Archive for March 2013

Refinance: Turnaround or Trap?

Earlier this week I promised to talk more about refinancing your mortgage to deal with high-cost debt. A reporter for a financial publication asked me, “If you have lots of high-interest debt, what do you recommend doing about your mortgage?” While the simple answer is, “Refinance and pay it all off,” that could be very…

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Refinancing to Consolidate Debt: Is It a Trap?

I recently gave an interview to a reporter about refinancing for a financial publication. She asked me this question: “Why is paying lower-interest mortgage instead of high-interest debt (like credit cards) a bad idea? How can this impact you in the long term? If you have lots of debt or high-interest debt, what do you…

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The Great Mortgage Insurance Shootout

It’s no great revelation that accumulating a 20% cash down payment is a major barrier to home ownership. Even with the East Bay’s high median income (over $70,000 per household in Alameda County, nearly $80,000 for Contra Costa), saving up $60,000 to buy a $300,000 starter home is quite daunting. That’s why low down payment…

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Refinancing: Excuses, excuses…

As strange as it may seem, there are still many people who have not taken advantage of today’s ridiculously low mortgage rates, even though these homeowners often have rates far higher than what is available today. Although I hear myriad excuses for not refinancing, I’ll list the most common, along with an explanation of why…

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A Different Strategy for Home Buyers

There is a distressing reality for many home buyers today: not only is there a shortage of inventory, but “normal” buyers are finding that they often must compete with buyers offering all cash and a quick close of escrow. Yes, there are many buyers who are flush with cash today. Sellers often have the luxury…

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What? No loan contingency?

Being a buyer today can really suck. With so few homes on the market, many homes get multiple offers, some over the asking price. To make matters worse, some of those properties are selling to all-cash buyers. As a buyer, you may have been disappointed more than once, losing to someone offering cash. Let’s face…

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CHDAP: A Leg Up for First Time Home Buyers

The most common barrier to home ownership today is cash for a down payment and closing costs. For many people today, especially those just starting out, it’s a real struggle to save that much cash. The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) offers a down payment assistance program that has helped thousands of Californians realize the…

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Our Strategy for the Spring Housing Scrum

It’s that time of year for the first time in many years. Buyers are crawling out of hibernation and have their eyes out on their new nests. With inventories low, it’s taking more than putting in a good price to get the house or property they want. When Carla Fried from Bloomberg/Businessweek tapped me for…

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Short of cash? Buy a home anyway.

For most first-time home buyers, the biggest hurdle has traditionally been cash for the down payment and closing costs. In many people’s minds, the goal is still a 20% down payment. That would be $60,000 for a $300,000 home, and closing costs (title, escrow, prorations, etc.) can easily add another $6,000 to that figure. Yes,…

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Joseph M. Parsons NMLS #230285
Pinnacle Capital Mortgage,
a division of Finance of America, LLC

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