A Complete Guide to Closing Costs

Complete Guide to Closing Costs

While most future homeowners know they need to save for a down payment, they often forget about closing costs. Closing costs are a broad category of items that you pay at the time you buy a home. They are called closing costs because you pay them at, you guessed it, the closing. The bad news […]

Published or Updated: May 28, 2013

How to Use Retirement Savings to Buy a House

Using Retirement Savings to Buy a House

Today’s low interest rates make buying a home incredibly tempting, especially if you’re being hit with annual increases in rent. But finding money for a down payment can be tough, especially if you don’t have much wiggle room in your budget. One option is to tap your retirement savings. This approach has plenty of pros […]

Published or Updated: April 16, 2014

Using a Gift as Part of Your Down Payment


Photo: ejorpin Saving a down payment is one of the hardest parts of buying your first home. In fact, about 25 percent of first-time homebuyers get help with a gift from a relative as part of their down payment. There’s nothing wrong with this, but there are some regulations you need to consider as you […]

Published or Updated: May 17, 2013

Should You Save For Emergencies or a Down Payment First?


If you’re just starting out on your journey to financial success, you may not have a big emergency fund saved. And if you’re planning to buy your first home soon, you may be wondering how to structure your savings. Should you save for your emergency fund first? Or should you save for your home and […]

Published or Updated: April 29, 2013

8 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

The decision to pay off your mortgage early is a controversial one. But for some who have tackled many of their big financial goals and erased other debt, putting their home mortgage in their crosshairs can make sense. If you’ve decided to pay off your mortgage early, here are several strategies for saving money and […]

Published or Updated: April 16, 2014

Homebuying Programs for Low-Income Families

Home Buying Programs

In most areas of the country, owning a home is a significantly better investment than renting an apartment. If you have a bit of money in savings and can consistently pay your rent on time, you may be ready for homeownership. For many, however, there is one big hurdle–the down payment. What if there’s no […]

Published or Updated: August 3, 2014

How to Refinance a Mortgage That’s Underwater

Refinance Mortgage

Photo: 401(K) 2013 If you’re underwater on your home – meaning you owe more than your home is worth – you’re certainly not alone. Many American families are in the same situation because of the real estate market crash. Even though property prices are starting to rise in some areas of the country, many families […]

Published or Updated: April 23, 2013

How Much Should You Save for a Home?

Photo: 401(K)2013 My family is on a long journey toward homeownership. Despite plenty of questions about when our little family of three will move out of our tiny apartment and into a home, we know we’re just not ready to buy a home yet. The main reason? We know how much money we’ll have to […]

Published or Updated: June 12, 2013

10 Little-Known Facts About Home Appraisals

Are you preparing to buy a home or sell the one you’re in? If so, the home appraisal process will be incredibly important. If you’re selling your home, a professional appraisal can help you set a fair, realistic listing price. If you’re buying a home, your lender will require a professional appraisal to ensure it […]

Published or Updated: April 4, 2013