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Tips for Maintaining Your Home while on Vacation
Returning from vacation to go back to work, catch up on a backlog of projects, and open a stack of bills that accumulated during a blissful absence can be tough. Some things – especially the rather unpleasant ones – can’t be controlled or avoided. But homeowners can take practical steps to ensure that they come back to a welcoming home and that while they are gone the house does not suffer any unwanted surprises but remains safe and secure.
Here are some tips to help prep a home so that it is not a source of worry while vacationing:
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Home Warranties: A potential benefit for both buyers and sellers alike.
The market for homes across the USA has never been more challenging for homeowners trying to sell, nor more mind-boggling for buyers shopping among the historically overwhelming inventory of discounted listings. At the same time, mortgage lenders are more stringent than ever due to painful losses due to delinquencies and foreclosures, so it is important to write purchase offers on houses that can hold up to mortgage company and appraiser scrutiny. But beyond the initial sale of a home, legitimate buyer concerns arise regarding the condition of the home – and whether it will continue to provide a problem-free experience after the keys change hands.
One resource to add to your credibility toolbox is a home warranty. While these insurance policies are often overlooked or underrated, they can easily pay for themselves by boosting confidence, ensuring quality, and calming...
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Tips for a More Successful Appraisal
Real estate appraisals are powerful, particularly in today’s nervous market as loan underwriters take a more skeptical approach to approving mortgages for buyers and homeowners have more trouble qualifying for home equity loans.
Real estate appraisals are powerful, particularly in today’s nervous market as loan underwriters take a more skeptical approach to approving mortgages for buyers and homeowners have more trouble qualifying for home equity loans. The appraised value of a home is, after all, the benchmark banks use to calculate collateral, so it directly affects sales prices. Even if a buyer offers a higher price the sale will not go through – unless it is a cash sale not involving a mortgage – until the lender’s appraisal supports and validates the offering price. When the appraisal report comes in too low, for instance, the loan is denied and the buyer either walks away or the homeowner agrees to sell at the lower price.

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Using Home Equity to Finance Summer Projects
Summertime is right around the corner. And with the right amount of cash on hand we can take full advantage of travel and vacations; complete a long list of to-do projects around the house, or pay for all those amenities, gadgets, and toys that make summer more enjoyable.
But playing in the sun and surf usually shrinks our income rather than plumping it up, so the season always presents us with a challenging contradiction: Do we sacrifice our summer pleasures or wipe out our savings? Rather than succumb to the urge to depend on credit card debt to finance the fun and play now but pay later, it may be a better strategy to tap into the equity that is still hibernating within your home. That way you can have your cake and eat it too, by increasing your cash flow without necessarily putting your budget or savings at risk.
For some consumers, taking out a home equity loan or doing a mortgage refinance will actually increase their net savings. For example, if you are caught in an ex...
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Four Tips to Help You Accurately Price Your Home in Today’s Market
Realistic Pricing and Expectations in Today's Market
An unrealistic asking price may impede the sale of your home. But undermining your profit margin is also unwise. Pricing your home accurately – especially in the middle of an entrenched buyer’s market – is always a bit challenging. But if you’re trying to sell a house or condo these days, intelligent pricing is critical. Those who are off the mark by a slight amount may wind up off target completely in terms of attracting a qualified and interested buyer, and those who price their home unreasonably high may be shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.
Here are four tips for figuring out how to price your property, without “leaving money on the table” by selling yourself short:
Know Your Primary Motive for Selling
Understanding why you want to sell is the first step, and the most important. If you are selling to capture ca...
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GLBT Real Estate Benefits Mark Optimistic Progress with Recent Court Ruling
To practice real estate in the USA means to first go to real estate school, where much of the curriculum is devoted to studying – and learning how to abide by – Federal Fair Housing Law. The Architectural Barriers Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and half a dozen Presidential Executive Orders all provide various kinds of protection and legal rights that fall under the broad category of Fair Housing Law.
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 – the Fair Housing Act – for instance, prohibits discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of dwellings, and in other housing-related transactions, based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, and familial status. The familial coverage is extended and interpreted to include children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of ...
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4 Money Saving Tips for Homeowners: Implement these 4 ideas to help sell a house or upgrade a home without straining the household budget.
Saving money is now back in vogue, especially when it applies to real estate, but homeowners still want to spruce up their houses – either to sell them faster or to enjoy them more. Those who know how to do small home improvements on a shoestring budget can reap big rewards and benefits in a variety of ways.
Here are four ideas that can help save money while also boosting curb appeal, home equity, pride in home ownership, and overall enjoyment of hearth and home.
·         Embark on a do-over without overdoing it.
Upgrades that are affordable can also be impressive, as long as the money is spent wisely to invest i...
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Real Estate Sales Tips for Winter 2008:
5 tips to keep your listing active as the market cools in winter.

Although winter is notoriously sluggish in terms of real estate shopping, the downtime provides a golden opportunity for homeowners to enhance their property’s marketability. Here are five simple ways to pump-up your listing, even during the winter lull:

  • Calculate your estimated heating costs going forward for the rest of the winter.

Heat rises, and so does the cost to keep a house warm while energy prices escalate. So you may want to offer a discount to your potential buyers in exchange for a prompt sale. For example, one owner of a large antique house faced combined utility bills of $900 a month for the upcoming four months, for a total o...

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Introducing FHA HECM Mortgages: A home buying boon for Baby Boomers
Baby Boomers – those Americans born after 1945 – now make up about 30 percent of the United States population, and they are rapidly swelling the ranks of new retirees. That is one of the main reasons the unique FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is becoming increasingly popular. The new, innovative HECM is the only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. government, and it is the first reverse mortgage designed to facilitate purchases of homes for those who are ready to downsize their way into their golden years.
The mortgage was introduced at the end of 2008 to meet the needs of those worried about their finances as they approach retirement age, and the launch of the HECM was part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act stimulus ...
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Special Tips for Selling Your Home During the Challenging 2007 Market
For those trying to sell a home this summer, the real estate climate can feel unseasonably chilly. Truth be told, this is one of the most difficult selling environments in recent history, so if you are feeling a bit frustrated and anxious, you are far from alone. All across the USA homeowners are pulling out the stops to try and encourage sales, but successful transactions are getting as scarce as hen’s teeth.
But before you despair, follow these tips offered by those with lots of experience marketing homes in bear markets:
·         Calculate your heating costs going forward:
Especially if you live in a cold climate, consider the financial impact of keeping your house warm through the coming winter months. Fuel oil prices are likely to rise, an...
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