All posts by Reliant Home Funding, Inc

Conventional 1% Down Program

Reliant Home Funding, Inc Now Offers Conventional 1% Down Program for Homebuyers

New program offers borrowers better savings, more favorable payments than FHA product

 [Melville, NY]—[7.6.2017]—Reliant Home Funding, Inc has announced a new program enabling consumers to purchase homes with as little as 1% down, making it one of the first independent mortgage brokers in the country to offer a conventional 1% down program to homebuyers. Through their wholesale relationships Reliant Home Funding will offer eligible homebuyers with a 2% lender-paid down payment that gives consumers a 3% equity boost at closing.

“The 1% down program we’re making available to clients is a new alternative to the 3% down programs that already exist,” said Gregory Topal, President of Reliant Home Funding, Inc. “It’s a conventional loan designed for borrowers with strong FICO scores who want to save money on their down payment and maximize their monthly discretionary income.”

Reliant Home Funding, Inc produced a video to highlight the program.

This Conventional 1% (Up to $5,000) down program is available to homebuyers with a minimum FICO score of 700 and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%. Reliant Home Funding, inc is one of the first independent mortgage brokers in the U.S. to offer a 1% down-payment option in the form of a conventional loan, as opposed to a government-backed mortgage.

To learn more visit: https://relianthomefunding.com/low-down-payment

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

What You Need to Know about FHA Loans

While the home buying process is all about finding the perfect place for you and your family to call home, it’s also a significant financial commitment. As such, you need to pay close attention to the type of loan you ultimately use to buy the home. While you’ll get invaluable advice and guidance from your Long Island mortgage company, knowing a thing or two about the mortgages available, specifically FHA loans, will help make things easier on you.

What’s an FHA Loan?

As your Long Island mortgage company will explain to you, an FHA loan is a mortgage insurance solution. It’s a program offered by the Federal Housing Administration, part of the federal government. Note that the FHA is not a lender – they simply insure the loans given to borrowers by lenders.

It’s also important to note that you can’t get an FHA loan from any and all lenders. The FHA only approves certain lenders. So, the first part of your legwork will be finding an FHA-authorized lender (your Long Island mortgage company can help reduce the amount of effort you spend here).

Why Might You Consider an FHA Loan?

What is it about FHA loans that makes them so attractive? It’s really all about the protection offered to the lender. Because the lender has less risk, they’re able to offer some important benefits to the borrower (you).

There are also a few other perks that make these important tools for home buyers. For instance, you’ll find that the interest rate is considerably lower than with a conventional mortgage loan, meaning that not only will your monthly payments be lower for the same amount as with a conventional home mortgage, but that you’ll actually pay less over the life of the loan.

Another benefit here is that FHA loans come with lower down payment requirements. Any money you can save when buying a home is a great thing, and a lower down payment means more money left over for other needs, like insurance, repainting, repairs and the like. What’s more is that these loans are available to buyers without sterling credit. In an age when more lenders than ever have put stringent requirements in place for borrowers that can bar many people from owning their own home, this is a ray of hope.

Finally, FHA loans can be assumed by others. Let’s say that you get an FHA loan and you buy the home. You spend quite a few happy years there, but then your employer offers you a very lucrative job on the other side of the country. That means you need to sell your home and move. With an FHA loan, a buyer can actually assume the loan directly rather than going through the lengthy process of getting their own loan.

It’s Not All Golden

While FHA loans are great for many reasons, there are a few potential issues you need to understand. The most important of these is that you are required to have mortgage insurance. Actually, you need two types. You’ll pay the first one upfront when you buy the home. The second is a monthly payment.

You’ll also find that FHA loans are only applicable toward certain types of properties. You can’t buy just any old house you want. You’re required to have the home appraised by an appraiser with FHA approval to ensure that it meets those requirements. If it does not meet requirements, the seller can agree to make the needed repairs or changes, but that is up to them – they’re not required to do so. The only other choice is for you to pay for the repairs at closing.

So, Who Qualifies for FHA Loans?

As you can see, there are quite a few things that you’ll love about being able to get an FHA loan through your Long Island mortgage company. But will you qualify for one? That’s where things get a little sticky.

In order to qualify, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. One of those is that the amount you pay monthly for the mortgage, plus all other home-associated costs (insurance, HOA fees, etc.) cannot exceed certain ratios.   You need to have a credit score of at least 500, and you must use the property as your primary residence (no vacation homes, second homes, or rentals).

There are other things you’ll need to consider before deciding that an FHA loan is the right fit for you, and your Long Island mortgage company can help. If you’re ready to consider buying a home, get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to discuss your options and learn what you’ll need to know to get through the process.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Crucial People You’ll Interact with During the Home Buying Process

For most people, the assumption is that the process of buying a home only involves a few people. Obviously, you’re part of it (the buyer), and then there’s the seller, too. There will most likely be at least one real estate agent involved (more likely two – one for you and one for the seller). However, the reality is that there are far more people you’ll interact with during the process, from the buyer’s agent to the mortgage broker you work with. It pays to have at least some understanding of these professionals, and the roles they play in the process.

Before You Start

Before you start shopping for homes, if you’re smart, there are a few people you’ll interact with. One of those is your Long Island mortgage broker. This allows you to get your loan application fast-tracked and start the process immediately. It also means that you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend before you fall in love with a home that’s out of your price range.

You’ll also work with a real estate agent in most cases. Really, the smartest move is to work with a Long Island mortgage broker, and then find yourself a reputable realtor in the area you’re considering. Note that there’s a difference between real estate agents and actual realtors. You may also work with a real estate broker (they hire agents and realtors).

During the Process

Obviously, once your Long Island mortgage broker has provided you with approval on the loan and the amount you’re able to spend, the next people you’ll meet will be the seller (or sellers if you’re looking a more than one home) and their agent(s). You may here these professionals referred to as either seller’s agents or listing agents, but they’re the same.

You should also work with a licensed home inspector. Never buy a home without first having it professionally inspected. You can choose to hire your own, or the seller may provide a report from a reputable inspector in the area.

Next up is the property appraiser. Essentially, these professionals are responsible for ensuring that you’re actually getting what you pay for. They value the property, compare it to the value of homes sold in the surrounding area, and generally make sure that you’re not paying too much for the home.

You will also need to find a homeowner’s insurance provider. You’ll work with an insurance agent. Depending on your wants, needs and situation, you may be able to get homeowner’s insurance through the insurer you work with for auto insurance, but that’s not always the case.

It’s possible that there may be title issues with the property you’re purchasing. To ensure there aren’t, you’ll have to work with a titling company or a settlement agent. They’re responsible for researching the title and ensuring that there are no other claims against it that might prevent you from being recognized as the owner (liens, claims by other family members, etc.). Once the research is over, they’re handle filing the paperwork for you.

After you’ve found the perfect home for your needs, you’ll go back to working with your Long Island mortgage broker. At this point, your broker will submit the address of the property to the underwriter, and the loan process will move forward. Now comes the time when you’ll choose the type of mortgage that’s right for you (adjustable rate, fixed rate, FHA, etc.). Within a short time, you’ll go from choosing the mortgage type you want to the actual processing and underwriting. Once that’s done, you’ll be the proud new owner of your first home.

Of course, there are other people you might meet during the process, depending on your specific situation. For instance, if you’re buying a fixer-upper, you will need to work with a remodeling expert or general contractor. You might work with a flooring installer if you want to replace that aging shag carpet, or a carpenter to fix the old deck on the back of the home.

No matter how you cut it, there are plenty of people you’ll work with during the home buying process. Two of the most crucial are the Long Island mortgage broker you choose and the real estate agent you work with. Both can “make or break” the process and it pays dividends to make sure you’ve chosen wisely before getting started.

If you’re ready to take the plunge into home ownership, get in touch with the experts at Reliant Home Funding to take care of the financial aspects of the process.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

What You Need to Know about Home Mortgages

Unless you’re independently wealthy (and sometimes even then), buying a home means getting a mortgage loan. Home loans are pretty much a universal requirement these days. There’s no getting around it. With that being said, there are multiple options out there, and you need to know how to choose the one that’s right for your particular needs.

Fixed Rate Mortgages

Fixed rate mortgages are the most common in existence, and they’re generally the best fit for most home buyers. These home loans have the benefit of ensuring that you know exactly what you’ll pay every single month for the life of the loan. It’s probably what you think of when you imagine a mortgage in the first place.

Of course, there are drawbacks. For instance, you’ll be stuck paying the same interest rate even if the actual rates drop far below what you were given when you applied for the loan. There’s also the fact that fixed rate loans often carry a higher premium in the form of percentage points, but the peace of mind offered by being able to budget is generally worth the extra.

If you plan to stay in your home for a long period of time and aren’t particularly happy with financial risk, a fixed rate mortgage is the better choice. However, they aren’t necessarily the most affordable. They’re just the most predictable.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Adjustable rate mortgages are pretty much the opposite of fixed rate mortgages. They’re just want they sound like. Rather than a single interest rate for the life of the loan, you get a fixed rate for only a specific introductory period, and then the rate changes based on market movements. This could give you the benefit of dramatically reducing the amount you pay in interest if rates drop.

However, it could result in a much higher payment each month if rates were to climb. For many buyers, that’s just too much left to chance. Without the ability to budget for your home payment after the introductory period, you could be in hot financial water. There are also different forms of adjustable rate mortgage that may or may not work for your needs. Some lenders now offer adjustable rate mortgages that adjust less frequently than others, which could save you some money, or at least a little bit of sanity.

There’s also the potential to enjoy a very low interest rate during the introductory period. If you’re planning to buy and then sell again within just a few years (say, before the introductory period ends, or shortly afterward), this could be a smart move.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the type of mortgage, you need to consider the amount you’ll be required to pay as a down payment. The minimum with most lenders is around 3 to 5%. However, understand that only paying the minimum can increase your costs by requiring you to have PMI, or private mortgage insurance. You can get around this by putting 20% of the loan amount down in the beginning, but many buyers simply cannot afford that. Either way, the more money you put down at the start, the less you’ll pay in interest during the loan.

Working with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

Really, the best way to move forward with your home buying plans is to get the help of someone who has in-depth knowledge of the mortgage industry – a Long Island mortgage broker. This offers a number of benefits.

For instance, it simplifies things a great deal. With a Long Island mortgage broker like Reliant Home Funding, you get the added benefit of our exclusive 1st Approve program. Essentially, this allows you to start the process of getting a loan, including being approved by an actual underwriter for a specified amount, even before you find the property you want to buy. Once you find the right property, it’s added to the approval and the process continues.

In the next step, your mortgage broker will help you understand the various home loan options out there and how they apply to you and your situation. You’ll learn about fixed rate and adjustable mortgages, but also unique programs like VA loans (for veterans and certain family members), FHA loans and more.

If you’re interested in learning more about the 1st Approve program, or speaking with a Long Island mortgage broker about your options when it comes to a home loan, get in touch with us at Reliant Home Funding. We’ll walk you through the process, answer your questions, and help ensure you’re able to make an informed decision.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Build Your Credit Before Applying for a Mortgage – Tips for New Homebuyers

Think that you’re ready for the responsibility of owning a new home? Maybe you’ve tied the knot and you’re looking for the right place to start a family. Whatever the case, stop right now. Before you contact a realtor or start looking at homes for sale, you need to make sure that you’re the most attractive candidate for lenders. Why? Simply put, if your credit isn’t up to snuff, you won’t get the loan you need. Possibly even worse – you’ll get a loan, but the interest will be horrifying and you’ll end up paying far, far more than you should.

Get Your Credit Report

The first thing you need to do is get a copy of your credit report. You’re entitled to one free copy every year from each of the major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian). Why get a copy from all three? Isn’t it the same information? It’s supposed to be, but it isn’t. You’ll find that each report differs, sometimes substantially. One account might not be shown on the report from one or even two bureaus.

So, what are you looking for? Anything that might be considered a black mark. This can be anything from maxed out credit cards (particularly those you got as a student and weren’t able to pay off), to closed accounts. As a note, don’t look for your credit score on these reports. It’s not there, nor are the bureaus required to give that information to you. It is available, but you’ll have to pay for it. It’s simpler just to start cleaning things up before you shell out any more cash.

You should also keep an eye out for any debts listed under your name that don’t belong to you. These must be disputed with the bureau so they can be removed. Think it won’t happen? It does more than you might think.

The Next Step

Now that you have your reports, it’s time for the next step. Take action on anything that you can. Pay off credit card debts. Get in touch with creditors and make payment arrangements. The goal is to repair the damage caused by late payments or nonpayment.

If you have a lot of credit card debt, consider paying off several smaller cards so that you’re left with only one or two higher-balance cards. Not only will the paid-off balances boost your credit, but you’ll find life is a lot easier to manage with fewer monthly payments, even if paying off those cards didn’t put a huge dent in your overall debt.

Even if you can’t really afford to pay off cards completely, focus on getting the balances down. You want to be at about 30% of your limit on each card. So, if your card has a $2,000 balance, you should have no more than about $600 on it.

No New Debt

It’s tough, we know, but you need to resist the temptation to create any new debt right now. That means no applying for new credit cards. It means no new cars. It means not opening a line of credit at your favorite clothing store. Not only will this help ensure that you’re not creating yet more debt for a lender to sift through when considering your mortgage application, but it stops inquiries into your credit. Every time you apply for credit, whether it’s for an auto loan or a credit card, the lender checks your credit.

Get Financing in Hand with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

Once you’ve cleaned up your credit and are a financially attractive candidate, it’s time to shop for a mortgage loan (before shopping for a home). Ideally, you’ll work with a Long Island mortgage broker capable of providing you with what’s sometimes called a TBD mortgage (to be determined). In this instance, you go through all the steps you would for an actual mortgage, including having the loan authorized by an underwriter. The only difference, and what makes it “to be determined”, is that there’s no specific property attached to it. Your mortgage broker will let you know the loan amount you’ve been approved for, and you can start shopping. Once you find a home, the loan is finalized through your Long Island mortgage broker, and you buy the property.

If you’re ready to start the process of buying a home and have already taken care of your financial homework, get in touch with us at Reliant Home Funding and learn more about how a Long Island mortgage broker can speed up the buying process.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Crucial and Overlooked Tips for New Home Buyers

 

Is it time to strike out on your own and purchase your first home? It’s an exciting prospect, particularly if you’ve never done anything but rent. There’s a sense of achievement that accompanies buying your own home, and a feeling of anticipation about the happy years you’ll spend in the new property.

Of course, there’s also the whirlwind of changes that you’ll probably want to make – repainting certain rooms, replacing carpet with hardwood and the like. However, it’s important to ensure that you know what you’re in for long before you get to closing. Here are a few of the most important tips new home buyers should know.

Shop Smart

This advice has been given before, but it pays to double down on it. You need to shop smart. Begin by making a list of all the things you absolutely must have in a property, along with notes about what you’d be willing to sacrifice to either obtain those things, or for something better.

However, this tip needs to be kept in mind in other ways, as well. For instance, there will likely be something that needs to be repaired or fixed in just about every property you view. Even brand new homes (and often, particularly, brand new homes) need some TLC before they’re perfect. Shop smart. Know what to look for in a home in the way of problems.

Is there a slight discoloration on the ceiling that might indicate a roof leak? Does the floor slope? Is the crown molding or chair rail starting to pull away? These are just a few minor examples. Understand what’s wrong, what it will take to fix it, and how that will impact your decision to buy or the amount you make in an offer for the home.

In a related note, don’t fall in love with upgrades or improvements alone. Yes, curb appeal is important, but is that new landscaping or vinyl siding more important than the fact that the roof is 25 years old and about to need replacing? Is the new hot tub out back more important than the fact that the HVAC system is from three decades ago? Upgrades can be important, but you need to learn to look past them to the reality of the home you’re considering.

Have a Buyer’s Agent

In most instances, you might assume that you’ll be working primarily with the seller’s real estate agent, and that is possible, although not advised. Really, you need a buyer’s agent on your side. Why? These professionals look out for your best interests (not the seller’s) and they usually won’t cost you a penny, as the seller is responsible for their fees.

What might a buyer’s agent do for you? Pretty much anything that a seller’s agent could do for the home owner. They can help you navigate pricing, find the right home in the right neighborhood, and answer questions before and after closing, as well as a lot more. Does it add time to your buying process? Sure. Is it important to have a buyer’s agent? Yes, very.

Find the Right Long Island Mortgage Company First

Too many buyers get off on the wrong foot when buying a home because they start looking at properties first thing. Finding a Long Island mortgage company first might seem like you’re putting the cart before the horse, but that’s not the case. In fact, it’s really a far wiser idea to work with a Long Island mortgage broker in the beginning than to try to secure financing after you’ve fallen in love with a property that ultimately ends up out of your price range.

By working with a Long Island mortgage broker initially, you can start the qualification process. Or, as is the case with Reliant Home Funding, you can do yourself one better and actually start the mortgage loan process itself. This goes farther than “pre-approval”, and actually gets you a loan approved by an underwriter contingent on you choosing a property.

It greatly speeds up the entire process, but can also alleviate the problem of finding a home that’s too far outside your price range. If you know how much you can spend before you start shopping around, you’re much less likely to even look at homes with a price tag beyond the amount you’ve been approved for in the loan. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker as one of the first steps in the process (if not the first step, after you’ve made sure you’re a financially viable candidate for home buying).

Armed with these tips, you should be better prepared to start the home buying process. We invite you to get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to learn more about your options and how a Long Island mortgage broker can help.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

4 Most Common Mistakes First Time Home Buyers Make

Buying a new home can be incredibly exciting. It’s a sign that you’ve finally made it, that you’re living the American Dream. However, it can also be a daunting, confusing process and if you’re new to it, there’s a significant chance that you’ll fall prey to one of these common mistakes made by first time home buyers. What are they, and what should you do to avoid them?

Not Working with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

There’s a sense with many first time home buyers that they don’t need to worry about securing a loan until they’ve found a property. On the surface, that seems to make sense, but does it, really? No, it really doesn’t. The reason for that is simple – if you don’t work with a Long Island mortgage broker at the start of the process, you have no idea how much you’ll qualify to borrow, or if you’ll qualify at all. Sure, you might have a good idea of your credit score, but what about your down payment? What about interest rates? What about the maximum amount you can borrow? Working with a Long Island mortgage broker early on gives you firm financial footing, and allows you to shop with confidence.

Renting Might Be Better

Yes, there’s a sentiment out there that you really need to own your home. It’s an important asset, right? It’s almost a rite of passage. For generations, home ownership has been sought after. However, it might not be the right case for you. In fact, there are plenty of people for whom owning a home would be a bad idea. For instance, if you’re not going to stay in the area for a long, long time, then why bother buying? If you’re single now and have no plans to start a family anytime soon, why buy? If you’re not prepared for all the responsibilities that owning a home brings to your life (mowing the lawn, paying taxes, repainting and repairing things, paying for homeowner’s insurance, etc.), then why buy a home?

You’re Saddled with Debt

A lot of focus is given to ensuring that your credit is in great shape before looking for a home, and that’s a good thing. However, you can have good credit and still be turned down for a mortgage. You need to understand that lenders do more than look at your history for blemishes and check your credit score. They’re also looking at your debt to income ratio – the amount of money you have going out every month for debt as opposed to the amount of money you have coming in every month. If your debt to income ratio is too skewed, it really doesn’t matter how good your credit score is. The lender will feel that you will be unable to meet all of your financial obligations and still be able to put food on the table and keep the lights on. That makes you a risky proposition.

Not Checking Market Trends

When you’re ready to buy a home, you should go out and do it. Right? Well, not so much. Buying a home is like any other financial decision in some ways, but it’s more similar to making an investment than it is, say, buying a new pair of jeans. It’s crucial that you have an idea of what your local real estate market trends are, and where they’re expected to head. This is absolutely crucial, as it can lead to you paying tens of thousands of dollars more than you should, while owning property that isn’t worth the price you’re paying. It’s also important to know whether it’s a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market, as this will determine your cost of entry, the amount of inventory (homes for sale) and a great deal more. The lower the inventory (supply) the higher the prices will rise. Conversely, if demand is low, prices will drop. Shop smart and track market movements so you can get in when the time is right.

Of all these mistakes, perhaps the single most important one to avoid is not working with a Long Island mortgage broker. You simply cannot leave this to chance, or to the whims of the market. You can’t play Russian roulette and just apply with lenders randomly. That is definitely not a good way to get the right loan for your needs, but it is a great way to end up saddled with high interest rates (or to be turned down completely). If you’re ready to buy a home, get in touch with us at Reliant Home Funding to discuss your future.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Why Pre-Approval Can Make or Break Your Home Buying Experience

In the market for a new home? Thinking about approaching a Long Island mortgage company? If you don’t have pre-approval, it can make or break your experience. Why does pre-approval matter so much? And what does it actually mean when everything’s said and done?

What Is Pre-Approval?

You’ve probably heard this advice before, but pre-approval really does matter. So, what’s it all about? Really, it’s a vote of confidence in your favor. It means that there’s a bank out there that’s provisionally willing to loan you up to $X for the purchase of a home. That carries a lot of weight with realtors and sellers. It’s also a good thing for you, the buyer. How?

Consider the fact that most home buyers start out simply looking at homes and neighborhoods. They’re considering different styles of home, different areas, different school districts, the distance to their job and other things. However, most of them aren’t really looking at the price tag, and they should be. Getting your heart set on a particular home and then finding out weeks down the road that you can’t qualify with a Long Island mortgage company for that amount is heartbreaking. It also means that you have to start the entire process over again from the very beginning.

Pre-approval ensures a different process. It means that you have a firm budget – one that’s not cobbled together on your end. Simply put, you know exactly how much a lender will consider offering you, and you can shop within those limits. It saves time, hassle and headaches.

Another benefit of pre-approval with a Long Island mortgage company is that not only are realtors happier to work with you, but they’re actually better able to lend you their expertise and experience. If you don’t have pre-approval and are simply looking at whatever catches your eye, the realtor doesn’t have the information necessary to narrow down the selection. He or she might show you homes that fit your buying requirements, such as the number of bedrooms, the type of neighborhood or the architecture style, but they lack the most important criteria – how much you can spend.

The Prospect of Derailment

Without pre-approval, you stand a very good chance of encountering disappointment in your search for a new home. We’re not just talking about a Long Island mortgage company not approving you for the amount of the home you want. We’re talking about realtors and sellers completely ignoring your offer because you are not pre-approved. According to Realtor.com, “If you’re not pre-approved and you find a home you want to make an offer on, you’re taking a gamble. Realtors and sellers are less willing to accept offers from a buyer without pre-approval. Odds are, they’ll go on to the next offer – and you’ll miss out.”

Pre-Qualified Is Not Pre-Approved

There’s a lot of confusing jargon in the financial world that a Long Island mortgage company can help you wade through. One of those terms that’s likely to trip you up is “pre-qualified”. It sounds a lot like “pre-approved”, but it’s not the same. Pre-qualification is really little more than getting a broad range of potential loan amounts from a lender. It’s not a firm budget, or even an offer of a loan. Pre-approval means that you have been approved for a specific amount. Pre-qualification doesn’t really mean much of anything.

Something Better Than Pre-Approval

By this point, you should be fully onboard with the concept of getting pre-approved for a loan with a Long Island mortgage company well before you start shopping around for a new home. However, there’s something that might be even better than pre-approval. It’s called “1st Approval”, and it is actually more powerful than pre-approval.

In this scenario, your information is submitted to an actual underwriter, who then approves your loan with some conditions. The most important condition, of course, is the address of the property that you want to purchase. When you find the home of your dreams, the information is updated. It’s a much more streamlined process than pre-approval.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to getting that dream home than just shopping around to find the perfect option. You need the right financial help along the way. Get in touch with Reliant Home Funding to learn more about the 1st Approval process and how it can dramatically increase your chances of getting the home you deserve.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

Home Buying: How to Get Started

Sick and tired of renting an apartment? Ready to truly get out there on your own? Maybe you’ve tied the knot and you’re thinking about starting a family, while realizing that your rental isn’t really the ideal place for that. How do you even start the home buying process, though? Should you just apply for Long Island home loans and hope for the best? Should you bother with pre-approval? What about pre-qualification? Are you even ready for homeownership?

Before You Start Shopping

Before you set foot out that door intent on comparing home prices and styles, you need to think long and hard about homeownership itself. It’s an immense responsibility. It’s not just the monthly mortgage payment or the insurance, either. You’ll be responsible for all maintenance and repairs – there’ll be no landlord to help you out in that regard.

Beyond that, you need to make sure that you’re planning to stay in the area for quite some time. A home mortgage is a long-term commitment, and while you can certainly sell your home and move, it’s much more complicated when there’s a house involved, rather than a simple rental agreement. If you’re not planning to stick around for quite a few years, renting might be the best choice for the moment.

Additionally, you also need to make sure that you’re in good financial shape before you even start the process to apply for Long Island home loans. How’s your credit score? Good? Bad? Indifferent? Understand that your credit score will affect a lot of things, ranging from whether a lender will even give you the time of day to the amount you’ll be required to use as a down payment.

It’s also not just about your credit score. You need to get a copy of your actual credit report and run down the items listed. Often, you’ll find old entries that should have been removed, and even debts that aren’t yours. Those issues need to be handled before you approach a lender, or even start looking at homes. If your credit isn’t so great, take the time now to rebuild your financial standing. Just the difference between 680 and 700 can have an enormous impact on what you’re required to pay as a down payment.

Know What You Can Spend

The advice is old, but still sound. Know your budget when shopping for a home. That means doing more than just figuring out what you can afford in terms of a monthly loan payment. You need to know how much you can afford to spend overall, the amount a lender will give you to purchase a home. Again, this needs to be done before you get your heart set on a particular house or piece of property, so avoid the heartache and get pre-approved for Long Island home loans first. Shop second, once you have your financial information in hand.

What we’re talking about here is getting pre-approved (or, better yet, using the 1st Approval program with Reliant Home Loans). Essentially, this is the first three-quarters of getting a mortgage loan in the first place. You’ll need the same documents and information, and a lender will tell you exactly how much they’re willing to offer.

With this information in hand, you know exactly what you can spend. It’s also important to note that this is the maximum amount the lender is willing to offer. You’re under no obligation to spend that much. Balance the pre-approved loan amount against your actual financial situation and determine just how much you want to pay for a house in the first place.

As a note, it’s very important that you shop around for Long Island home loans. Not all lenders are the same, and it is more than worth your while to compare your options before signing on the dotted line.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

Once you’ve been pre-approved for Long Island home loans, you need to find a pro to work with you in the home buying process. Yes, you can do it on your own, and save the commission the realtor will charge, but you’ll find that it’s actually well worth the extra cost to have access to the additional listings, professional help and other assistance a realtor can provide.

After you’ve seen a few houses and found one you like, you’ll make an offer. The seller will either make a counter offer, ignore you (unlikely if you’re pre-approved) or accept your offer. Then, it’s only a matter of time before closing rolls around, and you become the proud owner of a new (or new-to-you) home.

If you’ve weighed your options and decided that buying a home is the right step to take, get in touch with Reliant Home Loans to get started.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684

7 Crucial Tips for Buying a Home Solo

The consensus is that buying a home is usually done by couples or families. It’s not for singles. However, while that might have been the truth in decades past, it’s no longer the case. In fact, more and more singles are choosing to buy their own home without anyone else’s name on the mortgage. Zillow points out that only about 40% of first-time buyers are couples.

Another piece of good news is that the buying process for solo buyers is pretty similar to that of couples or families, with a few noteworthy caveats. What should you know?

Get Your Finances in Order

Yeah, you knew it was coming. Your financial house must be in order long before you start shopping around or speaking with a Long Island mortgage broker about pre-approval for a loan. The reason for this is simple – if your financial situation needs work, you should get started now, and apply for loans later. You can save thousands, even tens of thousands, just by putting off the home buying process until your finances are ready.

Check your credit report, handle any erroneous entries, and take the time to pay down your debts. Check your credit score, as well, and bring it up if necessary. The closer to “excellent” you can get, the more money you’ll save and the better your interest rate will be on the loan.

Work with a Long Island Mortgage Broker

Next up, you need to make sure that you have the purchasing power necessary. Work with a Long Island mortgage broker to get pre-approved so that realtors and sellers are more apt to take you seriously. If you aren’t pre-approved, you will find that many simply shrug off your offer. You’re too much of an unknown for them to worry about.

House Hunt

Once you have a loan amount from your Long Island mortgage broker, it’s time to really dig into the process and start the house hunt. Remember that the loan amount offered doesn’t require you to spend it all. You also need to shop around and find the right home style for you.

Many of the options on the market will be geared for couples at least, if not for families. This could leave you with too much unused space. However, if you’re planning to start a family in the next few years, a larger home might make more sense. Discuss these considerations with your realtor, and he or she will help you locate homes that fit your needs on the market.

Have a Must-Have List

You’ll probably be shown a lot of homes, and chances are good that you’ll find something you love about many of them. It’s crucial that you have a “must-have” list with you. This is a list of features, specs and other items that you absolutely must have in a home. Keep that list with you during the process, as it will help you avoid making a decision based purely on emotion.

Check Out the Neighborhood

This is another of those time-tested pieces of advice that you’ve heard before, but absolutely must follow. Know the neighborhood. Is there an HOA? Are there covenants that prevent you from doing something? What’s the area like at night? Check into the wider area, too. How far is it from your work? What about shopping, dining, or even family and friends?

Negotiate

In many instances, the price of a home is not set in stone, and there is some wiggle room. The pre-approval gained from your Long Island mortgage broker should give you the confidence needed to make an offer on any home within your budget, but there’s no reason to pay more than you must.

Since you’re shopping without a partner, it’s wise to work with your realtor to determine how much you should negotiate, and how much leeway there might be in a seller’s stated price. It’s also a wise idea to look over the home and property (use an actual home inspector for this) and note things that need to be repaired, are in need of replacement, or otherwise need attention (read: money and time). Those should be accounted for in your negotiations with the seller.

Don’t Look for Perfection

No home is going to be perfect. There will be things that need to be addressed at every single property you view. Don’t look for perfection. Look for your “must-have” elements, and buy with an eye for things that are easy to fix, like carpeting or paint color. Be wary about things that are not so easy to change (home layout), or even impossible (a new development going in and blocking your prized view).

With a few simple tips and the right Long Island mortgage broker, buying a home on your isn’t difficult. If you’re ready to make the leap, get in touch with Reliant Home Funding.

President

Gregory A. Topal

Gregory is Co-Founder and Licensed Loan Originator at Reliant Home Funding, Inc., a Long Island based Mortgage Company.  Gregory currently holds a Mortgage Loan Originator License in NY, NJ, CT, CO, FL and PA and plays an active role in running the company. (NMLS #: 38684)

Gregory was raised in Long Island, NY and attended SUNY Oneonta receiving a Business and Marketing degree in 2004. Shortly after graduating he started a career in Real Estate and has been fortunate enough to advance his career throughout the years. He believes his success can be attributed to consistently striving to exceed the expectations of his clients and colleagues.

Email:gtopal@rhfny.com

Direct:631-446-3103

Zillow:http://www.zillow.com/profile/gtopal/

NMLS::38684