10 Tips By Richard Balles on Saving for Your Ideal Home1

Buying a new home can be the most important and significant financial step you’ll ever take. When you make that decision, you need to start with a vision–a big picture, if you will. Sometimes, that vision starts when a friend or family member offers you a tour of their beautiful new home. As you venture from room to room, your aspirations grow and you find yourself asking “How do I make this happen for myself?”

With some careful financial planning from Richard Balles at A-K Financial, and some minor adjustments to your spending, your dreams of homeownership may become a reality sooner than you think. Here are several steps suggested by Richard Balles, that you can take to help steer you in the right direction:

1. Define the Big Picture
A good way to gauge how much money you will need to save for a down payment will come from knowing how much you can afford to spend on a home. Richard Balles have an online mortgage calculator ot A-K Financial, that can help you determine a fair estimate of how much home you can afford. It’s also a good idea to connect with Richard Balles or one of our A-K Financial advisors who can provide you with some basic information and give you a more accurate picture of a reasonable price range.

2. Budget Yourself
Creating and following a budget is crucial to the outcome of your savings. There are many unexpected costs that can come with homeownership, such as home repairs or the need for extra furniture, which you may not be currently paying and will need to budget for. Learning to budget your finances now will increase your rate of success as you take on this major commitment.

3. Know your Credit History
Your credit score will factor heavily on the interest rates you receive on a mortgage as well as the type of mortgage you get. Reviewing your free annual credit report–by going to annualcreditreport.com–will help you gain perspective on your current situation. Address any flaws that may appear on your report and make arrangements for payment on items that are outstanding.

4. Determine Your Necessities
Downsizing your expenses can be key in pinching those needed pennies. For example, preparing meals at home each night, rather than dining out too often, can dramatically decrease spending by hundreds each month. Also, cutting back on telephone services and cable TV can make a big impact on your monthly savings. Keep in mind, if you can live without it, you should do just that.

5. Make Your Money Count
Check to see if your employer offers flexible spending accounts. These accounts allow you to stash pre-taxed dollars from your paycheck directly into a savings that can be accessed monthly for personal expenses like car payments or childcare, instead of paying for those things out-of-pocket and after taxes. Utilizing your money to its fullest can save you big dollars in the long run.

6. Save! Save! Save!
Setting money aside could be the most important thing you do. Deduct what you can consistently afford from your paycheck into a savings account. You could request that your employer have that amount automatically deposited into a savings in order to avoid temptation. Remember, there are low and no down payment mortgages available if you can’t save 20 percent of the home’s value for a down payment. However, the more money you have going into the mortgage transaction, the easier it will be for you in the long run.

7. Track Your Expenses
Tracking your monthly spending can help you pinpoint where all those unaccounted dollars are going. When shopping, make a list a head of time and stick to it. Do your best to avoid unnecessary purchases.

8. Reduce Credit Card Spending
Those little pieces of plastic we call credit cards can often cause a great deal of temptation and damage. It is not uncommon for a person to make an unexpected purchase because they had a credit card handy. The best way to avoid these situations is to avoid using your credit cards whenever possible. Credit card companies can charge very high interest rates. When you pay cash, you don’t have to pay interest on it on top of what you’re spending for an item, thus you’re spending less money in the long run.

Remember: lenders like to see you use your credit so long as you use it wisely. It’s not necessary to get rid of your credit cards altogether, but it is important that you not live beyond your means. In fact, canceling your credit cards will shorten your credit history and can substantially lower your credit score.

9. Be Patient
Challenges and financial setbacks can undoubtedly arise as you set financial goals for yourself and cause you to become frustrated. It takes great discipline to avoid breaking your budget. Hang in there, for great is your reward!

10. Be Realistic
Maintaining a budget that works for your situation will be essential to staying on track. Setting unrealistic goals will only set you up for failure in the long run. Save what you can afford and remember that life is meant to be enjoyed. You can find a healthy balance.

Richard Balles says, putting your best foot forward will prepare you for a solid start as you venture through life and take on new commitments. Owning a home is one of the largest financial commitments that you’ll ever make, and A-K Financial has experienced mortgage advisors like Richard Balles, who want to help you through the process. So as you prepare for bigger and better things, keep your eyes on the prize and remember that anything worth having takes great effort and hard work. Your return can only be as big as your investment.

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Richard Balles tells you what you need to know about Home Loan Qualification

Richard Balles suggests, before you begin looking for a new home, a second home, or an investment property, it is always a good idea to get pre-qualified by your lender (Note: this is different than being pre-approved). At A-K Real Estate- Richard Balles assist you with this process.

1. Saves you time – you don’t spend your time looking at homes that are out of your price range.
2. Gives you an advantage in the marketplace – many sellers will only allow their property to be shown to pre-qualified buyers.

Your Credit Score – Value Rating – Paper Rating
720 and up – Superior Rating – A Paper
680 to 720 – Excellent Rating – A to B Paper
640 to 680 – Very Good Rating – B Paper
580 to 640 – Good Rating – Subprime
550 to 580 – Fair Rating – Subprime C
550 and below – Imperfect Rating – C Paper

Here Richard Balles is giving the list for “A” paper (note: different guidelines apply to “B and C” credit)
Conforming loan amount of up to $417,000 – 1st mortgage loan amount only (can also have a 2nd mortgage)
Can be owner or non-owner occupied
If owner occupied, must have 2 months PITI* reserves (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This money can be gifted from a friend or relative, but is best if it can be shown as self-saved (seasoned).
If non-owner occupied, must have 6 months PITI* reserves. This money cannot be gifted!
Non-conforming loan amount of $417,000
Can be owner or non-owner occupied
If owner occupied, must have 4 months PITI* reserves (Principal, Interest, Taxes, Insurance). This money can be gifted from a friend or relative, but is best if it can be shown as self-saved (seasoned).
If non-owner occupied, must have 6 months PITI* reserves. This money cannot be gifted!

Sources of PITI funds can be from any combination of these assets: checking/savings, 401K/IRA/SII, stocks/bonds, heloc, and basically anything that can be liquid should the need arise. This excludes credit cards!

Richard Balles tells you about, what you need to know:

• Minimum required documentation for full doc loan (either initial loan or refinancing loans)
Last 2 yrs tax returns
Last 2 years W2/1099 Stubs
Last 2 months asset statements, all pages
Current home appraisal within last 6 months (we “Chase” need to order this appraisal)
Home owners insurance agent’s name & phone number
2 yrs work history in the SAME field or relating to job
2 yrs address history (does not have to be the same address)
3 credit trade lines (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc): 1 of them at least 24 months old for payment history

if you’ve filed for bankruptcy (chapter 7 or 13)
It needs need to be seasoned at least 2 yrs
It cannot contain any Chase accounts in the bankruptcy, such as credit cards or mortgages
If you’re trying to refinance, current payments to bankruptcy trustee must be made on time and be current prior to pulling money from refinance
No late mortgage payments since filing
Credit Score of 620 (this can vary on a loan amount greater than $417,000, and also depends on the loan program)
2 yrs work history in the SAME field or relating to job
2 yrs address history, does not have to be the same address
3 credit trade lines (credit cards, student loans, car loans, etc): 1 of them at least 24 months old for payment history

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A-K Financial: Conventional Loans by Richard Balles

As a first-time homebuyer or a savvy move-up buyer, our programs are designed to accommodate homebuyers with limited personal savings or who choose not to deplete their personal savings as well as those who have a less-than-perfect credit history. You may be able to buy a home after all. Richard Balles at A-K Financial offers a variety of options to meet your needs and preferences. Best for people who: Don’t want to wait to accumulate a large down payment. Don’t want to deplete personal savings, cash in investments, or use home sale proceeds to fund a down payment. Have past credit problems and little or no cash for a down payment. With one of A-K Financial’s home financing programs specially designed by Richard Balles, the wait for your new home is over. Richard Balles or any of A-K Financial’s Loan Officer can help you decide between a fixed rate mortgage and an ARM, with or without points, or can counsel you regarding the variety of special financing programs we offer. Contact us today to find the program that best fits your needs! In conjunction with our Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate offers a step-by-step outline of the home-buying process, which includes obtaining financing for the home of your dreams. We also offer some financing tips to help you along in the process.

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Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate, gives you Refinancing ideas

Need extra financing to improve your current home?
Have little equity, but want to update that kitchen or bathroom?
Refinancing Today May Help Build Equity for Tomorrow and Richard Balles at A-K Real Estate can help you do it!
The last time mortgage interest rates were this low, Dwight Eisenhower was playing golf on the White House lawn, and the magical invention of television was capturing the attention of families everywhere.
Curious whether today’s historically low rates can benefit you? This may be an opportune time to explore refinancing to reduce your monthly payment. Yet some homeowners are hesitant to take the first step. Many aren’t certain they can qualify, or the process intimidates them. It doesn’t have to be that way.
A-K Financial’s mortgage specialists like Richard Balles, is here to help you with every detail.
The knowledgeable and friendly staff at A-K Financial can guide you through the process and explain your options. There are now many government programs available for qualified borrowers, even if your home value has declined in the current market. Here are some examples by Richard Balles our mortgage specialist :

  • Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
HARP may allow eligible homeowners to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates. HARP is designed for many conventional loans, and the application may not require an appraisal. In many cases, the closing costs can be financed into the new loan.

  • FHA Streamline Refinance
For eligible borrowers who already have an FHA loan, the “FHA Streamline Refinance” allows them to take advantage of today’s lower interest rates, often without an appraisal.

  • VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinancing Loan (IRRRL)
Sometimes called a “VA Streamline Refinance,” the VA IRRRL is available when transferring one VA loan to another. Benefits include no out-of-pocket costs, no appraisal in some cases, and no income verification.

Do you have a long-term fixed rate mortgage? If so, you might consider refinancing to a shorter mortgage term. Shorter-term mortgages may help build equity quickly. With today’s low rates, your payment could remain low while you reduce the term of the loan by many years.
Current global economic conditions have provided an environment for incredibly low rates. How long will it last? No one knows. Don’t miss this chance to find out if you can lower your mortgage payment or help build equity faster.
Our experienced loan consultants can give you a no-cost, no-obligation home financing analysis. Contact Richard Balles or our Customer Service today at 1-240-720-7313 to schedule your mortgage “check up.”
All first mortgage products are provided by A-K Financial, LLC. A-K Financial is an affiliate of A-K Real Estate. Please speak to your real estate agent for more information on this affiliation.
Refinancing makes sense only if the new rate is at least 1% or is lower than the rate on your current mortgage. The loan officers at A-K Real Estate can help you decide if refinancing is right for you. Contact us today to find out more!… (For your protection, we remind you that this is an unsecured email service that is not intended for sending confidential or sensitive information. Please do not include your social security number, account number, or any other personal or financial information in the content of the email).

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Richard Balles at A-K Financial suggests Loan options for First-time Home Buyers

With one of the most diverse and extensive product lines in the industry, A-K Real Estate with help of Richard Balles, has mortgage products to fit a variety of home financing needs. Richard Balles has listed some of the most popular here. To learn which loan options are best suited for your individual situation, schedule a consultation with one of our Home Mortgage Consultants at A-K Financial.

Richard Balles suggests Home Opportunities SM

Little or no down payment required
Flexible income, credit and debt guidelines, including non-traditional credit histories
Incentives for public employees

For home buyers with the following consideration points:

High debt ratios and little savings
Non-traditional credit histories
Both documented and undocumented income
Experienced financial difficulties
Qualified public employees

Richard Balles suggests – FHA Loan
Low down payment requirements
Flexible income, debt, and credit requirements to help borrowers qualify
Down payment and closing costs may be funded by a gift, grant, or secured loan.

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Homebuyers with limited savings
Homebuyers with low-to-moderate income

Richard Balles suggests – VA Loan
For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Qualified veterans, reservists, active-duty service members
Homebuyers with low-to-moderate income
Homebuyers with limited savings

Down Payment Assistance Program (DAPs) Available for a limited time by Richard Balles

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Income and purchase price limits apply. See your mortgage consultant for details

Richard Balles suggests – Fixed-Rate Mortgage Loan
Fixed-rate mortgages give you the security of knowing your monthly principal and interest payment will not change. A-K Financial provides a variety of fixed-rate products, with loan terms ranging from 10 to 40 years.

Predictable payments. The monthly principal and interest payment is fixed over the life of the loan.
Protection from rising interest rates. No matter how high market interest rates go, your mortgage rate remains the same over the life of your loan.

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

Prefer regular payments with no surprises
Have limited or fixed incomes
Plan to stay in their homes a long time
Are buying a home at a time when interest rates are comparatively low

Richard Balles suggests – Adjustable-Rate Mortgage
Interest rate that is fixed for an initial period, then adjusts periodically based on market conditions
Lower initial rate than with a fixed-rate mortgage
A variety of fixed-period options ranging from one to ten years

For homebuyers with the following consideration points:

People looking to increase their short-term cash flow
Buyers who need a larger loan amount than they can qualify for with a fixed-rate mortgage
Homebuyers who plan to move or refinance within a few years
Financial assistance for down payment and closing costs
No repayment of gift required
Minimal paperwork
No down payment required in most cases
Flexible income, debt, and credit requirements to help borrowers qualify
Down payment and closing costs may be funded by a gift, grant or secured loan

“If you want to do something worth doing, you’ll need two things: passion and architecture. But without the right tools, you can’t succeed. “
A-K Financial agents are committed, passionate, and have well-crafted support and training. Outfitted with the best tools to succeed in real estate and finance and to satisfy buyers and sellers. Meet with Richard Balles A-K Financial agent today and begin building the framework for your dreams.

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Refinancing Advice from Richard Balles of A-K Financial

It has been said that you should never refinance your home loan unless your new mortgage rate is at least two percent lower than your old mortgage rate. This is horrible mortgage advice. Instead of buying into the two percent rule of mortgage refinancing it makes more sense to base your decision on a cost and savings rather than this urban legend of financial advice. This is of course if lowering your payment is your goal when refinancing your home.

We all know that you loan amount and mortgage rate determine your monthly payment amount. This is done with a repayment process known as amortization. The lower your mortgage rate, the lower your monthly payments will be; however, there are refinancing costs you’ll need to consider also. I am of course referring to origination fees and closing costs. When answering the question Should I Refinance My Mortgage for you, it makes good financial sense to weigh the savings from your new, lower monthly payment against the cost of taking out the new home loan. A financial advisor at A-K Financial can help you determine if this is a plausible venture. If you can live with the amount of time it will take to recoup your origination fee and closing costs than mortgage refinancing makes good sense for you.

There are of course other reasons for refinancing that don’t result in a lower monthly payment. Many homeowners use risky adjustable rate loans to purchase their homes and are facing huge payments or high interest payments when their teaser rates expire. Refinancing these risky home loans with a fixed 30 year home loan is nearly always going to be the right choice. Another common reason for refinancing is to borrow cash against your home equity which could also result in a higher monthly payment. Depending on your needs and wants, A-K Financial can assist you in acquiring your goals.

Once you’ve answered the question Should I Refinance My Mortgage the question becomes how can I do this without getting ripped off? There are a number of unnecessary fees and markup of your mortgage rate for a double commission that A-K Financial will help you avoid to make sure you get the most for your refinancing dollar.

Richard Balles at A-K Financial is dedicated to provide the best Financial services in Germantown. Our Mr. Richard Balles is the best Financial advisor in the area. Dealing with A-k Real Estate INC., means you are dealing with the most efficient Finance company in the area.

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Pros and cons by Richard Balles at A K Financial and Real Estate

Ever since the real estate market turned soft, Richard Balles have had many of his clients ask him about entering the short sales market. No doubt, it’s tempting

Richard Balles know many Real Estate Agents, who have included this market in their portfolio of real estate services, and a good chunk of them have added some good money to their bottom line by doing so.

But Richard Balles, like most things in life, there are pros and cons. If you’re thinking about stepping into the short sale world, please take a minute to consider these pros and cons provided by Richard balles at A-K Real Estate.


1. As Richard Balles mentioned, the market is there and growing. Some estimate the number of short sales waiting to hit the market in the next 12 months is well into the millions. So if you’re not making money in the traditional market (or you’re looking to boost what you’re making), the business is there for the taking.

2. You can make decent money, contrary to what some say. Yes, a few banks look to Real Estate Agents commissions as a quick place to save some money, but many lenders are willing to pay close to – if not complete – full commissions. And make no mistake, banks want as much for the house as they can get, and they often seek a price close to comparables in the area.


1. It can be (and often is) a slow process that takes more patience than many Real Estate Agents have. Sometimes it takes a couple of months just to get approval for a short sale. And short sales require financial packages that include many documents (W-2 forms from employers, bank statements, tax returns, to name a few) and if just one document isn’t prepared properly, it can kill the whole deal instantly.

2. Even though you’re truly helping people who need your services – primarily you’re saving them from foreclosure and they’re often extraordinarily grateful for the help – you can be seen as a business person who is capitalizing on others’ misfortune. If you can accept that, he says fine.

3. There’s plenty to learn (hence the training that’s often needed that Richard Balles mentioned above). Short sales can be extraordinarily complex and sometimes they border on just plain difficult. Short sales, for example, require a high level of knowledge about the inner workings of these deals.

Your bank isn’t required to disclose any of this mortgage refinancing markup. They know the home loan rates other lenders are offering their customers; As per Richard balles It is possible to refinance your home loan with a wholesale mortgage rate and pay only a one percent origination fee in the process. True value is the amount that the property can be sold for in a reasonable period of time.

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Richard Balles Investors Guide – A K Financial, Real Estate

Business success is the result of what you know. Richard Balles of A-K Real Estate says, in every industry there are key elements—secrets—that if known will help to insure success but if not known will certainly lead to failure. Real Estate investing is no different. Success begins with knowledge. What are some of the critical lessons that every real estate investor should know? With help of Richard Balles, A K Real Estate and A K Financial has created a list of 10 things every investor should know

The first secret is probably the most important of all the others—using other people’s knowledge. There are only two ways to gain knowledge according to Richard Balles. Either you gain it from other people’s mistakes or make the mistakes yourself. If you refuse to learn from other people’s mistakes—you are destined to learn from your own mistakes. The secret is to learn from others and avoid the pain of learning the hard way. Here is the secret—you can jump start your investing success by getting a good mentor and constantly reading and listening to CDs by successful real estate investors.

The second secret that Richard Balles has discovered at A K Financial- Real Estate, is also very important—it is the power of consistently making a lot of quality offers. In order to become a successful real estate investor, it is absolutely necessary to place many offers that, if accepted, will result in great deals. Without offers there can be no good deals and good deals are the basis of success in real estate investing. If you do not ask you will not receive.

Secrets three through seven are the skills that will have to be developed in order to run a successful real estate investing business. These skills are:

• Finding good deals
• Obtaining the money to purchase the good deals you find
• Fixing up the property so that it is marketable
• Effectively marketing the property
• Property management

Master each of these skills and real estate investing becomes much easier but fail to develop them and you are in for a rough ride.

Secret number eight is that you must prepare quality offers that have a chance of being accepted. These offers must be high enough so that some of them will be successful. But they must be low enough so that, when one is accepted, it will result in a substantial return on your investment of time and money. This can be easily accomplished by using some of the effective software on the market today which we can provide for you, such as Turbo-Bidder or similar real estate analysis software.

The ninth real estate investing secret is that you must be able to determine the true value of property. True value is the amount that the property can be sold for in a reasonable period of time. The quickest way of determining true value is by paying a professional appraiser to work their magic, which we can provide for you at AK Financial. But that is not necessarily the best way. It doesn’t make sense to be paying an appraiser to look at thirty properties when you only expect to purchase one of those deals. That means that you must find an inexpensive way to determine true value. We have realtors who work with investors, who can provide accurate comparable sales (comps) of similar properties. These comps can give you a very good idea of what a property is worth.

And finally secret number ten is that you need to have a burning desire to become successful. Your attitude and drive can make up for lots of early mistakes and pitfalls that might sink a lesser person. Richard Balles believes As Calvin Coolidge once said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence”.

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Richard Balles at A-K Financial giving Advice on Refinancing

Mortgage Refinancing with your bank can be a fast and convenient way of lowering the monthly payments on your home loan; however, is your bank really the best place for avoiding hidden markup and junk fees? Here Mr. Richard Balles explaining how Mortgage Refinancing can save you thousands of dollars if you find the right person to arrange your next home loan; choosing the wrong person could cost you. Here are several tips by Richard Balles for getting the lowest mortgage rate while avoiding paying too much in closing costs and fees.

Is Mortgage Refinancing With Your Bank a Good Idea?

Many of your neighbors choose bank mortgage refinancing because it’s a quick and easy avenue to a new home loan. What could be easier than automatically transferring your mortgage payment from your checking account each month? The problem with bank originated mortgage refinancing is what your banker isn’t telling you and isn’t obligated to tell you. You see, banks are exempt from the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act that requires loan originator to disclose their profit margin and markup of your interest rate. The banking lobby spent millions of dollars lobbying congress in the early nineties to have this key bit of disclosure legislation changed to exclude banks, thereby giving them an unfair advantage. When it comes to your home why would you even consider working with a lender that doesn’t have to play by the rules?

Bank Service Release Premium

Richard Balles is going to take a moment to explain how your bank exploits this loophole in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Every mortgage lender out there, banks or wholesale lenders alike makes money by selling their loans to investors on the secondary market. The higher the interest rate on these loans, the more profit lenders make from investors. Wholesale mortgage lenders have a disadvantage next to banks because their customers know how much their mortgage rates were marked up to create this profit for the lender. Not everyone understands it, but a savvy homeowner can save thousands by recognizing and avoiding this markup.

Your bank isn’t required to disclose any of this mortgage refinancing markup. They know the home loan rates other lenders are offering their customers; however, they mark the bank mortgage rates up as much as they think their customers will pay to create this extra profit known as Service Release Premium for the bank. Because your bank isn’t required to disclose any of this markup you to you all you’ll get when mortgage refinancing with your bank is an Annual Percentage Rate based on a Good Faith Estimate filled with low-balled fees.

Wholesale Mortgage Refinancing?

As per Richard balles It is possible to refinance your home loan with a wholesale mortgage rate and pay only a one percent origination fee in the process. Banks simply do not offer their customers wholesale mortgage rates because they don’t have to; however, at A-K Financial, we can help you find the right mortgage broker and you can get this kind of deal and save yourself as much as $1200 per year from unnecessary markup. Who is the right mortgage broker for mortgage refinancing with a wholesale rate? Look for an independent, self-employed broker. These brokers will be much more willing to negotiate the type of deal that gets you wholesale rates without points or junk fees.

Richard Balles at A-K Financial is dedicated to provide the best Financial services in Germantown. Our Mr. Richard Balles is the best Financial advisor in the area. Dealing with A-k Real Estate INC., means you are dealing with the most efficient Finance company in the area.

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