Low mortgage rates and high buyer demand are keeping single-family housing starts in the stratosphere.

In March, construction started on single-family homes at an impressive annual rate of 821,000.

That's up 9% since last year.

Home builder optimism is turning into action. A recent report shows home builders are confident about the future. The result: more applications for permits and more home construction started.

Housing starts have been fueled by rising rents, cheap mortgage rates, and an abundance of low- and no-downpayment mortgages.

FHA loans are gaining in popularity, as are other government-backed loans like the USDA home loan and VA.

The math for "Should I rent or should I buy?" has shifted and builders are scrambling…

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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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how long does it take to get a mortgage pre-approval

Your Mortgage: How Long Does It Take To Get Pre-Approved?

Everyone knows they are supposed to get pre-approved for home loans before they go house shopping. It's one of those annoying pieces of advice you can't escape, like "wear sunscreen," "wash your hands before eating," and "you can't jump a Yaris over 15 hay bales just because someone did it on the Internet."

Groan. You have to do it. But how long will it take to get pre-approved for your home loan so you can get to the fun part?

Pre-Approve Yourself First

Probably not as long as you think. This first step takes about eight seconds.

When you begin considering a home purchase, you go through a few steps. And one of those first steps is deciding how much you are comfortable forking…

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Keep that spring fever momentum all year long with these gardening tips.

Spring fever got you dreaming of lush gardens and sunshine? Despite what you might see on TV, beautiful landscapes don’t happen overnight. Weeds will invade your beds and need to be pulled. The mulch will break down and require replacing. And your attention span will no doubt move on to shinier things long enough for your garden to fall into disrepair.

Your spring fever may be temporary, but if you get to know your garden’s unique conditions and choose the right plants, you’ll ensure that both the garden — and your enthusiasm for it — will last for a lifetime.

Invest in your soil

To get the dirt on your dirt, perform a soil test with your local agricultural extension…

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Article Courtesy of Dave Ramsey

Are you Ready to Sell your Home?  It’s an important question to answer since selling at the wrong time can cause trouble for years to come.

Effects of Equity

For most homeowners, being financially ready to sell comes down to one factor: equity. During the housing meltdown of 2008–09, millions of homeowners found themselves with negative equity, which meant they owed more on their homes than they were worth.

Clearly, selling your home when you have negative equity is a bad deal. That’s called a short sale, and it impacts your credit score almost as much as a foreclosure. Breaking even on your home sale is better, but it’s still not ideal. If you’re in either situation, don’t sell unless you have to in order to…

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mortgage application disclosures

The 500 Page Mortgage Application Myth

A few years ago, the Mortgage Bankers Association released a statement claiming the average mortgage application file contains over 500 pages!

However, this includes a standard application form, disclosures, and all the supporting documents. An appraisal, purchase contract, credit report, title search and tax returns could potentially make up hundreds of pages right there.

But what you actually have to read and deal with is not that much.

Here are the most important disclosures to consider when you complete a mortgage application.

Click to see today's rates (Apr 7th, 2017)

Shopping For A Mortgage? Compare Loan Estimates

When you choose a mortgage and a lender, the Loan Estimate, or LE, is…

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homebuying mistakes

First-time Foibles: Don't Make These Homebuying Mistakes

Real estate transactions are a big deal, and most of us don't complete that many over our lifetimes. It's easy to make a mistake, and mistakes can be very expensive. Here are five big bullets to dodge.

Click to see today's rates (Apr 7th, 2017)

Mistake #1: Buying Because You "Should"

Buying a home because you've hit some magic age in which you're supposed to be grown up and responsible, or because it's the "American Dream," is just a bad idea.

You should buy a home when you're ready, and not before. If your career requires frequent moves, for instance, homeownership may be a poor investment. It just costs too much to sell a home and buy a new one, over and over.

If you're not…

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First-Time Home Buyers Guide to buying a home with student loans on your credit report

Buying Your First Home: Dealing With Student Loans

It's different to be a first-time home buyer as compared to an experienced one.

First-time home buyers often skew younger then the general home-buying population which means less work experience, lower income levels, and usually, less money saved for down payment.

It also can mean higher levels of federal student loans and debt.

Concerns about student loan obligations are among the reasons why first-time home buyers account for a smaller percentage of the housing market as compared to recent years.

According to a study by American Student Assistance, 55% of student loan holders said their debt is causing them to put off homeownership.

And, despite the historically low levels…

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