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Six Strategies for Saving Money on Your Mortgage - The key to saving money on your mortgage is to get the best possible mortgage for yourself. Sounds so obvious it's silly, right? But the point here is that you don't need to do it the way everyone else does. In fact, if you're willing to educate yourself in the ways of the mortgage world, you can save quite a bit of money by being a little different.

Saving Money on Your Mortgage, Mortgage Interest Rates, Down Payment

Below we introduce you to some of the strategies that other Fools have used. But remember, the only person who knows if it's right for you is you.

Seller Concession: The 6% Solution

There is something called a seller concession that is worth considering. It works like this: suppose you agree on the price of the house at, say, $200,000. You then ask the seller for a 6% seller concession. What this means is that you add (up to) 6% to the price of the house. That's right, you're now going to pay $212,000 for that house -- but the seller is going to give you that $12,000 back when the sale takes place. You're going to use that money to cover all of your closing costs.

If we pretend for a moment that those costs add up to precisely $12,000, then what you've done is folded those closing costs into the mortgage. Points, title search, recording fees -- all of these closing costs, most of which are not tax-deductible, and which we discuss in an article on making the deal -- have effectively been included in your mortgage. Since your mortgage interest is tax-deductible, these costs have effectively become tax write-offs.

In addition, you don't have to come up with all that extra cash at settlement. Your down payment will be somewhat higher, (if you're putting down 20%, then in the current example your down payment would be $42,400, versus $40,000) and, of course, your mortgage payments will be higher, but it ends up saving you money.

The seller has no reason to refuse this -- after all, the agreed-upon price is still the same.

What's the catch? The catch is that the house has to appraise for the higher value. If the appraiser comes back and tells you that this house won't appraise for higher than $200,000, you can't do it.
Let's look into this a little further. Say you buy the house for $200,000. Your $40,000 down payment leaves you needing a loan for $160,000. You get a 30-year loan at 8%. Your monthly payments for principal and interest are $1,174.

Now say you decide to use the 6% seller concession strategy. You buy this house for the price of $212,000. You put down 20%, and this leaves you needing a loan of $169,600. Your monthly

payments will be $1,244, or $70 more per month. Is it worth it?

To begin with, many people aren't going to feel an enormous difference between paying the extra $70 per month -- not nearly as much as they would feel having to fork out an extra $12,000 all at once. But what about the fact that you have to now pay this extra money over the course of 30 years? Well, over the course of 30 years you're paying $25,200 more for that extra $12,000 ($70 more per month x 12 months in a year x 30 years = $25,200).

However, remember that's $12,000 less out of your pocket at the time of closing. If you take $12,000 and invest it at 10% (less than the market average has returned over the past 35 years) then your money will grow to over $200,000 (before taxes) at the end of 30 years. So, in this scenario, it's well worth it.

Naturally you'll want to run the numbers for your particular loan to see whether it would be worth it for you.

Lock In a Great Rate Now - Whether you've found the perfect home or are just beginning your search, you should know some basics about mortgages.  A mortgage consists of the principle amount due, and the interest that bank will receive for lending you money.

Basics Mortgages, Buying A Home, Mortgage

There are many kinds of mortgage products available, but the two that you will most likely encounter are a fixed term mortgage and an adjustable rate mortgage. 

Most people want to purchase a home because they want to build equity and receive tax deductions.  The tax deductions apply only to the interest paid for that year.

When taking out a mortgage you should ask for an amortization schedule, which will tell you how much interest is being applied to your loan every year.  You'll notice that most of the interest is paid early on, so you will get most of your tax deductions early in your loan.

This has a distinctive advantage, it helps first time home buyers because people tend to earn more money as they get older.  Try not to take out a loan that has prepayment penalties, because the last thing you want is to pay additionally fees when you see your home before the term of your mortgage has ended.

A mortgage normally requires a down payment to reduce risk to the lender.  Until you paid off your loan in full, the bank owns your property, so if you miss any payments they have the legal right to foreclose on your property.

They can then sell it to recover their loses, often undervaluing the property.  Your credit history is very important in deciding whether or not you are a high risk borrower. 

Often people ignore the risks of owning a home.  There are no guarantees that your property will increase in value.  So you should evaluate the area and property value has been increasing in the last few years.

Realtors have access to this information.  If you can't live in your new home for at least five years, you should continue to rent, because of closing costs and commissions.  Purchase a home that you are comfortable with, don't ever feel pressured to close a deal.

When financing a remodeling job, don't turn Tool Time into Fool TimeIs it "Tool Time" at your house? Do you need to put in a new deck, add a garage, install windows or remodel the kitchen?

Countrywide Home Loans, Home Equity Lines of Credit, Home Equity Loans,

Whether you decide to use an outside contractor or go the Bob Vila do-it-yourself route, you're going to need some money to get the job done -- and consumers should inspect their financing options as closely as they would green lumber.

When looking to finance a home improvement, "Consumers need to ask themselves a series of questions," says G. Richard Bright, senior vice president of the home equity lending division at Countrywide Credit Industries Inc. The Calabasas, Calif.-based company is the corporate parent of Countrywide Home Loans, one of the nation's largest mortgage lenders.

What to ask yourself

Lenders agree that those basic questions are:

  • How long is it going to take to do the whole job?
  • How much is it going to cost altogether?
  • Do I need the money for anything beyond this particular set of home improvements?

Your answers will determine whether you should choose from finance options such as a credit card, a home-improvement loan, a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit.

"There is no one plan that is right for everybody," Bright says. "If the job is just a couple of hundred dollars, I'd use the credit card."

The credit card generally charges higher interest than other options. However, when you're borrowing a small amount, it's cost-effective and relatively hassle-free because the other options can involve a good deal of paperwork and upfront costs such as appraisal and origination fees.

"If the job is going to be more than (a few hundred dollars) or it's going to be in stages -- maybe add a garage, do some pool repair, and remodel the bathroom later on -- then options lend themselves toward using the equity in their home," Bright says.

The equity is just sitting there

Tapping into the equity of your home is a low-cost credit vehicle well-adapted to financing home improvements. Normally, equity just sits there growing until you sell your house. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (known in the lending biz as HELOCs) let you use this asset without selling your home -- and, hey, isn't that why you're planning a home improvement? Because you plan to stay for a while?

The home equity options generally have it all over the old-fashioned home-improvement loan, although there are cases when such a loan is the right option, says David Heffner, Midwest sales manager of Standard Federal Bank, which operates in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

"A lot of banks have home-improvement loans designed for low- to moderate-income families, but typically, the home-equity lines and loans offer you a better rate structure," he says.

By Salvatore Caputo


When discussing mortgage interest rates, there is another way to lower the rate rather than waiting for the market to work its invisible hand. Points are payments to the lender in order to secure mortgage financing under specific terms. One point equals one percent of the loan amount so a home loan of $450,000 is $4500. The mortgage interest rate can decrease if the borrower pays some of it at the time of the loan in the form of discount points (fees). Typically, lenders express the loan related discount fees in basis points. 100 basis points equal 1 point which in turn equals 1% of the loan amount. Discount points are not necessarily beneficial. If the borrowers only plan on living in the house for a couple of years, say 1 or 2 then these discount fees will not be saving them much in terms of future interest payments. It is best to discuss the current situation with the lender to determine how long does the borrower has to live in that house for the discount points to be beneficial.

Refinance Your Mortgage Online, Mortgage Interest Rates, Property Appraisal

Mortgage interest rates fluctuate on a daily basis. From the day an application has been filed to the day the loan is approved, the rate can vary dramatically. Some borrowers "lock-in" a mortgage interest rate, which means they are guaranteed a specific rate when the mortgage is approved. It protects against the possibility of a higher mortgage interest rate. However, it also protects against a lower mortgage interest rate. Borrowers typically discuss the mortgage interest rate fluctuations with the lender to try to assess the volatility of the mortgage interest rate fluctuations. Be sure to discuss the different options available in terms of "lock-in" with your lender. In some cases, if the rate is "locked-in," the lender may be willing to give you a lower mortgage interest rate if it falls before all the mortgage documents are signed. If you decide to "lock-in" a mortgage rate, do not assume that a verbal agreement is enough. Request for it in writing so that you know exactly what to expect when all the mortgage loan documents are signed.


In addition to mortgage interest rates and fees, there is also the property appraisal that determines the terms of the mortgage loan. The lender performs a mortgage appraisal to provide an analysis of your home's or your potential home's worth in current market conditions whether you are refinancing or taking out a new mortgage. This appraisal amount is used to set the loan amount and determines the insurance amount. The insurance amount is used to protect the lender from defaulters. In the event of a mortgage loan default, this insurance issuer will be covering the lender's losses. There are private mortgage insurance issuers and issuers that are run by the government.


There are several items that the lender will need to examine before determining if the loan will be approved. Typically, the lender will look at the "5 C's of Consumer Credit":

  • 1. Character – The borrower's demonstrated willingness to repay the loan. Some factors that play into this are job stability, credit history and personal characteristics. The lender will be meeting with the borrower(s), so it is best to make a good impression.

  • 2. Cash Flow – The borrower's ability to repay the loan. This basically takes two factors into consideration: income and all other financial obligations.

  • 3. Capacity – The funds available to sustain the borrower's debt. This is the net worth or liquid assets available to repay the loan such as the money in a savings account.

  • 4. Collateral – The asset used to secure the loan such as a home, a car, etc. In the case of a mortgage loan it would be a home.

  • 5. Conditions – External factors that may influence the final decision such as the economy, social environment, government regulations or bank conditions.

It's Time to Embrace The Exclamation Point - Forty-three facial muscles stretch into more than 10,000 different expressions, plus hand gestures, body posture and eye gaze. All of this conveys a whole lot more feeling beyond spoken sentences.

Embrace Home Loans

But expression gets lost when communicating over text, email or Slack. In the workplace, people stress over how to make up for it: Is it professional to use wink emojis, "hahaha," or "lol?"

Perhaps the most controversial expression-replacement tool is the exclamation point.

If you email your boss "Hi!" is that pushing it? If you never use exclamations, do you come across as cold and humorless?

Maybe it's time we open the floodgates, peppering our emails and slacks with as many exclamation points as we desire. Maybe 2017 is the year we get over our fear of the exclamation.

Vyvyan Evans, communications expert and author of "The Emoji Code," calls this fear "the angry jerk phenomenon" — our worry that without some sort of added signal between the lines, people read work correspondence and assume we're cold, upset or otherwise miffed.

"One of the problems with digital communication is that it sucks the empathy out of the message," Evans says. "And so we can often misconstrue the message that someone is saying: the meaning behind their words."

The exclamation point has become the focus of this heated debate.

And Evans' research proves it's harder than ever to message humor, irony and sarcasm through a simple text email. He says people are far less formal with their business communications than a decade ago. Even emojis have made their way into the workplace because they often can express emotion better than words can.

That epitomizes the decision point at hand: how much of our emotional selves do we bring to our work correspondence?

Kaitlyn Anastasia, a 24-year-old administrative assistant at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York, says she frequently waffles about when to include and exclude exclamation points.

"I've had bosses in the past who say, 'No, don't include exclamation points at the end,'" she says. "I personally don't mind [when people use them,] it puts me at ease a little bit because it affirms they're not angry with me. For my generation, a period abruptly ending a sentence like that can come off as mean, like you're getting yelled at or something or someone's mad at you."

According to Georgetown linguistics professor Deborah Tannen, Anastasia isn't alone. She says women are particularly torn when it comes to making this decision. If women use too many exclamation points to appear enthusiastic, for example, research shows they're viewed as less competent than their male peers. And if they don't use enough, they're not considered warm or likeable.

Tannen remembers one woman describing an uncomfortable situation: an intern confessed his initial impression of her.

"She said, 'What?! Why?' and he said, "Because your emails were so abrupt and to-the-point. No exclamation points, no caps,'" Tannen remembers "If we talk in ways that a person at work and in authority would talk, people don't like us. And that's what she fell into."

But as social media rules more of the world around us, including how we communicate, Tannen says we're going to see a shift in punctuation use at work. Maybe (finally) even changing the way we email at work.

Someone just has to make the first move.

Or rather, someone just has to make the first move!

Embrace Home Loans Adds Benjamin Giumarra, Esq. as Director of Regulatory and Legal AffairsMIDDLETOWN, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Embrace Home Loans today announced the addition of Benjamin Giumarra, Esq. as its new Director of Regulatory and Legal Affairs. Giumarra comes to the organization with a strong background in legal, regulatory and enterprise risk mitigation in the consumer finance industry. In this role, Giumarra will work to enable Embrace’s business initiatives in an ever changing regulatory environment.

Embrace Home Loans

Before coming to Embrace, Giumarra had an impressive stint as director of Spillane Consulting Associates, Inc., where he became a trustworthy source for advice on the rapidly changing regulatory landscape. He served as regulatory advisor and business consultant but also led a team of experts with specialties including mortgage technology, secondary markets, compliance auditing, operational efficiency, strategic development and more. He has authored newsletters and articles providing practical advice to the consumer finance industry on hot button regulatory issues. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Boston University School of Law and admitted to practice law in Florida. He is associated with several trade associations and is frequently asked to speak on regulatory topics.

“I’m humbled by this opportunity,” said Giumarra. “Embrace’s values closely align with my own and serving in this caring, and professional environment will be extremely fulfilling. The authenticity and depth to which Embrace has adopted its core values make Embrace unlike any other company I’ve ever come across. From a compliance perspective, the people and practices in place have kept Embrace, and their customers, safe for many years, which itself proves it is a tremendous success.

Giumarra continued, “But Embrace’s existing strength in this area also opens up an exciting opportunity for me to focus more on facilitating business initiatives and improvements. I’ll work with various areas and provide legal and regulatory guidance in a creative and progressive manner. The future at Embrace seems to be bright – as bright as any in this industry. And I believe that attention to customer protections, aligning with effective company practices, will continue to differentiate Embrace for years to come. I’m extremely thankful for this opportunity – the chance to benefit from mentorship like this while also providing real value to such an organization. I can’t possibly think of anything better.”

“At Embrace, we are committed to bringing in the very best leaders, and Ben is an example of that,” said Peter Microulis, Chief Compliance Officer. “We are extremely optimistic of Embrace’s future and strongly believe that attention to compliance – not as a protector of the gates, but rather as a driver of procedures, and as a conduit for profits – is a key milepost on that highway. With Ben’s expertise in legal, regulatory and enterprise risk mitigation within consumer finance, he will be a true asset to our organization.”

Founded in 1983, Embrace Home Loans has remained a prominent leader in the industry, having helped borrowers and banks with an exceptional mortgage experience. Licensed in 46 states and D.C., Embrace has been recognized seven times as one of the Best Medium-sized Companies to Work for in America by Fortune and four times as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America by Inc. The company has also been recognized twelve times as one of the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island, as the Most Community Involved Company in Rhode Island, and the Leadership Excellence Award by Providence Business News. For more information, please visit

Embrace Home Loans : Launches Innovative Compass PPE Integration - National lender partners with Compass Analytics to integrate its Compass’ Product, Pricing & Eligibility Engine (CompassPPE™), within Embrace’s Empower LOS, further empowering its loan officers to deliver outstanding service
Embrace Home Loans
Embrace Home Loans, a prominent leader in the mortgage industry, announced today the integration of CompassPPE™ API and mobile app into their Empower LOS.

Embrace remains focused on providing an efficient and streamlined mortgage loan experience to their customers, and this integration will provide Embrace employees, including over 200 loan officers, enhanced tools and features within Empower across multiple channels. Some of the most notable features of integrating CompassPPE™ within Empower include:

Quick-pricing of loan scenarios on mobile, tablet, or laptopFull investor coverage of pricing, guidelines, and LLPAsAutomation of locking, relocking, and extensions

“As an organization that strives to create an unparalleled experience for both our customers and employees, Embrace is excited to partner with Compass Analytics and employ their innovative technologies through this integration,” said Brian Gilpin, Vice President of Capital Markets at Embrace Home Loans. “This integration allows the automation of our lock policy to save our Capital Markets desk a tremendous amount of time, while enabling true, real-time risk management capabilities.”

Gilpin continued, “This will also equip our loan officers with the tools they need to deliver an even more outstanding experience for borrowers as well as enable them to increase their own competitiveness and close more loans. Additionally, as we continue to transform from a purely business-to-consumer approach to one that includes a business-to-business component, providing loan operation functions to banks and credit unions, these tools will prove invaluable to delivering exceptional service to their customers and members. We are confident this will be a truly valuable partnership.”

Embrace’s team is working with Compass Analytics to go live on February 16.

About Compass Analytics, LLCCompass Analytics is an innovator in the FinTech industry and a leading provider of pricing technology to lenders. Compass develops cutting-edge analytics and offers advisory and active risk management services to mortgage bankers, traders, investors, and banks. Compass’s suite of tools are revolutionizing the way home loans are formed and sold through the use of innovative real-time technology that we support with services, expertise, and guidance and include CompassPoint™, CompassPPE™, CompassBid™, CompassDirect™, and CompassCommit™.

Compass has offices in San Francisco, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Irvine.

About Embrace Home LoansFounded in 1983, Embrace Home Loans has remained a prominent leader in the industry, having afforded borrowers and financial institutions an exceptional mortgage experience. Licensed in 46 states and D.C., Embrace has been recognized seven times as one of the Best Medium-sized Companies to Work for in America by Fortune and four times as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America by Inc. The company has also been recognized twelve times as one of the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island, as the Most Community Involved Company in Rhode Island, and the Leadership Excellence Award by Providence Business News. For more information, please visit

Embrace Home Loans Adds New Director of Mortgage Product Innovation - Embrace Home Loans, a prominent leader in the mortgage industry, announced today that industry veteran Parkes Dibble has joined the national lender as its new Director of Mortgage Product Innovation. In his role, Mr. Dibble will lead efforts to strengthen product depth and breadth and further transform the lender’s retail lending products.

“My vision for Embrace Home Loans is to inspire innovation within mortgage lending and help grow the business by creating a highly competitive edge that gains market share,” said Parkes. “The mortgage industry is incredibly competitive right now, making it critical for lenders to be different, innovative and creative. That’s what will set us apart. I’m excited to support their continued path of evolving retail lending and to be a true leader in the industry.”

When asked why Parkes chose Embrace, he cited the lender’s culture and commitment to both its customers and employees. “Embrace has a reputation for not only delivering outstanding, personalized service to its customers, but it is also known for being a great employer. Additionally, they continually give back to the communities it serves. Simply put, they are a terrific organization and a great fit for me.”

Bringing more than 35 years of experience, Mr. Dibble has held various leadership positions within the mortgage industry. Most recently, he was Vice President of Capital Markets Product Development for Charlotte, N.C.-based Deephaven Mortgage, where he was responsible for new product development and existing product positioning. He also previously served as Vice President of Counterparty Risk, Servicing and Vendor Management at Deephaven. Before that, he was Senior Vice President of Mortgage Operations for RoundPoint Financial Group, Senior Vice President and Chief Consumer Credit Risk Officer for First Horizon National Corporation and Senior Vice President at HSBC Mortgage Services, among others. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

“Our industry is always evolving; therefore, we remain committed to staying out front by continually innovating our products and processes to maintain our position as one of the nation’s best and longest-standing independent lenders,” said Jeff McGuiness, Chief Sales Officer of Embrace Home Loans. “Adding Parkes to our esteemed leadership team will allow us to fine tune our strategy for innovation and growth. We’re thrilled to have him on board and confident he will be a crucial asset for us.”

As one of the nation's leading and fastest-growing mortgage lenders and bank support providers, Embrace Home Loans employs over 800 people at locations across the country. Since its founding in 1983, Embrace has been helping individuals find the mortgage solution that best fits their needs.

Over just the last three years, Embrace has experienced a 69 percent growth in revenue, demonstrating its success in delivering superior service to customers. The national lender has been regularly recognized for its outstanding solutions and service and boosts a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating and A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Founded in 1983, Embrace Home Loans has remained a prominent leader in the industry, having afforded borrowers and financial institutions an exceptional mortgage experience. Licensed in 46 states and D.C., Embrace has been recognized seven times as one of the Best Medium-sized Companies to Work for in America by Fortune and five times as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in America by Inc. The company has also been recognized twelve times as one of the Best Places to Work in Rhode Island, as the Most Community Involved Company in Rhode Island, and the Leadership Excellence Award by Providence Business News. For more information, please visit

Choosing The Best Plan for YouAlways do ample research before going into a lender so that you can scrutinize all the details of the plan to your advantage. There are various sources you can turn to – the internet, books, friends and family who have a home equity line.

Home Equity Credit Lines

  • When you are seriously considering a home equity line of credit, please take a few moments to think about:
  • Your current ability to make the minimum payment.
  • Your future ability to make the minimum payment.
  • The amount you wish to draw on – if this is a small one time amount, you should consider alternative options because the additional fees in order to obtain a home equity line of credit might not be worth the lower interest rate. A typical credit card does not charge any of the aforementioned fees, however it IS a higher interest rate, but if your amount is insignificant and you plan to pay it off relatively quickly, a home equity line might not be beneficial due to the additional costs.
  • If you sell your home, you will need to pay back the mortgage and the home equity credit line. If you plan to sell the house in the short-term future, consider all the additional fees you will need to pay in order to obtain a home equity line of credit.
  • Interest Rates – Although the interest rate is relatively low when compared to credit card borrowing, these rates are not fixed. Home Equity Lines of Credit have variable interest rates depending on the fluctuation of the index. The rate is based on the current index (prime rate published in newspapers, Treasury Bill rate, etc). The lender takes this index and adds on the margin (the amount the lender earns off of borrowing from you – the index is their cost of borrowing to lend to you) – usually 2% depending on the lender.

Additional Costs of a Home Equity Line - A home equity credit line is similar to a taking out a mortgage in terms of the way one goes about obtaining an additional credit line.

Costs, Home Equity Credit Line, Home Equity Line

Applying for a home equity line will include but are not limited to fees such as:
  • Application fee
  • Attorney fees
  • Title Search fees
  • Transaction fees – Depending on the lender and your plan, an additional fee will be charged every time the credit line is used.
  • Annual Membership fee – Depending on the lender and you plan, an annual fee may be charged
  • Point(s) before the credit line is used – 1 point equals 1 percent of the credit line you are granted, depending on the lender, you could be charged one or more points of the home equity line of credit up-front.
  • Property Appraisal – The lender estimates the value of your home, but you pay for someone to come by and look at your house.
  • Miscellaneous Paperwork fees
Lender Disclosure – The Truth in Lending Act requires lenders to disclose ALL fees (would include any of the above mentioned fees or more) involved with applying for a home equity line of credit before any fee is charged so READ EVERYTHING. Remember to do plenty of research, if you think something is missing; ask the lender BEFORE signing anything.

It is best to shop around for a lender that suits your needs. Always compare the amount of fees, and interest rate. There is usually a trade-off, high fees accompany lower interest rates and low fees usually accompany higher interest rates. You might be able to save money by using the same lender for your mortgage and home equity line; lenders usually treat these customers more favorably. In some cases, your current mortgage lender may offer you a home equity line of credit without you requesting one, which would cost you nothing (except the interest rate).

What is a Home Equity Line?A home equity line is a line of credit secured by your home. It may be more attractive than using a credit card because of its significantly lower interest rate. The home equity line is a revolving line of credit, which means you do not need to make the full repayment amount. There is a minimum payment each month just like a credit card statement.

Home Equity Credit Line, Home Equity Line

Benefits of a Home Equity Line

This type of credit line is convenient for homeowners who need immediate access to cash funds. There are no rules regulating what it can be used for, so it can be spent on anything. Many homeowners use this credit line to help pay for their children’s tuition, home improvement or just as a last resort when money runs out. The interest rate paid on the home equity line could possibly be tax deductible because it is secured by collateral (the house).

What Is a Reverse Mortgage? - Many Americans facing retirement would love to increase their monthly income.

Reverse Mortgage

Faced with fixed pensions, rising medical expenses, limited Social Security benefits, and longer life spans, an increasing number of people are actually being forced to lower their standards of living when they retire.

As you approach retirement, one of your major assets is likely to be your house. By the time the average person retires, his or her home is usually worth significantly more than he or she paid for it.

Now there are techniques that will enable you to use your property to finance your lifestyle without the emotional trauma of having to sell your home.

Reverse mortgages effectively allow you to annuitize your house. You may decide to receive a fixed monthly payment for the rest of your life. This is tax-free because it comes in the form of a loan. You don’t even have the worry of repaying the money. It is only due upon the death of the surviving spouse with the sale of your property.

Some reverse mortgage contracts stipulate that the house remains your primary residence for the duration of the loan.

The monthly payment you receive is computed using standard annuity methods that take into account your age and life expectancy. In addition, the current and projected future value of your property and the amount of equity in your house that you wish to assign to the loan company are considered.

For example, you may choose to take the loan against only 50 percent of the equity stake in your house. This would obviously cause a reduction in the size of your monthly check.

You may want to maintain some equity in your property, so you can bequeath a portion of it to your heirs if you are so inclined.

If property prices decline after you take out the loan, it will not affect the remainder of your estate. In such circumstances, the lending company bears the loss. This is similar to a traditional annuity in which the insurance company bears the loss of continuing annuity payments in the event that you live past your life expectancy.

You do need to exercise some caution before undertaking a reverse mortgage. Consult with a professional who can explain the full implications. If you decide to back out of the contract, the surrender charges can be very steep.

If they fit in with your temperament and lifestyle objectives, reverse mortgages can be an alternative tax-free means of increasing your monthly income during your retirement years.

Taking Into Account The Closing Cost of Mortgages With Loan Origination - Closing costs of a mortgage should be factored in, because this is always significantly more then people think it will be.  Usually closing costs for a house will be somewhere around 3-5% of the price of the home.  These costs include lawyer fees and appraisal costs.  

Closing Cost of Mortgages, Mortgage Calculators, Closing Costs For a House

They also should include, charges for establish and transferring ownership, taxes and fees paid to state and local governments, costs associated with your mortgage loan financing and seller reimbursement and miscellaneous costs. 

Mortgage Calculators
In terms of financing closing costs, within three days of your filed application, your lender must mail you a good faith estimate of closing costs.  

This should include the following:
  • Loan origination fee.  This fee is charged by the lender to cover its administrative costs of processing the loan. 
  • Loan discount or points
  • Appraisal fee. 
  • Credit report fee
  • Lender's inspection fee.
  • Mortgage insurance application fee (if applicable)
  • Assumption fee - this fee is charged for processing the buyer's application to assume the existing mortgage loan.

You should also be aware that you will be expected to prepay your mortgage interest from the date of settlement to the first day of the following month.  The first mortgage payment is due one month after that.

For example, if the closing date is Jan 15, you are required to pay at closing the interest from Jan 14 to Feb 1.  The first monthly payment on the mortgage is due on March 1. 

Before you sign anything figure out what all the closing costs will be, and get a good lawyer to help you.

Buying A Home - Lock In a Great Rate Now - With interest rates are record lows, buying a home right now might make sense for your situation.  With low interest rates, you qualify for loan, that you mean not have been able to qualify for at a higher rate.

Buying A Home

The first thing to look for in a home is location.  Is it close to transportation, or to a good school.  How long of a commute is it to work?  Make sure that the home is in a location that has been steadily appreciation through the years.  This isn't a guarantee that it will appreciate consistently, but you can use it as a benchmark to other homes that you are considering.  

When you sell your home in a few years, you want to make sure that it keeps its value and appreciates as well.
Don't buy more home then you need.  Just because a house is bigger doesn't mean its better.  Choose a size that you need, not a size that you want.  Its more upkeep and its more expensive in the long run with additional property tax.  

Take a look at the layout, and make sure that its acceptable.  Don't buy a home, because it looks nice from the outside, you'll be living on the inside.

If you want a home that is affordable, don't buy a house that costs more than 2.5 times your current annual income.  Anymore, and you might be struggling to pay your bills each month.  Do a budget beforehand, and make sure that you comfortable paying your mortgage, and additional expenses that you will incur, now that you are a homeowner.  

When you look for a home, don't look beyond your price range, because all homes that are cheaper will pale in comparison.

How to Fix Your Credit to Buy a Home - You should view your credit report, before you start shopping for a home.  The last thing you want is to be turned down for a mortgage, because you have poor credit, and many sellers will ask you what your credit rating is.

Credit Check, Mortgage Refinance, Home Loan

A credit report is a seven year, month to month report on all your credit transactions.  Ideally, you would have made at least the minimum of every payment each month, and have low revolving balances.  

The longer you credit history, the higher your score.  Even a perfect short credit report, can have a very low score.  Lenders like to see that you don't have too many credit accounts open, and that you use your credit wisely.  

Since a mortgage is a huge amount of money, lenders are very strict with whom they borrow to.

There are things you can do to help repair your credit if you have some time before you actually apply for a mortgage.  The easiest thing to do is, stop applying for more credit accounts, including credit cards, lines of credit, and department store charge cards.  

Applying for credit, hurts your overall credit rating.  Lower your revolving debt ratio, you should not be maxing out your credit cards every month.  Show that you carry a very low balance, and that you are no where near your credit limit.  

This can be very difficult for people that are revolving on a large amounts of debt.  The best thing to do is consolidate your debt, so that you are paying less interest, and or, ask for a lower interest rate from your creditor.  Make sure that you always make your payment each month, even if its the minimum payment.

A credit report will usually include a FICO score, which is a number that rates your overall credit.  The higher the score, the better.  Scores range from 350-850, average is around 600.  

Ideally, if you want the lowest possible interest rate, you want your score around 700 or higher.  Anything lower than 600 will hurt your chances of getting approved for a mortgage.

Is It Smart To Buy A Home With Less Than 20% Down Payment? - Down payments to homes are usually required to be about 20%.  Anything less and you will have to pay for private mortgage insurance.  

Down Payment, mortgage insurance, FHA loan

Other than a gift from parents, and taking from cash reserves there are other ways of borrowing to pay for a down payment.  You can borrow from your retirement account, if you pay yourself interest.  

This money must be repaid in by a certain date, depending on the type of account.  You can also borrow from your life insurance policy under the same conditions.

If the down payment is a major hurdle for you, try applying for a FHA loan, which lowers the down payment to 3-5% of the home's value.

Mortgage Types-Has the time come for a five-year mortgage fix? - A fixed interest rate loan has very low risk for the borrower.  Every month you pay a set amount, over the next 15-30 years, and the interest rate never changes.  Most people take out 30 year fixed mortgages.  

fixed interest rate loan, Mortgage Types, mortgage compare  interest rate

Though you will pay more interest on a 30 year mortgage compared to a 15 year mortgage, interest rates are so low right now, that a 30 year mortgage seems to make more sense, considering that the monthly payment will be 28% less than a 15 year mortgage.

An adjustable rate mortgage is more risky to the borrower, because interest rates can potentially fluctuate up and down several times a year.  

There is usually a cap on how much the interest rate can go up to, and they will give you notice when the mortgage interest rate is set to change.  An adjustable rate mortgage fluctuates based upon a index, like the 10 year treasury note.  

Then there is markup of a few points.  Since an ARM is less appealing to most borrowers, there is a teaser rate that is offered, that is significantly less than a 30 year mortgage interest rate, that lasts for a few years.  

An ARM can often be cheaper then a fixed mortgage, however, your monthly payments will fluctuate, and if you are on a fixed salary, some months can be tighter then others.

Increase your borrowing power - Housing Counseling - An FHA is not a loan, is a guarantee backed by the Federal Housing Administration for your mortgage.  The required down payment is three to five percent of the FHA appraisal value or purchase price, whichever is lower.  Maximum loan limit varies with the average cost of housing in a given area.

FHA Loans, FHA appraisal, Housing Counseling

The FHA does not require a flawless credit report, nor does it set maximum income limits.  You can even add closing costs to the mortgage and borrow the entire amount.  The main drawback to FHA loans is that you must purchase private mortgage insurance.  This reduces the risk of defaulting on an FHA insured loan.
You can apply for an FHA loan with an approved lender.  They can also give you more information on the specifics of this type of loan.

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage When Interest Rates Drop? - If interest rates are low it might be time to refinance your current mortgage.  The interest rate should be at least one point lower your current interest rate.  There are closing costs associated with refinancing, this includes appraisal, credit report fees and application fees.  Closing costs fees will probably run you around 2-5 percent of the mortgage amount.  

Home Refinancing, tax deductible,  Refinance Mortgage Interest Rates

If you have prepayment penalties associated with your mortgage, refinancing might not be right unless interest rates are significantly lower.  You shouldn't refinance if you have less then 3-5 years left on your mortgage, because you might not recover the closing costs.

Use a calculator to decide whether refinancing if right for you.  You should be aware that if you refinance your mortgage for more then you have already paid off on your existing mortgage, the additional amount is not tax deductible.  Only the interest that does not exceed the amount of your existing mortgage is tax deductible

Is Home Equity Line Of Credit Tax-Deductible? - If you looking for a low interest line of credit, consider a home equity line of credit.  The interest is tax deductible.  It has become popular for people to pay off their credit card debt with the money from a home equity loan, since interest rates are much lower than credit card interest rates.

Home Equity Loan, Home Equity Line Of Credit Tax, Tax Deductible

The home equity line of credit is a revolving line of credit. There are no fixed payments or fixed time period in which the loan amount must be paid back. You are only required to make the minimum payment every month.

Also, you are only responsible for the amount you borrow. Very often, this credit line is a convenient mean of immediate cash; however, you are NOT obligated to borrow the whole amount. The amount is based on a specific percentage of your home's value. Depending on your lender, it could vary from 75% - 85% of property appraisal less the amount still owed on the mortgage.

For example:

  • Property Appraisal: $500,000
  • 75% of Appraisal: $375,000
  • Balance of Mortgage: $325,000
  • Home Equity Line: $ 50,000 (75% of Appraisal – Balance of Mortgage)

Taking out a home equity loan is a simple application that processes in a few short weeks.  You will receive checks that you write out as your own.  There is sometimes a minimum required for each check.

Sign Up For Online Home Loans - When applying for home loans online, the application process is very easy. You just fill out an online application form that will ask details about your loan and personal information, including warranties, proof of stay, personal identification, employment information etc. Applications can be approved very quickly because not many documents and procedures are not many.

Home Loans

Simply select an app site that the creditor guarantees and then send the information. You must respond quickly, sometimes less 24 hours. With an online home loan you can be approved for a loan amount of $ 5,000- $ 75,000. What you submit will depend on your ability, the value of your collateral, and your credit score.

The repayment plan is very flexible and simple from three to twenty five years. The interest rate you must pay in accordance with the agreed upon, before the closing of the loan, and will be determined in accordance with the loan amount and repayment period you have selected.

When you start and are ready to take the loan submission step, you can benefit from online loans at home. You find many creditors who can give you the money you need in a short period of time.

When applying for home loans online. You will see many benefits for you. The main benefit for you is the amount of time and money that will be saved, as you do not have to visit the creditors personally and meet with them. Another benefit for those of you who use online loans is that you will be given a larger list of creditors. You can choose and choose which lender best suits your needs.

This means you can see for yourself who is the lender that best meets your payment terms and capabilities. Online loans are also easy and convenient. Site lenders are active and running 24 hours a day. This way you do not have to waste time away from other important obligations. You will be able to find the right time for you.


If you need a home loan, the first thing you want to do is make sure to do some research. Before you commit to finding the best loan and if you take a little time to learn exactly how the loan you see into the job and what it does.
The main thing you should know is when searching for home loans online you must have equity in your home or property.

Equity is the amount you've paid out of your mortgage. Compare the total amount of the mortgage. This works very much like investment. The more money you put into your home, adding equity that can be used as collateral.

Make sure you know what is expected of you. Lenders are always there to answer any questions you may have with the company, their fees, APR, or their terms. It's always best to know what you're looking for instead of signing a loan that you do not understand.

Bill Stone writes for Direct Online Loans that help homeowners find the best loans available through

2nd Mortgage Loan Refinances - Do you want to take advantage of histori cally low interest rates? Do you want to use the equity in your home to make home improvements or pay off your high interest credit card debt?

2nd Mortgage Loan Refinances by lenders you're connected to by # are the answer!

2nd Mortgage Loan Refinances

With a 2nd Mortgage Loan Refinance, you can:
  •     Eliminate compounding credit card bills
  •     Lower your total payment amount
  •     Make your debt tax deductible
  •     Consolidate all of your bills into one low monthly payment. will help you find a lender that can help you decide what home loan type is best for you. We recommend if you have additional questions, discuss your situation with your financial or tax advisor to determine if a debt consolidation loan is right for you. 


Alaska Mortgage Refinance, Alabama Mortgage Refinance, Arkansas Mortgage Refinance, Arizona Mortgage Refinance, California Mortgage Refinance, Colorado Mortgage Refinance, Connecticut Mortgage Refinance Delaware Mortgage Refinance Florida Mortgage Refinance, Georgia Mortgage Refinance, Hawaii Mortgage Refinance, Idaho Mortgage Refinance, Illinois Mortgage Refinance, Indiana Mortgage Refinance, Iowa Mortgage Refinance, Kansas Mortgage Refinance, Kentucky Mortgage Refinance, Louisiana Mortgage Refinance, Maine Mortgage Refinance, Maryland Mortgage Refinance, Massachusetts Mortgage Refinance, Michigan Mortgage Refinance, Minnesota Mortgage Refinance, Mississippi Mortgage Refinance, Missouri Mortgage Refinance, Montana Mortgage Refinance, Nebraska Mortgage Refinance, Nevada Mortgage Refinance, New Hampshire Mortgage Refinance, New Mexico Mortgage Refinance, New Jersey Mortgage Refinance, New York Mortgage Refinance, North Carolina Mortgage Refinance, North Dakota Mortgage Refinance, Oklahoma Mortgage Refinance, Ohio Mortgage Refinance, Oregon Mortgage Refinance, Pennsylvania Mortgage Refinance, Rhode Island Mortgage Refinance, South Carolina Mortgage Refinance, South Dakota Mortgage Refinance, Tennessee Mortgage Refinance, Texas Mortgage Refinance, Utah Mortgage Refinance, Vermont Mortgage Refinance, Virginia Mortgage Refinance, Washington Mortgage Refinance, West Virginia Mortgage Refinance, Wisconsin Mortgage Refinance, Wyoming Mortgage Refinance, Washington D.C. Mortgage Refinance

Home Equity Lines of Credit

What is a home equity line of credit? - A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a variable rate loan. That means the interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR) can move up or down, depending on the index, prime rate, as published in the Wall Street Journal. As you make payments towards your balance, the available credit to spend will increase. Utilize the funds at your convenience.

Home Equity Lines of Credit, Home Equity equity line offers the following benefits & choices:

  • Low 3-month introductory rate of 3.00% (4.00% APR).
  • Interest Rate of the Prime minus ¼ for life.
  • No income documentation loans
  • Use new appraised value, regardless of length of residency
  • Interest only payments - interest can be a tax write-off*

We offer multiple product terms available:

  • 10 year draw with interest only payments during term
  • 15 year draw with interest only payments during term
  • 25 year draw with interest only or P&I payments during term

Call our equity specialists for a free debt analysis consultation today Or apply now.
Learn more about our home equity installment loans.
Learn more about our simple, fast loan process.

Low Down Payment - Mobile Home Loan

Shopping Multiple Mobile Home Lenders - Whether itís a new mobile home or previously owned, Low Cost Lending can help you get a, low down payment, low interest rate, mobile home loan!

Get great rates, and a low down payment loan for new and used mobile home purchases! The mobile home loan shopping process is fast, free and easy.

Low Down Payment, Mobile Home Loan, Home Loan, Manufactured Home Loans

Take the first step towards financing your new mobile home and apply to multiple mobile home lenders with one easy loan form.

Low Cost Lending understands the importance of shopping around for a low down payment loan and the best mobile home financing rate. After all, you want to make sure that you get the best loan rate and a low down payment on your mobile home loan. 

Finding Multiple Mobile Home Lenders
Low Cost Lending enables you to find multiple lenders and mobile home loan programs with one fast and easy form. Shopping your loan around has never been so easy. 
Apply for mobile home financing today!
1. Complete our easy one page form
2. Low Cost Lending will search hundreds of lenders and mobile home loan programs
3. Up to 4 lenders will compete for your business
4. Choose the lender with the best loan financing terms, and low down payment!

How Refinancing Works - When you refinance your mortgage, you're actually replacing it with a brand new mortgage loan. In doing this, expect to go through a mortgage application process similar to that of your original mortgage.
Mortgage Loan Refinance, Mortgage Calculator Refinance Breakeven, Mortgage Calculator Refinance

Refinancing is often a sound financial choice that can allow you to meet a variety of needs:
  • Reduce your monthly payments by taking advantage of lower interest rates or extending the repayment period
  • Reduce your interest rate risk by switching from an adjustable-rate to a fixed-rate loan or from a balloon mortgage to a fixed-rate loan
  • Reduce your interest cost over the life of your mortgage by taking advantage of lower rates or shortening the term of your loan
  • Pay off your mortgage faster (accelerating the build-up of equity) by shortening the term of your loan
  • Free up cash for major expenses or to consolidate debts (Both home equity financing and a cash-out refinance loan will accomplish this. Make sure to Evaluate each option before choosing.)

Can I lower my monthly mortgage payment?

A good rule of thumb for refinancing is that if interest rates are ½% to 5/8% lower than your current interest rate, it may be a good time to consider a refinance.If, however, you want to minimize your closing costs as much as possible the current rate should be at least 1% lower. Please check back often to see if rates are favorable to your refinance!

Does Refinancing Make Sense at this Time?

Many homeowners consider refinancing when interest rates suddenly fall or there's a change in financial circumstances. Make sure to weigh all the pros and cons in regard to your goals and current finances. Use our refinancing calculator to see if it makes sense for you to experiment with how different terms and number of payments will affect your monthly outlay and overall loan expense.

The Anatomy of a MortgageWhat exactly is a mortgage? - Simply put, it's a loan from a financial institution to you. In return, you pay interest on the amount loaned. The lender also has first dibs on your house in case you neglect to pay back the loan.

Anatomy Mortgage, Mortgage

Francophiles and wordsmiths will recognize the root word "mort" in there. No, that's not your Uncle Mort; that's the French word for "dead." The idea is that you're going to kill off that loan, by paying back the money you borrowed. You amortize the loan, over time. Yes, it's a slow death, but it must be carried out.

A loan has three facets:
  • size (how many dollars you need to borrow)
  • interest (the percentage rate you pay on the loan)
  • term (how long it will take to pay off the loan)
The first one is self-explanatory (although there are choices you can make with regard to the down payment, which we'll investigate in a little while).
  • The other two are more complicated. Let's look first at the interest rate.

  • The Calculation of APR (Annual Percentage Rate)

  • The annual percentage rate is a method developed under federal law to disclose to loan applicants the actual amount of interest that will be paid on a given loan, over the life of that loan. It makes it easy to compare one mortgage to another by making it an apples-to-apples comparison. You should, however, use the APR as just one tool in evaluating a loan, not as the sole factor in making your decision.

To understand APR, you must first understand the concept of points. A point is 1% of the loan amount. If the loan is for $100,000, one point is $1,000.

There are two types of points: origination and discount. Origination points are the fees normally charged by a lender, and sometimes by a mortgage broker, for originating, or starting up, your loan. Discount points are charged to lower your interest rate, and this lowers your payments. In other words, if you pay some more money up front, the bank will let you pay less over time.

Both types of points should be considered interest that you pay up front. Therefore, you must figure points into the cost of your loan repayment. If you take out a loan for $120,000 at 9% interest for 30 years, and you pay one origination point and one discount point, you're paying a total of two points, or $2,400. Your payment will be $965.55 per month.

Top 10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers - There's good news for renters! Recent dramatic changes in the mortgage finance industry have placed home ownership within easy reach of a greater number of New Englanders. A common obstacle today in purchasing a home is the outdated notion that obtaining a mortgage is an awesome task. Often, it is a lack of simple information, rather than a lack of money, that keeps people from even considering filling out a loan application. In fact, many can afford a new home for the same or slightly more than they are paying in rent now.

home equty loan, home Loan, mortgage

The following tips can help potential home buyers find the right start in locating a new home they can live in and a mortgage they can live with.

1. Pre-Qualify Before You Buy

Pre-qualification allows you to get an idea of your borrowing potential before beginning your home search. Pre-qualification is usually free and the buyer's ability to purchase a home can be confirmed quickly. This step increases the buyer's leverage position with Realtors and sellers.

2. Demonstrate You Can Pull Your Weight

A mortgage lender wants to know that your income can comfortably cover monthly mortgage payments and your assets are sufficient to cover the down payment and closing costs. 

Acceptable sources of household income include earnings from your regular job and any secondary jobs, as well as overtime, commissions and bonuses. Also acceptable are interest and dividend income; social security, VA and retirement benefits; disability, welfare and unemployment benefits, alimony, child support and other entitilements. 

A steady work history - continuous employment at the some company or line of business with consistent or rising income - helps the lender determine your ability to maintain the responsibility of a mortgage.

3. Make It Understood, Your Credit Is Good

Looking at your credit history is another way mortgage lenders determine your obligation to pay back a loan. Good credit history consists of a two-year history of prompt payments, a good record of on-time payments and no outstanding judgments or liens. Your mortgage consultant can help you address and correct any past credit problems in such a way that your chance of credit approval will be greater. 

For example, if you have ever encountered some credit problems due to a lengthy illness, proper explanation for the problem can go a long way to rectify the negative perception created by a temporary set back.

4. The Program Is Key - Not The Rate You See

Don't be misled by a low ball rate; be sure to check out the details of the loan program. Most mortgages have either a fixed rate (payments remain the same for the life of the loan) or an adjustable rate (payments adjust up or down in accordance with national interest rates) and a term (amount of time you have to repay the loan) of either 15 or 30 years. 

Down payment requirements differ from program to program. There are many first-time buyer programs that require as little as 3% down, as opposed to conventional programs that require up to 20% of the new home's sales price. Easier qualifying guidelines and reduced closing cost options are features of many of the programs available.

5. Pick A Real Estate Pro, Someone In-The-Know

Find a well-established Realtor who is familiar with the areas of your choice. Ask real estate professionals if they will be representing you as a sub-agent or as a buyer-broker agent. Selecting a qualified agent, who is able to answer your questions regarding the area, population, school districts, taxes, etc., will be a big time-saver, since he or she will save you a trip to the local records department.

6. Know What You Need And What You'll Concede

What is essential to one home buyer may be of no value to another. Creating "need-to-have" and "nice-to-have" lists can be helpful. Your first "need-to-have" list may be very different from your final version; still, it serves as a starting point for you to discuss and decide upon those features that are the absolute essentials. 

For instance, public transportation to shopping areas might be a "need-to-have" if you do not own a car, while it is another person's "nice-to-have." If someone in your family is disabled, a one-level home with wheel chair access may be a necessary feature. 

However, you may decide that adding a customized ramp after the home purchase is more cost effective. Identifying what you want and what you need helps your real estate agent pinpoint your ideal home.

by C. J. Speno

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