Understanding Residual Income for VA Loans

A VA loan is a type of mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and is available to current service members, veterans and eligible surviving spouses. VA loans offer several advantages, including no private mortgage insurance (PMI) and no down payment required. When qualifying for a VA purchase or refinance, you need to meet certain minimum residual income requirements based on your requested loan amount, where you will be buying, and how many people will live in the home. Here’s how it works: Read More “Understanding Residual Income for VA Loans”

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Important Tips To Avoid Wire Transfer Fraud

As you work through the homebuying and loan application process, be aware that large financial transactions, such as a home purchase, can make you a target for fraud. It’s important to know how to protect yourself against identity theft and other types of fraud. Scammers may pose as third-party companies and attempt to appear as though they are involved with your transaction. Here are some recommendations to keep your information safe when transferring funds for a large real estate purchase: Read More “Important Tips To Avoid Wire Transfer Fraud”

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What International Buyers Need to Know About U.S. Real Estate

As the U.S. economy continues to show signs of recovery and improvement, it’s no surprise that buyers from outside the country are increasingly eyeing U.S. real estate as a good investment. Real estate is a tangible asset that may increase in value over time and can provide a positive rate of return with less volatility than the stock market. There are potential tax advantages as well. Whether you are a professional relocating for work, an international investor, or a first generation immigrant living in the U.S., there are home purchase and financing options available to resident and non-resident buyers. Here’s some insight into the basics – from the home search to securing financing:
Read More “What International Buyers Need to Know About U.S. Real Estate”

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What Does Stock Market Volatility Mean for the Housing Market?

Is a real estate bubble to blame for sudden drops in the stock market? Does stock market volatility indicate that a housing crash and recession are imminent? Probably not. Although there are some correlations between stock market activity and the health of the housing market, there isn’t a direct, consistent cause and effect relationship between the two. There are always other factors at work that help to complete the big picture. Here’s some insight into how rates, the housing market and the stock market are intertwined, but still need to be considered separately. Read More “What Does Stock Market Volatility Mean for the Housing Market?”

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Paperwork Homeowners Need To Prepare For Tax Time

Taxes. No one likes them but everyone pays them. And the beginning of a new year means it’s time once again to gather documents and receipts in preparation for the April tax filing deadline! For homeowners this means being prepared with some specific documents in addition to the usual tax statements from employers, banks and stockbrokers. Keep an eye out for the items below in your mailbox (or email inbox if you opted for electronic statements) and set them aside for your tax preparer! Read More “Paperwork Homeowners Need To Prepare For Tax Time”

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What You Need to Know About Credit Inquiries and Your Credit Score

review credit reportA credit score is an unavoidable part of financial life. This three-digit number derived from information on your credit report directly impacts your ability to borrow money or access credit. It is one of the indicators used by lenders to assess how likely you are to repay debts in a timely manner. This score also affects how much you’ll pay to borrow money. The more you know about your credit score and what affects it, the easier it will be for you to protect your credit from negative impacts. Read More “What You Need to Know About Credit Inquiries and Your Credit Score”

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