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There are currently 26 blog entries related to this category.
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 12:27am. 1735 Views, 0 Comments.
It's been a rough ride for the house market, and those who are looking to upgrade their home or buy their first home have had a rough time of it, too - often for no reason other than the intense new banking standards. Today's standards require that you have 20 percent of the home's value upfront as well as excellent credit.
While certainly good in theory, this policy gets a bit sticky in practice - especially when you stop to consider that the hardships that hit many families in 2008 may linger on a credit report for up to a decade. Fortunately there are ways to buy a home without jumping through as many hoops as traditional 15 or 30 year loans require, but most alternative methods have a few hoops of their own.
With the number of veterans returning…
Monday, February 28th, 2011 at 2:06pm. 2331 Views, 1 Comments.
Looking to buy your dream home? Then you have to have a plan. Before making this major purchase, there are 4 steps to consider before meeting with a realtor that can save you and your realtor time, and keep all parties focused.
The first step is to get pre-approved by a reputable mortgage lender. Few people can buy with cash, with nearly 9 out of 10 buyers financing the purchase of a home; this is especially true for first time home buyers. By having mortgage financing in place prior to meeting with your realtor shows your realtor that you have your ducks in a row, are serious about purchasing, and know how much you can afford. Looking at the various loan options also allows the borrower to find the best loan program suited for their…
Friday, February 25th, 2011 at 3:08pm. 1853 Views, 0 Comments.
These past two years have been brutal for homeowners. After the housing market collapsed, they thought things couldn’t get any worse. That was before scam artists have added insult to the injury and started taking advantage of desperate people trying to save their homes.
These thieves pretend to be in a position to offer delinquent homeowners their last chance to avoid foreclosure. There are a number of ways crooks employ these scams, but they always have one thing in common: they charge thousands of dollars and give nothing in return. After reporting the fraud, homeowners are usually told that they could have received that same service for free. Unfortunately, the thieves have already disappeared with their money.
The Federal Trade Commission has been…
Sunday, February 6th, 2011 at 12:49pm. 3507 Views, 3 Comments.
A lot of attention has been paid in recent weeks to mortgage rates: after plunging last spring and staying at historic lows for six months, they started to rebound in November. With rates up to 5.11% at the beginning of the year according to HSH Associates and fluctuating since, many have been wondering what the future holds for mortgage rates, and how they will impact the tenuous housing recovery.
When mortgage interest rates originally dipped last May, many hoped it would spur home buying and help continue the mini-sales boom caused by the homebuyer tax credit. Similar to the tax credit - which pulled in the summer buying season and arguably didn’t actually create many new buyers - the lower mortgage rates had a muted effect on home sales. Instead,…
Sunday, December 26th, 2010 at 3:26pm. 3000 Views, 0 Comments.
After we’ve dashed through the malls and stretched our wallets in the name of gift-giving merriment, a little post-holiday financial restraint is usually in order. If you have a little cash left over, though, or have a home improvement fund to tap into, now can be a great time to make an investment in your home - and save money in the process. Deals are plentiful this time of year, but for most you’ll have to move quickly to take advantage of them.
Think Energy Efficiency
The much-hyped federal energy tax credits - which offer a 30% credit on energy-efficiency home improvements up to $1500 - are coming to an end December 31. While it might be a little late to try and get a new HVAC unit installed by year-end, there are other projects which you might be…
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 12:46pm. 3055 Views, 2 Comments.
Sign here. Initial here. Sign, sign, sign… From the moment a house goes on the market all the way through to closing, one thing that hasn’t changed much is the endless trail of contracts. And with those contracts comes paper. Lots and lots of paper. Real estate brokers, title companies and mortgage lenders all send and swap whole forests of documents in a single day.
In this new environmentally conscious era where green principles are a hot topic, paper is one material that this industry has had a tough time eliminating. However, paperless technology is ever-so-slowly finding a foothold with brokers, lenders and title companies.
“Real estate has always been paper intensive,” said Prudential Gary Greene Realtor Judson Tate. “Houston agents are slow to…
Saturday, December 11th, 2010 at 6:15pm. 2868 Views, 1 Comments.
When dust from the recent downturn in the economy settled, it became obvious that many ill advised mortgage loans had been taken out. Many borrowers made Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) loans without any real concept of what they were getting into. ARM’s are a bit more complex than fixed rate mortgages and therefore, a little harder to understand. Simply put a fixed rate mortgage is one in which the interest rate stays the throughout the term of the loan whereas with an ARM the interest rate and payment amount can change. Many factors determine the rate at which interest is charged with an ARM.
In general, ARMs feature low initial rates of interest with consequent low monthly payments. Some borrowers fail to look beyond these low amounts and therefore miss…
Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 12:06am. 1707 Views, 0 Comments.
It’s no secret the U.S. government is facing a budget deficit at unprecedented levels - approximately $1.3 trillion for 2010 - and there is growing concern about how to fix this without crippling the fragile economy. One recommendation to come out of a bipartisan deficit commission caught many a homeowner’s attention: the proposal to eliminate part of the home mortgage income tax deduction.
As something that over 35 million homeowners take advantage of, the mortgage interest deduction (or MID) saves taxpayers around $130 billion annually - or costs the federal government that much in revenue, depending on your view. According to the New York Times, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the commission’s suggestions, saying it would force middle-class…
Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 10:04pm. 1387 Views, 1 Comments.
There are a number of ways to secure financing for your first home. If you are one of those rare people who have been a planner since high school, you would have started saving your babysitting earnings, paper route tips, profits from your lemonade stand and cash gifts from family members together with savings from your summer jobs at Burger King or McDonald’s. This might accumulate into a nice sum of money to be used for a down payment on your first home.
If you are lucky enough to have parents or grandparents who are willing and able to do so, you could get a down payment from family members. Most lenders will require that the relatives give them a letter stating that this down payment is a gift and not a loan that must be repaid.
Consider buying a “fixer…
Monday, August 16th, 2010 at 4:27pm. 1465 Views, 1 Comments.
Even with an unstable housing market veterans and service members still turn to the VA Home Loan program, which is easily one of the most rewarding options. The benefits embedded in the program run a gamut. This helps our proud service members save money in the short and long run.
In this era of tight credit, most homeowners struggle to find a mortgage option, let alone one with reasonable interest rates and little money down. Qualified veterans and active-duty personnel can use VA loans and pay no money down. That means they can finance a home and put nothing down - not even a cent. Usually, VA loans cap at $417,000 but that max increases in pricier housing markets.
Though the no-money-down perk is the most popular among borrowers, there are dozens more.…
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