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Home Buying 101 Archive


How much can I afford?

The general rule of thumb is that you can buy a home that costs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. A good real estate agent or lender can determine how much you can afford and estimate the maximum monthly payment based on the loan amount, taxes, insurance and other expenses. ...


What is the first step to buying a home?

Make sure you are ready---psychologically and financially. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I have steady income? Is my debt lower than my total income? Do I have enough money to pay for the down payment and closing costs? Am I working hard enough to improve bad credit? ...


What are the advantages of owning a home?

There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity as your property likely appreciates in price over time. Equity can be used to help ...


How does a lease option work?

A landlord agrees to give a renter an exclusive option to purchase the property. The option price is usually determined at the outset, but not always, and the agreement states when the purchase should take place - whether, say, six months, or a year or two down the road. ...


What is a lease option?

It is an agreement between a renter and a landlord in which the renter signs a lease with an option to purchase the property. The option only binds the seller; the tenant has a choice to make a purchase or not. ...


What are the benefits of seller financing?

Seller financing is a viable option when the seller does not immediately need the entire cash equity they have accumulated in the home. ...


What is seller financing?

Also known as a purchase money mortgage, it is when the seller agrees to "lend" money to the buyer to purchase and close on the seller's home. Usually sellers do this when money is tight, interest rates are high or when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan ...


What is a bridge loan?

It is a short-term bank loan of the equity in the home you are selling. You may take out a bridge loan, or interim financing, to help with a knotty situation: closing on the home you are buying before you close on the property you are selling. This loan ...


How does the seller determine what rate to provide?

The interest rate on a purchase money note is negotiable, as are the other terms in a seller-financed transaction. To get an idea about what to charge, sellers can check with a lender or mortgage broker to determine current rates on mortgage loans, including second mortgages. ...


Condos, a Bright Spot in Seattle Housing Market

RISMEDIA, Nov. 20, 2007-(MCT)-Overlooked for years as a significant housing source, condominiums are now a rapidly growing presence providing a ray of sunshine in an otherwise gray local housing-sales scene. ...


Avoiding Bankruptcy: What Every Consumer Should Know

RISMEDIA, Nov. 9, 2007-With U.S. bankruptcy filings up more than 40% this year, Americans 62 years old and older should realize they may be able to avoid bankruptcy by applying for a reverse mortgage loan. ...


De-Coding the Meaning of ‘Mortgage’

By Ralph Roberts ...


How to Know When the Price is Right

By Curtis Seltzer ...


Have To Move Soon? Valuable Information To Assist In The Process

RISMEDIA, Nov. 2, 2007-Let's assume you're in that growing segment of consumers who have to move soon from their present homes for reasons that range from job transfers and relocations to divorces, wildfires and deaths of spouses. Individual priorities don't allow enough time for the current sluggish housing cycle to ...


Drought Imperils Second-Home Markets, Prices

By Curtis Seltzer ...