New Trended Data Credit Reports and How it Affects Your Credit Life

Trended Data Credit Reports Explained

As we like to say “Everyone is a number, so you might as well have a good one”.  Lenders have based decisions to approve or deny on your credit score number.  Even employment and insurance rates can be based on your credit score!  Now with Trended Data, a person’s credit reports are going to have more in depth information than ever for lenders to base credit decisions.

So what is trended data?

Just like fashion trends come and go, so does your credit profile.  Your balances and payment habits ebb and flow over time like a trend.  Trended data provides historical information on the balances, previous scheduled payments, and the…

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Don’t let FHA heating requirements leave you out in the cold!


FHA requirements for heat source in home

FHA Question this week: Can a buyer use an FHA loan to purchase a home where the sole source of heat is a wood burning stove?

This week a Realtor that is listing a home did a great job for their client by asking if the home could meet FHA and other guidelines for heat up-front.  By asking the question, he was able to provide his seller with valuable information which makes the home “financeable” and would have a broader range of buyers.

The answer to this question is “No, FHA says the appraiser must notify the mortgagee if the permanently installed heating system does not”:

  • Automatically heat the living areas of the house to a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit in…

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Self employed borrowers and qualifying for a mortgage loan

How self employed business owners can get a mortgage to buy a home


Many self-employed business owners today are faced with the dreaded phrases when talking to their mortgage lender, “Your debt ratio is too high” or “You don’t report enough income on your tax returns”.  It is true that if a borrower reports no income or reports losses on the tax return as self-employed, there the options are limited but there are a lot of ways to improve the chances for self-employed borrowers to qualify for a mortgage:


What we look for when trying to qualify a self-employed borrower for a VA, FHA, USDA, or Conventional home loan:

  1. On a purchase, if the buyer can put down 5% or more of their own funds and has a great credit score, we may be able…

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Tips and Timeline for a Successful Open House – SOLD!

Successful Open House

In many markets a well prepared open house can attract buyers as well as realtors that could bring buyers and a hopefully a closed sale.

A successful open house is more than having a clean house, some flyers, and a sign.  This article will provide you with suggestions to give you a successful open house.

Put a plan in place to have a successful open house

Put a plan in place to have a successful open house


Weeks ahead of open house:

Preparing early will help you have a top notch open house 

  1. All repairs and/or improvements you decided are to be finished
  2. Clear out the clutter (closets, pets, etc)
  3. Stage the home
  4. Landscape the yard and have fresh flowers in beds
  5. New doormat

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Tax Refund Used as a Down Payment to Buy a Home

Tax Refunds can be used as a down paymentUse tax refund as down payment?on a house on any type of home loan

During tax season, many renters use their tax refund as a down payment to purchase a home as a first time buyer.

Down payment is one of the biggest obstacles for prospective first time buyers to buy a home.  So this time of year is an important one because so many people receive sizable tax refunds ranging from $2000 – $8000 or even more.  This amount of money can often cover the entire down payment for most homes first time buyers would be interested in.

If I Use a No Money Down Home Loan to Buy, Can I Spend My Tax Refund?

The quick answer is NO!  At least that would be the answer for right now.  Even if a…

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Why is a Wood Destroying Insect Report (WDIR) Important?

Why the Wood Destroying Report WDIR? Determining Termite Damage

Termites may be small insects that often stay out of plain sight, however, the damage they leave behind can quickly become an issue—and one that’s very expensive to fix. In the U.S. alone, these wood-destroying insects are responsible for billions of dollars of property destruction every year.

As a prospective homebuyer you’ll want to know if these destructive pests are causing damage to the property or have left some behind in the past. A must when buying, selling, or refinancing a home, the WDIR (Wood Destroying Insect Report) is an inexpensive way to avoid problems before you seal any deal.

What is a WDIR?


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Income Based Repayment and Purchasing a Home with FHA

Income Based Repayment (IBR) and FHAIncome Based Repayment Student Loans and FHA home loansMortgages

The problem many FHA buyers run into when buying a home is a high level of student loan debt

Student loan debt levels are at a record high and continue to rise quickly.  Coming out of college with a mountain of debt and of course the monthly payments, is causing a couple major roadblocks for millennials to buy their first home.

  1. Student loan payments make it difficult to save a down payment
  2. High debt to income ratios make it difficult to qualify for a mortgage

Income Based Repayment (IBR) is the most helpful way for borrowers with large federal student loan balances to keep their payments low.  The income based repayment plans…

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Statement of Service Letter Requirements for a VA Loan

VA home loans are such a great way for our military to affordably finance a new home.  The benefits are many and our service members deserve it.  We also feel that education and answering questions for Veterans and Service Members is key.  Some of the most popular questions we receive on VA loans stem from the VA Statement of Service.  Additionally it is one of the most misunderstood VA requirements.  A popular question is “Why do you need a statement of service when you have my LES?”.  Then another is “How does my C.O. complete the statement of service letter?”.

So let’s answer these questions and give an example to make things easier.What is a Statement of Service letter

Besides the normal proof of income and asset…

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Homebuyer Series: “I want to buy a home in a year or less” The last steps to be ready for closing

Steps to be ready for your purchase closing up-front

Steps to be ready for your purchase closing up-front

Steps to be ready for your purchase closing

Over the last 6 articles, we have been providing a roadmap to get buyers through the roadblocks to homeownership.  Today let’s finish up with the last steps to be ready for a purchase closing.  Everything up to this point has been what to do very early in the purchase process.  We discussed establishing credit for great rates and approval, down payment tips, following a budget to afford a home, how best to pay rent, understanding how the right realtor can help you find the right home, and knowing the mortgage loan options available.  Today,…

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Foreclosure Prevention and Sources to Help Homeowners That Have Experienced Hardships

Foreclosure Prevention programs to help homeowners who are struggling financially

Foreclosure Prevention programs to help homeowners who are struggling financially

There are some great resources to avoid foreclosure now which include the NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund, the Hope Hotline, and the VA Compromise Sale program.

So if you are facing foreclosure, there is help.  The first thing to do is realize that this happens to a lot of homeowners and don’t be afraid to ask for help.  These programs are real but some are mortgage product or state specific.  So let’s break down these wonderful free products available to homeowners.

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund helps NC homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgage due to…

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