Tips & Advice


Researching Utilities Is Essential in Determining Home Buying Budget

The importance of factoring in taxes and insurance costs when considering a home buying budget is well known, but Bank of America reminds us of another pesky monthly expenditure to keep in mind. “If you're moving into a larger home than you're used to, a home that is newer or older than you're used to, or located in a climate that's ... More

One Important Thing to Consider Before Taking Out a Home Equity Loan

There are several things to think about before taking out a home equity loan, but among the most important is to consider is what the loan will be used for. “The best reason to take out a home equity loan is when it has some positive impact on your finances,” CNN Money’s Les Christie advises. “Using it to pay for a renovation that ... More

Financial Advisors Warn Against Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages can make a lot of sense for many people. They allow homeowners to borrow money against the value of their homes, and the funds don’t need to be repaid until the individuals move. Financial advisors, however, continue to warn against this option, noting that it often “traps” homeowners into losing out on equity once ... More

Experts: Lock Now, As Mortgage Rates Back Down

Mortgage rates are back in line with recent lows and averaging out at 4.125%, Mortgage News Daily is reporting. Experts advise locking in on a rate now. “I'm cautiously optimistic that we are about to break back into the long term trend of lower rates, but remain right on the edge,” says Brent Borcherding. “The safest decision is to ... More

Your Next Home: A Shipping Container?

With the right frame of mind, a steel shipping container may make for the perfect affordable, eco-friendly home. There are lots of these vessels sitting around, otherwise useless, in shipping yards all around the country. So why not convert them into livable dwellings? According to CNN Money, a two-story shipping container home - complete ... More

Mortgage Calculators Help Determine Home Affordability

When beginning the home buying process, it may be a smart idea to check out one of the many mortgage calculators on the Web. These free calculators take home price, down payment, interest rate, taxes and more into consideration and help you figure out just how much home you can really afford. A quick internet search for "mortgage calcul... More

Experts Warn: Don’t Try to Time the Market

When purchasing a home, it may be very tempting to try to either delay or rush the process in order to secure the best interest rate. But experts warn against both of these strategies. If you wait too long, a house you have your eye on may get snatched up before you can put in a bid. And if you rush into the process just because interest ... More

Investing in Real Estate? Remember It’s a Business.

Anyone planning to invest in real estate should remember that it’s a business and should treat it as such. The first step in managing a successful real estate venture is to create a business plan complete with revenue projections for your first few years. Next you’ll want to set realistic one-, three-, five- and ten-year goals so that ... More

As Rents Increase, Buying May Be Better

Although home prices have been increasing, so too have rent prices. So with interest rates as low as they are, it may be better, financially, to purchase a home than to continue to rent. Even former HUD secretary Shaun Donovan has spoken out on the issue and said that the rate at which rents are rising is the worst the country has ever ... More

When Looking to Buy, Know Your Income

It likely comes as no surprise that when an underwriter is reviewing an individual’s mortgage application, income plays a huge factor. “We want to see a history of income that’s documented and has a likelihood to continue,” says Arlene Allert Maloney, Senior VP of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. And for individuals with lower incomes, ... More