Mortgage-Related Income Tax Deductions

If you made a home purchase in the last year, odds are you paid some little bit of something in discount points. Or maybe you weren’t confident rates would drop or didn’t want to worry about refinancing anytime soon, so you paid more. Discount points and prepaid interest are both tax-deductible items that will NOT…

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Seller Concession vs Price Reduction

Oftentimes a seller concession can be a bigger benefit than a price reduction in your new home purchase. While it sounds great to pay less for your new home, making an at-list offer and requesting a seller concession may actually save you a lot more in the long run! Here are the various ways a…

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Mortgage Rates Are Falling!

Mortgage rates are finally coming down, and after two lean years, lenders are coming out of the woodwork to show you how low your interest rate can be with a refinance. Before you get too excited, make sure you are taking a very close look at those closing costs! Things are not always as straight-forward…

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Tracking Down the BEST Realtor for YOU!

Yes, you need a realtor! A professional realtor is so much more than someone who shows you houses – they are acting as your representation in what will likely be the largest financial investment of your life. As a mortgage lender, I cringe when one of my clients says they don’t need a realtor (or…

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How Long Should I Wait to Refinance My Mortgage?

Let’s do some refinance math! When the cost of refinancing is recovered in less time than you plan to retain the home, it makes financial sense to refinance. How do you know when your property value has increased enough to avoid mortgage insurance? That is where your realtor comes in! They are your best resource…

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Student Loan Debt: My Story

Time for some real talk. Some personal sharing. In 2008, I went into graduate studies with very little debt, a teaching assistantship, and grand visions of academia. As sometimes happens, things did not go as planned, and I ended up with a ridiculous amount of student loan debt after two years of my master’s program.…

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Applying for Your First Mortgage: What to Expect

If you’ve never been through a mortgage application process, or maybe it’s been a long while, you may be approaching it with some trepidation. The very idea of a stranger digging through details of your life history and finances can feel a bit invasive. While the process (and hence, your experience) will vary greatly depending…

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Cash is NOT King!

The old adage “Cash is king!” may be true in some scenarios, but it doesn’t apply when buying a home. If you’re planning to get a mortgage you cannot use actual cash money for any of the down payment or closing costs. All funds used in your mortgage transaction need to be “source-able”; In other…

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New Construction: What to Know Before You Buy

FULL DISCLOSURE up-front: No loan officer who is not in a “preferred lender” relationship with a builder can compete with new construction. Builders mark-up the sales price of their homes so that they can entice buyers with a rebate (which can be used to buy down the rate or cover some closing costs) in exchange…

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Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

In recent pre-COVID times, a simple pre-qualification letter was enough to start your home search with and was the only letter most lenders would issue until you were under contract, but in today’s competitive, multiple-offer market (driven by lack of inventory), you had better be armed with a pre-APPROVAL from your lender of choice. What’s…

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