The mortgage industry is filled with jargon that can overwhelm and confuse the best of us. Perhaps no two terms are easier to muddle than mortgage broker and mortgage lender. Understanding their differences and where they overlap can be a helpful first step to managing the home-buying journey. To help remove any confusion, we’ll cover […]
How Does Rent-to-Own Work?
A rent-to-own property can provide another avenue to homeownership — but it’s not the right option for everyone. Learn the pros and cons of rent-to-own, and in what situations it could be an option worth exploring.
What are the Most Common Mortgage Loan Types?
Knowing what loan options are available to you enables you to choose a loan that best fits your needs. We’ll walk through the differences between the major types and categories of mortgage loans.
National Homeownership Month: 5 tips for Homebuyers in a Competitive Market
Homeownership is an enduring component of the American Dream – a benchmark Americans have measured success and well-being against for years. June marks the celebration of National Homeownership Month (NHM), dedicated to honoring those notions and celebrating the ways homeownership benefits families and communities across America.
Get HomeReady: An Affordable Mortgage Program You Might Have Missed
It’s not easy being a homebuyer in today’s market. If low inventory and high home prices weren’t enough, once record-low mortgage rates have risen to levels not seen since 2008. It’s enough to inspire anyone to consider all sorts of financing alternatives on the journey toward buying a home. But in your mortgage search, you […]
The ABCs of ARMs: How Adjustable-Rate Mortgages Work
Call it a 2000s comeback: We have bucket hats, Bennifer and … adjustable-rate mortgages? We’re currently seeing a huge surge in adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) – the highest since the Great Recession in 2007-2009, after which they all but disappeared. But why now? What’s changed? “Pre-crisis, a range of other variable-rate loan products were all being […]
Vacation Home and Investment Property Mortgages
Buying another property is a dream for many homeowners. Who wouldn’t want to own an additional home, or even earn income from it? But getting a mortgage for an investment property or second home is more complicated than getting a mortgage for your primary residence. If you’re thinking about adding another home to your property […]
Contingent vs. Pending: What’s the Difference?
While strolling through your neighborhood (or scrolling through online listings), you might see signs on homes that read “pending” or “contingent.” When a home you’ve been eyeing finds itself in either status, you may wonder if it’s now too late to buy. The two concepts can stir up a lot of confusion: What exactly do […]
Financial Literacy Resource Roundup
Achieving financial literacy is an important goal for anyone who wants to take control of their finances and put themselves on a path to long-term financial wellness. And, it’s especially so for homebuyers in today’s market. “As rates have risen and inventory continues to be low, it’s important to consider your long-term financial goals and […]
What is Mortgage Insurance and How Does it Work?
When shopping for your mortgage, you may already know some of the one-time costs involved, such as down payment and closing costs. But there are also some recurring costs — like mortgage insurance — that you should get familiar with, too. So, what is mortgage insurance — and how do you know if you must […]
Then and Now: The State of Female Homeownership
In recent years, women have become a powerful force in homebuying, comprising 19% of homebuyers in the U.S. But this hasn’t always been the case as historically, women and other minority groups have faced systemic discrimination in housing. While women and minorities have fought hard over time to attain equal property rights and become a […]
What Does ‘Contingent’ Mean in Real Estate?
While flipping through listing statuses online, you may come across the word “contingency” – just one of the many terms and acronyms that come up during the homebuying journey. But whether or not it applies to your homebuying experience, it’s a great idea to learn about this concept long before your final walkthrough. In this […]
What Is a Condo? Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy
You’ve heard the word “condo” or “condominium” before – but what is a condo, exactly? How is a condo different from an apartment? And, what’s the difference between a condo and a townhouse? There are often some misconceptions about what constitutes this type of housing unit. With so many different (but similar) types of homes, […]
How to Avoid PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)
If you’re shopping for a mortgage, you may have already identified a few things you have to budget for, such as a down payment and closing costs. But if you opt for a conventional mortgage – mortgage loans not backed by a government entity – you might also need to budget for a less well-known […]
How Long Does it Take to Close on a House?
Few things compare to the fluttery feeling in your stomach the day you close on your home. After all, home loans often require homebuyers to have down payments and closing costs in hand — and those can be some hefty chunks of change! You might be wondering how long it takes to reach various milestones […]
What Is a Townhouse and Is It Right for Me?
What do you think of when you hear the word “home?” Maybe you’re picturing a location, with a community and a neighborhood. Or maybe it’s a plot of land or a physical structure. But no matter what image comes to mind, “home” is an important place in your life – and you want to find […]
What is a Jumbo Mortgage? Everything You Need to Know
You’ve found your dream home: perhaps it’s in that ideal neighborhood, has a spacious kitchen, a spa-like bathroom, and a sprawling yard with flawless landscaping. But that perfect match may also come with a hefty price tag. When it comes time to shop for your mortgage, a lender might tell you that you need a […]
What is PMI? How Private Mortgage Insurance Works
Coming up with a down payment for a home can make even the most avid saver quake in their boots — it’s a big chunk of change. And if you plunk down less than a 20% down payment, you’ll make extra payments in the form of private mortgage insurance (PMI). So, what is PMI, how much […]
How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?
You did it – you did your research, found a home you love and had your offer accepted! But there are still a number of stops left on your way to closing, including the home inspection. A home inspection can offer enormous insight into the home you plan to purchase, and potentially save you thousands […]
Homeowners Insurance: What is it and What Does it Cover?
What does homeowners insurance cover? It’s a question you want to answer before you’re knee-deep into buying your first home. Understanding the ins and outs of homeowners insurance before you purchase a home can help you find the best coverage possible. This article will offer some pointers on what to consider to find the right […]