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Mortgage Newsletter - November 2023

How to Prepare for a Mortgage Refinance

The good thing about refinancing your home is that you have already been through a similar process of preparation for a mortgage when you purchased your home.

The primary difference is that now you need to determine if your refinance goal is to take cash out, reduce your interest rate, change to a different kind of loan or any combination. You can start preparing now by doing a few preliminary things.

Your lender will want to see that you have enough income to comfortably afford your monthly payments. Begin by gathering your verification of employment paperwork and any other documentation for income that you have, going back a minimum of two years. Other income would include any child support or alimony.

It is also a good time to check your credit score by ordering a credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Begin repairing any errors on your credit report and pay off any debts that are causing your credit score to be too low to get the best rates and terms possible. First Commonwealth Bank customers can view their credit score in online banking and the mobile app with Credit Score Manager. 

Your refinance will require an appraisal. With the help of online home value estimates, public records, and your real estate agent, you can get an estimate of its value ahead of proceeding with the refinance.

Prior to a visit from an appraiser, make sure your home is visually appealing and in good repair. Your goal is to optimize your refinance terms which are also determined by the value of your home and the new loan amount.

By preparing yourself ahead of the formal refinance process, you will have a better idea if it is worth it to spend the time and money to refresh the mortgage on your home.

Take Your Cleaning to the Next Level with These Hacks

Sometimes it feels like we can never get our own homes quite as clean as the professionals do. What are their secrets? We’ve scoured the Internet for these tips to make your own home feel as clean as a hotel.

Vinegar is a friend. If you prefer using nontoxic ingredients, vinegar is a go-to solution. One of its best tricks is descaling kettles. Fill the kettle up with half vinegar, half water and let it sit for at least an hour. Then boil and pour the mixture out.

Essential oils are for more than a massage. If your drain won’t stop smelling, pour a few drops of peppermint essential oil down it. It will remain odor free and will also help deter mice and other rodents.

Red wine? White wine. The oldest trick in the book and one that really works: if you spill a glass of red, pour white over it immediately. It might seem counterintuitive, but it works! Layer the stain with salt afterward to draw out the rest of the red.

Use lint rollers for hard-to-reach spots. Hard as we try, the vacuum doesn’t always reach everywhere. Use a lint roller to pick up dust and fluff in those pesky corners and hard-to-reach spots.

Iron off candle wax. Picture this: you decided to get the fancy dinner candles out, but now your favorite table runner is covered in wax droplets. Wax may feel like the hardest thing to expel from fabric, but the truth is a quick run under an iron will make it disappear. Remember to put a paper towel between them!

Use citrus peels for freshness. Save your orange and lemon peels and put them in a jar with white vinegar (that helpful friend) for an effective yet fresh surface cleaning solution.

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