Spring is Almost Here: Planning a Massive Spring Cleaning in Just 4 Easy Steps

It may seem like the holiday season has just passed, but it won’t be too long before the flowers begin to bloom and spring peeks out from around the corner. While the tradition of spring cleaning that comes with the season may not be as common as it once was, it can actually be a great way to revive and refresh and prepare for the summer ahead. Begin With The Bedroom Start with your bed by washing all of the sheets and linens, and then move on to dusting, making sure that all of the spots missed throughout the year are wiped clean. Since you may find yourself purchasing some extra items in the summer months, take an hour or two to look through your...

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Looking Ahead in 2016: Mortgage Trends That May Affect You

The housing market is in a constant state of flux, and with the changing shape of real estate there will most definitely be notable trends to watch out for in the next year. Whether you’re approaching the market with caution or are ready to dive in without worry, here are some things to watch out for in 2016. A Slow Growth Outlook One of the most worrisome impacts of a slowed economic outlook is how it can affect people’s monthly payments, and this is slated to be a significant concern over the next few years. With the possibility for lowered global gains in 2016 and the job loss that can stem from this, it may be the case that many borrowers end up falling behind...

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Understanding How Home Equity Works and Why Buying a Home Can Be Your Best Investment

When delving into the world of real estate and investment property, there are many terms that will come up that require further explanation. Whether you’ve never heard the phrase ‘home equity’ before or you have a little familiarity, here are the ins and out of what it means and how this asset can help your financial outlook. All About Home Equity Essentially, home equity refers to your portion of the value of your home, and the amount of this figure is important because it is included among your assets when determining your net worth. If this sounds confusing, think of it this way: if you have completely paid off the cost of your home, the value of your home equity is this total amount. Of...

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Everything You Need to Know About Fannie Mae’s New Home Ready Mortgage

Traditionally, getting a mortgage requires you to have a level of income appropriate to the size of home that you’re buying. But for a lot of low-income and minority borrowers, a simple measure of one person’s income isn’t an accurate measure of whether or not that person can afford a home. Now, with the Home Ready mortgage from Fannie Mae, multigenerational and extended households can have easy access to mortgage funds. How does the Home Ready mortgage work? Here’s what you need to know. Flexible Down Payment Requirements Make Home Ownership More Accessible Traditional mortgages require you to pay 20% of the home price upfront in the form of a down payment, or 5% if you register for Private Mortgage Insurance. And although 5% is...

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – Feburary 1, 2016

Last week’s economic events included S&P Case-Shiller’s home price indexes, reports on new and pending home sales and the Fed’s FOMC statement. The details: Case-Shiller Reports Fast Paced Home Price Growth According to S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, U.S. home prices grew at their fastest pace in 16 months in November. Portland, Oregon led the charge with home prices increasing 11.10 percent year-over-year followed by San Francisco, California at 11.0 percent; Denver, Colorado posted a year-over-year gain of 10.90 percent. 14 cities posted home price gains while four cities posted declines in home prices and two cities posted no change on a month-to-month basis. David M. Blitzer, chairman of the S&P Index Committee, noted that slumping oil prices and a strong dollar were posing challenges...

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Video: What Is “Prime”?

What Is “Prime”? The Prime Lending Rate – sometimes just called “Prime”  – is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans. Some consumer rates – like ARMs – are set in relation to Prime. In the US, Prime is affected by the Federal Reserve lending rate to banks; historically, Prime is about 3 percent above the Fed rate. The video shows  an example. The Federal Reserve loans to Bank A at 1% Bank A loans to Bank B at 4% Both banks – A & B – will recalculate variable-rate loans like ARMs on that 4% Prime figure. ARM rates are frequently defined as “% above Prime” – that gap is usually called the “margin” or “spread.” Just remember those 3...

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