Appraisals and market value

What is the return on new versus previously owned homes? Buying into a new-home community may seem riskier than purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, but any increase in home value depends upon the same factors: quality of the neighborhood, growth in the local housing market and the state of the overall economy. One […]

Escrow and closing costs

How can I save on closing costs? Studies show that the closing costs, which can average 2 to 3 percent of a total home purchase price, are often more costly than many buyers expect. But there are some ways to save: Negotiate with the seller to pay all or part of the closing costs. The […]

Find the right home

What are the pros and cons of adding on or buying new? Before making a choice between adding on to an existing home or buying a larger one, consider these questions: How much money is available, either from cash reserves or through a home improvement loan, to remodel your current house? How much additional space […]


Do you have to buy HUD homes through a realty agent? You can only purchase a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development property through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker’s commission up to 6 percent of the sales price. Are foreclosures an option? A foreclosure property is a home that […]

Home Inspections & Warranties

Do I need a home inspection? Yes. Buying a home “as is” is a risky proposition. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix. How do I find a home inspector? Your realty agent is one source. But […]

Making an offer

Can you buy homes below market? While a typical buyer may look at five to 10 homes before making an offer, an investor who makes bargain buys usually goes through many more. Most experts agree it takes a lot of determination to find a real “bargain.” There are a number of ways to buy a […]

Tax Considerations

Where do I get information on IRS publications? The Internal Revenue Service publishes a number of real estate publications. They are listed by number: 521 “Moving Expenses” 523 “Selling Your Home” 527 “Residential Rental Property” 534 “Depreciation” 541 “Tax Information on Partnerships” 551 “Basis of Assets” 555 “Federal Tax Information on Community Property” 561 “Determining […]

Property Taxes

  Are taxes on second homes deductible? Mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible on a second home if you itemize. Check with your accountant or tax adviser for specifics. Do all loans require impound accounts? If you are taking out a FHA or VA loan, the lender can require an impound account to pay […]

What You Can Afford

How much does my real estate agent need to know? Real estate agents would say that the more you tell them, the better they can negotiate on your behalf. However, the degree of trust you have with an agent may depend upon their legal obligation. Agents working for buyers have three possible choices: They can […]

Working With a Real Estate Agent

Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer, rather than traditional real estate agents. Builders commonly require that an outside agent be present, and sign in, the first time a prospective purchaser visits a site before payment of commission even is discussed. […]

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