Short Sales

When does foreclosure begin? Lenders will initiate foreclosure proceedings when borrowers become delinquent in their mortgage obligations, usually after three payments are missed. The lender will then notify the borrower in writing that he or she is in default. The lender can request a trustee’s sale or a judicial foreclosure, in which the property is…

Working With a Real Estate Agent

Can I use an agent for a new home? Yes, however buyers should be aware of the differences inherent in working with sales agents who are employed by the developer/builder, 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…

Selling at a Loss

Can a home seller sell a home for less than its mortgage? Yes, in some case you can sell your home for less than what you still owe on the mortgage, but this is complicated and depends on the lender. This situation is known as a “short sale.” Sometimes a lender will be willing to…

What You Can Afford

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…

Seller Financing

What is seller financing? Seller financing is when a seller helps to finance a real estate transaction by taking back a second note, or even financing the entire purchase if the seller owns the home free and clear. Usually sellers do this when a buyer has difficulty qualifying for a conventional loan or meeting the…

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…

Property Taxes For Sellers

Property Taxes For Sellers

Where can I learn more about appealing my property taxes? Contact your local tax assessor’s office to see what procedures to follow to appeal your property tax assessment. You may be able to appeal your assessment informally.  Mostly likely, however, you will have to go through a formal tax-appeal processes, which begin with an appeal…

Property Taxes

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 real…

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…

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…