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

Real Estate and Home

Wells Fargo Fined For Misleading Customers and Falsifying Documents

by Luke Landes

It always pays to shop around. If more mortgage customers didn’t choose to borrow from the trusted institution that held their savings and checking accounts without question, it seems that these customers could have found lower interest rates, particularly if these borrowers were customers of Wells Fargo. The Federal Reserve is alleging that between 2004 […]

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Why Sellers Overestimate the Value of Their Houses

by Luke Landes

When calculating my net worth, I tend to take a conservative approach. Where certain balances are not exact, like the value of my car, I tend to assume the value is lower than what it might be. This way, there are no dangerous surprises if I needed to convert an asset like that into cash […]

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Excellent Credit, Denied Mortgage

by Luke Landes

Even with a credit score above 800, it’s still possible to be denied for a mortgage. Looking at the mortgage industry as a whole, for a period of time, lenders were too lax, offering mortgages practically regardless of qualifications. The pendulum has swung the other way, and even qualified individuals and families are having a […]

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Reverse Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Homeowners over the age of 62 have a unique option available for accessing cash. Reverse mortgages can help seniors access home equity without having to make monthly payments to repay a loan. When a qualifying homeowner has paid off a mortgage in full, or is very close to paying off a mortgage, a reverse mortgage […]

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Move Where Cost of Living Is Low

by Luke Landes

When living on a budget, there are circumstances where it might make sense to move to a location that makes living more affordable. Living in Manhattan, for example, can be a struggle for anyone earning under six figures of income each year. It’s possible, of course, but other areas of the country offer better housing […]

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Family Earning $225k Annually, No Emergency Fund

by Luke Landes

Money Magazine featured a story about Rick and Amy Mendez, a couple in their early forties with two children, earning an income of $225,000. They have a healthy retirement plan balance, and they needed to borrow from their 401(k) to pay for an emergency. Here is a family of four earning $225,000 a year, with […]

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Three Big Financial Mistakes That Could Be Devastating

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, a friend of mine quit his job at a bank to focus on his own company. That can be a risky life change by itself, but in addition to his change in income, he and his wife were expanding their family. While I’m sure they would have been fine remaining in […]

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Are You Still Waiting for the Homebuyer Tax Credit?

by Luke Landes

The first-time homebuyer tax credit was a major incentive that the government, in collaboration with the real estate industry, initiated to stimulate the economy. It’s understood that the tax incentive worked in the short-term, encouraging more home purchases for a period of time that continued to be expanded by Congress. Nevertheless, the housing market continues […]

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Reverse Foreclosure: Man Seizes Bank of America’s Assets

by Luke Landes

Imagine this: You, accompanied by the sheriff’s deputies, walk into your local Bank of America branch. You tell the sheriff to remove cash from the tellers’ drawers and seize the branch’s furniture and computers. It’s like a dream come true, especially for someone who has been on the receiving end of a bank’s foreclosure. Now […]

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Federal Government Sues Deutsche Bank for Mortgages

by Luke Landes

As the real estate market was starting to crumble, more banks were using the Federal Housing Authority’s guarantees to continue offering mortgage loans, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were tightening the reins on their guarantees. This was common practice among banks. With loans fully backed by the FHA and therefore the United States government, […]

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