American Mortgage Resource, Inc.

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Tag: home buyers (page 1 of 2)

Home Loans and Fixer Uppers

There are countless reasons why fixing up old homes has turned into one of the most colossal real estate trends over the past decade. While it seems everyone talks about fixing up an old home one day, not many people are speaking about what it’s like to finance such a project. Fixer upper loans combine the purchase or refinance of a property with the cost of renovating it. This unique mortgage option addresses the challenge buyers often face when figuring out how to finance a fixer upper. Follow along below as we discuss why you should invest in a fixer upper and what loan options may be available to you.

Reasons to Purchase a Fixer Upper

  • You can build the custom home of your dreams
  • You can flip it for a profit
  • It’s typically cheaper than purchasing a newer home
  • There’s less competition when purchasing it
  • You fell in love with the property or neighborhood, but not the home itself

Loan Options

  • FHA 203(k) Loan – This government backed loan will require that you to adhere to FHA guidelines and limitations when completing renovations. In some cases this loan will not allow for much DIY work, as the government will require that licensed contractors complete most major tasks.
  • VA Renovation Loan – Some eligible service members, veterans and qualifying spouses can use this loan to combine a VA purchase loan or VA cash-out refinance with their renovation costs. Other major advantages of this option include not having to pay a down payment or any closing costs on the property at the time of purchase. In some cases the VA accommodates a higher purchase price based on the home’s expected value once renovations are complete
  • HomeStyle Loan – Referred to as a Fannie Mae convention loan, a HomeStyle loan is a fixer upper loan similar to a FHA 203(k) loan, but with increased limits for borrowers. Due to the fact that this is a conventional rehab loan, homebuyers finance their home directly with private banks or mortgage companies that offer this product, and Fannie Mae purchases the loans from lenders.
  • CHOICERenovation loan – Also dubbed the Freddie Mac loan, CHOICERenovation can be used to finance a fixer upper project through traditional means in conjunction with the refinancing of a separate existing property. This option is great for those who plan on purchasing the fixer upper as a second home or as an investment property.

Final Thoughts

Before you commit to spending your free time renovating a fixer upper, make sure you know exactly what to expect throughout the process financially. For free and honest advice from the pros, contact the team at American Mortgage Resource, Inc. in Boston, MA. Visit our website to learn more about the loans we offer or contact our team directly Monday – Saturday at (617) 972-8588.

How to Tap Into Your Home Equity

Are you feeling strapped for cash and unable to expense the high priority responsibilities in your life? In this month’s blog, we outline several convenient and accessible remedies for this common concern and how homeowners can determine which option is best for them based upon their individual circumstances.  

Home Equity Loan

A home equity loan, also called a second mortgage, is a fixed or adjustable rate loan that is secured by the equity in your home. With a home equity loan you borrow a lump sum of money to be paid back monthly over a set time frame, much like your first mortgage. The process for a home equity loan is similar to a first mortgage except the closing costs are usually lower and, although the interest rate is higher on a home equity loan, the interest paid is tax deductible.

Refinance

Refinancing is the replacement of an existing debt obligation with another debt obligation under different terms. With interest rates as low as they currently are, refinancing today can grant homeowners the opportunity to lower their monthly mortgage payment more than they could’ve imagined possible. When refinancing it’s crucial to lock in a low, fixed-rate loan rather than an adjustable rate loan to ensure the monthly payment will not increase over time.   

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

A home equity line of credit is a line of credit backed by the equity of the home and gives homeowners a revolving credit line for that amount.  With these loans you only have to pay interest on the money you actually withdraw, but should feel confident in being able to repay that entire balance by the time the repayment period expires as per the terms.

Which Option is Best for You?

Determining the best way to tap into your home equity depends mostly on what you want to do with the money. If you’re needing to pay off a major expense all at once such as a debt consolidation, college, or medical bills, then a home equity loan is most likely your best option. To qualify for this typically your credit must be in good standing, you must be able to document your income, and you will need to have your home appraised to determine its current market value.

Refinancing is optimal for those who have at least 20% equity in their home and are seeking lower monthly payments or shorter loan terms. The best time to refinance is when interest rates drop, credit scores improve, or when annual income significantly increases.

Those looking to use their equity to expense a prolonged activity such as a major home renovation or building a business will need cash more sporadically, meaning a HELOC would be most suitable. These loans can be very cost efficient as they have lower interest rates and are free of closing costs. HELOCs are typically granted to those who have at least 15%-20% equity in their home, are in good credit standing, and have a low debt-to-income ratio.

Final Thoughts

Tapping into your home’s equity can be confusing and tough to navigate, but with help from the right lenders can be the most rewarding and money savvy decision you’ve ever made! American Mortgage Resource is recognized as one of the top brokers in Massachusetts, with reliability and professionalism at the forefront of their values. Visit our website or contact the team directly at (617) 972-8588 to discover the best way for you to finally tap into your homes equity for good!

Tips for Selling Your House

As much as everyone wants it to be, selling your property is not a simple and quick endeavor. Listing your house and finding a qualified buyer can be a long and tedious process. Your house may also stay on the market for longer than expected depending on the pricing and location. However, there are a few factors within your control that can help with selling your former home. In this month’s blog, we will discuss a few tips to help with the selling process and help your house be more appealing to prospective buyers.

Hire the Right Agent

Hiring a real estate agent who knows the market can be very beneficial in selling your house. Some homeowners may be hesitant in hiring an agent because they want to save on the cost of paying real estate commission. However, an agent will be able to expose your listing to a much broader audience and can negotiate on your behalf. You can sell your house by yourself of course, but it can be a very stressful process as a result. You would have to deal with personally managing the property, marketing the listing, reviewing offers, and handling all negotiations and closing details. A good agent will relieve you of a lot of stress so you can focus on other things.

Spruce Up Your House

When you’ve made the decision to move forward with selling your house, it’s time to focus on its marketability and appeal. Thoroughly inspect the house and identify areas that need to be fixed or renovated. Perhaps your walls need a fresh coat of paint or the carpet needs to be replaced. Don’t forget to inspect the exterior and landscape of your property as well. This is an important process because you want your house to have a good curb appeal and be enticing as possible to potential buyers.

However, don’t waste your money on needless upgrades unless the new additions will have a high return on investment. If your house is in good condition, it wouldn’t make sense to do a full renovation if its costliness will cause you to lose money on the sale. In general, making updates to the kitchen and bathrooms can be more beneficial, such as replacing your old cabinets and sinks for something more modern.

Market Your Property

Having online listings with clear photos of your property can greatly boost interest and gather more attention. The value of professional photography should not be overlooked because the photos of your home could be someone’s first impression. Make sure to add well-written and informative descriptions of your property to garner more interest. Online buyers want to know as much as possible before they decide to spend time visiting and touring your property and neighborhood.

Creating a 3D virtual tour is also another option that allows online buyers to tour your house. They are efficient because unlike in-person showings, 3D tours are available 24/7 and can be accessed at any time.

Set a Competitive Price

Give yourself room for negotiation but also keep it realistic. A common mistake that sellers make is overpricing their property and then reducing the price the longer it stays on the market. Multiple price reductions can also give the impression that something may be wrong with your house. You don’t want to underestimate your house’s value either because that will cost you. Instead, take references from a real estate comparable, which is a similar home that has been recently sold in the area or market you’re looking to sell in. This will inform you of average prices other homes comparable to yours are selling for and help you set a competitive, yet reasonable price.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many moving parts to selling your home. We hope these tips help first-time home sellers find the best deal possible. If you’re selling your property and you’re looking for a new house, rely on American Mortgage Resource, Inc. for expert advice and help. Learn more about our services by visiting our website or contact our team at (617) 972-8588.

Tips for Winning a Bidding War

It’s no secret that the current real estate market in the U.S. is a sellers’ market. Properties in most cities and towns across the country are selling at record breaking highs with no clear or definite end in sight.

Those hoping to purchase a home this year have a high chance of engaging in a bidding war, which happen when a property has multiple offers, but not all bidding wars are won by the person with the most money. Follow along for some top tips for winning a bidding war and ensuring you and your family get your dream home.

Find Homes Before They Hit the Market

The competition homes are facing the day they’re listed sometimes leaves purchasing a home up to chance as much as anything else. You can guarantee that the odds will weigh heavily in your favor by finding homes to buy before they officially go on sale. Network with friends, coworkers, and virtually anyone in your local community to ask if they know anyone who may be selling in the near future. Knock on the door of your dream home and ask if they’re willing to sell, you never know what they may say.

Offer Cash

Even when you can’t outbid the highest bidder, many of those selling their homes will accept a lower cash offer instead over a higher financed offer. Not only does offering cash help expedite the entire process, it shows how serious you are about making a final deal.

Write a Personalized Letter

Countless happy homeowners have a heartfelt and personalized letter to thank for their home buying success. Buyers struggling to win their bidding war oftentimes write letters directly to the sellers explaining what they love most about the home, why it is perfect for their family, and other moving details that can help set them apart from the competition.

Agree to Waive Contingencies

Buyers who have been preapproved for a mortgage have the advantage of being able to waive contingencies. Contingencies are clauses that give the parties the right to back out of their contract under specified circumstances that are negotiated between the buyer and seller. These can include home inspections, appraisals, time constraints, financing and other random conditions.

Final Thoughts

Those hoping to buy a home soon should equip themselves with the best real estate agents and loan officers around. There’s nothing like having the support of a highly knowledgeable, reputable, and experienced team on your side when it comes to purchasing the home of your dreams. Head to our website to get the process started today or contact our team for help directly at (617) 972-8588.

What to Expect With Buying a House in 2021

In 2020, 30-year mortgage interest rates plummeted to momentous lows. The highest interest rates ever recorded was in October 1981 where mortgage interest rates skyrocketed to 18.45 percent.  When it comes to purchasing a new house, the process can be complex. There are so many factors to consider including house price, extra fees, job stability, neighborhood safety, and much more. In 2021, finding the perfect “home” requires knowledge of lender qualifications, waging war against other buyers, and socially distancing from others. In this blog, here are some things to expect when buying a house in 2021.

Competitive Housing Market

            The search for an ideal home at an affordable price is overwhelming and exciting at the same time. And when a sensibly valued house in good quality is found there will be many other people making an offer. According to Christopher Arienti, broker and owner of Re/Max

Executive Realty in Franklin, Massachusetts, he states, “It is a seller’s market in just about every part of the country.”  The solution to coming out on top of a seller’s market is to be flexible and make some concessions. Also, it would be best to offer contingent on the sale of a current home.

However, there are risks of any concessions and don’t make an offer that is unreasonably unaffordable. Speaking to a professional real estate agent can help make a solid offer.

Home Prices Rising

            According to an average of the latest forecasts from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the National Association of Realtors, and the Mortgage Bankers Association, they saw the costs of existing homes are increasing 5.9% in 2021. In 2020, the housing market saw an increase of 10% in house costs. The price of houses depends on the time of year, however, it does not change the price significantly.

Mortgage Rates Still Low

            30-year fixed mortgage rates have only increased by about 1% from 2020 to 2021 according to the economists at the National Association of Realtors and Mortgage Bankers Association. The low rates can help future homeowners who have good credit get an excellent mortgage rate. However, this all depends on financial circumstances, mortgage lenders, and finding the best deal.

Buying a House Digitally

            Digital tools are helping people keep safe during the COVID-19 pandemic while looking for a new home. E-closings, small open houses, virtual home tours, and webcam meetings are helping real estate transactions to be simple and safe. Each state, county, and city have different laws and regulations concerning social distancing and the reduction of the COVID-19 virus so it would be important to find out the rules.

Shopping for a Lender

            A rookie mistake that homebuyers make is looking for a house rather than a lender. Finding the right lender can help get finances in order, check credit score, and get a terrific financial loan. Lenders will need details about income, debt, employment, and financial accounts to get pre-approved. Getting a pre-approved loan shows real estate agents and sellers that the buyer is determined to purchase a home. 

Conclusion

            Buying a home in 2021 does not have to be difficult especially when you have understood these few tips given. However, it is still not easy to purchase a house without having somebody to help you with a mortgage loan.  At American Mortgage Resource, Inc., we can help you with getting the best mortgage loan. We provide various services including jumbo loans, reverse mortgages, home equity loans, and much more.  Set an appointment with us by visiting our website today!

How to Know If You’re Buying the Right Home

What steps are you taking to ensure you are not buying a faulty home? When purchasing a home, it could be nerve-racking because of the financial commitment that is required. The time you invest in a house could be a few years or a lifetime. Many factors come to mind with purchasing the right home, such as the size, design, quality, and location of your home. All these elements define your future life and the comfortability that you will enjoy with your new home. Also, you may want to think about if your preferences will change over time. It is not necessary to get crushed by all weight of all these things to consider. It would be best to have a checklist, an understanding of numbers, and knowing your particular tastes.

Home Aesthetics

The architectural wishes of an individual are the starting line for choosing the perfect home. The best plan to take is to make a checklist before making any rash decisions. A person needs to contemplate what they desire, such as the number of bedrooms. It is crucial to consider the size of shared spaces like the kitchen, living room, and even back porch. Bearing in mind family gatherings, this will allow the house to bring comfort and breathing space.

Additionally, narrow hallways might not be an individual’s cup of tea. Potential homeowners need to look at the convenience of the house as well. They need to look at the floorplan, cabinetry, kitchen style, window lights, and so much more. It is essential to ask these important questions when evaluating a house because it will shape the home experience.

Making an Offer

Future homeowners who find their perfect house that consists of all their needs, wants and desires need to offer confidently. Putting an offer down can be challenging—however, read through the checklist to ensure that the house is the right home. Going back to the list can confirm that the house has the correct amount of rooms, space, size, aesthetics, and more. A prospective homeowner should walk through the house and imagine what life would be like. They need to open the cabinets, explore the closets, and try to look for a reason not to purchase the house. In the end, a perfect home is a perfect home. A homeowner should put down a bid without any doubt.

The Numbers

Budgeting is vital in making any significant and costly decision. An individual needs to know the numbers of expenses and their realistic price range. The budget needs to consist of escrow, real estate price, mortgage interest amount, and closing costs. Also, the house may need minor repairs, upgrades, or renovations after moving into a home. It isn’t easy to know all the numbers of a house, but some professionals can help you understand what you need to consider before buying a house.

Conclusion

If you’re deciding between several houses, it can feel overwhelming. However, when you have a checklist and know the numbers, it can make everything a lot easier. Find the best financial strategy in negotiations, bidding, and mortgage by visiting American Mortgage Resource, Inc. We specialize in home loans for home refinancing or first-time buyers with very competitive low mortgage rates in Waltham, MA, the Boston area, and the entire Massachusetts state.  Contact us at (617) 972-8588 to learn the appropriate loan program for you.

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Being a first time home buyer has never been more confusing and convenient at the same time.  The most crucial aspect to home buying, for first time buyers especially, is adequate and thorough preparation. In this month’s blog we discuss a few ways first time home buyers can qualify and get approved for an affordable mortgage at a great, low rate.

Strengthen Your Credit Score

Typically, establishing and strengthening a credit score can take years of effort, however there are several steps you can take to give it an impressively quick boost. You can finesse your credit score today by disputing any damaging errors in your report, keeping credit debts at or below 30% of their limits, making all payments on time, and for some opening a new line of credit can help too. Keep in mind that in addition to analyzing you and your partner’s credit scores, lenders will also consider your income-to-debt obligation ratio.

Save, Save, Save!

The best tip for first time home buyers is to save as much cash for a down payment as possible. The higher the amount put forth the better chances a first time home buyer will get approved with a competitive rate. Plus, the cost of the down payment isn’t the only expense to consider saving for, as there are often significant closing costs and move in expenses involved with home buying as well.

Explore Mortgage Options

In recent years more and more programs have become available to make home buying attainable for more first time buyers. These programs will often allow new buyers to qualify for mortgages with down payments as low as 3% down. First time buyers should be aware that some mortgage brokers will only accept these types of loans when private mortgage insurance (PMI) is also acquired. 

Final Thoughts

American Mortgage Resource is a home mortgage broker that specializes in home loans for first-time buyers, with very competitively low mortgage rates in Waltham, MA, the Boston area, and the entire state of Massachusetts. Despite your individual circumstances we will help you qualify, apply, and be approved for the right mortgage loan for you. Contact our team today for more information by visiting our website or calling us at (617) 972-8588.

Five Mortgage Terms to Know

Are you in the process of buying a new home? When you’re talking to real estate agents and lenders, they are probably using terms in conversation that you have never heard before. You may hear terms such as “closing costs” and “escrow”, which is why it’s important to know some basic mortgage vocabulary so you don’t have to ask too many questions. In addition, purchasing a home is a big commitment, so you want to understand exactly what’s going on. In this blog, we discuss five mortgage terms you should know!

AMORTIZATION

When you are making equal payments towards the principal and interest, this is called amortization. You are essentially paying towards the interest in the beginning of your payments, but as the loan gets smaller, less interest is charged. It’s a gradual reduction of paying your debt over time.

CLOSING COSTS 

The money you need to close the mortgage deal is called closing costs. These costs include everything from title insurance and escrow fees to lender charges and transfer taxes. FYI: All closing costs will be listed on the loan estimate that the mortgage lender gives you within three business days of your application.

EQUITY

Equity is the difference between what you owe on your home and the current market value. As you pay your mortgage, the equity grows. You can tap into this value over time. For example, you can apply for a home equity loan, a home equity line of credit or a reverse mortgage.

ESCROW

Escrow is a legal arrangement in which a third party temporarily holds large sums money or property until a particular condition has been met.” In real estate, escrow is used to protect the buyer’s deposit so the money goes to the right party according to the conditions of the sale. It also holds a homeowner’s funds for taxes and insurance.

TITLE INSURANCE

Title insurance guards against any disputes about the title, such as contractor liens or tax. It is a way for lenders and owners to protect themselves from financial loss and other related legal expenses.

Conclusion

At American Mortgage Resource, Inc., we are here to guide you through important financial decisions when it comes to buying a home. Let us help you with the home mortgage process and contact our team of professionals. Call us at 1-617-972-8588 or send us a message online!

The Time to Buy a Home This Holiday Season is Now

In the United States as the winter months bring festive holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, many families are so busy and preoccupied that home sales will dip slightly. This makes now a good time to snag a great deal on a home this winter. Below are some factors to consider before biting the bullet on home ownership or moving to another home.

Less Competition as a Buyer

During this time of year it tends to get colder in many parts of the country. Not many people enjoy picking up their family and belongings and moving during these colder winter months, which creates less demand in the market for sellers. This increases the chances of getting a great deal as a buyer as less people are competing in the real estate market at this time.

Interest Rates Are at Record Lows

As the Coronavirus closed many businesses for extended periods of time, this year interest rates have seen record lows to spur the economy during this downturn. What that means for homes buyers is that borrowing money is nearly free thanks to these record low interest rates on mortgages. This is likely the lowest we will see rates for years to come and locking in a fixed rate mortgage is sure to save you thousands of dollars in interest in the future.

Buyers Want to Sell Quickly

Buyers in the market during this time are usually more likely to turn their property over as quickly as possible due to the time of year and other obligations this time of year brings. This means that you may have sellers that are more motivated to make a deal with you and help you secure your next home.

Final Thoughts

Though this year has brought many ups and downs, as we head into 2021 home buyers have unique opportunities to purchase and refinance homes at rates that are incredibly rare. Let American Mortgage Resource, Inc. be your one stop shop for all your mortgage and refinancing needs in the Waltham, MA community.

Most Affordable Communities to Buy a Home in Waltham, MA

Just west of Boston lies Waltham, MA, a quaint and scenic small town centrally located in between 3 major highways. Through its southern end flows the Charles River and as you head north you’ll find that it’s also home to several colleges, parks, and even a music theatre.

Piety Corner Historic District

Piety Corner Historic District is a quiet area in town adorned with red brick buildings and parks. Most homes in this area are bungalow, colonial, and ranch style homes in addition to the common condo. This community is great for local hiking and outdoor recreation at parks like Prospect Hill Park. Piety Corner is also very kid-friendly, with schools for kids of all grade levels nearby.

The South Side

The South Side is a large yet quiet suburb style community filled with many single family homes and gorgeous condos. This part of town is separated from the rest of town by the Charles River, giving the South Side and its surrounding communities a private and secluded feel.

Banks Square

A popular and affordable neighborhood in Waltham is Banks Square. This community is known for its charming neighborhoods filled with condos, townhomes, and single family homes. Though this area is set back slightly further away from most schools, it is only blocks away from the town’s main street, which is a popular hub for shopping and dining.

Final Thoughts

Waltham, MA is a fantastic place for new and growing families due to its affordability and number of parks and private/ public schools. Just outside the desirable Piety Corner community lies your one stop shop for home loans, mortgages, and refinancing in Waltham. At American Mortgage Resource, Inc. you will receive personalized home buying support from highly skilled experts that are also members of the local community.

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