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Homeownership

Why Are Good Faith Estimates Important for Buyers?

By Tali Wee The home buying process is complex for first-time buyers – full of acronyms, fees, bids, and deadlines. Because homes are commonly the most expensive purchases of buyers’ lives, it’s critical to clearly budget costs that affect finances for potentially the next 30 years. The primary costs buyers must calculate are one-time down payments, closing costs, and monthly mortgage charges. The larger the down payment, the less buyers …Read More

4 Considerations Before Buying into an HOA

By Tali Wee  Homebuyers are inundated with countless property assessments and inspections during their buying processes, but many overlook thorough evaluation of homeowners associations (HOA). In certain communities, homeowners are required to join HOAs and pay monthly fees as membership. Typically, community members govern their HOAs, setting community guidelines, managing disturbances, solving safety concerns, and creating new rules to maintain satisfactory curb appeal for all properties within the community. HOAs hold …Read More

Single Mom Overcomes Obstaclesto Provide Home for Son with Down Syndrome

By Gail Cunningham National Homeownership Month is the ideal time to remind Americans that owning a home represents much more than a mortgage. Tia Early, the NFCC Professional Achievement and Counseling Excellence (PACE) Housing Client of the Year, is the picture of what a mother will do to provide a home for her son, redefining perseverance along the way. Tia Early is no stranger to tackling tough situations and making …Read More

Don’t Have 20 Percent to Put Down?
Not a Problem.

By Chris Birk The days of scraping together a 20 percent down payment are mostly gone among today’s homebuyers, and it’s unclear if they’ll return. The average homebuyer puts down 16 percent of the purchase price, a 9.4 percent drop since May 2011, according to LendingTree. But it’s certainly possible for prospective buyers to lock into a loan with far less cash at the ready. Some housing observers have made the case …Read More

What You Should Know
When Buying A Home

By Stacy Johnson It seems like everyone gets new-house fever in the spring, but if you’re serious about buying, prime time for making a purchase may be right around the corner instead. Real estate site Trulia says house searches cool off in the fall, and slow to a crawl in December. What does that mean for you? Less competition and more opportunities to score a deal on the house of …Read More

Borrowing Against the House

By Gary Silverman Interest rates are low. They are low because the Federal Reserve wants them low. The Fed wants them low to encourage borrowing. They know that borrowed money is spent money. And spent money is good for the economy, even if it’s not good for the spender. Because of this, and a perceived strengthening of the economy, people are starting again to look at borrowing against their homes. …Read More

Avoid These Home-seller Mistakes

By Jason Alderman Now that the housing market has finally begun to stabilize in many areas and interest rates remain at historically low levels, more and more homebuyers and sellers are dipping their toes back in the water. If you’re planning to sell your home you need to understand the tax implications of selling a home as well as be aware of structural and cosmetic flaws in your home and …Read More

Which Is Better?
Renting or Buying a Home?

By Stacy Johnson Before our nation’s housing crisis began in 2007 the rent-vs.-buy question wasn’t really a question at all. Because the answer was: If you can afford it and you’re going to stay put long enough to recoup the transaction costs you buy. Simple. That’s because for the generations leading up to the Great Recession buying was always superior to renting for two reasons – one societal and one financial. …Read More

Foreclosure Prevention

By Lauralynn Schueckler Owning a home or condo can be a rewarding experience in the life of many people. While homeownership is most often an emotionally gratifying occurrence for an individual or family it can sometimes be difficult to manage some of the financial burdens associated with owning a home. Since many people use mortgages to purchase a new or older home it’s essential to understand some of the warning …Read More

How Housing Counseling Could Help You

By Lauralynn  Schueckler Whether you are thinking of buying your own home or are already a homeowner, housing counseling can offer valuable help when you need it most. It is a common misconception to believe that housing counseling is only for people whose mortgages are underwater or those who have bad credit.  For those who are interested in becoming a homeowner, housing counselors can offer some compelling arguments to support the …Read More