What is a home inspection

Any Sally and Sam Homebuyer can look at a home and decide whether it is attractive. They might notice it is freshly painted in pleasing colors, has the requisite number of rooms, a cook’s kitchen and is located in a location with top schools. But what about less obvious parts of the house?

It takes special expertise to determine if the functional parts of a home are in good shape. If you attend an open house, how do you determine if there are plumbing problems, electrical problems, structural problems, drainage problems, the condition of heating and air conditioning equipment and the condition of literally hundreds of other items that could cause concern?

Enter the home inspector.

A home inspector is trained to be a detective in regard to the construction and working parts of homes. It is not an exact science.

The home inspector cannot tear into things, so they can’t always see everything they’d like to. They do, however, come equipped with ladders, strong flashlights, and devices to measure various things related to plumbing, electrical and other necessary home items. Importantly, a home inspector will also typically bring a digital camera to photograph problems such as roof shingles not lying flat, signs of mildew from leaking pipes and construction that doesn’t comply with building codes. They don’t miss much.

It’s a good idea for the buyer to be present during the home inspection. If you ask them to, home inspectors will usually explain how things work to you. This is important as they can show you where cut off valves are, how to remove filters for cleaning or replacement and tell you how often various maintenance chores need to be done. This information can be very valuable if you ultimately purchase the property.

It’s also a good idea to ask the home inspector if there are any particular tests they would perform if they were buying the home. For example, radon gas (a colorless, odorless gas which is a carcinogen) can be a problem in some parts of the country. It can be detected, measured, and, if levels are above EPA standards, there are procedures to deal with it successfully. A home inspector can help identify such issues for you.

It’s easy to see that a home inspection can provide a wealth of valuable information. While it is easy to fall in love with a listed home, a home inspector can be the key to avoiding disastrous discoveries down the line.

Government real estate auctions - tips for buyers

: Government real estate auctions sell off real property that has been seized, abandoned, or forfeited. The Department of Treasury has been designated as the state department to handle such auctions. Typically, they conduct 100 auctions a year. The funds obtained at state real estate auctions help support local and state police and other areas of the city. The placement of a successful bid at a Department of the Treasury auction establishes a legally binding contract between the successful bidder and the Government. Here are some basic rules and policies: 1. To be eligible to bid you must be 18 years of age and not an employee of the state. 2. You cannot be the contractor, subcontractor or vendor or their agent who has access to information about the property. 3. A bidder registration form must be submitted for approval. If bidding for someone else, the form must be notarized. 4. Buyer is to inspect property prior to placing a bid. 5. Changes may be made on the day of the sale. 6. The Government reserves the right to withdraw from sale any of the property listed. 7. The buyer understands the property is sold on the “AS IS” basis. A lot of rules and regulations govern government real estate auctions, and it is wise if you take the time to research them prior to attempting to attend. Each registered bidder will be issued a bidding number. This is your lifeline to what is important on that day. Don't loose it. Most importantly enjoy yourself at government real estate auctions. The properties auctioned off are very valuable and should bring you a good return. Please visit some of my other site at Real Estate Actions and State Real Estate Auctions

Bangkok rental market thrives

Thailand Property Report by Dawn Ferguson – With housing allowances in the range of Bt70,000 to Bt100,000 a month, Bangkok’s high-paid expatriates have money to burn - and they want homes with all the Western-amenities they’re accustomed too.

For condominium and apartment owners, this segment of the market is a potential gold mine, particularly given most of these expects are here on a short-term basis. The statistics certainly are promising, but as competition grows, it’s not an easy market to enter.

CB Richard Ellis Thailand executive director James Pitchon told Property Report Thailand that demand for high-end rentals increased in 2006 and the number of expatriates in Bangkok with work permits grew to 67,412 in 2006, a 12.5% increase year on year according to statistics by the Alien Occupational Control division of the Department of Employment. The largest segment of this market is Japanese - 22% - as the so-called “land of the rising sun” is the largest foreign direct investor in Thailand.

Pitchon noted that the rental market is in actuality even higher, as those numbers exclude diplomats and agencies such as the United Nations. They also exclude foreigners without work permits, but Pitchon says they consider most of these to be part of the retiree market, who traditionally buy their units.

“The good news is that demand increased. Last year there was only a limited amount of new supply in apartments, and there were only about 330 units completed last year. But the number of condominium units grew by over 4,000 units. That will continue to be the case in the next two to three years,” he said, but added this figure excluded serviced apartments, which are considered a very different product – somewhere in between a hotel and an apartment. Many now have a hotel license, so they’re operating on a more short-term basis.

“From a supply point of view, the big question is, how many of these apartments are expat quality, and how many owners of these new condominiums will want to lease them out?” asks Pitchon. ”Recently a new supply has appeared in the downtown area, and there’s been a greater focus on small sized units, many of them aimed at the Thai market, so not all the new condo supply will be of a standard that appeals to expats, but there are a lot of condo units.”

Pitchon says the proportion of owner occupation and units purchased by people on a buy-to-lease basis varies from building to building: “Of the developments that are just coming up to completion, the number that will be available for rent ranges between 30-50% at the moment. So, although demand has risen, there will be quite a lot of condominium supply coming on.”

This means that competition is going to be tight in the coming year. Generally, expats given the choice would prefer a single ownership apartment, says Pitchon, because the owner is able to service all their requirements whereas in a condo the owner might not even be in Thailand. And in many cases the owner has not put in place a local manager to look after his apartment. So the challenge for condominium owners who have bought to lease out is how to manage their units because tenants will have questions.

“So if the air conditioner breaks down, who’s going to fix it? It will not be the staff looking after the common areas of the condominium, because their responsibility is not private property. So owners must think about how they will manage and maintain the units.”

This includes implementing pest control contracts, regular A/C maintenance contracts, and, most importantly, there has to be a clear understanding between the owner and the tenant of who’s responsible for doing what.

The most popular area for expats is still Sukhumvit, followed by Central Lumpini and the Sathorn area. There are two satellites, one being around the International School of Bangkok and there is also a smaller cluster around Bangkok Pattana School. As for the up-and-coming riverside, currently there is limited demand from expatriate tenants, generally because of access issues. A small segment of expats are heading to other areas, such as Thonglor. “Again you’ve got access to the skytrain but in a slightly lower density environment,” said Pitchon.

The expat rental market is driven generally by housing allowances granted to employees and employees generally spend all of their allowances, but not put their own money in. “The biggest change in the market has been that Japanese with families now receive higher allowances than they did previously,” says Pitchon. “Some will give Bt70,000 or Bt75,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. The Japanese tend to be at the lower end of the market but they are a significant level of demand.

“What’s happened is that much of the existing stock is over 10 years old. We’ve seen very few apartments built since the financial crisis over the last 10 years, more condominiums, and what has been happening is that new supply, with smaller units, is actually getting higher rents because it looks better. Modern design.”

As for housing rentals, Pitchon says the market is small because there a limited supply of homes in central areas, including in the Sukhumvit area. “Sansiri on 67 had rented well, but there is a limited market for people with over Bt100,000 a month to spend,” he said. “There are few companies that pay that kind of housing allowance.”

As for two-tiered pricing for Thais and Foreigners, there really isn’t a Thai rental market. Given that Thais have the freedom to buy and sell what they choose, unlike foreigners, those with high salaries and incomes just won’t go out and rent 75,000 a month apartments. So there is no Thai market above Bt15,000 a month.

“The rental market is efficient in terms of transparent pricing, information on products and a regular turnover,” said Pitchon. “So if a building doesn’t maintain its standards, then new expats will not move in.”

Flipping properties

Flipping Properties

If you want to maximize your profits off of a property, then the way to do it is to flip properties. Flipping properties is a term that is commonly used in real estate. It is where someone will walk into a property, put in some small changes, and resell the property for more profit. If you want to invest little and make more, then this is a great way to get into the real estate business.

Usually, you will begin flipping a property by finding a home that is under priced for the current real estate market. These are usually called 'fixer upper' homes and are available all the time on the market. Any type of foreclosure, home at an auction, or home that has been neglected can be bought for a lower price. Flipping properties will most likely be done by dealers or retailers, but it is possible for anyone to take part in the art of flipping properties.

After you have found a home that needs some fixing, you will buy it like you would any other home. Usually, you will be liable for going through the mortgage process and will sign a deed of trust for the property. When you do this, you will want to make sure that you do it as a business instead of an individual. As soon as the paper work is done, you can move into the home, make some changes, and put it back on the market for a higher price.

Renovating and reselling is the major art behind flipping properties. If you want to stay ahead in the market and begin to profit, then understanding the basics of this and how to work as a business with real estate is one of the potential ways to make a living. There are several who have worked with real estate and flipping properties that have had the ability to make a large amount of money off of the investments.

Good planning will help you make a smooth business relocation

Budgeting, goal setting, business planning - all are business objectives in the fourth quarter of the year. As businesses plan for 2006, I'd like to challenge all decision makers to not only think about the big-picture changes they want to make, but to also add one more item to the list - real estate.

Whether your organization owns it or leases it, let us challenge you to make your corporate real estate a top priority next year.

There are two main reasons why real estate should be considered in strategic planning. For most organizations, real estate is one of the largest expenses, right up there with payroll. However, few organizations ever make a priority to evaluate and analyze their real estate needs. Often times they end up paying too much for their space or property.

If your lease is expiring anytime in the next two years, now is the time to start developing your corporate real estate plan. You should be planning for your long-term real estate needs. You should also be strategically aligning those needs with space availability in the marketplace. This is one of the quickest ways to control your operating expenses and increase profitability.

These days it's a tenant's market. With plenty of vacancy among the multi-tenant commercial buildings, there's more competition for occupancy.

Two years ago, the vacancy rates were over 20 percent. Now vacancy is around

15 percent, and in another couple years the vacancy will be much lower. It's a great time to take advantage of current market conditions.

As you formulate your real estate plan, take a moment to consider the


Start early. You start looking 12-to-18 months before your lease expires.

Remember that finding the right facility, negotiating the lease, getting city permits, building the space, and moving can all be very time-intensive steps in the process. Establish a single point of contact.

Relocating your office is a huge responsibility. If you don't have the time to devote to the daily tasks associated with searching for space and organizing the move, appoint someone. This person needs to have a firm understanding of your company's operational and business objectives. Just as importantly, they must be well organized.

Make sure you solicit input from your board of directors and/or managers as you get started. Commercial real estate decisions can affect your organization's bottom line significantly. Your board will have a keen interest in the decisions you are making regarding your real estate, so you want to make sure their input is considered.

If you are a non-profit organization, remember that non-profits are non-traditional space users. If you are working with a tight budget or have unique operational needs, be sure to explore different property types. If you are an office user, for example, make sure you consider retail, warehouse, and office-warehouse spaces. If you are running out of options, expand your geography.

If you can work with a short-term solution, look at subleases. These can provide a short-term lease option, potentially lower rates, and flexibility.

Give yourself options. Make sure you explore multiple opportunities to lease or purchase until you are 100 percent satisfied. Not only will other properties provide leverage in your negotiations, they'll give you a backup if "Plan A" falls through.

Many times the help of a commercial real estate broker, real estate attorney, architect and general contactor can save you time and money in the long run.

Unless you can predict the future, ask for options in the lease. That way you won't end up having to relocate when you grow.

Consider a long-term lease. The longer the lease term you can commit to, the better terms you can get. A long-term lease makes it easier for the landlord to keep your rate competitive and still build out your space, pay commissions, etc. Remember there are many ways to add flexibility to your lease. The lease term is just one of them.

The perfect addition to your home a kitchen island

The kitchen is the heart of the home and you want it to be a room that is welcoming and cozy for family and guests. But kitchens tend to be busy places and can get messy and cluttered up pretty quickly with all of the appliances and gadgets, not to mention dйcor items, which can diminish the nice atmospheric state you’re going for. One good solution is to install a kitchen island. Not only are they convenient as a means of additional workspace, but many are equipped with their own cabinets and drawers to help you prevent that untidy appearance.

Your first consideration when deciding on a which type of kitchen island you’d like should probably be how you plan to use it and their functions are as varied as the wide range of design options. They can be a utilized as a food preparation area, a baking center, a serving spot for an informal meal or buffet and the perfect setting to sit and nibble a snack or sandwich. An island even can provide a quiet spot for children to do their homework, close to mom while she gets after school snacks or dinner together.

Take the opportunity to make your kitchen island mutli-functional because there’s lots of options to choose from. Just about any appliance can be built into it including cook tops, under-the-counter refrigerators, sinks, dishwashers and trash compactors. Deep drawers provide a place to store bulky cookware and pullout shelves allow for more easy access. Pick a countertop for your island that matches your other counters or make it stand out by using a contrasting material. Also, your choice of cabinetry and decorative elements can make your island into a real quality item, similar to a fine furniture piece.

The dimensions and placement of your kitchen island will depend on the shape and space available in your kitchen. Professionals say that the island should be positioned at least 36" from existing cabinets and 42" from the range, refrigerator or dishwasher to allow plenty of room for opening doors and easy maneuvering around your workspace area. The height of your kitchen island can vary to suit your individual needs. If you can't make up your mind on that one, a multi-level island might be the solution.

With all of the new trends in home design, kitchens have become an important part of the family’s living and entertaining space. If you don’t have the time or money to design your own island, there are many terrific ready-made islands you can order also. Take your time and choose the island that best suits your needs and taste so you are sure to enjoy it for many years to come.

Minnesota real estate the nature of water

Whether ice in the winter or water sports in the summer, Minnesota is all about water. Minnesota real estate is anything but washed up.


Minnesota is a contrast because of the changing seasons. If you prefer to experience each season of the year in their full glory, Minnesota is the place. Winters are cold with snow and ice a constant. Summers are warm with outdoor activities available by the bushel, especially activities related to water such as fishing, boating and so on. Spring is a site to see as plants burst into life as ice melts into water. Fall covers the turning of the leaves and a definite feeling that the end of the calendar year is coming.

Twin Cities

The twin cities are Minneapolis and St. Paul, which form your typical large city in America. While hardly a visual masterpiece, the twin cities have low crime, a traditional American attitude and, of course, the Mall of America. Professional sports teams exists for baseball, football and basketball. Oddly, there is no professional ice hockey team! For nightlife, there are little bars and restaurants throughout the city.


Home to the world famous Mayo Clinic, Rochester is a large suburbia area populated with white collar professionals. The town is not overwhelming, but does offer a relaxing lifestyle with shops and cafes.


Duluth is the gem of Minnesota and people are beginning to find out. Magazines have started rating it in the top ten locations for outdoor enthusiasts. A bit of a college town, you’ll find art galleries, natural food stores and rock climbing gyms next to each other. Sitting on the shores of Lake Superior, Duluth is a town with lots of open green space. In winter, ice skating, cross country skiing and downhill skiing are just a hop and a jump away.

Minnesota Real Estate

Minnesota real estate prices are generally reasonable when compared to the rest of the country. A home in Rochester will set you back in the $210,00 range, while you’ll pay in the $380,000 range in the twin cities. Minnesota real estate appreciated at a rate of a little over nine percent in 2005.


Things to Avoid When Flipping Real Estate

Flipping property is rising in popularity as a form of real estate investing. The truth of the matter is that this is one of the more entertaining methods for many investors that are simply 'itching' to get their hands a little dirty. The sweat equity involved in these transactions, while attractive, can also be daunting when skills are inadequate and out and out dangerous in some situations.

If you are one of the many around the world who consider the appeal of flipping property with huge dollar signs in your eyes, you should take care to avoid the following things in order to minimize your risks while maximizing your potential for success.

1) Do not fail to have a qualified inspection of the property before any money changes hands. If you do not have any idea of the types of work that needs to be done then you cannot possibly make an educated estimate of the costs involved in rehabbing the property.

2) Do not underestimate the budget for repairs on the flip. This is one of the most common mistakes that even seasoned professionals make and it can mean the difference between a profit and a loss on the property if you aren't careful and do not stick to the planned budget.

3) Do not overestimate your abilities. This is another common mistake. The fact that you've seen something done on television doesn't mean that it is something you can do on your own. It costs more money and time to have someone come in and repair your mistakes than to have had a professional do the work from the beginning. This doesn't mean that you can't learn how to do some of the work or that doing so would be cost effective. The trick lies in determining where your skills and abilities can really take you rather than where you hope they will take you. Plumbing, electrical, and structural work are generally best left to the professionals unless you have specific experience or training in these fields.

4) Do not fail to hold yourself accountable to your timetable and your budget. Real estate investing puts you in the bosses seat and while that is often simple when it comes to driving others, we often have a bit of difficulty when it comes to holding ourselves accountable for time and money along the way. Unfortunately, failing to do so can be a very costly blunder.

5) Do not forget to keep up with receipts, bills, etc. and reconcile the facts and figures daily. It is far too simple to allow a couple of trips to the local home improvement center escape careful scrutiny. Add a couple of these trips per day and you could easily find thousands of dollars missing from your budget with no paper trail to explain the transactions. You could also find that some tools will not work or be needed for the project. Those items cannot typically be returned without the original receipts.

6) Avoid having too many chiefs on the project. If this is your ball game then you need to run with it rather than having 10 people giving contradictory orders. Schedule meetings regularly to discuss progress and any adjustments or changes that may need to be made.

7) Avoid poor planning. This is one step that is the difference for many would be house flippers between success and failure. Plan out every step of the project in an order that makes sense. You do not want to paint the ceilings or walls after you've installed new floors. Nor do you want to rip out walls in order to replace plumbing after you've painted them. Plan things out in the proper order and allow a day or two between subsequent projects in case extra time is needed. The last thing you want to do is pay a group of contractors to stand around waiting for the paint to dry so they can begin the next step in the process.

There are risks involved in any type of investment. While real estate is one of the greatest things in the world in which people can invest, there are still risks involved. Following the advice above however can significantly lower those risks and give investors the opportunity to have great expectations when all is said and done. Whether this will be your first flip or your fortieth flip there is much that can be reviewed in the steps above that will reaffirm many of the things you've learned along the way.


Making money in real estate

WARNING: This single step can double your real estate investing income in the next 90 days.

Decide on your target market

Determine what your target market will be. I know from experience that it is really easy to want to do EVERYTHING: Foreclosures, probate, absentee owners, abandoned properties, tax liens, lease options, and the list goes on and on! But, to be a successful real estate investor and to really make money in real estate, you’ve got to focus! Drill an inch wide and a mile deep!

Let me guess, you heard a teleseminar on short sales and you wanted to dive in! Then, you buy the probate home study course you just found online!

I am guilty of this! I went to a 3 day real estate training several years ago. Every single strategy, technique or tactic that was taught was “it”! So, promptly upon leaving, I decided to try everything all at once… The thing about this is that we’re so often looking for the magic pill, and unfortunately, no such elixir exists in real estate.

Believe me. I understand your frustration when everything seems to contradict everything else. So, I’m going to clear things up for you! You don’t have to do everything in real estate. You have to do one or two things well. So, perhaps you work with foreclosures and within the probate system for your real estate investing focus. You become the expert in those areas.

You learn one market and how to negotiate, overcome objections, solve problems that come up and so forth. I systematized it and then move on to the next market and let the system run on autopilot.

So, first things first…

1. Pick your niche:

Foreclosures, probate, absentee owners, MLS, abandoned properties, farming neighborhoods, tax liens, code violations, etc.

2. Determine your method of communication:

Direct mail, driving for dollars, telemarketing or mass media advertising

3. Set your real estate marketing budget:

Figure out how much you are going to spend per campaign. A campaign is not a monthly budget. Keep in mind a real estate marketing campaign is not necessarily a monthly budget. You may spend $100 one month and $500 the next simply because of what marketing tactics you are using.

4. Implement

Implement your plan – and stick to it! You’ve got to commit to your real estate marketing or else you’ll be throwing money out the front door rather than really making money in real estate! Be patient and stay in for the long haul and the deals will come. Just remember that real estate marketing is an investment into your real estate business and constant investment results in a constant stream of income.

Home inspections getting your home ready for the inspection

Many times I go to do a home to complete an inspection for a potential buyer, only to find the home not ready for an inspection. The home not being prepared then makes the buyer suspicious that there are areas that the inspector could not access causing them to back out of the deal. Completing a few routine maintenance items and having the home prepared for the inspection will avoid those long lists of misc. defects on a home inspection report that can scare a potential buyer.

Here are some tips to get your home ready for a home inspection.

1. Make sure the electric is on in the home and to all circuits. A home inspector will not flip breakers “on” or “off” during an inspection.

2. Make sure the gas or fuel is on to all the appliances and that all pilot lights are lit. Inspectors will not light pilot lights or turn on valves.

3. Make sure water is on and functional to all fixtures. Inspectors will not turn any valves to get water to any fixture.

4. If there are any light bulbs burned out, replace them.

5. Clear out stored items under the sinks.

6. If the attic access is located in a closet or other area where your personal effects are in the way, remove all of your personal items from under the access hole and remove any shelving that may be in the way of getting a ladder to the attic. Inspectors will not move any personal items or shelving to access an attic.

7. Grab a screwdriver and check all doors and windows for loose hardware, and make sure they all open/close properly.

8. Clean off the roof and/or gutters from debris, etc.

9. Check for any minor leaks under sinks or drains under the floor in the basement, etc., and have them repaired prior to the inspection.

10. Have your heating and A/C equipment serviced and have record of the last servicing available for proof.

Taking care of these items will not only reduce the laundry list of defects found on a home inspection report, but it will also help secure the deal to sell your home.

Here are a few sources to locate a home inspector in your area.

In Wisconsin:

http://wisconsin-home-inspectors. com


http://findaninspector. us

http://homeinspections-usa. com

Mobile home selling

mobile home selling

A mobile home selling takes just as much work as any home selling. But you’ll be happy to know that the price of mobile home has increased in the last year. A mobile home with two bedrooms can be worth as much as $2.7 million! It’s an especially staggering number because even in that price, the homebuyers don’t own the land of the home. Because of this, buyers still need to pay rent to the land owner, and faces little possibility in getting a mortgage. But fear not, mobile home owners – people chose to pay the price should have a picture of what they’re paying.

Mobile home selling is actually not that different from any other home selling. There are some legal requirements you have to finish, though. The seller must be sure that all property taxes have been paid. You must also transfer the title to the new owner, applying a document stating that all personal property taxes have been paid. Most importantly, don’t forget to report to authorizing offices that you have transferred the title, otherwise the office will still charge the tax to you. Some areas would also require anyone engaged in the business of selling mobile homes to obtain a mobile home retailer's license.

Marketing a mobile home is the one that’s relatively similar to others. You can get the help of a realtor to make it even easier. Talk to your agent and put out advertisements – it’s always an essential process in mobile home selling. Expect people to call and come over to observe your house. During home showings, you might want to explain the ownership status of your mobile home (do you own the land? Whom should you pay the rent to?). The age of a mobile house is more important than other houses, so expect a lot of questions about this.

When you’ve accepted an offer by a buyer, take time in considering the price offered. Selling a home usually means buying another shortly after – whether you’re willing to invest in another mobile home or move to other types of homes, think about the overall cost and how it will be covered.

Mobile home selling requires a little bit of extra work in legal needs. But with the high price, this should not stop the sellers. There will always be people with different needs, one of which is for a mobile home, and the mobile home market will never run out of potential buyers. Remember that you can always hire a mobile home selling agent to help you get through the process!

A positive outlook for real estate

There is one word to describe the current housing market: optimistic. Despite months of hearing about a housing bubble and rising mortgage rates, the outlook for real estate is good.

The worries of a bursting real estate bubble actually seem to be low among homeowners. In a national survey conducted by ING Direct, most individuals experienced some growth in their home value in the past 12 months. The average increase was approximately 6%, with owners in New England and Pacific states having the largest growth. The values of homes in south central states remained about the same.

Most homeowners do not seem concerned about a downturn in the real estate housing market. Almost 74% of the individuals surveyed, who have owned their homes for more than three years, remained optimistic about the value of their home.

The 30-year fixed rate mortgage is at its highest point in four years. However, as it hovers at 6 percent, it is still a relatively low rate compared to the exceedingly high rates of the late 1980s when mortgage rates increased to over 10%.

According to Freddie Mac, there are indications of a strong economy, which is why mortgage rates have increased lately. Consumer confidence is on the rise and existing home sales is also on the upswing. This can be attributed to a positive labor market. As most people know, healthy employment leads to greater consumer spending.

Consumer perception is everything. With the continued view that real estate is a good investment, people will continue to buy and sell houses. This will bode well for home buyers, home sellers, real estate salespeople, mortgage lenders and just about anyone related to the real estate industry.

Real estate investing with no money down

So you want to get into real estate, for personal or investment purposes, but you just do not have the cash to get you started. Purchasing real estate is still possible even with out a down payment.

Below are a few techniques, provided the seller is willing to negotiate and has a genuine interest in selling the property as soon as possible.

Buying with no money down.

The simplest method for real estate investment is to take over their mortgage payments. This is called assuming the mortgage. Naturally, you will need to be approved by the original lender to assume the mortgage. If you cannot be approved for an assumable mortgage, you may also try a subject to assumption mortgage, which means that you make the monthly payments while the property remains in the seller's name.

What if the seller asks more than what the balance is on the mortgage?

If the seller wants a higher price than what is owed on the mortgage, you can still assume the mortgage and then get a second mortgage with the seller for the remaining cost of the house. Offer the seller a high interest-only payment for a short period, for example two or three years.

At the end of the term on the second mortgage, you should be able to refinance the property and pay off the seller. Unless there has been a downward trend in real estate, your real estate investment should have gained value in a few years.

There is no mortgage to assume-then what?

A majority of mortgage lenders want to make a good investment. While your local bank may still shy away there are plenty of financial lenders that would love to make a deal and finance your loan.

Finance companies like real estate. The mortgage is usually based on 60-70% of the value of the property, so as long as they know they will get their money back in the value of the property if you default. Complete the deal with a second mortgage created with the seller.

As you can see, there are ways to invest in real estate as long as the buyer and seller work together.

Buying a diamond in the rough

It may be your budget, or the thrill of doing it all yourself, but you are in the market for a diamond in the rough. But just how rough can a house be before a lender decides not to take the risk on a mortgage?

When you negotiate the contract, make sure that you include a provision for a home inspection for structural integrity, defects and potential problems. This isn't part of the appraisal, it is a separate detail. A home inspection ascertains the health of the house you are buying. Whether it be a bad roof, leaky plumbing or termite damage, a professional inspector will find all of the major problems. As part of your report, you will receive a list of what needs to be repaired or replaced, the time frame and the potential costs. If you are buying a fixer-upper, you may find that your lender will require an inspection. Some will and some won't. But you should insist on one to protect your best interests.

What if you luck out and there are no major problems, just minor ones? Maybe the carpet is worn and needs replacing. Perhaps the deck needs a little work. New paint and fresh air could be all it needs.

Minor, cosmetic concerns are usually not strong enough to scare away lenders, but could lead to negotiations between the buyers and sellers. Unless you've done this before, you may find a good agent is invaluable to negotiate for you.

If you want certain things repaired by the seller, such as the mailbox fixed and the deck painted, make sure it is in the contract. If it is, the seller must perform. You may be able to have the appraisal include the repairs spelled out in the contract. This can help you when getting a mortgage, as lenders will only lend on the lesser of the appraisal or purchase price. Just make sure that it is all in the contract.

Occasionally, your seller may ask to perform the repairs after closing. Many buyers simply ask for a seller's concession. Instead of installing a $5,000 carpet before closing, the seller agrees to reduce the purchase amount by the $5,000 it will cost the buyer to put in new carpeting.

But if you don't have that $5,000 in hand to buy the carpet, don't expect your lender to give it to you. Even if your contract states that the seller will give you back $5,000 after closing, don't expect it to happen. Cash allowances written into contracts can't happen. The lender will not allow the seller to hand over cash at closing. Your real estate agent should steer you away from this and help construct a sales contract that will please both the buyer and the seller. But don't expect to come home with $5,000. It just won't happen.

Buying a fixer-upper can be rewarding. You get to choose how you want to improve the home. But it is a lot of work and definately not for every buyer or lender. Your best bet is to be completely upfront with your lender about your intentions. This will help the transaction to go smoothly.


Tips For Buying Your First Home

For a first time home buyer, the process can get quite overwhelming, giving you the feeling that the financial decisions are rapidly spinning out of control. When it comes to real estate, most people don’t have a lot of experience or know a lot about it. In all actuality, buying a home is actually a simple process. All you need to do is understand the basics, which will go a long way in helping you buy your very first home.

The first thing you should know is to avoid pre payment penalties at all costs. What this means, is that if you buy the home then later want to sell it before the balance of your mortgage is due, you’ll have to pay a penalty. You can find a variety of great loans that don’t include these types of penalties. If you find a loan that does include pre payment penalties, you should immediately turn it down and look for another loan.

You should also be on the lookout for good ARM’s. If you have a good ARM, then your interest rate and monthly payment will adjust at the exact same time. This will make sure that your interest doesn’t affect your monthly payment. If your interest rate does affect your payment, then you will notice the unpaid interest reflecting the overall amount of your loan balance.

You’ll also want to get pre approved for your house as well. This lets the seller know that you are serious about buying, and will normally work in your favor to give an edge - which is especially handy if there are several others interested in purchasing the home. Getting pre approved will also save you a lot of time as well. If you can’t get approved for a loan, you shouldn’t waste your time inspecting it, trying to get a good interest rate, or negotiating with the seller for your ideal price.

Before you purchase a home, you should always be aware of how much you can afford. Before you attempt to purchase a home, you should always go over your budget and figure out how much money you can spend on a mortgage payment. If you manage your money smart and know your finances, this shouldn’t take you hardly any time at all. On the other hand, if you don’t know your finances, this will take you a long time indeed.

If you’ve already purchase your first home, you should always avoid taking any type of home equity loan. These loans can be very tempting when you get in an emergency and need cash, although most home equity loans add up to more than the value of your home. You should never, under any circumstances take a home equity loan, as there are many other ways that you can clear up your personal problems without having to jeopardize your home.

Keep in mind that the above are just a few basic tips and that there are many other things you’ll need to know before you buy your very first house. You’ll need to be familiar with private mortgage insurance, special loan programs, fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgage, and several other things. Buying a home is an easy process, once you know a bit about it. If you familiarize yourself with buying a home and learn all that you can about what is involved, you’ll find the home buying process to be easier than you ever thought possible.

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What type of loan is that

What Type of Loan is That

Getting into real estate property is based off of the idea of money. Your exchange of money will give you exactly what you want for a home. Within each different type of loan that you decide to get will be different divisions on how you can pay off your home or office space. If you know the terms and types of loans that are available to you, it will be easier to move your furniture into the right place.

The first way that a loan will be divided is by the principal. This is the amount that you will pay that the home is worth in total. You will pay a percentage of this amount every month. The second type of charge for the loan is an interest rate. This will be a percentage that the lender you are working with will be able to keep because of their ability to loan you the money.

Within each type of loan you will be able to get, there will be a division in how you pay both of these off. It may mean that the interest rate or principle changes over a specific amount of time. From here, you can add escrow to your account, which will be like a savings account for your loan and won't go towards paying off the house until you need the extra money.

Within each type of these loans are different rules, regulations and ways to divide what you are going to be paying. Different limitations for timing and the amount of money that you are able to pay are added into the loans. If you want to make sure that you are getting the best deal, make sure that you understand how each part of the loan will work together.

The main consideration that you will need to keep with your loan is how you will be paying off your home and where your money will go. Each different part of the loan will be an investment that will show your ownership of the home later on. By determining your needs, individual situation and what you believe will work best; you will have the ability to find the best possible loan.

Thinking of selling your home

Selling a home in many areas of the USA at the moment is a gamble. It is difficult to decide whether or not to sell, whether to list at what you feel is the market price, or whether you should undercut the market price.

If you are planning to sell your home, one of things to ponder first is: do I really have to move? Is this a good time to move out of my house? If you are planning the move because you have to move right out of the area, then the choice is out of your hands.

But if you are planning a move because you need more space - can you extend your house? Can you build a garage with a room overtop and run up a staircase outside? Would a sun trap conservatory satisfy the need for extra space - these are easier to pass through the planning permission process. Does your yard allow for a two story house extension to be built, it need only take up a small space in your yard. One large room and staircase going up to one other large room is ample for most people. You can always 'knock it through' to the main house and make the final adjustments after it is completed.

This type of extension is very popular with owners of the older one story homes, and the construction does not interfere in any way with your life (until the last phase). There is no plumbing or sewage work required, so it is not too expensive.

If none of these options work for you, and you need to move, then you must do some investigating into real estate in your area. Your real estate agent will help you with this. When you do choose an agent ask him if he is acting as a buyer's agent for any clients. You will need to know this, as it could create a conflict of interest for the agent if he is working for the buyer and the seller (you).

Having chosen your agent, check through the listings with him for comparable homes in the immediate area. You must take into account the yard, the condition and decor of the interior and exterior, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms and the newness of the appliances and accessories in both the kitchen and bathroom. Your agent will have local experience and also have a 'gut' feeling about price.

Some other factors will make a price difference such as vinyl clad windows, condition of the roof, also double glazing and whether there is a garage etc.

Once you have checked over several homes that have sold in your area, you and the agent will have an idea of the price that would be fair for your home. Another check that realtors will do for you is to see how far below the original listing price each property sold for. This gives you an indication of whether or not you can expect the same kind of discounted offer.

As your realtor will tell you, it is better to list it at a realistic price to start with, than to have to reduce the price two weeks after it is on the market.

When (hopefully) you get an offer in, do not feel insulted if it is too low. Often a prospective buyer will come in low, just because the first offer is one way to get the negotiating started. If you want to more or less stick to your asking price, you can 'counter-offer' with a price that is only $500 or $1,000 less than your asking price; your real estate agent will probably be able to advise on the prospective buyer's situation. However, the agent does not know everything, and often a buyer can suddenly come up with more cash!

Another point to remember is that sometimes a buyer will leave the bargaining table, but after a check around the market, he or she may well come back and re-enter the fray!

If a sale looks imminent, but is failing to complete for the lack of a few funds, ask your realtor to explain to you about 'seller's contribution'. Sometimes it makes sense to bend a little and secure a definite sale in this unstable housing market!


Buying Real Estate for Your Family

The very best and most enjoyable reason to purchase real estate by far is in buying a property in which your family will live and grow together. There is a lot of fun involved in finding the perfect place for you and your family to call home. There is also a great deal of stress involved as well and that should not be overlooked.

Some things to keep in mind when searching for the perfect property for your family are the following:

1) Make your first step the step of finding a realtor or buyer's agent that you are confident has your needs, desires, and best interests at heart. Your realtor can prove to be a lifesaver when you've reached the final hours before closing and the sky looks as though it's going to fall. Far more than that though, your realtor can help you find the home that you simply cannot see your family living without.

2) Once you've found a real estate that you trust to help you find a home for your family it is time to identify the things that are absolute necessities in your search and those things you can live without. The most important thing to decide upon is a budget that you are comfortable living with.

3) Once you've established a budget you need to decide the features that are important to meet the needs of your family. The number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and yard space. Do you need a fenced in yard or a basement? These things are important as they do affect the comfort and in some cases safety of your family.

4) Another important thing that must be considered when purchasing a home for your family is the neighborhood. This is more important than many people may realize. It is well worth having a smaller home in a neighborhood that is poised for growth rather than a larger home in a neighborhood that is in the state of decline or on the verge of the state of decline. Crime rates in the neighborhood and the school district are other things that need to be considered as well before deciding to view a potential home.

5) You should also take the time to look at several properties before deciding on one property over another. The more properties you see, the better the chances are that you will actually find the one perfect property for the needs of your family home. The more homes you see the more you will learn about your likes and dislikes. You will also get ideas about possibilities and things that can be added on to the home you eventually select. Regardless, the more homes you see, the more choices you have when the time comes to make a decision.

6) Never offer the asking price right away. Even if you are willing to pay the full asking price, offer something a little lower and allow some negotiating room. Be sure, if you truly want the house in question not to be insulting with your offer but make the offer just the same. Some things you may want to consider when you make your offer is how quickly you are likely to need a new roof, new flooring, new heating or air conditioning, and countless other improvements that may need to be made on the property. Each of these things costs money and they add up over time. If everything is fairly recent and in good working order you may want to consider that when making your offer as well.

You will find many houses along the way but few will reach out and impress themselves upon you as home. Those are the ones you should consider long and hard. Weigh the options, the prices, and your likes and dislikes. If you do all of this you should be well on your way to the home of your dreams.


Avoid foreclosure an option that many do not know about

Looking down the barrel of a foreclosure, if you are among one of the over 1.4 million homeowners facing this same issue, there may be a creative technique to save your home. Save your home and salvage your equity so that you can fight again. The last thing that you want to do is give your home back to the lender.

If your financial hardship has left you in a position whereby you are not able to pay your mortgage payment, whatever the reason may be, then you cannot afford to live in your home. Foreclosures are growing dilemma for many homeowners in the Untied States today; foreclosures are at an all time high. Alan Greenspan has made comments that the US may be heading for a recession in 2008.

Some lenders out there have not been playing fair, and some even to the point of unethical practices. These unethical practices are a primary reason that foreclosures are at an all time high and not expected to slow down in 2008, from what most experts have said.

On the bright side of things, you may have an option that may allow you to keep your home, even if the foreclosure process is already under way. Something that has been around for many years, and you may possibly utilize to save your home and equity. You may need to wait a year or two in order to cash out the equity on the property, but it is better then the alternative.

This option is referred to as a Lease Purchase Agreement, find a tenant to lease your home from you, with an option to purchase the home at the end to the agreed period or time; usually 12 to 24 months. You set a price for them to buy the house when the agreement is signed; this will allow you to set the price so you can save the equity and by some time to recover. With a tenant that has the option to buy your home you may be able to:

1) First and foremost is the avoidance of a foreclosure

2) Since renters are paying less today due to the high foreclosure rates, this may be a way to increase the monthly rent, due in light of the purchase agreement

3) A one-time payment, up-front as a non-refundable deposit, this is usually 1% - 3% of the sales price. The best part of this is that even if they decide not to buy your home, you still keep the money

4) Quickly locate a buyer for your property, most times faster then trying to sell you home in the traditional manner

5) Someone else will be paying the mortgage payment, and potentially a few hundred dollars a month more

Lease Purchase Agreements usually work well in any real estate market; these agreements referred to as a "lease option" as well. This is a very valuable strategy to keep in mind, especially during market that in a distress.

While there may be many other reasons to take advantage of a lease option, they are defiantly an excellent way to avoid foreclosure, and salvage your home from the bank. In a foreclosure, your credit will be destroyed for years to come, and the additional financial repercussions can take a tool on your personal life.

State real estate auctions - tips for buyers

: State real estate auctions sell off real property that has been seized, abandoned, or forfeited. The Department of Treasury has been designated as the state department to handle such auctions. Typically, they conduct 100 auctions a year. The funds obtained at state real estate auctions help support local and state police and other areas of the city. The placement of a successful bid at a Department of the Treasury auction establishes a legally binding contract between the successful bidder and the Government. Here are some basic rules and policies: To be eligible to bid you must be 18 years of age and not an employee of the state. You cannot be the contractor, subcontractor or vendor or their agent who has access to information about the property. A bidder registration form must be submitted for approval. If bidding for someone else, the form must be notarized. Buyer is to inspect property prior to placing a bid. Changes may be made on the day of the sale. The Government reserves the right to withdraw from sale any of the property listed. The buyer understands the property is sold on the “AS IS” basis. A lot of rules and regulations govern state real estate auctions, and it is wise if you take the time to research them prior to attempting to attend. Each registered bidder will be issued a bidding number. This is your lifeline to what is important on that day. Don't loose it. Most importantly enjoy yourself at a state auction. The properties auctioned off are very valuable and should bring you a good return. Please visit some of my other site at Real Estate Actions and Government Real Estate Auctions

Advertising rental property

: There are many different ways a landlord can advertise his / her rentals property. The kind of advertising that works best depends on numerous factors that include property characteristics, location, landlord’s budget, and whether he / she is in a hurry to rent. There are many combinations of advertising methods landlords and property managers use to achieve the best results, some of which are as under. 1. ‘For Rent’ Signs The most common method of advertising is the putting up of a ‘For Rent’ sign, either in front of the building, or in one of the windows. A relatively cost-free method, it works best if a lot of foot and motor traffic goes past the building. It also helps if the building is as attractive as the rental unit. 2. Advertising in the Newspapers As much of a tradition as ‘For Rent’ signs, newspaper ads are also available online, if the paper has an online version. Many potential tenants begin their search for a place to rent by scanning the classified ads in newspapers, while, out-of-towners can log on online to the local paper from wherever they are. Ads should always be placed in papers having many residential listings, as it has been found they work best. And, they should be targeted to produce the right kind of prospective tenants i. e. if a landlord primarily rents out to college students, the best bet is to advertise in the campus newspaper or put up a ‘For Rent’ sign in the housing office. To play it safe, it is also a good idea to list the rental in a general newspaper, as well. 3. Neighborhood Flyers As well, a landlord can post ads on neighbor hood public bulletin boards to be found at grocery stores, Laundromats or coffeehouses, complete with tear-off strips listing their phone number. However, if the property is upscale, this is not the best way to advertise for it, though there might be takers at the high-end gym down the street. 4. Listing Online Online rental services have mushroomed like crazy in recent years, from national in scope, to regional. After finding a residential rental listing for your area, you can add your property to it. 5. Home Or Apartment Finding Services Home or apartment-finding services are very popular in some areas, with landlords paying to list their properties, though sometimes it is the tenants themselves, who pay the fee when the unit is rented. 6. Spreading the Word Small-time landlords instead of advertising widely and screening potential tenants, find it easier to market their rentals through word-of-mouth i. e. telling friends, colleagues, neighbours, and current tenants. After all, people already living on your property will invite decent neighbours. So, when a property becomes vacant, simply send a note around to every one, asking them to tell friends or relatives about the available apartment. 7. Real Estate Offices Many real estate offices handle rentals, but of course, there is a fee involved. 8. Property Management Firms Going through a property management firm is the easiest way to do it. They handle advertising, showing tenants around, as well as, selecting tenants, collecting rents, and interacting with residents during tenancies (handling repairs, etc. etc.). A paid service, it is for landlords with large rental properties and no time to spare. Next Steps Once, the advertising has been done, the next step is to create a rental application and select a tenant. When advertising vacancies and selecting and rejecting applicants, read up on the Fair Housing Act, so as to avoid any inadvertent lawsuits. Evaluate prospective tenants by thoroughly checking out their rental applications, legal residency forms, and tenant consent forms for contacting references, performing credit checks and criminal and background checks. The only way to avoid unnecessary litigation is by screening prospective tenants and conducting background checks. Simply visit www. e-renter. com for tenant screening and background check services.

New mexico real estate the mystical and mysterious state

New Mexico is the state of metaphysical influences and unidentified flying objects. Fortunately, there is no mystery about New Mexico real estate. Prices are exploding.

New Mexico

With mountain ranges and desert areas, New Mexico is a popular state with outdoor enthusiasts. Once can ski, hike, fish, camp and explore some of the most beautiful land in our nation. On top of this, the influence of Native Americans is strong throughout the state with rumors and suggestions of locations with great healing energies. And then there is Roswell. Yep, New Mexico receives its share of UFO enthusiasts due to constant rumors of UFO sightings, government conspiracies and all that entails. Overall, you’ll find New Mexico to be a state with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly people.

Sante Fe

Ten years ago, Sante Fe would have been rated as one of the top 10 cities in the United States. Dominated by Native American and Spanish influences, the city was a gem. Built at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, it was a fine mix of unique adobe influenced architecture and impressive Spanish churches and structures. Today, the center of the city maintains this impressive atmosphere, but the city has suffered from its reputation. Large numbers of people have moved to the state, particularly Californians seeking to avoid high living costs. Sante Fe hasn’t dealt well with this population growth and the suburbs have a sprawling and unimaginative feel to them. Some people feel Sante Fe is still a gem, so give it a look if you are considering relocating.


I always try to look for the positives in a city, but it is hard to do so with Albuquerque. I found the city to be a sprawling mess without much going for it. With over 500,000 residents, the city is the largest in New Mexico. There is a distinct Native American influence in the downtown area, but there isn’t much else to promote in regard to the city. Outside of the city, there are locations along the Rio Grande that are very nice. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t imagine living in Albuquerque. You might feel different, so give it a look.


Unlike Albuquerque, Taos is a town I can heartily promote. A bit of an art colony, the majority of the town’s population of 6,000 are Native Americans and they positively influence the town. Similar in feel to Sante Fe, but without the sprawl, the town is dominated by beautiful deep red adobe buildings and homes. With little cafes, museums and art galleries, the town offers a surprising amount of things to do. Make no mistake, however, Taos is a town to kick back and relax in. If you hate the rat race and sitting in traffic, Taos is the place for you. The ski resort in Taos provides some of the best skiing in the western United States.

New Mexico Real Estate

New Mexico real estate prices have traditionally been some of the lowest in the nation. With the influx of people from other states, prices have increased fairly dramatically. A single family home in Sante Fe will set you back in the $500,000 range, while the same home will run half that in Albuquerque. Taos homes vary entirely on the specific structure. Appreciation rates for New Mexico in 2005 were nearly 12 percent.

Checklist for buying a home

Buying a home can be one of the best feelings in the world. Nothing beats that feeling of security and satisfaction when you open the door to a new home and are happy with your purchase. The question is, how can you best ensure that feeling is going to happen? There are a lot of pitfalls in the real estate world and naturally you want to be able to avoid them and end up with a great home. Here are some great tips on how to streamline your home purchase and keep those little headaches from cropping up.

Enough cannot be said about being financially secure and aware. If you spend some time organizing your finances before making an offer the process becomes much less stressful. Take some time and research your credit history and find out if there are any outstanding issues or problems and get them taken care of. This can negatively affect your chances of getting a good mortgage, so it's in your best interest to clear any credit issues up before the buying process starts. Most mortgage companies will offer you a pre-qualification, now this is nice to have but you are better off to take it a step further. Obtain a pre-approval for your mortgage. The pre-approval gives you an absolute number to work with. Not only does this make shopping for a home easier on you, but it gives you a significant amount of leverage in the actual sale.

The next logical step is to begin working with your realtor on finding homes that suit your needs. Let you realtor know what things you cannot do without and those things that you would like and let them come up with a list of fitting homes. During this time you can also research the available homes in your chosen area on the internet and find places that appeal to you. With this ammunition you and you agent should be able to view homes and properties with confidence and easily find a place that is agreeable to your needs, wants, and wallet.

Once you have located the perfect property, have an inspection done. This step cannot be stressed enough. Be wary of sellers who are willing to sell to others on the "no inspection" clause. This is never a good thing and much of the time they don't want an inspection done for a reason. The inspection is extremely important step in ensuring your protection as the new owner. After all, this is going to be home right? Don't ever sell yourself short.

Taking title when you buy

Taking title to a home can seem like a boilerplate event during escrow, but it is very important. The prime question is how you take title.

Taking Title When You Buy

If you are a first time buyer, you are probably wondering what taking title refers to. It is not the act of accepting a piece of paper from the seller. Taking title refers to who is listed on the title and HOW they are listed. If you are not married and are buying the home alone, you can stop reading now because you simply take the title in your own name. If you are married or buying the property with another person, things get a bit complex.

Most buyers take title in one of three ways – joint tenancy, tenants in common or as community property. Here is a closer look at each.

Joint tenancy is a popular method of taking title. Joint tenancy simply is a co-ownership situation where the purchasing parties are both listed on the title. The advantage of this form of ownership is each person on title has the right of survivorship, meaning that if one of the owners dies, title passes automatically to the surviving owner. Joint tenancy also offers tax benefits in the form of a stepped up basis. It is beyond the scope of this article, but the general idea is that the surviving owner gets to step up the cost of the home, which saves on capital gains taxes.

Tenants in common are essentially partnerships to own a property. They are generally disfavored because of tax issues.

Taking title as community property occurs often, but the buyers often do not realize it. If you are in a community property state, such as California, you pretty much take title as community property unless you hire a lawyer to find a way not to. Community property states have an overriding policy that funds from a married couples estate, not to mention assets, are jointly owned by both regardless of anything in writing. There are, however, some advantages to this approach. Upon the death of one spouse, the other gets a major stepped up basis on the cost of the home. When the property is sold, this results in substantial savings on capital gains.

So, which title should you choose when buying a home? There really is not one correct answer. You simply need to analyze your specific circumstances to make the best choice.

don t sell your property without it

For most people, the prospect of selling their home can be positively daunting. First of all, there are usually plenty of things to do just to get it ready for the market. Besides the traditional clean-up, paint-up, fix-up chores that invariably wind up costing more than you planned, there are always the overriding concerns about how much the market will bear and how much you will eventually wind up selling it for.

Will you get your asking price, or will you have to drop your price to make the deal? After all, your home is a major investment, no doubt a rather large one, so when it comes to selling it you want to get your highest possible return. Yet in spite of everyone's desire to get the top dollar for their property, most people are extremely unsure as to how to go about getting it. However, some savvy sellers have long known a little financial technique that has helped them to get top dollar for their property. In fact, on some rare occasions, they have even sold their properties for more than they were worth using this powerful financing tool. Although that might be the exception rather than the rule, you can certainly use this technique to get the most money possible when selling your property.

Seller carry-back, or take-back financing, has proven to be a surefire technique for closing deals. Even though most people do not think about when it comes to selling a property, they really should consider using it. According to the Federal Reserve, there are currently over 100 Billion dollars of seller carry-back (seller take-back) loans in existence. By any standard, that is a lot of money. But most importantly, it is also a very clear indication that more people are starting to use seller take-back financing techniques because it offers many financial benefits to both sellers and buyers. Basically, seller take-back financing is a relatively simple concept. A seller-take back loan is created when a property is sold and the seller performs like a lender by assisting in financing all or part of the total transaction. In effect, the seller is actually lending the buyer a certain amount of money toward the purchase price, while a traditional mortgage company usually funds the balance of the purchase price. A seller take-back loan is secured with the property. The loan then becomes the primary mortgage and is fully secured by the property. In most seller take-back financing transactions, the buyer repays the seller with interest in accordance to mutually agreed terms over a period of time. Usually, the terms call for the buyer to send the payments, consisting of principal and interest, on a monthly basis. This is advantageous because it creates a steady monthly cash flow for the note holder. And if the note holder decides to cash out, he or she can always sell the note for a lump sum cash payment.

Regardless of market conditions, seller take-back financing makes sound financial sense; whereas, it provides both buyer and seller with flexible financing options, makes the property easier to sell at higher price and shortens the sales cycle. It also has the added advantage of being an excellent investment that generates a steady cash flow and high return. If you ever need immediate cash, you can always sell the note through our office. If you are planning to sell a property, then consider the many benefits of seller take-back financing.

Towards property millionaire

One of my strategy to become a millionaire is through properties. I wanted to accumulate a net worth of 1 million in properties. My strategy is to get 5 properties with good rental yield (8% and above). I will be living in one of this property. So if one property is average 200K, 5 property will be 1 million.

I will be able to generate income from the property. So my estimated income generated from rental will be 200K X 4 X 0.08 = 64K per year (X 4 because only 4 property will be rented out). However in the initial stage I will not be able to put the rental income into my pocket because the income will need to be used to offset the installment.

I plan to accumulate all my 5 properties within 5 years time, 1 per year. Right now I own 2 properties. One of the property that I lived in, and another one is rented out. So I have another 3 to go. My strategy is to settle the property that I lived in as fast as possible. I am targeting to settle that in less than 5 years time. For the rented properties I plan not to settle if fast at the moment as I need to focus on the property that I lived in first.

Sounds easy huh. Actually not as easy though. First you need to have enough monthly income for you to eligible to get loan from the bank. The bank will only borrow you money when you don’t need it. Then you may need certain amount of down payment when you buy each properties. You also need to do a lot of research and familiar with the area that you are targeting for before you decide to get the property. Buying a property is a life long serious commitment as it may takes you years to pay back the installment. So don’t act bluntly. Another problem can be, what if you cannot get rental? So hot location is the main concern here. What if your tenants quit rents? You will need certain amount of emergency fund to cater for this.

Although not that simple, but it is definitely a workable way to millionaire. It may seems a little bit slow, but its a surer way. Set the target, plan accordingly, action and work hard, then you will achieve it one day.

Why one should think of living in kefalonia

The island of Kefalonia forms a key ingredient of the Grecian tourism. Situated in the western periphery of the Greek waters, the island is also the largest among the cluster called the Ionian Islands, with an estimated area of 350 sq. miles. Kefalonia is widely known for its sea resorts, mountainous landscape, ancient monasteries and a thriving countryside, thus making it out the most sought-after destination for the holidaymakers and property buyers both. The market for Kefalonia property grew at the same healthy rate by which it grew elsewhere in the other Greek towns, in the recent years.

Though, one should admire the fact that holidaying and living in Kefalonia is challenging, keeping in mind the frequent earthquakes that keep on taking place there, it is also a no secret that living there was no more harmful as compared to what it may be in Tokyo or Loss Angeles. And this is why thousands select each year, to have a taste of its beaches, sea resorts, cafes and the city life. Since, most of the island's populace resides in two major towns, the bulk of Kefalonia property may also be bought and sold there. These are Argostoli and Lixouri, comprising of the two-thirds of the whole of 45K strong island's populace.

Argostoli, the capital and the largest of all towns in the island, is the place where most tourists can be seen headed for. The main center of the town, carrying restaurants and cafes, can be seen bustling with activity the whole day long, but, the evenings prove out lavish and inviting too. Much of Kefalonia property in Argostoli can be found located along the city center, where maximum amount of tourism takes place. The two most striking aspects about Argostoli are; the famous Lassi seashore known for its beauty, and the mysterious 'Swallow Holes' in the Vlikha region, which identify a unique geological activity. The 'Swallow Holes' cause a disappearance and then reappearance of the seawater over a two-week long period along the rocky shoreline.

Kefalonia is also the place where the archaeologists recently succeeded in digging up a Roman era grave yard. The archaeologists dug out roughly 2000 years old five grave sites, which had stone coffins, gold ornaments and bronze coins, apart from several other artifacts, to be spoken about. To top it all, the coffin stones opened up swiftly, hence showcasing the ancient Greek craftsmanship. It was immediately categorized by the archaeologists as the most significant discovery that was made in the history of the Ionian Islands ever. They also found a highly preserved theater next to the grave sites, which carried some intact metal parts of the seating area even after the passage of so much time.

With the Greek real estate witnessing an upswing in the post - 2004 Olympic Games phase, the market for Kefalonia property has also been picking up due to the salient tourism points we described above. As a result, there is a greater rush for buying holiday villas and private apartments in Kefalonia today and the bulk of these buyers are coming out from the non-Greek territories like the UK and Germany, two of the world's most travel friendly nations.

Buying a home how to handle the legal documents

by Clare Stevens

Shopping for a home can be a little more complicated than finding the property and the money to pay for it. Between you and the night you sip champagne on the porch of your newly acquired house lie mounds of paperwork, with very small print, and jargon that you probably have neither the time nor inclination to wade through.

Why you need a conveyancer

That’s what conveyancers are for. As solicitors who specialise in real estate properties, they can handle all the documents and make sure that you are fully protected by the law.

For example, if you’re selling your home, your conveyancer will prepare the contracts and the property deeds. If you’re buying one, he will coordinate with your mortgage lender and handle all the necessary searches to make sure that you’re not being swindled out of your well-earned pounds. These include a local authority search (to check if your property is sitting on what will later be converted into a highway), a drainage search, a land registry search (so you know you’re talking to the real owner of the property), and a land charges search (to assure the mortgage lender that you can afford the payments).

Some counties have an even longer list of required searches, making a conveyancer even more important. For example, Cheshire county residents need a brine search, to detect if the levels of minerals present in the ground can affect your house or your health. Most conveyancers will also evaluate your property for any damages or hazards that may need repair or correction, which he will then use to negotiate for a better sale price.

Your conveyancer will also be the one to deal with the solicitor of your house’s seller (or buyer, whatever the case may be). He will prepare your offer sheet, schedule the necessary meetings and negotiations, and then prepare the final contracts. Once the sale has actually been made, your conveyancer will also take care of the deeds and make sure that the necessary documents are given to your mortgage lender.

Choosing a conveyancer

With the large amount of money involved in purchasing or selling a home, and the paperwork required by the institutions that will lend that money to you, the fees of a conveyancer are well worth the investment.

Some conveyancers charge a fixed rate, others set the amount according to a value of the property. However, fees should not be the sole determining factor behind your decision to hire someone as your legal representative. Choose someone that you’re comfortable with, who offers excellent customer service, and will update you between the long stretches when documents are being processed. As a rule, legal firms that specialise in conveyancing are more likely to provide this kind of dedicated service. You are guaranteed that you are talking someone who knows the ins and outs of real estate, and will not have to worry that the person assigned to you isn’t too busy in the courts to work on your documents.

It’s also important to ask what is included in the fees, to uncover any hidden charges or at the very least clarify who will shoulder small costs of processing paperwork, such as documentary stamps.

When daddy moves to an apartment

Divorce is hard, there’s no question about it. Not only has your marriage ended but, most likely, your lifestyle is undergoing some drastic changes also. This is especially true if you are forced to leave the place that was home to you and your family.

Depending on your particular situation, you may find that moving into an apartment is your only option. Many times it’s hard to think of an apartment as home after you’ve been accustomed to living in a house surrounded by family. But, if you choose your apartment wisely, you may find it’ll become a cozy, comfortable haven.

Take some time to select your apartment.

Remember, this is going to be your new home. Don’t rush the selection process. Decide how much you can afford to spend for rent and look at as many apartments in that range as you can. Location should be one of your prime considerations. Your life is complicated enough right now, don’t make it worse by choosing an inconvenient location where commuting becomes a problem.

If your children will be visiting regularly be sure your apartment is large enough to let them feel at home. If possible, select an apartment with a room just for them. Let them have a hand in decorating it so they’ll feel a part of it. If you have joint custody of the children and they will be living with you while attending school, you’ll also want to choose an apartment that is convenient to their schools and recreation areas.

The type of apartment you choose will be important to how well you adapt to living in it. Like a house, choose one that fits your personality. If you like puttering in the yard, make sure there is some private space where you can do that ~ even if it’s just planting flower boxes on your patio. If you enjoy cooking, make sure the kitchen meets your requirements.

You also need to consider the atmosphere of your apartment complex. If you’re going to have children living with you part time, most likely a singles community would not be the best choice. Neither would you probably want to choose an apartment in a building that is filled with senior citizens. If there are pets involved, make sure rules don’t prohibit them.

Turn your apartment into a home.

Don’t consider your apartment a place of exile! It’s your new home and if you want to be happy there, you must give it your attention. Unpack the boxes and arrange your furniture in a way that’s pleasing to you. Hang pictures or other art work on the walls and stamp your new home with your own personality. If you take pride in decorating it according to your own tastes, you’ll find it becomes a welcoming and comfortable place to be. Remember you no longer have to consider anyone else’s preferences ~ this is all yours to do with as you please!

The more you’re apartment reflects you and your interests, the more it will seem like home.

Enjoy it!

The garage storage or mess

When putting homes on the market, many people fail to prepare one room in their home. While not technically a "room" as such, the garage is a part of the home that is often overlooked....by sellers. Chances are that if you have been in your home for many years, you have collected a fair amount of "stuff." Where does most of this surplus "stuff" end up? You guessed it, in the garage.

For most people the garage is a holding pen for years of accumulated clutter. Now this may not seem like a big deal, but when selling a home clutter can be a big problem. If you are one of those people that tend to be a bit of a pack-rat then cleaning out your garage will be a good project to undertake. Don't forget that when your home is viewed, every room including the garage will be under scrutiny. Maybe its time to sort through the stuff and decide what is worth keeping.

Another aspect that is commonly overlooked in garages is the general condition of the garage itself. Dingy walls and stained floors take away from the overall aesthetic quality of the home and buyers will notice this. Give the garage a coat of paint, or if you are really up to the task there are some amazing garage organization systems that improve the look and organization of garages a thousand fold. Prospective buyers will appreciate the added attention to the overall cleanliness of the home.

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