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Fair and Square

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Posted On: 04/21/2010

QUESTION:

We want to sublease some office space. When our broker asked the property owner about the square footage, the owner said our measure was “about” right, not absolutely right. We don’t want to overcharge a sub-tenant. How can we rent the space without knowing the exact square footage?

ANSWER:

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Your commercial broker most likely knows an architect who can provide a proper measurement. But the easier solution is to rent the space for a given amount and not on the basis of square feet. Just say the space known as Suite 714 is for rent at X dollars per month.

Question:

With so many banks going under, how can I tell if my money is federally insured?

Answer:

You need to visit EDIE The Estimator, a program set up by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to help consumers determine if they’re fully covered by government insurance. To check your accounts go to: https://www.fdic.gov/edie/

Question:

We’re running into financial difficulties. Is it better to make mortgage payments or credit card payments?

Answer:

It’s better to make both. To me, you always want to pay your mortgage, but this conventional view seems to be on the way out. Recent studies by TransUnion and FICO both say delinquency rates for mortgages now top credit cards, evidence of an historic change in consumer thinking.

Why is the happening? Three reasons come to mind: First, credit cards can be quickly cut off while it might take months to lose a home. Second, there are no government modification programs for credit cards. Third, many homeowners wonder if the value of their real estate will ever recover in hard-hit foreclosure centers. A small percentage are electing to walk away from their mortgages even if they can afford the payments.

© CTW Features

Peter G. Miller is the author of The Common-Sense Mortgage and a veteran real estate columnist. Have a question? Please write to peter@ctwfeatures.com.

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