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Wilmington Branch

Land Home Financial WilmingtonWith a population of 119,045 in 2019, Wilmington includes New Hanover and Pender counties in southeastern North Carolina. Wilmington was settled by the English along the Cape Fear River. The city was named after Spenser Compton who was the earl of Wilmington. Its historic downtown has a 1.75-mile (2.82 km) Riverwalk, developed as a tourist attraction in the late 20th century. In 2014 Wilmington’s riverfront was ranked as the “Best American Riverfront” by readers of USA Today.

From the downtown river district and Riverwalk that skirts the storied Cape Fear River to the new and modern facilities that are remaking the riverfront’s skyline, Wilmington, NC is a must-see southern destination. Rivaling Charleston and Savannah in its charm and history and voted America’s Best Riverfront, Wilmington serves as the portal to all this area has to offer.

Wilmington Land Home Financial You’ll love Wilmington’s riverfront, historic neighborhoods and everything in between. Enjoy a relaxed coastal lifestyle for the perfect getaway filled with unlimited vacation choices.


Stay Within Budget When Buying a House

5 Budgeting Tips

A house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. And if you’ve waited a long time for this day to come, you’ve undoubtedly thought about the features you desire – maybe you’re craving a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, or perhaps a gourmet kitchen. We’ve listed five budgeting tips for you to follow that will help you out.

While you don’t want to skimp on the amenities you love, adding too many can drive up the cost and destroy your budget. By thinking about your long-term financial goals and assessing your budget before you buy, you can score the home you want without experiencing buyer’s remorse.

1. Establish a Firm Price Limit and a List of “Must Haves”

When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, your bank determines how much they think you can afford to spend on a house. But don’t assume the number they provide is the amount you should spend.

Go online and use a mortgage calculator – after you enter a sale price, a loan term, and interest rate, the calculator estimates your monthly payment, including home-owners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance. Also, research whether there are other expenses you’ll need to work into your budget after buying a home.

5 Home Buying Budgeting Tips with Land Home FinancialFor instance, association dues, a lawn or pest service or possible higher utilities; these costs can really add up and eat into your monthly budget. If you decide in advance which amenities are “must-haves” and which would simply be nice to have, you’ll be in a better position to stay within budget when you start looking at homes.

 2. Keep Tabs on Your Real Estate Agent

Land Home Financial Realtor PartnersI’ve had only positive experiences with my real estate agents, but not everyone is as lucky. Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford.

That being said, some agents may try to push the envelope and recommend properties outside your price point. Be firm and stick to your guns.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It’s very easy to fall into the cycle of “compare and despair.” This is a nasty cycle to fall into, especially when it comes to buying a home. A house isn’t a pair of shoes or an expensive handbag – if you overspend when buying a house, it isn’t easy to recover from the mistake.

Rather than obsessing over the fact that your friend bought a house with an outdoor kitchen, offer your congratulations, and then get excited about what your budget can do for you. Maybe you’ll have four bedrooms instead of two, or you’ll have a gas oven instead of an electric one. Then, think about the ways you’ll benefit from staying within your budget, such as maintaining a healthy vacation or a retirement fund or starting a college fund for your kids.

4. Avoid Bidding Wars

Competing with other buyers is no picnic, and to win a bidding war, you often have to increase your offer. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you’re able to stay within budget – however, bidding wars can get out of hand quickly.

If you get caught in a bidding frenzy, you could end up spending more than you want. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for a particular house in advance, and resist the urge to exceed that limit. In other words, be willing to walk away.

5. Bid on Houses That Aren’t Selling

Some buyers shy away from homes that have been on the market for a long time, assuming that there must be some hidden defect. But sometimes, a home’s inability to sell is much more simple. For instance, maybe it just has bad curb appeal, or there’s too much inventory in a particular market.

Therefore, it is important that you do not automatically rule out a house just because it has been sitting for a long time. If anything, seek out these houses. The seller is probably motivated and willing to drop the asking price to move the property.

Even if the seller isn’t willing to drop the price, there are still more opportunities for negotiation when a home has been on the market for months. If you can identify the reason the property hasn’t sold, then you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s asking price or provide a cash allowance for the fix.

If you’re still concerned about possible hidden defects, state in your bid that the offer is subject to a satisfactory home inspection – which is a good idea no matter what.

Final Word

Staying within budget when buying a house takes discipline, so you must approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above your budget. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along.

 

 


5 Tips to Home Buying in 2018

Want Some Home Buying Tips from the Experts?

Buying a home is like competing in a mud run, naked while planning a wedding at the same time. It’s taxing, it will make you feel vulnerable, it has its ups-and-downs, and it isn’t always fair. But – for those willing to take the plunge, bare their financial assets, and compete for their own backyard – home ownership is one of the most rewarding financial achievements of a lifetime.

When buying a home: Tip 1  – Select a qualified, knowledgeable loan officer and develop a down payment savings plan.

*Myth 1 – Only low-income individuals can qualify for down payment assistance programs. Down payment assistance programs are for a variety of individuals who meet various qualifying standards. These programs are designed to make homeownership possible for all who meet the qualifications and are able and willing to try. 

Credit Scores – What should my credit score be to buy a home?

When applying for a home loan, your credit score has a direct effect on the interest rate of your loan. Generally, the lower your credit score the higher your interest rate; the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate.

While you don’t need a high credit score to purchase a home, generally a higher score will help keeps your mortgage costs lower than if you were to have a lower score.

Buying a Home: Tip 2 – Check your credit report monthly and look for any errors or possible enhancement opportunities.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the difference and which is better?

Most mortgage lenders offer prospective homebuyers two different options when it comes to their commitment to lend – a Pre-Qualification letter and a Pre-Approval letter.

A Pre-Qualification letter is simply a document stating you have submitted the necessary financial documentation (usually the last two years of W2s/Tax Returns, recent Bank Statements, and your Driver’s License) for review and you “qualify” for the requested loan amount.

The pre-qualified amount is based on the customer’s perceived debt-to-income ratio (DTI), their financial assets, and credit score.

In a competitive home buying market, as we are in today, home sellers want to see a Pre-Approval letter before accepting an offer on their home. The reason is that a lender’s Pre-Approval letter is basically one step away from a full fledge loan commitment and usually translates into a quick and straightforward closing process.

Buying a Home: Tip 3 – Get Pre-Approved!

 A qualified, knowledgeable Loan Officer assisting you to select the best loan package for your situation. Many factors go into the cost of your loan and poor choices up front can cost you a lot in the long run.

Real Estate Agents – Do I really need one to buy a home?

A qualified, experienced and reliable Real Estate Agent can often be the difference between getting your dream home or not. However, we will be the first to tell you – not all Real Estate Agents are created equal. Do your homework, and interview at least three different Real Estate Agents before selecting one.

Often, Loan Officers will have plenty of Real Estate Agent references they can share with you.

 Buying a Home: Tip 4 – Select your desired neighborhood and hire a qualified Realtor/Real Estate Agent.  

A Realtor has the full backing of the National Association of Realtors. and working with a Realtor provides the customer the security of knowing the agent they have chosen, answers to a National Association in terms of ethics, educational standards, and legal backing.

Mortgage Interest Rates – Will rates go up in 2018?

“What’s the rate today?” is every lender’s favorite question – NOT! Why? Well… there’s no simple, straight-forward answer to the question. As mentioned before, many different factors affect mortgage interest rates.

For informational purposes, most experts are predicting an increase in the base rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. This isn’t surprising given the historic lows mortgage rates experienced in 2015 and 2016. Again, while many factors affect mortgage interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the baseline rate for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage is expected to increase to 4.6 percent in 2018, 5.0 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

Buying a House: Tip 5 – Develop a sense of urgency to achieve your home ownership goals. 

2018 is a Fantastic Year for the First-Time Home Buyer to Purchase a Home

It is getting easier than ever to qualify for a mortgage which is due to several factors: Mortgage Lenders have begun accepting lower down payments, the debt-to-income ratios (also known as DTI) used to qualify for most mortgages became more forgiving last year and future home prices are expected to level off.

first time home buying, mortgages

Best of luck and happy house hunting!

*Please note all pricing, percentages, and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and forecast statements, by Land Home Financial Services and noted third parties, is meant to illustrate possible outcomes and is not intended to be a statement of facts nor an endorsement of validity. 


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Actively Involved in Improving Communities

Our staff gets hands-on with charities, non-profits and organizations to enact positive change and create strong, vibrant communities.

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We Believe in Maintaining Long-Term Relationships

We retain close to 90% of the loans we originate, currently serving over $5 billion in residential loans so you don’t have to deal with a third-party.

 

Meet with a Real Person When You Need Help or Have Questions

Our Florida loan officers are currently operating within 10 branches located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tampa, Sarasota, Spring Hill, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Boynton Beach. We are licensed in 50 states, including the District of Columbia.

 


Realtor Partner Benefits

realtor partners land homeNeed a Realtor? We Have a Trusted Partner for You!

Land Home Orlando understands that marketing is essential ingredient, so we’ve designed a package of Realtor Partner Benefits created to assist our Realtor’s success. We know the real estate industry and the challenges you face and how to help overcome these obstacles. Land Home has developed a wide variety of co-marketing materials to sell listings while generating new ones. We provide our Realtor Partners a comprehensive list of materials and marketing services.

Check Out What Land Home Orlando will do for Our Realtors:

From Start to finish we are able to support the needs of our realtors with our Realtor Toolbox including: Open House Flyers, Call Center Campaigns, Loan Programs Flyers, Email Marketing, Door Hangers, Lead Generation Postcards, Postcard Mailings (listings & sold homes), Homebuyer Seminar Presentations & Home Buying Tips.


A Positive Review of Reverse Mortgages

Let’s Say Something Positive About Reverse Mortgages

The concept of a reverse mortgage is perhaps a bit counterintuitive. It can come with misconceptions–most founded by inaccurate information. Is a Reverse Mortgage for you? That’s really a question for your loan officer prior to counseling or the HUD counselor. We hope to shed a little light into the process and give you an idea about the benefits that can come with a Reverse Mortgage.

Similar but Different

A Reverse Mortgage turns a homeowner’s equity into cash without the need to refinance the property or obtain a conventional home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a line of credit that uses the home as collateral and if used, requires monthly payments the homeowners must make. Similar but different, is a cash out refinance. In a cash-out refinance, homeowners can refinance an existing mortgage and take out some extra cash and use it in whatever way they wish. Still, in both instances, it’s a new loan with new monthly payments. A HELOC and cash out refinance are loan types for those who are “house rich” but maybe just a bit “cash poor” but can still afford to make monthly payments.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t require monthly mortgage payments. Typically, the only time a payment is made is when the borrower(s) ultimately leave the property, and the home is no longer the primary residence. They can always choose to make monthly payments of whatever amount they want, a little or a lot, but that is a choice, not a requirement. The funds from a Reverse Mortgage can be accessed through taking a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments for as long as the borrower(s) live in the home. The monthly installments can last the life of the loan or for a predetermined number of months, all the borrower’s choice. FHA also allows a combination of all 3, line of credit, lump sum, and monthly payments.

Here are the basic eligibility requirements for a Reverse Mortgage:

The borrower(s) must be at least 62 years of age
The property is the borrower(s) primary residence
The property must have sufficient equity
The borrower(s) must attend a counseling session with a Reverse Mortgage counselor
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate a reasonable credit history
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient income to cover property taxes and insurance
The last 2 requirements were added in 2015; borrowers must be able to keep their property taxes paid and the collateral insured as well as show responsible credit history. If that seems questionable, there is an option to establish a lifetime set aside (LESA) to ensure those charges are paid and the consumer is protected. Lenders will review the borrower’s monthly required obligations and compare that with the amount of disposable income as well as make certain the Reverse Mortgage is a sustainable solution. Unlike regular mortgages, there is no “debt to income” requirement with a Reverse Mortgage, so it is substantially easier to qualify. If there is an existing mortgage on the property, proceeds from the reverse are used to pay off the mortgage and eliminate existing monthly mortgage payments.

Reverse Mortgage loan amounts will vary based upon the age of the youngest borrower on the application. Generally speaking, the older the borrower, the more money can be issued. The property will also be appraised just like with any other FHA mortgage. The age of the borrower(s) and the amount of equity in the property are the two main line items a reverse lender will evaluate per a formula set down by the FHA. Visit our Reverse Mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of how much you will qualify for.

The “Two-Thumbs-Up” for Reverse Mortgages

The most compelling reason to get a Reverse Mortgage is to turn equity into tax-free cash while still living in the property. Interest accrues on disbursed funds and is directly tied to an index, such as a 1 Year or Monthly London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), plus a margin (typically 2-3%) and is only paid at a maturity event a.k.a. the sale of the property or six months after the homeowners leave the home. And, the proceeds are tax-free! Yet, please remember you still have to pay property taxes and keep your home insured.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t “sell” the property to the lender. The homeowners remain on the title and still own the home. A reverse gets rid of an existing mortgage, therefore eliminating monthly mortgage payments. Heirs are not held liable to pay off the full reverse loan balance should the payoff exceed the value of the home and any remaining equity will flow to the heirs just like any other mortgage.

But, Before The Reverse gets Best Picture…

There really aren’t too many negatives with a reverse but there are some considerations. The value of the inheritance can fall as the reverse needs to be paid off and loan fees may be a bit higher compared to a regular mortgage. Some lenders will cover some or all of those fees, and those that are not paid by the lender are deducted at the closing table. When accessing home equity, it’s important to understand all the financial consequences, and these consequences will be reviewed during counseling, but it may also make sense to speak with your financial adviser to make sure you understand the impact a Reverse Mortgage can have on your estate.

Overall, a Reverse Mortgage is a great option used to access your home equity without having to sell your home, and without any monthly mortgage payments. If you’re curious or know someone who this might benefit, it’s time to call a Reverse Mortgage lender today. And remember, like a friendly movie review from your sister, all opinions are valuable, they just might not be the most accurate or applicable. In other words, see that movie you think you might like, or in this case, look into a reverse, it just might be what you are looking for.

*The above advertisement has not been approved or endorsed by FHA or any other government agency.

*Please note all pricing, percentages and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical statements are meant to illustrate possible outcomes and are not intended to be a statement of facts.