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Feb 15, 2017 Unless you can afford to buy a home with cash, you'll be paying some interest on a mortgage if you decide to go from being a renter to being a homeowner. Paying interest to a bank is no one's idea of a good time. The good news, though, is that with the mortgage interest deduction the IRS lets you deduct that mortgage interest from your taxable income when you file your tax returns.
Feb 22, 2017 We all know that raising a family in this country isn't cheap. According to the USDA, the average cost to raise a child is $233,610. That includes food, shelter and other necessities. It doesn't include the cost of college or private school. Curious about raising a family in Los Angeles? We've got you covered.
Apr 20, 2017 People take many factors into account when deciding where to buy a home. For some homebuyers access to good public schools is crucial, while for others safety is the top priority. Homebuyers may also want take into account whether their home value is expected to rise. But knowing where home values are expected to grow and how fast they are going to grow can be hard to predict. Below we rank 10 rising housing markets where, based on current data, home values can be expected to increase.
Feb 24, 2017 The debt-to-income ratio is one of the most important factors mortgage lenders use to evaluate the creditworthiness of borrowers. It measures the size of your monthly debt burden relative to the size of your monthly pay. And in addition to your credit score and other financial information, it helps lenders decide whether you're capable of taking on another loan. Worried that you have too much debt to buy a house? Let's look at what lenders have to say about the ideal debt-to-income ratio for mortgages.
Feb 23, 2017 You finally have enough savings for a down payment and you're ready to buy a house. How much will monthly house payments cost? Like with any big financial commitment, it’s important to know how much you'll need to budget per month. It can be hard to calculate exact payments as property taxes and homeowners insurance are also factors. We crunched the numbers to find how much median home payments cost in the 15 largest U.S. cities and the salary needed to pay them.
May 25, 2016 Big-city living comes with quite a few perks. Grocery stores and shopping centers are often in walking distance and there are usually plenty of restaurants, bars and activities close by. But when you live in a city with a high cost of living, you have less purchasing power. You might spend a lot more on housing, food and healthcare than you would if you lived somewhere else.
May 27, 2016 Though the U.S. doesn't rank as the happiest country in the world (that honor goes to Denmark) Americans report high levels of life satisfaction. The U.S. ranked 13th in a recent World Happiness Report that looked at 156 countries. But how do individual counties within the U.S. stack up in the happiness stakes? Let's take a look.
Mar 31, 2016 Feeling the lure of the Windy City? Ready to make your home in the Jewel of the Midwest? We don't blame you. Chicago combines the features of a major city with a small-town feel and Midwestern friendliness. Here are 13 tips for anyone considering moving to Chicago.
Aug 09, 2016 Alaska, also known as the Great Land, is on many people's travel bucket list. If you visit Alaska on vacation and fall in love with it, you may decide you want to move to the country's 49th state. While Alaska famously offers an annual check to each of the state's residents, the high cost of living may offset this perk. Here's what you need to know about expenses in the state, as well as what you can expect to pay in each of the following major expense categories.
Apr 05, 2017 In the wake of the housing crisis last decade, homeownership rates declined markedly. In 2005, more than 69% of American households owned the home they lived in. Today that rate is just 64%. The decline has been especially steep among young homeowners. At the end of 2015, less than 35% of adults under the age of 35 owned their home.
Feb 03, 2017 After reaching historic lows, mortgage rates are once again on the rise. But homeowners who are looking to refinance can still get a great deal. A mortgage refinance can certainly help you keep more cash in your pocket but you need to weigh the pros and cons before you sign on the dotted line. If you're wondering whether now's the time to take out a new home loan, here are three reasons why it makes good financial sense.
Dec 22, 2016 Do you owe more on your mortgage loan than what your home is worth? You're not alone. In the third quarter of 2013 6.4 million homeowners were similarly underwater on their homes. That comes out to 13 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage.
May 26, 2017 In the long term, it's often smarter to buy a home than rent one. You could capitalize on both, though, through a real estate investment. You can buy a home for the eventual returns and rent it out to cover the mortgage payments. But if you're overwhelmed by idea of getting a property ready for inhabitants, a turn key property could be a great option. However, despite their obvious appeal and ease, there are some things to be wary about when it comes to buying turn key homes.
May 23, 2017 With summer fast approaching, it's time to break out the swimsuits and sunglasses. For many, the arrival of summer also means dusting off their Harley Davidson and taking it out for a spin. If you're a motorcycle enthusiast, you'll probably have a bike no matter where you live. But we figured some American cities are better than others when it comes to speeding down the highway. So for the second year in a row, SmartAsset set out to find the best cities for motorcycle owners.
May 23, 2017 The definition of the American Dream will vary depending on who you ask. For some, it means a white picket fence, a trimmed green lawn and 2.5 children. For others, it means achieving your own personal goals and dreams, regardless of your background. Certainly the American Dream includes success and living a fulfilling life, whatever your definition may be. For the second year in a row, SmartAsset sought to find the best cities for living the American Dream.
May 17, 2017 In Ohio, there are more women between the ages of 20 and 64 participating in the workforce than there are men doing so. And recently, SmartAsset found that Ohio's capital, Columbus, is one of the best cities for women in tech. With those facts in mind, we delved into the data to find the best cities for working women in Ohio across all fields.
May 18, 2017 Florida has some of the most volatile housing markets in the country. The Sunshine State was one of the worst affected during the subprime mortgage loan crisis, with mortgage delinquency rates hitting 20% in 2009. But in recent times the state has seen explosive home value growth. Median home values in the state jumped 10% from 2014 to 2015. With home values growing so fast, there are rising Florida housing markets worth checking out.
May 17, 2017 The average American household earned $55,775 in 2015. That figure is up $2,000 from 2014 and $5,000 from 2011. With that number in mind, SmartAsset set out to answer the question of where are the best cities to live on a $55,000 salary? We looked at data on cost, livability factors and more. Read on to learn what we discovered.
May 11, 2017 So you want to raise your kids in the Golden State. The question is where? Are you a NorCal person, with its plethora of tech jobs and high costs of living? Or would you rather settle down in sunny SoCal? SmartAsset considered several factors and crunched the numbers to find the best places to raise a family in California.
May 11, 2017 When deciding where to live, you're going to take into account a number of factors. And if you're one of the 43.3 million households in America who have at least one dog, there's no doubt you'll include your cuddly canine in the equation. Dog owners will want to make sure the place they call home is well-suited for their pup to live its best life. SmartAsset did the research for you to find the best places for dog owners and their four-legged friends.
May 08, 2017 If you're buying a home it's a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. That way, you'll know roughly how much banks are willing to lend to you and you won't get your heart set on a property that's outside of your budget. But what do you need to get pre-approved? Here's a checklist that will help you get your papers in order.
May 03, 2017 Marching. Donating to your favorite causes. Calling your congressman. You may be wondering what else you can do to make a difference in the current political climate. What about moving? Some 2016 congressional races were so tight that just a few thousand votes decided to winner. SmartAsset crunched the numbers to find the places in the country with tight congressional races where your votes can most make the difference in the 2018 midterm elections.
May 08, 2017 You might think that VA loans are only available to veterans and current military members. But many surviving spouses may also apply for a VA loan. Are you an unmarried surviving spouse of someone in the service? If so, you'll need VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility - Unmarried Surviving Spouses. Submitting this form is one of the first steps toward getting a VA loan.
Apr 27, 2017 When it comes to paid family leave, the United States is behind the curve. The U.S. is the only industrialized country in the world without a paid parental leave policy for new parents in place at the national level. And according to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 12% of private sector workers had access to paid family leave through their jobs in 2015. Since most parents in America are working parents, these are startling statistics.
May 08, 2017 Do you still need to pay for mortgage insurance if you get a VA loan? The short answer is no. There is no monthly mortgage insurance with VA loans. Unlike regular loans, which require mortgage insurance if you put less than 20% down, VA loans do not add this cost to your monthly mortgage bill. However, there is a VA funding fee that serves a similar purpose.
Apr 26, 2017 Foreclosed houses can offer homebuyers a chance to invest in the housing market for far less money than they would normally be able to. But those steep discounts often come with some risk. There are often legal holdups making the foreclosure market different than the rest of the housing market and there is no guarantee that a foreclosed home can later be sold for a profit.
Apr 25, 2017 When a veteran dies, his or her immediate family members can receive financial support from the Department of Veterans Affairs through Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). In order to get access to their monthly VA benefits, surviving spouses and children must submit VA Form 21-534. Here's everything you need to know about the form.
May 08, 2017 Veterans and service members who want access to VA benefits must provide certain documentation. For example, members of the National Guard who want to qualify for the VA home loan program must submit a Certificate of Eligibility and NGB Form 22 . Not sure why you need NGB Form 22? Read on to find out the purpose of the form and the information you'll find on it.
May 08, 2017 VA loans aren’t for everyone. They’re designed to make it easier for active and retired military personnel to buy homes. While you may qualify for a VA loan, lenders can't just take your word for it. If you know you’re eligible for a VA loan, you’ll need to provide documentation. This is where the Certificate of Eligibility comes in. This document will certify that you are in fact eligible for a VA loan.
Apr 20, 2017 DD Form 214 is your report of separation from the Armed Services. DD Form 214 isn't just a formal document - it's a document you'll need to access a range of services for veterans, services like VA loans. Without the form, you won't be able to get some of the benefits you've earned through your service. Read on to learn more about DD Form 214.
May 08, 2017 A VA loan could be a great financing option for a veteran looking to become a homeowner. These loans often give active and former service members the opportunity to buy homes without making a down payment or paying for mortgage insurance. The VA limits how much veterans can contribute to closing costs. But one cost most VA borrowers can’t avoid is the VA funding fee. This is a one-time fee for VA loan borrowers that must be paid before a veteran can close on a home.
Apr 17, 2017 Looking for an affordable home? If so, you may be wondering whether buying a pre-foreclosure home could help you land a bargain on your home purchase. Browsing real estate listings will show you that there are plenty of pre-foreclosure listings. But is buying a pre-foreclosure home doable? Let's take a closer look.
Apr 14, 2017 The home-buying process can seem exciting and daunting at the same time. There are many hoops that you'll have to jump through and many homes that you'll have to consider. If you're trying to save money, purchasing a mobile home might make sense. But if you're planning to use a VA loan, you'll need to make sure the house you want is eligible for the program. Here's the lowdown on how veterans can use VA loans for mobile homes.
May 08, 2017 If you're a veteran who wants to take out a loan backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, you must be able to prove that you qualify for the VA loan program. In order to be eligible for a VA home loan, you must meet certain requirements. You'll also be expected to present a Certificate of Eligibility (COE). In order to request one, you'll need to submit VA Form 26-1880.
Apr 12, 2017 Repossessed houses are houses that have fallen into default. If a homeowner can't keep up with his or her mortgage payments, the bank may repossess the home. This process is also known as foreclosure. But what happens to repossessed houses once the bank takes them back? The answer depends on what the bank decides to do.
Apr 12, 2017 States across the country are going green amid growing concerns about climate change. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, more than 40 states (and Washington, D.C.) have implemented energy codes for residential and commercial buildings. And around 15% of the energy-efficient bills considered by legislatures in 2015 were enacted, up from around 12.5% in 2014.
Apr 11, 2017 Finding the house of your dreams can take some time. And if you're a veteran who's looking to buy a home, you may not find anything that meets your needs. If that happens, your next best option is to buy a plot of land and build your own house from the ground up. Wondering whether you can use a VA loan to purchase a piece of land? Read on to find out more about VA land loans.
Apr 10, 2017 It's a loan officer's job to decide which would-be borrowers are eligible to proceed to loan underwriting. The loans in question could be mortgages, small business loans or personal loans. Loan officers meet with applicants and are responsible for determining applicants' creditworthiness. Want to learn more about what loan officers do? You're in the right place.
Apr 14, 2017 Refinancing can give homeowners the opportunity to adjust their mortgage loan terms and lower their monthly payments. Veterans who need extra money may want to consider applying for a cash-out refinance. Those who qualify can either replace an existing VA loan with a new mortgage or turn a non-VA home loan into a VA loan. Here's everything you need to know about the VA cash-out refinance program.
May 08, 2017 So you’ve found a home that you’re ready to buy. You’ve had the house inspected and appraised. But before you can move in, you’ll need to get to the closing table and make some final payments. Closing costs usually include a number of fees. But for homebuyers with VA home loans, some of those costs don't apply. Let’s look at the VA loan closing costs that borrowers are responsible for paying.
Apr 05, 2017 Today's young adults are waiting to buy homes. A recent survey from the National Association of Realtors revealed that the average first-time homebuyer is in her early 30s. Most of the people surveyed agreed that a home is a worthwhile investment. But the percentage of primary homes purchased by first-time buyers was down to 32%. That's 8 percentage points lower than the historical average.
May 11, 2017 "No-doc loan" is mortgage-speak for a home loan that requires only limited income documentation from applicants. Normally, applicants for mortgages disclose their income, assets and employment status to convince lenders that they're capable of keeping up with mortgage payments. No-doc loans waive this requirement. Let's take a closer look at what that means.
Apr 04, 2017 Running is more than a way to stay in shape. Sure, it's great exercise, but runners also run as a way to explore new places, to test their limits and even participate in races to raise money for charity. Although running is one of the more accessible sports, not all cities are equal when it comes to what they offer to runners. Some cities give runners the choice to run through parks, on trails or at the gym. Others give runners more chance to push themselves with year-round races.
Apr 03, 2017 Before you buy a house with a VA home loan, don't forget to get a home inspection. VA home inspections aren't mandatory. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn't get one. After all, home appraisals can overlook a number of issues. If your mortgage is backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, here's everything you need to know about getting a VA home inspection.
Apr 03, 2017 Many seniors try to pay off their mortgages before they leave their full-time jobs. But this isn't possible for everyone. If your mortgage payments are eating up a large chunk of your retirement income, you may be desperate for a solution. Fortunately, there may be some financial relief available in the form of a reverse mortgage. Here's a breakdown of how reverse mortgages work.
Mar 31, 2017 In a shared appreciation mortgage, the homeowner shares some of the profit earned as the home's value increases over time. Generally, lenders or organizations offer shared appreciation mortgages in exchange for lower mortgage rates. These mortgages are rare but they can put homeownership in reach for those with lower incomes.
Mar 31, 2017 VA loans help servicemembers, veterans and qualified spouses take out government-backed home loans with benefits and support. In general, VA loans have low delinquency rates. In rare cases, however, a borrower with a VA loan falls behind in payments. Let us explain the VA foreclosure process.
Mar 30, 2017 Cities like San Francisco and New York tend to dominate the headlines when it comes to exploding housing markets. But there are plenty of smaller housing markets with tons of potential that don't get the recognition they deserve. These cities contain many of the right ingredients to become a valuable place to own a home. Read on as we look at data on smaller cities across the U.S. that are home to rising housing markets.
Apr 14, 2017 If you're thinking of applying for a VA loan, it's important to understand the VA home appraisal process. Appraisals and inspections are different. Inspections are more detailed investigations into the state of a home, but they're not required for VA loans. VA appraisals are required, however. Upon request, VA deploys independent appraisers to assess properties that an applicant wants to buy with a VA loan.
Mar 24, 2017 When you can no longer afford your monthly mortgage payments, you have several options. You can sell your house and try to downsize. Or you can find out whether you qualify for a loan modification. You can also try to refinance. If you don't think you qualify for a refinance loan because you have an underwater mortgage, don't worry. You may be eligible for a program known as HARP 2.0.
Apr 10, 2017 The fight for equal rights for working women remains an uphill battle. That's one reason why about 3 million people around the world recently participated in women's marches and thousands took part in demonstrations on International Women's Day. An analysis from the Center of American Progress estimated that A Day Without a Woman could have cost the U.S. GDP $21 billion if every woman who worked outside the house went on strike.
Mar 21, 2017 Wondering whether to apply for a conventional loan or an FHA loan? It's important to understand the difference between the two loan types. The loan type you ultimately choose will depend on the type of home you want to buy, your financial resources and the trade-offs you're willing to make between the benefits that FHA and conventional loans offer.
Mar 20, 2017 Anyone buying a house for the first time has to become familiar with various real estate terms. For example, you'll need to understand the difference between being pre-qualified and preapproved for a mortgage. You'll also need to understand how house deeds work. Read on as we explain what a house deed is and why you'll need one in order to close on a house.
Mar 17, 2017 Time and time again, financial advisors discuss the importance of having an emergency fund. No one wants to be surprised by an unexpected trip to the hospital or the car repair shop. If you’re not good at saving money, you may be wondering whether you can use a HELOC as an emergency fund. Turns out, you can. Whether that's a good idea, however, remains debatable.
Apr 14, 2017 Few of us know how to make the most of our home equity. For example, seniors may not realize that they can borrow against the equity they've built in their homes and use that extra cash to supplement their retirement income. If you don't understand how reverse mortgages work, read on. We'll describe the types of reverse mortgages that are available to homeowners and discuss the upfront costs that borrowers should be prepared to cover.
Mar 14, 2017 What better place to raise a family than in the place with the nickname of "the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection"? If you're thinking of moving to Philadelphia and raising a family there, you may be wondering about basics like childcare, school quality and crime rates. Let's take a closer look.
Mar 13, 2017 Planning to build your own home or hire someone to build it for you? You may be wondering whether a construction loan is appropriate for your needs. Construction loans can be hard to get, but they're one way to secure financing so you can build your dream home.
Mar 10, 2017 A business mortgage, also known as a commercial mortgage, is a mortgage for commercial real estate. The collateral for the mortgage is the building itself, whether that's an office building, retail space, an apartment building, a warehouse or another development. Let's take a closer look at business mortgages and how they work.
Mar 09, 2017 Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing expenditures in the country. Nationwide healthcare costs reached over $10,000 per person in 2016 and that figure's expected to grow at a 5.8% clip until 2025, according to a report in the Health Affairs journal. One way to keep those costs down is to take care of your health. Of course many illnesses and health issues are unavoidable, but behaviors like regular physical activity and abstaining from tobacco use are good ways to avoid unwanted trips to the doctor’s office.
Mar 31, 2017 Houston, Texas is a fast-growing city. In fact, it may soon eclipse Chicago as the third-largest city in the country. But is Houston a good place to raise a family? Here's a look at some factors parents might be interested in when deciding whether to raise a family in Houston.
Mar 07, 2017 When looking to sell their house, most owners probably want to make a profit and sell the home for more than they paid for it. But the selling price isn't the only factor to consider, there are hidden costs when it comes to selling a home. And if it takes a long time to sell a house or if the closing costs are exorbitant, the math may change on how much money the seller gets to pocket. We considered these factors and others when determining the best cities to sell a house.
Mar 06, 2017 If you want to buy a new home you may be wondering how you'll juggle selling your current home with taking out a mortgage on your new home. One option for homebuyers in this situation is to take out a bridge loan. A bridge loan can give you the money for a down payment on a new home before the sale of your old home goes through. Let us explain.
Mar 03, 2017 Have you heard the term "redlining"? It's a term that refers to the practice of cutting certain neighborhoods - and aspiring homebuyers - off from mortgage lending opportunities. Let's take a closer look at the historical roots of the term and its legacy today.
Apr 14, 2017 Retirees on a tight budget may want to consider taking out a reverse mortgage. By applying for a reverse mortgage loan, seniors can avoid downsizing and going through the hassle of purchasing a new home. Plus, they can use their loan as a source of income. Is a reverse mortgage right for you? Let's look at some of the advantages of taking on this type of loan.
Mar 02, 2017 Ready to sell your house? Before you get too excited about moving on, it’s important to consider the financial implications of putting your home on the market. Sellers are often responsible for covering the cost of various expenses. And these fees can add up, reducing the size of your earnings. If you'd rather avoid a nasty surprise, here are some costs you should plan to cover when selling your house.
Feb 28, 2017 If you're thinking of moving to Chicago, you might be wondering whether it's a good place to raise a family. To help you answer that question, let's take a look at some of the features of family life in the Windy City, including child care costs and housing costs.
Feb 28, 2017 Think you can't refinance your mortgage because you have bad credit? Think again. With less-than-perfect credit, you won't have access to the lowest interest rates or the best loan terms. But qualifying for a refinance may be possible even if you've had to file for bankruptcy. Here's a look at five ways to refinance a mortgage with bad credit if you want to lower your monthly mortgage payments.
Feb 27, 2017 If you've only compared mortgage rates published by banks and private lenders, you could be missing out on loans backed by the federal government. For example, there are mortgages that are issued and guaranteed by the Department of Agriculture. USDA home loans are available for low- and middle-income buyers and homeowners who want to renovate their homes. Before you apply, it's important to understand who qualifies for the programs.
Feb 23, 2017 Houston boasts a diverse population and a lower cost of living than many other large U.S. cities. People are flocking to the Texas city. The U.S. Census Bureau found that Greater Houston experienced faster population growth than any other metro area in 2016. Curious about the city's economy and what it's like to work there? You've come to the right place.
Feb 24, 2017 Employment growth among jobs in the STEM field varies widely. According to the Department for Professional Employees, the number of job opportunities for aerospace engineers increased by 53% between 2005 and 2015. Within the same period, the number of jobs for biologists and computer programmers fell by 28% and 17.4%, respectively. Pay within the STEM field also varies by occupation as well as location. For the third year in a row, SmartAsset ranked the top metro areas for pay among STEM professionals.
Feb 20, 2017 Low interest mortgage rates can't last forever, can they? If you've taken out a mortgage or refinanced a mortgage recently, you may have done so because you anticipated that rates would rise. Are rates rising, and are they expected to continue to rise? Let's take a closer look at mortgage rates trends.
Feb 17, 2017 Saving for a down payment could take years, especially if you're trying to buy a house in an expensive market. But the more money you put down, the less you'll have to borrow and the lower your loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. What exactly is the loan-to-value ratio? Here's a breakdown of what it means and what mortgage lenders consider to be a good loan-to-value ratio.
Feb 16, 2017 Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S., with a diverse population and a diverse economy to match. Financial services, engineering and publishing are some of the biggest industries in the Windy City but manufacturing and food processing are key drivers, too. Here's what to know about working in Chicago.
Mar 03, 2017 Homeownership rates still have not fully recovered from the 2007 housing crisis, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows. For some age groups, foregoing homeownership is not a hard decision. It can offer more labor market flexibility and the chance to pursue other investments. For many retirees, however, homeownership may be an important facet of their retirement plan, giving them stability as well as the chance to build equity. Below we look at where the homeownership rates for retirees are rising the fastest.
Feb 15, 2017 We've all grown accustomed to instant gratification. We can get instant coffee and instant access to our favorite movies and TV shows. So when we actually have to wait for something, being patient can be challenging. This issue often arises when it's time to buy a house. While many of us want to purchase a house within a few weeks, buying and moving into a new home could take a few months (or more).
Feb 17, 2017 Television ratings reveal that hockey is far from being America's favorite pastime. In fact, the numbers seem to suggest that the sport's popularity is declining, especially in terms of viewership. Only 3.9 million viewers tuned in for the six-game Stanley Cup Finals in 2016, compared to the 5.6 million viewers who watched the series the previous year.
Feb 14, 2017 Whether you just bought a house or you're trying to renovate an old one, furniture shopping can be intense. And depending on what you're looking for, it can also be expensive. If you're on a budget, your best bet is to begin looking for a new couch or dresser when it's on sale. If you're not sure when to start shopping, we'll tell you the best time to buy furniture.
Feb 15, 2017 Ever feel like you're one step away from looking under sofa cushions to cobble together your next rent payment? You're probably not alone. In past studies we've highlighted cities where rent payments are gobbling up the majority of residents' incomes. Below, we look at data on the largest cities in the country to see how many hours the average person needs to work to pay rent.
Feb 13, 2017 How long does it take to sell a house? It depends on where you live and what's happening in your local housing market. If it's a seller's market, home sellers will have an advantage. There will be lots of buyers competing for a limited number of homes. The opposite is true in a buyer's market, when homebuyers have the upper hand. If you're not sure how long your house will sit on the market, looking at trends might help you prepare for the home-selling process.
Mar 17, 2017 Reverse mortgages are popular among seniors. Through the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) Program, retirees can turn their home equity into a monthly source of income without moving out of their houses. And with their extra cash, seniors can remodel their homes and pay for their living expenses. If you're interested in buying a new home in retirement, a reverse mortgage can cover the cost of that, too. That's where the HECM for Purchase Program comes into play.
Feb 09, 2017 Thinking about moving to Los Angeles for the beautiful weather, diverse population and access to California's natural beauty? Well, unless you're retired, a student or independently wealthy you'll also need to work in LA. Check out our list of 10 things to know about working in Los Angeles.
Mar 23, 2017 Home is where the heart is, so the saying goes. For homeowners, their home is also where they probably invested a large chunk of their money. In some places homeownership has proved to be a worthwhile investment, as the home values skyrocket. But in other places, depressed home values and high property taxes may have made owning a home less worth it.
Feb 08, 2017 Just before the end of the Obama administration, outgoing Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julian Castro announced that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), would be lowering mortgage premium insurance rates on FHA loans. On his first day in office, President Trump reversed that decision, keeping FHA insurance rates where they are. Let's take a look at what this decision means.
Feb 13, 2017 The marriage rate has declined over the past several decades and the median age of first marriages for women and men has climbed steadily in the past 50 years. While many people are postponing marriage or avoiding it altogether, walking down the aisle is still part of the American Dream. What's more, being single by the time you reach a certain age is usually considered less than ideal.
Feb 07, 2017 Do homeowners sell their houses before paying off their mortgages? Turns out, it happens more often than you may think. After all, most mortgage loan terms last for 30 years and few homeowners stay in their houses for that long. While you can sell your home before ditching your mortgage debt, there are some things you should know before putting your house on the market.
Feb 06, 2017 Putting 20% down on a house may not be feasible for everyone. That's why many homebuyers get stuck paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Having to pay mortgage insurance can make owning a home more expensive. But you may not be responsible for making those payments over the entire life of your loan. Depending on your circumstances, your PMI can either be canceled automatically or upon request. Read on to find out how to get rid of PMI.
Feb 03, 2017 Paying property taxes is inevitable for homeowners. The amount each homeowner pays per year varies depending on local tax rates and a property's assessed value (or a yearly estimate of a property's market value). If you’re unsure of how and when you must pay real estate taxes, know that you might be paying them along with your monthly mortgage payments.
Feb 02, 2017 Raising a family can be tough. First of all, it's expensive. The USDA estimates that raising a child born in 2015 would cost a family $233,000 over 18 years. It's common nowadays for both parents to work outside of the home, meaning they need to pay for full-time child care, which can be very costly. Parents also want to give their children the best chance to succeed so school quality is on many parents' minds when deciding where to live.
Feb 01, 2017 Wedding costs are climbing. Between 2014 and 2015, the average cost of a wedding rose by 4.6%, according to The Knot Real Weddings Study. Nuptials now cost $32,641, on average, and one in eight couples spend more than $40,000 when tying the knot. Interestingly enough, research suggests that brides and grooms who spend more money on their weddings have a greater chance of getting divorced. Read on for our ranking of the best U.S. cities for an affordable wedding.
Jan 31, 2017 Buying a home takes a lot of planning. Neighborhoods need to be researched, open houses attended and, if you have children, schools need to be investigated. But first and foremost, before you can even take the first step in buying a home, you need to make sure you have enough saved up for a down payment. Depending on where you live, saving for a down payment can be a multi-year process requiring careful financial planning. Below, we investigate how long it takes to save for a down payment in some of the largest cities in the country.
Jan 30, 2017 Going from renting to buying is a high priority for many Americans. We've all been taught that homeownership is a key piece of the American dream. But if you're between jobs, is homeownership out of reach? Let's take a closer look at the question of whether you can buy a home while unemployed.
Jan 27, 2017 By consistently paying your mortgage bill on time, you're showing your lender that you're a responsible borrower. That may be obvious, but what's often overlooked is the art of making extra mortgage payments. Paying more than you're required to can benefit you in several different ways, including reducing the amount of interest you pay over time. If you're interested in making extra mortgage payments, here's how to do it.
Jan 26, 2017 Thinking of moving to Pittsburgh? You're part of a rare breed. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in March 2016 that, per U.S. Census Bureau data, "among the nation’s 30 largest metropolitan areas, Pittsburgh is the only one deemed to have fewer people on July 1, 2015, than were counted during the official 2010 census." Translation? Pittsburgh isn't growing, despite being a great place to live. Check out our list of the 15 things to know before moving to Pittsburgh.
Jan 23, 2017 If buying a home is one of your resolutions for the new year, you'll need to make sure that your credit is in good shape. Since the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates more than once in 2017, mortgage rates may climb. Having an excellent credit score can work in your favor. But having a bad credit score could keep you from buying a house. As you navigate the home-buying process, here are some common credit mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Jan 20, 2017 Home sales tend to rise when the weather warms up. That's good news for anyone who wants to sell a home. But before you put your house on the market, you may need to add some tasks to your to-do list. Giving your house a facelift may be necessary if you want an edge over the competition. Here are six ways to prepare your home for the spring buying season.
Jan 19, 2017 Some people eat just to live. For others, colloquially known as foodies, eating is the reason to live. Foodies' lives are enriched by the act of eating great food. Some love to cook gourmet meals, while others like to go to sit-down restaurants and have gourmet meals prepared for them. For others still it's the ingredients that are the most important, with questions like, "is the food sourced locally?" and "is this produce high quality?" looming large. We looked at data on these and other factors to determine the best cities for foodies.
Feb 01, 2017 Vacation home prices have skyrocketed in recent years, causing home sales to fall. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, vacation home sales declined by 18.5% between 2014 and 2015. Buying a second home by the beach has become impossible for many Americans, including millennials and others who can barely afford to buy their first homes.
Jan 17, 2017 One of the most challenging aspects of the home-buying process is getting access to financing. Securing a loan can be even more difficult when you're planning to build a house from the ground up instead of getting a mortgage to purchase an existing property. If you're building instead of buying the home of your dreams, here are some things that you'll need to keep in mind.
Jan 16, 2017 You've spent months scouring real estate listings and you've finally found your dream home. You put in an offer and everything seems to be smooth sailing until you get that dreaded call from your real estate agent: There are other buyers interested in the property. Even worse, they're offering the seller more money. Before you know it, you find yourself in the middle of a heated bidding war.
Mar 31, 2017 Steel City is known for its industrial history and its scrappy charm. Recently, several articles have touted Pittsburgh as an affordable option for young creatives priced out of other cities. Let's take a closer look at the cost of living in Pittsburgh and how expensive it is to live in Pittsburgh.