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Home Buying 101 Archive


Should I put more or less down, if I can afford it?

Putting down as little as possible lets you take full advantage of the tax benefits of homeownership. Mortgage interest and property taxes are both fully deductible from state and federal income taxes. Also, making a small down payment frees up cash that you can use to meet unexpected home improvements. ...


Is it possible to get a no-down payment loan?

Builders will typically offer no-down-payment loans to sell properties in a slow-moving development or a depressed market. Desperate sellers also may commit to finance the down payment for the buyer to move a hard-to-sell home or to make a quick sale. And veterans may buy a home with nothing down ...


What things do lenders view positively and negatively during the application process?

When you apply for a loan, long, steady employment is always seen as a plus, as is a large down payment, a good credit rating, a history of regular savings, and property located in a "good" neighborhood. ...


What does a mortgage broker do?

Much like a stockbroker helps you buy stocks, a mortgage broker can help you purchase a home loan. Because the broker has access to many lenders, you will be able to select from a wide variety of loan types and terms that fit your specific needs. ...


What’s the best way to choose a home loan?

A lot will depend on the length of time you plan to live in the home, other financial obligations, and potential savings gained from comparing the monthly costs of a home against the up-front costs and closing costs involved with a particular loan. ...


How do I qualify for a home loan?

Your real estate agent has information on lender loan requirements and will be able to calculate a rough monthly figure you can afford based on the maximum monthly payment for the loan, taxes, insurance, and any type of maintenance fees. This pre-purchase evaluation by the agent can save you a ...


What is a mortgage and how does it work?

A mortgage makes homeownership possible for most people. In the simplest terms, it is a loan that is secured by real property. The lender holds title to the home until the loan is completely repaid. If you fail to pay up, the lender has a right to take the property, ...


Why is location so important?

Location remains the single most important factor when choosing a home. It can make or break the value and desirability of a home. ...


What about guidelines for VA foreclosures?

As with HUD, anyone can purchase a VA home. Qualified buyers also can receive the benefit of a VA loan - no money down - even if they are not veterans. If you are interested in purchasing a VA foreclosure, visit its web site, www.va.gov.


What are some of the guidelines for purchasing HUD foreclosures?

If you have the cash or can qualify for a mortgage, you can buy a HUD home. Down payments vary depending on whether the property is eligible for FHA insurance. If so, the down payment can be lower than the 5 to 20 percent required on conventional loans. HUD requires ...


How do I find government-repossessed properties?

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages that it insures. These properties are then available for sale to potential homeowner-occupants and investors only through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker's commission up to 6 percent of the ...


What are the disadvantages of buying foreclosures?

Buying directly at a legal foreclosure sale is risky. Among the disadvantages: ...


What happens at a trustee sale?

When a homeowner falls behind on three payments, the bank will record a notice of default against the property. When the owner fails to pay up, a trustee sale is held, and the property is sold to the highest bidder. The lender that initiated the foreclosure proceedings will usually set ...


Where can I find foreclosure properties?

Look in the legal notices section of your local newspaper. A notice is also usually posted on the property itself and somewhere in the city where the sale will take place. ...


What causes a foreclosure?

A lender decides to foreclosure, or repossess, a property when the owner fails to pay the mortgage. Unfortunately, thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year. Many people lose their homes due to job loss, credit problems, divorce, unexpected expenses, and during periods of economic instability. ...