Signs of a Housing Recovery?


According to a well-known gauge of the U.S. housing market, home prices have been on an upswing. The latest S&P/Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index, which was released in May, posted its biggest gain in seven years. This improvement has spurred renewed optimism about housing’s role in the country’s economic recovery.

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Refinancing Your Mortgage

When you refinance your mortgage, you take out a new home loan and use some or all of the proceeds to pay off the existing one. Today, many homeowners are taking advantage of historically low interest rates and refinancing their mortgage loans.

Why refinance your mortgage?

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Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage or Invest?

Owning a home outright is a dream that many Americans share. Having a mortgage can be a huge burden, and paying it off may be the first item on your financial to-do list. But competing with the desire to own your home free and clear is your need to invest for retirement, your child’s college education, or some other goal. Putting extra cash toward one of these goals may mean sacrificing another. So how do you choose?

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Reverse Mortgages

What are reverse mortgages?

Older individuals who own their homes often find themselves “house rich and cash poor.” Developed to address this dilemma, a reverse mortgage provides funds–all at once or over time–to an older homeowner by drawing against the equity built up in the residence. Unlike “forward” mortgages, reverse mortgages are not repaid on a monthly basis. The total loan (including the accumulated interest) is repaid when the last surviving borrower sells the home, permanently vacates the property, or dies.

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Mortgage Basics

What is it?

So you’re ready to buy a house. You’re probably going to need help financing such a large purchase, which usually means getting a mortgage. A mortgage is an interest in property, created by a written document, that secures the repayment of a loan. When you take out a mortgage loan to buy a home, the home becomes the collateral for the loan. If you don’t repay the loan as agreed, the lender may take your property and sell it to satisfy the debt.

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