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Mortgage News, Tips and Resources

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Understanding the Real Estate Commission Lawsuit: What Does it Mean for You? text with sold home sign in front of house
May 14 2024

Understanding the Real Estate Commission Lawsuit: What Does it Mean for You?

Explore the implications of the recent real estate commission class action and its impact on homebuyers, sellers, and the broader real estate market.

The Ultimate Handbook for Purchasing a Second Home in Nassau County text on overlay image of montauk lighthouse
December 21 2023

The Ultimate Handbook for Purchasing a Second Home in Nassau County

Discover the ultimate guide to purchasing a second home in Nassau County, New York. From financing options to local insights, this blog has everything you need to know.

Shorefront Delight- Your Guide to Owning a Second Home in Nassau County's Beach Communities text on top of background of south shore long island neighborhood
December 20 2023

Shorefront Delight: Your Guide to Owning a Second Home in Nassau County's Beach Communities

Your second home by the sea awaits. Discover Nassau County's beach communities with pristine shores, historic charm, and exceptional coastal living.

November 03 2023

The Best Neighborhoods to Live in Kalamazoo, Michigan

If you’re thinking of living in the Kalamazoo Michigan area, consult this comprehensive guide outlining the top-ranked neighborhoods, as well as location, school districts, median home prices, local amenities, recreation, and more.

Benefits of a Government-Backed Mortgage text along with happy family in background
October 20 2023

Benefits of a Government-Backed Mortgage

Government-backed mortgages provide many financial benefits for first-time and repeat homebuyers, such as lower down payments, lenient credit score requirements, improvement project grants, and more.

downtown of buildings in greenville south carolina
October 06 2023

The Best Neighborhoods to Live in Greenville, South Carolina

If you’re thinking of living in the Greenville, South Carolina area, important factors to consider include location, school districts, median home prices, transportation access, local amenities, entertainment, and more.

shaking hands over house model
September 22 2023

How to Buy a House on Long Island: Follow these 12 Steps

When considering purchasing a home on Long Island, it’s best to have updated documentation including financial statements and tax returns, mortgage pre-approval and commitment letters, neighborhood and realtor preferences, and more.

June 20 2023

20 Awesome Long Island Neighborhoods for Young Families

Find out which Long Island neighborhoods are the best for raising a young family based on location, school districts, median home prices, access to transportation, local amenities, entertainment, and more.

May 22 2023

Government-Backed Loan Qualifications & Requirements

Whether you’re a first-time or repeat home buyer, government-backed loans offer lower down payments, lenient credit scores, and many other financial benefits.

skyline of historic downtown Savannah Georgia with a steam boat and buildings
May 15 2023

The Best Neighborhoods to Live in Savannah, Georgia

If you’re thinking of living in the Savannah, Georgia area, consider important factors such as location, school districts, median home prices, access to transportation, local amenities, entertainment, and more.

May 08 2023

Rehab Loans for First-Time Home Buyers

There are several rehab loans first-time home buyers should consider when researching mortgage options, including those offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.

Happy young couple with key in hand standing outside in front of their new home
May 01 2023

What Is a Government-Backed Mortgage & How Do I Qualify?

Insured by various U.S. federal agencies, government-backed mortgages can help borrowers achieve home ownership through lower down payments and closing fees, flexible credit scores, and other advantages.

March 06 2023

Champ the VetDog Trains With Friends at Halesite Fire Department

Champ had the opportunity to participate in a training program at the Halesite Fire Department in Huntington.

February 23 2023

Champ the VetDog Brings Love and Joy to Marty Lyons Foundations with his Kisses For Wishes

Champ the VetDog, Contour Mortgage's service dog in training, paid a heartwarming visit to the Marty Lyons Foundation in New York for "Kisses for Wishes."

January 31 2023

Do FHA 203(k) Loans Require Mortgage Insurance?

Yes, FHA 203(k) loans require mortgage insurance. As the government agency backing this loan, the Federal Housing Administration expects all borrowers to pay two types of mortgage insurance premiums: Upfront and Annual.

Mortgage Commitment Letter: Your Ticket Home text with loan officer chatting with couple in background
January 20 2023

Mortgage Commitment Letter: Your Ticket Home

When financing a home, borrowers must first obtain pre-approval and pre-qualification letters, followed by an official Mortgage Commitment Letter.

FHA 203(k) Loans vs. Conventional Rehab Loans text with room under renovation in background
January 09 2023

FHA 203(k) Loans vs. Conventional Rehab Loans

Whether purchasing a fixer-upper or renovating a current home, there are several important factors to consider when deciding between government-backed or conventional rehab loans.

January 05 2023

Champ & Contour Cares Proudly Sponsors The First Annual Compassion Awards

As a sponsor for The first Annual Compassion Awards, Contour Cares offered their commitment to advocating and caring for animals.

December 22 2022

10 Reasons People Move

Homeowners move each year for various reasons including employment, financial challenges, more or less space, and other factors.

The Best Neighborhoods To Live In New Haven, Connecticut text with aerial view of new haven in background
December 16 2022

The Best Neighborhoods To Live In New Haven, Connecticut

If you’re thinking of living in New Haven, Connecticut, consider important factors such as school districts, median home prices, transportation access, and more.

December 05 2022

Champ & Contour Cares Kicks Off USMC Toys for Tots Collection Drive

Contour Mortgage and Champ kick-off the Oyster Bay Annual Toys for Tots Cruise-Thru Collection Drive.

November 30 2022

Contour Cares Applauds St. Joseph's  For Taking Its Staff To A Mets Game

Contour Cares partnered with Catholic Health and St. Joseph's Hospital to treat EMS and nursing staff to a Mets Game.

The Pros & Cons of Getting a Rehab Mortgage with couple working on renovating home in background
November 23 2022

The Pros & Cons of Getting a Rehab Mortgage

When considering a rehab mortgage for a new home purchase or renovation project, it’s important to examine various types and specific requirements, benefits, and drawbacks of each.

November 18 2022

Contour Cares Races to Help End Cancer

Contour Cares participated in a race against cancer with the Empire State Bike Ride. We made a direct impact on the lives of cancer patients across the state.

November 14 2022

Which Loans Are Best for First-Time Home Buyers?

First-time home buyers may qualify for various conventional and government-backed loans, such as those offered through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Veterans Affairs.

November 08 2022

Contour Cares Celebrates Central Nassau Guidance's 50th Anniversary

Central Nassau Guidance celebrated its 50th Anniversary with Contour Cares.

November 03 2022

Types of Government-Backed Home Loans

Government-backed loans offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Veterans Affairs (VA) can assist qualified borrowers with home purchases, and improvement and rehab projects.

October 17 2022

Can You Add Renovation Costs to Your Mortgage?

Yes, renovation costs can be added to specific rehab loans offered through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and more for borrowers meeting specific criteria regarding down payment amounts, project scopes, credit scores, and more.

Top 10 Things to Consider When Relocating with happy couple smiling and giving thumbs up
October 03 2022

Top 10 Things to Consider When Relocating

More and more consumers are moving and relocating each year for various reasons, such as employment, relationship and lifestyle changes; financial challenges; additional space; and other life-altering factors.

September 26 2022

What Are the Benefits of a USDA Rural Development Loan?

Borrowers seeking home ownership with a limited budget and income can find relief through a USDA Rural Development Loan boasting lenient qualifications, such as no down payment requirements, credit score flexibility, and lower closing costs.

September 19 2022

How to Navigate a Bidding War

Record-low housing inventories and more prospective buyers than sellers have led to competitive bidding wars characterized by little to no contingencies, “as is” contracts, higher opening bids and down payments, and more.

July 15 2022

5 Ways to Reduce Home Expenses on Long Island

With the cost of living increasing each year, many prospective and current Long Island homeowners are seeking ways to keep expenses down, such as refinancing, tax grievances, veterans benefits, energy audits, and debt consolidation.

June 21 2022

Top 10 Fun Things to Do on Long Island

With close proximity to New York City, Long Island is a suburban oasis of activities, recreation, cuisine, museums, beaches, and culture for residents and visitors of all ages.

May 13 2022

How Home Buyers Can Navigate the Spring Real Estate Market

It’s best to have all documentation, financials, commitment letters, and mortgage options prior to making an offer on a property in the current, record-breaking spring home-buying season led by bidding wars, pent-up demand, and decreased inventory.

man being handed signing papers for home sale
March 04 2022

How to Get Your Offer Accepted in a Seller’s Market

When crafting a strong offer in a tight real estate market, prospective homebuyers should consider competitive tactics such as minimal contingencies, earnest money, escalation clauses, flexibility, appraisal gap coverage, and more.

happy family in living room
February 17 2022

Which Home Loan Is Best for Me?

When researching and comparing the best mortgages for your needs, there are several options, such as conventional, government-backed, jumbo loans, and more—all of with unique requirements, features, benefits, and cost-saving incentives.

dad dressed in military uniform holding smiling daughter in front of home
January 04 2022

5 Programs to Help Veterans Buy a Home

There are various financing options available to help active and retired members of our nation’s military purchase, refinance, or rehab a home. These include: VA loans; Specially Adapted Housing, Special Housing Adaptation, and Temporary Residence Adaptation grants; and the New York State Homes for Veterans Program.

front of home with snow filled porch
December 14 2021

Should I Sell My Home During the Winter?

With this year’s winter real estate market again predicted to be one of the best ever, now is the perfect time to sell your home due to low interest rates, added demand, proactive buyers, increased digital marketing tools, and other trends.

skyline of atlanta georgia
November 10 2021

The Best Neighborhoods to Live in Atlanta

If you’re thinking of living in Atlanta, Georgia, important factors to consider include location, school districts, median home prices, access to transportation, local amenities, entertainment, and more. This comprehensive guide outlines all these, along with top-ranked neighborhoods, and more.

October 18 2021

How to Enjoy Halloween Safely This Year

To help make sure adults and children have a safe time trick-or-treating, we've compiled a list of Halloween safety tips. Contour mortgage is here.

couple receiving keys to new home and family standing in front of sold house
October 06 2021

Buying And Selling A Home At The Same Time

When simultaneously purchasing and selling a home, it’s best to evaluate the current housing market, understand your financial situation, examine contingency plans, and consult best practices for smooth transactions with both.

view of front of a home with leaves falling in the yard
September 14 2021

10 Reasons Why the Fall Home Market Will Still Be Hot

The usually tepid fall homebuying season will continue gaining momentum due to the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, more flexible remote work schedules, motivated buyers, additional space needs, and more.

backyard of vacation home
July 30 2021

How to Buy A Vacation Home

Purchasing a vacation home offers myriad financial and tax benefits, but it’s also important to review important secondary mortgage factors, such as terms and limitations, requirements, qualifications, credit scores, and suitable options.

Young multiethnic couple examining home finance in their kitchen by reviewing paper bills and documents on their laptop
June 24 2021

How to Finance a Home

With low inventory and interest rates, and home sales occurring at a record pace, it’s even more important for potential buyers to understand the home financing process, such as mortgage options, qualifications, down payment percentages, and other elements.

happy family in front of home
May 07 2021

How Does a Home Equity Loan Differ From a Mortgage?

Home equity and mortgage loans can both be used toward home purchases repairs, improvements and other upgrades, but each financing type differs in requirements, benefits, tax deductions, and repayment terms.

blue craftsman house in suburbs
February 08 2021

What Is a Jumbo Loan?

Designated for primary, secondary, and multi-unit properties priced $500,000 or more, jumbo loans help qualified home buyers secure funding beyond current Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) maximum conforming loan limits.

January 25 2021

10 Facts About FHA Home Loans

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans can aid potential borrowers in achieving homeownership through many benefits, such as low down payments, reduced closing costs, lenient credit requirements, and more.

African american family in new house with children running around and boxes all around
December 21 2020

5 Benefits for First-Time Home Buyers

Prospective first-time home buyers may qualify for several significant cost-saving incentives, such as government-backed loans and grants, tax credits and exemptions, financial assistance, and more.

for sale sign in front of home
December 07 2020

Is It Safe to Sell My Home Right Now?

Sell your home and take advantage of low interest rates, flexible financing options, competitive pricing, and other favorable market trends while following COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

bright spacious living room
November 06 2020

The Best Uses of Your Home Equity

Home equity is an invaluable investment that can be utilized to obtain a loan, line of credit, or refinancing, for value-driven expenses such as home improvements and emergency repairs, education costs, real estate investments, and more.

apartment building and front of residential home
October 23 2020

Renting vs. Buying: Which Is Right for You?

Choosing whether to rent or buy is a major decision, with many considerations, such as mortgage type,interest rates, affordability and budget, credit rating, personal and professional goals, and more.

agent handing keys for new home over to couple
July 24 2020

What’s Better: Pre-Qualification or Pre-Approval?

Pre-approval verifies consumer financial data, giving a more accurate picture of the loan amount and interest rate you qualify for.

couple looking over finances on laptop
July 18 2020

Why Refinancing is the Silver Lining To Hard Times

Refinancing during a crisis can save money and provide a jolt of extra cash, so you can worry less about your finances.

Can you buy a home during covid-19
April 24 2020

Can You Buy A Home During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Home purchases are possible during the coronavirus pandemic, but some processes have been dramatically altered.

black couple renovating home
April 17 2020

What Are The Best Home Improvement Loans?

Home equity loans, FHA 203(k), Fannie Mae HomeStyle™, and Freddie Mac Renovation Mortgage provide a financial assist when it’s time to renovate.

Couple looks over refinancing paperwork for mortgage
March 27 2020

Is Now A Good Time To Refinance?

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to alter everyday life. But what does it mean for mortgage refinancing efforts?

What The Fed’s Emergency Rate Cut Means For Mortgages
March 20 2020

What The Fed’s Emergency Rate Cut Means For Mortgages

The coronavirus pandemic has thrust the economy into a moment-by-moment state of flux. What does the current climate mean for your mortgage?

Senior Couple looks over bills happily
March 18 2020

Reverse Mortgages Are Making A Big Comeback

Reverse mortgages, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, have evolved greatly over the years.

City scape of Brooklyn Bridge at sunset
March 10 2020

Best Neighborhoods To Live In Brooklyn

Brooklyn is known for its trendy neighborhoods, but where’s the best places to live in this New York City borough?

black and asian woman shaking hands on a mortgage agreement
March 04 2020

Can You Buy A House With Student Loan Debt?

Student loan debt can be an obstacle, but diligently managing your debt, along with other factors, can put you on the path toward homeownership.

interracial couple shaking hands with a mortgage loan officer
February 26 2020

How To Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

The mortgage loan pre-approval process can be arduous when you don’t know what to expect.

city port view of baltimore harbor
February 07 2020

10 Best Baltimore Neighborhoods To Live In

When looking for a place to live, Baltimore’s suburbs defy expectations.

January 23 2020

What Items Make Up Closing Costs?

Closings costs are required part of the mortgage loan process.

December 13 2019

Do I Need a Home Appraisal?

Yes, it’s important to obtain a home appraisal when considering purchasing a property because this provides an unbiased, professional assessment of its value.

October 25 2019

Guide to Shopping for a Mortgage

Determining you’re ready to buy a home, connecting with a knowledgeable real estate agent, paying attention to interest rates, and learning about the different loans available are critical steps in shopping for a mortgage.

September 09 2019

Beginner’s Guide to Finding a VA-Approved Condo

To find a VA-approved condo, ensure you qualify, determine via the department's website whether the condo is approved, and consider contacting a reputable mortgage lender for guidance.

Moving Day Calendar_66145956
August 29 2019

5 Tips for Moving into a New House

5 helpful tips to remember when you are moving into a new home.

August 15 2019

How to Refinance a Mortgage With a Low Income

The first step for low-income home buyers interested in refinancing their mortgage is to consult with a trusted lending company to find out what they need to qualify.

Blog Post - 7 Imporant items to buy for your new home
August 08 2019

7 Important Items To Buy For Your New Home

7 Important items that will help you when you move into your first home.

July 23 2019

What Are FHA Flipping Rules?

FHA flipping rules regulate the buying and selling of homes for profit, and include transfer and resale timelines and documentation.

July 08 2019

11 House Down Payment Savings Tips

Adhering to goals, improving your credit, researching loan options and cutting unnecessary expenses are several ways to save for a down payment, among others.

June 24 2019

Refinancing a Reverse Mortgage

Refinancing a reverse mortgage may possess several significant benefits for homeowners 62 or older, including lower interest rates or higher loan limits.

June 10 2019

What Is TRID?

TRID, short for TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule, is a federal mandate combining and clarifying disclosure forms mortgage lenders provide borrowers.

May 28 2019

4 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers on Long Island

First-time Long Island home buyers should seek assistance from mortgage pros, learn about different loans, plan ahead, and understand the closing process.

April 17 2019

How Much Home Can I Afford?

There are multiple factors that determine how much home you can afford, including your income, debt-to-income ratio, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and other monthly expenses.

April 02 2019

Best First-Time Home Buyer Programs in Florida

Several of the best first-time home buyer programs in Florida include Housing Finance Agency (HFA) Preferred, Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate Program, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans.

March 19 2019

6 First-Time Home Buyer Myths

Several first-time home buyer myths include the misconceptions that you should find a home to buy before applying for a loan, there is only one loan you can apply for, and you need 20 percent down, among others.

March 04 2019

USDA Loans vs. FHA Loans

USDA and FHA loans are both federal programs assisting low-income families and home-buyers obtain mortgages, with two important distinctions: USDA loans specifically cater to those within rural and suburban areas, while FHA loans are open to all applicants, regardless of finances or geography.

February 15 2019

Home Loans for Low-Income Families

Several popular home loans for low-income families include HomeReady, Home Possible, Conventional 97, piggyback mortgages, FHA, and USDA loans.

December 03 2018

5 Facts About VA Home Loans

VA home loans don’t have a limit, are only available through lenders, must be used for primary residences and eligible to surviving spouses, and require a Certificate of Eligibility.

November 19 2018

FHA Loan Requirements

Applicants must meet several FHA loan requirements. This includes providing documentation of a stable employment, income and credit history, and the ability to afford 3.5 percent down.

October 29 2018

What Does a 203(k) Loan Do?

FHA 203(k) loans help cover the costs of purchasing a home in need of work and renovating it. They also aid in refinancing and renovating a borrower’s current home.

Replica Toy House in front of House Buyers signing forms
October 10 2018

How to Get a Mortgage With Low to No Down Payment

There are mortgage options with little or no down payment. These include FHA and VA loans, as well as HomeReady (Fannie Mae), HomeOne and Home Possible Mortgages (Freddie Mac). Conduct the proper research, consult with an expert, adhere to the requirements, and apply.

September 19 2018

How to Choose the Right Mortgage Company

To choose the right mortgage company, check online reviews and ask people you know for recommendations. Be sure to contact multiple lenders and compare their loan rates, as well.

September 12 2018

4 USDA Loan Requirements to Keep in Mind

There are several USDA loan. You must buy a property in a rural area, which will be used as your primary residence. There are also income and credit requirements.

Man holding Toy Replica house
August 09 2018

Where to Get an FHA Home Loan on Long Island

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures FHA loans, but they don't actually provide them to borrowers—only certain mortgage lenders do. You can find out which lenders are FHA-approved in your area by visiting the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s official website.

July 30 2018

5 Home Safety Tips for your Summer Vacation

5 tips to keep your home safe while you are away on vacation this summer.

July 02 2018

What Does the FHA Do?

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages provided to home buyers by FHA-approved lenders. Such loans include, but are not limited to, conventional FHA loans, 203(k) loans, refinance loans and reverse mortgages.

June 29 2018

Fast Fact Friday: 30% of first-time home buyers are now Millennials

Fast Fact Friday: 30% of first-time home buyers are now Millennials

June 22 2018

Fast Fact Friday: Is there such a thing as getting Pre-Approved too early?

Fast Fact Friday: Is there such a thing as getting Pre-Approved too early? First of a continuing series of Fast Fact Friday blog posts.

June 08 2018

What Impacts Your Credit Score?

There are five main factors that influence your credit score, specifically your FICO credit score. They include your payment history, amount of money you owe from taking out other loans, length of your credit history, types of credit you utilize and number of new accounts you have.

close up of hands shaking at a coffee shop
May 25 2018

Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval vs. Commitment Letter

A pre-qualification proves a borrower has contacted a mortgage loan officer, but it doesn’t hold much weight. A pre-approval involves a lender reviewing a borrower’s financials, including paystubs. A commitment letter is the most valuable, as it details the loan the borrower is set to receive.

May 18 2018

5 Things to Know About Fannie Mae HomeStyle Loans

The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly referred to as FNMA or Fannie Mae, offers the HomeStyle® Renovation Mortgage. This loan is specifically designed to help home buyers purchase and remodel a property, or in some cases, refinance and update their current home.

May 04 2018

What Is the Mortgage Escrow Process?

A mortgage escrow is an arrangement between the buyer and seller of a property. The process involves an escrow agent taking control of the property until both parties meet the purchase agreement terms and are ready to close.

April 18 2018

6 Benefits of a VA Loan

VA loan benefits include: no down payment or private mortgage insurance requirements, minimal closing costs, more flexible DTI ratio requirements, bankruptcy forgiveness, and financial counseling services.

March 23 2018

6 Tips for Getting a Mortgage Loan

Tips for getting a mortgage loan include: determining a budget, improving your credit score, and saving as much money as possible, among others.

March 09 2018

What Are 203(k) Loan Requirements?

203(k) loan requirements include: providing proof of income, living in the property full-time, and making certain renovations that cost at least $5,000.

January 30 2018

4 Types of Mortgage Loans that Home Buyers Should Consider

Four types of mortgage loans to consider: traditional mortgage loans, FHA loans, USDA loans, and reverse mortgage loans.

September 26 2017

Mortgage Dos and Don'ts to Keep in Mind

Mortgage dos and don'ts include ensuring all your financial documents are in order, and refraining from making expensive purchases, respectively.

September 25 2017

What Are the Income Requirements of a USDA Loan?

USDA loan income requirements are dependent upon the area in which an applicant wishes to purchase a home, as well as the number of people present in the household.

September 13 2017

What Is the Jumbo Loan Limit?

A jumbo loan limit varies, depending on location. In areas where the cost of living is higher, the limit also tends to be a higher amount.

August 02 2017

Are VA Loans Assumable?

Assumable loans let home buyers assume the remaining debt of a property's previous owner. In most cases, VA loans are assumable.

July 31 2017

What Are the Closing Costs for a USDA Loan?

USDA loan closing costs vary depending on the size of the loan and the down payment. Other factors include lender and notary fees.

July 27 2017

The Difference Between Conventional and FHA Loans

While conventional mortgage loans are not insured by the federal government, FHA loans are. Therefore, they are less of a risk for lenders.

July 25 2017

Where Can You Get a Home Renovation Loan?

You can get a home renovation loan through FHA-approved lenders that offer 203(k) loans, which could finance certain changes you want to make.

July 24 2017

What Are the Current Jumbo Mortgage Rates?

Over the past decade, jumbo mortgage rates have become more affordable for home buyers. However, these rates can change on a daily basis.

July 05 2017

Is a Duplex a Good Investment?

A duplex can be a good investment, as it as several advantages. But be sure to also consider the disadvantages before making a decision.

Home with Blue door, tan siding and dormers
June 26 2017

Buying a House in the Summer

There are both pros and cons to buying a house in the summer. Typically, there are a high number of listings, but at higher prices.

Couple working with mortgage worker and handing keys
June 21 2017

10 Steps to Buying a House

Steps to buying a house include deciding on a budget, researching your mortgage options, finding the right realtor, and closing the sale.

Mortgage worker showing documents
June 12 2017

The Pros and Cons of Refinancing Your House

There are both pros and cons to refinancing your house. For example, you may get a lower interest rate, but you first need to qualify.

couple stressed while doing taxes
June 07 2017

What Closing Costs Are Tax Deductible?

You may be able to recoup some of your closing costs at tax time, as your property taxes, mortgage interests and points are tax deductible.

May 25 2017

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Mortgage?

What documents do I need to apply for a mortgage? Your mortgage loan originator will ask you for bank statements, W2s and more.

Middle aged man and wife looking at documents
May 22 2017

Top 4 Questions to Ask When Buying a Home

Some questions to ask when buying a home include what the average prices in the area are and what repairs need to be addressed.

May 18 2017

Your Home Purchase: Who's Who at the Closing Table

You, the home sellers, both of your attorneys, and a bank attorney are just a few faces you will find at the closing table when buying a home.

Couple joyfully signing mortgage documents
May 15 2017

How Do FHA 203(k) Loans Work?

FHA 203(k) loans help people fund home remodeling projects. This is a great option for those looking to buy a home that needs some work.

Toy Replica House sitting on dollar bills
May 09 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Refinance Your Long Island Home Now

There are many reasons to refinance your Long Island home. Since interest rates are relatively low, this could save you a lot of money.

Couple looking at computer and paying
May 01 2017

Comprehensive Guide for First-Time Home Buyers

For first-time home buyers, consider the type of property you want to purchase, get pre-approved for a mortgage, and work with a realtor.

Older couple seeking a mortgage
April 24 2017

4 Benefits of Reverse Mortgages

Some benefits of reverse mortgage includes being able to get rid of your mortgage payments and making your retirement benefits go further.

Piggy Bank in front of blurred home
April 18 2017

What Are Average Closing Costs on a Home?

The average closing costs on a home vary depending on the region in which you live in. For example,in New York, the average is $2,500-plus.

Couple talking to mortgage broker about house
April 03 2017

How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

Reverse mortgages allow you to convert some of your home's equity into cash to help pay off your current mortgage or any outstanding debt.

Home with beautiful landscaping and patio
March 27 2017

A Step-by-Step Guide to Buying a Multi-Family Home

Owning a multi-family home has its benefits, but do your research first. Consider the property's size and the idea of being a landlord.

March 22 2017

What Is a VA Loan & How Do You Qualify?

VA loans are a type of mortgage loan specifically designed for veterans and their families to help them purchase a home.

March 13 2017

USDA Loans: Everything You Need to Know

USDA loans are government-backed home loans designed by the United States Department of Agriculture for low-income buyers.

Hand writing on document
March 07 2017

5 Steps to Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval

When it comes to getting a mortgage pre-approval, be ready to provide proof of income, confirm your employment, among other things.

Handing keys over to other hand in agreement
February 22 2017

What Are USDA Home Loans?

USDA home loans are mortgage loans for low-income borrowers in rural areas. In order to qualify, you must meet certain requirements.

Couple pointing at details in beautiful lit empty home
February 16 2017

6 Things to Look for When Buying a House

Some things to look for when buying a house include: making sure the home is insulated and checking the heating and cooling systems.

Aerial view of beautiful coast of rocky hill
February 08 2017

Best Places to Live in 2017

According to Livability, Fort Collins, Colorado, Madison, Wisconsin, and Ventura, California are among the best places to live in 2017.

Couple looking in agreement at each other
February 01 2017

Am I Eligible for a USDA Loan?

You must meet certain criterion to be eligible for a USDA loan. For example, you must have two years of steady income.

Hand filling out Loan document
January 30 2017

Applying for FHA Home Loans: What Your Lender Should Know

When applying for an FHA home loan, you are required to share certain financial documents, such as recent tax returns, to your lender.

Man working on house with paint roller in hand
January 19 2017

Buying a Fixer Upper: Is it Right for You?

Buying a fixer upper has its advantages, but it is not for every. Ask yourself if you are willing to take on the work and spend the money.

Large home with beautiful landscaping
January 12 2017

Should You Live in the Multi-Family House You’re Renting Out?

Only you can choose if living in the multi-family home you're renting out is right for you. Consider the pros and cons of both options.

Couple speaking with agent about mortgage information
January 09 2017

Can You Refinance Your Home with a Different Lender?

You are not required to use your current lender to refinance your mortgage loan, so research your options before making a decision.

December 27 2016

The 10 Essential Laws for First Time Home Buyers on Long Island

As a first-time home buyer on Long Island, you will be in a place of informed decision-making with these important tips.

Man holding check and credit card over calculator on desk
December 23 2016

4 Benefits of a Debt Consolidation Loan

Benefits of debt consolidation include making fewer payments each months at lower rates and keeping your credit score from dropping.

Calculator next to cut out of house symbol with keys
December 14 2016

Is a Reverse Mortgage a Good Idea for You?

To find out if a reverse mortgage is a good idea, consider your moving plans and your heirs. And always contact a mortgage specialist.

December 07 2016

Refinance Your Long Island Home For the Holidays

This holiday season, consider a gift for yourself: refinance your Long Island home. This can save you a signficiant amount of money.

Spiral staircase with hardwood floors and excellent natural light
November 30 2016

Is Buying a Duplex and Renting it Out Worth it?

Buying a duplex is worth it, as long as you consider where you'll be living, as well as the property's location and the average rent rates.

Woman looking and calculating for house purchase
November 23 2016

What to Consider Before Refinancing Your Mortgage

When thinking about refinancing a home mortgage, remember to assess your credit score and contact multiple mortgage refinance lenders.

Family in front of For Sale sign
November 16 2016

Why Buying a Home in the Winter is a Great Idea!

Buying a home in the winter instead of waiting until spring could be a smart economic decision because Long Island mortgage rates are low.

American Flag against Hardwood Barn
November 09 2016

An Introduction to the VA Loan

VA loans were designed to show appreciation for veterans, helping them, active-duty service members and surviving spouses secure a home.

construction inspector looking at house
November 02 2016

Why Get a Home Inspection Before Buying a House?

Consider getting a home inspection before buying a house in order to find out about any problems with the property's foundation or wiring.

Front of house with double garage and driveway
October 28 2016

A Home Buyer's Guide to Making an Offer

When making an offer on a home, ask a real estate broker for help. He or she will draw up the necessary paperwork and help you negotiate.

Girl looking at calculator and documents
October 18 2016

How to Qualify for a Home Mortgage Refinance

To qualify for a home mortgage refinance, you must provide key financial information, such as bank statements, to your mortgage company.

Older couple looking out at horizon and ocean on beautiful beach
October 07 2016

4 Reverse Mortgage Advantages

Key reverse mortgage advantages include keeping your title as homeowner and not having to pay more in taxes, as it is a loan not income.

Couple listening intently to Loan Originator
October 04 2016

Tips for Refinancing Your Long Island Home

There are certain tips for refinancing your home that you should keep in mind. This includes consulting with a mortgage loan originator.

September 21 2016

7 Valid Reasons for Moving to Another Long Island Home

There are many reasons for moving into another home. Some include wanting to be closer to work, in a better school district or a larger home.

September 16 2016

What to Look for in a New York Mortgage Lender

When looking for the right New York mortgage lender, be sure to take notice of three key factors: experience, expertise, and reputation.

Keys with House Keychain
September 15 2016

Moving on Long Island? Here are 6 Qualities of a Good Realtor.

When it comes to choosing a Long Island realtor, remember to keep in mind key qualities that he or she should have, like being enthusiastic.

Man signing documents in business attire
September 13 2016

The Renovation Loan Offered by FHA-Approved Lenders

There's a specific type of renovation loan, known as an FHA 203(k) loan, that can help home buyers pay for and repair their new property.

House in beautiful fall landscape with colorful leaves on trees and ground
September 07 2016

Selling Your Long Island Home in the Fall

Selling your Long Island home in this fall? Be sure to plant in-season flowers and rake all the leaves in the yard for extra curb appeal.

Woman stressed over mortgage problems
September 06 2016

Dealing With Home-Buying Stress As You Shop for a Duplex

One way to deal with home-buying stress as you search for a duplex is to be certain that owning this type of property is right for you.

Woman holding small replica of house in both hands
August 29 2016

Are You Ready to Downsize to a Smaller Home?

There are a few good reasons for downsizing to a smaller home, such as having an empty nest and wanting less work to do around the house.

Son moving out of parents home
August 24 2016

5 Tips for Moving Out of Your Parents’ House

Buying your first home means you can finally move out of your parents' place. Just remember to keep saving and contact a mortgage lender.

Beautiful home at dusk with lights on in light drizzle
August 18 2016

3 Benefits of Buying a Move-In Ready Home

Some highlights of buying a move-in ready home include the lack of work and the lack of stress involved in settling into your new place.

Couple on lawn in front of new home
August 10 2016

What are the Advantages of Owning a Home?

There are many advantages to being a homeowner, such as getting a good return on investment and having artistic control.

Couple sitting down after day of working on new home
August 05 2016

4 Reasons to Buy a Fixer-Upper

There are several reasons as to why buying a fixer-upper home is beneficial. For example, you'll be able to create your dream home.

August 02 2016

7 Qualities of a Good Mortgage Loan Originator

There are several qualities that a mortgage loan originator should possess, such as being organized, enthusiatstic, and communicative.

Diverse family with daughter speaking to mortgage broker
July 26 2016

Why It’s So Important to Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

It's important to get pre-approved for a mortgage because it helps determine your budget and narrow down locations, among other things.

Multiple coin stacks
July 13 2016

How to Qualify for Debt Consolidation

Consolidating debt can be beneficial. But you may not qualify for this type of financing, depending on credit history and income stability.

House with great landscaping
July 06 2016

8 Signs You Are Ready to Buy Your First Home

Thinking about buying your first home? Certain indications, like having good credit, can help determine if you're ready to take this step

Tools laying on hardwood - overhead shot
June 29 2016

6 Tips for Buying and Financing a Fixer-Upper

Buying a fixer upper isn't for everyone, but it has its benefits. Plus, there's a mortgage loan - 203(k) loan - that can help you finance the purchase.

 Business man with box and books to move
June 20 2016

5 Commercial Moving Tips

Moving offices can be a long process. But by keeping certain tips in mind, like contacting a mortgage lender early, the experience won't be as stressful.

Man pointing at graph on table with pen
June 16 2016

7 Quick Reverse-Mortgage Facts To Keep in Mind

Reverse mortgages are complicated because there's a lot to learn about them. Key facts of reverse mortgages include the age requirement and type of property.

Overhead of calculator with documents and keyboard
June 13 2016

What Does Debt Consolidation Mean?

Debt consolidation is when you take out a loan to help pay off existing debt. As a result, you only make one monthly payment instead of several.

House blurred in background with For Sale sign
June 10 2016

Buying a Multi-Family Home: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

There are benefits to owning a multi-family property, but that doesn't mean it's for everyone. Remember, additional income, but more responsibility.

June 08 2016

What Does it Mean to Refinance Your Mortgage?

When you refinance your mortgage, you are essentially paying off your current mortgage loan with an entirely new one.

What Not to Do When Applying for a Mortgage Pre-Approval
May 31 2016

What Not to Do When Applying for a Mortgage Pre-Approval

When applying for a mortgage pre-approval, avoid making mistakes - like falling behind on your bills - that could jeopardize your chances of qualifying.

Home Sales in New York on the Rise, According to NYSAR
May 27 2016

Home Sales in New York on the Rise, According to NYSAR

A new report by the New York State Association of Realtors reveals that home sales increased in April 2016 comparted to the year before.

May 23 2016

6 Moving Apps that will Help You Transition Between Homes

Moving can be overwhelming. Fortunately, apps are available that can help you get through the process, such as Any.do and Moving Van.

May 13 2016

Buying Your First Long Island Home: Take Notice of These Red Flags

Buying your first home on Long Island can be overwhelmingly. Look out for red flags, like watermarks and insects, as you house hunt to narrow down your search.

May 12 2016

Why Use a Realtor When Buying Your Long Island Home?

Using a realtor as you search for a home on Long Island will result in a more efficient buying and selling process, with less weight on your shoulders.

May 05 2016

3 Reasons to Get a Long Island FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan

Getting a 203(k) rehab loan offers several advantages when you're looking to buy a fixer-upper on Long Island. For example, you won't make a large down payment.

May 02 2016

What are Some Factors that Affect Long Island Mortgage Rates?

There are several factors that play a key role in determining mortgage rates, including the employment figure and 1-year Treasury bills.

City Modern Designed Condo
April 29 2016

7 Tips for Buying a Condo

Buying a condo is different from purchasing a single-family home or co-op. Make sure you keep these tips in mind before putting in an offer.

Statistics Show Millennials Buying More Homes than Other Generations
April 22 2016

Statistics Show Millennials Buying More Homes than Other Generations

A 2016 report shows that most home-buyers are millennials and they work with real estate agents to learn more about the home-buying process.

6 Tips to Help Sell Your Home
April 20 2016

6 Tips to Help Sell Your Home

Moving can be stressful, but there are ways to make it easier. Knowing how to appeal to buyers can help you sell your home at a quicker rate.

Celebrity Real Estate News: Joe Namath Purchases $1 Million NYC Co-Op
April 15 2016

Celebrity Real Estate News: Joe Namath Purchases $1 Million NYC Co-Op

Retired NFL Jets quarterback Joe Namath recently bought his daughter and her husband a duplex on Manhattan's Upper West Side for about $1 million.

What's a Reverse Mortgage or HECM
April 05 2016

What's a Reverse Mortgage or HECM?

You may have heard of this type of loan, but if you still wonder how a reverse mortgage works, you will find out here.

The Need-to-Know About Multi-Family Loans
March 29 2016

The Need-to-Know About Multi-Family Loans

Qualifying for a multi-family loan is similar to qualifying for a single-family mortgage loan, but there are some differences to keep in mind.

Commercial Mortgage Rates and Requirements
March 28 2016

Commercial Mortgage Rates and Requirements

There are many commercial loan rates and requirements, but it’s important to be well informed so you can determine if you will qualify for them.

First-Time Home Buyer Programs Can Help Secure Your Dream House
March 22 2016

First-Time Home Buyer Programs Can Help Secure Your Dream House

Purchasing a home is a scary (but exciting!) endeavor. It’s always good to have a little help, and Contour is ready to assist first-time home buyers.

Eyeglasses on Debt Consolidation Loan Application
March 11 2016

The Ins and Outs of Debt Consolidation Programs

Debt Consolidation Programs can be beneficial because they make it easier for you to pay off any outstanding bills that you’re aching to get rid of.

Understanding FHA Loan Limits
March 10 2016

Understanding FHA Loan Limits

FHA loan limits change from year to year depending on certain factors, so it’s important to stay up-to-date about what these restrictions are.

Renting vs. Buying a Home
February 26 2016

Renting vs. Buying a Home

There are many benefits to both renting and buying a home, but you have to carefully consider your options. It’s all based on finances and preference.

Condo with nice landscaping on sunny day
February 18 2016

What is a Non-Warrantable Condo?

There's a difference between warrantable and non-warrantable condos. When looking to secure a mortgage, it's important to know what those disparities are.

Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval for a Spring Move
February 12 2016

Getting a Mortgage Pre-Approval for a Spring Move

The Long Island real estate market heats up in the spring. Now is the time to get pre-approved for a mortgage, so you won't have to stress later on.

Nesting Blog: Adulthood and my Long Island Refinance
February 05 2016

Nesting Blog: Adulthood and my Long Island Refinance

The irresponsibility of my 20s resulted in bad credit. But after a few years of hard financial work, I qualified for a Long Island refinance. Go me.

couple holding up keys from real estate agent in front of new home
February 03 2016

The Mortgage Crisis and Housing Bubble Explained

The terms housing bubble and mortgage crisis are often heard buzzwords. But what really happened? Here's a clear summary of the financial crisis.

Why a Long Island Realtor is Your (and Our) Best Friend
January 27 2016

Why a Long Island Realtor is Your (and Our) Best Friend

Long Island Realtors exude glamorous personas, but their daily tasks are more involved than you might originally think.

When Should I Lock in my Mortgage Rate?
January 21 2016

When Should I Lock in my Mortgage Rate?

Knowing when to lock in a mortgage rate isn't an exact science, but some determining factors can help take out some ofthe guesswork.

Why Do I Need Title Insurance?
January 08 2016

Why Do I Need Title Insurance?

Home buyers want to know: Why do I need title insurance? And what exactly is it?

December 30 2015

8 Reasons Why Buying a Home on Long Island is a Smart Idea for Millennials

With a close proximity to what New York City has to offer, buying a home on Long Island remains a great investment for forward-thinking millennials.

The Nesting Blog: Home for the Holidays
December 21 2015

The Nesting Blog: Home for the Holidays

Traditions are what make our house a home for the holidays.

What is an FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan?
December 18 2015

What is an FHA 203(k) Rehab Loan?

An FHA 203(k) loan is a mortgage loan that also covers the cost of repairs. It's perfect for the purchase of a fixer-upper.

Text Graphic - Top 5 Things you didn't know affect credit scores
December 15 2015

The Top 5 Things You Didn't Know Affect Credit Scores

Understanding exactly what factors affect credit score can be tricky. Contour Mortgage outlines the top 5 things that can affect your credit score.

Contour Supports Long Island Charities this Holiday Season-and Always
December 09 2015

Contour Supports Long Island Charities this Holiday Season-and Always

Contour pays it forward. We work with a number of both national and Long Island charities that need our help.

5 Tips for Selling Your Long Island Home in Winter
December 07 2015

5 Tips for Selling Your Long Island Home in Winter

Here are 5 tips for selling your Long Island home in winter:

The Nesting Blog: Our Holiday Surprise
November 24 2015

The Nesting Blog: Our Holiday Surprise

A 203k loan takes into account the projected increase in the value of your home for the project that you complete – before you do it.

What's the Difference Between a Mortgage Banker vs. Broker
November 11 2015

What's the Difference Between a Mortgage Banker vs. Broker

When shopping for a mortgage, consumers are often confused about the differences between a banker vs. broker.We break it all down for you.

The Nesting Blog: How Thanksgiving Turned My House into a Home
November 06 2015

The Nesting Blog: How Thanksgiving Turned My House into a Home

Buying a home is an emotional decision. Creating lasting memories like hosting Thanksgiving dinner are what turn a house into a home.

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