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Go Low

Posted On: 10/19/2016
Question: We recently bid on a property and offered substantially less than the seller wanted. The problem is not the house and it's really not the sale price, it's our local market. We live in an area where homes often are for sale for months if not years. One local home – a very nice...

Drone Home

Posted On: 10/12/2016
Question: Our real estate broker says he can now take a video of our home from a drone high overhead. Aren’t there rules that prohibit such flights? Answer: Drones are a widely enjoyed hobby, but when it comes to their commercial use, the government largely banned drones-for-hire until...

Calculating the Cost

Posted On: 10/05/2016
Question: We have found a number of rent-versus-buy calculators online, but even using the same information regarding down payments and rental rates they all give different results. The differences are important to us. Which calculator should we use? Answer: To make a rent-versus-buy...

Why Owning Beats Renting

Posted On: 09/28/2016
Question: I can rent for less than the cost of buying a home. Doesn’t that make renting a better housing option? Answer: In some situations, at some times and in some places, yes, but in the general case ownership has an edge. For instance, one of the perks of old age can be significant...

Why is this House Stuck on the Market?

Posted On: 09/21/2016
Question: How long should homes remain on the market? In our area we have noticed a number of houses that have been for sale for several years, some for five years and maybe longer. These homes are vacant, but they could be sold if the owners lowered the price. What is the reason to keep holding...

Making a Clean Break … of Your Lease

Posted On: 09/14/2016
Question: We are now renting a home but wish to buy another property. If we buy we will need to leave our rental before the end of the lease term. How can we avoid the loss of our deposit? Answer: A lease can be seen as a contract. In exchange for the right to use a property for a given...

Goodbye, Mortgage Insurance

Posted On: 09/07/2016
Question: I financed my home with a conventional loan in 2013 and it now costs me $110 a month for mortgage insurance, a cost I want to drop. I have an 800 credit score, I’ve never had a late payment and my interest rate is now at 4.75 percent. How can I get rid of the mortgage...

Score Big

Posted On: 08/31/2016
Question: My husband and I both have solid credit scores above 800. Our mortgage lender is very happy about this, but how do we actually benefit? How much can we save? Answer: Let’s start with a mortgage application. Different loan programs have different requirements. These...

USDA Drop

Posted On: 08/24/2016
Question: Last year the FHA lowered its annual insurance premium. Is there any chance the USDA might do the same with their rural home loans? Answer: Yes. In a move that will save new borrowers big money, the USDA is reducing both the upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums for its...

Sold or Not Sold?

Posted On: 08/17/2016
Question: We have received a postcard from a local real estate broker saying that the home next door was sold in just a few days. However, there’s no “sold” sign in front of the property. We’d like to know if the house was sold and for how much. Answer: It used to be...
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