Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Just the Facts: The “Break Even Point” of Refinancing

When considering refinancing your mortgage loan at Lake of the Ozarks, there are several factors you need to account for. First, you’ll want to ensure that it’s a wise investment for you. You’ll also want to consider what your future plans are for the home. You may have heard about the term “break-even point” regarding a mortgage refinance. But what is it exactly? Well, in this week’s blog, the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to tell you all about the break-even point and how it can benefit your decision to refinance.

What is the Break-Even Point?

The break-even point is the point where the savings from your refinance equals the total cost to complete the transaction. This can be figured by taking all the costs associated with the refinance such as:

·         Lender fees

·         Title Costs

·         Third-party costs

·         Escrow charges

And then taking the total closing costs divided by the savings you’ll receive per month (or annually). This will tell you how long it will take you to recoup the cost (the break-even point) of refinancing your mortgage.

Other Factors Beyond the Break-Even Point

There are other factors that you’ll want to consider beyond the break-even point to determine if refinancing your existing mortgage is a smart financial move for you. Things such as:

·         Is this your “forever” home or your “for now” home?

·         How much have you paid down on your mortgage/What’s the remaining balance?

·         How long have you had the mortgage?

The reasoning these items are important is because they can have a direct impact on how long of a break-even point makes sense. For instance, if you are planning on owning the home for 2-3 more years, a break-even point of 5 years simply wouldn’t make sense from a financial standpoint. However, if you’re planning on this being your “forever” home and have many years left on your mortgage, a longer break-even point could make for smart investing.

Other Ways to Make Big Savings on Your Mortgage

Another way that you can save big money over time on your mortgage is by refinancing to a lower term. While this route will not lower your monthly payments, it will save you a large sum of interest over the course of your loan. So, depending on your future plans for the home, this could save you thousands of dollars if you plan to keep it for some time.


While there is no general rule of thumb for when refinancing is a smart decision, as the answer depends on a multitude of factors. However, you can always consult with me when considering refinancing your mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks. I will work with you, based on your plans for the home and financial structure, what smart investment options you have when financing your home. Being your premier mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, I look forward to homeownership needs!


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Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Friday, April 2, 2021

What’s Included in your Mortgage Closing Costs

 You may be aware of the down payment required to buy a home, but what about closing costs associated with a mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks? As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson takes pride in providing exemplary mortgage services and education to our clients. In this week’s blog, I’m going to be discussing the closing costs related to a mortgage and what you can expect. Continue reading to learn more!

Typical Closing Cost Fees:

You will receive a Loan Estimate which is an itemization of all the fees associated with your initial loan disclosures. Here are some of the fees that you will likely encounter:

Application Fee: this fee is charged by the lender to process your mortgage application. *Please note that Team Lasson does not charge this fee*

Origination Fee: this fee covers the lender’s administrative costs to process your loan.

Attorney Fee: this is a fee charged by a real estate attorney to prepare and review home purchase agreements and contracts.

Closing Fee: the closing fee is paid to the party that handles the documents and collects signatures at closing; typically, the title company in our area.

Courier Fee: this fee is incurred to help expedite the transportation of your closing documents. If the closing is done digitally or in-house, you may not encounter this fee.

Recording Fee: a fee charged by your local recording office, typically a city or county clerk’s office. This is for the official processing of the public land records.

Credit Report Fee: this fee covers the cost a lender incurs when they pull a tri-merged credit report from the three main reporting bureaus.

Escrow Deposit: this is an amount to set up an escrow account for property tax and homeowner’s insurance payments at closing.

Homeowners Insurance: lenders typically require a full year of the homeowner’s insurance premium at closing.

Lender’s Title Insurance: this is charged by the title company to issue the lender an insurance policy that protects them if there is an ownership dispute or lien that wasn’t found on the title search.

Owner’s Title Insurance: this is charged by the title company to issue you a title insurance policy that protects you if your ownership of the home is challenged.

Prepaid Interest: this payment covers any prorated interest on your mortgage that would accrue from the date of closing until the time of your first mortgage payment.

Appraisal Fee: a fee paid to a professional home appraisal company for assessing the homes fair market value.

Property Tax: a prorated property tax fee that collects for property tax due from the closing date to the end of the tax year.

Real Estate Commissions: (Typically seller paid but can be negotiated) The commission charged by your real estate agent. This fee is split between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent.

Title Search Fee: a charge by the title company to analyze the public records and history of the home for any discrepancies that could lead to ownership issues.

Underwriter Fee: a charge by the lender for the work completed by underwriters that review and analyze your loan transaction.

These are just some of the standard fees that one will likely encounter when undergoing a mortgage transaction. However, there are certain fees that only apply to special loan products, rate locks, flood or private mortgage requirements, and out of state transactions. Always be sure to discuss any fee related questions with your mortgage officer.

Your Mortgage Lender at Lake of the Ozarks: Team Lasson

Closing costs are unavoidable when buying a home. Although, there are strategic ways that you can reduce the amount of your closing costs. As your premier mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, I’m always happy to discuss any mortgage related options for you to find the best solution. So, if you’re ready to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks, I encourage you to reach out so we may discuss your mortgage options to find the best fit for your homebuying needs. 


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Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Mortgage Appraisals: Their Importance & How you can Make the Most of Yours

 If you’re planning on obtaining a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, or even refinancing an existing one, chances are you’ll be required to obtain an appraisal during the mortgage process. An appraisal provides you and your lender with the market value of the subject property and allows for confident buying and lending of real estate. In this week’s blog, I am going to be discussing the importance of appraisals in the mortgage process and how you can get the most out of yours.


Why are Appraisals Important for Mortgages?

Appraisals have a great deal of impact on acquiring or refinancing mortgage loans, as the market value of the home will dictate the amount of financing a borrower can receive. It’s about protecting the investment of the lender; if the value of the home is lower than the sales price, and the buyer defaults on the mortgage, the lender will not be able to sell the property for enough to cover the loan.

 

Steps you can Take to Get the Most out of Your Home’s Appraisal

Since your appraisal will play such an integral role in your mortgage process, it’s essential that you do all you can to help bolster the value that it will bring in. Here are a few tips to help uphold the value of your home:

Ensure your Appraiser is Local and Knows the Neighborhood

A local appraiser will have a better understanding of the value of your home because they know the area intimately. This will provide you with a more accurate representation of the value your home will bring in, as opposed to someone that isn’t familiar with the neighborhood.

 

Provide Your Own Comparable Sales Data as Supporting Documentation

Appraisals strongly consider comparable sales in the area when determining value. So, doing your homework on recent sales in your area of homes that are similar to yours can be a good way to support the value of your home.

 

Understand Which Upgrades Provide the Most Return on Investment

Certain upgrades to your home will provide more “bang for your buck,” so to speak. If you’re considering some minor renovations before the appraisal, start with your kitchens and bathrooms as the upgrades are typically smaller in price and have a greater return of value per dollar. Real wood floors, quality landscaping, and an enclosed garage can also boost value.

 

Keep Documentation of Your Upgrades & Additions

When making any renovations or upgrades to your home, always save your receipts, invoices, etc. This gives you documentation to prove the actual cost of your upgrades, as well as their timelines. Even for things such as structural improvements to heating, cooling, and electrical systems can help support appraisal value.

 

Ensure Your Home is Clean for the Appraiser

This one is a no brainer, but it’s always best practice to ensure that your home is clean for the appraiser. Clear the clutter, maintenance the landscape, touch of paint, etc. All of these items will help with making the home feel larger and well maintained for your appraiser.


As you can see, an appraisal plays an important part in the mortgage process. So, when you’re looking to buy a home or refinance your mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, you’ll want to do all you can to help support the highest value possible for your appraisal. As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, I take great pride in assisting my clients with their mortgage needs. While giving valuable experience and advice to help them make the most of their investment. If you’re in need of mortgage assistance at Lake of the Ozarks, I encourage you to reach out.

 


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Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Friday, March 19, 2021

How a Prequalification Letter Can Help the Homebuying Process

If you’re getting ready to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks, there are a few items that you can take care of ahead of house shopping to get better results. One of which is getting prequalified for a mortgage. Getting a prequalification letter from a mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks has numerous benefits that can assist you in the home buying process. In this week’s blog, I’m going to showcase the reasons to get prequalified before house hunting. Read on to learn more!


What is a Prequalification Letter?

A prequalification letter is a document provided by a mortgage lender that states that they are willing to finance a specified amount of money into your purchase.  The lender will typically run your credit and request a few basic income and asset related documents to determine what you can qualify for. 

Get an Idea of How Much of a Home you Can Afford

While you’re the only person that can truly decide the amount of home you can safely afford, getting a prequalification letter can help provide you with an idea of what your expense ratios will be, or your “debt to income” would be after the purchase. This can certainly help in your decision-making process when shopping homes.

Being Taken Seriously as a Buyer

Another benefit of having a prequalification letter in hand is it will show sellers that you are serious about buying a home. Having this document could give you additional negotiating power when it comes to signing a deal with your sellers. 

Expedite the Loan Process

When you obtain a prequalification letter from a mortgage lender, they will already have a decent idea of your potential for the loan you’re seeking. As long as the documentation you provide during the loan process doesn’t interfere with what’s been reviewed thus far, this can help you get your loan closed faster. 

 As you can see, there are several reasons to get prequalified for a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks. The housing market is booming, so the faster you can get a contract signed and the deal closed the better. I would be happy to assist you with your mortgage needs to help you purchase a home at Lake of the Ozarks. So, if you’re looking to buy, let’s talk about 


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Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.

Monday, March 15, 2021

When is it Beneficial to Refinance?

When is a good time to refinance your home at the Lake of the Ozarks? Well, the answer will vary depending on your current mortgage/home situation. In this week’s blog, your premier mortgage lender at the Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is here to give you a short rundown on when it could be beneficial for you to refinance. Of course, it’s always advised to speak with a mortgage lender in detail when considering any changes to your mortgage. Continue reading to learn more!


Obtaining a Lower Interest Rate

It can be beneficial to refinance your home with a rate-term refinance to obtain a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Going from a higher interest rate to a lower one will allow you to save money and pay less interest on your mortgage.

To Lower or Increase Term of the Mortgage

If you’re looking to save interest paid over the course of your mortgage, refinancing to decrease the amortization/term of the loan will do just that. If you’re having a difficult time making your mortgage payments due to a lack of cash-flow, increasing the term of your loan can be a beneficial move to help lower your monthly payments. Always speak to your mortgage officer to get the pros and cons of making these kinds of moves. Specifically, how it will affect your interest paid, monthly payments, etc.

Going from Adjustable to Fixed Rate

Depending on the future plans you have for your home, switching from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed rate can be a behooving reason to refinance. With a fixed rate, you no longer have to worry about your interest rate increasing after a set amount of time (depending on the market). So, you’ll rest assured your payments won’t make any dramatic increases. However, as mentioned above, your future plans for the home can impact the effect of making this change.

Tap into Equity for Emergency Funds

Another reason to consider refinancing is to tap into equity you’ve built in your home. If you’re in need of debt-consolidation to pay off credit cards, student loans, auto loans, etc. This is one way to do so. It could also be used to come up with emergency funds for an unexpected expense that you couldn’t otherwise afford to pay out of pocket.

As you can see, there are several benefits to refinancing your mortgage at the Lake of the Ozarks, depending on your current situation or future plans. Whether you’re interested in saving interest paid, lowering your mortgage payments, or coming up with emergency funds for unexpected obligations. Refinancing your home can help provide you with solutions for each. If you’re thinking about refinancing your home at the Lake of the Ozarks, I would be happy to discuss any implications, benefits, and precautionary items you need to know. Refinance with confidence with Team Lasson!



Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Credit Score Information & Strategies

Credit will play a vital role in your ability to finance items such as homes, vehicles, qualifying for apartments, and much more. Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on your credit habits to ensure that your score is high enough to get financing when needed. If you’re looking to secure a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is ready to help, from the qualifying process to the final closing transaction. I’m here today to give you some information on your credit score and how to effectively manage it to ensure you can qualify to buy a home at Lake of the Ozarks. Read on to learn more!


How are Credit Scores Calculated

Your credit score is calculated by a mathematical algorithm that is linked to one of your three credit reports. Your FICO Score is a commonly used credit model used by mortgage companies, which typically range from 300 – 850. Many of the scoring models used consider your payment history on lines of credit, the length of the existing credit lines, the types of credit lines you have, and how often you apply for new credit.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If your scores aren’t quite where you want them, there are a multitude of ways that you can improve them, such as:

Paying Bills On Time

Paying your bills on time is always a best practice for keeping your credit score on the rise. If you have to pick and choose a bill to pay, a good rule of thumb is to prioritize mortgages/rent, auto loans, student loans, phone bills, and utilities.

Paying Off Debt & Keeping a Low Balance

This item involves the credit utilization ratio – taking the amount of credit you’ve used at any given time and dividing it by your total credit limit. Keeping your utilization low tells lenders that you know how to effectively manage your credit lines and aren’t maxing them out.

Not Closing Unused Credit Cards

If they’re not costing you money, keeping unused credit lines open can benefit your credit utilization ratio. If you close unused accounts, it will impact this ratio by increasing your outstanding utilization.

Correcting Inaccuracies

When reviewing your credit reports from the three bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian) always make note of any discrepancies that appear inaccurate. Incorrect information on these reports could be dragging your score down. Be sure to call the bureau and report any inaccuracies that you see on your reports. You may also have to contact the creditor directly to get them resolved.  DO NOT dispute the findings with the credit bureaus as this could be detrimental to obtaining a mortgage loan.

How to Establish A Credit Score

If you’re just starting out, it’s likely you may not have a credit score. This means that you have few (if any) credit accounts listed on your reports. People with fewer than 3 credit lines may have difficulties obtaining a score due to a lack of credit history/information. You can begin to establish a credit portfolio by; applying for a secured credit card, become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, or taking a “credit builder loan.”

Rebuilding Your Credit Score

Time is your biggest ally when it comes to fixing bad credit. The length of time that it will take for your score to rebuild can vary depending on the type of negative change. Delinquencies, for example, remain on your credit report for 7 years. Items of public record stay on the reports for 7 years, although certain bankruptcies can remain for up to 10. Credit inquires will show on your report for two years. 

As always, your mortgage experts at Lake of the Ozarks, Team Lasson is always here to assist with your home financing needs. I will pull your credit during the loan qualification process and can give you accurate information about your scores, credit lines, issues, as well as advice on how to proceed. Your credit is going to play a large role in your ability to secure a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks, and I’m here to provide you with exceptional loan services and techniques to ensure you can get your dream home. 


Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

Mortgage Facts: How Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS) Influence Rates

 Mortgages can be complex if you don't have a professional mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks to help you better understand some of the intricacies. That's why I'm here, to share my years of experience and help educate you on mortgages so that you can make informed decisions. In this week's blog, we're going to cover Mortgage-Backed Securities and how they can influence rates. 

What is an MBS?

A Mortgage-Backed Security (MBS) is an investment, similar to a bond that consists of a bundle of home loans bought from banks that issues mortgages. These asset-backed securities provide investors with periodic payments that work similarly to the ones you'd receive from bond coupons.

How they Work

MBS places banks as the middleman between homebuyers and investors. The better the mortgages, the better the MBS performs. So, it's a win-win for granting quality mortgages to home buyers and investors alike. Investors buying MBS are basically lending money to home buyers. To be sold on the market, an MBS must be issued by a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) or private financial company. There are many regulations and due diligence performed analyzing each mortgage being sold in the bundle to ensure quality standards are met. As for how they influence rates, mortgage rates are set based on financial markets when they open each day. When MBS prices drop, rates are raised, and when prices rise, rates are lowered. 

Types of MBS

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMO):

This type of MBS is made up of multiple pools of securities. These "tranches" are reviewed and given credit ratings to determine the rate of return to investors.

Pass-Throughs:

This type of security is set up similar to trusts in which mortgage payments are collected and "passed through" to investors. Since they're set up as trusts, these typically have stated maturities of five, 15, and 30 years. These maturities can vary depending on the number of principal payments on the mortgages that make up the pass-through.

Team Lasson: Your Mortgage Professionals at the Lake

I hope that you have learned some valuable information about the mortgage industry, how MBS work, how they can influence mortgage rates. As the best mortgage lender at Lake of the Ozarks, I take pride in assisting my clients not only in obtaining top-tier mortgages for their homeownership needs but educating them as well so they can make the most informed decisions possible. With that being said, if you're looking to obtain a mortgage at Lake of the Ozarks or are interested in refinancing your home to take advantage of our great rates, give me a call!


Michael Lasson
Senior Loan Officer
NMLS #: 493712

4655 B Osage Beach Parkway
Osage Beach, MO 65065






**The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent First State Bank of St Charles’s positions, strategies, or opinions.