How To Get Approved For Your First Mortgage, Part 1

How To Get Approved For Your First Mortgage, Part 1

Stone Bridge Mortgage Group_How To Get Approved For Your First Mortgage Part 1

 

Portland Homebuyers Should Be Prepared With Mortgage Approval

Today’s home buying market can be extremely competitive, which means it is more important now than ever for Portland homebuyers to be qualified for a mortgage before you een start shopping for real estate.

If you’re looking to buy a home in Portland for the first time, here’s what you need to know in order to be approved for a mortgage:

  • Your monthly income
  • The sum of your total monthly debt payments (auto loans, student loans, and credit card minimum payments)
  • Your credit score and any credit issues in the past few years
  • How much cash you can put down
  • How much house you can afford

Calculate Your Monthly Income and Debt Obligations

First, Portland locals looking to buy a home should document their monthly income and debt payments. A lender will require you to provide at least two weeks of pay stubs, so start collecting those.

If you’re self-employed or have variable income, expect the underwriting process to be a bit more involved. You may, for example, have to submit copies of your past one or two tax returns. The lender may then count the average of your last two year’s income or the lower of the two numbers.

To get approved for the mortgage you want, you need to stay within certain ratios that lenders use to determine how much you can afford for a mortgage payment. Larger debt payments will limit the size of the mortgage approval you’ll get. Pay what loans you can off and avoid taking on new loans.

Check On Your Credit Health

Portland home buyers looking to apply for a mortgage should obtain both their credit scores and credit history reports first. Make sure that there are no errors on the report or recent derogatory items like late payments.

You may find yourself shopping for a house over an extended time, so keep an eye on your credit report. The credit score you want to aim for under FICO guidelines is at least 680, preferably higher. Anything lower could interfere with your ability to be approved for a mortgage.

If your credit score is just under 680, you may consider an FHA loan. These government-insured loans allow lower credit scores and much lower down payments, but there are significant additional costs.

Remember – do not apply for new credit in the few months leading up to your mortgage application. It can lower your score.

Stonebridge Mortgage Group Offers Guidance On All Mortgage Matters

For professional mortgage services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the entire home buying process. We help you with the pre-approval process and assist with real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to buy your new home!

 

Call us today at 503.661.5580

 

Tips For Gresham First Time Home Buyers, Part 2

Tips For Gresham First Time Home Buyers, Part 2

Stone Bridge Mortgage Group_Tips for Gresham First Time Home Buyers, Part 2

When Gresham locals find themselves wanting to buy a home for the first time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. Stonebridge Mortgage Group is here to help Gresham home buyers through that process. It is our goal to keep our Gresham clients informed and prepared. We aim to help our Gresham clients in making the best decisions when buying a home for the first time. Here are a few more tips for first time home buyers in Gresham.

 

Find a Home Within Your Price Range

Last time, we talked about how Gresham locals can determine how much home they can afford. A good rule of thumb is that your monthly housing costs should be no more than 25% of your monthly take-home pay. Recent data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that most buyers either found the home they purchased online or through a real estate agent. Keeping in mind your limit, make use of both resources to find your perfect home. Find homes you like online and send them to your real estate agent so he will have a good idea of what you’re looking for. Your realtor can then use the multiple listing service (MLS) to find homes that meet your criteria in your desired areas.

Research Neighborhoods for the Best Fit

When you purchase a home, you’re getting more than just a home. Gresham home buyers will want to make sure that the neighborhood that the property is in is a good fit as well. Your real estate agent should be able to inform you about things like crime rates and the quality of nearby schools. Figure out how long the commute is to work. Visit the neighborhood at different times and days to check for traffic conditions, noise levels, and if people are comfortable being outdoors. You may find that a great home in a neighborhood that doesn’t work for you isn’t a good option after all.

Attend Open Houses – Think Long Term

Once you’ve figured out if the neighborhood is a good fit, attend a few open houses in the area. Gresham home buyers will be able to learn more about the area this way. When you find a house that is the right fit, you’ll have a better idea of how your place compares to other homes in that neighborhood. Consider looking for the most affordable house in the best neighborhood, as this could benefit you in the long term. If you buy at the bottom of the price range in a good neighborhood, you’ll have more room to build home value.

Make a Competitive Offer (Without Going Over Your Budget!)

Once you find a home you love within your budget, you’re ready to make an offer with your preapproval already in place. Gresham first time home buyers may not know how much to offer. This is where you rely on the expert advice of your real estate agent. Your real estate agent will be able to help you make sure your offer is competitive but also within your budget and the home’s value. Don’t impulsively make an offer that’s higher than what you can afford just to beat the competition. Follow your real estate agent’s advice.

Prepare for Closing

The closing process begins once the seller accepts your offer. It is important for Gresham home buyers to know what to expect from the closing process. Generally speaking, the average closing process takes 41 days, which gives you plenty of time to tackle closing items. Your real estate agent will prove helpful here as well. You can depend on him to schedule everything from the home inspection to final walkthrough for you and keep you informed about any roadblocks. During the closing process, it is incredibly important to read every document and ask your real estate agent to explain anything you don’t understand—especially before you sign the final contract. Once you sign, you’re responsible for what you’ve agreed to.

Stonebridge Mortgage Group Offers Guidance On All Mortgage Matters

For professional assistance with mortgages and related services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the entire home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and help with your real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to get quality assistance in buying your first home!

 

Call us today at 503.661.5580

 

How Gresham Home Buyers Can Choose The Best Mortgage Term

How Gresham Home Buyers Can Choose The Best Mortgage Term

Stone Bridge Mortgage Group_How Gresham Home Buyers Can Choose The Best Mortgage Term

 

Gresham Home Buyers – How Long Will You Be Paying Off Your Mortgage?

Gresham home buyers will know that purchasing a home is a huge step. It is a big financial responsibility and a way to secure your family’s future. What exactly does that future look like, though? Part of that is going to be dependent on the mortgage term you choose.

What Is A Mortgage Term?

A mortgage term, also known as a loan term, is the duration of your mortgage or the period of time it will take to pay off the mortgage in full, based on regular monthly principal and interest payments. Figuring out which mortgage term you want to take on for the purchase of your Gresham home is important because it determines both your monthly mortgage payments and the amount of interest you will pay.

What Are My Mortgage Term Options? What Are The Differences?

Perhaps the most popular mortgage term is 30 years. While it might seem nice to have that much time to pay off your Gresham home, however, it might not be the best choice in the long run.

Consider this:

When you opt for a shorter mortgage term – say, 15 years instead of 30 – it is true that your monthly payments will be higher in order to pay off your mortgage in a shorter amount of time. However, because you’ll be paying less interest, the monthly cost for a 15-year mortgage will not double the cost of the monthly costs for a 30-year mortgage. It is quite possible, in fact, that the total you spend over a 15-year mortgage term is significantly less than what you would pay over a 30-year mortgage term due to that interest.

It is important, however, that Gresham home buyers do no stretch themselves too thin. You may be tempted to take on a shorter mortgage term to pay off the debt more quickly and with less money, but you must be sure that you will be able to keep up with the higher monthly payments.

Why Is A 30-Year Mortgage Term Popular?

30-year mortgage terms are often more stable and predictable. That is in part because 30-year mortgage terms often feature a fixed rate for the entire duration. However, it is important to note that not all 30-year mortgage terms follow this rule of thumb. Some may only have a fixed rate for part of the term – like the first 5 years, with the last 25 having an adjustable rate. In any case, it is crucial that Gresham home buyers go over the specifics with their lender.

Are There Other Mortgage Term Options?

Of course there are! In addition to the more common 30 and 15-year mortgage terms, there are also mortgage terms that span 5, 10, 20, 25, or 40 years. In the end, each home buyer has to choose the option that works best for their particular situation.

Home buyers in Gresham should discuss their options and preferences in detail with a professional before agreeing to any mortgage terms. Gresham locals looking to buy a home can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group for expert home buying advice. To learn more about mortgage terms, consider visiting our loan officer.

Stonebridge Mortgage Group Offers Guidance On All Mortgage Matters

For professional assistance with mortgages and related services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and help with your real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to get quality assistance with buying your home!

 

Call us today at 503.661.5580

 

What Do You Need To Apply For A Mortgage Pre-Approval Online?

What Do You Need To Apply For A Mortgage Pre-Approval Online?

Stone Bridge Mortgage Group_5 Important Tips for First Time Home Buyers-1

 

Stonebridge Mortgage Group Makes It Easy For Gresham Locals To Apply For Mortgage Pre-Approval

If you’re looking for a home in Gresham, Stonebridge Mortgage Group offers all of the services you could possibly need. Whether you’re looking into getting a real estate loan, or are in need of a mortgage broker or loan officer, Stonebridge Mortgage Group has Gresham covered. Of course, Stonebridge Mortgage Group also offers pre-approval services – which are now conveniently available online!

What You Need Before Applying for a Mortgage Pre-approval Online

When you’re looking for a new home in Gresham, getting a pre-approval before looking for a home can really give you an edge in the competitive home buying market. It tells potential sellers that you are serious about buying a home and that you are able to get the funds necessary. But what do you need to apply online for a pre-approval?

Documentation

There is a lot of documentation that needs to be presented to your lender before you can be pre-approved to buy a home in Gresham. For example, both you and any potential co-borrowers will need to submit:

  • W-2s (for the last 2 years)
  • Recent pay stubs (covering the most recent 30 days)
  • Complete bank statements for all financial accounts, including investments (for the last 2 months)
  • Signed personal and business tax returns (all pages and relevant schedules)
  • If self-employed, a copy of the most recent quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement
  • A copy of the signed Purchase and Sales Agreement

Keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive. There may be more documentation that is needed before you are pre-approved. If you have further questions about what is necessary to apply for a pre-approval online, feel free to contact us. Stonebridge Mortgage Group is happy to help Gresham home buyers take the steps towards home ownership. When you have the necessary documentation ready, apply online for pre-approval!

Looking for a Home in Gresham? Apply Online for a Mortgage Pre-Approval Today!

For professional assistance with mortgages and related services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and help with your real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to get quality assistance with buying your home!

Call us today at 503.661.5580

 

Get Pre-Approved Online With Stonebridge Mortgage Group

Get Pre-Approved Online With Stonebridge Mortgage Group

Stone Bridge Mortgage Group_Tips for Pre-Approved Mortgage Loans

 

The First Step to Buying a Home

When you’re considering buying a home for the first time, it may seem more fun to start looking at houses right away, but it isn’t practical. Before you start shopping around for the perfect Gresham home, you should get pre-approved first. Once you’ve been pre-approved, it will be easier to look for homes in the Gresham area that are within your budget.

Why Is It Useful to Get a Pre-Approval First?

During the pre-approval process, you will be able to discuss loan options and budgeting, allowing you to get a more solid idea of what kind of home you can afford in Gresham. Once you decide on a mortgage lender, they will first check your credit rating and alert you to any problems that need to be fixed. Once those issues have been resolved, your lender can proceed with determining your maximum loan limit.

Your maximum pre-approved loan limit gives you the ceiling for determining how much home you can afford in the Gresham area. It isn’t wise to automatically assume you should use up to the max of the loan, however. Take into account how much your monthly payment will be and if you’re comfortable with that. If you’re not, aim for a house being sold at a lower price.

It should also be noted that those looking to sell a home will be more impressed by potential buyers who have been pre-approved. This means that they know you are more committed to the buying process and are prepared to follow through with a sale and may be more willing to negotiate with you.

Shopping for a Home in Gresham? Get Pre-Approved Online with Stonebridge Mortgage

Our online pre-approval application is convenient and one of the many ways Stonebridge Mortgage Group helps homebuyers in Gresham with the home buying process.

If you’re ready to get pre-approved for a home loan, Stonebridge Mortgage Group makes it convenient to apply online. Our online application makes it easy to get pre-approved so you can start shopping around for your new home. Get started on your pre-approval application now!

Stonebridge Mortgage Group Can Help with Pre-Approval and Other Mortgage Services in Gresham

For professional assistance with mortgages and related services, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the home buying process. We help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and assist with real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait! We can help you get started with the home buying process today.

You can also visit us or call us for assistance with your pre-approval application.

 

 Call us today at 503.661.5580

 

Home Equity Loans and HELOCs Available In Gresham

Home Equity Loans and HELOCs Available In Gresham

Stone_Bridge_Mortgage_Finding The Right Home For Your Budget

 

Gresham Homeowners Have Two Options for a Second Mortgage – Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

Home equity loans and HELOCs are two types of loans that allow you to borrow against your home’s equity. Both of these loan options can be useful tools to Gresham homeowners. For example, if you need money for remodeling projects or to consolidate high-interest debt, then taking out a second mortgage may be a good choice for you.

Why Are Home Equity Loans and HELOCs Good Choices for Gresham Homeowners?

Both a home equity loan and a HELOC have interest rates that are typically much lower than other borrowing options available to Gresham homeowners. This makes taking a second mortgage out preferable to the alternative of taking out a personal loan or credit card. Also, because both of these loan types use your home as collateral, they may be easier to qualify for. Also, you ultimately get to choose how you use the money you get from these types of loans.

The Differences Between Home Equity Loans and HELOCs

Home equity loans and HELOCs each have their benefits and drawbacks. Gresham homeowners looking to take out a second mortgage must figure out which option works best for them.

Home Equity Loans

With a home equity loan, you receive the borrowed funds in a single lump sum. How much you are able to take out is limited by your loan-to-ratio value. This calculation takes into account your home value minus your existing mortgage and limits the loan to about 80% to 90% of that balance for those that qualify. Home equity loans are the more predictable of the two second mortgage options because they come with a fixed interest rate, fixed repayment term, and therefore, a fixed monthly payment. One thing potential Gresham borrowers will want to ask up front is if the lender charges a prepayment penalty. This way, if you want to pay the loan ahead of schedule you can know what to expect. Compare options to determine what is best for you.

HELOCs

HELOCs, or Home Equity Lines of Credit, is a line of credit you can borrow against when you need the money. As such, these loans are more like a credit card than a personal loan. In the end, you only pay back the amount you borrow. HELOCs also limit how much you can borrow, and usually allow for approximately 85% of your home’s value. Fees may be added onto this later. Interest rates can be variable based on an index, although some lenders allow customers to convert these to fixed rates. HELOCs have fixed borrowing and repayment periods – usually 10 years for borrowing and 20 years for repayment. You only pay back what you borrow in the borrowing period. Since monthly payments depend on how much you borrow and your interest rate, HELOCs are less predictable than home equity loans. It can be hard to tell what your monthly payment will be and it could even fluctuate over time.

Gresham homeowners who need extra cash may find that taking out a separate mortgage is a better option than other types of loans. However, careful consideration is the key when it comes to considering any type of loan – especially one that uses your home as collateral. For those in Gresham looking for advice on home equity loans and HELOCs, come down to Stonebridge Mortgage Group for sound professional advice.

Stonebridge Mortgage Group is Proud to Serve Gresham

For professional assistance with mortgages, look no further than Stonebridge Mortgage Group. You can rely on Stonebridge Mortgage Group to help guide you through the home buying process. If you’re ready to apply for a loan and want to go through the process online, Stonebridge Mortgage Group offers online applications. We also help get you pre-approved for a mortgage and help with your real estate loans and other mortgage solutions, both residential and commercial. Stonebridge Mortgage Group serves the greater Portland area and is located in Gresham, Oregon. Don’t wait to get quality assistance with buying your home!

 

 

Call us today at 503.661.5580