Why We Should Stop Panicking over Rising Mortgage Rates

We all knew the day would come when mortgage rates would rise. Last month when Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke hinted the Fed might begin backing off its monthly quantitative easing, mortgage rates climbed up well over 4%. This has many potential and existing homeowners who had been considering purchasing a home or refinancing one in a panic and under the misconception that it’s too late to do so. Last month refinancing applications dropped 3.4% and home purchases fell 3%. But the truth is there’s no reason to panic since home financing is still extremely affordable at today’s interest rates.Continue reading

Getting a Fair Home Appraisal

The home appraisal. It’s why so many homebuyer’s sweat bullets during the buying or selling process. The last thing a person wants is to lose a mortgage because of a low appraisal when buying or selling a home. Here are some steps to take for getting a fair appraisal.

While automated valuation websites like Zillow, HomeGain and Trulia are a convenient and quick way of getting a ballpark figure of the worth of homes in certain areas, they shouldn’t be used when you’re buying or selling a home. Websites like these can only give an estimate because the figures are based on a limited amount of information. It’s okay to use websites like these when you’re at the beginning of your home search but turn to professionals when things turn more serious.Continue reading

How to Calculate Your Mortgage Payoff

It’s a glorious day when the home mortgage is paid off. No longer does the bank have a claim on your home. You are the sole owner. Getting to that point takes time and payment after payment. Many people don’t live long enough to see that day, and others see it quite often as they pay off the mortgage every time they refinance the home.Continue reading

How to Prequalify for a Mortgage

Buying a home is the all-American dream. It starts with an idea, then saving for the down payment, and finally shopping for the perfect place to call home.

When you prequalify for a mortgage, your house shopping will run smoother, giving you—the future homeowner—some guidelines in regard to how much you can spend. There’s no point in falling in love with a house that you can’t afford. Prequalifying will keep your shopping in the reality zone and eliminate getting in over your head. Continue reading