Houseboats and Floating Homes: Pros and Cons of Living on the Water

April 18, 2014

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Singer Otis Redding sat on the dock of the bay, wrote a song about it and made millions of dollars. What his song didn’t tell us, however, is that he was sitting on a docked houseboat in Sausalito, Calif., and the “bay” is Richardson Bay. Houseboat living was definitely the inspiration for the singer’s all-time [...]

Should You Skip the Home Inspection for a Better Deal?

April 11, 2014

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When real estate markets are moving quickly, sellers sometimes become uncompromising. Why make concessions if your home is leading the neighborhood’s Ms. Popularity contest? This may lead buyers, caught in the frenzy of a bidding war, to become reckless, yielding one of the most important aspects of the purchase process: the home inspection.   What [...]

Buy a Fixer With an FHA Loan

April 4, 2014

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Most real estate agents have tales of clients who just can’t seem to look beyond a home’s minor flaws, be they ratty floors or sagging screens. Then, there are those clients who can envision the possibilities of a house that’s seemingly being held up by a prayer. If you fall into the latter category but [...]

Retirement: Is This a Good Time to Downsize?

February 14, 2014

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Moving into a smaller home – downsizing – isn’t just a way to save creaky knees from the two-story monster where you raised your family. It’s also a way to free up equity to use during retirement. Money Bags Although Americans lost a substantial amount of home equity during the housing crisis, older Americans fared [...]

Scoping Out a Neighborhood

January 3, 2014

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Homebuyers enter the process with one of two mindsets. There are those who know what kind of house they want – the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of kitchen and maybe whether or not they want a yard. Then there are those who know where they want to live, such as a specific school [...]

Budgeting to Buy a House

December 6, 2013

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No matter how good the credit rating, today’s homebuyer no longer has the luxury of buying with little or zero down. Unless you are low-income with good credit, or a veteran, no-down loans are also a thing of the past. Most lenders today want at least 20 percent of the loan amount as a down [...]

Steps in the Mortgage Loan Process

November 8, 2013

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You walk into the local bank and ask to see a mortgage specialist. Palms sweating, heart leaping – you are about to apply for what may be the largest loan in your life. A lot is riding on an approval: the ability to purchase a home, a new start in life, or the first steps [...]

The Advantages of Getting a Mortgage Preapproval

October 18, 2013

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The homebuying process can be exciting, but also stressful. When there are a large number of buyers in the market for real estate, the odds of being able to purchase your desired home can be low. However, getting a mortgage preapproval prior to home shopping can dramatically increase the odds of success. Make Mortgage Preapproval [...]

What are HOAs and CCRs?

September 13, 2013

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The acronyms “HOA” and “CCRs,” although they are used daily by real estate agents, may be unfamiliar to the average person. Let’s break down these acronyms and get you up to speed on what homebuyers should know. HOA HOA stands for homeowner association – a nonprofit organization that is funded by all the association’s members [...]

Decoding Mortgage Terms

September 6, 2013

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Ah, the home-buying process. It feels as if someone scooped you up and dropped you in a country where you don’t speak the language. From your real estate agent to the lender, a lot of what you’ll hear may sound like gibberish. Busy real estate professionals who use the acronyms and foreign-sounding terms on a [...]