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To Lock Or Not?How To Do It Right To lock an interest rate or not lock, that -- with apologies to Shakespeare -- is the question. Borrowers always wonder if they should lock-in interest rates when they first apply for a loan -- or should they wait and see where the market goes? There is no sure answer because either choice involves some risk. If you lock now and rates fall, you lose. If you don't lock now and rates rise, you also lose. Alternatively -- and here's the good news -- you win by locking before rates rise and you also win by not locking in a market where rates are falling.
Mortgage RatesU.S. averages as of August 16, 2001:
30 yr. fixed: 6.92%15 yr. fixed: 6.48%1 yr. adj: 5.71%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
Get today's rates
What to do? The first step is to understand how the locking process works. In essence, there is no single lock-in "standard"
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?Let me show you.
Ten Tips For First-Time Buyers Each year more than 40 percent of all homes are purchased by first-time buyers according to the National Association of Realtors, a percentage which should offer some comfort if you're about to buy a first home. Others have done it, others are doing it, and you can too. But like most things, there are ways to make the process easier. Here in capsule form are 10 baseline strategies to make that first purchase a good experience. 1. Think credit. Poor credit will make you a bigger risk in lender eyes -- and more risk means higher rates and steeper monthly mortgage costs. Make a point of paying credit car bills, auto loans, rent, and other payments on time, all the time, and in full. 2. Consider taxes. When you buy a home mortgage interest and property taxes are generally deductible from income taxes. This means while monthly housing costs may be larger when you own than when you rent, what you save
Homeowner's Insurance:The Last Paperwork Closing is the moment when all parts of a real estate transaction come together. But what may surprise buyers is that even at closing you may need still-more paperwork. Huh? Between sale agreements, disclosures, and mortgage applications wasn't there enough paperwork? What more could anyone possibly want? As it turns out, there is one item closing agents are likely to demand: evidence that you have homeowner's insurance. Virtually all of what it takes to finalize a real estate transaction will be handled at closing. The settlement agent will take in money from the buyer and the lender and pay out money to the seller, tax collectors, and others. But in many cases, homeowner's insurance will be shown as "POC" on the settlement form or "paid out of closing." In effect, you need to obtain homeowner's insurance on your own. This is good news because it means you have the opportunity to shop for rates, terms, and coverage. Once you've made your choices, you must then provide evidence at closing to show that you have adequate coverage. Lenders are interested in homeowner policies because they will be named as the "mortgagee." At closing this may
Don't Let Energy Costs Freeze Homeownership Chances Tick. Tick. Tick. It's the sound of your power and light bill noisily rising each month. While increasing energy costs are problematic for us all, they're especially tough for those with fixed incomes and few discretionary dollars. The good news is that energy costs need not sink ownership dreams. There are steps you can take to hold down fuel bills, including three big ones: Purchase an energy-efficient home. Many first-time buyers gravitate to new construction since buyers assume such homes more readily meet energy-efficient guidelines. But don't overlook resale homes that have been upgraded and/or remodeled. Ask for copies of utility bills for the past year to gauge how existing homes compare with other properties of similar age, size and construction.
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