Mortgage news, tips and tools – Page 5

The PennyMac Mortgage Blog is where you'll find unbiased, useful info to help save you money, time and peace of mind during the mortgage process. If you have a mortgage or are about to get one, we think you'll find info here you can't always get elsewhere.


A Chicago couple found a 1940s bungalow that seemed like a solid home. Then they called in Frank Lesh, an inspector, who pointed out that while the house bones were fine, the plumbing needed updating, and the roof was in bad shape. They passed on the house.

Read more about Money Pit or Smart Investment: Signs to Watch Out For


Do you know your credit score? This three-digit number is as important to the home buying process as your real estate agent and your down payment. Having the highest credit score possible can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your mortgage. If you are ready to invest in improving your number, here’s how.

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In today’s mortgage marketplace, prospective homebuyers often struggle to come up with the minimum 20% down payment. Fortunately, there are several loan programs that allow borrowers to obtain financing with down payments as low as 3.0%. While these loans make homeownership more affordable, they do come at a cost.

Read more about The Facts About Mortgage Insurance


Have you been inspired by one of the numerous investment property television shows? Or, have you seen friends or family find success in real estate? If so, you are probably intrigued by the prospect of investing in rental property, but figuring out how to get started can be a difficult task in and of itself. Here are some tips from real estate experts on how to evaluate whether buying a rental property is right for you.

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When you are buying a home, it can be hard to understand why there are so many people involved, and exactly what each one is doing. Some—like your home inspector—have clear roles, but others—like your title company—may seem to fill a more mysterious role. However, your title company plays a crucial role in the process of closing on your home and protecting you from unforeseen legal issues.

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Buying a home after you’ve retired can bring up challenging questions: Should I stay put, or move to a favorite vacation spot? Will living in a condo bring enjoyment or irritation? How will I pay for any of the moving and other related expenses?

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Buying a home is a stressful, yet rewarding, process. If you are shopping for property in a competitive market, those stressors can multiply but so can the potential rewards. High-demand housing markets often have their own unwritten rules that can be hard for homebuyers to understand. We spoke with experts who work in these areas and compiled five strategies that can help you succeed in highly competitive real estate markets.

Read more about 5 Tips for Buying in Hot Real Estate Markets


Even a giant yard can feel cluttered and small without the right approach and organization. Here are 10 space-saving tips for your yard from landscape designer Sara Bendrick, TV Host of DIY Network's “I Hate My Yard” and author of “Big Impact Landscaping: 28 DIY Projects You Can Do on a Budget to Beautify and Add Value to Your Home.”

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PennyMac offers “streamline” refinancing options to consumers to get better mortgage terms without an extensive qualification process. Streamline refinance programs typically allow borrowers to bypass many of the traditional mortgage requirements by offering minimal credit scoring requirements, no new appraisal, easier income and asset verification, and limited paperwork. Reducing the paperwork can often make the process easier and faster, which is why it’s called “streamline refinancing.” Streamline refinance refers only to the amount of documentation and underwriting that the lender must perform, and does not mean that there are no costs involved in the transaction.

Read more about What Is Streamline Refinancing?