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Helpful Tips and Videos | Home Lending |

Helpful Tips and Videos

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First-time homebuyers

Homebuyer tips

First-time buyers share lessons to help you through the process.


Getting a mortgage

Use these tips on how to prepare for the mortgage application process.

Terms to know

Here are some financial terms that you should know when buying a home.

Helping you get closer to home:
Ryan Serhant

Learn more from couples who skipped the "money talk" as they look for their first home. See how revealing their finances help each couple get closer to home.

Rent vs. buy

Buying vs. renting

These tips can help you choose the right option for your needs.



Buying in California

Real advice from homebuyers who've been there.

Buying in NYC

Get helpful advice on how to prepare for the mortgage application process.

Buying another home

Buying as a retiree

There are some important factors to consider when purchasing a home as a retiree.

Buying at an auction

Auction properties may offer savings, but they can also come with more risks.


Investment property

Weigh the benefits and risks before buying an investment property.

Vacation home

Make sure a potential vacation home meets your personal and investment needs.

Property amenities

Don't underestimate the cost of property additions like landscaping and pools.

Relocating your home

Look at factors like property taxes and cost of living before relocating.

Potential tax benefits

Mortgage interest rate

See some tips for lowering your mortgage interest rate.


How much house can I afford

What can you afford?

It’s important to know how much you can afford before you start looking for a home.

Debt-to-income ratio

This is a key number for determining what you can afford, see how to calculate it


Property taxes

Learn how property taxes can provide valuable improvements and services in the surrounding community.

What is PMI?

You may have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) if you put less than 20% down.

Homeowners insurance

Learn how homeowners insurance protects you and your home.

Down payments

Down payment amount

Consider these important factors when determining how much to put down on a home.

How much can you borrow?

Mortgage principal

Lean how the two key parts of your monthly mortgage payment  -- principal and interest  -- work.

Self-employed buyers

If you're self-employed, you may have some extra steps when buying a home

Mortgage amortization

Keep these things in mind when it comes to paying down your mortgage.

Credit Score for a home loan

Improve your credit score

A strong credit score may help you get a mortgage  -- see how you can improve yours.

Mortgage Prequalification

APR vs. Interest Rate

Learn the difference between the annual percentage rate (APR) and the interest rate.


Real Estate Agents

Real estate agent

These tips can help you find the right real estate agent to guide you on your homebuying journey.

Home inspector

See what a home inspector looks for during their review.


Real estate lawyer

Learn the role of this key player in the homebuying process.

Mortgage Banker

Home Lending Advisor

See how a Home Lending Advisors supports you throughout the homebuying process.

Loan processors

Learn about the role of the loan processor during the application process.

Mortgage underwriter

See what a mortgage underwriter does and what they look for when reviewing your application.

Finding the right home

Existing vs. new

Before deciding between an existing home or a new build, know the risks and benefits of each.


Remodel vs. buy new

Here's what to consider when choosing between updating an older home or buying a newly constructed one.

Mortgage Contingency

Changing homes

Timing is critical when you're buying a new home and selling your old one.


Mortgage contingency

Contingencies can help buyers and sellers avoid potential issues that may arise.

Making an offer

Negotiating a price

Knowing how to handle homebuying negotiations can help both you and the seller walk away happy.

Making an offer

There are many factors to consider when deciding how much to offer to the seller.


See why buyer and seller concessions are an important part of the homebuying process.

Being outbid

Presenting a competitive offer may reduce your chances of being outbid.

Warranty & insurance

Home warranties and homeowners insurance protect the buyer, but they aren't the same thing.

Earnest money

Earnest money

Show a seller you're serious with an earnest money deposit.

Short sale & foreclosed homes

Pursuing short sales

Consider these pros and cons when pursuing a short sale.

Closing process and closing costs

Overview of the closing process

Find out the inside info about the closing process

Closing costs

Find out what closing costs are and why they're necessary.


Interest rate locks

Lock in a rate

Guarantee a stable interest rate for a set period of time when you lock in your rate.

Mortgage points

Ways to lower rates

Paying discount points could lower your mortgage interest rate.

Types of mortgages 

Overview of mortgage types

Overview of the different types of mortgages

ARM loans

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) offers a lower fixed-rate for a limited amount of time.


FHA mortgages

Learn about the benefits of loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

VA loans

Learn about VA Loans, a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jumbo loans

Jumbo mortgages offer larger loans not covered by conforming loan limits.

15 vs. 30-year

Consider these factors when choosing between a 15 vs. 30-year mortgage.

Application Process and documents

Overview of the application process

Know what to expect with the mortgage application process

Finishing the application

Earnest money

Show a seller you're serious with an earnest money deposit.

Appraisal process

Learn more about the appraiser's role, and what they look for.

Home Inspections

Final walk-through

Before you close, take time to look over the home you're about to buy.

Know the difference

Home appraisals and home inspections are two important, but different, steps in the homebuying process.

Steps before closing

Closing preparations

Avoid these common surprises  - prepare yourself before you close.

Title insurance

See how title insurance ensures you're the sole owner of the home.

Escrow accounts

Escrow accounts

Learn how escrow accounts work, and how they're used to pay your property taxes and homeowners insurance.

Property taxes

Learn how property taxes can provide valuable improvements and services in the surrounding community.

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