mortgage advice

#ESPC Mortgages I Mortgage advice for home buyers and sellers

A great mortgage service to all those in need of independent financial advice. All you need is ESPC!

Whether you are a first time buyer, buying a new home or selling a home to move up the property ladder the thought of getting a mortgage can be baffling and daunting. But our team at ESPC Mortgages makes it simple and easy to apply for a mortgage that suits your circumstances allowing you the pleasure of enjoying a new home or to keep loving your current one.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is essentially a loan that you secure against a property to enable you to purchase that home. You need to make repayments back to the lender usually on a monthly basis to pay back both the balance of the mortgage and interest of the loan. The monthly repayments are worked out at the start of the mortgage and agreed for a set term. At the end of the term, provided all the payments are made on time, you will own the property outright.

Useful help and advice

This is putting it very simply. There are a large number of factors that you need to consider. The ESPC Mortgages Blog is packed full of useful information and advice for understanding mortgages and making the right decision on which loan to select.

We also host a number of FREE events throughout the year where you can meet our mortgage team, ESPC solicitor and other property experts.

The team are available in the ESPC showroom in Edinburgh every weekday and on Saturday’s.

How ESPC Mortgages can help

The mortgage market can be a pretty complicated place. To ensure that you get the best deal it is important to do your research and the quickest and easiest way to do this is to get someone else to do it for you!

As independent financial advisers, ESPC Mortgages can help with all aspects of understanding your budget, applying for a mortgage and dealing with the relevant insurance requirements. We have a detailed knowledge of the mortgage market and can access mortgage deals from a vast variety of lenders, having an intimate knowledge of thier different lending criteria so helping you quickly find the mortgage company to best suit you.

mortgage interest deduction

#End the Mortgage Interest Deduction? Expect a Fight

Peter Dazeley | Getty Images

Over the decades the mortgage interest deduction has become American folklore — buy a house and get a tax deduction for the interest you pay on your loan.

But now, amid tightening budget belts and questions about economic class fairness, that American-as-apple-pie notion is being debated.

Taxpayers who itemize their deductions — and are homeowners — can deduct the interest paid on their mortgage up to $1 million, plus up to $100,000 of home equity loans, a type of loan in which the borrower uses the equity in their home as collateral.

And homeowners can do the same on a second home.

But as part of ongoing talks over U.S. tax reform and the closing of loopholes to help reduce the national debt, the mortgage interest deduction has a big target on its back for major changes if not total elimination. (Read More:Which Tax Deductions Are Likely to Go?)

The deduction costs the Treasury some $100 billion a year in revenues and many politicians from both sides of the aisle are calling for either the deduction to end completely, have it changed to a tax credit, or limit the deductions for higher incomes, a move President Obama said he supports.

Making any kind of changes to the deduction won’t be easy. those in favor of it are gearing up for a bitter battle to the end.

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“We would fight it tooth and nail,” David Crowe of the National Association of Home Builders told CNBC on Wednesday.

“Our members believe that it (eliminating the deduction) is not a way to reduce the deficit or save taxpayers money and it won’t help cure the housing market,” Crowe said. “There are others ways to address the budget deficit without affecting home ownership.”

The powerful real estate lobby has played a crucial role in keeping the mortgage interest deduction intact, spending more than $80 million in lobbying Congress last year alone to advance their causes.

A key member of the lobby, The National Association of Realtors. strongly opposes eliminating the mortgage interest deduction, claiming in a statement that, “Housing is the engine that drives the economy, and to even mention reducing the tax benefits of home ownership could endanger property values. Home prices, particularly in high cost areas, could decline 15 percent if recommendations to convert the mortgage interest deduction to a tax credit are implemented.”

However, not everyone sees the deduction as constructive. A recent study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center stated, “Most taxpayers don’t benefit from this deduction at all or receive a very small benefit,” and that “Its primary effect is to encourage Americans who would have already been able to afford a house to take on even more debt.”

With the mortgage interest deduction, households realized tax savings of $83 billion in 2010, according to figures from the Reason Foundation. But only about 30 percent of taxpayers actually use the mortgage interest deduction each year. And the majority of those savings were taken by higher earners.

As currently structured in the tax code, those at the top income brackets (more than $400,000 in income) get nearly 39.6 percent of their mortgage interest payments lowered from their tax bill, while those with lower incomes who itemize get 25 percent or less lowered from their mortgage interest.

“We should not be subsidizing upper income levels and people who can afford second homes with this deduction,” said Ian Shane, a lawyer and tax expert at Golenbock Eiseman Assor Bell Peskoe. (Read More: Can You Trust Your Tax Man? )

“If we really want to help the housing market, we should be helping renters who can’t afford to buy a home,” Shane said. “Other countries don’t have the deduction and they seem to be doing okay in housing.”

How Others Did It

Proponents of killing the mortgage interest deduction often point to Canada and Great Britain as examples of how it could work.

Canadian federal income tax does not allow a deduction from taxable income for interest on loans secured by the taxpayer’s personal residence. Homeownership in Canada rose to a high of more than 69 percent in 2012.

Great Britain phased out the deduction starting in the 1980’s and ended it completely in 2000. But home ownership in England will slump to just 63.8 percent over the next decade, down from 72.1 percent in 2001, according to studies. Reasons for the fall include the need for huge deposits, combined with high house prices and strict lending criteria.

Crowe of the Home Builders said the British decline is a warning sign for the U.S. (Read More: Distressed Homes Still Drive Sales )

“Their first time home ownership (in Great Britain) is now much older than it used to be,” Crowe said. “It’s harder for the young people to get into homes. That’s why we need the deduction.”

As for the politics, two House Democrats recently proposed legislation that would turn the home mortgage interest deduction into a tax credit, a change they say would help more lower-income people receive a homeownership tax benefit.

Besides ending the deduction, the bill would eliminate current tax benefits for people with mortgages over $500,000. (Related: Taxes explained ).

Some Republicans have picked up former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s idea of capping all deductions —- including the mortgage interest — at a total of $17,000 while lowering overall tax rates. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he is willing to limit all tax deductions to help raise revenues, but he hasn’t said anything specific yet on the mortgage interest deduction.

President Obama has proposed ending the deduction for people above the 28 percent income tax bracket.

There’s even some movement at the local level as Governor Sam Brownback (R-KS) earlier this year called for eliminating the mortgage interest deduction for state taxpayers. But a recent survey found 63 percent of Kansans opposed to the idea as part of a bigger plan to cut spending.

That type of reaction just shows how difficult it is to get anything done, said Shane.

“I think they could phase out the mortgage interest deduction so that it doesn’t hurt,” Shane said. “I don’t think it would slow down housing. But I don’t think it will be easy. It’s so ingrained in the U.S. that people expect it.”

emc mortgage

#EMC Mortgage Corporation Information

The EMC Mortgage Corporation is a well known and reputed subsidiary of the popular J P Morgan Chase company. The acquisition of the affiliation in the month of March, 2008, made EMC Mortgage Corporation an integral part of the acquisition of Bear Stearns. The company is a residential mortgage banking company. The company profile flaunts specialty in acquisition, securitization and disposition of loans. EMC Mortgage Corporation invests in residential loans, as well as the purchase of sub-performing and non-performing loans.

The in house professionals also acquire the new non-agency loans for further execution. EMC Mortgage Corporation is located in Texas, in Irving and Lewisville. It was founded in the year 1990 and is completely owned and monitored as a subordinate company of The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. The latter was established in 1923 to deal with mortgage banking. The company flaunts a profile that displays chief services such as acquisition and servicing of residential mortgage loans. The Bear Stearns Company is renowned for financial services and fiscal assistance to the government, institutions and individual requirements around the world. EMC Mortgage Company has a history that goes back 15 years in the mortgage banking sector.

Over the years, the in house professionals have developed unique skills and a passion to make a success of every enquiry. The company’s value profile is further highlighted due to expertise in delivering sub-prime and alt-A loans. EMC Mortgage Corporation is dedicated to ensuring that every genuine client is well equipped with the necessary information on residential loans and is offered the best investment options. The company is reputed for offering the best mortgage alternatives to clientele across the globe. The clients are treated with utmost sincerity at the EMC Mortgage Corporation and each residential mortgage plan is worked out in sync with individual requirements and budgets.

The company has been part of the fiscal business world long enough and has now generated innovative and dynamic loan options for clients from every sector. The loan modification groups are trained to keep legal proceedings at bay as much as possible and to ensure that no rules are violated in the process of acquiring a mortgage. EMC Mortgage Corporation flaunts its own team of in house real estate brokers who ensure the best services in the industry. The 24×7 accessibility online and offline offers every customer the satisfaction of getting all queries answered by the experts and dedicated guidance anytime. The company enjoys the good will of clients across the continents.

The versatility and flexibility of the residential mortgage services provided by the EMC Mortgage Corporation are unlike anything within the industry so far. Plans are carefully executed to avoid the regular rigmarole of documentation and missing links. The team ensures maximization of resources at hand and minimization of loss of precious time and energy. The company uses the latest technology to keep abreast with the developments in the market and optimize the use of important information. EMC Mortgage Corporation is committed to integrity and solidarity within a network carefully created to execute residential mortgages.


mortgage website templates

#WordPress Themes for Mortgage Brokers – 20 Plus Ideal Options

A mortgage broker website needs four elements:

  1. A professional design
  2. A mechanism to generate leads
  3. Online mortgage application form
  4. Clear call to actions such as contacting the mortgage broker or submit a preliminary mortgage application

Optional elements that enhance visitor experience to mortgage broker websites

  1. Mortgage calculators and other tools readers will like
  2. Detailed information about mortgages

WordPress themes deliver these elements in spades.

Detailed explanation of the above 6 important elements for mortgage broker websites.

Professional Design

This goes without saying.  This is why WordPress is a perfect solution for mortgage brokers.  There are so many themes that look extremely professional.  I set out those themes for mortgage brokers below.

A mechanism to generate leads

A successful mortgage broker understands business is a numbers game.  The more qualified leads, the more business.

A website can be a lead magnate if the right tools are used.  I wrote an in-depth article on how to get subscribers (leads) here with simple and advanced lead generation techniques.

Online mortgage application form

In addition to the usual short contact form (which you also want) you can see how having a preliminary mortgage application form displayed on your website.  This way you obtain pertinent information from prospective clients right off the bat.

You can use free contact forms such as Contact Form 7. Wufoo forms (free and premium options) or Gravity forms (paid form platform).

Clear call to actions

You want website visitors to contact you whether by phone or an online contact form.  Make it clear on your site that you welcome their inquiries.

Mortgage calculators and other tools

Check out the CalculatorPro Calculators plugin for WordPress with an impressive list of calculators you can add to your mortgage broker website.

Detailed information about mortgages

This entails adding a blog to your mortgage broker website.  With a blog you can an unlimited number of detailed articles about mortgages, finance, homes, equity loans, etc.

WordPress is the ideal blogging platform and when you get one of the WordPress themes for mortgage brokers below, you ll also have blogging technology built-in.

Blogging is great for both attracting visitors from the search engines and converting visitors to clients (as long as your content is good).

With proper optimization, you can optimize your blog posts for the towns you serve.  Combine this with keywords people use to search for mortgage brokers and you can turn your website into a business generating machine (it takes work and time though).

Can WordPress really be used to create a mortgage broker website?

Absolutely.  I use WordPress for many professional websites.  It works tremendously well.  Check out the following mortgage broker WordPress themes you ll see they re about as professional as you d expect any website.

20 plus WordPress themes for mortgage brokers

1. Enterprise Theme by StudioPress

mortgage deals

#Existing Santander Mortgages

Use our Mortgage Transfer Service to change your mortgage deal online

It could take as little as 15 minutes to check out all the deals you qualify for, what your monthly payments could look like and then to select the new deal you want.

You will be able to view your deals if one or more of your loans on your mortgage deal finishes within the next four months. or is on a Standard Variable Rate and:

you don t want to borrow more or make other changes to your mortgage (for example to the term, repayment method or to pay off a lump sum)

you have not let your property

you don t have a Flexible Offset or Lifetime Tracker mortgage

you don t want to transfer to a Flexible Offset Mortgage

To use the service, you will need to have your mortgage account number and monthly repayment amount on hand. You can find both of these on your latest mortgage statement.

If you would prefer to receive advice, you can speak to one of our mortgage advisers please see the Call us to change your mortgage tab.

With no valuation fees or new Direct Debits to set up, if your current Santander mortgage deal is coming to an end or you’re already on our Standard Variable Rate, it’s fast and easy to change to a new mortgage.

Change your mortgage over the phone

You don’t have to set up a new Direct Debit and you may not even have to sign any forms. So sorting out a new mortgage could be done quickly and easily.

If you are considering moving to a new deal before your existing deal has finished, you could do this, however, an Early Repayment Charge may apply.

Check your original Key Facts Illustration for more details.

If you have a Track and Fix mortgage and are still on your Tracker rate you can transfer to a Fixed rate without paying an Early Repayment Charge. However if you want to change to a different Tracker rate or a Flexible Offset mortgage an Early Repayment Charge will apply.

Call us today on 0800 092 3881

If you have a Santander mortgage

Select option 1. Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 4pm Saturday.

If you have an Alliance Leicester mortgage

Select option 2. Lines are open 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 1pm Saturday.

Please have your latest mortgage statement to hand.

What to expect when you call

One of our expert Mortgage Advisers will ask you a number of questions to establish your individual needs, circumstances, preferences and priorities; they will then be able to recommend the most suitable deal for you. Alternatively you may be able to use our Online Mortgage Transfer Service to submit your transfer request.

Please have your latest mortgage statement to hand.

fha mortgage rates

#VA Mortgage Loan Calculator

What could my mortgage payment and APR be?

Use this VA mortgage calculator to get an estimate.

A VA loan is a mortgage loan for military service members and veterans. This VA home loan calculator provides customized payment and rate information based on the information you provide. A VA mortgage loan does not require a down payment, but may include additional costs such as a funding fee. A funding fee is a mandatory one-time fee paid directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The fee is a percentage of the loan amount.

This VA loan calculator provides customized information based on the information you provide, but it assumes a few things about you – for example, that you have excellent credit (a FICO credit score of 740+) and that you’re buying a single-family home as your primary residence. This VA mortgage calculator also makes some assumptions about typical down payment amounts, settlement costs, lender’s fees, mortgage insurance, and other costs. Learn more about these assumptions below.

For a more accurate rate quote, talk to a mortgage loan originator.

We can answer all of your home finance questions and help find the mortgage that’s right for you – with monthly payments you can afford. You can also prequalify online. so you’ll have a better idea of how much you can afford.

estimate mortgage

#Estimate your overall cost of buying a house and moving – Money Advice Service

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When you buy a property or move home, there will be a number of upfront fees, beyond just your mortgage costs, which you’ll need to take into account. Be sure to include these when working out your overall budget.

Major upfront costs

This is a government tax paid on homes costing £125,001 or more.

The mortgage lender will assess the value of the property to establish how much they are prepared to lend you. The cost can be £150-£1,500 based on the property’s value.

Some lenders may not charge you for this, depending on the type of mortgage product you select. The lender’s valuation is not an extensive survey and will not necessarily identify all the repairs or maintenance that might be needed.

Before you buy a house you should have it checked out by a surveyor. This is vital so that you understand if there are any issues with the property before you buy.

Surveys range from a basic home condition survey costing around £250 to a full structural survey from £600 or more. Paying for a good survey could save you money on repairs further down the line.

You will need a solicitor or licenced conveyancer to carry out all the legal work when buying and selling your home. They will also do local searches, which will cost you £250-£300. to check whether there are any local plans or issues.

On top of this the legal fees are typically £500-£1,500 including VAT at 20%.

jumbo mortgages

#Exclusive: Wells Fargo loosens standards for jumbo mortgages

By Peter Rudegeair

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N ) has relaxed its standards for loans for some high-priced homes as the largest U.S. mortgage lender tries to combat an industry-wide drop in mortgage volumes.

The bank has eased its lending standards on mortgages it acquires from other banks, said spokesman Tom Goyda, for “jumbo” loans that are too large to receive a guarantee from government-backed mortgage companies.

In late July, the San Francisco-based bank lowered the minimum credit score on these fixed-rate jumbo mortgages to 700 from 720, Goyda said. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and levels below 640 are often considered subprime.

The lower requirements for jumbo loans are the latest effort by Wells and other banks to loosen mortgage criteria that are still tight by historical standards. Of the large banks surveyed by the Federal Reserve in July, thirty-nine percent said they were somewhat relaxing requirements on prime residential mortgages, and all banks reported that demand for prime mortgages was at its highest level in a year.

The mortgage industry is seeking to replace lost revenue after a spike in mortgage rates in the second half of 2013 made refinancing less attractive.

But for many lenders the search for revenue is tempered by the fact that the housing market is still recovering from the worst crisis since the Great Depression. New rules and regulations designed to prevent the next mortgage implosion have also made some banks less willing to take risk in the market.

In June, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said, “It is difficult for any homeowner who doesn’t have pristine credit these days to get a mortgage. I think that is one of the factors that is causing the housing recovery to be slow.”

In addition to lowering minimum credit scores, Wells Fargo is now willing to buy jumbo loans from other lenders that go toward the purchase of a second home, Goyda said. For a refinancing, the bank is now willing to buy mortgages whose balance exceeds the size of the borrower’s previous loan, known as “cash-out refinancing.”

Wells Fargo’s standards for mortgages it buys from other lenders remained more conservative than those it offers directly to consumers via its branches and online, Goyda said. The minimum credit score on those jumbo mortgages is 680.

The latest expansion of Wells Fargo’s mortgage lending comes six months after the bank began to offer home loans directly to borrowers with credit scores as low as 600 that were eligible for insurance with the Federal Housing Administration. Its previous minimum credit score for FHA-insured loans was 640.

Wells Fargo executives have said its steps to expand access to mortgage credit are low-risk, as all borrowers must demonstrate an ability to repay the loan in accordance with rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that came into effect in January. Most products the bank offers are 30-year, fixed-rate loans that do not allow borrowers to defer principal payments, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage President Mike Heid said at the bank’s May investor day.

“This talk about returning to subprime is just nonsense,” Heid said.

As industry-wide lending volumes have declined over the last year, Wells Fargo’s drop has been even sharper. The bank said last month that it made $47 billion in home loans in the second quarter, 58 percent less than the same period of 2013, compared with a 50 percent fall in industry-wide volumes, according to estimates from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

“The purchase market is softer than we thought that it would be,” said Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry on a July conference call with analysts. “We’re not seeing breakout returns to pre-crisis levels of the enthusiasm around homeownership.”

Chief Executive John Stumpf told Reuters in a July interview that the volume of mortgages it purchased from other banks in the second quarter was lower because those lenders are now selling directly to investors under government programs.

(Reporting by Peter Rudegeair; editing by Andrew Hay)

mortgage rate graph

#Falling mortgage rates aren’t enticing home buyers, latest data show – Capitol Report

Upsetting expectations from a Nobel Prize winner, as well as the world’s No. 1 central banker, it looks like borrowers aren’t clamoring to buy homes in the face of low and falling mortgage rates.

In late May, Nobel Prize-winning economist and home-price expert Robert Shiller said drops in mortgage rates could stimulate the housing market. “These declines matter. People are watching mortgage rates,” he said.

At that time, the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was about 4.14%. Since then the rate has ticked down to 4.12%. the lowest reading since the end of October. During 2014, the rate has shed four-tenths of a percentage point.

But borrowers aren’t rushing to take advantage. Since the beginning of the year, applications for mortgages to buy a home have actually slightly declined, dropping less than one percent, according to a gauge from the Mortgage Bankers Association released Wednesday.

In March, Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen noted that rates on mortgages remain relatively low, despite a substantial increase since May 2013, and “should serve as a stimulus to people coming back into the housing market.”

Yet prospective borrowers aren t biting. Perhaps some are rueful about missing the ultra-low interest rates of 2013, when the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit under 3.4%. And even though mortgage rates have dropped this year, home prices are still shooting higher. Then there’s the choppy jobs market. Also, it’s still tough for borrowers, especially would-be first-time buyers, to qualify for mortgages.

Ruth Mantell

Follow Ruth on Twitter @RuthMantell

Follow the Capitol Report blog on Twitter @CapitolReport

Check out these Capitol Report links:

calculate mortgage payment

#Extra Payment Mortgage Calculator for Time and Interest Savings

Shows you the interest savings for extra mortgage payments made on a one-time, reoccurring monthly, and/or reoccurring annual basis.

This free online Extra Payment Mortgage Calculator will calculate the time and interest you will save if you make one-time, monthly, and/or annual extra payments on your house loan.

If you would rather calculate the size of the monthly prepayment needed to pay off your mortgage within specified time frame, please visit the Early Mortgage Payoff Calculator.

Or, if you are only interested in making monthly prepayments, please visit the Prepay Mortgage Calculator.

Things to Consider Before Making Extra Payments On Your Mortgage

If you have other credit balances that have a higher rate of interest than your house loan, you will save more time and money if you pay off the higher-interest credit balances first, and then redirect those higher-interest debt payments to paying off your mortgage.

Or, if your employer matches all or part of your 401K contributions, you might come out ahead by contributing the extra payments to your 401K instead. So be sure to run your plans past a qualified financial planner (one who will not be earning commissions from your investments, and who is not trying to sell you life insurance) before starting your extra payment mortgage plan.

Also be sure to check with your home lender to make sure you can make extra payments on your mortgage without penalty. Believe it or not there are lending institutions out there that will penalize you for attempting to reduce the massive bonuses they pay to the top executives — despite the fact that they will still make a great deal of money on your house loan.

Get Your Share of the Bailout Money!

Here’s a pet peeve of mine. During the early 2000s, lending institutions borrowed too much money to people who had not proven themselves to be credit-worthy, all for the purpose of getting as rich as legally possible on the backs of hard working men and women. In a nutshell, this ultimately caused the financial dominoes to start falling that eventually led to the economic collapse of 2009 — which put many of those hard working men and women out of work and out of their homes.

And what happened to those that managed to keep their jobs and stay in their homes? They were saddled with having to foot the bill for bailing out the failing financial institutions that were responsible for the financial meltdown in the first place. And what did those financial institutions do with a large chunk of their bailout money? They used it to pay outrageous bonuses to the same top executives whose idiotic decisions put millions of Americans out of their jobs and homes.

Does that make you mad? Mad enough to do something about it? If so, then here’s idea on how to get back some of your tax dollars that ended up in the pockets of lending institution executives.

Accelerate your debt payoff and stop borrowing (renting) money from them!

Every dollar you add to paying off your debt early is like reaching into the pocket of one those overpaid executives and taking back a portion of the money you worked so hard to earn. Their pockets are teaming with money that was originally meant to support your family’s future financial well-being — but instead is being used to build lavish tennis courts and swimming pools in backyards of their second and third mansions.

The extra payment mortgage calculator on this page will show you that even foregoing small, non-essential purchases for the purpose of making extra payments on your debts (preferably your higher-interest debt first, then on your house loan) can take thousands of dollars of your money back from the executives whose ruthless quest for wealth nearly bankrupted your country (let’s hope “nearly” remains true). Consider this savings as your rightful share of the Bailout money that was misappropriated to executive bonus checks.

With that, let’s use the Extra Payment Mortgage Calculator to calculate how much time and interest you could save (earn back) if you make one-time, monthly, and/or annual extra payments on your home loan.

Calculate Mortgage Payoff With Extra Payments