Articles by Amy Fontinelle

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FHA Loan Refinancing: Tips and Hidden Costs

The Federal Housing Administration has been systematically overcharging borrowers at the closing table when FHA loans are refinanced. Has this happened to you?

What is an Escrow Refund?

You can ask your mortgage servicer to review your tax and insurance payments into escrow.

How to Get an FHA Loan

This government program can help homebuyers with lower credit, higher debt and little money for a down payment qualify for an affordable mortgage. Here's everything you need to know about them and lots of good advice on how to qualify for an FHA loan.

Setting Realistic Home Inspection Expectations

Here's how to find a competent home inspector and put the report to the best possible use. But you can't expect an inspector to find every single flaw in the property you're planning to buy — or save you from making a terrible mistake.

Buy a Condo with Confidence

It's not enough to find a good location at an affordable price. Condo buyers must consider lots of extra costs, from association fees and special assessments to how well the building is maintained and how strictly it enforces rules on everything from noise to pets.

Are Home Equity Loans a Cheap Way to Borrow Money?

Home equity lines of credit can be a cheap way to borrow money for home renovations, college bills or credit card debt. But is your home worth enough to support a second mortgage?

The Paperwork You’ll Need To Apply For A Mortgage

Here's a checklist of what you'll need and it's extensive — W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements, tax returns, brokerage statements and more. It's never too early to start a file and fill it up.

What Is PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)?

If you don't make a 20% down payment, you'll be required to carry private mortgage insurance, or PMI. Although you're the one who must pay monthly premiums for this coverage, it protects the lender, not you.