Whether a first-time homebuyer or looking to add another house to your plans, the mortgage process can be complicated. Below are some of the most common terms you may come across during your mortgage transaction and what they mean.
Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM): A mortgage product with an interest rate that adjusts up or down based on a pre-selected index. These are also known as re-negotiable or variable rate mortgages.
Amortization: The calculated repayment of loan principal and interest over a fixed period of time.
Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI): A borrower’s monthly payment obligation divided by their gross monthly income. This ratio is reflected as a percentage.
Escrow: Funds collected by the lender as part of the monthly mortgage payment. It is used to pay real estate taxes and insurance obligations.
Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV): The amount being borrowed divided by the appraised (market) value or selling price of the house. This ratio is reflected as a percentage.
Lock: A commitment obtained from a lender assuring a particular interest rate or feature for a definite time period. This protects the borrower from interest rate increases between the time of loan application and loan closing.
Mortgage Insurance: An insurance policy set up to allow a lender to recover some of their money if a borrower defaults on the loan.
Underwriting: The decision to approve a loan based on the homebuyer’s credit, assets, as well as other factors. This analyzes the borrower’s risk, and matches it to an appropriate rate, term, and loan amount.
Working with a mortgage professional will ensure that these, and any other confusing terms, will be made clear to you throughout the mortgage process.
Summer is the season of fun, but a lot of the activities we typically enjoy can be a hassle. Even a fun beach day requires a lot of preparation, from exhausting packing everything you’ll need and hauling it in the hot sun to the potentially long drive and cost of parking. We’ve come up with 5 fun summer activities that you can enjoy without even leaving home.
1.) Make a Back Yard Water Park
Stock up on water guns, water balloons, slip ‘n slides, kid pools, anything that looks fun at your local store. Set up different water stations and activities and spend the day in your own back yard. Choose games and competitions that are age appropriate for your family and be sure to have lots of fun drinks and snacks on hand - and some towels!
2.) Create Your Own Movie Theater
Some days are just too hot to be outside but going to the movies can cost a lot. Create a fun atmosphere in your living room by blacking out the windows. Make sure there’s lots of candy and popcorn on hand and save money by renting a movie off of your TV or just re-watching some of your favorites.
3.) Camp Out
After a full day, set up your backyard for a camp out. Put up tents, build a fire for s’mores, and enjoy the night sky.
4.) Back Yard Olympics
Pull out whatever lawn games or board games you have and create different stations. Divide the family into teams, (bonus points for coordinating outfits!), and have a day of competitions. Come up with a fun prize for the winners and be sure to keep score!
5.) Tackle Home Projects
We typically get more time off in the summer which can provide an opportunity to get things done around the house. Take one home project you’ve been putting off and get it done. Take the opportunity to rearrange some furniture or gather things for a yard sale.
No matter how you spend your summer, make it a good one and enjoy!
Whether you want to build your savings to purchase a new home, or you simply want to create better money habits for yourself, saving can be a real challenge. We’ve come up with five ways to help you reach your financial goal, and have fun while doing it.
1.) Pay Yourself
Every month, when you get your paycheck, before you start paying off your bills and regular expenses, pay yourself a little cash as a reward for simply being you and going through this life! $10 a month become $120 a year, and $15 becomes $180. Whatever the amount, and whatever you can afford, acknowledging your hard work will boost your confidence and build your savings at the same time.
2.) Pay in Cash and Keep the Change
If you can remember, try to make a few purchases a month with cash. When you receive the change, no matter the amount, place it in an envelope in your home somewhere and see how much you earned at the end of the month. For example, if you buy a snack and a water bottle at a convenience store and the total is $3.50 and you pay with a $10 bill, then $6.50 goes in the envelope!
3.) Set It and Forget It
Opening an additional savings account and automatically having part of your paycheck contributed automatically is a great way to build your savings. Treat this account like a safe; one you can’t open. Once the money goes in, it can’t be transferred or withdrawn. See how long you can leave it alone and before you know it, you’ll have a nice sum of money/
4.) Do Something You Love
If your life permits, find a side job or activity that you’ve always wanted to try but couldn’t necessarily make a career out of. Do you have dreams of being a chef? Try working for a catering company for a few summer events. Did you want to be a professional athlete? See if any of your local teams need part-time help throughout the season. Bonus if you can find a side job that includes perks like free tickets.
5.) Make it a Competition
Challenge your spouse, best friend, or family member to see who can save the most in a month. The loser has to take the other person out for a meal or a fun activity. The motivation will keep you focused and getting a free reward at the end of the challenge is just another way to keep money in your savings account!
This episode of Norcom Cooks, Vice President of Third Party Originations, Kyle Keagan, shares his Hawaiian Poke Cup recipe. In less than 20 minutes, you can make a creative appetizer that everyone will be raving about!
12 wonton wrappers
sea salt, to taste
1 lb. Ahi tuna, sushi grade
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
¼ tsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 tsp. macadamia nuts
¼ tsp. rock salt
½ sweet onion
1 green onion
1 tsp. ginger
Coat the wonton wrappers with olive oil and place in muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes (or until browned). Sprinkle with sea salt and set aside.
Cut yellowfin tuna into ½-inch cubes and place into a bowl. Grate the ginger and dice the sweet and green onions. Once cut, add to the bowl of tuna.
After mixing, add the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili flakes, macadamia nuts, and rock salt. Combine until fully incorporated.
Spoon mixture into each wonton cup until full. Sprinkle each cup with sesame seeds and serve.
The Millennial generation has a considerably more challenging road to homeownership in large part to increased student debt and challenges with credit. Oftentimes, Millennials looking to buy their first home are under the impression that it’s not possible and choose to rent instead. However, by following these 5 buying tips, the Millennial generation can make the goal of owning a home a reality.
1.) Stay Within Budget
It can be easy to get caught up in a passionate bidding war when you think you’ve found your dream home. Unfortunately, this often happens to first time home buyers who forget to stick to their budget. Once approved for a mortgage, and a downpayment is calculated, it’s imperative to stick to those numbers and not offer more. A real estate agent can run comparables of homes in the area you are looking at and help determine a reasonable offer.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but for Millennials, it’s crucial. With surmountable student debt, high credit card bills, and the overall cost of living, saving is often easier said than done. However, by determining the cost of your potential down payment, even setting aside a small amount each month over time will help you reach your goal of owning a home within your set budget.
3.) Get the Help of Professionals
It might seem tempting to take on the homebuying process on your own, perhaps with the idea of saving a little money in mind. In reality, enlisting the help of a loan officer and a real estate agent can save you a lot of headaches down the road. When it comes to any complicated closing issues, or language in contracts that might be confusing, you’ll be thankful that you have the help of people familiar with the process.
4.) Find Who You Like and Who You Know
Building off of the last tip, there are many professionals you can choose from to help you. Make sure that you are comfortable with who is helping you buy your first home. Take the time to find somebody you can trust and can communicate well with so that your needs and goals are being met throughout the entire process.
5.) Consider Doing it Yourself
It is a great idea to have an idea of what home repairs and projects you are willing to take on yourself as a new homeowner, and which you would want a professional for. In addition, which projects would give you more return on your investment should you decide to sell later on. By doing this, you’ll be sure you are submitting the best offer on the home you want and hopefully will minimize and surprise expenses down the road.