Category Archives: Home Loans & Mortgages

Does a Cash-Out Refi Affect Property Tax?

A cash-out refinance replaces your existing mortgage with a new home loan for more than you owe on your house. The difference goes to you in cash and you can spend it on home improvements, debt consolidation or other financial needs. You must have equity built up in your house to use a cash-out refinance. […]

Mortgage Rates Will Rise in 2021, 5 Reasons Why.

Mortgage interest rates are going to rise in 2021. The Mortgage Bankers Association in its most recent forecast sees two things that stand out. First, 2020 will prove itself to be the second biggest mortgage year in history. At over three trillion, 2020 will only stand behind 2003 in single family mortgage production history.  Second, the MBA joined […]

What Is PMI… And How To Use It As A Wealth Building Tool

Before buying a home, you would ideally save enough money for a 20% down payment. You can get a home loan with less than a 20% down payment, but you’ll probably have to pay for mortgage insurance. The purpose of the insurance is to protect the mortgage company if you stop making your monthly mortgage payments and default […]

The Differences in Financing a Condo

Shifting demographics and the unique housing preferences of Millennials and aging Baby Boomers have driven the condo market to new heights in recent years. With Millennials and aging Baby Boomers preferring a more compact, walkable, town center-oriented lifestyle that is generally found in more densely populated urban centers — where condos are traditionally the primary […]

Understanding Mortgage Rate Locks

A rate lock is a guarantee from a mortgage lender that they will give a mortgage loan applicant a certain interest rate, at a certain price, for a specific period of time. A rate lock protects the borrower from rising interest rates: So, if the borrower locks in a rate of 4%, s/he will only […]

Understanding Closing Costs and How to Reduce Them

When you take out a mortgage, whether it’s be to purchase or refinance a home, you must pay closing costs. These costs can vary and it’s important to know which costs are negotiable. There are fees that must be paid to the lender, those that must be paid to third parties, such as title/escrow and insurance, and […]

Can’t Afford 20% Down? You have Options!

You want to buy your own home or perhaps you’re a move up buyer looking to climb the property ladder and purchase a larger home. But there’s just one problem: You don’t have the cash for a 20% down payment. What should you do? First, let’s assess your current situation: Are you a first-time homebuyer? Or […]

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) Explained

Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) With an adjustable rate mortgage, the interest rate and monthly payments varies according to a specific benchmark. The initial interest rate is usually fixed for a period of time after which it is reset periodically. The interest rate paid by the borrower will be based on the benchmark plus an additional spread, called an ARM […]

What is a Good Credit Score and What Do You Need to Buy a Home?

No number is more important to prospective home buyers than their credit score. Simply put, these three digits are a numerical representation of your existing debt, and your track record paying off these debts, everything from credit cards to college loans. If you’ve applied for a mortgage to buy a home, lenders check your credit score. If it’s high, […]

10 Questions to Ask the Lender When Applying for a Mortgage

Preparing to buy a home? We encourage buyers to ask prospective lenders these 10 important questions at or prior to mortgage application. (1) What are your qualifying guidelines? Ask about requirements relating to your income, employment, assets, liabilities and credit history. Qualifications for 1st-time homebuyer programs, Veterans Affairs loans and other government-sponsored mortgages are typically less stringent. […]