Posted 03/23/2018

Mortgages Unlimited Minneapolis 1

Buying a home is so exciting and a big step in a lot of peoples lives. However, without some knowledge about what is involved when purchasing a house, an exciting time could turn dismal real quick. Below are some of the most important things to know before you jump into buying a home.

Know your credit score

Credit score: A credit score is a numerical expression based on a level analysis of a person’s credit files, to represent the creditworthiness of an individual. A credit score is primarily based on a credit report information typically sourced from credit bureaus.

When you’re taking out a home loan, your credit will be one of the key factors in getting approved, and it will help determine your interest rate.

Check your credit before you begin the home buying process. Dispute any errors that could be dragging down your credit score and look for opportunities to improve your credit, such as paying down any debts.

Keep your money stable

Since lenders need to check your credit, you want a solid credit profile.  Don’t open new credit lines, move money around or make huge purchases three to six months before starting the loan process. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible.

Explore your down payment options

Saving for a down payment may seem like it could take an eternity.  First-time home buyer programs are plentiful, including federal mortgage programs with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that allow loans with only 3% down.

Here are a few other down payment options available:

  • Federal Housing Administration loans, which permit down payments as low as 3.5%
  • Veterans Affairs loans offer zero down to eligible veterans
  • USDA home loans offer zero down payment in eligible areas

Research state and local assistance programs

In addition to federal programs, many states assistance programs for first-time home buyers with benefits such as tax credits, low down payment loans and interest free loans up to a certain amount. Your county or municipality may also have first-time home buyer programs.

Get pre-approved for your loan

Once you have done some research on down payment assistant programs, meet with a Mortgage Consultant to find out more about these programs and get pre-qualified.  Do this before you hit the web and call on a Real Estate Agent to start your home search.

What is the point of finding the home of your dreams only to find you can’t afford it or there is some unforeseen issue with getting approved altogether?

Understand that there’s a big difference between being pre-qualified and being pre-approved for a mortgage. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you.

Know how much you’re comfortable with

Just because you’re pre-qualified for a $300,000 home loan, doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Be realistic in what you are comfortable with and go with that. You don’t want to feel married to your mortgage or unhappy that you must give up some of the things you enjoy most.

Be cognizant of hidden cost of home ownership

Even before getting into your home, there are the necessary costs of inspection, taxes, home owner’s insurance, possible HOA or condo fees, and appraisal fees.

The cost of owning a home goes beyond your mortgage and utility costs. The upkeep and maintenance are no longer covered by your landlord, so you’ll have to have reserves put away for unforeseen emergencies.

Hire a Real Estate Agent

When hiring an agent to help you in your home search, ask for recommendations. Your Mortgage Consultant works closely with agents and will be able to suggest an agent or two. Family and friends could also make recommendations.

Be clear with your agent on what you’re looking for. Have your list and go over with your agent. It’s rare to find a house that’s perfect in every way, so think carefully about what you’re willing to compromise on and what you’re not. Perhaps no walk-in closet in the master bedroom is a deal breaker, but an outdated guest bathroom will be tolerable until you can renovate it.

Negotiating

A lot can be up for negotiation when buying a home, which can result in major savings. Are there any major repairs you can get the seller to cover, either by fully handling them or by giving you a credit adjustment at closing? Is the seller willing to pay for any of the closing costs?

We are currently in a sellers’ market with multiple offers on homes and you will need to keep that in mind during negotiations. If you’re in a buyers’ market on the other hand, you may find the seller will bargain with you to get the house off the market.

Go with your instincts

Don’t ignore your instincts. Although buying a house can be stressful, not feeling right about a house through some feeling you have probably isn’t going to go away. It’s your life, your house so make sure you feel good about it. It’s not all just about logistics.

 

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota, Florida and  Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 06/30/2017

Maple Grove Mortgages

What is Title Insurance?

A title is a document that gives evidence of an individual’s ownership of property. Getting title insurance is one of the standard steps of purchasing a home.  Title insurance protects against claims from defects. Defects are things such as another person claiming an ownership interest, improperly recorded documents, fraud, forgery, liens, encroachments, easements and other items that are specified in the insurance policy.

Owner’s Policy vs. Mortgagee’s Policy

If you are taking out a mortgage on your home, you will be required to obtain a Lender’s Title Insurance Policy, also known as a Mortgagee’s Policy. This policy offers the same protections as an owner’s policy, such as the protections against invalid title, but cover the bank’s interest instead of yours.

The Owner’s Title Insurance Policy is to protect you, the home buyer, should the title passed to you be invalid, encumbered with a prior debt or lien, or should there be issues that affect the value of the land. Your coverage will last as long as you own your home.

When you buy title insurance for your property, a title company searches these records to find – and remedy, if possible – several types of ownership issues. Although you are not required to purchase an Owner’s Policy, it is advised to do so. Without it, you lack protection from claims against your ownership of the home such as hidden taxes, encumbrances, restrictions, and anything that devalues the home or is inaccurately recorded in the deed. Even though the chance of calling on the insurance for coverage is relatively low, the value on what you stand to lose if you go without coverage is high — you could, in fact, lose the house itself.

How much is Title Insurance and who pays for it?

The average cost of title insurance is around $1,000, but that amount varies widely from state to state and depends on the price of your home. In general, each policy price is based on the purchase amount of the home or the total amount of the loan.

A home-buyer purchasing a home with cash would pay for the title search, title report and title insurance. If the home-buyer is taking out a mortgage on the property, the lender requires the title search, report and insurance as a condition of making a mortgage on the property. However, the fees are still paid by the home-buyer as part of the settlement costs associated with the purchase of the property.  The home-buyer can certainly negotiate for the seller to pay for the title insurance.

Keep in mind that title insurance is not the same as home owner’s insurance.  Home owner’s insurance covers loss or damage to your home; other structures on your property; personal property kept in your home; loss of use; liability; and medical expenses for accidents that occur on your property.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 02/16/2017

W-2 Tax hero

Have you been thinking about buying a house but find the process overwhelming? Don’t feel alone, if I wasn’t in the mortgage industry, I wouldn’t know where to start either. There is some preparation involved and if you aren’t organized, it can be very frustrating getting all the required documents ready.  However, having all your ducks in a row can make the process smooth sailing for both you and your Mortgage Consultant.

For any mortgage loan you apply for, you will need the following items:

  • W-2 forms from the previous two years – Typically, lenders will require the most recent Form W-2 wage and tax statement, but some borrowers are asked for two years of W-2s.
  • Most recent paycheck stubs – Lenders are looking for one month of verified income. If your checks are electronically deposited, you should be able to acquire pay stubs online.
  • Most recent federal tax return, and possibly the last two tax returns – You will need to provide ALL PAGES. Additionally, you will be asked to sign an IRS Form 4506 -T to allow lenders to request a transcript of your tax returns directly from the IRS to spot fraudulent income claims and limit loan losses.
  • A complete list of your debts, such as credit cards, student loans, car loans and child support payments, along with minimum monthly payments and balances. (This will be used to figure out your debt-to-income ratio)
  • Two most recent months of bank statements
  • Other asset statements from the past two months for any CDs, IRAs, stocks, and bonds.
  • Current real estate holdings, including property address, current market value, mortgage lender’s name and address, loan account number, balance and monthly payment.

ALL PAGES, EVEN IF THE LAST PAGE HAS JUST A PAGE NUMBER ON IT. 

If there are any additional deposits made to your account, in addition to your regular income, be prepared to document where these funds came from.

You can control how smooth the mortgage process goes by being prepared.  The faster you can get documents requested by your lender, the faster you can find out if you’ve been approved for your home loan and deal with any hurdles that may arise.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

Posted 02/14/2017

Picture2
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is a trusted state agency that works with local lenders, such as Mortgages Unlimited, to ensure all Minnesotans have access to safe and affordable housing.  They offer several loan options statewide for low-to-moderate income first-time home buyers (anyone who has not owned a home in the last three years) and current home owners – purchase or refinance.

When you get a Minnesota Housing mortgage, you can also receive an optional down payment and closing cost loan up to $10,000. Remember, down payment and closing cost loans are only available when you get a Minnesota Housing first mortgage loan and additional eligibility requirements may apply, including income limits.

Below is the breakdown of loan options:

Start Up – You may be eligible if you:
•     Are a first-time home buyer (you have not owned a home in the past three years)
•     Meet income limits
•     Meet purchase price limits:
•            11-County Metro: $307,900
•            Balance of State: $255,500
•    Meet minimum credit score requirements

Step Up – This program has a purchase loan if you’re a current homeowner (or owned within the last three years) and want to buy a different home. You can also use Step Up to refinance your current home at an affordable, fixed rate.
•    Meet income limits
•    Meet purchase price limits:
•           11-County Metro: $307,900
•           Balance of State: $255,500
•    Meet minimum credit score requirements

Down Payment Assistance –
When you get a Minnesota Housing mortgage, you can also receive an optional down payment and closing cost loan up to $10,000.

Additional eligibility requirements may apply, including income limits.

Monthly Payment Loan – This loan can be used with Start Up or Step Up Program.

Loans go up to $10,000. The interest rate is equal to your first mortgage rate, and you’ll pay monthly payments for a 10-year loan term.

Deferred Payment Loan – The  Deferred Payment Loan can be used with the Start Up program and is only for first-time home buyers with two options:

•    Deferred Payment Loan: Loans go up to $7,500.
•    Deferred Payment Loan Plus: Loans go up to $8,500 for borrowers who meet targeting criteria.

There is no interest, and the loan term is equal to your first mortgage term. Repay the loan when you move, sell, or refinance your property.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota Housing programs are not available in South Dakota or Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

 

Posted 02/10/2017

Home prices set for new peak in 2017
Home prices increased 7.2 per cent in December, CoreLogic’s Home Price Index reveals.

The annual rise was helped by a 0.8 per cent increase month-over-month compared to November and the outlook suggests that prices will continue higher through 2018.

“As of the end of 2016, the CoreLogic national index was 3.9 per cent below the peak reached in April 2006,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “We expect our national index to rise 4.7 per cent during 2017, which would put homes prices at a new nominal peak before the end of this year.”

Optimism in housing market increased last month
The stronger US economy has boosted optimism in the housing market with more people expecting house prices to increase in the next 12 months.

Fannie Mae’s Home Purchase Sentiment Index increased by 2 percentage points in January with those expecting home prices to go up rising 7 percentage points.

“Three months after the presidential election, measures of consumer optimism regarding personal financial prospects and the economy are at or near the highest levels we’ve seen in the nearly seven-year history of the National Housing Survey,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae.

More people said that now is a good time to sell a home while the share of those thinking now is the right time to buy declined. There was no change in the percentage of respondents expecting lower mortgage rates in the next 12 months.

Duncan says that despite the positive survey results, there are still potential headwinds for the housing market.

“Any significant acceleration in housing activity will depend on whether consumers’ favorable expectations are realized in the form of income gains sufficient to offset constrained housing affordability. If consumers’ anticipation of further increases in home prices and mortgage rates materialize over the next 12 months, then we may see housing affordability tighten even more,” he warned.

Mortgage availability increased
The availability of mortgage credit increased in January according to Mortgage Bankers’ Association figures.

Its analysis of Ellie Mae data shows that there was a 1.1 per cent rise in the MBA Mortgage Credit Availability Index, indicating easing lending conditions. Jumbo loans saw the largest rise in availability (4.7 per cent) followed by Conventional (2.3 per cent) and Government (0.2 per cent) while Conforming loan availability was down 0.2 per cent.

“We saw a particular increase in agency jumbo programs that focus on loans in high cost areas that exceed the baseline conforming loan limit of $424,000 but which are still eligible for purchase by the GSEs,” Lynn Fisher, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. “While the change in GSE loan limits may have had an indirect impact on the jumbo MCAI, there were other factors at play as several investors rolled out new jumbo loan programs in January.”

Information provided by Mortgage Professional America.

Mortgages Unlimited is a local mortgage company serving not only the Twin Cities but also, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We work on the behalf of our clients ensuring they are getting the best possible loan while providing outstanding customer service.

Give one of our Mortgage Consultants a call @ 763-416-2600 if you are looking to purchase a home or refinance your existing home loan. Or you start a secure online application at www.muiapply.com.

 

Posted 10/08/2014

Have you ever noticed a house while you’re on a walk, driving down the street, or going for a jog and had to find out more information about it? We discovered an awesome app that can do just that – Homesnap!  With Homesnap, just snap a quick picture of the house with your phone and it will provide all the information you would need to know when house hunting. Homesnap is a trusted real estate search platform for people to explore homes and search with their mobile device. You can snap a photo of any home, nationwide and get information. This app is great for both real estate agents and just your average house hunter! One feature of this app that we found really interesting is that house hunters can “follow” real estate agents they know and trust and see what sort of houses they have up for sale and from there, schedule a showing right from their phone.

Another great addition to Homesnap , is Homesnap Pro; which is for real estate agents. Homesnap Pro makes it incredibly easy for agents to connect with their buyers and provide market info with just a tap of the finger. Real Estate Agents can create a profile page with all of their information making it extremely easy for potential buyers to connect with them. Agents can also access MLS Data, property history, other agent contact information, competitive agent data in the surrounding areas, and it can even create CMA reports! We, of all people, know how difficult it can be to find a home and, personally, we feel this app will make the journey a lot more fun and a lot less stressful! Homesnap is available on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.

Check it out here: http://www.homesnap.com/

Posted 02/07/2014

In honor of all the talented, hard working people we have here at Mortgages Unlimited, owners Chris Fredin and Steve Gatti brought the gang out for some good times, bowling and bocce ball at Pinstripes in Edina.

Jackie George, Mortgages Unlimited

Jackie George, Joli Holmberg, Kerry Johnson and Hillary Toth

Jackie George, Joli Holmberg, Kerry Johnson, and Hillary Toth gather around to catch up and strategize for the next round of bowling.

bocce

Taking a break and mending wounds from a cut throat bocce ball match, is Kerry Johnson, Jesse McEachern, Justin Kovar, and Pam Barton.

men

 

The cool kid originators of Mortgages Unlimited, you’ll find Paris Alves, Chris Mullen, and Al Coleman relaxing while checking out the competition.

Posted 01/31/2014

For the past four years in a row Al Coleman of Mortgages Unlimited has been recognized by the Osseo-Maple Grove Press, Champlin-Dayton Press, and the North Crow River News Readers’ Digest as the area’s Best Mortgage Lender!

Al has been a Mortgage Loan Officer with Mortgages Unlimited’s Maple Grove office for the past 10 years.  “We are very proud of Al and his achievement in providing a superior customer experience to his clients, year after year.” Way to go Al!

AL

 

Posted 12/27/2013

For the third year in a row Mortgages Unlimited staff joined together in collecting toys and money for the Toys for Tots Campaign. Owner Chris Fredin organizes the effort each year, and all of the offices pitch in!

“It is important to us to give back to the community during this time of year so that everyone can enjoy the spirit of the holidays. We like the Toys for Tots organization because it is a direct connection from what we contribute to the joy it will bring to a child during the holidays” remarked Fredin.

Below is some of the Maple Grove staff showing off this year’s gifts!

Toys for tots

Posted 12/16/2013

On Tuesday December 10th the Minnesota Mortgage Association held a luncheon honoring its next Loan Officer of the Year for 2014.  Steve Furlong of Mortgages Unlimited knows a thing or two about what that distinction means.  You see, last year at this very same time Steve was honored with receiving our industry’s highest distinction, and was chosen as the Loan Officer of the year for 2013.   It’s been a whirlwind of a year, and we asked Steve to reflect a bit on what receiving the Loan Officer of the Year meant to him:

I will never forget standing at the podium accepting the award for Loan Officer of the Year in front of my peers; it was a greater honor than I could have expected.”

“I referenced some advice my mother gave me as a youth; Start every day with the same question: ‘who’s life can I help make better today?’ And then get to work focusing on the positives, and making the best of the opportunities as they come your way.”

And making the best of opportunities is exactly what Steve did.

Steve Started with Mortgages Unlimited in 2009 while he was completing his MBA from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. During this time Steve built and trained a staff of new loan officers to the mortgage business, became heavily involved in both the Bloomington Business Chamber of Commerce and the Minnesota Mortgage Association, became a partner with Habitat for Humanity, and built his team to one of the pre-eminent mortgage consulting teams in the Midwest.

“Steve approaches his job like a corporate CEO.  He has built his business from the ground up and looks for every opportunity to serve his clients’ needs.” said Steve Gatti, President of Mortgages Unlimited.

Steve continues to serve his clients and look for ways to improve himself, and his business every day.  “I do my best to keep my nose to the grindstone and stay up on the changes.  I keep my clients informed and ensure that everything is done on time.”

“ Having spent the last 12 months as the MMA’s Loan Officer of the Year the greatest addition to my credentials has been that my clients recognize that our company and myself are highly competent professionals worthy of their trust as a partner to guide them home.”

7365 Kirkwood Court N, Ste 300 Maple Grove, MN 55369 NMLS Lic #225504

P: 763.416.2600 F: 763.420.5885

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