Saturday, November 19, 2016

Welcome to our team!

Jessica has joined the Clay Carroll First Home Mortgage team this week and I couldn't be more excited to have her on board! Her experience alone is invaluable but she is also an excellent people person.

Jessica, a native of Richmond VA, has been in the real estate business for nearly 20 years.  Starting her career just after high school, Jessica relocated to San Diego, CA where she lived for two years and spent another 5 years in Dallas, TX working in the real estate closing industry.  Although, she loved Texas, her heart was home in King William County where she moved in 2014 and married her husband in 2015.  Jessica understands that customer service should be expected and strives to go above and beyond in effort to create raving fans.  Her wealth of knowledge in all aspects of the Real Estate/Mortgage Industry helps her stay ahead of the curve in the ever changing market.  In addition,  Jessica brings outstanding communication skills, a get it done attitude, and contagious smile to First Home Mortgage and is also a big part of helping us create a mortgage experience to the customer that is second to NONE.

In her spare time she also enjoys watching sports, hunting with her husband, and spending time with her family.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hear what people are saying...

Great Experience with Clay

We had a great first time home buying experience with Clay. Clay made sure that everything went as planned and my wife and I now live in the home of our dreams.
LOAN STATUSClosed Jul 2016
LOAN TYPEConstruction

Great Job!

Clay did an AMAZING job in our home purchase. Two BIG thumbs up!! We were looking for a specific home, and came through with shining colors. Process was easy, and he was in full communication the whole time! 
LOAN STATUSClosed Jul 2016

As a first time homebuyer I was nervous and worried but Clay put all my mind to ...

Clay helped us from start to finish leaving no question unanswered. A truly hassle free experience in getting our mortgage!! As a first time homebuyer I was nervous and worried but Clay put all my mind to rest! I would highly recommend he and his team to help you purchase/refinance your home!
LOAN STATUSClosed Apr 2016
  • In today's challenging and demanding market, he dealt with my frustrations ...

    Clay followed through with everything he promised. In today's challenging and demanding market, he dealt with my frustrations in a calm composed manner. He answered every question I asked and completed the process as painlessly as possible.
    LOAN STATUSClosed Apr 2016
    LOAN TYPEPurchase

    He always had time for us regardless if we needed something on the weekend or past ...

    Clay is very informative, able to answer all of our questions and address any and all concerns immediately. He always had time for us regardless if we needed something on the weekend or past 'normal' working hours. We already have recommended Clay and his team, and will continue to do so in the future.
    LOAN STATUSClosed Apr 2016
    LOAN TYPEPurchase

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Loan Options

Loan Options

As a home buyer, your mortgage is specific to your situation and lifestyle. First Home Mortgage specializes in a variety of loans that can meet your needs. Your Loan Officer will explain your options and deliver a mortgage with the best loan terms available.


Conventional Home Loans

Conventional mortgages are loans that are insured by private companies. Typically, these loans meet the funding criteria set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. There are a number of conventional loan types offered by First Home Mortgage:


A fixed-rate mortgage has an interest rate that stays the same for the entire life of your loan. This offers a predictable monthly payment for a term of 10 – 30 years.
– Interest rate security
– Monthly payment stability
– Best for buyers planning to stay in their homes for a long time


Adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) may allow you to lock in a low, introductory interest rate that could increase over time. A hybrid ARM offers a fixed period (typically 3-10 years) followed by a yearly adjustment to the interest rate. Hybrid ARMs are often represented by fractions, such as 5/1 – meaning the first rate reset takes place after five years and continues to reset each year for the life of the loan.
– Low starting interest rate
– Lower monthly payments during the initial term
– Best for buyers planning to keep their loan for a shorter period


Jumbo loans typically have higher loan amounts not allowed for standard conforming programs (set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). This allows borrowers to a purchase a higher priced home with an affordable down payment.
– Fixed and ARM options
– Loans up to $3 Million
– Best for borrowers who are in the market for higher priced homes

Government Loans

The government guarantees certain programs through various agencies to better serve borrowers with unique circumstances. These loans can only be offered through an approved lender such as First Home Mortgage.


FHA loans are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Programs are available for borrowers with limited savings for a down payment.
– Down payment as low as 3.5%
– Flexible use of gifts and grants for down payment
– Best for borrowers with limited assets for purchase


VA loans are insured by The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).Service members and their spouses are eligible to purchase with little to no down payment or cash to close.
– Low to no down payment
– Refinance within the VA program without re-qualifying
– Specifically for eligible past and present service members and spouses


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) insures loans to home buyers with low to moderate income moving to designated rural areas. These loans can provide up to 100% financing.
– Down payment not required
– Specific benefit needed here
– Best for borrowers with limited assets looking to buy in rural areas

State Housing Finance Agency Programs

Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) are state specific and offer programs to residents to help purchase a home. Conditions and guidelines vary depending on the agency. These programs offer special incentives for first time home buyers:
  • VHDA (Virginia Housing Development Authority)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Applying for a Loan


The first step toward a home purchase is getting pre-qualified for a loan. Your Loan Officer will review your financial information and determine how much you are qualified to borrow. As a pre-qualified buyer, your offer on a home is more likely to be accepted.
  • Loan Preparation Checklist
    1. Copy of photo ID
    2. Social Security number
    3. Copies of checking and savings account statements for the past 3 months
    4. Most recent pay stubs detailing your year-to-date earnings
    5. Federal tax returns with W-2’s, K-1’s, 1099 for the past 2 years
    6. Evidence of any other assets such as stocks and bonds
    7. Contact name and address of someone who can verify your employment
  • Since everyone’s situation is unique, additional documentation might be required. Your Loan Officer will let you know exactly what is needed.

Making an Offer

Once you have found a home, you will make an offer to buy it from the seller. A real estate professional will conduct negotiations and a contract will be submitted to purchase, accompanied by the pre-qualification letter.

Mortgage Process

When the seller accepts your offer, you begin the mortgage process. Your Loan Officer will gather your financial information, loan application and provide the initial disclosures based on your loan terms.
  • This process will also include
    1. Ordering the appraisal; estimating the value of the home
    2. Ordering/updating your credit report
    3. Submitting your loan to Underwriting for review
    4. Conditionally approving your loan (additional documentation might be requested)
    5. Providing information on homeowner’s insurance and selected title company
    6.  Underwriting approval on all acceptable documents
    7. Final loan approval – you are cleared to close!
  • Your Loan Officer will keep you informed, answer your questions, and navigate you through the loan process.

Closing Process

In the days leading up to settlement, you will be sent final documentation about your loan, including the Closing Disclosure. You must review, sign and return the paperwork a minimum of three days prior to your scheduled closing date.
Your Loan Officer, or a designated employee, will tell you the amount of money you need to close on your home.
  • What happens on closing day
    1. Meet with your settlement agent as well as your Loan Officer, or designated employee.
    2. Provide funds to the title company to cover your down payment, closing costs, taxes, insurance and other costs.
    3. You and the seller will execute all closing documents so the settlement agent can properly record the purchase of your home.

Making Your Payment

Your settlement documents will include instructions on how to make your first payment. While First Home services many of our loans, it is possible servicing will be transferred. You will be mailed a notification that designates your mortgage servicer.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

I do both Construction & Renovation Loans!

Renovation and Construction


A renovation loan can help fund home improvements, allowing you to turn a house into your dream home.

Renovating for a new home purchase

If you’re a buyer who’s found a home with great potential, but needs some repairs, First Home can provide a loan for the purchase and renovation costs. We offer a number of loan types that cover minor to major rehabilitation, all included with one mortgage payment.

Improving your current home

If you’re a current homeowner who’s interested in making updates that would enhance the look and layout of your house, a renovation might be the solution. Based on the type and scope of your remodel, we can offer a variety of loans that will help with the cost.
Types of repairs and remodels include:
  • Room addition
  • Garage, driveways
  • Roof & gutters
  • Plumbing & electrical
  • Decks, patios, porches
  • Basement finishing
  • Doors, windows
  • Landscape, fencing
For a full list of eligible improvements and considerations, contact a First Home Mortgage Loan Officer.


Building a Home

Breaking ground and watching your custom home take shape is possible with a construction loan from First Home Mortgage. You have the option to apply for a loan that covers construction only, or a loan that finances the construction and later transfers to a standard mortgage.
Talk to us about what you envision for your new home, we’ll help you make it happen.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Show me your best Pumpkin Carving Skills!

So every year, I drop off pumpkins to a handful of clients and partners and I hold a contest to see who can do their best. It's an awesome contest that gets the family involved and it's just a great activity to do around this time of year. Check out the entries we've received so far! More to come...

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Can refinancing save you money?!


Refinancing is a possibility to improve your current mortgage. It means getting a new loan, with new terms, and using that money to pay off your old loan. Your Loan Officer can help explain why refinancing might be the right option for you.

Reasons to Refinance

  • Lower payments
    Refinancing with a lower interest rate could result in lower mortgage payments. This may provide extra money each month for homeowners to save, or spend, however they choose.
  • Shorten your payment term
    If you want to build equity faster, or pay off your mortgage in less time, you can refinance to a shorter loan term. This may result in a slightly higher monthly payment, but you may also save money by paying less toward interest.
  • Convert your home’s equity into cash
    As a homeowner, you make payments to increase your equity, or value of ownership. Refinancing allows you to turn that equity into cash – referred to as “cash-out” refinancing. You are free to access and spend the money without tax penalty*.
    *Consult a tax professional for more information.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ask yourself the following questions when buying a home

Questions to consider as a home buyer:

How much can I afford?
Before you starting house hunting, you need to make sure you are looking in the right price range. Getting pre-qualified by your Loan Officer will give you a better idea of how much home you can afford based on your current financial situation.
How long do I want to stay in my home?
Think about where you will be in the years to come; whether you want to move again or planning to stay long term. This is an important factor when deciding which type of mortgage is best for you.
What am I looking for in a home?
As you begin to contemplate buying, make a list of the most important things you want in a home. For example: a condo or single family home, monthly mortgage payment, location to work and school zones, neighborhood amenities, and yard size. Not only will this list help your real estate professional find the perfect home, it will also help your Loan Officer tailor a loan program that fits your needs.
Should I consider a second home?
Buying another property as a rental can provide ongoing income from tenants, and a vacation home on the beach or mountains is equally attractive. However, you will need to decide whether the home will be a place to live (primary residence) or a place to rent (investment property). Loan specifications are different based on how you plan to utilize the home. Your Loan Officer can explain the different requirements and help navigate through the process.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thinking of buying? Here's some benefits of Homeownership!

Benefits of homeownership:

  • Build Wealth  Although home value may increase or decrease short term, if you decide to stay in your home long term, it could gradually increase in value. This would provide you with a significant return on your investment.
  • Build Equity  Equity is the amount of money your house is worth minus what you still owe. Every time you make a mortgage payment, the amount you owe reduces and increases overall equity. This is beneficial, because equity can be accessed and converted to cash. See our Refinancingpage to learn more.
  • Tax Deductions  As a home owner, your mortgage interest and property tax payments may be deductible from your federal taxes and possibly state taxes.*
    *Consult a tax professional for more information.
  • Strengthen Credit History  Making monthly loan payments is evidence that you are a responsible borrower, which builds your credit history. This will help you take out loans for other purchases, such as a car or even home renovations.
  • Create the Home You Want  Owning a home gives you the freedom to create your dream living environment. Whether you want to update appliances, paint rooms, landscape a yard, own pets – you will have a house that is completely yours to customize.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Fall breeze brings exciting changes!

Hello and Happy Fall!

As a part of my preferred network of clients, I wanted you to be the first to know my exciting news!  I have made a change, and have accepted a new position as a Senior Loan Officer at First Home Mortgage.  This decision came after a lot of research, and ultimately I felt like First Home offers everything that I need to provide the ultimate service that you, my clients, and your referrals deserve.  At First Home I will have access an even wider range of mortgage products.  I will be able to help you and your referrals directly and will be available by phone, text, and email just like before.  My favorite part of the change is that I will have more control over the processing of applications and loans, and can ultimately be more successful at getting your referrals into the homes of their dreams.

I would like to invite you to visit our webpage and learn more about my new company.  You can find find my updated contact information at the bottom of this email.  Please make sure to save that for your records. I look forward to talking with you about my new capabilities and services.  Any questions, comments, or additional information you'd like, just reach out to me any time.   I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for your continued support,