Learning Center

The home of the ZERO blog.
Our Mortgage Learning Center brings together information
you can use to learn how to buy or refinance your home.
How to Buy A House: A Beginner’s Guide

Purchasing real estate is not as simple as finding the right home, submitting an offer, and signing the closing paperwork; many more steps are involved. The home buying process can sometimes be lengthy, and there may be...

Buying a House

property-owners-association
Property Owner’s Association: COA, HOA, POA, What's the Difference?

Some homebuyers refuse to purchase a property if it is part of a property owner association. On the other hand, many other homebuyers intentionally seek out properties...

hoa-fees
Understanding HOA Fees | Homeowner’s 2022 Guide

Research indicates that 58% of homeowners in HOA communities and single-family homes pay an average monthly fee of $250. Despite this substantial number, homeowners lack...

mortgage-insurance
Do You Have to Have Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance is something millions of homeowners pay for each year. However, this type of insurance does not protect the homeowner.

30-year-mortgage
30-Year Mortgage: Everything You Need to Know

When you first set out to buy a home, it can feel like you’re taking an exam you forgot to study for. You have to make quick decisions that can have ramifications on...

pre-qualified-vs-pre-approved
Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved Mortgage: Understanding the Difference

When looking to buy or refinance a house, the pre-qualified vs pre-approved mortgage debate can be confusing. Pre-qualification is usually performed by an independent...

types-of-loans
What Are The Different Types Of Mortgage Loans?

It’s likely that your mortgage loan will be the largest loan you have during your lifetime. Mortgages are not a one size fits all approach, there are many different...

mortgage-loans
What Are Mortgage Loans and How Do They Work?

For many people, owning a home is part of the American dream. To make this dream a reality, most people will take out a mortgage loan to help them finance the cost of...

mortgage-fees
What Are Mortgage Fees and Closing Costs?

Whenever you’re looking to buy a house, you’ll quickly realize there are a lot of fees associated with obtaining a mortgage. These fees can quickly add up, so it’s...

bridge-loans
What Is a Bridge Loan? Everything You Need to Know

A bridge loan is a short-term loan a borrower may use while a more long-term financing contract is finalized. Bridge loans are common in real estate when someone needs...

what-is-a-loan-estimate
What Is a Loan Estimate?

A loan estimate is crucial to obtain when looking for a loan. This estimate not only gives you the details of a mortgage but also compares offers from different lenders...

what-is-a-mortgage-broker
What Is a Mortgage Broker?: Definition, Duties, and Advantages

There are many moving parts and various people you’ll deal with throughout the homebuying process. Depending on how you decide to find your lender, one of the...

what-is-a-mortgage
What Is a Mortgage?

If you’re looking to buy a house, and do not have a mountain of cash saved up, you’ll need to consider getting a mortgage to help you finance this large expense.

But...

earnest-money
What Is Earnest Money? | Earnest Money Deposit Explained

If you find a property that you’re highly interested in buying but are concerned that the seller might choose another offer over your own, you may consider making a...

home-appraisal-process
What Is The Home Appraisal Process? How Appraisals Work

Buying a home? You’ll likely need to get it appraised before you receive the clear to close. If you’re wondering what is the home appraisal process, or why you should...

what-is-a-va-loan
What Is A VA Loan? Here Is What America’s Veterans Should Know

If you’re an active service member, a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran, and you want to purchase a home or refinance your current home loan you should...

buying-a-house-during-coronavirus
Buying a House During COVID-19: A Pandemic’s Impact On Mortgages

There’s no doubt, COVID-19 changed the world in countless ways and took us all by surprise. From an economic standpoint, countless industries were shaken and disrupted....

what-is-the-difference-between-interest-rate-and-apr
What Is the Difference Between Interest Rate & APR?

Whenever you are borrowing money, whether it’s for a mortgage, credit card, or car loan, you’ll hear the terms interest rate and APR discussed quite a bit. Both of these...

first-time-home-buyer
Mortgages for the First-Time Home Buyer: Ultimate Loan Guide

If you’re new to buying a home, you probably have quickly realized the overwhelming amount of options there are for your mortgage. To help you get your bearings as a...

closing-on-a-house
How to Close on Your New House, Quickly

If you’ve already gone through the lengthy process of writing offers, securing financing, and arranging inspections for your potential property, you’re probably ready to...

best-mortgage-lender
How to Choose the Best Mortgage Lender

One of the most important steps to buying a home is deciding on a mortgage loan and deciding on a loan involves settling on a good mortgage lender. Because a mortgage...

unexpected-expenses
8 Hidden Costs: Home Buyers' Guide to Unexpected Expenses

First time home buyers are often surprised when they learn about all of the expenses that are associated with purchasing and owning a home. After all, the purchase price...

how-to-buy-a-house
How to Buy A House: A Beginner’s Guide

Purchasing real estate is not as simple as finding the right home, submitting an offer, and signing the closing paperwork; many more steps are involved. The home buying...

Mortgage 101

30-year-mortgage
30-Year Mortgage: Everything You Need to Know

When you first set out to buy a home, it can feel like you’re taking an exam you forgot to study for. You have to make quick decisions that can have ramifications on...

pre-qualified-vs-pre-approved
Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved Mortgage: Understanding the Difference

When looking to buy or refinance a house, the pre-qualified vs pre-approved mortgage debate can be confusing. Pre-qualification is usually performed by an independent...

pre-foreclosure
Pre-Foreclosure? What Does It Mean & What To Do

A home doesn’t just fall into foreclosure status. There are stages and processes that take place behind the scenes before a home is sold via foreclosure. One of those...

types-of-loans
What Are The Different Types Of Mortgage Loans?

It’s likely that your mortgage loan will be the largest loan you have during your lifetime. Mortgages are not a one size fits all approach, there are many different...

mortgage-loans
What Are Mortgage Loans and How Do They Work?

For many people, owning a home is part of the American dream. To make this dream a reality, most people will take out a mortgage loan to help them finance the cost of...

mortgage-fees
What Are Mortgage Fees and Closing Costs?

Whenever you’re looking to buy a house, you’ll quickly realize there are a lot of fees associated with obtaining a mortgage. These fees can quickly add up, so it’s...

what-is-a-loan-estimate
What Is a Loan Estimate?

A loan estimate is crucial to obtain when looking for a loan. This estimate not only gives you the details of a mortgage but also compares offers from different lenders...

what-is-a-mortgage
What Is a Mortgage?

If you’re looking to buy a house, and do not have a mountain of cash saved up, you’ll need to consider getting a mortgage to help you finance this large expense.

But...

what-is-a-va-loan
What Is A VA Loan? Here Is What America’s Veterans Should Know

If you’re an active service member, a veteran, or the surviving spouse of a veteran, and you want to purchase a home or refinance your current home loan you should...

mortgage-insurance
Do You Have to Have Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance is something millions of homeowners pay for each year. However, this type of insurance does not protect the homeowner.

Refinancing

recast-mortgage
Recast Mortgage: Everything You Need to Know About Mortgage Recasting

A mortgage is often the largest monthly expense homeowners pay. The thought of reducing the amount of money you owe each month comes to mind for just about every...

types-of-loans
What Are The Different Types Of Mortgage Loans?

It’s likely that your mortgage loan will be the largest loan you have during your lifetime. Mortgages are not a one size fits all approach, there are many different...

refinance-fees
What Are Mortgage Refinance Fees & What Can You Do to Lower Them?

Refinancing your home can save you thousands of dollars per year! When you extrapolate that savings over the lifetime of your loan, it’s no secret why refinancing seems...

what-is-a-loan-estimate
What Is a Loan Estimate?

A loan estimate is crucial to obtain when looking for a loan. This estimate not only gives you the details of a mortgage but also compares offers from different lenders...

what-is-a-mortgage
What Is a Mortgage?

If you’re looking to buy a house, and do not have a mountain of cash saved up, you’ll need to consider getting a mortgage to help you finance this large expense.

But...

what-is-the-difference-between-interest-rate-and-apr
What Is the Difference Between Interest Rate & APR?

Whenever you are borrowing money, whether it’s for a mortgage, credit card, or car loan, you’ll hear the terms interest rate and APR discussed quite a bit. Both of these...

refinance-checklist
Mortgage Refinance Checklist

The All-Encompassing Mortgage Refinance Checklist

Refinancing can open up opportunities for homeowners to cash out on equity, reduce monthly mortgage payments, or...

what-documents-do-i-need-to-refinance-my-mortgage
What Documents Do I Need To Refinance My Mortgage?

The interest rate on a mortgage is simply the fee a lender charges the borrower for borrowing their money. Over the lifetime of the loan, the interest expense certainly...

cash-out-refinance
What Is a Cash-Out Refinance?

A cash-out refinance is the process of taking the equity you have built in your home in the form of a cash deposit into a designated account or physical check. Many...

refinance-process
How to Refinance a Mortgage: Refinancing Process Guide

Consider this scenario. You bought a house several years ago, and at the time, you thought you got a pretty great deal. However, since you closed on your new residence,...

Owning a House

pre-foreclosure
Pre-Foreclosure? What Does It Mean & What To Do

A home doesn’t just fall into foreclosure status. There are stages and processes that take place behind the scenes before a home is sold via foreclosure. One of those...

what-is-a-mortgage
What Is a Mortgage?

If you’re looking to buy a house, and do not have a mountain of cash saved up, you’ll need to consider getting a mortgage to help you finance this large expense.

But...

home-appraisal-process
What Is The Home Appraisal Process? How Appraisals Work

Buying a home? You’ll likely need to get it appraised before you receive the clear to close. If you’re wondering what is the home appraisal process, or why you should...

home-improvement
Home Improvement: 8 Budget-Friendly DIY Changes For Your Home

Innovative and cost-effective home improvement ideas are all over the internet, especially when it comes to DIY projects that will add value to your home without...

property-owners-association
Property Owner’s Association: COA, HOA, POA, What's the Difference?

Some homebuyers refuse to purchase a property if it is part of a property owner association. On the other hand, many other homebuyers intentionally seek out properties...

hoa-fees
Understanding HOA Fees | Homeowner’s 2022 Guide

Research indicates that 58% of homeowners in HOA communities and single-family homes pay an average monthly fee of $250. Despite this substantial number, homeowners lack...

mortgage-insurance
Do You Have to Have Mortgage Insurance?

Private mortgage insurance is something millions of homeowners pay for each year. However, this type of insurance does not protect the homeowner.

recast-mortgage
Recast Mortgage: Everything You Need to Know About Mortgage Recasting

A mortgage is often the largest monthly expense homeowners pay. The thought of reducing the amount of money you owe each month comes to mind for just about every...

refinance-fees
What Are Mortgage Refinance Fees & What Can You Do to Lower Them?

Refinancing your home can save you thousands of dollars per year! When you extrapolate that savings over the lifetime of your loan, it’s no secret why refinancing seems...

Selling a House

bridge-loans
What Is a Bridge Loan? Everything You Need to Know

A bridge loan is a short-term loan a borrower may use while a more long-term financing contract is finalized. Bridge loans are common in real estate when someone needs...

earnest-money
What Is Earnest Money? | Earnest Money Deposit Explained

If you find a property that you’re highly interested in buying but are concerned that the seller might choose another offer over your own, you may consider making a...

home-appraisal-process
What Is The Home Appraisal Process? How Appraisals Work

Buying a home? You’ll likely need to get it appraised before you receive the clear to close. If you’re wondering what is the home appraisal process, or why you should...

Ultimate Guides

hoa-fees
Understanding HOA Fees | Homeowner’s 2022 Guide

Research indicates that 58% of homeowners in HOA communities and single-family homes pay an average monthly fee of $250. Despite this substantial number, homeowners lack...

bridge-loans
What Is a Bridge Loan? Everything You Need to Know

A bridge loan is a short-term loan a borrower may use while a more long-term financing contract is finalized. Bridge loans are common in real estate when someone needs...

Rates

what-is-the-difference-between-interest-rate-and-apr
What Is the Difference Between Interest Rate & APR?

Whenever you are borrowing money, whether it’s for a mortgage, credit card, or car loan, you’ll hear the terms interest rate and APR discussed quite a bit. Both of these...