Michele Lerner, Wall Street Journal

Michele Lerner

Wall Street Journal

Washington, DC, United States

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Past articles by Michele:

People Are Using Mortgage Points to Lower Their Rates—Are They Worth It?

When rates are high, borrowers look for ways to reduce their monthly payments → Read More

People Are Using Mortgage Points to Lower Their Rates—Are They Worth It?

When rates are high, borrowers look for ways to reduce their monthly payments → Read More

How to research your neighborhood

If you are curious about a neighborhood, here are tips for digging into schools, crime, environmental risks and more. → Read More

How to shop for homeowner’s insurance

There are ways to save money, but make sure you get what you need → Read More

Buying down your mortgage rate: It’s not just one way or the other

For years after the Great Recession, mortgage interest rates hovered at historically low levels, and home buyers became accustomed to borrowing at less than 4 percent — and sometimes less than 3 percent. But in spring 2022, rates began to rise, and once they hit 6 or even 7 percent, buyers stepped up the search for ways to reduce them. “Buy-downs,” which reduce mortgage interest in exchange for… → Read More

6 big answers for home buyers now that interest rates are soaring

With high interest rates, buying a house is more complicated. We have answers about refinancing when rates go down, cashing out stocks or retirement accounts, and how much house you can (really) afford to buy right now. → Read More

How does a mortgage rate buy-down work?

A temporary buydown is a cash payment that lowers the borrower’s interest rate for a limited period, allowing borrowers to reduce their monthly payments. → Read More

Should you cancel your contract to buy a home?

Buyers should make sure the contract is written so their earnest money deposit is protected and that their right to get out is as indisputable as possible. → Read More

New England displaces South among hottest housing markets

TOWN SQUARE | More than half of the hottest Zip Codes for home buyers are in New England. → Read More

D.C. among the areas where stale housing inventory rose the most

TOWN SQUARE | The share of homes that were on the market for 30 days or longer rose to 61.2 percent nationwide in July, according to Redfin. → Read More

Tips to pay off your mortgage faster

TOWN SQUARE | Some homeowners may look toward early payoff to save on interest, free up cash or reduce their overall debt burden before retiring. → Read More

Maryland home buyer assistance programs expanded

TOWN SQUARE | Qualified home buyers can now receive a 6 percent down payment and closing cost loan through the program. → Read More

Two-bedroom, three-bathroom condo in Brightwood lists for $399,999

AFFORDABLE HOME OF THE WEEK | The building has been approved for FHA financing, which many first-time buyers choose. → Read More

New apartments leasing at the Parks at former Walter Reed site

TOWN SQUARE | Residences at the Hartley range from studios to three-bedroom units in six townhouses and 317 apartments. → Read More

Housing supply and demand are beginning to balance

TOWN SQUARE | In July, homes sold in a median of 35 days, which is two days faster than in July 2021 and 25 days faster than in July 2019. → Read More

How to test and improve your tap water

TOWN SQUARE | The most accurate test for hard water is to send a sample to an accredited independent laboratory. → Read More

Two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo in Fairfax lists for $397,500

TOWN SQUARE | The Vienna Metro station, Fair Oaks Mall and Fairfax Corner shopping center are all less than five miles from the condo. → Read More

Cooling housing market brings relief to buyers

More homes have been listed for sale compared to a year ago in 13 of the past 16 weeks, a trend which is expected to continue. → Read More

One-bedroom, one-bathroom Alexandria condo lists for $299,900

Building amenities include a roof deck with views of the Potomac River, the Masonic Temple, the Washington Monument, the Capitol and National Harbor. → Read More

New scoring system for condo and homeowner associations

The idea for the score started with the collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Fla., in 2021, which highlighted delayed maintenance. → Read More