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Inspirational thought for the week brought to you by The MARK Z. Home Selling Team.

There are currently 20 blog entries related to this category.

fall home financingIt’s pretty common knowledge that real estate is influenced by the economy, job market, and mortgage interest rates.  However, you might not know that it’s also influenced by the seasons.  Fall is one of the busiest times in the year to buy a home; it’s only secondary to the amount of homes purchased in the spring.  The reason why fall is such a popular time to buy a home is because there are so many benefits associated with the season.  Some of these fall home buying benefits are:

Staying On Top of the Weather.

When you buy a home in the fall, you are avoiding the weather-related downsides associated with winter.  If you live in a city that has harsh winters, you will want to avoid moving in while dealing with low temperatures and icy roads.  On

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what is home equityIf you’re a current or future homeowner, you’ve most likely heard the term “home equity” being thrown around.  So, what is it?  Essentially, home equity is the amount that differentiates the home’s value and how much the borrower owes. When a borrower pays down the mortgage debt, he or she is also contributing to the home equity.  As an example, if a home is valued at $200,000 and a homeowner still has $100,000 left on the mortgage, that homeowner has 50% equity within the home.  Therefore, once the mortgage has been paid in full, the homeowner will also be the rightful owner of all the home’s equity. 

One thing to be aware of is that equity doesn’t necessarily equate to the amount of the mortgage that has already been paid.  For example, if a

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Mostly, the answer is: wait. Once you have completed your mortgage application, it will be processed by the loan underwriting department. Your application will be thoroughly reviewed by underwriters in order to assess whether or not you qualify for the loan. This process can take up to twenty full business days so that the underwriters can carefully assess all the provided documents.

mortgage application processWhen underwriters are puring over the details of your application, they may find red flags that need further exploration. For example, non-payroll bank account deposits from that are more than 10% of your income must have a source so it can be verified that the funds weren’t borrowed.

If the underwriter finds anything in your application that needs to be elaborated on,

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If you own a home or are trying to own a home, you’ve probably heard the term “escrow” thrown around. So what is it? Let’s delve right in:

What is Escrow?

Escrow is an account that lets a borrower gradually accumulate money for property taxes and policy premiums.  Many first time home buyers with less than a twenty percent down payment are required to have an escrow account so it reduces the risk of missed payments or foreclosure.

escrow accountsHow Does Escrow Operate?

Essentially, an escrow account is a savings account.  The only difference between a savings account and an escrow account is that you have to deposit a set amount into the escrow account each month, whereas with a regular savings account, you don’t have to.  These monthly escrow payments

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home purchase expensesBuying a home can be expensive, but the sticker price often doesn’t even begin to cover the other expenses.  Most people don’t know the full range of the expenses you need to have to reasonably cover a full home purchase.  Here are the 8 most common expenses to expect when you purchase a home:

Down Payment

The first expense you will incur for your home is the down payment.  You’ll want to put down 20% of the home’s purchase price for the best interest rate, but you can put down as low as 3.5% with an FHA Loan.

Mortgage Payments

After you put forth the down payment, you will have a monthly expense known as a mortgage payment.  A mortgage payment is getting you closer and closer to having full ownership over your home each month.


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whats in a credit score

Lenders use credit scores to assess borrower responsibility. That’s not all that goes into a mortgage application, but it’s a heavy determinant of the possibility of borrower default.

The common credit score is the FICO score. This is calculated using an algorithm developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation, hence the name. FICO scoring measures risk based on use of credit cards and past payment history.

Credit Reporting

So who makes use of the FICO algorithm? The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUion use FICO scoring in order to create that special number that often makes or breaks your ability to qualify for any loan.  TransUnion scores, for example, range between 300 and 850 and is comprised of:

  • Payment history –
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Mortgage Market Update

 After a solid week of slipping, mortgage interest rates have come back up today:

mortgage market trends

  • 30 year fixed-rates jumped to 4.53% (+0.03).
  • 15 year fixed-rates jumped 3.53% (+0.03).
  • FHA 30 year fixed rates stayed at 4.25%.
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed rates jumped to 4.40% (+0.02)
  • 5/1 Year (ARM) rates stayed at 3.25%.

Fed tapering (discussed in our last post: Why are mortgage interest rates on the rise?) was on market-watcher’s lips after the recent jobs report showed data far below projections. However, the FOMC branch of the Fed indicated that one weak report will mean little in the long run and tapering will not relent unless further data in the coming weeks suggests more serious economic downturn.

Yesterday’s MBA

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Top Tips for Refinancing Your Mortgage

refinance tipsImprove your credit score

The ideal scores are 720 or greater. Definitely take a look at your credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian to negate any errors before submitting your loan application. A credit specialist can work with you, if necessary. You want a good, low refi rate!

 Find the right lender

We can never stress this enough: you do NOT need to pursue a refinance with the lender who financed the home purchase. In fact, if for whatever reason you did not like your experience with your lender, a refi is your chance to build a relationship with someone new. Get recommendations from friends, family, internet reviews – do not rely on searching for the lowest possible refi rates.

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"There is a law in psychology that if you form a picture in your mind of what you would like to be, and you keep and hold that picture there long enough, you will soon become exactly as you have been thinking."  -William James

You're The Photographer

Most people, when they have their camera in hand, take snapshots of other people or things. The focus is on anything and everything outside themselves. What many don't realize is that they also have a super high-resolution camera in their minds.

The words of William James are not new. They've been said before in many forms, i.e. "As a man thinketh, so is he," or "You are what you think about all day long," or "A man is what his thoughts make of him."

By simply framing a

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"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it!"  - Anonymous

Which One Are You?

Some of the best minds suggest that when you have a dream, you should keep it to yourself. You should set about quietly achieving your dream, but without sharing it with others. Their reasoning is that when you share your lofty goal, you open yourself up to the ridicule and criticism of those who say, "It cannot be done." This is distracting, and can negate your efforts.

Avoid the crowd who says, "It cannot be done." Instead, spend time alone giving your dream a form. Imagine what it will feel like when your dream has been achieved. Picture it happening. Decide what actions you must take to set your dream in

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