The Appraisal Contingency

The appraisal of a property’s value has become a regularly used residual service by homebuyers in the real estate process. However, it can become a tool that is tossed by the wayside in a hot market — and that’s not very wise when it comes to the largest investment most consumers will ever make.

The appraisal serves various purposes in a transaction for several people. It acts as a financial compass, as it were, for everyone that has a monetary stake in the property value — the seller, the buyer, the lender, and the insurance company.


Written By: M. Anthony Carr. If you would like to continue reading, click here.


Sometimes Smaller Is Better

Keep buyers needs and wants in balance

The trend in residential construction is definitely toward bigger.
In the last 30 years, the square footage of a typical single-family house has increased by 40 percent. Yet there are some buyers looking for smaller houses. Many empty nesters are looking to downsize from houses that often exceed 4,000 square feet to ones that are 2,000 square feet or smaller.

Another segment is the first-time buyer. Typically just starting out and cash-poor, the first-timer in the new-house market wants an affordable house that will launch him or her on the road to equity.

However, while both segments want smaller, they want to have the appearance of bigger.

Written By: Al Heavens. If you would like to continue reading, click here .

Signs That You’re Ready to Buy

Figuring out whether you’re ready to buy a house — whether you’re a renter or are aiming to move up or size down — can be a daunting task. But there are signs that will indicate whether you’re ready to take the buying plunge.

If you are thinking about buying, you’re not alone. So are you ready to make the move? You might be if you:

1. Are familiar with the market. If you’ve been paying attention to how much houses are listed for in the neighborhoods you’re eyeing and have a realistic view of how much a house will cost you, you’re in good shape. But if you’re dreaming about that big corner house with no clue about it’s asking price, you may want to spend some more time becoming familiar with the market and how much houses are going for.


Written By: Michele Dawson. If you would like to continue reading, click here.

Should You Pay Discount Points?

It depends on how long you plan to keep the mortgage

“Points” are mortgage loan costs typically in association with an interest rate. One point is equal to 1 percent of the loan amount, so one point on a $200,000 loan is $2,000. It’s good to pay them, right? Or wait, it’s not good to pay them, right?
The correct answer is “yes.” It is good and it’s not good. So how do you tell?

Points are often looked upon as “prepaid interest,” hence the potential tax deductibility. If you paid points last year for your new home then you may be entitled to deduct those points from your taxable income before you send more money to Uncle Sam. Note, the tax deductibility can vary for points between purchase and refinance transactions. Points paid during a refinance are usually only deducted over the term of the mortgage. With a purchase, points may be tax deductible for the year paid.


Written By: David Reed. If you would like to continue reading, click here.