Saturday, October 23, 2010

10 Tips By Richard Balles on Saving for Your Ideal Home1

Buying a new home can be the most important and significant financial step you'll ever take. When you make that decision, you need to start with a vision--a big picture, if you will. Sometimes, that vision starts when a friend or family member offers you a tour of their beautiful new home. As you venture from room to room, your aspirations grow and you find yourself asking "How do I make this happen for myself?"

With some careful financial planning from Richard Balles at A-K Financial, and some minor adjustments to your spending, your dreams of homeownership may become a reality sooner than you think. Here are several steps suggested by Richard Balles, that you can take to help steer you in the right direction:

1. Define the Big Picture
A good way to gauge how much money you will need to save for a down payment will come from knowing how much you can afford to spend on a home. Richard Balles have an online mortgage calculator ot A-K Financial, that can help you determine a fair estimate of how much home you can afford. It's also a good idea to connect with Richard Balles or one of our A-K Financial advisors who can provide you with some basic information and give you a more accurate picture of a reasonable price range.

2. Budget Yourself
Creating and following a budget is crucial to the outcome of your savings. There are many unexpected costs that can come with homeownership, such as home repairs or the need for extra furniture, which you may not be currently paying and will need to budget for. Learning to budget your finances now will increase your rate of success as you take on this major commitment.

3. Know your Credit History
Your credit score will factor heavily on the interest rates you receive on a mortgage as well as the type of mortgage you get. Reviewing your free annual credit report--by going to help you gain perspective on your current situation. Address any flaws that may appear on your report and make arrangements for payment on items that are outstanding.

4. Determine Your Necessities
Downsizing your expenses can be key in pinching those needed pennies. For example, preparing meals at home each night, rather than dining out too often, can dramatically decrease spending by hundreds each month. Also, cutting back on telephone services and cable TV can make a big impact on your monthly savings. Keep in mind, if you can live without it, you should do just that.

5. Make Your Money Count
Check to see if your employer offers flexible spending accounts. These accounts allow you to stash pre-taxed dollars from your paycheck directly into a savings that can be accessed monthly for personal expenses like car payments or childcare, instead of paying for those things out-of-pocket and after taxes. Utilizing your money to its fullest can save you big dollars in the long run.

6. Save! Save! Save!
Setting money aside could be the most important thing you do. Deduct what you can consistently afford from your paycheck into a savings account. You could request that your employer have that amount automatically deposited into a savings in order to avoid temptation. Remember, there are low and no down payment mortgages available if you can't save 20 percent of the home's value for a down payment. However, the more money you have going into the mortgage transaction, the easier it will be for you in the long run.

7. Track Your Expenses
Tracking your monthly spending can help you pinpoint where all those unaccounted dollars are going. When shopping, make a list a head of time and stick to it. Do your best to avoid unnecessary purchases.

8. Reduce Credit Card Spending
Those little pieces of plastic we call credit cards can often cause a great deal of temptation and damage. It is not uncommon for a person to make an unexpected purchase because they had a credit card handy. The best way to avoid these situations is to avoid using your credit cards whenever possible. Credit card companies can charge very high interest rates. When you pay cash, you don't have to pay interest on it on top of what you're spending for an item, thus you're spending less money in the long run.

Remember: lenders like to see you use your credit so long as you use it wisely. It's not necessary to get rid of your credit cards altogether, but it is important that you not live beyond your means. In fact, canceling your credit cards will shorten your credit history and can substantially lower your credit score.

9. Be Patient
Challenges and financial setbacks can undoubtedly arise as you set financial goals for yourself and cause you to become frustrated. It takes great discipline to avoid breaking your budget. Hang in there, for great is your reward!

10. Be Realistic
Maintaining a budget that works for your situation will be essential to staying on track. Setting unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure in the long run. Save what you can afford and remember that life is meant to be enjoyed. You can find a healthy balance.

Richard Balles says, putting your best foot forward will prepare you for a solid start as you venture through life and take on new commitments. Owning a home is one of the largest financial commitments that you'll ever make, and A-K Financial has experienced mortgage advisors like Richard Balles, who want to help you through the process. So as you prepare for bigger and better things, keep your eyes on the prize and remember that anything worth having takes great effort and hard work. Your return can only be as big as your investment.


Richard Balles tells you what you need to know about Home Loan Qualification

Richard Balles suggests, before you begin looking for a new home, a second home, or an investment property, it is always a good idea to get pre-qualified by your lender (Note: this is different than being pre-approved). At A-K Financial, Richard Balles assist you with this process.

1. Saves you time – you don’t spend your time looking at homes that are out of your price range.
2. Gives you an advantage in the marketplace – many sellers will only allow their property to be shown to pre-qualified buyers.

Your Credit Score - Value Rating - Paper Rating
720 and up - Superior Rating - A Paper
680 to 720 - Excellent Rating - A to B Paper
640 to 680 - Very Good Rating - B Paper
580 to 640 - Good Rating - Subprime
550 to 580 - Fair Rating - Subprime C
550 and below - Imperfect Rating - C Paper

Here Richard Balles is giving the list for "A" paper (note: different guidelines apply to "B and C" credit)
Conforming loan amount of up to $417,000 – 1st mortgage loan amount only (can also have a 2nd mortgage)
Can be owner or non-owner occupied
If owner occupied, must have 2 months PITI* reserves (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This money can be gifted from a friend or relative, but is best if it can be shown as self-saved (seasoned).
If non-owner occupied, must have 6 months PITI* reserves. This money cannot be gifted!
Non-conforming loan amount of $417,000
Can be owner or non-owner occupied
If owner occupied, must have 4 months PITI* reserves (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This money can be gifted from a friend or relative, but is best if it can be shown as self-saved (seasoned).
If non-owner occupied, must have 6 months PITI* reserves. This money cannot be gifted!

Sources of PITI funds can be from any combination of these assets: checking/savings, 401K/IRA/SII, stocks/bonds, heloc, and basically anything that can be liquid should the need arise. This excludes credit cards!

Richard Balles tells you about, what you need to know:

• Minimum required documentation for full doc loan (either initial loan or refinancing loans)
Last 2 yrs tax returns
Last 2 years W2/1099 Stubs
Last 2 months asset statements, all pages
Current home appraisal within last 6 months (we "Chase" need to order this appraisal)
Home owners insurance agent’s name & phone number
2 yrs work history in the SAME field or relating to job
2 yrs address history (does not have to be the same address)
3 credit trade lines (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc): 1 of them at least 24 months old for payment history

if you’ve filed for bankruptcy (chapter 7 or 13)
It needs need to be seasoned at least 2 yrs
It cannot contain any Chase accounts in the bankruptcy, such as credit cards or mortgages
If you’re trying to refinance, current payments to bankruptcy trustee must be made on time and be current prior to pulling money from refinance
No late mortgage payments since filing
Credit Score of 620 (this can vary on a loan amount greater than $417,000, and also depends on the loan program)
2 yrs work history in the SAME field or relating to job
2 yrs address history, does not have to be the same address
3 credit trade lines (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc): 1 of them at least 24 months old for payment history

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A-K Financial: Conventional Loans by Richard Balles

As a first-time homebuyer or a savvy move-up buyer, our programs are designed to accommodate homebuyers with limited personal savings or who choose not to deplete their personal savings as well as those who have a less-than-perfect credit history.

You may be able to buy a home after all.

Richard Balles at A-K Financial offers a variety of options to meet your needs and preferences.

Best for people who:

Don't want to wait to accumulate a large down payment.
Don't want to deplete personal savings, cash in investments, or use home sale proceeds to fund a down payment.
Have past credit problems and little or no cash for a down payment.

With one of A-K Financial's home financing programs specially designed by Richard Balles, the wait for your new home is over.

Richard Balles or any of A-K Financial's Loan Officer can help you decide between a fixed rate mortgage and an ARM, with or without points, or can counsel you regarding the variety of special financing programs we offer. Contact us today to find the program that best fits your needs!

In conjunction with our Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate offers a step-by-step outline of the home-buying process, which includes obtaining financing for the home of your dreams. We also offer some financing tips to help you along in the process.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate, gives you Refinancing ideas

Need extra financing to improve your current home?
Have little equity, but want to update that kitchen or bathroom?

Refinancing Today May Help Build Equity for Tomorrow and Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate can help you do it!

The last time mortgage interest rates were this low, Dwight Eisenhower was playing golf on the White House lawn, and the magical invention of television was capturing the attention of families everywhere.

Curious whether today's historically low rates can benefit you? This may be an opportune time to explore refinancing to reduce your monthly payment. Yet some homeowners are hesitant to take the first step. Many aren’t certain they can qualify, or the process intimidates them. It doesn’t have to be that way.

A-K Financial's mortgage specialists like Richard Balles, is here to help you with every detail.

The knowledgeable and friendly staff at A-K Financial can guide you through the process and explain your options. There are now many government programs available for qualified borrowers, even if your home value has declined in the current market. Here are some examples by Richard Balles our mortgage specialist :

  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
HARP may allow eligible homeowners to take advantage of today's lower interest rates. HARP is designed for many conventional loans, and the application may not require an appraisal. In many cases, the closing costs can be financed into the new loan.

  • FHA Streamline Refinance
For eligible borrowers who already have an FHA loan, the “FHA Streamline Refinance” allows them to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates, often without an appraisal.

  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL)
Sometimes called a “VA Streamline Refinance,” the VA IRRRL is available when transferring one VA loan to another. Benefits include no out-of-pocket costs, no appraisal in some cases, and no income verification.

Do you have a long-term fixed rate mortgage? If so, you might consider refinancing to a shorter mortgage term. Shorter-term mortgages may help build equity quickly. With today’s low rates, your payment could remain low while you reduce the term of the loan by many years.

Current global economic conditions have provided an environment for incredibly low rates. How long will it last? No one knows. Don’t miss this chance to find out if you can lower your mortgage payment or help build equity faster.

Our experienced loan consultants can give you a no-cost, no-obligation home financing analysis. Contact Richard Balles or our Customer Service today at 1-240-720-7313 to schedule your mortgage “check up.”

All first mortgage products are provided by A-K Financial, LLC. A-K Financial is an affiliate of A-K Real Estate. Please speak to your real estate agent for more information on this affiliation.
Refinancing makes sense only if the new rate is at least 1% or is lower than the rate on your current mortgage. The loan officers at A-K Real Estate can help you decide if refinancing is right for you. Contact us today to find out more!... (For your protection, we remind you that this is an unsecured email service that is not intended for sending confidential or sensitive information. Please do not include your social security number, account number, or any other personal or financial information in the content of the email).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Richard Balles at A-K Financial suggests Loan options for First-time Home Buyers

With one of the most diverse and extensive product lines in the industry, A-K Real Estate with help of Richard Balles, has mortgage products to fit a variety of home financing needs. Richard Balles has listed some of the most popular here. To learn which loan options are best suited for your individual situation, schedule a consultation with one of our Home Mortgage Consultants at A-K Financial.

Richard Balles suggests Home Opportunities SM

Little or no down payment required
Flexible income, credit and debt guidelines, including non-traditional credit histories
Incentives for public employees

For home buyers with the following consideration points:

High debt ratios and little savings
Non-traditional credit histories
Both documented and undocumented income
Experienced financial difficulties
Qualified public employees

Richard Balles suggests - FHA Loan
Low down payment requirements
Flexible income, debt, and credit requirements to help borrowers qualify
Down payment and closing costs may be funded by a gift, grant, or secured loan.

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Homebuyers with limited savings
Homebuyers with low-to-moderate income

Richard Balles suggests - VA Loan
For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Qualified veterans, reservists, active-duty service members
Homebuyers with low-to-moderate income
Homebuyers with limited savings

Down Payment Assistance Program (DAPs) Available for a limited time by Richard Balles

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Income and purchase price limits apply. See your mortgage consultant for details

Richard Balles suggests - Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loan
Fixed-rate mortgages give you the security of knowing your monthly principal and interest payment will not change. A-K Financial provides a variety of fixed-rate products, with loan terms ranging from 10 to 40 years.

Predictable payments. The monthly principal and interest payment is fixed over the life of the loan.
Protection from rising interest rates. No matter how high market interest rates go, your mortgage rate remains the same over the life of your loan.

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Prefer regular payments with no surprises
Have limited or fixed incomes
Plan to stay in their homes a long time
Are buying a home at a time when interest rates are comparatively low

Richard Balles suggests - Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
Interest rate that is fixed for an initial period, then adjusts periodically based on market conditions
Lower initial rate than with a fixed-rate mortgage
A variety of fixed-period options ranging from one to ten years

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

People looking to increase their short-term cash flow
Buyers who need a larger loan amount than they can qualify for with a fixed-rate mortgage
Homebuyers who plan to move or refinance within a few years
Financial assistance for down payment and closing costs
No repayment of gift required
Minimal paperwork
No down payment required in most cases
Flexible income, debt, and credit requirements to help borrowers qualify
Down payment and closing costs may be funded by a gift, grant or secured loan

“If you want to do something worth doing, you'll need two things: passion and architecture. But without the right tools, you can’t succeed. “
A-K Financial agents are committed, passionate, and have well-crafted support and training. Outfitted with the best tools to succeed in real estate and finance and to satisfy buyers and sellers. Meet with Richard Balles A-K Financial agent today and begin building the framework for your dreams.