• Characterized by bright colors, woven fabrics and handcrafted pieces, southwestern-style decorating takes influences from Native American, Spanish and Mexican art. Whether you live out west and want your home to reflect your surroundings, or you simply want to incorporate colorful or handmade items into your existing decor, here are some tips to help you...

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  • A new phenomenon is affecting the mortgage and real estate industries. People who bought a home or refinanced in the last few years have such a ridiculously low mortgage rate that they don’t want to move and have to accept a new mortgage with a higher rate. But the reality is that these people...

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  • This post is for all the gardeners out there! This time of year, we’re excited about combining our love of gardens with our love of prize giveaways. Whether you’re new to the gardening game or have years of experience in the backyard, this contest is for you.

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FHA Loans for Home Buying

FHA Loans for Home Buying

What exactly is an FHA loan? Good question. An FHA loan isn’t really a loan, it’s a program that insures home loans. The FHA (Federal Housing Administration) doesn’t actually fund your home loan in any way. The FHA simply provides mortgage insurance to help consumers become homeowners. In other words, the FHA insures lenders from losses associated with homeowner default. This helps mortgage lenders prepare mortgages for people who might not otherwise qualify for a loan. That’s pretty much it. To keep things simple, we (and most other mortgage lenders) call any loans insured by the FHA, “FHA Loans.” Should I get an FHA loan? Do you want to buy a house with a small down payment? Are you a first-time home buyer? Do you have lower credit (credit as low as 580 may qualify)? Are you concerned that you don’t make enough money to qualify for a home loan and cover all expenses? If any of these are true, an FHA loan may be a great solution for you. Even if you have good credit and a down payment, the increased options of FHA home loans make them attractive choices for your mortgage. Buy a home with a very small down payment A great point about FHA loans is that you can buy a house with a tiny down payment – only 3.5%. That’s one of the lowest down payments for any mortgage loan offered in today’s economy. Lower credit? Don’t worry! With the FHA loan, credit may not…

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Mortgages with Low or No Down Payments

Mortgages with Low or No Down Payments

It could be due to the economy or the fact that most people stay in their home an average of only 5-7 years, but the truth is that home buyers are not putting as large down payments as our parents and grandparents did. The average down payment for a house 20 years ago was 20%. Today, it’s common for people to put as little as 3% down on their new home. No Down Payment Mortgage Simply put, a no down payment mortgage is a mortgage for which you don’t put any money down on the purchase of your house. In today’s market, finding a no down payment mortgage may be extremely difficult unless you are a veteran and eligible for the Quicken Loans VA loan – which almost never requires a down payment. VA loans are a great option for veterans who want to buy a home because not only can a Veteran put zero down, but these types of loans get also approved faster than other types of loans. Most Veterans are not aware of the benefits of VA home loans, so if you know someone who has served in the military let them know! Low Down Payment Mortgage If you haven’t served in the military, there are still other options. A popular choice for home buyers is the “low down payment mortgage.” The FHA loan is a mortgage that only requires a 3.5% down payment. “FHA loans:/home-loans/fha-loan are backed by the government and also have more flexible guidelines,…

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No Doc Home Loans

No Doc Home Loans

No doc and low doc loans are very difficult to qualify for in today’s mortgage and financial markets. Because of this, most mortgage companies (including Quicken Loans) don’t offer them at this time. For more information, talk to a Quicken Loans home loan expert. We’ll show you how to obtain the necessary documentation so you can qualify for a full doc loan. Call us today at (800) 654-0068. The more documentation you provide your mortgage lender (employment, income and credit history) the lower your interest rate may be. Many home buyers choose not to offer documentation for personal privacy reasons, and willingly opt for a higher interest rate. Yet, many of these home buyers have a healthy income, or savings, and a credit history. A no doc (documentation) or low doc loan provides increased ease and privacy when getting a mortgage in exchange for a slightly higher rate. Buyers that opt for a low doc home loan are typically those who prefer not to have their entire life and financial history presented to the lender. For instance, they might be using an inheritance to secure a loan or have fluctuating income from owning their own business. Ease is a big factor as well. With a no doc or low doc loan, the borrower provides their name and social security number, along with information regarding the property being purchased. The rest is up to the lender. The Three Main Types of No Doc & Low Doc Loans No Doc Loans No…

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The Best Time to Buy a House Could Be This Winter

The Best Time to Buy a House Could Be This Winter

While spring’s warmer weather plants the itch to go house-hunting, don’t ignore the urge to check out more than just a home’s outdoor holiday lights this winter. Many consumers say they are interested in buying a home but they put off their search just because it’s cold outside, it gets dark early and they think there will be more “opportunity” in the spring. The truth is, there are plenty of opportunities now and reasons why buying a home is possible and even advantageous in the winter months.

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Refinancing Your Mortgage

Refinancing Your Mortgage

Home loan refinancing has recently risen in popularity for several reasons. There are many benefits to refinancing, such as the possibility of lowering monthly payments by locking in a more affordable fixed rate; switching to a fixed-rate loan from an adjustable rate mortgage; taking advantage of lower rates on high-cost mortgages; getting cash out of your investment; or refinancing a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan through an easy, streamlined process. Lower Your Monthly Payments by Getting a Fixed-Rate Loan at a Lower Interest Rate In 2009, mortgage rates dropped close to record lows. It may be a good idea to lock-in your rate sooner rather than later if you are thinking about refinancing. Bear in mind that the chances of mortgage refinance rates increasing is much greater than their chances of decreasing. So be sure to use caution and weigh your risks before delaying a rate lock if you’ve pre-qualified for a refinance home loan that will save you money in the long run. Switch From an Adjustable Rate Mortgage to a Fixed Rate Mortgage Now may be a good time to consider refinancing to a fixed-rate mortgage, especially if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) that is set to adjust. Your ARM may increase to a rate that’s higher than current fixed rate mortgages. Before refinancing though, you should think about the amount of time you plan on being in your home. If you are going to be in your home longer than seven years, it might be a…

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Fixing Errors on Your Credit Report

Fixing Errors on Your Credit Report

It can be time-consuming to dispute mistakes on your credit reports and eliminate inaccuracies, but it’s worth doing. Start by getting a copy of your free credit report from Quizzle. Although most national lending institutions report consumer credit information to all three credit bureaus, smaller banks and other credit grantors may report only to one or even none. Therefore, your credit report may vary from one credit bureau to another. If you’ve occasionally applied for credit from smaller creditors, check your report from all three credit reporting agencies-TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Look very carefully. Circle anything that seems wrong, but keep in mind that balances may be off by a few payments because recent payments may not have been recorded at the time you ordered the report. Make copies for your files and for anyone who may need proof of the errors. Credit Report Disputes Credit report disputes must be made in writing and sent through regular postal mail. Use the sample credit dispute letter in the downloadable Smart Credit Guide as an example. In your letter, give a detailed explanation to the best of your ability as to why the information in your report is wrong and should be changed. You must also include documentation that supports your assertion that you have an inaccurate credit report. For instance, if your report says that a credit card is active, but you know it’s closed, you must show proof that it’s been closed, which you may have to obtain in writing from the credit…

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Refinancing Investment Property

Refinancing Investment Property

Long-term interest rates have been at near historic low levels for quite some time and thus, more people are looking for places to rent, making it easy to benefit from these investments. Your investment property loan may have terms that were very attractive when you first made the purchase, but due to changing market conditions may no longer be as favorable as they could be today. When interest rates fall, refinancing the mortgage on your investment property becomes very attractive because refinancing offers ways to leverage the equity in your property, lower your monthly payment and increase your cash flow. Increase Your Cash Flow You can drastically increase your cash flow by refinancing the mortgage on your investment property. If you’ve built up considerable equity in the property, you could turn that equity into cash by doing a cash-out refinance. If you refinance to a lower rate and/or increase the term of your loan, that could also lower your monthly mortgage payment and increase your cash flow even more. Using the Quicken Loans Rate and Payment Calculator can help you find out how much equity you have to borrow against and give you suggestions on what loan may work best for you. Upgrade Your Property and Raise the Rent The home equity in your investment property can be used to fund improvements to your property and boost your cash flow. The great benefit of refinancing and making home improvements to your investment property is that it increases its market value,…

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40 Year Mortgages with Lower Payments

40 Year Mortgages with Lower Payments

In the last few years, the 40-year mortgage has been increasing in popularity for home buyers in high-cost housing markets as an alternative to adjustable-rate mortgages. Although Quicken Loans doesn’t offer a 40-year mortage currently, we do have options to keep your payment low. Call us at (800) 654-0068 to find out how to qualify for your absolute lowest mortgage payment. How a 40-Year Mortgage Loan Works A 40-year mortgage gives a lower payment than a 30-year fixed term by stretching out the amortization schedule over a longer period of time. With the 40-year mortgage, your mortgage term is actually only 30 years, but the loan is amortized over 40 years. This means that after 30 years, you must either pay, in full, the remaining balance on the loan or refinance the loan. Similar to an interest-only loan or an ARM, a 40-year mortgage potentially increases the amount of home you can afford and the amount of extra cash you have on a monthly basis. The more cash you have in hand, the more you can put toward your savings or invest in your 401k or retirement fund. For example, if you had a $200,000 30-year mortgage and spread it out over an additional 10 years, your payment might drop by $100 per month. Imagine what that extra $100 could do for your retirement fund! Who Is a Good Candidate for a 40-Year Mortgage? A 40-year mortgage is popular for people in high-cost housing markets such as the Northeast or…

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