What to Know About Alternative Mortgages

Over the years, mortgage options were likely limited to what a person’s local bank was willing to offer him or her. But today’s new marketplace provides several fresh opportunities. With the continuous influx of alternative lenders, many homebuyers are now fully ready to connect with lenders all over the nation. Online, they can check out several loan systems to the extent of choosing their preferred way of borrowing. 

For the first-timer or homeowner looking to refinance a family homestead, alternative lenders are worth considering as you begin the loan-shopping process. 

What is an alternative lender?

Succinctly, an alternative mortgage lender is a non-bank entity that provides you with home loans. These lenders offer homebuyers benefits they won’t get if they go through their local banks. 

Today’s market is getting more intense and saturated with lenders from which to select and brokers who will utilize that extensive knowledge and experience to help homebuyers navigate the arena to get the best mortgage.

Also, you may notice that your bank mortgage options restrict applicants with low credit scores or poor employment history. If you may fall into any of these categories, then you will need to embrace alternative mortgage lenders since they offer you loan options you won’t see anywhere else.

Types of alternative lenders

At the onset, when you start your mortgage search, you will come across two categories of lenders. The direct lender and the middlemen. The direct lender is the business that offers some loan products. Credit unions, banks, and a few online lenders belong to this category. The middle man, on the other hand, includes companies whose duty is to bring homebuyers to lenders. Good examples are the brokers and lending marketplaces.

Although alternative mortgage lenders bring people a step closer to homeownership by reducing the high cost of bank loans, they still have their merits and challenges. 

Advantages

– A quick and straightforward application process

– You may receive the funds within a day

– You can get a loan even if you have a poor credit history

– You can develop a good relationship with the lender to get a lower rate perhaps next time

Disadvantages

– Most of their loans are usually a large amount

– Some alternative mortgage lenders may charge you hidden fees

Choosing to get your home through alternative mortgage lenders is a personal choice. However, it is exciting to know that there are more options when it comes to financing your home. Before choosing a lender, seek pre-approval from both a traditional lender and an alternative lender.

Getting to Know Your Neighbors

There’s a lot of excitement when buying a first home. One of the most important things to look into that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to most, is knowing your neighbors. In today’s society and culture, people are reluctant to form relationships. Technology has played a role in the detriment, but on the flip side, it has enhanced the interactions amongst a community. Knowing your neighbors can also serve as a security measure. If you are aware of those around you, you are more likely to feel safer in your new community. Here are some practical ways to navigate a new community and neighborhood.

First thing in the house buying process is knowing what type of neighborhood someone would be interested in. If the goal is to move into a community where your family could grow, then living in a family-oriented neighborhood is vital. Drive by the area to see if children are playing outside and if there’s a school nearby. On the contrast, for someone who is heading into retirement, maybe living in a community with other retirees would be a better-suited community.

If it’s a community that you’ve recently moved into, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation when you see someone outside walking their dog or mowing their lawn. Most people are curious to know who the new neighbor is when they look at moving trucks pull up to the house. Chances are they are ready to get to know you and they aren’t sure how to go about it. If there is a garage sale going on, head over to introduce yourself. Score points by making a purchase or two. One man’s trash can turn into someone else’s treasure.

The third thing is to check out if the neighborhood has a community watch group or social media page already set up. Most areas have a neighborhood watch group that the residents can be a part of. There are apps such as Nextdoor and WelcomeWagon that allow users to keep up with activities in their neighborhood. These apps are geared specifically for people that live in a common residential area. 

Lastly, everyone loves a good party! House warming parties normally are for friends and family to stop in and check out the new home. This opportunity could be taken to invite those that live in the neighborhood as well. While leaving an invitation on a doorstep could pass as an acceptable invite, a personal touch would be to invite a neighbor face to face. Everyone on the block does not need an invitation, but a few houses on the same street or across the street should do.

The critical thing to remember is that moving into a new home means new faces to meet. Relationships can form over time that can become lifelong interactions. Knowing your neighbor is not just about socializing, but it’s about establishing a community of support.