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Mortgage News Matters

How to Get Your Contract Accepted: Tips on Making Your Offer

Making an offer is a thoughtful process that should be done with great care and consideration. To help, we’ve shared 8 helpful tips for getting your contract accepted.

  1. Get pre-approved. Getting preapproved by a lender before making an offer tells you how much buying power you truly have and helps pre-determine your bottom line.
  2. Offer earnest money. Earnest money is a deposit made from the buyer to the seller once the offer has been accepted and is typically kept in an escrow account. This ‘good-faith deposit’ shows the buyer’s commitment in selling the home and can be kept as cash or later applied towards the purchase of the home.
  3. Shorten inspection, or due diligence period. The due diligence period is the time between signing the contract and inspection of the property. During this time, the buyer still has the option to walk away from the sale. Shortening this period separates the serious buyers from those who are not so sure.
  4. Reduce or eliminate certain contingencies, such as inspections or move-in dates. This reduces common time-consuming obstacles to the home buying process.
  5. Include an escalation clause. Ideal for a multiple offer situation, an escalation clause states that your bid will automatically raise, if another buyer bids higher than you. This allows buyers to continually remain on top of the competition.
  6. Submit an offer letter. A personal note expressing an emotional connection to the home shows the seller that you are not just any other buyer – you genuinely care and would take great pride in owning their home. This also helps to provide buyers with a competitive edge.
  7. Make a clean offer. A clean offer is a simple offer. Meaning, it is easier to close. Clean offers refer to those that have short financing and appraisal contingencies, and a shortened due diligence period. Clean offers are essential when buyers find themselves in a competitive seller’s market.
  8. Present a strong (or best) offer price. If it is in your budget to do so, consider offering more than the asking price. This will set you apart from other buyers and provide you a competitive edge.



To learn more about making an offer and tips to getting your contract accepted, contact your local VanDyk Mortgage Loan Originator today!

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Mortgage News Matters

When it Comes to Your Home; Is It Better to Rent or to Own?

Deciding whether to rent or own a home is a personal choice that requires careful consideration. In order to help you eliminate biases and make the right choice for your unique situation, we’ve listed the benefits of each below:


Benefits of Renting:

  1. Lower Acquisition Cost. Typically, buyers need an average of 3.5% – 23% of the purchase price for their down payment and closing. Compared to the cost of 1-2 month’s rent, renting is less costly in the short-term.
  2. Lower Qualification Standards. Though some programs, like FHA loans, have more flexible guidelines, renting requires less invasive paperwork by far.
  3. Freedom to Move. Renting allows the flexibility for renters to move every year when their lease agreement is up.
  4. Fewer Maintenance Costs. Renters can rely on their landlord or property manager to quickly fix any maintenance issues they may have. Homeowners, however, are responsible for all costs that go into all home repairs.

Benefits of Owning:

  1. Personalization. Owning a home gives the owner more freedom to alter their home’s appearance.
  2. Stability. Rentals can see drastic increases in price due to fluctuations in the market. Owning a home, however, ensures consistent monthly payments.
  3. Tax Benefits & Savings. Homeowner’s may be eligible for tax deductions on their home mortgage interest, property taxes and origination/discount points for owning a home.
  4. Appreciation of Property. Historically, home prices have exceeded consumer inflation, even with periods of declining value taken into account.
  5. Increased Net Worth. According to the Federal Reserve Board of Consumer Finance, the average net worth of renters was just $4,000 compared to that of homeowners worth $184,400.


To learn more about the benefits of renting vs. owning, contact your local VanDyk Mortgage Loan Originator today!

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What Does a Lender Look for When Approving My Loan?

When beginning the pre-approval process, most lenders are looking for a few major things: Credit History, Capital, Employment, and Collateral.

  1. Credit & Credit History. Lenders will use your current credit and past credit history as an indicator of your ability to repay your debt. They will look at how much you currently owe, how often you borrow, how often you pay your bills – and if you often pay them on time, as well as how well you live within your means. To check your credit score, visit annualcreditreport.com.


  2. Capital. Capital tells the lender how much money you have, to put towards your down payment, as well as funds that will remain in your accounts after closing to be used for reserves. This includes such things as moving expenses, money required to turn on utilities, emergency repairs, or cost of ongoing maintenance. This is crucial information as you begin your home buying journey and apply for a loan.


  3. Employment. Employment tells the lender approximately how long it will take you to pay back your debt. They will check things like your previous employment history, as well as your current employment situation. Lenders are looking for stability in your income earnings trend to help determine its likelihood of continuance.


  4. Collateral. Collateral protects the lenders in the case that borrowers are unable to repay their loan. This is equally important to lenders as credit, income, and employment, as it acts as a safety net in the unfortunate circumstance that the loan is unable to be paid.

For more information on the Loan Application and Loan Process, contact your local VanDyk Loan Originator today!

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Mortgage News Matters

What is the Difference Between Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval?

Many home buyers know that pre-qualification and pre-approval are necessary steps in the home buying process, but not many understand how they differ, or when each action is required.

To help, we’ve broken down the process of each, and what – you as a home buyer – will need to provide.


What is pre-qualification?

Pre-qualification is an essential first step in the homebuying process. It tells you how much money you can borrow, based on your current finances and credit score, and gives you insight into your mortgage options, allowing your lender to better identify your unique needs and goals.

What do you need to provide for pre-qualification?

  • Income information
  • Credit check
  • Information about bank accounts
  • Down payment amount and desired mortgage amount

What is pre-approval?

Pre-approval is a much more in-depth process that requires more information and likewise carries more weight. This process requires you to complete a mortgage application and requires your lender to perform a credit check. Keep in mind that this process requires a detailed examination of your finances, so be prepared to answer unexpected questions.

The benefit of getting pre-approved is that it shows your seriousness as a homebuyer and your ability to secure a mortgage. Once you receive your pre-approval letter, it is valid for 90 days.

What do you need to provide for pre-approval?

  • Copy of pay stubs showing your income for the previous 30 days
  • Credit check
  • Bank account information or two of your most recent bank statements
  • Down payment amount and desired mortgage amount
  • W-2 statements
  • Personal and business tax returns from the past 2 years



Are you looking to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage loan? Contact a VanDyk Loan Originator by calling 888-482-6395 today!