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Homeownership

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling is the largest serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. Find various topics in this blog, including personal finance, credit counseling, housing, budgeting and student loan help. Click here to speak with an NFCC-certified Consumer Credit Counselor.

An Introduction to 3% Down Conventional Home Mortgages

 By Henry Ochoa For the past few months, private banks have been introducing 3% down conventional mortgage packages. These 3% down mortgages are a way to get first-time homebuyers into a home with a low down payment, as opposed to having to pay the typical 5-20% conventional down payment. Low down payment mortgages are an attractive option for people who live in cities where rent is high and it’s tougher …Read More

Where Can You Afford to Live Based on Your Occupation?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow Finding careers that are both financially profitable and emotionally gratifying can be difficult. Some people choose to undergo years of higher education to land high-paying careers early on and ensure substantial financially success later in life – yet their efforts may not necessarily be based on personal passions. Others might choose median-income level professions they are avid about, making work feel more like a hobby …Read More

Where Can Millennials Afford to Buy Homes?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow With rent prices across the nation higher than ever, millennials are dipping into their savings and taking the plunge into real estate investing, maybe a little sooner than they had expected for themselves. But why not now? Mortgage rates are at an all-time low, and homeownership has its perks – like customizable interior upgrades and one of the largest return-on-investment opportunities one can make in …Read More

3 Tips to Negotiate Property Upgrades Before Purchasing a Home

By Tali Wee Whether you’re buying a newly constructed home or an existing home, you’ll inevitably want to change or upgrade some aspect of the home before you close. Below are three tips to achieve this goal without leaving anything to chance.     Know What You’re Looking for in a Home Inspection An existing home will always have some wear and tear. It could be a truly small issue …Read More

Tips for Buyers to Narrow Their Home Searches

By Tali Wee  Although the national housing marketplace is predominately a seller’s market, many aspiring homeowners are taking the plunge into ownership. Why? Monthly mortgages are incredibly low compared to median rent prices, due to low mortgage rates and rising rents. The potential monthly savings of owning combined with a long-term investment are making many people consider buying. Inventory is still tight in most markets, requiring buyers to complete their due …Read More

3 Tips for Buyers Bidding on Competitive Homes

By Tali Wee Entering a bidding war can be one of the most stressful scenarios for homebuyers. Having to compete with other buyers offering more than the asking price can be emotionally and financially draining. While not the preferred purchase method, bidding wars can provide positive results for buyers who implement key strategies that accommodate sellers’ wishes. To enhance the odds of receiving an accepted offer on a hot home, follow …Read More

Tips for Prospective Homebuyers with No Credit

By Tali Wee New homebuyers often ask: can I get a mortgage with no credit? The short answer is no. However, almost nobody has absolutely no credit. So, even if you don’t have a credit score, mortgage lenders may still lend to you based on other components of your credit history. What Credit History Lenders Look For If you’ve never had traditional credit like credit cards, student loans or car …Read More

Who Pays Closing Costs In A Home Purchase?

By Tali Wee  Understanding all the details of a home purchase can be overwhelming and downright confusing for some, and especially when it comes to closing costs. Before buying, shoppers must budget the future monthly costs of owning, including property taxes and insurance, and then add on the down payment and other fees due at closing. Closing costs are tough to fully understand because they vary by location, lender, and …Read More

How to Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan

By Tali Wee Many homebuyers think there’s no difference between mortgage pre-qualification and mortgage pre-approval. But the difference can mean getting a home or missing the opportunity. Pre-Qualification A pre-qualification doesn’t mean you’ve secured financing. It means you’ve had a short conversation with a loan officer about your estimated purchase price, down payment, income, debts, and credit score. Then they give you a feel for what your rates and monthly …Read More