Money and finance

Credit scores

If you are thinking of buying a house or condo, your credit score matters. A low score can Cause you to be unable to get a conventional mortgage. Drive up the price of your mortgage, because you are a higher-risk borrower. Sudden changes in your credit score, after you apply, can cause your mortgage to

Portfolio Lenders and Recasting Mortgages

Portfolio vs. conventional lenders A Portfolio Bank is a bank that lends their own funds into mortgages. They keep the mortgages in the bank and service the loans, which is a real advantage to homeowners. Portfolio lenders tend to be local banks and credit unions. A portfolio lender is able to make their own rules

Financial Tips for Veterans Who Might Buy a House

Are you or have you been in the U.S. military? Would you like to buy a house someday but you're not sure whether you have the finances to do it? Veterans' Legal Rights Anyone on active duty in the military is protected by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). According to military.com, f you are

By Rona|2019-11-03T11:21:52-05:00November 13th, 2019|Categories: Money and finance|

File this, save thousands on real estate taxes!

Residential exemptions make a big difference to property taxes in Massachusetts. While doing a comparative market analysis for a client, I noticed that half the condos were paying almost twice as much in taxes than other condos that were pretty much the same size and location. The difference wasn’t that some were renovated, thus worth

By Rona|2019-09-11T18:24:45-04:00September 11th, 2019|Categories: Happy Home Ownership, Money and finance|Tags: real estate tax, residential exemption, tax exemption, tax forms|

Waiving Mortgage Contingency

1. Most of the time, if you have a documented pre-approval, you will get your mortgage, so a mortgage contingency is not really necessary, right? Wrong. It is only unnecessary if: You can afford to lose 5-10 percent of your purchase price. The mortgage contingency gives you a date by which you can get that

By Rona|2018-09-16T12:53:33-04:00September 26th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|

Good Time to Downsize

A rising market favors people who are downsizing because the higher the property value, the greater the sale of the more expensive, bigger property. This offsets the higher price of the downsized, smaller property, assuming both properties are rising at the same rate. Suppose you own a house that was worth $650,000 before the mini-bubble.

By Rona|2018-06-28T17:33:15-04:00July 11th, 2018|Categories: Market data and conditions, Money and finance, thinking of selling?|

Two-Income Trap

In The Two Income Trap, Ms Warren and Ms Warren Tyagi wisely advise families to prepare for emergencies ahead of time. I am thinking of copying the chapter “The Financial Fire Drill” and giving it to my clients before they start house hunting. They pose three questions: Can your family survive for six months without one

By Rona|2018-04-08T15:31:05-04:00April 18th, 2018|Categories: Money and finance, Mortgage matters|

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 Rona|2018-01-08T17:43:23-05:00January 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