Mary Jo Leighton

Mortgage Planner NMLS#: 200157

Contact me today!


Phone: 732-389-9898
Blog


The Top 7 Benefits of a VA Loan

Nov 6
8:27
AM
Category | Blog
Are you a veteran or do you know someone that served that could potentially take advantage of a VA loan and its benefits? Monday, November 11th is Veterans Day, and not only would we like to thank our country’s veterans for their service, but we also want to remind them of the benefit they have to obtain a VA loan. If you’re not familiar with what a VA loan is, it’s a loan that’s governed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, and it’s there to help veterans, active-duty military personnel, and surviving spouses. The loan helps them to purchase a home at a more affordable cost, requires no down payment, no mortgage insurance, and has more flexible guidelines when it comes to qualifying. Want to know more about the advantages of obtaining this loan? Here are our top ten benefits of a VA loan… No Down Payment Required VA home loan does not require a down payment, whereas the majority of home loan programs do. The VA loan is a legitimate no-money-down opportunity that allows you to finance up to 100% of the purchase price. No Mortgage Insurance Required You are not required to pay mortgage insurance when you obtain a VA home loan. This is a great advantage as lenders require you pay mortgage insurance if your down payment is less than 20%. The fact that you don’t have to put any money down, or pay mortgage insurance, means you’re saving money upfront, as well as over time. Never a Prepayment Penalty A VA loan has no timeline or restrictions on when you choose to sell your home. You will never be hit with a prepayment penalty or early-exit fee regardless of ...

Why You Should ACT NOW on Low Rates

Nov 5
8:33
AM
Category | Blog
Why You Should ACT NOW on Low Rates In life, mortgages, and real estate, we often think about the grass being greener on the other side. At times, we all get the impulse to push the boundaries of a great situation, hoping our risk taking will be rewarded with greener pastures or financial gains.  2019 has brought us some of the lowest rates we’ve seen in years, and yet, it still has many potential buyers wanting to hold off until 2020 to see if they get even better. But, we’re here to tell you to ACT NOW! A year ago, several mortgage experts predicted higher mortgage rates in 2019. Some even thought we’d see them spike into the 5’s. As we all know, that didn’t happen. Second, it goes to show you that even the experts can get it wrong, and sometimes these things can just be too hard to predict. For 2020, a lot of those same experts are optimistic. They believe that continuing trade wars and an unstable economy will help keep rates sub-4% throughout the year. Below you can see six top agencies all having similar positive predictions.  Agency 30-yr rate prediction for 2020 NAR 3.6% NAHB 3.9% MBA 3.9% Freddie Mac 3.7% Fannie Mae 3.6% Wells Fargo 3.55% Average of all agencies 3.7% It’s still 2019 and rates still remain low, that’s why it’s important to take advantage right now! Don’t hesitate, and don’t wait. If you get a good rate quote today, your best bet is to lock now and not play the 2020 guessing ...

The fall market is currently playing in favor to buyers, as the sell-off in the stock market has rates going lower than what we saw in September. At the end of September, the average rate on the more-common 30-year fixed mortgage was at 3.7%, but we then saw a drop to 3.62% by the first week of October, according to the Mortgage News Daily . In a larger scheme, rates are also about 1.25% lower than they were at this time last year. In order to give you a perspective on savings, that means the average borrower taking out at $300,000 mortgage is saving about $225 on their monthly payment, or $2,700 per year, or $81,000 over the life of the mortgage. What does that all mean for buyers? More buying power! Not only has the lower interest rates improved a buyer’s affordability, but compared to last year, the market for new homes is greater as well. So, not only is there more inventory for a buyer to look at, but now they can possibly search at a higher price point. Many renters are finding this is a great time to stop throwing away their money each month, and to instead buy a home. Although home prices are still rising, the gains have been cooling, and it’s an important time to take advantage of the low rates.

In addition to the price of your home, closing costs are the extra fees and expenses you might have to pay during the closing process. This can range anywhere between 2-4% of the purchase price of the new home you are looking at. It is important to know this before you go out with a real estate agent on tours of different homes so you understand what you will be asked to bring to the table. You can prepare for these closing costs by simply setting up a meeting with the lender you choose and they will give you a run-down of how much you could be qualified to borrow based on all your financials. Another good idea would be to start putting away as much money as possible and as early as possible to prepare yourself for the down payment on the house and any other unexpected fees and expenses that may come up. Here are some of the most common closing costs you will probably run into during the closing process: Home Inspection: This is super important and a major component of the process since a home inspector will come and provide a detailed report of all the good and bad things in and around the home. When finding a home inspector, it is also crucial that the person you hire is one who is reliable and does not let things slide. They should be looking for foundation issues, any damaged pipes, any roof problems and other major issues that can cause problems in the future.   Attorney Fees: Getting an attorney to help with closing the deal is NOT mandatory, but is suggested during the process. If you do choose to get one you should budget for their hourly rate.   Lender Fees: These fees include getting the house appraised, putting all the ...

Finding a new home to buy can be very exciting! However, there are some precautions you should be making when applying for a mortgage. To make the process less stressful, we mapped out some key things to avoid to ensure that the process runs as smoothly as possible. Always consult with your loan officer before making any significant changes that could affect your credit and possibly change your original qualifications. Here are seven different highly-suggested changes that you should avoid: Refrain from any changes to your annual income. Consult with your loan officer since they need to be able to track the source and amount of your income.   Try to keep away from depositing cash into your accounts. The lenders you work with also need to source your money through an efficient and effective way. Consult with your lender to figure out the proper way to do this considering that cash is hard to trace.   Steer clear from ANY large purchases. It can get very exciting buying new furniture and other decorations for your new home, but all of it adds up very quickly. This new debt, on top of your new monthly payments and obligations, can result in high debt-to-income ratios. High ratios mean riskier loans. If you were once previously qualified, you may no longer qualify due to the ratio difference.   Do not co-sign any other loans. Co-signing for other people means you will be obligated even if you are not the one making the payments.   Avoid changing bank accounts. Again, your lenders and loan officer need to source and track your assets and this makes it easier on them to do so. Talk it over with them before doing any sort ...

Showing results 1 - 5 of 176