New Jersey and New York Mortgage QuestionsEveryone has advice when it comes to buying a home. But there are a few things that you should keep in mind specifically about mortgages.

Some of them may surprise you . . . and all of them can be explained by a licensed loan officer. Here are our top 3 things we think you should know about mortgages:

1 - The higher your credit score, the lower your interest rate can be. Think about it, the lender is taking a big risk ...

First Time Buyer? Get Set!

Oct 19
Category | Blog

Financial documents in order and accessible? Check.

Credit score at least 580+? Check. 

Downpayment funds building up? Check. 

Good News, you may be financially ready to start looking for your first home. Now you just need a little guidance on how to go about it. It’s best to have professional advice. With any big purchase, there is a lot of research and trust involved, so there are a few thing you need to consider BEFORE you explore your local listings.  

Get Ready. 

Get recommendations from friends and colleagues and talk with licensed loan officers in your area. You will be sharing a lot of personal financial information with them, and the home buying process can be intense, so you need to feel comfortable and have a level of trust.

  • Ask them about new home buyer programs in your community.  You may qualify for grants, down payment assistance or special loan programs that can help reduce the cost of buying your first home.

Frontier brings to mind windswept fields and plains dotted with distant homes and outbuildings.  Rural, you might say?  Maybe not.  As defined by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), rural actually has a very broad definition. And that’s a good thing for home buyers in select areas of the country.  Especially for those who have the ability to pay a monthly mortgage, but who don’t have a sufficient down payment saved.  That situation is not uncommon.  In a recent survey of young home buyers, coming up with a down payment was the second biggest barrier to purchasing a home.

The good news is, in many parts of the region, there is still a no-money-down mortgage option available. It’s called a USDA Loan and is specific to homes in rural areas as designated by the USDA -  the United States Department of Agriculture. There are many USDA eligible zones in New Jersey. These homes may be in small towns, exurbs and even suburbs outside of our major metropolitan areas. It’s worth exploring as you house hunt for your primary residence. Even the Jersey Shore has many communities with USDA eligible properties.  In fact, most homes on LBI are USDA loan eligible.

Like all mortgages, both the home buyer and the property need to qualify for a loan. With a USDA Loan, ...

First Time Buyer? Get Ready!

Sep 15
Category | Blog

Most kids get an annual check up. Many adults also have a physical every year or two. But how often have you done a check-up on your finances? If you are hoping to buy your first home sometime in the near future, a financial check-up is a good idea.  Getting your first mortgage means a lender is going to dig pretty deep into your financial situation. The process can be a lot smoother if you are prepared and know what to expect. Here are a few tips:

Be Honest (with yourself)

Know your credit score. If you have a Discover® Card, it’s on every monthly statement. If not request a free credit report from any of the three credit agencies. If your FICO score is below 600, you probably should focus on paying down some of your debt and repairing your credit history.

Know your assets. Your assets include your income and the value of any property you own including cars, artwork, jewelry, musical instruments, boats, bikes, other real estate, retirement/pension, etc.

Understand your debt. What you owe includes your monthly expenses, as well as the balance on any other loans you have, including car loans, student loans, credit card balances (all of them). It also includes any other legal obligation like spousal or child support and ...

The housing debacle that forced millions out of their homes in the last decade is something we’d all like to forget. But if we did in fact forget we’re likely to repeat that disastrous cycle once again. This famous quote is actually attributed to a few different people but it rings true today that, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” It didn’t matter where one lived, be it Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or Pensacola, Florida, there were few areas that avoided the collapse.

A Brief Look

Homeownership rates hit a record high in 2004 and stayed above the 68% rate for the next four years. Looking back, it’s easy to see why so many bought homes—it was easy to qualify. Conventional loans underwritten to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac standards, while still easily making up the largest share of the market, soon found some formidable competition with so-called “alternative” loans, loans that didn’t require verification of certain important items such as income or assets. Subprime loans were prevalent as well, providing home loans to those with damaged credit.

As the market for homebuyers began to shrink and home sales began to decline, lenders began inventing new loan programs that combined alternative documentation with poor credit along with little or nothing down. Even Fannie and Freddie got into the act. FHA, too. And we all know the result. Millions of foreclosures as people lost their homes.


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