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Research estimates more than 50 percent of households lack enough retirement funds to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living—even if they work until 65.

The good news? If you’re a homeowner, you have options:

Reverse Mortgage – A reverse mortgage is a loan that homeowners aged 62 or older can use to convert part of the equity in their home into a usable asset, without giving up title or ownership of the house.

The reverse mortgage option should be viewed as a method for responsible retirees to create liquidity from an otherwise illiquid asset.  Reverse mortgages require no monthly payment and do not have to be paid off until the last borrower permanently leaves the home. You have the option of taking the loan proceeds as a lump sum, a fixed monthly or tenured payment, or as a line of credit.

Reverse mortgages also feature a non-recourse provision that protects you from ever owing the lender more than the value of your home, even if the house is "underwater" when you are ready to sell.

You are still responsible for paying your property taxes, homeowner's insurance and upkeep expenses, or risk the loan being called due and payable.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) – A HELOC establishes a line of credit based on a percentage of the value of your home. You can access this credit during a predetermined amount of time called a ...


These loans help homeowners complete renovations with a loan amount that is based on an appraiser's estimate of what the property value will be with completed improvements. This is also an option for aspiring homeowners who purchase properties that need repair. Whether a home purchase or a refinance, this option finances the renovations and mortgage in one loan.

Your bank may not be the best source for what color to paint your room or which walls to move, but it can help you identify your financial options. Each option has its associated benefits and considerations, and your bank can provide valuable information to help you make informed decisions about which options are right for you.

As you prepare for your renovation, it’s important to review your financing options based on the size of the project, your intended repayment plan and whether you plan to use a contractor or do it yourself. Some financing options to consider:

The 203k loan insured by the FHA is designed to make financing for properties in disrepair more accessible by combining the estimated costs of repairs and the home's purchase price in a single loan. Suggesting this option to buyers may help them see the possibilities in a property and lead to a sale.

The FHA 203k loan program offers a ...


Common First-time Home Buying Myths

May 31
9:22
AM
Category | Blog

When buying a first home, most people are making one of the biggest purchases of their lives. Without home buying experience, it can be difficult to separate fact from fiction. Get the facts on these common first-time home buying myths:

Myth – It takes a 20 percent down payment to buy a home.

Reality – Required down payment amounts vary by type of loan and they are on average much smaller than people think. Last year, the median down payment for all first-time buyers was 6 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. One reason is that many first-time buyers use FHA loans, which require down payments as low as 3 to 3.5 percent. VA loans require nothing down for qualified veterans or active military personnel. If you want to take out a conventional loan, many lenders do require 20 percent down, but you can lower that percentage with private mortgage insurance. There are also hundreds of down payment assistance programs that eliminate or reduce down payment requirements for qualified borrowers. Working with an experienced Mortgage Professional can help you to learn all of the programs available to you that best fit your homeownership goals.

Myth – If you owe a lot of student loan debt, there is no way you can get a mortgage.

Reality – Don't assume that having a lot of student loan debt automatically disqualifies you from ...


Wedding season is here. First comes love then comes marriage then comes home-hunting. It sounds simple but for many couples transitions from renting to owning is the first decision they face post-nuptials. Once you’ve found your perfect match and say “I-Do” you start thinking of the perfect home and you might need the perfect loan to help you make these dreams come true. If you or someone you know is getting married or recently so, here are some tips that can help the couple prepare for the mortgage process.

Check your credit.
There are several ways to get a free credit report but it’s important to make sure there are no mistakes. That’s the primary reason to annually review your credit because mistakes can happen and when they do your credit scores can be damaged and you won’t even know about it until you apply for a mortgage. If you do find a mistake, document the error and let your loan officer help get the mistake fixed for you. Mortgage companies have business relationships with credit agencies and when the error is properly documented the mistake can be fixed within a matter of hours when it might take you 30 days or more if you deal directly with the credit bureaus.

Make a Match with a Lender
Speak with a loan officer over the phone to get an idea how much you can qualify for. Sure, there are lots of online resources that ...


The Millennial Home Buyer

May 17
4:19
AM
Category | Blog

According to the latest Zillow® Housing Confidence Index (ZHCI), among people 18-34 years old, 65 percent said homeownership and the American Dream go hand-in-hand. That’s more than any other generation. This age group represents Millennials, or those born between 1982 and 2004.

The survey results come at a time when rising rents and stagnant incomes are making it tough for many Americans to buy homes. Millennials are renting longer than past generations as they put off major life decisions, but Zillow’s survey shows millennials value homeownership more than their parents and grandparents and low interest rates are in their favor.

While the number of millennial renters continues to climb in urban areas, the generation is choosing elsewhere when making the move to buy. This decision is boosted by price, limited inventory and the need for space.

The 2016 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study revealed that more millennials are purchasing single-family houses outside of urban areas than ever before. In fact, millennials represented 35 percent of all buyers compared to 26 percent from Generation X, and 9 percent from the Silent Generation.

From witnessing the plight of their parents to navigating a barren employment landscape, most millennials experienced the effects of the ...


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