Home Buying

Buying During High Rates is Smart

Buying During High Rates is Smart 1920 1369 David Vining

High Interest Rates could be the PERFECT time to buy a house

For many, the current economic climate is the absolute best time to buy a house. Yes, you read that right. Even though constant interest rate hikes have caused mortgage rates to jump to their highest levels in years, there are other factors to consider which could make a home purchase in a high interest rate environment a very wise move.

The home buying environment has been more challenging in the past 2-3 years than at any time in recent memory. Very limited inventory across a combination of both new home construction and resales on the market gave sellers a huge advantage over buyers. It’s simple supply and demand. Millions of sellers leveraged this inequity (which resulted in multiple buyer prospects for every listing) to raise home prices to record heights.

Buyers were forced to pay these prices if they wanted, or in many cases, really needed to buy a home. The conventional wisdom quickly shifted from offering less than the list price—in some cases maybe even floating a lowball offer—to offering more than the seller was asking. That quickly became the norm in many markets due to stiff, deep-pocketed competition for every listing.

This resulted in many potential buyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, being frozen out of the market. The silver lining for homebuyers in this high mortgage rate environment is that the red-hot housing market has cooled down considerably. The number of listings, especially new construction, is on the rise—and average prices are on the decline.

The world of Real Estate has changed

The dynamic has quickly changed from making offers above the list price to making offers at, or slightly below the list price. For some buyers, this means that a house that was out of reach a year ago could now be well within their price range, and they will very likely find sellers to be more flexible when negotiating home inspections, closing costs, and other terms.

Won’t the monthly payments be higher due to interest rates? Yes – for a short while. There is no question that interest rates should come down before too long. When they do, you can refinance at the lower rates—on the house you wanted all along at a great price. You’ll pay more interest temporarily, but that payment will drop once rates come down and you refinance. Plus, you may be able to take cash out when you refinance for upgrades like finishing a basement, etc.

Make today’s high rates work FOR you

As rates fall, the value of your home will increase at the same time. This is the reverse of the current market, where higher rates result in lower home prices. When the rates fall, home prices rebound almost immediately.

You’ll wind up paying less each month and building equity at an accelerated pace. Don’t forget the many advantages of owning your own home vs renting from a landlord. Speaking of which, rental rates are skyrocketing right now, so you have that going for you as well.

It could well be that purchasing a home in a “Buyer’s Market” could be the best decision you ever make—even at today’s high interest rates.



Home Inspection: A Buyer’s Best Friend

Home Inspection: A Buyer’s Best Friend 5168 3448 David Vining

Home Inspection: A Buyer’s Best Friend

When you’re buying an older home, the Home Inspection is so much more than just a checkmark on your pre-closing checklist. The wise home buyer will pay particular attention to the Home Inspection before finalizing their offer on a home.

Act Soon

A typical offer will include a clause along the lines of “subject to Buyer’s acceptance of a certified home inspection.” In simple terms, this means you can still change your offer, or even walk away from the transaction, without penalty for any reason. Think of it as your last chance to be 100% certain you want to buy this house…at this price.

The “subject to Buyer’s acceptance clause” will include a fairly quick time frame, so you’ll need to act quickly in completing the inspection. An aggressive seller’s agent will push for a very short window, such as 7-10 days. As a buyer, you want as much time as possible to ensure the process works well and to your benefit. Two to three weeks is a comfortable timeframe, although a longer period might cause the seller to reject the offer altogether if there are multiple offers on a property.

Check Different Vendors; Budget for your Needs

You should research home inspection companies early on in the house hunting process. That way you have a short list of potential candidates when you need one quickly. Your realtor will likely have a few names for you to consider. Rates vary depending on geography and scope of services… $400-$600 is a ballpark estimate.

Be With the Inspector

It’s a good idea to accompany the inspector when the inspection is conducted. Even though you’ll receive a copy of a very detailed report afterwards, you’ll have a much better understanding of any issues that surface during the walkthrough.

As an added bonus, most inspectors will share their knowledge and opinions with you verbally but not include them in the written report. This information is invaluable in deciding whether to abandon the deal—if the inspector shares that a specific item is a deal-killer. It could also be a good negotiating nugget if he tells you a certain item looks significant but the fix for it is very simple and inexpensive. If you’re not really handy, most inspectors will also give you directions as to how to correct any deficiencies yourself.

The Inspection Report

You’ll want to share the final report with the seller, along with any counter-offer. More often than not, the seller will propose a price reduction based on the anticipated cost associated with each issue they agree to remedy rather than correcting the issues. This avoids closing delays and potential disagreements around the quality of each repair.

You’ve Got This!

Plan early. Budget for the inspection. Have an inspector or two close at hand and be involved. The Home Inspection part of the home-buying process is very much for your benefit.


Atlanta Mortgage Lender - Secrets to Buying in a Seller's Market

Secrets to Buying in a Seller’s Market

Secrets to Buying in a Seller’s Market 1632 930 Jason Breeland

If you are looking to purchase a home but currently live in a competitive market, do not worry because there are simple tips to help you overcome the competition. So, to help provide some insight, your local Atlanta mortgage lender, Milend, Inc., has listed top secrets to buying in a seller’s market.

Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved

Working with a mortgage professional who thoroughly understands the home buying process knows what it takes to stand out with sellers. MiLEND, Inc. can pre-approve you for a mortgage, which can set you aside from other buyers. Getting pre-approved shows seller’s that you have had a professional review your finances and that they have agreed that you are financially capable of becoming a homeowner.

Tip #2: Work With A Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are experts in their field and they can give you access to more homes on the market that you might not have known about. They are also used to working hand in hand with seller’s, which means they can help you stand out more from other buyers. If you are not currently working with a real estate agent and need help finding one, just ask your local Atlanta mortgage lender, MiLEND, Inc., who they would recommend.

Tip #3: Be Reasonable

Once the time comes to put an offer on the house, you want to be reasonable with your bid. If you do not offer a fair price, you risk the chance of the seller choosing another family to buy their house. You do not want to offer more than you need to, but you also want to be sure you are not offering too little. Just be reasonable and fair.

Tip #4: Don’t Wait Too Long

Trying to buy a home in a seller’s market means the pickings are slim and competitive. Therefore, if you find a house you love, try not to dwell on the decision too long. You don’t want to be impulsive but you also want to act quickly before your dream home comes off the market.

Tip #5: Make Yourself Stand Out

If you are in the middle of a bidding war with another family, you want to be sure and stand out from them. This can be done by offering to put down a larger deposit on the house or by being flexible with when the move in date is.

Contact Us

For more secrets on buying in a seller’s market, please contact your local Atlanta mortgage lender, Milend Inc., at 855-645-3631.

Top Reasons to Buy Your Own Home - Atlanta Mortgage Lender

Top Reasons to Buy Your Own Home

Top Reasons to Buy Your Own Home 1024 512 Jason Breeland

If you are currently renting your home, you may be wondering if it is really worth it to stop renting and purchase a house. This is something most first-time homebuyers run through their head. Buying a home will most likely be the biggest expense you ever have, so it is important to be sure this is financially the right choice for you.

So, to help you get started, your local Atlanta mortgage lender at Milend, Inc. has listed 5 of the top reasons you should buy your own home.

Reason #1: Ability To Design

When you own a home, you have the right to decorate and design your home however you want. You make the rules and no longer need to talk to your landlord and risk the chance of them charging you extra fees for altering the interior of their home.

Reason #2: Payment Stability

If you obtain a fixed Atlanta mortgage, you will be charged the exact same amount throughout your loan’s amortization period. Having this payment stability means you can budget more accurately and you never have to worry about your monthly payments increasing. If you rent, your landlord can increase your rent after every lease term, meaning you could end up paying more each year than originally expected.

Reason #3: Community Involvement

It is known that those who are homeowners are more likely to get involved in the community than those who rent. Community involvement is important because it allows homeowners to better the area in which they live, and it is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and meet more people in your area.

Reason #4: Tax Deductions

You receive great tax benefits when owning a home that you do not have if you rent. As a homeowner, you are able to deduct your mortgage interest payments and your property tax payments from your taxes. (Please consult your tax advisor concerning the deductibility of your mortgage interest and property taxes)

Reason #5: Home Equity

When you rent a home, you will never see the money you pay to your landlord again, meaning it gives you no added benefits. If you are a homeowner, every month that you make a payment towards your Atlanta mortgage, you are increasing your home equity. Equity is the difference between your loan balance and the appraised value of your home. The more equity you have in your home, the more access you have to a lump sum of money that can be spent however you would like.

Contact Us

For more reasons you should buy your own home or to get started on your application today, please contact your local Atlanta mortgage lender Milend, Inc. at 855-645-3631.

Two of the Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Can Make

Two of the Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Can Make 1024 536 Jason Breeland

Two of the Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Can Make

Two things are absolutely vital for home buyers to do before they attempt to finance a home: 1) know and understand your credit profile, and 2) think about how your income could change due to life events in the future. Miss these and they will become two of your biggest mistakes.

Credit reports

Knowing ahead of time what an underwriter will see on your credit report is extremely important both for you and your loan originator; in the event that information is incorrect and needs to be changed, you can do it prior to falling in love with a home and making an offer. If there are errors (and depending on their extent), the process can take up to 60 days, or even longer in some cases.

There many ways to get your credit report pulled. The two best options, however, are to have your mortgage professional do it – even if he or she charges you for the service – or you can approach the credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax) yourself. There also are websites that promise to pull your report for free, but be cautious – there are scamsters out there.


Home buyers often don’t foresee changes in family size or employment status that could reduce your household income and the ability to pay your bills. Plan for a rainy day when you decide the amount you want to borrow; you never know when you might need an umbrella. Your mortgage professional can help you anticipate future changes and plan for them.

Content provided by MiLEND, Inc. 

Can an Appraisal Impact My Home Purchase?

Can an Appraisal Impact My Home Purchase? 1024 536 Jason Breeland

Can an Appraisal Impact My Home Purchase?

An appraisal is a valuation that your lender orders before giving you a mortgage to purchase a property.

It provides an independent assessment of what the property is really worth.  In the event you are unable to make your mortgage payments, and your lender has to sell the property, the appraisal represents the true value of the home and will inform them of the sales price.  The lending company also requires someone to physically see the property and establish if there are structural problems or flooding risks that may impact its current or future value.

You pay for the appraisal

In the case of a purchase transaction, the appraisal is ordered and completed after you and the seller have signed a sales contract.  The buyer will pay for the appraisal in advance.  Regardless of the outcome of the appraisal, this fee is nonrefundable. The lender will hire a third-party appraisal management firm to ensure the appraisal is independent, with little likelihood of bias in the report.  The property is inspected (with somewhat different criteria than a home inspection). The findings are then compared with similar properties in the same area.  After adjustments are made for differences such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and lot size, the appraiser comes up with a value.

Your real estate agent is also able to estimate the value of your property. He or she will have access to the same information that appraisers do, and an agent with experience should be able to come very close to the value submitted by the appraiser.  The lender, however, relies on the appraisal report, and that affects you: if the property is priced higher than its appraisal value, your lender is very unlikely to loan you the money to purchase it.

Of course, that also protects you, as you likely won’t want to pay more than the property is worth.

Content provided by MiLEND, Inc. 

Ensure Your Happiness with Your Locked-In Rate

Ensure Your Happiness with Your Locked-In Rate 1024 536 Jason Breeland

Ensure Your Happiness with Your Locked-In Rate

Just like the stock market, mortgage rates fluctuate. They may move daily, or even hourly, and often significantly in response to global events.

When you are negotiating a mortgage, you can “lock in” the mortgage interest rate through an arrangement with your lender. The arrangement will specify a time period over which you can lock in at the current interest rate. Before you lock in your rate, you need to ensure the rate is one you are happy with not just for now, but for as long as you have the mortgage.

Because rates fluctuate, it can—and does—happen that after you’ve locked in, rates fall. A lock is a commitment on your part and your lender’s part to accept a certain interest rate, and it’s unlikely that you will be able to get it lowered once you’ve made this commitment through the agreement with your lender. On the flip side if the rates go up you lender cannot raise you rate during the lock-in period.

To be able to lock your loan, you must be either fully approved or close to being fully approved.  This is to protect the lender, because by locking in your rate, he or she is making a commitment to the investor who will ultimately purchase your mortgage.  If the lender can’t deliver on your promised mortgage, he or she will be required to pay a fee for the use of the money between the date the rate was locked and the date the investor is notified that the loan won’t be delivered. This can become expensive for the lender. Both you and your lender should respect the mortgage lock.

Lenders are unlikely to be able to predict rates in the future, and ethically they can’t—and shouldn’t—advise you on what will happen to rates. Everyone has access to the same market information; your lender has no more insight into rates than you do. Expect your lender to explain the process, but not to help you decide when to lock in.

Content provided by MiLEND, Inc. 

You Can Reduce Your Closing Costs, But Should You?

You Can Reduce Your Closing Costs, But Should You? 1024 536 Jason Breeland

You Can Reduce Your Closing Costs, But Should You?

All of the costs incurred in the course of purchasing or refinancing a home are called “closing costs.” They include fees that you pay the lender, most importantly the origination fees, but other fees as well, such as appraisal, title, and recording fees.

Closing costs are usually paid from the borrower’s funds, but often you can lower them with seller credits. As well, your lender may agree to waive some of your closing costs. Sellers are often willing to cover some of your closing costs in exchange for a slightly higher purchase price, and lenders may be willing to collect less closing costs at the closing by charging a slightly higher interest rate.

Seller credits and trade-offs                                                                            

These may sound great, but note that a higher home price or a higher interest rate will cost you more in the long run. When you begin the prequalification process, consider these “benefits” but ensure you know the downsides.

Your real estate agent can help you decide the true worth of a sellers’ credit, while your lender can explain all the mortgage options available to you, including trading a higher rate for reduced closing costs. The decision, however, is yours.

Your down payment is also required at closing, and the amount of these funds (Down payment is not considered a cost) absolutely can’t be reduced by seller or lender trade-offs. Fortunately, you can use monetary gifts from close relatives to partially or completely reduce the down payment amount that comes out of your own funds, and you may also able to use approved government or other nonprofit down payment assistance programs. 

The qualified professionals at MiLEND are more than happy to offer free advice on how to avoid unnecessary costs. For over two decades, MiLEND has helped thousands of home buyers make their American dream come true. Their helpful, licensed loan experts will take the personal approach to getting you approved for a home loan, refinance, reverse mortgage, or any one of their other helpful loan products or services.  Contact MiLEND today

Is a 20% Down Payment on a Home Necessary?

Is a 20% Down Payment on a Home Necessary? 1024 536 Jason Breeland

Is a 20% Down Payment on a Home Necessary?

Buying a home is a big part of your life. It is likely the single largest investment you will make. It is also going to be something you are paying for over the course of many years of your life. So, before you even get started on your house hunting search, is it even necessary to put any money down? Can you just go in, take out a big loan and move in when you are ready? In short, no, some form of down payment is required, but the bigger you can go, the better.

Down Payment Considerations

For simple math, we will say that you are looking at a house that costs $200,000. This is a nice round number that makes it a bit easier to explain what a down payment will do for you and what you should consider when you start looking at how much you want to put down up front. Your lender or bank is taking a big risk on giving you a loan, so a down payment is a form of insurance that is going to make it more likely that you do not default. This is why a higher down payment is generally asked for.

How Much Should Be Put Down

So the root of the question is how much you actually need to put down when taking out a loan. In all honesty, 20% is a good percentage to go with, but that may not be realistic for many buyers. So let us look at the different amounts and the benefits and drawbacks of smaller down payments. If you put down a small amount, say 3%, which is generally the lowest a lender will accept, you will need to also pay for PMI, or private mortgage insurance. This is called an annual premium, but you will be paying it monthly. So, you put down $6,000 towards your loan, but your PMI will be calculated and often cost somewhere around $150 or more. If you put down 20% on the other hand, you won’t need to pay a PMI, so your payment will go towards your monthly premium and interest.

Again, if 20% is too much, try to get as close as possible. A 10% down payment or $20,000 will give you a monthly PMI of under $70. While it is not ideal to have any PMI, as it is essentially wasted money, in the long run, reducing it as much as possible is your best option if you can’t hit the 20% down payment. There are a few other considerations that can come into play, such as FHA insurance. This insurance is paid to the federal government and requires you to pay an upfront premium as well as monthly premiums. Finally, a lower down payment will often cause the lender to charge you fees at closing. If you can’t pay the fees, they may increase the interest rate. So ultimately, the best bet is to pay the 20% down payment where possible. If you can’t, just understand that you are going to be throwing money at your loan that ultimately let you get into a house earlier than you would have otherwise. It is something to consider and there is no right answer, but a 20% down payment is probably your best bet in the long run.

Contact a MiLEND mortgage expert today to discuss the available options you have when making your down payment.

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