|When Should Homebuyers Jump In?|
Investors who time any market hope to buy at the nadir and sell at the zenith, but homebuyers have a trickier time knowing when to sit on the sidelines and when to jump in. The reason? There are several.
Buying a home is one of the largest financial investments a homebuyer will make. Transaction costs are expensive enough that homeowners remain in their homes approximately six years before trading up or down. As the recent buyer's market shows, homes aren't liquid, and may not find buyers at the price and in the time frame that sellers prefer.
|Mortgage Rates |
U.S. averages as of June 28, 2007:
30 yr. fixed: 6.67%
15 yr. fixed: 6.34%
1 yr. adj: 5.65%
<!-- <B>30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%</B>-->
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On the other hand, homeownership provides significant benefits including property rights, tax benefits and other government subsidies including support for a mortgage lending market, quality of
What Your Homeowners Insurance Does, Doesn't Cover
A standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover what you think it does -- not flood or earthquake damage, not stolen or damaged vehicles on your property, not a break in the water service or sewage line and not termites moving in nor pets stolen away.
Many homeowners are under the mistaken impression that a standard homeowners policy provides more insurance protection than it does and that could mean large unexpected out of pocket expenses -- when you can least afford them.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an organization of state insurance regulators, found that 33 percent of U.S. heads of household still hold the false belief that flood damage is covered by a standard homeowners policy -- despite extensive post-Hurricane Katrina news coverage of scores of homeowners with claims turned down because they didn't have the required flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. CONTINUED >>>
Avoiding 7 Costly Mistakes
of Selling Your Home
There are inappropriate steps sellers can take when it comes time to put their house on the market.
For instance, the seller in Virginia, who thought the half bath the builder had located at the front of the house would really be better situated toward the back of the main level (though all the other similar models had the powder room in the same place for the previous 20 years). He got hung up on this detail so much, that he just had to move it -- and did -- for thousands of dollars, just so he could get it on the market the "right way." His hang-up may have settled some deep-seated emotional need for him, but it didn't draw any more buyers, and it drained his bottom line. You might say, that was a costly mistake.
Real estate broker and author Sid Davis has identified in his book, "A Survival Guide to Selling a Home," seven costly mistakes that many sellers make when it comes time to put their home on the market. In my business, I've seen each one of these mistakes played out and it just makes me shake my head as to why sellers forge ahead with unwise strategies, instead of listening to the voice of an experienced professional.
Mistake 1: Putting the home on the market before it's ready. Most times this happens because the seller gets impatient or is a procrastinator and has CONTINUED >>>
Feds Say Current Disclosures Muddy Mortgage Morass
It's not that too much or too little is disclosed about home loans.
It's that the disclosures themselves need a disclosure form alerting consumers to the fact they are old, outdated and not very revealing.
That irony recently appeared on the front lines of the war against predatory lending when the Federal Trade Commission released a report, "Improving Consumer Mortgage Disclosures -- An Empirical Assessment of Current and Prototype Disclosure Forms".
In plain language, the report says today's outdated mortgage disclosure forms fail to convey key mortgage costs and terms to most consumers.
"Mortgage disclosures designed more than 30 years ago can be confusing even for simple loans, and they do not address the variety and complexity of today's mortgage products," according
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