Wow! 2021 was quite the year, to say the least. We didn’t think anything would beat the twists and turns of 2020. But lo and behold, we saw a vaccine rollout that brought us closer to normal, a new trend of people quitting their jobs after a year of reflection, and a still-hot housing market with interest rates that remain low and affordable housing inventory that’s doing the same.
While we all have high hopes for a better 2022, we did have some really memorable moments in the past twelve months. One of those being that we created movehome, a new tool called helps Movement Mortgage loan officers across the country service new homebuyers even better than ever.
We can’t wait to continue creating educational and informative home purchasing and financing-related content for you in 2022! But after writing 100+ blogs this year, we wanted to make sure you got some of our best tips from 2021! Here are five of our favorites!
1 – The lowdown on the LTV: Why loan-to-value ratios matter to new homebuyers
When we wrote this blog in January, we thought everyone knew what the loan-to-value ratio — aka LTV — was and how it impacted mortgages and down payments. We were surprised to learn how many of you weren’t familiar with the LTV acronym.
Scratching your head? No worries. The LTV ratio shows homebuyers how much of a property they’ll own versus how much of it the bank will hold. Lenders would rather see lower LTV ratios because it means buyers have more skin in the game and are less likely to default. That’s why a bigger down-payment produces smiles all around.
Read this post to learn how to estimate — and improve — your loan-to-value ratio!
2 – The 3 C’s of mortgage underwriting
Back in February, we were stuck inside still working from home, when it dawned on us that not everybody “gets” what the underwriting process is all about. So we wrote a blog about it, listing all the documents that an underwriter request to evaluate your ability to take on a home loan like W-2s, tax returns, recent pay stubs, employment verification of employment and more.
Then we described how Movement Mortgage underwriters evaluate all this stuff, plus your credit and payment history, income and assets available for a down payment, and then group their findings in what’s referred to as the 3 C’s: Capacity, Credit and Collateral.
Explore the 3 C’s of mortgage underwriting in our recent blog! Read more about it here.
3 – Moving changes everything: A checklist
Buying a new home is exciting, but packing to move? Not so much. First, you have to purge the stuff you no longer want or need. Then you have to remember to change your mailing address with all your banks, health insurance and online shopping stops. It’s a process!
We decided to put together a checklist of things to remember to change, and admittedly, we got a little overwhelmed with how much there was to do. Including changing door lock, alarm batteries, air filters and — wait for it — toilet seats.
Want to learn more? Check out our comprehensive checklist here.
4 – Find a Realtor you love. It’s all about trust, honesty and communication
While any time of the year is an excellent time to buy a home, it seems that summertime is the most popular season for househunting IRL. So in July, we took a stab at helping you find the right one— an agent who can help you get more for your money than you could by doing it by yourself. Along with their thorough knowledge of the industry, local sales activity, current housing inventory and what’s coming — but not yet — on the market, your home buying adventure is sure to get a boost just by working with them.
Our steps to finding a perfect fit include taking your time, doing your research, asking intelligent questions, not cheating on them and getting pre-approved by a lender ahead of time.
Not yet working with a realtor, or want to switch things up a little? Read the blog here.
5 – What to know about VA Loans if you’re a spouse in a military family
A little-known fact about applying for a government-backed VA Loan is that it’s not just the person who’s affiliated with the military who can apply. Military spouses often handle the entire transaction for their partner and family. This is especially helpful for service members and their families who don’t want the fact that they’re away on active duty to slow down their search for the home of their dreams.
There are some eligibility rules to be aware of, and we go over them in great detail. We also outline the types of loans available to military families for purchasing or refinancing. You see, at Movement, we want our military customers to take full advantage of those VA benefits, so we put together a great team of experienced loan officers specializing in the VA loan program.
Find out more in this blog from back in September!
That’s a Wrap for 2021!
In 2021, our team published over 100 blog posts, not counting dozens of press releases to highlight loan officer promotions and great new hires to the team. We covered a lot of ground — from tips to improve your credit score to budgeting advice to great reasons to ditch the rental and buy a condo. The list could literally go on and on.
If you are a prospective homebuyer with questions about home financing, please reach out to one of our local loan officers in the New Year!