Why Should I Refinance My Home?

What is refinancing?

You’ve heard of refinancing, but what is it? Refinancing is when you receive a new loan that revises and replaces the terms of an existing loan. Refinancing is ideal when you can lower your interest rate, monthly payment, and/or shorten the term of your loan. It’s often referred to in shorthand as a “refi”.

When interest rates drop, homeowners often look to refinance their home. Most experts agree that if you plan to be in your house for a least 18 months and you can get a rate at least 2% less than your current one, refinancing makes sense. According to data from 1994 to 2020 from Freddie Mac, the average time a borrower has had a mortgage before refinancing is 4.2 years.

Refinancing potentially allows you to:

  • Reduce your monthly mortgage payments with a new, lower interest rate
  • Consolidate credit cards, loans, or other debts to a lower interest rate
  • Finance home renovations, weddings, vacations, or other large expenditures by using the equity in your home

Refinancing terms that can change include:

  • Switching from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage
  • Changing the duration of the loan
  • Lowering the interest rate

Refinancing includes a similar process to that of when borrowers first receive a home loan. The borrower’s credit and financial situation will be re-evaluated.

According to Freddie Mac, the typical refinance loan in 2020 was for about $300,000, with the typical borrower lowering their rate to 3.1% from 4.3%. The average annual mortgage payment savings for borrowers who refinanced in that year varied by location but were significant in cities such as San Diego ($3,624), Denver ($2,894), Phoenix ($2,547), and Tampa ($2,482).

What now?

Do you like the thought of consolidating your bills to help you better manage your monthly payments and reduce some stress? What about pulling out some cash to help check items off your home improvement list? Or does simply just lowering your monthly mortgage payment sound appealing?

If you are considering potentially lowering your payment or utilizing the equity in your home, start a conversation about refinancing with one of our Loan Officers today. We’ll be happy to talk about your short-term and long-term financing goals and find the program that best fits your financial situation.

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.

Peoples Mortgage’s Cesar Munoz Announced as NAHREP 2021 Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originator Award Winner

TEMPE, Ariz. – June 1, 2021 – The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP®), in association with Radian, released its seventh annual Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators Report recognizing the top producing Latino mortgage professionals across the United States. The report ranks individual originators based on both number and dollar volume of transactions.

Among the nation’s top mortgage originators was Cesar Munoz of Peoples Mortgage Company, who was noted as number 133 on the Top 250 list for achieving 184 closed mortgages during the 2020 calendar year.

“NAHREP salutes the Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators in the country on their success and hard work,” said 2021 NAHREP President Sara Rodriguez. “The success of the housing market helped keep the nation out of a full-blown economic depression, and the dedication of these mortgage professionals was a big reason.”

The Top 250 Latino Mortgage Originators Report was compiled via a self-nomination process reflective of total mortgages closed during the 2020 calendar year, verified by NAHREP and the nominee’s respective companies. The honorees will be recognized at an in-person event this fall.

ABOUT PEOPLES MORTGAGE COMPANY:

Peoples Mortgage Company opened its doors in Arizona in 1998 with the mission of offering competitive real estate financing with unmatched service. This straightforward approach gave Peoples Mortgage a solid reputation in the industry and paved the way for national expansion. Their established in-house processing and dedicated underwriting and closing teams help to maintain an unprecedented level of service for their clients. Peoples employs 235 loan officers and lends in 38 states. For more information, visit peoplesmortgage.com.

ABOUT NAHREP:

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, a nonprofit 501(c) 6 trade association, is dedicated to advancing sustainable homeownership for the Hispanic community in America. NAHREP has over 40,000 professional members and 100 local chapters nationwide.

Peoples Mortgage Company Honored with National Culture Excellence Awards by Top Workplaces

TEMPE, Ariz. – May 21, 2021 – Peoples Mortgage Company is thrilled to have been awarded four national Culture Excellence Awards by Top Workplaces. Peoples received honors in Appreciation, Direction, Values, and Empowering Employees.

“These awards are a reflection of the culture of Peoples Mortgage Company,” says Miles Reed, Director of Human Resources, “a culture valuing our employees, giving back to the communities in which we operate, and one of expertise to navigate this ever-changing industry.”

Top Workplaces awards recognize the achievements of companies across the country and span across various organizational sizes and industries.

“These are companies that are successful because they put their people at the center of all that they do,” says Dr. Greg Barnett, Chief People Scientist at Energage, the company behind the Top Workplaces program, “and by prioritizing the employee experience, they are known to outproduce, out-innovate, and out-deliver the competition. They represent the best of the best and winning is no easy feat.”

Appreciation Culture Excellence Award: These award-winning companies believe in the self-sustaining performance and positivity boost that results from genuine employee appreciation.

Direction Culture Excellence Award: At these companies, employees invest more of themselves because they believe in the direction set by senior leadership.

Values Culture Excellence Award: Winners of this award are companies built on a solid foundation that can handle challenges and the ever-increasing pace of change.

Empowering Employees Culture Excellence Award: These Top Workplaces foster an environment where employees control their work, apply their skills to make a difference, and achieve their goals.

For more about the Top Workplaces and the Culture Excellence awards, visit https://topworkplaces.com/find-top-workplaces/.

ABOUT PEOPLES MORTGAGE COMPANY:

Peoples Mortgage Company opened its doors in Arizona in 1998 with the mission of offering competitive real estate financing with unmatched service. This straightforward approach gave Peoples Mortgage a solid reputation in the industry and paved the way for national expansion. Their established in-house processing and dedicated underwriting and closing teams help to maintain an unprecedented level of service for their clients. Peoples employs 235 loan officers and lends in 38 states. For more information, visit peoplesmortgage.com.

5 Benefits of FHA Loans for New Homebuyers

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, in existence since 1934, have been helping homeowners get a better deal on owning a home by offering low down payments, low closing costs, and lower qualifying credit.

What is an FHA Loan?

An FHA home loan is a mortgage issued by federally qualified lenders and insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The money for these loans comes from the lender, not the FHA. In addition to the purchase of a home, they can be used for refinancing or renovation of up to four living units, per HUD rules.

These types of loans were originally designed for low to moderate-income borrowers who were unable to make a large down payment. Recently, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pushed loan amounts higher to help with the growing demand for loans above the conventional loan limits.

FHA loans allow someone to borrow up to 96.5% of the value of the home. The 3.5% down payment requirement can come from a gift or a grant, which makes FHA loans popular with first-time buyers.

What are the Benefits of an FHA Loan?

  • Up to 3.5% down payment
  • Lower credit scores accepted than most conventional loans
  • Allows for higher debt-to-income (DTI) ratio
  • Minimum reserves required
  • Down payment can come in the form of a gift

Some Things to Consider:

  • Upfront Mortgage Insurance (UFMIP) is required, and monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP) are required for the life of the loan— increasing monthly payments
  • Maximum loan amount varies by county

FHA loans may be more expensive than conventional loans for borrowers with a larger down payment and better credit. Borrowers who have smaller down payments and lower credit scores often find FHA loans to be their best option.

You can find your local FHA mortgage limit on the HUD website. To learn more about FHA loan options in your area, reach out to one of our knowledgeable Loan Officers across the country.

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.

27 Loan Officers at Peoples Mortgage Company Recognized as 2021 Top Originators by Scotsman Guide

TEMPE, Ariz. – April 5, 2021 – Peoples Mortgage Company is proud to announce that 27 of its loan officers have been placed on the Scotsman Guide 2021 Top Originators list, including a loan officer who ranked in the top 5% of originators in the Most Loans Closed category. These outstanding rankings speak to Peoples Mortgage’s dedication to its clients through competitive rates and personalized service.

“This is a true testament to how hard our loan officers work,” said Ron Duranti, EVP of Sales at Peoples Mortgage. “In 2020, they worked harder than I have ever seen since I have been in the business—over 20 years.”

Scotsman Guide has ranked thousands of the country’s top residential mortgage originators over the last 12 years. The list has become a trusted standard for the mortgage industry through its longevity, verification process, and comprehensive scope.

The loan officers from across the nation who made the 2021 list are Andrew Augustyniak, Andy Wilt, Bill Geis, Brendan Bracken, Brian Gething, Carrie Hughes, Cesar Munoz, Chad Fonagy, Dianne Greenough, Don Hoover, Doug Ray, Emily Zach, Jake Golembiewski, John Saavedra, Jon Robinson, Justin Toenjes, Kelly Weston, Kelly Gibson, Kristi Taylor, Laura Boone, Mark Tronziger, Mike Morgan, Mike Omie, Nick Patullo, Ron Duranti, Stan Morris, and Tara Suckstorf.

One stand-out honor for Peoples Mortgage is Andrew Augustyniak, who ranked in the top 5% of originators on the Most Loans Closed list and in the top 15% of originators on the Top Dollar Volume list.

“To see what everyone in the company has accomplished is a great feeling”, said Duranti. “We have some of the finest loan officers in the industry who help us hold true to our tagline, ‘It’s all about the people’.”

Visit scotsmanguide.com/rankings/top-originators for complete rankings.

ABOUT PEOPLES MORTGAGE COMPANY:

Peoples Mortgage Company opened its doors in Arizona in 1998 with the mission of offering competitive real estate financing with unmatched service. This straightforward approach gave Peoples Mortgage a solid reputation in the industry and paved the way for national expansion. Their established in-house processing and dedicated underwriting and closing teams help to maintain an unprecedented level of service for their clients. Peoples employs 235 loan officers and lends in 37 states. For more information, visit peoplesmortgage.com.

What to Expect When Applying for a Home Loan

The home loan process can be an overwhelming one. While each step is crucial, understanding each stage of the process will allow you to obtain a mortgage with confidence.

1. Initial Meeting

An initial meeting will consist of a preliminary discussion of your financial overview and monthly mortgage expectations. You’ll want to make sure you have “The Big 5” on hand:

  • Most recent paystubs from the last 30 days
  • Last 2 years W2s
  • Last 2 years tax returns with all pages/schedules
  • All pages of most recent bank statements from last 2 months
  • Photo ID

2. Initial Disclosures

We will provide you with disclosures, including the “Intent to Proceed”, so that we can order the appraisal. Additionally, we will give you a list of items needed in order to process your loan transaction.

3. Processing

Our in-house processing team will work with you to complete your loan package. They will:

  • Open escrow and order title
  • Order Verification of Deposits, employment, Form 4506, etc.
  • Request any supporting documentation not yet received

4. Underwriting

When all supporting documentation has been received and processed, your loan application package is sent to our in-house underwriting team where a final review of your completed loan package is done to ensure program and property eligibility.

5. Document Prep

Once the final underwriting approval is received, the loan package is sent to our closing department to prepare the Closing Disclosure, and you will be given three days to review it. Next, document preparation will take place, and these documents will be sent to the title company you have selected.

6. Signing

Once received, the title company will prepare final figures and call you to set up an appointment to sign your final loan documents.

7. Funding

Now that you have signed your final loan documents, our funding department will communicate with the title company to release funds for your loan. The title company will then record the final lien.

Now that you have a handle on what to expect, are you ready to begin your journey? Find a Loan Officer in your area to get started. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.

Extension of Federal COVID-19 Protections for Homeowners – February 2021

We understand that COVID-19 continues to have a heavy impact on many homeowners. Recently announced actions by the federal government seek to relieve some of that weight.

On February 16th, 2021, the federal government enacted an extension of ongoing pandemic-related homeowner protections. A coordinated effort between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Agriculture, extensions and expansions have been made to existing safeguards put into effect last year.

The recently announced actions have:

  • Extended the foreclosure moratorium for homeowners through June 30, 2021
  • Extended the mortgage payment forbearance enrollment window until June 30, 2021 for borrowers who wish to request forbearance
  • Provided up to six months of additional mortgage payment forbearance, in three-month increments, for borrowers who entered forbearance on or before June 30, 2020

Additionally, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extended forbearance by three months for borrowers nearing the end of their forbearance period.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also created a centralized resource for housing assistance at consumerfinance.gov/housing. This hub contains up-to-date information for homeowners to learn about programs and resources that can help them stay in their homes by reducing the risk of eviction and foreclosure.

As always, if you are struggling to make your mortgage payment due to the ongoing pandemic, please contact your current mortgage servicer.

Helpful resources for those impacted by COVID-19:

10 Tips for Purchasing Your First Home

Buying a home for the first time can be one of life’s most exciting milestones. However, there are several things that first-time homebuyers should be aware of before diving into their search for the perfect residence.

1) Know Your Budget

What are you comfortable paying for your monthly house payment? Keep in mind that a payment includes the principal, interest, taxes, homeowner’s insurance, possible mortgage insurance, and Home Owner’s Association fees. Closing costs and other fees can also add up when buying a home, so make sure these are factored into your budget.

2) Organize Your Documents

Some of the needed paperwork includes: the last two years tax returns and W2s, recent paystubs, all pages of the last two months of bank statements, and contact information for landlords for the last two years.

3) Get Pre-Qualified

In many cases, prospective first-time homebuyers will not even be shown a home without a prequalified loan offer letter in hand. Real estate agents are busy and want to make sure that you are serious as a prospective buyer. A prequalification letter is also a great way to know how much you may qualify for as you start your search and may help make the underwriting process smoother.

4) Find a Real Estate Agent

A Real Estate Agent will be with you throughout your entire homebuying journey, so first-time buyers will want to make sure that they are the right fit with their agent. Find someone who is a local expert, who understands your needs and wants, and who will be your advocate.

5) Know Your Wants

Is square-footage important to you? How about the neighborhood? Having a defined list of wants and needs before you start looking for homes will keep your search on track.

6) Scrutinize Each House

Try to look past the allure of any attractive staging for imperfections in the home. Cracked walls, wonky floors, and exposed wiring could be signs that there are larger issues with the property.

7) Learn About the Community

Even if you do not have kids, being in an area with good schools will help with the resale value of the home. Proximity to shopping, dining, and recreation areas can also both be convenient and help with property value.

8) Be Persistent

The average buyer looks at around 20 homes before finding the right one, so do not get discouraged. The search can be long, but ultimately rewarding.

9) Compare Each Home

Look back at your list of wants and needs. Does the home you just toured check some of those boxes? All the boxes? Make sure that you are getting the house that fits you!

10) Watch Your Credit

Once you have been pre-qualified, keep making your normal payments, but do not apply for new credit or increase debts. Talk to your Loan Officer before doing anything that will affect your credit.

Ready to get started? Find a Loan Officer in your area who can help you get the ball rolling on buying your first home! We’re here for you every step of the way.

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.

5 Reasons to Get Prequalified Before House Hunting

Looking for the right home is stressful, but skipping an important step before you start looking for a new home can set you back. With a prequalification in hand, shopping for you next home can be a little easier. Here’s how a prequalification helps you as you start your search:

Know Where You Stand

Eliminate the chance of disappointment and know your path to home ownership. With a prequalification, you’ll know exactly how much home you can afford. With that number in your back pocket, you can focus on finding the home that is right for you. Any credit issues that could hinder you down the line are also spotted at this stage.

Streamline Your Search

Because you’ll know how much home you can afford, you can streamline your search by looking only at homes that fit your budget. You won’t waste precious time looking at houses outside of your price range. Time can then be better spent on what really matters – like, “is that triangular window a deal breaker?”

You’ll be Taken More Seriously

Sellers and Real Estate Agents will take you more seriously as a buyer if you have already been prequalified. You are a more serious buyer because you have the backing of a lender that has looked at your financial background.

Have an Advantage in a Competitive Market

Being prequalified can give you the upper hand in a multiple-offer situation. Because you are backed by a lender, your offer can be considered more serious than others that are not – shop with confidence! A prequalification shows that you are ready and able to buy the seller’s home.

Faster Closing Time

You may also be able to shorten your closing time. Because the lender has already collected much of your financial information, the closing process can be sped up significantly.

Ready to start your search? Get prequalified today by contacting one of our Loan Officers.

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.

How to Sell Your Home Quickly in Under 30 Days

Preparing your home for sale can be a lot of work. A few minor touch-ups can go a long way towards making a favorable impression on potential buyers. Experts say most homeowners will be able to get their home in shape in 30 days or less. Here’s how you can get it done:

Add Curb Appeal

Some ideas include dressing up the front door (clean, new paint, etc.), replacing hardware (handles, lights, house numbers, etc.), installing outdoor lighting, cleaning or upgrading outside landscaping, installing window boxes with flowers and plants, or adding shutters or accent trim.

Tackle the Honey-Do List

There are always plenty of tasks that have been put on the backburner. You can fix broken screens and tiles, replace light bulbs, and tighten leaky faucets and doorknobs.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Time to break out the spray and paper towels. Dust on top of the fireplace mantle and fan blades, polish your appliances and faucets, and give the windows a thorough washing.

Repaint the Walls Neutral Colors

You might like bold and drastic colors, but it’s best to keep your walls as neutral as possible for prospective buyers.

Get Rid of Bulky Furniture

Your furniture should fit the scale of the room, so get rid of any extra or oversized items that could make your space look smaller than it is in reality.

De-Clutter

Storage space is a huge selling point and if your closets are stuffed to the brim, buyers will think you don’t have enough of it.

Turn Your Bathroom Into a Spa

Quickly dress a drab bathroom by stacking a few washcloths tied with ribbon, adding some scented candles and faux plants, or buying bathmats and towels in coordinating tones.

Use Natural Light

Open up all the windows to let in natural light and add floor or table lamps to areas that are dim. A bright, cheery, room looks bigger and more inviting.

Prepare for Showings

Before every showing turn on the lights and soft music, take out the trash, and light a subtle, nice-smelling candle.

Ready to make the jump to your next home? Find a Loan Officer in your area. 

At Peoples Mortgage, it’s all about the people.