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Where’s Our Deduction?

Posted On: 06/08/2016
Question: When we completed our income taxes this year we noticed something strange. We were unable to deduct mortgage interest or property taxes. Why have these deductions disappeared? Answer: Not to worry, deductions for mortgage interest and property tax write-offs remain in place. Not...

Does Fast Payback Win?

Posted On: 06/01/2016
Question: We’ve moved to a small community almost an hour from the nearest mid-sized city. Homes here with 2,000 to 2,500 square feet in great shape routinely sell for $150,000 or less. Our new jobs pay well, we are very disciplined savers and we have no debt. If we buy we likely can...

What's With Seniors and Mortgages?

Posted On: 05/25/2016
QUESTION: I know a lot of older people with mortgages. Aren’t seniors better off with no mortgage debt? ANSWER: Retirement is generally seen as a time of life when folks have less income. For retirees, a mortgage-free home is clearly an advantage. However, with a changing economy...

No Mortgage, No Write-Off?

Posted On: 05/18/2016
QUESTION: I have been told that if I pay off my mortgage I can no longer write off my property taxes. This seems like a downer. What’s up with that? ANSWER: If you’re a homeowner then you likely write off mortgage interest, mortgage insurance premiums and the cost of...

Will Mortgage Rates Rise Soon?

Posted On: 05/11/2016
QUESTION: So far this year, mortgage rates have been well below 4 percent. Given the Fed’s efforts to raise interest levels when can we expect higher mortgage costs? ANSWER: The Fed raised interest rates in December and it’s widely expected that the Fed will raise rates two...

Big Bucks, Better FICO Score?

Posted On: 05/04/2016
QUESTION: We were talking to a lender about possible mortgage choices. He mentioned several programs that were reserved for people with high credit scores. Why is it that the rich have access to such programs but not the middle class? ANSWER: It’s easy to equate a high credit score with...

Are Interest-Only Loans Legit?

Posted On: 04/27/2016
QUESTION: Before the mortgage meltdown it was possible to get interest-only financing. I thought such mortgages had gone away, but our lender says they’re still available. Why are they still allowed and why would I want one? ANSWER: An interest-only mortgage is a form of financing...

Loan Lags: How Real are They?

Posted On: 04/20/2016
QUESTION: We want to buy a home and lock-in today’s rates. Our lender warned us that because of new government regulations it may not be possible to close within the lock-in term, so we may want a floating rate. Just how bad are the closing delays? ANSWER: Mortgage lenders and...

Too Old to Refi?

Posted On: 04/13/2016
QUESTION: We’re looking for our first home. My father offered to provide us with 20 percent down, enough so that we will not have to pay mortgage insurance. We know this is an incredibly generous offer and we are very lucky, but we are worried. He wants to get the money by refinancing...

How Much is Too Much?

Posted On: 04/06/2016
QUESTION: We were driving around looking at houses and came across a $400,000 property that was very interesting. It had been on the market for six months and the price had been reduced from $500,000. We thought maybe the owners might be motivated to sell. We did a little more research and...
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