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

How to Use an Escrow Account for Your Benefit

If you are about to close on a loan, whether you’re buying a home or refinancing a loan you already have, you will probably have an escrow account established at closing. This account is where your monthly payments of taxes and insurance will be deposited so that when taxes and insurance are due, your servicer… 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

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) FAQ

Are you buying a house and putting down less than 20%? Are you refinancing but have less than 20% equity? Whether you’re buying or refinancing, are you getting a conventional loan? Then you will need PMI. What is PMI? PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance. It protects the lender from losing financially if you default… 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

4 Ways Mortgage Insurance Helps Homebuyers

There are few dirtier words to the average home buyer than “mortgage insurance.” Article after article has been written on ways to avoid mortgage insurance and on why it’s an awful, terrible thing, but I’m here to tell you something new. Mortgage insurance isn’t always a horrifying scar on your mortgage paperwork. In fact, mortgage… 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

Understanding Truth in Lending

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — buying a house isn’t easy, there’s a lot to know and you simply cannot go into it without some education. One of the more important forms in your buying process comes when you make loan application. At that time, you’ll get something called a Truth… Continue Reading