Whether you are buying, selling, or renting property, know that there are laws and ordinances in place to protect you from discrimination. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing providers, lenders, and real estate professionals from discriminating against you based on your race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), national origin, familial status, or disability. Discrimination Takes Many Forms It might not be an offensive comment said to your face. You may not even know it is happening. For example, sellers and landlords cannot set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sales or rentals based on the protected classes. They also cannot impose different sale prices or rental charges. Agents cannot steer you toward or away from a neighborhood based on the protected classes as well. You can find a list of many more prohibited actions online by searching the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website for examples of housing discrimination. Your REALTOR® Is Committed to Promoting and Upholding Fair Housing REALTORS® adhere to the highest professional standards—beyond what the law requires. When agreeing to abide by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, your REALTOR® has also pledged to not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on the protected classes. The Code of Ethics also prohibits discriminatory employment practices. REALTORS® also may not refuse to cooperate with another real estate broker based on the protected classes. Rest assured that your REALTOR® is with you every step of the way to explain, support, and guide you through your sale, purchase, or rental. Your REALTOR® can help you find a place to call home—an essential part of the American Dream. By hiring a REALTOR® , you will get the help you need and the professional, unbiased treatment to which you are entitled. Learn more about fair housing, including how to file complaints.
Refinancing your mortgage loan can save you money. However, here are factors to consider to make sure it’s the right choice for you. Interest Rates Lower interest rates are a leading cause for homeowners who want to refinance. The goal, of course, is to lower your monthly payment. But lowering a monthly payment alone won’t always save you money. Understand the new loan’s term and any fees associated with refinancing to make sure you’re seeing the whole picture. Credit Score Your credit score played a large part in the interest rate on your existing mortgage, and it has similar influence over any refinanced loan. If your credit score has dropped and you can’t qualify for a lower rate, refinancing may not help you financially. Mortgage History Where are you on your current mortgage? If you’re towards the end of your loan term, refinancing may have not make sense. If you’re thinking about refinancing, make sure you first identify your financial goals. Then talk to a lender about how to make those goals happen.