Mortgage 101

 
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April 15, 2019

Self-Employed Workers Catch a Break on Mortgages

The number of self-employed workers in the US range from 10 to 15 million, depending on definitions of self-employment. The Great Recession took its toll on self-employed workers, but over the past few years, self-employment has been on the rebound. Baby Boomers are leaving traditional jobs and putting their experience and skills to work as consultants. Traditional self-employment jobs like child-minding, caregiving, construction, and free-lance journalism are on the rise and a new generation of workers are adopting a “gig economy” approach to employment, working in different jobs as an independent contractor.

One source, a company in Herndon, VA that provides [...]

 
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April 10, 2019

Find the Low Down Payment That’s Best for You

Many years ago, the primary sources of a home down payment lower than 20% were government programs like FHA and VA. Today, there are more than 1700 low down payment options available to help expedite the time it takes to put down a payment on your home.

Saving for a down payment is the greatest barrier first-time homebuyers face. More than half—56%—of a recent survey of millennial-age renters, say they’ve been unable to buy a home because they haven’t saved enough.

Down Payment Myths

One reason for the confusion is the surprising number of renters who believe that they will need at least 20% of a home’s purchase for a down payment. A recent [...]

 
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February 28, 2019

How Homes.Com Can Help You Get the Right Mortgage for You

When it comes to taking out a mortgage, many buyers, especially first-time borrowers, expect it to be an intimidating experience. That’s understandable. Just as buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make, a mortgage is the largest loan they will ever take out.

Many buyers fear that their application for a mortgage will be rejected that and they jeopardize their chances of buying a home by not getting pre-approved for a mortgage before they start shopping for a home.

Homes.com’s state-of-the-art website is so user-friendly that it helps even the least experienced buyers understand their options and apply successfully for the [...]

 
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November 27, 2018

Three Ways To Get Someone Else To Pay Your Mortgage

Welcome to the not-so-glamorous part of homeownership - the mortgage payment. If you're a homeowner but get overwhelmed by the monthly mortgage payment, no fear! Check out these three ways to get someone else to pay your mortgage!
 
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October 1, 2018

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Downsize Your Empty Nest

If you're like most empty nesters, then you're probably looking around a large home trying to figure out how to downsize; a reverse mortgage might help.
 
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May 16, 2018

What Are Your Chances of Getting Approved for a Mortgage?

Lenders use three criteria to decide whether or not to approve a mortgage application. Borrowers must meet minimum standards for credit scores, loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) and debt-to-income ratios (DTIs) in order to be approved. Minimum standards vary by the type of mortgage in which you are applying for and by the lender.

Over the past three years, mortgage lenders have been slowly loosening their standards for mortgages. Understanding the reasons for this trend and the differences among different loan types will help today’s borrowers understand their options.

Credit scores, LTVs, and DTIs

The most widely discussed lending standards are FICO scores, the credit [...]

 
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May 15, 2018

How to Efficiently Pay Your Mortgage

The term “mortgage” is a 13th century Middle English word imported from Anglo-French: “mort” is French for death, and “gage” means pledge in Latin. In early Anglo-Norman law, property pledged as security for a loan was usually held by the creditor who could farm it and sell the proceeds — a sneaky form of interest in an era when lending for profit was considered a form of sinful usury. When the debtor finally couldn’t stand watching his wealthy creditor get even richer off his mortgaged land, he found a way to pay off the debt. If he couldn’t find the cash by the time he died, the land would become the creditor’s. Hence the name [...]

 
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May 9, 2018

6 Sure-Fire Tips to Get a Lower Mortgage Rate

It’s understandable why borrowers think that the best way to get a lower mortgage rate is to pick a lender who advertises the lowest rate. Mortgage companies know that, and they try to differentiate themselves from competitors by advertising the lowest possible rate they can offer the most qualified borrower.

Comparing the rates lenders advertise does not mean the one advertising the lowest rate will be best for you. What most borrowers don’t realize is that they have the power to lower their mortgage rates.

Lower risk means a lower rate

Many factors determine an individual borrower’s mortgage interest rate. Lenders are in the business of managing [...]

 
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April 6, 2018

Retired? Qualifying for a Mortgage May Be Easier Than You Think

Retirees are the wealthiest demographic in America. More than 60 percent of households headed by people over 65 have assets worth at least six figures and more than 10 percent are into the seven figures. Many aging workers fear they can’t buy a home after they retire because they will be living on a fixed income. Some downsize before they are ready, selling the home they have lived in for many years and rushing the decision to buy a retirement home while they are still bringing home paychecks.

Qualifying for a mortgage after retirement is a little different than it is for buyers who are employed full-time. Retirees need to demonstrate to lenders that they can access [...]

 
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March 13, 2018

Do Adjustable Rate Mortgages Make Sense Today?

Adjustable rate mortgages are mortgages where the interest rate changes during the life of the loan. The most popular structure consists of a short period where the rate is fixed and attractively low−sometimes much as a full percentage point below comparable fixed-rate mortgages. At a date in the future − usually five to ten years − the interest rate resets. Often rates are linked to an index, like the prime rate, or the S&P 500, and after the reset, rates are usually significantly higher.

Adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs, were popular during the housing boom twelve years ago. Lenders created a variety of ARM structures to meet the demands of a buying public that had [...]

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