From time to time we use this space to clear up industry terminology. Recently I was asked about the difference between a pre-approval letter and loan commitment. Both are similar, yet there are subtle differences between these two mortgage terms and they should not be used interchangeably. Let’s start with pre-approval letters. These are nearly.. read more →

When the bottom dropped out of the market in 2009, people became more careful about spending and accumulating debt. But once the economy started improving, consumers felt more comfortable about spending. Now, eight years later, we are seeing a return to our less careful days of money management. In fact, we’re setting new records of.. read more →

Remember “The Amityville Horror”? It was a huge late-1970s bestseller and movie about a family that was terrorized by a house of evil spirits. It turned out to be a hoax, but there was one part of the story that was just as terrifying, yet absolutely true. In 1974, 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo, Jr., used a.. read more →

The world of mortgages has a short menu. Will it be an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) or a Fixed Rate Mortgage? You’ll often hear people say that a fixed-rate mortgage is always the best move — that’s not necessarily the truth. Homebuyers sometimes have unique circumstances that allow them to take advantage of the initial.. read more →

When it comes to mortgage downpayments, there seems to be some confusion about how much you really need to put down on a new property. Let’s take a look at three common misconceptions. 1. The 20% Rule. If you were to ask the average person on the street about downpayments, the majority of them would.. read more →

I’ve been working with homeowners for many years and I discovered long ago that eager buyers set themselves up to fail by taking the wrong approach in their excitement of making what is often the largest purchase of their lives. Whether I’m advising couples, divorced women, single men or anyone else across all demographics, the.. read more →

The difference between an assessment and an appraisal is significant. The two words are not interchangeable, contrary to popular thought. A look at each of these terms will show two very different looks at your home’s value. An appraisal determines the market value of a specific home at a specific time. The appraiser determines this.. read more →

If you ever hear someone say they are interested in buying a second home as an investment property, stop them right there. A second home and an investment property are not the same thing. There are several distinctions that set them apart. Let’s take a look. A second home is just what it sounds like:.. read more →

There’s some good news for those homebuyers looking for a larger loan amount in 2017. The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently announced that loan limits for are rising. The limit on conforming loans moves up from $417,000 to $424,100. This is the first increase in the baseline loan limit since 2006. That’s good news for.. read more →

People sometimes ask me why they should use Westchester Morgtage instead of one of the big banks. It’s a fair question, with an answer that goes beyond great service. The lending industry bases their approval decisions on the following three criteria. Banks tend to take a conservative approach but mortgage brokers have more flexibility to.. read more →