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9 Things 2019 First-Time Homebuyers Should Know

Buying a home will likely be the biggest purchase of your life, and it can feel a little overwhelming, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. You may face a lot of challenges throughout the entire process, from understanding the current marketplace, finding a trusted agent and viewing different properties to negotiating, obtaining loan financing, managing your budget, and sealing a deal. Knowing that one of the biggest goals for many of you is to buy a home in 2019, we have created a list of nine things first-time homebuyers should know in order to ensure that the process of home buying can go as smoothly as possible:

  1. Your concerns are valid

    Buying a home is a big deal. It can be frustrating, especially for first-time buyers, to deal with the mountain of paperwork and not knowing exactly what you are getting into. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breath and know that you are not alone in this. There are many resources out there to help guide you and get you through the home-buying process with peace of mind. Finding an experienced and professional lender, like Residential Mortgage Corp., can help make the road much easier.

  2. 20% down payment is a myth
    When buying a home, a lot of people immediately think that a 20% down payment is required. This is potentially one of the main factors that keeps people from purchasing their own home. The truth is that there are plenty of options for buyers without a ton of savings on hand. Talk to your lender first and seek their professional opinion on your current situation. They have loan programs to fit most home buyers needs.

  3. Don't rely on the advice of friends and family

    It is natural for first-time buyers to ask their parents or their friends for advice based on their past experiences. While their information may not necessarily be inaccurate, you should know that buying a home is a very personal decision and given that the market has continued to change significantly over the years, past experiences might not be as helpful as you may think.

  4. Ladies don't need "a ring on it" to become homeowners
    Over the past few years, single women have grown to become the second largest cohort, after married couples, of home purchasers. Another interesting fact within this spectrum is that seven out of the top 10 fastest growing first names on real estate deeds are female names.

  5. Spring is the season
    According to Insights*, due to rising wages and slowing home price growth during spring season, first-time buyers may be in a better position to make homeownership a reality as we enter the spring buying season.

  6. Identify your motivation for buying a home
    If you're trying to buy a home this year, it may be helpful to understand your primary reason for purchasing. Is it due to life changes like getting married, starting a family or retiring? Or is it for a sense of fulfilment? Or for future investment? Regardless of what it is, it is crucial to identify what motivates you before you take action. This will also help you decide the best mortgage financing option.

  7. Think about all the factors involved before you buy a "fixer-upper"
    While buying a fixer-upper seems like a solution for people who are on a tight budget, it is important to think of all the factors involved before jumping into a major home overhaul. We can't all be a Joanna Gaines! Many people underestimate the amount of work and cost required for renovations. With that being said, if you are considering purchasing a fixer-upper, budget appropriately, spend wisely and be sure your lender is aware of the property condition. This could affect the appraisal and loan.

  8. Potential benefits for buying young
    If you have the ability and desire to buy at a young age, there are potential benefits to getting an early start. First of all, home equity serves as the homeowner's interest in a home. It can increase over time if the property value increases or if the mortgage loan balance is paid down and can be a great long-term investment. Although there is no guarantee that your house will gain value, what we usually see over the long term is that the nature of the rising prices of real estate can help attract potential buyers. Nonetheless, the safest choice is still to buy a home that you want to live in -- not a home that serves as an investment.

  9. Always contact a lender before shopping
    It's more fun to look at homes than it is to talk about your finances with a lender, but the last thing you want is to find your dream house and then realize you are looking at the wrong price range or you are not qualified to apply for a loan program. To avoid this mistake, be sure you contact a lender and discuss details such as down payment requirements, loan programs, your credit and income situation, and mortgage insurance.

At Residential Mortgage Corp, we are committed to educating our homebuyers and making sure that you don't bite off more than you can chew! If you're ready to start exploring the process of homeownership, please give one of our experience Loan Officers a call at 910.483.1211 or simply apply online. We are ready and able to help you today!

3 Things Homebuyers Must Do To Ensure A Smooth Mortgage Loan Process

Congratulations, you’re buying your dream home!

You’ve done everything right by getting your pre-approval through your lender first. Then, finding your perfect home with your Realtor. Now, you have an accepted contract and are in the throes of processing and underwriting.
This is the MOST critical time of purchasing a home. Making significant changes during this time is the difference in the mortgage underwriter giving your loan a “clear to close” or a denial.
Here are 3 things you absolutely MUST do while buying a home!


  1. Keep Calm And Keep Everything The Same
    Let buying your home be the only significant life change you’re making! That means, it’s the wrong time to: switch jobs, quit your job, start a brand new business, or incur any new debt, such as buying a new car, opening up a new credit card.

    *** even using your existing credit cards for large purchases such as furniture, etc can cause a change in your debt to income ratio that can affect your loan.

  2. Make All Your Payments On Time
    If you’re buying a home, chances are you have good credit. Be extra diligent during the homebuying process, though! When you’re preparing to move, it’s easy to become distracted and overlook normal things. Making a late payment a credit card or other loan can decrease your credit score and make you ineligible for the loan program in which you’d been pre-approved.

  3. Don’t Make Large Deposits, or Borrow Money...
    ...without telling your lender, that is. Simply put, lenders must be able to account for every dollar going toward buying your home. If your parents want to give you a gift towards your down payment, that’s great! Federal guidelines means that Mom and Dad will have to prove that it came from them.

So, while you technically can make large deposits during the loan process, just know there is extra paperwork required and you (and the person gifting money, if applicable) will have to prove where the money came from with a detailed paper trail.

Taking these 3 steps while purchasing your home will ensure the mortgage process goes as smooth as possible! At Residential Mortgage, we pride ourselves on building relationships and being advisors to our homebuyers.

If you’re considering buying a home in the near future, now’s the time to get pre-qualified! Click on the link here and complete our easy, online application to start the process of purchasing your dream home today.


Why Is Getting A Mortgage Today Different Than Five Years Ago?

If you’re not a first-time homebuyer and have had one (or several) mortgages in the past, you may be a little surprised this go-around with the information and documentation your lender will ask for.  Don’t be frustrated – these extra steps were put into place for YOUR protection!

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was formed in July of 2011, and this Federal agency regulates the consumer financial laws – including mortgage laws - and also educates and empowers consumers to make better informed financial decisions.  The CFPB enacted the Ability To Repay Rule in 2014 to insure that mortgage applicants were truly qualified for the loans they were obtaining and to help prevent consumers from purchasing homes they simply could not afford.

While many lenders have always followed this practice, even before the rule was enacted, the CFPB has made this an industry-standard requirement so you can expect your mortgage company to consider all of the following:
-           Current or expected income, employment status and assets used to repay the loan;
-           Projected monthly mortgage payments including any second mortgages taken out;
-           Monthly payments for taxes, insurance (both property and mortgage), HOA and/or any other monthly payment associated with maintenance of the property;
-           All debts to include revolving, installment, alimony, and child-support payments;
-           Monthly debt-to-income ratio using the total of all of the mortgage and non-mortgage obligations as a ratio of gross monthly income;
-           Credit profile and history

Simply said – be prepared to provide paperwork to support income, assets and debts you list on your application………help your lender protect YOU



Are you in the “Millennial” generation?  If so, there may be good news about buying your first home!  A recent survey reported in the January 29, 2018, edition of “Market Watch,” revealed that of the 2,000 queried working millennials aged 23 to 37, 47% have accumulated $15,000 or more in savings and 16% have at or over $100,000 in savings.  These assets includes savings, IRS, 401(K) and other retirement or investment accounts.

This up-and-coming age group is also just as likely to manage and plan a budget as their generational predecessors – Generation Xers and Baby Boomers.  They worry more about money having grown up in a recessed economy, and they tend to keep finances separate from their spouses, another change in how previous generations handled joint assets.  With high student loan debt and more money spent on groceries, gas, food and cell phones, this younger age group has to undertake a completely different mindset in order to insure future financial security and the survey indicates they are well on their way.

What all of this means for the emerging Millennial is more home buying power, with more accumulated savings and budgets in place to reach their financial goals.  Residential Mortgage Corp can help you achieve your dream of buying your first home with many financing options that suit the “Millennial Strategy.”  Click here to get a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our qualified loan officers, submit a complete mortgage application on line, or call our office at 910-483-1211 to see how Residential Mortgage Corp can help get YOU into your first home!



Interest rates are on the rise in 2018NOW is the time to purchase a home or refinance!  The country has enjoyed historically low interest rates for many years but economic factors now indicate that interest rates could go up as early as March, 2018. 

As quoted by a recent CNBC article, “Financial markets are beginning to price in a more aggressive Federal Reserve this year.  After the government reported Friday morning strong retail sales from the holiday season and higher-than-expected core inflation, Fed rate hike probabilities shot up and moved into earlier months. Markets now fully expect two rate hikes this year and have nearly priced in a third.  The probability of a rate hike in March surged to 84 percent from 78 percent a week ago, according to Thomson Reuters. More significantly, the second rate hike is now priced with a 55 percent chance to take place in June. Previously, it had been priced in for August, and for September not long before that.”

Call us today at 910-483-1211 to find out what interest rates are and to start the loan process.  One of our qualified loan officers is ready to help you obtain your homeownership dream or refinance your home and take advantage of lower rates while they are still available.



Your closing should be an exciting day for you and your family, and lenders like Residential Mortgage Corp. work hard to make that happen and take away the intimidation of the closing table.  Many homebuyers – especially first-time mortgagors – dread the day of closing.  They may have heard “horror” stories from friends or co-workers warning of long waits, tons of documents to read, cramped hands from signing and not-so-good surprises at the closing table.

By law, the lender must provide to you, no less than three business days prior to closing, a Closing Disclosure (CD) for your review and signature.  The CD discloses all pertinent information about your loan, including the property address, sales price, loan amount, total mortgage payment, interest rate, all closing costs and any cash to closing you will need.  This three-day rule affords you the opportunity to ask your loan officer any questions or request clarification, and also to be sure the loan you’re expecting is the loan you’re getting!   You will be presented with a Final CD to sign at closing and if any fees or funds to closing change, you will be notified before you actually arrive at the closing agent’s office.  You can also ask your loan officer to have a copy of your entire closing package sent to you in advance so you can read over all the documents you will be signing.

At Residential Mortgage Corp., we understand how our customers feel and we do anything we can to make the entire loan process pain- and stress-free.  You can get a free consultation or prequalification today.  Take the first step to homeownership with us!