Escrows & Prepaids at Closing — What You Should Know

If you are buying a home or refinancing a mortgage, you should be aware of the two most potentially expensive components of your closing costs: Escrows and Prepaids. What Are Escrows and Prepaids? Escrows are the initial amount you must put aside (i.e., pay) at closing to fund your escrow account with sufficient funds so… Continue Reading

Using the Equity in Your Home to Pay off Debt

Let’s say you’ve done your research, you want to consolidate debt, a personal loan isn’t for you, and you are comfortable using the equity in your home to pay off debt. You shop around for rates on a cash out refinance and you choose a lender. Half-way through the application process, the loan officer asks… Continue Reading

Should You Take out a Debt Consolidation Loan?

Do you have a lot of debt? Student loan, car loans, credit card debt? Are you considering taking out a debt consolidation loan where you get a new loan that pays off all the other debt? These types of loans are popular because you get to put various different loans into one payment, which makes… Continue Reading

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

Should You Pay Points?

Let’s say you’re about to buy a house. You’re at a family barbecue on the weekend. The sun is out, the kids are running around, there’s burgers on the grill. Your older brother comes up to you and asks if you found a lender yet. You tell him you got some quotes, and they’re all… 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

6 Good Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

The news is abuzz with the quarter percent interest increase that came from the Federal Reserve back in mid December, causing all sorts of panic and riots in the street. Well, maybe not riots — but a lot of people are wondering if they need to refinance now or if they’ve already missed their opportunity.… Continue Reading

6 Ways to Prepare for Your Conventional Loan Application

When you think of the word “conventional,” I know it brings to mind images of things that are considered “normal” or “standard” in our culture. That kind of thinking has caused a great deal of confusion among mortgage-seekers for a very long time because a Conventional mortgage isn’t the default choice for many buyers. For… Continue Reading