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Tripped Up

Posted On: 04/12/2017
Question: We went on a trip and to assure our mortgage was paid, we sent the lender two checks, one for the current month and one for the next month when we would be out of town. When we returned they claimed we only made one payment and that we missed the second payment, owed them a late fee...

Tax Trouble

Posted On: 03/15/2017
Question: We have visited several mortgage lenders to pre-qualify for a loan. We have very good incomes, but to lenders we seem on the brink of poverty. The problem is we are self-employed, have lots of write-offs and don’t show much income on our tax returns. What can we do? Answer:...

Bad Close

Posted On: 02/22/2017
Question: I went to a closing recently and it was a miserable experience. I expected a 3.5 percent rate but wound up with 4 percent. The lender asked for the same paperwork two and three times. I did not seem to get any benefit from a credit score that was well above 800. Lastly, my mortgage was...

Too Thin to Buy?

Posted On: 02/15/2017
Question: My lender says we have a “thin” credit file and because of that cannot be considered for many mortgage programs. Apparently we are being penalized for avoiding debt and paying cash. What is “thin credit” and how do we make it, um, fatter? Answer: Lenders are...

Co-Sign Concern

Posted On: 02/08/2017
Question: We have been asked to co-sign a mortgage. This is not something we want to do, even though a close relative is involved. How do we get out of this? Answer: Such a request should not be seen as surprising. According to a 2015 study by the National Association of Realtors, 24 percent...

Fire Facts

Posted On: 02/01/2017
Question: We have been looking at several homes in our area and wonder how much value is created with fireplaces and chimneys? Answer: Fireplaces are entirely common and they can add value and increase ease of sale. A 2013 study by the National Association of Realtors, the latest available,...

Mr. President

Posted On: 01/25/2017
Question: The election is over and we have a new President. How will the change impact housing? Answer: While there has been a lot of speculation, the simple answer is that it's too early to tell. That said, there are a number of areas that are sure to be debated. 1. What Should Become of...

Payday Loan Fallout?

Posted On: 01/18/2017
Question: A few years ago we ran into financial problems between jobs and got financing from a payday lender. After several loan extensions we were able to repay the debt. How will this impact our ability to buy a home? Answer: Payday loans are a form of financing long associated with...

Rent To Own OK?

Posted On: 01/11/2017
Question: We pay $1,200 a month for rent and have been considering a rent-to-own program. How much more would we have to pay per month to qualify? Answer: Rent-to-own programs are designed for buyers that do not have the cash or credit to purchase at this time. Fannie Mae explains such...

Small Down

Posted On: 01/04/2017
Question: We are first-time homebuyers. We are open to an FHA mortgage, but our lender says we also should look at some new mortgages with 3 percent down. What’s the difference between the FHA program and these new loans? Answer: The FHA program has been with us since the 1930s and is...
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