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    When it comes to a home, you have two options: buy or rent.  What is right for one person may not be right for another, which is why it’s important to know which is the best option for your individual situation.  Why People Rent There are a number of reasons why someone may either choose or be forced to rent, including sporadic or unpredictable income, a high debt-to-income ratio, a bankruptcy or foreclosure within the last six months, unpaid collection accounts or judgments, frequent relocating for employment or the inability to save enough money for a required down payment on the purchase of a home. Maintenance Matters As a homeowner, you will be responsible for any maintenance or repair issues that arise.  This is a big consideration when choosing whether to rent or buy.  When you rent, the property owner is responsible for repairs and it may not always be obvious that these issues can be very costly. How To Know When It’s Time To Buy If you have steady income with a good employment history, can provide a down payment of at least 5-10 percent of the purchase price and are current with all debts, it may be time […]
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    For many people, owning a vacation home is a dream come true.  Having a place to get away and relax can be wonderful, but it’s also a big investment that shouldn’t be entered into lightly.  If you are in the market for a vacation property, make sure you know what to expect. Consider Location And How Often You Will Visit One of the biggest things to consider when it comes to buying your new vacation home is where it will be located.  Take into account how far you can reasonably drive for weekend visits.  Since most trips out to a vacation home will encompass a Friday through Monday round trip, look at the time you will spend on the road, allowing for Friday evening commute traffic as well. A longer drive means you probably won’t visit as frequently, so another important thing to consider is whether it is worth the cost if you can’t go as often as you’d like. Will You Rent It Out? Many people help offset the cost of owning a vacation home by offering it as a vacation rental when they aren’t using it.  While this can be a great way to help pay the mortgage, […]
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    When it comes to buying a home, having bad credit is not the end of the world.  Your future doesn’t have to be defined by your past.  Whether you have suffered from a bankruptcy, foreclosure or some type of financial hardship that resulted in late or missed payments, there are lenders who specialize in financing for those with less-than-perfect credit.  You will likely have to produce a larger down payment and/or pay higher interest rates than someone who has good credit, but the important thing to know is that buying a home is an option for you. Bankruptcy & Foreclosure If either a bankruptcy or foreclosure is on your credit report, it could take some time before you can qualify for a good interest rate on a mortgage.  FHA loans, which are especially desirable for those with past credit problems and first-time home buyers, are backed by the government and offer a low down payment and interest rate option for those who qualify.  Although the notation remains for up to 10 years, individuals with a bankruptcy or foreclosure on their credit report may qualify for an FHA loan after two years.  Some mortgage lenders may approve a loan sooner, but […]
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    If you are a first time homeowner, or are purchasing a home after a major life change such as marriage or having children, what should you consider to be sure your new home can grow with your changing family?  The time and effort that go into purchasing and decorating a new home, not to mention finding it in the first place, means that you’ll want to ensure that your home will be right for you and your family for years to come.  So what should you look for in your new home so that it will give you enjoyment and be functional both now and in the future? Size Though a cute two-bedroom home may be right for a newlywed couple, this type of space will likely soon be outgrown if there are any children in your future or if you and your spouse like to entertain.  You will also want to consider the number of bathrooms and the facilities in them.  Having only one toilet or shower can certainly put stress on a growing family. Features Special features of a home, such as a finished basement, central air, and a large yard can make your home a more functional […]
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    The process of purchasing a home can be a complicated and stressful experience, but if you have to purchase a new home in another city the experience can become even more complicated.  Whether you are relocating for a job, retiring to a dream location, or are just looking for a change, purchasing a home long distance has a whole separate to-do list on top of the already long list of things that need to be done to purchase a new home.  Here are some tips to make purchasing a home long distance a little easier, and still get the home of your dreams! The Internet Is A Powerful Tool! The internet is a powerful research tool for learning more about virtually any topic, and purchasing a home is no exception.  From finding a REALTORĀ® to searching properties, the internet is a great aid in finding a home.  It is also a great resource for finding information about potential lenders, home inspectors, and all the other extras involved in buying a home.  Though the internet is a great resource in the real estate market, like any information you find online, it is always important to be sure it is coming from […]
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    Given the recent state of the economy and the rising rate of mortgage foreclosures, the number of properties available at rock bottom prices is at an all time high.  While purchasing one of these homes may seem like a sound investment and a great way to get more house for your dollar, there are some issues to consider before purchasing a foreclosed property.  Depending on your financial situation, your experience as a homeowner, and your access to information about the foreclosure market in your area, there are some risks involved. Finances Of Foreclosure The financial considerations of purchasing a foreclosed home can sometimes be overlooked.  Often foreclosed homes can be in need of considerable maintenance and repair to make them habitable.  You need to know this cost when making the purchase, or you may end up with a considerable amount of debt in bringing your home back to its original shape.  Also, even though the price of the property is right, there are other financial considerations you may not have considered.  The cost of maintaining a home, property taxes, and utilities are all expenses that may be greater than your budget will allow, especially if you are purchasing a home […]
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    Always dreamed of renovating a home exactly to your specifications, or have you found an older house that is structurally sound but needs a lot of work inside?  Perhaps the price is right and you can’t resist all that house you can get for your money.  Whatever the reason, buying a fixer-upper can be both an exciting and rewarding purchase or a financial and time consuming disaster, depending on whether you are prepared for what you have gotten yourself into.  So what should you know before buying a home that requires a little or a lot of tender loving care? The Benefits The benefits of purchasing a fixer-upper are obvious.  The price is usually right, and if the seller wants a quick sale because of decreased interest in the home, you may be able to negotiate a really great price.  Also, if you intend to flip the home after the renovations, the profit for the money and time you have invested can be quite considerable.  The trick to getting these benefits, however, is knowing what type of property to look for, as well as having an accurate idea of the associated costs, and realistic expectations of the time and labor […]
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    The decision to purchase a home is exciting and a major investment for your future.  Because there is only so much of it to go around, real estate is the top choice for many investors and the desire for most families.  This article is designed to highlight some of the many benefits of home ownership and how buying a home can often turn the American Dream into a reality. One of the most profitable markets in real estate is rentals, which means that many families are paying to live in a home that isn’t their own.  In some cases, renting a home is necessary.  For all others, the money that would be spent on rent could instead be used to pay a mortgage.  In fact, monthly rent payments often exceed that of a typical mortgage payment.  One of the greatest benefits of home ownership is putting money into something that you can call your own and knowing that the monthly payments are going toward your home’s equity. Speaking of equity, many properties experience a growth in value as more development moves into the area or the economy strengthens through an increase in job opportunities.  If this happens, home values soar […]
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    When you start shopping for a home, you probably have a very specific image of what you would like that home to look like.  You probably also see the perfect neighborhood surrounding that perfect home.  Every buyer sets out with an image of the house they want to own, but in reality compromises are often necessary in order to stay within your budget. Compromising On The House There may be certain things that are non-negotiable when it comes to your new home, such as the number of bedrooms or a two-car garage.  But as you take a look at the homes that are within your budget, you may discover that it is not likely you will get everything on your wish list.  But the great thing about owning a home is that you have the power to remodel it at any time.  Once you are in your new home, you can renovate or even add on if necessary to create the home you really want.  And if you have managed to stay below your budget, you will even have the extra money each month to make some of those changes. Compromising On The Neighborhood So you’ve found the house of […]
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    When most people get a loan for a home, they are buying a house that is already built.  That means they will take out a loan that covers the existing structures and the land all at once.  However, when you decide to have a home custom-built for you, you will usually take out a slightly different type of loan.  There are a few ways to handle the financing of a house that is to be built for you. Builder Financed Loans Many people choose to finance the new home construction through the builder.  This can take a lot of the guesswork out of the financing.  The builder handles the financing for the construction period until the home is complete and ready to move into.  At this point the homeowner takes out a permanent, traditional mortgage on the home. The benefit of this is that you let the builder carry the financing and then basically buy the home from them when it is done.  It saves you from having to do a dual mortgage, which is another option to consider.  It also lets the builder carry some of the risk during construction. Taking Out Two Loans If you finance both the […]
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