Power up in today’s real estate market with 3-2-1 mortgage loan program

With rising home costs and interest rates, some would-be homebuyers may feel like they don’t have many options right now. With the 3-2-1 mortgage program, however, people can reinsert themselves into the market with confidence that they’ll turn the corner on homeownership.

Homebuyers come first

The Jaro Team pushes every button and uses every tool to make homebuying more accessible. The new 3-2-1 buy down lending program is our answer to the homebuyers’ evolving mortgage needs.

It reduces the stress of today’s higher housing costs by creating a little extra breathing room, especially during the first few years of a mortgage loan.

Here’s how it works

When borrowers choose the 3-2-1 mortgage program, they will enjoy a lower interest rate for the first few years of the loan, before it switches to a permanent, yet manageable rate in the following years.

Borrowers will pay an up-front fee, like purchasing discount points, to reap the benefits of the 3-2-1 mortgage program. The 3-2-1 loan program is used for primary residences and second homes, but not investment properties. It also doesn’t work in tandem with an adjustable-rate mortgage program.

The “3-2-1” refers to how the interest rates are structured during the first three years. Homeowners will pay 3 percent less on interest in the first year; in the second year the discount will be two percent; and in the third year it’s a one percent reduction.

Once the lower-interest rate period ends, the permanent rate kicks in for the remainder of the loan.

More benefits

A reduced mortgage rate translates into additional savings and buys time before the mortgage resets. For example, if there’s a big-ticket item loan with three years left before it’s paid off, the 3-2-1 mortgage buydown program creates some financial wiggle room to focus on other commitments.

Lower monthly payments for three years are an opportunity to redirect income toward a savings account. After the lower interest rate period ends, homeowners will have clarity about how much they will pay moving forward, allowing them to prepare the family’s budget.

Last but not least, the homebuyer can skip paying for the upfront cost of the 3-2-1 loan. In some instances, home sellers are willing to pick up the tab as an incentive to accelerate the home sale. Homebuilders are also sometimes willing to use a similar tactic to get homebuyers into a brand-new home.

This interest rate reprieve lets homeowners take on homebuying with renewed confidence. The 3-2-1 buydown loan makes homebuying more accessible and increases a homebuyer’s financial wherewithal during the critical first few years of homeownership.

Contact us today to learn more!

 

We have increased our conventional lending limit to give homebuyers a competitive edge

The rising costs of homeownership and rates have become a constant, much to the frustration of many future homeowners. To help alleviate some of this, however, we have increased our conventional lending limit to give homebuyers a competitive edge they need in today’s complex real estate market.

Our conventional loan limit is now $715,000, up from $647,200. We’re getting ahead of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is expected to make the limit increase later this year.

This gives homebuyers access to tens of thousands of dollars of more buying power. This forward-thinking approach allows homebuyers and their real estate team to enter the field with the ability to make strong and attractive offers to offset competing buyers.

Most conventional lending programs have limits on how much someone can borrower, based on where they intend to purchase a home. Areas with higher costs of living will feature higher limits, for example.

Also known as conforming loan limits, buyers must stay under the lending threshold to take full advantage of the lending mechanism. Otherwise, homebuyers might have to turn to a jumbo loan, which has varying requirements. They typically have higher rates, stricter underwriting standards and require a larger down payment.

The baseline loan limit is the most a buyer can borrow assuming all their financial details are in good standing to manage a mortgage loan. For multiple housing units, the conventional loan limit will be higher. Unlike FHA loans, conventional loans are not backed by the federal government. In most cases, conventional loan limits are higher than FHA programs. Conventional loans are offered by private mortgage companies and are administered following rules set by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Conventional loans can be conforming or non-conforming, which means it’s a private-sector-backed mortgage. Conforming loans are handled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. These entities are known as government-sponsored enterprises. They are setup to open access to credit opportunities to increase homeownership for the greater public good.

While not technically guaranteed by the federal government, these loans necessitate loan limits. This protects the government in the event of any extended lending losses.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us today!

5 remodeling ideas for your garage

The home garage can sometimes play second fiddle to other spaces, often relegated as just the place for wide-use storage. A garage shelters your vehicle, laundry equipment and various other items inside storage containers.

It’s boring, yet absolutely needed.

But as you and your family spend more time at home, your garage can get a new lease on life with a remodeling project. Here are some ideas that will expand the functionality of your garage with style.

Add new flooring and fresh wall paint

If a total garage transformation is out of the question, start with new flooring and paint for a dramatic update. Most garage floors are made of concrete, which can look a little dull and are prone to cracking. Not to mention, most garage surfaces can soak up liquids and accumulate stains.

Before moving forward, it’s advised to have the floor resurfaced to make way for epoxy treatment. With this type of flooring, you can kiss floor stains goodbye and welcome in a shiny and updated look.

In addition, you can add larger floor matting, strong enough to handle the weight of a car, yet comfortable for various workouts.

Once the flooring is installed, the walls can also be made over with a fresh coat of paint or newly installed sheetrock, if needed.

Loft it out

You can refine your garage’s footprint while retaining all that storage capacity, and maybe adding to it, by installing a loft. Look up and imagine what’s possible with a loft. Your storage needs can be fulfilled overhead, leaving you plenty of room to roam and experiment with the space on the ground floor.

If you feel extra ambitious, the loft area can double as a storage and office space or an extra room. The possibilities are endless.

Put in windows

Get rid of the envelop of darkness inside your garage by bringing in some light, preferably, of the natural variety.

The installation of skylights or windows will bring in some much-needed natural lighting and allow for better airflow. This two-for-one means more visibility and less garage stuffiness.

Boost the insulation

Floor-to-ceiling insulation will help maintain consistent temperatures and save money on your utility bill. If you plan to spend more time inside the garage, this is a win-win.

Remember that the garage door takes up an entire side of the garage. In effect, the door is the garage’s biggest weak spot. That’s why it’s important to also address the door’s insulation. Some steel garage doors come pre-insulated, but other materials aren’t as efficient.

So, don’t let this weak spot go unprotected.

Dim lights for movie night

The garage is an ideal location for watching movies. With long and unobstructed walls, any side of the garage is just asking to have a movie projected upon it.

Given all the space, your entire family and guests will have plenty of leg room to sprawl out and enjoy movie night. Just add some seating, such as an oversized couch and chair, a home theater system and maybe a popcorn maker. That’s all you’ll need to host the next best movie night inside your reinvented garage space.

If you are interested in information about a home loan, contact us today!

Pet-friendly tips for a cleaner home

We love them. Our four-legged furry bundles of joy mean the world to us.

All pet owners agree that caring for their pets is both a joy and challenge, especially if your pet does a lot of shedding or is still in training.

With a little work, you can hold together a well-kept home no matter how many legs are running around with these easy-to-follow and pet-friendly cleaning hacks.

Wipe paws

Just like you use a door mat to wipe your shoes or put away shoes in an entryway shoe rack, have something for your pets to use too. It’s as easy as wiping off their paws after outdoor play or going on a walk.

Pet owners can keep a pet-friendly wipe handy or use a baking sheet filled with water near the door. Your pet simply needs to step into the container to wash away any unwanted debris.

Fresher cat litter

The first step to eliminating or reducing odors from a kitty litter container is baking soda. After each change of litter, make sure to place a layer of baking soda at the bottom of the container.

For extra freshness, go ahead and sprinkle in some baking soda after each scoop. The absorbing powers of baking soda work wonders in removing odor and keeping any room with a kitty litter box smelling fresh all day long.

Cleaner eating area

Your pets should enjoy a dedicated area for eating that’s designed to keep things neat.

A silicone mat underneath your pet’s water and food bowls is all you really need. The mat will catch spills and ensure water stays off the floor for extended periods of time, which could cause damage.

The mat is also convenient because it’s easy to wipe clean quickly and in time for your pet’s next meal.

Cleaning solution

There are lots of products out there that promise odor- and stain-removing miracles. Save the money.

When your pet has an indoor accident, you can use your own cleaning solution at home to clean up the mess. The solution is simple: just mix in eight ounces of hydrogen peroxide, three tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of dish soap. Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it for spot cleaning on flooring and carpeting.

Declutter pet area

A dedicated pet box where you can store toys, accessories and other pet essentials can keep your pet area clean.

Foods, cleaners and other pet goods should also be stored out of sight if you want to keep the pet areas as tidy as possible.

A spare cabinet, pantry shelf or a basket with your pet’s name are all perfect storage solutions. And when you get organized in this way, you’ll never forget where you put your pet’s wire brush or flea medicine again.

Get vacuum robot

Sometimes, it’s hard getting a volunteer to sweep or vacuum. All that endless supply of pet hair can make it seem like an impossible task to finish.

That’s where a vacuum robot can step in to save the day, every day. Today’s techie robot vacuum cleaners are programmable and will do a great job lifting up all that unwanted pet hair so you don’t have to. In addition to saving time, as it maneuvers around the room with special sensors, it will bring you peace of mind that the floor is being carefully cleaned.

How VA loan homebuyers can maximize investment

Given today’s market realities, buying a home will not be without its challenges or unexpected surprises.

If you’re a veteran and plan on purchasing a home through the VA mortgage loan program, there are some common missteps you should know about before moving ahead.

With a little prep work, you can manage the variety of risks, challenges and opportunities to your advantage and make the most out of your homebuying experience.

Here are some common pitfalls to avoid.

Fail to budget for the now and later

Buying a home today is very different than buying a home six months ago.

The changing landscape means you must be as diligent as ever with your financial planning. Because of this, homebuyers must not be tempted by pushing the limits to purchase a budget-bending home and then overlook the costs of actually owning a home.

The bit of wisdom homebuyers should keep in mind is that they should understand limits and put a lot of thought into their budgets with careful consideration for every step.

Hire a real estate agent who doesn’t quite fit

You will make a lot of decisions through the course of buying a home. Selecting the right real estate agent to work alongside you is one of the more consequential decisions you’ll make. So, you really need to get it right.

As a rule of thumb, you should interview a few real estate agents before choosing who to work with. You can also rely on online reviews and recommendations from your family and friends when deciding.

The strategy should be to work with someone who clicks with you, and above all else, it’s important to work with someone who’s familiar with the market and has a proven track record of success on both selling and buying real estate.

Take their word for it

A verbal commitment from a seller that you will be selected to purchase the home isn’t firm.

If you count on verbal agreements throughout the homebuying process, then you should also prepare to be let down.

As soon as you strike a deal, work with your team to get everything in writing and in contract so you can move swiftly to the next steps of buying a home. Do not rest easy until all the appropriate forms are signed and executed.

Not thinking big picture

Right now, and for some time, home prices have skyrocketed. But, will that always be the case?

As a homebuyer, you are challenged to consider both today’s price and what the future might hold. Because of this reality, you should take into account what it would be like to sell your home in the future. You will want to make financial decisions that protect your investment for as long as possible.

As future value is a major consideration, you will want to think about various neighborhoods, possible home improvement projects and the home’s layout and features. They will all have a say in how much the home will be worth down the road.

Buying a home with a VA loan program offers applicants a number of benefits to make the most out of buying a home. Nevertheless, there will be some potential pitfalls to avoid. As you move ahead with your dreams of buying a home, make sure to take every precaution possible to avoid mistakes that can take away value from your investment.

Premier Mortgage Resources is not affiliated with or an agency of the federal government. Please consult your tax advisor. All opinions expressed by Loan Officer, are Loan Officer’s opinions and do not reflect the opinions of PMR.