Unmarried Home Purchase: What You Need To Know

It’s common for unmarried couples to want to buy a home. Married or not, it is possible. Buying a home is one of the most significant financial decisions of your life, so it’s important to understand the details of buying a house as a couple.

Here are four things you should plan for when buying a home as an unmarried couple:

Thoroughly Discuss Your Finances

It’s very beneficial for couples to discuss each other’s financial situations in detail. Before meeting with a lender or realtor, it’s imperative that you review each other’s credit score, income, debts, and financial history. Most differences between your finances can be accommodated, so it’s important to know the details of each other’s finances in case any surprises arise. This step will prevent any conflict during or after the mortgage process.

Determine Your Costs and How to Split Them

It’s essential to have a system in place to split bills and other expenses. This is even more critical when buying a home. First, figure out how to divide the down payment and closing costs when purchasing the home. Then, discuss and decide how to handle the monthly mortgage payments, utilities, and other costs associated with owning a home (emergency repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc.).

You may want to work this out together with a real estate attorney and get the details in writing to keep things on record. If you don’t already have a joint bank account, it may be a good idea to at least create one for funding the home while keeping your other funds separate.

Understand Your Ownership Options

You may not have known that there are options for the purchase of your home. Deciding on which ownership option suits you may be one of the most important decisions in the process. Your home’s title can be configured in a few different ways, depending on which state you live in:

Joint Tenancy: You both equally own the property. Common between husbands and wives, joint tenancy allows one of you to inherit the property if something should happen to the other.

Tenancy in Common: You both own a specific percentage of the property. For example, you may own 40% of the property while your significant other owns the other 60%. If something happens to one of you, the ownership will transfer to whoever is denoted in a living will or trust. If there is no will or trust, ownership goes to the next of kin and not your significant other.

Sole Ownership: Some couples may find that it’s better just one of you to have full ownership of the home. If you have better credit than your significant other or are in a better place financially, this may work for you.

Create a Backup Plan

Sometimes things don’t work out as planned and, legally speaking, there are no protections in place for unmarried couples who co-own a home. We recommend creating a partnership agreement. Similar to a prenuptial agreement this will detail what happens to the home if you two split up. Written contracts are the best way to plan so we recommend you take any chance you get to draw up your agreements in writing.

Do you have questions or would you like to sit down for a complimentary no-obligation consultation? We are your Home Loan Experts, at your services. Give us a call 520-495-0222.

Home Loan APR and Interest Rates

We understand that the mortgage process can be complex. Two key aspects of a mortgage – or really any loan – are the annual percentage rate (APR) and the interest rate. Many homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, may not know the difference between APR and interest rate, but with our guidance, understanding these two different costs of a home loan will be a breeze.

Interest Rate vs. APR

Interest Rate: The cost of borrowing the principal loan amount (the amount of money you are being loaned) is called the interest rate. It can be fixed or variable, but it is always expressed as a percentage.

APR: Includes the interest rate plus other costs such as fees, discount points, and some closing costs. Simply put, it is a broader measure of the cost of a mortgage. Like the interest rate, APR is always expressed as a percentage.

How does this affect your mortgage?

The interest rate calculates what your actual monthly mortgage payment will be. The APR on a loan measures the total cost of a loan. For example:

Staying for a while: Given a 30-year fixed rate loan, it makes more sense to take out a loan that has the lowest APR possible, if you plan on staying in your home for the 30-year term. You will end up paying a lower amount over the 30 years.

Not ready to settle down: It may make sense to pay fewer upfront fees at a higher rate, and a higher APR, if you don’t plan on staying in the home for more than a few years. That way the total cost will be less over the short time you are in the home.

If you have any questions about APR or interest rates, don’t hesitate to contact us!

How To Win A Multiple Offer Situation

How To Win A Multiple Offer Situation

The real estate market is hot right now, and the competition for homes is rising with little inventory to satisfy the demand. Homes are being sold with multiple offers on the table within days, and even hours, after listing. This may be ideal for sellers, but for buyers, this could mean trouble if they don’t have a skillful real estate and lending team representing them to snatch the perfect home.

Get Pre-Approved!

Make sure your borrower is in the strongest financial position possible; in today’s market, you’re going to need every card on the table. This means your client’s financing decision needs to be strategic. You need a lender who will match your client with financing that puts them in the best bargaining position possible. Get a pre-approval in hand so your client can shop with confidence.

Understand the Seller.

Find out what the seller’s experience has been like so far. If they have placed the house on the market several times only to have the deal fall through, your client can use this to their advantage by differentiating themselves from previous and current prospective buyers.

Stand Out with a Powerful Introduction Letter.

This will humanize your client and their situation to the seller. Let’s say your client can’t beat the best offer, but they can at least match it. That is when a humanizing touch can be enough to sway things in your favor. Help your clients craft a letter that tells their story; you want the seller to feel like your clients deserve the house.

Be Flexible.

Counsel your client on flexibility whenever possible. Be ready to yield to the seller’s desires, from the close date, to concessions, to who will pay for minor repairs. The more ideal and uncomplicated you make the offer, the easier it is to choose you over the next guy.

Have a Lender Who Won’t Let You Down.

Let’s say you do manage to get the offer accepted. Congratulations! But now is the most crucial part; delivering on those promises. If your lender fails to meet deadlines, doesn’t communicate proactively, or worse, didn’t really pre-qualify the client, your reputation could take a serious blow. Help your client choose a lender who makes you look good. Allow us to be that trusted partner!

If you have questions about how to get your client pre-approved with a lender you can trust, please feel free to reach out to The Polder Group at Summit Funding at your earliest convenience. We would love to work with you!