"I know you have written extensively about settlement costs in the past, but most of it is about the reasons why they are such a difficult problem for borrowers, which I don't really care about. Can you skip the BS and just tell me what to do?" Wow, I consider that both a rebuke and a challenge. Professors have a built-in bias toward wanting to educate, which means to create understanding. But I have discovered, not surprisingly, that not everyone wants to be educated about mortgages. For many including you, a mortgage is just a necessary evil, something they need to get a house. They are motivated to learn only as much about it as they need to make the right decisions and avoid being "taken." So this column is written for you and those like you. Instead of first explaining how the market works, and then recommending courses of action, I am placing the "don'ts" and "do's" front and center. If you are dealing directly with a lender: Don't select a lender based on interest rate an...
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