Category Archives: Mortgage

Mortgage Loan Documentation Requirements

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Rob Grindle Mortgage Banker, NMLS #462766

Buying a house can be overwhelming. Whether it’s your very first house, second, or even third, it’s always helpful to talk through the necessary steps to owning a home. Finding the perfect home can take weeks or even months. No matter how long your search is, one thing is for certain: When you find “the one,” you want things to move along quickly to secure your financing.

An important step in maintaining a smooth, hassle free process is making sure that you have the necessary loan documents readily available. Below is a simple checklist to use when you are applying for a mortgage.

  • Previous three years of Federal Tax Returns with all schedules, A, C, E, if any
  • Previous three years of W2s for ALL jobs
  • Five recent pay stubs showing year to date earnings
  • Two recent checking and savings statements (All pages, including blank pages and cancelled check pages
  • One recent 401k, 403B and/or IRA statement
  • Photo ID

By having all of the required documents in place, the more likely the home buying process will be quick and efficient. Remember, the more organized you are prior to finding that dream home, the sooner you’ll be able to call it your own.

Rob Grindle

Mortgage Banker, NMLS #462766

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The Real Cost of a Fixer Upper

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Throughout your real estate search, you’ve probably asked yourself the infamous question, “What would Chip and Joanna do?” With HGTV’s Fixer Upper series gaining popularity, more and more families are looking to buy inexpensive fixer uppers to fulfill their home buying dreams. Filled with projects, setbacks, and endless design potentials, these diamonds in the rough come with their own unique set of pros and cons. Luckily, Alpine Bank is here to help you discover the true cost to working through your own fixer upper.

Every home has different needs, but these are some key expenses you’ll need to plan for when purchasing a fixer upper:

  • Realtor Fee: If you’re selling your current property, be prepared to fork over the 6 percent fee to have your home sold. Ideally you’re looking to sell your home for a higher dollar than you purchased it for, but this is not always the case. Be sure to have some funds in reserve just in case you have to cover the realtor fee out of your own pocket.
  • Construction Costs: Typically divided into two billing arenas, you can expect to either pay one lump sum, or a calculated cost of labor, materials, and an added profit margin. Expect to pay $100-$200 per square foot of intensive renovation work.
  • Materials: The more upgrades you want, the faster your price will climb. While simply getting the property up to speed is a task all its own, creating your own customized space inside will continue to add dollars and cents to your overall bill.
  • Furnishings: Depending on the format of your last home, you may be upgrading your furniture in this new abode. After various searches and bargain finds, you’ll still need to tuck away some extra funds to ensure you can furnish the home once it is finished.
  • Landscaping: Now that the house is complete, it’s time get to work on the curb appeal – and it isn’t cheap! With an average price tag of $5,000, finishing your home with a completed landscape design can also add to the overall budget.

Altogether, purchasing a fixer upper may cost about the same as a newer home purchase after the cost of renovations. The advantage to these love-needing homes however, is their potential for customization, and creating the ideal home for you and your family. If you’re looking to repair or update your next home, consider financing through one of our structured Home Equity Lines of Credit. Our experienced mortgage lenders are here to help you every step of the way!

 

 

The Route to Home Ownership

Mortgages

The journey to becoming a first time owner is an exciting and personal process. With questions ranging from price, commodities, to neighborhoods and more, the task of finding your ideal property can seem daunting. At Alpine Bank we want to help you make the most of your home buying experience with our guided route to home ownership. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the view as we take you step by step through the first time home buying process.

  1. Assess your personal finances. Take a good hard look at your current sources of income, in addition to the underlying expenses you have each month. Determine if your funds can support the cost of a monthly mortgage, property taxes, home insurance, and all the other associated costs of home ownership.
  2. Mortgage Pre-Approval. Once you’ve decided to make the jump into home ownership it’s time to determine what your ideal purchase price will look like. Work with one of our mortgage lenders to decide on the best price range for you and your family. After determining your financing needs together, we will evaluate your credit history award you with a pre-approval letter for the amount we will agree to finance.
  3. Find “The House.” Here comes the fun part – house hunting! Pair up with a reputable realtor to look at houses that do not exceed the approved purchase price. You may look at six homes, or even thirteen, but once you find the right property you’ll know it’s the one!
  4. Get an approved offer. After touring the property and checking for any major repairs, speak with your realtor about putting in an offer on the house at a price within your budget. The seller may counter with a different price point, and negotiations for the offer can be discussed with your realtor. When you and the seller have agreed to a purchase price and a finalized offer is signed you officially have an accepted offer to purchase your future home!
  5. Speak with your mortgage lender. Now that you’ve found your new place, your mortgage lender can gather accurate tax information and further specifics for your mortgage financing. Reach out to confirm the terms of the loan prior to closing to help ensure a smooth transition.
  6. Home Inspection. Since you and the buyer now have an accepted agreement it’s time to fully inspect the property you intend on buying. Speak with your realtor for recommended home inspectors in the area, and set up a time when both you and the realtor can be present. The home inspector will detail notes about the property concerning safety hazards and other important repairs that should be taken care of at the seller’s expense.
  7. Close the offer. After all the paperwork is finalized, and you complete the final walk through of the home, it’s finally time to receive your mortgage financing and close the home offer.
  8. The House is yours. All your hard work has paid off and you are now a home owner! Celebrate this monumental achievement by inviting family and friends over for a moving or house warming party!

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful cottage in the country or new construction in the city , Alpine Bank can help you with all your financing needs. Stop by the bank or give us a call at (815) 398-6500 and get started on your home buying journey today!

The Top 10 Things to Add Value to Your Home

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Just like purchasing your home, selling it is a journey all its own. Whether you’re aiming to sell your home in one year or five, you can make a number of small changes that offer a big return on your home’s value. Try these key improvements and see the effect on your next home assessment.

  1. An eye-catching entrance. As the gateway into your home, your front door will set the tone for what’s within. Update your door bell, paint the front door, and hang a spring wreath to tie it all together.
  2. Energy-efficient updates: Updating appliances, windows, and fixtures, to their more green counterparts can set your home apart with the attractive promise of future savings.
  3. Low-maintenance landscaping: While flowers are eye-catching, shrubs and drought-resistant greenery make great visual impact with the promise of less hassle.
  4. A thorough clean. A deep clean of carpets, curtains, and corners will make your home sparkle and create a positive first impression. Hiring a professional cleaning service may also help to remove hard-to-clean grime and overlooked areas.
  5. De-cluttered rooms. A tidy house doesn’t always feel open. Heavy curtains, overstuffed couches, and rooms devoid of sunlight can make buyers cautious of square footage. Rid the room of nothing but bare essentials and simplistic furniture to maximize the area of the space.
  6. Extra mirrors. To double the feel of any room, strategically place mirrors to create an illusion of extra space.
  7. Small updates to big places. Kitchens and bathrooms are focal points in the selling process. Without the time and cost of a major remodel, small updates like new lighting, fresh paint, or modern accessories can add value to your home on a budget.
  8. Revamped flooring: Thin or threadbare carpets can raise alarms for buyers as they visualize the daunting need to replace the tired flooring. As your budget allows, replace your home’s carpet beginning high-traffic areas and working outwards.
  9. Modern lighting.Updating light fixtures to a timeless and simple feel, help to elevate a home’s design and gives the potential buyer a blank canvas to imagine life in their new home.
  10. A professional opinion. In under an hour, a trained interior designer can provide suggestions for small tweaks, such as furniture arrangement or paint color adjustments, which can increase your home’s value with limited investment.

While improvements are not a guarantee of improved value, they can make all the difference when drawing in interested buyers. If some of your home-improvement projects require a bigger investment than your budget expected, our lending officers at Alpine Bank can work to help you secure the HELOC you need.

Alpine Bank Welcomes Cass Wolfenberger and Michael Urnezis

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The Alpine Bank Family is pleased to welcome Cass Wolfenberger, Senior Vice President Mortgage Banking, and Michael Urnezis, Vice President Wholesale Lending.

Mr. Wolfenberger has been providing mortgage expertise to homebuyers, for over two decades.  He was employed by Alpine Bank before becoming an owner and co-founder of a successful, local mortgage banking firm.  He says, “That experience gave me the global view of not only the entire mortgage supply chain, but also the business practices required to be successful in a highly complex and competitive environment.”

As a Rockford native, Mr. Wolfenberger continues to give back to the area by volunteering for United Way, Breast Cancer awareness events and Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Mr. Urnezis has been in the financial industry for 20 years, with 16 of these years in the mortgage lending field.  He was an owner and co-founder of a mortgage banking firm, along with Mr. Wolfenberger.   A graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Finance, Mr. Urnezis was born and raised in Rockford and currently resides in Boone County.

He remains active in the community by being a charter member and board member of The Parks Kiwanis Club and is active in Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.  In addition to his community involvement, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three sons.