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RECENT BLOG POSTS
  Most homebuyers probably know that their FICO mortgage score can determine whether they qualify for a loan, but they may not be aware that it can determine what interest rate they'll pay. The same $300,000, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage can have a principal and interest payment that ranges from ...
01/21/2020
  Now that the standard deduction is increased to $12,200 for single taxpayers and $24,400 for married ones, many homeowners are better off with the standard deduction than itemizing their deductions to write off their mortgage interest and property taxes.  There was some speculation that without...
01/21/2020
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  A mortgage lock-in is a lender's agreement to hold a specific interest rate for a stated period for a loan at the prevailing market interest rate.  This provides the borrower some protection against the interest rates going up during the lock period. If you think the rates are going down, the a...
01/14/2020
2 Comments
  Approximately 52 million or 16% of Americans are age 65 and over.  It is easy to understand that some of them are thinking of downsizing their home because they don't need the same space they did in the past. It can be liberating to divest yourself of "things" that have been accumulated over th...
01/07/2020
  Equity in a home is the difference between what the home is worth and what is owed on the home.  As the property goes up in value, the unpaid balance is going down with each payment being made.  These dynamics are working in different directions to make the equity grow. Leverage, the use of bor...
01/03/2020
  The trend in homeowners successfully selling their own home has declined from 15% in 1981 to only 8% in 2019.  In the 2019 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, six out of ten sellers knew the buyers who were predominantly a friend, relative or a neighbor.  The fact that these sellers knew the bu...
01/03/2020
1/1/2020 Borrowing from a 401k, 403b or the cash value of life insurance policy is a common financial strategy.  While taxpayers are not allowed borrow from either a traditional or Roth IRA, they can withdraw funds before age 59 ½ for specific purposes like a first home purchase, qualified higher...
12/30/2019
Even if Benjamin Franklin never actually used the expression "a penny saved is a penny earned", the reality is that it has been a sentiment for frugality for centuries.  He did say: "Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship."  At the end of the day, it is not about how much...
12/18/2019
Mortgage interest paid on your principal residence is deductible today as it was in 1913 when 16th amendment allowed personal income tax.  The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act reduced the maximum amount of acquisition debt from $1,000,000 to $750,000. Acquisition debt is the amount of debt used to buy,...
12/02/2019
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  Most people who have car, home and health insurance have probably made claims and wouldn't consider being without it.  However, it might be difficult to find a homeowner who has made a claim on their title insurance which could lead a person to think that it may not be necessary.  Title insuran...
11/26/2019
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