Basic Steps for Buying a Home (with a loan)

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Note: Your agent and lender will help you through all these steps!

Step 1: Start Searching Early—Homes frequently appear very different in person than they do on line.

Step 2:  Find the right real estate agent and lender: We can help at LDSAgents.com

Step 3: Determine how much you can afford by getting “Prequalified” for a home loan. See our video on “Prequalification”

Step 4: Find the right real estate agent. We can help at: LDSAgents.com

Step 5: Shop for your home with your agent – This is the fun part!

Step 6: Get an Inspection – Your agent will help select a local inspector.

Step 7: Work with your lender to select the best loan for you. See our video on “Conventional, FHA, and VA loans”

Step 8: Have the Home Appraised—Your lender will normally take care of this (the appraised value must exceed the loan amount by certain criteria).

Step 9: Wait for funding to be approved by the “underwriter”.

Step 10: Meet with the title company or with the closing agent (depending on your state) to close the loan and the purchase. We recommend that you watch our video on “Closing Costs”

 

 

Buy or Rent in Retirement?

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Is it better to rent or own your home in retirement? It depends on your goals and financial situation.

Weigh the pros and cons of each housing option as you head into retirement.

“There is no one correct answer,” says Doug Heddings, founder of Heddings Property Group. “Each individual retiree must evaluate their financial portfolio to determine the cash that they will need to live on a monthly basis,” he says. Most retirees grew up with the idea that owning a home is always the best choice. The U.S. Census reports that 81 percent of Americans age 65 and older are homeowners. But that attitude may be changing. Experts agree it’s unwise for retirees to carry over large debts into their retirement years. In 2009, half of retirees carried mortgage debt, a figure that doubled from 2007 when only one in four had mortgage debt. And a recent study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University projects more than 2 million Baby Boomers now entering retirement will opt to rent.
So how do you decide?

Read more

Student Loans Risk the Economy

 Worried about your student debt loan?

The class of 2014 graduated college with an average $33,000 in debt. Many of those freshly minted graduates did not find jobs with yearly salaries greater than their total debt, a rule of thumb for indebted graduates.

When we read the remarks by Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, concerning the nation’s record level of student loan debt, we were reminded of comments made in 2007 by Ben Bernanke, then the chairman of the Federal Reserve, concerning the nation’s subprime mortgage crisis. Read more

When Life Gets Rough, Be Grateful!

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There are always blessings in our lives that we miss seeing when our vision is clouded by bad luck or discouragement.

We’ve all heard the phrase that when life gives us lemons, we should make lemonade. We’ve also all heard the story of Job in the Bible, who, despite losing all his possessions, family, health, and support from friends, trusted in the Lord and found something to be grateful for—his testimony.

Often life does not go the way we planned and fate seems to be against us. But even when jobs, friends, or health fail us, there is always something in our lives that the Lord has blessed us with and that we can be grateful for. If like Job we can keep our sights on the Lord and step back to see the bigger picture, the rough time will pass and we will find it easier to see the abundance that the Lord has blesses us with. Though many of the ideas below are probably familiar, it never hurts to think about them more deeply and be reminded of our blessings.

Here are 10 things to be grateful for when everything seems to be going wrong. Read more

Mistakes Parents Make With Financial Aid

The Timing of Certain Financial Decisions Can Hurt Students’ Eligibility for Assistance

Most families know the basics of college financial aid: Several months before school starts, students apply for assistance, parents detail their financial situations, and then everybody waits for the powers that be to tab the bill.

What many don’t know—or at least, don’t realize until it’s too late—is that the timing of certain financial decisions made well before and even during college can significantly alter a student’s eligibility for aid from both the federal government and the university itself. This has been quite an eye opener for several families. Read more

Seniors Struggling With Student Debt

How old will you be when you finally pay off your student debts?

Rosemary Anderson, from Watsonville, California, took out two student loans in her thirties when she earned her bachelor’s degree, and her master’s, totalling $64,000. She has worked at least one job most of her life, in addition to raising her two children.

But after health complications from lupus, and expenses from a divorce, Anderson, 57, fell behind on her payments eight years ago. With compound interest, the loans have ballooned to $126,000. With payments of $526 a month, she will be 81, she estimates, when she pays it down.

A growing percentage of aging Americans struggle to pay back their student debt. Tens of thousands of them even see their Social Security benefits garnished when they cannot do so. Read more

FICO’s New Credit Score Formula

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FICO’s new credit score formula will raise the scores of people with medical debts, or who paid off other debts in collection.

But people with unpaid debts on their record that aren’t related to health care would see their scores fall, making it harder for them to get a personal loan or credit card, or raising the interest rates they’ll have to pay, FICO said.

The changes potentially affect tens of millions of people — but don’t expect big changes in your credit right away. The score is expected to be available to lenders around the end of this year. And lenders typically take months to try out new scoring formulas on their loan portfolios, to see how accurately the new scores predict problem loans. Read more

Mormons Volunteer and Donate

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A study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis explores the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints culture and explains LDS members’ volunteering and charitable giving-habits.

It is the first study focusing on giving and volunteering practices of Latter-day Saints that has been carried out within LDS wards by a non-church-affiliated university.

“Called to Serve: The Prosocial Behavior of Active Latter-day Saints” is the largest and most detailed study of its kind.  Researchers surveyed 2,644 active Mormons in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michigan, Utah and California.

Overall, researchers found that members of the LDS Church are the most “prosocial” members of American society. Read more