What to Look for When Buying an Older Home

September 26, 2014

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Anyone who has visited San Francisco or Cape May, New Jersey knows how beautiful historic architecture can be. In San Francisco, they’ve even named their stately, restored Victorian homes “Painted Ladies.” But, are these older homes good buys? Considering that most of a home’s components deteriorate with age, you may be not only buying a [...]

Avoid These 5 First-Time Homebuyer Mistakes

August 29, 2014

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According to the dictionary, a mistake is an error resulting from deficient knowledge or carelessness. While we can’t do anything about carelessness, when it comes to counseling first-time homebuyers, it’s up to the real estate agent to cure any deficiency in knowledge. That homebuyers lack knowledge about the process only makes sense when you understand [...]

Are You Ready to Move Up?

July 4, 2014

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Houses are a little like the clothes you buy your kids – they get outgrown. It doesn’t happen quite as frequently as your child needs new shoes, but at some point, the house you bought pre-family won’t fit anymore, and you may start entertaining thoughts of moving up. It’s easy to imagine that if you [...]

Writing a Home-Offer Letter – Is It a Good Idea?

June 13, 2014

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The most important letter you’ll submit to a home seller is the one you’ll get from your lender stating that you are preapproved for a mortgage. Savvy listing agents will counsel their clients to refuse offers from unapproved buyers, so all the flowery prose of a home-offer letter will mean nothing without loan preapproval. Assuming [...]

How to Avoid Buying a Money Pit

May 30, 2014

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There’s an old saying that a boat is nothing more than a hole in the water that you pour your money into. Boats are expensive – from the purchase to the ongoing maintenance – and boat owners throw a lot of money into that hole. If that’s true, then it’s easy to imagine a house [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Tips for a Successful Walk-Through

August 23, 2013

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After the inspections, the appraisal, the negotiations over repairs and other items, it’s tempting to coast down the rest of the road to closing on the purchase of your new home. You have one final duty, however, and it’s important: the final walk-through. This walk-through happens shortly before closing – the timing is typically dependent [...]