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Mortgage News Matters

4 Benefits of Downsizing to a Condo

Downsizing from a home to a condominium is a great option for homeowners who find themselves using less of their space, looking to save more of their money, or simply interested in a home that requires much less maintenance to take care of.

Significantly smaller than a typical home, a condo can be a townhouse, loft, or high rise, and often includes additional costs, like homeowner’s association fees and homeowner’s insurance.

To help you decide whether this choice is right for you, we’ve decided to share four of the major benefits of downsizing to a condo.

What is a Condo?

A condo, or condominium, is a privately owned unit within a community of other units. Like an apartment complex, a condo is part of a larger building. However, unlike an apartment, residents are the owners of their own unit, rather than merely renters.

What are the Benefits of Downsizing to a Condo?

  1. Pricing. Depending on your market, owning a condo can often be more cost-efficient than owning a home. It is said that in rural areas, single-family homes appreciate at a greater rate compared to a condo of the same size. However, in cities, condos rise in value quicker than single-family homes located further from the city center. It is important to keep location in mind when looking for the best pricing.
  • Less Maintenance. Significantly smaller in size, condos require relatively less maintainance to take care of than a home. This gives residents more time to spend doing the things they enjoy.
  • Onsite Amenities. Like an apartment complex, condos often have onsite amenities like pools, gyms, and community areas – to name a few. Residents pay HOA fees that cover costs like maintenance of these common areas, so they can enjoy these amenities without having to worry about upkeep. 
  • Sense of Community. Condos are set up like little neighborhoods. They often become close knit communities where everyone feels a sense of trust and belonging. This can be a relief for many who like their independence but also want to feel a sense of community.

Considering downsizing, but aren’t sure if a Condo is the right choice for you? Check out our upcoming blog on the benefits of downsizing to a townhome.

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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

8 Reasons that Could Delay Closing on a New Home

At VanDyk Mortgage, we are determined to provide you with a seamless and efficient experience, from the moment you apply for your loan until you close on your new home. Though we work tirelessly to make sure you close on time, want wanted to share some common reasons that could cause a delay.

  1. Pest Inspection. Ideally, these issues are resolved before escrow closes, but sometimes there are issues and further action may need to be taken by either the buyer or the seller.
  2. Low Appraisal. In the case of a lower-than-expected appraisal, the seller may have to lower the selling price, or the buyer will have to pay the difference in cash. In this case, we always think it is a good idea to get a second opinion before moving forward.
  3. Claims to the Title. Title insurance protects both the buyer and lender against claims on the property. If there is in fact a lien or a claim, this will have to be resolved before the transaction can move forward. By simply performing a title search, you can ensure that no party – including the IRS, state, or relative of the seller – has any legal claim to the property.
  4. Home Inspection Defects. Most individuals sign a home inspection contingency, which allows the purchaser to back out of a deal without penalty in the case that there is a major defect in the home inspection. If a contingency is not put in place, the purchaser could lose the entirety of their earnest money down. If the sale proceeds, there may be a delay due to the time it took to go through negotiations.
  5. Buyer or Seller Doubt. Having cold feet is very real, and something that can certainly delay the closing of a new home. Unless there is a legitimate reason to back out of the purchase, i.e., not waiving a contingency or a deadline not being met, the buyer will be at risk of losing their earnest money, should they decide not to go through with the sale.

    This money is used to compensate the seller for the time that the property was taken off the market, missing out on other possible offers. Likewise, in the case of a seller having cold feet, the buyer is eligible for damages from the seller.
  6. Financing Falls Through. It is best practice to get pre-approved, at the very beginning of your homebuying journey, in order to secure the best mortgage loan program for you. However, there are cases, such as a drastic increase in interest rates, a change or loss in employment, or a decrease in credit score, when financing falls through. If this happens, the homebuying process can be delayed or even stopped altogether.
  7. High-Risk Location. In some locations, homes may require Hazard Insurance. To determine if you will need this type of insurance for your new home, you can request a National Hazard Disclosure Report, and see if any national hazards in the area could affect you.

    Hazard Insurance is often greater than homeowner’s insurance and can cause a delay in the closing process. To avoid this, you can ask your agent or city planner about national hazards in your area.
  8. Survey Issue. Before closing on your home, a qualified land surveyor will draw up the boundary lines for your property. In the case of an infringement, either by a neighboring tree or fence, you may have to hire an attorney to facilitate a lot-line agreement.
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Mortgage News Matters

How to Apply for a Mortgage: The Loan Process

Navigating the steps of the loan process can feel complex – especially if it’s your first time doing so. To help you out, we’ve put together a helpful list that breaks down the process, step-by-step, so you can focus your efforts on preparing to move into your new home, rather than worrying about how you’re going to get there.

  1. Pre-Approval. The first stage in the mortgage loan process is to apply for a pre-approval. Getting pre-approved is a more in-depth process than getting pre-qualified and will require more paperwork from you. The upside? It shows the seller that you are serious. This information will tell the seller that you can secure a mortgage and you are ready to find your new home. Once you receive your pre-approval letter, it will be valid for 90 days. For more information on pre-approval, refer to our Pre-Approval Document Checklist.
  2. Submit an application. After you’ve received pre-approval, you’re ready to submit your application! At VanDyk Mortgage, there are 3 ways you can apply; either online, over the phone, or in person. Some documentation, such as a government-issued photo ID, home address, and income, are required at this stage. For a full list of required documentation, please refer to our Application Checklist in our helpful Loan Survival Guide.
  3. Loan Submission. Once your offer is accepted, your loan package will be sent to you for the required signatures. At this time, all documentation is sent to underwriting for approval.
  4. Conditional Approval. At this stage, underwriting has reviewed, and your loan is conditionally approved contingent on the receipt of additional documentation.
  5. Final Approval. A loan processor will review the materials for completeness and send them back to underwriting for final approval. At this stage, your loan officer will begin to prepare you for the closing process.
  6. Closing. A title company or closing attorney prepares documents that are reviewed and signed by you. And… voila! You’ve just become a homeowner! Congratulations and welcome to your new home! See, it wasn’t that hard!

To get you started on your Mortgage Loan Process, reach out to one of our experienced Loan Originators today!