How much does a one percent change in mortgage rates affect the cost of a mortgage?

At face value, one percent doesn’t sound like very much. If you come across a “one percent sale” at the grocery store, you might be able to, at most, save a few dollars per week.

But when it comes to making much larger purchases, such as a home that is hundreds of thousands of dollars, one percent really can be a very big deal.

Published 5/24/2022


What is the Difference Between a Conventional and Non-Conventional Mortgage?

A mortgage is a financial instrument that enables people to fully own a home over time. Usually, this time period is 15 or 30 years (though you can pay your mortgage off sooner by paying more than the monthly minimum). However, while the definition of a mortgage might be obvious to some, there are actually many different kinds of mortgages that are currently available.

Published 5/17/2022


What is the Fair Housing Act?

In the 1960s, there were many pieces of significant legislation passed with the intention of decreasing discrimination and injustice within the United States. Among the most notable was the Civil Rights Act, passed in 1964, which eventually paved the way for additional provisions such as the Fair Housing Act of 1968.

Published 5/11/2022


Mortgage Rates Are Back on the Rise: Is Now the Right Time to Buy?

As January 2022 came to a close, mortgage rates were notably on the rise. According to Freddie Mac (a major mortgage company), interest rates for a 30-year mortgage rose to 3.56 percent by the end of the month, which is the highest they had been since March 2020—just as the COVID-19 outbreak and its corresponding economic consequences were beginning to unfold.

Published 5/4/2022


4 Thing to Think About When Filing Taxes As a Homeowner

Becoming a homeowner can be an exciting adventure. Once you become a homeowner, you will be able to considerably build your wealth over time through the accumulation of equity and also have the long-lasting joy that comes with having a place you can call your own.

Published 4/20/2022


What is the Lowest Credit Score I Can Have When Applying For a Mortgage?

If you are hoping to become a homeowner, you will very likely need to start by applying for a mortgage. And, for better or for worse, that usually means going through a mortgage application process during which lenders will consider a variety of different factors.

Published 4/20/2022


How Do I Know How Much Equity is in My Home?

One of the most common reasons people choose to buy a home is that, among other things, homeownership enables them to build wealth over time. Homeownership is the highest source of household equity within the United States and this is likely why owning a home is often considered to be an essential component of the “American Dream.”

Published 4/12/2022


Housewarming 101

There are lots of fun things that come along with buying a new home. From meeting new neighbors to flexing your interior design muscles to finally unpacking that last box, it seems like every day there is something new and exciting going on. One of the best parts of moving in somewhere new is showing it off to your friends and family – and a housewarming party is definitely the most fun way to do that!

Published 4/5/2022


Is It Really Cheaper To Own A Home Than To Rent One? 

There are a lot of different things you will need to think about when deciding where you want to live. Your work and social life, the type of structure you hope to live in, the neighborhood you will be living in, and other variables should all be top-of-mind whenever you are comparing your available options.

Published 3/29/2022


What Does a Mortgage Underwriter Do? 

There are many different people you will probably end up working with during the mortgage application process. Your real estate agent (which we strongly recommend working with) will help guide you along the way. Additionally, your loan officer(s) will be the main point of contact between you and the mortgage company.

Published 3/23/2022


8 Components that Affect the Property Values of Your Home 

When you watch any homebuying show, such as HGTV’s “House Hunters”, you are often surprised to see the things that bother potential homebuyers the most. People will often walk into a home and notice one small detail—the color of the cabinets, the shape of a door handle, or something along those lines—and immediately decide that the home they are looking at simply is not for them.

Published 3/15/2022


10 Tips for Saving for a Down Payment in 2022 

The beginning of a new year is a great time to set new goals—particularly financial goals. And if you are like many Americans, one of your most important financial goals might be buying a house.

Published 3/8/2022


First Option Mortgage Announces Partnership With IFOLIO

Atlanta, GA – First Option Mortgage is proud to announce its partnership with Atlanta-based tech firm iFOLIO. With iFOLIO’s innovative options for digital engagement, the collaboration aims to continue building out First Option’s online footprint as a prominent player in the mortgage industry.

Published 3/3/2022


10 Ways to Decrease the Time It Takes To Sell Your Home

According to one recent estimate from Zillow, the average American home stays on the market for 55 to 70 days. This figure is slightly down from where it was a few years ago when the average time a home spent on the market was closer to 100 days.

Published 3/1/2022


How Does Interior Design Impact the Value of Your Home?

Everyone knows just how important “curb appeal” is when comes to selling your home. If people don’t immediately like how the home looks, they will be much less likely to be enchanted by the other features of the home, such as its location, its layout, or anything else.

Published 2/22/2022


How Can I Secure a Mortgage with a "Poor" Credit Score?

For better or for worse, your credit score will affect many different components of your life. Not only will your credit score affect whether or not you are able to qualify for a particular loan, but it will also affect the interest rate that you will be expected to pay.

Published 2/15/2022


How to Check Your Credit Without a Hard Pull?

Whether or not you are in the process of buying a home—or making another big purchase that will require borrowing from a lender—it is always a good idea to know your credit score. Your credit score can affect many different components of your financial well-being, including the loans you may be able to qualify for and the interest rate that you’ll need to pay.
Published 2/8/2022


Will Mortgage Rates Remain Low in 2022?

There are many different variables that can affect the interest rate you’ll be expected to pay on your mortgage. In addition to personal factors, such as your credit score and debt-to-income ratio, your interest rate can also be affected by variables beyond your ability to control, such as the state of the broader economy.

Published 2/1/2022


6 Things to Know About Buying or Selling a Home in the Winter

There are many different things you’ll want to think about when deciding to buy or sell a home, and one of the most important is timing. If you are buying a home, you’ll ideally want to time the market so you can purchase your home when housing is undervalued. On the flip side, sellers will want to sell when houses are scarce and selling at a premium.
Published 1/26/2022


Is a VA Loan Right For Me?

In addition to serving your country, there are many benefits that come with being a veteran of the United States Military. One of the most notable benefits is the ability to access loans from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that are not available to most members of the civilian public.

Published 1/19/2022


8 Things to Think About When Refinancing Your Mortgage

Millions of American families will choose to refinance their mortgage every year. By choosing to refinance your mortgage, you can potentially get a large cash payment, lower your monthly mortgage payment, secure a lower interest rate, and enjoy many other benefits.

Published 1/12/2022


8 Signs it is the Right Time to Buy a Home

Deciding to buy a home can be one of the most exciting decisions that you will ever make. By becoming a homeowner, you will not only be able to enjoy the financial benefits of property ownership—including increased equity, tax benefits, and more—you’ll also be able to have the joy of creating a unique space you can be proud to call your own.
Published 1/5/2022


What Does a “Seller’s Market” Mean?

There are already so many things that you’ll need to think about when buying or selling a home but one of the most important variables people tend to overlook is timing. In order to make sure you are getting a great deal while selling your home (or finding a steal while buying one), you’ll need to be able to effectively read the market.


The Top 8 Things to Avoid Before Buying a Home

Everyone knows that buying a home can be incredibly stressful—albeit, very rewarding. The home buying process involves a lot of attention to detail, financial planning, and a willingness to cooperate with each of your potential lenders.  There are plenty of lists of things you should do when preparing to close on the house of your dreams. But what about the things you shouldn’t do, no matter how tempting they might be?


Tips for Obtaining a Home Loan When You’re Self-Employed

There are so many great things about being self-employed. People who are self-employed enjoy a significant degree of freedom, while still making valuable contributions to our economy. Currently, there are more than 20 million people in the United States who qualify as “self-employed”, which represents about 12 percent of the working population.


10 Questions Every First-Time Homebuyer Needs to Ask

Buying your first home can be very exciting—but it can also be very intimidating. Owning a home involves much more than renting an apartment does, meaning there are many often overlooked factors you’ll want to be sure to think about.


What is an HOA?

Depending on who you ask, homeowner associations might be considered a great way to protect and maintain the value of your largest asset—they also might be considered an unnecessary nuisance. Here are some of the most important things to know about HOAs.


8 Ways to Improve your Credit Score

For better or for worse, your credit score is one of the most important numbers in your life. Not only will your credit score determine whether you will be able to access credit (or even buy a home), it will also affect the interest rates you pay for any loans you might need to take out.


Homeowner Move-in Checklist

You’ve decided to take the big leap and become a homeowner. First of all, we’d like to say congratulations—owning a home is a huge milestone that will continue to benefit you and your family for many years to come. What's next?


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