Real Estate Blog

The Differences Between Conventional, FHA, & VA Loans

 No matter whether the buyer is a first-time home purchaser or a veteran of several past transactions, chances are they will need to make a decision about the type of home loan they will use. But not all home mortgages are the same and prospective buyers who take the time to make sure they are choosing the right one for their current situation can save money and enjoy a better overall home buying experience. 

Understanding the Conventional Loan

One of the most common types of home loans, the conventional mortgage uses relatively conservative guidelines for applicants. While individual rates for this type of loan can vary, depending on the lender and other factors, applicants will generally

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Buying a house is a big deal, and it's often the single biggest financial transaction people are involved in. There's a lot of money on the line, so it's important to know if you're really ready for homeownership before you make the leap.

It's not just about the money, either. There's a big difference between owning and renting that has nothing to do with your wallet and everything to do with a whole new level of responsibility. Is it for you? Here are some of the big changes that come along with buying a house.

1. Landscaping Duties

When you live in an apartment complex, you may not have much of a yard, and common spaces are someone else's responsibility. As a homeowner, you'll need to get familiar with a lawnmower and trimmer at minimum, and

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Distributed by Washington Post Writers Group.

When "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell asked the chief executive of Zillow recently about the accuracy of the website's automated property value estimates — known as Zestimates — she touched on one of the most sensitive perception gaps in American real estate.

Zillow is the most popular online real estate information site, with 73 million unique visitors in December. Along with active listings of properties for sale, it also provides information on houses that are not on the market. You can enter the address or general location in a database of millions of homes and probably pull up key information — square footage, lot size, number of bedrooms and baths, photos, taxes — plus a Zestimate.

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Did Mortgages Just Get Easier to Obtain?


Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's new lending guidelines went into effect Monday, which are expected to help loosen up the tight credit standards that home buyers and refinancers have faced in recent years.

The guidelines clarify when lenders will be penalized for making mistakes on mortgages they sell to the mortgage financing giants. Following the financial crisis, Fannie and Freddie forced banks to repurchase tens of billions of dollars in loans that they say did not meet their standards. It caused many lenders to tighten their lending, except to the most creditworthy borrowers with the highest credit scores. Lenders have blamed the lack of clarity from

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FHFA's Dramatic Easing of Mortgage Standards


Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt on Monday announced plans to expand home buyers' access to mortgages by loosening up lending standards.

During the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual conference, Watt said FHFA will release guidelines "in the coming weeks" to allow increased lending to borrowers with down payments as low as 3 percent. FHFA, which regulates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, also will help lenders who sell loans to the mortgage giants by easing standards on borrowers who don't have perfect credit profiles. The move is expected to help open up the credit box to first-time buyers, self-employed borrowers, borrowers who have had

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