Approved Mortgage Donates Christmas Day Meals to Local Hospital Staff

Local mortgage companies partner to provide 250 meals to the Franciscan Health COVID staff. Each meal was individually prepared and packaged by the Market District in Carmel, Indiana before being delivered directly to the hospital.

Indianapolis, IN, December 29, 2020 –(PR.com)– The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact both local and global communities while healthcare workers and first responders continue to provide care to those in need. In addition to serving individuals impacted by COVID-19, these men and women are essential to the overall health of their communities.

Approved Mortgage and Bailey & Wood Mortgage Lender partnered to purchase Christmas Day meals from a local grocer and restaurant that fed 250 hardworking inpatient staff members at a local hospital.

“It has always been part of our mission to have an impact on our local communities,” said Jim Landwerlen, President of Approved Mortgage. “We are always looking for ways to extend our corporate ministries to help serve those in need.”

The 250 meals from the mortgage companies were delivered to the Franciscan Health COVID staff. Each meal was individually prepared and packaged by the Market District in Carmel, Indiana before being delivered directly to the hospital.

“We thought this would be another opportunity for us to show our support and appreciation for the local heroes risking their lives for the health and safety of others,” said Kevin Walters, Senior Branch Manager of Approved Mortgage.

This is not the first time Approved Mortgage has donated meals to the essential front line healthcare workers at a local health system. The largest and oldest locally owned mortgage banker in Central Indiana worked with another local hospital and restaurant to provide meals to one hundred workers. Additionally, the company recently participated in a community event that provided free rounds of golf to local heroes and hosted a blood drive where enough blood was donated to save up to 45 lives.

About Approved Mortgage
Approved Mortgage is the largest and oldest locally owned mortgage banker in Central Indiana with over 6.5 billion funded for Indiana families.   As an industry leader for over 25 years, Approved Mortgage is recognized by Zillow® as a 5-star lender, rated a Top 20 Broker by Expertise®, and ranked by Entreprenuer.com® as one of the top 25 Best Small-Company Cultures. Approved Mortgage is a direct lender with in-house underwriting that allows for same day approvals.  We provide a vast array of residential mortgage loans that has served thousands of families making their dream of home ownership a reality. Our residential product line includes conventional, jumbo, FHA, VA, reverse mortgages and portfolio loans for purchase, refinance, and construction transactions. We also offer a variety of commercial real estate loans for multifamily, office, retail, warehouse/flex space, as well as business loans including SBA, lines of credit, credit card merchant services accounts, and factoring.  We look forward to assisting you with your mortgage loan needs by delivering just the right product you need and with the service you deserve. Approved Mortgage has served thousands of satisfied clients and is an A+ accredited member of the Better Business Bureau.

4 Ways to Accomplish Your Money Goals

Whether you’re planning to buy a new home, refinance your existing mortgage or stow away extra cash for retirement, having good financial habits in place can help.

Those habits should include managing your bills, budgeting, keeping an eye on your credit score and more.

Are you looking to achieve some financial goals or get better at handling your money? These four tips could help you get there.

  • Automate your savings. You can set up savings deposits on a weekly, biweekly or monthly basis. You might even be able to get a small portion of each paycheck deposited into your account automatically.

  • Pay all of your bills on time. If you can automate your bill payments too, do that. If not, you can set up reminders before each bill’s due date. Late payments could hurt your credit score considerably.

  • Download a budgeting app. There are a variety of finance apps, and they can help you keep your spending and saving on track. Some even come with free credit monitoring alerts.

  • Look for small ways to save. There are so many methods for saving. Maybe you’ll find success with coupons, cooking at home instead of eating out or turning off the lights and unplugging devices when they’re not in use. You’d be surprised how little changes can add up.

Improving your finances doesn’t have to be complicated. If you make small adjustments to your spending and saving habits now, you could reap the benefits for the long haul.

And if you have questions about home financing, be sure to reach out.

How to Build More Equity in Your Home

Home equity is the stake in your home you actually own. The more equity you have, the more you stand to gain when it’s time to sell later on.

You can also tap home equity via loans or lines of credit when you need to pay for home improvements, medical bills, college tuition or any other costs that you might be dealing with.

Do you want help increasing the equity you have in your home? Here are five simple ways to do it:

  • Choose your neighborhood carefully. Buy a house in an area where home values are on the rise. When the value of your house increases, so does your equity.

  • Make a bigger down payment. Down payments go straight toward your home’s price. That means that the larger your down payment is, the more equity you’ll have from the start.

  • Pay down your mortgage. The lower your home loan balance goes, the larger your share in the home gets. Consider putting windfalls (like tax refunds) toward your loan each year.

  • Make smart upgrades. Remodeling your home can increase your property value, so choose your home improvement projects wisely. But remember that, while your equity will rise, so could your home insurance costs.

  • Refinance to a shorter loan term. Going from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year loan could allow you to pay off your mortgage — and build equity — faster.

Want to talk more about equity and the financial options it affords you? Get in touch today.

4 Scenarios for Adjustable-Rate Loans

A 30-year, fixed-rate home loan isn’t right for everyone. Depending on your plans, it might actually cost you more in the long run.

Though they’re less common, adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are a better fit for many homebuyers. They may offer a more affordable monthly payment and cost less in interest throughout the life of the loan.

Are you thinking of buying a home or refinancing your current one? Here are some scenarios in which you might want to consider an adjustable-rate loan:

  1. You only plan to live there in the short term. ARMs are a great option if you only plan to be in the house for a few years. They usually come with lower rates than long-term, fixed-rate loans for the first five, seven or even 10 years.

  2. You expect to make more money down the line. These loans tend to come with low rates upfront. Then, after a few years, your rate can change — which means a possible increase. If you know you’ll have the income to support a higher payment down the road, then an ARM might work for you.

  3. You’re comfortable with refinancing in a few years. Another option would be to refinance to a fixed-rate loan during the initial period of your ARM. It would be similar to going through the home loan application process again, but you could end up with a new low rate for the long haul.

  4. You plan to pay off your loan early. If you’re able to pay off the loan before your rate can rise, you may save overall. Some loans do carry prepayment penalties, but you’ll learn if your loan is one of them early in the process.

ARMs are a bit more complex than fixed-rate mortgages, so make sure to reach out for more personalized guidance.

What You Should Know About Rate Locks

Mortgage rates are near all-time lows right now, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever.

That’s where a rate lock can come in. Rate locks guarantee you a certain mortgage rate for an extended period, protecting you from the possibility of rising interest rates while you complete the homebuying process.

Are you shopping for a home? Here’s what you need to know about mortgage rate locks:

Q: What is a rate lock?
A: A rate lock guarantees your initially quoted mortgage rate for an extended period of time. Your rate can’t rise at any point during your lock period (even if market rates rise), giving you plenty of time to close the loan.

Q: How long does it last?
A: The length of a rate lock depends, though it’s usually 30, 60 or 90 days. In some cases, you may be able to pay for a longer lock period if you need more time.

Q: Why would you want to lock your rate?
A: Rate locks are smart if interest rates are very low or fluctuating. They’re also a good move if you have a unique situation — like being self-employed — and it could take a bit longer to close your loan.

Q: Are there any risks?
A: In the event market rates drop, there’s a chance your locked-in rate could be higher than what newer applicants are being quoted. You can pay for a “float down” option when you lock, which essentially means you’d get the lower market rate if they do fall.

Do you have more questions about rate locks? Are you ready to sort out your home financing? Get in touch so we can discuss your options.

Add a Touch of Warmth to Your Home

As the days get shorter and temperatures begin to drop, indoor living becomes the norm. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your home’s interior has to be chilly, too!

With a little imagination — and redecoration — you can create a cozier living space and enjoy a warmer winter hibernation.

Here are four ways you can use decor to add warmth to your home:

1. Use area rugs to divide larger spaces.
Airy, open rooms with sparse furniture arrangements can often feel cold and lonely. By simply adding an area rug or two, you can break these spaces into smaller, more well-defined living areas. A corner area rug could offset a small office area, while a larger rug could tie together an informal dining area.

2. Arrange furniture to create a sense of intimacy.
Always choose and arrange furniture with the purpose of your room in mind. If your furniture is spaced too far apart, it will make conversations awkward and strained. And you wouldn’t want the furniture in your reading nook to be uncomfortable.

3. Take advantage of natural materials.
If your home boasts natural woods or exposed brick, these are elements that can be tastefully incorporated into your design plan. Imagine how a natural wooden coffee table could be used to complement vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams.

4. Get creative with color combinations.
A touch of color can immediately impact the perception of a room. If you’re looking for a warm, autumnal feel, go with a variety of rich red and orange tones. Use throw pillows, blankets and other textured accents to make the room pop. A basket full of quilts can be both convenient and aesthetically pleasing.

Want to make a more substantial change to your home, such as installing a brand-new fireplace? Reach out to discuss your financing options.

Get Your House-Hunting Checklist

There’s a lot to consider when you’re searching for a home. You have to ask important questions: Which features are must-haves and which ones are simply desirable? How far are you willing to commute to work, grocery stores and other frequently visited places?

Some of the decisions you have to make during your home search are a little bit more fun, like which architectural styles you prefer and what fixtures and finishes you’d like to have. And it’s important to note these details.

So once you’re preapproved for a mortgage, start your search off on the right foot with a house-hunting checklist. Bring it with you while touring homes, checking things off and taking notes so you can more easily compare each option.

Get the checklist below to make your next home search go smoothly.

Click here to get your checklist.

Worry Less With This First-Timer Guide

You’re thinking of buying your first home — a place to call your own. But, like many, you don’t even know where to begin. The process of buying a home seems so complicated and expensive.

https://content.outboundengine.com/ebooks/First-Time+Homebuyers+Guide+2019.pdf

Don’t worry! We can walk through the process together, from getting your financing set up to moving in after the closing. This first-time buyers’ guide was written just for you, to help simplify one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in life.

Click the image to download the guide.

If you’d like to learn more about the homebuying process, or if you have any questions while reading the guide, please get in touch.

Should you remodel your home or move?

You love your home. You’ve made it your own and have lots of happy memories there. But maybe it no longer suits you and your family as well as it did before.

Maybe it’s too small or lacks the features you need — or you might simply want something different. Either way, it’s no longer the dream home it once was.

When this happens, you have two options: buy a new place or remodel your current one.

Not sure which is best for your situation? Here are some pros and cons of each:

Planning to make a move?
On the plus side, you get a new home that meets all your needs — and maybe even a better location. And you won’t be stuck in a construction zone for weeks or months on end.

But on the other hand, you’ll probably need to deal with selling your house and buying a new one simultaneously, which can be complicated. You’ll need the money for a down payment, closing costs and the actual move.

Think remodeling is the answer?
Advantages of remodeling include staying put and avoiding the time, cost and stress of moving. You might increase your home’s value as well, which could mean more profits if you decide to sell later.

The downside? Renovations aren’t always quick or easy. You might be surrounded by construction, contractors and materials for months. It also has its limits — you may not be able to achieve everything you want.

Though both routes have their pros and cons, the right choice depends on your budget, the real estate market and your family’s preferences. If you’re not sure, reach out for guidance. We can also discuss your financing options for a remodel or a new home.

Home Loans Don’t Have to Be Confusing

There’s nothing like walking into a house and realizing it’s the one — your dream home!

But before you go house hunting, you should get preapproved for a loan that’s just as perfect for you. Making sense of the financial language might initially seem intimidating, but it’s the first step to living that dream.

Get in touch if you’d like help answering the following questions:

15 or 30 years?
If paying off your loan sooner is important to you, a 15-year mortgage might be a good fit. These typically have a lower interest rate, but you’ll have a higher monthly payment due to the shorter loan term.

If you need (or want) a lower monthly payment, a 30-year mortgage might be better suited to your lifestyle.

Fixed or adjustable?
Fixed-rate mortgages are generally uncomplicated and have specified monthly payments that make budgeting easier. You neither save when market rates go down nor suffer when they spike.

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) typically start with lower interest rates that stay fixed for a set amount of time. Once that period ends, your rates vary at predetermined intervals.

Conventional or government?
The typical 20% down payment you’ve probably heard about is associated with conventional loans, but it isn’t a must. Your credit score, debt-to-income ratio and down payment all factor into your interest rate.

Don’t have a big down payment or excellent credit? Consider a government-backed loan. With an FHA loan, you only need a small down payment, dependent on your credit score. The VA offers mortgages with no down payment to active military, reservists, veterans and spouses. And if you’re in a rural area, you may qualify for a zero-down USDA loan.

Curious about which type of home loan will be the best fit for you? Reach out today.