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What is Homestead Exemption?

Mar 25
8:00
AM
Category | Mortgage Speak
How to Lower Property Taxes with Homestead Exemption If you have recently closed on a home in the past calendar year, you are able to take advantage of a homestead exemption. A homestead exemption exempts a portion or a flat dollar amount of your home’s value from your annual property tax bill. To qualify, the homeowner must reside in the home and it cannot be a rental or investment property. The deadline to file your homestead exemption application is April 1. How much does my city or county exempt from my taxes? To confirm the amount that your city or county exempts from your property’s value, contact your local tax assessor’s office for that information. The deadline and document requirements may be different for each area. For Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida residents, see the links below for resources on your local homestead exemption information: Georgia homestead exemption South Carolina homestead exemption Florida homestead exemption Homestead Exemptions for Seniors, Disabled, and Military Personnel Senior Citizen and Disabled Homestead Exemptions Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida all have tax exemption programs for senior citizens and disabled homeowners that live in those states. The eligibility requirements such as age, income, and residency restrictions, vary from state-to-state, so be sure to check with your local tax assessor’s office. Disabled homeowners may need to provide documentation from the Social Security Administration showing proof of disability. Military Homestead Exemptions All BankSouth Mortgage’s main service areas, Georgia, South Carolina, ...

Mortgage Speak

We have all seen the home improvement TV shows where the bathroom or kitchen gets an easy update in an hour or less, but when we try to do that in our own home, somehow a whole weekend goes by and we aren’t even halfway done. Well, here are few things that can change the look and feel of your home without breaking the bank or taking all weekend. From a color update to spending some time in the yard, these tips are sure to help you love your home more and potentially increase its value. Paint Can do Wonders Not much else can change the look of your living room or bathroom more than a fresh coat of paint! Whether you’re adding a pop of color with an accent wall or cleaning things up with a nice neutral gray or off-white in the entire room, a coat of paint dramatically changes the look of any room with little financial investment. Take is a step further and give the kitchen a quick refresh by painting those old oak cabinets and replacing the hardware. You’ll feel like you’re in a different home! Landscaping Adds Curb Appeal On a warm sunny day, take a trip to the hardware store and pick out a few plants, flowers, or a tree to add to your yard. Whether you’re selling or not, be sure to think of the environment, and select plants that are easy to care for and maintain. Not only will you be adding to your home’s appearance, but low maintenance plants mean less water and more savings on your utility bill. Replace Old Worn Out Faucets Aside from your washing machine, the kitchen faucet may be one of the hardest working items in your home. By keeping your hands clean, washing dishes, or rinsing off food ...

Mortgage Speak

Sometimes you need something when you don’t, and other times you think you don’t need something when you do. That’s why we made this list of documents that you may need in order to refinance your mortgage. Every refinance deal is different, so you may be asked to provide more or less than what is on this list depending on your unique circumstance. Documents Needed for Application The past 2 years of federal tax returns, W-2s, 1099s, or K-1s, depending on your type of income. If you are self-employed (own 25% or more) and file corporate tax returns, please provide a copy of the last two years tax returns. If you filed for an extension for this year, please provide a copy of the filed extension and your two prior year’s federal tax returns. Please be sure tax returns are signed where applicable (page on 2 personal, page 1 on business). 30 days most recent pay stubs for all current employers. 2-year employment history – if there are any gaps, a letter of explanation may be needed by your lender Most recent available asset statements (checking, savings, brokerage accounts, money markets, etc.) covering at least a 2-month period. Please provide all pages even if blank or is a reconciliation page. Retirement account statements (IRA & 401(k)), all pages. Copy of driver’s license for all borrowers. Current mortgage statement Name and phone number of the insurance company that insures your home If Applicable Copy of any child support orders, all pages. Divorce decree, if you pay alimony or if you receive it and want to use it for qualifying. If you have filed ...

Mortgage Speak

Get a Lower Rate, Take Cash Out of Equity, or Get Rid of PMI When you refinance a loan, you essentially replace the current loan with a new loan. There are a variety of reasons to go through this process, from lowering your interest rate, to planning for life’s important milestones. Let’s look at the most common reasons homeowners refinance their mortgages, starting with reducing the monthly payment by getting a lower rate. 1. Get a Lower Rate to Reduce Your Monthly Payment If you are a homeowner that is looking to reduce your monthly payment and you purchased your home with a higher interest rate than is being offered now, you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage. Lowering your interest rate has a two-fold benefit. Not only does it lower your payment, but it also increases the rate at which you build up equity in your home. 2. Take Cash Out of Your Home’s Equity When you owe less than your home is worth, that means you have equity built up in your home. Up to 90% of the difference between what you owe and your home’s worth can go to you in cash depending on the lender’s guidelines and your qualifications. You can spend the cash on home improvements, debt consolidation, paying off student loans, or any other financial needs you may have. 3. Eliminate Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Is your loan backed by the FHA or did you purchase your home with less than 20% down? If so, there is a good chance that you have PMI. Private Mortgage Insurance is used to protect lenders if a borrower falls behind on their payments. If the new loan amount you get when you refinance is less than 80% of your ...

Mortgage Speak

Gain a better plan rather than living paycheck-to-paycheck with your next mortgage Homeownership is a goal that most of us have. In order to make this dream come true, future homebuyers need to do some financial planning and budget their money in order to save for a home. Let’s take a look at a possible financial scenario of a newly-married couple, Brad and Ann, renting an apartment and plan to purchase their first home within the next 12 months. Build good credit First things first. If your credit needs a little TLC, you need to take care of that first. Talk with one of our helpful Mortgage Bankers to review your credit report and profile. You will work with your Mortgage Banker to ensure there is no suspicious activity or late payments recorded that shouldn’t be there. If you have a poor credit rating, it could limit the amount of house you can qualify for due to a high-interest rate, or result in your application being denied by an Underwriter. If your loan application gets denied, BankSouth Mortgage can help you get back on track with your credit and finances. We never want to say “no” to a borrower, but rather help each customer achieve their financial dream of homeownership. Add up monthly income sources Now for the second-largest elephant in the room when it comes to planning a budget, your income. There is no way you’re going to be able to know how much home you can afford if you don’t add up your monthly income sources. In our make-believe financial scenario, Brad is an Accountant brings in $2,900 in take-home pay a month, and Ann’s monthly take-home amount is $3,200 a month as a ...

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