Will You Qualify? What You Need To Get A Mortgage

If you are a first time homebuyer, navigating all the new information about homeownership, the home buying process, and mortgages can seem overwhelming.  If you are beginning the mortgage shopping process, but have no clue as to what information you’ll need and whether or not you’ll even qualify, here is some information that may make the process a little smoother.

Will I Qualify For A Mortgage?

There are essentially three things that lenders look at to determine whether or not you qualify for a mortgage.

Income Verification

When purchasing a property, all income of a homebuyer must be validated by a mortgage underwriter in order to receive a loan.  Income verification can be done using several types of documents such as a W-2 statement, paycheck stubs, or income tax statements that show proof of income. These documents usually will have to span a period of two years or more to show you have a history of a steady income.  Income proof can include such things as child support payments, disability payments, or income from the Social Security Administration.  These additional monthly payments can increase your potential to qualify for a mortgage, as well as the amount you will qualify for, but like regular income, must be validated in order to count.

Debt-To-Income Ratio

Another important factor in getting a mortgage will be your debt-to-income ratio.  This involves looking at your total debt load and monthly payments, including car payments, credit card debt, and any student loan debt.  If the ratio of debt exceeds 40 % of your income, you will likely have to pay off some debt before you will qualify for a loan.  In this case you may want to seek out the advice of a financial advisor to help with this process.

Credit History

The final consideration that lenders will take into account in determining whether you qualify for a mortgage is your credit history and score.  They will not only be looking for a strong history of on-time payments for all your debts, but also that you have already established credit.  You can arm yourself with this information by getting your free credit report from sources such as Equifax, so that you are able to check that it is accurate and up to date.

When getting a mortgage, being prepared with a little background research and all required documents will make the process simpler and less stressful.  Armed with this information, you will be able to get the best possible deal with a lender who is right for you.

Five Things You Should Put In Storage While Selling Your Home

When your home is on the market but you are still living there, you can’t very well make it a model show home.  Still, there are a few things you should think about putting in storage while your home is for sale in order to make it as appealing as possible to buyers.  Here are the top five things you should consider putting out of sight.

Excess Family Photos

Buyers want to picture themselves in the house, and a slew of family photos hung all over the place can make that difficult.  If all they can see is you and your family, they won’t be able to easily envision their own family there.

Your Liquor Cabinet

A nice wine rack or a few bottles displayed near the wet bar are fine, but if you keep a lot of liquor in the house put it somewhere out of sight.  While it may seem illogical, buyers who share different lifestyle views might be put off by it.

Your Pet’s Toys

Chewed up tennis balls, smelly stuffed animals, and half-digested bones are part of life with a dog, but people coming to see your house will find it unattractive.  It will also tell them your pet has the run of the house, and they will wonder what damage might have been done.

Signs Of Repairs

Put away the plunger and similar items when you are selling.  It will prevent buyers from wondering if something is wrong with the plumbing, even if you only keep it around as a precaution.

Anything That Clutters A Room

So the extra bedroom is used as an office/exercise room/guest bedroom?  Versatility is great, but all that stuff in there will just look like there isn’t enough space in the house for everything you—or a buyer—needs.  Get rid of the exercise equipment and the desk, and leave the guest bed.  Extra bedrooms are more of a selling point than an office or exercise room.

It might be annoying to have to put some of your personal items away while you sell your home, but it can mean a faster sale and a larger profit.  Buyers need to see a home as a place where they can live, not the place where you live.


Father’s Day Gift Giving Ideas He’ll Love

Every June, we celebrate our love for dad with Father’s Day and, although we don’t always know exactly what gift to give that could possibly express our gratitude, it is possible to get him something that he will love.

Boys & Their Toys

Doesn’t every dad love his remote control, his comfortable chair or a trusty weather scanner?  If you really want to make dad smile on Father’s Day, consider giving him a gift that will make life a little easier.  Whether it’s a universal remote control or an armchair attachment that allows him to keep all of his favorite magazines, a cold drink and the remote within arm’s reach, your dad will love you for it.

Membership Must-Haves

Forget the common membership clubs; what dad really wants is a membership to something that he loves.  If he’s a golfer at heart, consider buying him a membership to the nearest golf club/course.  If he loves to fish, why not think about getting him a lifetime fishing license that will never expire?  You get the idea!

Revved Up On Racing

If your dad is a big fan of racing, you can treat him to his very own ride around the racetrack with any one of the driving schools that offer training and/or ride-along programs.  One of the more well-known companies to offer this service is the Richard Petty Driving Experience.  If dad prefers to watch the action from afar, that’s okay too.  A great gift idea for the race fan is an authentic piece of race-used memorabilia.  In addition to being produced on trading cards from popular manufacturers, race-used memorabilia is also available for purchase from the North Carolina Auto Racing Hall of Fame & Museum.

Something Timeless

Everyone needs to know what time it is and, yes, this includes dad.  Every man would appreciate having a watch that is made to last, which is why one of the most popular gifts for Father’s Day is a watch.  One of the many timeless designs is that of the gold watch face with a genuine leather band.  Because most men prefer brown or black leather watch bands, these are the most commonly found styles in the marketplace.  A yellow gold face with a solid white dial will create a rich and timeless look that every dad will love.

Now that you know some of the ways to give dad a gift that he will love this Father’s Day, remember that the one gift he will cherish most in this world is time with you!  After all, it’s because of you that he is a dad.  Make sure to spend time with your dad and always let him know how much you appreciate him.