Archive for December, 2009

Score Major Contractor Bargains, Courtesy of the Housing Meltdown

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

As the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining. There’s no question that our nation’s housing market is currently in shambles. But here’s the upside: you can score some major remodeling and house repair deals right now. In this sluggish economy, contractors are actually returning phone calls, accepting significantly smaller projects and cutting their prices.

Of course, these incredible deals won’t last indefinitely. Now’s the time to hire a contractor to remodel your master bathroom, re-face your kitchen cabinets or repair that leaky pipe you’ve been eyeing in the basement. (more…)

Maximize Profit on the Sale of Your Home with the Help of a Professional

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Selling your home can be a stressful undertaking that necessitates a considerable amount of expertise and patience. Most people eventually learn that, when dealing with some of life’s larger issues, it is best to seek the advice of professionals. For example, if you were experiencing health concerns, you would consult a physician. If your house needed rewiring, you would seek out an electrician.  Selling your house is really no different. A professional, experienced realtor has the knowledge you can use to your advantage to gain the most from your sale. Another huge benefit is that your agent will only present you with qualified buyers. In our fast-paced world, time is precious, and yours won’t be wasted on useless prospects.

When selecting a physician, you would most likely exercise a certain amount of caution and discretion. You should do the same when choosing your realtor. Don’t be manipulated into the common mistake of choosing a friend or relative. If things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped, you will be faced with the prospect of ‘firing’ someone you like. It is also important to note that, while some agents charge less commission than others, you usually get what you pay for. Select an agent with a strong sales record and ask for references from their most recent sales.  A few minutes on the phone speaking with an agent’s past clients could keep you from making a critical mistake. (more…)

Home Buyer Tax Credit Program Extended into 2010

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

In November 2009, President Obama signed the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 which included an extension of the original $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit and also created a new, $6,500 credit for current homeowners buying a new home.  The credit is available to qualifying buyers who sign a binding sales contract on or before April 30, 2010, and close by June 30, 2010.The original credit was scheduled to expire as of November 30, 2009. (more…)

What’s the Difference Between a Home Equity Loan and Line of Credit?

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Once you have built up equity in your home, you have the privilege of borrowing against the value of your house through either a home equity line of credit (often called a HELOC) or a home equity loan. In effect, both are essentially a second mortgage on your home. You can usually receive equity access for up to 80 percent of your home’s appraised value, minus whatever you owe on your first mortgage. (more…)

Taking the Confusion Out of Your Mortgage Closing Costs

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Once you have found the house of your dreams the next step is to find financing for your purchase.  In doing so you might be surprised by many closing costs involved in finalizing the deal.  Such costs vary from state to state and lender to lender, but the important thing to know is that some costs can be negotiable and some are disputable.  The fees involved in obtaining a mortgage loan are sometimes called “junk fees.”  Some lenders will offer you a low percentage rate but with higher junk fees, so it is important to understand what these fees are so you can decide whether or not the loan is best suited for you. (more…)

When You Are in the Home Stretch, Choose the Right Mortgage Loan

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

There is no one-size-fits-all home loan program.  In fact there are more loan options available to homebuyers now than ever before.  The key to finding the right loan for your needs is to understand the options available and examine which type of loan best fits your specific short and long-term financial needs.

The first place to start the loan process is by looking inward at your present and anticipated future financial situation.  You need to know the answers to the following questions before you can find the optimum loan program suited to your needs. (more…)