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Cape Coral Branch

Matt Pfeiffer
239.214.6703

Scott Kopko
239.214.6703

NMLS #1242469

Cape Coral sits on Florida’s stunning Gulf Coast, and the fun-to-say Caloosahatchee River runs here. But that’s not all—oh no. There are more than 400 miles of canals here, making it the city with the most miles of navigable waterways in the world. Cape Coral Beaches

“Snowbirds” are Northerners who head down to Florida to escape their unbearably frigid winters, just like migrating birds. One in five people of Cape Coral only live here seasonally. It probably has something to do with the fact that average highs hit the upper 70s to lower 80s November through March, with average lows staying in the mid 50s to low 60s.

Cape Coral burrowing owlsThe city has the largest population of burrowing owls in Florida, with about 1,000 nesting pairs. They’re one of the smallest owl species, averaging an adorable 5 to 8.5 ounces and 7 to 11.5 inches tall. In celebration, the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife has been hosting the Annual Burrowing Owl Festival for well over a decade.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is a massive recreation center with all sorts of wet fun, including pools, splash pads, water slides, tube rides, flume rides and more. There’s stuff for kids of all ages, and for adults who want to act like kids.

And so much more to enjoy this great city: Cultural Park Theater, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the state, Octoberfest Cape Coralenvironmental classes hosted by Rotary Park Environmental Center, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks Club where your radio controlled toys can fly as well as the honoring those who served with the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library offering 34,000 square feet of military history.

Not to forget about all of the luscious green golf courses, amazing spots to indulge as “foodies,” culture and history too much to fathom…come experience this amazing city!


6 New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

For-Keeps New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

We all make New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be honest, most are wishful thinking. By February, that “lose 20 pounds” or “learn Spanish” resolution has gone right out the window.

But not for you, new homeowner. This year is different.

Your first 12 months of homeownership set the tone for the entire journey. With just a few smart decisions, you can save money now and get more out of your investment later.

So make room on that list between “run a 5K” and “travel more.” Here are essential New Year’s resolutions for new homeowners.

1. Start an emergency fund

Homeownership has a funny way of costing more than you think. An emergency savings fund provides a financial safety net, and your new home is the perfect reason to start one.

Remember, if the furnace quits on a cold night, there’s no landlord to call. Laid off unexpectedly or surprised by major car repairs? Mortgage payments are still expected on time and in full. Without an emergency fund, these expenses could force you into credit card debt or worse.

Ideally, your emergency fund should cover several months of expenses, but it’s OK to start small. Set aside a portion of every paycheck with the goal of saving $500 as quickly as possible, and then contribute as much as you can moving forward.

2. Take a closer look at your homeowners insurance

Just because a standard homeowners insurance policy satisfied your lender, it doesn’t mean you’re adequately covered.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are unique coverage options and, more importantly, ‘exclusions’ that homeowners need to be aware of,” says Ryan Andrew, president of The Andrew Agency, an independent insurance agency in Richmond, Virginia.

Does your policy cover the full cost of your jewelry or other valuables? Are disasters like earthquakes and floods excluded? Will the policy pay if your dog bites the new mailman?

“Your home is usually your biggest asset,” Andrew says. “Spend a few minutes reviewing your coverage and exclusions, and ask questions so you understand your policy.”

3. Get an energy efficiency audit

Heating, cooling and powering a home isn’t cheap. Why be uncomfortable or spend more because your house wastes energy?

After the dust settles, you may notice more about your home, particularly if you bought new construction, says Jessie Ferguson, director of operations at Renewable, a home energy consulting company. Maybe the air smells funny or one bedroom is colder than the others. She recommends getting an energy-efficiency audit rather than guessing at the problem.

Using blower door tests and infrared cameras, energy audits measure air leaks and detect air infiltration or missing insulation. Audits are performed by utility companies, city governments and some contractors.

“An energy audit is an inexpensive way to get real information about your house. They’ll tell you which fixes will deliver the best bang for your buck,” Ferguson says.

In addition to lowering your utility bills and making you more comfortable, a more efficient home may end up putting free money in your pocket, thanks to local, state and federal rebates.

4. Consider a home warranty

If the appliances in your new home are near the end of their life cycles, a home warranty may help shield you from the cost of replacement.

Also called home service contracts, home warranties are annual agreements that offset the repair or replacement cost of major home components and appliances.

Approach home warranty companies with caution, however. Read customer reviews and avoid gimmicks that seem too good to be true. Like insurance policies, home warranties are full of fine print, and homeowners often fail to realize what’s excluded until they try to make a claim.

“They can be helpful in the first year of homeownership, when you have so many other things to think about and pay for,” Ferguson says of home warranties. “Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.”

5. Create a disaster kit with a home inventory

Your new home is your castle, but it’s not indestructible. A disaster kit that includes financial documents and a home inventory will speed up recovery if the unthinkable happens.

A home inventory can be as simple as snapping pictures of big-ticket items in your home, or you could record items, brands, original prices, ages and condition in a spreadsheet.

No matter which method you choose, a home inventory is the best way to make sure you have enough insurance coverage to replace your valuables, Andrew says.

Store the inventory, along with copies of your personal identification, credit card information, vehicle records and other important documents, in a fireproof safe or another place that’s easily accessible if you have to evacuate.

6. Make a plan to build equity

Unless you bought your home with cash, it will be many years until you own it outright. Make plans now to build equity faster, you can unlock more benefits of homeownership even sooner.

Equity is a fancy word for “how much of your house is paid off.” Home equity is a valuable asset; accrue enough and you can use it to finance major renovations or pay off student loans.

You can build equity slowly just by making your monthly mortgage payments, or you can find ways to speed up the process. For example, take on smart home improvements or switch to biweekly payments to get “equity rich” even faster.

We’re here to help and answer any questions – Click Here to get Connected


Stay Within Budget When Buying a House

5 Budgeting Tips

A house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. And if you’ve waited a long time for this day to come, you’ve undoubtedly thought about the features you desire – maybe you’re craving a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, or perhaps a gourmet kitchen. We’ve listed five budgeting tips for you to follow that will help you out.

While you don’t want to skimp on the amenities you love, adding too many can drive up the cost and destroy your budget. By thinking about your long-term financial goals and assessing your budget before you buy, you can score the home you want without experiencing buyer’s remorse.

1. Establish a Firm Price Limit and a List of “Must Haves”

When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, your bank determines how much they think you can afford to spend on a house. But don’t assume the number they provide is the amount you should spend.

Go online and use a mortgage calculator – after you enter a sale price, a loan term, and interest rate, the calculator estimates your monthly payment, including home-owners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance. Also, research whether there are other expenses you’ll need to work into your budget after buying a home.

5 Home Buying Budgeting Tips with Land Home FinancialFor instance, association dues, a lawn or pest service or possible higher utilities; these costs can really add up and eat into your monthly budget. If you decide in advance which amenities are “must-haves” and which would simply be nice to have, you’ll be in a better position to stay within budget when you start looking at homes.

 2. Keep Tabs on Your Real Estate Agent

Land Home Financial Realtor PartnersI’ve had only positive experiences with my real estate agents, but not everyone is as lucky. Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford.

That being said, some agents may try to push the envelope and recommend properties outside your price point. Be firm and stick to your guns.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It’s very easy to fall into the cycle of “compare and despair.” This is a nasty cycle to fall into, especially when it comes to buying a home. A house isn’t a pair of shoes or an expensive handbag – if you overspend when buying a house, it isn’t easy to recover from the mistake.

Rather than obsessing over the fact that your friend bought a house with an outdoor kitchen, offer your congratulations, and then get excited about what your budget can do for you. Maybe you’ll have four bedrooms instead of two, or you’ll have a gas oven instead of an electric one. Then, think about the ways you’ll benefit from staying within your budget, such as maintaining a healthy vacation or a retirement fund or starting a college fund for your kids.

4. Avoid Bidding Wars

Competing with other buyers is no picnic, and to win a bidding war, you often have to increase your offer. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you’re able to stay within budget – however, bidding wars can get out of hand quickly.

If you get caught in a bidding frenzy, you could end up spending more than you want. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for a particular house in advance, and resist the urge to exceed that limit. In other words, be willing to walk away.

5. Bid on Houses That Aren’t Selling

Some buyers shy away from homes that have been on the market for a long time, assuming that there must be some hidden defect. But sometimes, a home’s inability to sell is much more simple. For instance, maybe it just has bad curb appeal, or there’s too much inventory in a particular market.

Therefore, it is important that you do not automatically rule out a house just because it has been sitting for a long time. If anything, seek out these houses. The seller is probably motivated and willing to drop the asking price to move the property.

Even if the seller isn’t willing to drop the price, there are still more opportunities for negotiation when a home has been on the market for months. If you can identify the reason the property hasn’t sold, then you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s asking price or provide a cash allowance for the fix.

If you’re still concerned about possible hidden defects, state in your bid that the offer is subject to a satisfactory home inspection – which is a good idea no matter what.

Final Word

Staying within budget when buying a house takes discipline, so you must approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above your budget. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along.

 


6 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

Host Like a Champ!

FB_Thanksgiving_leaves_2018Whether it is your first time hosting or you are a Turkey-serving veteran, Land Home Cape Coral, realizes hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work. However, if you keep organized, hosting Thanksgiving in your home can be a wonderful experience, full of happy memories.

1. Never turn down help.

Land Home can help you with home buyingThe beauty of Thanksgiving is friends and family coming together. There is no reason for you to be in the kitchen by yourself! Divide and conquer. Don’t be afraid to delegate those side dishes. It will make the day all the more memorable having everyone be a part of the process.

2. Prep!

Avoid those “When will the food be ready?” questions by planning your menu ahead of time. There may even be a few dishes you could make the night before. If not, look for ways to cut down on prep time early like peeling the potatoes, chopping the vegetables, or toasting the nuts.

And don’t forget the place settings! You can also prep the non-food tasks beforehand. Set your table the night before to eliminate one more task the day of.

3. Stick to what works.

Land Home First Time home buyer helpThanksgiving is all about the classics so it may not be the best time to experiment with a new recipe. If you want to spice up the menu, try a practice round a week or two before to work out the kinks.

4. Don’t stress over appetizers.

Fancy appetizers can be overkill—you don’t want your guests getting full before dinner!  Some crudités or store-bought cheese and crackers are perfect for your guests to nibble on before the main event.

5. Store bought is okay!

Making everything from scratch is a wonderful gesture but it is usually too much work for one person. If you haven’t delegated a few things to some guests, don’t be afraid to buy freshly baked rolls or a pie from your favorite bakery.

6. Enjoy the company of your family and friends!

Land Home Financial Helping families celebrateAt the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Be sure to take a moment to relax and enjoy sharing a meal with those you love. Down the road, your guests will remember the laughs and the stories much more than they will remember the meal.

We hope that our tips on hosting a memorable Thanksgiving in your home have helped you, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Land Home Financial Services, Inc.


Millennials dominating Cape Coral first-time housing market

Here Come the Millennials

Cape Coral is known as one of the best places to retire, but millennials are now dominating the first time housing market.

“I’m 34 and I have a seven-year-old so I’d like to establish more roots,” Fort Myers resident  said. She is a mom and a millennial, and she’s looking to buy her first home.

“I’m looking to purchase a home preferably in Cape Coral,” she said. “From what I’ve researched it has the best schools, they have more playgrounds.”

“Close to 80% of the first time homebuyers are millennials.”

Millennial first-time buyerRental prices are very high, about the lowest available is about $1,000.00 a month. With the lower interest rates, this is becoming an uptick for first-time buyers. For those worried about a hefty down payment, there are programs to help lower the out-of-pocket amount due at signing.

“They have programs out now that will allow you to take that as a second on your home, and you can roll a whole 100% of those fees right into where you walk into the closing, sign all your documents, walk out with keys and not pull a dime out of your pocket, and have it all into the cost of your home,” said Bill Johnson Jr., CEO and Executive Director of the Cape Coral Construction Industry Association.

The new generation of buyers and builders are taking notice.

“There’s a lot of great builders out there that are building within that $180-250,000 price point,” Johnson Jr. said.

Cape Coral is becoming a great place to start after being known as a retirement destination.

“Now we’re able to step in where our parents were and buy outlet homes and establish our roots for our children and the next generation,” one Millennial mom said.


Dollars & Sense Buying a New Home

Benefits Buying a New Home

The emotional appeal of a brand-new, never-been-lived-in home is undeniable, but did you know that buying a new home has a host of financial advantages? As long as you stick to the timeline and budget you’ve set, your home search should be just like anyone else’s. Throw yourself into the exciting process of finding your dream home!

Less Maintenance

Cape Coral Home Mortgage from Land Home Financial for Maintenance savings for New HomesThe cost of maintenance is something many homebuyers overlook. If you buy new, you likely won’t need to replace the furnace, windows and other essentials for years to come.

Energy efficiency

Cape Coral Home Mortgage from Land Home Financial for Energy Efficient New HomesWhen you buy an existing home, you run the risk of getting poor insulation, drafty windows and used appliances. Newer homes tend to have more energy efficient features, which could save you on energy costs in the long run.

Design Choices

When you buy new, you have the power to build your dream home to match your individual tastes and lifestyle. Why settle for someone else’s taste in bathroom tile when you can choose every detail for yourself? Bonus: the cost of upgrades can be rolled into a 
mortgage payment, allowing you to avoid expensive out-of-pocket renovations down the road.

Warranties

Land Home Financial Cape Coral While warranties are less common on existing homes, they are very common on new homes. This can be a huge benefit for buyers who don’t necessarily have money set aside for unplanned home repairs.

Insurance Premiums

Because new homes have modern plumbing, wiring and HVAC equipment, insurance companies tend to view them as a lower risk than older homes—a difference you could see in your premiums.

Whether you decide on a buying “New Home” or moving into a home built already, we can help provide the very best mortgage loan that fits your situation. Homeownership is a part—the essential part— of the American Dream. That’s a dream worth working toward.

Get Started on the application for a Pre-Approval Amount:

Click Here to Begin with Matt     

Click Here to Begin with Scott


Down Payment Assistance Program for Heroes

House2Home Community Plus

Land Home Cape Coral Armed Forces Down Payment Assistance Home LoanHere at Land Home Financial Cape Coral, it’s our honor to offer up to 6% in down payment assistance on Conventional Loans in the form of an interest-free soft second forgiven over a 3-year period for our hometown heroes!

Who is eligible:

  • Peace Officers, Sheriff, Border Patrol Agents, Correctional Officer, others serving in a Law Enforcement capacity, including administrative staff
  • Firefighters, Cal Fire, paramedic, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), including administrative staff that supports firefighters
  • Current member of a State Teachers Retirement System or University Retirement Plan, employees of an accredited Private, Charter, or Public School district or State University, Junior College or Private College, including school administration and staff
  • Medical personnel including Doctors, Nurses, phlebotomist, health ambassador, hospital/clinic, American Red Cross employees
  • Civil Service (Federal, state, or local municipality) employees
  • Military Service, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy employees (both active and retired)

Assistance Program for HEROES Benefits:

  • Can be used for down payment and/or closing costs
  • Not limited to first-time homebuyers
  • Types of properties allowed: single family, condo, and manufactured
  • No sales price limits

It seems it is the least we can do for the “Ultimate Sacrifice” of giving of yourself for the the safety and freedoms of us here in the United States. At Land Home Cape Coral, it our honor to be able to serve those who protect our freedoms, care for heath and teach our kids!

**Available for purchase of a primary residence. Subject to Income and Loan Amount limits. Other limitations and/or requirements may apply. Land Home Financial Services, Inc., NMLS #1796. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org The rates and fees are subject to change without notice. This advertisement does not represent a commitment to lend.

Office Location: 1229 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Unit 13 Cape Coral, FL 33904


Have You Considered Refinancing?

Refinance with land Home financial Cape CoralA tight budget, an expensive home renovation and the desire to get your home paid off quicker are all good reasons to refinance your home. But what does refinancing your home mean and how can it help you achieve your financial goals? Take a look at the definition of home refinancing and what it can do for you.

What is Refinancing?

When a homeowner is refinancing, it means the homeowner is attempting to acquire a new mortgage for their home. The new mortgage pays off the original mortgage, usually giving the borrowers a better interest rate and/or a shorter term, or even cash.

Why Refinance?

  • To Lower the Interest Rate– Most mortgage lenders say that shaving even .50% off of a mortgage interest rate is a good enough incentive to consider refinancing. The long-term savings by getting a rate reduction can outweigh the cost of a mortgage refinance.
  • Shorten the Term of the Loan– The most common mortgage terms are 15-year and 30-year. In some cases, with a lower interest rate, getting a new 15-year can leave monthly payments very similar to what they were at the 30-year mortgage rate inevitably getting the home paid off much quicker. Changing from an ARM to a Fixed-Rate – Adjustable rate mortgages can offer lower interest rates at times. However, an arm isn’t for everyone. When homeowners need to control their monthly budgets with a more steady payment, changing to a fixed-rate mortgage when rates are low may be the best way to go.
  • Draw From the Equity– Sometimes homeowners need large sums of money to cover expenses such as a remodeling project, school tuition, or to consolidate other debts like credit cards and auto loans. It’s important to evaluate overall financial health and spending habits before tidying up other debts and expenses using your mortgage.
  • Eliminate PMI– Another possible benefit to refinancing is the elimination of private mortgage insurance. If the original down payment on the home was less than 20% PMI is usually required by the lender. A borrower may be able to refinance and if the value of the home has increased enough, thus eliminating PMI.

Points to Consider

  • Cost of the refinance– Application fees, title fees, lender closing fees, and loan origination fees are all costs to look into before deciding to refinance. Lenders, like Land Home Financial will help homeowners figure out when and if the costs would be recuperated.
  • Overall Financial Health– If the main goal of the refinance is to pay off the mortgage earlier, borrowers should also consider their other financial goals. The ability to save appropriately for retirement and pay off other higher interest loans should be factored into the decision to refinance. If refinancing doesn’t affect the monthly payment very much, refinancing could be just the ticket to achieving personal financial success.
  • Requirements– Contact Land Home Financial to find out the requirements for refinancing.

Final Words

By working with a trusted residential mortgage lender, homeowners can find a loan that is tailored to their specific financial situation, offering just the right term and interest rates. The refinancing process will operate quickly and smoothly, giving them true financial security and peace of mind.

Office Location: 1229 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Unit 13 Cape Coral, FL 33904


20 Reasons to join Land Home Financial

20 Reasons to join LHFS

Land Home is a privately-owned mortgage banker, opened in 1988. We strive to promote and live by a community-based philosophy with our external customers and internal LHFS community. Land Home Financial is committed to servicing its customers by providing home loan options that best fit their needs.

Does Your Company do the following:

  1. Service over 90% of your closed loans?
  2. Send monthly mortgage statements with your picture and contact information?
  3. Pay you a yearly Residual bonus on your serviced loan volume, year over year?
  4. Pay you same BPS on all funded loans including DPA’s and Bond Loans? With NO pay tiers!
  5. Have payroll cycles that DO NOT end on last day of the month? (This is huge)
  6. Offer a zero-employee cost health insurance plan for employee only coverage?
  7. Allow MANUAL U/W down to 580 on FHA & VA loans
  8. Have zero hits to price due to credit score or loan amount on FHA & USDA loans above 620?
  9. Have zero price hits due to credit score or loan amount on VA loans over a 600?
  10. Respect our Veterans by not charging any lender fees on VA Loans?
  11. Is the Master Servicer of their own Down Payment Assistance suite of products?
  12. Offer a 1% down Freddie loan with lender paid MI?
  13. Offer DPA products down to a 620 score?
  14. Offer a full suite of products for Manufactured Housing, including Construction to Perm?
  15. Have an internal appraisal desk, thus eliminating the need for an AMC?
  16. Has their own US based Contact Center that will call on behalf of your realtors to invite the public to their Open Houses?
  17. Have a Boarding Department resource that helps you navigate and get acclimated during your first 120 days.
  18. Has a one-page sheet of internal overlays? We U/W to the AUS Findings!!
  19. Have over 5 Billion dollars in their Servicing Portfolio? Significant monthly cash flow!!
  20. Locate your branch on “Main Street” in your community?

How many NO’s did you come up with? At Land Home Financial, we say YES to all of these and more.

With all these features, could you see yourself making more money? We would enjoy the opportunity to have a confidential conversation to see if Land Home Financial is a fit for you!

 

 


Deciding the Best Place to Find a Home

Best Place to Find a Home

When you’re deciding the best place to find a home it can be said that “home is where the heart is.” Here are the most important factors to help you find a home that suits the needs of you and your family.

1. Affordability

No matter what your pay grade is, living comfortably and within your means should be your first concern. Affordability includes more than just housing expenses; the prices for consumable goods, like groceries, vary greatly from town to town. The price of gasoline, utility services including electric and water, and taxes, also varies.

2. Taxes

There are 40 states provide property tax credits or homestead exemptions that can provide homeowners with some additional tax relief. Consider local sales tax, income tax, and tax credits and exemptions when you’re looking for the perfect place to find a home.

3. Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities vary from state to state and city to city, so spend some time researching the job markets in different areas of the country. Start by analyzing quality employment opportunities within your industry, then determine where the highest concentration of these jobs are located. Income levels for jobs can vary greatly from state to state. Do your research before you move, and ideally, find a job before you relocate.

4. Real Estate Value

Since buying a home is the single largest investment you will probably ever make, you need to seriously consider this factor. With real estate in a constant state of flux, it’s important to research current home prices, the length of time homes are for sale, the resale values of homes, and probable long-term value estimates.

5. Crime Rates and Statistics

No one wants to live in a high-crime area, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can live in a Utopian society where crime never happens. By researching the crime rates and statistics for various areas, you can learn more about the safety of a town or neighborhood.

Keep in mind that just because an area is safe today does not guarantee that it will be safe in the future. The long-term stability for a neighborhood can be a determining factor in how safe your surroundings are. Also, consider the future development of a particular location as you narrow down your choices.

6. Proximity to Family and Friends

Find a home close to friends and familyIf extended family and friends are important to you, choose to find a home either within driving distance or within a reasonable distance by plane. Otherwise, you’ll constantly feel torn, and likely spend all of your vacation time and energy shuttling back and forth to visit friends and family.

7. Climate

The climate plays a large role in our lives as it impacts our hobbies, behavior, and sometimes even our jobs. Living in the climate in which you are most comfortable contributes to your mental health, so choose wisely!

8. Education System

A good education is essential to setting up children to better handle the rest of their lives, so the importance of good schools cannot be overstated.

9. Culture

If you crave constant cultural stimulation, you definitely want to choose a place that has a lot of cultural offerings. Many people need to be near their favorite team, or a vibrant music scene or the theater. If you have a favorite hobby or recreational activity, make sure that you can continue to pursue these interests when you find a home. Finally, if you enjoy being around a specific religious or ethnic community with your same beliefs and interests, this should be a factor in where you choose to live.

10. Commute Time and Public Transportation Options

The explosive growth of the suburbs surrounding metropolitan areas have made commuting times in many areas unbearable. The length of time it takes to get to work can be a determining factor when deciding on where to find a home. A good public transportation system is a major plus when choosing a place to live.

11. Food Options

If you’re a foodie, you may want to try to find a home to live in near the ocean or near a metropolitan city center. Grocery store fare, while plentiful, doesn’t replace the quality of fresh food from the ocean or fresh produce from the farmers’ market. If eating locally and sustainably is important to you, consider whether you can pursue this lifestyle in your new home.

12. Town or City Size

Best way to find a home as a familyIf you enjoy a friendly wave from everyone you pass while driving to the post office, then a smaller town is definitely for you. If you wish to remain relatively anonymous, find a home in a larger town or a big city is better suited to your personality.

13. Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities are important at any stage in life, but they are especially relevant if you have children or if you are nearing retirement age. Easy access to good healthcare can increase your quality of life exponentially, so be on the lookout for towns and cities with good hospitals and medical schools. Often, there will be a correlation between cities and the quality of the healthcare.

14. Proximity to an Airport

If you travel a lot, you may need to live within close proximity of an airport. If you live more than an hour away from the closest airport, traveling to and from the airport can become very time-consuming and expensive. If you spend a healthy amount of time traveling, definitely consider the distance to the airport.

In closing

The reality of choosing a new place to live encompasses an incredibly large series of factors, all competing for your attention. In order to be successful in your search, you must determine what is most important to you and your family, do your homework, and then continue to be vigilant in your search until you find the right place to live. It can be intimidating and frustrating at times, but all that effort is worth it in the end once you are settled in your ideal location. Happy hunting!


6 Tips to Get Approved for a Home Mortgage Loan

Some people don’t know the first thing about getting a mortgage loan. Applicants who don’t recognize key differences in the application process from anything they’ve applied for are often disappointed when a lender denies their mortgage loan application. Here’s six tips to help you get approved.

Educating yourself is key, and there are a number of ways to avoid this heartache and disappointment when applying for a mortgage loan.

Getting Your Mortgage Loan Approved

Buying a house is already stressful and being ill-prepared heightens the anxiety. Why put yourself through this? Learn how to think like a lender and educate yourself on the best ways to get your mortgage loan approved:

1. Know Your Credit Score

It literally takes a few minutes to pull your credit report and order your credit score. But surprisingly, some future home buyers never review their scores and credit history before submitting a home loan application, assuming that their scores are high enough to qualify. And many never consider the possibility of identity theft. However, a low credit score and credit fraud can stop a mortgage application dead in its tracks.

Land Home Financial Mortgage Approval TipsCredit scores and credit activity have a major impact on mortgage approvals. In addition to higher credit score requirements, several missed payments, frequent lateness, and other derogatory credit information can stop mortgage approvals. Pay your bills on time, lower your debts, and stay on top of your credit report. Cleaning up your credit history beforehand and correcting errors on your report are key to keeping up a good credit score.

2. Save Your Cash

Requirements for getting a mortgage loan often change, and if you are considering applying for a home loan in the near future, be ready to cough up the cash. Walking into a lender’s office with zero cash is a quick way to get your home loan application rejected. Mortgage lenders are cautious: Whereas they once approved zero-down mortgage loans, they now require a down payment.

Down payment minimums vary and depend on various factors, such as the type of loan and the lender. Each lender establishes its own criteria for down payments but aim for a higher down payment if you have the means. Lenders attach this extra insurance to properties without 20% equity, and paying PMI increases the monthly mortgage payment. Get rid of PMI payments and you can enjoy lower, more affordable mortgage payments.

Saving Tips from Land Home FinancialAdditionally, down payments aren’t the only expense you must worry about. Getting a mortgage also involves closing costs, home inspections, home appraisals, title searches, credit report fees, application fees, and other expenses. Closing costs are roughly 3% to 5% of the mortgage balance – paid to your lender before you can seal the deal. Not to mention, the new furnishings that you will be eager to buy to fill empty spaces. Be careful and wait for at least three months until you settle in and understand the full picture.

3. Stay at Your Job

Sticking with your employer while going through the home buying process is crucial. Any changes to your employment or income status can stop or greatly delay the mortgage process.

Lenders approve your home loan based on the information provided in your application. Taking a lower-paying job or quitting your job to become self-employed throws a wrench in the plans, and lenders must reevaluate your finances to see if you still qualify for the loan.

4. Pay Down Debt and Avoid New Debt

You don’t need a zero balance on your credit cards to qualify for a mortgage loan. However, the less you owe your creditors, the better. Your debts determine if you can get a mortgage, as well as how much you can acquire from a lender. Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio when approving the mortgage. If you have a high debt ratio because you’re carrying a lot of credit card debt, the lender can turn down your request or offer a lower mortgage.

Paying down your consumer debt before completing an application lowers your debt-to-income ratio and can help you acquire a better mortgage rate. But even if you’re approved for a mortgage with consumer debt, it’s important to avoid new debt while going through the mortgage process.

As a rule, avoid any major purchases until after you’ve closed on the mortgage loan. This can include financing a new car, purchasing home appliances with your credit card, or cosigning someone’s loan.

5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before looking at houses is emotionally and financially responsible. On one hand, you know what you can spend before bidding on properties. And on the other hand, you avoid falling in love with a house that you can’t afford.

The pre-approval process is fairly simple: Contact a mortgage lender, submit your financial and personal information, and wait for a response. Pre-approvals include everything from how much you can afford, to the interest rate you’ll pay on the loan. The lender prints a pre-approval letter for your records, and funds are available as soon as a seller accepts your bid. Though it’s not always that simple, it can be.

6. Know What You Can Afford

I know from personal experience that lenders do pre-approve applicants for more than they can afford. After receiving a pre-approval letter from our lender, my husband and I wondered whether they had read the right tax returns. We appreciated the lender’s generosity, but ultimately decided on a home that fit comfortably within our budget.

Don’t let lenders dictate how much you should spend on a mortgage loan. Lenders determine pre-approval amounts based on your income and credit report; however, they don’t factor in how much you spend on daycare, insurance, groceries, or fuel. Rather than purchase a more expensive house because the lender says you can, be smart and keep your housing expense within your means.

Final Thought

If you don’t meet the qualifications for a mortgage loan, don’t get discouraged. Instead, let it be motivation to improve your credit and finances. Many people have risen above credit problems, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and repossession specifically in order to purchase their first house. Just be sure to implement a realistic plan and stick to it.