Book Review: The New Rules For Mortgages


“The New Rules For Mortgages” by Dale Siegel provides a fantastic understanding of everything you need to know about mortgages. For many, a home is the single biggest purchase of their lives, and the mortgage is a necessary instrument for making homeownership dreams a reality.

Qualifying for a mortgage is daunting, but it doesn’t have to be under Dale Siegel’s guidance. After all, who’s better to give instructions than the president of her own mortgage company? 

It's important to highlight that Dale truly tries to provide readers knowledge about mortgages and doesn't use her book as a sounding board for her company. The book is like a secret weapon for first time home-buyers who dare tip-toe past enemy landmines. The enemy is the industry which has adeptly blown off many appendages via exotic liar loans and oh-too-high fees.

The New Rules For Mortgages

Dale prepares you to be the most mortgage ready as possible by going through your FICO score's importance and discussing what your income and financials can provide in terms of debt qualification.

The most helpful chapter for me, and perhaps many readers is Chapter 5, discussing which mortgage is best for you.  As you can imagine, there are many different types of loans, and it’s important to match the right mortgage for your income and home ownership duration.

First time home buyers will take comfort in Chapter 7, which guides buyers through the loan process.  There is a lot of paper work, and like a good college application, you need to have your paper work in order to make yourself as presentable an applicant as possible.  Good preparation means money saved!

In summary, “The New Rules for Mortgages” is a great read for anybody looking to buy a house in today's strong housing market.  Dale’s book will likely save you a ton of headache, and a lot of money because trust me, after buying several properties and going through many refinances myself over the years, I know!

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28 thoughts on “Book Review: The New Rules For Mortgages”

  1. Tina Fortune

    Looks like a great read. I built my home in August 2008. Great review and whomever wins I am certain will gain valuable knowledge.

  2. Looks like a good read. I’m always open to new and improved information – especially since we are looking to move up in house in the 2-4 years. Would love to read this book and get a jump on what we have ahead of us in the terms on mortgages.

  3. Looks like an interesting book, thank you for a thorough review. I check your blog daily. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for the great review! It’s probably better to learn from someone who knows her stuff rather than making mistakes and learning the hard way!

  5. heard about the book. havent read it yet. im an econ major so the only books im reading until winter break are my textbooks.

  6. I really enjoy reading finance related books and although I’m not ready to jump into buying property I’ll keep a look out for this. Sounds like a lot of great advice!

  7. Hi Dale! Really good to see you on the thread and thanks for your generosity. The competition is still open until my weekly Katana update probably on Monday.

    What are your thoughts on interest rates btw? I see that the avg 30 year fixed conforming is now back down to 4.875%. So cheap! Doesn’t seem like rates will every go up, and they frankly have been going down for the past 20 yrs and counting!


  8. dale robyn siegel

    Hi there FS! Did someone win the give-a-way book yet? If your comments # reach 30, I will donate another book for you to give out!!

  9. dale robyn siegel

    @John DeFlumeri Jr
    It is also important to have a good handle of your credit score, know how much money you have available for down payment, closing cost and reserves and most importantly understand what your monthly expenses are how the housing expense will fit into the picture.

  10. dale robyn siegel

    We really do not know what the true number of foreclosures is or how many homes are truly under water. The numbers given [by the media] are national and not regional. These numbers are not as important as the regional figures and I mean down to the particular town you are living in or looking at. So when deciding if it is a good time to buy, it is imperative to research your town. If your town is stable or not doing badly, then go for it. If home values are still dropping, then maybe wait a bit more. Not getting caught up in the moment and personal research is very important.

  11. The “New Rules for Mortgages” could probably also be called “The New Old Rules for Mortgages”. It sounds like the advice given in this book is exactly what people used to do. In years gone by there was a 30-year fixed mortgage and that was it. People took out the mortgage, paid it off over time, and in old age they owned the house free and clear. Only during the past few decades did we believe that cash-out mortgages (ask grandpa about that one!), interest-only, option ARMs, etc. were acceptable mortgage contracts. I hope that we as a country will indeed go back to a more sensible way of financing our home purchases.

  12. Cool! Book review and give away – I like it! Sounds like a great resource for a topic I don’t know too much about. I sure hope the housing market comes back soon. I really want to get out of the red on this terrible REIT position I got into right before the Lehman collapse. And I want our economy to get better!

  13. WSJ said today that 1/4 of homeowners are still underwater. How many of them will end up in foreclosure? While some markets have probably bottomed, the nation as a whole still has a long way to go. Location, location location….

    As for our market in Atlanta, inventories (published) are down nearly 50% from the high. Prices are down 15%. It’s the unknown, shadow inventory, that will keep the market down for years to come… don’t hold your breath!


    Sounds like a book I could have used 11 years ago, when I first bought my house…

    As for when prices get back to there highs… I’m hoping in about 3 years from now.

    Nice giveaway, now is the time to buy houses! To know and understand the mortgage options out there seems like a smart move to me.

  15. Credit Card Chaser

    FS I was just as annoyed as you at the 15 character limit as well since “FinancialSamurai” and “CreditCardChaser” both have 16 characters – so close… lol

  16. Hi Financial Samurai. First time commenting, but I’ve followed your site along with Doctor Housing Bubble and Get Rich Slowly for some time now. You’ve got great insights and a very interesting voice which stands apart from most financial bloggers. Having a cool moniker like “Financial Samurai” probably helps with that, neh?

    Reading through housing blogs and doing my own anecdotal research, it looks like West LA still has a ways to fall, much less recover back to bubble prices. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of detractors to this statement, but the Option ARM recast is still right around the corner. After the 5 year period on their loan where people are no longer able to pay the negative amortization option, they’re going to walk away.

    Still a lot of shadow inventory to get through before we see an increase in prices. I wouldn’t think we’d see an increase to past heights for at least 15 years.

    1. Hi Chubbuni13 – Thanks for your comments and insight. Yikes, 15 years sounds like a long time! That’s pretty depressing, but it’s true that this housing mess will take time. Check out Clever Dude’s option arm resetting article via my Katana weekend wrap two posts ago. You’ll see that he reset into a LOWER rate, and will be saving money since rates have remained low. Rgds, Sam-urai

  17. I am in the market for a house so I’ll bite. You’re retweet’d and I’ve subscribed to your RSS, but your twitter account is missing a letter!

    Market: I’m in the Seattle area. Prices are still holding out for the most part in desirable downtown neighborhoods, but months of supply in the suburbs does not look good for sellers. Prices are still deciding whether to stabilize at our low.

    I’m not in the mood to gamble so I’ll buy when I find something I love, but I’d say our low could come either right before summer 2010 (houses sell more in summer) or Dec 2010 (when the summer goodness has worn off).

    With my sig other, I’m at savings of about 25% of the bigger/more redone houses I like and about 30% smaller/less redone. I read so if I’ve fulfilled my requirements for entering the contest :) I’ll just direct you there. I <3 the graphs!

    1. Geek – Lol, yes.. in an old post, I mentioned why my Twitter account is missing an *i*. Twitter is right here in SF, and I was asking a friend there wassup? He basically said names will be limited to 15 characters, so tough luck! Hence, no *i* :)

      I’ll have to check out that site you mention. Definitely wait until you find something you really love! Frankly, no amount of graphs cant describe the feeling one will get when you finally buy that gemful abode. Sam

  18. My husband and I were tempted to buy our first house with the onslaught of government handouts, but we’ve decided to wait until we’ve got a 28-30% down payment saved up (thanks to some of your advice!). We’re getting close!

    In the central Pennsylvania region, there is still a huge pool of new homes that are sitting empty. My husband builds custom homes in the half to million dollar range, and that is finally picking up for them. Over the past year most customers have been renovating or adding onto their homes. For 2010, my husband’s company has a lot of custom homes on the books, so it looks like people are feeling more confident in the market. Personally I’m a fan of historic renovations to our downtown row homes that are sitting vacant, rather than expanding onto new land.

    1. Hi Kelsey – That’s really AWESOME you’ve got 28-30% of the DP saved up! Way to go! With that kind of balance sheet, you won’t be sweating bullets like others. $500k+ homes is a pretty choice segment for Penn it seems, so that’s good it’s picking up a little.

      I’m also a huge fun of historic renovations. We have Victorians, Edwardians, and Art Deco’s here in San Francisco. They are like beautiful pieces of art which will never again be replicated. Rgds, Sam

  19. Sounds like a good book to read before getting a mortgage, no matter if you’ve gotten one before.

    I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In the city, prices are stable from what I hear, and prices are coming back in the burbs as well. But there are still deals on foreclosures to be had. My neighborhood is on the edge of civilization, and isn’t completely built out yet. That means we have to compete with foreclosures AND builders when trying to sell our house. A tough task in any market, but magnified by the current economic conditions.

  20. John DeFlumeri Jr

    I agree the book sounds good. There is nothing smarter than having your paperwork in order for an easier approval.

    John DeFlumeri Jr

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