Buying a home is a long-term commitment, so it’s not surprising that older Americans are much more likely than younger people to own their homes “free and clear” (see chart). If you have paid off your mortgage or anticipate doing so by the time you retire, congratulations! Owning your home outright can help provide financial flexibility and stability during your retirement years.
Even if you still make mortgage payments, the equity in your home is a valuable asset. And current low interest rates might give you an opportunity to pay off your home more quickly. Here are some ideas to consider.
Continue reading “Home-Sweet-Home Equity”
The housing market during the coronavirus pandemic has certainly been notable. Historically low interest rates resulted in record homebuying, even as housing prices escalated.1
Fortunately, the mortgage industry has been able to keep up with the pace of the real estate market by utilizing already existing technology. Homebuyers can search for lenders, compare interest rates, and apply for mortgages online. In addition, mortgage lenders are able to do alternative appraisals, perform safe home inspections, and conduct closings electronically. Continue reading “Five Tips to Follow When Applying for a Mortgage”
If you don’t really know what you’re looking for in a home, how do you find the right one? Careful planning and consideration of your options can help ensure that you will be happy with the one you select. You may decide that buying a traditional, single-family home is not your best bet. A condominium or a cooperative may better serve your needs. Or, you may decide that building a new home may be the only way to get what you want. Whatever type of home you end up looking for, your selection should be based on an educated decision. Continue reading “Finding the Right Home”
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?”
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”
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”