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Amerifirst blog

 Explore our blog for insights on buying, financing, remodeling, and taking care of your home.

Buying Your First House? How to Choose a Realtor that's Right for You.

If you're buying your very first house, you're most likely searching for your dream home on one or several apps or taking virtual tours via online listings. While online house searching can maximize your ability to compare and contrast homes by the features that are important to you, do they, or can they, replace the services of a professional Realtor? We've put together some FAQs about the services of local Realtors®. Read on!

Home Values Increasing for Second Straight Year

Looking to buy a home in 2018? If so, you’ll be able to apply for a larger conventional mortgage with the recent announcement that we’re increasing our single-family loan limits to $453,100 in 2018. Home values are rising across the nation. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), an independent regulator of the secondary mortgage market including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, housing prices have risen 6.8 percent over a year’s time.

Keeping the Home Fires Burning - Fireplace Maintenance & Safety Tips

It’s autumn – the perfect season to pamper yourself with a cup of hot cocoa while snuggling up in front of a cozy, crackling fire. Before you light up your fireplace, however, it’s important to follow the fireplace safety tips below to keep your home fires burning – with no surprises:

Four Quick Tips to Improve your Credit Score

 Are you looking to buy a new car, apply for a mortgage or pursue a new career opportunity anytime soon? Then you may also know that your ability to secure a loan, a low interest rate, and even that coveted new career position, is dependent upon a vital piece of financial information – your credit score.

No Down Payment Mortgage Loans for First Time Buyers

Two of the most popular mortgage loans for first-time buyers are the USDA Rural Development loan and the VA (Veterans) Home Loan. The main reason these two loans are so popular is because both loans allow you to purchase a home with very little or no money down (also known as a Zero Down or No Down Home Loan). Zero down home loans are most common among first-time homebuyers since they are typically young married couples or single professionals who are just starting out, and haven't yet saved enough financial resources to fund a down payment. At AmeriFirst, we specialize in both USDA Rural Development and VA Home Loans. Download our Concise Guide for the First Time Home Buyer. Here is a quick overview of the first-time homebuyer loans with zero down: USDA Rural Development Loan The USDA Rural Development Loan is offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With this loan you can borrow up to 100% of the appraised value of the home, and in some instances, up to an additional 2% more that can be used for small repairs or improvements. One of the main requirements of the USDA loan is that the subject property must fall within a specific geographical location that is outside a city/metropolitan area. To find out if a particular property falls within the USDA required area, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture website. VA Home Loan The VA Home Loan (Veterans) is another popular Zero Down Payment Mortgage offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Signed into law back in 1944 by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (GI Bill of Rights) offered veterans a federally guaranteed home loan with zero money down. There are some very specific eligibility requirements in order to qualify for a VA home loan so be sure you visit the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website for more details. You can also reach out to one of our friendly loan officers at a branch close to you.   Even though both of these loan products are first-time homebuyer loans with zero down, there are still some out-of-pocket expenses when buying a home, i.e. earnest money, and home inspection. Make sure you have enough money saved up to cover these Buyer costs. Learn all about the first home buying process with our "Get Mortgage Ready Kit." The free eBook has a ton of information including a glossary of mortgage terms to help you be a more powerful and educated buyer.   (cash picture derived from: Flickr user Andrew Magill)

What to Ask During a Home Inspection

This is an article submitted by a guest author. Not all views expressed are those of Amerifirst Home Mortgage or its employees.  A home inspection is an invaluable tool for a home buyer trying to decide whether or not a specific property is a good investment. Being present for the process can make the inspection even more worthwhile. Asking questions of the inspector and getting his or her opinions about the problems with the house can help the home buyer decide whether or not to move forward with the real estate transaction.

How Does Adding a Pool or Spa Impact Your Home Value

This is an article submitted by a guest author. Not all views expressed are those of Amerifirst Home Mortgage or its employees.  Just about everybody fantasizes about owning a pool or spa when the temperatures rise. But how does the fantasy of owning a pool or spa stack up to the reality? The answer is, "It depends." Here are some things to consider if you're thinking about adding a backyard pool to your property. 

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