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Friday, November 07, 2014   /   by Shawn Viguerie

8 Tips for Finding Your New Home

By: G. M. Filisko

A solid game plan can help you narrow your homebuying search to find the best home for you.
 
House hunting is just like any other shopping expedition. If you identify exactly what you want and do some research, you’ll zoom in on the home you want at the best price. These eight tips will guide you through a smart homebuying process.
1. Know thyself
Understand the type of home that suits your personality. Do you prefer a new or existing home? A ranch or a multistory home? If you’re leaning toward a fixer-upper, are you truly handy, or will you need to budget for contractors?
2. Research before you look
List the features you most want in a home and identify which are necessities and which are extras. Identify three to four neighborhoods you’d like to live in based on commute time, schools, recreation, crime, and price. Then hop onto REALTOR.com to get a feel for the homes available in your price range in your favorite neigh ...

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Friday, October 24, 2014   /   by Shawn Viguerie

How to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House

By: G. M. Filisko

When you buy a fixer-upper house, you can save a ton of money, or get yourself in a financial fix.
 
Trying to decide whether to buy a fixer-upper house? Follow these seven steps, and you’ll know how much you can afford, how much to offer, and whether a fixer-upper house is right for you.
1. Decide what you can do yourself
TV remodeling shows make home improvement work look like a snap. In the real world, attempting a difficult remodeling job that you don’t know how to do will take longer than you think and can lead to less-than-professional results that won’t increase the value of your fixer-upper house. 

Do you really have the skills to do it? Some tasks, like stripping wallpaper and painting, are relatively easy. Others, like electrical work, can be dangerous when done by amateurs.


Do you really have the time and desire to do it? Can you take time off work to renovate your fixer-upper house? If not, will you be stress ...

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Friday, October 17, 2014   /   by Shawn Viguerie

5 Tips for Buying a Foreclosure

By: G. M. Filisko

Get prequalified for a loan and set aside funds, and you’ll be ready to purchase a foreclosed home.
 
When lenders take over a home through foreclosure, they want to sell it as quickly as possible. Since lenders aren't in the real estate business, they turn to real estate brokers for help marketing their properties. Buying a foreclosed home through the multiple listing service can be a bargain, but it can also be a problem-filled process. Here are five tips to help you buy smart.
1. Choose a foreclosure sale expert. Lenders rarely sell their own foreclosures directly to consumers. They list them with real estate brokers. You can work with a real estate agent who sells foreclosed homes for lenders, or have a buyer’s agent find foreclosure properties for you. To locate a foreclosure sales specialist, call local brokers and ask if they are the listing agent for any banks. 

Either way, ask the real estate professional which le ...

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Friday, October 03, 2014   /   by Shawn Viguerie

4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: August 20, 2014

By knowing how much mortgage you can handle, you can ensure that homeownership will fit in your budget.
 
Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.

Why not just take out the biggest mortgage a lender says you can have? Because your lender bases that number on a formula that doesn’t consider your current and future financial and personal goals.

Think ahead to major life events and consider how those might influence your budget. Do you want to return to school for an advanced degree? Will a new child add day care to your monthly expenses? Does a relative plan to eventually live with you and contribute to the mortgage?

Consider those lifestyle issues as you check out these four methods for estimating the amount of mortgage you can afford.
1.  Prepare a Detailed ...

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Friday, September 05, 2014   /   by Shawn Viguerie

Keep Your Home Purchase on Track

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: March 30, 2010

You’ve found your dream home. Make sure missteps don’t prevent a successful closing.
 
A home purchase isn’t complete until you make it to the closing. Until then, the transaction can fall apart for many reasons. Here are five tips for avoiding mistakes that cause a home sale to crater.
1. Be truthful on your mortgage application
You may think fudging your income a little or omitting debts when applying for a mortgage will go unnoticed. Not true. Lenders have become more diligent in verifying information on mortgage applications. If you fib, expect to be found out and denied the loan you need to fund your home purchase. Plus, intentionally lying on a mortgage application is a crime.
2. Hold off on big purchases
Lenders double-check buyers’ credit right before the closing to be sure their financial condition hasn’t weakened. If you’ve opened new credit cards, significantly increased the b ...

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