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Mortgage Tips For 2014

February 22nd, 2014 · No Comments · Mark Lomas and Kirsten Wolfe, Montecito Real Estate, Santa Barbara Real Estate

In the market for a mortgage?  Take a look at these helpful mortgage tips for 2014, compiled by Bankrate, an online aggregator of financial information.

1. Be Prepared to Document Your Finances: Morgage regulations went into effect in January that put new pressures on lenders to verify that borrowers are able to repay their loans. Keep track of financial documents, including bank statements, tax returns, and investment accounts, and be ready to show them to a loan officer.

2. Rates are Rising, So Don’t Delay: Mortgage rates will almost certainly climb in 2014 as the Federal Reserve scales back the economic stimulus program that helped keep rates low in recent years.  If you’re planning to get a mortgage do not put it off much longer.

3. Don’t wait to Refinance: Owners who are paying more than 5 percent interest on their home loans still have a chance to refinance at lower rates, but those rates won’t last forever (see above).  Speak to a loan officer, and take a look at the numbers to see if refinancing makes sense.

4. You Have Bargaining Power: Lenders saw a big drop in refinancing activity in 2013 as interest rates started climbing higher – so they will be more aggressive in courting buyers in 2014.  Buyers should take advantage of the bargaining power they gain with that increased competition.  Shop around for the best deal.

5. You Have New Rights: New mortgage rules created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau go into effect in 2014, giving borrowers many new rights.  Learn more about these rules, and if you have problems with your mortgage servicer or fall behind on payments, take advantage of your rights.

6.Keep Your Spending Under Control: You are less likely to get a home loan if you won’t have much money left each month after paying the mortgage and other obligations.  Try to keep your monthly debt obligations less than 43 percent of your income.

7. Pay Attention to Your Credit Score: Good credit is essential.  The best mortgage rates got to borrowers with credit scores of 720 or higher.

If you plan to buy a home in Santa Barbara contact Scott Bradley, Senior Loan Officer at First Capital:  805.403.4012 or email Scott at

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