Buying the Money Pit – #10 of 10 Articles on First Time Home Buyer Mistakes

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Buying the Money Pit Buying the money pit is easy when you’re too emotional about a home purchase.  Home buyers can do this because no one buys a house they hate.  You find a home you love and go after it.  Notice the language I just used.  It is very telling.  You look at houses but you buy a home. This is not only the biggest financial purchase most of us…

Short Sales Explained

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Short sales explained in a terrific new book. Inman News is the leading source of news for the real estate industry.  I receive it’s news updates twice daily and this afternoon  there was a book review on a new book that I thought would be of great use to any home owner who is thinking of selling his home as a short sale. The book is titled “How to Use A Short Sale…

Claim Your Home Buyer Tax Credit with IRS Form 5405

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Claim Your Home Buyer Tax Credit with IRS Form 5405 On January 15th the IRS released a new form for home buyers who want to claim the tax credit when they file their taxes this year.  This is Form 5405.  Form 5405 is a revision of the previous 2009 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.  This is so that the current 2010 Home Buyer Tax Credit program is covered. I would like to…

Is the $8000 Tax Credit Causing Buyers to Overlook Even Better Short Sale Opportunities?

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There are many homes for sale with steep discounts because they are a short sale and you may find a house that is a better “fit” for you in a short sale than trying to buy a home that you really don’t love just because of the tax credit.

Real Estate Appraisal Rules Have Changed….Uh Oh

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Real estate appraisal rules have changed in major ways.  The changes are a response to the financial crisis.  It’s an effort to avoid issues in the future that created havoc. When the Home Valuation Code of Conduct went into effect by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on May 1st, appraisal protocols for mortgage loans changed. To protect consumers, loan officers, mortgage brokers and real estate agents can no longer choose appraisers….

Affordable Dumont Rocks! A Bergen County Value For Buyers

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Affordable Dumont rocks!  It truly is a Bergen County value for buyers.  I’ll explain why. Crunching numbers to analyze the real estate market has taught me a lot. Over the years, I’ve found that the relationship between the number of homes for sale and under contract is a great indicator of how the housing market is doing. When that ratio is 2:1, the housing market is strong. Ok, I know, it’s…

Beware of Short Sale Fraud

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Beware of short sale fraud.  This is a growing problem in the short sale market. There is a new thief who preys upon homeowners who must put their home on the market as a short sale. Simply put, a short sale occurs when a homeowner can no longer pay his mortgage, has no other assets and the loan amount is greater than the home is worth. As a result there…

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Are Easing Jumbo Mortgage Terms

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac buy mortgages which means that they guarantee them. Without the backing of Fannie and Freddie, mortgage lenders have to find other investors to sell their mortgage loans to and those investors charge more so interest rates are higher. Fannie and Freddie backed mortgages are called conforming; the others are called jumbo. The limit on a conforming mortgage is $417,000 but that is about to change….

The Spring Market is Accelerating

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The spring market for homes in Bergen County really feels like it’s accelerating.  Let’s check it out and see what’s truly happening. Since the beginning of March the housing market for homes in Bergen County has really picked up.  Because  we are now nearly through April, I thought that I would take a look at the MLS data.  I want to see if what I’ve been sensing is really happening. I…

New Jersey Home Buyer Profile – Who’s Buying and Why

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The New Jersey Association of Realtors publishes a report every year on the characteristics of people who buy and sell homes in New Jersey.  The National Association of Realtors has it’s own buyer and seller profile but naturally that’s on a national scale.  I prefer the New Jersey Home Buyer Profile report because it focuses on our State. New Jersey Home Buyer Profile There are some very interesting facts in…