When you’re buying a home or thinking of buying one, you’ll need to factor in many costs other than the home loan. If you’re not making a 20 percent down payment, and most people don’t, private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is at the top of the list of costs to consider. Read the rest of this entry »
For most people, your ability to get approved for a mortgage, and the terms you’re offered, depends on your credit report and your history of managing debt responsibly.
Under some circumstances, your credit score can be affected by loans you’re not even responsible for paying. Read the rest of this entry »
If I had one dollar for every person that said, “Please tell me what I can qualify for but do not pull my credit because I know it hurts my credit score,” I would have enough money to make a large down payment on almost any house I wanted. Read the rest of this entry »
Homeownership is a major component of the American dream as it provides you with your own piece of property to put down roots and live your life. You might think the process starts when you first go out hunting for houses or condominiums, but it often begins long before the initial meeting with a realtor when you contact a lender for pre-approval. Homes are major purchases, and it’s understandable that you have to meet certain qualifications before the transaction goes through. Here are a few reasons why the seller and realtor might want you to get pre-approved, as well as an overview of the entire process. Read the rest of this entry »
Many people are very focused on interest rates these days and are wondering where they are headed next and how it may affect their mortgage payment. Interest rates have been historically low for a very long time, and people are starting to fear that they may increase and have an outsized impact on the cost of purchasing a home.
You can see a chart of the long-term history of interest-rates by clicking here. This chart shows that we are definitely near the bottom of where interest-rates have been over a long period of time. On the other hand, if interest-rates start to go up does it have as much of an impact as people think? Read the rest of this entry »
Deciding on how much mortgage you can afford is very complicated with several things to consider. Before you plan to spend the maximum amount you’ve been approved for, consider what you feel comfortable with. And before you treat your home purchase like a zero-sum game consider spending a sufficient amount to buy enough house to keep you happy for a longer period of time, due to the hefty transaction costs of real estate. Read the rest of this entry »
FHA, known as the Federal Housing Administration, offers a mortgage loan requiring borrowers to have mortgage insurance on the loan. The FHA loan originated during the great depression and has contributed to the growth of the housing market ever since. Read the rest of this entry »
I sometimes get asked about waiving one or all contingencies in a real estate contract, to help make for a more aggressive offer in a competitive sellers’ market. The main contingencies in most real estate contracts are the appraisal contingency, the financing contingency, the termite inspection contingency, and the home inspection contingency. I am not a proponent or an opponent of any of these strategies, but simply want to discuss the pros and cons of each, since it is a question I do get. Let me take these one at a time. Read the rest of this entry »
I sometimes have clients ask me how they can reduce the amount of cash they need to pay towards the purchase of a new home. Recently a client who was making an offer on a house that had an asking price of $650,000 wanted to make an offer of only $600,000 figuring that since they were putting 20% down, they’d save $10,000 by paying 20% down on $50,000 less in price. However, the house is worth what it is worth, and Read the rest of this entry »
A lender pulls three credit reports to issue a mortgage? Yes, potentially. One when you get pre-qualified, another at loan application, if loan application and settlement happens 120 days or more after pre-qualification, then the third check is just before settlement! Yes, now Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, and all the rule makers require lenders to check for credit activity just a day or two prior to settlement. Read the rest of this entry »