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Real Estate and Home

Is it Time to Buy a House?

by Luke Landes

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

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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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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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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Is Buying a Foreclosed Property Realistic?

by Jeff

My wife and I enjoy our apartment, but we’re preparing for the day when we can make the jump to a house. We could use the extra space, and we’re ready to get away from some of the ticky-tack regulations and rules that landlords love to use. Financially, however, our preparation is lacking. It isn’t ... Continue reading this article…

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One-Third of Home Loans are Under Water

by Luke Landes

A few years ago, a coworker formed an investment partnership in speculative real estate. He promised investors a 10 percent annual return and was using the capital to invest in Florida real estate, earning 15 to 20 percent overall. As most of the real estate had not even been inhabited or built yet, the investments ... Continue reading this article…

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House Sales Improved in June, But is the Housing Crisis Over?

by Luke Landes

“Now is a great time to buy.” That has been the advertising mantra of the National Association of Realtors regardless of the state of the housing market. The NAR certainly has a purpose; its mission and vision is clearly displayed on the organization’s website: “The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to ... Continue reading this article…

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Extending the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Credit to $15,000

by Luke Landes

Update: The first-time home buyer tax credit has been extended and expanded. Click here for the latest details. The information below is now out-dated. The Senate is considering a number of changes to the $8,000 first-time home buyers credit. Spurred on by Sen. Johnny Isakson from Georgia, the adjustments being considered seek to expand the ... Continue reading this article…

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Your House Is Not a Good Investment

by Luke Landes

The latest data show again that you shouldn’t expect to make more money from buying and selling the house you live in than you would from investing in stocks. In fact, you could do better with government-issued inflation-protected bonds. This isn’t just a result of the recent decline in home prices, 19 percent over the past ... Continue reading this article…

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HUD Wants to Let First Time Home Buyers Use $8,000 Credit for Downpayment

by Luke Landes

In February, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, otherwise known as this year’s stimulus bill. One small part of this bill allows first time home buyers (anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years) to qualify for a $8,000 tax credit. For individuals or families hoping for some ... Continue reading this article…

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