31
Oct 17

Don’t Let Fear Stop You from Applying for a Mortgage

Don't Let Fear Stop You from Applying for a Mortgage | Simplifying The Market

A considerable number of potential buyers shy away from jumping into the real estate market due to their uncertainty about the buying process. A specific cause for concern tends to be mortgage qualification.

For many, the mortgage process can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be!

In order to qualify in today’s market, you’ll need to have saved for a down payment (73% of all buyers made a down payment of less than 20%, with many buyers putting down 3% or less), a stable income and good credit history.

Throughout the entire home buying process, you will interact with many different professionals, all of whom perform necessary roles. These professionals are also valuable resources for you.

Once you’re ready to apply, here are 5 easy steps that Freddie Mac suggests you follow:

  1. Find out your current credit history & score – even if you don’t have perfect credit, you may already qualify for a loan. The average FICO® Score of all closed loans in September was 724, according to Ellie Mae.
  2. Start gathering all your documentation – income verification (such as W-2 forms or tax returns), credit history, and assets (such as bank statements to verify your savings).
  3. Contact a professional – your real estate agent will be able to recommend a loan officer that can help you develop a spending plan, as well as determine how much home you can afford.
  4. Consult with your lender – he or she will review your income, expenses, and financial goals to determine the type and amount of mortgage you qualify for.
  5. Talk to your lender about pre-approval – a pre-approval letter provides an estimate of what you might be able to borrow (provided your financial status doesn’t change), and demonstrates to home sellers that you are serious about buying!

Bottom Line

Do your research, reach out to professionals, stick to your budget, and be sure that you are ready to take on the financial responsibilities of becoming a homeowner.

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31
Oct 17

Paul Manafort Allegedly Spent $1 Million of Laundered Money Just On Rugs

If you had $18 million to burn, how would you spend it? If you’re Paul Manafort, allegedly you’d hop over to your neighborhood antique rug shop and drop (nearly) a cool mil just on carpet.

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31
Oct 17

Stylephiles Co-Founder Steph Waterman's Chic Carroll Gardens Home — House Tour

Name: Steph Waterman
Location: Carroll Gardens — Brooklyn, NY
Size: 600 square feet
Years Lived In: 1.5 years, renting

Kaz and Steph are the “design obsessed duo” behind The Stylephiles. “We are oceans apart in Sydney and New York. Best friends who love to travel, live for good design, and in recent years have harnessed this obsession into a beautiful Instagram account… More recently we’ve launched a website that offers lovers of travel, design hotels and interiors a hub to delve deeper into The Stylephiles aesthetic.”

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31
Oct 17

Potter Fans, Rejoice: The Pottermore Art Collection Is Now Available in the US

Just when you thought you’d run out of gifts for even the most discerning and enthusiastic Harry Potter fan, J.K. Rowling and co. deliver. Today the good folks at Pottermore announced that their art shop is now available in the US, after launching earlier this year for EU and UK Harry Potter fans.

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31
Oct 17

All Sofas at Urban Outfitters Are $100 Off Right Now

You might want to sit down for this: Urban Outfitters is having a big sale on seating, namely sofas, and you can save a Benjamin on a whole bunch of styles and options.

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31
Oct 17

Score the Apartment of Your Dreams: Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Guarantor

You may have heard about guarantors during your apartment hunt, but if you’re not familiar with what they actually do—or how you can still find one if you don’t know anyone personally who can be a guarantor (or even land an apartment you love without one!)—we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about getting a guarantor.

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30
Oct 17

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You’re Paying Someone’s Mortgage

Renting or Buying…Either Way, You're Paying Someone's Mortgage | Simplifying The Market

There are some people who have not purchased homes yet because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich,”

“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”

Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ which allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee the landlord is the person with that equity.

Interest rates are still at historic lows, making it one of the best times to secure a mortgage and make a move into your dream home. Freddie Mac’s latest report shows that rates across the country were at 3.94% last week.

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, now may be the time to buy.

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30
Oct 17

5 Luxe Home Finds Under $100 (That Look Like a Million Bucks) — Cheap Thrills

Scrolling through Instagram, Pinterest or your favorite design blogs can be a bit disheartening sometimes. Everything is so perfect, and the furniture and accessories are so luxe that it’s easy to get down about the state of your own home. Except any super stylish person will tell you it doesn’t take a ton of money to create a beautiful home. After stumbling across a spectacular floor lamp at Target earlier this week (read on to see it!), I decided to dig up four more fresh finds that look like a million bucks, but won’t set you back more than $100.

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30
Oct 17

Take Full Advantage of IKEA's Legendary Kitchen Sales with These Insider Tips

IKEA kitchen sales are legendary. 3-4 times a year, for about a month, the store has a department-wide sale for up to 20% off — a huge savings off big ticket purchases for a renovation. IKEA’s current sale goes until 11/19, so we hit them up for all their juiciest bits of insider intel, all to help you get the most out of the opportunity. Read on, then head to your local IKEA, or plan ahead and get all your ducks in a row for the next one.

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30
Oct 17

10 Tips to Help Your Houseplants Survive Fall & Winter

With end of Daylight Savings near, you’re not the only one anticipating (or rather dreading) the harshest months of the year. Pretty soon, your houseplants will be busy dodging drafts and soaking up every last ray of dwindling sunlight. To give your ferns and fiddle leaf figs a fighting chance at survival, follow these ten tips for winter plant care to get your plants through the worst of it.

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