How Much House Can You Afford?

Introduction

An old rule of thumb said that you could afford to buy a house that cost between one and a half and two and a half times your annual salary. In reality, there’s a lot more to take into consideration. You’ll want to know not only how much of a mortgage you qualify for, but also how much you can afford to spend on a home. In order to know how much you can truly afford, you need to take an honest look at your lifestyle and your standard of living, as well as your income and what you choose to spend it on. Continue reading “How Much House Can You Afford?”

Buying a Home

What is it?

Finding the right home to buy can be a challenging prospect but knowing what to expect can make the process easier. You can (1) buy through agents representing the seller and/or use a buyer’s broker, (2) buy directly from an owner, or (3) shop the auctions and foreclosure sales. Once you find the house you want, you must make an offer, check for clear title to the property, and arrange for a home inspection. And after the closing, you can finally move into your new home. Continue reading “Buying a Home”

Homeownership

What is it?

If you’re like most consumers, homeownership involves the largest financial transaction you’ll participate in during your lifetime. As such, it’s no wonder that the process of buying or selling a home can be so stressful, frustrating, and, at times, totally confusing. If you want to ensure that you make sound financial decisions and survive the process with your sanity intact, you should first educate yourself about real estate transactions and then engage in careful planning. Your first step should be to ask yourself: “Do I really want to own a home? Continue reading “Homeownership”

Refinancing Your Mortgage

When you refinance your mortgage, you take out a new home loan and use some or all of the proceeds to pay off the existing one.

Why refinance your mortgage?

There are a variety of reasons why you may want to consider refinancing your mortgage, such as:

  • Lowering your monthly mortgage payment by refinancing to a lower interest rate
  • Shortening the length of your loan (e.g., from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage) to potentially reduce interest charges over time
  • Accessing extra cash through a cash-out refinancing to pay for home improvements, pay for college, or consolidate debt
  • Refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed rate mortgage or to a new ARM with better terms

Continue reading “Refinancing Your Mortgage”