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Prepare to Buy a House in 8 Easy Steps

Prepare to Buy a House in 8 Easy Steps The home buying experience is an exciting time, but it can also be challenging for a first-timer. Between securing a loan and finding the house of your dreams, the process can be overwhelming. When you’re ready to buy a house, it’s best to approach it like you would any big project–get the details right from start to finish. The Silverton Mortgage WilPower team recommends these eight steps to help you prepare to buy a home. Step 1: Know Your Credit Score When starting the process of buying a home, your very first step should be to check your credit score. Your credit score tells lenders how likely you are to pay back the money you borrow, based on your past credit history. On average, a credit score of 620 or higher is recommended to secure a mortgage, however, requirements vary by lender and are often based on the type of mortgage you’re applying for. It’s important to note your credit score can also determine the interest rate of your loan. For example, a lower credit score may result in a higher interest rate. Step 2: Determine Your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) Next, you need to determine your Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI). Your DTI is the ratio of your preexisting debt that you pay each month compared to your monthly income. A ratio of 36% or lower (meaning 36% or less of your income is already allocated toward debt monthly) is typically considered ideal. […]

What You Need to Know About Home Equity Loans

What You Need to Know About Home Equity Loans in 2022 Home values in the United States have increased 50.7% since November 2016. So what does that mean for you as a homeowner? Put simply, if you purchased your home a number of years ago, it’s likely your house is worth much more now than what you paid for it. The even better news? Now could be a great time to tap the newfound equity in your home to fund projects or to help you get ahead financially. Below we explain different ways you can tap the equity in your home. Just keep in mind that this is meant to be a general guide of what equity is and how different loan programs can help you. Always be sure to consult with your lender about the pros and cons of these programs so that you can find the right program for you. What is home equity? In general, home equity refers to the difference between the market value of your home and how much you still owe on your mortgage. The amount of equity in a house will change over time as more payments are made on the mortgage. Fluctuations in the real estate market impact a property’s value which also affects the amount of equity you have in your home at a given time. How can I use the equity in my home? Tapping your home’s equity is a fairly easy way to source cash for pretty much whatever […]

Your Checklist to Ensure A Move-In Ready, New Home

Your Checklist to Ensure A Move-In Ready, New Home  Buying a home can be stressful for a first-time home buyer. But knowing what to expect, especially when it comes to any expenses or responsibilities you may encounter down the road, can make it a smoother, more enjoyable process. “During the home buying process, many first-time buyers are focused on the obvious issues right in front of them like the purchase price of their house, the interest rate on their mortgage, or the down payment they will need to make,” explained Carrie Powers, Senior Loan Originator with the Silverton Mortgage Wilpower Team. “Unfortunately they don’t know how to plan for things like moving-related expenses or renewing service-related contracts which tend to pop up after closing.” To help our clients plan for any unexpected issues, the Silverton Wilpower Team compiled the following checklist of common expenses and responsibilities that may come with the keys to your new home. Ask about the status of existing warranties and service contracts. Some homes come with existing home warranties or service contracts which are in place to reassure the homebuyer and provide the seller with protection against certain complaints regarding home defects that may arise after closing. If it wasn’t discussed prior to closing or included in the terms of your transaction, you should ask your lender or real estate agent about existing warranties or service contracts for your new home. The following list of contracts may need to be transferred from a previous owner into […]

How to Achieve and Maintain a Good Credit Score

How to Achieve and Maintain a Good Credit Score In today’s financial sphere, having good credit is a necessity. Whether you are financing a large purchase like a vehicle or starting the process of buying a home, your credit score is a critical factor in deciding your eligibility for a loan, as well as the terms of that loan. But to many people, a credit score and its importance are mystifying. Let’s go over what makes a credit score so important and what you can do to get your score where it needs to be. What is a Credit Score and Why is it Important? Put simply, a credit score is a numerical value that determines an individual’s creditworthiness, which is the ability and likelihood of an individual to pay back a loan. Lenders use this score to evaluate whether an individual can receive a loan, or to determine if someone is considered too risky to extend a loan. If a lender does decide to extend a loan, the person’s credit score will greatly affect the terms of the loan. When it comes to purchasing a home, your credit score will impact the types of mortgage products you may qualify for and possibly even the offer you can make on the home you’d like to buy.” “Many potential homeowners are left in the dark when it comes to understanding their credit score. And sometimes a search of the internet for clarity can lead to misinformation,” explains Amy Wilemon, Senior Loan […]

How Millennials are Changing the Homebuying Game

You can probably imagine the “typical” American family from the 1950s – mom and dad, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a house with a white picket fence. The couple was probably in their early 20s when they got married and had those 2.5 kids by the time they were 25 years old. The husband drove to the bank and filled out a form for his home loan, then picked up his landline phone to call a realtor…but it’s not 1950 anymore. Baby Boomers gave birth to Millennials. And now that Millennials have officially grown up, they are changing the way we all do business, especially in the real estate and mortgage industry. Here are just a few ways Millennials are changing the game, and why it matters. Who are Millennials – and how many are out there? By definition, a Millennial was born between 1981 and 1996 and they are a member of Generation Y. When it comes to Millennial home buying, here are a few quick stats: In 2020, the average age of a married Millennial was 31 in women and 33 in men. Compare that to the average age of a married Baby Boomer in 1965, which was 21 in women and 23 in men. Today, it’s not just married couples buying houses, either. In 2020, 20% of unmarried couples ages 22 to 30 and 10% of unmarried couples ages 31 to 40 were buying houses. The average credit score for a Millennial is 680. 38% of those [...]

5 Reasons You Need an Agent in a Red Hot Real Estate Market

5 Reasons You Need an Agent in a Red Hot Real Estate Market Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and who knows, maybe during the pandemic, you have!), you know the real estate market is extremely hot right now. Competition is stiff, and it’s not uncommon for homes to go under contract before they’re officially listed and open to the public. So, what’s a buyer or seller to do in such a cut-throat market? You may be tempted to try buying or selling a home on your own to save some cash. But even if you’re seasoned at the process, it’s likely you won’t stand a chance without an expert at your side. Here are just a few reasons why you should enlist an agent to help break through the competition. Reason 1: Agents have extensive experience in buying and selling homes While it may seem daunting to you, your agent truly knows the ropes when it comes to buying and selling. Put simply, this isn’t their first rodeo. From pricing strategy to marketing, your agent will know exactly what to do to compete in such a red hot market. They’ll have access to all the best tools and technology to help you find a home or sell your current one fast. During what can be a stressful time, you can rely on your agent’s expertise and rest easy knowing you are in the best hands possible. Reason 2: Real estate Agents have killer negotiation skills At a time [...]

3 Ways to Finance Your Dream Home in A Competitive Market

Buying a home in a seller’s market can be frustrating. With very little inventory available, buyers are struggling to find “the one”. But that doesn’t mean you should settle for anything less than the home of your dreams. If you’re looking to buy a home anytime soon, you’ll need a lot of patience and a willingness to move fast. However, the true key to unlocking your homeownership dreams right now could be none other than creativity. And there’s never been a better time to think outside the box. The Wilpower Team at Silverton Mortgage offers many alternatives to a traditional real estate transaction. Read along to see which option could be best for you. Option 1: Renovate Your Home with a Home Improvement Loan If your current home is already in the location where you want to be, but it could benefit from serious renovations, a Construction One-Time Close Home Improvement Loan could be a good option. Whether you’re wanting to add a second story, gut the interior, build an addition — or all the above — a home improvement loan may be for you.  A few things you should know about a home improvement loan are: A Home Improvement Loan is designed for borrowers who want to make improvements to a home they are purchasing or a home they already own The loan is made directly to you, the borrower, not the builder Because there’s ONE loan, there will only be ONE closing Director of Construction, Rick Scott, explains, [...]

How much house can I afford?

How much house can I afford? Purchasing a home is one of the biggest money moves you’ll make in your lifetime. And if you’re like most home buyers, you will need to finance at least some portion of your large purchase with a mortgage. So what do mortgage lenders look at to determine how much house you can afford? A lender will examine things like credit score, debt-to-income ratio, and down payment. And while your credit score is a major factor in getting you approved for a mortgage, your debt-to-income ratio is actually the indicator of how much house you can realistically afford. What is a debt-to-income ratio (DTI)? The debt-to-income ratio is a percentage of the borrower’s total monthly obligations including housing expenses and recurring debts compared to reliable monthly income. Your DTI tells lenders how much money you spend versus how much money you have coming into your household, and it’s used to determine your ability to repay the mortgage, as well as other outstanding debts. How and when should I calculate DTI? As soon as you decide you’re ready to start the home buying process, schedule some time to talk finances with a lender that specializes in mortgages. Your mortgage lender will help you calculate your DTI, so you are aware of what works best with your budget. You can also calculate your DTI yourself by adding up your monthly minimum debt payments and dividing it by your monthly pre-tax income. What debts are included in DTI? [...]

Understanding Mortgage Terms: A Guide for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying a home can be challenging. Especially for a first timer. There are decisions to be made and mounds of paperwork to sign. And the amount of industry terms thrown around can make it seem like your home buying experience has you learning a new language. Sound familiar? Relax. We’ve got this. Before you hire a mortgage translator (these don’t exist, by the way), check out the common mortgage terms below as translated by our Wilpower Team at Silverton Mortgage. What is a mortgage? In simple words, a mortgage is a loan that enables a lender to purchase a home or a property. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a requirement that you use your personal bank for a mortgage loan. In fact, some banks don’t have a mortgage lender at all. To ensure you have the smoothest home buying experience possible, you should find a lender that specializes in mortgages. What is a mortgage rate/interest rate? A mortgage rate is the interest that is charged on the mortgage loan. Your mortgage rate is determined by your lender. It can be fixed (stay the same for the term of your loan) or it can be variable (fluctuate based on a benchmark mortgage rate). Also commonly referred to as the interest rate, your mortgage rate is the cost you will pay each year to borrow the money. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan. What is APR? Unlike the mortgage/interest rate, […]

3 Creative Way To Use Your Home Equity Wisely

If you’re on the hunt for your next home or investment property…

Disclaimer: All loans are subject to credit approval.