What are Real Estate Closing Costs Made Up Of

Any time you buy or refinance a house there’s a litany of expenses that go with it.

There are many “hands” in the soup that is a real estate transaction, and each one of them demands some money to do what they do.

If you’ve ever wondered what those charges mean, here’s some inspiration…

What Real Estate Closing Costs are Made Up Of

Lender charges

Here’s a not so well-kept secret: mortgage “lenders” aren’t direct lenders, but middlemen who arrange mortgages then sell them to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, or Ginnie Mae.  In the process, there’s a fee for nearly everything they do.

Here are the more typical ones: Continue Reading

Payoff Mortgage Faster – How Do I Do It? – Four Ways

Housing Money

Who wouldn’t want to pay off their mortgage faster?

The big question is “how do I do it?”

Whether to pay off your mortgage faster, is an important personal financial decision.

But before one can answer “how do I do it,” you must first ask the questions of “can I do it” and “why should I do it.”

The can-I part reveals if one has the financial ability to put more money aside for bigger and quicker payments.  The why-should-I part involves whether to use the additional money available, alternatively, for investing or consumption purposes since funds borrowed under mortgage probably have a lower interest rate than say credit card debt.

Paying off a mortgage faster also has tax implications on mortgage interest deduction.

If one has the financial means; is willing to forgo any investment opportunity; is prepared to postpone any would-be nice consumption; and has weighed on any tax savings, there are ways that one can consider to pay off a mortgage faster.
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The Pros and Cons to Refinancing Your Mortgage

Interest rates on mortgages are at all time lows; does that mean you should refinance as soon as possible?

Maybe–and maybe not.

Interest rates may be lower than they’ve ever been, but never has the issue of refinancing been more complicated.  For one thing, it’s harder than ever to qualify for a loan at the best rates, and for another, today we have to consider falling property values which is something that hasn’t existed since the Great Depression.

What are the pros and cons to refinancing your mortgage?

The reasons you SHOULD refinance – Pro

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Financial Freedom Starts with a Low House Payment

Is achieving financial freedom an important goal in your life?

If it is, don’t follow the conventional wisdom of buying the most expensive house you can afford.

Sure, by buying the biggest house you can afford you can grow into it, live in it longer and maybe even avoid a costly trade up in a few years.  Fair enough.

But when it comes to achieving financial freedom, buying the most expensive house you can afford is the exact opposite of what you want to do.

In fact it can be said that the more expensive your home is the less chance you have of ever attaining financial freedom.

Expensive homes and financial freedom are what you might call “mutually exclusive”—having one reduces your chance of getting the other.

How could that be?

A house determines general consumption patterns

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What is Mortgage Amortization and How Does it Work?

Paying off a mortgage is an overwhelming task.

A mortgage is a big debt—almost as big as your house—so the best most of us can hope to do is to shorten the term by prepaying as much of the loan that we can as quickly as we’re able.

Why should we want to do that?

Owning your home free and clear is a good place to be.  You’re living in your home with no mortgage payment and that’s when saving money and life in general get easier.

But there’s something more.

The cumulative interest on mortgage loans makes your loan balance even bigger.

A mortgage of $200,000 will require nearly $350,000 in monthly payments over a 30 year period.  Anything you can do to shorten the term can save a lot of money.

What is Mortgage Amortization?

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Alternatives to Foreclosure

If you are concerned that your home might become a foreclosure risk, you are probably casting about for other options.

Foreclosure can impact your credit score, and make it difficult for you to purchase a home in the future — at least for the next two to four years.

When you are trying to avoid foreclosure, you do have some options.

However, it’s important to realize that you will have to meet certain requirements in order to qualify for some of these options.  Additionally, some of your foreclosure alternatives will impact your credit score, even if it isn’t impacted as much as it would be with a foreclosure.

Here are some of your alternatives to foreclosure:

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Mortgage Plan to Help Homeowners – $26 Billion Settlement with Big Banks

If you’re wondering when help will arrive for your underwater home, on February 9th, 2012, a giant step forward was taken on your behalf.

The Obama Administration announced a settlement with five of the largest banks, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial, and attorneys general in all states with the exception of Oklahoma.

The $26 billion foreclosure settlement brings to a close the litigation surrounding the use of robo-signing in the foreclosure process and may provide much needed relief for many of the nation’s underwater homeowners.

Background

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