It’s Not Rocket Science
By: Dave Puzniak
Every day, on the TV, on the radio, on the internet, in the mail, on billboards, at your favorite sporting events, and concerts, it’s the same message:
- REFINANCE TODAY!
- RATES ARE LOWEST IN 50 YEARS!
- CALL NOW!
Making the decision to refinance is an important decision and should not be taken lightly. Your home loan is possibly the largest financial investment you will make and you need to analyze your options based on your unique situation to ensure the refinance is right for you. A refinance can take many different forms and your situation dictates the route you need to take in order to improve your financial situation.
The most common refinance is utilized to lower your interest rate and your monthly house payment. This is called a rate and term refinance. The ability to lower your rate will be dependent upon several factors: on the interest rate market improving since the last time you either purchased or refinanced your home; having your credit improve, or seeing your property value rise. A lower interest rate may also allow you to build equity in your house quicker, by increasing the amount of your payment going to reducing the principal balance.
A second type of refinance is decreasing the term of your mortgage. A shorter term mortgage amortization, such as a 20 year or a 15-year term mortgage, generally has lower interest rates. The trade-off is a potentially higher monthly mortgage payment. However, there is the added benefit of a larger amount of the payment dedicated to the paying down the principal balance of your mortgage. The greatest benefit is the ability to pay off your loan sooner, reducing your total interest costs over the life of the loan.
Other reasons to refinance are to change the type of loan program. With the large variety of mortgage programs available such as FHA, VA, USDA, in addition, to grant programs, you may have a program which helped you as a first time homebuyer, but as you build equity may not be as beneficial 5-10 years into the mortgage loan. In some cases, you may start with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to take advantage of a lower introductory rate then change to a fixed-rate mortgage in an effort to stabilize your payments for the remainder of your time in the home. The situation can work in reverse as well. If you know you are going to move within a 5-7 year period then you may look to the ARM in lieu of a fixed rate mortgage to take advantage of the lower rates on the ARM loans.
The final option is using your home as an asset. You may want to remove some of the equity from the house to handle other financial obligations. This is called a cash-out refinance. If you are short on cash but flush with equity in your home, then cashing out the equity in your home can provide you with some options to handle other financial situations within your family.
The uses for the equity can include:
1- Renovations or Repairs– allows you to make improvements to your property or help in the maintenance, put on an addition, redo a kitchen or bathroom
2- Family Budgets – allows you to pay off bills which may have accumulated and lower your overall monthly outlay
3- Tuition Cost – allows you to help pay schooling costs, may be cheaper than student loans and could potentially be tax deductible
4- Debt Consolidation – provides relief to high interest, variable rate credit card debt by turning these payments into a fixed rate manageable payment and restore your household budget
5- Weddings – can help to handle the cost of a wedding
6- Judgments, collections or liens – provides relief for these premium debts from medical issues, lawsuits, and other legal issues
No matter the decision you choose to make regarding refinancing, it is recommended you use a qualified mortgage professional to assist you with your decision. You will want to share your financial goals with your mortgage professional in order to provide them with the information necessary to properly advise you to meet your financial goals.
Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage Services use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!
Contact David Puzniak NMLS # 559106 to schedule an appointment today at 314-486-2652 or email@example.com to start the process of refinancing your home!
First Integrity Mortgage Services is a locally owned mortgage banker located at:
77 West Port Plaza, Suite 200
St. Louis, MO 63146, NMSL#276593.
Visit us today at www.firstintegrity.com and see the difference!!
WE THINK. WE CARE. WE DELIVER.
Life is all about choices. Choosing the right lender can be the difference between an easy, smooth closing or…something else. How does someone know what Lender to choose? There are so many different places and so many different styles of business. Internet loans? Call Centers? Local bank?
These are some of the options, but we at First Integrity believe there is a lot more to a good mortgage company besides a hefty marketing budget.
So what would make a great Lender?
First Integrity Mortgage Services believes it comes down to one simple concept. Provide the best possible options and personal service to every single one of our clients. That part is simple, what it takes to do that is not.
It takes a local Mortgage bank, a company that controls its own funds so on closing day you are not waiting for a wire from someone over in Seattle, your banker, your money, is right here so we know closing and funding your loan will be no problem.
It takes a company that believes in rational lending (a First Integrity term founder Joe Bayer Sr. coined referring to us simply using our brains). First Integrity still takes a common sense approach to loan approval. Not everyone fits in the same little box. A good mortgage company believes boxes are for moving day.
So how do you create that company?
It starts with the people. First Integrity has a handpicked staff who are committed to providing the very best in mortgage service. With over 400 years of combined mortgage experience, First Integrity has created a small and powerful mortgage company. You don’t have to be big to be good.
So what about the process?
Joe Bayer Sr. answered that question a few years ago by designing a loan process unique to the mortgage industry. By breaking away from the “assembly line” style of loan approval followed by the industry, First Integrity created a new and better path to home ownership. Instead of an assembly line of 5-6 different strangers working on your loan, at First Integrity you have a 3 person team committed to knowing you and knowing your loan. Your loan officer, Loan Coordinator and underwriter all work as a team to make sure your loan goes through correctly and quickly.
At First Integrity Mortgage, we believe in the 3 Pillars – it comes down to People, Pricing, and Products.
We’ve created the perfect team, we offer some of the best competitive pricing in the area and have a vast range of mortgage products, some unique only to First Integrity, that we can offer our clients the best way to own their home.
So Why First Integrity?
We believe we are the best possible choice for those clients who want personal and professional service. Add to that the widest range of products, highly competitive pricing and a system designed to simplify the loan process and you have a solid, reputable mortgage bank.
You deserve a mortgage bank that works for you. First Integrity delivers.
We Care! We Think! We Deliver!
Christine Elbert is a Senior Mortgage Banker with more than a decade of experience in the industry. For questions or comments about this article, Christine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-495-1865 NMLS# 238515.
In the 1960’s, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote these lines for a song, “The long and winding road, that leads to your door, will never disappear.” Contrary to popular belief, the song, “The Long and Winding Road” is not about Lennon and McCartney’s first home buying experience, but it does mirror the path all homebuyers must follow in order to go from initial decision to own a home to actually buying and closing on the home.
Ideally, the home buying process starts by visiting with a credible lender who can provide information on the various mortgages available and help make sense of all the options. A good lender will want to discuss financial goals, family goals, and more in order to offer a program that is specifically designed for the borrower’s unique needs and wants.
Once a home to purchase decision has been made, it’s in the interest of the borrower that a complete preapproval is performed. This will include checking credit history and submission of income and asset information. The lender will then analyze all of the documentation, identify any pitfalls and work to be completed in order that the borrower is fully prepared when the right home is found. THIS IS A PREAPPROVAL; it is a thorough review of credit, income and asset documentation. It is important to obtain a preapproval and not a prequalification.
A prequalification is simply a credit report and a verbal acknowledgment of income and assets. Often, online lenders will ask borrowers to simply complete an online form and do NOT collect any documentation to support the income and asset levels shared on the forms. Without the documentation, the figures are simply opinions.
Once a price range is established, it’s time to seek out the advice of a real estate agent. Friends and neighbors can be the best resource for finding a real estate agent, as they have had direct experience with the Realtor’s® attitude and qualifications. Lenders can also be a great resource, as they have had direct experience with various Realtors® in their region.
Smart borrowers will interview a few agents to ensure they are in tune with their wants and needs. It’s also recommended to share search information with the agents and to share all the desired elements for the home to be purchased - the number of bedrooms, the number of bathrooms, the need for a garage, the need for a specific school district, handicap accessibility, etc. These factors and much more will be taken into consideration by the real estate agent while helping a borrower find a home. The Realtor® should also provide valuable insights about the neighborhood and suggest borrowers drive through the neighborhood at various times of the day/night/weekend in order to get a feel for the area.
When searching for a home, make sure to introduce the Realtor® chosen to the lender. A great working relationship between the borrower, real estate agent and lender keeps the lines of communication open and helps to move the home buying process in the right direction.
The Home Buying Process has many different players. If the long and winding road is well navigated, at the end of the journey, a HAPPY HOME is found!
For any questions or comments, David Puzniak can be reached at 314.486.2652 or email@example.com
Senior Mortgage Banker
Get comfortable with a Reverse Mortgage in St. Louis, MO - Reverse Mortgage Experts With First Integrity Mortgage Services.
By Dave Mattull
First—Am I Eligible?
To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, you must:
- Be at least 62 years old
- Live in the home as your primary residence
- Have sufficient home equity
- Not be delinquent on any federal debt
Also, your home must:
- Meet FHA (Federal Housing Administration) property standards
- Be one of the following property types
- Single-family home
- Two-to four-unit home with one unit occupied by the borrower
- FHA-approved condominium
How Much Money Can I Get?
This depends upon a number of factors, including the age of the youngest borrower or non-borrowing spouse, your home value, the amount of equity, FHA lending limits, the current interest rate, and the reverse mortgage product and payment option you choose.
Using Home Equity as a Retirement Asset:
Why should I consider a reverse mortgage?
Your retirement funds may come from savings, investment income, and Social Security. But now, there’s another source that may help you complete the longevity planning puzzle. Reverse mortgages are becoming increasingly recognized by homeowners and financial advisors as a smart and safe way to access an important retirement asset: Home Equity.
A reverse mortgage could help you live more comfortably and be more financially prepared for the future.
For example, you can use a reverse mortgage to:
- Avoid selling investments at a loss in a “down” market
- Establish a “stand-by” line of credit that you can tap as needed. Unlike a traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC), a reverse mortgage line of credit cannot be reduced or revoked, as long as the terms of the loan are met. And the unused line of credit grows over time.
- Supplement retirement income
- Delay collecting Social Security, for a larger monthly benefit
- Pay for medical or long-term care costs
- Finance the purchase of a more suitable home, with no monthly mortgage payments
Among the benefits of a reverse mortgage:
- The ability to use your home equity to help you maintain a more comfortable standard of living, in your own home
- Great flexibility. You can choose to take your proceeds as a line of credit; monthly advances for a set period of time; a monthly stream of funds for as long as you live in your home; a lump sum; or a combination of these options.
- No monthly mortgage payments. If you qualify and have an existing mortgage, home equity loan or any other type of debt, you can pay it off and reduce your monthly expenses. Or, if you own your home free-and-clear, you can get the additional funds you need with no minimum monthly repayments required. (As the homeowner, you remain responsible for paying property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowner’s association dues if applicable.)
- Opportunity to have funds for travel.
- A cushion for the unexpected.
Remember: You still own your home and you can stay in your home as long as you want or you can sell the home to anyone and receive any remaining equity after the loan is paid off.
For any questions that you may have contact SVP Dave Mattull.
Senior Vice President
Reverse Mortgage Specialist
Mortgage & Home Loan Experts in St. Louis - When Purchasing a Home Your Down Payment Plays an Important Role!
By Kiara Johnson
A home purchase is in your future, NOW is the time to start thinking about a down payment. When considering buying a home, the down payment amount plays an important role. So, what is a down payment?
A down payment is a percentage of the home’s purchase price, which is paid upfront, in order to obtain home financing; it’s viewed as an investment, from the buyer, in the home. While there are programs that have little to no down payment requirements, it’s always wise to have money set aside when purchasing a home. A home is typically one of the largest lifetime investments, and it is considered best practice to begin with money down.
While there are many ways to gather a down payment, here are 5 of the most common methods:
1. Tax Time Baby! Over 80% of tax filers are expected to receive a tax refund this year. Why not use that nice refund to help purchase a dream home?
2. 401K or other investment accounts. A retirement and/or investment account is a common source for a down payment. Of course, consult a financial, tax, or legal advisor before withdrawing or making any decisions about investment accounts.
3. Down payment assistance programs. There are county and state programs designed to help homebuyers get into a home through assistance with a majority of, if not all of, a down payment. There may be credit, property, and/or income limitations to these programs. Check with a loan officer for eligibility.
4. Gifts from Relatives. Sometimes family can be of help; it’s common for parents to assist their children in the purchase of a home. As long as the assistance comes from a relative and the funds provided are truly a gift (no repayment is intended nor required), it is an acceptable source for a down payment.
5. The Famous Power Plus. This unique product can only be found at First Integrity. Not only will it reduce the down payment to only 5%, it can also eliminate PMI without taking a rate hike for the program. WOW!!!!!!
The best down payment option will vary from buyer to buyer and will depend on their current financial situation. Regardless of the method, set up a consultation with a lender to discuss all options. Creating a clear and concise action plan will make the home buying process easier.
Licensed mortgage professionals at First Integrity Mortgage use their experience, expertise, and the special programs available to discover your goals, present multiple relevant options, and recommend the program that best meets YOUR needs!
Don’t sell yourself short. Call today to start your home buying path!
Office phone number: 314-878-7900
Cell phone number: 314-568-6389
First Integrity Mortgage Services is a locally owned mortgage banker located at 77 West Port Plaza, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63146, NMSL# 276593.
Visit us today at www.firstintegrity.com and see the difference!!
WE CARE. WE DELIVER. WE THINK!
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