J. Kent Erickson, Broker Associate
Direct / 208.447.7848

What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

Posted by on Oct 30, 2019 in Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think. With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people believe now is a good time to buy a home. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation often hold qualified and motivated buyers back from taking the leap into homeownership. According to the...

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One of the Top Reasons to Own a Home

Posted by on Oct 4, 2019 in Buying a Home, Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

One of the benefits of homeownership is that it is a “forced savings plan.” Here’s how it works: You make a mortgage payment each month. Part of that payment is applied to the principal balance of your mortgage. Each month you owe less on the home. The difference between the value of the home and what you owe is called equity. If your home has appreciated since the time you purchased it, that increase in value also raises your equity. Over time, the equity in your home could be substantial. Recently, CoreLogic revealed that the average homeowner gained more than $65,000 in equity over the last 5 years. Unlike last decade, homeowners are no longer foolishly tapping into that equity. In 2006-2008, many owners used their homes like an ATM by pulling equity out to purchase new cars, jet...

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Things to Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage

Posted by on Sep 27, 2019 in Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You’re undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home, but before you make any large purchases, move your money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer – someone who will be able to tell you how your decisions will impact your home loan. Below is a list of Things You Shouldn’t Do After Applying for a Mortgage. Some may seem obvious, but some may not. 1. Don’t Change Jobs or the Way You Are Paid at Your Job. Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, you’ll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well. 2. Don’t Deposit Cash into Your Bank...

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How Property Taxes Can Impact Your Mortgage Payment

Posted by on Sep 20, 2019 in Buying a Home, Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

When buying a home, taxes are one of the expenses that can make a significant difference in your monthly payment. Do you know how much you might pay for property taxes in your state or local area? When applying for a mortgage, you’ll see one of two acronyms in your paperwork – P&I or PITI– depending on how you’re including your taxes in your mortgage payment. P&I stands for Principal and Interest, and both are parts of your monthly mortgage payment that go toward paying off the loan you borrow. PITI stands for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance, and they’re all important factors to calculate when you want to determine exactly what the cost of your new home will be. TaxRates.org defines property taxes as, “A municipal tax levied by counties, cities, or special tax districts on most types...

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How Much Do You Know About Down Payments?

Posted by on Aug 9, 2019 in Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

Whether you’ve owned a home before, or you’re ready to jump into homeownership for the first time, there are always a lot of questions swirling around about what is truly required for a down payment, and how to best source down payment assistance. Let’s tackle these two today. 1. How much do you really need for a down payment? There is a long-standing misconception about down payment requirements. A survey from Fannie Mae shows only 17% of consumers know the minimum options are actually between 1 – 5% of the purchase price and 40% don’t know how much they need at all.There are many mortgage loans available that require as little as 3% down for first-time buyers, and some ask for only 3.5% down from repeat buyers. There are even loans available for Veterans that provide 0% down payment options too. We’ve...

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The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by on Jul 26, 2019 in Mortgage & Finances | 0 comments

Some Highlights: Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2020. The higher your interest rate, the more money you will end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be. Rates are still low right now – don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream...

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