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Top 10 Mistakes When Refinancing Your Home
  1. Refinancing with your current lender without shopping around. Your current lender may not have the best rates and programs. Believing it's easier to work with your current lender is a common misconception. In most cases, they'll require the same documentation as other lenders and mortgage brokers. This is because most loans are sold on the secondary market and have to be approved independently. Even if you've been good at making payments to your existing lender, they'll still have to process the verifications all over again.
  2. Not doing a break-even analysis. Determine the total transaction costs and how much you'll save each month by lowering your monthly mortgage payment. Divide the transaction costs by the monthly savings to determine the number of months you'll have to stay in the property to recoup your refinancing costs. For example, if the costs of refinancing total $2000, and you save $50 per month, you break-even in 2000/50 = 40 months. In this case, you should only refinance if you plan to stay in the home for at least 40 months.
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Vacation Homes 2008
The coming vacation season promises a sunny upside forecast for those considering the purchase of a holiday getaway property.
As the first quarter of 2008 winds down and the warm vacation season approaches, the outlook for summer home buying is the brightest it has been in several years. In fact, 2008 may be the best time to buy a vacation home since 2002.
Prices have been repeatedly pummeled until they are now unrealistically depressed, even for this historical market downturn. Thanks to the current undervalued market you can buy vacation home properties in highly desirable locations for a cost that represents deep discounts from the norm – and – in some cases – bargain basement wholesale valuations.
·         Prices of vacation homes – especially low maintenance condos – are super-attractive. At the same time &n...
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Top 10 Mistakes : Buying a Home

Buying your first home is a challanging and rewarding process.  You must educate yourself and be aware of the things you need to do to make the most of the situation and make sure you're getting what you pay for.  Below are the top 10 mistakes home buyers make.

  1. Looking for a home without being pre-approved. Pre-approval and pre-qualification are two different things. During the pre-qualification process, a loan officer asks you a few questions, then hands you a "pre-qual" letter. The pre-approval process is much more thorough. During the pre-approval process, the mortgage company does virtually all the work associated with obtaining full-approval. Since there is no property yet identified to purchase, however, an appraisal and title search aren't conducted. When you're pre-approved, you have much more negotiating clout with the seller. The seller knows you can close the transaction because a lender has carefully reviewed your income, assets, credit and other relevant information. In some cases (multiple offers, for example), being pre-approved can ...
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Tips for Buying Condo Bargains this Winter
To buy while others are selling has long been celebrated as a savvy way to shop. But these days it is also possible to buy without hardly any competition from other bargain hunters, which makes it even easier to make a wise and lucrative investment.
The way to do it is to purchase a condo during the current “off season.” We are already middle of one of the most lopsided buyer’s markets in decades, and those who shop during the traditionally slow winter months this year can amplify their chances of getting a great deal on a condo.
Here are a few tips for purchasing a condominium this winter, while others are hunkered down waiting for springtime to come.
·         Line Up the Mortgage Financing Early
Good Reasons to Buy Now: The current housing market is a rare bargain.

Price pressures continue to strengthen the bargaining positions of buyers, while homeowners are feeling more desperate to sell, regardless of how many concessions they might have to make to close their deals. With more than half a million brand new homes languishing on the market unsold and a glut of existing homes that will take an estimated 8-9 months to sell, buyers have plenty of reasons to rejoice.

Some buyers are waiting for even lower prices, but they may lose out to tighter regulations in the mortgage lending market. If you’re thinking of buying a home, it may be easier to get the mortgage you want now than it is in the near future. Government officials at every level are pushing for more stringent regulation of lenders, and the banking and mortgage industries themselves are already taking proactive steps to tighten purse strings because of so many losses suffered due to defaults and foreclosures. Meanwhile the economy is sending mixed signals and the stock markets are jittery, which could signal bumpy roads ahead. If interest rates go higher or if the va...

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Helpful Team Players for Your Next Real Estate Purchase
Buying a house is a major financial and legal process that typically encompasses a wide range of smaller transactions along the way. A single real estate sale – no matter how simple – will usually involve a smorgasbord of different specialties, professions, and areas of expertise, not to mention the potential for myriad emotional and psychological demands and reactions. For most consumers a real estate purchase does, in fact, represent the most comprehensive and complex deal of an entire lifetime.
Those who venture into such undertakings can help ensure their success by enlisting the support of a talented and educated team of pros, and here is a recommended list to use as a starting point when recruiting help for your big home purchase project:
·  &nbs...
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Tips for Selling Your Home: What can you do to sell your home in a bear market?
The summer of 2006 was the season for seller shock as buyers took control of the housing market and homeowners watched the value of their homes plummet. Coming away from those experiences homeowners got creative, and during the first half of 2007 they pulled out every trick in the book to lure buyers.

Quirky ploys made the headlines but did not necessarily result in any successful sales. One couple threw in a free vintage bottle of wine and an expenses-paid vacation as a bonus to anyone who would buy their home. Another used raffle tickets and a lottery style drawing to try to sell their house, and one celebrity appealed to his fans to buy tee shirts to save him from imminent foreclosure.

But despite such elaborate schemes, the housing market continued its slide. A few years ago it was not unusual for homes to receive competing bids within hours of being listed, but now they are more likely to languish for six or eight months without a nibble.

Figures for April 2007 sales volume and median prices of new homes both came in more than 10 percent below last year’s levels, as the building industry reported the sha...
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Rules to Clarify Cost of Mortgages

Americans have long struggled with the complexities of shopping for home mortgages. Now Uncle Sam is trying to help.

Mortgagepaperwork Federal rules that take effect Friday require mortgage lenders and brokers to give consumers better estimates of the barrage of costs they incur when taking out home loans. The new rules mandate a standard three-page Good Faith Estimate that urges consumers to shop around for the best loan and helps them compare lenders' offerings.

The rules, announced by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in November 2008, are an update of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a 1974 law known as Respa. Though the changes come too late to help the millions of Americans who made poor loan choices during the housing boom, "it's going to be a help," said Jack Guttentag, a retired Wharton School finance professor who opera...

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Mortgage Crisis Forcing Borrowers to be Realistic
Lending Matters...
With the mortgage crisis forcing some high-profile lenders out of business it seems homebuyers have since re-thought their borrowing situation and made way for the traditional lenders of old to return as hot favorites.

Tuck Reed, an executive vice president of capital markets at SunTrust Mortgage said, 'we are seeing a lot of customers and a lot of very good loan officers that are simply interested with stability.'

Plus, home buyers have much more realistic expectations and are buying smarter rather than stretching to their limitations, as they have in the past.

SunTrust one of Atlanta's largest lenders financed over $43 billion in home loans last year.

Mortgage - only lenders and brokers who are well established are also a favorable option with borrowers also,...

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