Real Estate Topics

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When you apply for a mortgage loan to buy a home, your lender will look at many factors. One of the most important is your debt ratio. There are actual two debt ratios they are concerned with. The first one is called the “front-end ratio” and is calculated by your mortgage payment including …

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I reported to you a couple of weeks ago about a new .5 percent fee that will apply to most refinances that was supposed to go into effect on September 1. It was going to add thousands of dollars to most refinances. There was a large hue and cry from the industry and consumer protection organ…

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A couple of months ago I reported to you that many loan servicers were allowing their borrowers to delay making payments on their mortgages if they were impacted by COVID-19. This is called a “forbearance.” It wasn’t supposed to hurt your credit score but there were concerns and rumors that …

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Good news and bad news if you are looking to refinance your loan.

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People ask me all the time about how the real estate market is doing. I answer that there are a lot of buyers right now, inventory is dropping, and prices are up. Buyers appear to be trying to take advantage of the low interest rates and wanting to get out of the big cities like San Francisc…

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If you are suddenly working from home instead of at the office, you may be struggling to find the space to work efficiently. Here are some ideas...

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We are in an extremely odd time right now in real estate. The next 6-12 months are VERY hard to predict what will happen.

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Fannie Mae does a survey of buyer sentiment every month. It had fallen to almost it’s lowest level in April. But it has bounced back in a big way in June. The percent of consumers who think it’s a good time to buy a home has risen from 52% in May to 61% in June.

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Tax-time is upon us so I thought I’d give you some real estate tax tips.

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I’ll often get questions from some buyer’s agents asking if my sellers would be “OK” with an offer from a buyer who is using FHA or VA for their loan. (FHA stands for “Federal Housing Administration” and VA stands for “Veteran’s Administration.”). It used to be that these types of loans were…

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If you have pets, below are some tips to help you keep your home in top shape while it’s on the market.

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A long, long time ago, someone who wanted to apply for a loan to buy a house would contact their local bank or savings and loan. Once the loan was approved, it would stay on that institution’s books. Eventually a “secondary” market grew where another institution would buy that loan and colle…

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It’s possible that your credit score will change soon – either up or down. The company behind the most popular credit score (called your “FICO score”) has announced some changes to how they will be calculating scores starting this summer.

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Solar panels, tankless water heaters and radiant barriers in your attic are all great ways to reduce your utility bills, but they can be a bit pricey. Below are some cheaper tips that won’t make as big of a difference but every little bit helps!

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In the past, a lender usually would only count the income on a rental you owned as part of your total income if it was verifiable and established. This means they wanted to see a copy of the lease and proof that rent payments are coming in. Sometimes they wanted to see at least a year or two…

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Sometimes it’s hard enough putting enough money aside for the down payment to buy a house, and then there are closing costs on top of that. You can reduce how much you have to bring to closing by getting a credit from your lender. This is entirely legal and above-board since you’ll be paying…

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Moving is hard. Below are some tips that may help with your move.

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First, I need to explain the title of this article. I’m being a bit sarcastic there, because before nearly every major financial crash in the past, people were saying, “It’s different this time…” right before it all came crashing down! I’m not predicting a crash but I’m also not going to say…

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I wrote an article recently discussing some options for down payment assistance in the form of silent second loans or grants and told you to really check out the fine print to see if the money needs to be paid back and if your interest rate will be higher because of any “free” down payment a…

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There are programs from local or county agencies where they will help out with down payment funds to help needy buyers bridge the gap to homeownership. Some of these are loans and some of the loans have to be paid back right away while others are “silent loans” that don’t have to be paid bac…

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INTEREST RATES – Mortgage rates had been hovering around historic lows in the mid to low 3% range the last few years. Then in 2018 they started increasing to nearly 5% with fears that they would continue to climb. But surprisingly in 2019 rates drifted back down to the high 3% range again. R…

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Last week I reported to you that the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) was considering a ban on pocket listings. (A “pocket listing” is where an agent lists a home for sale but doesn’t list it in the Multiple Listing Service and markets it through other channels instead.) The number of…

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A “pocket listing” is where a real estate agent lists a home for sale, but doesn’t put it on the Multiple Listing Service right away. This means it’s not exposed and available to all the agents and buyers looking for homes for sale in that area via the MLS. Some agents like to market their l…