closing costs - Articles

Crunching the Closing-Cost Numbers: How to Finesse Mortgage Fees

Shutterstock Taking out a mortgage is only done a handful of times in one's life. Whether you're buying a home or refinancing a mortgage, closing costs are an inevitable part of the transaction. And keep in mind, closing costs on purchase transactions cost more than they do for refinances. With that in mind, here are... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Points: When It's Smart to Pay More Upfront

Pay more now for a chance to save much more later? That's the idea behind paying "points" on a mortgage loan. But it doesn't necessarily make sense for every homeowner. Mortgage points provide an opportunity for borrowers to lower their monthly mortgage payments by paying a lump sum at a loan's closing in exchange for a... Continue Reading »

Feds Want Your Feedback on Proposed Mortgage Forms

Federal regulators are asking for industry input on prototypes for a new, unified settlement disclosure form that will replace the separate HUD-1 Settlement Statement and Truth in Lending disclosure form currently in use. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- which has also been asking for feedback this year on a... Continue Reading »

Credit Score Catch-22: Mortgage Shopping Can Raise Your Rate

It's a Catch-22 if ever there was one. The very process of shopping around for a low interest rate on a mortgage can adversely impact your credit score and cost you your eligibility for the cheaper loan you're seeking. Each time a lender does what is known as a "hard pull" on your credit report, their action actually... Continue Reading »

Survey: Homebuyers Don't Get Good Faith Estimate

A new survey reveals that more than half of homebuyers today don't know what the Good Faith Estimate is actually good for - namely, to shop around for the cheapest mortgage loans on the market. In a survey released by ING Direct on Wednesday, 56 percent of respondents did not use the GFE to compare lenders' associated... Continue Reading »

When Mark and his wife married in 2007, their one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment was just what the newlyweds needed. But when home prices took a dip in their hip Brooklyn enclave, they knew it was time to make a move. "It was great at the time," Mark says, "but we knew that it was small and we definitely wanted more... Continue Reading »

Title Company Closes Doors in 47 States

What do you do when you're all set to close on a house and your selected title company goes belly up? That's what many homebuyers and real estate agents across the country are grappling with right now. Or at least there's a scramble to move their paperwork on to another company after one of the nation's largest title... Continue Reading »

Refinance Without Closing Costs

With the housing market on the slow path to recovery, many brokers continue to offer low-cost refinances -- a mortgage payment revamping that covers closing costs -- to sweeten the deal for homeowners. According to mortgage broker Kirk Tatom of Dallas-based Tatom Lending, a low-cost refinance also referred to as a... Continue Reading »

Closing Costs on New Mortgages Up 36.6 Percent

The average origination and third-party fees on new mortgages are up 36.6 percent over last year. In 2009, the average costs for closing a mortgage totaled $2,739, but that cost is up to $3,741, based on's 2010 Closing Costs Survey. The biggest difference is in third-party costs for appraisals and title... Continue Reading »

The Hidden Costs in Home Buying

San Francisco resident Mike S. thought he had a handle on the costs associated with home buying. Down payment -- check. Mortgage -- check. HOA dues -- huh? "The dreaded homeowner association dues," as he calls them, would add hundreds of dollars to his monthly nut, an outlay he hadn't figured when he calculated his home... Continue Reading »

10 Tips for Lie-Proofing a Home Closing, Pt. 2

On Friday, HousingWatch published the first five of my tips for detecting lies related to closing on a home purchase. It's a little like a good card trick -- you have to pay careful attention to figure out what's really going on. I wrote my book "Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception" to give ordinary people... Continue Reading »

First-Time Homebuyer's Guide

Mike Valdez fits the profile of a savvy first-time homebuyer perfectly. A 34-year-old financial analyst from New Rochelle, N.Y., he and his family had grown sick of living the renter's life. So two years ago he decided to test the market and find a townhouse for his growing family. But despite his financial aptitude, he... Continue Reading »

Closing Costs: No Surprises

Many homebuyers mistakenly arrive at closing unprepared for a laundry list of closing costs: major and minor fees that are a routine part of any home purchase. This can be because the lender increased fees on lender-controlled aspects of a transaction, or because a buyer chose a third party (appraiser, inspector,... Continue Reading »

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