10 Questions To Ask Home Inspectors
10 Questions To Ask Home Inspectors
April 30, 2015

Before you make your final buying or selling decision, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with a property and allow you to make an informed decision. Ask these questions to prospective home inspectors: Will your inspection meet recognized standards? Ask whether the inspection and the inspection report will meet…

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7 Reasons To Own A Home
7 Reasons To Own A Home
April 30, 2015

Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through…

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5 Things To Know About Title Insurance
5 Things To Know About Title Insurance
April 30, 2015

Title insurance protects the holder from any losses sustained from defects in the title. It’s required by most mortgage lenders. Here are five other things you should know about title insurance. It protects your ownership right to your home, both from fraudulent claims against your ownership and from mistakes made in earlier sales, such as mistake in the spelling of…

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5 Things To Know About Homeowners Costs
5 Things To Know About Homeowners Costs
April 30, 2015

Know about exclusions to coverage. For example, most insurance policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage as a standard item. These types of coverage must be bought separately. Know about dollar limitations on claims. Even if you are covered for a risk, there may be a limit on how much the insurer will pay. For example, many policies limit…

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What You Can Do To Improve Your Credit
What You Can Do To Improve Your Credit
April 30, 2015

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following: Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else's poor financial management.…

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Tips For Lowering Homeowner's Insurance Costs
Tips For Lowering Homeowner's Insurance Costs
April 30, 2015

Review the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report on the property you’re interested in buying. CLUE reports detail the property’s claims history for the most recent five years, which insurers may use to deny coverage. Make the sale contingent on a home inspection to ensure that problems identified in the CLUE report have been repaired. Seek insurance coverage as soon…

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Tax Benefits Of Homeownership
Tax Benefits Of Homeownership
April 30, 2015

The tax deductions you’re eligible to take for mortgage interest and property taxes greatly increase the financial benefits of homeownership. Here’s how it works. Assume: $9,877 = Mortgage interest paid (a loan of $150,000 for 30 years, at 7 percent, using year-five interest) $2,700 = Property taxes (at 1.5 percent on $180,000 assessed value) ______ $12,577 = Total deduction Then,…

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Budget Basics Worksheet
Budget Basics Worksheet
April 30, 2015

The first step in getting yourself in financial shape to buy a home is to know exactly how much money comes in and how much goes out. Use this worksheet to list your income and expenses below. Income  Take home pay (all family members)  Child support/Alimony  Pension/Social Security  Disability/Other Insurance  Interest/Dividends  Other  Total Income  Expenses  Rent/Mortgage (include taxes, principal, and…

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8 Tips For Your Home Search
8 Tips For Your Home Search
April 30, 2015

Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a…

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6 Creative Ways To Afford A Home
6 Creative Ways To Afford A Home
April 30, 2015

Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpayment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing…

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Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
April 30, 2015

They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.…

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