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Author Archive: Peter G. Miller

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Can We See Another Buyer’s Offer For A House?

Can We See Another Buyer’s Offer For A House?

Question: We made an offer on a home. The broker representing the sellers said a higher offer had been received and asked if we wanted to raise our bid. We declined, but here’s the question: How do we know there was another bid or that it was higher? Answer: One of the most difficult issues […]

Posted in: Contracts
What If I Don’t Sign The Mortgage Lender’s Form?

What If I Don’t Sign The Mortgage Lender’s Form?

Question: When applying for a mortgage we were asked to sign a form which would allow the lender to check past tax returns. This doesn’t seem right. What happens if we don’t sign? Answer: Most probably you have been asked to sign IRS Form 4506. This form authorizes the IRS to provide tax returns for […]

Posted in: Closing
Should I Co-Sign A Cousin’s Mortgage?

Should I Co-Sign A Cousin’s Mortgage?

Question: I have been asked to co-sign a mortgage. I am not thrilled by this request, but because a cousin is buying I have a sense of obligation to help. If I co-sign, what percentage of the loan must I re-pay if the buyers default? Answer: Co-signing a loan is a serious matter. In essence, […]

Posted in: Mortgages
Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Promised Interest Savings Disappear

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac: Promised Interest Savings Disappear

It was just a few weeks ago when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were seized by the Federal government. To this day it is not clear why such a seizure was necessary given that the two companies had lost roughly $5 billion in the first half of the year — but had $95 billion in […]

Posted in: News
Can I Sell “As Is” A House I Inherited?
By September 21, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Can I Sell “As Is” A House I Inherited?

Question: I’ve been offered a reasonable price on a house I inherited. I want to sell it in “as is” condition. What things should I look out for to protect myself during escrow and after closing? Answer: The matter of “as is” sales has evolved during the past decade or so. The best advice used […]

Posted in: Sellers
Is The Public Really “Confused” About FHASecure Mortgages?
By September 19, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Is The Public Really “Confused” About FHASecure Mortgages?

HUD was supposed to help borrowers with toxic loans. After all, President Bush said the FHASecure program “will allow American homeowners who have got good credit history but cannot afford their current payments to refinance into FHA-insured mortgages.” HUD, however, has redefined the mission. It now says that its FHASecure information has been “modified to […]

Posted in: Foreclosures
Here’s How Your Neighbors Vote
By September 10, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Here’s How Your Neighbors Vote

Real estate is all about location, so we all like to know what’s happening in the neighborhood. In the usual sense, this means tidbits about home sales, mortgages, schools, roads, stores and jobs. But now we have a quantum leap in local information, the ability to examine your neighbors’ politics in some detail. It’s not […]

Posted in: Library
Foreclosures & The Multiplier Effect

Foreclosures & The Multiplier Effect

If we’re just having a subprime crisis, then how come the impact is worldwide? That’s the essential question raised by Ben Stein, an attorney and economist who you may also know as a droll actor and TV pitchman. Writing in the New York Times, Stein points out that we have a $10.4 trillion mortgage marketplace […]

Posted in: Foreclosures
Curious “Check” Hides Important Mortgage Questions

Curious “Check” Hides Important Mortgage Questions

Near where I write these words sits a check for almost $50,000. Well, it sure looks like a check when seen through an envelope window, and the envelope in which it came certainly has a lot of important-sounding language on the outside. In fact, if not careful you might mistake the envelope for those used […]

Posted in: Library
What’s A 5/25 ARM?

What’s A 5/25 ARM?

An ARM is a loan product with payments and interest rates that adjust at certain intervals. A fixed-rate loan has one interest rate and a set monthly payment for the life of the loan. A 5/25 ARM is a loan product with a fixed rate during its first five years, and then an adjustable rate […]

Posted in: Mortgages