While everyone else in The States is beginning home prep work to hibernate indoors, South Florida residents are getting ready to spend more time in the open air. Because come fall and winter, Florida's humidity drops and air cools to reveal nothing but perfect weather. Upgrade your home's outdoor space this fall and get ready to lounge in Florida's beautiful open air.
Take Sunday barbecues a step further. Not only does adding an outdoor kitchen add value to your home, but also creates a shaded outdoor space for you to dine, lounge and entertain guests. For a little inspiration to get you started on your own design, check out these 30 Fascinating Outdoor Kitchens from Just Imagine.
Florida is covered in water. Why not add one more pond, but this time in your own backyard. Water Gardens are surprisingly easy to create with the right tools and a completely free weekend. Purchase a Pond Kit complete with everything you need to make the water feature of your dreams. Maybe one of these Water Ponds from Architecture and Design will peak your interest.
A little outdoor lighting goes a long way to illuminate your world. Use lighting to highlight your favorite parts of your outdoor living space. Whether it's illuminating a tall palm tree or creating a resort-like feel, outdoor lighting can completely transform your backyard's atmosphere to create stunning effects.
Have a small patio or backyard? Make the most of it. A small outdoor space means you can afford to splurge more on details to make your patio larger than life. Play with unique textiles, tiles, angles and furnishings to give your pint-sized outdoor space a big personality. Click over to the Huffington Post for 16 ways to get more from your small backyard.
It's pretty evident that self-employment has skyrocketed in the past few years. Some even claim it may be on the road to becoming the new normal. Many opt for this less conventional lifestyle for its freedom in time and dress code. No pant workdays? Sign us up. The downfall, however? Qualifying for a mortgage.
While qualifying for a loan under self-employment is difficult, it's not impossible. All it takes is a little ingenuity and advance planning on your part to convince the banks you're one-man business is financially sound.
You're probably doing so already, but if not, take advantage of what constitutes as a tax deduction for the self-employed. Business dinners, retirement plan funds, business expenses, and interest on business loans are all tax deductible to help your small business out come tax time. However, mortgage underwriters typically look at tax returns as a proof of income. While not all mortgage lenders understand this, a growing percentage do. Some mortgage lenders will allow certain deductions to be added back in the income. Keeping records of these write off's as well as receipts can help plead your case when consulting with your mortgage broker.
Due to the unconventional nature of self-employment, less than conventional tactics will need to be taken. The self-employed will need to plan ahead longer than most mortgage borrowers before buying a home. One way to do this is by writing off less expenses leading up to the home buying purchase. Separate business expenses from personal ones with a business credit card and use it for more expensive business purchases, such as a new computer.
Nothing makes a mortgage lender happier than knowing that the loan they lend out will be coming back to them. And few things prove this more than seeing a client's assets increase in value. Lenders will ignore the usual seasonal peaks and troughs in income, but will perk up when they see a continual trend in growth year after year.
Sometimes, creativity and technique just won't push a mortgage lender. If this is the case, then enlisting the help of a co-signer to back you up on your behalf. Another idea is to lower your loan expectations and seek a smaller loan you do qualify for and think about investing in a townhome or condo instead. Again, sometimes you have to go the long route.
Think of the alternative income verification loan as the sister to the stated income loan. Not everyone offers these just yet, so do your research in finding a mortgage broker who offers such a loan. At Alternative Mortgage Group, we offer stated income loans and are more than happy to assist you. This sort of loan is verified by using 12 months of business bank statements and personal bank statements.
Purchasing South Florida real estate can be an overwhelming process especially without guidance from a professional Boca Raton mortgage broker. If you're a first time home buyer, it can be even more intimidating. The professionals at Alternate Mortgage Group can help guide you through the process. Here are some key things to consider:
Mortagage rates generally come in two forms:
A fixed rate mortgage is pretty self-explanatory - the interest rate is fixed. That means for that the interest rate will remain fixed for the entire duration of the loan term. Other factors may fluctuate, such as insurance and taxes, but the interest rate will always remain the same. Fixed rate mortgages typically have a slightly higher interest rate, but the borrower has the security of fixed principle and fixed interest payments.
An adjustable rate mortgage payments and interest rates fluctuate over the life of the loan. Typically, these loans begin with a fixed period anywhere from one to ten years. Then the rate adjusts based on a number of factors, such as the prime lending rate. Many home buyers like the take advantage of low introductory rates allowing them to budget for a larger home.
Choosing how much to put for down for a down payment is a big factor in determining the cost of your new loan. The more equity you owe versus the home's value can help you get a better interest rate. Typically, a down payment of 20% of the home's value will help put you in a good position with lenders. An equity position of less than 20% usually requires that you pay mortgage insurance which will add to the overall cost your mortgage payback. It's best to pay as much of a down payment as you can while still leaving enough for savings and emergencies will afford you the best interest rate and terms.
Points are upfront fees to lower the interest rate by a fixed percentage, usually in increments of 1%. Points are a good idea of you plan on owning your home for a long time.
Special conditions may exist that will affect the overall cost of your home and your monthly mortgage. The bank's main goal is to protect its investment and they will look for factors such as flood zoning, the type of property (single-family home, condo, etc) and such. There's a loan for every type of property but interest rates are typically lower for single-family homes while high-risk propertis will come with a higher interest rate.