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

investment property

What You Need to Refinance an Investment Property

Guidelines for refinancing investment properties is different than guidelines for primary residences. See just a few of the differences in 2011 here.


Buy and Bail? Or, Bail and Buy?

Thinking about buying a new home and bailing on your old one? It may be an option. What about bailing on your old home and buying after you bail? What to know about both.

Lock Your loan

3 Things To Ask Your Lender When Locking a Loan

When locking your mortgage loan, be sure to ask these three simple questions to your loan officer – it can save you dollars and they make sense.


Buying a Fixer-Upper? Learn More About the FHA 203k Loan

If you are shopping for a new home and have at least one possible home that you like but is in need of repair, here are a few things to know about the FHA 203k loan.

Family mortgage statement

What's In Your Mortgage Payment?

What does your mortgage payment consist of? PITI. See what PITI means and a simple mortgage payment example.

Soccer player receiving a red card from the match referee

What is a Prepayment Penalty?

Prepayment penalties on your mortgage mean you will pay a penalty if you pay your mortgage off early. Prepayment penalties aren’t always bad – be sure you understand them fully.

Family mortgage statement

Why Did My Escrow Payment Go Up?

If you get a notice from your lender that your escrow payment went up, chances are it is due to a rise in your assessed property value and taxes.

Bi-Weekly Payment Plan

Should You Pay Your Mortgage Bi-Weekly?

Bi-weekly mortgage payment programs make sense for most people because it is something that you can set up and quit thinking about it. The benefits outweigh the costs.

mortgage burning

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

Does paying off a mortgage early make sense? It might. It really depends on your personal preference and not what any of the experts say. Six things to consider.

Reverse mortgages

Reverse Mortgage Lenders Exiting: Will They Come Back?

At least 3 major lenders have recently exited the reverse mortgage business. For now. Will they get back in it at some point? Probably.

Mortgage decisions - HomePath or 203k

Mortgage Choices: FHA 203k or HomePath Loan?

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the […]

Mortgage papers

Know Before You Owe

The “Know Before You Owe” program is designed to allow consumers to give feedback to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who is designing new mortgage disclosures and paperwork.

Flickr: insurancebrokersonline1

3 Simple Questions to Get the Right Mortgage

Three simple questions can help you select the right mortgage program for your needs. Knowing these three questions can help you avoid having to ask your loan officer and hope he is right.


Are Great Credit Scores Sexy?

Are great credit scores sexy? If you are dating be sure to talk about your partners credit score because in the event you want to buy a house, their credit score will matter.

Flickr: Valentin Ottone

The Consequences of Walking Away

The consequences of walking away from a mortgage include legal, tax, credit and lifestyle consequences. Learn about the consequences of walking away from a mortgage.

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