Bo Lee - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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Posted by Bo Lee on 11/15/2020

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With a mortgage, a buyer is applying for financing to purchase the property in its entirety. They're relying on their credit and assets for approval before assuming responsibility of the full property. In a land contract, you're cutting out the need for a formal lender and relying on the seller to approve or deny your application.

The seeming simplicity of the transaction may make some people discount the importance of negotiation. However, there are a few things to keep in mind so both the buyer and seller are comfortable with the terms of the agreement. 

Talk to the Seller 

With a land contract, you may be more beholden to the seller than you would be to a lender in a traditional mortgage. If the seller thinks of you as a tenant rather than an owner of the place, you'll need to discuss their exact involvement over the course of the contract.

Because the seller won't receive the full value of the property upon sale, their financial insecurity is entirely understandable. They may want to check up with you over the phone, in-person, or through a third-party. If you're uncomfortable with the level of oversight, you may need to speak up or find a different property. 

Make sure you understand your obligations during this time. Some buyers are treated as a renter of the property — until it comes time to make significant and costly repairs. If you're responsible for all upkeep, you may be able to negotiate more freedom in exchange for the additional expense. 

Think Through the Finances 

One of the starkest differences between a traditionally financed home and a land contract is the speed of repayments. Even if you do find a seller willing to extend the contract, it can still be a major strain on your finances. As you factor in your current assets and credit score, you should also consider the future.

If the final payment is large enough, it may still require a substantial loan. If your credit hasn't improved enough by the time the contract nears the end, it could be a significant blow to your savings. And if you can't meet the terms of the contract, the seller will get to keep the money you've already paid them (as well as the property). 

Negotiating a land contract means thinking through the repercussions of each clause. While the terms may seem looser than a standard mortgage, there may be strings attached that aren't as obvious at first glance. Ensure that you understand your financial and practical responsibilities before signing on the dotted line. 




Tags: loans   Financing   home loan   finance  
Categories: Mortgage  


Posted by Bo Lee on 5/12/2019

Obtaining a home loan is a must for most homebuyers. However, there is a lot to think about to ensure a homebuyer can secure a loan that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.

Some of the key questions to consider about a home loan include:

1. What is a home loan's interest rate?

It is paramount to understand a home loan's interest rate, along with any associated loan fees. That way, a homebuyer will know exactly how much he or she will be paying over the life of a home loan.

If a homebuyer chooses a fixed-rate mortgage, he or she can lock in an interest rate for the duration of a home loan. This means a homebuyer will pay the same amount each month. And in many instances, a fixed-rate mortgage can be paid off early without penalty.

On the other hand, a homebuyer may prefer an adjustable-rate mortgage. With this type of mortgage, a homebuyer may receive a lower interest rate initially that rises after a set period of time.

Compare and contrast the different home loan options and their associated interest rates. By doing so, a homebuyer can make an informed home loan decision, one that serves him or her well both now and in the future.

2. Does a home loan require a minimum down payment?

Ask a lender about whether there is a minimum down payment required as part of a home loan agreement. Typically, a homebuyer will need to pay at least a small portion of a home's price to secure a home loan, and it certainly helps to have this information available before you start evaluating available residences.

In addition, it may be worthwhile to save as much money as possible prior to starting a home search. With money at your disposal, you may be better equipped than ever before to make a large down payment, thereby reducing the amount that you'll need for a home loan. Plus, you may even be able to boost your chances of getting a favorable home loan interest rate.

3. Will I need to provide legal documents to obtain a home loan?

Lenders will require you to provide proof of your income and assets, W-2 statements and other legal documents to finalize a home loan agreement. If you stay organized and have these documents readily available, you should have no trouble providing them to a lender as needed.

Overall, the home loan application process may vary from several weeks to many months. The time it takes to secure a home loan can be stressful, and if you need extra help along the way, it never hurts to reach out to a real estate agent.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can streamline the process of buying your dream home. This housing market professional can offer expert tips throughout the homebuying journey and ensure you can discover a great house at an affordable price.

Take the guesswork out of securing a home loan Ė consider the aforementioned questions, and you can move one step closer to getting the financing you need to obtain your ideal residence.




Tags: Buying a home   loans  
Categories: Buying a Home   home loans  


Posted by Bo Lee on 5/20/2018

Since home values are continually on the rise, it makes more sense for many Americans to tap into their home equity for financial security. The home equity line of credit is a great resource that has come back with many benefits. You can finance so many things from home improvement projects to the vacation you have always wanted with a reverse mortgage. There are consequences if you donít turn to home equity with careful thought. You could end up owing more than your home is even worth at a certain point. Thatís not giving you any value. 

Smart Financial Moves

Tapping into a home equity line of credit could be a smart financial move. If you use little to none of the money it can be wise to have extra cash on hand for emergencies, considering rates are so low for home loans. It can help you to be prepared for unexpected financial setbacks. The key is to not use the money unless itís absolutely necessary.

Good Ideas For Home Equity

  • Emergency fund
  • Home renovations
  • Education funds (if youíll be able to pay it back in a timely manner)

Bad Ideas For Home Equity

  • Vacations
  • Car purchase
  • Random spending


If youíre expecting an increase in income and need some extra cash on hand for a purpose, using a home equity line of credit can be a good resource. Also, if youíre selling your home soon, tapping into home equity for improvement projects can help to give you a better return on the sale. 


Home Equity Is Not An Unlimited Source Of Funds


Home values can change drastically with the market and the amount of demand. The amount of equity you may have can change as well, and your repayment amounts can vary drastically based on the state of the housing market. While tapping into home equity will most likely put you in the positive, you could end up in the negative if youíre not carefully prepared.


The Ways To Draw On Your Home Equity


There are 3 main ways to draw on your homeís equity. In any of these cases, you cannot borrow more than 80% of your homeís value from any lender. 


Cash-out Refinance

This loan is exactly as it sounds; you take a set mount of cash out from your home and refinance it at the same time. 

 

Home Equity Loan

This is a loan that is sometimes referred to a second mortgage. This usually has a fixed rate. 


Home Equity Line Of Credit

This loan is like using a credit card. Thereís a maximum that you can borrow, and you use money as you need it. After a certain amount of time, you can no longer draw on the money.  


Refinancing your home will extend the life of your mortgage. Youíll have higher costs but end up with lower rates most often.


Questions To Consider When Thinking Of A Home Equity Line Of Credit

  • Does your home need renovations?
  • Is the loan rate lower than other types of loans like car loans?
  • Do you need to consolidate your debt?
  • Are you facing large bills like medical bills or college tuition? 
  • Are you starting a business?

Used in smart ways, home equity can be a great financial resource for you. Consider your options and plan your finances wisely. Your home is in fact your biggest asset! 







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