My New Blog

What Credit Score Do I Need to Buy a Home?

credit score 730

Buying a home may no longer be the American dream (now people just want to get out of debt someday), but it’s still a huge goal for many. But if you don’t have a good credit score, that dream might go up in flames.

A lot of things factor into getting a mortgage, but it starts with your credit score. If your credit score isn’t good enough, nothing else matters. Depending on the loan program, lender, and applicant’s specific credit history, the minimum credit score necessary to buy a home varies. Heather McRae, a senior loan officer for Chicago Financial Services, says 580 is the lowest score she’s seen in recent loan approvals, and she hasn’t seen anything lower than that in a long time.

A 580 is a bad credit score (on the often-used scale of 300 to 850). A 600 credit score isn’t the best credit score, either, but that’s generally considered the minimum for an FHA-backed loan, says Scott Sheldon, a senior loan officer at Sonoma County Mortgages. FHA loans are popular among first-time home buyers and have a minimum down payment of 3.5%. If you’re going for a conventional loan (one not backed by a government agency), the minimum credit score is 620, McRae and Sheldon say.

Those minimum scores are just that—they get your foot in the door. But mortgages are complicated and require a lot of paperwork, so if you’re barely squeaking in, you can expect a rough ride. Take that 600 minimum on a 30-year fixed-rate FHA loan.

“You’re going to have a lot—I mean, a lot—of hoops to jump through,” Sheldon says. “It’s going to be very unpleasant.”

For people with lower credit scores, a down payment plays a huge factor in approval. McRae says a 20% down payment and a 620 credit score should get you a loan, but a smaller down payment will tighten credit standards.

Please, Mr. Postman

Send me news, tips, and promos from realtor.com® and Move.

 

McRae adds, “680 is kind of like the unspoken minimum, but you can definitely get something done below that. If you’re under a 680 credit score, the mortgage insurance premiums get pretty steep.”

Loans with less than a 20% down payment require mortgage insurance, which you can sometimes get rid of later.

Sheldon also says 680 is the unofficial minimum: “680 would be the goal, the credit score to strive for if you want to have choice and flexibility.”

If you’re already close to a 680, he says to aim higher for even better loan terms. “You really want your score in the 740 range to get optimal pricing on any given day.”

There are home loans for people with a variety of credit scores, but with a financial decision of this size, it helps to set yourself up for the most affordable terms possible. If you’re thinking of buying a home at any point in the future, start preparing for the mortgage process now by building a good credit score. It can take a while, especially if you had credit problems in the past, but there are many ways to rebuild your credit and position yourself to buy a home someday.

As you work on improving your credit, you can see how you’re doing by looking at yourtwo free credit scores every month on Credit.com. Make sure you’re looking at your free credit reports each year, too, at AnnualCreditReport.com, because sometimes errors can be dragging your score down—and you need to find them to fix them.

———

This article was written by Christine DiGangi and originally published on Credit.com.

Posted by Stacy Lyons on March 18th, 2016 7:51 AM
Posted by Stacy Lyons on March 3rd, 2016 3:30 PM

Don’t Miss These Home Tax Deductions

From mortgage interest to property tax deductions, here are the tax tips you need to get a jump on your returns.

Tax Tips for Homeowners navigation banner

Owning a home can pay off at tax time.  

Take advantage of these home ownership-related tax deductions and strategies to lower your tax bill:

Mortgage Interest Deduction 

One of the neatest deductions itemizing homeowners can take advantage of is the mortgage interest deduction, which you claim on Schedule A. To get the mortgage interest deduction, your mortgage must be secured by your home — and your home can be a house, trailer, or boat, as long as you can sleep in it, cook in it, and it has a toilet.

Interest you pay on a mortgage of up to $1 million — or $500,000 if you’re married filing separately — is deductible when you use the loan to buy, build, or improve your home.

If you take on another mortgage (including a second mortgage, home equity loan, or home equity line of credit) to improve your home or to buy or build a second home, that counts towards the $1 million limit.

If you use loans secured by your home for other things — like sending your kid to college — you can still deduct the interest on loans up $100,000 ($50,000 for married filing separately) because your home secures the loan.

Prepaid Interest Deduction

Prepaid interest (or points) you paid when you took out your mortgage is generally 100% deductible in the year you paid it along with other mortgage interest. 

If you refinance your mortgage and use that money for home improvements, any points you pay are also deductible in the same year. 

But if you refinance to get a better rate or shorten the length of your mortgage, or to use the money for something other than home improvements, such as college tuition, you’ll need to deduct the points over the life of your mortgage. Say you refi into a 10-year mortgage and pay $3,000 in points. You can deduct $300 per year for 10 years.

So what happens if you refi again down the road?

Example: Three years after your first refi, you refinance again. Using the $3,000 in points scenario above, you’ll have deducted $900 ($300 x 3 years) so far. That leaves $2,400, which you can deduct in full the year you complete your second refi. If you paid points for the new loan, the process starts again; you can deduct the points over the life of the loan.  

Home mortgage interest and points are reported on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040.

Your lender will send you a Form 1098 that lists the points you paid. If not, you should be able to find the amount listed on the HUD-1 settlement sheet you got when you closed the purchase of your home or your refinance closing. 

Property Tax Deduction

You can deduct on Schedule A the real estate property taxes you pay. If you have a mortgage with an escrow account, the amount of real estate property taxes you paid shows up on your annual escrow statement.

If you bought a house this year, check your HUD-1 settlement statement to see if you paid any property taxes when you closed the purchase of your house. Those taxes are deductible on Schedule A, too.

PMI and FHA Mortgage Insurance Premiums

You can deduct the cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI) as mortgage interest on Schedule A if you itemize your return. The change only applies to loans taken out in 2007 or later.

What’s PMI? If you have a mortgage but didn’t put down a fairly good-sized down payment (usually 20%), the lender requires the mortgage be insured. The premium on that insurance can be deducted, so long as your income is less than $100,000 (or $50,000 for married filing separately).

If your adjusted gross income is more than $100,000, your deduction is reduced by 10% for each $1,000 ($500 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return) that your adjusted gross income exceeds $100,000 ($50,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return). So, if you make $110,000 or more, you can’t claim the deduction (10% x 10 = 100%).

Besides private mortgage insurance, there’s government insurance from FHA, VA, and the Rural Housing Service. Some of those premiums are paid at closing, and deducting them is complicated. A tax adviser or tax software program can help you calculate this deduction. Also, the rules vary between the agencies.

Vacation Home Tax Deductions

The rules on tax deductions for vacation homes are complicated. Do yourself a favor and keep good records about how and when you use your vacation home.

  • If you’re the only one using your vacation home (you don’t rent it out for more than 14 days a year), you deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes on Schedule A.
  • Rent your vacation home out for more than 14 days and use it yourself fewer than 15 days (or 10% of total rental days, whichever is greater), and it’s treated like a rental property. Your expenses are deducted on Schedule E.
  • Rent your home for part of the year and use it yourself for more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the days you rent it and you have to keep track of income, expenses, and allocate them based on how often you used and how often you rented the house.

Homebuyer Tax Credit

This isn’t a deduction, but it’s important to keep track of if you claimed it in 2008. 

There were federal first-time homebuyer tax credits in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

If you claimed the homebuyer tax credit for a purchase made after April 8, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2009, you must repay 1/15th of the credit over 15 years, with no interest. 

The IRS has a tool you can use to help figure out what you owe each year until it’s paid off. Or if the home stops being your main home, you may need to add the remaining unpaid credit amount to your income tax on your next tax return.

Generally, you don’t have to pay back the credit if you bought your home in 2009, 2010, or early 2011. The exception: You have to repay the full credit amount if you sold your house or stopped using it as primary residence within 36 months of the purchase date. Then you must repay it with your tax return for the year the home stopped being your principal residence.

The repayment rules are less rigorous for uniformed service members, Foreign Service workers, and intelligence community workers who got sent on extended duty at least 50 miles from their principal residence.

Energy-Efficiency Upgrades

The Nonbusiness Energy Tax Credit lets you claim a credit for installing energy-efficient home systems. Tax credits are especially valuable because they let you offset what you owe the IRS dollar for dollar, in this case, for up to 10% of the amount you spent on certain upgrades.  

The credit carries a lifetime cap of $500 (less for some products), so if you’ve used it in years past, you’ll have to subtract prior tax credits from that $500 limit. Lucky for you, there’s no cap on how much you’ll save on utility bills thanks to your energy-efficiency upgrades.

Among the upgrades that might qualify for the credit:

File IRS Form 5695 with your return.



Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/home-tax-deductions/#ixzz40uWm36E0 
Follow us: @HouseLogic on Twitter | HouseLogic on Facebook
Posted by Stacy Lyons on February 22nd, 2016 9:30 AM
Posted in:General and tagged: buyersprofilesNARSellers
Posted by Stacy Lyons on February 9th, 2016 8:01 AM
SOLD!
Header_2
Listings Photo
$36,000.00
2612 N. Ann Arbor Ave #145

Oklahoma City, OK 73127



Beds: 2 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1177
Garage: 0 Built: 1975
 

Great location to SNU! Beautiful and lush landscaping with newer tile porch (2012). This 2 bedroom 2.5 bath condo features a large living area with corner stone fireplace. Galley kitchen with newer tile(2013) open to the dining area. Master bedroom is spacious with lots of natural sun light with a cozy sitting area. Perfect for a reading nook. Second bedroom is nice size with second bath right down the hall. New A/C in 2007. Nice size laundry room. HOA pays for basic cable,water,trash,exterior paint, lawn care, roof insurance. Swimming pool with picnic area. Club house. Great property for a busy life style!
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Stacy Lyons
Stacy Lyons-Realtor,GRI,ABR,SRS,SFR,AHWD,e-PRO
4053611006
www.stacyllyons.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Stacy Lyons on December 7th, 2015 12:37 PM
SOLD !!

4901 ELK RUN
Listings Photo
$188,000.00
4901 Elk Run

Yukon, OK 73099



Beds: 3 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2108
Garage: 2 Built: 1983
 

Experience a lush abundance of style with this home that boast a large master bedroom with walk-in closet. Plentiful size lot (.63). Generous size laundry room with half bath downstairs. New tile in half bath. New roof and gutters 2015. Remodel bathrooms 2015. New heat and air 2015. New windows and siding in 2009. New laminate wood floors in 2010. New carpet in the den 2014. New smooth cook top in 2015. New hot water tank in 2013. New gas logs in 2015. Sprinkler system in the front, back and side of home. Make a splash in your pool and enjoy summer on your deck. New pool liner and pump in 2014. Out building painted and new roof in 2015. New 12- 14 person storm shelter in 2014. New fence in 2015. Welcome the clean autumn nights on your front porch. Discover the simple things again that make you want to come home.
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Stacy Lyons
Stacy Lyons-GRI,ABR,Realtor,SRS,CHMS,e-PRO,SFR,AHWD
4053611006
www.stacyllyons.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Stacy Lyons on October 5th, 2015 3:50 PM
SOLD!!!
Yukon's Westridge!!
Listings Photo
$195,000.00
11829 SW 3rd Terrace

Yukon, OK 73099



Beds: 4 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2468
Garage: 3 Built: 1991
 

Where great gatherings of friends and family begin with a large open formal living room with fire place. Formal dining room opens up to the kitchen. All bedrooms have walk-in closets. Master bathroom has his/hers vanities with his/her walk-in closets. Fourth bedroom could be use as an office or study. New roof in 2015, New heat and air 2013,Storm shelter in 2012. New stainless steel dishwasher in 2012. Wood laminate floors. Covered patio with deck. Start making memories for years to come.

 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Stacy Lyons
Stacy Lyons-GRI,ABR,Realtor,SRS,CHMS,e-PRO,SFR,AHWD
4053611006
www.stacyllyons.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Stacy Lyons on September 27th, 2015 11:58 AM
JUST SOLD!!!
Listings Photo
$192,000.00
21955 North Fork Road

Luther, OK 73054



Beds: 4 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 1955
Garage: 2 Built: 2012
 

Imagine sitting in your living room in front of your fireplace with the snow gently falling looking out at your wooded lot and deer playing. Escape the city with this beautiful four bedroom home with large open kitchen that sits on 2.5 acres. Energy efficient and near the turnpike. Enjoy the wonderful fall evenings on your covered back patio looking at the stars. Live the life you love with own tranquil oasis.
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Stacy Lyons
Stacy Lyons-GRI,ABR,Realtor,SRS,CHMS,e-PRO,SFR,AHWD
4053611006
www.stacyllyons.com



 
  Visit this listing here
Posted in:General
Posted by Stacy Lyons on March 17th, 2015 10:31 PM
WANT TO HELP OUT WITH PROJECT GRADUATION? BUT DON'T HAVE A LOT OF TIME. ORDER YOUR CHRISTMAS TURKEYS AND HAMS AND HELP SUPPORT YUKON PROJECT GRADUATION.  MAKE THIS THE BEST YEAR YET!




PROJECT GRADUATION
HAM and TURKEY SALE
2014 FALL SALE
Name of Committee Member/Sales Person__________________________________________
Phone Number_________________________________E-Mail___________________________________
HAM (8-10# Spiral Sliced, Honey glazed) $25.00 each
TURKEY (12-14# Smoked) $30.00 each
Order & payment deadline: Monday, December 15, 2012
Pick up location: Central Elem. South Door
Pick up date: Thursday, December 18, 3:30- 6:00 P.M.
Any questions, call Elaine Logan @ 405-248-0607or email elaine.logan@yukonps.com
MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO: Yukon Project Graduation (all orders must be paid before pick up)
Name
Phone
E-mail
Ham
Turkey
Amount Paid
Cash or Check

                 
Posted by Stacy Lyons on November 2nd, 2014 12:27 PM
Posted in:General
Posted by Stacy Lyons on September 8th, 2014 12:53 PM

Archives:

My Favorite Blogs:

Sites That Link to This Blog:

Home Status Report

Want to know if a home is still on the market, or if the price has changed? We can help. Simply fill out the information below and with no obligation to you we'll get back to you with your requested information. We guarantee your privacy.

Your Information
Property Information