Friday, August 31, 2012

How can you improve your credit score?


It's virtually impossible to change your score in the time between when most people decide to buy a home or refinance their mortgage and when they apply. So the short answer is, you really can't "on the spot." But there are strategies you can live with to make sure when you apply for a loan your score is as high as possible.

Make sure that the information each of the three credit reporting bureaus has on you is consistent and up to date. Order a copy of your credit report about once a year, and dispute any inaccuracies.

Note: Theoretically, if a series of credit reports is requested on your behalf during a limited amount of time, your score goes down until time passes without any inquiries. Changes in the law though have made "consumer-originating" credit report requests not count so much. Also, a series of requests in relation to getting a mortgage or car loan is not treated the same as a number of credit card requests in a limited time. This is because the credit bureaus, and lenders, realize that people request their own credit reports to keep up with what's on them, and smart consumers shop around for the best mortgage and car loans.

Unsolicited credit card solicitations in the mail don't count against your credit report, so don't worry.

The two main components of your credit score are your payment history and the amounts you owe. Bankruptcy filings and foreclosures, which can stay on your credit report for as long as 10 years, can significantly lower your score. It's never a good idea to take on more credit than you can handle.

Late payments work against you. It's extremely important to pay bills on time, even if it's only the monthly payment.

Don't "max out" your credit lines. Since the size of the balance on your open accounts is a factor, lower balances are better.

It's said that by carefully managing your credit, it's possible to add as much as 50 points per year to your score.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

About Reverse Mortgages

rightReverse Mortgages
Reverse mortgages (also called home equity conversion loans) enable elderly homeowners to tap into their equity without selling their home. The lender pays you money based on the equity you've accrued in your home; you receive a lump sum, a monthly payment or a line of credit. Repayment is not necessary until the borrower sells the property, moves into a retirement community or passes away. When you sell your home or no longer use it as your primary residence, you or your estate must repay the cash you received from the reverse mortgage plus interest and other finance charges to the lender.


Most reverse mortgages require you be
at least 62 years of age, have a low or zero balance owed against your home and maintain the property as your principal residence.


Reverse mortgages are ideal for homeowners who are retired or no longer working and need to supplement their income. Interest rates can be fixed or adjustable and the money is nontaxable and does not interfere with Social Security or Medicare benefits. Your lender cannot take property away if you outlive your loan nor can you be forced to sell your home to pay off your loan even if the loan balance grows to exceed property value.




"Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act"

CA DRE 01215943

NMLS 1850



Saturday, August 25, 2012

How Escrow Works

Escrow

To finalize the sale of the home a neutral, third party (the escrow holder, a.k.a. escrow agent) is engaged to assure the transaction will close properly and on time. The escrow holder insures that all terms and conditions of the seller's and buyer's agreement are met prior to the sale being finalized, including receiving funds and documents, completing required forms, and obtaining the release documents for any loans or liens that have been paid off with the transaction, assuring you clear title to your property before the purchase price is fully paid.

The documentation the escrow holder may be collecting includes:
  • Loan documents
  • Tax statements
  • Fire and other insurance policies
  • Title insurance policies
  • Terms of sale and any seller-assisted financing
  • Requests for payment for various services to be paid out of escrow funds

Upon completion of all instructions of the escrow, closing can take place. All outstanding payments and fees are collected and paid at this time (covering expenses such as title insurance, inspections, real estate commissions). Title to the property is then transferred to the seller and appropriate title insurance is issued as outlined in the escrow instructions.

At the close of escrow, payment of funds shall be made in an acceptable form to the escrow. As your real estate agent, I'll inform you of the acceptable form.

The Escrow Holder Will:
The Escrow Holder Won't:
  • Prepare escrow instructions
  • Request title search
  • Comply with lender's requirements as specified in the escrow agreement
  • Receive funds from the buyer
  • Prorate insurance, tax, interest and other payments according to instructions
  • Record deeds and other documents as instructed
  • Request title insurance policy
  • Close escrow when all instructions of seller and buyer have been met
  • Disburse funds and finalize instructions
  • Give advice - the escrow holder must maintain neutral, third-party status
  • Offer opinions about tax implications

Mortgage Escrow Account

A Mortgage Escrow Account is established to pay on-going expenses while there is a loan on the house. These expenses include property taxes, home insurance, mortgage insurance, and other escrow items. Generally, the Escrow Account is partially funded at closing and the home buyer makes on-going contributions through their monthly mortgage payment.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Overview of the Loan Process

An overview of the loan process

Make no mistake, there's a lot involved in getting a mortgage loan. You wouldn't be here on our website if you could fill out a one-page application and get the best loan for you funded the same day. What we do is most of the heavy lifting for you, so you can concentrate on what's important -- preparing to move into your new home, saving money, or making plans for your home equity line of credit.

There are four main steps involved in getting a loan. You'll see that we've made your part in them as easy as possible, and we do all the work! That's what we're here for.

Step One: Determine how much you can borrow

This is a function of a couple things. How much of a monthly payment can you afford? And given your unique credit and employment history, income and debt, and goals, how much will a lender loan you? The first part you can get a rough idea of by using the calculators on our website. We'll also help you through different scenarios by asking a few simple questions. Based on standard lender guidelines, we'll get you a good idea of what kind of terms and loan program you can expect to benefit most from.

Step Two: Pre-qualify for your loan

This is where the rubber meets the road and you save the most money. You supply information about your employment, your assets, your residence history, and so on. We get your permission to run your credit score. When we review all this information we give you a Pre-Qualification Letter. Handle it with care -- to a home seller, it's like a suitcase full of cash! Your realty agent will use your Pre-Qual (as they may call it) to make the best offer on the home you choose, and the seller knows you're pre-qualified. It gives you buying clout! And while you're picking out the home that's right for you, we're busy finding the loan that's right for you.

Step Three: Now the fun begins!

Once you've made an offer and it's been accepted, it's time to complete the loan process. In today's regulatory environment, we will need your help, along with our professional staff, in order to achieve our goal of making this necessary step as painless as possible. When the time is right, we will also order an appraisal of your new home.

Step Four: Your loan is funded

Your realty agent and the seller's will work together to designate an escrow/title company to handle the closing of your loan once it's approved. We'll coordinate with the escrow company to make sure all the papers your lender will need are in order, and you'll sign everything at the escrow/title company's office.

You've answered a few questions, given us some detailed information, applied online, and next thing you know, you're moving in! We're in the business of mortgage loans -- so we do most of the work. Doesn't that make sense?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Welcome To Our New Blog

Welcome to the new Big Valley Mortgage blog. We will be sharing much more about the smoothest, easiest, most affordable and most effective mortgages are made.

Our mortgage professionals give you the personal attention you deserve and treat you with the respect due a valued customer. We understand you're making a commitment in buying a new home, refinancing a mortgage, or cashing out your home equity. So we make a commitment to you. We will help you qualify, apply and be approved for the right mortgage loan for you. Not anyone else!