In the Market: A mortgage payment strategy to consider

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This periodic feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure. Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Young, bearded man in turquoise hoodie sitting at a desk, paying bills on his laptop.Here’s a popular mortgage money-saving tip: Pay your mortgage bi-weekly instead of monthly. By doing this, you will end up making 13 full mortgage payments in a year instead of 12. The extra payment will go to pay down principal, which saves you money on the amount of interest that you pay and shortening the amount of time before you can potentially pay off your loan. Daniel Goldstein explains in this MarketWatch article that bi-weekly payments will save you money — cha-ching! But, he also cautions against companies that charge to “accelerate” your mortgage. Check out this article to learn how some companies are charging homeowners for a payment program that consumers can implement by themselves.

Getting a mortgage on a home can be tricky, as I’ve said before. And if that home is a condo, it may get even trickier. In Polyana da Costa’s Bankrate.com article, she explains that financing a condo may be harder because lenders tend to view condos as riskier than a stand-alone house. Getting a mortgage on a condo, however, has gotten a bit easier lately for several reasons, including changes by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac easing their rules around mortgages on condos that they are able to purchase. I think this is good news for potential first-time homebuyers, especially for those of us living in larger cities where condos are popular.

Spring and summer are busy homebuying seasons, so that means open houses! If you’re selling your home, you may want to get your home in tip-top shape for an open house with Teresa Mears’ 14 steps in U.S. News & World Report. Step one: Use social media! The platforms are for sharing life’s events, and selling your home is one of them, she writes. Instagram would probably be my choice because of its popularity, and good photos can help sell a home. Another tip from Teresa is to bake or buy some cookies. The smell of freshly baked cookies may help your house feel like home to potential buyers.

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