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Home Owner Tips

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When Is the Best Time To Sell a House?

Whether you’ve lived in it for 3 years or 30, your home is a part of your life. As a homeowner, it’s also a big part of your financial future. So if you’re thinking about selling your home, it’s usually for a good reason: Your family is growing and you need to find a larger...

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What Is a Homestead Exemption?

After you buy a home, the first thing that probably comes to mind is how much it’s going to cost you every month. There’s the monthly mortgage payment, insurance, repairs, maintenance, utilities, etc. And don’t forget the taxes. Regardless of where you live, you will owe property taxes. Fortunately, most states offer an easy way...

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Mortgage Subordination, Explained

If tapping into your home’s equity is in your future, so is a whole lot of paperwork. And whether you’re taking out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC) (both are types of second mortgages or junior liens), you may be presented with a subordination agreement to sign at closing....

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Deed Of Reconveyance: Everything You Need to Know

When you have a mortgage, you are not the owner of your home – at least, not yet. Until the property has been paid off in full, a portion of your home is owned by the mortgage lender.  Eventually, if you keep making your monthly mortgage payments, you’ll own your home in full. This process...

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What Is a Curtailment on a Mortgage?

If you spend any time around homeowners, you’ll probably hear at least one of them talk about making an extra mortgage (or principal) payment to pay off their mortgage faster. This process is sometimes called mortgage curtailment or a principal reduction (although most people don’t use that term in casual conversation). It’s a common strategy,...

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Can You Deduct Mortgage Interest on a Second Home?

The mortgage interest deduction is a popular tax break that allows homeowners to write off the home loan interest they pay each year.  But what about considering the deduction for a second home? What qualifies for the mortgage interest deduction? And more importantly, can you deduct mortgage interest on a second home? The short answer...

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What Are Mortgage Servicing Rights?

Mortgages can last for 10, 15 or 30 years. Naturally, this creates ongoing responsibilities for both the borrower and the lender. If a mortgage is active, it will need to be continually serviced, and the process often contains a lot of moving parts. While one mortgage lender will want to manage your mortgage loan for...

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What Does Home Appreciation Mean?

In the U.S., most people own their home for about 13 years, after which they hope to sell the property for a profit. Naturally, you’re probably curious about home appreciation and how much it affects the value of your home today and in the future.  Understanding home appreciation is important because it can give you...

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What Is an Encumbrance and How Does It Work?

If you’ve never been to a closing, it pretty much looks like this: You sign a bunch of paperwork, pay your closing costs and get a mortgage. Then the moment you’ve been hotly anticipating arrives, and you finally get the keys to your new home from your real estate agent.  Once you’ve cemented your status...

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Mortgage Protection Insurance: What It Is and Why You Might Consider It

A home offers safety and stability for your family and is probably one of the most important investments you’ll ever make. However, premature death or major disability could leave your family at risk. If you’re the primary income earner, your unexpected death could leave your family struggling to come up with mortgage payments. While no...

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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage or Invest?

Whether it’s a financial windfall, accumulated savings, an annual bonus or a pay increase, you may be wondering whether it’s better to invest your extra cash or pay off your mortgage early.  Regardless of how you’ve come into your money, your goal is to set yourself up for future financial success. While there is no...

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What Are Different Types of Real Estate Investments?

Real estate can be a very lucrative investment – and it doesn’t have to be hard. Being a real estate investor doesn’t always require a great deal of financial commitment upfront, and you don’t always have to deal with tenants. Understanding your options to make money in real estate is the first step to exploring...

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Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs), Defined

Collateralized mortgage obligations (or CMOs) are complex securities backed by bundled mortgages. As homeowners pay back their loans, CMO investors earn dividends and income from homeowners’ interest and principal payments. CMO investments can be a savvy way to balance portfolios that are heavy in other types of assets. For example, if you’re holding a lot...

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Cluttered desk in a yellow room.

How Many Mortgages Can You Have?

Maybe you’ve successfully purchased your first home – and now you’re hooked. You’re determined to grow your real estate investments. That could mean creating a rental portfolio or buying a vacation home (or homes).  Since you managed to get approved for your first mortgage, getting approved for a few more should be straightforward, right? The...

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How To Get Your Name off a Mortgage

When you got your mortgage, you might have applied with a spouse or other co-borrower to get better mortgage terms, split the financial responsibilities or because you wanted to live together.  But life happens and things change. Maybe you’re getting a divorce or you’ve decided you want to live on your own. Now you’re probably...

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Primary Residence Mortgage: What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Whether you’re new to homeownership or you’re a seasoned homeowner, there is a lot to learn when it comes to the ins and outs of a mortgage (aka the loan that gets you a home).  Before you apply for a mortgage, it’s important to research the different types of available mortgages and the requirements for...

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Is Home Insurance Tax Deductible?

Owning a home can be expensive. The federal government knows this, which is why it allows taxpayers to deduct some of those expenses when they file their tax returns. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance (aka home insurance) isn’t tax deductible. But, if you qualify, there are other home expenses you can deduct to help you save money...

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Quitclaim Deed: What It Is and When To Use One

When it comes to owning property, we pretty much know the drill: find the property, get it financed with a loan, sign a general or special warranty deed and then it’s yours. But not all property transfers happen this way. Inheritance, a special trade between two parties, is a type of property transfer that doesn’t...

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How To Start Investing in Real Estate

For most people, buying a home is a major life goal. And once that first home is safely in the rearview mirror, investing in real estate can give you the same adrenaline rush.  We’re willing to admit that investing in real estate may not be as thrilling as bungee jumping, getting a front-row seat at...

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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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How To Assume a Mortgage

The home buying process can be long and challenging, but an assumable mortgage could make things faster and easier for both the buyer and the seller. Mortgage assumption gives sellers an edge while saving buyers on interest and closing costs. It’s not right for everyone, but it could make closing on a home shorter than...

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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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What Is a Land Loan and How Do You Get One?

We talk about land loans a lot less than home loans. And that’s not surprising. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 87% of home buyers buy existing, previously owned homes. But some life goals may need a piece of land as their launchpad. And there are lots of reasons why someone might buy land,...

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3 Tips for Choosing a Mortgage Lender

It would be awesome if finding the right mortgage lender were as simple as swiping right on an app (#lender, anyone?). But you can’t choose a mortgage lender that way because there are too many moving parts. Your finances and your lender’s terms and services must match to make it work. Taking shortcuts when it...

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What Is Debt-to-Income Ratio?

Thinking about buying a home and getting a mortgage to pay for it? Then you need a crash course in debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. Lenders use your DTI to determine if you’ll be able to afford your monthly mortgage payments. That’s why knowing this powerful percentage can help you get a mortgage. What Is Your Debt-to-Income...

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