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Mike Kofahl

Loan Originator |NMLS 1989738
  • (615) 504-8304

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Meet Mike!

As your trusted UMortgage Loan Originator, my goal is to simplify the mortgage process to make your home loan experience easy to navigate! Please reach out so I can help start your home financing journey.

Serving Homebuyers In:

  • Alabama
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky

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Housing Market Update | Week of June 17th

Last week, the Federal Reserve hosted its June meeting and decided to hold the Federal Funds Rate steady for its 7th consecutive meeting. This was exactly what we expected to happen but with inflation cooling and the labor market softening, economists remain hopeful that we’ll see a rate cut in the second half of the year. This week, eyes and ears will be on the speeches and media appearances given by members of the Fed to gauge how this recent data will impact their outlook on rates. Last Week's Mortgage Rate Recap Rates Dropped Slightly We had a busy week last week, but rates hardly budged. The Federal Reserve didn’t surprise us as the Federal Funds Rate remained unchanged after its June meeting concluded on Wednesday. We also saw inflation continue to cool following the CPI and PPI inflation reports. Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, cited that rates will drop if these data trends with inflation and labor continue. This Week's Mortgage Rate Forecast Rates Could Move This week has a few pieces of economic data starting with retail sales tomorrow. If signs show that consumer spending is down, it will further back up the recent data that has shown inflation on its way down and the labor market continuing to soften. We also have members of the Federal Reserve speaking today and tomorrow; any hints at their outlook on the market could impact rates. If you want more details into the ways that the incoming market data and Fed member media appearances will affect housing affordability this summer, make sure to watch a replay of this morning’s Monday Market Update. Our market experts gave a comprehensive overview of the data that we need to see to help rates continue to drop as the year rolls on.

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How To Budget to Buy a Home: The Essential Homebuyer’s Guide

Buying a home is a significant financial milestone, but it also requires a significant financial outlay. If you’re dreaming of buying a home, you first need to make sure you have a solid budget in place to pay for the one-time fees like your down payment and closing costs as well as the new recurring expenses that come with homeownership. In this blog, we’ll share some tips to help you budget for your home purchase and ensure a smooth transition into homeownership. Below, you can find more details about how to set your budget, which expenses you should keep in mind, and how to track your budget throughout the buying process and into homeownership. Setting Your Budget Before you start to set money aside, you first need to determine your budget. There are three main things that you need to consider: your buying power, how much you plan to put toward your down payment, and what your closing costs might look like. Determine Your Affordability with a Pre-Approval The first step in budgeting for a home is to assess your financial situation and determine how much you can comfortably afford. Lenders typically recommend that you follow the 28/36 rule. Based on this rule, your monthly housing expenses, including mortgage payments, property taxes, and insurance, should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Total monthly debt payments—which include housing expenses and other existing debts such as student loans or a car payment—should not exceed 36% of your gross monthly income. A great way to get started with a snapshot of your homebuying budget is to work with a UMortgage Loan Originator to get pre-approved. Your pre-approval will use your income, credit, and existing debts to provide you with an estimate of your buying power. If you want an immediate estimate of what you can afford, feel free to use my free affordability calculator. Calculate Your Down Payment Unless you’re buying your home with a VA loan, you’ll have to pay a down payment when you close on your home. Saving for a larger down payment can help you secure a lower interest rate and avoid private mortgage insurance (PMI), which can add significant costs to your monthly payments. However, with a conventional loan, you can buy with as little as 3% down. For more information on down payment minimums, reach out to your UMortgage Loan Originator. Factor in Closing Costs Closing costs are the additional fees and expenses associated with the home-buying process, such as lender fees, title insurance, and property taxes. These costs can range from 2% to 5% of the home's purchase price, so it's crucial to factor them into your budget. As you start working through the beginning stages of your homebuying journey, you can work with your UMortgage Loan Originator for an estimate of your expected closing costs. Accounting for New Expenses While homeownership is exciting, it also comes with a handful of new one-time and ongoing expenses. As you’re budgeting for your home purchase, it’s important to consider the expenses below so you’re prepared when that first new bill hits your mailbox. Homeowners Insurance Homeowners insurance is a mandatory expense that protects your investment against potential damages or losses. Homeowners insurance costs vary depending on factors such as the home's location, age, and construction type. Once you hit the market, you can connect with your UMortgage Loan Originator or real estate agent for a cost estimate. Property taxes are an ongoing expense that homeowners must pay annually or semi-annually. These taxes are based on the assessed value of your home and can vary significantly depending on your location. Typically, your property taxes and homeowners insurance are rolled into your escrow, which adds these expenses incrementally through your monthly mortgage payment. Utilities As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for paying utilities such as electricity, gas, water, and internet/cable services. These expenses can vary based on the size of your home, energy efficiency, and usage habits. Maintenance and Repairs When you own your home, you won’t be able to rely on your landlord or property management company to maintain your home. As a homeowner, you’ll be responsible for repairing various components, such as the roof, appliances, and HVAC systems. It’s essential to budget for these expenses, as they can be costly and unexpected. When you initially buy your home, your inspection will give you a good gauge of the health of these costly components like HVAC systems, plumbing, and roofs. Tracking Your Budget Setting your budget is a big step in your journey toward homeownership, but the actual act of following that budget is what will enable you to buy your home. As you inch closer to being able to afford to buy your home, follow these steps to ensure you stow away the necessary funds to turn your dreams of homeownership into reality. Create a Detailed Budget Develop a comprehensive budget that includes all your monthly expenses, such as mortgage payments, utilities, insurance, and other recurring costs. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back or allocate funds more effectively. Use Budgeting Tools and Apps There are plenty of great budgeting tools and apps out there that streamline the process of tracking your expenses and monitoring your progress. Many apps offer features like categorizing expenses, setting spending limits, and generating reports. There are also plenty of spreadsheet templates that you can use for a more manual budget-tracking experience. Review and Adjust Regularly Regularly review your budget and adjust as needed. Your financial situation may change over time, and it's essential to adapt your budget accordingly to ensure you stay on track. As you work along your journey towards homeownership, take some time to connect periodically with your UMortgage Loan Originator to share updates on your budget and discover any new products that might make your home purchase more affordable! By following these steps, you'll be well-equipped to budget effectively for your home-buying journey. Remember, proper budgeting not only helps you achieve your homeownership goals but also ensures long-term financial stability. Once you’ve closed on your home, you can continue to follow these steps to protect yourself from unforeseen repairs or save for your next big purchase!

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Housing Market Update | Week of June 10th

The Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report last Friday reported 272,000 jobs added in May, which heavily exceeded expectations. This week, we have more pivotal market data coming with the Federal Reserve wrapping their June meeting this Wednesday as well as the CPI and PPI inflation reports sprinkled throughout the week. Expect rates to be volatile. Last Week's Mortgage Rate Recap: Rates Dropped Slightly Rates are down slightly to start the week, but the prospects of a significant dip took a hit when the BLS jobs report came in a lot higher than expected on Friday. The Federal Reserve has cited weakness in the labor market as a leading factor in causing a rate cut this year; while the labor market has gotten softer throughout the year, there’s still a way to go before we can expect the Fed to cut rates. This Week's Mortgage Rate Forecast: Rates Could be Volatile This Wednesday is going to be a big day for the housing market. The May CPI inflation report will be released on Wednesday morning and the Federal Reserve will wrap its June Fed Meeting on Wednesday afternoon. With the apparent strength of the job market, the Fed will be closely watching inflation figures to see if it matches this recent trend. Next Monday, we’re going to share a live presentation recapping the Fed meeting and offering insight into the ways that their decisions will shape the housing market through the rest of the summer. You can watch this special-edition Monday Market Update and all our Monday Market Updates right here every Monday at 11:30am ET on the UMortgage YouTube channel.

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