Lenders evaluate mortgage applications a lot differently today than they did even ten years ago and even more has changed in the last twenty years. What used to close the door to homeownership may not be a factor today. Here are some common homeownership myths: Myth: You need excellent credit to become a homeowner. Fact: You may still be able to buy a home with less-than-perfect credit. And remember, you can improve your credit over time. Myth: You need to put 20% down to buy a home. Fact: There are many types of mortgage products and programs that allow low and no down payments. But remember to factor in other costs such as closing [...]
Homeownership has many advantages - both financial and personal. But buying a home is an important decision. Look at the benefits and the differences between homeownership and renting to understand better if owning a home is right for you. What are the benefits of homeownership? Tax savings. You may earn significant tax savings because you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax and many states' income tax if you itemize your deductions. A more stable monthly housing expense. Your monthly housing loan or mortgage expense can remain the same for the life of your mortgage, depending on the type of loan you choose. Equity. You may build [...]
Use this guide as a list of things that you should check for when buying a new home. Your home inspector may also review many of these items, but you should also do a check yourself.
It's a big decision to sell your home. When you want top-dollar and are facing several changes, time seems to become warp-speed—where everything gets a little fuzzy and the days blur together in anticipation. That's why we've developed this quick guide to get your house ready for a showing. In the Kitchen— Be sure all countertops are clear and "squeaky clean." Wipe down appliances. Make sure all dishes are in the dishwasher or cleaned and put away. The sink should be clear and clean. In the Bedrooms— Make up the beds, neatly and attractively, every morning. This is a job you don't want to have to do when you learn that the [...]
To get a quick idea of what you can afford to spend, multiply your annual gross income (before taxes) by 2.5. For example, if your annual household income is $50,000, you might be able to qualify for a $125,000 home. This estimate is rough—the actual number will vary based on factors such as your debt and credit history. Mortgage lenders typically use the housing expense and debt-to-income ratios to more accurately determine how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage. Housing Expense Ratio Mortgage lenders recommend that your monthly mortgage payment should be less than or equal to a quarter of your monthly gross income. This percentage can change based [...]