This Common Mistake Can Kill Your Mortgage

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Young Couple Moving In To New Home Together In order to qualify for a mortgage, you need to show your lender that you have a down payment and access to funds for closing. This money needs to come from documentable sources prior to moving it from your bank account to your escrow account. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t do … Read More

6 Reasons to Take Out a Smaller Mortgage Than You Qualify For

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Whether you’re buying your first home or your fifth, being approved for a larger-than-expected mortgage can be intoxicating. But qualifying for a big loan isn’t the same as being able to afford it — and you don’t want your biggest asset to ruin your finances. Look at what happened during the Great Recession: Believing their homes would appreciate in value, … Read More

New Mortgage Rules For Self-Employed Borrowers

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If you’re self-employed, you must meet different requirements than a salaried person to qualify for a mortgage. The rules about how that works were updated in recent months to take an even closer look at your business income, so let’s review the rules for self-employed people borrowing for the first time, and for those who will be impacted by new … Read More

Why Sharing Your Home Just Got Easier

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Whether for care-giving, cultural, or economic reasons, more American families are sharing a home . In 2013, 21 percent of U.S. households in were shared, according to a Fannie Mae study   – including multiple generations (grandparents, adult children, and their children) or families of the same generation living together. The low for multigenerational households in the U.S. was 12 percent in 1980, … Read More

What Should You Do If Your ARM Is Almost Out Of Time?

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If you bought a home with an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) thinking you’d sell the home before the ARM adjusted, you’re not alone. Many people buy homes with ARMs because they plan to relocate or upgrade to a larger home in the near- to medium-term. But when plans change and you decide to stay, you must know what will happen … Read More

Why Is My Lender Asking About My Race on My Loan Application?

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At some point in the mortgage application process, you’ll get asked questions about your race, ethnicity, gender, and age. Being asked to provide this information can often raise a question of your own: Why? Let’s answer that question now. Clearing up anti-discrimination laws A law called the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) enacted in 1974 makes it illegal for lenders … Read More

Confessions of a Serial Refinancer

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By Michael Lyons, as told to Daniel Bortz My wife and I bought our first home in July of 1999. We were newlyweds at the time, and in lieu of taking a honeymoon we decided to purchase a house and gut it. Our date nights involved going to Home Depot, and talking to plumbers and tradesmen for advice. During the five … Read More

The Plain English Guide to Homeowner Tax Benefits

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If you’re like many homeowners at tax time, you don’t know how to calculate your homeowner tax benefits, and instead just follow the steps of online tax programs or have your tax adviser figure it out. But it’s important to know how your tax benefits work, so let’s review the calculations in plain English. Primary residence ownership costs As a … Read More

How Mortgage Strategy Differs for Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers

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Early-career home buyers tend to be light on cash, while mid-career home buyers are saving for retirement, and retiree home buyers are facing less income. Each of these life phases requires a different mortgage strategy. Here are some planning tips to help you make smart decisions, no matter where you are in life. Planning basics There are three main considerations in mortgage … Read More