Money and finance

Property tax, the basics

For most of our clients in eastern Massachusetts, their property taxes went up for 2018. In many towns and cities, the tax rate stayed the same, or even went down. Example: In Somerville, the tax rate for residential property went down slightly from Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 and FY2018. It was $11.67 per thousand dollars

By | 2018-01-08T17:43:23+00:00 January 17th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance|

Credit Fraud. House Hunters’ Guide

How will the Equifax data breach in 2017 affects your house hunting? Equifax's mistakes in September, 2017 gave away the social security numbers of half of us. Are you in the lucky half, or the unlucky half? Here is the story That data will be sold and resold by criminals for years to come. If you are

Scare the buyers, sales hype 2017

Dear Boston Globe, It is February 28, 2017.  Too early for your annual “scare the buyers” article. Please wait until spring. But, since you chose to publish now. I will translate for my clients. Definitions: Sales volume: the number of housing units sold in a given period. Median sales price: The middle price from a

Credit scores, the very basics

Your credit report is a full list of who you have open credit with, and how loyal you are about repaying those debts. Your credit score is a number compiled based on how you are handling that debt. The algorithm used to determine you credit score changes, but there are some basic rules. Have open

By | 2016-12-28T14:00:59+00:00 July 27th, 2016|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|Tags: , , |

Change in credit score calculation coming soon

Mortgage underwriting change. What does it mean to you? There’s a new version of credit analysis that will be part of the approval process. Changes will start having an effect when the new Fannie Mae Desktop Underwriter* launches June 25th.  It will allow lenders to discern between applicants who carry balances on credit cards vs.

Scam warning!

There's a new scam in town. It is the child of an old scam. It is very lucrative for the perpetrators, until they get caught. Here's how it goes: Unsecured emails have been tapped by the evil-doers. The perps write to the buyers, just before closing, from the email address of their agent, lender, or

By | 2016-12-28T14:01:03+00:00 January 27th, 2016|Categories: buying process, House Hunting, Money and finance, Mortgage matters|Tags: , , |

Buying or renting?

Here is something for everyone who is about to sign a lease and is thinking “should I be buying?” Unlike most Realtors® my answer is not, “Hell, yes! Right now! Hurry!” The economic decision: Owning: For most people, owning a house or condo involves paying down a mortgage, but never owning outright. In previous generations,

What do you pay, beyond your mortgage, to buy and sell a house?

What does buying a house cost, above and beyond the monthly mortgage payment you will be taking on? First-time house-hunters know that there is a dreaded broker fee and so-called closing costs. Add to that the fee for inspections and legal work. Do you know how much to set aside to cover these costs? Here

Can I be on the Deed, but not on the mortgage?

Sometimes a couple will qualify for a mortgage with one partner’s income, but won’t qualify with their combined income and debt. Think new lawyer with $200,000 in student loans. Think recently divorced and remarried person still carrying the bad credit from his/her ex. You would think that lenders wouldn’t allow only one person to be

By | 2016-12-28T14:01:11+00:00 September 3rd, 2014|Categories: House Hunting, Legal questions, Money and finance, Mortgage matters|Tags: , |

Should you use a HELOC to buy in the post-bubble economy?

People who already own one house or condo who are looking to buy a bigger place (trade-up) or a smaller/cheaper place (downsize, right-size, or down-cost) are at an advantage now that the market has recovered. Whatever your equity position was in 2008, it is better today. That allows some owners to get enough liquidity to