What It’s Worth

A given piece of real estate has a different worth to different people at different times. One of those times is when you are trying to buy a house, and one of those people is the loan underwriter. Real property is tough to value because all parcels are unique. By definition, all real estate isWhat […]

DEE-fense! DEE-fense!

Whenever mortgage rates rise quickly, most borrowers are tempted by adjustable rate loans and their lower starting rates. The strategy has merit, but often not as much as asserted by some mortgage salespeople. Herewith a guide to terms and tactics, and a simple equation to help you decide if an ARM is an appropriate defensive […]

Two Time Loser

In the last year, just about every homeowner in America with a long-term mortgage has received a solicitation offering to collect the mortgage payments in twenty-six bi-weekly installments instead of twelve monthly ones. The pitch: the conversion to bi-weekly will help you to pay off your loan several years earlier than scheduled, save tens of […]

Pre-Approval Push-Pull

Many buyers entering the home-shopping market are surprised when their Realtor tells them they have to go get a “pre-approval letter” from a mortgage lender. There are a few markets left in the U.S. where the seller is delighted to hear from a buyer, any buyer, even a poorly-qualified one (Buffalo, NY, I’ve heard); but […]

Teach Your Children Well

If there is one hopeful financial plan described by Baby Boomers these days, it is the uniform, unanimous thinking out loud about owning a home free and clear someday. Everybody makes sure there is no penalty for early repayment (there hasn’t been a penalty on any Federal agency loan since 1983), most inquire about 15-year […]

It’s the Principal of the Thing

In a good sign for the economy, the Baby Boom generation is gradually switching from consumption to saving. Spending begins to give way to saving in any 35-44 age group, and the average Boomer is just now turning 42. Leading edge Boomers (one is turning 50 every seven seconds) are near the panic saving stage. […]