Whether you are purchasing a new home or you are considering applying to refinance your home, chances are the lender will require an escrow account. These accounts are often a source of confusion for homeowners. In reality, these accounts benefit the homeowner and help protect the lender. What is an escrow account? Escrow accounts are sometimes called "impound" accounts. These accounts are set up to help manage payments of property taxes and homeowner's insurance. Depending on the individual requirements of the lender, you may be asked to pay as much as one-quarter of these upfront and they … [Read More...]
Last week's weeks economic releases included readings on the NAHB Housing Market Index, housing starts and building permits issued and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. NAHB: Builder Confidence in Housing Market Holds Steady in February The National Association of Home builders reported an index reading of 72 for its Housing Market Index in February. January's reading was also 72; readings over 50 indicates that more builders than fewer are confident about housing market conditions. Three readings comprising the overall NAHB HMI … [Read More...]
Has a loved one or family member recently passed on and left you with their home? Inheriting a house can be a delightful gift, but it can also present a significant number of challenges that you must navigate.
Let's explore how to deal with an inherited house and, should you decide to, how to sell it without incurring too much stress.
Are Emotions Involved?
The death of a family member or other loved one can be a trying time emotionally. Depending on how the deceased left the property, you may also have to deal with cleaning out personal belongings and reviving old memories. A battle over … [Read More...]
Refinancing a mortgage is a golden opportunity to lock in today's low interest rate for the next 15 or 30 years. While interest rates now are still low, there's a good chance they may be heading up in the coming months.
The Fed may not maintain the current bond purchasing level forever, and any changes that the Fed makes will likely affect mortgage interest rate levels.
As interest rates remain near low for 30 and 15 year mortgages, homeowners can benefit greatly from a refinance. Several types of people in particular should consider refinancing.
Carrying a high rate
Anyone with an … [Read More...]
Are you starting to get the renovation itch? With spring on the way, you might be tempted to launch those home improvement projects that you contemplated over the winter. However, as with any project, you will want to get things right. Let's take a look at four renovation shortcuts that can lead to disaster and the steps you can take to avoid them. Shortcut #1: Not Understanding Your Home's Structure Before you undertake any renovation involving your home's structure, you must be confident that you know exactly what is where. For example, do you know what is inside of your walls? You might be … [Read More...]
Homeowners insurance and title insurance may not be the only kinds of insurance you need when you buy a home. Many buyers also have to purchase mortgage insurance, which lenders require for mortgages with a down payment of less than 20 percent. Take the time to understand what you're buying and how long it will affect you. Mortgage Insurance Protects the Lender Most types of insurance will pay you if you make a claim. Mortgage insurance, though, is solely for the lender. If you were to stop making payments and the lender foreclosed on your home, the mortgage insurance would pay the lender the … [Read More...]
Are you growing tired of renting? Or perhaps you've recently graduated from college and are looking to set down some roots? Whatever the case, buying your first home is an exciting prospect. Let's take a look at a quick and easy four-point checklist that you can use to determine if you are ready to buy your first home. #1: Is Your Credit In Good Shape? How is your overall financial health? Once you have your down payment saved up, you should turn your attention to your credit rating. If you are going to borrow a mortgage to help cover the cost of your home, your lender will be doing some … [Read More...]
Jerome "Jay" Powell was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Reserve amidst wild fluctuations in U.S. stock markets. Analysts attributed sliding stock prices to fears over inflation. Mr. Powell, who follows former Fed Chair Janet Yellen, introduced himself via a video clip on the Fed's website. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released. New Fed Chair Promises "Transparency" in Video Introduction In a video introduction posted on the Fed's website, new Fed Chair Jay Powell promised that the Fed would explain "what we are doing and why we are doing it." … [Read More...]