Love It and Lease It: Rent-to-Own Luxury Homes

By: Anya Martin September 9, 2015 Signing a lease option helps jumbo-mortgage borrowers save for a higher down payment, get their credit history in order and lock in on their dream-home purchase Illustration: Chris Gash A rent-to-own luxury home may help potential homeowners buy some time before it’s buying time. For potential jumbo-mortgage borrowers, ...

In a Divorce, How One Spouse Can Keep the House

By Anya Martin In a divorce, the house is often the biggest asset the couple will divide—and splitting it is a complicated matter. When one spouse wants to keep the house, the other often wants off the mortgage. Refinancing the loan in one name is the typical solution, but it’s not always easy. If a spouse cannot refinance, often the only alternative ...

Powers of Deduction

For those weighed down by large mortgage payments, there are ways to save money when next year’s tax season arrives; beekeeping, anyone? By ANYA MARTIN One rueful lesson of tax season: Some deductions require lots of advance planning. Homeowners willing to do the legwork now can find some creative ways to lessen their tax bills next year. Jumbo-mortgage ...

ASK AN EXPERT: HOW MUCH CHEAPER IS AN APARTMENT IN A LANDLEASE BUILDING?

by Teri Karush Rogers Q.  If you have two identical apartments–one in a building that has a landlease, and one in a building that owns the land it sits on–how much less is the landlease apartment worth? A.  Expect to pay a little to a whole lot less, but be prepared for higher monthly costs, say our experts. First, quick definition ...

Average 30-year mortgage rate falls to 4.13%

Mortgage rates are now at four-month lows nationwide WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages dropped this week to their lowest levels in four months, a positive sign for the housing recovery. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan fell to 4.13%. That’s down from 4.28%. The average on the 15-year ...

When Shopping for Mortgage Rates, Surprises Await

The interest rates posted online by real-estate websites and mortgage lenders are often not the rates that home buyers get when they apply for a loan. BY ANYA MARTIN When shopping for a jumbo loan, what you see isn’t what you get. A few considerations when checking jumbo rates online: • Rate bands. Even if borrowers input personal data, some ...

8 Ways to Battle Rising Mortgage Rates

By Michele Lerner While rising mortgage rates certainly make transactions more expensive, they shouldn’t deter your purchase. Here are eight ways you can buy a home despite higher mortgage rates: 1. Make a bigger down payment 2. Pay points 3. Equity sharing 4. Switch loan products 5. Shorter terms 6. Downsize expectations 7. Buying with friends ...

Becoming a Home Owner: Hardest, Easiest Home Loans to Get

By Chris Birk Credit score requirements have loosened in recent months, a sign that at least some mortgage lenders are starting to take a softer approach after years of tight lending. But let’s not call it a comeback quite yet. Plenty of consumers with and without credit are still struggling to secure home financing.  Before you start shopping ...

Should I Buy or Rent a Home?

With interest rates near forty year lows, the decision to rent versus buy becomes difficult. Use this calculator to help determine which makes sense for you at this time.

How Much Home Can I Afford?

When you’re buying a home, mortgage lenders don’t look just at your income, assets, and the down payment you have. They look at all of your liabilities and obligations as well, including auto loans, credit card debt, child support, potential property taxes and insurance, and your overall credit rating. Use this calculator to determine how ...