Finance

What to Look For From a Financial Advisor

There’s a lot to know about investing, so it’s a good idea to get some professional help. But with so many financial advisors out there, how can you choose one that’s right for you? You may have to interview several prospective financial advisors before deciding on one. When you talk… Read more »

What You Can Do to Improve Your Credit

Improve Your Credit: Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following: 1. Check for and correct any errors in your credit report…. Read more »

Tips for Lowering Homeowners Insurance Costs

Lowering Homeowners Insurance 1. Review the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report on the property you’re interested in buying. CLUE reports detail the property’s claims history for the most recent five years, which insurers may use to deny coverage. Make the sale contingent on a home inspection to ensure that… Read more »

Lender Checklist: What You Need for a Mortgage

What You Need for a Mortgage: W-2 forms — or business tax return forms if you’re self-employed — for the last two or three years for every person signing the loan. Copies of at least one pay stub for each person signing the loan. Account numbers of all your credit… Read more »

Get Your Finances in Order: To-Do List

The following will help you Get Your Finances in Order: 1. Develop a household budget. Instead of creating a budget of what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget that reflects your actual spending habits over the last several months. This approach will factor in unexpected expenses,… Read more »

6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home

Here are some creative ways to afford a home: 1. Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. 2. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing to finance… Read more »

5 Property Tax Questions You Need to Ask

What you need to find out about property tax: 1. What is the assessed value of the property? Note that assessed value is generally less than market value. Ask to see a recent copy of the seller’s tax bill to help you determine this information. 2. How often are properties… Read more »

5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score: 1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also… Read more »

10 Questions to Ask Your Lender

Ask Your Lender: 1. What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular? 2. Which type of mortgage plan do you think would be best for me? Why? 3. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable? 4. Will I have to buy private mortgage… Read more »