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What Are Pending Real Estate Contracts?

Question: On a frequent basis I see news reports concerning “pending” home sales. What are they and are they significant? Answer: Pending home sales are a measure of real estate activity released monthly by the National Association of Realtors. “A sale is listed as pending,” says NAR, “when the contract has been signed but the […]

March 30th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Should We Dump Mortgage Insurance?

Question: I have always felt that mortgage insurance benefits just a select few and if it were withdrawn or otherwise eliminated and people required to put at least 5 percent down and preferably not more than 10 percent, you would see huge home sale increases. People would also have a much easier time when they […]

March 23rd, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Does It Make Sense To Prepay An ARM?

Question: We often hear about the advantages of prepaying fixed-rate mortgages but not the benefits of paying ahead with ARMs. I have prepaid my ARM over time and now enjoy far lower monthly costs because of less principal and lower rates. Why not encourage more people to take this approach? Answer: You raise an important point. […]

March 16th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Does Wall Street Home Buying Hurt You?

Question: Wall Street firms are buying up huge numbers of single-family homes. How does this impact private home buyers? Answer: We usually think of single-home real estate investors as local people who buy several properties and keep them over time or as rehabbers who buy properties, fix them up and then quickly re-sell. The entry […]

March 9th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Is Your Real Estate Offer Confidential?

Question: We made an offer on a home. The listing broker said there were three more offers and we would have to increase our bid. The other offers, like ours, were all cash. How do we know there was another bid or that it was higher? If we raise and win (or lose) can we […]

March 2nd, 2015 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Fast Refinancing After A Short Sale — Here’s How

Question: We did a short sale on our home in May 2012. We then bought a house with cash in Oct 2012. Can we get a fast refinancing on our current home? Answer: A short-sale is a situation where a home has been sold for less than the mortgage debt, meaning the lender has taken […]

February 23rd, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Cash Buyer Discounts For A Fast Home Sale?

Question: Many buyers in today’s market are purchasing homes for cash. Sometimes cash buyers say they should get a discount because they can settle faster. Is this true? Answer: It’s likely true in most jurisdictions that cash buyers can settle faster than purchasers who need mortgage financing. However, this is not necessarily a reason for […]

February 9th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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How Buffers Limit Your Mortgage Borrowing

Question: We have recently tried to qualify for a mortgage. We know that the new rules allow us to devote as much as 43 percent of our income to housing costs and monthly debts. However, the lender says if our monthly debts exceed 41 percent of our income that it will not give us a […]

February 2nd, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Should We Overpay For Homeowners Insurance?

Question: We’re in the process of buying a home. The sale price is $225,000 but the insurance agent wants us to carry coverage for a property costing $285,000. Why do we need so much excess insurance — or do we? Answer: When you buy a car the price you pay has a package cost but […]

January 26th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Will Lenders Accept Partial Mortgage Payments?

Question: Can you tell me why it’s okay for mortgage companies to reject partial payments when a borrower is behind? It seems to me that it’s bad business and not too good for the economy. Answer: Many mortgage servicers — but not all — are reluctant to accept partial mortgage payments from delinquent borrowers because they […]

January 20th, 2015 | | 0 comments | Continued