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Debt-to-Income Ratio Affects Approval & the Interest Rate

Debt-to-Income ratio is a tool that lenders use to qualify buyers for a mortgage and is an important factor in determining loan approval. It provides an indication of the amount of debt that a potential borrower is obligated to in relation to how much income they have. Total monthly debts are determined by adding the normal and recurring monthly debt payments such as monthly housing costs, car payments, minimum credit card payments, personal loan payments, …

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Buyer’s Closing Costs

Ideally, each party will pay their own closing costs associated with the purchase and the sale of a home, but they can be negotiable based on lender requirements and market conditions. The fees are usually paid at the settlement and will be itemized on the closing statement. Buyers should be aware of them before contracting for a home. If a mortgage is involved, the lender will want to verify that the borrower has ample funds …

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Where Did the Assumptions Go?

Mortgage assumptions have not been a practical matter for the last 30 years because mortgage rates have been on a steady decline. Even if the seller had a rate lower than the current rate, the new purchaser must qualify to assume the loan. In the case of conventional loans, the lender has the right to increase the rate to the current rate which neutralizes the reason for assuming the loan. This change took place in …

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Vacation Home Sales Up 44%

Vacation home sales are up 44% year-over-year according to the National Association of REALTORS® based on sales during the July to September period. Not only are the number of units up, but they are also selling faster than in previous years. On a national basis, 72% of existing vacation homes closed in October were on the market for less than one month. The increased desirability and affordability of vacation homes, according to the National Association …

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Home Inspections

A home inspector is another key professional involved in a real estate transaction. Many times, the sales contract will have a provision that allows the purchaser to have inspections made to discover issues that are not readily apparent or have not been disclosed by the seller. It is important to have a qualified individual perform the inspection. Regardless of whether a license is required, buyers should ask about the inspector’s experience, training, years in business …

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First Things First

If you are making a particular meal for the first time, it is essential to have a recipe so that it turns out the way it should. Knowing the ingredients and preparation can guide you through the process. Buying a home is really no different than making a new recipe. There are certain things that need to be done, many of which should occur in a particular order to save time, money, effort and disappointment. …

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More Time at Home

We are all spending more time at home and will probably need to continue to do so for a while longer. Depending on the makeup of your family, your home is now a home office, a gym, a virtual classroom and considerably more meals have been prepared in your kitchens in the past six months than normal. Some businesses have undergone a metamorphosis that has shown them that maybe they do not need the big …

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Moving “Down” in an “Up” Market

Selling a home and buying a lower priced home that meets your current needs can be to your advantage in an “Up” market like the current one with low inventory. The advantage is that you can maximize the price for the home you’re selling and not have to reinvest it all in your replacement. Just to illustrate the point, let’s say there is a 10% premium in the sales price of a home currently. If …

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Cutting Your Housing Costs in Half

Cutting the price will generally bring buyers of anything out of the woodwork that were not serious before. Some renters could easily lower their monthly cost of housing by half or more by purchasing a home with all the financial benefits that come with it. The most obvious thing in today’s market is that the mortgage payment could be less than the rent the tenants are paying. With mortgage rates hovering around 3%, this is …

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Some Mortgage Interest May Not be Deductible

Banks are concerned about making loans that will be repaid not about making loans that are tax deductible for homeowners. It is good business for the bank but how is the homeowner supposed to know? Most homeowners and potential homeowners are aware there are tax benefits associated with ownership. For instance, mortgage interest and property taxes have been deductible expenses from federal income tax since it was enacted in 1913. The current law provides that …

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