Finding the Right Mortgage Lender

Obtaining a mortgage for your new home is not about picking the first person or company you find on the web or call. Selecting the right mortgage lender is essential. The mortgage lender should make you feel confident that he/she will work with you to find the best loan to fit your mortgage needs.  It’s important to find a full-time professional who specializes in residential loans and is familiar with local conditions, values, and practices. A loan officer experienced in putting together unusual transactions is also beneficial.

Here are a few questions to help you select the right loan officer.

  1. What percentage of your business is FHA & VA compared to conventional mortgages and how long have you been doing them?
  2. What percentage of your loans close on time according to the sales contracts?
  3. Will my credit score affect my interest rate?
  4. Will you help me select the best loan product for me regardless of your commission?
  5. Are there prepayment penalties on any of the loans we’re considering?
  6. Are there any restrictions on refinancing any of the loans we’re considering?
  7. When is my loan rate locked-in? Is there a charge for that?
  8. Is your loan underwriting in-house?

Ask your real estate professional to recommend a few trusted lenders.


Finding the Best Interest Rate

Homebuyers will endlessly search for the right home, but what about the right interest rate? Over 50% of buyers don’t do their homework when it comes to finding the best interest rate for their new mortgage. They will accept the rates and terms from the very first lender.

There are many factors that affect the interest rates and terms provided by a lender.  The borrower, the property, credit score, home location, price and loan amount, down payment, loan terms, interest rate and loan type are all interpreted differently by each lender.

Researching several lenders to compare rates and terms for your mortgage could result in a lower payment and less cumulative interest paid over the life of the loan.  You would be surprised to see the difference 0.5% can make on your mortgage loan.

If you’re worried about your credit score being affected by having multiple lenders check your credit, don’t be concerned.  Credit bureaus will understand when several similar requests  appear during a specific period of time.

Contact for a list of trusted mortgage professionals to consider.










It’s Tax Time

Whether you’re doing your own income tax return or having them done professionally, you need to gather information to determine if any portion of your home ownership is deductible.  Here are a few questions to help identify if you may be eligible for home ownership deductions:

Did you refinance your home this year?  If YES, points may be taken as an interest charge.

Do you itemize deductions or use standard deduction?  Your best bet is to compare the mortgage interest, property taxes, and other eligible deductions to see which will provide you with the largest deduction.

Are you paying mortgage insurance premiums with your payment? If YES, you may be able to use this as a deduction.

Did you purchase a home in 2014?  If YES, look at your HUD-1 statement from closing for any possible deductions. An example:  If the seller paid points on your behalf, you may be able to deduct them. If you need another copy of your HUD-1, contact your real estate professional.

Did you purchase or install any qualified residential energy efficiency property or improvements in 2014?  If YES, you may be eligible for tax credits.

Do you have a designated exclusive area in your home for a home office?  If YES, you may be able to deduct a pro-rata share of home expenses such as insurance, utilities, phone, and other expenses.

For more information, visit:

2014 IRS Home Deductions –

2014 Home Mortgage Interest Deductions – 


The Sacrifices First-Time Home Buyers Make to Purchase a Home

Dreams do come true! The American Dream of having a place to call home where you can raise a family and create a lifetime of memories can bring about sacrifices as well.  So what types of sacrifices are first-time home buyers willing to make in order to make that dream come true?  

Here’s a survey from the 2014 National Association of Home Buyers and Sellers:

  All Buyers
Cut spending on luxury items or non-essential items


Cut spending on entertainment


Cut spending on clothes


Canceled vacation plans


Earned extra income through a second job


Sold a vehicle or decided not to purchase a vehicle


Did not need to make any sacrifices


Last year, the guidelines for qualifying on a loan to purchase a home were increased, but the record-low mortgage rates are allowing more buyers to purchase homes.  Therefore, this survey validates the importance of owning a home and making that American Dream come true.