• 5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score
    Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score: Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history. How much you … Continued
  • 6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home
    Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpavment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov. Explore seller financing. In some … Continued
  • 7 Reasons to Own Your Home
    Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage and your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 … Continued
  • 8 Tips to Guide for Your Home Search
    Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your … Continued
  • Common Closing Costs for Buyers
    You’ll likely be responsible for a variety of fees and expenses that you and the seller will have to pay at the time of closing. Your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of all settlement costs. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for: Down payment Loan … Continued
  • Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
    They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process. They don’t do enough to make their offer … Continued
  • Lender Checklist: What You Need for a Mortgage
    W-2 forms – or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed – for the last two or three years for every person signing the loan. Copies of at least one pay stub for each person signing the loan. Account numbers of all your credit cards and the amounts for any outstanding balances. Copies of two … Continued
  • What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit
    Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following: Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for … Continued
  • Tax Benefits of Homeownership
    The tax deductions you’re eligible to take for mortgage interest and property taxes greatly increase the financial benefits of homeownership. Here’s how it works. Assume: $9,877 = Mortgage interest paid (a loan of $150,000 for 30 years, at 7 percent, using year-five interest) $2,700 = Property taxes (at 1.5 percent on $180,000 assessed value) $12,577 … Continued