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Aug 31,2007
There's an old saying in the manufacturing industry that when a single person loses a job, three other people lose their jobs.The so-called ripple effect has been noticed most recently in the auto industry. Detroit has had some tough times lately, and the whole state of Michigan has suffered.But the month of August is turning into a black cloud over the mortgage industry's head, as layoffs have begun to rival some of the auto industry ... [full story]
1123 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Q: I own a rental condo and want to transfer it into a limited liability company (LLC). I will be the only member of the LLC. Is this a good idea and will the property be better protected while in the LLC rather than in my name personally?Also, after setting up the LLC, how would I transfer the condo property into the LLC?A: You've asked some good questions. If you own property in your own ... [full story]
1295 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Fixed mortgage rates fell sharply this week, with the average conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate falling to 6.43 percent. This is the lowest since May 23, 2007. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.32 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing slid to 6.13 percent. Unfortunately for mortgage shoppers in higher-cost housing markets, the average rate for ... [full story]
1779 times read - No comment posted

Aug 31,2007
Fractional ownership of vacation homes is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the current real estate market. It accounted for about $1.5 billion in sales during 2005 in the United States alone. Sales have continued to grow. Having a fractional ownership of a vacation home simply means you are sharing total ownership with other owners. Typically, there are four to 12 owners of a single property, allowing individual owners or their guests to ... [full story]
2142 times read - No comment posted

Aug 24,2007
An increasing number of homes and other real estate properties in the United States are being purchased by buyers from outside the United States. Most purchase offers from foreigners are legitimate, but some are scams. Sellers should beware of possible problems with international transactions. Many properties being acquired by foreigners this year involve the purchase of second - or vacation - homes, according to the "2007 Profile of International Home Buying Activity" prepared by the ... [full story]
2261 times read - No comment posted

Aug 17,2007
Q: A friend and I bought a house together three years ago. We each own 50 percent of the property and are listed as equal owners on the title.My friend is now moving out of town, but my boyfriend and I would like to stay in the house for another two years.The house has risen in value by $75,000 since we bought it. I cannot simply buy her out at the current value of the ... [full story]
1416 times read - No comment posted

Aug 17,2007
Q: I currently own a single home, and plan to sell it to my sister before buying another one. I bought it seven years ago for $500,000 and the current estimated market value for the house is about $850,000. But I want to sell it to my sister for only $600,000.Do I have to pay tax on the difference between the actual market value and the price I sell the home to my sister?I still ... [full story]
963 times read - No comment posted

Aug 17,2007
One of the most sensitive and fraud-prone elements in home sales is the appraisal, the professional determination of a property's current market value. Only too often, the independent appraiser hired by a mortgage lender isn't independent at all. If he doesn't come up with figures the lender wants, his appraisal assignments from that lender are ended. This is a strong motivation to give in to the lender's demands. The system is structured so that the ... [full story]
1647 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Matt and Paula recently moved out of their house so they could start their renovation project. They're adding on a three-story addition and renovating some of the existing space in the house.When they found a house across the street to rent, they were ecstatic. Their neighbor had bought a new house several months earlier and was willing to rent them his house for $2,400 per month, for anywhere from six to 12 months.The terms were ... [full story]
1638 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
Q: I currently own a single home, and plan to sell it to my sister before buying another one. I bought it seven years ago for $500,000 and the current estimated market value for the house is about $850,000. But I want to sell it to my sister for only $600,000.Do I have to pay tax on the difference between the actual market value and the price I sell the home to my sister?I still ... [full story]
1482 times read - No comment posted

Aug 10,2007
A couple of years ago, condominiums were among the hottest-selling niches in the supercharged real estate market. Today, condo sales are sluggish, prices have leveled out or are dropping in many markets, and inventories are growing dramatically. Those factors can be good news for prospective buyers of condos. They now have far more units to choose from than were available a year or two ago, prices are dropping to more realistic levels in many markets, ... [full story]
2131 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Mortgage rates were mostly lower, with the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate now 6.71 percent. According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large lenders, the average 30-year fixed mortgage has an average of 0.27 discount and origination points. The average 15-year fixed rate mortgage popular for refinancing pulled back to 6.38 percent. On larger loans, the average jumbo 30-year fixed rate jumped to 7.13 percent. Adjustable rate mortgages were lower, with the average 5/1 ARM ... [full story]
2048 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
It's so easy to shop online for just about anything these days. You can use Google Products, Yahoo or any number of other shopping search engines to find everything from recliners to shoes, airlines tickets to t-shirts.More than 85 percent of home buyers start their search for a house online as well. The only problem is that things on the Internet are not always what they seem.That's not such a big deal when it comes ... [full story]
1408 times read - No comment posted



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