When tenants are asked why they don't just buy a home, the answers often include, "my credit is bad." Improving your credit is not as hard as most people believe but it does take some action. Credit is established by a payment history. It is important to know what kind of payments are used to create a credit score. Some payments are not reported to the credit bureaus, but can be used as "non-traditional" forms of credit. These payments include cell phone, utilities and rent payments. If you have no credit score, these "non-traditional" payments can be used to prove your credit worthiness and are acceptable for certain home loan products. Keeping good records of these payments are important and can be the proof you need to qualify for financing.
In the case of having poor credit due to slow payments on past loans such as a car payment or bills that were turned in for collection or repossession, that can still be overcome. The first step comes from learning what shows up on your credit report by having a bank pull a report and is willing to show you the results. If there are outstanding balances or collections, they must be addressed. It is possible that the creditors are willing to negotiate a payoff that is less than the actual amount you owe. Using a tax refund, for example, to pay off old debt would be a smart way to use those "extra dollars." A phone call to the creditor requesting a discount, in most cases, will result in a payoff that may be affordable and will be a step in improving your credit score. In any case, clearing any bad history is critical before any "good credit" can be obtained.
If credit report shows only limited use of credit and the score is low, there is another way to correct this problem. Of course, the answer is to obtain recent payment history to show you now have the ability and willingness to make timely payments. One way to make this happen is to go to a bank or credit union and tell them what you are trying to do. Request a small loan of $1,000 or whatever the lender's minimum loan is. Use the loan proceeds to open a savings account or Certificate of Deposit to be held by the bank as security for the loan. The bank is 100% guaranteed that the loan will be repaid since they are holding the money to apply to the loan if you don't make the payments. Once the loan is in place, be sure to make timely payments until the loan is paid in full. The bank will then release the hold on the funds in your savings account. You will have accomplished two things: you improved your credit score, and you have money in the bank! Plus, the bank is now more willing to consider you as a risk for future loans. Building credit, or repairing credit is not an overnight thing, but is vital to making the leap from paying off someone else's mortgage to paying off your own.
While most folks are enjoying an increase in take home pay as a result of the TCJA (Tax Cuts and Jobs Act), understanding how the Act affects mortgage interest deductions is important. The legislation includes an increase of the standard deduction, which eliminates the need to claim the mortgage interest deduction at all for many tax payers. However, if your deductions exceed the standard amount ($12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly), you should be knowledgeable on what is allowable under the new rule. Here is a summary:
1. If your home loan was originated prior to January 1, 2018, and the loan was taken out to acquire, construct or substantially improve the home, the interest is still deductible.
2. Interest paid on Home Equity Loans are no longer deductible regardless of the origination date.
3. Interest on a mortgage taken out to refinance a previous loan will not be deductible.
4. The maximum mortgage amount allowed to deduct interest is $750,000.
5. If more than one house is owned and financed (for example; a lake home, ski home, country cabin, etc) only two can be used as mortgage interest deductions. So, if you have a primary residence with a mortgage and a second home with a mortgage and a third home with a mortgage, you can only count two of the properties as eligible for interest deduction. The properties selected can change from year to year which allows a home owner to choose the home loan with the highest interest rate to deduct.
While this is not a comprehensive list of the changes, it should help in making a decision on whether to refinance or to purchase. There are different methods available for calculating the allowable deduction and it is advisable to consult a tax professional for specific advice regarding this issue.
Mortgage interest rates are on the rise. After enjoying a long break from higher rates, home buyers and homeowners are realizing the impact of even small changes in interest rates. True, rates are far from what could be considered high. (As a comparison, consider mortgage rates in 1982-83 being over 16%.)
Currently, every $1,000 of financing a 30 year mortgage costs only about $5 per month. Here's what that means: If your budget allows for a monthly mortgage payment of $1,000 (not counting escrows for property taxes or insurance, PMI or HOA dues) that equates to a $200,000 loan. If interest rates continue to rise as experts predict, even a 1% increase in rates reduces that $1,000 monthly payment to about $178,000 in financing. That's a difference of about 11% less buying power! That could mean the difference between the home of your dreams and one you will settle for.
History shows that housing market activity actually goes up when rates increase. The reason? Buyers realize they may miss out on getting the house they want with the payment they can afford. That results in a higher number of buyers looking at the same time. This drives up prices as more homes are sold with multiple offers.
There are some steps borrowers can take to improve their situation in a rising interest rate market:
1. Get pre-approved by a lender with competitive rates and a reputation of being able to move a loan from purchase to closing in a timely manner.
2. Pull together all the information your lender will need before you get together with them. This will include:
4. Be prepared to address any negative items that may be on your credit history.
Having these items in advance will speed up the approval process significantly and give you an advantage in being able to move quickly when the right house becomes available.
Finally, discuss "locking" the interest rate with your lender. In a rising rate market, it is critical to understand the lender's policy to lock in a rate to protect you from changes that could occur prior to the closing of your loan. Typically interest rates cannot be locked until you have a purchase agreement signed by all parties and you have confidence in the closing date as well as having resolved any contingencies such as house inspections.
While rates are rising, it's still an excellent time to invest in real estate. Taking advantage of today's rates will make you look like a genius in the future and you will have locked in a stable payment for a long time to come.
Cork and Rick Clark grew up in Reno, Nevada watching their father build and invest in real estate. They felt very fortunate to not only enjoy the direct benefits but also for the opportunity to learn about real estate investing.
"He paved the way and showed us the financial rewards," Rick shares, "Pops taught us the importance of a strong work ethic. If you want to be successful, you need to be on the job everyday."
The Clark family motto if we are going to reach a particular goal, you MUST be consistent by being on the job and working diligently everyday got the brothers through the 2008 crash, and lead their property management company into record-breaking growth and momentum.
Cork and Rick have used their knowledge of real estate and expertise in construction along with their unwillingness to sit still to build Clark Real Estate to over 700+ doors (households) under management.
Their favorite part of managing properties and real estate investments is that every day is different, every project is different, every house is different. They get to problem-solve every day--either from the office or out at a construction site. Their father and uncle, now in their 80s, modeled how to successfully work as brothers, and they have enjoyed working as a team. "Knowing somebody's got my back and that we have the same goals is the best part about working with my brother," Cork says. Rick is the second of seven children, and Cork is the younger brother as the fifth child.
The Clark brothers got started in real estate investing and property management by way of the construction industry. They had been in the construction industry since they were teenagers. With the construction experience "we could visualize firsthand all the possibilities," Rick says.
"We would look for the biggest problem property in a neighborhood," remembers Rick, "we would make offers on properties that weren't for sale." It wasn't long and the brothers had a handful of renovated properties that now needed to be managed. They started a property management company and took on leasing and maintenance for other real estate investors.
"No one knows the community better than we do. We're lifers," Rick smiles.
"We're hands on. We've started from the ground up. There are very few aspects of the real estate and investing game that we have not experienced first-hand," adds Cork.
Clark Real Estate brings drive and enthusiasm to folks looking to invest in the Reno area. Would you like to see their Map for building your real estate investment portfolio?
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509