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Dominic Garver

Loan Originator |NMLS 1591627
  • (256) 714-1429
  • dgarver@umortgage.com

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Meet Dominic!

I live in the Huntsville, Alabama area. I work with buyers and homeowners in all of Alabama, Tennessee, and North Carolina. (More to come) I started in the Mortgage industry in July of 2001 (It's been an amazing career!) I make it a priority to keep up with trending data in order to help all my home buying and refinancing clients. My first priority is to provide timely and precise information on home buying options as well as performing refinance reviews with the goal of giving everyone the important information and data needed to make the best decision for them. I focus on VA, Conventional, USDA, and FHA but I have experience and history construction, HELOCs, reduced documentation, and many other financing options.

Serving Homebuyers In:

  • Alabama
  • North Carolina
  • Tennessee

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Monthly Payment

Affordability

Refinance

Your Mortgage Questions, Answered!

Your Guide For Moving Up: How to Use Your Equity to Move From Starter Home to Forever Home

Homeownership comes with plenty of perks that benefit homeowners throughout their lives. One of the primary perks is the building of equity simply by paying a monthly mortgage payment. Life changes quickly and homeowners can quickly outgrow their current home. In this blog, we’ll outline the ways that homeowners can utilize their existing equity to ‘move up’ into their next home. Selling Your Current Home The most common way that homeowners fund the purchase of their next home is through the sale of their current home. Most of the time, this requires careful planning; if your current home sells before you find your next home, you’ll need to find another place to live in the meantime. This can mean renting a temporary residence or moving in with a friend or family member. When you elect to sell your home, it’s important to enlist a trustworthy selling agent to make sure your home is listed for the right price and is advertised to prospective homebuyers. The selling agent will also broker the transaction with the buyer’s agent to ensure that the home is sold for a fair price with all the necessary paperwork to complete the transaction. Once your home is on the market, buyers should work with a lender to get pre-approved for their next purchase to minimize the time between the sale of their current home and the closing date of their next home. When an offer on your home is accepted and the loan closes, you can use the capital earned by selling your home towards the qualification and down payment for your next home. Bridge the Gap Between Homes with a Bridge Loan If you know you want to move up but don’t want to bridge the gap with temporary housing, a bridge loan is a great option to use the future sale of your current home to finance the purchase of your next home. A bridge loan is a form of home financing that provides a funding source until you can secure permanent financing or pay off existing debt. If you use a bridge loan to purchase your next home, you can cash out equity from your current home to put toward the down payment on a new home or use your current home as collateral to take out a bigger mortgage for your next home. Bridge loans are short-term loans with terms as short as 6 months and up to 3 years. They also come with interest rates roughly 2% higher than the prime rate available. If you can’t come up with a down payment for the purchase of your new home until you sell your current home, have found a job that requires you to move with a short turnaround, or have a closing date for the sale of your current home that’s after the settlement of your new home, a bridge loan could be a great option for you! The terms, conditions, and fees for a bridge loan can vary based on the transaction and/or the lender. If you’re curious about bridging the gap between homes with a bridge loan, reach out to your UMortgage Loan Originator for personalized advice based on your individual situation. Cash in to Your Equity with a Cash Out Refinance If you want to keep your current property but tap into the equity to buy another home, a cash-out refinance could be right for you. With a cash-out refinance, you swap your existing mortgage for a new mortgage and pocket the difference in cash. This allows you to access your equity to pay for a down payment and closing costs on your next home without listing your current home on the market. Even better, if your current home has an interest rate that’s higher than the current quoted rates, you could end up saving on the mortgage payment for your current home as you transition it into a second home or investment property. On the flip side, using a cash-out refinance to purchase your next home leaves you with two new mortgages that you’re responsible for paying, or could increase the payment on your current home if rates are higher than they were when you closed. Before you choose to move forward with a cash-out refinance, it’s a great idea to sit down with your UMortgage Loan Originator for personalized financial advice to determine whether this is the right option for you. Borrow Against Your Equity With a Home Equity Loan As we’ve mentioned before, the equity that you’ve built by paying your monthly mortgage payment can put you in good stead to purchase your next home. With a home equity loan, you can borrow a lump sum against your home’s equity at a fixed interest rate. Your loan sum is based on the market value of your home, the amount still owed on your mortgage, and individual qualifying standards such as your credit score. Home equity loans are fixed-rate loans with repayment periods as long as 30 years. With a home equity loan, you can use the funds for any purpose, including down payment and closing costs for the purchase of your next home. If the funds are used to buy a home, build a new home, or renovate your home, there are potential tax benefits that could allow you to deduct accrued interest. Before you jump at the idea of a home equity loan, it’s important to consider whether it’s financially feasible for you. Using your original home as an investment property is a possibility, but it could mean that you’re on the hook for three mortgage payments. Considering a Home Equity Line of Credit With a home equity line of credit (also known as a HELOC), you can qualify for a line of credit that’s secured by your home that allows you to purchase your next home. Similar to a home equity loan, a HELOC is a second mortgage that provides you with access to funds based on the value of your home. With a HELOC, you can borrow up to 85% of the equity you’ve earned in your home, though the exact amount varies based on your lender, your credit score, and your debt-to-income ratio. Rather than fixed-sum home equity loans, HELOCs are a revolving line of credit with two stages: a draw period and a repayment period. During the draw period, you can borrow what you need, repay it, and then continue to borrow against that line of credit – similar to a credit card. During the draw period, you only have to pay interest on what’s used from your line of credit. Draw periods typically last 10 years. After the draw period, you’ll enter your repayment period. During this period, which lasts anywhere between 10 and 20 years, you won’t be able to access the funds and will instead need to repay the principal and any accrued interest. Just like with a home equity loan, keeping your original home and purchasing a new home with a HELOC means you’ll be responsible for paying three mortgages. Because your home is used as collateral for your HELOC, if you’re unable to pay it, your lender could foreclose your home. At the end of the day, most people don’t live in their starter home forever. Depending on your eligibility, you could have a plethora of options available to use your equity as a means to buy your next home. If you’re interested in moving up, consult with your UMortgage Loan Originator for a free consultation and expert guidance to help you move up into your next home.

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Your Guide to Reverse Mortgages

For many seniors, owning a home represents a significant portion of their wealth. However, sometimes the equity they have within that home is better served as a steady stream of income. This is where reverse mortgages come into play. Tailored to homeowners aged 60 or older, reverse mortgages allow eligible parties to convert a portion of their home equity into cash. In this blog, we'll explore the ins and outs of reverse mortgages, covering everything from how they work to the different types available and the reasons one might consider this option. Reverse Mortgages and How They Work A reverse mortgage is a financial product designed for homeowners aged 62 or older, enabling them to convert a portion of their home equity into tax-free funds. To qualify, homeowners must own their property outright or have a substantial amount of equity. The process involves a lender making regular payments to the homeowner, with the loan typically repaid when the homeowner sells the home, moves, or passes away. Different Types of Reverse Mortgages When it comes to reverse mortgages, there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. In fact, when you work directly with your Loan Originator, they can tailor your reverse mortgage to fit your own individual wants and needs. Below are just a few of the different ways that you can receive the funds from your reverse mortgage: Lump Sum: If you'd prefer to receive the funds of your reverse mortgage up-front, you can choose a lump sum payment from your lender. This option is the only one that comes with a fixed interest rate. Equal Monthly Payments: You can choose to receive equal monthly payments as long as you use the home as your primary residence. Line of Credit: With a line of credit, you can receive a set amount of money upfront. This is popular if the borrower needs to pay for any home renovations or any other expense with a large lump payment. Term Payments: With this option, you can receive equal monthly payments for a term of your choosing. This would apply if you plan to live in the home for another 10 years and want to use your equity as a steady stream of income as long as you live there. If you're curious about which option is best for you, consult with your UMortgage Loan Originator for their expert financial advice! Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You? Getting a reverse mortgage isn't a decision to take lightly. There are plenty of factors that go into the decision and a number of variables to consider before you put pen to paper. A reverse mortgage might be a good option for you if you don’t want the responsibility of making a monthly loan payment, can't afford to continue to make a monthly loan payment, or are unable to qualify for a cash-out refinance. As always, your UMortgage Loan Originator is a great resource who can find a reverse mortgage solution that is perfectly tailored to your unique financial situation. If you're interested in learning more, reach out to start the conversation!

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How to Refinance Your Mortgage

As a homeowner, you’ve almost certainly heard of a refinance. What you might not know is that there’s a lot more to a refinance than simply just getting a new mortgage rate. In this blog, we’ll break down the basics of refinancing your mortgage, how they work, the different types of refinance, and the type of refinance that might work best for you. What is a Refinance and How Does One Work? A home refinance replaces your current mortgage with a completely new home loan. When you refinance, your new lender typically uses your new, refinanced mortgage to pay off your existing mortgage. This way, you’re left with one monthly payment that has a new interest rate and principal (or the total balance owed on the loan). If the following steps sound familiar, that’s because they are! The process for refinancing your home is a lot like your original mortgage process when you first bought your home ­— this time without the added stress of shopping for your home and competing offers on the home you’re itching to buy. Application & Locking Your Rate When you decide to refinance, you’ll need to submit an application with your income, credit score, and any current debts to ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements to refinance. Once you’re approved, you’ll be quoted with a new interest rate. Just like when you bought your home, you can lock your rate for up to 60 days to ensure you still have access to your quoted rate if mortgage rates rise. You can also have the option to float your rate; this means that you can potentially access a lower rate if they drop over time, but it also puts you at risk of getting a higher rate if they increase before you close. Underwriting & Closing Upon submission of your application and subsequent approval, your new loan will go through underwriting. During underwriting, your lender will cross-reference the financial documents and information you submitted for accuracy. They’ll also require a refinance appraisal to determine the value of the property you’re refinancing. This appraisal is key to a cash-out refinance, which we’ll cover in more detail below. Assuming you pass underwriting, it’s time to close your loan! Your lender or Loan Originator will send your Closing Disclosure (CD) which outlines all the final figures – including your new interest rate, closing costs, loan amount, and more. When it comes time to close, you’ll review the details of the loan, sign your loan documents, and pay any necessary closing costs. If you’re doing a cash-out refinance, this is when you’ll receive the money owed to you by the lender; but again, we’ll outline cash-out refinances in greater detail a little later. Different Types of Refinance So, now that you know how a refinance works, let’s cover the different types of refinances that are commonly used by homeowners. Below, we'll go more in-depth on rate & term refinances and cash-out refinances and expand on the ways that these two options work. Rate & Term Refinance The most popular type of refinance — and what you probably first think of when you think about a refinance — is a rate & term refinance. True to the name, this kind of refi simply updates the interest rate and the term (or the repayment length of your loan). Homeowners choose to get a rate & term refi when they want to lower their monthly mortgage payment. This makes the most sense for you if interest rates are significantly lower now than they were when you initially bought your home. Another option with a rate & term refinance is to shorten the term of your loan. This typically leads to a higher monthly payment but can significantly lower the total amount of interest paid on your loan. Cash Out Refinance If you’re looking to tap into the equity you’ve earned in your home to help pay for a home project or consolidate another debt, you might consider a cash-out refinance. When you get a cash-out refinance, you essentially replace your existing mortgage with a new loan that’s larger than your current loan balance. The difference between your existing mortgage balance and your new mortgage is the amount of cash you receive. It's crucial for homeowners to understand that the larger loan amount means higher monthly payments and increased overall interest costs over the life of the loan. Therefore, careful consideration and thorough financial planning are essential before opting for a cash-out refinance to ensure it aligns with their long-term financial goals. How to Know if a Refinance is Right for You Now that you know the basics of refinances, how do you know if a refinance is right for you? Consider the points below. If one of these situations resonates with you, then a refinance might be on the cards for you! Reduce Your Monthly Mortgage Payment The most common reason homeowners refinance their homes is to reduce their monthly mortgage payments with a lower interest rate. Before you refinance to lower your monthly payments, consider your break-even point after considering closing costs. If you think you’ll only live in and/or own this property for another couple of years, it might cost more to refinance than it would to keep your existing mortgage. Utilize Your Home Equity Your home is an investment that gives back as much or more than what you put into it. If you want to complete a kitchen remodel, pay off existing debt, or generally get some funds for a one-time expense, you can use a cash-out refinance to tap into the equity you’ve been building since buying your home. Change the Length of Your Loan If you are comfortable paying a higher monthly mortgage payment to reduce the amount of interest you pay over the life of your loan, you can get a rate & term refinance to shorten the term of your loan. If you shorten your loan from a 30-year to a 15-year, you’ll pay more upfront but less over time since you’re accruing less interest. Change Your Loan Type If you have an adjustable-rate mortgage and want to switch to a fixed-rate mortgage to have a more stable monthly payment, a rate & term refinance is a great option for you. The same can apply if you have an FHA loan and want to switch to a conventional, a conventional loan and you want to utilize your VA benefits, or generally see another loan program that might work best for your individual situation. It’s a great idea to consult with your UMortgage Loan Originator to get an expert’s opinion when changing your loan type. Eliminate Mortgage Insurance If you financed your home with an FHA loan or your down payment was less than 20%, you were required to lump Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) into your monthly mortgage payment. Often, mortgage insurance can account for up to $200 of your monthly payment — those dollars really stack up over time! By refinancing to a conventional loan from an FHA loan or refinancing after having reached 20% equity in your home, you can refinance to eliminate your PMI payments from your mortgage. - There are plenty of great reasons to refinance your mortgage and a plethora of different types of refinances that can fit your unique financial situation. Your situation is unique, so if you’re still wondering what type of refinance might be best for you, reach out to your UMortgage Loan Originator for a personal consultation.

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