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Aug 03,2007
Q: My father has had major financial difficulties throughout his life. Ten years ago, he and his wife (my stepmother) were living in a filthy motel room because that's all they could afford.I can't imagine how low their credit scores are, since he's had past issues with the IRS (his wages have always been garnished) and other creditors.He has been able to scrape by, and I helped them out by buying a house and securing ... [full story]
1860 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Q: I have few questions about property title: Is there any way one can get a copy of the title to a home in case of a loss? Is this only possible through the title company? Can someone be added to a title without the consent of all the parties that are currently in the title?A: Let's first discuss what you mean by the "title" to a property.In some cases people talk about the title ... [full story]
1942 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Tired of being pressured to raise appraised home values to help real estate loans win approval, longtime appraiser Sara Schwarzentraub is steering her business away from work with mortgage brokers. Although they're supposed to remain aloof from the sales and lending process, appraisers are struggling to keep their independence in the slowing housing market, she said. "I have seen the highs and the lows of markets," she explained. "There is always pressure, but when the ... [full story]
1760 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Changing family structures are impacting home buying preferences. Many baby boomers are now empty-nesters and are seeing their parents aging. Such factors influence decisions on the type and location of housing they now need and want. "Boomers will drive housing for at least the next 20 years," said Tim Sullivan, president of Sullivan Group Real Estate Advisors. Housing units sold to or occupied by 55-plus households will account for more than 370,000 housing starts this ... [full story]
2304 times read - No comment posted

Aug 03,2007
Rising higher by the day just south of the U.S. border, the towers known as New City would draw little notice in Manhattan or Mexico City or even nearby San Diego. But amid the small and tightly packed houses that hug the border, they're a surprising sight.   GROWING UP - The New City development in Tijuana, Mexico, proposes seven towers with swimming pools, tennis courts and an 11-foot wall surrounding the site. CNS Photo by ... [full story]
1524 times read - No comment posted

Jul 27,2007
With the troubled subprime loan industry beset by foreclosures and tightening credit, lenders and lawmakers are attempting to resurrect a 73-year-old government program to help take up the slack. Once a top choice for first-time home buyers and people with credit problems, loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration have lost their luster in recent years. During the U.S. housing boom that raged between 2000 and 2005, FHA was a minor player. That's largely because ... [full story]
3071 times read - No comment posted

Jul 27,2007
These days, the question isn't how much you need to put down in cash on a property - but how little.The answer depends on how much cash you have on hand, how big a loan you can qualify for, and how desperate the seller is.While developers have recently shown new flexibility when it comes to the size of a down payment, they still expect buyers to put down something. If you're buying off the plans, ... [full story]
2744 times read - No comment posted

Jul 27,2007
Q: I want to refinance my home and use the money to fix up my house. I'd replace my deck, add a screened porch, and either landscape the front yard or put in a laundry room.My credit score is around 800. I am 58 and plan on working until at least 62, but I will most likely need to work all the way to 65 or 66. At that point I want to sell my ... [full story]
3302 times read - No comment posted

Jul 27,2007
Q: Is it possible for a person with power of attorney over the financial matters of a person with Alzheimer's to regain title to a property that person quitclaimed to four relatives (I'm one of the relatives)?We want the patient to sell the property to have cash to pay for her care. She is not eligible for Medicare for another two years, and her financial resources are coming to an end. Although she quitclaimed the ... [full story]
2143 times read - 1 comments posted

Jul 27,2007
There's a move to require all title insurance sales agents to be properly licensed, in the interests of consumer protection. Some types of licensing laws are in place in most states. Others, like California and New York, are in the process of enacting such legislation. In California, statewide license-requirement legislation (SB 133) is sponsored by the California Land Title Association. It would require all title insurance sales representatives to register with the state Department of ... [full story]
1897 times read - No comment posted

Jul 20,2007
When it comes to shopping for a mortgage, the most important thing to remember is that the best loan for you may not be the cheapest loan you're offered, or the loan with the cheapest monthly payments.The loan you choose needs to work for your personal finance situation not only on the day you close, or for the first year, but for the entire time you plan to live in the property and keep that ... [full story]
1968 times read - No comment posted

Jul 20,2007
Q: I purchased a brand new home in Texas. I have lived in the home almost two years but I have been trying to sell it for the last year. The reason I'm trying to sell is that our subdivision has been bombarded with investor sales.We are living next to low-income housing, and the builder has put seven to 10 rental properties on some streets. Our street looks terrible right now. If I am going ... [full story]
2265 times read - No comment posted

Jul 20,2007
Smaller is better. That seems to be the opinion of home buyers and builders in today's market. In a recent survey taken by the American Institute of Architects, it was revealed that most consumer preferences call for smaller homes. The survey focused on overall home layout and use. "This is the first time in three years that respondents (AIA members) said homes were decreasing rather than increasing in size," said AIA chief economist Kermit Baker. ... [full story]
1758 times read - No comment posted

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