In any given year, about 1/3 of all home purchases are made by first-time buyers.
If you’re one of them, you are about to learn a lot about a process you’ve never thought about (it’s not all bad…). If you are a repeat buyer, know that most homeowners will take out fewer than 10 mortgages over the course of a 40 to 50-year span and, during that time, the rules governing mortgages will change many, many times. The point here is that being informed is essential but becoming a mortgage expert is probably not – that’s what your team of advisors is for.
Here are a few Big Ideas (I call them my Stupid Sayings) that I’d like to share and are meant to inform your thinking and stimulate some introspection:
- “The ‘Great American Dream of Homeownership’ is great until you can’t afford it.” That’s a pretty strange thing for a mortgage guy to write on his website but it’s the plain, cold truth. The point of this statement is that buying before you are on a solid financial footing is a bad idea. And that goes along with…
- “There’s nothing like having money in the bank to make you feel like you have money in the bank.” As stupid as this expression sounds – and it does – it’s also the truth. When you have a safety net, you can weather any storm. And that goes along with…
- “Things break when you can least afford them to.” I’m not a pessimist but life has taught me that something that should be a minor inconvenience very quickly becomes overwhelming if you can’t afford to fix it. Like a broken furnace… or a leaky roof… or any of the other things that we count on when we own a home.
Each of the articles below are designed to answer some of the common questions that come up during the home-buying process. There are also some useful tools that you can access in this section to help you estimate monthly payments and total cash required, help you and your Realtor find exactly the right home for you, as well as some tips to ensure a smooth closing.
If you’re like me, you have no idea where your Social Security card is. I know it’s not in the hands of some ne'er-do-well intent on wreaking havoc with my identity but where is it exactly? Beats the heck out of me. If I had to guess, it’s slowly rotting away at the...read more
My goal is to get you thinking about what you are going to need to get pre-approved and,ultimately, to apply for your mortgage. This isn’t a “How to be a Loan Officer”course nor is it an attempt to explain why lenders ask for what they ask for (that’s an impossible...read more
Sometimes, it costs a lot of money to get a good education. At least, that’s true for me - I spent $35,000 to learn that home inspections are important… and that one should pay attention, too. I hope I have your attention now. Not for my sake, but for yours. What a...read more
Let’s face it – we’re all obsessed with it. Everywhere you turn, you are being inundated with the importance of it, how with ‘good’ ones, you are a master of the universe; with ‘bad’ ones, you are nothing. By now, you’ve figured out that I’m talking about credit...read more
When you are working with a good team, you should find that buying a home is a neatly organized and orderly process. If you are a first-time homebuyer or it’s been a long time since you last went thru this process, this step-by-step guide should help provide a concise...read more
When it comes to shopping for a home, you can do a number of things in advance that will make the process for you and your Realtor far more productive and positive. Here are some ideas that come from years of watching from the sidelines and hearing of the positive and...read more
Here is a simple list of Do’s and Don’t’s that will help make sure that there aren’t any last minute problems that interfere with your loan approval. DO continue making your mortgage or rent payments on-time DO pay all of your loans, credit cards, and other bills...read more
Most homebuyers will have a down-payment ranging from a minimum of 3.50% to 5% or more. That always has to come from you either from funds you already have, proceeds of a home you are selling, or by way of a gift from a linear family member (parent, grandparent,...read more
Gifts often come into play when you are buying a home so I wanted to provide some guidance on what’s allowed and what the process is for documenting them. To provide a framework for understanding these rules, I thought I’d provide some of the big picture ideas that...read more
The first thing you need to know is that there isn’t a ‘better’ or a ‘worse’ version of a mortgage. They are all safe, well-regulated, 50-state legal mortgages and are suitable for anyone financing a home. Things like prepayment penalties, balloon payments, and other...read more