Tag Archives: mortgage

Money Monday: Understand credit score’s impact before buying a home

If you’re thinking of buying in the next few years, it pays to start thinking about — and building up — your credit score now.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Because having a mortgage is, for many people, the largest loan they attain. Read all of Forbes’ advice here: “Ready To Buy A Home? Understand The Impact Of Your Credit Score First.”

Money Monday: Mortgage hurdles

Many first-time buyers don’t realize that there’s many steps to getting a mortgage.

  1. Get pre-approved
  2. Have the home appraisal
  3. Keep your credit consistent
  4. Review the closing disclosure
  5. Go through underwriting

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Should you upgrade from a smaller to a larger home?

Buying a house instead of renting is, depending where in the country you live, often more cost-effective. But upgrading from a smaller home to a larger home and mortgage? Probably not.

small house to mansion

“There are solid reasons to upgrade your home. For many, it was always the plan. You buy a starter home, and upgrade to a larger one once your family expands. Or your income expands, and you finally move into your dream home. Regardless of your reason, the typical first step is determining what you can afford. A standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28% of your income before taxes. A quick and dirty way to check how much you can afford is through calculators like myFico calculator.

“Lenders asses your monthly income, debt, credit score and a variety of other factors to determine how much you can “afford”. However, they don’t look at how your expenses will grow after upgrading to a bigger and better house. (“Forbes.com, “Upgrading to a bigger home? Beware of 6 expenses that will increase.”)

Read Forbes’ article on the 6 things that will increase with a larger place here.

Money Monday: Easy ways to save money

“While accumulating a large chunk of cash isn’t likely to happen overnight, if you start small, you can gradually build your savings so that you have a financial safety net in place. With that goal in mind, here are 10 ways you can save $300 a month — without having to make yourself utterly miserable in the process.”

save money

Photo by 401kcalculator.org

  1. Refinance your mortgage
  2. Lower your housing costs
  3. Do it yourself
  4. Entertain yourself for free (often there’s some great free events happening in San Diego County!)
  5. Get a side job

This tips and quote is from CNN — find out five other ways you can easily save money here, on CNN’s article: “10 ridiculously easy ways to save $300 a month.”

Home Equity

Homeowners are tapping into equity

Because of the rising home prices, homeowners are cashing into their home equity.

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: Don’t make these homebuying mistakes

When venturing into shopping and buying a home, avoid some common mistakes:

home buyer regrets

  1. Interviewing only one lender
  2. Not getting pre-approved right away
  3. Maxing out your mortgage limit
  4. Letting your dreams and emotions dictate which house you purchase
  5. Waiving contingencies without understanding just what that means

More tips for homebuyers are available in CNN’s article here: “7 first-time homebuyer mistakes to avoid”.

Money Monday: How to retire debt-free

Retiring already can put a strain on your budget; don’t exacerbate it by being deep in debt on top of it!

Picture from www.ccPixs.com

Here are a few ways to get and stay debt-free:

  1. Start and keep building up your savings — having at least an emergency savings stash is especially crucial.
  2. Spend less than you bring in — live below your means.
  3. Work on paying off your student loans early.
  4. Don’t overpay when buying your home — you need to get an affordable mortgage.
  5. Keep that credit card debt very low.

Read more on all five of these ideas on Money.CNN.com’s article: “5 steps to retire debt-free.”