Peter Tzannos - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Peter Tzannos on 4/13/2020

Paying off a mortgage early is a dream of many homeowners. By making larger payments on your home loan, you can cut years off of your loan term and save thousands of dollars in interest payments that you can use toward savings or investments. But in an economy that has seen decades of wage stagnation and increasing costs of living, it can often seem like an unattainable goal.

With some planning and initiative, however, there are ways to pay off your home loan before your term limit.

In todayís post, weíre going to talk about three of the ways you can start paying off your mortgage early to avoid high interest payments and save yourself money along the way.

1. Refinance your mortgage


If youíre considering making larger payments on your mortgage, it might make sense to look at refinancing options. Most Americans take out 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages.

If you can afford to significantly increase your mortgage payments each month, you could refinance to a 15-year mortgage. This will save you on the number of interest payments youíll have to make over the years. But, it will also help you secure a lower interest rate since shorter term mortgages typically come with lower interest rates.

This option isnít for everyone. First, refinancing comes with fees youíll have to pay for upfront. Youíll have to apply for refinancing, get an appraisal of your home, and wait for the decision to be made.

But, youíll also have to ensure that you can keep up with your higher monthly payments. If your income is variable or undependable, it might not be the safest option to refinance to a shorter term mortgage.

2. Make extra payments

An option that entails less risk than refinancing is to simply increase your monthly payments. If you recently got a raise or are just reallocating funds to try and tackle your mortgage, this is an excellent option.

Depending on your mortgage lender, you may be able to simple increase your auto-pay amounts each month, streamlining the process. Otherwise, itís possible to set up bill-pay with most banks to automatically transfer funds to your lender.

3. Bi-weekly payments or one extra payment per year

Making bi-weekly instead of monthly payments is an option that many homeowners use to pay off their mortgages early. Bi-weekly payments work by paying half of your monthly payment once every two weeks.

The vast majority of homeowners make 12 monthly payments per year. But by switching to 26 bi-weekly payments, you can effectively make 13 full monthly payments in a year without seeing too much of a difference in your daily budget.

This doesnít seem like much savings in the short term, but letís take a look at how much you could save over the term of a 30-year mortgage.

On a 30-year fixed mortgage of $200,000 with a 4.03 annual interest rate, you would make a monthly payment of $958.00 and a bi-weekly payment of $479.

Over 30 years of an extra monthly payment, you could save nearly $20,000 on the total interest amount and pay off your mortgage almost 5 years early.




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Posted by Peter Tzannos on 2/10/2020

Photo by Vincent Rivaud from Pexels

When you buy a luxury home, you have several options when it comes to paying for the home. While some luxury buyers invest fully in the home and purchase outright, most find that opting for a mortgage of some type keeps options open and reserves capital for other things. Mortgages can be used for high end homes, but not all products are available -- or useful -- for this luxury space. Whether you are buying or selling, knowing what to expect when it comes to financing can help you strike the perfect deal. 

 Conventional Mortgages

Depending on where you live and the cost of the high end home, a conventional mortgage could be all you need. In parts of the country where a huge home in pristine condition still falls within the guidelines of a complying mortgage, this may be your best option. While it may not always work for you, exploring the conventional financing options is an ideal first step. 

Conventional loans are conforming loans – that fall within a specific set of guidelines. You can use a conventional loan for your own residence or for a vacation or investment home. Opting for this type of mortgage could result in lower costs to you (if you have at least 20% equity, you can avoid PMI). If the mortgage for your prospective home is under the limit of $453,100, then you can choose a conventional loan for your home.

That $453,100 limit is for mortgages in most areas, but a few select zip codes in the US allow for an even larger limit. In these high end locations, the limit for a conventional loan is much higher: $679,650. These limits are not the cost of the home itself, but the amount that you can borrow and still qualify for the conventional, conforming loan.

Jumbo Loans

When a conventional loan isn't quite right, or the loan amount for the home in question is over the stated conventional limits of $453 or $679K, then a jumbo loan will work best. These loans are designed for expensive, high end homes and properties and may have more stringent requirements when it comes to down payment amounts and the assets that need to remain on hand after the home purchase.

Aside from the differences in the amount of the loan, a jumbo loan works in a way that is very similar to a conventional loan. Expect to go through an underwriting process, to supply proof of income and to shop around for the best possible rates when you choose this option. 

No matter what product you choose, expect a luxury home mortgage to follow similar steps to a conventional one. Depending on the amount borrowed and the buyer's financial health, the process could take less time than a conventional one. 




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Posted by Peter Tzannos on 12/16/2019

Photo by Nattanan Kanchanaprat via Pixabay

If you’re in the market to purchase a home, it can be a confusing process. Interest rates, types of loans and what may apply to you can all sound like a foreign language. It’s always best to have some background knowledge before going to see a mortgage broker to make sure you’re on the same page. Although there are many components to the process, one of the main elements that directly affects you is the type of loan you qualify for. Here’s a quick guide:

  • Land Purchase

You may want to build a home on a specific piece of land. Most banks offer up to 85% of the price of the land for residential and investment purposes.

  • Home Purchase

These loans finance the purchase of a new residential property or home from previous owners. There are many categories: fixed-rate, adjustable-rate, conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, USDA and bridge. Each one has elements that mortgage brokers use to determine whether you would be a good candidate for that type of loan.

  • Home Construction

If you’re looking to construct your home from the ground up, this is the type of loan you will be considered for. The loan and application process is a little different from a standard home purchase loan. If you want the loan to be included as a part of the total price of the house, the land should have been bought within a year.

  • Home Expansion/Extension

Even if you’re purchasing a home, you may decide you need to expand it. These types of loans work differently if you are purchasing the home, so working with a mortgage broker will provide more insight.

These four loan options may directly impact your decision and ability to purchase. When considering the type of loan you are seeking, you should also think about where you want to live and how long you plan to stay there. Each specific type of mortgage loan may require different amounts for a down payment, have different standards, require mortgage insurance and interest.

The type of mortgage loan and interest rate will also affect your monthly payment. A mortgage broker should be able to help choose wisely to save money in a number of areas. The most important thing to remember when searching for a home loan: they are not one size fits all. Every home loan is dependent on your current circumstances, credit rating and income level.

Everything may sound confusing right now, but you have a good foundation to work from. As your mortgage broker walks you through the process, you'll be able to identify those loans that may be mentioned without feeling like you're lost. Being educated on what's out there can also help ask the right questions. Although a mortgage broker is designed to help you get the loan you want, they also want to make money too. Working with one that appreciates your knowledge (even if limited) is key. Good luck!




Tags: Mortgage   loan   Homebuying  
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Posted by Peter Tzannos on 10/7/2019

Securing a mortgage can be quite challenging if you do not meet specific requirements and demands made by the lenders. But really, you canít blame lenders or mortgage companies for setting up these rules. Most of these demands are made to ensure the borrower can repay a loan without too much of a problem.

Everyone has one or several bad habits that have affected them or will affect them one way or another. When it comes to securing mortgage though, some bad habits might interfere with that decision. These habits will cast a shadow over your profile, putting doubts in the mind of the lender. Bad habits like any of the ones listed below will affect your chances of securing a mortgage.

Gambling

Gambling is a terrible financial habit that could also be addictive. Betting away some of your money on rare occasions is not enough to affect your chances of securing a mortgage. Taking out credit or a short-term loan to finance your gambling habit, however, will affect your chances of obtaining a mortgage Ė your gambling habit might also make you default on your credit card repayment.  

Personal Debt

Having substantial private debt will most likely cast doubt on your mortgage request. Lenders would be skeptical about your ability to pay back a new loan. Before you go ahead and apply for a mortgage, pay off all outstanding debts and keep a clean savings profile.

Defaulting on payments

Having a history of defaulting on previous loan repayment will reduce your chances of getting a mortgage. Defaulting is the single worst thing you can do to yourself. Lenders would not want to provide a loan to an individual who has a bad habit of defaulting.

Exceeding Overdraft 

Another bad habit that will cast doubt in the minds of lenders is exceeding your overdraft limit. If you donít have an arranged overdraft limit, contact your bank. If lenders go through your bank statement and find your account messed up irrespective of how much income Is in there, they would probably turn down your application for a mortgage.

Late Credit Payments 

Making a late payment on your credit card and other loans is an excellent way to dig your own grave when requesting for a mortgage. A single late payment can mess up your credit score and would remain on your credit history for as long as seven years. 

If you are guilty of any of these habits and intend to secure a mortgage, you need to have a clear record first before proceeding with your application for a loan. If you are worried about whether you will qualify for a mortgage, talk to your real estate agent about your options and use prequalification forms to determine your likely approval.





Posted by Peter Tzannos on 9/9/2019

Do you dream of buying a home? If your answer is yes, then VA home loan can make it a reality. A VA home loan differs from the traditional mortgage home loan. It is essential to know if you are eligible to apply for a VA home loan and how it can help you purchase your own home.

What is VA Home Loan?  

A VA home loan is a loan for which veterans, active-duty service members, and some surviving spouses are eligible. Generally, VA loans feature better terms than a traditional mortgage, and it is easy to qualify. For many military borrowers, the flexibility and no-down payment nature of VA Home loan have made it the most reliable lending plan in the market. You may find it interesting that from 1944 until today, VA home loans have made over 20 million service members homeowners.

VA Home Loan- Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a VA Home Loan, a person must meet one or more of the following criteria:

- You must have served 90 straight days of active service at the time of war.

- You must have served 181 days of active service. 

- You have accumulated six or more years of service in the Reserves or National Guards.

- Your spouse, who is a service member, becomes disabled or dies during service.

How Does VA Home Loan Work?

The first step to homeownership through VA home loan is to get pre-qualified. You will need to meet up with a VA lender to help you get an estimate of the price of the home you can afford based on your credit, income, and other financial factors.

After getting pre-qualified, the next thing to do is to pre-approve your loan. This will give you the power to take action when you see a home you love. When the preapproval process is complete, you will need to hire a knowledgeable VA agent to help you place an offer and negotiate with the seller.

If you and the seller have agreed concerning the price for the house, your lender will order a VA appraisal of the home. Also, underwriters will analyze your income, finance, and related documents. Next, get ready to sign several kinds of legal documents at your loan closing. After this, you will get the keys to your new home.

Here are some of the most important things to know about a VA home loan;

- It is reusable as long as you pay off the loan every time.

- You can only use it for specific homes.

- You can use it for a primary residence.

- It does not require mortgage insurance.

- It comes with a VA funding fee.

Even if you qualify for a VA home loan, take your time to think if owning a home is right for you. Consider the maintenance, property taxes, and Home upkeep. Renting may seem cheap. Before you go for a VA home loan, consult a home loan specialist.





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