November 29, 2012

No Closing Cost Loan Example

I've gotten multiple requests to clarify the recent no closing cost refinance loan I just completed. Its a bit of a vague term and could be done different ways, but the end result is that there are no out of...
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November 27, 2012

3.5% 30 Year Fixed No Closing Cost Refinance

We finally closed this week on our 3.5% 30 year fixed refinance with no closing costs (no closing costs = a credit from lender/broker large enough to offset refinance costs). It took us over 2 months (67 days from initial...
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November 5, 2012

Appraisal Appeal Unsuccessful

Not much of a surprise, the appraiser dug in and didn't budge after we submitted our appraisal appeal: Our more favorable comparables were based on county property records. Interestingly the appraiser indicated the MLS data is generally considered more accurate...
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October 23, 2012

Appeal Your Real Estate Appraisal

Last week I received the results of a recent appraisal of our home for a refinance. I was shocked to learn the appraised value was significantly lower than I expected. The appraiser had indicated the value of the property had...
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October 19, 2012

Harsh Reality of Housing Bubble Bursting

Over the past few weeks rates fell low enough that I was able to lock in on a 3.5% 30yr fixed mortgage refinance with no closing costs* on our primary residence. We last refinanced in 2010 @ 4.375% for a...
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September 24, 2012

September 2012 Debt Snapshot

Here is another update on our debt. I've been looking at this over the past year as I'm primarily interested in improving our cash flow. I don't see paying down our mortgage debt as the best return on our money,...
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July 31, 2012

Debt Reshuffling to Reduce Interest

I'm thinking of doing a little debt reshuffling to save up to $500 annually in mortgage interest (the 1st year at least). As regular readers know our recent focus has been on 1) increasing our cash position, and 2) increasing...
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May 24, 2012

Refinancing Investment Property Mortgage

I'm now firmly convinced the only way to refinance a mortgage is via a no closing cost option where the broker provides a credit to cover the closing costs with the acceptance of a higher interest rate. People can argue...
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October 11, 2011

Who Is Loaning Money for Mortgage At These Low Interest Rates?

While this historically low interest rates (I saw 30yr fixed interest rates fell below 4% within the past couple of weeks) are amazing for those of us with mortgages, I have wondered who in the world is loaning this cheap...
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September 20, 2011

DIY Plumbing Got A Lot Easier

A recent home improvement project has my head spinning with possibilities as one of the more complicated and expensive construction trades just got a whole lot cheaper to me. This plumbing break through is permanent push connect fittings. Apparently they...
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August 27, 2011

Cash Flow Positive Rental Within 72 Hours

The nervousness of purchasing another piece of real estate in this climate quickly subsided after we closed on the property purchase on a Wednesday and then had a lease signed and started by Saturday. Closing was pretty routine as this...
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August 24, 2011

Discovered an Underground Oil Tank During Home Inspection

For the rental property we had under contract, we opted to go ahead and hire our own home inspector despite the property seller making available a home inspection report written by their own home inspector. It turns out it was...
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August 6, 2011

Interest Charged on Principal for Entire Month when Prepaying Mortgage?

"If you prepay your [FHA] loan on other than the regular installment date, you may be assessed interest charges until the end of that month" This was on a document I had to sign as part of the application package...
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August 23, 2010

Everbank Refinance Closing Costs

We closed last week on the refinancing of our primary mortgage. We ended up getting a 30yr fixed mortgage @ 4.375% for $256,000 through Everbank. We decided to maximize what we borrowed at this low rate and will use the...
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August 22, 2010

Wells Fargo Three Step Refinance With No Cost

While in the middle of our refinance, I received a letter from Wells Fargo (who currently owns our primary mortgage) giving me an opportunity to refinance with them through a simplified process that would cost us nothing to reduce our...
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August 16, 2010

Should We Take Cash Out from Refinancing?

I was surprised to learn that our house appraised for $18k higher than we purchased it for in Dec 2008 and our refinance lender will let us borrow an additional $20,000 over our current mortgage balance. I thought lending practices...
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August 12, 2010

Rule of Thumb for Refinancing

I have seen lots of tips on when it makes sense to refinance your mortgage, but I disagree with some. Here is my rule of thumb on whether it makes sense to refinance - the key for me is an...
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August 7, 2010

Moving Forward with Refinancing As Rates Fall

I started watching rates closely in July when one of my co-workers started alerted me that he was refinancing. Our mortgage on our house (House #4 in our net worth reports - our primary residence) was initiated when we bought...
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February 18, 2010

Focused on Debt Reduction

Things are pretty boring financially speaking for us these days. We are plugging along with our plans to pay down an additional portion of our debt load to offset our increased living expenses and decreased income from my wife staying...
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November 30, 2009

We Sold our Townhouse - House #3!

We finally closed on the townhouse my wife bought before we were married. We had moved into House #4 in December 2008 and had family living in the townhouse (House #3) until the last week of August. We then put...
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August 31, 2009

Refinanced to an Investment Equity Line of Credit

A month ago our real estate mortgages/debt/leverage looked like this: Property Financing Current Balance PITI Rental Property #1 5.63% 30yr fixed mortgage $ 110,900 $ 1,030 Rental Property #1 HELOC 3.25% variable APR $ - $ - Rental Property #2...
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August 11, 2009

House #2 Appaised at $150,000

I got a pleasant suprise this week as I got a copy of the appraisal done for our new equity line on House #2 - $150,000! I orginally paid less than $130,000 back in June 2006 and wasn't expecting any...
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July 27, 2009

The Best Way to Make Extra Principal Payments on Your Mortgage?

If your like me you make extra principal payments to your mortgage. My wife and I are currently focusing on prepaying one of our mortgages with the highest interest rate. The mortgage is a 30yr fixed @ 6.5% administered by...
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April 27, 2009

Deferring Our Carpet Purchase to Save Money

As I recently showed on our big ticket list, the next item my wife and I are planning on purchasing was new carpet for the baby's room. This upcoming purchase has been of great debate between the two of us....
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March 18, 2009

Shopping for Homeowners Insurance

When we purchased our new home I called both of our insurance companies and received quotes for a new homeowner's policy. With some much going on since we have been married I never got a chance to start consolidating our...
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February 2, 2009

Save Money On Title Insurance

When my wife and I bought Houes #4, closing costs were just a blip on the radar screen with some many things to do to get through closing. However, hats off to our mortgage broker, who pointed out we had...
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January 26, 2009

Closing Costs from HUD Statement

Here are the settlement charges for the new mortgage when we purchased House #4: Settlement Charges   801 Origination Fee (1.0%) $2,416.00 803 Appraisal Fee $ 100.00 804 Credit Report $ 8.89 805 Flood Certification Fee $ 11.00 806 Commitment...
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January 23, 2009

Cutting Heating/Energy Expenses Around the House

Since we moved into our new home I have spent a bit of time focusing on reducing the heating/energy consumption of the house. The house was ripe with opportunity: I repaired weatherstripping around the exterior doors to ensure there was...
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January 19, 2009

Reduce Home Energy Costs by Sealing Electrical Outlets

On the first cold night after we moved into our new home I quickly noticed cold air blowing out of our 1st floor electrical outlets. My father suggested buying foam sealers for the electrical outlets and using the foam cut-out...
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December 28, 2008

Closed on House #4

We were able to successfully close on House #4. This house will be our new home perhaps for the rest of our lives. This house has much of what my wife and I were looking for in a home that...
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December 24, 2008

Locked Our New 30 year Fixed Rate Mortgage at 4.875%

It took 3 tries, but my wife and I finally locked into a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at 4.875% with no fees or points. We are borrowing $241k at this rate. I decided to borrow as much as possible...
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December 10, 2008

House #4 Under Contract

Call us crazy, but we have reached an agreement to buy a house for approximately $301,500. It was the 7th offer we had put on a house during our house hunting, but only the second seller who was willing to...
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November 25, 2008

Signed Up A Buyer's Agent with 70% Rebate

Well my wife and I recently opted to sign up for a buyer's agent for our home search. My wife wanted to use a full service agent, but she eventually agreed to "try out" a buyer's agent that offered a...
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November 17, 2008

Ramblings after a Weekend of HouseHunting

My wife and I spent the better part of this past weekend looking at houses in the Raleigh/Durham area. Unfortunately I quickly soured when I was looking at the opportunities available in the so-called housing crisis. I guess I have...
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July 14, 2008

Rationalizing The House That Got Away

My wife and I just went through one of those roller coaster weeks in our house hunting search. We had a house on our radar screen that was out of our price range, but got drastically reduced. It was just...
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July 9, 2008

House Hunting Picking Up Steam For Us

Well, my wife and I have started to spending more time looking for our new home. This has kind of been on hold since we were overseas, but our housing circumstancs are changing so that we need to find a...
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April 9, 2008

Paying Down Our Mortgage is Very Addictive

Last month my wife and I made a $10,000 payment against the mortgage on our primary house in an effort to paydown the balance so we could cancel PMI after I realized we would earn a 6.7% after tax return...
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March 14, 2008

Taking Our Savings And Paying Down Our Mortgage

I have previously analysized the mortgage on House #3 and determined we could earn a 6.77% after tax return by paying down the mortgage to get rid of the private mortgage insurance. I have been on the fence this as...
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February 29, 2008

How Much House On A Six Figure Income?

As you know my wife and I have been talking about how much is a wise amount for us to spend on our new home given our financial goals. I found this very interesting discussion on people struggling on six-figure...
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December 12, 2007

Payoff Mortgage to Avoid Private Mortgage Insurance

I recently wrote up an analysis on the PMI insurance my wife is paying on her mortgage. I calculated we would get an initial after-tax 6.77% rate of return by paying down her mortgage $19k; just enough to cancel the...
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November 22, 2007

Payoff Mortgage for Better Rate of Return?

There are pros and cons to paying off mortgages (or at least accelerating payments) and a lot of people feel pretty strongly about the subject. I personally avoid accelerating payments on the 2 properties I have owned up until now...
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August 29, 2007

Previous Owner Wants My House Back

I got a short email from the previous owner of the FSBO purchase I made last year. It turns out he is now looking for a new place to live and wanted to see if I was interested in selling...
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July 18, 2007

Interim Savings Goal of $80,000 for Home Down Payment

Now that I have converted my current home to a rental property, it's time to start thinking about my next property. My fiancee and I believe that in 12-15 months we will be in position to start looking for a...
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October 25, 2006

College Town Real Estate

Here is an interesting article from Yahoo!Finance on the appeal of real estate in college towns. It just so happens both of the houses I own are in very close proximity to local major universities (within 1 mile). I think...
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October 24, 2006

How Much House Does a Typical Multi-Millionaire Own?

According to Michael Masterson in Automatic Wealth the average person with a net worth of $6.8 million owns a primary residence worth $545,000. Wow! That’s a lot lower than I would have guessed. He argues that owning an inexpensive home...
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May 22, 2006

House Under Contract!

I have finally started my next big step in reaching my $2 million net worth goal. I have reached an agreement with a seller to buy a small 3 bedroom home!I am very excited at the prospect of finally purchasing...
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December 21, 2005

Brainstorm - Buying Real Estate in Your Hometown

I have been kicking this half-baked idea around for awhile. As I suspect is the case with many you, I no longer live in my hometown. I live a few hours away and go visit my family and friends in...
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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,938,393


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