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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!


Corporate Community Lending Program

Corporate Community Lending Program

Land Home Financial's Corporate Community Lending Program

Land Home Financial Services, Inc was founded on helping stabilize families and companies by providing unmatched specialized lending services. As a Direct Community Seller & Servicer of lending products we have opportunities to create and serve companies with our Corporate Community Lending Program.

Set Your Business Apart

Provide you employees with this exclusive program and receive these benefits:

  • Customized Branded Landing Page for your website
  • Dedicated Phone Line and Email for timely and personalized customer service
  • Reduced Lender Fees for your employees
  • Homebuyer Education and Preparation Services
  • Down Payment Assistance Programs

 

Land Home Financial's Promise to Serve Corporations

 

Your Company’s Unique Value Proposition

Research shows that employees who work for companies that provide programs that assist in the education and facilitation of homeownership, experience:

  • Greater Workplace Satisfaction
  • Fewer Sick & Personal days
  • Overall improved Mental & Physical well-being
  • Sense of Community
  • Financial Security

This means less doctor’s visits & lower healthcare costs – for YOU, the Employer!

 

Corporate Benefits Package

Land Home Financial Service for Your Employees

Home Ownership with Land Home FinancialCommunity INSPIRED – Community FOCUSED – Community DRIVEN

 

We are proud to become your Corporate Community Lending Partner. Contact our office TODAY – see how easy it is to GET STARTED!


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.


Single-Family, Townhome or Condominium?

Which Home Style fits You?

Whether you’re first-time home buyer, downsizer, upgrader or simply just trying to picture your life owning your own space in Cape Coral, we’ve broken it down to give you positives and negatives to owning each style of dwelling.

Single Family Home

Owning a home can offer a variety of positives as well as considerations based on your goals and desires as a person, couple or growing family. Certainly a single-family offers more space for families that are growing. In addition, homes tend to be a better investment vehicle with generally a higher demand and freedom to build, expand and renovate as needed. Land Home Financial Single-Family Home

Considerations to owning a single-family home versus a townhome or condominium usually mount up in cost to maintain. Owners are typically responsible for all maintenance.

Condominium

Usually less expensive by equal comparison to a single-family home as the building maintenance is managed by the homeowner’s association for a monthly fee. These costs go to lawn maintenance, the common areas including the gym, pool, mail center, security gates and general property care. Land Home Financial Condominium

Considerations to owning a condominium would be that there is less space for growing families yet may be ideal for singles or couples as well a few others. They are generally a weaker investment than a home and harder to differentiate with less options in expansion and renovation.

 

Townhome

Owning a townhome generally can be less expensive than a single-family home due to the maintenance being offset through the association fees as well as minimal yard and garden spaces to maintain. Land Home Financial Townhouse

A townhome is a weaker investment compared to a home yet stronger than a condominium. Also, you have fewer neighbors as well as more property to enjoy. The same considerations with expansion and renovation apply when choosing a townhome over a single-family home.

Final Words

Life’s filled with endless opportunities such as travel, study, flatting, social events, must-have retail products, thoughts of marriage and possible children.

Home ownership is often the afterthought, in a series of decisions that ultimately affects our financial position and timing in acquiring our own piece of turf.

If you aren’t lucky to have your parents fund your travels or university, there are choices to be made: do you work and save for a house? Or do you travel? Or do you study then work and save for a house? Or do you get married and have children then work and save for a house?

The end result is that there is always going to be a sacrifice along the way. So if home ownership is your ultimate goal, something is going to have to take the back seat.

 


Your Preferred Community Lender

The Heart of a Community Based Lender

Core Values & Mission

The heartbeat of Land Home Financial is promote and live by a community-based philosophy with our external customers and our internal community. We’re committed to servicing our customers by providing home loan options that best fit their needs. Behind every loan is a person, a family, and a home within a community, which is why we all work so hard for those seeking real estate financing. Each customer is a member of the Land Home community.

Land Home Financial

When the transaction funds, the relationship continues because we retain almost 100% of our servicing. Land Home Financial is also committed to servicing its community of employees. Looking for ways to make our company excel is always a priority. Exceptional, stronger resources and new helpful tools are always on the agenda as Land Home Financial pursues ways to rise above competition. Suggestions and feedback provided by Land Home Financial employees is valued and helps in shaping the course for change when there is a benefit for all.

Plans for the Future

Maintaining a sustainable business plan for growth is always a main priority. Where many mortgage companies may retract their expansion goals or stop them altogether, Land Home Financial has positioned itself to stay on the course for opening branches in more markets across the country. Not only does the business plan contain new office expansion, but new division expansion as well. Doubling the footprint of the Land Home Financial brand nationally is a goal we plan to achieve. Land Home reinvests in the company, raising the quality of all facets of the enterprise to attract Loan Officers and Operational staff to help Land Home become an even stronger entity.

Land Home Invests in PeopleHaving been in the business for over 30 years has taught Land Home’s leadership how to be strategic in making business decisions that support the company business plan. Two key components that make Land Home a great place to join: Our company is fiscally secure, and our employee community is loyal and shares the same vision to accomplish goals together.

Who is Land Home Financial

Land Home is a privately-owned mortgage banker, opened in 1988. The leadership, together with employees (not a room full of shareholders), make the important lending decisions at Land Home. Our business decisions are rooted in common sense, experience, and knowledge. At Land Home we have a dedicated compliance team to offer guidance in the choices we make. We are a company that invests capital to fuel growth (rather than generate profit divided among a few).

Our customers and our employees are our greatest assets. Our common goal is to do what is in the best interest for every customer we have the opportunity to serve.

 


9 Tips to Get Money for a Down payment

Get Money for a Down Payment

Whether you’re purchasing an existing home, building a new home or planning to fix up an older home, you’re probably excited about the prospect of closing the deal and moving in.

Not so fast. Buying a home is an expensive proposition – the biggest investment that most families ever make. While you aren’t required to cover the entire purchase price up front, you do need most times to come up with a down payment before you can close on your home.

The Biggest Closing Cost of All

money-down-payment-calculator

 

Most line items are small change compared with probably the biggest closing expense of all: your down payment. This is because your down payment is a key part of the offer you present to the seller. The general rule of thumb is simple: the larger the down payment, the stronger the offer. More precisely: the greater the down payment’s share of the total purchase price, the more likely the seller is to accept.

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks to Save

1. Determine Your Expected Down Payment and Timeframe

First, figure out about how big your down payment will be.

Down payment size is a function of three overlapping factors: your desired initial loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, your time horizon (when you want to buy), and local housing market conditions. When people talk about budgeting for a future home purchase, they generally refer to list prices: “We’re willing to pay $300,000,” or “We can afford $250,000, but no more.”

However, on the matter of affordability, the most important number is the down payment amount. If you can’t cobble together a $50,000 down payment on a $250,000 house (or a $400,000 house, if you’re putting down less than 20%), then you can’t really afford the house.

Lastly, don’t completely deplete your bank account to buy your dream home. It’s wise to have at least three months’ income in liquid savings as an emergency fund, regardless of your near- or long-term goals. Six months is even better.

2. Shrink Your Required Down Payment With a Special Loan

If you’re looking to buy on an accelerated timetable, live in an expensive housing market, or doubt your ability to save for a 20% down payment on an acceptable house in your target neighborhood, look into special loan programs with lower down payment requirements.

Beyond program-specific requirements, these special loans have some important drawbacks. Perhaps most importantly, they carry Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premiums until LTV reaches 78% (though you can formally request PMI removal at 80% LTV).

3. Take Advantage of LHFS Down Payment Assistance Programs

Relatively few prospective homeowners realize that they could qualify for national down payment assistance programs that can reduce their out-of-pocket down payment costs by thousands of dollars.

4. Pay Off Outstanding Credit Card Debt

For many folks, paying off credit card debt is a high-priority goal. Even the low APR Credit Cards usually charge interest rates north of 10% APR. On an average balance of $1,000, that’s $100 in interest charges each year. If your debt load is higher, adjust accordingly.

Paying off credit card debt isn’t always straightforward, though. Focus on your highest-interest debt first, even if that means putting as little as $25 or $50 extra toward your payment each month. As your high-interest debt load shrinks, you can move onto lower-interest credit card debt, and you’ll likely accelerate your progress toward a $0 balance. With lower (or no) interest charges eating into your spending and saving power, you can then direct your dollars toward your down payment fund.

5. Set Aside a Portion of Your Tax Refund

Expecting a tax refund this year? Reserve a slice of it to reward yourself for all your hard work last year – a nice restaurant meal, a frugal weekend getaway, a new piece of furniture for your home. Enjoy it.

Then sock the rest of your refund away in your down payment fund. If you reliably receive a $3,000 refund, spend $1,000, and save the rest, you’ll have $6,000 after three years, and $10,000 after five. That probably won’t account for your entire down payment, but it can’t hurt.

6. Make Recurring Savings Deposits

Knowing you need to set money aside each month is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Set yourself a calendar reminder on the same day each month or pay period to transfer a set amount of money – at least 5% of your take-home pay, and ideally 10% – into your primary savings account. You can then separate the share allotted to your down payment from your general savings or other savings goals. Or, better yet, create a separate savings account whose sole purpose is to hold your down payment funds.

7. Automate Your Savings Deposits

What’s even better than recurring savings account deposits? Automated savings account deposits that you don’t have to remember to execute each month. Most banks allow recurring savings transfers from internal or external checking accounts. Examine your budget and determine how much you can afford to save each pay period or month, and then make it happen, preferably on the same date (or the day after) you receive your paycheck or direct deposit.

8. Withdraw from Your IRA Without Penalty

Under certain conditions, your retirement account can serve as a supplemental funding source for your down payment.

This isn’t free money, of course. If you have a traditional IRA, you need to pay taxes on the withdrawn amount at your overall rate – 28% in the 28% bracket, and so on. On a Roth IRA held for longer than five years, your withdrawal is tax-free, because you’ve already paid taxes on the contribution.

If you and your spouse both have IRAs, you can both withdraw up to $10,000, for a total of $20,000. Depending on the projected size of your down payment, that could be a sizable boost. And, on Roth IRAs held longer than five years, you can withdraw tax- and penalty-free contributions in excess of $10,000, though any withdrawn earnings are taxable at your normal rate.

However, you also have to consider the opportunity cost of taking that money out of your account, potentially for years (by the time you make additional contributions to cover your withdrawal).

9. Take a 401k Loan

You can also borrow from employer-sponsored 401k or fund your down payment. On 401k loans, borrowing limits are much more generous: You can borrow up to the lesser of $50,000 or half the value of the account. That’s enough to fund a 20% down payment on a $250,000 house, or a 10% down payment on a $500,000 house.

However, the devil is in the details. You have to pay back your 401k loans, with interest – typically at 2% above the prime rate. On larger loans, that means several years’ worth of three-figure monthly payments and several thousand in interest charges. Plus, if you take out a 401k loan before applying for a mortgage loan, your credit utilization ratio will spike, which could raise your mortgage loan’s interest rate or cause the bank to think twice about lending to you in the first place.

As a general rule of thumb, 401k loans are useful in two situations: for funding small down payments ($5,000 or less) in their entirety or as the last piece of a multi-year, multi-source down payment funding strategy.

Final Word

Your house might be the single biggest purchase you ever make, but it won’t be the only big-ticket item you ever buy. Unless you can comfortably live without a car, you’re likely to buy a used vehicle every few years. If you have kids, you’ll need to budget for their education. Once you’re ensconced in your home, you’ll probably want to make sensible improvements that enhance its value or accommodate your growing family. And, all the while, you need to have enough set aside for the unexpected.

Every one of these items, and many others not mentioned here, demand a measured, thought-out savings strategy. As you notch small victories in your quest to cobble together a down payment for your dream home, don’t neglect your other goals – whether you’re aiming to reach them next month, next year, or next decade.

 

 

 

 


Welcome to Land Home Financial

Your Preferred Direct Community Lender

Since 1988, Land Home Financial has been serving communities nationwide with honesty, expertise, and a personal touch.

We provide diversified funding options and consistent, superior, personalized service to our clients and partners, including: homebuyers, mortgage brokers, builders, manufactured and modular home retailers, and real estate agents.

Get Qualified with Land Home Financial

Have a look at a just a few of the reasons that more and more Americans are choosing Land Home Financial Services:

Land Home Financial - Get Qualified

Whether you are looking to purchase a home, refinance your current mortgage, or get a reverse mortgage, our expert Loan Originators here at Land Home Financial can walk you through the process in-person or over the phone.

Success comes from Great People

Our goal is to create and maintain an environment where employees can contribute creative ideas, seek challenges, assume leadership roles, and continue to focus on meeting and exceeding both business and personal objectives. To grow, we find it essential to provide each associate on-the-job development, supplemented with suitable training as necessary.


The Power Purchase Program

The Power to Purchase

Power Purchase Program:

Power Purchase owning a home

 

LHFS is launching our personalized Power Purchase Program that is competitively priced conventional loan program that requires only a 1% down payment from the homebuyer. Combined with a 2 % Power Purchase grant, the 3% combined equity results with a 97% eligible conforming loan. This program is available for both 1st time homebuyers and repeat homeowner buyers on their primary residence. Refinance transactions are not eligible.

 

First mortgage must meet FHLMC Home Possible Advantage eligibility. Effective 10.01.2017 the 2% Grant funds will be provided by a Non-Profit agency vs. the LHFS Funding It Forward. To be aware of: Conforming loan amounts only, no manual underwriting allowed, manufactured Housing is not allowed, additional subordinate financing not allowed, LTV 97.00%/CLTV 97.00% only, 100% AMI Income Limit Cap and a benefit of having Mortgage Insurance that is lower than 25% coverage cost vs. standard 30% on a 97% LTV!

Power Purchase Program Land Home Financial

* Score over 720 will have a lower MI factor vs. Government products
* Score 620-719, please refer to the MI quote for monthly factor

 

Power Purchase Program Manufactured Housing

modular-homes

LHFS is launching our personalized Power Purchase Program for Manufactured Housing that is competitively priced conventional loan program that requires only a 5% down payment from the homebuyer. Combined with a 2 % Power Purchase gift, the 5% combined equity results with a 95% eligible conforming loan. This program is available for both 1st time homebuyers and repeat homeowner buyers on their primary residence. Refinance transactions are not eligible.

 

 

 

Features:
• First mortgage must meet FHLMC Home Possible eligibility
• Conforming loan amounts only
• No Manual Underwriting allowed
• 3% minimum borrower cash investment requirement, Appraised value or Sales Price, whichever is lower
• 2% NHF 2% Grant contribution is in the form of a Grant, no repayment required
• Additional subordinate financing not allowed, LTV 95.00%/CLTV 95.00% only • 100% AMI Income Limit Cap

*Please note all percentages and statements are subject to change based on regulations that may arise. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and current statements, by Land Home Financial Services are meant to illustrate current operation standards.


We Hire the Best

Do You Have What it Takes?

Land Home Financial Services, Inc has been helping individuals, couples and families get pre-approved for a home mortgage, offering the “right” mortgage for their situation and expediting the mortgage process as efficient as possible. We deliver from “pre-approval to close” with unmatched service by providing the right product and “Hiring the Best” in the industry! Our Loan Originators and Support Staff are focused on getting the mortgage closed properly as quick as possible!

Work for Land Home Financial Florida

LinkedIn_Recruiting_invest   And Here’s Why:

  • We service our own loans & bonus our LO’s year over year from the servicing
  • Company paid assistances to support each branch
  • Coaching & Training available for experienced Originators
  • We have our own Appraisal Desk – no AMC
  • Little to no Over-Lays (we go by AUS)
  • Originators can submit TBD files for Underwriting
  • LO’s submits directly to Underwriter to expedite Loan Commitments
  • We support our Originators offering DPA Loans
  • Our Underwriters actually call you to avoid suspending a file
  • Our processors chase conditions, not our Originators

 

If you live in Florida, have originated a minimum of 24 loans or more for at least 2 years – then WE Need to Talk!

Contact me ANYTIME including after hours or weekends!

 

Vincent Ortiz, Loan Officer

Direct 407.625.9093 Land Home Financial Loan Officer

Vincent.Ortiz@lhfs.com

 


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.