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Home Affordability

A young woman unpacking moving boxes in her new home

How Much House Can I Afford?

Are you asking yourself, “How much house can I afford?” The answer will depend on your current debt-to-income (DTI) ratio, down payment and other factors. Choosing a home is only one part of the homeownership journey. You also need to be sure that you can afford the monthly mortgage when it comes knocking on your...

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a hook with keys on reflecting concept of buying a house with no money

How To Buy a House With No Money Down

You’ve got buying a home on your mind. Maybe: Everyone you know is becoming a homeowner. Your growing family is outgrowing your current home. You want your kids to have access to a better school district. You’ve earned a promotion and are ready to say goodbye to your roommates or parents. You’re tired of paying...

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What Are Lender Credits and Are They Worth It?

Imagine this: Your search for a home is over, and you’re ready to embark on your home buying adventure. You’re preapproved (or approved) for a mortgage loan, and you’ve got a purchase agreement in your eager hands. You put the contract down long enough to calculate the final cost of buying the home – and...

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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. In 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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Homeowners Insurance Cost: Things To Know

Homeowners insurance is an invaluable safety net for homeowners.  It’s not mandated by federal or state law, but homeowners insurance (aka hazard insurance or home insurance) is required by most mortgage lenders to get a home loan. Even if you buy a home without a mortgage, homeowners insurance is a must. So, why is homeowners...

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First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and How Else You Can Get Deductions

If you’re in the market (or the mood) to finally own a place you can call your own, you’ll want to know everything there is to know about the First-Time Homebuyer Act of 2021.  The bill is still navigating its way through the halls of Congress, but this Biden administration tax credit could benefit thousands...

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3 Things To Know About Homeowners Associations (HOAs): Types, Rules and Refusals

Buying your first home naturally comes with a lot of firsts. For the first time, you’ll be a regular presence at a nonstop stream of open houses, taking out a mortgage, closing on a home, owning a home and making repairs and decisions without a landlord’s help or rules. While they don’t have a landlord,...

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What Is Due Diligence and Earnest Money When Buying a Home?

You’re ready to buy a home. You’ve put in an offer and the seller has accepted it. Congrats! Now, you’ll be expected to pay a small sum of money upfront to: Show the seller that you’re serious about buying their home Make it worthwhile for the seller to take their home off the market  Provide...

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How To Get Down Payment Assistance Grants

Buying a home can seem easy enough, right? You find the home you want, you make an offer, get a mortgage. And voilà! The house is yours.  If only it were that simple.  There are way more steps involved in the home buying process – and some of those steps can feel challenging.  Once you...

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5 Home Loan Options if You Have Bad Credit

A home purchase is a big investment, and it’s an investment many people are eager to make. That’s probably because they’re aware of the many benefits that come with homeownership, like building equity, tax advantages and improving their credit history.  However, for some of us, a good credit score is the thing that’s holding many...

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6 Tips for Getting a Mortgage With a New Job

But when it comes to getting a conventional mortgage, new isn’t always better. That is, when it comes to starting a new job during the process.  In fact, it can potentially complicate the process.  When you apply for a mortgage, the lender wants to see your recent job history because it lets them assess your...

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Can I Get a Mortgage With No Closing Costs?

Let’s be real, past generations of home buyers had an easier time coming up with down payments and closing costs. And that was great for them, but times have changed.  For most home buyers today – especially people trying to buy their first home – student loan debt, credit card debt and TWO recessions are...

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Can You Back Out of Buying a House?

Whether it’s a bad first date, an awkward family dinner or a client meeting that goes on forever, life is full of situations that may require a smart exit strategy. The best exit strategies are as drama-free as possible and can reduce or virtually eliminate any hard feelings. Home buying can be a lot like...

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First-Time Buyer Costs to Include in Your Budget

Buying your first house can be like buying a new motorcycle. Yeah, it costs a significant amount, but you’re pretty sure the payments will be just within your budget, so you get a loan. Before you know it, you’re paying for motorcycle lessons, insurance, a carbon fiber helmet, a synthetic leather motorcycle jacket, constant repairs...

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Property Taxes Make Qualifying Difficult For Some Borrowers

Most homebuyers assume their monthly mortgage payment will include only the principal and the interest. Learn what other expenses they must consider.

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4 Mortgage Deals That Help Homeowners Save

Learn about programs from employers and the government that help homeowners with their monthly mortgage payments.

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3 Mortgage Myths Homebuyers Should Not Believe

Potential homeowners are often given advice by those who have purchased homes before. Learn which advice may be based on myths rather than facts.

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