Marilyn is a former NerdWallet writer focusing on mortgages and homeownership. Her writing has been featured by MSN, The Mercury News and The Providence Journal. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington.
The latest from Marilyn
What Are VA Loan Closing Costs?
Closing costs are fees needed to complete a home loan. VA borrowers are exempt from some costs and may be able to negotiate others.
How Home Improvements Can Increase Your Property Taxes
Remodeling can grow your home’s value but also raise your property tax. Here's how it happens and what it can cost.
Granite Countertops Cost: 7 Ways to Save
Save on granite countertops by choosing a standard edge treatment and midpriced stone. Also consider using a prefab counter or granite remnant.
6 Tips to Save on the Cost to Paint a House
Painting a 2,500-square-foot, two-story home costs about $4,000 for the exterior and $5,500 for interior. Trim the price by doing some work yourself, limiting the scope and using color wisely.
Love That Home’s View? See How Much More You’ll Pay
Much depends on the rarity of the view, whether it’s a panorama or just a peek. But in general, prepare to shell out for scenery.
Curb Appeal Ideas to Attract Home Buyers
Before selling your home, boost its curb appeal with a little elbow grease. Each of these curb appeal ideas costs less than $100.
Do Your Own ‘Comps’ to Gauge Home Value
These four steps can help you avoid leaving money on the table when selling or paying too much when you buy a home.
How to Apply for a Mortgage
Our step-by-step guide details the mortgage application process, explaining what you do and what the lender does.
Pros and Cons of a 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage
A longer repayment period qualifies buyers for lower payments or a pricier home. But the rate will be higher and you'll pay more interest over the life of the loan.
6 Ways to Build Your Home Equity (and Savings) Faster
Building equity in your home gives you more financial options. There are a number of ways to build equity faster.
How to Get Rid of PMI
You can wait for PMI to cancel automatically, or you can request early cancellation, get a reappraisal or refinance the mortgage to get rid of it.