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The Mortgage Professor: CFPB on delaying Social Security with a reverse mortgage

Seniors can begin receiving Social Security at 62 or wait before applying in order to draw a larger amount. For example, a Social Security payment of $910 a month starting at age 62 becomes $1,300 starting at age 67. If a homeowner can't afford to wait before drawing more funds, she can take out a home equity conversion mortgage – the federal government's reverse mortgage program – to bridge the gap. Many retirement counselors, including me, have recommended that strategy.

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To design dense housing, take a cue from the Dutch

MINNEAPOLIS – For several years, Julia Robinson, a professor of architecture at the University of Minnesota, took her students to the Netherlands to study architecture, urbanism and Dutch housing. Much of what she saw and learned on those trips is the basis for "Complexity: Dutch and American Housing," a symposium that is hosted by the university's School of Architecture in early October. It will focus on the way multifamily housing is designed, developed and constructed in the Netherlands and the United States. The topics are also explored in her book, "Complex Housing: Designing for Density," and an accompanying exhibition at the university, Dutch Complex Housing, that recently opened and runs through January. Some excerpts from an interview:

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Christen Nichols: How to qualify for an FHA mortgage

If you're concerned about getting approved for a conventional mortgage, keep your dreams of homeownership alive by considering a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. For borrowers who meet FHA requirements, this mortgage alternative is a terrific way to buy a home with a low down payment and less-than-perfect credit.

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The Mortgage Professor: Repaying your mortgage early: Your method can be better than the lender's

Homebuyers who finance their purchase with 30-year mortgages select the 30 rather than a 15 because of the lower required monthly payment. Few like being in debt for 30 years, however, and many seek ways to accelerate the repayment process. Some lenders offer standardized versions of accelerated loan repayment programs, which I describe below, but astute borrowers can do better by formulating their own plan that is hand-tailored to their needs. I have a great tool for that purpose.