Blog Articles

Buying a Home with Friends

With the sharing economy changing the way people think about buying everything from cars to hotel rooms, it was only a matter of time before real estate made the list. With many buyers priced out of their preferred neighborhoods when it comes to homeownership, some are choosing to pool resources with friends to purchase a house together..

Posted in Articles on Jan 10, 2017

7 Reasons You Should Buy Your Next Home Right Now

Get off the fence. This might be the best time to buy a home you're going to see for a while. Here's why. Less competition for homes Tired of having to duke it out for available homes and then losing out to higher offers? That's a reality in many of today's hot real estate markets, where bidding wars are the norm..

Posted in Articles on Jan 4, 2017

Market Update from Our CEO- 01.04.17

What really makes a year “new”? Is it something as arbitrary as the changing of a calendar or the fact that we’ve once again completed a full orbit around the sun? Or is a new year defined by some change which makes the future differ from the recent past regardless of the date it occurs?.

Posted in Articles on Jan 4, 2017

4 Ways to Save Your Down Payment Faster

When I set out to save a down payment for my home in March 2015, I decided to save $40,000. I had originally planned for this process to take three to five years. But due to luck and perseverance, I was able to cut that time in half and managed to become a homeowner in just 15 months..

Posted in Articles on Jan 4, 2017

What The "APR" Is

The "APR," or "annual percentage rate" is one factor you'll want to consider when you're evaluating different loan products. But when you're comparing APRs, make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Because you'll be looking at two basic kinds of loans:.

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

The Advantages of Seller-Paid Points

Say you’re interested in buying a home listed for $300,000, where the seller is willing to settle for a bottom line of $291,000. You could ask the seller to knock $9,000 off the list price. But in that scenario, you might be better off asking the seller to instead contribute $9,000 toward your closing costs in the form of “seller-paid points” that reduce the interest rate on your mortgage..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

The Larger Role of the Mortgage Lender

A responsible lender won’t treat the mortgage purchase as a simple money-in-exchange-for-goods-or-services transaction, but rather play an active role in the entire mortgage planning process. That means serving as an advocate who helps you understand the impact of the mortgage on your overall finances, evaluate the various options, and decide what course of action is best for you..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Things You Should Consider When Looking At Mortgages Or Homes

When you’re thinking about taking on a mortgage and buying a home, you should consider the decision in light of your overall financial situation. Buying a home is usually a better financial strategy than renting because of the equity that homeownership gives you. But it requires more money upfront, and represents a long-term commitment..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Fixed Rate or Adjustable Rate Mortgage? Questions to Consider

One of the questions to consider when you’re buying a home is whether you want a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage (ARM). With a fixed rate mortgage, your payment remains the same for the duration of the loan. An ARM stays fixed for an initial period of time — three, five or seven years. Then it fluctuates based on market interest rates. The "caps" on your loan will indicate how much the mortgage rate can change after the initial fixed period..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

A Comparison Between 15-Year and 30-Year Mortgages

If you’re considering a fixed rate loan, one of the questions to consider is whether you want the term to be 15 years or 30 years. On its surface, the 30-year mortgage looks more attractive to many borrowers because the monthly payments are smaller. But the lower interest rates for a 15-year mortgage means you would actually end up paying considerably less over the life of the loan than you would for a 30-year mortgage..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Mortgage Interest Isn't Always Tax Deductible

A lot of people think that mortgage interest is always tax deductible, but that isn’t true. In order to be tax deductible, the mortgage interest has to be attached to a “qualified residence,” which usually refers to one of two types of homes — a primary residence or a vacation home..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Don't Get Outbid On That Home!

So you've finally found the perfect house, but you're not the only one! When other potential buyers are bidding for the same home, you'll want every advantage you can get. Here are some tips to help you make sure the house you close on is the same one you've got your heart set on:.

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Understanding Your Home Appraisal

The appraisal is an important part of determining the loan amount. Mortgage guidelines require the lender to base the loan amount on whichever is less — the purchase price or the appraised value. There are no true objective standards when it comes to determining what a home’s appraised value should be..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Credit Scores Explained

Your credit score has a big impact on your personal finances, with a good score translating into a better rate on everything from home mortgages to auto loans to credit cards. So how do credit scores work? Your credit score can range from 350 to 850. The higher, the better. The five factors that determine that score, and the percent to which they count towards your score, are as follows..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016

Important Points About Good Faith Estimates

Page 2 of the Good Faith Estimate itemizes all of the loan’s closing costs. Here are some things you should keep in mind as you fill it out. Block A: This is the section dealing with the fees that your mortgage lender, mortgage broker, bank or credit union charges. You can usually negotiate here..

Posted in Articles on Dec 21, 2016