Are You Missing Out on Connecting with Future Homeowners?

Connect with More Renters by Understanding Their Lifestyle with Homes.comThe popularity of renting a home has been on the rise but with housing market conditions continuing to improve, don’t be surprised when you see more and more renters coming to market to purchase a home. That is why it’s important to connect and start building relationships with these soon to be homeowners before your competition does.

One of the best ways to do this is by determining their lifestyle. Do they have children? Do they plan on staying in the home for a long period of time? Is it more important to be near work or nightlife? Asking yourself these types of questions will help you determine where and how you should be advertising your business. Once you’ve grabbed their attention, you’ll be on the top of their mind to contact when it comes time to purchase a home! Continue reading

3 Down Payment Tips to Share with Homebuyers

Down Payment Tips from Homes.comDo you have buyers that are wavering as to how to finance their home? There are plenty of low down payment mortgage options that potential homeowners may consider, but deciding which of these options best fit their financial needs can be a bit more difficult. The good news is that with a continuously recovering real estate market, even more of these options are becoming available and they have you to help them make the best decision.

Here are just a few of the current financing options available to your clients and prospects: Continue reading

Help First-Time Buyers Understand the Mortgage Language

handling mortgage related lingoObtaining a mortgage can be long and somewhat confusing, especially for first-time homebuyers. As a real estate professional, you’re well aware of the industry jargon that comes along with the process and it’s your job to clarify any questions these ‘first timers’ may have about it along the way. Review this list of handy key terms and share them with your clients to keep them up-to-date on everything going on during the financing process. Continue reading

Mortgage Checklist: Help First-Time Buyers Understand the Mortgage Process!

Before your clients can start hunting for their home, they must determine how much house they can afford. As a real estate professional, you know better than anyone the obstacles that many potential buyers face when trying to obtain a mortgage. This is especially true for first-time buyers who may already be overwhelmed by the idea of making the biggest financial decision of their lives. The good news is that they have you, the local expert, to navigate them through this uncharted territory. And the even better news is that  Homes.com has created a customizable mortgage checklist for you to share with these first-timers.

Helping your clients ‘prequalify’ for a loan will provide them with a better idea of how much money they have to work with and demonstrate to sellers that they’re serious about purchasing a home. There are many factors that affect how much a buyer can be prequalified for, so it’s critical they understand what these factors are and their significance.

The “First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Checklist” identifies four key areas that are considered by creditors when evaluating a person’s financial situation: Income, Assets, Credit and Employment. To help prospective buyers get a better handle on their finances before applying for a loan, each of these key areas contain their very own checklist to ensure every base has been covered.

Here’s a sneak peek into the type of information home buyers will find in this valuable resource:

Income: Highlights what forms of income must be present to qualify for a loan

- Qualifying income, rental income, social security, etc.

Assets: Identifies what resources can be used for a down payment

- Savings/Checking accounts, stocks and bonds, employer assistance programs, etc.

Credit: Provides different types of loans and their required credit scores

- FHA Loans: can be approved with a credit score of 580

Employment: Shows what employment history is required for approval

- Employment history of at least 2 years

As you can see, this checklist provides details into areas that many first-time buyers may overlook when seeking a loan for their first home. Providing this helpful checklist to prospective buyers will demonstrate that you know the ins and outs of the home buying process, proving once again why you are the local expert!

What’s even more important is that this checklist is editable to include your own branding information, so when the day comes that your client has been pre-approved to buy their first home, they’ll remember you helped make it possible. Simply download the “First-Time Homebuyer Mortgage Checklist,” add your branding information and print or save it to email to your networks!

Looking for more valuable resources like this? From financial advice to preparing a home for the changing seasons, Homes.com offers a library of consumer resources that can help guide local buyers and sellers through every step of the home buying process or improve life in their current home.

 

Are FHA Loans Still A Good Option for Your First-Time Homebuyers?

Loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) have previously been used by fifty-five percent of first-time homebuyers. With that said, the FHA has made changes in their mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) that are forcing many of these first-time buyers to rely on more conventional sources of financing.

What changes have occurred?

The two biggest changes being made by the FHA involve their policies pertaining to MIP payment, which has seen gradual increases over the last 2 years. The previous base rate for annual MIP was 55 basis points or 0.55% of the loan amount. Unfortunately for upcoming homebuyers, these changes have caused the rates to skyrocket and are now high as 135 basis points or 1.35% of the total loan amount. This steep increase will likely make applying for an FHA backed loan less desirable for first-time homebuyers, who are already searching for ways to save money after making one of the biggest financial investments of their lives. Continue reading