Self-employed borrowers have a new mortgage option

Individuals who work for themselves–normally those who file Schedule C with their federal income tax returns–have had a tough time getting approval either for a new mortgage or refinancing.

But now there is an option for buyers of single-family homes, condos or co-ops who are able to make a downpayment of at least 30 percent, according to lender David Bersak of Guaranteed Home Mortgage.

The requirements Continue reading

A lender’s table helps resolve the rent-buy dilemma

If you are one of those renters trying to decide whether it makes sense for you to buy, well, you’ll get no answers here about how long you plan to live in a new place or how much you want or need to move.

I also can’t help with which way the housing market is moving or where it will be some months from now. Economists are all over the lot (see my “Weekly Roundup” Dec. 24 or this coming Friday), though I am tending to be very cautiously optimistic about Manhattan.

But here is where you at least can obtain a perspective on whether you may be in a reasonable financial position to purchase real estate, an option I shrink from advocating for anyone.  The table below will be helpful: Continue reading

The cost of borrowing discourages a friend from buying

Joe and I have been disagreeing lately about home ownership.

It is his view that owning makes no sense because of the amount of money a borrower pays in interest, about which a bit more later.

Although I would never urge anyone to buy rather than rent, he and I disagree on the issue of monthly housing costs.

He doesn’t accept Continue reading