Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser.


Home Purchase Basics

Congratulations on your decision to buy a new home!

There are many important things to consider throughout the process, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Generally, a home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it’s important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details. With the assistance of your Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer, it should be an efficient, pleasant and ultimately rewarding experience.

Count On Your Real Estate Agent To:
1. Preview available homes to weed out overpriced or undesirable options.
2. Present the homes that suit your needs as you’ve defined them.
3. Help you determine the difference between a ‘good buy’ and a property that, due to the neighborhood or market appeal), you may have to discount if you decide sell later.
4. Negotiate the best deal for you. With a Pre-Qualification letter from us in hand, your Real Estate Agent will be able to demonstrate that you are a qualified and capable borrower. This will strongly influence the Seller, and may make the difference between the Seller accepting your offer or someone else’s — even if your offer is lower!

Count on Your Mortgage Lender and Loan Officer To:
1. Assist you in selecting the best loan to meet your personal situation and goals. (This single decision can save you thousands of dollars)
2. Keep you informed of your loan status throughout the entire process.
3. Keep your Real Estate Agent informed of our loan progress (Note: your personal information is always kept confidential between you and us; only deal points and progress are shared).
4. Get the appropriate loan for you at the best rates and fees. This will save you significant money “up front” and throughout the years to come.

Count On Yourself To:
1. Keep your Real Estate Agent informed of any questions or concerns as they develop.
2. Keep the process moving by providing documentation and decisions as soon as reasonably possible. By doing so, many of the details are taken care of early in the process so you can concentrate on any last-minute details or events that require your attention.
3. Enjoy purchasing your home, but do remain objective throughout — to make the business decisions that are best for you.
4. Make sure you are pre-approved as early as possible. This will put the power of financing behind you so you can concentrate on selecting your home.

For more information about purchasing a new home from the mortgage experts at Team Mortgage Company, please contact us here or call our team directly at 616.444.4444.

5 Reasons To Buy a Home for the Holidays

The holiday season may seem like a less-than-ideal time to purchase a home. Many real estate agents may even advise buyers to wait until spring. However, while house hunting in the snow and cold temperatures may sound unappealing, many advantages exist for buyers willing to purchase a home in the winter.

So, what makes winter homebuying so great? Keep reading to learn more:

1. Quicker Mortgage Approval

Because so many buyers avoid the winter months, the holidays represent a slow season for mortgage lenders. This offers an advantage to you as the buyer, as you will likely not have to wait as long for approval.

Lenders have a higher incentive to close loans quickly when business is slower. Additionally, this quick closing may lead to lower overall costs and rates to your mortgage. Less competition with your mortgage lender may lead to a better rate!

2. Lower Home Costs

In winter, sellers may feel more pressure to sell their homes, leading to lower costs overall. Most sellers would rather spend the holiday season celebrating with their families than feeling the stress of selling a home, leading them to feel more anxious about selling quickly. This leads sellers to lower the cost of their homes.

Since sellers understand that many people see winter as a bad time to buy, they are more likely to lower prices in order to encourage offers and sales. This translates to huge savings to you as a buyer, making winter an attractive time for house hunting.

In addition, by the time December draws near many sellers have likely had their homes on the market since the spring or summer months. This leads them to drop their prices further, passing the savings on to buyers. Purchasing a home during the holiday season may just represent your best value.

3. Less Competition

Since most house hunters are focused on holiday celebration, the winter months offer the least competition when buying a home. This lack of competition saves you from potential bidding wars or multiple offers. Additionally, less competition increases your negotiating power.

Unfortunately, this competition may also affect the number of houses available on the market. Sellers may be deterred by the winter months the same as buyers, making your search more difficult. However, if you find a house that suits your needs available in the winter months, don’t assume you must wait to make a purchase.

4. Tax Benefits

Many people decide to buy a home rather than rent because of the tax benefits of home ownership. However, if you wait until January to close, you will miss out on the tax advantages until the following year. Buying in December offers deductions from home buying expenses such as property taxes, mortgage interest and even some of your closing costs.

5. Motivated Sellers

By the time the holiday season comes around, many sellers feel motivated and even anxious to sell their homes. This can mean they are more willing to negotiate with you on everything from the price of the home to closing costs. As previously stated, sellers would rather spend their holidays with family and friends than stressing over selling their home.

That being said, be sure you do not get swept up in the season when it comes to purchasing a home. Most sellers stage their homes, making a home feel more appealing than it actually is. Don’t allow yourself to be sold on a well-decorated home, especially during a festive holiday season. Make sure that the home really suits your needs, and you aren’t simply feeling emotional imagining your family celebrating holiday traditions in a well-decorated space.

For more information about purchasing a home from the mortgage specialists at Team Mortgage Company, feel free to contact us here or call us directly at 616.974.9710.

Good news for homebuyers who don’t have a lot of cash on hand: Banks are offering loans with down payments of just 5%.


After the housing bubble burst, buyers needed to come to the table with as much as 20% down or they had to turn to the Federal Housing Administration for a low down-payment loan.

But now banks like TD Bank, Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), and Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) are loosening the purse strings, offering loans with down payments that are as low as 5%.

Continue reading “Good news for homebuyers who don’t have a lot of cash on hand: Banks are offering loans with down payments of just 5%.” »

Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts

Applebees Free Meal
On Monday, November 11th, veterans and active duty military can choose from a free signature Thank You Meal menu that includes some of Applebee’s favorite items, including a 7 oz. House Sirloin, Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger, Three-Cheese Chicken & Sundried Tomato Penne, Fiesta Lime Chicken, Double Crunch Shrimp, Chicken Tenders Platter or Oriental Chicken Salad. Must present valid Veteran’s form of identification or be in uniform.

Bar Louie Free Lunch or Dinner
From open to close Sunday, November 10th and Monday, November 11th every Bar Louie location across the country will offer veterans and military personnel a free meal up to a $12 value when they show valid military I.D. or other proof of service.

Continue reading “Veteran’s Day Free Meals and Discounts” »

Government Shutdown! How does it affect my Mortgage?


The government shutdown could make it difficult, or even impossible, for banks to close on your mortgage.

One problem lenders might face involves the Internal Revenue Service. Before closing on a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, banks must verify a borrower’s income with the IRS. But IRS operations are curtailed because of the shutdown, and the agency won’t be available to handle the paperwork the banks need to close on the loans.

Continue reading “Government Shutdown! How does it affect my Mortgage?” »

Mortgage rates dip as Fed holds stimulus steady




Mortgage interest rates fell after the Federal Reserve said last week that it won’t pare back its stimulus program.


The rate for a 30-year, fixed loan fell to 4.32% from 4.5%, according to a weekly survey from Freddie Mac.

While that represents only a small savings for borrowers – $21 a month on a $200,000 balance – it’s still good news for the housing market. Mortgage rates have been moving higher in the last few months, which analysts feared could put the brakes on the real estate recovery.

Continue reading “Mortgage rates dip as Fed holds stimulus steady” »

Home prices still surging … for now




Home prices are still surging, but the pace of the gains has steadied as interest rates continue to rise.


Prices for homes in the nation’s 20 largest cities in June rose 12.1% over the last year, according to a report Tuesday from S&P/Case-Shiller home price index.

While that gain is still robust, it didn’t quite match the gain of 12.2% reported for May. Rising mortgage rates may be to blame.
Continue reading “Home prices still surging … for now” »

What’s Really Happening with Mortgage Rates

To say mortgage rates are volatile right now is an understatement. Every few days for the past two months, there have been heavy swings in mortgage pricing, translating to strong gyration in mortgage rates.

Nothing can be more frustrating for a pre-approved potential homebuyer than knowing their ability to qualify and their subsequent proposed payment could change in an instant. But there are other options that can help take the volatility out of your house hunting.
Continue reading “What’s Really Happening with Mortgage Rates” »