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BLOGS

Questions to Ask When Considering a Home with a Well 

August 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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In urban areas, homes with wells are virtually unheard of, but in some rural parts of the country, they are more common than those on municipal or public supplies.

According to the EPA, an estimated 13 million U.S. homes rely on a well, which is roughly 10% of the total.

So, home buyers outside cities may run into some properties drawing water out of the ground, rather than a main. If you find yourself in that situation, here are some questions you might want to ask to ensure you have the whole picture before you make the purchase.

How was the well sunk? Most modern wells are drilled, a process that creates a cleaner hole that is easier to plumb and less likely to become contaminated.

How old is the well? Wells require maintenance and have expected lifespans. In most cases drilled wells last decades, though groundwater sources can shift and leave the well dry.

How long was it projected to last? Contractors who sink wells sometimes provide an estimated lifespan based on the flow rate of the source aquifer, expected submersible pump life and stability of the drill, among other factors.

How deep is the well? The depth of a well can tell you a lot (for instance, how susceptible the well might be to surface contaminants), and the current owner should be able to answer this.

How much water is it rated for? This can be dictated by the available flow from the tapped aquifer and the capacity of the pump. The number is typically in the 3–5-gallon range.

Does the well meet codes? Local and state codes may dictate how the well can be sunk, how deep it must be, and what the water quality should be.

When was the well water last tested and what were the results? You should insist on receiving logs of that check. The EPA recommends testing well water annually for total coliform bacteria, nitrates, total dissolved solids, and pH levels.

If you are concerned about the well, you may want to request water quality testing and inspection as a condition of your purchase of the home.

When you’re ready to buy your next home, contact the experts at Trusted American Mortgage to walk with you each step of the way.

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What is the Difference Between a Buyer's Market and a Seller's Market? 

July 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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If you have ever purchased or sold a home, you are probably familiar with the terms “buyer’s market” and “seller’s market.” But have you ever stopped to consider what those phrases actually mean?

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants to take a few minutes to break it down for you. Read on as we share some insight.

Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market

It’s probably fairly common sense to know that the two phrases mean one market is beneficial for home buyers and one is beneficial for home sellers. But how so? And what do these types of markets mean for people looking to buy or sell a home?

First things first, let us put a definition with the phrases:

buyer’s market describes a time period when there are more homes for sale than there are buyers looking for homes.

seller’s market describes a time period when there are fewer homes for sale than there are buyers looking for homes.

What the Markets Mean for You If You are Looking to Sell

If you are not quite sure whether the time is right to sell your home, you want to consider whether you are in a seller’s market time period. When it’s a seller’s market, that means your home will be a hot commodity, because there are so many people looking for homes.

That often translates to bidding wars, where multiple potential buyers bid against each other to become the lucky winner of your home. That translates to a higher sale price for you—and potentially more money in your wallet.

On the other hand, if it is a buyer’s market, you may want to reconsider selling your home, if possible. Your home will be one of many options, making it less likely that it will sell in a timely manner and for the price you would like.

What the Markets Mean for You If You are Looking to Buy

If you are looking to buy a home, ideally, you would wait until it is a buyer’s market. During that time period, there will be more options out there to look at and more price points available.

That means you will be more apt to find a home within an affordable price range that also meets your needs and wants.

During a seller’s market, on the other hand, you could end up paying much more than you anticipated due to an overabundance of competition—other buyers looking for homes.

When you are ready to buy a home, we are here for you! Give us a call today to get started.

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Pandemic Mortgage Relief 

June 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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With unemployment claims at record levels in March and April as a result of the coronavirus-triggered economic slowdown, searches for “mortgage relief” also hit all-time highs, according to Google Trends data. Fortunately for those struggling to make payments, federal regulators ordered lenders to offer flexibility to more than half of all borrowers.

The mandate gives those who have lost their incomes the opportunity to petition their lenders to reduce or completely pause payments for as long as 12 months. It only covers loans guaranteed by government-backed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but that includes most of the outstanding loans in the U.S.

If you lost your job and/or your income as a result of economic changes related to the coronavirus, there are some things you should do to ensure your home is protected while you look for work:

How to Get Coronavirus Mortgage Relief

  • Reach out to your mortgage servicer as soon as you know you likely will not be able to make a payment. Do not wait until the due date or, worse yet, just stop making payments without communicating with your lender.
  • In most cases, you will only need to explain your situation to a lender representative, who will then work with you to determine whether you qualify for relief and how much you might get. You should be ready to provide some details—potentially including how much income you lost, what your monthly bills look like and your overall financial picture—on this call.
  • Collect paperwork to document your hardship, which you may be asked to provide to your lender to support your claim. This may include notice of termination, unemployment documentation, and records of monthly expenses.
  • Have an idea of how you might be able to get back on track with payments when you are in a better financial position. This may mean paying more each month for a set period to catch up to where you would have been without the pause or reduction or extending the term of the loan. Your lender may dictate how this ground will be made up; otherwise, a representative should be able to help you decide what plan best fits your situation.

If you have other questions about home funding, please reach out to Trusted American Mortgage agents today!

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Warmer Weather = Home-Buying Time 

May 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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The weather is getting warmer. The birds are chirping. The sun is out. And potential homebuyers are on a mission!

Have you been thinking about putting your home on the market? Our team of professionals at Trusted Home Mortgage wants you to see why the summer season might just be the perfect time to sell your home.

Prepare Now to Get Ahead

More than 5 million homes were sold in the United States in 2019. That adds up to a lot of competition when it comes to the housing market!

Fortunately, if you are one of the many homeowners looking to sell your home this summer, our team is here to offer you tips on how you can help get your home sold sooner rather than later:

Timing

Many people want to sell/buy in the summer because it gives the perfect opportunity to close on a home and move without interfering with the start of school.

When people buy in the summer, it gives their family an opportunity to become familiar with the neighborhood, as well as new schools and other extracurricular activities they might be interested in like new churches and sporting events.

So, as part of your prep work in this area, you want to make sure you can identify for potential buyers what is available in your area. Provide quick reference points for schools, churches, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other oft-needed organizations.

Sparkling-clean Spaces

Summer is also a great time to sell—particularly this year—because you have likely just completed a comprehensive spring-clean. Your home is sparkling and sanitized, making it easier for potential buyers to see the opportunities your house offers to them.

Take this one step further by decluttering your space and leaving visible only what is necessary. Buyers, after all, want to see their own dreams within your house’s walls, not your reality.

Curb Appeal

While you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, we all do, which is why it is vital for your home’s curb appeal to be on point when putting your home on the market. You want to give prospective homebuyers the wow factor as soon as they pull up your driveway.

Seize the opportunity now to clean up your outdoor spaces and give them a good shine. Work on your own or with a landscaper to boost your curb appeal with a lush lawn and decorative flowerbeds. You can even add little touches like a new coat of paint to the front door, providing a literal good first impression.

Are you ready to see yourself in a new home this summer? Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to find out how we can help you get started!

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Take the First Step to Buying a Home, Get Pre-Approved!

April 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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Is 2020 the year for a new home? You have come to the right place! Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants you to find the home of your dreams.

But first things first, you want to make sure you take the steps to get pre-approved for a mortgage before going on a house hunt. Learn why:

Why Is It Important to Get Pre-Approved for a New Home?

Before you get the itch to start looking at homes currently available on the market, it is important to make sure you are not jumping the gun. Rather, the first step in the home-buying process is that of getting pre-approved for a mortgage.

But why?

You want to make sure you know how much home you can afford. There is nothing more disappointing than going house-hunting only to find that the houses you are looking at are out of your price range.

Therefore, get a better idea of how much home you can afford by getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you go house-hunting. That way you will not be disappointed if you find a home and, then, it ends up being out of your price range.

If you do find a home you love, you can be one step ahead of other potential homebuyers by having a pre-approval letter in your hand. When you go in to make an offer on a house that you love, the sellers can know that you mean business.

In addition, this can help sellers feel more comfortable in accepting your offer since they do not have to worry about whether you can get funding for a new home since you are already pre-approved for a mortgage.

Are You Ready to Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan?

Now that you know why it is important to get pre-approved for a home mortgage before looking at houses, set up an appointment with us to get started on the pre-approval process. Just make sure you bring the following documents with you:

  • Pay stubs
  • Tax returns
  • W-2s from the previous two years
  • Asset information
  • Driver's license or passport
  • Social Security number

It is not just a house. It is a home! Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to learn how we can help you get started in finding your dream home sooner rather than later.


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 Home Sweet Home 

March 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon


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Whether this is your first time buying a house or your fifth, the same outcome is always desired, you want to find a house that you can turn into a home!

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants you to learn how you can turn the house of your needs into the home of your dreams with some simple touches. Let’s look at some ways you can add your own style into your house in order to make it more of a home:

Bring in the Greenery

What makes the best gift? A houseplant! Not only can houseplants help to improve the air quality inside your home, but they can also help add warmth and comfort for both your loved ones and your guests!

Paint the Walls Red

Well, not necessarily red. But don’t be afraid to go outside the box when painting the walls of your home to fit whatever meets your style.

Whether you go for Pantone's Color of the Year in the dining room or beige in the living room or pink and white stripes for your daughter's bedroom, you want each room to have its own meaning, while also having a flow that is all your own.

The Writing is on the Wall

Along with painting the walls, do not be afraid to also add some of your family pictures, favorite quotes, and other favorite artwork to the wall to really spice things up inside your home.

When you are surrounded by photos of your loved ones, even when alone, you can feel as though you are in the comfort of your own home surrounded by the people you love the most!

Artwork, mirrors, and other home decor can also help to give life to the walls of your house in order to help make it a home.

Are you on the search for a new house that you can turn into a home? Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to find out how we can help you get started!

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Make Liv
ing in Your Home Easier When It's for Sale  

February 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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When you are selling your home, it can be difficult to also live in it. You want everything to stay just right in case the next visitor to your home is the potential buyer!

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants you to know how you can make your home livable while trying to sell it in 2020.

Let's take a look at ways you can do just that:

Start Packing Now 

You are going to sell your home one day, so why not go ahead and start cleaning out each room? You can start making bins of what you want to donate, sell, throw out and move.

When you start clearing out your home, you can move items you're going to keep into a storage area and get items you're discarding or selling out of the house entirely. This will help ensure your house remains as clutter-free as possible even while you’re still living in it!

Rent a Storage Unit

Now that you've decluttered, you probably need to clear some of the items you'll be keeping out of your home. Doing so will help make sure that potential buyers can visualize themselves in your house rather than simply seeing all your stuff.

One thing that may make things easier for you and your family is to move items and furniture that's not deemed essential into a storage unit or other available storage space.

Organize Your Showings

While you want your home to be available and ready for potential homebuyers to see, it's still your house! You need to have some boundaries around when you will be in the house and when it will be available for buyers to view.

Work with your Realtor to determine days and times that your house can be shown and when it should be off-limits.

By knowing the days and times your home will be shown, you will be better able to work around that schedule. You'll be able to ensure that your house is cleaned for visitors when needed but can feel more comfortable to truly live in the space on days no one will be stopping by.

Are you needing to move from one home to another? Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to find out how we can help!

Copyright© 2020 Trusted American Mortgage

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3 Resolutions You Can Make for Your Home | Trusted American Mortgage


January 1, 2020 | By Patrick Donlon

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It’s the start of a new year—and the time many of us start implementing resolutions for the year ahead. Why not add one or two to the list related to your home? After all, it’s a big investment, so you want to make the most of it!

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants you to learn how you can best care for your new home by establishing strong resolutions for 2020. Consider adding these resolutions to your list:

Make a List of Home Improvement Projects

While you do not have to take care of every home project all at once, you do want to have a running list of to-dos in order to keep your home improvement projects streamlined.

After making a list of everything you want to accomplish, you want to start listing them from highest priority to lowest priority. That way you can ensure the most important home tasks get taken care of as soon as possible, such as HVAC issues and electrical upgrades.

Make Your House Your Home

There is having a house, and then there is having a home. Although one might think these two terms are the same, they are actually very different. A house is just that, a house. But a home is so much more.

When you walk into your home, you want to be able to take a deep breath and just feel instantly at ease knowing you are safe and sound. Through home decor, home security and other ways, you can be sure to turn your house into a home in the new year!

Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Your electric bill comes once a month. Wouldn't it be nice to see that bill as low as possible?

Let's take a look at ways you can start making your home energy-efficient today:

  • Unplugging unused electronics
  • Turning off unnecessary water
  • Sealing all windows
  • Using energy-efficient lightbulbs
  • Turning off lights when not in the room
  • Lowering your thermostat

Then, you can use the savings of your electrical bill each month to put toward your home improvement projects on your resolution list. It's a win-win!

Are you on the search for a new home? Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to find out how we can help!

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What's Trending in Home-buying for 2020? | Trusted American Mortgage

December 1, 2019 | By Patrick Donlon

Everyone is always wanting to stay on top of the latest trends, and who can blame them?

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants to inform you on the latest trends happening within the housing and mortgage market as we enter a new year!

Whether you are in the market for a new house or not, you have probably heard the phrases buyer’s market and seller's market in passing. But what do these really mean?

In previous months (and years), it has certainly been a seller's market, which basically means the seller has the upper hand when negotiating the sale of a home. However, the tables are turning a little bit, which means it is becoming more of a buyer's market. That means the buyer will now have more of the power when it comes to negotiating the cost of a home.

Are you looking to sell your home in 2020? Sooner is better than later, especially since things could change within the new year. Some economic experts believe a recession could hit by 2021 and the effects could start to appear in later 2020. So now may be the time to look to sell.

A third trend to watch for in the mortgage industry is the ability to refinance. People refinance a home for a number of reasons, including:

  • Obtaining a lower interest rate and mortgage payment
  • Reducing PMI
  • Moving from an adjustable-rate mortgage to a fixed-rate mortgage
  • Buying out an ex-spouse

Even if you recently bought a home, you should still consider checking out the current refinancing rate, as you could still take advantage of a great deal in 2020!

Remember, trends are always changing, including in the housing and mortgage market. While these are some of the trends now, you never know what will happen throughout the next year! Take advantage of what you can now so that you don't regret missing out later.

Are you on the search for a new home in the new year? Check out our Trusted American Mortgage website today to find out how we can help!

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Home for the Holidays! | Trusted American Mortgage
November 1- By Patrick Donlon

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Can you believe we are already entering November? Where has this year gone? It always seems each year passes by faster than the next.

However, now it really is crunch time when searching for a new home just before the holidays. Our team at Trusted American Mortgage is here to help you find the perfect home just in time to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.

Be Settled in a New Home for the Holidays

While house hunting can be fun, during this time of year, you also want to be able to decorate it for the holidays! Therefore, you might want to consider ways you can find your new home fast so that you have plenty of time to celebrate it before the holiday season begins.

With the pressure on, let's take a look at ways you can find the perfect home:

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

The first thing you want to do before you start the hunt for the perfect house this holiday season is to go ahead and get pre-approved for a mortgage. The last thing you want to do is waste time looking at homes you cannot afford.

Therefore, take care of this first step before moving forward in the homebuying process.

Get All the Documentation Ready

When you find the right home, you want to make sure you have all your ducks in a row in order to make the home buying process as efficient as possible, especially around this time of year when you have no time to waste!

The following are documents homebuyers need when purchasing a new home, such as:

  • Federal tax returns for the past two years
  • Supporting information (e.g., W-2, 1099, or other tax forms) for the past two years
  • Two months' worth of statements from any checking and savings, 401(k), retirement, and other accounts
  • Pay stubs for the past month

Prepare for Your Move

Although you may not be sure of where your new home will be, you do know that there will be a move. Therefore, start planning for your move now so that when the time does come to begin moving into your new home, you already have a head start on packing!

Also, go ahead and do some of the legwork, like determining the steps to take to get cable and internet set up, gas turned on, and other such tasks.

Are you looking for a new home just before the holidays? Give our team at Trusted American Mortgage a call to learn how we can help!


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Is It Time to Refinance Your Home? | Trusted American Mortgage

August 1, 2019 by Parick Donlon

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Refinancing your mortgage can certainly save you money. However, before you pull the plug on refinancing your home, our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants to make sure that you time it just right to benefit most.

Let’s take a look at some things to consider when it comes to determining whether you should refinance your mortgage:

Is It a Better Interest Rate?

You want to make sure that when you refinance your mortgage that you are able to obtain a better interest rate. Now only can the interest rate help with lowering your monthly payment, it can also help you save money throughout the lifetime of your home loan.

Therefore, you want to make sure you are improving your interest rate in order to improve your overall finances in the end!

In order to know if your interest rate is going to be better, you also need to be aware of your current credit score. If your credit score is higher than what it was when you first bought your home, then there is a good chance that you'll receive a better interest rate offer this time around.

However, if your credit score is lower than when you first became a homeowner, then you might want to rethink refinancing.

Do You Have Upcoming Expenses?

This is where you consider whether your financial needs merit refinancing to free up more money.

Are you in need of cash to help cover your child's college tuition or are you looking to make big improvements to your home?

Then, refinancing your mortgage might be the best (and cheapest) way to free up the money you need for a big expense.

Will You Ultimately Save Money?

The ultimate goal of refinancing in most cases is to save money in the long run. So carefully consider the details of any mortgage refinance offer to determine whether it will help you do that.

You'll want to examine not just the interest rate and new monthly payment, but also the total amount due, and whether that represents an actual savings over your current mortgage. A mortgage loan officer will be able to step you through all the details so you can make an informed decision.

Are you looking to refinance your home? Give our team at Trusted American Mortgage a call today to learn how to get started!



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Home Loan Pre-Approval: What Is It & How to Get It | Trusted American Mortgage       September1-Pat Donlon

*There is no place like home, Dorothy

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage completely understands the need and desire to want to go house-hunting as soon as it is decided that you are in the market for a new home.

However, have you ever found something you loved and then realized at the end that you couldn't afford it? It quickly puts a damper on the entire experience and makes it hard to move forward to find something you love even more.

Therefore, rather than going in blind when house-hunting, know how much home you can afford by getting pre-approved for your mortgage before starting the search for your new home!

Things to Know About Getting Pre-Approved

Finding your dream home should be fun! So, take the risk of being disappointed out of the equation by getting pre-approved before you start hunting.

What is this pre-approval, you might ask? Well, it essentially tells you how much of a loan a bank is willing to provide to you. This will provide you with clear parameters on what you're able to afford, and what you are not.

The first thing to know, though, is that just because you get approved for a $300,000 home mortgage, it doesn't mean you need to buy a $300,000 home! It's very important that you truly understand the costs of homeownership, above and beyond just the monthly mortgage. Make sure to set yourself up for success!

How can you obtain the best possible terms for your loan? It's all about credit.

First, you want to make sure that your credit score is ready for a home mortgage. The higher the credit score, the better the interest rate on your home loan. Start taking steps to improve your score by making all payments on time, not closing old accounts and paying off your credit accounts monthly when possible.

In addition, you also want to make sure your debt-to-income ratio isn't too unbalanced. If most of your income is going toward paying off debt, that won't reflect positively when applying for a mortgage. So, work to pay down some of the debt prior to house-hunting, for best results.

Are you in the market for a new home? Before you start house-hunting, give our team at Trusted American Mortgage a call to discover how much home you can afford.



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It's Time to Talk Closing Costs! | Trusted American Mortgage
October 1 -Pat Donlon

It never fails. You think you have everything you need to buy a home and, then, bam. You completely forgot to factor in the closing costs.

Our team at Trusted American Mortgage wants you to be as prepared as possible when it comes to buying a new home by making sure you include closing costs within your budget.

How Low Can the Closing Costs Go?

Of course, one thing you want to make sure you do is lower the closing costs as much as possible. Lets take a look at a few ways you can make certain you get the best price possible when it comes to closing costs on your new home.

What Will the Seller Pay For?

Just because you are paying for some of the closing costs of the home, it doesnt mean the seller isn't responsible, too. Although the seller usually pays for the real estate agent commissions, they are also usually responsible for paying for some of the closing costs.

In fact, in some markets, buyers can have the upper hand in sometimes asking the sellers to pay for all closing costs as a way to seal in the deal. However, this is only in some cases.

What If You Don't Have the Cash to Pay Closing Costs?

Are you unable to pay the closing costs associated with your new home? You can sometimes roll the closing costs into your overall mortgage payment, which can end up saving you money at closing.

However, because you are paying interest on your closing costs when putting it with the rest of your mortgage, you might actually be spending a little more in the end. Yet, this is a great way for you to have the closing costs paid for when you don't have access to the cash needed at the time of closing.

How Can You Be Better Prepared for Closing Costs?

When saving for your mortgage, you can also start saving for your closing costs. This way you will not be surprised when the time comes to discuss and pay closing costs so that you can still get the keys to your dream home!

Are you looking for more information about closing costs?  Call 303-558-1500 0r email: manager@trustedamerican.com



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