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Real Estate and Home

Advantages of Buying a House With Cash

by Luke Landes

The decision of whether to buy a house with cash or take out a mortgage may be one that most people never have to face. For the most part, American society is comfortable with the idea of going in debt to buy a house for two reasons. First, the value of a house is expected […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Pregnant Women Are Liabilities to Mortgage Lenders

by Luke Landes

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 […]

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