How to Avoid PMI? Know Your Options

Let’s say you’re buying a house or refinancing and you need PMI. What are your options (besides putting down 20%)? Take Two Mortgages to Avoid PMI That’s right. If you take two mortgages that add up to 90% or 95% (remaining 5-10% is your down payment), you can avoid paying PMI. How? Because your first… Continue Reading

How Can an Appraisal Make (or Break) Your Loan?

If you’re buying a house, then like most people, you’ll need to get a mortgage. You talk to a few lenders, get some quotes, pick a lender, and apply for your loan. Your lender then starts the process of getting you approved. They ask you for documents, send out disclosures, and order an appraisal. What… Continue Reading

What Are Jumbo Loans?

If you’re wondering why mortgages seemingly come in sizes, like tubs of popcorn at a movie theater, you’re not alone. A jumbo mortgage refers to a loan amount that’s higher than the conforming or high-balance loan limit for a particular county. Presently, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac set the maximum loan amount threshold for the… Continue Reading

10 Tips for a Successful (and Beneficial) Mortgage Refinance

For most people, undertaking a mortgage refinance isn’t something they look forward to. The prospect of lowering monthly payments and paying less interest over the life of the loan are powerful motivators though, so let’s make sure your next refinance is your best. #1 Start by clearly identifying and defining your goals for refinancing. It’s… Continue Reading

Improving Your Chances for a HELOC

As housing values increase across the country, more people are thinking about tapping into that hidden potential in their homes. Home equity is becoming a thing again, guys, and there’s no denying that it’s a great solution for life’s problems, both big and small. If you plan on staying in your home for the long… Continue Reading

What to Do When Your Appraisal Runs Into Problems

Earlier this summer, a friend of mine was looking to buy a house and although their Realtor assured them that it was a slam dunk and everything was fine with their paperwork and they had a legitimately significant down payment, there were complications. In fact, their appraisal came in a little over eight percent short.… Continue Reading

The Home Buying Process, Part Five: Mortgage Limbo

You’ve had your inspections and asked for your repairs — the Seller responded and, presumably, those fixes are underway. Your loan officer has all your paperwork, so now there’s nothing to do but wait. Welcome to Mortgage Limbo. I’ve found this part of the process particularly difficult to write about because as a Buyer, it… Continue Reading