Perception isn’t always reality

We live in a world where perception is reality and we all want it now.

Take five minutes to watch TV and you will see where companies are convincing consumers that a mortgage is as simple as one, two, three in five minutes on an app on their phone. While that may provide an instant decision, nine times out of 10, it’s not the real deal.

Consumers perceive this to be a benefit initially, but in the weeks to come they find themselves in situations where they no longer qualify, money is invested and or lost, or they are settling for a loan structure that is far different from what their initial decisions were made. This is a huge disservice to the consumer and our industry.

At the Holly Walther Team, we offer personalized home loan recommendations, great rates and superior communication and customer service.  Contact us today and welcome to the family.

Be Careful, Dr. Google!

I believe technology to be both a blessing and a curse.  While it provides the consumer access to information, it can also provide them the wrong information.  (Think what happens when you Google your symptoms, you become Dr. Google and think your headache is a brain tumor).

Not all situations are the same. 

A mortgage is the biggest financial decision most will make in a lifetime.  Clients need to ensure they are working with someone who appreciates this and is willing to take the time to understand their goals.  In society we are so programmed to focus on interest rate; while the rate is important, they need to consider so much more.

Payment– is it affordable and ideal for their situation.

Cash– are they leaving themselves ample reserve to protect themselves and family, as well for future improvements or repairs.

Tax– are they maximizing their tax savings, offsetting some of the payment costs?

Term– do they understand the term they are choosing and the long-term benefits? Is the term they are selecting preparing them to meet their retirement and goals towards financial freedom?

Investment– have all the above been reviewed and considered to maximize their long-term return?

We are prepared to discuss and help you consider the above issues and more when choosing the best mortgage product. Contact Holly and team at 404-436-0013 or hollyw@hollywaltherteam.com.

Hop into the driver’s seat with our TBD loan approval

We all know it’s currently a seller’s market, but you can stand out from the other buyers by taking advantage of our TBD loan approval, putting you in the driver’s seat!

What does that mean?  It means your loan is underwritten and approved with the specific property “To Be Determined” or TBD.  The seller will know you are fully approved as a buyer allowing you to stand out among those that are just pre-approved.

Once you find the home you want to purchase, you’re on the fast track to the closing table.

Click here to learn more from Holly about this fantastic loan approval program.

Refinancing Your Balance Faster

You refinance to a lower rate, and you get a lower payment. But the opportunities don’t stop there.

Reduce your balance faster. With a lower interest rate, you pay more principal with each payment, especially in the first years of the loan. Example: After five years of payments on a 30-year loan of $200,000 at 4%, you would pay $19,706 in principal vs. $17,105 on the same loan at 5%. That’s an extra $2,601 in benefit on top of the $7,052 of interest savings. Total advantage = $9,653

Own Free and Clear Sooner. There are two ways to make this happen:

• Pay extra principal. Apply your monthly savings toward principal to shorten your loan term by several years. Example: Using the same loan terms from above, pay your $118/month savings as extra toward principal and cut the loan from 30 to 24.33 years.
• Refinance for a shorter term. Rates on 15-year loans are typically lower than 30-year loans, so a payment on a shorter term may still be within a comfortable range for you.

Maximize Your Rate of Return Through Investments. If you deposit the $118 monthly savings from the example above into a tax deferred account earning 6% over time, it will grow to $81,852 in 25 years. If you use the savings to increase your 401K contribution with a 50% employer match, that figure would equal $122,782. Earning 6% on your money may be tough right now, yet historically, returns on a properly balanced and diversified portfolio are 7% or better. Always consult with a properly licensed financial advisor when making investment decisions.

Tap Into Your Equity. If you need to make repairs or improvements, you may be surprised at how much cash you might be able to free up without increasing your monthly payment. The same can be said for financing college educations or purchasing a second home or investment property.

Enjoy Peace of Mind. There’s comfort in making a prudent decision and putting a plan into action.

We’re here to review your options and help you decide what might be right for you.

How Much Can You Save By Consolidating?

Do you think the value of refinancing is gone?

Rates may be off the lows but can still be an amazing bargain compared to consumer and installment rates. Total interest, total term and cash flow savings can be significant with the right plan.

Consolidating multiple debts into one home loan is not for everyone. For instance, using your equity to have the equivalent of a 30-year car loan is rarely a great idea. But it may work if you have the discipline to take advantage of a low rate to speed up—rather than slow down—payment terms.

Consolidation can make debts disappear with less total interest expense than they would otherwise.

Want to explore what a good consolidation plan could mean for you? Reach out, and we’ll be happy to help!

Stop Before You Toss Blank Pages

Not sure why the banks do it, but it happens.

You may be tempted to throw away a numbered page on your statement if it is blank or contains an advertisement. Unfortunately, if the other pages are marked 5 of 8, 6 of 8, etc., the underwriter can’t be sure a missing page 8 of 8 had no important information.

To be sure there’s no delay in processing your loan application, please save and provide ALL numbered pages of your bank and other asset statements, even if they’re blank.

Thanks for your cooperation!

Follow These Tips for Refinancing

As you’re getting ready to refinance your mortgage loan, here are a few tips to ease the process:

DO

Continue to make your regular payments. However, if you have a payment due just prior to your scheduled closing, consult with me first. It may be best to pay at the closing rather than to risk having the payment and payoff letter cross in the mail.
Prepare your home for the appraisal. The appraiser will take photos inside and out. While a messy house is not really worth less than a clean one, property appraisal is part art, part science. First impressions can make an impact with an appraiser just as with a prospective purchaser.
Keep your ongoing paystubs and bank statements available. Underwriters may request the latest documentation before loan approval or as a condition of loan commitment.
Understand that things have changed. Underwriters require more documentation than in the past. Even if requests seem silly, intrusive or unnecessary, please remember that if they didn’t need it, they wouldn’t ask.

DON’T

Apply for new credit. Changes in credit can cause delays, change the terms of your financing or even prevent closing. If you must open a new account, please consult with me first.
Change jobs during the process. Probationary periods, career or even status changes (such as from a salaried to a commissioned position, leave of absence or new bonus structure) can be subject to very strict rules.
Make undocumented deposits. Primarily large but sometimes even small deposits must be sourced unless they are identified. Make copies of checks and deposit slips. Keep your deposits separate and small. Avoid depositing cash.
Start any home improvement projects. Small cosmetic projects like painting are not usually a problem. Anything that can disrupt functionality can be an issue if undertaken before the appraisal. Delay projects that require a building permit, involve a bathroom or kitchen renovation, or create structural changes.
Ever be afraid to ask questions. If you’re uncertain about what you need or what you should do, I’m here to help you through the process.

Together, we’ll get you on your way to saving money and achieving your goals.

If you can afford to rent…

 

Did you know that if you can afford to rent, you can probably afford to own?

Here are three basic factors for qualifying for a home loan:

Income – If you have a job or steady source of income, you’re off to a great start.

Down Payment – Many programs will work with 5%, 3.5%, and in some cases, even 0% down. Sometimes, closing costs can be paid for you as well.

Credit – Even if there are a couple of dings on your credit report, there’s probably a loan program for you.

That’s it. These three items are the fundamentals of mortgage lending. If you work and pay your bills on time, you may already be well on your way to homeownership.

Now, would you like to see how far your rent payment might go when applied to principal and interest on a mortgage payment? Check it out here!

 

Benefits of Mortgage Pre-Approval

When you’re shopping for a new home, it’s important to leave as little to chance as possible. Mortgage loan pre-approval allows you to act quickly when you find the right property, and the seller will take your offer more seriously.

When you’re pre-approved, you can:

•    Make an offer with confidence, knowing the lender is already on your side.
•    Save time by looking at homes you can afford.
•    Negotiate a better price for the home you want to buy.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time researching finance options; that’s my job! I’d love to help you find the loan that’s best for you and complete the pre-approval process, so you’re one step closer to home ownership.