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5-Minute Fix: Picking The Right Mortgage Term When You Refi

Many of our clients are taking advantage of incredibly low mortgage rates to refinance. But how do you decide between a traditional 30-year fixed mortgage and a shorter 15 or 20-year term? A shorter-term mortgage, like one lasting only 15 years, will offer a lower interest rate and will, of course, be paid off sooner due to […]

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The Lowdown On Reverse Mortgages

The Lowdown On Reverse Mortgages

Talk about having your cake and eating it too. Would you like to get a load of cash for your house but still stay in it and live rent-free? That’s what reverse mortgages sound like to a lot of people. But are they as appealing and risk-free as they sound? “While reverse mortgages are increasingly […]

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Retirees: Paying Off Your Mortgage Could Be Big Mistake

How many times do you read in the personal finance column that the first thing you need to do in retirement is pay off your mortgage? For many retirees, that could be very bad advice. This is a great example of how theory often conflicts with reality, and those of us who practice financial planning – […]

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7 Steps To Qualifying For The Best Mortgage

“Mortgage rates have plunged to record lows, below 4 percent. That’s great — but only if you can actually qualify for a loan, and that’s not easy,”  says Kathleen Lynn, writing for  the New Jersey Record. Lynn has seven tips to help you take advantage of bargain-basement mortgage rates, ranging from polishing up low credit scores, getting pre-approval for […]

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Quote of the Week: Millionaires Keep Housing Costs Down

“There are three times more millionaires living in homes valued under $300,000 than are living in houses worth $1 million or more.” Magazine, July 2012, “101 Ways to Build Wealth” Financial Tip:  Don’t be house poor!  Spending too much on your home can sabotage your long-term wealth building plans.  The CNNMoney article (quoted above) reminds readers that “historically, stocks […]

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What To Expect When You're Expecting a New Home

What To Expect When You’re Expecting a New Home

Real estate analysts say homes have not been this affordable since 1971, and there’s no question that mortgage rates are rock bottom. But you’ve probably also heard that today’s real estate and mortgage markets can be full of “gotchas,” endless hurdles to jump through, and unexpected twists and turns. That’s all true, but there are also some great deals and […]

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Beware Non-Traded REITS

Non-traded REITs have been in the news lately, and not for good reasons. In the portfolios we manage for clients, we often buy shares of publicly traded REITs (real estate investment trusts), REIT mutual funds and ETFs (exchange traded funds).  These invest in real estate, like shopping malls, apartment complexes, and office buildings, and can be bought or […]

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Last Call for Refinancing?

If you are standing on the sidelines waiting to refinance, don’t wait too much longer.  Rates are at historic lows.  “This is an excellent time to refinance,” said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at, in a February 2012 Wall Street Journal  interview.  If you can’t decide if a refi is right for you, here’s some factors to keep […]

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