Explaining How Earnest Money Works

Explaining How Earnest Money Works

Earnest money is a deposit made by the buyer upfront when purchasing a home. It is often referred to as a good faith payment, demonstrating to the seller your serious intent to purchase the property once certain conditions are satisfied. To safeguard the deposit, a...
Understanding FICO Scores and Mortgages

Understanding FICO Scores and Mortgages

As you probably know, your credit score plays a crucial role in your ability to buy a home. But most people don’t know how much it impacts their monthly payments and the total amount they’ll spend on their mortgage.  Not only does it help you qualify for a mortgage,...
How FICO Scores are Calculated

How FICO Scores are Calculated

Your FICO credit score is important when considering buying a home. High scores can qualify for loan packages with lower interest rates, which can increase your borrowing power and lower your monthly payments. If you have a less-than-perfect credit score, you still...
Home Equity Loans vs. HELOC Loans

Home Equity Loans vs. HELOC Loans

This week we’re continuing our discussion of popular methods and common reasons to access home equity.  Today we’re going to focus on Home Equity Loans vs. Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) options. Home Equity Loan A home equity loan allows you to borrow a lump sum...
A Study of Home Equity Options

A Study of Home Equity Options

Introduction Understanding how to access home equity is crucial for homeowners looking to leverage their property’s value for various financial needs. Second mortgages, including HELOCs, home equity loans, and cash-out refinancing, provide avenues to tap into...
Why HELOC Loans are Popular

Why HELOC Loans are Popular

Why are most homeowners choosing to access equity in their homes opting for a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) loan?  Primarily because most homeowners currently have an interest rate on their mortgages that is far lower than the current market rate.  A cash-out...
Top Financial Priorities for Homeowners

Top Financial Priorities for Homeowners

March 2024 Survey by Finance of America, and explanations of results provided by HowMuchAMonth.com. In a recent survey, homeowners rated their highest financial priority, and here are their results. Saving for the Future, Retirement, and Emergencies (72%): Homeowners...
Burgerflation – The Big Mac Index

Burgerflation – The Big Mac Index

Have you ever heard about the price of a Big Mac hamburger being used to gauge inflation? The Big Mac was introduced in 1967, at a price of 45 cents. Ahh… The good old days! The Big Mac index tracks the burger’s price across countries and highlights the staggering...
Budgeting for Retirement

Budgeting for Retirement

This probably comes as no surprise, but most Americans are not prepared for a comfortable retirement. No matter what your age is, it’s never too early to start planning your retirement strategy.  Here are some key steps to help you budget for retirement:...
Phishing Without a License – Catching Poachers

Phishing Without a License – Catching Poachers

Phishing is a name derived from the word “fishing”.  Phishing is a type of online scam where attackers deceive people into revealing sensitive information or installing viruses or malware. It typically involves baiting Internet users through deceptive email messages...
House Hacking to Afford Homeownership

House Hacking to Afford Homeownership

More than half of buyers under the age of 40 are interested in the option of “house hacking” as a way to afford a home.  House hacking is purchasing a property that also provides rental income to help offset the costs of purchasing and maintaining a home. The basic...
How to Put Your Home Equity to Work

How to Put Your Home Equity to Work

Home equity can be a valuable asset for retirees to tap into as a way to help safeguard and improve their retirement outcome. There are several ways to use home equity in your retirement plan, including a home equity loan, home equity line of credit (HELOC), or a...