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Mortgage Prepayment Penalties

One of the most common terms found in a new home loan is a prepayment penalty. This type of penalty says that if the borrower pays off the loan early, commonly during the first five years of the loan, then the borrower will be responsible for paying an additional amount of money, typically about six months interest on 80% of the mortgage balance. Sub-prime market loans will typically carry prepayment penalties more than standard mortgage loans.

You may plan on keeping the house for the entire duration of the prepayment penalty, and be tempted not to worry about it much. But sometimes life circumstances change, so it’s wise to avoid any type of prepayment penalty if you can. A typical prepayment penalty might equal five months worth of monthly loan payments, so it’s worth checking on. Of course, you should always ask (before you sign) if a new loan has a prepayment penalty. In fact, ask the lending officer to point out to you in the document where a prepayment penalty is discussed.

Most items in a loan are subject to negotiation. If you haven’t signed loan papers yet, and you find that your loan has a prepayment penalty, you …

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Key Stats for House Hunters

Five Years

Based upon the most recent national rates of home appreciation and prices, you should only consider buying a home if you plan to live there for at least five years; otherwise, your investment doesn’t make much sense financially. This number obviously does not apply to those in the business of fixing and flipping homes. Generally, a home is not a good short-term investment because the hefty transaction costs involved – especially if you obtain a mortgage to finance your purchase. It can take several years of paying off your mortgage loan before you can secure enough equity in your home to profit from its sale. You’ll also want to take into account other costs, like real estate agent fees, annual taxes and monthly insurance – all of which can amount to more than your home’s annual appreciation rate.

Days on the Market

Knowing how long a home has been on the market is one of the most valuable bits of information a house hunter can obtain. The internet boasts hundreds of websites where you can easily find out how many days a home has been on the market; your agent should also be able to furnish this information …

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Buying a Quality Luxury Flat

There is no definition of what constitutes a “luxury flat”, but many will agree that such a property will have a number of features that place it at the far more desirable end of the property market. These can include the property being situated in a prime neighborhood, a huge amount of space and excellent layout, and the finishes and cutting-edge gadgets integrated into the home.

When looking to buy a luxury flat, here are some tips which will help any luxury home buyer get excellent value for money and also be reassured about the quality of the property that they are purchasing.

Firstly, it is important to consider the neighborhood where the property you are thinking of buying is situated. As mentioned above, this is one of the first aspects that makes your apartment or house special when compared to other offerings on the market. As well as affecting the price of your property, it will also affect its live ability and your enjoyment.

For those with budget to spare, investing in a place in a prime location is always going to be a good thing. The properties will very rarely decrease in value, and if you decide to …

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Time to Get Out of Real Estate

Billionaire Sam Zell deftly sidestepped the coming real estate carnage. Then, with prices at generational lows a few years later, Zell bought hundreds of apartment complexes at dirt-cheap prices.

And today? Well, that’s the ominous part…

Once again, Zell is selling his real estate holdings. Last fall, he unloaded a quarter of his portfolio, buildings totaling about 23,000 rental apartments, to Starwood Capital Group for more than $5 billion.

Zell next sold off apartment buildings in South Florida and Denver, with complexes in Phoenix, Boston and other metro areas expected to be sold before the year is out.

“No one has ever accused me of not being a realist,” Zell told CNBC’s talking heads recently.

Few things are more real than the threat of rising interest rates. Concerned about the Fed’s late-to-the-party threats and distorted capital markets drunk on years of zero-interest-rate policy, Zell is getting out while the getting is still good.

In the past few months, new-home sales hit their highest level in eight years. Pending home sales rose by the largest percentage gain in a decade.

Even home flipping is back in vogue again. RealtyTrac, measuring 2015 data, estimated a 75% increase in active home flippers – …

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Finding the Right Realty Company

Well, before you embark on buying houses, the first tip is to find a good and local realtor. You can also search for big realtors if you wish to but then you should understand that they are less likely to buy a house that has not been repaired. Talk with the realtors in order to get a better estimate of what they have in store for you.

Next, you need to assess your exact needs in details to find a new home for yourself. Are you having a strict budget? Is the only solution to get your home repaired is to sell it? What precisely can be done to take care of you and the ones that live in that house? Firstly, you can ask the realtors to help you. Ensure that if you need a house, they have available. Once you have an idea of your requirements, let your realtors know. It might a pet room, extra parking or other requirements. They might have a perfect rental home only when they know your requirements. Just ask-if you don’t, they won’t know how to help you because they won’t know what you need!

Next, you must not assume that since …

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Real Estate Secrets When Selling Home

Discount Brokers/Limited Service Brokers Can Be a Good Choice.

Regardless of what the industry tells you (including real estate agents) these firms have a place at the dinner table and serve a vital function in the industry. Let’s be honest – all people are a little frugal, and if you could find a cheaper alternative to paying a Realtor, you would. On occasion, discount brokers/limited service brokers can save you money.

Here are two specific cases where we refer our clients to limited services/discount Realtors:

Scenario 1: You have a home under $120,000 (don’t be jealous, Californians and New Yorkers).

Real Estate is a business, and agents are people who rely on that business to pay their own bills. So, if your agent works at a firm that takes a cut of the commission (in many cases 30-50%), the agent must determine if selling your home is a good business decision. Lets look at the numbers:

  • Home Price = $120,000
  • 3% commission (Listing Side only) = $3600
  • Minus Firm Split (35%) = – $1260
  • Minus Taxes (25%) = – $900
  • Minus marketing = – $800
  • Leaves a net commission of $640, to the agent

If the agent only nets …

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Selecting A Mortgage Lender

Decide what kind of lender you want – small or large. If you prefer a more personal touch and a lender who will know your name you will more than likely want to go with a smaller lender. If you are the type of person that cares more about the interest rate, a large lender may be your best bet.

Talk to your real estate agent. A top-notch agent will not limit their recommendations to their in-house lenders. And most importantly, savvy loan officers take especially good care of clients that are recommended by real estate agents. So definitely use this to your advantage. This personal connection can be a big help when it comes to reducing closing costs.

Always compare rates from several lenders. This is where your homework begins. As I noted above there are many lending options – neighborhood banks, commercial banks, credit unions and online lenders, so you have many options to consider.

Once you have several quotes, compare the rates and costs and decide which makes the most sense for you. Don’t forget, everything is negotiable so make sure you have the best rate available because a low rate can save you thousands of dollars …

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Buying Foreclosed Homes

Before you can even consider making an offer on any foreclosed properties, you must ensure that you are working with a real estate agent that is able deal with banks and other institutions that would own such properties.

Remember that you will be purchasing the property from an institution, rather than an individual, so it is important to work with somebody who has experience in the area. If you don’t you may find that you end up having to wait a lot longer to make the purchase, even if you already have the money to pay for the property.

Financial institutions are looking to sell off their foreclosed homes, but at the same time they want to be able to ensure that the new owners of the property will be able to make the relevant payments. Being able to offer a healthy down payment is a good start, but showing that you have been able to secure a loan beforehand shows that a lender holds you in good stead, which means you have more chance of making a successful offer on a property,

Of course, all of that is advice on what you should do to identify and be prepared …

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Effectively Marketing A Home

  1. Price it right, from the start: One of the major obstacles to selling a house, is generally, the listing (or asking) price. This effort should not be based on either ignorance or greed, or haphazard, but, rather, should be based on the guidance of the qualified agent, you hire. Using, what is generally referred to as the C.M.A. (Competitive Market Analysis), you enhance your ability, to price the house, most effectively. This makes sense, because, historically, the best offers, come within the first few weeks, after a house is listed on the market, and, therefore, attracting, as many qualified buyers, in the appropriate price range, as possible, will best realize the objective, of fetching the best available offer.
  2. Coordination between agent and homeowner: The homeowner, and the agent, he hires, must be, on the same page, to achieve the best results. Before hiring an agent, homeowners should interview several agents, discuss philosophies, perspectives, and marketing system, and agree, to a well – coordinated, team – based, effort!
  3. Determine and address curb appeal: It’s often challenging for a homeowner to objectively look at, and evaluate, his own home, for many reasons, but, perhaps, most essentially, the emotional factors! Discuss any and
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Real Estate Appraisal Courses

Real estate appraisal courses offered by schools on the Internet include different areas of study, which usually includes the National Standards of Professional Appraisers (USPAP), lessons on how to use the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report, Real Estate Math, FHA Appraisal, OREA Information, State Appraisal Licensing Information, and License Renewal Information. Other additional courses offered by some schools also include Residential Real Estate Appraisal, and Legal Considerations in Appraisal.

Review courses to help future appraisers pass the state exams are also offered by the schools, which come in the form of practice exams and tutorials. These courses are often delivered through various software, CDs and virtual tutorials that future appraisers can access on their personal computers right at the comfort of their homes. As with other real estate courses offered online, future appraisers are also given the opportunity to study the different appraisal laws and principles in other states.

Real estate appraisers are also required to renew their licenses and they do so by taking another set of exams. Online schools also offer help in this process by helping the appraisers upgrade their skill by offering additional courses like Income Property Analysis and Home Inspection. Given all of these, it is …

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