Lighten up: It’s spring!

Posted by at 1:25 pm

No matter what the groundhog’s opinion is, the calendar says spring is going to be here soon! And the warmer weather historically means home sales are about to heat up, as well. Studies show letting in more light and lightening your color scheme does wonders for your personal well-being. Incorporate one or more of the following inexpensive DIY changes into your springtime routine, and you may find your house is more salable down the road, as well. Start with the curtains. If you are sporting grandma’s triple-thick window treatments, it might be time for a change. Heavy “blackout” curtains originated in World War II-era Britain, to block the view of nighttime lights from German bomber pilots. Even after the war was over, blackout curtains remained in vogue through the 1970s, with the added benefit of moderating temperature. When closed, they...
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Bay Equity: Building relationships to last

Posted by at 11:30 am

For the very best in customer service, borrowers keep coming back to Bay Equity Home Loans. Once a borrower is in the thick of the mortgage transaction, they quickly realize how much deeper the process goes. There are so many questions – things to learn, documents to pull together, papers to sign. Here’s where Bay Equity shines. Our loan officers always add a deep commitment to the highest standards of local, direct customer service. That commitment keeps customers coming back time and time again. Just look to Montgomery, AL, where Krystal and Stephen Williams financed their first home with Jennifer Johnston back in 2016. When they were ready for a move-up home in late 2018, they didn’t consider anyone else but Jennifer and Bay Equity.  “We just love her,” Krystal says. “She was wonderful.” Bay Equity’s seasoned team of professionals...
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First-time home buyers finding options

Posted by at 4:06 pm

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, more than 70 percent of non-cash, first-time home buyers – and 54 percent of all buyers – made down payments of less than 20 percent over the last five years.

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Freeze and thaw credit report for secure home buy

Posted by at 12:35 pm

In response to many high-profile data heists over the last decade, many people now choose to lock up access to their credit history with a PIN-controlled “credit report freeze.” Once widely considered the province of the paranoid, personal digital security is now the calling card of the credit savvy. After a 2017 breach at Equifax exposed the information of 500 million people, the federal government passed legislation requiring all three credit bureaus to allow people to freeze their credit reports quickly. Credit reporting agencies must respond to online or phoned-in freeze requests within one business day (they get three days for snail mail). A freeze effectively closes access to your credit report, and since new credit can’t be issued without a credit check, hackers theoretically can’t get it for their own nefarious purposes, either. This is a great new piece...
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Cash-out refi can be a financial solution

Posted by at 8:05 am

Do you need money to pay off student loans, cover bills and expenses, or start a new business? With homes prices skyrocketing across the nation the last few years, maybe you are one of the many homeowners who could tap your increased home equity for a significant sum through a cash-out refinance. At Bay Equity Home Loans, our experienced loan officers can help you figure out if refinancing your current mortgage makes good financial sense. Home equity is the difference between a home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. It all comes down to how much your home is worth, your current mortgage balance and how much you want to borrow. Say you paid $200,000 for your house. You’ve been in the home for a while and have paid the principal down to...
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A New Year’s path to homeownership

Posted by at 12:44 pm

The New Year always begins with New Year’s resolutions – with a list nearly always topped by getting fit (i.e. giving up fatty food, alcohol or smoking), getting organized or taking better care of finances. Our Bay Equity Loan Officers are experts in helping customers make a similar list of resolutions. Let us help you make it a happy New Homeowner’s Year, too. Ready to get started? Credit Check:  Good credit is key to getting a mortgage but it takes discipline and planning. First, find out what your score is. Pay bills on time, and work to improve your credit establish it independently by opening up checking/savings accounts and using credit cards carefully. How much? Figure out how much you can spend with a handy mortgage calculator. Don’t forget to consider closing costs, ongoing maintenance and insurance, too. Experts recommend...
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Refinancing student loan requires careful consideration

Posted by at 12:03 pm

With untapped home equity at an all-time high of $14.4 trillion, homeowners could be poised to start cashing in. One way you can do that is to roll other debt into your mortgage. In 2017, Fannie Mae added the Student Loan Cash-out refinance option. With Fannie Mae adjusting the loan level depending on risk, some borrowers may pay as little as 1 percent of the loan for this arrangement. As of 2018, student debt in the U.S. totals a staggering $1.5 trillion. For many, rolling it into their mortgage seems like a viable option. Also referred to as debt reshuffling, paying one loan with another may seem amazing – after all, you have seemingly made a big chunk of debt “disappear.” But it’s no magic trick. You still owe the money, you’ve just changed the terms. Attaching student debt to...
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A bit about buying via blockchain

Posted by at 12:20 pm

Though Bitcoin still hogs most of the blockchain headlines, it’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of applications likely to be affected by this burgeoning technology. However, Bitcoin does provide a simple way to illustrate how many different blockchain transactions might be conducted in the future. As a publicly-accessible ledger, blockchain record-keeping is far more efficient and secure than traditional central-server transactions. When a Bitcoin sales transaction occurs, imagine the users of the blockchain as members of a large audience. The seller and buyer are on a digital “stage,” in front of thousands, or millions, of “people.” In front of all those people, the seller transfers an item to the purchaser, and the purchaser hands over the Bitcoin. Thousands of witnesses can now vouch that the buyer owns the item, and the seller received payment. Since all the...
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Accessorize your dwelling with an ADU unit

Posted by at 2:56 pm

As home prices continue to  rise, many folks are left wondering how they can afford a piece of the American dream. Some have broached the idea of sharing, but co-ownership – even among family – is a little too cozy for most. The tenancy approach is probably the easiest. That’s why many buyers today are looking for homes with potential to add “accessory dwelling units,” or ADUs. ADU residences can be build-ons, re-purposed space or even a separate, free-standing unit. The main draw is practicality. ADUs provide a sense of autonomy for the renter at a lower cost, and can provide the homeowners with help paying their mortgage. The majority (62 percent) of U.S. households are made up of one or two people, while most new and existing homes are designed to accommodate three or four. Legacy housing stock is...
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Shopping heats up for summer home season

Posted by at 12:42 pm

Just when you thought the housing market couldn’t get any hotter, it’s a buying frenzy as the summer season begins. Most buyers are beset with confidence in the job market, and many also carry the ticking biological desire to start families. Even with all the talk about rising prices, rising interest rates and reduced tax benefits in 2018, demand is not cooling. If anything, it appears the potential homebuyer is just becoming more rugged and resilient! According to a March survey, 40 percent of home shoppers have been looking for seven months or more, while 34 percent have been searching for four to six months. The numbers show that there is only enough inventory on the market to last 3.4 months. In a statement, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, reported: “supply is woefully low, and...
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