Chapter 1: Should you buy or rent?There's no easy answer. Emotions, family and personal reasons all come into play in any home buying decision.Should you buy or rent?How much house can you afford?Chapter 2: How mortgages workYou can get a mortgage in many places, but they all share the same characteristics. We explain.Fixed-rate mortgagesAdjustable-rate mortgagesDeciding between an ARM and a fixed-rate mortgageSubprime mortgagesOther types of mortgagesWhich type of lender is right for you?Chapter 3: Your mortgage paymentYour monthly payment is determined by the rate and the amount of the loan, but there's much more to it.Your credit scoreDown paymentLow down paymentsWhat is mortgage insurance?PointsHow lenders set ratesChapter 4: Paperwork and feesPrepare to gather a lot of paperwork, negotiate your loan terms and make sense of all the fees.Prequalified or preapproved borrowers have an edgeQuestions to expect from mortgage lenders10 questions to ask your mortgage lenderNecessary paperwork for a buyerThe good-faith estimateOther lender paperworkChapter 5: UnderwritingYou can help speed the verification of your information while the appraisal and inspection are done.UnderwritingInspection and insuranceSpecial circumstancesTurned down for a mortgageChapter 6: ClosingThe closing table is your last chance to alter the deal, and the last chance for someone to sneak something past you.Understanding the closing processUnderstanding escrow accountsChapter 7: Ownership, after closingYou have the keys, but you're not done. Your mortgage needs periodic maintenance, too.When your mortgage is handled by a mortgage servicerPayment changesPaying aheadRemoving private mortgage insuranceRefinancingAvoiding foreclosure advertisementRelated Links:Mortgage rates for July 26, 2012Mortgages have fallen and they can't get upMortgage Rate Trend Index: July 26, 2012Related Articles:Can you squat to own?Federal funds rate at workInterest Rate Roundup
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The new housing secretary delivered his first major speech since taking office. What's his top priority? He doesn't say.
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