home buying - Articles

Comparing Loan Types on a $200,000 Mortgage

Shutterstock By Chris Birk Mortgages aren't one-size-fits-all products. Loan types and lenders all have different requirements, benefits and drawbacks. Some require sterling credit and sizable down payments. Others have looser standards but limit where you can purchase, or come with higher fees. Heck, one loan program... Continue Reading »

Home Finance: Exploring Alternatives to the 30-Year Mortgage

Shutterstock"Over one-third of U.S. home sales in 2013 were all-cash deals." By Geoff Williams If you're buying a house, chances are you'll take out a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. It's the most popular home financing option, according to Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entity that works to help homeowners get... Continue Reading »

Are There Best Times to Buy, Sell or List a Home?

ShutterstockReal estate inventory tends to fluctuate by season. By Brendon DiSimone A common question from a buyer or seller is: What is the best time to buy or sell a home? In the clothing world, it makes sense to get the best "deal" on winter clothes at the end of winter and that you will likely will pay top dollar... Continue Reading »

How Renting Out Your Home Can Help You Buy Another

ShutterstockUse projected rents for your property to show additional income. By Scott Sheldon One of the biggest obstacles homebuyers will face is being able to show enough income to offset their debts -- in addition to a proposed housing payment. If you don't show enough income to offset your debts according to the... Continue Reading »

Alternatives to Putting 20 Percent Down on a Home

ShutterstockRaising a 20 percent down payment isn't an easy thing to do. By Geoff Williams It's a mantra often repeated in the real estate industry: If you want to buy a house, you need a 20 percent down payment. But with the average house in the U.S. costing $311,400 as of December 2013, according to the Census Bureau,... Continue Reading »

Home Equity Loans: Why They're Back, and Better

ShutterstockHave you gotten a pitch from your bank for a home equity loan? By Vera Gibbons Last year, homeowners recouped about $1.9 trillion in lost value, according to estimates from Zillow. That put more equity in our hands, and in turn led to a return in home equity lending. Granted, we're not at pre-crash levels in... Continue Reading »

For-Sale Craftsman Homes, Like Those on 'American Dream Builders'

Zillow This light-filled home in Seattle is adorned with leaded-glass windows, boxed beams and a built-in dining room buffet. Craftsman homes, an early 20th-century architectural style, feature high-quality craftsmanship not always found in new constructions. "It's elegant artistically: classic materials, bay windows,... Continue Reading »

10 Reasons Why Homeowners Have an Edge on Renters

ShutterstockThe homeownership rate remains relatively low. By Kimberly Palmer Homebuying has earned a bad rap in recent years: The subprime mortgage crisis and ensuing economic meltdown left many homeowners underwater, unable to pay their mortgage and even facing foreclosure. Homeownership rates fell throughout the... Continue Reading »

For Sale: Affordable Homes in the Most Affordable Markets

ZillowWhat's affordable in Minneapolis? This charming and updated three-bedroom, two-bathroom bungalow. By Sharona Ott Some metros are known for their sky-high home prices. However, metros with affordable homes for sale do exist! We define a market as affordable if a buyer who makes the area's median income can afford... Continue Reading »

How to Know If You Should Keep Renting Instead of Buying

ShutterstockHomebuyers have to be ready to commit their time and money. By AJ Smith One question I heard frequently throughout my 20s was, "When are you going to buy a house?" Some believed I was already missing out on the benefits of homeownership while others thought with my career constantly taking me to new cities,... Continue Reading »

For Sale: Jack Osbourne's Spanish-Style LA Home

ZillowJack Osbourne's newly renovated, 1926 gated home has high ceilings with Spanish-style beams. APJack Osbourne By Emily Heffter Perhaps inspired by his sister's quick sale of her Hollywood Hills starter home, Jack Osbourne has listed his Spanish-style four-bedroom, four-bath home in the Los Feliz neighborhood... Continue Reading »

For Sale: Wayne Gretzky's Thousand Oaks Mansion

ZillowThe front door of Wayne Gretzky's house is flanked by immaculate hedges and looks onto a tiered black fountain. APJanet Jones and Wayne Gretzky By Emily Heffter Hockey Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and his wife, actress Janet Jones, have fixed up their Thousand Oaks, Calif., mansion and are selling it for $10.5... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Rise as Rates Fall

Brian Chan/Alamy By Caroline Valetkevitch NEW YORK -- Applications for U.S. home mortgages rose last week as interest rates declined, an industry group said Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase... Continue Reading »

10 Most Expensive Homes on the Market

Source: Hilton & HylandThe Beverly House was once owned by publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst and actress Marion Davies. By Catherine Sherman If good things come in threes, then we're due for another multimillion-dollar home sale. The Copper Beech estate in Greenwich, Conn., just sold for $120 million,... Continue Reading »

Housing Starts Rise Less Than Forecast, Permits Fall

Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON -- - U.S. housing starts rose but below market expectations and building permits fell in March, pointing to underlying weakness in the housing market that could persist despite improving weather. The Commerce Department said Wednesday... Continue Reading »

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace: 30-Year Loan Hits 6-Week Low

ZillowThe 30-year fixed rate is down from 4.20 percent last week. By Alexa Fiander Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell over the past week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 4.14 percent, down from 4.20 percent at this same time last week. The 30-year fixed... Continue Reading »

Jack Reacher Author Buys Expedia CEO's Co-op

ZillowThe four-bedroom, three-bath unit in The Orwell House has a view of New York City's Central Park. By Emily Heffter Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has sold his co-op on New York's Upper West Side to the author of the Jack Reacher book series. Jim Grant, known commonly by the pen name Lee Child, bought Khosrowshahi's... Continue Reading »

Copper Beech Estate Sets Record, Selling for $120 Million

ZillowCopper Beech is apparently the reigning champ for single-family residential sales in the United States. By Catherine Sherman When Copper Beech Farm hit the market for $190 million in May 2013, the Greenwich, Conn., home made headlines for stealing the title for the most expensive residential listing, ever. Even... Continue Reading »

For Sale: Trisha Yearwood's Charming House in the Country

ZillowTrisha Yearwood's house in Brentwood, Tenn., has been the setting for her Food Network TV show. By Emily Heffter Country music star Trisha Yearwood is selling her countryside home outside Nashville. The charming white house has been the setting for the Grammy-winner's Food Network TV show, "Trisha's Southern... Continue Reading »

Today's Modular Homes Offer Flexibility, and More Strength

MEKA, Inc.Modular homes are houses manufactured off-site, transported and then assembled on residential land. By Catherine Sherman In the latest episode of NBC's home renovation show "American Dream Builders," the remaining contestants were given four identical, modular homes to showcase their creativity. With their... Continue Reading »

For Sale: 6 Princely Settings for 'Game of Thrones' Viewing

ZillowThis Texas castle's grand banquet hall could accommodate an army. By Catherine Sherman Where are you watching "Game of Thrones"? With the hit HBO show back for a fourth season, now is the perfect time to dream about a Red Keep of your own. Maybe a medieval-style fortress with turrets galore? Or, perhaps a... Continue Reading »

Sofia Vergara Buys Beverly Hills Villa for $10.6 Million

ZillowThe home's dramatic decor includes carved ceilings, inlaid floors, and multiple fireplaces and terraces APSofia Vergara of "Modern Family" By Emily Heffter There's more than enough room for Sofia Vergara's entire "Modern Family" in the seven-bedroom, nine-bathroom home she bought in Beverly Hills. The... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Rates Slip, Edge Closer to Record Low Levels

Tony Dejak/AP WASHINGTON -- Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages declined this week, edging closer to historically low levels as the spring home-buying season begins. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for the 30-year loan fell to 4.34 percent from 4.41 percent last week. The average for the 15-year... Continue Reading »

For Sale: Homes With Exercise as an Option

ZillowAn elegant ballet studio is only one of several recreational options in this Florida home. By Sharona Ott The hardest part of going to the gym isn't the workout -- it's leaving the house and getting there. For those stay-at-home types, these homes offer fun exercise options without having to walk farther than... Continue Reading »

FHA Program Gives Distressed Homeowners a Second Chance

ShutterstockForeclosure doesn't have to mean the end of homeownership. By Scott Sheldon A consumer who sold his or her home in a short sale or lost it in a foreclosure would normally have to wait 36 months to purchase a primary residence again with an FHA fixed-rate mortgage. However, the FHA Back to Work Program allows... Continue Reading »

Mortgage Applications Fall as Refinancing Drops

Getty Images By Luciana Lopez NEW YORK -- Applications for U.S. home mortgages fell last week as refinancing slipped, an industry group said Wednesday. The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 1.6... Continue Reading »

Zillow Mortgage Marketplace: 30-Year Rate Drops Again

ZillowMortgage rates fell after Friday's job report. By Alexa Fiander Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell last week, with the current rate borrowers were quoted on Zillow Mortgage Marketplace at 4.20 percent, down from 4.25 percent at this same time last week. The 30-year fixed mortgage rate peaked on... Continue Reading »

For-Sale Cabins, Like Those on 'American Dream Builders'

ZillowThis cabin on Tehama Drive in Big Bear Lake, Calif., is a short walk from the Big Bear Mountain Golf Course. By Catherine Sherman Ready to put on your hiking boots and head to the mountains? Leading designers and builders renovated historic cabins in the latest episode of NBC's reality show "American Dream... Continue Reading »

Homebuying Factors that Mortgage Calculators Miss

ShutterstockThere's more to affording a home than figuring a loan payment. By Christine DiGangi If you're thinking about buying a home, you've probably used -- or at least heard of -- a mortgage calculator. These nifty tools can help you figure out the price range of homes you may be able to afford and estimate your... Continue Reading »

Spanish-Style Homes as Seen on 'American Dream Builders'

ZillowThe living room of this Santa Barbara, Calif., house features a hand-carved wood ceiling. By Catherine Sherman NBC's new home renovation reality show, "American Dream Builders," wouldn't be complete without some Spanish architectural flair. This week, designers renovated Spanish houses with quintessential... Continue Reading »

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