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Tips for Staten Island Home Buyers

Buying a home on Staten Island isn’t the hardest thing. There are signs posted just about everywhere you look. The only problem is that you never know if its going to be the right house for you. Here are bits of wisdom for anyone thinking of buying a home soon:

  • Just because there is an open house doesn’t mean you should  stop and go in.
  • Real estate agents truly do want too help you get into the right home for you.
  • Ask for help, the real estate business is a tough place, you shouldn’t have too go at it alone.
  • Plan for the future when searching and selecting a new home.
  • Allows have a list a questions when walking into a new home.
  • You may not be able too afford your dream home right now, but you should opt for a starter home so you can save and build equity.
  • Look at properties with a builders eye, see if you can potentially improve the home.
  • No-one is ever comfortable with having to spend the money on a new home.
  • Before searching for a home you should get a Pre-Qual from a Mortgagor.
  • Never negotiate on a home emotionally, always know when too walk away.
  • You should absolutely think about saving for closing costs.
  • Always insist on a home inspection. It will give you  peace of mind.

I’m going too try and work on more funny ones. Any Ideas comment and I’m add your comment too the post along with a link too your site

Best of luck from Walter Grande Licensed Real Estate Saleperson

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Condos Get Creative Amid Foreclosures

“U.S. condominium lenders, developers, and associations are turning to unconventional strategies to avert financial distress as the foreclosure epidemic continues.

For example, Jim Chew of Columbus, Ohio-based Condo Management reports that some developers have resorted to doing condo financing internally.

Lenders in Florida, meanwhile, are leasing foreclosed condos — although they soon could be subjected to new escrow requirements to ensure that associations are paid assessments in a timely fashion.

Condo auctions, offering discount prices, are another way that businesses are hoping to steer clear of financial ruin.

Source: USA Today”

How are Mortgage Lenders handling it?

Many mortgage lenders have taken a big hit with the bad loans they provided. Which in turn has them extra cautious about which loans they approve and which too decline. They know that until the job market stabilizes, having a good credit score is going to be only a part of the lending process.

In turn, condo associations, like developers and mortgage lenders, are facing significant issues due to the foreclosure crisis. Increasing foreclosures leads to less income from condo assessments as owners cannot pay their condo fees. The lower assessment income means insufficient operating funds to cover expenses such as insurance and maintenance.

What are they doing too stay out of the red?

The news isn’t all bad, however. Condos remain a good investment, as long as you pick the “right” one. Think location, good space, and no lawn to cut. If you’re in the market, here are three ways to boost your chances of financing a condo:

  • Look at older buildings, which tend to have fewer restrictions than new construction. In many markets, the upside is character. Crown molding. Cozy room configurations.
  • Make sure the condo association is in good health and people pay their assessments on time. The mortgage lenders are tracking this info and may reject the loan if too many people are falling behind. Besides, you want to know that the association has funds for necessary repairs.
  • Increase your downpayment. I know it’s difficult, but even going from 10 to 15 percent can make a difference. If you can muster 25 percent, the prospects of approval are much higher.

What options do the Condo boards have?

To stave off financial disaster, condo associations are having to get creative. For example, some condo associations are using reserves to buy foreclosed units, and then renting them out until the sale climate improves and the unit can be sold at a decent market value. This action provides 2 advantages: the unit is prevented from being sold too far below market and the association is able to recoup some additional funds.

Some courts have ordered receivers in bankruptcy to collect rents where owners have rented the unit out but weren’t paying the condo assessments and use the rental income to pay overdue condo assessments.

Some condo association that had banned owners from renting their units are relaxing those rules, or creating hardship exceptions, to allow owners to avoid foreclosures.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Salvation Army The Greater New York Division

From the About Us Page of the Salvation Army:Salvation Army The Greater New York Division

The Salvation Army is an international, faith-based charitable organization with a simple mission: to help those in need without discrimination.

Headquartered in London—from a building at the foot of the Millennium Bridge—The Salvation Army serves in 115 countries and has an extensive presence in the United States. Adhering to a quasi-militaristic structure, The Salvation Army in the United States is divided into four territories, which are further subdivided into divisions. The Salvation Army Greater New York Division serves the five boroughs of New York City, Long Island, and nine counties in Hudson Valley.

There are overarching themes that run throughout The Salvation Army’s faith-based humanitarian efforts in the United States and beyond, such as relief for victims of disasters, alcohol and drug rehabilitation programs, food, and shelter. The programs and services that each country, territory, or division offers differ drastically depending on the populations they serve. For instance, programs in a third-world country might include a medical clinic or midwifery school, whereas a program in an urban region of the United States might attempt to remedy a lack of extracurricular education for youth by starting a basketball program or a music class.

Of the over 140 programs The Greater New York Division offers, many are operated out of 39 corps community centers (corps) overseen by Corps Officers—men and women who have undergone a two year course in residence at a Salvation Army college where they study theology and field practice courses such as sociology and administration. Corps Officers, who have titles according to rank such as Captain or Major, are ordained ministers as well as community center directors. From building maintenance to deciding whether to start an ESL program or a choir—the Corps Officer is responsible for interpreting the needs of each community. Once needs are determined, Officers work with over 2,000 Salvation Army Greater New York employees (development and finance staff, social workers, etc.) and over 22,000 volunteers to create appropriate programming.

In addition to Corps-based programs, The Salvation Army Greater New York Division administers a wide variety of social services which are largely made possible through contracts with government agencies such as the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services.

Salvation Army The Greater New York Division

Remember Others: Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots

From the About Us Page of U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program

MISSION:
The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

GOAL:
The primary goal of Toys for Tots is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

OBJECTIVES:
The objectives of Toys for Tots are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

ACTIVITIES:
The principal Toys for Tots activity which takes place each year is the collection and distribution of toys in the communities in which a Marine Corps Reserve Unit is located.  In communities without a Reserve Unit, the campaign can be conducted by a Marine Corps League Detachment or group of men and women, generally veteran Marines, authorized by Marine toys for tots Foundation to conduct a local Toys for Tots campaign.  Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in Toys for Tots, and concurrently generate toys and monetary donations.

Donate too Toys for Tots

If you would like me too post about any other charities, just ask Contact Us

-Walter Grande

Tips for Parents Buying Homes for Children on Staten Island

I am going to describes tips for parent’s thinking about buying a home for their children, on Staten Island. It could be considered a good time for parents to give their children a home or even an investment property. Before you purchase a home for your child, you need too know how to manage the tax consequences of such an act.

Giving your child a gift of a home sounds like a great idea but you need to understand the ramifications.

  • Give a cash gift. Individuals are allowed to gift up to $13,000 per person in a given year without incurring gift tax. That means a couple could give their offspring and spouse $52,000 in a single year to go toward a down payment.
  • Lend money. The government requires that family members meet or exceed minimum loan rates to avoid having the loan be considered a gift. The rates are currently low. One way to handle this is for parent to use the $52,000 gift exclusion to forgive both interest and principal.
  • Use a trust. Set up a qualified personal residence trust, or QPRT. You’ll need an attorney to handle this transaction, but in a nutshell, parents put the home they want to give their children into a trust. At the end of a pre-set term, the home passes to the children with no taxes due.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Tax Credit Extension

Great news for the industry as the tax credit extension was signed by President Obama.  The current $8,000 tax credit for first time home buyers has been extended with an additional credit for existing home owners as well.  Buyers who have owned their current homes for at least 5 years are eligible for a 6,500 credit.  Both groups must sign a contract by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30th.

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand?

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand?

Also income limitations were increased to 125,000 for an individual and 225,000 for joint filers.
The unemployment rate hit 10.2% it was announced this morning.  This number was much worse than the 9.9% expected as employers continue to cut jobs.  The bond is up slightly in what should be a fairly active trading session today.  30 Year fixed rates continue to hover around 5.25% with 0 points.

Congress Urged to Extend Tax Credit
The National Association of REALTORS® is called upon its 1.2 million members to urge Congress to extend the successful homebuyer tax credit into next year.

Since its inception earlier this year, the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has brought 1.2 million new buyers into the market—350,000 of whom would not have purchased a home without the credit, according to NAR. The credit was due to expire November 30.

“Now is the time for Congress to keep this recovery going by extending the tax credit through 2010 and making it available to more homebuyers. We have all seen how the credit has been a spur to bring homebuyers into the market, and have seen the beginnings of a real recovery in the housing market. Housing has always led this nation out of economic downturns, and can do so again,” said NAR President Charles McMillan.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us

-Walter Grande

Rent Loss Insurance

Rent Loss Insurance offers coverage for loss in rental income or rental value due to property damage by external hazard

which therefore makes it unsuitable for habitation. The policy is often available as a part of hazard insurance on your investment/rental property.

Most of the mortgage companies require you to purchase this policy when you buy your investment property. As per the lending guidelines put forward by the Investor Company Freddie Mac, it is not optional but mandatory for borrowers to purchase rent loss insurance policy. In case of more than one investment property, the company requires insurance policies for each rental units independent of the net rental income.

The net operating loss or the amount of rent loss insurance depends on the gross monthly rental income after deducting the following items:

  • Taxes
  • Mortgage payments
  • Insurance premiums
  • Maintenance costs
  • Expenses on utilities
  • Vacancy factor for rental units in your area.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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What are PITI Reserves?

Mortgage payments are made up of four components these include the following Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance. Some lenders require 2-3 months PITI reserves in order for your loan to be qualified. PITI reserves are several month cash reserves required by lender that borrowers must have at hand when closing on a mortgage loan. PITI stands for principal, interest, taxes and insurance.

A 6-month PITI reserve is not as common as 2-3 month PITI reserves for owner occupied properties.  Also, seasoning is also expected – that is, the funds can’t show a history of several days but need to have been in existence for at least several months. Stocks and bonds, 401k and IRAs also qualify as PITI funds on reserve.

Be very careful when comparing monthly mortgage payments. Ask to see the payments in writing from each mortgage professional that provides you a quote. This way you can compare PITI payments with everything right in front of you so that there is no confusion. Sometimes, one lender may quote you a payment and even have a homeowners association due worked into your monthly PITI payment and another lender may not.

Some borrowers may not wish to have their payment include PITI. when shopping a mortgage loan, it is advised that the borrower maintain a sound understanding of the monthly costs of taxes and insurance, and look only at the principal and interest of the payment. This will avoid confusion between you and your loan officer or mortgage broker with respect to what you are actually paying on a monthly basis for your mortgage.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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What Do You Look For In A Real Estate Agent?

When it comes to real estate agents one must choose wisely. There are many qualities that are desired in a real estate agent. The agent need to be knowledgeable in their market. They need to understand the real estate process, well alot better then you do at least. They need to make you feel comfortable with purchasing or selling a home. They need to be personable, and connect with you. Right?

What do you look for in an agent? Please let me know

Tips for Negotiating a Mortgage Deal on Staten Island

Negotiating and getting a mortgage loan on Staten Island is an art all in itself. It is common knowledge that getting a mortgage loan these days can be a aggravating experience. You should learn as much as you can about the process to ease the strain mentally. The more you understand the better prepared for the mortgage process you will be.

Tips for Negotiating a Mortgage Deal on Staten Island

Tips for Negotiating a Mortgage Deal on Staten Island

When getting into the process of negotiating, you should always look to increase your advantage. You need to strengthen your knowledge of what will be asked of you. Prepare all documents before hand to give off the impression that you are an experienced and well research person. Having an position of power in a negotiation starts with understanding what you need to get out of it as well as what the other side needs. You obviously need a mortgage and the mortgage provider needs to know you will pay them back.

Strengthening your position starts with your credit score. Try to increase it as best you can leading up to your mortgage request. You are more likely to receive a mortgage with a better credit score, right? Its all part of strengthening your sides negotiation position.

When you have improved you credit score, you can start to shop around too get the best rates. You need to be able to compare companies by negotiating with different companies. Companies have different ranking systems so shop around. Choose too continue your negotiations with the company that provide you with the best rate for your needs. You needs being either short term or long term.

Research the process as much as you can, but also get the advise of a trained mortgage professional. Staten Island is full of them, whom are completely qualified, and they will be able to help you find what your looking for. The mortgage process is a world-wind you will be pull in every direction, and being prepared will save you time, money, and  most of all your hair.

This following article from realtors.com gives some tips for buyers on things they should know as they go through the application process: 5 Tips for Buyers in Negotiating a Mortgage Deal

Here is a quick list of there 5 tips on negotiating a mortgage in general:

  • Ask for the “Good Faith Estimate” Early
  • Suggest they read and ask questions
  • Shop around for title insurance
  • Get a commitment
  • Question flood insurance

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Construction Defects May Have Risen During Boom

The article I am linking to explains that construction defects increased during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. It goes into detail, on the reason being that the shortages of both skilled workers and quality material during the housing boom contributed to a surge in construction defects.

Will 'Echo Boomers' Save the Housing Market?

Construction Defects May Have Risen During Boom

Though on a brighter note it is said that construction defect insurance claims have declined in the last couple of years. Though those claims that are filed are extremely defective. They suggest that anyone whom owns a home that was build within the time period get themselves another home inspection.

The article can give you a better understanding so if you would like to read more follow the link below.

Read the Article here: Construction Defects May Have Risen During Boom

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Being A Staten Island Real Estate Agent

It’s no secret that real estate is a great career to be in because it’s fast-paced and rewarding. The field holds endless amounts of earning potential for those whom spend the time needed too become a high earner. A Staten Island Real Estate Agent has to realize, before anything else, that being an agent is more then making money. People become real estate agents because agents have the ability to set their own hours and work outside of the office. They also get the opportunity to meet new people and have that sense of satisfaction when they find the perfect home making a family’s dream a reality. An agent needs to put their clients needs, wants, and dreams before their own otherwise they will not last as an agent.

Being A Residential Staten Island Real Estate Agent

Being A Residential Staten Island Real Estate Agent

Real estate agents are also known as real estate salespersons. The job description of a Staten Island Real Estate Agent is too handle the sales of luxury residential/commercial homes all over Staten Island, New York. A great agent will sometimes have to work as many as 70 hours a week, because of the amount of demand buyers, sellers, other agents, mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, home inspectors, family members, and everyone else requires of them.

One way many agents start out is as an assistant to another agent. This mentor agent has too be willing to help them learn the industry from the ground up. Real Estate Agents, whom are licensed by New York State and whom work in Staten Island, need to have strong negotiating skills and know Staten Island’s housing market in and out. Its common knowledge that all residential real estate agents on Staten Island are paid by commission and aren’t salary driven. The median annual pay for a real-estate sales agent is $37,600, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Being a Staten Island Real Estate Agent is great career decision for those whom want to work hard for good money. You just need to understand that it doesn’t come without a cost. Real estate agents have to spend a lot of their personal time on the phone will clients, in order save deals, create deals, and/or answer any question their clients may have. They are a 24 hours resource for their clients, and if you cant handle that, look into something else. I dedicate all my time to my clients and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Being A Staten Island Real Estate Agent

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Can I take out a home loan for land?

“I have been searching online to see if I can take out a home loan just for land? By home loan I mean a loan for a home and not a personal property loan like on a trailer court. Am I qualified for a home loan? I want to keep the loan as cheap as can be, so I want to purchase a piece of land. Will this work as a home loan if its on private land?

-Pete”

Home Loans for Land

Home Loans for Land?

I am not sure I completely understand your question but I believe in order to carry a home loan there must be a parcel of land involved as well as a structure. I would say you’d have a problem receiving a home loan in a trailer park, because of the fact that it’s a common business practice in trailer parks to rent out spaces, not sell them.

You probably qualify for a loan, I’m just not sure which one. I suggest contacting a local mortgage broker because he/she would be able to supply you with the best advise, on which loan to obtain.

I believe lenders don’t value mobile homes the same as permanent homes. The main reason why they don’t, is because mobile homes normally lose value, where as permanent homes could appreciate in value. When dealing with lenders you’re more likely to be presented with a 90% or less loan, if you have good credit. I highly doubt you would be able to find 100% financing for a mobile home. Either way your interest rate will probably be higher on a mobile home.

If you are buying this as an investment (in your own future, not as an investment property) you should look into a modular home. Anything but a mobile. You won’t get out what you put into a mobile. That said, there are some very nice mobile homes out there.

Hoped this helps you with your real estate site and feel free to Contact Us with any question you may have.

-Walter Grande

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Foreclosures Continue to Flood Market

Foreclosures Continue to Flood Market

Foreclosures Continue to Flood Market

Its said in the article that “The U.S. housing market is being flooded with foreclosed homes held by trusts managing pools of securitized mortgages.”

This isn’t a good thing at all for sellers or persons thinking about selling. Your home’s value is determined by your homes neighboring properties and the area in which you reside. If your area is flooded with undervalued home, your home doesn’t have a shot to produce a fair market return.

If you do plan on selling your home, you need to research comparable homes that are in foreclosure near you. If there are any home, evaluate how your home matches up and then proceed accordingly. If your home can return proper value go ahead and list it. If their are too many foreclosures on the market that are comparable, wait it out.

Its said in the article that “The dump isn’t over yet with thousands of properties still awaiting sale.”

Read More of the Article:

Foreclosures Continue to Flood Market

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-Walter Grande

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More Signs of a Real Estate Turnaround

Real Estate Market Turnaround

Real Estate Market Turnaround

There is confidence in the housing market because their is evidence that the market is increasing its turnaround of homes.

This is great news coming from an well educated and well researched source. The fact that the adversity index from MSNBC.com and Moddy’s Economy both show signs of a turnaround in a number of metro areas is hopefully a sign that the nations Real Estate Market is on the Turnaround.

Read More on the Real Estate Turnaround at:

More Signs of a Real Estate Turnaround

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-Walter Grande

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Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand

The first time home buyer tax credit of up to $8,000 is helping to move the housing inventory, while our market is in a slow down. Legislators and business community leaders are hoping to build on the incentives success by expanding on it.

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand?

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand?

This credit is extremely important for our housing market. It has the potential too push those whom are sitting on the edge of buying a home. This is a great deal for first time home buyers, they are being provide a great incentive to buy their first home. Hopefully this stimulates the market like most experts and government officials think it will.

Read More at:

Home Buyer Tax Credit Could Expand

Hoped this helped,  feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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How to Improve Nations Energy Efficiency by NAR

Energy Efficiency

Improve Your Homes Energy Efficiency

According to the National Association of Realtors, a great way to improve the energy efficiency of the nation’s homes and building is to utilize a incentive program. Plus they also suggest better education regarding energy efficiency, for home owners.

Read the Article from Realtor.com Here: Improve Energy Efficiency

Here are a few areas of your home I suggest researching to improve your homes energy efficiency:

Appliances & Electronics

  • Buying Efficient Products
  • Estimating Energy Use
  • Turning Off Computers

Designing & Remodeling

  • Passive Solar
  • Whole-House Design
  • Zero-Energy Homes
  • Log Homes
  • Manufactured Homes
  • Earth-Sheltered Homes
  • Financing an Efficient Home

Electricity

  • Reducing Electricity Use
  • Buying Clean Electricity
  • Making Clean Electricity
  • Reading Electric Meters

Heating & Cooling

  • Selecting & Replacing Your System
  • Cooling Systems
  • Heating Systems
  • Heat Pumps
  • Thermostats, Ducts, & Meters

Insulation & Air Sealing

  • Weatherstripping & Caulking
  • Insulation
  • Controlling Moisture
  • Ventilation

Landscaping

  • For Your Climate
  • For Your Microclimate
  • Shading
  • Using Windbreaks
  • Conserving Water & Xeriscaping

Lighting  & Daylighting

  • Artificial Lighting
  • Types of Lighting
  • Turning Off Lights
  • Natural Lighting

Water Heating

  • Selecting a Water Heater
  • Solar Water Heaters
  • Demand (Tankless) Water Heaters
  • Reducing Water Heating Bills
  • Swimming Pool Heating

Windows, Doors, & Skylights

  • Energy Performance Ratings
  • Selecting Windows
  • Selecting Exterior Doors
  • Selecting Skylights

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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NAR Warns of Rental Property Scam

NAR Warns of Rental Property Scam

NAR Warns of Rental Property Scam!

Keep an eye out for the National Association of Realtors name being used as part of a property rental scam!!! Don’t be taken for your hard earn money! The scam is that rental property is offered to consumers whom are led to believe that the NAR is functioning as an intermediary to receive rental deposits from prospective tenants.

The NAR is not involved and if you eye anything please contact law enforcement!

Read the Rest of the Article Here from realtor.com:  NAR Warns of Rental Property Scam

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Search Homes on your Iphone

Realtor.com has a great web application for the Iphone. The application provides you with the ability to search for homes near your current location as well as by zip code and local area. There are also options to find a home by its address. This is a great tool for when your on the go! Please enjoy!

Search for Homes on the Iphone

Search for Homes on the Iphone

Search Homes on your Iphone

I myself own an Iphone and utilize this application all the time. It is easy to use and provides me with great information and any home where ever I am. If you have an Iphone I suggest checking it out.

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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Find a Mortgage Lender

Realtor.com has a great tool embed in their website that can search for local mortgage lenders. With this tool you’ll be able to find a low home loan, and low mortgage interest rates from hundreds of mortgage companies! Here is the link:

Finding a Mortgage Lender

Finding a Mortgage Lender

Search for Local Lenders and Mortgage Options

This mortgage lender tool gives you the ability to browse the latest mortgage rates and choose the best local lenders to help you with your home loan search.

They provide options that are simple and allow you to choose the type of loan you are looking for.

Once you proceed, you’ll be given a list of lenders to select from. When choosing select lenders whom best fit your needs short term and long term. This mortgage lender tool saves you potentially thousands on your next mortgage and endless amounts of time on your search! Please enjoy!

Hoped this helped, if you need any more answers feel free to Contact Us again

-Walter Grande

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