Lauren Davis
REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West | 508-254-0449 | [email protected]


Posted by Lauren Davis on 10/28/2020


 Photo by 200 Degrees via Pixabay

The gig economy has exploded over the past decade. Today, around 36% of the US workforce is freelancing and many more or self-employed small business owners.

While being your own boss does afford you great freedom to set your hours and often work where you want, you may face extra scrutiny when trying to get financing to buy a home.

Because your income comes from many sources and you may do your own bookkeeping, it's more challenging to prove your income. But fear not. Freelancers can get financing. You just need to be prepared.

Note that every lending institution may be a little different. But here's your quick guide for home financing for freelancers and other self-employed professionals.

1. You may need to work at freelance a little longer

If you just left a nine to five and started freelancing six months ago, you do not yet have the track record of consistent income that a loan officer will be able to see. The loan officer needs to know that you have the money coming in to pay this loan.

In most cases, loan officers like to see applicants who've been successfully freelancing for at least two years.

2. Clean up your bookkeeping

Are you the kind of person who pulls out a box of receipts on April 14th and then scrambles for the next 18 hours trying to account for last year? You may struggle with a loan officer. They need to see well-organized records of incoming and outgoing, just like any business.

You don't have to take an accounting course. But anyone should be able to follow behind your numbers on a spreadsheet to see exactly how you reached the figures that went on your tax return. 

3. Get a CPA signature

You may need to get the signature of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) on your books for at least the last six months. But please don't do this before they ask for it because it will cost money. The more disorganized your financial records, the more it may cost. 

If you'd be embarrassed to show your bookkeeping to a CPA, please see the tip immediately above.  You can do this. 

4. Make your case

If your income fluctuates wildly or has dropped in the most recent year, that may be a red flag for a loan officer. Even if they don't ask about it, make sure they know why that dip occurred.

Perhaps you were taking care of an aging parent or a sick child. Some of your income may have been delayed for some reason. Be prepare to explain the ebb and flow of your income.

Don't appear to be a victim of circumstance. But do communicate irregularities that don't reflect the success you're experiencing as a freelancer.

5. Have a strong savings

Freelancers' income varies from month to month, but your mortgage payment does not. Show that you're stable and have a backup plan. These savings should be in addition to a down payment.

For more smart home buying tips, follow our blog.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 5/27/2020

Filling out a mortgage application may prove to be a long, arduous process, particularly for those who are buying a house for the first time. Lucky for you, we're here to help you dot the I's and cross the T's on your mortgage application to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly acquire your dream house.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare your mortgage application.

1. Be Diligent

A mortgage application may appear daunting at first. The application may include several pages of questions, and you may have only a limited amount of time to finalize your submission.

When it comes to completing a mortgage application, it generally pays to be diligent. If you answer each mortgage application question to the best of your ability, you likely will have no trouble moving forward with your home purchase.

2. Avoid Guessing

If you're uncertain about how to respond to certain mortgage application questions, there is no need to guess. Instead, search for the information that you need to provide a comprehensive response. This will help reduce the risk of encountering potential problems down the line that otherwise could slow down your home acquisition.

Remember, guessing on a mortgage application probably won't do you or your lender any favors. But if you allocate the necessary time and resources to understand mortgage application questions and provide thoughtful responses, you can minimize the risk of application errors.

3. Ask Questions

Completing a mortgage application sometimes can be tricky. Fortunately, a lender employs mortgage specialists who are happy to respond to your application concerns or questions at any time.

If you're unsure about information that is requested on a mortgage application, don't hesitate to reach out to a lender's mortgage specialists for help. These specialists possess extensive mortgage expertise and can help you complete a mortgage application.

Furthermore, mortgage specialists can offer insights into a wide array of mortgage options. These specialists can explain the differences between fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages and enable you to select the right mortgage option based on your financial situation.

As you prepare to buy a house, you may want to consult with a real estate agent as well. In fact, with a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the homebuying process.

A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to acquire a house, regardless of the finances at your disposal. This housing market professional can set up home showings, help you submit offers on houses and ensure you can purchase a residence that matches or exceeds your expectations. And if you need help getting a mortgage, a real estate agent may even be able to connect you with the top lenders in your city or town.

Ready to move forward in the homebuying journey? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can finalize a mortgage application and secure the financing that you need to acquire your ideal residence.




Tags: mortgage   buying a home  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lauren Davis on 10/2/2019

We all know that buying a home is expensive. For first-time buyers who donít have the luxury of equity for a down payment, it can be difficult to find a way to finance your home without taking on a huge interest rate and mortgage insurance.

Fortunately, loan programs like those offered by the U.S. Veterans Affairs can be a godsend. However, there is a great deal of confusion around who is eligible for VA loans and how to acquire them.

So, in todayís post, weíre going to cover some of the frequently asked questions of VA loans. That way, you can feel confident in knowing whether or not itís a good financing option for you and your family.

VA Loans FAQ

Who is eligible for a VA Loan?

VA loans arenít just for veterans. Most members of the military, including Reserve and National Guard members can apply. Additionally, spouses of service members who died from a service-related disability and those who died on active duty can apply as well.

How long do you have to service to be eligible?

The VA defines eligibility as having served no less than 90 days of service during wartime and 181 days of continuous service during peacetime.

Who are VA Loans offered by?

Like any other loan, VA loans are offered by private lenders. The difference is that VA loans are guaranteed by the government. That means that the federal government takes on some of the risk of lending to you, therefore making it possible to secure a loan with little or no down payment.

Should I make a down payment on a VA loan?

If you have the means, making a down payment will almost certainly save you money in the long run. If you can put down 10% of your total mortgage amount, you can also significantly reduce the VA Funding Fee.

Will I have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is something that borrowers pay on top of their mortgage payments and interest. This additional insurance helps borrowers buy a home with a small down payment. VA loans allow you to secure a mortgage without PMI.

Are VA loans different for active duty, National Guard, and Army Reserve members?

Each type of service member is eligible for a VA loan. However, there are some minor differences regarding the VA Funding Fee. With no down payment, an active duty member would pay 2.15% of the loan amount in fees. National Guard and Army Reserve members pay around 2.40% with no down payment.

What does my credit score need to be to get a VA loan?

The VA doesnít have a set minimum credit score. However, the private lenders that offer the loan do. On average, the lowest credit score that you can secure a VA loan with is around 620. That being said, a higher score will secure you a lower interest rate, saving you money over the lifetime of your loan.




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Posted by Lauren Davis on 9/4/2019

Mortgage interest rates have a remarkable effect on the overall long-term cost of buying a property through financing. Mortgage borrowers are looking for the highest possible rates while lenders have to manage their risk by charging interest rates. Borrowers with good credit histories and stable finances are those who can access a mortgage with lower interest rates. The financial status of borrowers has a significant impact on the interest they can get; government fiscal policy and other economic factors can affect mortgage rates on a global level. Below are some of the factors that can affect your mortgage interest rates:

Inflation 

Inflation causes the price to rise gradually. It is a critical factor in the overall economy and an essential element for mortgage lenders. It reduces the purchasing power of dollars. And, mortgage lenders manage the interest rates such that it will be able to withstand the reduction of purchasing power through inflation to make sure that there is a real net profit on their interest returns.

The Level of Economic Growth

The gross domestic product and the employment rates are the economic growth indicators that have a remarkable effect on mortgage rates. When economic growth rates increase, there is higher income, and there is an increase in the level of consumer's spending which translates to a rise in consumers seeking mortgage loans. 

Federal Reserve Monetary Policy

The monetary policy of the Federal Reserve Bank is one of the essential factors that affect mortgage interest rates and the overall economy. The Federal Reserve Bank does not stipulate a specific price in the mortgage market, but the establishment of the federal funds' rates and the adjustment of money supply upward or downward have a pronounced effect on the mortgage interest rates that are available to borrowers.

Generally, a rise in the supply of money pressures rates downward while a reduction in money supply puts upward pressure on rates.

Housing Market Condition

The conditions and trends in the housing markets can influence mortgage rates. When there is a decrease in the number of new constructions, there is will a reduction in home purchases which automatically leads to a decline in demand for mortgages. This situation makes the interest rates to reduce. Another trend that affects the mortgage rate is the number of consumers renting an apartment instead of buying a home.

The rise and decline of mortgage interest rates operate based on the basic rules of demand and supply. All the factors mentioned above have a pronounced influence on mortgage rates. Most importantly, your financial standing affects your mortgage rate. It is essential to speak to a financial advisor before deciding on starting a home purchase and mortgage process.





Posted by Lauren Davis on 7/11/2018

Many Americans who purchased their home when they had lower credit, a shorter employment history, and less money stand to gain from refinancing their mortgages. However, most miss out on this opportunity or donít realize it in time to save potentially thousands in interest payments.

According to recent data, 5.2 million Americans could save, on average, $215 per month if they refinanced their loan. But many homeowners are hesitant to refinance.

Whether itís because of the inconvenience, the cost of refinancing, the worries about something going wrong, or uncertainty about whether theyíll actually save money if they go through the process, millions of homeowners are missing out.

So, in this article, weíre going to talk about some reasons it may be a good idea for you to refinance. If youíre one of the millions of Americans with a mortgage who are thinking about refinancing, this post is for you.

Riding the wave of the economy

Interest rates on home loans are historically low right now. As a result, homeowners can save by refinancing simply due to changing tides of the real estate market. Although mortgage rates have increased slightly over the past two years, theyíre still on the low end, so this could be your last chance to save.

To consolidate your debt

Credit cards, auto loans, and other forms of debt can add up quickly. If you have a high-interest rate on your other debts, refinancing could be a good way to consolidate and save.

This can be achieved through a home equity loan or by refinancing with a cash-out option. This means you refinance your mortgage for more than you currently owe and take the remainder in cash to pay off your other debts with high-interest payments.

Typically, you need to have at least 20% equity (or have paid off 20% of your mortgage) to be eligible for this option.

Small percentages count for more now

It was once said that refinancing only made sense if you would receive a lower interest rate of at least 1-2%. However, with the prices of homes increasing over the years, sometimes even a small change, such as .75% is enough to save you substantial money on your repayment.

Youíre able to repay early

One of the best ways to save on a home loan is by refinancing to a shorter term. Going from a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan can save you thousands. There are several calculators available for free online that will enable you to estimate how much you could save by refinancing to a 15-year mortgage.

You got a raise

One of the best times to refinance is when you can be certain that you can afford to pay off your loan sooner. As people progress in their career, it isnít uncommon for them to refinance their loan so that they can spend more each month but save in the long run.

Since you have a higher income, and likely higher credit, you can also refinance a variable rate loan to lock in a lower fixed rate.





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