Categories
Mortgage News Matters

What’s the Difference Between Refinancing & Home Equity Loan?

One of the major benefits of owning a home is that it is, in fact, a major financial investment. By obtaining a mortgage loan refinance or home equity loan, homeowners can access cash to cover events like unplanned emergencies, necessary repairs, and important updates.

So, what is the difference between the two and when should a borrower consider each?

What is a Mortgage Loan Refinance?

Refinancing is the act of paying off a borrower’s current mortgage with a new one, typically at a lower interest rate, saving them money in the long run.

What is a Home Equity Loan?

A Home Equity Loan gives homeowner’s cash in exchange for the equity they’ve built up in their property as a separate loan.

Both methods can be beneficial to homeowners who need to access a home’s equity. However, a borrower’s circumstances can determine which method is best for them.

When should a borrower Refinance?

Refinancing is ideal for homeowners who intend on staying in their current home for at least the amount of time that the benefits of reduced monthly payments or another tangible benefit will recoup the closing costs associated with a full new mortgage. Refinances can either be “rate and term” or “cash-out”, meaning the equity in the home can be leveraged to pay off just the current loan or both the current loan and receive additional equity as cashback at closing.

When should a borrower take out a Home Equity Loan?

A home equity loan is ideal for borrowers who are looking for a significant sum of money right away for a specific purpose, like paying for a major home improvement. A home equity loan may be the best option for borrowers who currently have a low-interest rate on their first mortgage and the “blended rate” and payment of their current 1st mortgage and new 2nd mortgage is less costly than replacing it with a whole new loan.

Another consideration to keep in mind is that Home Equity Loans are often structured as lines of credit with variable interest rates and payments which make them less predictable. Any borrower on a tight budget with limited disposable income would need to take this into account.

It is important to note that for borrowers to refinance or obtain a home equity loan, they must take into consideration their credit score. If their score is lower than when they originally purchased their home, refinancing may end up increasing their interest rate. Borrowers should obtain their credit report before going through the process of applying for either loan, to be sure it is the right decision for them.

To learn more about the differences between refinancing and home equity loans and to determine which method is right for you, contact a VanDyk Mortgage Loan Originator today!

Categories
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.

Categories
Uncategorized

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!