Is It OK to Ask How Much Someone Paid for a House?

Filograph/iStock Is it OK to ask how much someone paid for their house? In the past, such a question might have been considered gauche, just as much in poor taste as inquiring about someone’s salary or the amount in their bank account. But hey, times have changed, particularly in the realm of real estate. Want proof? Consider a recent survey of more than 500 homeowners nationwide […]

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Spouse’s Bad Credit Killing Hopes of a Mortgage? Save Your Home and Marriage!

AntonioGuillem/iStock You probably didn’t think to run a credit check on your spouse before you got married. After all, love reigns supreme, right? But when it comes time to buy a home and your lender reveals serious issues with your spouse’s credit, things can get awkward fast. Whether your spouse went on a few credit […]

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Home Improvement Loans: How to Find Quick Cash to Renovate Your House

designer491/iStock Home improvement loans sound pretty sweet: Imagine, someone actually gives you money to fix up your house! And these loans are actually plentiful if you know where to look. Here are some options to explore, and how to tell whether they’re right for you. FHA 203(k) loan The FHA 203(k) loan is a loan from the Federal Housing Administration—so that […]

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Yes! 3 Credit Score Comebacks That’ll Give Home Buyers Hope

solidcolours/iStock Many who hope to buy a home come across the harsh reality that their past can come back to haunt them. Namely, late or unpaid bills might end up reflected in their credit score, the number that sums up how reliable you’ve been (or not been) at paying back past debts. It your credit score is low (think below […]

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How to Get a Mortgage With No Credit: A Ray of Hope for ‘Invisibles’

courtneyk/iStock; realtor.com Trying to buy a home with bad credit is hard. But what about trying to buy a home with no credit at all? There’s a name for these people: “credit invisibles.” It means they don’t have a credit report or score on file with the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), usually because they don’t have a traditional […]

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Can Refinancing a Mortgage Hurt My Credit?

cnythzl/iStock Refinancing your mortgage presents a great opportunity to save money by lowering your interest rate and monthly payments. If interest rates have fallen since you originally obtained your mortgage, or if you’ve diligently worked on repairing your credit and improving your credit score, you might benefit from exploring your options for refinancing. Before you do, […]

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Here’s What You Need to Know About Getting a Mortgage With ‘Paper Losses’

carterdayne/iStock You probably already know qualifying for a mortgage requires an acceptable credit score, sufficient assets and stable income. All of these show you can support a mortgage payment, plus other liabilities. But what if you have “paper losses” on your tax returns? The mortgage process can get a little trickier. Here’s what you need to know. You […]

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3 Foreclosure Alternatives: What to Do Before Your Mortgage Goes Underwater

DS011/iStock Maybe you’ve missed a couple of monthly mortgage payments. Maybe a notice of default from your lender is looming right now. You understand the severity of the situation, but what most homeowners don’t know is that foreclosure is not the only option you have when you’re no longer able to afford your house. The first step […]

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Is a Mortgage Pre-Approval Letter Necessary to Make an Offer on a House?

BrianAJackson/iStock Is a mortgage pre-approval letter necessary to make an offer on a house? The short answer is no. However, if you want your offer to be taken seriously and to stand out from any competing bids, this little piece of paperwork can really give you the edge. “While you do not ‘need’ a pre-approval letter from your lender […]

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How Long Is Mortgage Pre-Approval Good For?

MattKay/iStock If you want to show sellers you’re seriously interested in buying their home, getting mortgage pre-approval is a critical first step. It proves that, after digging through your financials, a lender is willing to give you money to buy a house. “Getting pre-approved is a great way to differentiate yourself when making an offer,” says Linda Walters, […]

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