Tips & Advice


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

Signing Your Mortgage Docs: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Filling out loan documents is a long and complicated process, and you'll be asked to sign lots of documents that you may not fully understand. If this happens to you, don't be afraid to ask questions. The complexity of the process is "not necessarily a bad thing," says LearnVest's Ellen Derick. "But you should know what it [all] means."... More

Budgeting for your Mortgage

  When budgeting for your mortgage, consider spending no more than 30 percent of your monthly income on your housing costs. Spending more than that makes for a cost-burdened household, making it difficult to afford other everyday living expenses. According to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, approximately 40.9 billion ... More

How Much First-Time Buyers Should Save

"Singles, couples, families -- at some point almost everyone turns their financial attention to buying a home. But how much do we really need to save the first time out? How much is enough to handle the typically steep curve of down payments and closing costs? When it comes to saving for a home, there are some helpful rules of thumb. But ... More

Considerations For Renting Property

"Many beginner or speculator-type real estate investors think that the crux of real estate investing is finding a distressed property, fixing it up, and selling for top profit. Keeping it as a rental ends up being a mistake, a backup plan, or a last resort for many people. But is keeping a property as a rental always a bad thing? Regard... More