What should you look for while comparing lending estimates?

A few factors can go into separating one estimate from the rest.  First off, make sure the estimates are the same loan program. Both conventional? Make sure they reflect the same down payment, interest rate, seller help, if any, to compare apples to apples. One program with 5% down Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance will look very different when compared to FHA (3.5% down).  Often, banks will show thousands of dollars in seller help to make the closing costs appear more favorable. Here at McCormick Mortgage, we are happy to take a look at your estimates, answer questions, and send you a competitive estimate.  All at no cost and no obligation.
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Spring Yard Care

With spring just around the corner, it's time to start thinking about yard projects. Did you know that a well kept and thought out landscaping plan can increase your property value? That translates to more equity! Whether you're planning on selling soon or not, it's always smart to invest in your home. Here are a few simple, inexpensive ideas I came across that can get your yard and home looking great this spring. Edge and Mow Edging and mowing your yard makes it look restrained and tame. To edge, you can either use a shovel to create a defined barrier between the yard and flower beds or use a physical barrier such as brick or wood. Block Noise and Neighbors Trees, bushes or shrubs can create privacy and block noise…
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Breaking out of the Basement

Whether you want to move out of the basement or were told to, buying your first home is better than renting. Because of the foreclosure/ short sale crisis many more people are renters which has greatly increased rent costs. Though high rents are a reason to buy a home, the tax break the government gives you is huge. A $1,800 mortgage payment is equal to a $1,375 rental. Also, you now own your home and it should go up in value every year. There are many 0 Down programs available and sellers are paying a lot of the closing costs. Not sure about your credit? Call us to check! You only need a 620 score to qualify in most cases. Spring is here, time to move.
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Tax Benefit of Owning a Home

The most common concern I hear from potential First Time Homebuyers is the amount needed for a down payment.  The notion of needing a 20% down payment is no longer true.  There are many loan programs available that allow you to put down as little as 0%, 3.5%, or 5% with affordable monthly payments. Also, a portion of your monthly payment is tax deductible. Let’s use an example sales price of a $385,000 home with a 10% down payment.  This gives you a monthly payment, including Taxes and Insurance, of $1,900.   Taxes and Interest are deductible from your income, which comes to $5,200 refunded each year. Or, $430 a month.  Applying this refund, your $1,900 a month mortgage payment is equivalent to a $1,470 a month rental.  Not to mention…
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Optimize Your Asking Price

Set the asking price just below a round number – that’s the best technique for pricing a home for sale, according to new research published in the Journal of Housing Research. Researchers found that buyers are more drawn to a house priced “just below” at, say, $199,000 than to a house priced at a rounded number like $200,000. "Our study suggests that by using the just below pricing strategy sellers can price their home slightly higher without driving away potential buyers," says Eli Beracha, one of the study’s authors. "As a result, they end up selling their house for more." Indeed, researchers found that such a “just below” pricing strategy yields a selling price that is about 2.5 to 3 percent higher – or $5,000 to $6,000 more – on…
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How do I get started?

Whether or not you have a house picked out, we can still go over the necessary information and get you pre-approved. You don’t even need to be working with a realtor!  You may have a home in mind, a sales price, monthly payment, or just curious about what you can afford. We can help you with all the above! You’ll just need to gather some documentation. Think “the rule of two:”      -2 most recent W2’s      -2 most recent pay stubs      -2 most recent tax returns (commission or salary)      -2 most recent bank statements Also, if you would like to find out your credit score, we can pull a full credit report at no charge.   After going over this information and answering…
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Rural Housing Boost

The USDA said that it is cutting its fees beginning on Oct. 1, 2016, the first day of fiscal year 2017. According to the announcement, the USDA is set to cut its upfront guarantee fee from 2.75% of the loan-at-close amount to 1%. Additionally, the USDA is cutting its annual fee from reduced from 0.50% of the unpaid principal loan balance to 0.35%. So, what’s the reason for the cut? Better borrower performance, according to a USDA official. The USDA is able to cut its upfront and annual fees because borrower delinquency and foreclosure rates have reached “historic lows” since the beginning of the housing crisis. Additionally, the official said that successful partnerships between the USDA and the lenders who participate in its loan programs have resulted in “very strong”…
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Credit Score: Don’t pay to fix it!

Credit Scores are always a point of concern when it comes time to get pre-approved. If there is one thing to absolutely never do:  pay a company to “fix your credit score.”  It is not possible to change or erase true information from your credit report no matter what they tell you.  In fact, these companies can actually hurt your credit score through consolidating your debts and paying a lower payment than is due.  We can run your credit and get you advice from the experts at the Credit Bureau to increase your score.  So, no Consumer Counseling Companies or Credit Repair Companies! And remember, for most loan programs, you only need a 620 score.
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Industry Update

More Millennials Turn to Their Home’s Equity - According to a new survey commissioned by Discover Home Equity Loans, older millennials (ages 30 to 34) are twice as likely as baby boomers to take out a home equity loan. Of the 64 percent of older millennials surveyed who own a home, 51 percent have used a home equity loan compared to 26 percent of baby boomer home owners, the survey revealed. What does this mean for you? With rates holding at near historic lows, now is a great opportunity to look into Refinancing options. Cash out Refi’s at fixed rates may be a better option than HELOCs at a variable rate. We’ve been closing our Refi files in under 30 days and make it an easy process to tap into the value of your home.…
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On the Go and looking for a Home

Americans spend an average of 55 minutes per online visit with real estate apps on their phones, according to new research unveiled by Google. Basically, “customers roll over in the morning and start looking at real estate listings [on their phone],” John Thornton, a partner in Google’s real estate business, said about the study’s findings. Sixty-nine percent of respondents Google surveyed call shopping for real estate “fun” from their phone and online. In fact, Americans are so addicted to home shopping online that 64 percent say they keep checking out houses and home values even after they purchase a home. The Google study also finds that people start hunting on real estate sites three years before they buy, on average. Also, one in five of the people checking out homes…
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