Can you get a mortgage if you're already a co-signer?
As a co-signer, you've committed to another person's financial obligation to the loan. You probably co-signed a car loan, student loan, or mortgage to help out a friend or..
Homeowners Insurance | How much do you need?
When buying a home, you must purchase a homeowner's insurance policy that meets the lender's requirements. Homeowner's insurance protects you and the lender in an accident or..
How much are prepaid items & mortgage escrow?
Prepaid items are homeowner’s insurance, mortgage interest, and property taxes you pay at closing when you buy a home. In this article, I'll explain how to estimate the money..
Seller Credit | Can the seller pay the homebuyer's closing costs?
Sellers can pay the buyer's closing costs. It's called a seller or closing costs credit when the sellers of a property agree to credit a sum of money to the buyer at closing time...
How to buy a mixed-use property with an FHA loan
Home buyers can use an FHA loan to buy a mixed-use, multi-unit property with a down payment of only 3.5% of the property's purchase price. FHA's low down payment option and..
Debt-to-Income ratio | What is a good DTI for a mortgage?
Debt-to-income (DTI) is a measure that compares your debt to the income you receive. Mortgage lenders use this ratio to determine how much you can afford to pay for a home loan. A..
Down Payment | How much for a down payment on a house?
If you're considering buying a home, you should know you have choices regarding a down payment. The popular belief is that homebuyers need 20% of the property's purchase price...
Can a non-permanent resident (pending asylum) buy a house?
In this article, I'll explain how to get approved for a mortgage to buy a home while waiting for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to decide on your..
Why a verified mortgage pre-approval is better
In this article, I explain how a verified pre-approval letter improves your chances of getting the home you want.
How a mortgage credit check affects your score
Multiple inquiries from mortgage companies within 45 days are grouped and counted as a single inquiry, which minimizes the impact on your credit score. In this article, I'll show..
When should you get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is generally a good idea before you start looking for a real estate agent or viewing homes to buy.
FHA Self-Sufficiency Calculator | 3-4 unit properties
An FHA loan is a good option for financing the purchase of a multi-unit property. However, 3 and 4 unit properties must be self-sufficient. This means the property must have a..
2 to 4 Unit Home | How to buy a multi-unit property
Multi-family, 2 to 4 unit homes are affordable and surprisingly easy to buy.
How a mortgage co-signer can help you buy a home
When your income, savings, or credit history falls short, adding a co-signer to your application can give you the boost you need to get approved for a mortgage. In this article,..
Real Estate Transfer Tax Calculator | Chicago metro area
Real estate transfer taxes are fees that the state, counties, and local municipalities charge buyers and sellers when transferring property ownership. Use our real estate transfer..
FHA Mortgage Insurance | How much is it? Can you cancel it?
All Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans require mortgage insurance. Homebuyers pay two types of mortgage insurance when purchasing a home using an FHA loan. First, you pay..
How to Get a DACA Mortgage Loan
Buying a home can be scary for homebuyers in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In this article, we outline the mortgage process so you can avoid the..
Cash-out refinance | Consolidate credit card debt
In this article, I'll show you how you can take control of your finances by consolidating high-interest credit card debt with a cash-out mortgage refinance.
Gift Letter | How to use a gift to buy a home
In this article, I'll show you the best way to prove that your gift is from an acceptable donor so that everything goes smoothly with your home purchase. Feel free to download the..
Mortgage Insurance | How much is PMI?
The cost of private mortgage insurance (PMI) varies depending on several factors, including the lender. Some lenders charge more than others for the same PMI. In this article,..
VA loan | VA cash-out refinance
The VA cash-out refinance loan gives veterans access to 100% of their home equity. With this mortgage program, you can replace your current conventional or VA loan with a new VA..
VA loan | What is the credit score? 
This article outlines VA loan requirements for credit score, bankruptcy, short sale, judgment, and foreclosure.
VA loan | What is the VA funding fee for 2023?
The VA funding fee is a one-time charge that most military veterans, service members, and survivors pay to use a VA loan to finance the purchase or refinance of a home. The VA..
Loan-to-Value | How to calculate LTV for a mortgage
Loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is a measure that compares the amount of the mortgage loan to the value of the property. Lenders use it to determine the risk of lending you money for a..
What does PITI mean? How to calculate PITI
PITI is an acronym for Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance. Mortgage lenders use it to describe the four main components of a mortgage payment:
Earnest Money | How it works when buying a home
Earnest money is a deposit made by you, the homebuyer, to demonstrate that you are serious about purchasing a property. The earnest money is held in escrow and applied toward the..
Mortgage Contingency | How it works when buying a home
In this article, I'll explain the mortgage contingency, show you where to find it in a real estate contract, and tell you why you need to know about it when buying a house. First,..
FHA Single-Unit Approval | Buy a condo with an FHA loan.
Financing a condominium with a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan is challenging for many homebuyers. First, before you can buy a condo using an FHA loan, the condo must..
Should you pay mortgage discount points for a lower rate?
Paying discount points is a way to lower your mortgage interest rate. Essentially, you pay a lump sum at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate on your mortgage. Points..
What's the difference between mortgage interest rate and APR?
Because the APR represents the overall cost of your mortgage, it should make it easier for you to compare loan offers to find the best deal on your mortgage. However, APR can..
Notice of Intent to Proceed
The mortgage lender must honor the terms of the Loan Estimate for ten days. If you wait more than ten days after receiving a Loan Estimate to give your intent to proceed, the..
How to get a mortgage working in the cannabis industry
As state after state moves toward the legalization of marijuana, cannabis professionals may find themselves in a tough spot when it's time to buy a home. Because marijuana is..
Mortgage Rate Lock | How an interest rate lock works
Like stock prices, mortgage interest rates constantly change. By locking in, you freeze the lender's rate and origination charges. As a result, you know how much your loan will..
Loan Purpose | How loan purpose affects your mortgage rate
When applying for a mortgage, the first question on the mortgage application is, "what is the loan's purpose?" You have two options, purchase or refinance. I'll explain how the..
VA loan | How to read the VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE)
In this article, I’ll show you how to quickly read and understand the Certificate of Eligibility (COE). This information will make it easy to see if you’re eligible for a VA loan..
Principal residence, second home, or investment property?
When you buy a new home, who lives there will help determine how much your mortgage will cost.
Can you get a mortgage if you work through a staffing agency?
If you work for a staffing agency, you might need help buying a house. Most banks won't use your staffing agency income to approve your mortgage. And, unfortunately, without a..
Can I pay mortgage closing costs with a credit card?
As a rule of thumb, mortgage closing costs will cost you about 2% to 5% of the loan amount. They add up to thousands of dollars. Generally, you pay them when you buy the house at..
How future rental income can help you buy an investment property
As a homeowner, you know that owning property is a stellar way to build wealth over time. But if you’re interested in expanding your homeownership with a rental property, we’ve..
Can you get a mortgage if you owe federal tax debt to the IRS?
Owing federal tax debt makes it harder to get approved for a mortgage, but it’s not impossible to get a home loan with this debt factored in. With careful planning, you can still..
Use future rental income from your current property to buy a new home.
You're planning to buy a new home and rent out the house you're departing. With careful planning, you can use the rental income you'll collect from the current place to offset..