Bo Lee - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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Posted by Bo Lee on 9/13/2020

Photo by ESB Professional via Shutterstock

If the thought of getting a mortgage and being in that much debt is stopping you from buying a home, plan to pay it off. Here’s how you can do it in just five to 10 years.

  • Live well below your means. If you can keep your mortgage payment to below twenty percent of your take-home pay, you’re on your way. That means that instead of buying a larger house in an upscale community, buy the nicest one you can in the neighborhood you can afford. When you do this, you’ll not only save on the payment but your energy and maintenance costs will be lower, as well.
  • Take a 15-year mortgage. Instead of the typical 30-year loan, opt for the 15-year choice. Your payments will be slightly higher, but they won’t be double. Use an online mortgage calculator to see the difference in the payment. You’ll be surprised at how much more affordable cutting the loan length in half can be.
  • Use an early mortgage pay-off calculator. Try plugging in different payment amounts to see how quickly you can pay it off. Adding as little as $100 extra each month can massively reduce the years to completion.
  • This next idea is easy if you get paid weekly or bi-weekly. Instead of making your mortgage payment once a month, pay half of it every two weeks. Using this trick allows you to make an entire extra payment each year, cutting months and years off your mortgage. If you do it to match your bi-weekly payments, you won’t even notice the additional payment out of your household budget.

Your Agent Can Help

When you’re looking for just the right house to put your plan into action, your knowledgeable real estate agent can find you the perfect one. Let them know what you’re trying to accomplish so that they match you to the right house at the right time.




Categories: homebuyers   homeowners  


Posted by Bo Lee on 4/28/2019

Credit plays an important role in your ability to secure a home loan and to qualify for a low-interest mortgage. However, many first-time homebuyers aren’t aren’t sure about the exact relationship between credit scores and mortgages.

This doesn’t come as much of a surprise considering the many factors that go into your credit score and into your lender’s decision to approve you for a mortgage. So, in this article, we’re going to cover three commonly asked questions that homebuyers have about credit scores and how they’re used by mortgage lenders to determine your eligibility for a home loan.

Will my credit score go down if I check my credit report?

If you’re thinking of buying a home in the near future, one of the first things you’ll want to do is check your credit. However, if you’ve heard that some credit inquiries briefly lower your credit score you might be hesitant to find out.


This common misconception stems from the fact that taking out new lines of credit results in a temporary decrease in your credit score. The difference between checking your credit and a credit inquiry is simple: a credit check you can access for free online through a service like Credit Karma, whereas a credit inquiry is performed by a lender or creditor with whom you’ve applied for credit.

In short, checking your credit score online won’t affect your score. In fact, the major credit bureaus are required to allow you to check your credit for free once per year.

Can I get a loan with low credit?

Increasing your credit score is a lengthy process that requires careful financial management. Many people who have had difficulties paying off bills, loans, and credit cards will have to rebuild their credit. Or, if you’re young and don’t have a diverse history of credit payments, you’ll be starting from scratch to build your score.

If you’re hoping to get an FHA (first-time homeowner loan), the lowest your score can be is 580. However, that doesn’t mean you should always take a loan with a low credit score. When you don’t have a good credit history, lenders will seek other ways to guarantees their investment. This comes in the form of higher interest rates or PMI (private mortgage insurance) which you’ll have to pay on top of your monthly home insurance and mortgage payments.

Will applying for a home loan affect my credit?

Simply stated, yes. However, applying for a loan or get preapproved is considered a credit inquiry and won’t leave any lasting negative on your credit score. Making several inquiries within a short period of time, however, can significantly lower your score, so choose your inquiries wisely. And, be sure to monitor your credit score on a monthly basis so you have an idea of where you stand along the road to applying for a home loan.




Tags: Buying a home   homebuyers   FAQ  
Categories: Buying a Home   homebuyers   FAQ  


Posted by Bo Lee on 4/14/2019

Looking for the perfect place to call home? Is your vision of home that iconic white-picket fence ranch in the suburbs? Or, do you love the walkability of an urban neighborhood? Do you dream of a large backyard with room to host the neighborhood barbecue? How about being near to great schools? Extensive libraries or museums? Sports facilities? A neighborhood park? A nearby school?

Every year, various rankings for cities make it into the new: Best Cities to Live in America; Where to Life; Best Places to Live; Best Small Towns; Best Cities for Millennials; Top Ten Cities for [insert demographic here]. 

Investigate before you head across town … or across the country. 
The perfect location for someone else may not be the perfect home for you. Before chasing someone else’s dream, consider these factors that might better inform your home search:

Think about what’s important for you.
Do you value more space, better schools, a larger home? Or, does being near family and long-time friends give you a sense of “home,” of belonging? Do you want to be nearer work, so the commute is shorter, giving more time for “life”? These are not new questions. Families have moved from cities to the suburbs and back again for decades.

Consider what you might be giving up.
Moving to the city might mean access to cultural events, restaurants, a short commute, while the suburbs might offer that large home with a yard, or the perfect school. In either event, a move might take you away from friends, or give you the opportunity to make new ones.

Is it Family Friendly?

The criteria researchers use to determining a location's "family friendliness" include:

- Job market
- Commuter times and delays
- Crime rates
- School rankings
- Median household income
- Cost of living index
- Home affordability
- The percentage of homeownership

Different cities rank differently in each category in different years, so don’t just rely on the most recent reports to determine where you might want to live. Check back over the past few years and look for trends … Are the schools improving? Is there more dedicated greenspace? Has public transportation improved? Are the demographics change?

If you have school-age children, don’t just look at the elementary schools. In no time at all, your starry-eyed first-grader will be approaching graduation. It’s not all about academics either. Children need exposure to other opportunities and extra-curricular activities as well.

On the other hand, if you’re thinking of starting a family, you also need to check out hospital maternity suites (or birthing alternatives), daycare facilities, toddler playgrounds and opportunities for young parents to gather.

Of course, none of the lists, rankings, and surveys matter if the commute from your job is so long that you’ll miss out on all your kids’ ballgames and activities.

The perfect place for you to call home and to raise a family might be a new place where you’re sharing a new adventure together … but it might just be the neighborhood you know best and have already called “home.”

No matter what you determine, utilizing an expert real estate professional can match you up with the perfect place you, and your family will make into the home you’re looking for. 







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