Your Mississippi Gulf Coast Home

Donna Ratliff with Coastal Realty Group

Interested in Buying a Home?

With interest rates still at record lows, and the housing market showing signs of improvement, now is the ideal time to invest in Gulfport real estate. To ensure that you’re ready for your new purchase, you’ll want to get your finances in order to help strengthen your appeal toward mortgage lenders.

Check Your Credit Rating

After you’ve found the home of your dreams and have applied for a loan is not the best time to check your credit rating. You can start the process as you begin your home search. This way you can look over your credit history and check for any inaccuracies. If you find any blemishes, you can get them rectified immediately.
Gulfport real estate and your credit score

Develop Solid Credit History

Paying cash for everything may be a great way to stay out of debt, but it can be difficult for a lender to approve your loan. Lending institutions want to see how you handle your money and whether you pay your bills on time. To develop solid credit history, concentrate on obtaining one credit card and pay it off on time each month. Someone with little credit history has a better chance of securing a loan than an individual with too many credit cards. Consolidating your debt into one credit card can strengthen your credit rating.


In addition to a favorable credit rating, you need to have a plan in place to help you save money. Put together a budget to determine your needs such as rent, food, utilities and gasoline. Look over your expenses and see if there are any areas that you can tweak. If you go out to dinner several times a week, try cutting back to only once. For those that enjoy a daily latte at their favorite shop, try making your favorite blend at home instead. Put the money that you would have spent on these luxuries in a savings account to help ensure a substantial down payment on your Gulfport real estate purchase.

Gulfport Mortgage Refinance – Why and How Much
There are a number of reasons for consumers to check out how the right Gulfport mortgage may save them literally tens of thousands of dollars. 

However, one of the most important things to remember is that a new mortgage usually makes more sense to those individuals who are going to stay in the home for many more years. If you should sell your home and move shortly after you sign for a new mortgage loan then you might have difficulty breaking-even on the deal.

What type of mortgage will be your best bet?
Fixed Rate Mortgages and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) are both available for qualified homeowners. With an ARM, your payments are generally lower at the onset. However the rate can change dramatically over the upcoming years.
If you are only considering this home to be a short-term investment an ARM could be a good choice. However, those who are looking to keep their home on a more permanent basis, an adjustable rate mortgage might not be the best path.

With a fixed rate mortgage there is security in knowing that the interest rate will remain unchanged during the contract period. Many former ARM consumers have now changed to a fixed rate mortgage to avoid becoming a casualty of previous economic upheavals.

A refinancing loan could allow homeowners the opportunity to eliminate private mortgage insurance from the deal. This depends on the lending agency, how much you owe, how much you plan to borrow and the actual home value.

Applying for a Gulport mortgage would also let you make the most of the home equity you have built up over the years. Home equity could provide you with the funds for college or home improvements. You could also use the money for other investment opportunities.

Consider the amount of money that you will be requesting. Points could be applied by the lender. This is a an amount of money that is prepaid upon the actual closing of the loan agreement. One percent of your loan would be the equivalent of a single point.

The lending agency is going to charge you for the processing and origination fees as well as the costs for title searches, title insurance and credit reports. There are also the fees that must be paid to the attorneys who review the paperwork.

If you are like the many Gulfport home owners who took advantage of the teaser rates offered by adjustable rate mortgages a few years ago, your rate may soon be rising as the fixed period on your loan comes to an end. As your mortgage begins to adjust, your payments will likely rise. If keeping your payments low is important to your family, take action before your fixed rate period ends.

There are ways to maintain your low mortgage rate and keep your monthly payments from fluctuating. Options include refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate loan or getting a new loan with a longer term.

Whether the best option for you is to refinance your adjustable rate mortgage into a fixed rate mortgage, or another adjustable rate loan, will depend on how many more years you plan to live in your Gulfport home. If you are going to live in your primary residence for several more years, a fixed rate mortgage will give you stable, predictable payments. With a fixed rate mortgage, you can plan your monthly budget around your house payment.

On the other hand, if you plan to sell your home in the next few years, another adjustable rate mortgage may be better for you. Because adjustable rate mortgages have lower rates during the fixed period of the loan, you can enjoy low payments while you live in your home and save money to use for your next home purchase. Proper planning is essential to making an adjustable rate mortgage work for you. If you are able to sell your home or refinance your mortgage before your loan adjusts to a higher rate, you can save a significant amount of money with an adjustable rate mortgage.

Every homeowner has a unique situation, so it is important to speak with a loan officer to learn about all of your options before you make a decision regarding your mortgage. For more information on mortgage options, contact us today.

Gulfport Home Refinance – Cash In Hand

Whether you want money for home improvements, college or a vacation, you can use the equity in your home to provide the funds you need. Refinancing your mortgage is a wonderful way to get the cash in your hand to enable you to tackle projects you have been putting off.

There are two ways to turn the equity in your Gulfport home into usable cash. A home equity line of credit is one option that works well for many homeowners. A more traditional choice is a cash-out refinance of your existing first mortgage.

How Do You Know if You Have Equity?

Equity is the difference between the amount your home is worth and the amount you owe your mortgage company. It represents the portion of your home that you actually own. In order to figure the approximate amount of equity you have, you will need to know what your home is worth. The most accurate way to find the value of your home is to purchase a real estate appraisal. Other methods include researching property sales in your neighborhood or using the tax assessor’s value of your property.

Why Should You Get Cash From Your Home?

Many people, especially those who plan to sell their home in the future, get cash from their home to make improvements that will increase the value of their property. If you want to remodel your kitchen or finish your basement, you can use the proceeds from a cash-out refinance or a home equity line of credit to finance the project.
While home improvements are one of the most popular uses of equity, they are not the only reason homeowners refinance their mortgages. Because there are no restrictions on the use of the funds from your cash-out refinance, you can use it for any major purchase including college tuition, medical bills or unexpected expenses.

After a Gulfport foreclosure, many former homeowners are asking, “When will I be able to buy again?” The answer to that question depends on several factors; Because you have poured money, work and resources into your former dream house, it is time to move forward in the hope of still achieving that dream. You will soon qualify again for a loan and the time that takes depends on your specific foreclosure waiting period and the type of loan. The steps that you can take during the waiting period include the rebuilding of your credit and the saving for a down payment.

Seven Years

It is most common that you will have to wait for seven years after a foreclosure in order to obtain another mortgage. This is a requirement of Fannie Mae and coincides with the time recorded on your foreclosure report.

Three Years

You will only have to wait three years if you can prove, through written documentation, that the foreclosure was due to extenuating circumstances. You will need to prove significant loss of income, with such papers as divorce decrees, job severance papers or bills such as those from a hospital.

Rebuilding Credit

Although it might seem difficult at first, rebuilding your credit is one of the first positive steps you can take. One can apply for a secured credit card tied to the amount deposited in the bank of the issuer. Another step to take, as a renter, is to find an affordable apartment, make on-time payments and use the money saved for the beginning of your down payment on your future dream home. Your credit will also be improved with a steady employment of two years at the same employer. Proof that you have steady employment and are a responsible person capable of paying a mortgage is what the new lender will be looking for.

After your Gulfport foreclosure, there is much to do before you buy again, including reviewing lenders, down payments and rates. A smaller and more affordable house might be your dream home the next time around.

If you are considering investing in Gulfport MS real estate, it will be necessary to understand the term APR or Annual Percentage Rate. The federal Truth in Lending law requires that lenders disclose their rates when advertising. By understanding the APR, one is able to compare rates at different lenders, and in doing so, finding the best offer.
What is the APR?

The interest and cost of the loan is the reasoning behind the APR, which represents the number of payments times in the year multiplied by the periodic rate of interest; together they form the annual rate.
In comparing loan products, it is important to compare similar loans. For example, a 30-year term must be compared with another 30-year term APR to find the mortgage payment at two different lenders. Otherwise, it would be like comparing apples to oranges.

APR Differences

The total cost of the loan, with the mortgage insurance premiums and origination fee included, is part of the APR. However, not included are late payment charges, document fees, appraisal fees, title fees and application fees. Often it is confusing, as different lenders calculate the rate differently, yet have the same APR. Rounding up the numbers to the nearest one-eight of a point as well as adding in other costs may account for the differences in the way the rate is calculated.

On the other hand, variable loans, tied to the market index, cannot be compared between lenders, especially if rates are locked in for a period, include balloon payments or pre-payment penalties are involved.

Although the APR is not perfect, it is one of the tools to utilize in investing in great Gulfport MS real estate. You will be more prepared to compare lenders and loans as well as understand what your monthly mortgage costs might be.

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Coastal Realty Group is Mississippi Gulf Coast's most innovative real estate team.

Coastal Realty Group
9230 Old Lorraine Rd Ste C, Gulfport, MS 39503

Office: 228-280-8026
Cell: 228-669-3535

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