Your Local Michigan Mortgage Specialists

Why Paying PMI May Be in Your Best Interest as a First Time Home Buyer

February 16th, 2020 by Inlanta Staff

One of the biggest hurdles that First Time Home Buyers face is saving up for the down payment.  There are many misconceptions that home buyers need to have at least 20% down; which can add years to the buying process for the funds to accumulate.  When a home is purchased with less than 20% down there is required PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) that is added to the monthly mortgage payment.

Paying PMI may be in the best interest of many first time home buyers due to the rising interest rate and home price environment we are currently facing.  Additionally, as a new home owner they can begin to build equity immediately instead of waiting for years to have the 20% down payment saved up.

Take a look at the graphic below for the recent Home Price Expectation Survey, which shows an example of a home owner who purchased in January that would gain nearly $50,000 in equity over the course of five years based on the home price appreciation alone.

So what does all this mean?

As a first time home buyer, you should start a conversation now about all your mortgage financing options instead of waiting.  Our Inlanta Team can easily layout these options and put together a plan for what is best for your individual situation.  You may end up deciding to purchase right away or take some time to better prepare.

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    Refinancing Traps to Watch Out For

    February 1st, 2020 by Inlanta Staff

    Refinancing can be tricky, but a little preparation before starting the process can help you to avoid mishaps along the way. Here are some common traps that you many run into while refinancing your home and tips to avoid falling for them.

    The automatic payment trap

    Did you know it can take up to two weeks to have automatic payments canceled? If your payments are made this way, be sure to turn it off before closing. You don’t want to pay for the same month twice!

    The missed or late payment trap

    Believe it or not, lots of people think they don’t have to keep making payments once they apply to refinance. Missing a payment could damage your credit and even preclude closing. Just be careful regarding your very last payment, as it should be made in time to assure it’s credited toward your payoff balance.

    The tax escrow trap

    The funds in any existing escrow account will typically be held until after the current loan is paid off. Since this money will not be available at closing, you need to be able to establish a new escrow account and/or pay any upcoming taxes from savings or the new loan proceeds.

    The insufficient funds trap

    The tax escrow trap can contribute to this, and so, too, can many other factors. For example, a low appraised value could limit your loan amount. As many loans are set up to cover all closing and escrow funds, it’s important to know that any necessary or unexpected adjustment could change the cash to close requirements accordingly.

    We want you to be aware of these potential pitfalls before they have a chance to occur. Of course, we will work with you and on your behalf to prevent and avoid them. If you’re looking to refinance, or are already going through the process, feel free to Contact Us! We’re always happy to help.

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      Top 3 Credit Misconceptions

      January 13th, 2020 by Inlanta Staff

      You are not alone if you have been putting off having your credit reviewed for the purposes of getting a mortgage.  There are so many things that run through people’s heads.  They want to pay off all their debt, close accounts, try to quickly build credit and their intentions are in the right place, BUT it can all backfire.  Credit is complex and everyone’s situation is completely different.

      If you are even starting to think about purchasing a home, having your credit reviewed by a professional is absolutely the first step in the process.  A mortgage lender can offer you not only a review but also guidance on anything that could improve your unique situation.  Do you have these misconceptions?

      • Credit Misconception #1- I Know My Credit Scores
      • Credit Misconception #2- My Credit Scores will go Down if my Credit is Pulled
      • Credit Misconception #3- I Need to Pay Down/Off My Debts

      Read the rest of this entry »

      TOP 3 Reasons to Stop Renting & Buy Your Own Home

      September 10th, 2019 by Inlanta Staff

      Is it time to leave renting behind and purchase a home to call your own?

      There are many advantages to becoming a homeowner in 2020.  We are sure you have seen the news, interest rates have dropped to all-time lows once again, making homeownership more affordable than many rising rent payments.  When considering buying a home you want to evaluate your current circumstance and stage in life.  Buying a home is not always right for each  situation. Read the rest of this entry »

      What is a S.M.A.R.T. Mortgage Consultation?

      April 22nd, 2019 by Ima Admin

      At Inlanta Grand Rapids, we think “outside the bank” with our S.M.A.R.T. Mortgage Consultation. S.M.A.R.T. stands for consultations that are: Strategic, Mindful, Authentic, Results-oriented, and Timely. It takes more than great rates to make a great mortgage. It takes the right team, the right product and the right process to set you up for future financial success. Inlanta is different in that we listen, we assess your unique circumstances and goals, and then we find the right fit for your financial future.

      The right mortgage program can mean the difference between actually closing on your dream home or watching it drift away due to a bureaucratic quagmire and shoddy planning. It can mean the difference between sending your kids to college one day or saddling them with debt because you were talked into a low-rate ARM that ballooned. You need a partner who can guide you through the dizzying array of mortgage products to help you find the right, affordable fit that won’t leave you house-poor but won’t have you leave money on the table either.

      So start S.M.A.R.T. – talk to one of our specialists today!

      What’s the Right Time To Look Into Your Credit?

      March 22nd, 2019 by Ima Admin

      Are you a renter who hopes to one day own your dream home? Are you looking to move up from your starter home? Did something catch your eye driving by?

      If you think you’ll even LOOK at a house for sale in West Michigan this year – or next — it’s time to take a closer look at your “real” credit score. That’s because you need to ensure your financial ducks are in a row BEFORE you can house-hunt with a mortgage pre-approval in hand.

      In the tight real estate market Grand Rapids and West Michigan are currently experiencing, where multiple offers above asking price have become the norm, you cannot afford to be house hunting without a bona fide pre-approval in hand. Not a pre-qualification, a pre-approval. What’s the difference? Well, at Inlanta, a pre-approval means taking a deep look at your eligibility, your unique considerations, and going through initial underwriting to secure assurance that your loan will close and that you know exactly what to expect in terms of payments and closing costs.

      By going through our Pre-Approval process, clients are then able to have us generate property and price-specific approval letters on demand. Not only does that make the offer stronger, but it is also a smarter way to negotiate. An open qualification letter that spells out your maximum leaves too much room for sign-backs, and at the same time, isn’t as confidence-inspiring as a bona fide pre-approval.

      If you hope to be in the buying market this season or next, talk to one of the S.M.A.R.T. Mortgage Specialists at Inlanta Mortgage Michigan to get ready to win your bid on your dream home. It all starts with understanding your credit and your program eligibility. Contact us to get started.

      The Best Way to Use Your Tax Refund

      February 26th, 2019 by Inlanta Staff

      A Down Payment on a New Home is the Best Option for your Tax Refund!

      The tax season is well underway.  If you are receiving a refund, have you planned what you are going to do with it?  Utilizing your tax refund towards the purchase of a new home is a great long-term investment.  Typically, there is a minimum down payment of 3.5-5% on the purchase of a primary residence. The thought of this large down payment is one of the biggest challenges for home buyers to overcome.

      One benefit of tax season is being able to utilize your IRS or State tax refund for a down payment. In some cases a refund is also helpful to pay off outstanding debts or credit cards to improve credit or qualify for a larger mortgage.  The most important step is start a conversation, where we can review your situation to know the best way for you use your refund and get you closer to a new home. Read the rest of this entry »

      Get the Score on Credit Scores

      January 22nd, 2019 by Ima Admin

      There are lots of places on the internet to learn your credit score. But if you’re planning to purchase a new home, these online scores don’t tell the whole story. A consumer score is meant to be educational. All information is the same that will be found on a mortgage report, but the weight given in scoring is completely different. The idea is that the consumer can see how they compare to national averages and can catch errors. Mortgage scores are based on FICO Scores, which have many different versions and the newest model is rarely used right away in the industry.

      Generally speaking, is the only source to get your true “mortgage” scores. Of the FICO scores, there are different types of scores used by auto lenders, credit card companies, and mortgage companies.

      • FICO Credit can range from no credit to scores between 300 and 850
      • 750+ is considered excellent credit
      • There are 3 Bureaus who report credit that all banks use to determine credit worthiness. They are: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion.
      • However, the types of free online scores most consumers see are actually different than what a lender uses.

      Need help getting ready to apply for a pre-approval or mortgage? Contact one of our S.M.A.R.T. Mortgage Specialists today.

      5 Questions to Ask your Bank BEFORE applying for a mortgage

      September 9th, 2018 by Ima Admin

      Make sure to ask your bank these 5 questions before applying for a mortgage.  We know the many great services they offer, but we specialize ONLY in mortgages, which gives you an upper hand.

      #1: Will I be pre-approved or pre-qualified?

      As we’ve stated in this previous article, being pre-approved and pre-qualified are two different things and the latter doesn’t have any value when the rubber hits the road. The purpose of a pre-qualification is to give a general idea of what to expect, but nothing is concrete until the more in-depth analysis of the pre-approval process. At Inlanta, we do a lot of the legwork during this step to give you more buying power when it comes time to make an offer.

      #2: What does your loan process look like from beginning to end?

      Since we are doing an in-depth analysis of your financials upfront the loan process moves smoother and quicker.  With your income and assets evaluated from the beginning we are able to streamline the mortgage process and get your loan into our processor right away and on to underwriting.  During the underwriting stage you will most likely be requested for a few clarifying documents to complete the process.  The underwriter may also request some updates to the appraisal report and purchase agreement.  This is done just to make sure everything matches exactly.

      You are looking for a mortgage loan process that is smooth and flows cohesively.  Many times the person you originally speak to has no control on what the process looks like or what is happening.  That can be frustrating for all involved.

      Learn More About Inlanta’s Loan Process

      #3: How long does it take to close my loan?

      This is a much bigger question than it appears.  We will start of with the standard answer; most mortgage transactions take 30-45 days.  There are an overwhelming number of variables that can cut this time frame down to 10 days but also as many that could extend the loan to more than 45 days.

      Generally speaking, Inlanta closes mortgage transactions in 20 days.  The reason why we are able to close faster is because of our upfront work to truly pre-approve our clients as well as Inlanta’s commitment to work off of your purchase contract date.  We will try to do what is needed to get you to the closing table on your agreed upon date.  This does take your cooperation to provide all the documentation and paperwork that is requested by the deadlines given to keep everything on track.

      #4: Do you use an appraisal management company?

      This seems like a small detail in the grand scheme of things, but it’s an important question to ask.  All appraisals are not created equal.  An appraisal management company is a third party who has a large number of appraisers signed up to work for them as contractors to insure they are not unduly influenced by the mortgage lender.  These appraisers have to do more appraisals to earn the same amount of money and many times will accept orders outside of their area of familiarity.

      There is an additional option to have a separate internal appraisal desk that manages the ordering of appraisals to ensure the appraisers are local and complete a thorough report. The biggest benefit of using a local appraiser rather than an outsourced one is that he or she will have first-hand knowledge about the area and neighborhood.  Additionally, the appraisers can be vetted more thoroughly.

      If you want to get a better idea on what an appraisal management company is and how it came about; read this from NAR:  NAR Issue Brief: Appraisal Management Company Q&A

      #5: How and when will I be communicated with?

      You will be communicated with every step of the way. The mortgage process is complicated, but having all parties involved work together as a team will keep it from being difficult. Keeping everyone in the loop, whether it’s by phone, email, or text, is key to achieving this, and rest assured that Inlanta Mortgage Grand Rapids will do our part to make sure everyone involved is on the same page.


      Already have a pre-approval?  Take a minute to check your quote.

      Do You Have the Best Mortgage Quote?

      August 28th, 2018 by Inlanta Staff

      Check Your Current Mortgage Quote

      Get a custom review of your current mortgage quote to ensure you are in the best mortgage for your individual situation.  Mortgage quotes are not all created equal.  It is important to take into account your goals today as well as in the future.  Check your current mortgage quote now!

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