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‘Down’ Hurdle

Posted On: 01/10/2018
Question: I can buy a car with little or even nothing down but to buy a house I need 20 percent up front. This makes no sense, especially since a home is such a larger financial commitment. How do I get around the down payment hurdle? Answer: Buyers that believe the 20 percent myth miss the...

Tax No-Show

Posted On: 01/03/2018
Question: We own a small business and want to buy a home. We met with a loan officer who wants to see our tax returns. Like many businesses we have deductions, which result in a smaller taxable income, but are perfectly legal. Can we get a mortgage without showing our tax returns? Answer:...

Better ARM

Posted On: 12/20/2017
Question: Fixed-rate mortgages are generally in the 4 percent range at this time, but a 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is available at 3.15 percent. Doesn’t it make sense to take the ARM? Answer: There’s no doubt the ARM has the lower rate but it’s a “start”...

Update Before Sale?

Posted On: 12/12/2017
Question: My mother needs to update her home, but needs financing to get it done. Would you recommend that she refinance her current mortgage or get a separate home equity loan? Answer: When we place a home for sale we’re always looking for the best price and terms. We expect that...

FHA or Other?

Posted On: 11/01/2017
Question: We hope to buy a first home during the next few months and thought we would use FHA financing. However, our lender says we might be better off with a conforming mortgage. We thought FHA loans were the go-to financing for first-time buyers like us, so why the suggestion to use something...

Faster Payoff

Posted On: 10/18/2017
Question: We’ve received an annual update from our lender with a lot of current mortgage information. The update shows our balance, mortgage rate, original loan amount and payoff date. It’s the last item that is terrifying – it says our mortgage will be repaid in 2044 –...

Double Agent?

Posted On: 10/04/2017
Question: We found a house we would like to buy. As it happens, in our community several large brokers dominate the listings. Our salesperson works for the real estate brokerage, which has also listed this property. Does our salesperson represent us or the seller? Answer: In today’s...

Private Offer?

Posted On: 09/27/2017
Question: We live in an area where real estate sales are hot and multiple offers are common. If we make an offer on a property and several offers come in, do other bidders or agents get to see our offer? Answer: According to Realtor Mag, a publication of the National Association of Realtors,...

Extra Results

Posted On: 09/13/2017
Question: Our mortgage payment is $1,412 a month. We would like to make a larger payment so we can pay down the loan more quickly but do we need some sort of formal repayment agreement such as a bi-weekly contract? Is it possible to simply send the lender a check for $1,500 monthly, an amount we...

20% Down

Posted On: 09/05/2017
Question: We’re interested in buying a home and can purchase with 20 percent down. Would it make more sense to buy with less money up front? Answer: There’s no rule that says you have to buy with 20 percent down if you have it but it’s a choice that lenders love. The logic...
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