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Buying a Home

Rule Changes Tighten Reverse Mortgage Eligibility

Reverse mortgages have become increasingly popular in recent years, as cash-strapped seniors seek ways to keep pace with rising expenses – not to mention cope with the pummeling their retirement savings took during the Great Recession.

New Mortgage Rules

It seems so basic -- require mortgage lenders to qualify borrowers based on their ability to repay the loan. Yet this wasn't the case for many mortgages in the run-up to the housing crisis contributing to the mess we're still in now.

Video: Purchasing A Home You Can Afford

Today’s low prices and interest rates makes this an excellent time to purchase a home. But before you take that step; be sure you can afford the mortgage.

Should major home improvements be deducted from escrow funds?

Dear Liz: It has been almost one year since my domestic partner passed away, and our home of 43 years is fully paid for. I am ready to sell. The house is structurally in good shape but needs upgrades and a backyard redo.

Can someone still expect to get a low rate for homeowners insurance?

Dear Liz: My homeowners insurance just went up 25%. I've made no claims and made no changes. I want to get quotes from other providers, but I'm afraid I'm going to get some type of "teaser" rate.

Can people apply for a home loan after a bankruptcy 10 years prior?

Dear Liz: In my late teens, I bought a fairly new race car despite my minimum wage job. I soon realized that car payments and insurance premiums would require more than what I was being paid.

Should I pay off my mortgage with an inheritance?

Dear Liz: I’m writing to get some help on what to do with $300,000 that I have recently inherited. My husband and I are in our early 50s. We owe $180,000 on our home at 5% interest, with seven years left on our 15-year loan, and have no other debt.

Is it possible to buy a home without having a spouse on the mortgage?

Dear Liz: Is it possible for me to buy a home without having my wife on the mortgage? She lost her business because of the recession. I do not want to deal with her creditors.

Avoid These Home-Seller Mistakes

Now that the housing market has finally begun to stabilize and interest rates remain at historically low levels, more and more homebuyers and sellers are dipping their toes back in the water.

How Much Home Can I Afford?

When it comes to conducting a serious search for a home, however, you need to find out how much you can borrow to cover the cost. The mortgage industry uses two procedures to answer this question: pre-qualification and pre-approval.

New Twist On Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages have become an increasingly popular way for seniors to keep pace with rising expenses. Typically, people borrow against their home equity and continue to live in the home with no monthly mortgage payment until they move out permanently, sell the property or die.

Reverse Mortgages Aren't For Everyone

You can scarcely turn on the TV without seeing ads for reverse mortgages. They're touted as a great tool for cash-strapped seniors to tap their home equity to pay off bills while remaining in their homes with no monthly mortgage payments.

When Does Home Remodeling Make Financial Sense?

My wife and I survived two major home remodeling projects and we've got the battle scars to prove it. Like most people feeling cramped for space – thanks to two growing children in our case – we weighed the plusses and minuses of remodeling versus moving to a larger home.

Empty Homes Need Additional Insurance

There are many reasons why someone might leave their home unoccupied for months at a time: Maybe you moved to another state and your old house is languishing on the market; or you can no longer afford your mortgage so you're working out a short sale and couch-surfing at your sister's house; or you struck it rich and are taking a six-month, around-the-world cruise.

Government Proposes Simplified Mortgage Disclosure Forms

No doubt many wannabe first-time homebuyers have been sitting on the sidelines of the volatile housing market, unsure when or how to enter the game.

How Big Of A Mortgage Can I Get?

When it comes to conducting a serious search for a home, however, you need to find out how much you can borrow to cover the cost.

Video: Mortgage Interest Rates

Learn how interest rates are tied to specific types of mortgages.

About Reverse Mortgages For Seniors--Section 255-Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM)

The HECM FHA insured reverse mortgage can be used by senior homeowners age 62 and older to convert the equity in their home into monthly streams of income and/or a line of credit to be repaid when they no longer occupy the home.

Do You Qualify For A Mortgage Loan?

When a lender reviews your home loan application, they will look at income, debt, credit, employment, property or collateral and financial resources.

Do You Qualify For Downpayment Assistance?

There are many public and private organizations out there that will help you buy a home even if you don't have enough cash for a big down payment and closing costs. With insurance and participation in a "low down payment" mortgage program, you may be able to purchase a home with less than five percent down.