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Mortgages 101: It’s not as scary as you think

Categories: Blog | Posted: March 23, 2017

Financing a home can seem intimidating to the first-time homebuyer. If you’ve never applied for a mortgage before, don’t be afraid of the process. When you break it down and understand what is involved, you will be prepared to sail through the process!

Check your credit report.

First and foremost, review your credit report. Your credit score is a major factor in qualifying you for a mortgage and the amount you can borrow. A score of 720, for example, is excellent, and you can take your pick of lenders to secure the mortgage and terms you want (e.g., interest rate, no points). But even a lower score can be acceptable, depending on the lender and the mortgage program.

In addition to your credit score, review the entries on your credit report. It’s not unusual to find mistakes, which can be corrected with a letter to the credit reporting company (Equifax, Transunion, and Experian are the top three) or the business that reported the debt.

Late payments can also cause a problem when you’re seeking a mortgage. Try contacting those businesses to see what can be done to remove those “black marks”.

Collect your financial information.

You’ll need to prove your income, which requires two recent paycheck stubs and the last two years of income tax returns. You’ll also be asked for the past two months’ bank statements, so the lender can see how much is in your account as well as how you manage your funds. When you’re preparing to apply for a mortgage, spend a few months in advance ensuring you have reasonable cash flow without overdrafts.

If you receive any other income (e.g., alimony, commissions, investments), have the paperwork that documents it.

Research your loan options.

Mortgages come in all shapes and sizes—adjustable or fixed rate, 15 or 30 years. There are programs to assist first-time homebuyers. Veterans may qualify for a VA mortgage, a low-interest mortgage that requires no down payment. An FHA mortgage is a government-insured loan that requires a smaller down payment and accepts people with a less-than-stellar credit score.

Pre-qualify before you start your new home search.

Armed with the financial documents, you can contact lenders to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Your pre-approval letter will be submitted with your purchase and sale offer, showing the seller that you can actually purchase the home.

Builders usually have a preferred lender. There are many advantages to working with this lender if you are buying a new home or building one. In order to earn the “preferred” status from the homebuilder, the lender has proven himself as a resourceful professional who is committed to helping the buyer.

Don’t fear the mortgage process. It’s the pathway to homeownership!

Update your home without remodeling

Categories: Apex, Interior Design, New Homes in Raleigh | Posted: March 20, 2017

 

If the spirit of spring has you wanting to update or refresh some of the areas of your home, you might have the itch to update one of the rooms in your home you use the most. However, renovation may not be something you feel like taking on to achieve an updated look for one of the rooms in your home. If this sounds like the boat you currently find yourself in, then you are in luck. Royal Oaks Homes, a premier homebuilder for new homes in Apex, shares several ways you can update your bathroom without having to go into full remodeling and demolition mode and still achieve an updated result.

A bathroom in your house is probably the best place to start for a room makeover. Especially if you plan to update your master bathroom, you will want to be sure you give the space a relaxing, peaceful vibe that you can start and end your day with.

First, start by deciding what style gives you the most relaxed comfort. Do you like rich and dramatic tones or are you more soothed with like, spa-like serene colors and textures.

Once you figure out the overall ambiance you want, begin with selecting the right paint color that fits the overall tone you will be going for in your new bathroom space. Choose a lighter paint color for a serene atmosphere and a darker richer hue, if you prefer that color palette for your mood.

Once you’ve selected the right paint color, move on to new hardware you can replace for your cabinets, door handles, and any other accessories you might be able to update in the bathroom. If you are going for the spa look, go with a stainless steel or nickel hardware. If you are wanting to achieve a richer look, go with oil rubbed bronze hardware for more sophistication.

Storage will be the third thing you want to tackle in your bathroom update. Especially if you are updating a bathroom that guests will see, storage will be your friend. A quick and simple fix will be to find storage cubbies that you can quickly and easily stash toiletries, makeup and other grooming items that you can access quickly and put away just as fast. Most people find it easiest to have a spot cleared under their sink where they can store their cubbies for day to day use.

The fourth item on your list that will also be of great importance to the overall update of the bathroom, will be new lighting. Not only will you want to make sure you update the lighting in your bathroom to something that is aesthetically pleasing to the room, but also will give off good light so you have plenty of it when getting ready in the morning.

Make replacing your current vanity lighting easy by selecting a new vanity light that fits the same space as your original fixture. Take it up a notch by adding a statement light as well, such a s a chandelier or pendant light in addition to your vanity lighting. Some people enjoy a chandelier over their soaking tub for relaxation or even in their walk-in closet, if it is located in the bathroom area.

Next, move onto the fixtures in your shower, sink and tub faucets. These will make a dramatic difference in the overall look of your bathroom and really give the feel that you remodeled. For your sink, look for sink fixtures that offer more height over the bowl. This not only will give you more space for function but also a more modern look.

Then, upgrade the shower head in your shower. You can get fancy in this area if you want, but opting for a larger shower head, a rain shower head or one that can be detachable if you want it to be.

Tie in what you choose for your sinks and showers over to your tub faucet. Keep in the same color palate so they all blend seamlessly together.

Take a close look at your mirror and see if it needs to be replaced with something more modern. If you simply have a standard builder-grade mirror that has no frame or appeal to it, consider removing it and replacing it with a more decorative mirror. You can choose any mirror from any design or home improvement store that can instantly give it a more elegant look.

If you have a medicine cabinet in your bathroom, consider either revamping it with a fresh coat of paint, swapping it out with a more updated piece or just removing it all together.

Lastly, to round out your bathroom update invest in new towels and accessories for the new space. Consider some monogrammed towels that can be used for decorating purposes only, or possibly some nice faux plants or spa-like additions. You can even swap your trash baskets and soap dispensers for something more modern and suited to your new space.

These simple bathroom updates won’t take long to do and will leave you with an updated space that looks like you spent a lot of time and money on to have done.

 

 

Royal Oaks Building Group is a new home builder in Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina. For additional information about Royal Oaks building your Raleigh new home, please call (888) 677-1502.

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