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home financing

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Financing & Insuring

What is a USDA Loan?

July 27, 2015

The USDA (short for United States Department of Agriculture) doesn’t just certify that your favorite cut of beef is fit for the grill; among many other things, it also guarantees or directly provides loans to qualified homebuyers in rural communities. If you’re a low- to moderate-income applicant in an eligible rural area, USDA financing might be a good option for you. Types of USDA loans Direct loans For low-income applicants. These loans are issued directly from the government to the buyer, and require no down…

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Financing & Insuring

Making the Most of a Mortgage Calculator

June 18, 2015

A mortgage calculator can be very helpful when you’re deciding how to approach the financial side of buying a home. It can give you a ballpark figure of what your monthly mortgage payment may be so you can estimate expenses. It can also help you decide if you might prefer a fixed-rate or an adjustable-rate loan, or a 15- or 30-year loan term. Experiment by entering the numbers for one home price and interest rate—and then alter the figures to see different scenarios. Want to…

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Buying a Home

TrendWatch: Down Payment Contributions as Wedding Gifts

June 2, 2015

You’re not imagining it. American couples are waiting longer and longer to get married. These delayed “I do’s” pose a very serious question: Just what do you get a couple that set up house—either independently or together—years ago? Some of these happy couples may still register for traditional home goods as gifts. After all, it’s a great opportunity to start a new chapter of their lives with refreshed and updated décor. But, for those with plenty to feather their nests (or even too much, if…

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Buying a Home, Financing & Insuring

Getting Prequalified After Bankruptcy, Foreclosure or Short Sale

March 19, 2015

Life sometimes takes us on unexpected journeys. You may think you’re heading in one direction and then—surprise—you’re on a completely different path. For example, if you experience a major credit event, such as a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale, your credit score can be severely impacted, which can affect your chances at qualifying for a mortgage loan. Chances are you’ll eventually be able to consider home buying—but it might take a little longer than usual. So, what can you do if you find yourself in…

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Buying a Home

Why Renters are Becoming Homebuyers in 2015

February 26, 2015

2015 is shaping up to be a great year for first-time homebuyers, as the real estate market continues to enjoy a resurgence in new homes built, coupled with exciting new breaks designed to make homeownership more affordable. To get the full scoop, check out these four reasons renters are making the leap to homeownership in 2015. THE RETURN OF 3% DOWN PAYMENTS ON CONVENTIONAL LOANS In fall 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac each announced a decrease in down payments required on some conventional loans…

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