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Real Estate - Mortgage

Is the highest offer when selling a home always better?

Do you need a higher price to pay off your mortgage and other costs? Buyers can write any contingencies they want into their offers. Common ones include: Mortgage finance — If the buyers don’t get their mortgage approval, they are off the hook Home appraisal — If the home falls short according to the valuation of an independent appraiser, the deal’s dead Home inspection — If the property has significant defects, you’re done Clear title — Any issues with your title (your ownership of the property and your right to sell it) and it’s all over Home sale — If the buyer can’t sell her own place, she can walk away Of course, buyers don’t have to withdraw if a contingency is triggered. Cash vs. mortgage Clearly, your buyer won’t be able to trigger a mortgage finance contingency if she’s paying cash. Pre-approved buyers can close on a deal as long as the property meets their lender’s guidelines. As long as your property appraises for at least the selling price and has no inspection or zoning issues, your sale should close. Cost of keeping your existing home vacant If you face the possibility of moving on and leaving your existing home empty, you’re probably worried about the prospect of paying two mortgages. For unoccupied homes, the cost of maintaining coverage isn’t typically too great. But most sellers want only to accept offers that are likely to survive all the way to closing. They can’t afford to deal with buyers whose contingencies and mortgage applications pose high risks.

5 Inconvenient Truths About Real Estate Agents

Buying or selling a home is likely the biggest financial transaction you’ll ever complete. They sometimes work for both sides In some states, the same real estate agent can represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. Their commission is negotiable Listing agents may expect you to accept their commission — generally around 6% of the sale price — without question, but you certainly don’t have to. Most sellers never think about the fact that anyone can come through the door of an open house, Gasset said. If you view an open house and decide to make an offer, the listing agent can take credit for your interest. Don’t provide your name, sign any documentation or discuss your opinion of the house with the listing agent unless you have to, Miller says. If you really like an open house, leave and find a buyer’s agent who can help you make an offer. Consumers should interview several potential providers and make their own decision about whom to hire, Harty says. Interview multiple real estate agents. Get a real estate attorney involved.

Selling your home? Target Millennials

Data shows that by the end of 2018, Millennials are expected to account for a whopping 43 percent of new mortgages — meaning nearly half of all home sales. Verify your new rate (Oct 9th, 2018) The growing Millennial cohort According to the Porch.com Millennial Home Buying Trends Report, Millennial buyers accounted for 36 percent of home sales in the last year. Half of Millennial homes purchased in the last year were located in the suburbs. They were also more likely to be in small towns than those bought by Baby Boomers or Generation Xers. “While plenty of Millennials are attracted to places like New York and Los Angeles, many are moving to more affordable cities in the Midwest and the South,” the report reads. So-called 18-hour cities, like Columbus, Ohio and Raleigh, North Carolina, are particularly popular with Millennials, according to the report — largely because of higher housing affordability. “As more and more Millennials have children, they’re much more likely to be concerned with affordability and the quality of local school districts (as well as how close schools are to home),” the report reads. “They’re even more interested in being close to friends and family than other generations — a fact that challenges preconceptions about Millennials as the ‘Me Me Me Generation.’” And once they move in, painting, remodeling the bathroom, adding new carpet and landscaping are among Millennials’ first home improvement to-dos. Verify your new rate (Oct 9th, 2018) Get today’s mortgage rates Looking to join America’s Millennials on the home buying journey? Show Me Today's Rates (Oct 9th, 2018)

How to Invest in Real Estate: Buying vs. Not Buying Property

Investing in real estate isn't for everyone. 7 Ways to Invest in Real Estate by Buying Property For many of the methods of investing in real estate, you'll need to have money saved. Here are seven ways to invest in real estate that involve a purchase of actual property. Maintain a good house in the right area, and you may be able to make the same money off a few vacation tenants that you might make from a year-round tenant elsewhere. It is high-risk, high-reward real-estate investing. 10 Ways to Invest in Real Estate Without Buying Property If buying property is too expensive of an investment for you, it's not only way you can add real estate to your investment portfolio. Here are 10 ways you can invest in real estate without actually having to buy any property. Look beyond REITs for your real estate companies. For example, RE/MAX is a company that sells homes via real estate agents. Real estate agents require some education and training before they can actually get out there and flip houses, but successful real estate agents can take home nice commissions on the properties they sell.

Where to move for lower taxes (check out this study)

If you’re wondering where to move for lower taxes, consider that you may be paying: State and local income taxes Property taxes Sales taxes One way or another, you’re taxed at the federal, state, county and city levels. Verify your new rate (Oct 6th, 2018) Study provides clues about where to move for lower taxes A new report from Redfin shows there’s a growing trend of people moving out of high-tax markets and into lower-tax markets. “Prior to tax reform, we were already seeing migration away from expensive metros to more affordable metros. That means it’s easier for people to find a job in another city.” Ptaszynski noted that some people who migrated have the potential to save thousands a year in income, property, and state/local taxes. And they pay about eight percent in local sales taxes but no state income tax. “But in Los Angeles, they’ll pay, on average, $3,600 in property taxes, about a nine percent sales tax rate, and an eight percent income tax rate.” Moving makes sense to many Real estate attorney and Florida International University instructor Suzanne Hollander isn’t surprised that many people are researching where to move for lower taxes. So moving to a state with a lower tax rate may be smart, too,” Hollander says. That’s because it does not have a state income tax or state estate tax,” Hollander adds. “Consider the cost of housing, the overall cost of living and the job market in your next destination,” Ptaszynski suggests. Whitman says the costs to sell, buy and move from that could add up quickly.

Half of renters spend more than 30% of their income on rent

In fact, according to new data, nearly half of all U.S. renters are cost-burdened, spending more than 30 percent of their monthly income on rent. Verify your new rate (Oct 3rd, 2018) Bogged down by housing costs According to data from Apartment List, 49.5 percent of all American renters are burdened by their housing costs. That’s down slightly from last year when 49.7 percent of renters were cost-burdened. According to Chris Salvati, Apartment List’s housing economist, the change is simply a result of who’s renting, not what renting costs. “Much of this decrease in the cost burden rate is attributable to an influx of high-income households to the rental market,” Salvati said. The city has the highest cost burden rate in the country, with 62.7 percent of renter households burdened by housing costs. Other cities with high shares of cost-burdened renters include Riverside, California; Philadelphia; San Diego; Los Angeles; Boston; Orlando; New York; and Baltimore. Verify your new rate (Oct 3rd, 2018) The median renter in 20 out of the nation’s 25 largest metros is cost-burdened. “Framing the problem in this way highlights the fact that rental housing affordability affects not just low-income households, but also millions in the middle-class.” Get today’s mortgage rates Ready to get out of the rent race and get your housing costs in check? Show Me Today's Rates (Oct 3rd, 2018)

Thousands of potential homeowners wrongly think they can’t get a mortgage

Seven out of ten (70%) people think a low credit score, zero-hour contract, payday loan, new job or even parental leave would prevent them getting a mortgage, according to mortgage advice website Online Mortgage Advisor. While it is not necessarily the case that these would be automatic barriers to getting a mortgage, it can make it harder for some and those who are accepted may have to pay a higher rate of interest or borrow a smaller sum than otherwise. Pete Mugleston, managing director at Online Mortgage Advisor, says a huge number of consumers are in the dark about what would prevent them from borrowing. “We may be a long way away from the pre-credit crunch days of no income, no job or asset mortgages and free-for-all credit, but lenders do recognise that people’s circumstances have changed and as such, many have adjusted their criteria to reflect this." If people don't keep up with their mobile payments, have a contract for utilities as they pay cash or they are not on the electoral roll, they are not going to score as highly on their credit check. They are also concerned about stability such as how long you have lived at your address or been with your bank. Borrowers will be accepted for a smaller mortgage just not the amount they are looking for.” Getting a mortgage with bad credit history If you have got a bad credit rating because of past problems, it can be difficult to find a lender willing to offer you a mortgage. If you have got a poor credit history and are worried that you won’t be able to get a mortgage, all is not lost. While having a poor credit score can make getting a mortgage more difficult, there are some lenders that can help. If you have been turned down by a high street bank or building society you might want to try apply through a specialist lender.

Why the housing industry should fear Amazon

Last week, the Alexa Fund, which invests in companies harnessing voice technology, participated in a $6.7 million round of funding to back Plant Prefab, a Southern California-based smart home builder. There’s an obvious synergy between the future of home building and Amazon’s vision for the world. Given Amazon has 62% of the voice assistant market and most of Alexa usage happens inside the home — whether cooking, listening to music or the news, the e-commerce giant is looking to get involved in the first steps of real estate development. The country’s largest home builder Lennar (LEN) announced in March that all new homes will include Alexa-enabled lights, smart locks, doorbells and thermostats. Disrupting the housing market Amazon has already dipped a toe into the real estate referral business. At Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit last month, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff noted how Amazon was likely to disrupt the real estate industry — and that it’s just a matter of time. “Eventually, yes [I’ll worry about Amazon]. “But I just read last week that they’re going to sell Christmas trees. Eventually, the entire process from searching for to closing on the purchase of a home will happen online. SoftBank recently announced a $400 million investment into San Francisco-based OpenDoor, which buys and sells homes online across 19 different markets in the U.S. It’s no surprise that one of Amazon’s next frontiers is residential real estate, especially considering a home is the costliest big-ticket item Americans will purchase in their lifetime.

The Most Mortgage-Free City Is …

When it comes to metro areas where homeowners are not burdened with mortgage debt, Detroit leads the nation—albeit for a not-positive reason. According to new data issued by LendingTree, 55 percent of homeowners in Detroit do not carry mortgage debt. But LendingTree Chief Economist Tendayi Kapfidze noted the city was at the top of the list because “mortgage lenders have historically viewed housing in the city as risky and, as a result, there are fewer homeowners here. This was often driven by discriminatory lending practices which excluded many Detroit residents from the mortgage market.” Miami ranked second of LendingTree’s list, with 52 percent of homeowners without mortgage debt. LendingTree observed that this ranking could be attributed to Miami’s attractiveness with foreign buyers, many of whom pay with cash. Third-place ranking went to Las Vegas, with 48 percent of homeowners without mortgage debt, also benefited from a larger than normal percentage of buyers making home purchases with cash. At the other end of the spectrum, LendingTree cited Washington D.C., Virginia Beach and Seattle as being among the least mortgage debt-free markets. Washington D.C. and Seattle made the bottom of the list, according to LendingTree, due to their expensive housing markets, while Virginia Beach has one of the highest rates of military households in the country that access mortgages from the Department of Veterans Affairs. “A curious result is that six cities in California are among the top 20 free and clear cities, despite relatively high home prices in the state,” said Kapfidze. “California’s property tax laws discourage homeowners from moving, so many have long tenures and have had the opportunity to pay down their mortgages.” Sponsored

22 American cities where $1 million goes the furthest during retirement

SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $1 million would last in over 250 cities. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News. In a new study, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees to see how many years $1 million would last in over 250 big and mid-sized US cities. Major cities in Texas have affordable housing markets and the state is home to many of the best places to live in 2018, according to US News. Salina, Kansas — 28.16 years City of Salina/Facebook Housing expenses: $6,463 Food expenses: $5,214 Healthcare expenses: $5,839 2/22 21. Brownsville, Texas — 28.30 years Roberto Galan/Shutterstock Housing expenses: $6,954 Food expenses: $5,323 Healthcare expenses: $5,576 5/22 17 (TIE). Broad Horizon./Facebook Housing expenses: $6,545 Food expenses: $5,935 Healthcare expenses: $5,720 6/22 17 (TIE). Martinsville, Virginia — 28.95 years VisitMartinsville/Facebook Housing expenses: $6, 508 Food expenses: $5,547 Healthcare expenses: $5,488 13/22 10. Conway, Arkansas — 31.28 years Housing expenses: $5,881 Food expenses: $5,226 Healthcare expenses: $5,394 20/22 3. McAllen, Texas — 33.03 years Visit McAllen/Facebook Housing expenses: $5,681 Food expenses: $5,039 Healthcare expenses: $4,646 Previous 7/22 Next

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