Articles filed under Guttentag, Jack

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  • Mortgage points: a powerful option that is often neglected Mar 28, 2015 12:00 AM
    What are points? Points are a unique feature of the U.S. mortgage system, and to my knowledge they are found nowhere else in the world. They offer borrowers a way to tailor the terms of the mortgage to their individual needs.

  • Selecting the type of mortgage that best meets your needs Mar 14, 2015 1:00 AM
    Perhaps the most important decision a mortgage borrower makes is the type of mortgage: whether fixed rate (FRM) or adjustable rate (ARM); if it is fixed, they decide the term, if it is adjustable they decide the initial period until the rate adjusts.

  • Buying a new house before selling the old one Mar 7, 2015 12:00 AM
    Homeowners buy their second or third homes for a variety of reasons. They may be trading up to get more space and amenities; they may be downsizing because they don’t need as much space and want to cut expenses. They may want to relocate to get closer to their place of employment or their children, or to enjoy a more attractive climate.

  • Mortgage borrowers should know how amortization works Feb 28, 2015 12:00 AM
    Recently, I have been getting a lot of mail from mortgage borrowers asking about amortization. Most are considering whether to pay down their loan balance more rapidly, and have suddenly realized that they don’t know how best to do that.

  • Does the new CFPB rate tool help people shop for a mortgage? Feb 21, 2015 12:00 AM
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau deplores the fact that almost half of homebuyers it recently surveyed did not shop for a mortgage but dealt with a single loan provider. To encourage shopping, the agency has developed a “Check Interest Rate” tool. It advises borrowers: “As you start talking to lenders, compare their offers to the rates in the tool to see if you are getting a good deal.”

  • Why do some borrowers pay higher mortgage rate than others? Feb 14, 2015 1:00 AM
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently unveiled an Internet-based tool designed to help people shop effectively for the lowest possible mortgage interest rate. For this tool to work, it must help mortgage shoppers distinguish between rate differences that are justified, and rate differences that are not.

  • Interest rates differ between main home and a rental Feb 7, 2015 12:00 AM
    Q. I am downsizing by purchasing a smaller home that will be my primary residence. Because I do not have my existing house on the market, the lender I approached to finance the purchase has asked me for a letter describing my reasons for the purchase.

  • Reverse mortgage borrowers will have to prove they are not deadbeats Jan 31, 2015 12:00 AM
    One of the attractive features of the HECM reverse mortgage has been that there are no income or credit requirements. But all that will change effective March 2 when a series of drastic new FHA rules come into play.

  • How can you be certain refinancing will save you money? Jan 24, 2015 12:00 AM
    How can you be certain that refinancing will save you money? Introducing the Integrated Refinance Calculator.

  • The fixed-rate option is different with a HECM reverse mortgages Jan 17, 2015 12:00 AM
    A reader caught me off guard the other day by saying that she had counted 28 articles on adjustable rate mortgages on my website, but all of them pertained to standard mortgages. Not one applied to reverse mortgages, and she wondered whether that was because the issues were exactly the same? I winced at that, because the issues are not the same — not even close.

  • Why you shouldn’t refinance on a Friday Jan 10, 2015 12:00 AM
    Does it matter on which day of the month your mortgage closes? In general, on a purchase transaction it doesn’t matter, but it may matter on a refinance.

  • A reverse mortgage is a bad idea for some, a good idea for others Jan 3, 2015 12:00 AM
    In my father‘s generation, very few people still had a mortgage to pay when they reached retirement age. Now it is common. But retired homeowners may now have an option my father did not have.

  • A better way to select a mortgage loan originator Dec 27, 2014 12:00 AM
    One important reason the home loan market works so poorly is that borrowers have no reliable way to select the loan originator (LO) — the individual who takes the borrower through the loan process. The problem is that LOs have a financial incentive to use the large knowledge gap between themselves and borrowers for their own benefit.

  • Forget the homeownership rate; it is the process that matters Dec 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    Because of the widespread belief that homeownership is valuable, the recent decline in the homeownership rate has generated some dismay. The rate, which had peaked at 69.1 percent in 2005, shortly before the financial crisis, has since fallen to 64.8 percent. This is the lowest it has been since 1995.

  • Can bad financial habits be unlearned? Dec 6, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some readers of last week’s column recognized themselves in my description of a “NOHO”: someone not cut out to be a homeowner. Some readers asked me how to change this pattern, and I decided to take a stab at it in this article.

  • Homeownership is not for everyone Nov 29, 2014 12:00 AM
    Some people are not cut out to be homeowners. I call them NOHOs. What distinguishes them is not their income, their mobility, or where they live – rather, it is how they live.

  • Introducing the Manageable Mortgage Nov 22, 2014 12:00 AM
    This article introduces what I will call the Manageable Mortgage which has none of these problems. It would give borrowers the leeway to integrate the management of their mortgage into their lifestyle and budgetary practices, without weakening the discipline that many borrowers require.

  • Why the standard mortgage is obsolete Nov 15, 2014 12:00 AM
    One of the things I have learned from many years of answering questions from readers is that often they try to manage their mortgage in one way or another, but without much success. The existing instrument was not designed to be managed.

  • Is the Wealth-Builder mortgage all smoke and mirrors? Nov 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    Q. What do you think of the new Wealth-Builder mortgage that has gotten a lot of press?

  • Why many good mortgage loans are not being made Nov 1, 2014 2:00 AM
    Much of the system of rules and beliefs in today's tight mortgage market stem from Dodd-Frank reforms, which were formulated in an atmosphere hostile to lenders. But borrowers are the ones paying the price.

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