Locking in the Mortgage Rate

Just when you think you know how much your monthly payment will be, you find a perfect home, write the contract, qualify for the loan and wham! The mortgage interest rates go up. Most lenders will not allow you to lock an interest rate until you have a signed contract for the home, but after […]

Prequalify for a Home Loan Before You Start Home Shopping

Why get pre-qualified by a lender before looking for your next home? Based on my first hand experience with clients, I have found several compelling reasons for home buyers to get pre-qualified for a loan. 1) You’ll uncover credit problems. In the ideal world, you’d contact your lender 6-9 months in advance to see what […]

Income Requirements to Buy a Home

It’s not all about the take-home pay when buying a home.  Banks look at both your INCOME and DEBT when deciding whether you qualify. They rely on two ratios, often called the “front-end” debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and the “back-end” debt-to-income ratio. You can calculate these ratios yourself and determine how much home payment you can […]

Jumbo Loans: Big Price Tag? Time for Jumbo Loans

If you are fortunate to have a well paying job or business, your income will open you up to a large loan on a property. Jumbo loans are loans that Fannie Mae (the largest loan purchaser in the U.S.) does not buy because the loan value exceeds the conforming loan limit set by the government […]

First Home Buyer Tax Credit

If you haven’t owned a home in the last three years, then the IRS considers you a first time home buyer. If you are in this category and are considering a property purchase, then get moving! You have until April 30 to have an accepted purchase contract to receive the $8000 (or if your home […]

FHA Loans: Need a Lower Down Payment? Check out FHA Loans

If you don’t have a 20% down payment for a loan, an FHA loan may be for you. FHA stands for “Federal Housing Administration.” If you’ve guessed that the government is involved in an FHA loan, you are right. The federal government pays the lender if a homeowner using an FHA loan goes to foreclosure. […]

Who is Fannie Mae and Why Should I care?

Many Americans had little idea who Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) was prior to 2006, except that they had fairly good bond rates that were considered “safe” investments. Now that the Credit Crisis has uncovered all sorts of facts on how the mortgage market works, most of us should be at least a little […]

Condo Lending Rules and Condo Loans

Many home buyers start looking for condos assuming that the lending world is the same for a condo or a home. It is not. Fannie Mae, the largest purchaser of U.S. loans, has added some requirements that single family home buyers don’t have to be concerned with. Here are some cases where your loan may […]

Rent vs. Buy? Should You Rent or Buy Your Home?

Sure, there are some intangible advantages to owning your own home, like doing whatever you want to the back yard, or remodeling the kitchen, or painting the kid’s room purple. There is the advantage of knowing that no one can make you move – as long as you can afford your monthly payments. But a […]