Get Smart on Down Payments

Picking the right house is just one of the big decisions you’ll face when buying property. Deciding on the down payment is another. Low inventory in some national markets continues to pressure potential buyers into making bigger down payments to gain a competitive edge. But the possibility of rate increases in the coming year and… [Read More]

Resolve to slim down your credit cards in 2018

When credit card debt from last year’s unexpected twists and turns follows you into the new year, you’re not necessarily stuck with an interest payment. If you have good credit, you might qualify for a balance transfer credit card. Balance transfer cards allow you to move high-interest credit card debt to a low-interest credit card… [Read More]

6 New Year’s resolutions for new homeowners

We all make New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be honest: Most are wishful thinking. By February, that “lose 20 pounds” or “learn Spanish” resolution has gone right out the window. But not for you, new homeowner. This year is different. Your first 12 months of homeownership set the tone for the entire journey. With just… [Read More]

6 Things to Know About Buying a Home Under New Tax Rules

If you’re planning to buy a home this year, you’ll need to do more than just find the right real estate agent and get preapproved for your mortgage loan. One of the key items on your to-do list: understanding how your home purchase will affect your taxes. Thanks to tax reform, the rules for buying… [Read More]

13 Mortgage Questions to Ask — and the Answers You Want

Having a list of mortgage questions to ask potential lenders is just the start. Knowing the answers you’re looking for puts you ahead of the game. 1. Which type of mortgage is best for me? This question will help you know if you’re talking to just a producer — a salesperson — or a quality… [Read More]

12 cities where home prices are still down from the recession

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Even as nationwide home prices rose to record-high levels, in 21 of the 50 largest metro areas values have yet to return to their pre-Great Recession peaks. The nationwide median home value in October was $203,400, up $12,500 or 6.5% from the previous year, according to data from Zillow. This is approximately 3.3% above the… [Read More]

Tips for Creating a Budget

While it’s important to have a budget at any point in your life, it’s especially important to have one after college graduation. Most college grads have a lot of debt in credit cards and student loans. Creating and sticking to a budget can help you manage that debt, and start making a dent in your… [Read More]

GREAT NEWS: FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limit to $453k

Loan limits were frozen in place at $417,000 for 10 long years after the housing bust, but were finally raised on January 1 of this year. Rapidly increasing home prices have now allowed the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to increase them again for 2018. The maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages eligible to be… [Read More]

Everything You Need To Know About Getting A Pre-Approval

Before you can even start looking at homes, you need to know how much money you have to spend. Obtaining a pre-approval letter — a verification from a mortgage company that they’re willing to give you a loan — is both a great way to set your budget and to show sellers that you’re serious… [Read More]