The 20% Rule for Down Payments

A good down payment can save you money in the long run. The traditional rule of thumb has been 20% down on a house. Putting at least 20% down can help you in several ways: 1. Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) Any borrower who puts down less than 20% is required by the lender to carry…

Ways to Increase Your Down Payment

Saving for a down payment can be one of the biggest barriers to home ownership, and with lenders tightening credit over the past few years, a substantial down payment is even more crucial to securing a home loan. However, that’s not to say you cannot secure financing without a large upfront investment. Many mortgage lenders…

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

This will be a great year for first-time homebuyers. With so many houses on the market, and mortgage rates so low, buyers can find great deals. Here are a couple of tips for those looking to buy their first house: 1) Talk with a loan officer from a local mortgage company (such as Keystone Mortgage)…

Researching a Mortgage Online

I read a statistic the other day that nearly 75 percent of consumers research products and services online before making a purchase. That got me thinking about researching mortgages online. It’s a great way to “shop smart,” but I recommend you keep a couple things in mind as you go cyber sleuthing for a loan.…

Paying Less on Your Debt

Debt—nearly all of us have it, and we all want to get rid of it. The problem is lots of people don’t know they are paying too much for their debt when they could easily pay less. Here are a few tips that will help you not only pay less on what you owe, but…

How Mortgage Rates are Determined

Over the past few years, I’m sure you’ve heard about how mortgage rates are at historic lows, and truth is, they are. This chart, from the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis, clearly shows that the rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the lowest (or at least near the lowest) it has been in…

Owning a Home May be Cheaper than Renting

It’s no secret that the current housing climate is beneficial to buyers. It’s been difficult over the past few years to not hear about how mortgage rates are historically low, while home prices have fallen significantly. However, another wrinkle in the housing market which hasn’t been getting quite as much ink is the increasing cost…