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Santa's Top Secret Tips: How to Score Your Dream Home in 2024 (shhh... it's on his wishlist!)

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

As Santa gears up for a new year, he's got his eye on making dreams come true for those seeking a fresh start in a brand new home. While words like pre-qualification and financing might not sound as jolly as sleigh bells, fear not! Even with higher interest rates, Santa's been chatting with lending and real estate experts to bring you some handy tips to outsmart the market Grinches. With these secrets up his sleeve, you'll be one step closer to unwrapping that dream home you've been wishing for! As Santa preps his nice list, he knows the key to a successful home journey starts with understanding your budget.


**Scour the Snowdrifts** Despite higher interest rates, explore offers from at least three lenders. Santa’s insider info reveals that comparing these offers can save you a sackful of cash.

**Polishing Up Your Credit Snowflakes** Get your free credit reports and check for any naughty list errors. Clear up mishaps like late payments or mistaken identities to give your credit score a North Pole-worthy boost.

**Taming High-Interest Ice** Prioritize paying down those icy debts with the highest interest rates first. Keeping your credit card balances below 30% of your available credit and staying on schedule with payments are magical ways to boost your credit score.

**Balancing the Sleigh** Santa knows all about balancing the load. Keep track of your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) by ensuring your monthly debts are manageable compared to your income. Avoid new loans or excessive credit card splurges for at least three months before seeking a mortgage. Santa’s secret? It keeps those numbers on the nice list!

Remember, the jolliest way to secure your dream home is by heeding Santa’s tips and staying off the naughty financial list!


**Conventional Chimney Loans** (Conventional Loan)These loans aren't backed by a government agency but come in various sizes and shapes. While they may not sparkle with all the benefits of other loans, they're the most sought-after by home seekers.

**Jolly Jumbo Treats** (Jumbo Loan)These special loans exceed the limits set by the Housing Finance Agency and require top-notch credit to unlock their wonders.

**Elf-Approved Government-Backed Gifts** (FHA Loan)Insured by the government, these loans offer lower minimum down payments and can be more forgiving with credit scores, perfect for helping families with modest means achieve their dream of home ownership. Great for first-time home seekers!

** Fixed-Rate Gifts** (Fixed Rate Loan) Like a well-wrapped present, these loans keep the interest rate fixed throughout the loan term, providing certainty about monthly payments.

**Adventurous Adjustable-Rate Sleighs** (Adjustable Rate Loan) These magical mortgages come with rates that dance based on economic magic, perfect for those with short-term plans or the expectation of a refinancing adventure before the introductory period ends.

**2-1 Gift Exchanges** (2-1 Buy-down) A loan agreement that starts with a low interest rate in the first year, a slightly higher rate in the second, and the regular rate thereafter. It's like unwrapping a special gift with varying surprises in interest rates over time, where both buyers and sellers can contribute to the enchantment!

As Santa ho-ho-hones in on home lending secrets, he's uncovered some merry myths and facts:


**Naughty Myth** "You need a bank and a 20% down payment for a home!"

**Jolly Fact** From traditional banks to online magic portals, a variety of institutions offer home loans today. Some special loans require little or no down payment, like FHA, USDA, and VA loans for veterans.


**Direct Lenders** These are like Santa's elves, offering mortgages directly—whether they're from banks, credit unions, online magic portals, or other lending organizations.

**Mortgage Matchmakers** These are like Santa's little helpers, acting as the matchmakers between lenders and home seekers, known as mortgage brokers.

**Owner's Special Magic** Some sellers are now playing Santa, offering owner financing. It's like getting a gift from the North Pole, where the property owner lends at discounted rates, letting you repay directly over time.

Santa's advise for interviewing these lending stars includes asking:

**Gift List** What paperwork is needed?

**Magical Lock** How long does the rate lock last?

**Punctuality Check** How often do they deliver on time?

**Enchantment Process** What are the steps in their magical process, and can it be done online, by mail, or in person?

Santa Knows Best Tip: Let your trusted REALTOR guide you through this enchanted lending journey to unwrap the best home lending gifts!


As Santa wraps up his lending insights, he wants to share some magical thoughts:

"The journey to finding your very own cozy chimney doesn't need to be a scary sleigh ride. A sprinkle of planning, a dash of research, and the guidance of a fantastic REALTOR can make your dream of home ownership come true in 2024. The stars are aligning with a surge in housing inventory, and builders are back on track, offering gifts of thousands of dollars towards homes or closing costs to brighten this magical journey. Plus, remember the enchanting power of refinancing when the winds of rates change. Some lenders are even offering magical loans with no fees for refinancing.

This moment, when competition is as rare as Rudolph's red nose, is the perfect time to embrace the joy of home buying. So, dash away to seize this brighter spot while it sparkles and shines. And if you need a little extra magic, your neighborhood REALTOR is here with a sack full of answers!"

HO, HO, HO, Happy Home Hunting,

Click any of the GREEN key words for a preview available homes or more information.

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