A home appraisal is similar in purpose to all other types of appraisal: to determine worth. In the case of a home appraisal, a lender hires someone to find out what a property is worth. The lender wants to ensure that the property is worth the purchase price it will be funding. One aspect that …Continue reading Here’s the Scoop on Home Appraisals


To answer this question, we must look back in time to the 1920s. In that era, the typical home buyer put down 50% of the purchase price, then financed the rest of it through a five-year balloon loan. If, at the end of that five years, there was still a loan balance, the homeowner refinanced …Continue reading Why Do Some Mortgages Take 30 Years to Pay Off?


Hiring a real estate attorney is a critical part of your real estate purchase process. Some transactions require buyers to have one. For those who get to choose, opting for a real estate attorney is a wise choice. Why exactly would you need a real estate attorney? For the same reason that you would need …Continue reading Why You Need a Real Estate Attorney


In the world of lending, one point is 1% of a loan amount. So, one point on a $150,000 loan would be $1,500. Points, in general, may be referred to as either discount points or loan origination points. You may have heard the term points used in a couple of different ways. One of them …Continue reading Lender Points: What Are They, and Should You Pay Them?


To answer this question, we must first ask: what is title? Title is simply who owns a property. A person whose name is on title has ownership rights to a property. A person on title may be different than those on the loan document (those who are paying for it). This difference may occur in …Continue reading What Is Title Insurance and Why Do I Need It?


An assumable mortgage involves the transfer of loan ownership from one party to another. Why would anyone be interested in this method of purchase? The answer to this question lies in mortgage interest rates, which are generally going up in today’s market. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you wanted to purchase one of two …Continue reading What Is an Assumable Mortgage?


When you apply for a mortgage, your credit profile is often more important than the income and assets you can show a lender. Your credit report is a picture, over time, of how you have managed credit. This gives a lender an idea of how you’ll manage the loan if it grants you a mortgage. …Continue reading What’s Your Number? How Credit Scores Work


There are two types of costs involved in taking out a mortgage. First, there are the initial outlays such as down payment, appraisal cost, and lender fees. Second, once you own the property, you’ll have ongoing expenses such as property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. To help you manage these ongoing expenses, your mortgage servicer (which …Continue reading What Is an Escrow Account, and How Does It Work?


A HELOC is a home equity line of credit. Equity in a property is the difference between its market value and what you owe on it. For example, a homeowner who has a property worth $150,000 and has a mortgage balance of $120,000 has $30,000 of equity in the property. To access some of this …Continue reading What Exactly Is a HELOC?


Mortgage insurance is insurance that lenders take out and borrowers pay for, to help offset losses that lenders incur. There are two types of mortgage insurance. The first covers conventional mortgages. These mortgages use guidelines from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. With this type of loan, if you put down less than 20% of the …Continue reading Mortgage Insurance 101: What You Need to Know