Money Matters

Found 14 blog entries about Money Matters.

how much house can you afford

Ultimately it's up to you to determine what mortgage payment you can comfortably afford.

By Kali Hawlk  

Just because a lender approves you for a mortgage doesn’t mean you can comfortably afford it.

If you ask Google “how much house can I afford,” you’ll find a number of online tools and mortgage calculators to help you find a fast answer. You might also find quick but somewhat confusing advice like “your mortgage payment shouldn’t take up more than 35% of your monthly income.”

Quick. Do you know what 35% of your monthly income is? If not, you’re not alone. While online housing tools are a helpful starting point for the early stages of your house hunt, it’s important that you understand how the pieces all fit

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Lawyer handing over legal document at a meeting in a cafe

Prepare for your meeting with your mortgage lender by showing up with these 10 question.

By Kayla Albert |  

Buying a home starts with finding the right mortgage lender. Here are the questions you should ask mortgage lenders, before you sign on with one.

Steering clear of homebuyer’s remorse requires more than just picking the right home in the right neighborhood. According to a 2016 survey by J.D. Power, 27% of new homeowners ultimately came to regret their choice of lender. One major reason for the dissatisfaction was overall poor customer experience, including lack of communication and unmet expectations. Another factor? Pressure from the lender to choose a particular product or loan. You can remove some of the…
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boost your credit important credit lessons By Claire Murdough | May 17, 2017 2:22PM  

Listen up, kids: Paying interest is painful. Really, really painful.

Parental wisdom is easy to ignore until you’re left scratching your head over simple adult responsibilities like paying taxes and budgeting. (We all have to make our own mistakes, right?). But even if you were listening to your parents, there are some important credit tips they likely didn’t mention. When it comes to improving your score, heed these six credit lessons that we wish our parents had taught us.

6 Valuable Lessons To Improve Your Credit

  1. Paying interest is one tough chore

    Let’s be real: Making monthly credit card payments isn’t fun. But the pain compounds (literally)

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On Wednesday, the New York Federal Reserve released its Q1 report on household debt and credit. According to the report, total household debt totaled $12.73 trillion in Q1 2017. This means that household debt has finally surpassed its $12.68 trillion peak reached during the recession in 2008. This is a $149 billion quarterly increase.

“Almost nine years later, household debt has finally exceeded its 2008 peak but the debt and its borrowers look quite different today. This record debt level is neither a reason to celebrate nor a cause for alarm. But it does provide an opportune moment to consider debt performance,” said Donghoon Lee, Research Officer at the New York Fed. “While most delinquency flows have improved markedly since the Great Recession and

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Follow these budgeting tips, from couponing to changing your cellular plan, to cut household expenses without completely disrupting your daily life.

The key to saving money is knowing where to trim your budget.

Paying bills is never fun, but it’s even less exciting when monthly expenses leave you eating noodles for the last few days before every payday. But you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice the lifestyle you want to live in an apartment or home you love. In fact, eliminating unnecessary household expenses is easier than you think.

Whether you’re living those big-city dreams in a studio apartment in San Francisco, CA, or moving into a single family home in Austin, TX, read on to find out how to eliminate or reduce monthly

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No Bad Options: Decide Among The Many Good Mortgage Products Available Today

There is no "right" answer to the question, "Which loan type is best?"

In fact, the best answer is, "it depends".

No two home buyers are alike, so the best loan program for one buyer is likely unsuitable -- or plain unavailable -- to another.

That's why today's home buyer is fortunate enough to have access to multiple programs. It's up to the buyer and his or her lending adviser to make the right call based on these and other questions:

  • Which loan has the lowest monthly payment?
  • What option requires the least amount upfront?
  • What will cost me less over time?
  • Which loan type is suitable for my credit score?
  • How does my income affect the products
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couple free of mortgage payoff worries in hammock

These tips can help you pay off your mortgage every month (and still live your best life!).

Mortgage payment taking a bite out of your budget? Use these hacks to make it easier to pay each month, and speed up your loan repayment in the process.

Your mortgage is likely your largest monthly bill. But if you use the following five hacks, you can make that slice of the pie easier to fit into your budget. You can even save money on your loan and pay it off faster if you use your savings right! Here’s how.

1. Share your space

It’s the ultimate mortgage payoff hack: get someone else to pay the bill for you! It may sound crazy, but it’s possible if you’re willing to share your living space with others in exchange for rent.

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Did your credit score take an unexpected turn for the worst? There's still ways to buy even with bad credit.

By Sam Brannan | Mar 02, 2017 7:12PM  

Are you worried that a low credit score will affect your dream of owning a home? Check out these four tips to buy a house even with a low score.

As much as we may hate it, numbers can determine much of what we’re able to do in life. Just like a high grade point average is necessary to get into the college of your dreams, a high credit score is required to secure a loan on your dream Portland home.

And numbers don’t always reflect your pre-determined qualifications realistically. Similar to how you might be a poor test-taker in school, a one-off financial

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couple studying mortgage rates

It’s important to understand how mortgage rate increases could affect your home purchase — but there’s no reason to panic.

By Laura Agadoni | Feb 08, 2017 11:56AM

Mortgage rates are rising steadily for the first time since the Great Recession. So what does this mean for buyers now and in the future?

Unless you plan to buy your home with cash (lucky you!), it’s important to know what’s going on with mortgage rates these days. The bad news is that they are rising. The good news is that they have been at historic lows since the housing market crashed nearly 10 years ago — and they are still low. But since they probably won’t stay this way forever, let’s take a moment to learn what rate hikes could mean to you.

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sisters sitting on edge of backyard pool home upgrade

If you’re looking to add a pool, don’t forget that you’ll need to operate and maintain the pool yourself, and this comes with a sizable extra cost.

By Paula Pant | Feb 10, 2017 9:30AM


Just because you upgrade doesn’t mean you'll profit when it comes time to sell.

If you’re hoping to increase your home’s value (above and beyond the cost of an upgrade itself), you should know that the upgrades you value might not be valuable to potential buyers. In fact, you may never recoup the full cost of some home improvements, and the primary offenders might surprise you!

Five common upgrades with the worst return on investment

  1. Adding a pool
    Pools can be hit-or-miss when it comes to added value. If
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