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Real Estate and Home

Is it Time to Buy a House?

by Luke Landes
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If you ask a Realtor or a national association of individuals within that profession whether now is the perfect time to buy a house, they would say yes. Of course, their answer was yes a year ago, when average prices were low, and their answer was yes a few years ago, when average prices were ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips For Buying a Rental Property

by Sasha

This is an article written by Sasha, former Consumerism Commentary staff writer. In 2007, Sasha shared her experiences with purchasing and managing residential rental properties and the lessons learned. The articles were published in a series of ten. I’ve re-edited the pieces and consolidated the great advice into one article. Looking to diversify your investments ... Continue reading this article…

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Who Really Owns Your Mortgage?

by Luke Landes

A family in New York is suing Citigroup. The bank’s mortgage servicing branch, CitiMortgage, is seeking a foreclosure claim against their house. The suit alleges that CitiMortgage does not own the mortgage, and can therefore not foreclose upon the property. The mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae. The D’Amelio family has been in default on ... Continue reading this article…

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Considering Property Taxes When House Shopping

by Luke Landes

When I get together with my father, we often talk about our plans: my plans for continuing to live in New Jersey or not and his plans to possibly move out of the state when he retires. One option he’s seriously considering is retiring to Delaware, near the ocean. He currently lives in a relatively ... Continue reading this article…

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The Incredible Shrinking House

by Luke Landes

New homes are shrinking. According to the the Census Bureau’s statistics, the median home new size in 2009 fell from 2,300 to 2,135 square feet. Are homeowners shifting away from McMansions? The market is soft. If new homes are smaller, is it a result of what consumers want or what builders can afford? Many new ... Continue reading this article…

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Qualifying for a Mortgage as a Self-Employed Individual

by Luke Landes

I mentioned recently that I’m considering buying a multifamily home in the area close to the local Ivy League university and renting out the units, and perhaps living in one unit myself. A quick search on Yahoo Real Estate reveals two are available, priced a $665,000 and $420,000. My current lease isn’t finished until July ... Continue reading this article…

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Considering Buying a Multifamily House

by Luke Landes
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I’m still a fan of the mobility and flexibility offered by renting a place to live rather than buying. I don’t know where I’ll be living in the next few years, and I wouldn’t want to deal with the expense and hassle of selling a house so soon after purchasing. Perhaps my evaluation of my ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Resale Fees

by Luke Landes

I’m adding to my list another reason I’ll (probably) never buy a condominium. Condos and townhouses often require sellers to pay a fee when sold. The fee is often a percentage of the sale price, such as 1 percent. I didn’t know about this fee when first contemplating whether I’d ever buy a condo. Unfortunately, it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Pregnant Women Are Liabilities to Mortgage Lenders

by Luke Landes
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Here’s the message conservative lenders are sending: Don’t have a baby if you want to qualify for a mortgage. On maternity leave or paternity leave, it’s common for a family’s income to drop. If income during the leave is classified as disability income, mortgages look at this income as temporary, and they often don’t consider ... Continue reading this article…

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Rich Homeowners More Likely to Walk Away From Mortgages

by Luke Landes

When it comes to walking away from a house and mortgage, wealthy homeowners are doing their part. Not only are those with a $1 million net worth or above more likely to stop payments, but they are also more likely to see their home as an investment and cut their losses. Of homeowners with a ... Continue reading this article…

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18 Year Old Buys Investment Property With Hog Money

by Luke Landes

Lindsay Binegar, now nineteen years old, has been raising hogs on her family farm in Highland County, Ohio, since she was at least four years old. That was the age at which she showed her first hog and earned $100. Since that time, Lindsey entered hogs in competitions, saving every penny she earned from these ... Continue reading this article…

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Biweekly Mortgages: Do It Yourself to Save Money

by Luke Landes

On the surface, it seems like it would make sense to enroll in a biweekly mortgage payment plan. In theory, these biweekly mortgage programs offered by lending servicing companies work by allowing you to send half of your monthly mortgage amount every two weeks. As a result, you make two “extra” biweekly payments each year, ... Continue reading this article…

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The Best Way to Invest in Real Estate

by Christian

This is a guest article by Christian of Money Obedience. If you enjoy this article, please consider subscribing to the MoneyObedience RSS feed. My parents offered a very important piece of wisdom to me: Even if everybody is doing something, you do not have to do it, too. Unfortunately I usually applied this advice to ... Continue reading this article…

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What You Need to Know Before Moving Out

by MD

This is a guest post from MD of Studenomics, a blog for twenty-somethings who want to make more money, have more fun, and get the most out of their savings. Don’t by shy, stop by and consider subscribing. You graduated from college a little while ago, finally found that first lucrative job, and now it’s ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Starts Modifying Mortgages

by Luke Landes

Earlier this month, Bank of America changed its overdraft policy in a manner that seems to benefit its customers. Those using the bank’s debit cards for purchases will no longer be able to overdraw their account, generating overdraft fees. Instead, Bank of America will simply decline the purchases. This wouldn’t affect checks and pre-authorized debits, ... Continue reading this article…

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Bank of America Seizes Parrot, Owner Sues for $50,000

by Luke Landes

Bank of America is controlling the news cycle lately. First, the bank eliminated overdraft fees for debit card purchases. Now, the bank has apologized to a woman for seizing her parrot. Back in October, Bank of America believed Angela Iannelli was defaulting on her mortgage and she had abandoned her house. The bank ordered a ... Continue reading this article…

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Scarlett Johansson’s Home For Sale at $2 Million Loss

by Luke Landes

The market for Hollywood Hills homes of the stars hasn’t been immune to the real estate downturn. Although she purchased the house for $7 million in 2007, the asking price is now $4.59 million. Judging from the photographs on CNN Money, the villa looks like a great place to live. CNN Money often profiles houses ... Continue reading this article…

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Pontiac Silverdome Sold for Less Than a House

by Luke Landes

A year ago, a group of investors offered $20 million to buy the Pontiac Silverdome, the seldom-used, dome stadium that used to be the home for the Detroit Pistons and Michigan Panthers. The deal eventually fell through. In a sign of the state of the commercial real estate market, the winning bid for the Silverdome ... Continue reading this article…

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President Obama and Congress Extend the $8,000 Home Buyers’ Credit

by Luke Landes

It’s official. Today President Obama will sign a bill into law that extends the $8,000 First Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit, recently set to expire on November 30, until April 30 next year. The tax credit, originally part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was intended to stimulate the real estate industry, ... Continue reading this article…

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Congress Plans to Extend the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit

by Luke Landes

The $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers is set to expire at the end of November, but lawmakers don’t want this benefit to end. While there have been some positive signs in the real estate market, the current credit hasn’t done much to stimulate house prices or the economy overall. All year, some senators ... Continue reading this article…

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