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Making Mortgages More “Affordable” for Millennials

The Level 1 article in the August SMI newsletter touches on the topic of making an entire mortgage down payment with money received as a gift. Making a down payment with gift money is an increasingly common practice, at
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Homebuying? What to Know About Conventional and FHA Mortgages

Buying a house is the largest financial commitment most of us make, and the process can be intimidating. It involves making a series of decisions — typically about unfamiliar matters — that will have a financial impact
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Given the New Tax Law, Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster?

Has the new tax law changed your outlook on paying down your mortgage? The question of whether to emphasize investing/saving or accelerating mortgage payments is a perennial one, as noted in the June 2015 SMI
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The Rules Have Changed for Reverse Mortgages

In recent years, reverse mortgages have ridden a popularity roller coaster. Once seen as loans of last resort, they came back in vogue in 2010 when a new “Saver” reverse mortgage became available that featured
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Ready Cash: As Home Prices Rise, Cash-Out Re-fis Are on the Rise Too

Many American homeowners are re-embracing a once-popular method of generating cash: refinancing their home loans and getting cash out in the process. Five years ago, in the continuing wake of the financial crisis, only 12
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Getting in Shape in 2017 With a ‘Fiscal Health Day’

Several years ago, when New York Times personal-finance writer Ron Lieber was furloughed for a few days, he responded in true personal-finance expert fashion. By devoting one of his unpaid days off to taking care of a list
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Should You Rent or Buy a Home?

Hank and Hannah Homeseeker are considering buying a $225,000 house. They’re currently renting for $1,300 per month. There are many factors that could sway their decision, but which decision would make the most financial
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New Ways of Thinking About Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages used to be considered a cash-flow option of last resort. That perception is changing, due to new regulations that have made them safer, as well as new cash-flow strategies that appeal to younger retirees.
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Invest in Your 401(k) — or Pay Down Your Home Mortgage?

“We’d like to start prepaying our mortgage, but we can’t do that and invest for retirement. Which should have the priority?” That’s a common question — and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Your age, tax bracket, how
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The Refinancing Train Is Leaving The Station

It's been roughly 18 months since SMI last looked at the ins and outs of refinancing a home mortgage. But some things have changed since then that merit taking another quick look at the issue. What's changed? Interest
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