Ruin your credit in one hour

How can you take your credit score down 50, 100 or even 150 points in a single hour? It’s possible, and what is amazing is that it’s not that hard. People do it all the time. Let’s start with a little background. Your credit score is a measure of how likely it is you will...

The Last GE Appliance I Will Ever Buy

10/17/2017 | Casey Fleming | Do not buy GE appliances. There, I’ve said it. It makes me sad, though, because GE used to be a great company. Here is my story, though, and why I will never buy another GE product. About 10 years ago I remodeled my kitchen. I have a 1926 Craftsman bungalow...

5 Affordable Ways to Prepare Your Home for Someone Who is Visually Impaired

2/19/2018 | Marie Villeza |While making modifications to a home to prepare it for a person with a visual impairment is essential to her safety and comfort, it can become quite costly to do so. The good news is, there are several ways to make your home accessible that won’t force you to get a...

Student Loan Debt And Millennial Home-Buying

1/19/2018 | Tom Fire | Buying your first home is a rite of passage, something that often signals that you are finally an adult — with the mortgage to prove it. Yet for many millennials (loosely defined as young adults between the ages of 18 and 35), home buying is a far-off dream. According to a...

How the GOP Tax Bill Affects You (If You Own Real Estate)

12/23/2017 | Casey Fleming | Now that the ink is drying on the 2017 Tax Reform Act, you may be wondering if the GOP tax bill is going to affect you.  The answer is yes.  Since I write about real estate, and real estate financing in particular, I will cover aspects of the 2017 Tax...

New Conforming Loan Limits for 2018 are Higher Than Expected

11/29/2017 | Casey Fleming |  The Federal Housing Finance Agency – the FHFA – disclosed the new conforming loan limits for 2018 yesterday, and they went up further than most analysts expected!  It’s great news, as it opens the door to homeownership to more people. Historical Context Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the agencies) were...

How to Shop For a Mortgage

Shopping for a mortgage can seem a little like going to an apothecary and asking for something to cure what ails you.  The alchemist goes into the back room, mixes together a bunch of mystery ingredients, mutters something incomprehensible, and then, poof!  Your cure is ready.  You may feel this is what happens when you...

Interest Rates and Inflation

10/16/17 | Casey Fleming | It’s been a while since I wrote about interest rates and inflation.  In the last six weeks rates have crept up about 0.250%.  Let’s talk about what happened. As you may recall, stocks and interest rates tend to move together most of the time.  This is because as stock prices...

Interest Rate Slide Continues

9/1/2017 | Casey Fleming  |  The last week of August brought us a continuation of the interest rate slide we’ve enjoyed this month, albeit with very small movement.  Last week I mentioned that this would be a busy week for economic reports.  The reports were mixed, as usual (see below) but a number of important...

Major Changes to Reverse Mortgage Rules

8/31/2017 | Casey Fleming — HUD announced this week a couple of major changes to their reverse mortgage rules.  HUD insures the most common reverse mortgage in the country (by far), the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. Beginning with files that are registered after October 2nd, 2016, the up front funding fee will be 2.000% of...