Three simple steps for first-time homebuyers to follow, especially in a competitive market
Ready, set, prep: first steps before you buy a home
If you are looking to restart your search for a home, it can be tempting to jump straight into getting a pre-approval. But you may want to spend some time sorting out your finances first, as it’ll give you a more realistic snapshot of what you can afford in a fast-changing market.
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 […]
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 […]
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 APR (Annual Percentage Rate) And How Does it Impact Homebuying?
You may have heard of the term “annual percentage rate (APR)” but might not understand exactly what it means. But just like other important mortgage terms like rate lock, it’s important to understand APR from top to bottom because it affects how much you pay for your mortgage over the long term. We’ll cover some […]
Debt-to-Income Ratio: What is it and How is it Used by Lenders?
When you are thinking about buying a house, you’re probably envisioning the memories you’ll make in your new home, the great family dinners and nights hanging out with friends. Your thoughts may not initially stray into terms like “debt-to-income (DTI) ratio” or “credit score.” You will be more familiar with terms like these as you […]
What is Cash-Out Refinancing and When is it a Good Option?
What would you do with some extra cash in your pocket? Wipe out your credit card debt once and for all? Update your kitchen? Finally finish your basement? Pay off high-interest student loans or personal loans? Refinancing your mortgage with a cash-out refinance means you might get to check off all the boxes on your […]
What is Mortgage Forbearance and is it a Good Idea?
Have you ever gotten a bill and immediately wondered how you’ll come up with the money to pay for it? It’s a common situation, especially when you experience financial hardship or an unfortunate job loss. It’s a good rule of thumb to reach out to your creditor or lender when you have trouble making your […]
How to Refinance a Mortgage Step by Step
You may have noticed that mortgage rates have gone down compared to when you bought your home years ago. Or maybe you’d like to change your loan term. Maybe you’d like to switch to a 15-year mortgage from a 30-year mortgage. On the other hand, you may have a 15-year mortgage as your existing mortgage […]
When Does a Mortgage Pre-approval Expire?
Can you think of one of the earliest and most important steps involved in getting a mortgage? If you guessed getting a mortgage pre-approval, you’re right. You may think that getting a pre-approval involves mounds of paperwork and a deep inquiry into your financial situation. However, you might be surprised at how quickly you can […]
Home Equity Loan: Everything You Need to Know
When you’re first getting a mortgage, you might not think ahead to getting a home equity loan, though some homebuyer’s guides may cover them. However, as your life evolves, you may find you need to borrow from the equity you have in your home. Your home can offer more than just a place to live […]
How to Calculate Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) Yourself
When you first thought about purchasing a home, you probably jumped online to do some basic research. You may have wondered about what information you need to share with a lender or mortgage broker to buy a home. Here’s one piece of the puzzle: Lenders want to verify that you have a good debt-to-income (DTI) […]
How to Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
House hunting may be one of the most enjoyable parts of buying a home. However, you might find that you have even more fun when you go the extra mile and get pre-approved for a mortgage first. Getting a pre-approval may help you feel more confident going into the home buying process because you’ll know […]
How to Calculate Your Mortgage Payment
When shopping for your mortgage or refinancing your mortgage, one of your top-of-mind questions probably sounds a lot like: “What will my monthly mortgage payment be, and how will it fit into my budget?” Your loan amount, principal, interest, term and more play into your monthly payment amount. You will want to feel comfortable making […]
What is a Mortgage? A Guide for Beginners in 2022
Getting a mortgage may seem like a complex task with many layers and steps involved. However, the first step to breaking down the process involves answering the most basic question: “What is a mortgage?” Understanding the very basics of mortgages may help you gain more confidence as you search for your dream home. We’ll walk […]
How Much House Can I Afford?
When buying a home, one of your first thoughts probably turns to the following question: “How much house can I afford?” You may wonder how large of a house you should and can purchase (especially when buying your first home). It’s one of the most important questions you can ask, because you want to feel […]
4 Homebuying Tips for Tipped Employees
Plenty of people rely on tips for some or all of their income. In fact, millions of Americans work in the kinds of service and hospitality industry jobs that have traditionally relied on tips for compensation — and that number is expected to increase in the coming decade. You might think that buying a home is just […]