Home Financing
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I Wanted to Pay Off My Mortgage Early, Then I Realized This
To me, the math was clear: The longer I paid mortgage payments, the more that house was going to cost.
Jul 9, 2018
What a 2020 Recession Would Mean for Your Home Buying Dreams
We spoke with real estate and home financing experts to get the full picture.
Jun 28, 2018
You Can Score a NYC Apartment for Under $300,000—Really!
Good news first: It’s actually possible to purchase an apartment in Manhattan for under $300,000 or so. (Yes, an actual apartment—not a closet! And yes, purchase to own, not rent!) Every so often, a Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) co-op unit hits the market, providing a rare, affordable option for prospective homebuyers. But the discouraging news?
Jun 24, 2018
The Kitchen Paint Color That Could Cost You Thousands
While you may love your barn red kitchen, a new report released today by Zillow finds that it could cost you when looking to sell your home someday. The report found that painting your front door, kitchen, or bathroom with certain color palettes can drastically depreciate your home value by more than $2,000.
Jun 22, 2018
Your Rent Just Went Up. Is it Worth it to Move?
It doesn’t matter how much you love your rental: The day your renewal notice comes in with a rent hike you never imagined, all those fuzzy feelings might just fly out the window. That said, how do you know if it’s worth it to move? From an economic standpoint, know that your next landlord will need the first and last month’s rent plus a security deposit, and for some apartments, a real estate broker’s fee.
Jun 22, 2018
What Everyone Gets Wrong About Millennials Buying Houses
Who had it worse when buying homes: the Boomers or Millennials? It might be a topic that makes Thanksgiving dinner tenuous, but now the argument has an answer. Well, sort of. According to a new report, home-ownership is technically cheaper than it was in the 1980s, but today it’s currently harder than ever to afford a home.
Jun 21, 2018
Is It Better to Pay Down Your Mortgage Faster or Invest?
A couple of weeks ago, we suggested “3 Totally Doable Mortgage Hacks That Could Save You Thousands,” which delved into the money you can save on interest by spending a little bit more money towards your principal over the scope of your home loan.
Jun 21, 2018
What Rising Federal Interest Rates Mean for Your Home
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the seventh time in two years, signaling continued economic growth and a low unemployment rate. While that might just sound like financial mumbo-jumbo, it could have serious effects on what you pay for your home in the near-future. The benchmark interest, or prime, rate is basically the minimum rate that non-Treasury lenders (a.k.a.
Jun 16, 2018
8 Key Mortgage Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Their Lender
Buying a house is stressful enough, but when you add in the unfamiliar lingo and mounds of paperwork, it can be overwhelming.
Jun 13, 2018
A Clever Way You Can Save Money When Selling Your Home
As a savvy seller, you’ve spruced up the front yard to increase your home’s value and have been keeping an eye on how much homes are selling for in your neighborhood. You’ve done your research—so much, in fact, that you know exactly which day of the week is best to list your property. So, should you go full-on real estate star and try to sell your home on your own, too?
Jun 10, 2018
The 5 Best Sources for Prefab Homes
Want to build your dream home from scratch? Don’t want to wait forever and drain your savings? A prefabricated—or prefab—home is the way to go. They’re built in a factory and transported section-by-section to be assembled almost wherever you please—almost like the IKEA furniture of homes. There are many pro and cons to buying prefab homes, and many ways to go about it.
Jun 9, 2018
3 Totally Doable Mortgage Hacks That Can Save You Thousands
Potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars and years off your mortgage with these smart payment tricks.
Jun 8, 2018
The Money-Wasting Mortgage Mistake You’re Likely to Make
Property taxes, homeowners insurance, interest, HOA fees—when it comes to your monthly mortgage payment, your loan’s principal doesn’t lack company. Still, few of these additional costs and expenses draw as much ire from a homeowner than private mortgage insurance (PMI.) If you’re begrudgingly shelling out extra cash for a PMI premium, then private mortgage insurance needs no introduction.
Jun 4, 2018
6 Things That Increase Your Home’s Value Before You Even Buy
While you’re in the process of house hunting, all you want to do is find a keeper, get the keys and settle into your new life. But it pays to think long-term when buying a home because you’re probably going to be selling it sometime in the future, and you want to get a good return on your investment. So, keeping certain factors in mind when purchasing a home is key to ensure that it has good resale value. Here, six things you should think about, according to professionals.
Jun 1, 2018
Don’t Let These 6 Things Keep You From Your Dream Home
You hunted until your feet were sore, found your dream home and made an offer that was accepted. Time to exhale, right? Not quite. “The first rule of real estate: All contracts must be in writing to be binding,” says David Rosen, a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman in New York City. That means until you actually have a signed contract, your accepted offer is just a good faith agreement. But it all works out, right?
May 27, 2018
What You Should Save for a House Down Payment, By State
Buying a house is easily one of the most significant purchases a person will make in his or her lifetime. But, for most people, it doesn’t happen quickly; in fact, it takes a lot of planning to make that purchase a reality. And one of the very first steps is saving enough money for a down payment. The general rule for home buying is 20 percent of the projected home price as a down payment (though in some cases, it can be less or more).
May 26, 2018
Why You Should Think Twice Before Taking Out a Mortgage With Your Normal Bank
When my wife and I were looking to get pre-approved for a mortgage, we started at the most obvious spot: Bank of America, the longtime home of our checking and savings accounts. Turns out, that may not have been a smart idea. For starters, we were surprised to discover that their rates and terms were pretty unattractive, especially for first-time buyers like us. We were already scrounging for cash, and the bank was pretty inflexible about the down payment amount.
May 25, 2018
5 Cities Where So-So Credit Isn’t a Mortgage Dealbreaker
It’s scary to think that one number can be so influential to your mortgage. After all, nobody wants their poorly thought-out shopping sprees from college to damage their home-buying hopes 15 years later. But let’s face the facts: Your credit score can greatly affect your mortgage.
May 17, 2018
This Is What Your Credit Score Should Be to Buy a House
While you might feel ready to invest, a bad credit score can make mortgage lenders wary and cause your interest rates to soar through the roof.
May 16, 2018
Can You Finance a Tiny Home? Here’s What You Need to Know
Those trendy 500-square-foot tiny homes sure are cute and it’s a cool idea reduce your environmental footprint and embrace conscious “micro” living. But though these homes may be but little, they can be fiercely difficult to finance, since traditional home mortgages aren’t always an option.
May 15, 2018
6 Money-Saving Habits to Steal from Smart Homeowners
If you’re a homeowner, the threat of a big, unexpected expense might be keeping you up at night. But if that’s what you’re losing sleep over, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent study from NerdWallet found that the main anxiety shared among homeowners was financing (65%). The simple secret to maintaining a great-looking house without having it drain your bank account? Never falling behind in upkeep.
May 8, 2018
Want the Chip & Jo Look? Starter Homes With ‘Fixer Upper’ Features Will Cost You
According to new research, a combination of the aesthetic influence of the hit HGTV show Fixer Upper and the design (and eco) priorities of millennial home buyers are now driving which premium features sell the most entry level units on the market — sometimes at a whopping 30 percent over asking price. By analyzing listing descriptions for millions of entry-level homes (defined as those priced within the bottom third of the market), a new report by Zillow Group and RealEstate.
May 8, 2018
What “House Hunters” Didn’t Tell Me About Buying My First Home
“House Hunters” first premiered in 1999 when I was 12 years old. I devoured episode after episode. And since they don’t teach you these practical things in school, I thought I had learned everything there is to know about home buying from the popular HGTV show. But fast forward 18 years: I got married, then pregnant. Suddenly I was eager to trade the nearly-windowless rental basement my husband and I considered home for one we could call our own.
May 4, 2018
Most New Homeowners Feel They Can Remodel On Their Own — But Here’s What They Should Consider First
More than half (57%) of new homeowners believe they could remodel an entire room without any help from a professional. Millennials are even more confident in their DIY abilities, with 64% ready to tackle a remodeling project on their own. That’s according to a Home Depot survey of 1,000 new homeowners, age 25 and up, who had purchased a home in the past year.
May 1, 2018
The 4 Big Reasons Renters Aren’t Buying Homes
More than a third of American households are renting their homes — thought not all of them want to be.
Apr 20, 2018
Coachella Gives the Palm Springs Real Estate Industry a Boom
It’s perhaps the most Instagram-drenched event in the world: The Coachella Music and Arts Festival, which takes place this weekend in Indio, California, is the epicenter of festival style. And while most concert goers will be focused on everyone from Lorde to DJ Khaled taking the stage, it turns out that the the iconic event will influence a whole lot more than the flower crown industry. It could affect real estate, too.
Apr 14, 2018
You Have To See This Miniature Kitchen Get Remodeled
It’s no secret that we love a good before and after. A recent ad for financial startup SoFi walks us through a kitchen renovation—on a smaller scale than even we are normally used to. In the 90 second video, a hand flips on a tiny light switch and gets to demoing, stripping the wallpaper, taking off the counters, and removing the cabinet doors with a minuscule screwdriver.
Apr 6, 2018
One City Plans To Combat Affordable Housing With ‘Micro-Estates’
In order to combat its growing affordable housing issue the city of Tempe, Arizona is slated to break ground on a community of relatively low-priced tiny homes on city-owned land next spring. The desert city just outside Phoenix has seen an average rent increase of $200 per month since 2015. The community of 12 “micro-estates,” as the developers are calling them, will sit on approximately an acre of land with each home coming in at 600 square feet.
Apr 6, 2018
This Ranch Featured On Fixer Upper Just Had a Price Reduction
While some folks just cannot get enough of all things Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines, others are cooling on the couple and their Magnolia empire in Waco, Texas — including, it would appear, local home buyers. A few years ago, after Fixer Upper was well into its third season, each real estate listing for a home featured and fixed up on the show could command a bidding war, but now the same or similar inventory sits on the market, even seeing reductions in price.
Mar 14, 2018
This Startup Wants To Build Tiny Houses In 12 Hours For Just $4,000
A sustainable-building startup out of Austin, Texas called ICON, unveiled at SXSW this week its 3D-printed, 650-square-foot house. There is no shortage of companies manufacturing tiny homes to be sure; some tiny homes are gorgeous quarters for those that have wanderlust, and then there are others that look as though they were beamed down from space. ICON’s new tiny home, however, might just be the closest thing to a traditional home we’ve seen yet in the tiny genre.
Mar 14, 2018
These May or May Not Be the Best Cities for First-Time Homebuyers
Mortgage marketplace Lending Tree recently ranked its best cities for first-time homebuyers, and the results are, well… let’s just say it’s great news if you’d like to live in Little Rock, Ark., which Lending Tree found to be the most hospitable U.S. city to first-time home buyers. Birmingham, Ala., Grand Rapids, Mich., Youngstown, Ohio, and Winston, N.C. rounded out the top five.
Mar 9, 2018
The Mortgage that Pays Itself: What You Need to Know to Get Started Hosting on Airbnb
If you have any extra space in your home — a spare bedroom, guest house, a finished garage — chances are you’ve toyed with the idea of listing it on Airbnb. Pros: extra money for bills or savings, a fun way to meet cool people, and not a lot of real work. Cons: the potential for weirdos in your space, property damage, and near-constant mental labor in the form of requests and bookings.
Feb 23, 2018
Are Interest Rates Rising? What Can I Do?
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the real estate market recently, you’ve probably heard a few rumours about rising interest rates flying around. We’re sad to say that what you’ve been hearing is true — but that doesn’t mean you should give up hope on your dreams of becoming a homeowner. Keep reading to learn more about what’s happening with interest rates today — and what you can do to stay competitive.
Feb 16, 2018
Now Airbnb Can Help You Refinance Your Mortgage
For the first time, Airbnb hosts can now count their home-sharing earnings as additional income when refinancing their mortgage at three national lenders: Citizens Bank, Better Mortgage, and Quicken Loans (the company behind that Rocket Mortgage app you see each Super Bowl). That may sound trivial, but like Ron Burgundy, it’s kind of a big deal. Refinancing a mortgage isn’t exactly easy; it’s almost as tedious as taking one out in the first place.
Feb 15, 2018
Mortgage Rates Are Rising, Ready to Quietly Crush Your Homebuying Dreams
The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has surged past 4.28% this week to its highest point in years, according to CNBC. That’s bad news for home buyers, because even a small rate increase can be enough to push an already difficult-to-afford house completely out of reach. After starting the year around 4.0%, average rates have been steadily creeping higher, with some lenders quoting best rates of 4.5% this week.
Jan 30, 2018
Struggling to Save for a Down Payment? This Might be the Reason
If you’ve ever written a monthly check to Sallie Mae, the findings of a new study on student loan debt and millennial homeownership shouldn’t surprise you: College graduates with loan debt have a harder time saving up for a down payment than those who graduate debt-free. That’s according to a study released Thursday by rental website Apartment List.
Jan 25, 2018
Here’s What a Government Shutdown Might Mean For Your Mortgage Approval
A shutdown of the federal government — which will occur if Congress can’t approve at least a temporary funding bill today, an increasingly likely scenario — could throw a monkey wrench into many corners of our economy. And if you’re getting ready to close on a house, look out, because one of those wrenches might be headed your way.
Jan 19, 2018
Is 2018 the Right Year to Buy a Home?
If buying your first home is among your New Year’s resolutions for 2018, you might be viewing the current real estate landscape with equal parts hopeful wonder and anxious dread. As a first-time buyer, you can expect plenty of company at open houses and a lot of headwinds in your search. Experts predict 2018 will be another seller’s market, with demand far outpacing the available inventory of homes for sale. But that doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines.
Jan 8, 2018
If You Prepaid Your Property Taxes, The IRS May Have Just Wasted Your Time (And Money)
Millions of American homeowners this week interrupted their lazy winter vacation days and post-holiday clearance shopping to frantically crowd their county or city tax offices, hoping to prepay next year’s property taxes and dodge a tax bullet. Now the IRS, for whom the Grinch is perhaps not just a seasonal foil but a year-round inspiration, says they may have been wasting their time. Let’s back up a bit.
Dec 28, 2017
What the GOP Tax Bill Means for First-Time Homebuyers
The House and Senate both passed versions of a sweeping new tax bill in the past month. What happens now is a joyless legislative mashup as the two chambers try to resolve sticking points between the two bills and present the president with a final version to sign before year’s end.
Dec 7, 2017
The Biggest Misconception First-Time Buyers Have About Making an Offer on a Home
Making an offer on a home isn’t like sliding a sticky note across the table. Your offer as a buyer is so much more than just a dollar amount. There’s no question that sale price is crucial, but it’s far from being the only important factor when making an offer on a home.
Nov 28, 2017
Here’s 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 about making an offer. Read on for an overview of the pre-approval process.
Nov 25, 2017
We’re Breaking it Down: When Waiting for 20% Down Is The Wrong Choice
A 20 percent down payment is the gold standard held up by every real estate resource ever. With less than 20 percent down, you’re on the line to pay PMI — private mortgage insurance — a fee that’s tacked on to your mortgage every month for no other reason than to protect the bank (not you) if you ever default on your loan.
Nov 16, 2017
Here’s How Long You Have to Own a House Before Buying is Better Than Renting — In NYC, L.A. & 48 Other Cities
You’ve probably heard it a million times, especially if you’re a long-time renter: buying a home will save you so much money in the long run. In most cases, that’s true. While it depends on the housing market you’re in, what rent and interest rates are like, and of course, how long you plan to stay in your home, eventually buying usually does save you money.
Nov 10, 2017
All About First-Time Homebuyer Grants
Buying a home can be crazy expensive, and for most first-time buyers, the hardest part is saving up a sizable down payment. You’ve no doubt heard that the traditional down payment should be 20% of the purchase price — any less, and you’ll likely have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) or get stuck with a higher long-term interest rate. And who’s got 20% of, say, $300,000 just kicking around in their bank account? However, that 20% figure isn’t set in stone.
Oct 18, 2017
What Tax Breaks Can I Get as a First-Time Homebuyer?
In 2008, the U.S. housing market was already cratering as the Great Recession took hold. To try and stop the bleeding, Congress passed a series of first-time homebuyer tax credits, each more generous than the last. First came a $7,500 tax rebate, to be repaid over 15 years with no interest. By early 2009, it had grown to $8,000, and required no payback whatsoever. And for most of 2010, even some repeat home buyers were eligible for a tax credit worth up to $6,500.
Oct 12, 2017
Do I Have To Move to Buy a Home?
If you’ve been living in a major city the past few years, you’ve probably seen your rent go up — and up, and up — and thought about buying a home to escape the rent hikes. Problem is, you’ve likely watched helplessly as the prices of nearby condos and houses climbed out of your reach even faster. If you’re feeling priced out in the city you call home, should you consider moving to make your dream of homeownership come true?
Oct 10, 2017
Make It Happen: Everything You Need to Know To Get a Mortgage
Unless you have a fairy godmother or a cool half million sitting around, you’re probably going to need a mortgage if you want to buy a home. Here’s how to qualify for and choose a mortgage, and what to expect throughout the process. Let’s face it: You can go to as many open houses as you want, but you’re not going to be able to buy one without a mortgage. So get the ball rolling early and get pre-approved before you even start house hunting.
Oct 2, 2017
How To Buy Your First Home: A No Nonsense Step-by-Step Guide
You know want to buy a home — you’re just not sure where to begin. And no wonder: Buying your first home can be a long, intimidating process, full of gross stuff like math, legal documents, and cutthroat competition. But have no fear: First-time buyers just like you do it all the time, and we’ll walk you through the process. First, you’ve got to make sure you’re emotionally and financially ready to buy a home.
Sep 27, 2017
What Real (Not-Rich) Buyers Can Do to Compete in All-Cash Markets
More than ever, we hear about homes being snatched up by “all cash” offers, and it’s natural to wonder how you’re ever going to compete without your own briefcase full of dollars. But you should know that your goal of homeownership isn’t impossible. If you want to battle with those all-cash buyers who seem to be taking over the market, you’re going to need to find a smart edge.
Sep 21, 2017
How To Find a First Home That’ll Actually Make Money When You Sell
For most of us, buying a first home is a pretty big deal. We’re all indoctrinated from a young age with the more romantic aspects of becoming homeowners, making it hard to imagine when we purchase that first abode that we’ll ever live anywhere else. But think of it this way: Wouldn’t it be nice to know that when it does come time to sell your beloved first home, you’ll be walking away with a nice chunk of change to put toward your next dream house?
Sep 12, 2017
Fierce Negotiating Tactics for a First-Time Buyer
Just because it’s your first time buying a home doesn’t have to mean you go into negotiations completely clueless. While the whole process may be new to you, there’s actually some benefits to having it be your first time around. Here’s some tactics for negotiating your first home purchase: It’s always a good idea to go with a buying agent that knows their territory. You know how it feels like everyone who went to summer camp knows each other?
Aug 28, 2017
What You Need to Know Before Getting Into a Bidding War
If you’re hoping to buy a property in a competitive market, then you probably know that a bidding war with another hopeful buyer may be in the cards. But you don’t have to be a real estate tycoon to know how to negotiate; the key to surviving a bidding war is to be prepared. Here’s what you need to know before you head into battle: Cash is a universal language that everyone understands.
Aug 24, 2017
The Cities with the Highest Hidden Costs of Owning a Home
If you’re looking into buying a home, your mind is probably focused on things like your down payment and monthly mortgage costs, but those aren’t the only costs that come with owning a home—there are hidden costs you might not be thinking about, too.
Aug 14, 2017
The “Hidden” Costs of Homeownership Add Up to $9K a Year
You found the perfect home for sale, and even better, the monthly mortgage payment works out to almost exactly to what you’re paying in rent right now. Great! Now, simply add another $750 a month on top of that, and you’re golden! Wait, what? Yup, the “hidden” costs of homeownership tally up to $9,080 a year on average, according to a new report by Zillow and Thumbtack.
Aug 7, 2017
3 Things Every Self-Employed, Aspiring Homebuyer Needs to Do
Buying a home when you’re self-employed is notoriously tricky. After all, an up-and-down income cycle is—understandably—less appealing to mortgage companies than a dependable paycheck. That said, it’s far from impossible. Freelancers and small business owners alike can absolutely be approved to buy the home of their dreams. It just takes a little extra prep work. If you’re thinking about entering the real estate market while still being your own boss, listen up.
Jul 14, 2017
The #1 Thing You Can Do to Save Money on a Home (That Half of Buyers Don’t Do)
There’s so much to think about when buying a place of your own. From the house-hunting process itself to the price negotiations to the inspection, it’s almost instinctive to cut corners and take shortcuts wherever you can. But there’s one place where a little extra effort in your house hunt could pay off in major dollars. It’s a fact: 47 percent of homebuyers don’t shop around for mortgage lenders, and it costs Americans a collective 9 billion dollars per year.
Jun 29, 2017
Summer Projects That Will Give You Good Return on Investment
You don’t have to do a total renovation to increase the value of your home. Simple home improvement projects — like landscaping, new doors or shutters, or just a new paint job — can do wonders, majorly transforming the look of your house and bumping up its value. It’s well-agreed that boosting your home’s curb appeal will pay off when it’s time to sell — though estimates range from 100 to 1,000 percent ROI.
Jun 23, 2017
Think NYC Real Estate is Scary? This City Might Be Worse
Lately, social media is abuzz with Toronto’s insane real estate offerings: undesirable homes (in serious need of renovation and lacking ordinary amenities) selling at unbelievably high prices. Properties lacking everything from parking spaces to proper bathrooms have been selling at double and triple the asking price—with no signs of the area’s inflated costs slowing down anytime soon.
Jun 20, 2017
The Real Price of a Guest Room: What an Extra Bedroom Costs in SF, Chicago & 32 Other Cities
There’s truly nothing better, to me at least, than sharing your home with family and friends. That’s a big reason why my husband and I sought out a two-bedroom space when we went home shopping last year: We knew we wanted to use the extra space as a guest room to be able to host out-of-town family and friends when they visit. We’re not the only homeowners who made an “extra bedroom” a priority, either.
May 25, 2017
Here’s How Much the Richest Americans Spend on Housing Each Year
What item in your monthly budget do you spend the most on? Well, if you’re like most Americans, it’s housing. American families, no matter how big or small they are or where they might fall on the economic ladder, spend most of their money keeping a roof over their heads. But the very richest Americans spend way more money doing it than the rest of us.
Apr 2, 2017
This Data Reveals the Best Time to Sell Your Home
The best case scenario when you’re selling your home? That it goes fast, and for the most money. And while there are plenty of factors that go into selling a home, it looks like there might be one particular secret that can lead to a more successful sale—it’s all about timing. New research from Zillow shows that the time of year you put your home up for sale—and even the time of week your listings go up—can have a major effect on the selling process.
Mar 29, 2017
The Nitty Gritty: 3 Too-Real Ways Young People Are Making Homeownership Possible
The reality of owning a home isn’t as simple as it used to be decades ago. Many first-time home buyers are now waiting longer than they ever have, around six years, before shifting from being a renter to being a home owner. (And rates of homeownership are down further than they have been in nearly fifty years.) For many potential home buyers, unsurprisingly, the down payment is their biggest obstacle. Housing prices have gone up while household income has remained relatively stagnant.
Mar 13, 2017
What You Can Do in 2018 to Make Buying a Home a Reality in 2019
Have big dreams to buy a home next year, but don’t know where to begin? Just because you don’t think you’ll have your down payment together for 2018 doesn’t mean you have to wait to get a jump start on the process. Here are some steps you can take to help you figure out what you’re looking for in a home, what you can afford, and how to get yourself psyched up to find your dream home while you wait.
Mar 11, 2017
The CYA File: Stuff You Should Always Store Safely
A sticky situation can get even worse when you’re short on the necessary paperwork to get you unstuck. And then you create more chaos as you try to track down old receipts or records, combing through piles of paper and endless emails. Did you throw it away? You wouldn’t have thrown away something that important, would you? Did you decide that last year’s apartment lease just wasn’t sparking enough joy? Don’t let worries get ahead of you.
Mar 7, 2017
PMI: How You Can Use it to Buy Your First Home
If you’re looking to be one of the 52 percent of home buyers that make their first-ever home purchase in 2017, I feel like I could probably sum up your thoughts as this: “How the hell are we gonna make it happen?” I know this because I was in your shoes this time last year—wanting desperately to buy a place of my own but, after earnestly crunching the numbers, feeling more discouraged than ever. But we did it. We made homeownership happen.
Feb 21, 2017
First-Time Home Buyers On: The Finances
How long do you need to save up for a down payment? How long does it take to get approved for a mortgage? Buying a home—especially for the first time—is a learning process, made all the more intense thanks to the fact that large sums of money are also involved. So I asked real-life first-time home buyers Tiffany and Alan Goldstein to help illuminate some of the money-related concerns of buying a home. Early on in our marriage, we made a habit of sitting down and making a budget.
Jan 26, 2017
Why You Should (Always) Have a Separate Savings Account for Your Down Payment
Saving up money is no easy feat, and a down payment on a home is not exactly a small amount to tally up, especially if you’re looking to buy a home in an expensive city. You could keep all your savings in one account, but having a separate savings account that’s dedicated solely to your home-buying journey can be a big help.
Jan 11, 2017
Kill the Confusion: The Real Lowdown on Loans, Mortgages & Down Payments
Thinking about buying a home? If you’re not familiar with how mortgages and down payments work—and how many different types there are—you could be missing out on choosing one that works perfectly for you. Here is a breakdown of 11 different types of mortgages, from the most common to the mostly rare, and a rundown on how down payments work.
Dec 12, 2016
Make it Happen: 6 Places to Get Help with a Home Down Payment
Looking to buy a home in the near future? If you don’t have massive savings lying around just waiting to be used on a down payment, the home-buying process can be a huge challenge. The good news is, you’ve got options—between special low down payment mortgages and down payment assistance programs (and other resources, if necessary) you can make your home ownership dreams a reality, even without a huge sum saved up.
Nov 30, 2016
Budget-Busting Red Flags to Look for When Buying an Older Home
Wooed by its close proximity to our favorite beach, my husband and I bought an older home in Charleston, SC, last spring. One year and tons of cash later, we’ve learned the hard way that it isn’t always the big, glaring problems with older homes that’ll bite you right in the butt—er, budget. In our experience, it’s the little red flags that sneak up and rob you blind before you can close the front door.
Oct 28, 2016
Could House Shopping in a Different Month Save You Major Money?
What if I told you I had a 10% off coupon for your dream home? You’d grab at the chance to save that much money, right? As the old saying goes, time is money, and your willingness to wait on your home purchase could save you major cash when it’s time to buy. The financial experts at NerdWallet have just released a study that examines the best time to buy a house. They analyzed the past two years’ worth of home listings and home sales (from Realtor.
Oct 5, 2016