Yes, It’s Getting Easier to Get a Mortgage. Here’s How You Can Take Advantage

Yes, It's Getting Easier to Get a Mortgage. Here's How You Can Take AdvantageIt can be hard to stay on top of a changing real estate market from day-to-day, but it’s a matter of fact that there are more available mortgage products out there than ever before for many different kinds of homebuyers. If you’re wondering how you can take advantage of easier lending opportunities and strike while the iron is hot, here are some things to consider.

Take Care Of Your Credit

While many regulations on mortgage applications may have been loosened in recent years, it goes without saying that having a better credit score will still enable you to qualify for a mortgage more readily. Instead of risking it, ensure that you’ve obtained a copy of your credit score and are aware of where you stand as a financial risk. By working on your credit and correcting any errors on your report, it will be that much more likely to have your mortgage application approved.

Saving For A Down Payment

It’s often said that 20% is the ideal amount to put down in order to avoid private mortgage insurance, but it’s not the required amount in order to invest in a home. While it may save money, in the long run, to put more money down, for those who want to get into the housing market, there are many opportunities for putting a lot less down and still being able to purchase. It’s possible you may want to hold off until you can save up for your down payment, but possibilities exist for mortgages with as little as 3.5% down.

Dealing With Closing Costs

Saving up for a down payment and deciding to invest in a monthly mortgage payment is a significant commitment, but adding mortgage closing costs to that can be a bridge too far for many potential homebuyers. Fortunately, many lenders nowadays are offering the opportunity for closing costs like origination and attorney fees to be included in the total cost of the loan. While this will bump up the amount of your monthly payment, it can make a mortgage more feasible from the start.

For many people, there’s a lot of stress that goes along with applying for a mortgage, but with lower down payments required and closing costs included in the total price, getting approved has become a lot easier in recent years. If you’re currently in the market for a new home, contact your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – May 30, 2017

Sales of new and previously owned homes were lower in April after reaching near-record levels in March. Mortgage rates were lower last week and new jobless claims were little changed.

New Home Sales Fall in April; March Reading Revised

New home sales were lower in April after moving higher in March. The Commerce Department revised March figures for new home sales to 642,000 sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. April sales of new homes fell by 11.40 percent to 569,000 new home sales, which fell shy of 605,000 expected sales in April. Sales of new homes reported by the government are based on small samples and are frequently revised, so a month-to-month readings are subject to change. New home sales were 11 percent higher for the first four months of 2017 than for the same period in 2016.

Home prices are showing signs of cooling; the median price for a new home fell to $309,000 in April as compared to $318,700 in March. Lower prices increase affordability and may encourage more buyers into the market. In March, there was a 4.9 percent supply of available homes as compared to April’s 5.70 months inventory. Real estate pros typically consider a 6- month supply of available homes a good balance between homes available and prospective buyers.

The National Association of Realtors® reported fewer sales of pre-owned homes in April than for March. 5.57 million pre-owned homes were sold in April as compared to an expected reading of 5.60 million sales. Projected sales were based on 5.70 million sales of previously owned homes in March. Low inventories of homes for sale has stifled demand as would-be buyers wait for a larger choice of homes.

Mortgage Rates Lower

Freddie Mac reported lower mortgage rates across the board for the three types of mortgages reported. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate dropped seven basis points to 3.95 percent; the rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was eight basis points lower at 3.19 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage fell six basis points to 3.07 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose from the prior week’s reading of 233,000 new claims to 234,000 new claims filed last week.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on inflation, core inflation, Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, and construction spending. Pending home sale and multiple labor-related reports will be released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Client and Partner Testimonials

Cameron spent his Saturday afternoon with us on the phone helping us get pre-approved and starting the loan process with us. This was after our bank proved to not be as organized or efficient in getting us a home loan and we were in a panic. Cameron remained calm and completed the loan process and got us underway. Everything went very smoothly with him. – Katherine Cashwell

To put it simple, Cameron is a true professional. He is very astute to what is going on in his industry which in turn gives him the ability to give superior service to his clients.   –  Brett DePriest

Cameron was friendly, professional and extremely helpful. He really helped make the process of purchasing our first home less intimidating and more enjoyable! – Carly Reese

I have known Cameron for over ten years – he is honest, personable and will work hard for you. I highly recommend Cameron! – Kathryn Overstreet

I have worked with Cameron Lewis in the past and trust his guidance. He takes good care of his clients. – Carol Forney

I’ve worked with many lenders and Cameron is the gold standard! Cameron is very thorough in his work, making the process simple and effective for everyone involved. He is always proactive with communication and very honest. Cameron is also a lot of fun to work with! Highly recommended. – Collin O’Berry

I’ve worked with Cameron dozens of times throughout the years. He is fantastic! Honest, responsive, assertive, creative and seriously likable. He has taken care of many of my very favorite clients, all of whom appreciate and admire him. Yay, Cameron! I’m very grateful for you and your customer service. – Rachel Acker

Cameron and Michelle were very helpful, kind and patient through every step of the process! We always felt that they had our best interests in mind. – Steven Kern

I found Cameron to be thorough and friendly. He completed all of his work in a timely fashion and helped my family to be at ease throughout the whole process. – Dave Washington

SUPERB- The one word that describes my experience working with Cameron Lewis. An invaluable resource to me and my clients! – Laura Moye

As a Realtor I have had the opportunity to work with many mortgage brokers so I recognize good service when I see it. Cameron has done personal mortgages for me and dozens of my clients. I highly recommend him. He does an excellent job staying current on market trends, provides outstanding advice and always gets the loan closed on time. Plus, he’s a genuinely nice guy. – Tad Dixon

Cameron was able to make the mortgage loan process comprehensive. ALWAYS put us at ease with reliable accurate data every step of the process which made it essentially stress free. Simply…the best at his profession. – Katrina Chenevert

Cameron is a person who delivers what he promises and is a pleasure to work with. We have used Cameron on numerous deals and he has provided excellent results each time. He is a part of our “team”. – Brian Daniellian

Working with Cameron at Acopia was such a relief. We had originally applied with another bank, only to endure a frustrating, months-long ordeal of poor service and unclear communication. Cameron was able to quickly pinpoint the areas we needed to address in order to successfully qualify for our home. –  Cherie Montou
Cameron was great to work with. He provided answers to all of my questions in a timely way. – Charles Hughes

I felt that through the entire process, Cameron was there for us. As first time home buyers there were many aspects of the process that were completely foreign & he took the time to explain what we needed and why. All phone calls were received promptly & all paperwork was dealt with in a likewise fashion, even if it meant dealing with something as late as 6 or 7 o’clock at night. – Brian & Kate S.

I have known Cameron for over 9 years as a friend and business associate. Cameron is exceptional at what he does. Having worked and closed many deals with him, I can always say my clients were very satisfied with him and the service he provides. I can strongly recommend him to anyone looking for home financing. – Derek Weekley

Our refinance was a great experience with Cameron, Acopia. I would highly recommend anyone considering refinancing or purchasing a home to meet with him first. – James Bound

Whenever I refer a client to work with Cameron Lewis, I am always at ease knowing that the job will get done and on time. He is extremely thorough and keeps me in the loop throughout the entire process. Some contracts take up to a year to close due to construction so always knowing the status of the client’s ability to close on the home when the time comes is crucial. If I leave him a message, he returns my call that day. I enjoy working with Cameron and intend to continue doing business with him in the New Year. – Leslie Lang

Cameron Lewis has outstanding phone skills! Having just completed a mail mortgage and never meeting my broker(s) I must say that his professionalism and personality kept me with Acopia. There are many choices and my personal bank in Asheville TD Bank was one. His attention to detail was second to none and it gave me a level of comfort that is hard to find. Thank you Cameron. – Antonio Lepore

In every business conversation I’ve ever had with Cameron, I’ve always felt he was looking out for my best interests. Cameron’s a problem solver who I will never hesitate to call on. – David Bourne

I have known Cameron for over 9 years as a business associate and a true professional in his field. Cameron is extremely knowledgeable about his business and is one of the best I have ever had the pleasure of working with. My clients have been highly pleased with his efforts on their behalf. I highly recommend Cameron to anyone looking for financing. He exemplifies the consummate professional. – Alysia Maher

Cameron made the mortgage application process easy. As a first time home buyer, it was nice having someone explain everything in detail. There was a significant amount of paperwork to go over, financial information to be gathered and just a lot of general questions from us to be answered about the process. Cameron was there every step of the way and we are very satisfied. – Patrick O’Brien

Cameron is an all-around fantastic guy. He is very knowledgeable about the mortgage industry and is always up to date on the ever-changing information about the current market and what mortgages are available for people. He takes the time to get to know each and every client on an individual basis and to help them decide what works best for them. – Anne Aldridge

I would strongly recommend Cameron for any and all Mortgage Services. He is always available, prompt, courteous, great with customers, and willing to assist agents to make his services available to our clients. – Sandy Piercy

Cameron Lewis made this experience understandable, comprehensive and efficient. This is our second experience with him as our mortgage lender and we have confidence in his skills and expertise. It is a pleasure to work with him.  – Michael Summa

Cameron has guided my wife and I through financing our home when we first bought it and then again when we refinanced. There are a lot of options available to a home buyer when they are financing a home and for most people this is a huge investment, if not their largest. Sitting down with a professional like Cameron across the desk from you takes all the mystery and hassle out of the process. Unlike a lot of online services there was no hard sell. All the available programs were explained to us so we could make informed decisions as to which option to choose. – Dave Noyes

Cameron not only gets the job done and always looking out for my best interest, but he is always upbeat, even when rates are fluctuating. Wish all business transactions had someone with his outlook on life. – Hayes Hitchens

A skilled, responsive, knowledgeable mortgage lender is critical to handling one of the most important parts of the home loan process – especially in these difficult economic times. Cameron Lewis is all that – as well as an all ’round personable guy! I can without reservation recommend him – and know you’ll be in good hands. – Evelyn Zebro

Cameron has refinanced every home I have owned since I moved to Asheville. He is diligent, committed and knows his business. I will never use anyone else. – Eddie Dewey

Cameron shepherded me through financing my first house buying experience in the USA. His command of the subject and willingness to address all concerns made a potentially stressful experience one that was actually enjoyable as a team effort. I have no hesitation in recommending him. – Kenneth Macfarlane

Cameron was extremely helpful, available and supportive. He made the loan process very personable and interesting, not a simple business transaction. – Raechel Callahan

Cameron commits to a high level of client follow up and attention to detail. He makes the Lender-Client-Realtor connection seamless and easy for my buyer clients and me. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Cameron as the best in the home mortgage industry. Thank you, Cameron for your hard work and Professionalism! – Patti Haberstock

Cameron is extremely knowledgeable about the lending process and works great with his clients to lead them through the process with no hassles. He takes a particular interest in his clients which makes it easy for him to find the right loan that fits the client’s needs the best. – Burns Aldridge

Cameron is extremely knowledgeable. I was a pleasure to work with such a professional. – Richard Kennedy

I worked with Cameron in Asheville during my tenure at Southcliff. I found him to be extremely knowledgeable, eager to serve, attentive to concerns and listens to his customers well. Cameron is very easy to work with and is detail oriented. He follows his transactions thoroughly assuring to the best of his ability your closing goes smoothly without a hitch. – Sonny Iler

So very many of my Real Estate clients have worked with Cameron as their loan originator at Beverly-Hanks Mortgage Services. These clients have always been very pleased with Cameron’s manner of letting the client understand the process, of his keeping the client informed, and being on track and on target toward the common goal of their purchasing a home. I highly recommend Cameron Lewis as a mortgage originator and consultant. – Barbara Biedenbach

Cannot say enough good things about Cameron, both personally and professionally. – Sybil Riddle


Understanding What a “Piggyback” Mortgage Loan Is and How It Works

Understanding What a As a potential homebuyer who is new to the market, many of the terms and mortgage products available to you can be more than a little confusing. Piggyback loans might be a little less familiar than many other options, but if you’re ready to jump into the housing market this type of mortgage can be useful for you. If you’re hoping to invest in a home sooner rather than later, here are the details on this type of loan.

What’s A Piggyback Loan?

While most mortgage loans require one loan and one lender, a piggyback loan is used for homebuyers who don’t have 20% to put down but want to avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI). Because a mortgage with less than 20% down will require the homebuyer to pay PMI, a piggyback loan can assist in avoiding this. For example, in the event that the homebuyer is putting down 10%, their primary mortgage will cover 80% of the purchase price while the piggyback loan will cover the remaining 10%.

What Are The Requirements?

Since there have been many issues with piggyback loans in the past, there are more requirements for this type of loan than there used to be. While it varies from lender to lender, most homebuyers will be expected to put down at least 10% in order to qualify for this loan. In addition, they will be required to have a good credit score to ensure they are a good risk. While the debt-to-income ratio will fluctuate from lender to lender, potential homebuyers will have to prove that they can make their monthly payments.

Is This Loan Right For You?

It’s important before deciding on a piggyback loan that it’s the right choice for you. Since a piggyback loan will require you to pay down two different loans, it means that you will not be able to tap into your home equity in the event that you want to free up funds. It can also put home ownership in harm’s way if there are any financial setbacks. As well, while PMI can be canceled after the equity in your home is at 20%, a piggyback loan does not provide this option.

A piggyback mortgage can be a good option for homeowners who want to get into the market, but it’s important to determine if it’s a financially solid choice before wading in. If you’re currently getting prepared to buy, contact your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

3 Bedroom Staging Tips That Will Get Potential Buyers Excited About Your Home

3 Bedroom Staging Tips That Will Get Potential Buyers Excited About Your HomeArranging an open house is one of the most important parts of selling your home, but there can be a lot of tricks involved in staging it so you’ll get the right offers. While the kitchen and the living room may be a bit more straightforward, here are some tips for staging your bedroom that will be sure to get buyers interested in making an offer on your home.

Brighten The Bedding

It’s one thing to have makeshift bedding when you only have your family to impress, but when it comes to having an open house, you’ll need to be prepared to make a statement. Instead of a mish-mash of colors and styles, ensure that you have one style and one look you’re going for, and ensure that it’s not cluttered with too many pillows and colors. You’ll also want to make sure the colors you choose match the rest of the décor in your room so the viewer isn’t distracted by the sight.

Minimize The Clutter

Few things will swallow the space in your bedroom like a lot of clutter, so it’s important to clear out any extras from your room before you have any viewers. While it’s a given that you’ll want to get rid of extra papers and anything additional that’s obstructing the eye, it’s also important to clear out any oversized pieces of furniture. It’s possible that you have a chaise lounge you’re in love with, but if it swallows the room, you may want to re-consider it when staging time comes.

Don’t Forget About The Walls

There are few things that will illuminate a room like a good piece of art, so ensure that your favorite space isn’t entirely empty when it comes the time to stage your home. While you won’t want to have something that’s too dramatic or colorful, ensure that it’s something that matches the color and style of your room and will help to illuminate the elements that make it ideal. It’s also important to choose the right size of print so that it doesn’t completely overwhelm your space.

There are a lot of small details that go into staging a home properly, but you can be sure to show your bedroom effectively by keeping it clutter free and making it match.

Thinking About a Second Mortgage on Your House? Here’s What You Need to Know

Thinking About a Second Mortgage on Your House? Here's What You Need to KnowWhether it’s to consolidate debt or make funds available for a home renovation, many people consider a second mortgage in order to make it possible to pursue other options. However, like any important financial decision, it’s important to be informed about the financial implications before diving in. If you’re currently weighing your mortgage options and are considering a second mortgage, here are some things to do before the final decision.

Research The Lenders

Since a second mortgage means that you’ll be borrowing against the value of your home, it’s especially important to do your research the second time around and ensure you’re going with the right lender. Instead of going with your first choice or the familiar one, look at a number of different lenders and see if they have positive reviews. A second mortgage can be a big risk so you’ll want to ensure you’re working with a lender who will be working for you.

Prepare Yourself For Higher Costs

Since a second mortgage qualifies as the second loan on your home, it means that it will be the second loan to be paid off in the event that you default on the debt. As a result, the rates for a second mortgage are generally higher than those for your first loan because the lender will be taking on a more substantial risk. While higher rates may not be that alarming if you’ve garnered low rates for your first mortgage, it’s important to determine the financial benefits before deciding on this option.

Is A Second Mortgage Right For You?

Borrowing money may be a common signpost of our culture, but it’s important to consider if a second mortgage is the right financial choice for you. You can certainly improve the value of your home with renovations and perhaps pay off some of your debt, but a second mortgage will only be beneficial if it improves your financial outlook in the end. Before diving in, make sure that you create a budget and calculate the potential savings so you can determine if it’s a good move.

There are a number of financial risks associated with getting a second mortgage so it’s important to weigh your options before deciding that this mortgage product is the right choice for you. If you’re currently looking into available options on the market, contact your trusted mortgage professional for more information.