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4th of July Action, Happy 4th to All!

If you are in the Cape Fear/Wilmington, N.C. or Southport area for the Fourth of July festivities, there is plenty for you to choose from.  Here are a few events you can enjoy during the holiday.

Wednesday, July 3rd

Pleasure Island Fireworks,

Where: Pleasure Island (Carolina Beach, Kure Beach)

When: Their biggest extravaganza of the Summer begins at 9 pm

Additional Info: Live Music at the Gazebo with Dutch Treet starting at 6:30 to 9:30pm

You can find more information by visiting PleasureIslandNC.org/Fireworks-by-the-Sea

Wilmington Sharks

Baseball Post Game Fireworks

Where: Legion Stadium (2149 Carolina Beach Rd)

Game time: First pitch vs. Edenton is at 7:05 p.m.

Additional Info: The Sharks will be serving $1 beers in their Beer Garden and $1 domestics throughout the park. The 4th of July is also Moe’s Night, and their first 100 fans will receive a free Moe’s Southwest Grill drink koozie.

Have a question for The Sharks? Call their office at 910-343-5621 or visit

WilmingtonSharks.com

 

 Thursday, July 4th

 4th of July Riverfront Celebration

Where: Downtown Wilmington along Water St.

Food and Entertainment begins at 5:00 pm and will last until 9:00 pm

Fireworks begins at 9:05 pm

Music provided by Heart & Soul in Riverfront Park

Live television coverage of the fireworks begins at 9:00 pm on WECT

Click here for printable map with parking and exit information

Wilmington Children’s Museum

Fourth of July Celebration – 5 pm – 8 pm

Where: 116 Orange Street, Wilmington

Time: 5-8pm

What is happening: Order dinner or pack a picnic and enjoy fun activities!

Air Rocket Challenge, Sharpie Fireworks, Sound Sandwich noisemakers

6pm, 7pm: Soda Explosions

They would like to show their appreciation to our military for all they do so all day they are offering 1/2 off admission for immediate family of military personnel who show their ID.

More info: PlayWilmington.org

North Carolina Fourth of July Festival

Where: Southport, N.C.

When: June 30th – July 4th

Fireworks on the 4th – 9pm

What is happening: Over 100 handmade arts and crafts on display,

Main Stage Entertainment – best beach, top 40’s and country bands each evening, Patriotic parade representing main street USA and televised on WECT TV6 ,

A Naturalization Ceremony,

Veterans Recognition – ceremony honoring the sacrifices of our armed service personnel who have served and paid for our freedom,

Beach Day – highlighting the activities popular at Southport’s neighboring beach community Oak Island – volleyball and shag contests included.

Children’s Entertainment & Games – Old fashioned games including sack races and watermelon eating contests.

For more information visit NC4thofJuly.com

 

4th of July Golf Cart Parade, Picnic, and Pool Party

Where: Bald Head Island

When: 11 am

Bald Head Island Fireworks Cruise – 8 pm

For more info visit BaldHeadIsland.com/Events

USE A LOCAL HOME APPRAISER!

When you apply for a mortgage or refinancing, you will have to go through the process of getting your house, or the house you are wanting to purchase appraised.  An appraiser will visit the property and will evaluate the land, dwellings and all the included features.  This is called Field Work and their goal is to establish a market value.  This process generally can be done within a couple of days, but depending on the complexity of the order it can extend into weeks.

An appraiser will go onto a property and will evaluate the interior and exterior condition.  They will look at the quality of the construction and how many upgrades or modernizations there have been.  Then they will estimate the square footage by taking measurements of the exterior of the home and assess non-living areas such as covered porches, permanent sheds and garages.

Once the appraiser has all the information they need about the subject property, they will spend time looking at properties close by to further establish the market value of the home.  This includes looking at recent sales as well as foreclosures, assessing tax records, courthouse records and their own personal knowledge of the area.  This is one of the reasons Alpha Mortgage only uses local appraisers because we want our clients to have the most accurate and dependable source possible.  Once the field work is completed the appraiser will finish the report and then submit it to the loan officer.

 

Once our loan officer has the report they will set up an appointment with you to review the results in detail.  You are always welcome to have a copy of the report as well for your own records.  Once we have the information we can move forward with the mortgage process and get you one step closer to refinancing or owning a new home.  At Alpha Mortgage it is our goal to make the home buying process as simple and easy as possible and we want you educate you each step of the way.  Do not ever hesitate to give us a call when you have a question.  We’re here for you.

 

When you are ready to purchase a new home or you want to take advantage of the historically low rates and refinance, one of our loan officers is ready to work with you.  We have offices  in Wilmington 910-256-8999, Winston-Salem 336-760-3013, Fayetteville 910-484-7272, Asheville 828-552-0330, Jacksonville 910-347-7283, New Bern 252-634-3000, & Jacksonville 910-347-7283.  We look forward to hearing from you!

FHA Loans explained

Who is the FHA?

FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The FHA was created as part of the National Housing Act of 1934.  The FHA insures loans made by lending organizations such as banks and private lenders for the purpose of building or buying a home.  It also works to improve housing standards and conditions and to help keep the mortgage market stabilized.  Home buyers all throughout North Carolina have been utilizing FHA loans for decades.

 

What is an FHA Loan?

This is a loan provided by an FHA improved lender such as Alpha Mortgage, that is secured by Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance.  This program is a way that our government is helping citizens who are in a lower income bracket and might not otherwise be able to obtain a mortgage loan.

 

Do I qualify for an FHA Loan?

At Alpha Mortgage we are going to work closely with you to find out which mortgage program is best for you.  If that happens to be an FHA loan then we will help you through the prequalification process.  This will include providing your employers name and address and demonstrating that you have held a steady job for two years or more with the same company or employer without a decrease in income.  You will also need to provide the amount of your Gross Monthly Salary and if you have held multiple jobs over this period, provide W2’s for all of them.  If there are any foreclosures with your name attached, at least three years need to have passed (this applies for bankruptcy as well).   You will also need to provide the addresses of where you have lived in the past two years.

 

If you cannot locate a copy of your W2’s, do not hesitate to contact your employer for assistance.  You can also order a replacement copy from the IRS’ website.  If this all seems overwhelming, that is what your Alpha Mortgage loan officer is here for.  They are  your trusted source you can turn to who will guide you through the process.  With Alpha Mortgage you are never alone.

 

So What Do I Do Now?

Before you gather all the needed information to prequalify for an FHA loan, give your local Alpha Mortgage branch a call.  We will set up a one-to-one for you with one of our loan officers, at your convenience, and then we can learn about your goals for buying a home or refinancing and begin looking at the different options you have.  It is that easy and we plan on keeping the rest of the process as simple as possible.  We have offices  in Wilmington 910-256-8999, Winston-Salem 336-760-3013, Fayetteville 910-484-7272, Asheville 828-552-0330, Jacksonville 910-347-7283, New Bern 252-634-3000, & Jacksonville 910-347-7283.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

VA Loans

In 1944, near the end of the second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt enacted the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act.  This is what we know today as the GI Bill of Rights.  This act provided veterans with a federally guaranteed home with no down payment.  For millions of veterans, this gave them and their families an opportunity to realize the family dream of home ownership.

The loans are guaranteed by private lenders which include banks and mortgage companies.  As long as the veteran is eligible to purchase the home, which is required to be for their own personal occupancy, the lender is protected against a loss if the loan is not repaid.  This is why no down payment is required and the veteran and his or her family can obtain very favorable financing terms.

If you are a veteran and you want to apply for a VA Loan, what is your next step?  The answer is to follow the normal steps of home buying and that is to get preapproved from a mortgage lender such as Alpha Mortgage.  We will help determine your credit rating, your income to debt ratio and go through the process of helping you understand what your monthly costs might be.  This will give you a solid understanding of what you can afford.  Once we have determined what you are preapproved for, we will have a clearer understanding of how much you will need from your VA Loan.  The maximum guarantee authorized by the VA is 25 percent of the loan amount up to $104,250 and the maximum VA home loan is $417,000.  If you are looking to refinance, a VA Loan can help with that as well.  Be sure to ask your Alpha Mortgage broker about the Streamline Refinancing Program.  If you qualify you may be able to refinance at little or no expense.

Here in eastern North Carolina we are extremely lucky to be surrounded by so many of our nations finest soldiers who never hesitate to put their life on the line to protect ours.  Our appreciation for the men and women of this country runs deep and at Alpha Mortgage we will work as hard as we can to make sure any military family can realize their dream of home ownership.  Whether you are a member of Pope A.F.B., Seymour Johnson A.F.B., Fort Bragg, Air Station Elizabeth City, National Strike Force, Camp Lejeune, MCAS Cherry Point, or MCAS New River you may qualify for a VA Loan and we will help make the process as simple and easy as possible.

We have offices in your area that can help you when you are ready.  Our Wilmington office is 910-256-8999, our Fayetteville office is 910-484-7272, our Jacksonville office is 910-347-7283, and our New Bern office is 252-634-3000.  We look forward to hearing from you and while words cannot truly express our gratitude, thank you so much for your service and dedication to our country.

Historically Low Mortgage Rates part 1 – First Time Home Buyers

This week, mortgage interest rates have dipped down once again to historic lows. A thirty year fixed rate mortgage for a client with a 740+ credit score (and other qualifying factors) can be as low as 3.625%.

 

So what does this mean for first time home buyers in North Carolina?  The simple answer is it is one of the best times you can imagine to buy a new home, but you need to be smart about it.  This is when doing a little due diligence and working with a reputable mortgage banker like Alpha Mortgage can save you a great deal of time and stress.  Here are some tips we have put together for first time home buyers.

 

Know your limits

Do you know how much you can afford?  It’s not just about how much it will cost over fifteen or thirty years, but how much will it cost you every month.  When you work with Alpha Mortgage, we will go over with you what is called the debt to income ratio.  This is a formula that will determine how much you can afford based on what you make and what you owe (such as credit cards, car payment, etc.).

Once you have determined what mortgage amount you are pre-approved for, you next need to begin factoring in how much you can truly afford each month.  This means writing down all the costs you know you are going to have including homeowners insurance, estimated energy costs, water and sewage, home owners association dues, property taxes and more.  These are all variables that will change depending on the area you live in.  This is where due diligence comes into play.

A great way to go about this is to select three different areas or neighborhoods you would like to live in.  Then find out which energy company supports the area and call to find out the average household cost per year and then do the same with your water and sewage company.  If you are looking in a city, call the tax office to find out what taxes residents are expected to pay.  Next you need to call around to different reputable insurance companies and talk with an agent about what kind of cost homeowners in each area typically pay.  They may not be able to give you exact numbers, but it will give you something to work with.  Make sure you find out if the areas or neighborhoods you are looking at have a home owners association.  If they do then find out what the monthly dues will be.  Always keep in mind there will be expenses that will arise that you will not expect such as vehicle repair.  It is always a good idea to add in an extra amount each month to cover unexpected costs.

Once you put together an estimate of what your total monthly costs will be, it will help greatly in determining how large of a mortgage you can truly take on comfortably.  Being educated and informed can be daunting for first time home buyers because there is so much you have to think about when it comes to monthly finances, but once you go through the process you can truly find the area and neighborhood that is right for you and you will never have to second guess yourself.  When you purchase with confidence it makes all the difference in the world.

At Alpha Mortgage, we’re here to guide you through this process. There are many different mortgage programs out there and we’re going to get to know you, help you understand your financial situation and then make a recommendation on which program will benefit you the most.  If we determine that you would be better off waiting a few more months or a year so you can save up or build your credit rating, we’re going to be honest with you.  An educated client is an empowered client and when you succeed we succeed.  Call us today and let us help you get started on the path to home ownership in North Carolina.  Click here for a listing of our branch offices.