Quick tidbits of advice and ideas about real estate.

Homebuyers face a unique set of challenges in today’s real estate market, characterized by elevated mortgage rates and fluctuating conditions. While the temptation to time the market or solely focus on mortgage payments looms, falling into these traps can lead to costly mistakes. 

Let’s look at the ten most common pitfalls and how to steer clear of them.

1.) Trying to time the market: Attempting to wait for the perfect moment can be futile. Market conditions are unpredictable, and delaying a purchase could mean missing out on opportunities to build equity and secure a favorable mortgage rate.

2.) Focusing only on mortgage payments: Homeownership entails various expenses beyond mortgage payments, such as insurance, taxes, and maintenance…

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When it comes to buying a home, understanding your mortgage options can feel like learning a new language. Let's break down the essentials of "conventional" and "non-conforming" loans and see how they fit into your home-buying plan.

What's a Conventional Loan?

Imagine you're shopping for a mortgage not backed by the government. That's a conventional loan for you. These loans stick to rules set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two big names in the mortgage world. Most home loans out there are conventional and pretty straightforward to get.

Conforming vs. Non-Conforming Loans

Now, within conventional loans, you've got "conforming" and "non-conforming" types. A conforming loan is governed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s rules, especially…

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Depending on your location within Middle Tennessee, you may find that homes under construction are easier to find than existing homes. Certain areas are so desirable that there simply isn’t enough real estate to go around without new homes being built.              

If this is part of the decision you’re facing as you purchase your next (or first) home, let’s break down some pros and cons of buying a home under construction.

Financial Considerations

Mortgage interest rates are higher than you might prefer, especially when compared to the roughly 3% national average rate we enjoyed in 2020. Rising interest rates have made it somewhat easier for buyers to bid competitively for existing homes, but they have also resulted in higher monthly…

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As a homeowner, selling your home can be a complex process that takes several months from start to finish. For most, selling one’s home quickly is a top priority. The longer your home stays on the market, the more likely it is that you will have to reduce your asking price, and the greater the impact on your finances and the timeline for your next home.

Today, we are laying out our tips for a faster home sale. While your agent will have insightful recommendations specific to your home and budget, these tips are generally good practice for any homeowner planning to sell their home this year.

There Is No Time to Waste

You are selling your home because you plan to upgrade, downsize, or relocate within months from the date you list. To avoid…

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So, you're a homeowner. Maybe you've been in your cozy abode for a while now, or perhaps you're just starting to nest. Either way, there comes a time when you might consider a cash-out refinance. But when is it a good time to take the plunge into the world of cash-out refinancing? Let's explore.

When It’s a Smart Move

First off, what exactly is a cash-out refinance? Well, it's like hitting the reset button on your mortgage, but with a twist. You snag a new loan that's a tad bigger than your current one, pocket the difference in cash, and then kick back and ponder what to do with it.

Now, picture this: you've been keeping up with your mortgage payments, and your home's value has soared over the years. Suddenly, you find yourself with some…

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So, you're ready to dive back into the exhilarating world of homebuying for the second time around? As your local mortgage pro in the heart of our community, we're here to walk you through the process and answer some burning questions, including whether you can utilize government loans again. 

The Requirements and Challenges:

First things first, let's talk about the nitty-gritty. Unlike your first venture into homeownership where grants and initiatives might have eased the burden of a down payment, as a second-time buyer, you won't have access to those same perks. You'll likely need some cash upfront.

If you're selling your current home, you can channel those sale proceeds right into your next down payment. Now, about those stricter…

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After acquiring a mortgage offer from your financial institution, spending an extended period of time searching for a house, working through piles of paperwork, and finally putting in an offer, you’re about to close on your first home! Congratulations. This is a huge milestone. You (and your real estate agent) have worked hard to get here.

You have only one remaining hurdle to clear: the closing process. While this step does not require strategy or out-of-the-box thinking, it can feel tedious, if not complex, for first-time buyers. Fear not, though—your real estate agent will guide you through precisely what you need to close on a house.

Speak with your agent about when you should plan to move. It is common for closing to take one to two months…

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Purchasing your second home will bring different challenges than your decision to buy your first, and they are each worthy of careful consideration. Today, we are sharing our view on a question we are frequently asked: “What should we plan to do with our first home if we are buying a second? Should we rent it out? Sell it? Hand it over to a property management company?”

Before you can settle on the answer that is best for your unique situation, you will have to weigh your current financial situation, your capacity to take on added mental and emotional strain, and how holding on to two properties will affect your long-term goals. While selling one home and buying another can be a lot to juggle at once, deciding to rent out your first home is…

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If you're exploring the world of mortgages, you might have come across the term "co-signing" at some point. But what does it really mean, and how does it work? As your local mortgage pro, let Steadfast Mortgage guide you through the ins and outs of co-signing on a mortgage.

So, what exactly is a co-signer? Essentially, a co-signer is someone who is willing to vouch for your mortgage application by using their financial credentials. They step in to help you qualify for the loan or secure a better interest rate. However, by co-signing, they're also agreeing to shoulder the responsibility of repaying the loan if, for any reason, you're unable to meet your obligations.

What's the difference between a co-signer and a co-borrower?

While both…

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When you are selling your home, you want to take full advantage of the market. No matter your home’s location, size, or age, it will bring in significantly more if you are able to optimize its condition before you list it for sale. However, if you are preparing to sell your home and you have realized that it needs extra TLC before it is market ready, today’s guide is for you.

The worst-case scenario for your property is it languishing on the market for months after you list it, only drawing in a smattering of lowball offers. To avoid this disheartening dynamic, rectify the following before listing:

Clutter

You are no doubt used to your belongings being comfortably strewn throughout your home. Sellers, though, will expect your home’s…

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