Below is a collection of reports that will assist you in understanding of buying or selling real estate and will also advise you on how to make the best decision. Check on the box below for the report that you wish to order and then scroll to the bottom. Fill out the form and the reports will be emailed to you immediately.

Best Tips On Selling Your Home

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If you’ve decided to sell your home, chances are you’re caught up in a host of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new dream house or facing the uncertainty of a major move across country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new adventures. Whatever turbulent feelings you’re experiencing right now, there are plenty of practical matters that need your attention…

 
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A Property Survey Is Always Wise, Usually Required

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An appraisal assists the mortgage lender in assessing the value of the house to determine whether a mortgage should be made and in what amount. Generally, the appraisal will analyze the condition of the house, its location, structural soundness and comparable sales in the area. A survey, on the other hand, goes to the question of the marketability of the house. The surveyor determines whether the house is within the property borders, whether there are any encroachments on the property by neighbors and the extent to which any easements on the property may affect legal title…

 
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Scrutinizing Your Home Inspector: What To Do If You Dispute The Findings

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While it may sometimes appear that your home inspection is the end-all, tell-all, it isn’t. Home inspectors occasionally make mistakes, which is why it’s important to carefully review everything that comes to light in the inspection process and question findings that don’t add up. The average home has more than 60,000 pieces and parts to it. Short of being able to see through walls, predict cracks where none is showing, and test every single element of your home, even the best home inspector has to rely on representative samplings, coupled with experience and up-to-date product and systems information in tracking down faulty points…

 
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When Should You Sell Investment Property?

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If you believe what it says, late night TV is full of great ways to invest in real estate. Most investors – they seem to suggest – are looking at big paybacks with no money down. That’s unlikely, like going to the store to buy a watermelon and offering to pay for it with a paperclip (a highly-unlikely feat which my daughter successfully managed to do this summer at camp). It takes forethought and preparation to be successful in real estate. You also need to realize that buying real estate is investing and with investing there is risk: If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can make a costly mistake…

 
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It Is Better To List Than To Lose

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Generally speaking, and in the absence of a contractual agreement to the contrary, fixtures remain with the house. Personal items can be removed by the seller. As one can see, it certainly makes a difference if an item is characterized “personal property” or “fixtures.” For example, can a seller take a removable wet bar from the basement, even though the plumbing is hooked up? Does a window air conditioning unit convey with the property? There are no easy answers to any of these questions…

 
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Fixer Uppers: Wise Investment Or Money Pit?

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Would you spend $650,000 for a beachfront home with sagging shutters, no landscaping, peeling paint, old appliances, outdated wallpaper and a generally drab exterior? On paper, the house sounds less-than-desirable. But before you answer, consider that this potential fixer-upper is located in California just steps from the Pacific. Drab as it may be, could this home sparkle one day? With a coat of paint, some “sweat” equity, and thorough revamping inside and out could this property be an investment gem? All homes are different, but there are certain criteria which can help you spot a fixer-upper with good potential. Here are a few basic questions to ask: What needs to be changed? There are some homes which are structurally sound that require only cosmetic changes — say that worn carpet from the 1960’s, the historic appliances, or that inefficient heating system which consumes more fuel than a high school. It makes sense to inventory a home to see what can remain and what must go…

 
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Getting The Right Numbers With A Lease/Purchase Agreement

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Who needs seller financing? Most people think that it’s for those who have damaged credit, or could not otherwise obtain conventional financing. That may be the case, and if indeed you have some credit issues that require seller financing, be prepared for the following terms…

 
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Housing Counsel : ABCs of Home-Buying

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There is no guarantee that real estate will continue to escalate in value as it has been doing over these past few years. Just ask anyone who purchased at the peak of the real estate market in the late l980’s. Many owners found that their mortgage was greater than the depreciated value of their house, and it was not until the mid l990’s that they were back in the black. How would you feel if you purchased a condominium unit today for $275,000, obtained a mortgage for $247,500 (i.e. 90 percent loan to value), and suddenly your unit was only worth $245,000? Make no mistake: while I unconditionally encourage everyone to be a homeowner, it may not be your greatest investment. Having dampened your enthusiasm, let’s now turn to the other part of your question…

 
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8 Tips For Protecting Yourself When You Buy A House

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If you’re preparing to buy a house during what is typically the busiest buying and selling time of the year, then offers may be flying, loans may seem confusing, and everything may be moving way too fast. This is why it’s important to do everything you can to protect yourself throughout the entire home buying process. Low mortgage interest rates and a strong underlying demand for housing drove total state existing-home sales…

 
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10 Steps To The Perfect Second Home

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The largest numbers of second homes are in states with large populations. The greatest percentage of second homes is in smaller and less populous states. The most popular locations for second homes are near bodies of water and mountains and second home buyers prefer rural settings to those more urban, but in most cases, second homes are within less than a day’s drive from the primary residence. Second homes are everywhere. Among the 359,000 second homes sold, second homes were found in every state and in every region…

 
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Buyer Strategies In A Seller’s Market

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What hurdles are out there in a seller’s market that a buyer may have to contend with besides the common problems with a seller’s market? There’s not enough inventory and too many buyers? There’s also the problem that a house can actually sell for too much. This can happen when a contract price exceeds an appraisal from the bank. When this occurs the buyer must come up with the difference or the seller must reduce the sales price down to the appraisal. Apart from taking the above noted actions, buyers can beef up contracts without going over the appraised value of a property and having to renegotiate the contract or resulting in a failed contract altogether. These strategies may include using monetary and non-monetary offers in the contract…

 
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Finding The Safest Communities

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Since Sept. 11, more and more Americans have pushed safety and security high on their list of requirements for the community where they might buy a home. Some are reconsidering the allure of big city urban living, especially when a greater use of technology can permit them to live virtually anywhere and telecommute to the city for work. Based on largely anecdotal evidence obtained from real estate agent interviews Forbes.com recently produced “The Best Houses in the Safest Places,” a survey for luxury homes off the beaten path. The magazine found 16 cities in 11 states it deemed as “conceivably” safer than big cities…

 
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First Time Buyers: Don’t Overlook A Home’s Potential When House Hunting

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House hunting for first-time homebuyers- It’s an exciting, albeit nerve-wracking, experience. If you’re like others in the market for their first home, you probably have in mind exactly how your soon-to-be home will look. But it’s important not to fall into the bad decorating, dingy walls, and dirt-bare back yard equals bad-home trap. If you don’t see past the hideous wallpaper, funky light fixtures, and avocado green carpeting, you may miss out on a home with great potential. And, if you’re looking for a home in a seller’s market where homes are being snatched up as soon as they go on the market, you’ll come to realize you can’t be choosy if you want to make a competitive offer…

 
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Helping Your Children Buy Their House

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What is PMI? Although the borrower pays the monthly (or annual) premium, this insurance is solely for the benefit of the lender. It is designed to protect the lender should they have to foreclose on your property, and the price that the property is sold at a foreclosure sale does not equal the outstanding balance on your mortgage loan. Unfortunately, although many lawyers believe that the monthly PMI premium can legally be deducted as “mortgage interest”, the Internal Revenue Service takes a strong position that such payments are not deductible…

 
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How Soon To Buy After Bankruptcy

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Don’t be discouraged about this scenario, however. Keep in mind with 30-year fixed rate mortgages going for under 6 percent right now, high interest rates in today’s market, means 8 – 10 percent. My first mortgage was a 2-1 buy down with perfect credit and my interest rate started at 10 percent and went up a percentage point per year for the next two years – interest rates are really all a matter of perspective. Should you wait to sell/buy property? I get this question a lot. Real estate is a great investment no matter when you buy – if you’re willing to let time work in your favor. Obviously, there are peaks and valleys in the real estate market just like any other investment…

 
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How Your Parents Can Help You Buy

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Once those formalities have been resolved, here are some suggestions. Let’s assume your parents currently have $150,000 in liquid assets. Your purchase price is $150,000. Your parents can lend you the entire purchase price, and you will take title to the condominium in your name only. You will sign a promissory note, agreeing to repay this money over an agreed upon period of time. To secure payment of this note (and to allow you to deduct the mortgage interest for tax purposes) you will also have a deed of trust (the mortgage document) recorded against your property in favor of your parents…

 
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Make Sure all Systems Are Go When You Inspect Your Would-Be Home

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You’ve finally found the perfect – or near-perfect – house. You’ve haggled, negotiated, and appear close to finalizing the deal. But first you’ll want to hire a professional inspector – and then you’ll want to do some inspecting yourself, including the home’s major systems. An inspection involves a qualified professional who will take an objective look at the condition of the property and prepare a report. But it’s also important that you, as the buyer, carefully inspect every foot of the house for things that might not be included in the professional inspection, as well as the things that are, like the systems – heating, cooling, plumbing, electrical service, and the water heater…

 
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Meeting The Seller, How To Find Bargaining Chips

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A buyer who finds that one special home may wonder why the present owner is selling. The reason could be as benign as a job transfer, or as nasty as a divorce with arduous negotiations. Can buyers ask why a home is being sold? Or are such questions somehow unfair, something that goes in the “MYOB” (Mind Your Own Business) category? As a buyer, you should know more about the home than the number of bedrooms and baths…

 
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No Money Down With A Difference

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Home buying with no money down is a wonderful concept, something that can make ownership available to huge numbers of people who otherwise are unable to buy. And yet there has not been a rush to buy homes with nothing down, in part because such financing has sometimes been promoted as a get-rich-quick device. But now we have a well-known lender entering the no-money-down market, something which should greatly help both the concept and its image…

 
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Plan On Buying A Home Next Year? Then Keep the Holiday Spending To A Minimum

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If you’re close to buying a home in the coming year, then you’ll want to keep a close eye on your holiday spending. You don’t want to hamper your chances of getting a loan, and you’ll want to be sure you have plenty of cash on hand in your first year of homeownership. The International Mass Retail Association in a late October survey estimated that holiday shoppers will spend an average of $863 on gifts this year. However, they ultimately end up spending some 15 to 30 percent more, the association says. Because your credit history is so important in obtaining a loan, you’ll want to refrain from opening any credit accounts for major appliance or electronic purchases. You’ll also want to avoid running your existing credit cards to their limits. Why? When you apply for a mortgage, the lender may request a credit score as well as a credit report…

 
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Questions Every Buyer Should Ask

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When you’re in the market for a home, it seems as if there are millions of questions to ask — and no doubt plenty more. As buyers you may become so wrapped up in the physical aspects of the house — the rooms, amenities, and structure — that you give less attention to quiet issues which may strongly impact your ability to enjoy a home. What kinds of factors will affect your quality of life? The obvious ones are the first to come to mind: the distance to work, the special programs available through the local school system, and neighborhood shopping and recreation. Those factors, while important, may not touch the issues specific to your situation. Consider the thousands of families who have an aging parent residing with them…

 
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Repair Of Home Defects Negotiable With Seller

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I am currently in escrow on a house. We had the inspection done yesterday. There are a few major concerns of which we were unaware. The largest is a faulty shower pan, which has been leaking for several years and has caused substantial damage to the sub-flooring. What is the best way to handle this? Allow the seller to choose the method and company to repair this? Or should I have a professional estimate the costs, then ask for cash from the seller so as to allow myself control over the work? I would like to know the best way to negotiate an allowance (or discount off sales price) for these items. I don’t expect the house to be restored to perfect condition for me, but I’ve heard of parties negotiating on such items…

 
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Should You Invest In Foreclosures

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Periodically you may hear from individuals who want to make $1 million in real estate — quickly and with no money down. Usually they want to know more about real estate foreclosures — how to buy them and how to profit from such homes. Foreclosure properties can be a good place to invest for exponential growth (or loss). There are some deals out there for little or no money down, but potential investors should take precautions because foreclosed properties can involve significant risks…

 
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Special Financing Available For Low Income Buyers

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Many would-be home buyers are dismayed at the ever-increasing price of their rent and housing in general. In addition, they just can’t seem to make enough money top afford the purchase of a home. They are in industries that will not provide them more opportunity than what they have now. As an example, someone who’s salary was at $15,000 and though there are houses priced about $50,000, their debt to salary ratio knocks them out of the buying arena at this time. They can’t see homeownership as a part of his future. For people in this situation there is hope.. Someone making $15,000 could purchase a house in several markets with today’s interest rates…

 
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Trying To Buy A “Diamond In The Rough”?

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The description on a piece of property may read “diamond in the rough.” Which means either it needs lots of work or perhaps just a little TLC. But exactly how “rough” can a house be before a lender decides the collateral is not healthy enough to issue a mortgage? And what happens if you want the seller to fix something before you’ll close the deal? Upon contract, one of the first things you’ll want to do is have the home inspected for structural integrity, defects and potential problems. Note this is not the function of a licensed appraiser who determines the market value for the home…

 
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Was There Water Damage In The Home You Want To Buy?

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Most of the time, people have good intentions, but as a buyer, you need to protect yourself from mistakes the seller may make in giving you proper disclosures. This is especially important when it comes to environmental issues such as water damage that can lead to mold. While Realtor organizations are attempting to make it more difficult for sellers to conceal defects from buyers, state-mandated disclosures are often still a matter of interpretation. Some sellers may intend to provide proper disclosure, but may leave off material facts because they don’t realize the significance…

 
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Which Is Better, More Down Or Less?

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Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is a monthly fee that the borrower pays if the first trust loan exceeds 80 percent of the purchase price. Since a lower down payment results in a statistically higher risk to the lender, PMI insures a portion of the loan to reduce the risk to the lender. Thanks to creative lenders, however, a borrower can still put as little as no money down and avoid PMI by taking out two loans. Ask your loan officer about loan packages with no PMI, sometimes called “piggy-back” financing…

 
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You’ve Bought Your House – Now What?

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Escrow has closed, the title is in your name, and the hassle of moving is finally over. While you may feel like the home buying process is behind you, it’s not. Now the onslaught of mailers, solicitations, and tempting offers geared toward new homeowners, who are typically trying to rebuild their finances. How has your mailbox become a receptacle for these solicitations? Your home purchase is a matter of public record. There are many things you can do – and not do, for that matter – to get back on solid financial ground. There are the obvious things: stay on top of your mortgage payments; try to avoid any major purchases, like a new vehicle; and make sure you have adequate homeowners insurance. In their book, Home Buying for Dummies (Hungry Minds, Inc., 1999), Eric Tyson and Ray Brown outline everything a first-time homebuyer would ever want and need to know about buying a home, including how to get your house in financial order…

 
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Why Buyer Brokers Sometimes Advise “No”

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“Facts, m’am. Just the facts” was the constant refrain of Sergeant Joe Friday of the television series “Dragnet” in the 1950s. More than fifty years later in the real estate industry, a very special type of sergeant, the buyer’s agent, performs an equally valuable service — dispensing and interpreting facts for his buyer/client. The buyer’ agent’s mission? To provide the client with a high-level of interpretation, even if it means walking away from the bulk of compensation should a sale not be consummated?…

 
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Energy Improvements Add $18,000 To Homes, Say Studies

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Replace old appliances with Energy Star rated appliances, turn in all your incandescent lamps and fixtures for fluorescent lamps and fixtures, perform several energy efficient home improvements and you can boost the value of your home by almost $18,000, according to a return on investment study of 10 energy efficient home improvements…

 
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As Is, Subject To, Or Deferred Maintenance

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Deferred Maintenance vs. Subject To. Live it, love it, and learn it. These terms are sometimes bandied about without much thought when getting a property appraised. But knowing the difference between the two and how it can make or break your deal may be your biggest concern when reading an appraisal. What is Deferred Maintenance? Deferred means that you put it off. Maintenance means taking care of something. Put the two together and it all makes sense…

 
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Buyers And Seller. Never The Two Shall Meet

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Is there any event in life more stressful and laden with conflicting emotions than buying a home? The answer is yes — selling one’s home can be equally trying. For buyers, the purchasing experience can be stressful because they’ve never met the owners, something which creates a considerable amount of uncertainty. How well did the owners take care of the house? Are there hidden problems are waiting to unveil themselves. For sellers, the experience can also be troubling…

 
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Counting The Extended Cost Of Home Ownership

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Counting the extended cost of home ownership, can you afford to buy a home? The first person you will want to talk with about your qualification will obviously be a lender or real estate agent. Once you find out your buying power, then you need to calculate what new expenses you will have once you move out of the apartment and into your first home…

 
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Does Your Closing Date Make A Difference?

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While discussing this subject, we should keep in mind loan payoffs. Millions of Americans are taking advantage of lower interest rates and refinancing their mortgage. For those folks who have FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans, it’s important to know that FHA collects the entire month’s interest when the loan is paid off. Basically, this means that if you pay off your FHA loan on the first of the month, FHA will charge you interest for the entire month. So for people who are refinancing their FHA loan, it’s best to settle at the end of the month. With any luck your loan officer will already know this and have you scheduled to close at the appropriate time…

 
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Don’t Forgo Inspections As A Negotiating Tool

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In a housing market in which supply is woefully short of demand, some buyers have been willing to forgo a home inspection in an effort to get a leg up on the competition. This is wrong. You’ve heard of buy now and pay later. By misusing a home inspection as a negotiating tool, the house you succeed in buying may cost you a fortune in the long run as you rush to correct problems a qualified home inspector would have easily been able to point out. But buyers are doing just that…

 
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Funds In Escrow: Who’s Money Is It?

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Most inspection contingencies contain very specific time limitations – i.e. you must complete the inspection and report any problems to the seller within X number of days or the inspection contingency becomes null and void. Regardless of the seller’s reasons, the escrow holder has a fiduciary duty to both buyer and seller, and cannot unilaterally release the funds unless there is a written document authorizing how the funds are to be disbursed. You should immediately prepare a request for disbursement of the escrow funds, sign it and present it to the real estate broker for signature by the seller…

 
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Get A CLUE About Homeowner’s Insurance

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National Association of Realtors President, Cathy Whatley, told a group of reporters at the National Press Club that homeowner’s insurance premiums and the lack of available coverage have become significant barriers to homeownership. Most affected are those who have no credit history and existing homeowners who have water-related claims, she said. Whatley questioned insurers’ use of credit scores and the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange database, which holds claim histories of individuals and properties for five years. Insurance companies share this database in determining whether to insure you and your property…

 
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Getting The Most From Your Home Inspection

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With thoughts of how you’re going to arrange the furniture in your new home, whether you’ll make the deadline for registering the kids for their new school and how you’ll find a mover on short notice, the home inspection process sometimes takes a back seat. But it shouldn’t. A home inspection is perhaps the most important chapter in the home-buying saga. You’ve seen the beautiful tile floors, the new carpet and the freshly painted walls, but do you know what lurks in the bowels of the heating system, what lies in the crevices of the roof, and if anything — other than water — can be found in the interior plumbing? You should — you’re about to plop down a huge down payment and commit to a 15- or 30-year mortgage…

 
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Home Inspection

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What is a home inspection? A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector’s report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check©up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector will refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation…

 
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Homeowners Insurance. Are You Really In Good Hands?

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When you purchase homeowners insurance, you expect that it will be there when you need it. That means that if there is a natural disaster such as an earthquake, hurricane or a flood, it will be there. And in the environmental context, if oil is leaked from your heating oil tank, you expect that it will be there. The relationship between homeowners and their insurance companies has been described as a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary status means that this is more than just a contract relationship…

 
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How Energy Trends Impact Home Prices & Mortgage Rates

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The price of oil has shot up in recent years, a matter which could seriously impact the real estate marketplace. What’s the tie between energy costs and real estate? One connection is that if we are truly at the end of a brief recession, then the economy should begin to expand and as it grows it will require more energy…

 
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How To Avoid Rookie Mistakes

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First-time homebuyers face a steep learning curve. There’s much to know, much to learn, and a great potential for “rookie mistakes” — with costly consequences. One common mistake is rushing into the transaction. Buyers looking for homes in extremely tight markets may feel pressured to make an immediate offer. Instead, it makes sense to become familiar with the local market before making a purchase offer. Not asking enough questions is a widespread problem. First-time homebuyers, by definition, simply don’t have home buying experience. It may be uncomfortable to ask questions, but ask anyway. Brokers can’t answer unasked queries…

 
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Finding A Good Home Inspector: What You Should Ask

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You’ve found the house, your offer has been accepted, and funding is in place. But before you start packing; be sure you hire a professional home inspector to make sure your house doesn’t have any major defects that could cost you down the road. A home inspection typically includes an examination of heating and central air conditioning systems, interior plumbing, electrical systems, the roof, attic, visible insulation, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, foundations, and basements. Inspections may also include appliances and outdoor plumbing…

 
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How To Take Title With A Friend

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Under the first approach “tenants in common” each of you would have a divisible interest in the property. Let us assume in your case that each of you will have a 50 percent interest in the property. If one of you dies, his or her interest in the property will go to a probate estate, and if you have a Last Will and Testament, your share of the property will be distributed in accordance with the instructions spelled out in that Will…

 
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In Love With Two Houses What To Consider When Making The Final Decision

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As you find yourself heavily immersed in house-hunting mode, you may encounter a situation in which you’re torn between two houses. Perhaps you and your spouse each have a favorite or perhaps you both like two houses equally, or think you do. Making a final decision and determining which house to make an offer on shouldn’t be taken lightly. The decision should be made rationally and not guided by emotion. Of course, you may not have the luxury of taking your time on deciding which house you’d like to pursue. You may be in a market in which homes in your price range get snatched up as quickly as they go on the market, perhaps even attracting multiple offers. But in some situations, you may find yourself torn between two houses…

 
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Inspecting Your Home Inspector

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While most people (almost 80%) have their homes inspected prior to purchase, just who is it that is inspecting the inspector? We’ve all seen those hidden-camera stories of home inspectors missing major defects, glossing over major problems or finding problems that they then offer to fix (for a charge, of course). Since the industry isn’t closely regulated, it is important to make sure your home inspector is well trained and insured, especially since you are relying on the home inspector’s professional assessment to help decide on the biggest investment of your life…

 
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Marriage Presents Real Estate Investment Opportunity

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A single filer doesn’t owe capital gains taxes on the sale of real estate until it the gains exceed $250,000. For married filers, the floor is $500,000. The criteria for walking away with this lottery of sorts, is two fold: the floor amount of gain ($250,000/$500,000) and, you lived in the property at least two of the last five years, which you have. Unless you live in an amazingly luxurious unit, you probably will not gain $250,000 on your condo. Keep in mind, the cost of purchasing the house (referred to as “basis”) is subtracted from your gross gains to arrive at your gain. For example, if you purchased the condo for $200,000 and sold it for $300,000, the basis would be $200,000 (plus points paid, closing cost, etc.). To keep it simple, let’s just say its $200,000. Your gross receipts are $300,000 – subtract your loan amount (let’s say you’re down to $150,000) your gain is now at $150,000. Since you haven’t reached the floor of $250,000 as a single filer, you owe no taxes. Now, you’re first reaction may be,” I can walk away with $150,000 tax free?” Yes. That is the way it is…

 
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Moving Tips

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Check with your local U.S. Department of Agriculture for regulations regarding moving plants from one state to another. Many states have restrictions on certain plants to prevent importing bugs or pests that can destroy valuable cash crops. A couple of weeks before you move, prune plants to facilitate packing. Consult a florist or a plant book for instructions. A week before your move place your plants in a black plastic bag, along with a bug/pest strip, conventional flea collar or bug powder…

 
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Moving Tips Ease Your Pain

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First of all, sell all that you can.. Don’t hang onto all the stored clothes, books, old records, etc., just because you might need it someday. Have a yard sale. Besides freeing you up from household items that your children or grandchildren will most likely throw away once you’ve made that final move, eliminating extraneous items will put some road money in your pocket and save you money if you’re hiring a moving company, which charges by weight. What you can’t sell, give away to a charitable organization…

 
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Moving Up, What You Need To Consider To Accommodate Your Growing Family

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One of the most common reasons to buy a home is to accommodate your growing family. Perhaps you want to live in a neighborhood with better schools and more services, or maybe you need a bigger house as the two of you turns into three and then four. In a recent study by the National Association of Home Builders, some 64 percent of respondents agreed with the statement: “I wish my home were larger.” The other two top concerns are price and finding the right neighborhood. If you have a young family and are ready to make the jump from your entry level home, or if you’ve been renting and are embarking on the purchase of your first house, you’ll want to consider the following during your house-hunting ventures…

 
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Price And Home Size Matter Far More Than Commute Times To Work Or School

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Never mind that the commute time to work is long. Never mind that the kids may have to take an extended bus ride to get to school. There are far more important issues for us as new home buyers: You want maximum house for your money. You want lot sizes that give you plenty of room between yourself and your neighbors. You want to be located in a neighborhood that you consider “right” for all your needs, even at the cost of more time spent on the road. Those are some of the key findings of a comprehensive new national study of what matters most too recent American home buyers…

 
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Rules Of Engagement With Agents

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The fact that you’re planning out your steps is to be commended. When it comes to purchasing your private residence, it makes complete sense to sign an exclusive buyer’s agreement to guarantee you’re represented in the home buying process. Some buyers are misguided in believing that they can somehow get a better deal on a home purchase by just working with one agent: the listing, or seller’s, agent…

 
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Tell All

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Baby bones discovered in the attic of a home. Arsenic and other toxic materials found in a residential area. Exactly what disclosures must be made to a prospective home buyer? That’s the $64,000 question, or perhaps even higher, depending on the value of your house. Disclosure to potential home buyers of pertinent information about problem areas known to the seller has long been a troublesome area of the law. Indeed, in recent years, legislation has been enacted in many jurisdictions requiring certain disclosures to be made at the time a real estate contract is entered into…

 
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The Chicken & The Egg Question : Buy Or Sell First

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For homeowners aiming to sell their home and buy another, it’s the classic question; “Buy or sell first”? If you sell first, you may find yourself under a tight deadline to find another house, or be forced in temporary quarters. If you buy first, you may be saddled with two mortgage payments for at least a couple months. You may need the money from the sale of your original home in order to pre-qualify for a loan for your new home. You may be facing a job relocation and need to sell quickly. There are many variables involved; there is no universal correct answer. It basically comes down to your specific circumstances…

 
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Title Insurance Info

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Title Insurance Buying any kind of real estate could very well represent the largest single investment a person ever makes. And real estate, like every other thing of value, is worth protecting. A policy of Title Insurance is a contract of indemnity between the insured and the insuring company relating to the title to the land described in the policy, protecting the insured against loss of damage by reason of defects, liens or encumbrances of the insured title existing at the date of the policy and not expressly accepted from its coverage…

 
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Title Insurance: Who Needs It

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The basic guidelines for investing wisely are well known and it’s not uncommon to acquire a first property before age 30. The fact is that it’s never too early to start building equity. Yes, owning rather than renting implies new and different responsibilities. The reality is that 42 percent of all home buyers are first-timers according to the National Association of Realtors. No doubt, among these many first-times are those who have yet to reach age 30. No less important, the earlier you buy the earlier you are likely to pay off your mortgage and build up debt. No, real estate is not a sure thing, but most owners in most markets have done well over time…

 
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Understanding Builders’ Warranties

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A builder’s warranty should be an important part of any new home purchasing decision. Whether you’re buying from a builder with a household name or one that is new to the business, what a warranty says and the ability to get warranty work completed should not be overlooked. There are several general types of warranties and each is important to you. At the most basic level, a home must meet local building code standards. Building codes are complex and detailed requirements which govern home construction…

 
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What Is A Home Inspection?

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A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector’s report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home’s heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check©up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector will refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation…

 
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What’s A Trust Deed?

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: I just moved to California from the East Coast. I bought a new home in a large subdivision that is about ten years old. I was very confused about the process. I went to escrow instead of an attorney for the closing. The seller did not give me a survey of the property. Instead, I received a preliminary report of title with a map attached. Best of all, I did not sign a note and mortgage. Instead, the lender gave me a note and Deed of Trust, which I had to sign to close my purchase…

 
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Why Do You Need So Many Reports?

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Buy a detached home today and you’re likely to need, want, or be required to get an appraisal, home inspection, termite report, and survey. But do you need so many checks? Each is a different report, it’s just that sometimes they overlap and sometimes they point out things that another report won’t cover. What should you expect from these reports and why would you want all four? Lenders make loans on the basis of the sale price or the appraised value — whichever is less…

 
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How To Handle Lender Questions

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You’ve been pretty good about keeping your credit rating up. Always pay on time, every time. There may have been a late payment or two a few years back but you never took anyone for their money. But today you got a phone call from your loan officer wanting “credit explanations” regarding some items that happened about two years ago. What could the problem be?…

 
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Questions You Should Ask About Property Taxes

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Property taxes are a major expense, one which often totals thousands of dollars per year. But property taxes are not the same for like properties or for every owner. Property taxes provide much of the revenue used to fund local and state governments. As property values go up, property tax collections also raise which means additional dollars are available for more public services, and perhaps even for tax refunds…

 
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Do I Really Need A Realtor To Buy Commercial Real Estate?

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There are several advantages to having a realtor when buying commercial estate. Realtors will almost invariably save you money, by lowering your opportunity costs. The following are three specific ways a realtor will save you money…

 
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How To Determine The Right Location For Your Business

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When buying commercial real estate it is vital that you carefully consider its location. Buying in the correct location for you and your business can make or break the money making potential of your purchase. The first thing you must determine is what exactly your needs are. Take the time to make a careful list of all the things that you will need from your commercial property…

 
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