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5 Things Mortgage Lenders Want You to Understand About Home Loans During COVID-19

The global pandemic has impacted just about every aspect of modern life. And if 2020 was the year you had planned to become a homeowner, well, things may have changed dramatically. The home buying process has become far more complicated these days, financing side of things included. If you’re planning on buying or refinancing during COVID-19, here are five things lenders, like the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage here in Reno, want you to understand first.

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Three Important Considerations for a Refinance — Besides the Interest Rate

With interest rates at rock-bottom prices, there’s a lot of discussion about refinancing. Here at the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage in Reno, we’re fielding an unprecedented number of calls and emails from clients interested in taking advantage of low rates. But while the interest rate is important, there’s more to the story. Here are three important considerations for a refinance besides the interest rate.

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The Three C’s to the Home Buying Process

Becoming a homeowner is an exciting process, and experience has proved to me time and time again that the path to success almost always begins with early preparation. In most cases, that means getting organized a good three to six months before you plan to make a move. There are three big “C’s” in the home buying process — credit, capacity, and collateral — and by starting things early, you can take care of two of them to set yourself up for the big move down the road.

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3 Best Practices For Getting a Great Mortgage

Pandemic or not, sometimes homeownership can’t wait. Maybe you need to get into the right school district, or you’ve finally saved up the down payment. Maybe you want to take advance of rock-bottom interest rates. Whatever your motivation, if you’re planning to buy a new home in the very near future, it’s time to get organized. Here at three best practices to help you secure a great mortgage.

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3 Reasons You Need to Find a Lender Before You Find Your Dream House

If the stars have aligned and it’s time to buy a new home — even if you’re stuck with virtual open houses given our current circumstances — don’t skip step one. Before you start hunting for that dream house, and possibly even before you link up with a real estate agent, you need to talk to a mortgage lender. Here are three reasons why.

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Mortage Lenders

Are All Mortgage Lenders Basically the Same?

This is a great question, because it addresses a common misconception about the mortgage industry as a whole. You might assume that all mortgage lenders are essentially offering versions of the same thing, and they’re all similarly motivated to get you the best deal. That’s somewhat true, with caveats, but it largely discounts individual experience — an important consideration.

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Does Shopping for a Mortgage Lender Hurt Your Credit?

One of the biggest considerations for anyone financing a new home is the lender. Don’t make the mistake of assuming all lenders are the same, or that you’ll get the same experience no matter which one you choose. Taking the time to do your homework is never a mistake, and we’ve shared tips previously for finding the right lender. But does shopping for a mortgage lender hurt your credit?

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What is PMI, and How Can I Avoid It?

If you’re gearing up to buy a new home, you’ve probably stumbled across the acronym PMI somewhere. It stands for private mortgage insurance, and it’s a policy designed to protect lenders from defaults or foreclosures. Anyone looking for home financing should be very clear on PMI, from when it’s necessary to what might be done to avoid it.

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The Pros and Cons of a Low Down Payment

For prospective homeowners, the down payment on a new home can be a big hurdle to clear. That’s especially true if you’re scraping together the full 20% of the purchase price. But there are multiple ways to finance a home — the Cushing team here at Guild Mortgage in Reno is happy to go through options with you — and a 20% down payment isn’t always required. If putting down less money upfront sounds like a dream to you, it’s worth investigating the pros and cons of a low down payment.

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10 Questions to Ask a Lender Before Committing to a Loan

Financing a new home is a huge decision, and you should feel comfortable and confident in your choice of lender before you start signing paperwork. The home-buying process can be a fraught experience, but don’t rush things unnecessarily — taking time to find the right lender is never a mistake. The best way to get a feel for a lender and a potential loan option is straightforward — ask questions! You’ll learn a lot about what you can expect, and your lender will learn about you, too. The more they understand your circumstances, the better equipped they are to steer you in the right direction. To help you get started, the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage here in Reno is sharing ten questions to ask a lender before you commit to a loan.

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Should You Put 20% Down on a Home Purchase?

Wondering how much money to put down a house is standard among prospective buyers, and especially for first-time homeowners. Like all things related to the mortgage process, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Depending on the circumstances, it can be more strategic to put down less money. While conventional wisdom holds that a 20% down payment on a home purchase is the standard, there’s a lot more to the story.

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Loan Options — What’s a USDA Loan?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is best known for its role in nutrition and food safety, which is why it surprises many to learn of the agency’s involvement in rural development. In fact, the USDA has its very own mortgage assistance program, which is geared to rural and suburban homeowners. Here’s a rundown on the USDA loan and qualifications for eligibility.

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Loan Options — What’s a Bridge Loan?

We wrote recently about six types of mortgages, and we included the bridge loan in that round-up. Today, the Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage in Reno is back to discuss this unique kind of home loan in a little more depth.

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Can You Buy a House with No Money Down?

For many prospective homeowners, the biggest hurdle is the down payment. While conventional loans can require a 20% down payment, there are other loan options with much lower down payment requirements. And in some cases, you may be eligible for a mortgage with zero down. But just because you may qualify to buy a house with no money down doesn’t always mean you should. Here’s what to know about types of zero down payment mortgages, plus their pros and cons.

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Loan Options — What to Understand about Conforming and Nonconforming Home Loans

Prospective homeowners getting organized to make an offer on a home quickly learn how many options there are when it comes to both lenders and mortgage options. From conventional to jumbo, FHA to VA, there are all kinds of loan products. And the more you know about each of them, the better equipped you are to zero in on the best choice for your needs. Here’s what to understand about conforming and nonconforming home loans.

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6 Kinds of Mortgages — Plus Tips to Find What’s Best for You

If you’re ready to buy a new home, congratulations! It’s an exciting process, and there are few ways to help smooth the path forward. Partnering with an experienced real estate agent and ensuring your credit history and financials are up to speed are important first steps, and so is securing a loan approval letter. It’s also wise to begin investigating your loan options. There are lots of mortgages out there, and deciding which one suits your needs isn’t always easy. To help, the Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage here in Reno is sharing information on six kinds of mortgages, with tips for finding what’s best for you.

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Loan Options — What’s an FHA Loan?

We’ve written before about the differences between conventional and FHA loans, and now the Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage in Reno is back with a closer look at the latter. FHA loans can help prospective homeowners who may have difficulty securing a loan with conventional lenders, and they have a number of features that make them a good option for the right borrower. If you’ve ever wondered about FHA loans, here’s what you should know.

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First-Time Homebuyer? Follow These 4 Tips to Find the Right Lender

Buying a home for the first time is a thrilling experience, with a lot of hurry-up-and-wait scenarios. To ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible — and to avoid losing out on the home of your dreams because you missed a best practice early on — it’s a good idea to get your ducks in a row as early as possible. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, make sure you zero in on a good lender. The Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage here in Reno has four tips to steer you in the right direction.

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The Biggest Mistake People Make When They Look for a Mortgage

Richard Thaler is a Nobel Prize-winning economist with a theory about irrational economic behaviors. Based on his research, he believes that consumers generally don’t spend enough time investigating their options, become easily confused when presented with complex alternatives, and are resistant to change — even if it costs them. In particular, these are behaviors exhibited during complex tasks, like securing a mortgage. We believe it! The mortgage process can be an overwhelming experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Cushing Team of Guild Mortgage here in Reno is sharing what you can do to help ensure a smooth process, and it starts with avoiding the biggest mistake people make when they look for a mortgage.

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FHA Loan Basics in 90 Seconds

Brian Cushing of The Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage in Reno is back today with another video. This time, he’s covering FHA loan basics in about 90 seconds. Watch the video below to understand the basics of FHA loans, or scroll down to read the transcript.

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Good and Bad Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

With interest rates dropping yet again, it’s no surprise that many people are considering the wisdom of refinancing their mortgage. Securing a lower interest rate is usually the best reason to refinance, but there are a few other scenarios that make it a sensible choice. The reverse is true too – there are certain motivating factors that will likely make a refinance a bad decision. Here are the good and bad reasons to refinance your mortgage.

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Loan Options – What’s a VA Loan, and Do I Qualify?

If you’re shopping for a new home and starting to consider your loan options, a VA loan is likely already on your radar. And while you may know that VA loans are related in some way to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there’s more to the story. Today, the Cushing Team in Reno is sharing everything you need to know about VA loans, including whether you might qualify.

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Why is My Credit Score Different?

As a mortgage lender here in Reno, the Cushing Team spends a lot of time sharing information that we hope prospective homeowners will find useful. Some of the most common advice to those gearing up for a home loan involves reviewing your credit score. This information is often widely accessible from different websites and even your own credit card company. But people are often surprised that the credit score their lender ultimately accesses as part of the home loan process isn’t the same as the number they’ve been seeing. Here’s why your credit score is different.

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Conventional Loan Basics in 90 Seconds

In today’s video, Brian Cushing of the Cushing Team at Guild Mortgage here in Reno spends about 90 seconds breaking down conventional financing. Click to learn the basics of conventional loans, or check out the transcript below.

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Mortgage Lender

Here’s What Really Sets Mortgage Lenders Apart

If you’re ready to hold your nose, close your eyes, and leap into the home mortgage process, you have a lot of decisions to make on the way down. One of the big ones involves the mortgage lender with which you’ll ultimately partner. Here in Reno, there are national banks and local banks and credit unions who will compete fiercely for your business. And then there’s the seemingly limitless options you’ll find online. Programs and interest rates will vary only somewhat from one company to the next, so does it matter which lender manages your loan? It does, actually. Here’s what really sets mortgage lenders apart.

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The Advantage of Using Your Agent’s Lender

It’s common practice for real estate agents to offer recommendations for a variety of services, big and small. A good mortgage lender is one of them. And before you start wondering, it’s not because they get some kind of kickback for the referral – in fact, that’s prohibited by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). There’s actually a very good reason for a real estate agent to recommend a reputable mortgage lender, and it benefits the prospective homeowner, too. Here’s the advantage of using your agent’s lender.

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The Value of the Loan Approval Letter – And the 3 Mistakes You Might Be Making

There are a lot of hoops to jump through during the home buying process. Luckily, a trusted real estate agent can guide you away from common pitfalls, and so can an experienced mortgage lender. They’ll both recommend, or more likely insist, that a loan approval letter accompanies any offers you make on a home. These letters are a sign that you’re serious about buying a home and that you’ve already reached out to a lender for the preliminaries. It’s a bit of a formality, but it’s important nonetheless. This is the value of the loan approval letter – and the three mistakes you might be making along the way.

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House Hunting? Here’s What to Understand about your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Determining the appropriate mortgage amount for hopeful homebuyers involves a number of considerations and tools. A calculation known as the debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is one of them. If you’re ready to take the plunge on a new house, the Cushing Team in Reno is sharing what you should understand about your DTI ratio.

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What to Know Before you use an Online Mortgage Lender

Here’s something interesting. Getting a mortgage means taking on an enormous financial responsibility, and yet, homebuyers tend to settle for the first lender that crops up. In fact, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, close to half of homebuyers don’t shop around for the right lender. Kind of startling, right? Most of us are used to researching our options online when it comes to purchases like a new laptop or shoes. Why don’t we do the same for the right lender? The catch, of course, is using the web to our advantage – for research and to compare your options – and not getting sucked in to something that’s likely too good to be true. To that end, here’s what to know before you use an online mortgage lender.

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What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a House?

It’s a common online search for any prospective homeowner – what credit score do I need to buy a house? There’s a short, easy answer – lenders usually want to see a minimum FICO score of 620 – but it’s also an incomplete picture. If you’re in the market for a new home, here’s what you should understand about your credit score and the bigger credit report.

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Getting Your Mortgage Pre-Approval? Here’s What You’ll Need

Before the house hunt should come the pre-approval. It’s an important first step that will give you a defined price range to better guide your search. It shows real estate agents and sellers that you’re serious and able to buy, and it puts you in a good position come negotiation time. Plus, a pre-approval can help clarify details about your mortgage as you move into the loan process. Here’s what you’ll need if you’re ready to get that mortgage pre-approval.

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Six Application Tips for your Home Loan

Buying a new home is an exciting, emotionally-charged experience. Navigating the process may feel a little overwhelming, but there are things you can do to keep things on track. The Cushing Team here in Reno has years of experience helping people secure the homes of their dreams, and we have advice for those just beginning the process. Here are six application tips for your home loan.

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Three Tips for Finding the Right Loan Officer

Whether you’ve just found the home of your dreams, or even better, you’re ready for that pre-approval so you’re clear on your price point, you’re going to need a great lender. But finding the right loan officer may be an even bigger decision. You need someone with the skill set and experience for your type of mortgage program, but you also need someone you can trust. How can you be sure that’s what you’re getting? Easy – just follow these three tips from the Cushing Team here in Reno for finding the right loan officer.

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Loan Options – What’s a Jumbo Loan, and Do I Need One?

Home prices in Reno-Sparks hit a median home price of $400,000 for the first time ever, and prices will likely continue to surge. That means more people may be considering financing options beyond conventional loans. Here’s what the Cushing Team in Reno wants you know about jumbo loans and how to determine if you need one.

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Real Estate 101: What’s the Difference between a Condo and a PUD?

The Cushing Team is a mortgage lender here in Reno, which means we field a lot of questions. One of them comes up again and again, which makes sense given our current housing market. As local builders deal with a surging population and prime land becomes harder to find, common interest developments are becoming more popular. These properties are a good way to kill two birds with one stone – builders can maximize limited land and prospective homeowners enjoy affordability with the added amenity bonus that’s often included in these kinds of developments. Condominiums and planned unit developments, or PUDs, fall into this category, which brings us to that question we routinely hear – what’s the difference between a condo and a PUD?

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Pre-Approval to Closing – Understanding the Five Big Steps in the Mortgage Loan Process

Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most people make in their lifetime. And one of the best ways to ensure things go smoothly is by doing a little homework before you dive in. Knowing what to expect can help prevent unpleasant surprises. Read on for a little understanding of the five big steps in the mortgage loan process.

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Loan Options – How Do I Know a Conventional Loan is Right for Me?

Figuring out how to pay for your new home is one of the most important considerations of the entire home-buying process. While most people borrow money via a mortgage, narrowing down your home loan options can feel a little intimidating. What’s the difference between a conventional loan and an FHA? How do you know a conventional loan is right for your needs? The Cushing Team can help you answer that more definitively, but here’s some general information to help you understand the basics.

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Mortgage Q&A: Are Online Mortgage Calculators Accurate?

We’re used to finding answers to just about anything with our handy smartphones and an internet connection. But just because the information is at our fingertips doesn’t mean it’s completely accurate (a fact that’s so easy to forget!). When it comes to the mortgage loan process, you can do plenty of homework online. And it’s safe to bet that somewhere in your research, you’ll end up plugging numbers into a mortgage calculator. But are online mortgage calculators really accurate?

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Loan Options – What’s the Difference between Conventional and FHA Loans?

There are many, many considerations prospective homeowners face during the home search. And while the Cushing Team here in Reno can’t help you decide between that beautiful house with three bedrooms and the one that backs up to the golf course, we can help you figure out the best loan option for your budget and needs. Here’s what to know about the differences between conventional and FHA loans.

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