Existing Home or New Build: Which Home Type Is Right for You?

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/19/17 10:00 AM

Everyone knows buying a home comes with a vast array of decisions. One of the bigger choices is what home type is right for you. Do you place value on architectural features over energy efficiency? Are you looking for a home you can customize or are you an avid DIY-er? Choosing between purchasing an existing home, a newly built spec home or a new construction home comes down to several factors. Here are a few things to think about.

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Buying or Refinancing? Receive Up to $20,000 in Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/13/17 10:18 AM

Closing costs and down payments are common homebuying hurdles. Though low down payment mortgage options are readily available to homebuyers, adding that with 2 to 5 percent of a home’s purchase price in closing costs can tally up quickly. The Compass Grant Program is here to help borrowers cut down on those costs.

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First-Time Homebuyer FAQ: How Is a Home Appraisal Calculated?

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/8/17 9:30 AM

You’ve been pre-approved for home financing, found a home and settled on a purchase agreement; now what? Whether you’re buying a home or refinancing your mortgage, the value of the property in question needs to be determined through a home appraisal. So how do appraisers attach value? Here are few first-time homebuyer FAQ’s about home appraisals and the answers.


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First-Time Homebuyer FAQ: Can I Apply for Credit When Getting a Mortgage?

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/6/17 10:00 AM

Your loan has been fully approved and closing day has been marked on your calendar. While anticipating the day your home finally becomes your own, you’ve started to browse for furniture and appliances to deck out your new digs and intend on applying for a store credit card to score a discount. But wait; can you apply for credit when getting a mortgage?

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How to Finance Home Renovations with the FHA 203k Mortgage

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/5/17 11:00 AM

Fixer-upper listings have recently been on the rise, according to a recent Zillow analysis. The number of homes listed with descriptive terms like “needs work” and “TLC” is up 12 percent from five years ago. But how does a homebuyer finance those home renovation projects? Today, we’re highlighting one of the most popular financing options borrowers, the FHA 203k loan.

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Mortgage 101: What Does It Mean to Lock My Mortgage Rate and When Should I Do It?

Posted by Laine Smith on 2/1/17 10:13 AM

Home prices rise, home inventory fluctuates, homebuyer demand increases – timing is a big part of homebuying and home financing. If you’ve been paying attention to any economic news, you know that for the last several months, mortgage rates have been climbing from their historical lows. So if you’re planning to purchase a home soon, what does it mean to lock an interest rate and when should you do it?

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Buying vs. Renting: Doing the Math on What's Best for You

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/30/17 12:11 PM

In 2014, 11 million renters were spending at least half of their income on housing, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Another 21.3 million (over 50 percent of renters) were spending 30 percent or more of their income on rent payments. So in an era where rent costs are going up, up, up, how do you decide whether buying a home or continuing to pay the landlord’s mortgage is the right financial choice for you? Here are several things you should factor in when considering the buying vs. renting scenario.

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Pre-Approval vs. Loan Commitment: What You Need to Understand About the Difference

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/23/17 9:32 AM

We’re only months away from the busiest homebuying season. Whether you’re planning to make a home purchase yet this winter or are waiting until spring, you’re likely making strides to get your credit score and finances in the best shape possible. Another step you should pay a good amount of attention to: your path to home financing. Here’s what you need to know about pre-approvals versus loan commitments to determine which is the right step for you.

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Buying Your First Home: What to Expect on Your Loan Application (Infographic)

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/22/17 9:54 AM

After pre-approval, compiling your loan application is one of the first official steps toward achieving home financing. You mortgage banker will have some paperwork for you and you will have to compile some paperwork for them to verify your employment, income, available funds and home you wish to purchase.

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How to Sidestep 9 of the Biggest First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

Posted by Laine Smith on 1/21/17 11:04 AM

Buying a home is a big financial and lifestyle decision, and if it’s your first home, it can be nerve-racking. Though your mortgage banker and real estate agent will be there to guide you, there are certain things you should be aware of before jumping into your homebuying journey. Here’s our list of the biggest first-time homebuyer blunders and how to avoid them.

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