Money Saving Tips for Home Buyers & Owners

How To Know When To Lock In Your Mortgage Rate


Whether you are a first-time homebuyer looking for a home or a seasoned home-buying veteran, you probably know how important it is to get the best mortgage possible, and much of that importance is placed upon the interest rate associated with the loan. Mortgage lenders compete with one another for your business and one of the primary ways they do so is to be competitive in both terms of rate as well as service and deliverability. But rates are an important factor. There is no shortage of information available about mortgage rates in general, how they act and what makes them move up, down or stay the same. So how do you know when to lock in your mortgage rate?

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Should I Use My Realtor's Preferred Lender?

Real estate agents are asked a lot of questions. They typically juggle multiple parties and services, and provide referrals since most buyers don’t have the specialized contacts that the realtor does. A real estate agent has a list of experts such as inspectors, loan officers, or attorneys that they can recommend when needed. When it comes to your mortgage lender, it’s good to ask questions. Ask yourself; is the realtor’s preferred lender best for me or best for the realtor?

Let’s pull back the curtains a bit and understand how and why real estate agents refer mortgage lenders to their clients.

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My Mortgage Transferred–Now What?


If you’ve had your current mortgage for any length of time, you might have experienced what many homeowners do--a mortgage transfer. Your loan has been sold to another company and you now need to send your mortgage payments to them. This is often the first time that homeowners realize that the company who approved and funded the mortgage loan at the settlement table isn’t the one who accepts the mortgage payments each month. Questions about mortgage transfers are some of the most frequently asked questions for new mortgage customers and experienced buyers alike. 

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Should I Lock In My Mortgage Rate Today?

When you’re first considering applying for a home loan, whether to refinance or to purchase a home, you discover that interest rates for mortgages are a moving target. Mortgage companies set rates each day and rates change often, especially during volatile times. Though it doesn’t happen often, rates can even change during the course of a single business day. As mortgage rates change over time you might ask yourself: Should I lock in my mortgage rate today or see if I can get a better rate later?

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Mortgage Banker vs Mortgage Broker: What's the Difference?

Where is the best place to get a home loan? Should you just use your bank down the street or should you work directly with a mortgage company? And if you decide to work with a mortgage company, should you work with a mortgage banker or a mortgage broker? Did you know there’s a difference between direct mortgage lenders, brokers and bankers?

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How to Avoid PMI

Perhaps the most universally available as well as competitive mortgage loans are those underwritten to standards set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Yet with either, if the loan amount is greater than 80% of the current market value of the subject property, mortgage insurance will be required. It used to be that these conventional loans required a downpayment of at least 20% of the sales price but in the late 1950s private mortgage insurance, or PMI, was introduced. PMI is an insurance policy that compensates the lender in the instance of default. This compensation is the difference between a 20% down payment and the borrower’s actual down payment. The simplest method of how to avoid PMI is borrowers simply make the required 20% down payment. But there are other, less cash-intensive ways to avoid PMI.

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Are Home Warranties Worth It?

Should you get a home warranty? If you’re a homeowner trying to reduce your rate or cut down on costs, your home warranty policy often goes up for evaluation. Maybe one was included in your original sales contract and it’s time to renew it, but should you? After all, you didn’t need it over the past two years and everything around your house looks fine and in good condition so why pay to renew? If you’re thinking about getting a home warranty or renewing an existing policy, here are some things you need to know first before making your decision. But if you’re thinking you’re already covered because you have homeowners insurance, think on that again. A home warranty and homeowners’ insurance are two separate items.

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How to Buy a House With No Money Out of Pocket

It’s not uncommon for someone wanting to buy a home but doesn’t get very far into the process due to the lack of funds available for a down payment. And beyond a down payment, there are closing costs associated with any mortgage. But while there are closing costs associated with a home loan that doesn’t always mean the buyer is responsible for paying them. Further, there are loan programs that require very little of a buyer’s own funds or even with no money from the buyers whatsoever. It just takes working with an experienced lender that can teach you how to buy a house with no money down, and no closing costs. How do they do it?

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The Equifax Data Breach: What You Can Do to Protect Your Credit File

You read the papers, right? Or at least you saw the onslaught of articles, blogs and opinion pieces about how some still-unknown hackers breached one of (supposedly, anyway) the most secure servers…ones which house credit data on pretty much anyone that has ever bought something on credit. It’s Equifax, one of the three primary credit repositories. The other two are Experian and TransUnion. So what happened?

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Can I Still Get a Mortgage After Bankruptcy?

Bankruptcies are often necessary but they will of course stick with you on your credit report for years. Chapter 13 bankruptcies will stay on your record for 7 years after discharge, and chapter 7 bankruptcies will stay on your record for 10 years after discharge.

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