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The Biweekly Mortgage – Who Needs It?

Have you received an advertisement offering to save you thousands of dollars on your thirty-year mortgage and cut years off your payments? With email spam becoming more pervasive as everyone tries to get rich quick on the Internet, these ads are popping up with troublesome regularity. The ads promote a Biweekly Mortgage and for the most part, do not come …

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Home Buying Tips: Have These Items Ready When You Apply For a Loan

It used to be that lenders mailed out verifications to employers, banks, mortgage companies, and so on, in order to verify the data supplied by borrowers. Nowadays, the interest is often in speed and getting answers quickly so alternate documentation has become more widely used. Alternate documentation means that underwriting answers can be obtained with information supplied directly from the …

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FICO® Scores and Your Mortgage

Years ago, credit scoring had little to do with mortgage lending. When reviewing the credit worthiness of a borrower, an underwriter would make a subjective decision based on past payment history. Then things changed. Lenders studied the relationship between credit scores and mortgage delinquencies. There was a definite relationship. Almost half of those borrowers with FICO® scores below 550 became …

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FICO® Score – a Brief Explanation

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you expect your lender to pull a credit report and look at whether you’ve made your payments on time. What you may not expect is that they seem to be more interested in your FICO® score. “What’s a FICO® score?” is a common reaction. Each time your credit report is pulled, it is …

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Home Buying Tips: Verifying Your Down Payment

When buying a home, it is not enough to just come up with the money. With the exception of no asset verification loans, lenders want to verify where the money for your new home will be coming from. If you can document that the funds are coming from your personal savings, the lender is more confident of your strength as …

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Closing Costs When Buying or Refinancing a Home

This is a detailed summary of costs you may have to pay when you buy or refinance your home. They are listed in the order that they should appear on a Good Faith Estimate you obtain from a mortgage lender. There are two broad categories of closing costs. Non-recurring closing costs are items that are paid once and you never …

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages – The Basics

An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) has an interest rate that fluctuates periodically. This is in contrast to a fixed rate mortgage, which always has the same interest rate. Every ARM has basic components: An index A margin Adjustment Period An interest rate cap An initial interest rate The Index An ARM’s interest rate is tied to one of many economic …

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages – The PROS & CONS

Now that you know what an ARM is and how it works, you may be wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are. So let’s explore that issue. Offering adjustable rates allows lenders to transfer part of the interest rate risk from themselves to the borrower. If you get a fixed rate mortgage and the interest rate then goes up, it …

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Required Reporting to the I.R.S.

Sellers of real property will have certain information regarding the sale reported to the Internal Revenue Service. This required reporting is a consequence of the Tax Reform Act of 1986; it is intended to encourage taxpayer compliance and aid in audit and enforcement efforts by the I.R.S. To help you better understand this subject, the Land Title Association has answered …

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Closing and Title Costs

It’s the big day. The day you go to the title or escrow company, sign your name on the dotted line, hand over a check and prepare to take ownership of your new home. It’s also the day that you and the seller will pay “closing” or settlement costs, an accumulation of separate charges paid to different entities for the …