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Six Tips to Help Your Home Sell This Fall

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Adobe Spark (1)Leaves are falling, autumn is calling, and homes are popping up for sale! Fall can be a great time to list your house and settle into your dream home! Here are a few tips and tricks to set your home aside from others on the market, this fall season:

#1: Clean up the yard: First impressions count! Cut back overgrown trees and bushes and make sure they don’t cover walkways or windows. Also cut and throw dead vegetation in gardens and pots. Add a little curb appeal by placing a few mums and pumpkins by the front door.

#2: Check your HVAC: Replace your furnace filters and check over the furnace before you list this house. Make sure everything is running correctly and up to speed.

#3:  Clean your fireplace: Whether you have a gas or wood burning fireplace, they can all use a good cleaning every once in a while. Fall is a great time to do so. Once the unit is cleaned, you can utilize it during showings to make your home feel warm and inviting.

#4: Spruce up your space: Add a pop of fall color by using throw pillows and blankets in various areas. Color can warm the space and make it feel comfy/ cozy.

#5: Make some fall treats: What better way to make a house feel like home? Cook some pumpkin treats and set out for guests to enjoy. Consider setting out pumpkin spice coffee or hot apple cider too!

#6: Brighten it up: This time of year days are getting shorter, and it is important to flood rooms with warm light. Be sure to turn on lights all throughout the home before a showing! Don’t forget small spaces like closets and mud rooms.

Right now is the perfect time to make sure you’re prepared to make an offer by getting pre-approved today!

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4 Things to Know About Closing Costs

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Closing costs are fees that are paid out to all the various people that are involved in your loan process. These include, but are not limited to, your processor, underwriter, and home appraiser.

What is included in my closing costs?

Prepaid Costs: Are not fees, but costs paid in advance when purchasing a home. Examples of just some prepaids are property taxes, homeowners insurance, attorney fees, home inspection, appraisal fees, and mortgage interest that will accumulate between the closing date and month-end. Often these prepaid costs are put into an escrow account and then distributed accordingly.

Cash To Close is the combination of closing costs that are covered by the buyer, all relevant prepaid costs, and your down payment (less your Earnest Money deposit).

You will get an estimate of these expenses before the closing. During the closing you will see the final costs on the Closing Disclosure (CD), so you will fully understand the breakdown of all fees. The First Class Mortgage team will be here to keep you well informed and comfortable throughout the entire loan process.

If you are interested in starting your homeownership journey, please give us a call or apply online today! closing costs infographic

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Understanding Your Credit Score

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Credit Score Financial payment Rating Budget Money Concept

As you probably know, your credit is an important factor when determining your eligibility for a home loan. It is also a factor that will help determine your interest rate for a home mortgage.

Being “in the know” about your credit is important. One of our experienced Mortgage Consultants can counsel you about your credit score. The first step is to fill out an application. When the application is complete, they can pull credit. This score will allow them to talk you through specifics regarding your loan status eligibility and potential interest rates.

If your credit score is not where it needs to be, one of the First Class Mortgage Consultants can give you steps to take to build your credit. They can also suggest a time frame of when you could potentially check back in and re-evaluate your score and eligibility.

Information to keep you “in the know”:
Your FICO credit score takes five things into account. Here is the break-down of those five areas:CREDIT PIE CHART

•  35% Payment History – payment patterns of debts
•  30% Amount Owed – If what you currently owe is reasonable for your credit profile
•  15% Length of History – The average age of all your accounts
•  10% New Credit – How much new credit you have to your name
•  10% Types of Credit Used – How many types of accounts you have (loans, credit cards, etc.)

What your score means to lenders:credit score scale updated

•  Excellent (800 or Higher): Applicants with scores in this range are at the top of the list for the best rates from lenders.
•  Very Good (740–799): Applicants with scores here are likely to receive better than average rates from lenders.
•  Good (670–739): Only 8% of applicants in this score range are likely to become seriously delinquent in the future.
•  Fair (580–669): Applicants with scores in this range are considered to be subprime borrowers.
•  Bad (579 & Below): Credit applicants may be required to pay a fee or deposit, and applicants with this rating may not be approved for credit at all.

APPLY TODAY to get started on your pre-approval and credit evaluation.

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Equifax Data Breach: What should you do now?

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Last week, credit-reporting bureau, Equifax, confirmed a massive cyber security incident, which potentially compromised the personal information of about 143 million U.S. consumers.That means that the chances you are affected are pretty high.

Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus, lost control of customer data that included Social Security numbers, home addresses, credit card numbers, drivers license numbers and birth dates.


Even if you don’t think you’re a customer of Equifax, there’s a strong possibility they still have your data. As a credit reporting agency, Equifax gets information from credit card companies, banks, lenders, and retailers to help it determine a person’s credit score.

To find out if your data has been compromised, use the Equifax Impact Finder. There have been reports that this tool is less than accurate, so at this point, we suggest that any person with a credit history take action as if they were affected.


  • CHECK YOUR CREDIT REPORTS: You can view your credit reports for free at You’re entitled to get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three big agencies once every 12 months. Review it closely for unauthorized accounts or any mistakes.
  • FREEZE YOUR CREDIT: One of the most reliable ways to prevent someone from opening credit cards in your name is to place what’s called a “credit freeze.” A freeze stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in your name, but it also prevents you from opening new accounts. So, each time you apply for a credit card, mortgage or loan, you need to lift the freeze — with the PIN you got when you froze your credit — a few days beforehand. To freeze your credit, contact each of the credit bureaus using these phone numbers:

•  Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
•  Experian: 1‑888‑397‑3742
•  TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

  • SET A FRAUD ALERT: A fraud alert is another way to make it hard for identity thieves to open accounts in your name. When you set a fraud alert, credit card companies will be required to verify your identity before opening an account. That, combined with the credit freeze, is a great way to keep your credit secure. To set a fraud alert, contact just one of the credit card bureaus and ask for an initial fraud alert. Once the alert is in place, it will last 90 days. After that, you’ll have to renew it. Here are the appropriate phone numbers for the bureaus (remember, just call one):

•  Equifax: 1-888-766-0008
•  Experian: 1-888-397-3742
•  TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289

  • STAY UPDATED: Equifax has created resources to assist consumers. These include online information at and a call center at 866-447-7559.
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Should You Refinance Your FHA to a Conventional Loan?

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If you are like most first-time homeowners, your first mortgage was an FHA loan. Your FHA loan gave you the ability obtain financing, requiring only minimal down payments and fair-to-good credit scores. While this was a perfect fit for you at the time, you now may be looking to save some money. One way to do this is to refinance into a conventional loan.

One significant advantage of switching to a conventional loan is that, with the right loan-to-value ratio, it can eliminate mortgage insurance. While conventional loans have stricter credit requirements, and typically require borrowers to have at least 20% equity in their homes, any mortgage insurance provision cancels once your house reaches a 78% loan-to-value ratio.

Additionally, refinancing to a conventional mortgage may allow you to take out a larger home loan.

Refinancing does come with costs, such as closing fees, and may require you to present many of the same documents during the application process as you did with your original home purchase. Plus, you may also need to pay for an appraisal of your home.

Checklist: When Is a Good time to Refinance from an FHA to a Conventional Mortgage?

If you’re still not sure whether you should refinance from an FHA loan into a conventional mortgage? Take a couple of minutes to answer the following questions. They can help you decide if a refinance is right for you.

1. What are my goals?

2. Does refinancing make financial sense?

3. What is the current value of my home?

4. What is my existing home equity?

5. Can I afford the refinancing closing costs and fees?

6. Can I provide all of the necessary documentation?

Considering a Refi? Let us help!
Our expert mortgage consultants can help you evaluate your current loan situation and help you identify if a refinance is right for you. Give us a call today!

Source: PennyMac, Link

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