Housing

New Government Short Sale Program

Yesterday, the government announced an additional program under the Making Home Affordable Plan. In light of the fact that some homeowners still can’t afford their homes after a loan modification, the government is now creating a program that would encourage banks to accept a short sale or deed-in-lieu rather than foreclosing. Why Avoid Foreclosure? The simple fact is that foreclosed homes lose value fast. They also decline in condition after the…
Continue Reading

My Path to Becoming a Homeowner, Part 2

On Friday, I detailed the start of our road to homeownership, which stretched over a year and a half from the initial “we might be able to afford a house” to the “let’s hire a real estate agent” stage. Now I’ll tell you how we finally reached the end. Careful Thinking about Each Home All told, we looked at exactly 50 houses, including the open houses. Of the 29…
Continue Reading

740: New Minimum Credit Score for Mortgages

My husband and I just applied for a mortgage this week. After the broker ran our credit, he informed that the new minimum credit score for mortgage underwriting is an astounding 740. That’s no problem for us — our scores were around 800 — but that could be a problem for many prospective homebuyers. The average credit score is 723. That’s not to say that you can’t a…
Continue Reading