Why Experts Say You Should Follow The ‘Five-Year Rule’

When it comes to buying a home, there are many considerations up front: Which neighborhood should you choose? How much can you afford? What type of mortgage will be best? However, it is also important to think about the long-game. Specifically, it will be financially prudent to think beforehand about how long you plan to stay in the home ... More

Anxious First-Time Buyers May Find Comfort in a Rent-To-Own Home Purchase

A home purchase is always stressful. If it’s your first time, the process can easily bring on anxiety about the new responsibilities, financial and otherwise. In fact, many first-time prospective buyers struggle with making the commitment. After all, a home is likely the most meaningful – and most expensive – purchase you’ll ever ... More

You Can Still Refinance If You Owe More Than Your Home Is Worth

Since the housing market rises and falls over time, many homeowners find themselves in a position of owing more on their mortgage loan than their home is actually worth. Luckily, there is help for folks in this situation – and the program has been extended through September 2017. The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) allows ... More

Credit Card Teaser Offers May Be Too Good To Be True

You’ve seen the advertisements – credit cards with zero percent APR, long payment grace periods, access to amenities like NFL tickets or the latest electronic gadgets. They’re all designed to attract new cardholders, of course, and many of the incentives can be of real benefit to consumers. However, these “teaser” offers are ... More

Two Reasons To Refinance Today

Refinancing a mortgage loan can be quite an undertaking, as the process is very similar to purchasing a new home. For this reason and others, many homeowners are hesitant. However, there are times when a re-fi is the best financial move you can make, including the following two common scenarios: You’re stuck with undesirable loan terms. ... More

Auto Loans: Choosing Between Direct Lending Dealership Financing

According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, average prices for a car purchase are now topping more than $31,000 for a new model vehicle and more than $17,000 for a used model. With a majority of American consumers unable to pay cash for a vehicle purchase, most buyers must take out an auto loan to cover at least part of the purchase ... More

Understanding ‘PMI’

When you’re planning to purchase a home, there are plenty of fees and monthly payments to put a dent in your budget. One common fee is Private Mortgage Insurance, commonly called PMI, and it catches many buyers unawares. If you’re a buyer taking out a conventional mortgage loan and making a down payment of less than 20 percent of your ... More

Know Your Expense to Income Ratio Before Applying For a Home Loan

As you search for your dream home, one of the most important numbers to keep in mind won’t appear on a real estate listing or your paycheck – it’s your expense to income ratio, and it could make or break your ability to get a mortgage loan. In short, the expense to income ratio the amount you the buyer plan to spend monthly for ... More

Three Reasons To Get a Home Inspection Before Purchasing

As many first-time buyers come to realize, the incremental costs of purchasing a home tick up, up and up some more. The reality is, buying a home is a costly endeavor. It’s no surprise that many prospective buyers look for opportunities to save cash throughout the process, and more than a few consider skipping the home inspection. Although ... More

Don’t Settle For the First Mortgage Loan You’re Offered

Navigating the process of buying a home can be confusing, especially for first-time buyers. That’s why so many consumers go straight to a familiar lender, like their local bank, for a mortgage loan. Although that can simplify the process, it will rarely yield the best loan option. For optimal results, consumers should go “mortgage ... More