You’ll Need Extra Paperwork When Applying for a Mortgage If…..

5 Times You’ll Need Extra Paperwork To Get A Mortgage
Courtesy of Realtor.com

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When you apply for a mortgage, some of the initial information lenders will probably ask for includes:
~ Tax returns for the past two years
~ W-2s for the past two years
~ Pay stubs from the past 30 days
~ Asset reports for the past 60 days

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However, any of the following circumstances that impact your finances will require additional paperwork:11. You have undocumented money

Lenders cannot ignore money in your bank account that can’t be documented by wages, so be prepared to provide a paper trail on the source of that money.

2.  You’re divorced

You’ll need to provide a copy of the full divorce decree with all pages and schedules, including the marital settlement agreement. Even if you mark the “single” box on the mortgage application, lenders run a background check and will see your previous marital statuses.

3.  You’ve been through a short sale or foreclosure

Most mortgage loan programs have a waiting time to be eligible for new financing, and you’ll need to provide a copy of the final settlement statement and/or trustee’s sale deed.

4.  You’ve filed for bankruptcy

You’ll be required to supply all the pages and schedules from your bankruptcy, including the schedule of creditors specifically identifying everything associated with the discharge. The discharge date is the date at which the waiting time starts to secure new mortgage loan financing.

5.  You’ve had a loan modification

You will need the full loan modification agreement you signed with your original loan servicer when you apply for a new mortgage.

3Lenders do not intentionally try to make you provide more paperwork when buying a home. Based on your financial picture it might be necessary in order to meet federal compliance regulations all lenders must abide by. If anything identified above exists in your past or your financial picture is unique, make sure to have supporting documentation and a seasoned loan professional working in your best interests.

The Brandee Kelley Group wholeheartedly recommends Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank. Don is an experienced mortgage loan professional and he will be your very best asset in gaining mortgage loan approval to buy the home of your dreams!
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Please contact the Brandee Kelley Group for any questions you may have about qualifying for mortgage financing.
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Stunning Estate Home – 8 Woodland Drive, Mansfield, TX

8 woodland collageExquisite. Custom. Unique. Private.

These are just a few words to describe this spectacular estate home that is now available. Brandee Kelley welcomes you to this gated 7.68 acre country estate with 6 bedrooms and 8 baths and a separate 2,200 sq ft guest home.

Other features include:
~ State-of-the-art chef’s kitchen with commercial-grade appliances
~ Study and media room on first floor
~ Huge first floor master suite with fireplace, spa-like bath and sauna
~ Covered patios
~ Outdoor grill
~ Pool and spa
~ Four-car garage plus 4-car carport

This home is finished with gorgeous custom ceiling treatments, built-ins and meticulous detail.  Please visit our website to read the full list of amenities and preview more photos of this estate home.  http://bit.ly/1TVKjYN

Price is $2,299,000.  Please contact Brandee Kelley at 817.635.1141 to learn more details about this estate and arrange a personal tour.
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How Will You Spend Your Tax Refund?

4 Tips for Putting Your Tax Refund Back Into Your Home
Courtesy of Zillow

Are you getting a tax refund this year? The average refund is about $3,000, but whether you’re getting a few hundred or a few thousand dollars back, put it to work to enhance your home and your lifestyle!

PAY DOWN DEBTS

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With home prices continuing to creep upward and interest rates still remarkably low, you may have taken out a home equity loan to fund a remodeling project or two. Invest your tax refund toward this loan or pay down those high interest credit cards.

FRESHEN UP. REDECORATE.  UPDATE!

blog collageUse that refund to update your home with a redecorating project you’ve been thinking about. You’ll improve your living experience and add value to your home, all at the same time.

INVEST IN BOOSTING ENERGY EFFICIENCE OF YOUR HOME

wall-insulation-1bThere are all sorts of things you can do, at varying price points, to make your home more energy efficient — from buying energy-efficient appliances to adding extra layers of insulation. Other affordable options are installing a new storm door, a low-flow showerhead, or installing a programmable thermostat.  Storm doors are just a few hundred dollars, and can be a great investment if you have an older front door. Purchasing a low-flow showerhead or installing a programmable thermostat are other affordable options.

BUY FLOOD INSURANCE

floodphotoThe federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program at an average cost of about $700 per year. That’s a small price to pay for a problem that can be big. Your homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover rising water and flood damage.  Stop taking chances, and buy yourself peace of mind. Premiums vary depending on your property’s flood risk. To get an estimate in your area, visit FloodSmart.gov.

For expert advice on financing major improvements, please contact our preferred lender, Don Kelly.

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If you’re wondering what your home is worth in today’s market, give us a call!

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Need Some Color in Your Life? Target Introduces Their Marimekko Collection

Want to inject some bright colors into your life? The distinctive colors and patterns of Marimekko are the perfect choice and Target is launching their Marimekko Collection on April 17.

Architectural Digest has provided the following 4 tips for incorporating these colorful furnishings into your home.

target-marimekko-01#1 – Don’t be afraid of color. You can mix four or five shades for an all-over patterned effect or use single-color items to introduce a bold pop of color.

target-marimekko-02#2 – Mix things up. Marimekko’s graphic table settings look liveliest when a few patterns are mixed together. If you’re not crazy about too many prints, pair Marimekko dinner plates  with solid-color glasses or chargers.

#3 – Establish a palette by adhering to two or three complementary hues, such as pink and yellow, white and black, or two shades of blue. Even if you’re using loads of patterns, the thoughtful color scheme will make things look put together.

target-marimekko-03#4 – Don’t forget patio decorating! Adding a splash of color or pattern will transform any cramped patio into a summery oasis.

The Brandee Kelley Group loves bringing you decorating ideas and tips.  We’re all about REAL ESTATE, whether buying or selling your home, as well as enhancing the home you love!

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Thinking of Downsizing? What To Consider

Four questions to consider if you’ve thought of downsizing.
Adapted from Realtor.com

ar135596153409763When is the time to “right size” to a home that’s better suited to your needs? Well, if you’re in the 60+ crowd (or have a parent in that age group), there are plenty of things that can go into that decision. Maybe you’re finding yourself in a (more or less) empty nest. Or maybe you want to travel more and maintaining your big home and lot is a hassle while you’re gone. Or all the maintenance on your current home is more than you can or want to handle. And maybe—just maybe–you want to simplify your life.

Downsizing doesn’t mean you must compromise on the lifestyle you want. In fact, when you make an informed decision on how best to achieve it, you may find the freedom offered by living in and maintaining a smaller home offers huge rewards!

So if you’re thinking about downsizing, ask yourself these questions first:

Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?

For some, it’s a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Or travel more—or live in a low-maintenance, age restricted community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move and you’ll be able to narrow down your housing options.

Alex Haigh, a Realtor® with Illustrated Properties in Stuart, FL, says many people come to South Florida for the warmer weather and amenities, and he’s seeing more seniors who are still working—because they enjoy it or want to have an extra cushion in their budgets.

Debra Whitfield, a Realtor® in Charleston, SC, who specializes in working with seniors, sees her older clients making two types of moves.

“The first move are retirees looking to enjoy their freedom, so they come down to Charleston to find active adult communities where they meet like-minded people that they can befriend easily,” Whitfield says. “The second comes after retirees have enjoyed their freedom for 10 years or so and they decide to move one last time to live closer to family to have the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they need.”

Q: What should my buying budget look like?

If you’re planning to retire soon or have already entered those coveted golden years, you’ll likely be on a fixed income. Downsizing might net you a decent profit, especially if the home you’re buying next costs considerably less than the one you’re selling. Consider other expenses as you age: medical bills, health and life insurance, travel, estate planning, final expenses, and home maintenance. The common rule of thumb: Spend no more than 30% of your monthly income on housing. But in theory, it should be a lot less if you’re downsizing.

Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?

DownsizeHomeFor most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they’ve held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home. Unless you have a significant amount of debt to pay off, chances are you’ll see enough profit from your sale to buy your next home outright or bring a sizable down payment on closing day.

Many downsizing buyers have an advantage in bidding wars since they walked away with a profit on the sale of their old home. They have the funds and solid credit history to pay all cash or provide a large down payment.

Q: Will I be able to find another home that’s affordable in a seller’s market?

Downsize-Your-Home-In-Retirement-300x177Many agents advise their sellers who have the financial means to buy their next home first before selling their current one. It’s possible to either take out an equity line of credit on their current home or a home equity conversion mortgage to finance their purchase, then pay off the loan when they sell their former home.

In a tight housing market, sellers who buy their next home first gives them control over finding the perfect property instead of being rushed to find whatever happens to be on the market after their current house is under contract.

If you’ve considered downsizing or purchasing a new home that better suits your needs and lifestyle, contact Brandee Kelley to determine what your current home is worth and discuss what you are looking for in your new home.

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For questions and concerns about financing options, contact Don Kelly with Affiliated Bank. Don is the Brandee Kelley Group’s preferred lender because he is knowledgeable, ethical and very experienced in guiding you into the very best loan option available.

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Shopping For a New Home–Shop For a Neighborhood, Too!

Your New Neighborhood – What To Consider
Adapted from Zillow

neighborhood appealWhen shopping for a new home, you obviously want to find the RIGHT home, but you also need to find the RIGHT neighborhood.

Consider your lifestyle and interests: Where do you work, how do you get there and how much time are you willing to spend on your commute? When it’s time to relax, do you like to walk the dog, browse the shops or hit the clubs and cafes? Are there good services, amenities and schools?

When you’ve identified the type of lifestyle that’s important to livability of your home, it’s time to see how the neighborhoods stack up. Drive through neighborhoods you’re considering. Visit the parks.  Check out traffic issues. 

Smart home buyers look toward the future of the neighborhood, because neighborhoods are always changing and housing values change right along with them. When you’re house shopping, include in your “must haves” one in which you’ll feel comfortable in today and also become a smart investment tomorrow.

Some things to consider:

  • Constant construction.  A new urban-village-style mall a few blocks away can increase your home’s worth by tens of thousands of dollars; a six-lane highway through the former pasture next door, not so much. Check with the local planning commission, or just ask around.
  • Too many for-sale signs.  Are people selling because of a change in lifestyle (a new job, kids in college, changing interests) or because the neighborhood has taken a turn for the worse?
  • Too many rentals.  Even the neatest, nicest renters rarely treat their living quarters as if they owned them, and absentee landlords are often no better. Sadly, neighborhood deterioration is a contagious condition.

CREATE A BUYER LOCATION CHECKLIST

Area amenities
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Evaluate nearby parks and open spaces, chic shops and trendy restaurants. Don’t forget libraries, grocery stores and all the businesses that make a neighborhood convenient.

Local schools
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Even if you don’t have children, this may be the single most important marker of a good neighborhood. That’s because many homeowners do have kids, which means they’re concerned about low crime, safe streets, good schools and the other amenities that help good neighborhoods stay that way.

Community services
Learn about taxes, traffic and major construction projects that will impact your quality of life in a particular neighborhood.

Commute times
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If you drive to work, learn about traffic flow, especially during weekday rush hours. And if public transportation is important to your family, find out if it’s convenient for your family.

Proximity to frequented locations
Get a map of the city and put a dot on the places you will frequent: Work, shopping, schools, etc. You may be able to purchase a home outside of the city or farther away for less, but gas prices are not going to be getting any cheaper. Maybe that more expensive house closer-in could be a better deal after all.

Economic stability
Generally speaking, a healthy mix of residential neighborhoods (property taxes) and businesses (sales and payroll taxes) sets the stage for vibrant, well-funded communities. Cities with colleges and government services are most likely to remain stable.

Crime ratescrime
Love the house, like the local amenities, but would you feel safe walking around at night? There are plenty of resources online to help you determine the safety of your new neighborhood.

If you’re considering a move, you need expert guidance on mortgage financing.  Contact our preferred lender, Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank and take advantage of his expertise about mortgage lending.
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The team members of the Brandee Kelley Group have in-depth knowledge of northern Texas neighborhoods.  Selecting the right neighborhood can be confusing, but we’ll help you identify the very best neighborhoods that suit your desires and needs.  Call us today at 817.635.1141.
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Do You Love Your Neighbors?

Do Americans Love Their Neighbors?
A National Neighborhood Study, adapted from Homes.com

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We know how important it is to have good neighbors. They’re the people we see every day on our way to work, over the weekend across our garden fence, and for many of us, the people we socialize with in the evenings. For anyone buying a new home, finding somewhere with good neighbors is high up the list of priorities. This year we launched our First Annual US Neighborhood Survey and asked 2,000 Americans from around the country, as well as 1,000 New Yorkers, what exactly a typical American neighborhood is for them.

US Neighborhoods: The Results

The ‘neighborhood’ is a traditional concept. While in the past, most American neighborhoods consisted of a community of people who all lived and worked together, nowadays, it doesn’t always mean the same thing. Many people telecommute, drive from the suburbs, or live in urban homes, and a more technology driven world means that they don’t always know their neighbors as well as they might have in the past.

Despite this, 18% of the Americans we surveyed said they had spoken to their neighbor that day, and around half (48%) within that week. However, a tenth said they had never even had a conversation with the person who lived next door to them. The trend does appear to be generational, as young Americans are the least likely to have a close relationship with their neighbors.

How do we communicate?

While 18-24 year olds are less likely to talk to their neighbors face to face, they do communicate in other ways, alluding to the fact that technology has significantly changed the way we interact with each other. In fact, 53% of 18-24 year olds (and 34% of Americans we surveyed overall) communicate with their neighbors via text message, while 51% communicate by phone.

More Americans than ever now have social media (65% were users, as of 2015), and it appears this world of digital communication is now commonplace in neighborhoods. Around 21% of those we surveyed said they keep in touch with friends over social media, but it was 25-34 year olds that were the most likely to use it for talking to neighbors.

Do we still trust each other?

A lack of personal interaction in some neighborhoods may be having a behavioral effect on us. Being able to trust your neighbor is one of the many benefits of living in a close-knit community. If your kids need a babysitter, a package needs to be signed for, or you simply need someone to keep hold of a spare pair of keys, then for many of us, we’re only a short walk away from help.

Unfortunately, many Americans don’t appear to have that feeling of trust. A staggering 23% of those we surveyed said they wouldn’t trust their neighbor alone with their child or their pet.

Perhaps, most surprisingly, is the fact that 40% of Americans wouldn’t trust their neighbor with a house key, which could mean a lot of unhappy residents left outside on the doorstep if they happen to lose their keys.

What do they argue about?

We know that even in the calmest of neighborhoods, disputes can happen, but we wanted to find out what exactly it was that Americans were arguing about. Noise was the biggest problem, with around one fifth of Americans having argued about it in the past with their neighbors. Unruly children were also a common complaint, as just over 9% said it had caused friction in the past. Quite encouragingly though, 61% of those we surveyed said they hadn’t really ever had an argument in their neighborhood.

After surveying people across the nation we have found that while “neighborhoods” still exist, they are definitely different than the Leave it to Beaver communities of the ’50s. People are just as likely to text their neighbors with questions or complaints as they are to communicate with them face to face. Also, the days of leaving a spare key under the mat may be fading away. That being said, more than half of the people surveyed have never had a real argument with their neighbor, and most neighbors have spoken in the past month, signs perhaps that the neighborhood spirit is still alive and well in the States.

We hope you aren’t, but if you’re truly miserable in your neighborhood, perhaps it’s time to find a new home in a new neighborhood.  Contact Brandee Kelley at 817-635-1141 to discuss your housing needs.
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Mortgage rates are low, so it’s a great time to sell and buy!  Contact our preferred lender, Don Kelly at Affiliated Bank to find out your loan options.
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