Articles filed under Mortgages

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  • Getting lenderís best price on home loan often futile Jan 18, 2013 5:15 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on a mortgage in 2013. This article is directed at those looking to find the best possible deal on a refinance or home purchase loan.

  • Five refinance myths debunked Jan 12, 2013 4:18 AM
    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on an existing mortgage, or on a new one they plan to take in the near future. This one is about unexploited refinance opportunities.

  • The truth about HECMs and upfront fees Jan 5, 2013 4:08 AM
    One of the bum raps against home equity conversion mortgages (HECMs) is that their upfront fees are too high. It is a dumb rap as well, because it is based on a comparison with standard mortgages, which aside from the fact that both are secured by a property, have very little in common.

  • Retirees must prioritize between debt-free estate and spendable funds Dec 29, 2012 5:47 AM
    Q. I will retire shortly at 65 and still owe $67,000 at 6 percent on my mortgage. My house is worth $250,000 and I have savings of $300,000. Should I pay off the mortgage, let things ride, or is there another option?

  • Buyers usually prefer land contracts to lease-to-own deals Dec 15, 2012 3:28 AM
    Q. You have written articles about lease-to-own contracts, but never about land contracts, which I am told may work better.

  • Mortgage professor: Making a lease-to-own sale worth your while Dec 8, 2012 10:30 AM
    A lease-to-own (LTO) transaction is one in which a potential homebuyer occupies the home as a tenant but has an option to purchase it within a specified period at a specified price. In exchange, the potential buyer pays a nonrefundable option fee upfront plus a monthly rent.

  • Not all reverse mortgage calculators are created equal Dec 1, 2012 5:14 AM
    One of the great features of the home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) program is that eligible seniors have multiple options designed to meet a variety of different needs. They can a) draw cash upfront; b) select a credit line on which to draw in the future at their own initiative; c) receive a tenure annuity for as long as they remain in their home; and d) receive a term annuity for a period the senior selects.

  • Inferior property appraisals have become more common Nov 24, 2012 5:16 AM
    Q. I am trying to refinance the loan on my four-family rental property. The rate was locked and the appraisal came back with a satisfactory value. However, the lender rejected the appraisal and mortgage.

  • In many cases, homeowners are the ones abusing reverse mortgages Nov 17, 2012 4:11 AM
    The home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) is one of the best-engineered financial tools of our generation. Yet the program elicits negative reactions from large segments of the media, whose distorted descriptions of the HECM program are scaring off millions of seniors whose lives could be enriched by it.

  • Borrowers often blindsided at different stages of lending process Nov 3, 2012 5:18 AM
    [No Paragraph Style]NewsShopping for the best deal on a home loan has many pitfalls, but by far the most daunting is that lenders will not commit to the prices they quote to shopping borrowers. While borrowers seldom realize it when they begin the process, the fact is that they are forced to select loan providers without knowing the exact price they will pay.

  • Should you use a reverse mortgage to pay off home, or wait? Oct 13, 2012 5:37 AM
    Q. I reached 62 this year and have a mortgage balance of $85,000 on my house, which is worth about $400,000. Should I pay off the balance now with a reverse mortgage?

  • Four strategies to stretch your HECM dollar further Oct 4, 2012 12:46 PM
    A major and potentially valuable feature of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program is that it offers multiple options regarding how a senior can withdraw funds. However, most seniors are selecting an option to cash out the entire equity in their house at the outset, which eliminates other options (unless they later repay some of the money they withdrew), and may leave them with nothing to fall back on if they need help in later years.

  • Age matters when you choose a reverse mortgage credit line How, when and why to take a reverse mortgage Sep 29, 2012 4:55 AM
    One of the valuable features of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the multiple options for cashing out equity in the house. Borrowers can take cash, a credit line that grows in size if it is not used, a tenure annuity that pays a monthly stipend for as long as the senior lives in the house, and term annuities that pay a monthly stipend for a period selected by the senior.

  • Think twice before choosing HELOC over HECM Sep 21, 2012 9:19 AM
    The major theme of the two previous articles in this series is that the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage has great potential value to senior homeowners planning their retirement. The value is realizable, however, only with the adjustable-rate HECM that provides multiple options for receiving payments. In this article, I will discuss the pros and cons of specific HECM uses.

  • Is lump sum reverse mortgage the right loan for seniors? Sep 8, 2012 4:34 AM
    FHA-insured reverse mortgages, also called home equity conversion mortgages, or HECMs, allow seniors to withdraw cash from their home while retaining the right to live there indefinitely. They are a potentially powerful tool for helping seniors live better lives during their retirement years, and new HECM options enlarge the possibilities.

  • Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed loans decline to 3.55% Sep 6, 2012 10:33 AM
    U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year loans declined for a second week, lowering borrowing costs as fewer Americans sought financing for home purchases. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.55 percent in the week ended today from 3.59 percent, McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac said in a statement. The average 15- year rate held at 2.86 percent.

  • For Danish homeowners, refinancing is bliss Sep 1, 2012 5:27 AM
    The first two articles in this series indicated that there was no quick way to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac without seriously disrupting the market. The best available option is a slow fix where existing mortgage banks and perhaps other firms converted to Danish-style mortgage banks, with temporary assistance from Fannie and Freddie.

  • U.S. would benefit from Danish-style mortgage system Aug 25, 2012 5:29 AM
    The first article in this series examined the two obvious strategies for expanding private sector lending as a replacement for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Both are impractical. What is needed is a more robust secondary market. The good news is that a tested model exists in Denmark.

  • Why we need to expand private-sector mortgage lending Aug 18, 2012 5:22 AM
    The future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two secondary market behemoths that became wards of the federal government in September 2008, is in limbo. Virtually all politicians on the national scene would like to get rid of them, but several problems are in the way.

  • How to get the best deal on a reverse mortgage Aug 11, 2012 5:28 AM
    Seniors now have useful options under the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program that they didn't have before. While having options on a reverse mortgage is good, it also makes HECM shopping a greater challenge.

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