Porcupine Real Estate


Posted by Mark Warden on 4/12/2018

 

Your credit score is a 3 digit number that can have a huge impact on many things that you hope to accomplish in your life. One of the biggest reasons that you need a good credit score is for buying a home. As many people rely on credit cards to fund their expenses, they consequently end up in debt. This doesn’t have a favorable impact on credit scores. Yet, it’s so important to maintain good credit.  


Why The Score Is Important


A credit score is one of the most crucial factors in determining if you can qualify for a mortgage. It is an overall gauge for lenders to understand how financially responsible you are. The higher your credit score, the less risk you carry in the eyes of lenders. 


What Affects A Credit Score?


Your credit score is calculated based on information that is found on your credit report. There are five different things that affect your credit score, each with a slightly different impact:


  • Payment history
  • Debt-to-credit utilization
  • Length of credit history
  • Credit mix
  • New credit


What’s A Good Score?


Absolutely flawless credit is 850. Don’t worry if you’re not in that category. Only about 1/2 of one percent of consumers actually have a score this high. Once your score reaches 740 and above, you’re able to qualify for the best in mortgage rates. Even if your score is in the low 700’s, you still should be able to qualify for a good interest rate. For a conventional loan, many lenders look for a credit score of 620 and above. Being in the high 600s will help you to avoid the need for additional paperwork. You’ll also get a decent interest rate with this score. 


What If You Don’t Have Credit History?


Ideally, you would have opened some type of a credit card by the time you reached the age of 20. This would help to establish credit. If you don’t have any type of credit history, there are still a few ways that you can qualify for a mortgage. In these cases, lenders will often use alternative sources in order to determine the reliability of a party they’re lending to. For example, your car payment history doesn’t show up on your credit report, but a good track record helps lenders to see that you’re dependable and a responsible credit user. 


What About Bad Credit?


From missed payments to errors on your credit report, there could always be some problems with a credit score. The good news is that bad credit can be fixed. There are even loan programs designed to help people with less than perfect credit scores. Generally FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans and VA loans allow for low down payments and have lenient credit score requirement. 


Fixing Your Credit Score Is Fixing Your Habits


In order to repair your credit score, you’re going to need to fix the bad financial habits that got you into the situation in the first place. This means making on-time payments, spending less, and avoiding opening up any new accounts. Pay down your existing debt and try to make a fresh start form there. Also, be sure that you obtain a free copy of your credit report each year to keep on top of any errors that might be present on the report.





Posted by Mark Warden on 3/9/2018

 

Manchester, NH, March 6, 2018 - New Hampshire real estate broker Mark Warden of Porcupine Real Estate recently completed the state's first-ever real estate transaction entirely in Bitcoin. Warden, an early adopter of the cryptocurrency, was one of the first political candidates in the country to accept bitcoin donations during a state legislative run back in 2012. Since then, he had been looking to incorporate cryptocurrencies into his real estate business. "Bitcoin is gaining popularity in New Hampshire, and we need to embrace the innovation. The Granite State is experiencing a real-life experiment in how an economy can adapt to this fast-changing environment. The state boasts dozens of businesses that accept payment in crypto, and the legislature passed a bill in 2017 to specifically exempt persons using virtual currency from being licensed," stated Warden. 


Porcupine Real Estate promoted several listings for sale for Bitcoin, and the home buyer learned about the property through a post on Reddit. The purchaser, who wishes to remain anonymous, is a website developer involved in trading cryptocurrencies and has been involved in Bitcoin (BTC) for only a few years, but did well as an early investor/speculator in Ripple (XRP). 


The house is in Manchester and sold for approximately 25 BTC. Parties to the transaction paid their closing costs (transfer tax and title insurance expenses) in USD. In the future, as this space matures, more title companies will be willing to tolerate the volatility and accept funds for all aspects of the closing procedure in crypto. Warden was able to utilize a local settlement company, Sweeney Title Services, who set up a Bitcoin wallet to accept the earnest money deposit. Owner J.L. Sweeney explains how it came about, "Mark came to us wanting to do this Bitcoin closing. I've been interested in Bitcoin for a while now, and this was the perfect opportunity to try it out in a real estate transaction. It was easy to set up the wallet and receive and send deposit funds. The closing went very smoothly.” 


Warden sees the use of cryptocurrency in real estate transactions as a trend that is here to stay. "We have seen a number of 'bitcoinnaires' who are converting crypto holdings into income-producing assets including real estate. A low-maintenance rental property is an ideal candidate for such a rebalancing of assets for holders of large amounts of bitcoin who want to take some winnings off the table and provide long-term passive income." Porcupine Real Estate has identified numerous properties in NH whose sellers will accept crypto as payment. As Warden explains, "Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are here to stay. We are trying to stay ahead of the curve with real property applications."


About Porcupine Real Estate:

Porcupine Real Estate assists with buying and selling homes and property in New Hampshire. Founded by Mark Warden, Porcupine Real Estate is comprised of professionals committed to helping clients find the right town and the right property. The firm has been a sponsor at NH Liberty Forum and Free State Blockchain Digital Assets Conference, and continues to be a leader in working with cryptocurrency experts and users to in real estate applications.




Tags: Bitcoin   cryptocurrency  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Warden on 2/26/2018

 

Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the mortgage terminology can be confusing. Since buying a home is such a huge financial decision, you’re going to want to make sure you understand every step of the process and all of the conditions and fees along the way.

Below are some of the common terms you might come across when applying for a home loan:

  • ARM and FRM, or adjustable rate and fixed rate mortgages. Lenders make their money by charging you interest on your home loan that you pay back over the length of your loan period. Adjustable rate mortgages or ARMs are loans that have interest rates which change over the lifespan of your loan. You may start off at a low, “introductory rate” and later start paying higher amounts depending on the predetermined rate index. Fixed rate mortgages, on the other hand, remain at the same rate throughout the life of the loan. However, refinancing on your loan allows you to receive a different interest rate later down the road.

  • Amortization is the process of making your life easier by setting up a fixed repayment schedule. This schedule includes both the interest and the principal loan balance, allowing you to understand how long and how much money will go toward repaying your mortgage.

  • Equity is the the amount of the home you have paid off. In a sense, it’s the amount of the home that you really own. Your equity increases as you make payments, and having equity can help you buy a new home, or see a return on investment with your current home if the home increases in value.

  • Assumption and assumability is the process of a mortgage changing hands. An assumable mortgage can be transferred to a new buyer, and assumption is the actual transfer of the loan. Assuming a loan can be financially beneficial if the home as increased in value since the mortgage was created.

  • Escrow. There are a lot of legal implications that come along with buying a home. An escrow is designed to make sure the loan process runs smoothly. It acts as a holding tank for your documents, payments, as well as property taxes and insurance. An escrow performs an important function in the home buying process, and, as a result, charges you a percentage of the home for its services.

  • Origination fee. Basically a fancy way of saying “processing fee,” the origination covers the cost of processing your mortgage application. It’s one of the many “closing costs” you’ll encounter when buying a home and accounts for all of the legwork your loan officer does to make your mortgage a reality--running credit reports, reviewing income history, and so on.  




Tags: Mortgage   terminology  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Warden on 2/20/2018

Finding a Winter Rental in New Hampshire

Guest post by Molly Smith 


My husband Rob and I decided many years ago that we needed to get out of California. We wanted a better place to raise our kids, a place that showcased some sort of fiscal responsibility and common sense, and a place where we might find some like-minded folks to be productive members of a community together. Rob remembered a project he had heard about on a radio talk show many years before where freedom lovers, if enough of them got together, could maybe make a great place even better. Enter the Free State Project.


It only took one visit two years ago for us to completely fall in love with New Hampshire. The environment is beautiful, the people are friendly, and the sense of community within the members of the FSP that we met was enough to tell us that this would be the perfect place to call home. We drove around Nashua and Manchester a bit with our one year old in the car, trying to get a feel for the different regions. We found a lot of amenities and things to do and enjoyed both towns that we visited.

Being from California, however, we were used to having a coast near so it was natural that we decided rather quickly that the Seacoast would be the place for us. We loved the charming but tech forward town of Portsmouth and the beach town feel of Hampton. Those were the only two towns we really got to explore on the Seacoast during our 3 day trip, so we had to determine how we would find the right place to live and ensure this was the right region for us.

Before we decided exactly what we wanted, we went through all the options. We knew we eventually wanted to buy a home in New Hampshire, but how would that work? We thought renting first would be a good option, but finding a rental property with less than a year lease agreement was proving to be unlikely and we ideally did not want to be locked in for that long. We spent hours combing through houses online and emailing Mark and Amy at Porcupine Real Estate with a ton of questions about several properties. They responded to every single one with as much information as they could put together, and let us decide if we wanted to proceed in any way.

We went through all the motions, should we fly out and look at some houses, what if a house went under contract before we even came out to visit? Should we put an offer on a house site unseen? Mark assured us that we could, but that it was unusual as even though he could walk through it, we could not get a true idea of how we felt about it without stepping foot in it ourselves.

While searching for options, we noticed that in the Seacoast region, especially in Hampton Beach, there are several options for winter rentals. Beach houses that rent for astronomically high costs by the week during summer, had drastically reduced monthly rates available in the winter. We decided this would be perfect for us. We would have time to further explore New Hampshire and get a better feel for the Seacoast region without being locked in for an entire year. Also, the majority of these rentals are furnished so we shipped out a few essentials, but left the majority of our possessions in a storage unit in California. So now, when we move in to our home that Mark helped us submit an offer on, we can have our items shipped directly to the new house which, as another perk, prevented us from having to move everything twice.

There can be a sense of urgency with buying a house or the sense of wanting to get a better feel for that area before such a permanent move and I think a winter rental can help with either scenario. It gives you a chance to live in New Hampshire, become involved with the FSP community but also not to feel rushed in to making any decisions about your living situation. I would highly recommend it as an option and Porcupine Real Estate is a great resource in getting the process started!




Tags: Moving to NH   Moving   Rentals  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Mark Warden on 1/23/2018

BJ & Joslyn first learned about the Free State Project during the 2012 Ron Paul campaign. Joslyn's attention was captured and she began researching all the aspects of New Hampshire, the FSP, and other intentional libertarian communities. BJ was skeptical at first, mostly because of Joslyn’s extreme dislike for cold weather. Fast forward three years: Joslyn graduated from veterinary school and the couple started looking more into the logistics of moving to New Hampshire. In November 2014, they signed the FSP pledge, and by April 2015, they were Free Staters.

They fell in love with New Hampshire and the Freecoast community. As BJ states, "Granite Staters are friendly, helpful, and understanding to begin with, and the addition of FSP movers that all share the same core values with us makes the sense of community and wealth of friendships seem almost effortless. We truly feel that we have found our tribe."

With Joslyn's veterinarian position in Manchester and BJ's job as a basketball coach located in the Freecoast, the couple wanted to be halfway between their respective jobs and not live in a city. They had a long list of criteria for their dream home, but the most important factors were that the home had to have a barn and enough land for Joslyn's horse hobby. The perfect home was found in Nottingham. "We moved in two days before Christmas with the help of many FSP friends, and are extremely happy in our new home - doing DIY projects and making it our own. After a lifetime of renting, home ownership has proved to be even more rewarding than we imagined!"

BJ & Joslyn love the small town feel of Nottingham, the rural community style, and the convenience to shopping highways. BJ has already made connections with the town rec department and will be using their facility for basketball player training sessions. Joslyn recently began horseback riding lessons at American Dream Stables in Nottingham, and BJ has been exploring cross-country ski trails at every opportunity. 

Welcome home, BJ & Joslyn!