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Archive for: Real Estate & Renting

What Percentage of Income Can You Afford for Mortgage Payments?

This question often comes up among first-time home buyers: What percentage of my monthly income can I afford to spend on my mortgage payment? Does that percentage include property taxes? Private mortgage insurance (PMI) or homeowners … [Read more...]

Burglary Prevention: Common Sense Advice to Avoid Becoming a Victim

If you think burglary is something that only happens in low-income neighborhoods, think again. It is a crime that can happen even in the nicest neighborhoods with white picket fences. Sure, the criminals may not live in your neighborhood, but it … [Read more...]

Renting: What You Get for $1,500 a Month

If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would you choose? If you’re reading Money Under 30 and you are in fact 20-or 30-something, you probably can’t afford a mansion, and that’s okay! Part of starting off right is living in a place … [Read more...]

Confessions of a New Homeowner: Expenses We Expected and Didn’t Expect

My husband and I closed on our first house on March 9, 2012.  Since then, it has been a whirlwind of new homeowner activities. Painting, fixing, landscaping, neighbor-meeting, decorating ... and spending. Lots of spending. We rented for several y … [Read more...]

What Your Mortgage Interest Rate Really Means

With mortgage rates so low right now, it seems everybody is talking about what a smoking hot mortgage rate they got on their new house. But mortgage rates are tricky. It's easy to look at a 3.75 percent APR mortgage rate and say "holy cow" when, 25 … [Read more...]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than … [Read more...]

How to Hire Contractors who Won’t Blow up Your House

Thinking about adding some weather-stripping to your house this winter? Need roof patching or a furnace tune up? Do not try to save money by hiring a non-licensed contractor or someone who is not qualified for the job. Even licensed contractors … [Read more...]

Your First Home: What Can You Get for $200k?

As if I don’t get enough real estate as a full-time broker, I spend what little time I take off from work watching the HDTV show “House Hunters.” Why watch something I see day in and out? For the same reason anyone does — to compare. I sit there, thin … [Read more...]

Q&A: Can We Get Approved For A Mortgage With $109k In Student Loan Debt?

Q. My wife (28) and I (27) just got married and we are hoping to buy a small starter house sometime in the next three years. We’ve discussed finances [a lot] so we feel ahead of the curve there. I make $65,000 a year as an engineer and she makes $ … [Read more...]

So, You Want a Mortgage? What You’ll Need to Get Approved Fast

There’s no question, it’s a good time to get a mortgage. Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans are around or under 3.5 percent, according to BankRate.com. Although a couple years ago when 30-year mortgage rates were around 4 or 5 percent, we al … [Read more...]