So You Want to Add On

If you are contemplating a home addition, small or large, renovation or full-scale pop-top, to a home you already own or are about to buy, there are two overriding financial objectives. First, to navigate the maze of carts and horses littering the mortgage horizon. How do I finance an addition I haven’t yet built? I […]

We Don’t Care, Anymore

The mortgage industry used to care. We cared about all sorts of things… your landlord, your rent, where you got your down payment, your old W-2s, how long you had been on your job, how many jobs, what kind of jobs…. We don’t care about a lot of that stuff any more. The brave new […]

Service? Hah!

Back in the old days (when the Boomers were worried about turning 40), if you got a loan to buy a house, yousent the monthly payment to the people downtown who held your mortgage in their vault. Not any more. While many consumers have detected the disembodied nature of modern “lenders”, very few havefigured out […]

Blink and Miss

The refinancing opportunity of a lifetime has gone by like a semi on a dirt road blasting past some poor fellowtrying to change a tire. Why, the slipstream alone was enough to knock a car off a jack. There’s a thing or two worth studying while the gravel settles. Next to buying the house in […]

Teaser Turnabout is Fair Play

The unnecessary pain inflicted by computers is not the fault of the machines, but rather that of the eagerwireheads who think computers are so neat that they should be used for everything. Enthusiastic nerds havestruck again, and may the gods of silicon save your credit report. Credit information has been “computerized” ever since the punch […]

Score Trap

Many consumers have learned that their credit records have been reduced to three-digit scores, and that these scores now determine the fate of most loan applications. The higher the score assigned to you by each of the three, giant repositories of credit information (Transunion, Experian, and Equifax), the loCredit scores, and how to manage your […]

Sources of Closing Funds

The following advice prevents horror stories. One requirement for mortgage approval demands more precision than any other, and is also more surprising toborrowers than any other- WE MUST PROVE WHERE YOUR CLOSING MONEY HAS BEEN IN THE LAST 90 DAYS, ANDTRACK IT ALL THE WAY TO THE CLOSING TABLE. Any large deposit, transfer, or new […]

The Name Is The Game

The operations of the financial world change over time along with everything else, but many labels for financial practices are “sticky” — still in use, but with long-lost descriptive relevance. Mortgage lending, tied inextricably to real estate and Middle English (deed, fee simple, encroachment, foreclose), is especially vulnerable to obsolete terminology. Dated terms are confusing […]

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 […]