mortgage & pre-approval

Here we provide our insights on when and how to get your mortgage pre-approval. There's a lot that goes into it but the information provided here will make you a pro!

Breaking it down: the difference between pre-approval & pre-qualification

If you're looking to buy a home, you probably know that you'll need to get a mortgage. But, in order to get a mortgage, at the very least, you'll need to get pre-qualified. However, what you may not know, is that there are actually more options beyond that with mortgage pre-approval and even pre-underwriting. If you’re confused about what these terms mean and what the differences between them are, you’re in luck. We’ve laid out each one

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Understanding mortgage interest rates

Locking down a good mortgage rate is just one important aspect of home affordability. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home, you may be wondering what affects mortgage interest rates & what climbing rates mean for you. Mortgage rates have been on the rise, and they will likely continue to do so. As of June 2018, the average mortgage interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan is 4.76%, but it won’t stay that way forever. We’

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Wondering how to budget for a home? Here's 4 ways to start.

Many buyers, especially first-timers, worry about how to budget to buy a house -- and it’s not hard to see why. Becoming a homeowner is a huge financial commitment, and it only makes sense that you’d want to feel fully prepared before taking the plunge. Luckily, with a little planning and foresight, you can easily make that happen. Read on below to learn more about how to appropriately budget to make your homebuying dreams become a reality and

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Should you get pre-approved for a mortgage before looking?

TL;DR Yes. In this competitive homebuying market, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is truly the first step that you should take in buying a home. However, first-time homebuyers are often intimidated by amount of legwork that it takes to get approved and end up shuttling this process to the end of their to-do list, which can be a costly mistake. So, if you’re one of those would-be buyers, this post is for you. We’re taking a closer

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First-time FAQs: What credit score is needed to buy a house?

If you're looking to get a mortgage for your home, good credit is one of key factors that lenders look at when deciding whether or not to approve you for a loan. For this reason, it’s important for buyers to try and get their score in shape before applying. But, how good is good enough? If you’ve found yourself wondering what credit score is needed to buy a house, you’re in the right place. Keep reading below

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Introducing Partner Lenders at Open Listings

At Open Listings, we believe that homebuying doesn't have to be hard -- which means building the knowledge, tools, and support to give everyone the confidence to own their future. Today, we're launching the latest step in creating an easier homebuying process. We're proud to announce that we've partnered with some of the most experienced, well-reviewed, and dedicated mortgage lenders in California and Washington to help Open Listings buyers get closer to their home goals. With an Open Listings Partner

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How much can I borrow for my first home?

TL;DR First-time homebuyers are trying to figure out what mortgage best fits their needs. The reality is you don't always need to put down 20% to buy a home. Depending on your credit score and ideal loan terms, there are many types of mortgage structures that could work for you. Almost two-thirds of Americans are homeowners. That number that has dropped over the past several years, but the dream of homeownership remains a big one for most Americans. A

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How to apply for a mortgage: Your 4-step guide.

TLDR; Applying for a home loan is the first step to take when getting serious about buying a home. It will help you understand how much house you truly can afford. Get ready for the application process by gathering your financial info, finding a lender to work with, and getting pre-approved. You can always shop around and pick another lender once you get an accepted offer. Mortgage loan pre-approval means approaching a lender with financial, credit, debt, and other information

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The Complete Guide To Your Down Payment Amount (Down Payment Assistance Programs Included)

TL;DR There is no “right” down payment amount. Every buyer’s situation and location affect the amount they can put down. Given the plethora of financing options for any down payment amount, today’s home buyers put down between 0-20%. Putting down 20% allows you to save money over time with lower interest rates & monthly payments, but while lower down payments may cost more, they make homebuying achievable for many who otherwise wouldn't be able to make a

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FHA Loans: The solution for first-time buyers

TLDR: An FHA Loan is an affordable, accessible loan option that’s particularly suitable for first time home buyers. It protects lenders in the instance of borrower default and helps prospective home buyers who don’t have great credit, or who are making a low down payment on a home. What is an FHA loan, and how can it help first-time buyers? Navigating the home buying market is an exciting time for first time buyers. The terrain of the market’

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First time home buyer programs, loans & benefits

TL;DR The federal government and all 50 states offer first-time homebuyer loans with incentives from 0% interest to zero down payment amounts and reduced monthly costs. There's also plenty of programs to reduce your upfront and total home ownership costs. To complement, Open Listings offers a commission refund of up to 50% at purchase, which can cover up to 1/3 of your down payment or all of your closing costs. With Americans increasingly using loans to fulfill their

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7-Step Guide to Finding Your Best Mortgage Lender in 2018

TL;DR Finding the best interest rate requires finding the best lender for your financial situation. Local banks, national banks, online lenders, and more all vary in what they offer. Prioritize researching loan options and interest rates to discover what’s best for you. Locking in a low-interest rate is critical, but your choice of lender hugely impacts your mortgage experience. This guide will break down the pros and cons of top mortgage lenders. Open Listings can connect you with

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Why You Should Check Your Credit Score Before Buying A Home

Here’s how your credit score affects the home buying process. TLDR While there's no strict credit score minimum to get a mortgage and buy a home, there are guidelines most lenders follow. While your credit score is a major factor in buying a home, it's not the only one. Lenders also consider your employment history, income, and current debts. And, since credit scores fluctuate, following good credit practices can increase your score and help you get a mortgage or

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7 Ingenious Ways To Save For Your Down Payment in 2017

It might seem impossible, but millennials are buying homes – and affording them. TLDR · Determine how much you need to save for your downpayment · Find out how to save for a house · Save money using apps and asking family for financial help · Create a monthly budget, move invested money into your downpayment · Downsize your current living space, sell things you don’t need Despite steadily rising housing prices, millennials continue to dominate the homebuying market, qualify for stricter loan standards, and

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Know Your Debt-to-Income Ratio and How to Optimize It

If you ever get to the point when you feel as though all of your money seems to go toward paying off debt, you are probably living on the edge of a high debt-to-income ratio (DTI). Your debt-to-income ratio is a measure of how much you are paying in debt each month versus how much income you receive. Suffice to say, the higher your DTI, the greater the strain on your financial situation. If your DTI is more than 40

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