Watch Out for These Top 10 Red Flags

New paint spruces up walls, but it can also hide flaws. Learn how to spot potential problems.


  • Mortgage brokers work on commission, which are paid by you, by the lender, or by both you and the lender. If you work with a mortgage broker, the industry norm is for them to charge you an…   Read the Article

  • Let the mortgage professional know what sorts of programs you are interested in or leaning towards. They'll ask you to complete the 1003 form and will almost universally ask you to give them the…   Read the Article

  • Homes appreciate as a function of how much they are worth. If homes in your area appreciate nine percent annually, then a $300,000 home will appreciate about $27,000 per year, but a $500,000 home…   Read the Article

  • Two Ways Mortgages are Like Life Partners No matter how many are out there, you only have to find one. (Or two, or realistically three -- max -- for mortgage loans and partners.) Your commitment is…   Read the Article

  • Most mortgage brokers work under the auspices of a brokerage company, with which they share their commissions in exchange for access to lenders, office space, etc. If your mortgage broker works for…   Read the Article

  • The goal of your mini-makeover is just to spend a month or so making sure that your personal stats paint as pretty a picture of your financial resources -- FICO scores, debt-to-income (DTI) ratios,…   Read the Article

  • You can deal with a mortgage broker, or you can deal with the lender directly. A mortgage broker is the liaison between you and the lender. Because they deal on the wholesale level, brokers can…   Read the Article

  • You’ve been pre-approved. With your monthly expense chart in hand, decide whether you want a mortgage with a fixed rate, an adjustable rate, or a hybrid. A fixed rate mortgage is a no-brainer -- the…   Read the Article

  • A few years ago I had become a flipper by accident, because a few life changes forced me to sell three houses in five years. My partner and I had an inkling that a move might be in our near future…   Read the Article

  • In all your excitement about the prospect of buying a house, you'll be tempted to twist your financial numbers so you appear more desirable to a potential lender. Instead of admitting the balance on…   Read the Article

  • Zillow Real Estate Search