Selling Your Home: The 3 P’s

Home ready to sell_3 PsThere are 3 key tips to getting your home ready to sell: Price, Presentation and Photos.

1) Price. Studies show that properly pricing your home at the beginning results in a higher sale price. Of course, you want to get the highest possible price for your property. But overshooting can have its consequences. Read More

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Are You Cut Out To Be a Landlord?

Landlord_020116This may be one of the best times to buy real estate for investment purposes and rent it out to provide income. More people are renting and the demand for rental units is steadily growing.

However, being a landlord is not easy or for the faint of heart. Depending on the number of tenants you have, the work involved can be very significant. As a landlord you have to screen tenants, make repairs, respond to tenant complaints, and collect rent monthly.  Read More

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How Much Money Do I Need for a Down Payment?


The “gold standard” for a down payment is 20 percent of the home’s purchase price. If you can afford to put down 20 percent, you will avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). Private mortgage insurance insures the lender against possible default.

Borrowers who put down less than 20 percent are considered by lenders as higher credit and default risks. In these cases, borrowers must purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), and pay for it every month along with their monthly mortgage payment. Read More

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Single-Family Home or Condo: Which is Right For You?

condo_v_single famChoosing between a single–family home and a condominium is often a lifestyle choice.

A single-family home offers more privacy and freedom, but also more upkeep. With a single-family home, you own everything: yard, roof, furnace, etc. and you will have to maintain and repair all these items yourself. If the lawn needs mowing, it’s your responsibility. The same goes for plowing or shoveling, putting in a new furnace, painting the exterior, etc. You will also have to solicit bids and deal with contractors yourself. Read More

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Tapping Your Home’s Equity

iStock_000010817275_Tap into equityThere are several ways to tap your home’s equity. One is to take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A credit line will have a variable interest rate, but you pay interest only on the amount you use. Ideally, you should draw from your credit line and then pay some or all of the balance before drawing against the credit line again.
A home equity line is often less expensive than higher-rate borrowing options such as credit cards – and the interest may be tax deductible.* Read More

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What Determines How Much I Qualify For?

How Much Mortgage Do I Qualify ForIn addition to prevailing interest rates, how much you make in relation to how much debt you have will dictate how large a mortgage you will qualify for. Debt can trip up many would-be homebuyers, even those who make a good salary and have money for a down payment. The amount of money you will qualify to borrow is based on your total debt in relation to your total income. Read More

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Important Considerations When Buying a Condo

iStock_000004219571_Condo QuestionsWhen you buy a condominium, you not only buy real estate, you also buy membership into the condo homeowners association. You need to examine both before purchasing.

After you find the condo that you like and can afford, make the sale contingent on both a satisfactory inspection of the real estate and also the condo association documents and finances. It’s a good idea to hire a professional for each task. Read More

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What Documents Do I Need to Be Approved For a Mortgage?

istock_Rate vs APR2

Once you have completed a mortgage application, the lender will provide you with a Loan Estimate within three business days. No matter how large a mortgage you want to borrow, whether it is $100,000 or $500,000, you will need to provide your lender several documents verifying your income and finances. The lender may not require verification documents prior to providing the Loan Estimate. However, you may want to gather documents that are typically requested. Read More

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ARM vs. Fixed-Rate Mortgage: Which is Best for You?

ARM v FixedChoosing the right mortgage depends on your budget and time frame.

A fixed-rate mortgage offers the comfort and security of fixed costs that will not change over the life of the loan. Thirty years is the most popular term for a fixed-rate mortgage. But if you can afford the higher monthly payments, you can save tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan by choosing a shorter term of 20 or even 15 years. Read More

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How Do I know When to Refinance?

With the potential for interest rates to rise in the coming months, is now the time to consider refinancing your current home loan? There are many reasons why you may want to refinance your loan, but the best way to decide if you should refinance is to compare the numbers. What will your monthly payments be with the new rate? How much will you save each month over what you are paying now? How long will it take you to recoup the costs of refinancing? Read More

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