Being self-employed can be amazing! To many it sounds wonderful—you get to be your own boss, set your own hours, and work from anywhere! As many who are self-employed know, it’s not as simple as that (long days, making payroll, and no steady paycheck). There are many perks to entrepreneurship, including that invigorating feeling of creating a business, but some people worry that this path will make it difficult to qualify for big-ticket purchases like a home.
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You may be aware that the mortgage application process differs slightly depending on your type of employment. It’s not that mortgage companies favor a W-2 employee over the self-employed or a full-time employee over someone whose job is commission-based. It simply boils down to differences in verifying employment, income, and job stability.
We’ve all been spending a lot of time at home, but what happens when the home you love no longer meets all your needs? You may feel trapped in the home you have, but that’s not really the case. You do have a few options to consider.
An accessory dwelling unit, or “ADU,” is a fancy phrase for a smaller stand-alone space on your property. They’re oftentimes referred to as guest houses, granny flats, or even pool houses. These modest spaces are functional, livable, and super convenient if you need more room but don’t feel like packing up and moving into a new home entirely.
The reasons to build an accessory dwelling unit are almost as diverse as the units themselves. Maybe your home feels cramped now that you’re trying to work from home while your kids are homeschooling. Maybe you have parents or in-laws who are at that stage where they need a little help but aren’t ready (or you’re not ready) for an assisted facility. The same can be true of college students or adult children who need to save money or perhaps have encountered some career or financial obstacles.
Everyone under one roof. The notion is becoming more and more common nowadays, especially during the pandemic. You have college students who no longer need to live on campus due to remote learning, adult children who are trying to save money, and aging parents who may need assistance but are not comfortable in a nursing home environment right now.
There are many benefits of living in a multigenerational home, not the least of which is the quality time you have with family members that you would otherwise miss out on. This has become particularly relevant during the pandemic, as social distancing and restrictions often prevent loved ones from not only gathering on a regular basis but also on family-focused holidays. This scenario is even more heartbreaking for elderly relatives, especially those in nursing homes whose compromised immune systems mean visitors are often not allowed.
To celebrate Black History Month, we've asked a few of our employees to share what Black History means to them. Acknowledging and celebrating the key achievements of Black Americans throughout our country's history gives us all an important opportunity to reflect on the past and strive for a better, more equitable future for all.
2020 was quite a year in every way, and one where community organizations and charities around the country needed our help more than ever. In addition to very high levels of need due to the economic effects of the pandemic, organizations also had to adapt to how they operate to keep everyone safe.
All of this created a perfect storm, with organizations desperately needing more support than ever. As a company, we’re proud of our team members’ continued efforts and focus on the communities they serve during these challenging times. With their help through donations and nominations, APMCares, our nonprofit, was able to give back in a big way in 2020.
There are times to DIY (do it yourself), and there are times to call in an expert. Buying a home is not the time to try your hand at real estate negotiations. Can you buy a home without an agent? Of course you can—just as you can sell a home without an agent—but those decisions tend to cost you in time, energy and, most of all, money!
You know you want to purchase a home—and that is so exciting! We feel your energy, we really do. But before you start looking online or driving around neighborhoods in search of your dream home, you need to get your ducks in a row and prevent unpleasant surprises that can delay the lending process.
As exciting as it is to look for—and find—a new home, there can be some surprises along the way. Not all of these surprises are fun, and the last thing you want to do is get your heart set on your perfect home only to realize you can’t qualify for the loan.
Deciding it’s time to buy a home can be exhilarating—but it’s also a little daunting. Taking time to research your options before you begin your home search is often the best place to start. One big factor to consider is whether you need a pre-approval vs. a pre-qualification.
Owning your home provides safety, security, and stability when it comes to your living situation, especially if you have a fixed-rate mortgage. Knowing that your mortgage payment will never increase and a landlord will never ask you to move can do wonders for your psyche—and your sleep!
You know the one thing that can provide even more safety, security, and stability? Paying off your home loan early. The best part is you don’t have to write a massive six-figure check to do this. Making as little as one extra mortgage payment a year can yield big-time results, and savings, as you work towards paying down your principal.
Making extra mortgage payments can be done in a few ways.
Getting into debt can be fun for a moment (hello, last-minute trip to Cabo!), but that debt hangover will last long after those margaritas have made their way out of your system. Once your splurge is over, you’re left with a long-term debt obligation that may grow ever larger, thanks to compounding interest.
Let’s face it, debt is the pied piper that demands you sacrifice current and future wants and needs for past spending. It can also prevent you from achieving your goals if this debt hurts your credit score or results in a high debt-to-income ratio, making it harder to borrow more money.
So, nip that obligation in the bud and get that piper off your back by managing debt effectively.
The New Year is full of new goals. For many, planning to buy a house is one of them—and who could blame them? With interest rates teetering at historic lows, the door for many borrowers has been opened, and these rates have provided some borrowers the opportunity to increase their price range.
If you’re ready to get the process started to ensure you’ve got all your ducks in a row when it comes time to pull the trigger and submit an offer on a house, APM is here to help with planning tips for buying a home in the new year.
New Year, new you, right? This mantra doesn’t just apply to fitness goals—it encompasses all the resolutions you commit to tackling in 2021 with renewed purpose. For many, those resolutions take the form of financial goals (hey, new year, new home does have a nice ring to it!).
Whether you’re looking to make a big-ticket purchase, plump up your savings account, or embark on a trip around the world once COVID-19 is history, establishing a few financial goals will ensure your wallet and heart are on the same page.
The clock is ticking, but we still have a little time before 2021 is upon us. This year, no one could blame you for simply surviving the challenges that 2020 brought, but for those who want to thrive in the new year, setting a few effective resolutions can be your key to success.
The 2020 holiday season will undoubtedly be one for the books. While the phrase “home for the holidays” may take on new meaning, there is still lots to be thankful for as we inch toward the New Year.
Here are just a few things on our radar.
Interest rates are one of the biggest factors that can influence your homebuying process. This little—or big—number can dictate how much house you can afford . . . and if you can afford to buy a house at all. With so much riding on this figure, it’s important to understand what determines interest rates.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: I know what determines interest rates. My credit score and the size of my down payment! And you would be correct on that, to some degree. While credit score and down payment are two factors that may impact the exact mortgage interest rate offered to you, there are larger interest rate factors at play that determine where these published rates will land day in and day out.
Though you may not know it, there are five surprising factors that can influence mortgage interest rates.
When we think of Thanksgiving celebrations, we likely think of family, friends, amazing food, festive cocktails, and tunes. We also may think of that post-feast nap on the couch! You likely have already established your traditions over the years that might include specific menus, pre- or post-dinner activities, and even the guest list. Traditions are a wonderful way to bring family history and beloved memories with us throughout the generations. While it’s important (dare we say imperative?) to keep traditions going, it’s also fun to create new traditions to add to the mix as well.