Alice Thomas

NMLS# 445073

Loan Officer

Alice Thomas
Loan Officer

NMLS# 445073
State Lic: ID # MLO-18331;
308 12th Ave RD
Nampa, ID 83686
Branch: (208) 498-1780
Mobile: (208) 890-9394
Fax: (208) 498-1787
alice.thomas@academymortgage.com

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Alice explained everything in the process very clearly and made the process smooth. Everybody at the office was very professional.Justin E. Keller
Academy's My Mortgage App

Welcome!

It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools.

Whether you are purchasing a home for the first time or branching out to an investment property, I am here to assist you.

I have been originating loans for over 15 years. Prior to originating, I worked in mortgage loan servicing field and as an escrow closer. I have knowledge of the real estate process from loan origination through closing and also the servicing side. I have helped many individuals and families attain the dream of homeownership. Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.

Academy is a direct lender, which means my Branch and Regional Offices are equipped to complete the entire loan process in-house. What does that mean to you - processing, underwriting, closings, and funding are handled locally. As a result, we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up-to-date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice.

I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.

Aside from working, I love living in Idaho, enjoying its many outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and biking. I have 2 grown sons and 3 adorable grandchildren.

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NMLS# 445073

State Lic: ID: MLO-18331;

Corp Lic: ID: MBL-671;

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Tips for first-time homebuyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an incredibly exciting but also stressful time for those hoping to enter the housing market. A house may be the largest purchase made in a person's lifetime, so it's important that the process go smoothly to prevent unnecessary worry or financial strain.

Here a few things shoppers should know when looking for their first home.

a key with a keychain of a house is being handed from on person's hand to another with an actual house in the backgroundKnowing what you want ahead of time can be greatly beneficial when looking for a home for the first time.

Consider what you want first

It's important to determine what kind of living space works best for you and your family. Do you need a home with bountiful yard space and a two-car garage? Or would a condo in multi-unit building suit your needs? What does the ideal residential neighborhood look like to you? Are there certain home amenities you could not live without? These are all considerations you must take into account before beginning any other phase of the home buying process.

Perform a credit check

Your credit score can affect the kinds of mortgage loans you can be approved for and what your interest rates and loan terms will be once you are approved. USA Today noted that you should check for and subsequently dispute any errors found in your credit report. You should also try to pay off any outstanding debts which could be lowering your score even further.

Lenders often run an inquiry into your credit history when opening a new credit account of any kind, which could adversely affect your score temporarily. To prevent this happening during mortgage applications, do not open any new credit accounts.

Financing and down payments

Determine the total cost of any prospective homes you look at – considering the property taxes, closing costs, insurance, maintenance costs and other factors. This can help guide you in assessing your budget for a potential down payment and your monthly house payment, according to Investopedia.

Weighing your mortgage options is another huge step in the home buying processes. Would a fixed conventional mortgage work best based on your income? Could an adjustable rate mortgage benefit you the most early on?

Down payments also do not have to be at the traditional 20%. Some lenders allow for less but this could result in higher overall costs and paying for private mortgage insurance, according to USA Today.

There may also be tax credits and lending programs for first-time homebuyers, veterans and residents of certain municipalities you can use to your advantage to help lower interest rates and down payment amounts.

Home inspection

Once your loans are approved and you find your dream home, a thorough inspection of the residence still needs to be conducted to ensure it's safe and up to your standards. Hire a professional to inspect the property. If any abnormalities are discovered that were not previously discussed, you generally have the option to rescind your offer or have your deposit refunded.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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3 smart solutions for a low credit score

When it's time to buy a home, one of the first things you'll likely look into is your credit score. This three-digit number gives lenders a hint as to how likely you are to pay your bills completely and on time.

A higher score means you're viewed as financially responsible to your lender. You could be rewarded with access to certain types of loans, such as jumbo mortgages, or with lower interest rates, resulting in a less expensive home loan in the long term.

A lower score means you could be a riskier borrower - perhaps you've been late on payments in the past, or maybe you already have a good amount of debt you still have to pay off. As such, a lender may either disqualify you from certain loan products or charge you a higher interest rate.

It's important to note that consumers who have lower scores (or even no scores at all) still have options when it comes to securing a mortgage. For example, people with scores as low as 500 can qualify for an FHA loan, according to FHA Handbook.

That said, having a higher score can open the door to more opportunities - both in terms of conventional mortgage products as well as other financial goals, like getting a new credit card or auto loan. If you've recently checked your credit score and aren't impressed with the results, there are some actions you can take to improve your standing. Follow these tips to begin improving your credit score:

Fix mistakes in your credit report

Like any other company, the credit bureaus are prone to human error. With hundreds of millions of adults in the U.S., it's not unheard of for information to be added to the wrong report - if you've ever done a Google search on yourself, you probably know there's someone else out there who shares your name, or at least something close to it.

The first step in any credit repair strategy should be to pull your credit report and look for errors. Identity errors, like listing another Jane Smith's account on your report, are among the most common. Others include accounts listed as open when they've been closed and accounts with the wrong credit limit after it's been increased.

Report mistakes like these right away. Then double-check that the mistake was fixed. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, reported mistakes that are reinserted in your report represent another commonly reported problem.

Never miss a payment

Payment history, including whether payments are made on time and in the correct amount, is the most important factor in your credit score. If you're prone to late payments and you have a lower score, this is probably why.

Create a plan to help you get on track with timely bill payments. A few tried-and-true tactics include:

If you have a long history of missed or late payments, it may take some time to repair the damage. However, remedying this bad habit as soon as possible will put you on the right path to bringing up your score.

Decrease your credit utilization rate

If you have a credit card, you have a maximum spending limit. This is the amount you can put on your card before it's declined. But that doesn't mean you should put that much on your card or anywhere close to it. In fact, you should aim for a credit utilization rate of 30 percent. This means that you should only ever have a balance of 30 percent of your maximum credit limit.

If you have more than a 30 percent credit utilization rate, focus on paying it down to at least that much. If you have a wallet full of maxed-out cards, paying off all the balances could improve your score by as much as 100 points in one month, NerdWallet reported. While this is clearly the best-case scenario, it just goes to show how important credit utilization is to your overall score.

Are credit score concerns holding you back from pursuing your dreams of homeownership? Don't let that number get in your way. Reach out to your mortgage lender to talk about your options - you might have more than you realize!

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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5 questions to ask yourself before buying a home

Exploring the idea of buying a house can be an exciting, nerve-wracking and uncertain time. Late night browsing on housing websites, trying to figure out which neighborhood to live in and what your priorities are can be as overwhelming as it is thrilling. To help you out in this life adventure, here are five questions to ask yourself before you apply for a mortgage and start packing:

1. Is the mortgage realistic?

Are you really in a place to buy a five-bedroom home with a pool? Sure, the listing price may have dropped a few thousand dollars in the past month, but be realistic when setting a budget and remember that any purchase is never a good deal if you can't afford it. When considering conventional mortgage rates and your long-term future, don't just try to picture yourself paying that amount for the rest of the year. Instead, picture yourself paying that mortgage every month for the next five to 10 years. Are you able to pay a sizable mortgage this year because you had a strong quarter with high commission earnings or a raise? Do you expect your income to increase or remain the same for the foreseeable future?

If you're stretching your budget, you can calculate some small sacrifices and adjustments to see whether a mortgage is feasible. When you consider eating at home more frequently and traveling less, however, also factor in how this will affect your quality of life. Most people could stand to tuck more money into their savings accounts or put it toward a mortgage, but if you love your weekly nights out and yearly tropical vacations, decide what's really important and whether the extra bedroom is worth it.

2. What will the commute be like?

Whether you're moving across the country for a new job or relocating to the suburbs for a bit more space, be sure to take into account your daily commute. Again, it's all about quality of life - an extra 10-15 minutes for better schools and a backyard is probably worth it, but if you're looking to increase your commute by 30 minutes or more each way, remember that this will affect your daily life in a tangible way. An extra hour each day, for example, adds up to about 250 hours per year.

There's no wrong answer here - if you're fine with a longer commute and have options such as express commuter trains or live in an area with less traffic than average, a few extra miles won't matter as much. Decide what you're comfortable with and how a longer commute may positively affect your budget or negatively affect your daily life and adjust accordingly.

3. Will you want to stay long-term?

Opting for a starter home as a first-time buyer is a great option to enter the housing market without breaking the bank, but that doesn't mean you have to settle. For instance, a smaller ranch home may be the perfect option if it's in a desirable area that you can picture yourself staying in for a few years.

Make sure you pay special attention to your surroundings. If you're moving from the city to the suburbs and enjoy the hustle and bustle of an urban area, you may want to move to a location with a thriving downtown area complete with walkable streets and access to coffee shops and restaurants. You're not bound to staying in a home for decades, but the moving and buying process is significant enough that you should try to imagine whether you'll be happy in a house and neighborhood for at least a few years.

4. Have you included extra costs?

It may not be as fun as looking for your dream home, but the devil is in the details, so make sure you're calculating the extra costs such as water bills, electricity, gas and home repairs. If you're a first-time buyer, you may not be accustomed to undertaking your own plumbing repairs (goodbye, landlord), so take note of any property changes you'll need to make upon moving.

What's more, according to U.S. News & World Report, homeowners will spend between 1% and 4% of a home's value on maintenance costs each year. That can add up to thousands each year. A little planning and budgeting can go along way, so keep these expenses in mind.

5. What's the future of your family?

Are you planning to have kids? Do you predict you may become a caretaker for an aging parent over the next couple of years? A home is a long-term investment, which means you should always keep the future in mind when deciding on buying a property. If you're a new parent, you should ask yourself whether you plan to have more children in the future. If so, should you get a house with an extra bedroom, or do you plan to move when your children are still young enough to comfortably share a room? Do you imagine your kids playing in a spacious backyard, or are nearby parks plenty for your family?

Or, if you've arranged to take care of a parent in the next few years, you may want to find a home with a first-floor bedroom with an easily accessible bathroom for someone with mobility issues. For that matter, if you're looking for a home to live in well into your retirement years, the same applies - what will your life look like in the coming years, and how will your living space fit into those plans?

There are many things to think through when buying a home, including these kinds of practicalities and long-term thinking. By taking your time while planning the next several years of your life and looking for a home that's worth the effort, you'll be able to enter the homebuying market with your eyes open, ready to find a home that's the perfect fit for your life.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2016 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.

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