RE/MAX Integrity
289 Winthrop St. Suite 6, Rehoboth, MA 02769
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Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 10/15/2018

Applying for your first home loan can seem scary or daunting to many first-time homeowners. However, this process, if done correctly, can save you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars on interest over the lifetime of your loan.

Before you apply for a loan, there are several documents youíll want to gather and steps youíll want to take to ensure the application process goes smoothly. In todayís post, weíll talk about one specific aspect of the mortgage application process--credit scores.

Credit scores may seem confusing. However, since they can so drastically affect your home loan interest rate, itís important to understand their implications.

Credit checks and mortgages

One of the things that all lenders will want to see before approving you for a home loan is your credit score. If youíre thinking of applying for a mortgage, odds are that youíve been working to build credit by paying off loans and credit cards on time each month.

The three main credit bureaus in the U.S. are all required to give you a yearly free credit report. This is a detailed document that outlines your lines of credit, payment dates, and amounts. Itís a good idea to get a detailed credit report and check for errors before applying for a loan.

Unlike a hard ďcredit inquiry,Ē a free report does not affect your credit score, so you donít have to worry about dropping a few points by requesting one of these reports.

When applying for a mortgage, however, lenders will perform a hard credit inquiry to determine your borrowing eligibility. This is a part of the pre-approval process and is typically unavoidable.

This is important to note if you are planning on applying to multiple lenders. Be aware that each ďprequalificationĒ and ďpreapprovalĒ may come with a temporary drop in your credit score.

Since credit inquiries make up a total of about 10% of your credit score, these inquiries can make a difference in the short term. For this reason, itís a good idea to avoid opening new cards or taking out other loans (such as an auto loan or student loan) within six months of your mortgage application.

If you arenít sure of your current score, you can always check for free from websites like Credit Karma and Mint.

One last thing to note about credit scores and their relationship to mortgages is that most lenders use a specific type of score known as a FICO score. In fact, every adult in the United States with a credit score will have three FICO scores, one from each major credit bureau.

So, when checking up on your credit score, itís good to remember that each score will be slightly different and your lenderís score may not reflect what you see online.




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Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 10/14/2018

Buying a house can be a stressful process, especially when youíve found your dream home and have put in your bid. While itís easy to spend all of your spare time worrying endlessly if your bid will be accepted it wonít get you any closer to hearing that ďyesĒ. Here are five things you can do instead of worrying and will help relieve stress instead. Read a book - Immerse yourself in another world by picking up a book. Spend some time browsing the shelves of your local library or bookstore for something that catches your eye. If you arenít normally a reader choose a genre similar to your movie tastes or ask a librarian for a recommendation. Meditate - Iím sure youíve heard it a million times before. Every time the topic of lowering stress come up you are sure to have meditation suggested as a combative tool. But itís so widely recommended for good reason! Science has proven that meditation really does lower stress levels. With its popularity comes a plethora of options for you to experiment with. You can try in-person classes, apps, or CDs. There are even many different ways to meditate so find what works for you and keep practicing. Exercise - Exercise may not be everyoneís favorite past time but it is an excellent way to lower stress. Donít worry this doesnít mean you need a gym membership or to spend hours lugging weights around. Walking, dancing and even vigorously cleaning can all count as exercise if they raise your heart rate. You can even think of it as prep for move in day. Spend time with friends - Gather a group of friends together to catch up over brunch or go out on the town for the night. Either way, you will have a blast spending time with those you care about and lowering your stress levels. Social engagement is an important facet of human life and when you gather a group of friends there is almost a guarantee for some laughter. And yes, laughing really does help you reduce stress! Get outside - Spending time in nature is a guaranteed way to destress with endless possibilities. You can go for a hike, ride a bike, spend time on a boat, at the beach or in your own backyard. You also have the added benefit of the ability to combine this tip with any of those given above. Lay out a blanket to sit on to read or meditate, gather a group of friends for a game of kickball, or go for a run as a group or by yourself. Waiting to hear if your bid on your dream home has been accepted can be a stressful time, but it doesnít have to be. By spending your time engaging in activities that help lower your stress levels you will not only keep yourself from worrying but also do yourself some good too. Whether you choose to snuggle up with a good book or go out on the town with some friends youíll be glad you gave yourself some downtime before move in day!





Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 10/8/2018

Ready to buy a home? You'll likely need a mortgage to ensure you can afford your dream residence. Lucky for you, many banks and credit unions are happy to help you discover a mortgage that suits you perfectly.

Ultimately, meeting with a mortgage lender may seem stressful at first. But this meeting can serve as a valuable learning opportunity, one that allows you to select a mortgage that is easy to understand and matches your budget.

When you meet with a mortgage lender, here are three of the questions to ask so you can gain the insights you need to make an informed decision:

1. What mortgage options are available?

Most lenders offer a broad range of mortgage options. By doing so, these lenders can help you choose a mortgage that meets or exceeds your expectations.

Fixed-rate mortgages represent some of the most popular options for homebuyers, and perhaps it is easy to understand why. These mortgages lock-in an interest rate for a set period of time and ensure your mortgage payments will stay the same throughout the duration of your mortgage.

Meanwhile, adjustable-rate mortgages may prove to be great choices for many homebuyers as well. These mortgages may feature a lower initial interest rate that rises after several years. However, with an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll know when your mortgage's interest rate will increase and can plan accordingly.

2. Do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Pre-approval for a mortgage usually is an excellent idea, and for good reason.

If you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you may be able to enter the homebuying market with a budget in mind. That way, you can pursue houses that fall within a set price range and avoid the risk of overspending on a home.

On the other hand, you don't need to be pre-approved for a mortgage to submit an offer on a home. But with a mortgage in hand, you may be able to gain an advantage over the competition, one that might even lead a home seller to select your offer over others.

3. How long will a mortgage last?

Many mortgages last 15- or 30-years Ė it all depends on the type of mortgage that you select.

A lender can explain the length associated with various mortgage options and highlight the pros and cons associated with these mortgages.

Moreover, you should ask a lender if there are any prepayment penalties if you pay off your mortgage early. This may help you determine whether a particular mortgage is right for you.

When it comes to finding a lender, don't forget to meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow you to discover a lender that offers a mortgage with a low interest rate. Plus, it enables you to find a lender that makes you feel comfortable.

If you need assistance in your search for the right lender, be sure to reach out to a real estate agent. This housing market professional can provide details about local lenders and ensure you can accelerate your push to acquire your dream residence.





Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 10/7/2018

Your credit score is one of the most important numbers to your financial picture. You know how important it is to have a high credit score. If you pay your bills on time and keep your debt down, you think that your score will be just fine, but this isnít always the case. There are a few hidden mistakes that you could be making that are bringing your credit score down. Read on to find out what to avoid when trying to keep your credit score up and maintain it. 


Too Many Credit Inquiries


Beware that every time you apply for a new loan or even just check on what type of interest rate you can get, your credit will be reviewed. You want to avoid too many credit inquiries because a high number will bring your credit score down. Always ask if a lender is pulling a hard inquiry to check your score, donít allow too many of these credit checks. 


Anything Small Can Make A Big Impact


Was there a mistake on a medical bill that you paid but it says it was unpaid? If you let this go, your credit score could be impacted. Even unreturned library books that have been turned over to collections can negatively affect your score. Stay on top of things because you never know how a small mishap can affect you.


Your Information Is Wrong


You should look at your credit report so that you can see more than just your history. You can see the information that is being reported to check for mistakes. Incorrect information can bring your credit score down. You can call the credit bureau thatís associated with any errors that you see on your credit report. It can be a little bit of a process to correct the mistakes on your credit report, but the time and effort is definitely worth it for your credit score.                       



Not Using your Credit


While using your credit too much is a problem, not making use of your credit at all can be a problem. Responsibly use your credit. Open a credit card and use it to make small purchases. Charge only things that you can afford and pay the balance off each month. This simple use of a card is one of the easiest ways to establish credit.      


Itís important to do what you can to develop and maintain a healthy credit score. Keep all of your avenues covered to be sure that nothing hidden can negatively affect your credit score. 





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Posted by RE/MAX Integrity on 10/1/2018

Arranging furniture in your home can be a real puzzle. Thereís so many different mistakes that can be made in how you set up the seating, tables, and bedding in your home that you probably donít even realize it. Below, youíll find some of the most common furniture arranging mistakes and how to fix them. 


All of Your Furniture Is Against A Wall 


It may seem like a way to make your room feel bigger to push everything against a wall, but this thought process is flawed. You want your rooms to feel cozy, not spaced out. Youíll be surprised what floating furniture can do for a room. 


You Put Too Much Furniture In A Room


Whether you have a small space or a giant room, plan what kind of furniture you put in the room very carefully. Overcrowding a space makes it feel stuffy and claustrophobic. While you hope to have enough seating in a room for everyone, you donít need to overdo it. Put the furniture in a room that makes sense for you to have. There's also no harm in having big, open spaces in a room. As long as the purpose is served, sometimes an airy space can be quite a stress reliever.


Putting more furniture in a space wonít help a room to magically grow either. Be realistic about how many square feet you have in a room. From there, you can decide what goes where. If you still feel that you have too many pieces of furniture around, itís time to sell or donate some of the chairs and tables that donít get as much use. 


You Tend To Block Windows With Furniture


Using your sofa or a bed to place in front of a window may seem like a good idea. Whether your purpose is to block some light, or if itís your only option for placement, you may need to do some refiguring. One problem is that the light coming in the window will cause some serious fading to any material thatís in the path. If itís a bed thatís placed across a window, you also face a lack of privacy. 


You can fix any of these issues quite simply with some drapery. Drapery helps to filter the light, reducing the heat in the room. Using curtains will also help you to reduce the incidence of fading on your fabrics. Curtains also help to keep your privacy. While it can be difficult to arrange a small room where a window is your only option for furniture placement, the simple addition of curtains really makes a difference.




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