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Real Estate and Home

Should You Walk Away From a House and Mortgage?

by Luke Landes

In the real estate boom, many homebuyers extended themselves financially to buy a house that may have been beyond their means. With the exuberant market, people were encouraged to buy with low introductory interest rates and interest-only loans, the belief that their income would increase to meet their payments, predictions that real estate prices would ... Continue reading this article…

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Obama Sends $75 Billion to Homeowners in Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

If real estate is truly the root of the economic recession, then this new proposal from President Obama should help. The plan calls for $75 billion to help 9 million homeowners who can no longer afford their monthly mortgage payments and are at risk for foreclosure. Here is how this plan would help. If you ... Continue reading this article…

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Is Your Home an Asset or Liability?

by Luke Landes

When is your house a liability? Does the fact that you have a mortgage make your house a liability? Or do you have to owe more than the house is worth? What is a liability, anyway? Well, it depends. Looking at your house from a financial perspective, which you should do because if you’re like ... Continue reading this article…

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Housing Market Crash Predicted in 2003

by Luke Landes

In 2003, John Talbott predicted the housing market crash, in a way. It’s true that when the real estate market is exuberantly celebrating an uncharacteristic increase in home prices, you can predict a crash and just wait for it to come true. Here’s what Talbott, a former Vice President at Goldman Sachs and author of ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate Amendment to 2009 Stimulus Bill: $15,000 Tax Credit for Homebuyers

by Luke Landes

This text refers to the original $15,000 tax credit amendment for all homebuyers which has now been superseded. The tax credit is now $8,000 and is available for people who purchase a house between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009. Here is how to claim the $8,000 home buyer tax credit on your 2008 ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate Amendment to 2009 Stimulus Bill: First-Time Home Buyer Credit

by Luke Landes

This text refers to the original amendment to the stimulus bill, which has now been superseded in the final law. The first-time home buyer tax credit is now $8,000 and is available for people who purchase a house between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009. Here is how to claim the $8,000 home buyer ... Continue reading this article…

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Senate Amendment to 2009 Stimulus Bill: 4% Fixed-Rate Mortgage

by Luke Landes

Updated March 20, 2009: The stimulus bill is now a law. Read our roundup of the many ways you can benefit. Without any Republican support, the 2009 stimulus package pushed by President Obama passed the House of Representatives. The bill is now making its way through the Senate, and it won’t come up for a ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a House in Any Market Condition

by Luke Landes

When you sell one house and buy another, the overall market conditions don’t matter as much. Unless the two houses involved are in areas with drastically different market conditions, you are exposed to the buy side and the sell side at roughly the same time. Whether it’s a “buyers’ market” or a “sellers’ market,” you ... Continue reading this article…

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Why I Will (Probably) Never Buy a Condominium

by Luke Landes

The “condominium” (or “condo” for short) is generally seen as the missing link between renting an apartment and owning land with a house. Commonly, at least in my experience, a condominium is an apartment building in which the units are individually owned but the common spaces are jointly owned by all individual owners. There is ... Continue reading this article…

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Home Improvement Cost vs. Value (2007)

by Smithee

As first-time homeowners, we watch more than our share of DIY Network / HGTV / buying and selling home shows. My wife and I work as a team: she concentrates on making home improvements, and I’m concerned with making sure things don’t fall apart. I also worry sometimes that any project we undertake might be ... Continue reading this article…

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Inspect Your Home Inspector

by Guest Author

This article was written for Consumerism Commentary by Antelope, an entertainment lighting designer working hard to achieve financial security. In the last year, my wife and I have sold a house in one city, and bought and sold another house in another city. After a bad experience with a home inspector when we were buying ... Continue reading this article…

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Good News if You’re in the Market for Buying a House

by Luke Landes

Earlier this week, a few real estate market survey results were announced in the media. This could be good news for house shoppers. In January, prices of homes on average were 11 percent lower than prices of homes at the same time last year. These results are based on the S&P Case/Shiller index, which collects actual ... Continue reading this article…

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How I Evaluated and Declined a Recent Rental Property Investment

by Sasha

As my partner and I are active landlords and property investors, it’s no surprise that people approach us with real estate offers. Sometimes they’re great deals, too – people occasionally inherit properties they want to get rid of quickly and therefore cheaply, or learn of a house at a great price that just isn’t selling. ... Continue reading this article…

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Still Believe Real Estate Values Never Go Down?

by Luke Landes

For some reason, I will never get out of my mind someone once told me shortly he purchased a house he couldn’t afford (and knew he couldn’t afford) with a risky mortgage. He said, “I’m not worrying. Real estate prices never go down.” I wasn’t about to get into an argument; he was a former ... Continue reading this article…

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Pop Star Follies Part 2: Michael Jackson’s Foreclosure

by Luke Landes

We’ve been discussing Britney Spears’ reported poor financial management strategy lately. A recent court report described her overspending and lack of investment, although this may have been a part of her spousal support strategy. She must have financial advisers on her payroll, right? There must be more to the story. Nevertheless, I’m not stepping up ... Continue reading this article…

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A Sexier Retirement: 10 Exotic, Affordable Retiree Havens

by Sasha

I’m a regular reader of this blog, Get Rich Slowly, Five Cent Nickel, Cheap Healthy Good, and a number of other blogs which encourage me to live more frugally, to save my pennies for retirement. Save, save, save, they say. And so I am. Like a squirrel storing up nuts for an endless winter, every ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 10: Utilities Can Use You Up

by Sasha

This is the last tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 10. Utilities can use you up, so be careful. Utilities can be a major issue for landlords if not set up properly. If you supply utilities to your tenants, you are generally not permitted to terminate these ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 9: Bigger Is Not Always Better

by Sasha

This is the ninth tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 9. Bigger is not always better. As your property size and square footage help to determine your tax rate, an acre or more of land really isn’t necessary. You’ll mow it (or pay to mow it) and ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 8: Stay Close to Home

by Sasha

This is the eighth tip in a 10-part series on purchasing residential rental properties based on my experience. 8. Stay close to home. In my experience, absentee landlords tend to find out about and resolve problems less quickly, which in turn can make them bigger, more expensive problems. For this and other reasons, municipalities are ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Tips for Buying a Residential Rental Property, Part 7: Look Out for Safety Issues

by Sasha

So you understand the construction of the home you are looking to purchase, including its foundation. The next step is to analyze the property from a liability standpoint, assessing potential safety concerns and budgeting to fix them as part of your initial investment. 7. Look out for safety issues. For anyone looking to purchase a ... Continue reading this article…

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