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Important Questions To Ask Your Mortgage Broker Before You Sign Any Of Their Documents


1.  Do you have a variety of loan programs to fit my cash flow and expected length of ownership needs?

The amount of money that you have to contribute towards your downpayment will play a big role in which loan program will work best for you.  There are many loan programs available.  Some require no downpayment, however, the guidelines may require you to purchase a property in a rural area, or qualify for additional grants.    FHA loans are a great option for a first time homebuyer.  FHA currently requires 3.5  for the downpayment, as of this date,  and they will allow that amount to be “gifted” to you from a family member or friend.

How long you plan to live in your home will help to determine whether an adjustable rate mortgage or “ARM” would be best for you, or a fixed rate mortgage.

Your Mortgage Broker will be able to help you determine which loan is best for you based on your individual circumstances.

2.  Do you offer written mortgage pre-approvals, not just pre-qualifications?

A “pre-qualification” is usually a Mortgage Broker’s opinion of your eligibility for a loan.   If you ask to be pre-approved, the Mortgage Broker will actually submit your job and credit history to an underwriter and get a conditional approval for a loan and a loan commitment.

The advantage of having a pre-approval is that it will make your offer to buy a home stronger and it will usually allow you to close on the home faster.

3.   Do you have the ability to handle difficult credit history?

Many Mortgage Brokers will only work with you if you have perfect credit, and if a problem comes up, they won’t help you.

Make sure your Mortgage Broker has reviewed and received approval for you and your specific credit history

4.  Is the rate that you quoted me the rate I will get at closing?

Many Lenders advertise their rates in the paper, on the internet or radio,  and in homes magazines.  These are what are called “Teaser Rates” in the industry.  The name says it all.

After they’ve got you committed to using them, many Lenders then tell you what the “real” rate will be.  By this time, it’s too late for you to do anything about it.

Consider using a local Mortgage Company with an actual “brick and mortar” office.  Salem is home to many great Mortgage Brokers who are happy to have you come in and meet them in person.  This allows you to sit down with the Mortgage Broker and ask all of the questions that you may have about obtaining a home loan.  Many of these Mortgage Brokers will actually attend the closing where you will be signing your loan documents in case you have last minute questions.

If you are in need of a recommendation for a great Mortgage Broker that will work to get you the best loan possible,  give me a call at 503-931-1846.  I would be happy to provide you with local referrals of trusted Mortgage Brokers that I work with.

If you would like additional information on buying or selling a home, please visit my website, or give me a call at 503-931-1846.

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Salem Oregon Real Estate-Buyers-5 Important Steps For Buying Your Home


In reality, there are only five things you need to know and do to make your home buying experience as simple as possible.

1.  Get pre-approved for your loan.

If possible, get “pre-approved” for a loan in the amount you’re willing to borrow.

With this pre-approval, you’re in a stronger position to buy a home when you’re ready – rather than finding your dream home, only to lose it to another buyer because you were waiting on the approval.

2.  Find a great real estate consultant.

Once you’ve decided to buy a home, find a great real estate consultant.  What you’re looking for is a Buyer’s Agent.

This means that the consultant represents YOU as the buyer, rather than the person selling the home.  They will have YOUR best interests at heart.  Really good consultants know their markets, and will help you find the best match for your needs and wants.  They can also recommend mortgage brokers with whom they’ve worked in the past.

3.  Look before you leap.

Drive around the neighborhood at different times of day.  Get out and walk around and chat with neighbors.

Some people like friendly neighbors, others think of them as nosy.  Drive to the local grocery store, laundry, anywhere that you frequent.  Visit nearby schools and see for yourself how the kids behave and how the grounds look.  The point is to see if this is really the type of neighborhood you want to live in BEFORE you make an offer.

4.  Be prepared.

Make sure your contract has reasonable contingencies included to protect you as a buyer.  Reasonable can be things like approval by a home inspector, and title clearance.

For the long-term investment, make sure that you buy homeowner’s insurance, and upgrade it as the value of your new home and its contents increase.

5.  Be reasonable.

No home will be without flaws.

Many times it’s these flaws that lend character to older homes, but nonetheless, it will take SOME work to personalize any home.

Preparing yourself with these five simple things – loan pre-approval, a great broker, getting to know the neighborhood, protecting yourself, and being reasonable – will help make the home buying process easier for you and your family.

For more information on buying a home, or to get started on owning your own home, give me a call at 503-931-1846.  I look forward to assisting you in the purchase of your home!


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As we say goodbye to Summer and head into fall, if you are currently trying to sell your Salem Oregon Home, you may be looking for some quick decorating ideas to “spruce up your home” for a Fall look.  The Salem Oregon Real Estate Market currently has many options for buyers looking to purchase a home in our area.  Make your home stand out by feeling warm and inviting, while sporting a new fall look.  Here is a two minute video highlighting some great decorating ideas for you!
Make your pumpkins stand out with these great pumpkin carving designs and directions.  Need some more pumpkin carving ideas?   Be sure to check out the other videos on the sidebar of the 100 Fall Decorating Ideas to see all of the great party ideas such as spooky trees, ghost cakes and how to use all of those pumpkins for decorations.
Happy Fall Everyone!!
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