be complicated to get into the real estate market as a new buyer in a competitive market, but by letting the small stuff slide and being open-minded, you may just find the home you’re looking for. If you’re currently getting prepared to dive into the real estate market, contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or Warren@Lendhome.comyour local mortgage professional to learn more.

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Home loan infoThe mortgage application process can be fraught with a lot of stress on its own, but if you’ve experienced issues with your credit in the past it can be even more taxing. While there may be a lot of things you may not be aware of when it comes to their impact on your credit, here are some things to watch out for if you’re planning on purchasing a Plano home in the short-term future.

Applying For Extra Credit

Whether you’ve just been offered a great new deal by a department store or you’re not even thinking about itPlano home rates, new credit cards can pop up with deals that are quite enticing in the moment. Unfortunately, applying for new credit can actually signal to lenders that you’ve run out of credit on your other cards. Not only that, it will also have an adverse impact on your credit score each time you apply for new credit. If you’re considering a mortgage in the near future, it’s a good idea to hold off on any additions to your wallet.

Not Paying Your Bills

It may seem straightforward enough that not paying your bills is going to land you in hot water with your credit score, but many people think paying the minimum at any time will do. The truth is that if you want to keep your credit in line and improve your odds, it’s important to pay your minimum before the due date and always pay your bills. The only thing deferring payments will do is add marks against your credit, and this will be damaging come application time.

Plano Mortgage RatesDon’t Avoid Your Credit Report

Many people who have a poor credit history are aware of the situation, but they’re also unwilling to address it. While it may be difficult to approach your credit report if you’ve had some hiccups in the past, it’s important to know what point you’re working forward from so you can move beyond it. Instead of ignoring it, get a copy of your credit report and review the numbers. Not only will this enable you to address any errors, it means you’ll be facing your issues head on.

There are a number of factors that can adversely affect your mortgage application, but by avoiding new credit and paying your bills on time you can have a positive impact on the result. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or Warren@Lendhome.comyour local mortgage professional to learn more.

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Plano home loansThere is so much to know when it comes to Plano home ownership that even wading into all of the information can seem overwhelming, but if there’s one thing you need when the time comes to purchasing a home, it’s to be prepared. Here are a few ways that you can ensure you’re ready for what a mortgage entails so that buying your dream home will be a positive experience you won’t regret.

Consider All Of Your Options

Instead of accepting the mortgage that your bank is offering you, it’s very important to do some research and determine what some of the best options out there are for you. While it’s entirely possible that the option pushed forward by your bank will work out, in the days of so much information online it’s silly to go into your biggest purchase blindfolded. Take some time out and read about the products available so that, when the time comes, you can make an educated decision.

Know Your Credit Historyplano home loans

Lenders will most definitely be digging through your finances and credit history for anything that might make them leery of your financial state, but you’ll want to be aware of your own standing so that you can be prepared for what this might entail. By getting your credit report and score before going through the process of acquiring a mortgage, you can fix any errors that might be on your credit report so that you’ll be prepared for the result when the time comes for pre-approval.

Plano Home LoansPlan For The Future Possibilities

If the mortgage amount you are planning on paying seems feasible on a month-to-month basis, it’s certainly a good place to start, but with the ever-fluctuating state of interest rates, you’ll need to prepare for this reality at the same time. It’s important to base the amount you’ll be spending each month off of the income and expenditures that you’ve worked out in a budget, but you’ll want to add in some wiggle room so that a jump in the rates won’t sink your dream of home ownership.

There are many things to be aware of when starting the process of purchasing a home, but delving into your credit history and doing the necessary background research can make for a smoother experience. If you’re looking for advice on purchasing a home,contact Warren Whitaker at 972.523.8353 or Warren@Lendhome.comyour local mortgage professional for more information.

Plano home loansA Plano home mortgage is typically one of the biggest monthly payments and financial responsibilities that a person is responsible for. Mortgage payments usually impact the person’s budget significantly for several decades or longer.

While there are mortgage calculators online that can be used to estimate an affordable mortgage payment, it is important to start with a basic budget. A budget will allow you to more accurately determine how large of a mortgage payment is truly affordable before applying for a new Plano mortgage.

List Income From All Sources

The first step to take to prepare a budget is to list all sources of income that is received regularly. This may include regular paychecks from both spouses, Plano home loandividends, annuities, and any other sources of income that the individual or the family receives on a regular basis. Most budgets are prepared on a monthly basis, so ensure that the total amount of take-home income for a typical month is included in the budget.

List Recurring Expenses

Create a list of all expenses for the month to complete the next step in the budget-making process, and this should include utilities, minimum credit card payments, car loans, monthly food and gas expenses, and more. Ideally, it will include an allotment for savings, home maintenance expenses, and other expenses that the individual or the family may have. The more accurate the list of expenses is for the budget, the easier it will be to estimate a new mortgage payment amount that is actually affordable.

Plano home ratesThink About Irregular Income and Expenses

It is important to think about irregular sources of income and irregular expenses. This may include seasonal income from a part-time or temporary job that is expected to continue into the future, as well as quarterly payments for homeowners’ insurance or annual property insurance premiums. While these are not monthly income sources or expenses, they nonetheless should be accounted for.

When a person takes on a larger mortgage payment than the budget allows for, it can quickly become unaffordable for the individual to continue to pay over time. A high mortgage payment also increases the risk of a default in the event of unforeseeable circumstances.

It is best to set up a monthly mortgage payment that is affordable for the individual’s or family’s budget, and these steps provide basic guidance for establishing a budget. A trusted mortgage professional can assist with setting up a mortgage payment that is affordable based on the budget that is created.

Plano Mortgage, Plano Home LoansFor many of us, our home is the biggest asset we’ll ever own. But most of us don’t know very much about homebuying, and that can hurt us. Here are a few blunders to avoid:

Thinking of your home as a guaranteed good investment.

Buy it because you like it and need a place to live, but know that real estate markets can be fickle, especially in the short run. According to Yale economist Robert Shiller, between 1890 and 1990, home prices adjusted for inflation were virtually unchanged. In general, homes are not the best path for an investment or to wealth.  A home IS a place to build and live a life.

Focusing on the cost of the home more than the cost of the loan.

Mortgages are huge purchases of money and their terms can vary widely. Be smart about which kind of Plano Home Loan serves you best (fixed-rate or Plano Mortgage, Plano Home Loanadjustable-rate, 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, etc.).  Consider lender and title fees ~ what does it cost to obtain the rate you desire?  Ask your lender to provide a Loan Summary to compare a rate(s) that does have points and fees versus one that does not.  Compare your total out-of-pocket costs and the monthly payment.  Remember, the lower the rate, the higher the costs.  How many months does it take to see the advantage of the higher out-of-pocket/lower rate?

Buying more house than you can afford.

Sure, a bigger home may be appealing. But will each mortgage payment be a struggle?  What you can “afford” is subjective and dependent on your point of view and definitely the point of the Plano mortgage lender.  With the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, today, all lenders are required to determine your Ability-To-Repay (ATR).   Click here to review the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau – What the new Ability-to-Repay Rule Means For Consumers.  Always get pre-approved for a home mortgage before shopping and focus on what you can afford.  The key to a successful home search and home loan is education.  Consider taking a Home Buyer Education courses that is offered through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Click here for a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency that can provide advice on buying a home.

Being too fussy in your home selection process.

Don’t rule out various types of homes without checking them out and truly considering them. Don’t let an outdated bathroom, shag rug, or paint color put you off, as those can be changed. A home’s location does matter, though, as does its layout and room sizes.

Plano Mortgage, Plano Home LoansAvoiding real estate agents.

Ok, this MIGHT be true if you are an experienced home seller and you understand the current real estate market, understand real estate sales contracts, understand the legal ramifications of disclosure when selling a home.  Yes, you might save a few thousand dollars by going it alone – but a skilled and experienced agent can advise and guide you toward properties that “fit” your wish-list. As a buyer, you do not pay a fee to use a buyers agent.  As part of a listing agreement, the seller is paying a commission to the listing AND buyers agent to “sell” their home.  Do you really think a seller is going to lower his price to sell a home without real estate agents?  Quality agents are invaluable when making one of the largest decisions of your life.

Parts of this article from Fool’s School.


Top 5 Mistakes Home Buyers Make

TLC “10 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Top five homebuying mistakes

Common Home Buyer Mistakes

Ten common first time home buyer mistakes

Common Mistakes of the First-Time Homebuyer

10 Rookie Home Buyer Mistakes to Avoid

10 Worst First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Plano Home Loans FHA1

Plano Home Loans

Despite declining FHA loan originations (from 120,917 in April 2013 to 105,995 in July), HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2013-24 on August 15,  tightening FHA borrower restrictions effective October 15 .  FHA raised  upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums (and made monthly MIP effective for the life of the loan) earlier this year, leaving FHA loans far less desirable for many buyers.  The new guidelines will most affect credit challenged buyers, those least likely to qualify for loans outside the FHA program.

For borrowers with collections and charged off accounts totaling over $2,000, FHA now requires lenders using the Total Scorecard underwriting system to include for the first time monthly payments on charged off accounts.  While some collections report a minimum payment on credit reports, most do not, and lenders will assume a payment of 5% of the outstanding balance.  Adding the assumed payments will raise buyers’ debt ratios, reduce their purchasing power, and potentially prevent some from purchasing homes.Plano Home Loans - credit18

Guidelines for Plano Home Loans underwritten manually are even more stringent, requiring letters of explanation and supporting documentation from borrowers on all charged off/collection accounts.  Underwriters will have to determine if the account resulted from a “borrower’s disregard for financial obligations, inability to manage debt, or extenuating circumstances”.  Minimum payments must still be added to debt ratios, whether the charge offs/collections total $2000 or not.

Plano Home Loans shop8Medical bills are exempt from the new guidelines, but old credit card accounts, utility bills, and other liabilities must be included.  Lenders (who have historically ignored many charge offs) will have to be vigilant to ensure they correctly calculate clients’ debt ratios, especially while doing buyer pre-approvals.

Plano Mortgage Loans.



HUD FHA Single Family Mortgages Home Page

FHA Loan Requirements

7 Crucial Facts About FHA Loans


shop8How Sellers Can Stand Out

Peak home-shopping season means the housing market will be flooded with buyers. As a home seller, how can you grab their attention and get your home sold for the price you want?

1. Know what homebuyers want.

A recent National Association of Homebuilders survey reveals that homebuyers want their new homes to be energy-efficient: 94% want energy-star rated appliances in their new homes, and 91% want an energy-star rating for the whole home. Adding energy-efficient features to your home can be expensive, so make sure you can recoup your costs when you sell. If your home is already an energy saver, be sure potential buyers know it.

2. Know where to find buyers—so they can find you.shop3

Remember when people shopped for homes by browsing newspaper listings? No? Neither do most homebuyers. Fewer than 9% said they used these resources frequently, according to National Association of Realtors studies. But 90% of homebuyers search for suitable homes online, and many use mobile devices to aid their search. You’ll need to access these marketing channels to reach the most potential buyers.

3. Price it right.

The importance of setting the right price on your home cannot be overstated. Your home may be perfect, but if you’ve priced it too high or too low, you’ll miss finding its perfect buyer. In an NAR survey, 61% of recent home sellers reported reducing their asking price at least once, delaying the sale of their home. Setting the right price will draw in the right buyers and get your home sold in less time. An experienced real estate agent can help you price your home right.

home84. Get, and use, the advice of an experienced real estate agent.

A real estate agent can actually help you with each of these tips—from helping you identify and play up the most desirable features of your home to pricing and marketing your home so that it attracts the most potential buyers. You’ll also benefit from your agent’s knowledge of the home-selling process. Your agent will help you negotiate with buyers so you get the most out of your home sale.

By Dave Ramsey

When you sit down with a lender, please be sure to get answers to these 10 questions before you go any further in the loan process.

1.  What is the interest rate on this mortgage?
Be sure to ask for the annual percentage rate (APR) of the loan’s interest. The APR is usually higher than the originally quoted rate because of the additional fees involved in procuring a loan. You must beware of APR found in advertisements. Often these are used in bait and switch schemes to get customers in the door. Always ask for an itemized list of rates, points and fees.

2.  What discount and origination points will I be charged?
Often lenders may charge prepaid mortgage interest points. Find out the kind of points they will be and their effect on your loan.

3.  Will you give me a Closing Costs Worksheet or Loan Summary up front?
There are fees that are a part of every loan. These fees pay for the services provided by the lender and the other companies involved in the loan process.  Experts advise to be wary of any lender that refuses to supply the closing costs upfront.

4.  What are the fees, if any, involved in locking in an interest rate?
Interest rates are constantly fluctuating and it is possible that it could change between the time you apply for a loan and the time you close. Often you can “lock in a rate” that will keep your interest rate the same from the day you apply. Please make sure that you find out if there are any fees involved with this.

5.  What is the minimum down payment of this loan?
A typical down payment is between 3% and 20% of the loan amount. The more money you can put down, the better your chances are of being able to lower your rate and improve your loan terms. If you are unable to make a down payment of 20% of the loan amount, you will be required to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI).  Even with PMI, there are options available where your seller can pay the upfront mortgage insurance premium so that you will NOT have monthly mortgage insurance payment.

6.  Is there a prepayment penalty on this loan?
PPP do not exist these days, but it’s good to ask.  Prepayment penalties may be added to lower the loan’s interest rate. There are many types of prepayment penalties that can be added to a loan.

7.  What documents will I need to have?
Generally, you will need the following information in order to have your loan approved.

Documentation for all loans

  • Pay stubs for the most recent 30 days
  • Information on any other income you wish to have considered, such as part-time income, rental income.
  • W-2’s and tax returns (all pages and schedules) for the past two years
  • Name, address and phone number of landlord for the past 24 months, if renting
  • Previous two months bank statements, all pages, i.e. checking, savings, CD, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, etc.
  • Most recent statements on asset bearing accounts if generated yearly or quarterly (401K, IRA, etc.)
  • Copy of social security card

8.  What qualifying guidelines are included with this loan?
These requirements relate to your income, employment, assets, liabilities and credit history. First-time home buyer programs, FHA and VA loans and other government-sponsored mortgage programs typically offer easier qualifying guidelines than conventional loans.

9.  How long does it take to process a loan?
It can take as little as two weeks, to as long as 60 days or more. Be sure to have the lender give you the most accurate timetable possible so you can determine how far out you need to lock your interest rate.

10.  What might delay approval of my loan?
If you provide complete and accurate information to the lender, the process usually runs smoothly. Be sure to tell your lender immediately of any changes to your income or any new debt or marital status while your loan is processing. There could be delays if the underwriter discovers any undisclosed credit problems so be sure to be as accurate as you can.

MentalBeing prepared financially and mentally are key

As the number of foreclosures in your area grows, you may feel the urge to jump into real estate as part of your investment strategy. Real estate investments done right can give you higher returns than mutual funds, but they require a lot more time and trouble. Be sure you’re prepared financially and mentally before plunking down your cash.

Financially, you should:

  • Be debt-free
  • Have a full emergency fund of 3–6 months of expenses
  • Be investing 15% into retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s and/or IRAs
  • Have cash to fund your real estate deals

Mentally, you need to:

  • Educate yourself about the foreclosure process
  • Understand your real estate market
  • Be patient about finding good deals

What’s A “Good Deal?”foreclosure7

In real estate, money is made at the buy. You can consider it a good deal if you get it for 80% of market value minus the cost of repairs.

For example, let’s say you find a foreclosure listed at $125,000. You and your real estate agent agree this is a fair market value for the house in pristine condition. Your contractor estimates repairs at $15,000. Now do the math—80% of $125,000 is $100,000, minus repairs of $15,000 is $85,000. There’s your offer. You’ve got some room to negotiate, but don’t go into debt to get the deal done.

Another option is to buy a home from the owners before the foreclosure. The owners have the right to sell the house at any point before the actual auction. Even better, they are highly motivated, meaning you can get a great deal by helping them prevent a foreclosure.

Contact the homeowners and make an offer. The transaction will have to happen quickly, though—good thing you’ve got cash! And remember to buy title insurance to protect yourself from liens or other hiccups down the road.

final1Foreclosure Fine Print

Some states have what’s called “right of redemption,” which means a homeowner who has been foreclosed on has a period of time to redeem or buy back the property. That means that if you bought our example property for $85,000, the previous owner has the right to buy it back from you for $85,000 plus some interest. The period of time varies and can be up to one year. You don’t want to fix up someone’s house for free, so wait to make any improvements until after the period expires.

Real estate investments can be profitable, but success requires a lot of effort on your part. Plan carefully and be patient!

from  Plano Mortgage Rates

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