Cost of living is defined as the amount of money needed to sustain a certain level of living including basic expenses such as food, housing, taxes, transportation, healthcare, and more. Cities with a high cost of living are usually more difficult to maintain a standard of living and require more income than the U.S. average to enjoy basic necessities. For instance, in a place like Manhattan, a gallon of milk costs about $2.39, whereas in Indianapolis, the cost of a gallon of milk is $1.50. It’s evident based on this data that Manhattan has the higher cost of living.
The cost of milk isn’t the only expense worth exploring, below, we’ve compared the cities with [...]
If you’re a homeowner, you know that there are many additional costs associated with your home other than the listing price. One of these costs, of course, being property taxes. Depending on where you reside, property taxes can be financially inconvenient and can even become a major burden. Wallethub reports that “the average American household spends $2,197 on property taxes for their homes each year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.”
So where does your state rank when it comes to property tax rates? Check out the states with the lowest and highest property taxes!
Property taxes are computed by taking the current market value of your [...]
Lenders use three criteria to decide whether or not to approve a mortgage application. Borrowers must meet minimum standards for credit scores, loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) and debt-to-income ratios (DTIs) in order to be approved. Minimum standards vary by the type of mortgage in which you are applying for and by the lender.
Over the past three years, mortgage lenders have been slowly loosening their standards for mortgages. Understanding the reasons for this trend and the differences among different loan types will help today’s borrowers understand their options.Credit scores, LTVs, and DTIs
The most widely discussed lending standards are FICO scores, the credit [...]
Comps. They’re the one thing that can cause a seller some tense moments as they work with their real estate agent to come up with a price for their home. ‘Comps’ is actually the shortened version of comparisons. Basically, they’re the prices of homes sold in your area in the past 3-6 months. While the concept of a comp is pretty easy to understand, that doesn’t mean that comps are without nuances.
There are several things you need to keep in mind as you use comps to set the price for your home or, in the case of a buyer, use comps to determine whether a home’s price is fair.Comps, CMAs, and Why They’re Important
A CMA is a [...]
The term “mortgage” is a 13th century Middle English word imported from Anglo-French: “mort” is French for death, and “gage” means pledge in Latin. In early Anglo-Norman law, property pledged as security for a loan was usually held by the creditor who could farm it and sell the proceeds — a sneaky form of interest in an era when lending for profit was considered a form of sinful usury. When the debtor finally couldn’t stand watching his wealthy creditor get even richer off his mortgaged land, he found a way to pay off the debt. If he couldn’t find the cash by the time he died, the land would become the creditor’s. Hence the name [...]
A lot of factors affect the homebuying decision. No matter where you choose to move, you want to be comfortable, right? Determining an area’s housing affordability is important information to arm yourself with during the beginning stages of your home buying search. The expenses incurred after the purchase of your home don’t end when you move in, you’ll be responsible for utilities, taxes, and the upkeep of your home. Are your pockets crinkling at the thought of all the expenses? Don’t worry, according to U.S. News and World Report, these are the cities with the best housing affordability. If you’re in the market for a new home, finding one in any of [...]
It’s understandable why borrowers think that the best way to get a lower mortgage rate is to pick a lender who advertises the lowest rate. Mortgage companies know that, and they try to differentiate themselves from competitors by advertising the lowest possible rate they can offer the most qualified borrower.
Comparing the rates lenders advertise does not mean the one advertising the lowest rate will be best for you. What most borrowers don’t realize is that they have the power to lower their mortgage rates.Lower risk means a lower rate
Many factors determine an individual borrower’s mortgage interest rate. Lenders are in the business of managing [...]
From the moment you get pre-qualified until the day that you close, your loan officer, along with your real estate agent, will be your two most important contacts.
Many first-time homebuyers will select their loan officer based on a recommendation or online reviews. Once the escrow process starts, life gets stressful and you could feel lost amid an avalanche of details about pre-approvals, loan estimates, and the like.
In this article, we’re going to give you a list of qualities that every good loan officer has. Use this list as a litmus test for loan officers you’re interested in hiring, as well as a reference point to which you can refer when the mortgage [...]