As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

Real Estate and Home

Banks Won’t Let Everyone Refinance Mortgages

by Luke Landes
Big house

Mortgage interest rates are still low, a great relief to first-time home buyers, real estate investors, and households considering refinancing their higher-rate loans initiated over the past few years. Banks aren’t too eager to hand those low-rate mortgages out to everyone who wants them, however. If you read financial media, you’ve probably heard that this […]

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How to Qualify for a 1% APR Mortgage

by Luke Landes
Mark Zuckerberg

While there are great advantages to buying a house with cash, sometimes the benefits of using other people’s money outweigh those advantages. While debt is often rightly characterized as bad for one’s personal finances, there are situations in which it can be less bad. If you can qualify for a mortgage that starts out at […]

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Earning a Living With Rental Properties: Should You Be a Landlord?

by Luke Landes
For Rent

If you have the option, owning assets that produce income is a better financial strategy than owning assets that generate expenses. If you own a house or apartment for your own residence, for example, you need to pay for maintenance, repairs, taxes, mortgage interest, landscaping, utilities, or a homeowner association fee that covers some of […]

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Buffett: Buying Houses Better Than Buying Stocks

by Luke Landes

On CNBC a few weeks ago, Warren Buffett told the television-viewing audience, among other things, that he would purchase a couple hundred thousand single-family homes right now, if it were practical to do so. That seems like a ringing endorsement of buying residential real estate for its value as an investment. If the buyer also […]

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Buy Michael Jordan’s House for $29 Million

by Luke Landes
Basketball

If you’ve ever browsed through the television guide, you might have seen that there are a good number of television shows dedicated to the real estate industry. House Hunters International, Million Dollar Listing, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Real Estate Intervention are just a few of the cable or network television shows designed to allow […]

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Why The Time May Be Right for Buying a House

by Luke Landes
House for sale

I’ll be thirty-six years old this month, officially closer to forty than thirty. I’ve never owned real estate. Once in a while, someone judges this as a failure on my part, or a reluctance to “grow up” or enter a more sophisticated stage of development, as if maturity was somehow related to the ownership of […]

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Buying a House With Cold, Hard Cash

by Luke Landes
Cash

When I write about the unbanked, the vast majority of this category of consumer avoids the financial industry due to lack of trust in the industry or a belief that living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t necessitate the fees and hassles of including a third party in financial transactions. Cash, in some respects, keeps you off […]

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Home Mortgage Interest Deduction

by Luke Landes
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Although the home mortgage interest deduction is one of the most oft-cited benefits of owning a home, most taxpayers don’t take advantage of it because it requires itemizing taxes. If itemized deductions including mortgage interest paid throughout the year exceed the standard deduction, a taxpayer can take advantage of the benefit. The benefit isn’t as […]

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More Homeowners Can Refinance

by Luke Landes

Thanks to some changes to the federal Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP), more homeowners can qualify for government-endorsed refinancing. Previously, the program only offered refinancing options for households where the mortgage value was up to 97 percent through 125 percent of the home’s market value. This did help families who have become underwater, having more left to […]

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U.S. Will Sue Major Banks Over Mortgages

by Luke Landes
Foreclosure

Imagine you’re shopping for a new high-definition television. You’re looking around the store for the television with the best picture from a brand you trust. You pick the one you like, not the least expensive model but not the most expensive, either. You take it home, plug it in, and all the television can display […]

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