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Glossary

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  • APR | PadScouts

    Annual Percentage Rate (APR) Mortgage APR includes the interest rate, point and fees charged by the lender. APR is higher than the interest rate because it encompasses all these loan costs. ​ APR Comparison ​ APR is a tool that lets you compare mortgage offers that have different combinations of interest rates, discount points and fees. Comparing APRs is most useful if you plan to keep the loan for more than six or seven years. But if you plan to keep the loan for less than six or seven years, APR comparisons could be misleading. That's because the APR calculation assumes that you'll keep the loan for its entire term. But not every borrower does that. Most people sell the home or refinance the loan before it's paid off. ​ As a hypothetical example, let's say you're comparing two offers on a $200,000 loan for 30 years: ​ Loan A : You could borrow $200,000 with an interest rate of 4.25%, paying a 1% origination fee, no discount points and $1,000 in other fees. The 1% origination fee costs $2,000, and other fees are $1,000. Total fees: $3,000 . Loan B : You could pay a discount point to reduce the interest rate. In this offer, you could borrow $200,000 with an interest rate of 4%, paying a 1% origination fee, 1 discount point and $1,000 in other fees. The 1% origination fee costs $2,000, the 1 discount point costs another $2,000, and other fees are $1,000. Total fees: $5,000 . ​ Conclusion : Loan A has a higher interest rate (4.25%) and lower fees ($3,000), while Loan B has a lower interest rate (4%) and higher fees ($5,000), because you could pay $2,000 to buy 1 discount point to cut the interest rate by 0.25%. As you see in the table below, Loan B has a lower APR, which means that you end up paying less over the 30-year life of the loan when you include principal, interest and upfront fees.

  • Title | PadScouts

    Title In property law, a title is a bundle of rights in a piece of property in which a party may own either a legal interest or equitable interest. The rights in the bundle may be separated and held by different parties. This bundle of rights is represented by a formal document, such as a deed of title , that serves as evidence of ownership. Conveyance of the document may be required in order to transfer ownership in the property to another person. ​ Title is distinct from possession, a right that often accompanies ownership but is not necessarily sufficient to prove it. In many cases, possession and title may each be transferred independently of the other. For real property, land registration and recording provide public notice of ownership information.

  • Escrow | PadScouts

    What Is Escrow? Escrow is when a neutral third party holds on to funds during a transaction. In real estate, it’s used as a way to protect both the buyer and seller during the home purchasing process. After a property is purchased, the new homeowner continues to put money into escrow as a means of paying mortgage and insurance payments. ​ For example, earnest money is an amount paid in to escrow early in the home purchase process to essentially put a “hold” on the property for the buyer. It’s a way of showing serious intent that the buyer is going to stay true to their offer, and protects sellers from having to deal with buyers putting out multiple offers or going into negotiations on multiple properties. At closing, the earnest money payment is generally taken out of escrow and put toward the buyer’s down payment. ​ The purpose of escrow is two-fold. It guarantees the seller that the buyer has the funds needed for the purchase and that the money will be handed over once the title is transferred, and it guarantees the buyer that they won’t be scammed by a fraudulent seller who actually holds no claim to a title. Ultimately, escrow helps ensure trust in a high-stakes transaction where neither party may be familiar with each other and where both have a lot to lose. ​ Escrow vs Escrow Account ​ Here’s a set of terms that are closely related but not to be confused with each other. Many people have trouble understanding real estate escrow because they mistake it for an escrow account, so it’s important to know the difference. ​ An escrow account is a separate account managed by a lender to collect advance insurance payments and tax payments from a homeowner. Usually, a lender will add up the total amount due for these payments in a year, divide it by 12, and tack on that extra amount to each mortgage payment. When those payments are due to either a homeowners insurance agency or the IRS, the lender pays them for the homeowner out of the escrow account. Many states, but not all, require lenders to pay interest to homeowners on their escrow account. ​ The simplest way to think of the difference is Escrow happens during the process of buying/selling the home. After the house is sold or purchased, Escrow Accounts are where your mortgage payments are partially paid to in order to pay for your PMI payments and property taxes . ​ ​

  • Seller's Agent | PadScouts

    REALTOR (R) Seller's Agent A REALTOR (R) is real estate professional that is both a licensed real estate agent or broker AND a member of the National Realtor's Association. They are experts in the residential real estate process and help represent Sellers and Buyers during their real estate transaction. ​ On this page, we will discuss the role, duties, and responsibilities of the Buyer's Agent: ​ Role Showings: Sellers's Agents will coordinate with you and the prospective buyers to schedule time and access for property showings. Negotiations: Seller's Agents will assist the Seller in the Offer Negotiation process when the Seller receives offers to purchase their home. These include individual offers, multiple bids, and other offer situations. Management: Seller's Agents will assist the Seller in managing the entire buying process by organizing all of the requisite documents and ensuring all parties involved in the transaction are active in ensuring the selling process is being executed properly and in a timely fashion. ​ Benefits - You do not need a real estate agent to sell a home; in fact, some home sellers leave the Seller's Agent out of the equation. However, you might benefit from hiring one. ​ To save time. Agents are professionals who are active in the market and will have a pulse on the general market conditions in your area. Pricing a home properly on the market is important so that Sellers can receive the highest payment for their property and to sell quickly. Mispriced homes can end up staying on the market longer than desired by Sellers and may impair the Sellers ability to purchase another home and/or move on time. To get information and help with negotiations. Good agents should have wealth of information to help you make a decision. And, they’ll handle a lot of complex paperwork on your behalf. Offer Contract Contingency Negotiations Home Inspection Reports Appraisal Reports Earnest Money Escrow Extension Requests Another plus is that your agent will handle a ton of paperwork on your behalf. Unless you love filling out forms – and have experience in real estate transactions – this is a chore best left to the professionals, who should ensure that everything is done by the book. You could easily make a mistake with these documents. Mistakes can cause deals to fall apart or (worse) make you liable for an inadvertent breach of contract. (Licensed agent will have errors and omissions insurance to limit this risk.) An experienced agent will make sure that everything that needs to take place — counter-offers, extensions, appraisal, inspection, walk-through, loan approval — happens when it’s supposed to and how it’s supposed to.​ ​ ​​

  • Buyer's Agreement | PadScouts

    Buyer's Agreement (Illinois)

  • Highest and Best Offer | PadScouts

    Highest and Best Offer In a highly competitive market, multiple buyers will submit offers for the same property. In these situations, it is possible that Sellers will contact all Buyers who’ve submitted offers to resubmit their highest and best offer. This is a negotiating tactic that may be utilized to request Buyers to submit their best offers for the property. ​ ​

  • How To Find A Lender | PadScouts

    How to choose a lender? Comparing quotes from several mortgage lenders is a critical part of the homebuying process. According to Freddie Mac data, getting three quotes can save you about $1,500, while five quotes can save you an average of $5,000. ​ So, how do you do this? First, apply with at least three lenders. ​ Head to their websites, fill out their online application forms, and give them a little information about your homebuying plans. You can usually get a quote within a few hours to a day or two. ​ Once you have the quotes in hand (they’ll come in the form of what’s called a “loan estimate”), you should look at the following points to compare your options: ​ Interest Rates Interest rates vary greatly between lenders. So, see how your quotes measure against other lenders. ​ Example of how interest rates can drastically change your monthly payment: Purchase Price: $300,000​ 10% down payment Loan Amount: $270,000 At 4.25% , your monthly interest and principal payment is $1,328.24​ At 4.75% , your monthly interest and principal payment is $1,408.45 APR ​This is your total annual cost to borrow the money, plus any fees or other charges required. Origination, underwriting, and application fees: Do the lenders charge fees for any of their services? If they do, compare the cost of those and see what comes out on top.​ Prepayment penalties Some lenders charge a penalty if you pay off your loan early. Make sure you know which of your options does and doesn’t​. Estimated closing costs and cash-to-close This is what you’re expected to owe for the loan’s closing and on closing day. These can vary greatly as well.​ Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is a ​ type of insurance policy that protects mortgage lenders in case borrowers default on their loans. This insurance cost will vary depending on the lender and the type of loan that you are seeking (i.e. Conventional, FHA, USDA, VA, etc.) ​ ​ How To Find A Lender? ​ You can find mortgage lenders online, through your real estate agent, or by using a mortgage broker. You can also look to your personal bank or local credit union for a mortgage loan. If you’re in Illinois, here are a few of our trusted partners: ​ Juan Fleitas - Compass Mortgage Direct Line: 630.687.6023 Cell Phone: 708.214.2222 Email Address: juanfleitas@compmort.com State License: NMLS# 219823 ​ Erica Garcia - Compass Mortgage Direct Line: 773.644.2932 Cell Phone: 773.710.1665 Email Address: ericagarcia@compmort.com State License: NMLS #1714772 ​ Amiel Steurman - Cypress Mortgage Direct Line: 312.829.1010 Email Address: amiel@cypressmc.com State License: NMLS #234812 ​ Wendy Aquino - SunWest Mortgage Company Direct Line: 773.946.3650 Email Address: wendy.aquino@swmc.com State License: NMLS #921729 ​ ​

  • Closing Costs | PadScouts

    Closing Costs After saving for a down payment, house hunting and applying for a mortgage, closing costs can come as an unpleasant surprise. ​ What are Closing Costs? Closing costs include the myriad fees for the services and expenses required to finalize a mortgage. You’ll have to pay closing costs whether you buy a home or refinance. Most of the closing costs fall on the buyer, but the seller typically has to pay a few, too, such as the real estate agent’s commission. (Buying a home for the first time? See our tips for first-time home buyers.) ​ How much are closing costs? Average closing costs for the buyer run between about 2% and 5% of the loan amount. That means, on a $300,000 home purchase, you would pay from $6,000 to $15,000 in closing costs. The most cost-effective way to cover your closing costs is to pay them out-of-pocket as a one-time expense. You may be able to finance them by folding them into the loan, if the lender allows, but then you’ll pay interest on those costs through the life of the mortgage. When buying a home, you can comparison shop and negotiate some of the fees to lower your closing costs. And some states, counties and cities offer low-interest loan programs or grants to help first-time home buyers with closing costs. Check with your local government to see what’s available. Your lender is required to outline your closing costs in the Loan Estimate you receive when you first apply for the loan and in the Closing Disclosure document you receive in the days before the settlement. Review them closely and ask questions about anything you don’t understand. ​ List of Closing Costs (may not be comprehensive depending on the situation)​ Property-related fees Appraisal fee: It’s important to a lender to know if the property is worth as much as the amount you want to borrow. This is for two reasons: The lender needs to verify the amount you need for a loan is justified and make sure it can recoup the value of the home if you default on your loan. The average cost of a home appraisal by a certified professional appraiser ranges between $300 and $400. Home inspection: Most lenders require a home inspection, especially if you’re getting a government-backed mortgage, such as an FHA loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Before lending you hundreds of thousands of dollars, a bank needs to make sure the home is structurally sound and in good enough shape to live in. If the inspection turns up troubling results, you may be able to negotiate a lower sale price. But depending on how severe the problems are, you have the option to back out of your contract if you and the seller can’t come to an agreement on how to fix the issues. Home inspection fees, on average, range from $300 to $500. Loan-related fees Application fee: This covers the cost of processing your request for a new loan and includes costs such as credit checks and administrative expenses. The application fee varies depending on the lender and the amount of work it takes to process your loan application. Assumption fee: If the seller has an assumable mortgage and you take over the remaining balance of the loan, you may be charged a variable fee based on the balance. Attorney’s fees: Some states require an attorney to be present at the closing of a real estate purchase. The fee will vary depending on the number of hours the attorney works for you. Prepaid interest: Most lenders require buyers to pay the interest that accrues on the mortgage between the date of settlement and the first monthly payment due date, so be prepared to pay that amount at closing; it will depend on your loan size. Loan origination fee: This is a big one. It’s also known as an underwriting fee, administrative fee or processing fee. The loan origination fee is a charge by the lender for evaluating and preparing your mortgage loan. This can cover document preparation, notary fees and the lender’s attorney fees. Expect to pay about 0.5% of the amount you’re borrowing. A $300,000 loan, for example, would result in a loan origination fee of $1,500. Discount points: By paying discount points, you reduce the interest rate you pay over the life of your loan, which results in more competitive mortgage rates. The cost of one point equals 1% of the loan amount. So for a loan of $250,000, a 1-point payment would be $2,500. Generally, paying points is worthwhile only if you plan to stay in the home for a long time. Otherwise, the upfront cost isn’t worth it. Mortgage broker fee: If you work with a mortgage broker to find a loan, the broker will usually charge a commission as a percentage of the loan amount. The commission averages from 0.5% to 2.75% of the home’s purchase price Mortgage Insurance Fees Mortgage insurance application fee: If you make a down payment of less than 20%, you may have to get private mortgage insurance. (PMI insures the lender in case you default; it doesn't insure the home.) The application fee varies by lender. Upfront mortgage insurance: Some lenders require borrowers to pay the first year’s mortgage insurance premium upfront, while others ask for a lump-sum payment that covers the life of the loan. Expect to pay from 0.55% to 2.25% of the purchase price for mortgage insurance, according to Genworth, Ginnie Mae and the Urban Institute. FHA, VA and USDA fees: If your loan is insured by the Federal Housing Administration, you’ll have to pay FHA mortgage insurance premiums; if it’s guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you’ll pay guarantee fees. In addition to monthly premiums, the FHA requires an upfront premium payment of 1.75% of the loan amount. The USDA loan upfront guarantee fee is 1%. VA loan guarantee fees range from 1.25% to 3.3% of the loan amount, depending on the size of your down payment. Property taxes, annual fees and insurance Property taxes: Buyers typically pay two months’ worth of city and county property taxes at closing. Annual assessments: If your condo or homeowners association requires an annual fee, you might have to pay it upfront in one lump sum. Homeowners insurance premium: Usually, your lender requires that you purchase homeowner’s insurance before settlement, which covers the property in case of vandalism, damage and so on. Some condo associations include insurance in the monthly condo fee. The amount varies depending on where you live and your home’s value. Title Fees Title search fee: A title search is conducted to ensure that the person selling the house actually owns it and that there are no outstanding claims or liens against the property. This can be fairly labor-intensive, especially if the real estate records aren’t computerized. Title search fees are about $200, but can vary among title companies by region. The search fee may be included in the cost of title insurance. Lender’s title insurance: Most lenders require what’s called a loan policy; it protects them in case there’s an error in the title search and someone makes a claim of ownership on the property after it’s sold. Coverage lasts until the loan is paid off. Owner’s title insurance: You should also consider purchasing title insurance to protect yourself in case title problems or claims are made on your home after closing. The owner's coverage lasts as long as you or your heirs own the property. The cost of the owner’s policy is about 0.5% to 1% of the purchase price, according to the American Land Title Association. Whether the buyer or seller pays for title insurance varies by region. A discount is sometimes offered when both the lender’s and owner’s policies are purchased at the same time. Mortgage Closing Documents With so many closing costs to consider, it’s obvious you’ll face a lot of paperwork just prior to and during the loan signing. Two of the most important closing documents are the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure. You’ll receive the Loan Estimate three days after applying with a lender. It will officially detail all fees, the interest rate and the other costs to close your loan. It’s legally binding, so you’ll want to read it carefully. Then, three days from loan settlement and prior to making the big commitment, you’ll receive the Closing Disclosure from your lender. It confirms — or makes minor adjustments to — what you saw on the Loan Estimate. Again, it’s worth a big cup of coffee and a thorough review. ​ Mortgage closing costs: summary Appraisal fee ($300-$400) Home inspection ($300-$500) Application fee (varies) Assumption fee (varies) Attorney’s fee (hourly or flat fee) Prepaid interest (based on loan amount) Origination fee (about 0.5% of loan amount) Discount points (1 point costs 1% of the loan amount) Mortgage broker fee (0.50% to 2.75%) Mortgage insurance application fee (varies) Upfront mortgage insurance (0.55% to 2.25%) FHA, VA and USDA fees (1% to 3.3%) Property taxes (two months’ worth) Upfront HOA fee (varies) Homeowners insurance (depends on home value and location) Title search fee (about $200) Lender’s title insurance (varies) Owner’s title insurance (0.5% to 1% of purchase price)

  • Deed of Title | PadScouts

    Deed of Title A deed of title, or title deed, is a specific legal document that transfers the title of real estate from one person to another. Full ownership to a piece of real estate is given to the new owner. Usually, such a transfer would happen through a traditional real estate sale; however, a title may be transferred in other ways. An example of this would be when someone gifts a piece of property to another person. ​ In most cases, the deed of title is classified as a general warranty deed. This is a specific type of deed in which the current owner guarantees that they hold a clear title to a piece of real estate. This means that they are not only guaranteeing that they received a clear title from the previous owner of the property, but that no other individuals retain any interest in the property. ​ A general warranty deed is utilized for most real estate deed transfers due to the fact that it provides the greatest amount of protection of any deed. It may be known as a grant deed in some states. ​ Deeds of title should not be confused with a deed of trust. A deed of trust simply grants a lender or mortgage lender a lien on the property if a debt is owed.

  • Contract | PadScouts

    Illinois Contract

  • Pre-Qualified | PadScouts

    Pre-Qualified Mortgage pre-qualification differs from a pre-approval in that pre-qualification assesses whether your debt-to-income ratio fits a lending institution' guidelines for home loans. It also provides an estimate of how much you may be able to borrow - a good first step in your house-hunting journey. ​ While this number is informative, keep in mind how much you may qualify to borrow is often more than how much you can afford to spend on your new home and still have money left over for the other important things in your life; like furniture for your new home. ​ Getting pre-qualified doesn’t require a commitment from you or the bank. It isn't a true application and your credit history doesn't factor into your pre-qualification. Even so, you should be aware that when you apply for a mortgage, your credit score will affect your ability to qualify. If you have concerns about your credit history, talk to your mortgage loan officer now to find out what loan options might be available to you. ​ When you get pre-qualified, you can request a letter stating how much you may be able to borrow, based on the information you provided to the lender. You can give this letter to your real estate agent to show you’re a serious homebuyer. ​ ​​

  • Buyer's Agent | PadScouts

    REALTOR (R) Buyer's Agent A REALTOR (R) is real estate professional that is both a licensed real estate agent or broker AND a member of the National Realtor's Association. They are experts in the residential real estate process and help represent Sellers and Buyers during their real estate transaction. ​ On this page, we will discuss the role, duties, and responsibilities of the Buyer's Agent: ​ Role Showings: Buyer's Agents will contact seller properties to schedule time and access for property showings. Negotiations: Buyer's Agents will assist the Buyer in the Offer Negotiation process when a Buyer decides to purchase a property. Management: Buyer's Agents will assist the Buyer in managing the entire buying process by organizing all of the requisite documents and ensuring all parties involved in the transaction are active in ensuring the buying process is being executed. ​ Benefits - You do not need a real estate agent to buy a home; in fact, some home buyers leave the Buyer's Agent out of the equation. However, you might benefit from hiring one. ​ To save time. Agents can often help you find homes in your price range, and they may have access to more properties than what you’ll see online. To get information and help with negotiations. Good agents should have wealth of information to help you make a decision. And, they’ll handle a lot of complex paperwork on your behalf. Offer Contract Contingency Negotiations Home Inspection Reports Appraisal Reports Earnest Money Escrow Extension Requests Another plus is that your agent will handle a ton of paperwork on your behalf. Unless you love filling out forms – and have experience in real estate transactions – this is a chore best left to the professionals, who should ensure that everything is done by the book. You could easily make a mistake with these documents. Mistakes can cause deals to fall apart or (worse) make you liable for an inadvertent breach of contract. (Licensed agent will have errors and omissions insurance to limit this risk.) An experienced agent will make sure that everything that needs to take place — counter-offers, extensions, appraisal, inspection, walk-through, loan approval — happens when it’s supposed to and how it’s supposed to.​ Market expertise: Conducting a home search by yourself can be a full-time job. Though the Internet makes it easy to find homes in your price range, a good agent usually has access to more properties. That includes For Sale By Owner (FSBO) properties and homes that aren’t yet listed. In addition, some sellers of desirable homes do not wish to “go public.” Only agents (and their colleagues) working with those sellers even know about those so-called “pocket listings.” The exception: There is ONE instance in which you must use an agent to purchase property. That applies if you bid on FHA foreclosure properties. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all bidders to use licensed agents. ​ ​​

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