What Is Mortgage Insurance?

For many people, paying mortgage insurance is a necessary evil.  It goes by a couple different names:  PMI (private mortgage insurance) is required on conventional loans, and MIP (mortgage insurance premium) is the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) version. No matter what you call it, people really seem to hate paying for it. Why the hate? Frankly,…

Read More

The USDA Rural Development loan rocks

No down payment, fixed rate, low interest, no mortgage insurance.  Rocks. This mortgage is available for people buying houses in eligible areas, basically anywhere outside of major metropolitan regions.  I live in South Dakota, where the entire state is eligible except for the bigger cities.  Again, South Dakota, so I use the word ‘cities’ loosely. There are income…

Read More

WHAT ARE POINTS?

Look on any site schlepping mortgages & you’ll see the interest rate & how many ‘points’ it takes to get that rate.  But that word, ‘points,’ is rarely explained and is often a source of confusion.  So here’s the quick & dirty on what points are and how you can use them to your advantage….

Read More

One Question

Here are the top ten questions I’m most often asked by mortgage shoppers (in no particular order): 10. What’s your interest rate? 9. How much are the closing costs? 8. What is the term (number of payments) on the loan? 7. Is there a prepayment penalty? 6. What’s your interest rate? 5. Is there a…

Read More

South Dakota’s wacked-out property tax system

South Dakota’s property tax system is confusing to a lot of people. Here is what you need to know: Property taxes are due twice a year, in April and October. The April installment pays the taxes that accrued during the first half of the previous calendar year. The October payment pays the taxes that accrued…

Read More