Mortgage Affordability

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What Does Being “House Poor” Mean and What To Do About It

Home equity in a primary residence is the largest source of wealth for families across the nation, according to the National Association of Home Builders. As a result, many people see homeownership as a sure path to building their nest egg – and in many cases, this can be true.  But the heart is not...

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Lender Credit: Explained for New Home Buyers

Buying a house comes with serious cash requirements. Saving up enough for the down payment and closing costs are some of the biggest obstacles new home buyers face.  According to data from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the average closing costs were $6,905 in 2021. Averages vary by state, but they’ve trended higher overall...

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What Is PITI for Your Mortgage?

You’ve saved the money, and you’ve found a house. And now it’s finally happening for you. As part of the exciting process of buying your first home, you apply to the bank for mortgage preapproval. While evaluating your request, the lender tells you they need to figure out if you can afford the monthly costs...

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What Is a Mortgage Credit Certificate?

The federal government is a big fan of homeownership. And there’s a federal tax credit out there that makes owning a home more affordable. It’s called the mortgage credit certificate (MCC).  MCC is a home buyer assistance program that gives qualifying first-time home buyers with low-to-moderate incomes a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that covers up to...

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Closing Cost Assistance: How To Get Help

In addition to the down payment, closing costs are one of the biggest upfront hurdles prospective home buyers face. Commonly amounting to between 3% and 6% of the total loan amount, it’s no wonder many first-time home buyers seek help to cover this expense. If you’re interested in getting help with closing costs, you’ve come...

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The Average Homeowners Insurance Cost in the U.S. for 2022

Homeowners insurance is an invaluable safety net for homeowners. While the monthly cost of homeowners insurance is not something most people want to deal with, making your payments every month can help protect you from financial disaster. Homeowners insurance (aka hazard insurance or home insurance) is not mandated by federal or state law, but most...

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What Is Negative Amortization? How It Works and How to Avoid It

If you use it right, debt can afford you some of life’s greatest purchases – a dream home or your own set of wheels. But debt comes at a price. The price of debt is interest, and interest is the price you pay to borrow money.  Normally, the amount you owe on a loan gets...

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First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit, Explained

If you’re in the market to buy a house, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about first-time home buyer tax credits and grant programs – including a bill awaiting congressional approval – the First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021. The First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021 promises qualifying home buyers a $15,000 tax credit...

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Using Investment Assets for a Mortgage Application

Investments are a valuable way to plan for your future. And if you’re planning on buying a house, they can be particularly valuable assets now. You can use these assets for a mortgage application. If your main source of income isn’t enough to qualify for a mortgage loan or you’re wondering if you can qualify...

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How To Get Rid of PMI Early: 3 Surefire Ways

Buying your first home is one of the most exciting purchases you may ever make. But, depending on the size of your down payment and the type of loan you get, you may have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). PMI is charged on conventional loans when a borrower puts less than 20% down to...

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Paying Alimony and Mortgage Qualification: How They Can Work Together

When a marriage ends in divorce, it’s hard for everyone involved. And once the split is complete, people will inevitably want to move on – and that may even include buying a new home.  Buying a new home will likely mean getting a mortgage. And lenders are going to want to get a complete picture...

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How Much Down Payment You Really Need for a House

For many prospective home buyers, coming up with a down payment can be the obstacle standing between them and buying a house. As a first-time home buyer, saving enough cash for a down payment can be extremely challenging, especially when you have to keep up with rent payments, a car loan and other recurring expenses....

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