Getting the Best Mortgage Rate on Your Home in 2020

Table of Contents

Being a homeowner is exciting. You no longer have to stress over monthly rent payments, you can paint the walls any color you wish, and you can hang up things without asking for permission. Heck, build a fence or a pool in your backyard if you want! It’s your own personal space and it’s an amazing feeling. If you already own a home or you’re looking to purchase one in 2020, we want you to understand how to lock in the best mortgage rates. Here are a few tips we’ve prepared to find the best mortgage rates. 

Choosing the Best Lender to Get the Best Mortgage Rates

This is probably the hardest step in the home buying process. You have to do enough research and talk with a variety of lenders before you can choose the best fit for yourself. Not only do you want to understand what their bank is offering, but you want to have that connection that makes them feel trustworthy. Each lender is competing for your business and wants to be the one you choose, but whether they offer the financial package you’re looking for will help determine if they’re worth your time. 

A couple of tips for picking the best lender are as follows:

  • Ask your local real estate agent for referrals. Realtors work with lenders all day every day, and they know if a lender is there to help people or just looking to make another dollar. They also know which lender works the best with specific loans. 
  • When it comes to loans, some lenders are better at managing a specific type of loan more than others. In your hunt, make sure you ask what type of loans they generally work with. If you’re getting a conventional loan but the lender of your choice primarily works on FHA or VA loans, then they may not provide you with the best options. Most lenders can manage all loan styles, but they may not be able to get you the best rate or overall package on a loan type they’re not constantly working with. 

There are definitely more steps you can take when trying to choose the best lender, but the most important tip is to use your best judgment. If it feels like a lender isn’t offering you the best rate they can, or they’re not being honest, take a step back, and keep searching.

Credit Score

Routinely monitoring and working on your credit score can help drastically when it comes to finding the best mortgage rates. If your credit score is on the lower scale of things, then you’re less likely to get approved for a 300k loan. However, by working hard to build your credit and working with a lender that can give you tips on what you can do to improve your credit score, you’ll be able to increase your chances of getting a good rate. 

Know the Market

Knowing when it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market is important. It can help determine whether it’s the right time to go house hunting. Fortunately, the market in 2020 has been a buyer’s market so far. This means that interest rates are low compared to being 12-17% like they were back in the early 2000s. It also means that you have to move quickly when you’re trying to pick out a house. Houses are selling quickly and even new construction homes are going off the market within days of being finished. Sometimes they’re going under contract before they’re finished. 

Pre-Approval Process

How to Get the Best Mortgage Rate on Your Home in 2020
A lender describing the best mortgage rates to a couple.

Before you buy a house you have to get approval from the bank of your choice. This helps eliminate people that aren’t serious about looking for a home. Many real estate agents require a pre-approval before showing property as a safety precaution and also to make sure that a person can afford the house. When you make an offer, the seller will often want to have some form of proof that you can buy their home. This is a standard process in real estate and often doesn’t take long. 

Many banks have an app you can download to your phone that allows you to easily input your information in return for a quick answer on being pre-approved for a loan. This helps build trust between buyers and sellers and enables you to start the house hunting and loan process.

Lock-In That Rate!

Once you’ve chosen your lender and started the pre-approval process, make sure you lock in your rate. Rates are constantly changing, and if you lock it in a 2.5% rate today but it rises to 3.5% tomorrow, you’ll still be able to purchase a home with the 2.5% rate. That’s the great thing about getting pre-approved. Even if you’re not ready to put an offer down on a house, it can benefit you having your rate already locked. 

With the market booming and houses going up for sale each day, it’s time to start hunting. Get out there, find that perfect lender, take care of your credit score, go through the pre-approval process, and lock in that rate while you can. The housing market is only continuing to grow, and your dream home is out there waiting for you. 

Find the Best Mortgage Rates

Need some help knowing who the best local lenders are? Contact the Nomadic Real Estate team. We specialize in helping people find the perfect home, getting the best mortgage rates, property management, leasing agreements and more. Our years of experience have put us on the front lines of real estate, helped us build an understanding of the market, and continues to help us bring our clients the best deals out there.

Let us share that experience with you and help you pick out the highest quality lender and that special property. We’ll take care of all the fine details like setting up the showing appointments, negotiating during the offer period, and we’ll represent you all the way through the closing process. We’ll help protect your interests each step of the way.

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Enhanced Reporting

Your portal includes a selection of extremely useful reports. Reports are available in the “Reports” section, and are distinct from the financial statements. Unlike financial statements which are static records, Reports are dynamic real-time records that will update with current data every time you view them. 

Scroll down to learn more about Reports:

Navigate to the "Reports" module in your portal:

  • Keep in mind, these reports are dynamic records. They will refresh to display current information every time you view them. 

Enhanced Rent Roll Report:

  • The Enhanced Rent Roll Report will show the rent amount, last payment date, move-in date, lease expiration date, and security deposit amount for each of your tenants. 
  • It will also show a portfolio summary with occupancy percentage, vacancy loss, and more!

Unit Comparison Report:

  • If you own multiple units (or buildings) with Nomadic, you’ll get access to the Unit Comparison Report. 
  • This report enables you to quickly compare financial performance between your units at a glance without toggling between individual reports. 

Income Statement Month-Over-Month:

  • The Income Statement Detail – Monthly Report serves as a month-over-month record of portfolio performance. You’ll see itemized income and expense categories and can track monthly. This report will update with fresh data every time you view it. 

Financial Statements

Financial statements will be published to your portal on a monthly basis. The statements are found in your Documents library, and provide a historical record of all financial performance. The statements serve as a snapshot of financial performance over a given period, and are static documents (unlike Reports, the statements do not update/change in real-time). 

Scroll down for more info about the Financial Statements in your Documents library:

The Documents area contains monthly financial statements:

  • The statements in the Documents are are static documents. They are posted to the portal once a month to serve as a historical record of financial performance. 

Download a statement to see month and YTD financials:

You'll also find a month-over-month operating statement:

Portal Communication Tool

You can use your owner portal to communicate with our team. Any messages you send through the portal will go straight to your Account Manager. When we reply, you’ll get an email notification and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

Here’s an overview of using the communication platform:

Click "Communications" and navigate to "Conversations":

  • The communications module will contain a record of all messages that you create through the portal. 

Click the "New Message" button and send your message:

Responses will show up in the conversation ticket:

  • You’ll get an email notification whenever you get a response, and you’ll also see the message in your portal next time you log in. 

You can reply in-line using the comment box:

Each conversation will be logged in its entirety:

Understanding the Ledger

Your portal includes a ledger with all transactions. The ledger is populated with data in real-time as transactions flow through our accounting software. Much of this information is also available in the Reports area, as well as the Statements in your Documents library, but the ledger is the most comprehensive resource for diving into the details. 

Please scroll through the sections below to get a better understanding of how to interpret the ledger. 

By default, transactions are sorted chronologically:

  • The date reflected in the lefthand column is the actual transaction date, not the “bill date”. This is the date the transaction was actually processed. 

If you have multiple properties with Nomadic, you'll see the address for each transaction in the "Location" column:

  • You can filter the ledger to look at just one property, all properties, or specific sets of properties. 
  • If you only have one property with us, you’ll just see the ledger for that property. 

The Description column displays the transaction type:

  • BILL: this is an expense transaction, such as for repair costs or management fees.
  • CHARGE: this is a transaction  billed to the tenant, most typically a rent payment. 
  • NACHA EXPORT: this is a credit we processed to your distribution account. This type of transaction is how you get paid! 

The Amount column shows the dollar value of each transaction:

  • Positive Amounts: if an amount is positive, it reflects a transaction that is payable to you. Typically, this will be a rent payment that we collected from your tenants. On occasion, a positive number could also signify a journal entry or credit adjustment. 
  • Negative Amounts:  if an amount is negative, this is a transaction that is either payable to Nomadic or is an amount that has already been paid to you. Typically this will be for repair costs or management/leasing fees. Owner draws (net distributions into your checking/savings account) also reflect as negative amounts, since they have already been paid to you. 

The Account Balance column shows a sum of positive/negative transactions at a given point in time:

  • Account Balance should always equal zero after a net distribution has been processed. When the balance is zero, this means that all expenses have been paid and you’ve received the remainder as net operating income, leaving a balance of zero (meaning: no one is due any money, as all funds have been distributed appropriately). 

Navigating the Propertyware Owner Portal

Your portal includes some extremely useful features that help you understand your property’s financial performance at a new level, with real-time transparency into every transaction.

Scroll through the snapshots below for an overview of portal navigation! If you need more help or have specific questions about using the portal, you can reach out to your Account Manager any time for a screen share. 

You can filter all info by date range or property:

View a snapshot of income and expenses on your dashboard:

See every transaction in real-time on your ledger:

Statements and forms will be posted to your documents library:

View a suite of real-time financial reports:

See a running list of all bills, and drill down for more detail:

Under Bill Details, you'll find dates/descriptions/amounts and more:

You can also communicate with your Account Manager through the portal:

How do net distributions work?

Net distributions keep your accounting clean and simple. Each month we’ll collect rent from the tenants, deduct any repair expenses for the previous month and any management/leasing fees for the current month, and credit the remaining net operating income to your account. 

You’ll receive a statement via email each time a net distribution is processed, and can view all transaction details in your Propertyware owner portal.