About the Author

Work with the Zillow All Star Team of Chad Melin and Justin McHood at Academy Mortgage and get a free mortgage quote today at our profile on Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace. We are happy to answer any mortgage-related questions that you may have.

Stories by Justin McHood

Gift money

Using Gift Money for a Down Payment

The process of accepting a gift for your down payment isn’t complicated, and by following these simple rules, you can be sure that the underwriter who is reviewing your file will look at it with an approving eye.

Mortgage application with key

Boomerang Buyers: Buying Again After a Foreclosure or Short Sale

Here are the requirements for FHA, VA and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac loans if you have been involved in a short sale or foreclosure.

House With Tree Damage

Closing Your Mortgage After a Natural Disaster

If you are closing on your home and a natural disaster strikes, plan on delaying your closing until the lender verifies a few things.

Mortgage Refinance Application Form

Popular Refinance Programs for Owners With Equity

When considering refinancing, the first step is to identify your goal. Do you just want a lower monthly payment? Do you want to get cash in exchange for some of the equity you have built up in your home?

Family mortgage statement

4 Things to Know About Mortgage Insurance

Knowing these four facts can help you make the right decision and possibly save money each month by avoiding mortgage insurance all together.

Yes!! We've won!

You've Won the Lottery: Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage?

Whether to pay off your mortgage after you receive a large sum of money really boils down to making a personal decision vs. a financial one.


FHA Condo Approval Rules Changing

The FHA recently announced temporary changes in some of the rules for a condominium complex to become FHA certified.

Home-percentage rate

Mortgage Rates May Increase Soon

The FHFA has announced an increase in guarantee fees, which will translate into about a 0.5 percent jump in mortgage rates in the near future.

Short Sale Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House - Right Side.

New Short Sale Guidelines Coming Soon

The new guidelines, going into effect Nov. 1, are designed to streamline the process and include some homeowners who are current on their mortgage payments.

money in hand

Low on Down Payment Cash? FHA Not Only Option

Many people know that now is a great time to buy a home, but they may be worried about large down payment requirements.

Debt Relief

Paying Down Your Mortgage Wisely

When paying off your mortgage early, there is one simple rule that can save you thousands: Faster is better.

Home-percentage rate

Low Mortgage Rates Through 2014?

Based on recent comments from the Federal Reserve, housing may be “extremely affordable” for at least the next year or so.

money house

HARP Refinancing Is Really Happening

Although the program may not be perfect, homeowners who were previously unable to refinance have been able to do so through HARP 2.0.


HARP Eligibility: What You Want To Know

Here’s everything you’ll need to know to determine whether you’re eligible for the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

house on packs of banknotes

Have an FHA Loan? It Might Make Sense to Refinance in 2012

The FHA streamline refinance program has recently reduced mortgage insurance premium rates for FHA loans endorsed prior to June 2009.

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