home prices

What You Need to Know About PMI + Early Retirement

We kicked off this week with the always popular topic of early retirement. This time it's Terri from New York who is looking to hang it up. Terri and her husband have a pretty solid plan in place but she wanted to run it by me just to make sure she's not missing anything. 

Rising home prices has helped many homeowners get richer on paper...they have also prompted a big influx of questions about private mortgage insurance (PMI) and refinancing, so we figured it was time to bring on an expert.

Nicole Hamilton, a tech executive-turned-mortgage and homeownership expert, founded Tactile Finance, the first digital tools that let people visualize their homeownership outcomes over time, putting consumers on a level playing field with the professionals who serve them.

Nicole is also the author of the book Avoid the Money Pit, Turn Your Home into a Financial Powerhouse, and the founder of Homeownering.com, a company that provides unbiased, independent information for homeowners to get the best financial outcome possible.

We touched on a variety of topics and questions facing the average consumer as they try to navigate the murky waters of homeownership:

  • What if I don’t have 20% for a downpayment?
  • What is PMI?
  • How do I know if I need PMI?
  • Should PMI be a dealbreaker?
  • Will PMI eventually go away?
  • Will PMI go away on its own or is it my responsibility?
  • Is refinancing always a good idea?
  • Pros and cons of an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)
  • Should I prepay my mortgage?

All those topics and more! And based on what we’ve been seeing in the inbox, I think we did a pretty good job covering all your burning questions!

So when you’re checking out those open houses this summer, or considering a refi before rates go even higher, playback this episode and you’ll be well armed with loads of information.

Have a money question? Email me here.

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"Jill on Money" theme music is by Joel Goodman, www.joelgoodman.com.

The Upside and Downside of Rising House Prices

The Upside and Downside of Rising House Prices

A couple of months ago, I noted that the housing market had a problem: there were too few homes for sale. Persistently low inventory means that there are a lot of frustrated would-be buyers out there, spending weekends at open houses. It also has led to home prices continuing to rise at a more than six percent clip from a year ago.

Housing, We Have a Problem

Housing, We Have a Problem

It’s been more than five years since housing prices bottomed out. Since then, the economy has strengthened, the labor market has improved and mortgage rates remain historically low. All of those factors should add up to a robust spring housing season, but that’s not what’s going on. Instead, realtors and builders are lamenting the low number of homes for sale.