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Archive for July, 2010

A History of the AOL Real Estate Center

A History of the AOL Real Estate Center

How did it all begin? It was back in 1991 that I wrote the cover story for Home Computing magazine. And there, toward the back of the magazine, was an ad for a small Internet provider, what is now called America Online. I had written about electronic bulletin boards for an advertorial in The Washington […]

Posted in: Library
Did Condominiums Really Start In Rome?

Did Condominiums Really Start In Rome?

Did Caesar and Nero really rule in a city filled with condominiums? Search through the Internet and the unavoidable answer is largely yes, but in fact there were no condos along the Tiber or near the Coliseum at the height of the empire. Don’t believe it? Get out your copy of the Oklahoma City University […]

Posted in: Library
Credit & Underwriting Standards Tighten for VA Borrowers

Credit & Underwriting Standards Tighten for VA Borrowers

VA loans have weathered the foreclosure crisis better than their major lending counterparts. But they certainly haven Technorati Tags: credit, credit score, loan, mortgage, Notice of Value, NOV, underwriting, VA

Posted in: Mortgages
Foreclosure Rescue Victim Awarded $700,000

Foreclosure Rescue Victim Awarded $700,000

Like a small number of states, Maryland has a tough law to protect homeowners against what are called foreclosure consultants or foreclosure rescue consultants. The idea is that “foreclosure rescue” is allowed in Maryland — but only if certain conditions are met. Now a court has awarded more than $700,000 to a homeowner facing foreclosure […]

Posted in: Foreclosures
What’s A Private Transfer Fee In Real Estate?

What’s A Private Transfer Fee In Real Estate?

Usually when we think of a real estate sale we think that the interest of the seller ends with closing. It is, after all, called “closing” for a reason. Now, however, some sellers are trying to maintain a financial interest in a property for decades after it’s been sold, not with a mortgage or a […]

Posted in: Closing
Real Estate: But Didn’t The Borrower Sign The Mortgage?

Real Estate: But Didn’t The Borrower Sign The Mortgage?

It hardly seems unfair. Aren’t borrowers responsible for the loans they take out? It’s not like someone is held at gunpoint and forced to accept the worst loan lenders can concoct. That’s the thinking of a considerable segment of the population, a segment represented in some of the email I receive as well as in […]

Posted in: Mortgages
American Homes Keep Getting Bigger

American Homes Keep Getting Bigger

HUD has come out with a new housing survey and not surprisingly it finds that “U.S. homes today are bigger with more bedrooms and bathrooms than 1973.” HUD’s 2009 American Housing Survey (AHS) also tells us that most families with young children live within a mile of a public elementary school. The most common home […]

Posted in: Library
Are Broker Warranty Kickbacks Okay?

Are Broker Warranty Kickbacks Okay?

For some time there has been a nifty little side business in real estate: Your friendly broker offers a homeowner warranty program to reduce buyer worries about possible repairs. Such warranties may or may not be a good idea — you have to look at what’s included, what’s excluded, the up-front cost, the cost per […]

Posted in: Contracts
The Real Meaning of July 4th

The Real Meaning of July 4th

Each year on Independence Day the U.S. is filled with parades, fireworks and hot dogs. July 4th is a great day to celebrate. The founding of the United States was a tremendous change from the governments and institutions of the time. Based in part on the writings of such philosophers as John Locke and Thomas […]

Posted in: Library
What Is A Mortgage Loan Worksheet?

What Is A Mortgage Loan Worksheet?

Starting in 2010 the government introduced a new Good Faith Estimate form which required lenders to spell out loan costs in very precise and standardized language — information which lenders must honor at closing. The new form from HUD has raised a question among some lenders as to whether a pre-approval letter or a pre-qualification […]

Posted in: Mortgages