Posts Tagged ‘gwinnett county ga’


Loan (Photo credit: Philip Taylor PT)

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with GMAC Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

It’s time to act.  If you have been patiently waiting for better rates and better home prices, 2013 could be your last chance.

1.  Move if you’re a buyer – Rates are still awesome and you may never hear the words “it’s a perfect time to buy a house” again.  Interest rates are expected to increase this year.  Higher rates mean more money out of your pocket and the amount of home you can afford will decrease.

2.  Be picky about your lender – Always ask your friends and family who they trust or have used in the past.  I guarantee that you will not only find out who to use, but you will definitely find out who not to.  Talk with the recommended lenders about service and turn times.  Buying a home can be the most stressful event in your life.  Closing on time should not be taken for granted.  GMAC Mortgage has a closing on time guarantee. Trust me.  Your agent and you will appreciate not having to worry.

3.  The fat lady hasn’t sung until the loan closes – At the risk of sounding strange….closing a loan is a battle.  It doesn’t matter if you have an 800 credit score, no debt, and a seven figure income.  You must work hard with your loan officer as a team.  If they need something, get it now.  Putting things off even one day slows down the process.  Three things I always tell me buyers.  First, do not accept any money from anyone until your loan closes.  What if we need an updated bank statement and there is a large deposit listed?  This is a problem and even more documentation is needed.  Second, do not apply for any credit until the loan closes.  Do not apply for any credit cards so you can get a discount of the new stove for the new house.  Your credit will be monitored and if an inquiry pops up, more documentation is needed.  Third, do not quit your job.  Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I have seen it happen on the day of closing.  You have to have a job with income.

4.  Check your credit annually – is a great website to track your credit.  If you are planning on buying a home later this year, pull your three free reports and make sure that every item listed is in fact yours.  If not, take the steps to correct it.  Take a look at your credit card balances.  Generally speaking, you never want to go over 30% of the credit limit.  People tell me all of the time that they pay it off in full every month.  Great, but that will not matter if I check your credit and you have a $750 balance on a $1000 limit card.  Keep that balance at or below $300.  Do you have a MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, Kohl’s, Target, Sears, and Discover cards?  That’s too many.  Available credit is also a factor in determining credit scores.  If you’re interested, call or email me to discuss how to tackle this problem.

5.  Get preapproved – A good real estate agent will never show you a house without you getting preapproved first.  Some still do, but I think you would agree that it’s a waste of time and money to drive you around only to find out later that you don’t qualify.  Find out how much house you can afford and then proceed from there.  Lenders (good lenders) will give you exact figures on payment and a price range you should concentrate on.  It is imperative that you are armed with this knowledge before you Google the first area to start looking.

2013 I going to be a great year, but change is ahead of us.  Please let me know if I can help in any way.

I've started so I'll finish

I've started so I'll finish (Photo credit: get down)

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is 

Now that you have chosen your loan product and your new home, what happens next?  Gone are the days of providing a couple of pay stubs and bank statements.  Each individual situation is different.  Your life “picture” will be looked at in order to determine what items are needed for underwriting.  Typical items will include but are not limited to:

1)  2 years of tax returns – Specific items that will be looked at are – do your tax returns match your W-2’s?  Are there any unreimbursed business expenses on the 2106?  If self employed, did your business have a profit or loss?  Is the rental property you own mentioned on your return?

2) 2 months of pay stubs – Specific items that will be looked at are – does your year to date income make sense?  Are there any repayment of loans mentioned?  Does your salary or hourly wage match what you told your loan officer?  Are there any bonuses or overtime wages?

3)  2 months of bank statements for any asset listed on the loan application – Specific items that will be looked at are – does your bank statement show any deposit that is not payroll related?  If so, where did the money come from?  Be prepared to write or type a letter of explanation regarding these deposits and proof.

4)  A written or typed letter indicating why you want to purchase the home

5)  Proof of rent payments – if you are currently renting from an individual, you will need to provide 12 months cancelled checks showing that you have been making your payments on time.  If renting from a company, you will need to provide contact information so they can confirm payments have been made on time for the last twelve months.

6)  A copy of your unexpired drivers license

7)  A credit card number – this is to order the appraisal on the home you are buying.  Appraisers are paid directly with this credit card before they will view the property

8)  Bankruptcy papers – if you have declared bankruptcy, you must provide the complete bankruptcy package along with the discharge paperwork.

9)  Divorce Decree – if divorced, you must provide the complete divorce paperwork package

What we are trying to accomplish is to present a “picture” of you, the home buyer, to the underwriter. Underwriters do not speak to the buyer, so we need to present a story that says, this is John Smith, this is what he’s about, and this is why he wants to buy the house.

It’s always a good idea to contact your loan officer before you start looking for your new home.  He or she can tell you where you stand, how much you can afford, and if something needs to be addressed.  Also, have all of your paperwork ready at the beginning for review.  I promise it will take the drama out of your home buying.

Apply today at .  Call today at 678-725-8076.  Email today at






Pontypool Park Choices

Pontypool Park Choices (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I deal with first time homebuyers on a daily basis and I love it.  Most first time buyers need guidance, advice, and someone they can trust.  One of the main questions I get asked is what choices do I have?  Or, I want a first time buyer program.  It’s my job to ask the right questions in order to lead them down a path where they can achieve their dream of owning a home.

First time homebuyer choices:

A Conventional Loan – A conventional loan normally requires a 5% down payment.  Underwriting guidelines can be a little more stringent and may require a debt to income ratio (money coming in versus money going out) less than 45%.  Anytime you put down less than 20% you will also have a mortgage insurance premium added to your payment.

A FHA Loan – A FHA loan only requires a 3.5% down payment.  Underwriting guidelines allow for a buyer to have some issues as long as there is a reasonable explanation.  This program does have mortgage insurance added to your monthly payment.  FHA also has Upfront Mortgage Insurance.  Until April 9th, this is 1% of your purchase price.  After April 9th, it will be 1.75%.  This amount is charged to the buyer but is added back into the loan and is financed over the life of the loan.

A HomePath Loan – A HomePath loan only requires a 3% down payment.  HomePath loans are only available for HomePath houses.  These are foreclosed homes owned by Fannie Mae.  This loan does not require an appraisal and does not require mortgage insurance.

A Rural Development Loan (USDA Loan) – A USDA loan does not require a down payment.  It does require the home to be located in a specific area and qualify for this program.  Properties can be located online at .  Also, USDA has a cap regarding how much income your entire household receives.  If your household is over this cap, you would not qualify.

Renovation Loans – 203K, HomePath Renovation, and Homestyle.  While these loans do require additional effort on the buyers part, they do help the buyer purchase the home with the repairs or renovations included in the original loan.  After closing, the repairs are made.  These programs are also helping home values and steadily increasing values in neighborhoods.  Each renovation program has its own guidelines and requirements.

VA Loan – A VA loan does not require a down payment.  Being a veteran myself, I always love doing loans for other members of the armed forces.

Buying your first home can be stressful.  Make sure you are dealing with someone who can explain all of your options, clearly, and is willing to hold your hand through the entire process.  If you would like to discuss your options, please feel free to give me a call or email me anytime.  I would love to help you realize your dream.

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is


Finally.  More and more home  buyers are discovering the benefits of homeownership using a Rehab or Renovation Loan.  Why buy a home that isn’t exactly what you want?  You shouldn’t. Why settle for an outdated kitchen?  You shouldn’t.  If you’re an investor, why use your own funds to repair the problems with the property you are buying?  You shouldn’t.   What if you could replace all of the kitchen appliances, paint the interior, and replace the carpet in your mortgage?  You can. 

There are several types of renovation loans that work with most home purchases.  They all have the same benefit to the buyer.  Finance in repairs, remodeling, and renovation into one loan.  The main three types of renovation loans are 203K, HomePath Renovation, and Homestyle.  They are each different but the end result is the same.  A happy homeowner with a house they are proud to call home.

Another added benefit is that the new home will appraise for more than the purchase price.  This increases home values in neighborhoods which I know all of us appreciate.

If you are an agent or buyer and interested in an easy cheat sheet, email or call me anytime and I’ll send it to you.  This program benefits the homebuyer, the agent, and the community.  A win win for everyone involved.

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

Welcome to my blog!  I’m glad you’re here.  Sign up via RSS Feed to be notified when a new post is submitted or like me on Facebook.

It has been said that buying a home is the most stressful event in your life. I’m sure it ranks somewhere up there with death and taxes.  Guess what?  It doesn’t have to be stressful at all.  What you need to realize is that if you approach this event as a team, with your loan officer and realtor, and understand you have to fight and fight together, you will be successful and you will not be stressed out.

I deal with all sorts of people from the first time home buyer to the seasoned investor to the self-made millionaire.  Everyone that works with me is told that we are in a fight and we have to work together.  It is not an option.  If the underwriter wants one more paystub, she will have it immediately.  If she wants a letter of explanation regarding a deposit, she will have it immediately.  If she wants to know anything, she will have it immediately.  You must work together.  Mortgages are not the same as they used to be.  Before we are done, I will know everything about you but your blood type.  But, we will get it done and we will get it done together.

The bottom line is this. Prepare to fight.  Prepare to work hard.  Prepare for your new home.  Your loan officer and realtor want nothing more than to make sure you are happy and that you get that new home.  Work hard for them because they work hard for you.

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076.  Bonus: Click to get a free, no obligation preapproval. I love to work with my readers!



An overload of communications

Image by windsordi via Flickr

As a buyer of a new home, I cannot stress how important it is to communicate communicate communicate.  If you have another home that you are not reporting, the lender will discover it.  If you have a part-time business and you are showing a loss on your tax return, tell your loan officer.  If you have received a loan or a gift from a friend or family member, tell your loan officer.  If you work for a family member in a family owned business, tell your loan officer.

Be truthful.  Be honest.  Be upfront.  Be detailed.

In the current lending environment, nothing can be hidden.  There are great lengths taken by underwriters to ensure that all information is discovered about borrowers.  You can save a lot of time, money, and effort by giving your loan officer ALL of the details. Don’t hold back!  Do not be worried that you are giving too much information.  The more information that is disclosed, the better the loan officer can guide you through the process.  I think you would agree that it would be better to know that you do not qualify upfront, than to go through the underwriting process and spend money on an appraisal.  Most seasoned loan officer’s can provide you with a plan so that you will qualify at a later date.  That is our job.  That is what we love to do.  Sometimes, two to three months of patience can mean the difference in qualifying or denial.  It can mean the difference between 4.5% and 4%.

Bottom line:  Communicate your wishes.  Communicate your problems.  Communicate your dreams.  All of this will help you achieve your dream of owning a home.



I love HomePath and so should you.  HomePath is simply a branding for homes that Fannie Mae has for sale.  Obviously, these are foreclosures and can represent a great opportunity for first time home buyers, move up buyers, or investors.  The types of homes that are available range from condos and townhomes to typical single family residences.

HomePath properties are eligible for HomePath financing. If you are purchasing the property as a primary residence, you can put down as little as 3%, there is no appraisal required, and last but not least, there is no private mortgage insurance (PMI).  Rates are higher but the advantage of no PMI is well worth it.  If you are purchasing a HomePath property as an investment property, you can put down as little as 10%.  As most investors know, cash is king.  Keeping money in your pocket for most investors is very important.

All of Fannie Mae’s properties are listed at .  You can search by zip code, town, state, price, and number of bedrooms and baths.  I highly encourage you to visit the website if you are in the market to purchase a new home or investment property.  There are awesome deals to be had by all.  Also, you need to pay attention to the logos  that will be represented below each property.  HomePath has two logos pertaining to their homes.  They are HomePath Eligible and HomePath Renovation Eligible.  If the property has both logos, then the home is available for each type of loan.  HomePath Renovation loans will be addressed in future blog posts.

When you place an offer to purchase a Fannie Mae home, they will require you to submit a Pre Approval letter from an approved lender.  It is very important that you deal with a lender who is familiar with this program and is aware of the inner workings of the transaction.  As always, I look forward to serving you.