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home financing

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Financing & Insuring

How to Use a Mortgage Calculator

January 9, 2019

Mortgage calculators are an underappreciated example of how the web has made home shopping easier, smarter and flashier. OK, maybe not flashier, but definitely easier and smarter, as they can provide quick insights into whether you’re able to afford a mortgage, and if so, what you’ll want or need for a down payment, monthly payment, etc. Check your borrower profile below to see which mortgage calculators you might find useful. Keep in mind, however, that while these will give you good ballpark figures, they won’t…

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Buying a Home

3 Ways to Jumpstart Your House Hunt Online

January 3, 2019
Couple with computer

If you’re like many people, a new home is on your 2019 wish list. But that doesn’t mean you’re ready to hire a real estate agent tomorrow and start touring houses next Saturday. Sometimes the house hunting process needs time to ramp up. We like to call it “pajama time.” You need to do some research, check out some house hunting websites, make sure your credit is in order—preferably from your sofa! If this sounds like the homebuying stage you’re at, this is the article…

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Financing & Insuring

What is a VA Loan?

November 9, 2018

A VA home loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It was designed to help the men and women of the U.S. armed forces buy, refinance or improve their homes. Because VA mortgages are backed by the government, the risk to lenders is low—allowing them to offer VA loan rates that are generally more favorable than conventional loan rates. Other benefits of VA loans may include: Purchasing a home with no down payment, subject to VA guidelines in your area.…

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Financing & Insuring

Who can qualify for a VA loan?

September 18, 2018

Zero money down.* Limited closing costs. No monthly mortgage insurance premiums. Borrower’s choice of a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. Sounds nice, right? They’re all potential perks of financing your home with a VA loan, but you have to belong to a very particular subset of homebuyers in order to qualify for one. To assess your eligibility, see if any of the following criteria describes you. ☐ Active member of the military ☐ Military veteran ☐ Served in the Selected Reserves or National Guard for at…

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Buying a Home

Cost Comparison: Rent or Buy

August 30, 2018
Couple calculating finances

There are many benefits to being a homeowner. From a purely financial perspective, there are tools to help determine the cost of renting versus buying a home. Comparing the cost of renting to buying usually depends on key factors, such as budgeted monthly rent, target home price, the length of time you plan to live in the home and what your mortgage rate would be. Estimating these values can help determine if buying is financially advantageous. In addition to the actual buying costs, it is…

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