Lynn D'Avolio
Century 21 North East | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/11/2018

Applying for a mortgage is a big step towards homeownership and financial independence. If it’s your first time buying a home, you might be curious (and a little intimidated) about all of the things that go into your mortgage application.

When reviewing your application, mortgage lenders are trying to determine how risky it is to lend you money. If all goes well, and they determine that lending to you would be a worthy investment, you’ll get approved for a mortgage.

There are three main things that lenders will use when weighing your application (however, there are other factors as well).

First, they’ll run a detailed credit report. This will tell them how much other debt you have, what kind of accounts you have open, how long you’ve had this debt, and how responsible you are when it comes to making your monthly payments in time.

Second, they’ll consider how much money you’ll be using toward a down payment. A larger down payment alleviates some of the risk associated with lending to you. Therefore, people with little or no down payment saved can have a difficult time getting approved for a mortgage. And, if they do get approved, they’ll have to pay monthly private mortgage insurance on top of their regular mortgage payments.

Finally, the third main consideration will be your current income. Lenders will look at your previous two years of income (including tax returns) and will seek out current income verification from your employer.

The latter is a key part of getting approved, as lenders will want to ensure that you are in a stable financial situation and will be able to immediately start making mortgage payments.

Today’s post will center around income verification and how mortgage lenders will use your income to determine your borrowing eligibility.

How Do I Verify My Employment?

If you’re employed with a company, most lenders will reach out to your employer directly to verify your employment. You’ll be asked to sign a form that authorizes your employer to share these details with the lender, and then your part of the job is done and you can move on to the next step of your application.

Things get trickier when you’re a freelancer, are self-employed, or work with several clients as a contract worker. In these situations, lenders will typically require you to file a Form 4506-T with the IRS. This form allows your lender to obtain your tax returns directly from the IRS.

Can I submit additional information to verify my income?

There are some situations where providing additional income information can bolster your case in terms of getting approved for a mortgage.

If you own a business, your lender of choice may ask for a profit and loss statement. If you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, your clients who have paid you at least $600 or services or $10 in royalties will be required to send you a Form 1099-MISC.

If you have mixed income, such as a full-time job with freelance work on the side, showing these 1099-MISC forms can help increase your income on paper so that lenders will approve you or a higher mortgage amount or lower interest rate.




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 12/4/2018

Believe it or not, a home listing may make or break your ability to sell your residence. If your initial home listing fails to stir up interest from property buyers, there is no need to stress. In fact, there are many quick, easy ways to bolster a house listing.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you transform an ordinary home listing into an exceptional one.

1. Include High-Quality Home Images

High-quality images that showcase your home's kitchen, bathrooms and other areas could help you differentiate your residence from other available properties. Perhaps most important, these images may make it easy for property buyers to fall in love with your house – something that could lead to many home showings in the near future.

If you plan to take photographs for a home listing, it is important to clean your residence and remove clutter in advance. That way, you can use images to showcase the true size and beauty of your house.

Also, if you need help with photographing your house, you may want to hire a real estate photographer. This professional can help you capture top-notch images of your home that you can instantly incorporate into your house listing.

2. Provide Accurate Information About Your Home

A home is a major investment, and as such, you should strive to provide buyers with as much information as possible about your residence. By doing so, you can make it simple for a buyer to determine whether your residence is the right choice.

Oftentimes, it helps to include room measurements, information about recent home upgrades and other relevant details about your residence in a property listing. Consider the buyer's perspective, and you may be better equipped than ever before to include home details that could help you differentiate your residence from the competition.

3. Be Honest with Property Buyers

There is no need to stretch the truth in a home listing, and doing so may do more harm than good as you try to sell your house. Instead, be honest, and you can craft an effective house listing that hits the mark with the right groups of buyers.

Lastly, as you search for ways to improve your home listing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional will help you navigate all stages of the property selling journey and ensure you can achieve your desired home selling results.

A real estate agent will learn about you and your home and help you put together an engaging and informative house listing. Then, he or she will host home showings and open house events. And if you receive an offer to purchase your home, a real estate agent will help you review this proposal and determine the best course of action.

Eliminate the guesswork associated with preparing an effective home listing and other property selling tasks – hire a real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to streamline the home selling journey.




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/27/2018

Although there are a lot of sound reasons for hiring a real estate agent to help you sell your home, objectivity is near the top of the list.

Homeowners, when left to their own devices, tend to overprice their property and overlook easy, inexpensive ways to improve curb appeal and overall marketability.

There's both an art and a science to effectively selling residential real estate, and when either of these aspects are neglected (the art or the science), opportunities for a speedy sale are often missed.

Whether it's because of emotional attachments to the property or a lack of knowledge about real estate marketing, home sellers sometimes undermine the sales process and send prospective buyers scurrying. If you're considering putting your house on the market in the near future, here are a few tips to help you maximize your chances for producing the best possible results.

  • Avoid the temptation to price your house too high. Other than emotional attachment, some homeowners inflate their asking price because they're not on a strict timetable and can afford to wait. They incorrectly assume that if they wait long enough and show their home to enough interested prospects, they'll eventually get their high asking price. While that strategy may seem to make sense at first, it's actually based on a false premise. Once an overpriced house lingers on the market for months, its desirability drops sharply. Not only will prospective buyers assume that something's wrong with it, but they'll also catch on quickly to the fact that you're asking too much for the property. Unless an eccentric millionaire comes along who is absolutely in love with your house and has no qualms about writing out a large check for more than the house is worth, chances are your property will linger on the market indefinitely. In the vast majority of cases, house hunters are looking for a home that makes financial sense and provides a decent amount of investment value. Also worth considering is the fact that a property priced well above its fair market value could make it difficult or impossible for an interested prospect to obtain bank financing.
  • It's usually a mistake to assume the house will sell itself. Failing to price a property competitively, maximize its curb appeal, and keep the interior looking impeccable at all times is a recipe for disappointment. Since first impressions are crucially important in attracting prospective buyers, no detail should be overlooked when putting a home on the market. When you consider the competitive nature of the real estate market and the fact that most serious prospects are going to carefully evaluate all aspects of a home before making an offer, it makes sense for you, the home seller, to avoid placing barriers, stumbling blocks, or disincentives in the path of potential buyers.
A seasoned real estate agent can provide you with the necessary advice, guidance, and marketing help needed to avoid mistakes and increase your chances for a fast sale.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/20/2018

If you’re a first-time homebuyer, odds are you’ve thrown the words “prequalified” and “preapproved” interchangeably. However, when it comes to home loans, there are some very important differences between the two.

For buyers hoping to purchase a home with a few missteps and misunderstandings as possible, it’s vital to understand the procedures involved in acquiring financing for a home.

Today, we’ll break down these two real estate jargon terms so that you can go into the mortgage approval process armed with the knowledge to help you succeed in securing a home loan.

Mortgage prequalification

Let’s start with the easy part--mortgage prequalification. Getting prequalified helps borrowers find out what kind and what size mortgage they can likely secure financing for. It also helps lenders establish a relationship with potential customers, which is why you will often see so many ads for mortgage prequalification around the web.

Prequalification is a relatively simple process. You’ll be asked to provide an overview of your finances, which your lender will plug into a formula and then report back to you whether or not you’re likely to get approved based on your current circumstances.

The lender will ask you for general information about your income, assets, debt, and credit. You won’t need to provide exact documents for these things at this phase in the process, since you have not yet technically applied for a mortgage.

Prequalification exists to give you a broad picture of what you can expect. You can use this information to plan for the future, or you can seek out other lenders for a second opinion. But, before you start shopping for homes, you’ll want to make sure you’re preapproved, not prequalified.

Mortgage preapproval

After you’ve prequalified, you can start thinking about preapproval. If you’re serious about buying a home in the near future, getting preapproved will simplify your buying process. It will also make sellers more likely to take you seriously, since you already have your financing partially secured.

Mortgage preapproval requires you to provide the lender with income documentation. They will also perform a credit inquiry to receive your FICO score.

Mortgage applications and credit scores

Before we talk about the rest of the preapproval process, we need to address one common issue that buyers face when applying for a mortgage. There are two types of credit inquiries that lenders can perform to view your credit history--hard inquiries and soft inquiries.

A soft inquiry won’t affect your credit score. But a hard inquiry can lower your score by a few points for a period of 1 to 2 months. So, when getting preapproved, you should expect your credit score to drop temporarily.

After preapproval

Once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, you can safely begin looking at homes. If you decide to make an offer on a home and your offer is accepted, your preapproval will make it easier to move forward in closing on the home.

Once the lender checks off on the house you’re making an offer on, they will send you a loan commitment letter, enabling you to move forward with closing on the home.





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/13/2018

One of the most difficult decisions to make when refinishing a room is how much of a current trend to inspire your choices. Jumping in with two feet can be fun and certainly create a wow factor. However, trends can also quickly become outdated and if you’ve invested a lot of time and money into a particular one you will also have to spend a lot of time and money to change it.

Luckily, this isn’t an all or nothing situation. So whether your current obsession is mid-century modern or shabby chic you can satisfy your style preference without making a top to bottom change in a few months or years.

To start, keep bigger items like the wall color, flooring, and furniture neutral in both style and color. What I mean by this is to choose furniture that is inspired by or similar, but simpler, to a more trendy piece. And neutral doesn’t have to mean beige. Blacks, grays, blues, browns, whites, and creams with just a hint of the desired hue are perfect multitaskers that transcend both trends and time.

For example, if you want pink for a blush-toned creme or for green a sage infused blue. If you’re craving color black and white create the perfect canvas for colorful accessories to really pop and make a statement. Navy and charcoal are neutral but underutilized colors that allow you to give a little push style boundaries.

Bring in those pops of color with accents. Wall art, decor, throw pillows, curtains and bedding are perfect ways to do just that. Incorporate your favorite new colors and patterns throughout the room for a consistent look and not as if you haphazardly placed pieces as an afterthought.

The best part of using these details to infuse your trend of choice is that they enable you to go as bold or subtle as you like. Curtains or a comforter in a bright color or a bold print capture the eye immediately. Throw pillows and wall art, on the other hand, make for a room filled with personality.

It’s always fun to incorporate trends when we are decorating. It gives the room your unique brand of personality and brings the space to life. Cleverly choosing your larger items to remain understated to allow your trendy pieces take the spotlight is the perfect way to join in while also staying flexible if you tire of it or want to change things up down the road.

You’ll also be making a more budget-friendly project by choosing neutral tones for your investment pieces. They will be able to carry over decades to come while transcending, for the most part, the many trends it is sure to outlive.     




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