Recent Posts: Home Buying

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 5.

In What’s in a Preliminary Title Report? I told you about the importance of the preliminary title report/title commitment. The commitment is an important buyer “Transactional” category document (see Part 1‘s description of the four categories), because it is the prerequisite to issuance of title insurance. The title company researches the public records, and excludes […]

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 3.

Educational documents/documents you may need after closing.  Educational documents mainly are directed at the buyer/borrower, and most give information about the mortgage process. These contain info which may be useful and should be read. The loan related papers can generate questions that the loan officer should be able to answer. Documents that may be needed […]

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What Do You Need to Afford a Home?

The monthly amount necessary to acquire/own a home should be no more than around 28-30% of gross income. Include in this payment the monthly anticipated loan principle and interest, homeowners insurance, real estate taxes and association fees. To calculate that amount divide your gross income by 12, then multiply by .28 or .30.

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Where are the Highest Natural Disaster Risks?

RealtyTrac’s 2016 U.S. Natural Disaster Housing Risk Report rates counties for risks of natural hazards, such as hurricanes, wildfires, tornados, earthquakes, or floods. The 3 states whose counties had the highest risk index (high and very high) were California Florida, and Oklahoma. In those 3 states the largest counties that have the most properties at […]

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 2.

First in the analysis of documents used in residential transactions are junk documents. The documents that fit in this category are non-negotiable or provide minimal or no useful information. Most are directed at borrowers, and are acknowledge that disclosures required by law have been given by lenders. For example, that borrowers must receive a Good […]

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Paradise Valley Luxury Living at its Finest.

Our latest listing is a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, modern design and luxury. This completely remodeled one-of-a-kind, solid block home is just under 4,200 sq. ft. and has 4 bedrooms, 31/2 baths. The opened floor plan features a top-of-the-line gourmet kitchen and a see-through, glass-backed, stack stone fireplace, enjoyable from inside the great room and […]

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 1.

There are a number of documents provided to buyer/borrowers and sellers in a residential transaction in Arizona that are received before, at, and after closing. They come from various parties involved in the sale. To determine which ones should you pay attention to and which should you ignore, you need to categorize documents by placing […]

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Green Your Home With a Loan.

Fannie Mae announced HomeStyle Energy mortgage program last year, to help borrowers finance energy and water upgrades to make their home more energy efficient when buying or refinancing a home. The loan makes buyer-owners eligible to receive up to 15% of the as-completed appraised value of the home/condo to use for energy efficient upgrades. An […]

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Closing Costs – Who Pays and How Much? Part 5: Junk Fees.

A junk fee is a cost of doing business that a company tries to shift to you. Most originate from two sources: lenders and escrow companies. Look for them on the loan estimate, closing disclosure and settlement statement. Loan related junk fees may be called application fees, lock fees, processing fees, doc prep fees, admin […]

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Five More 2017 Home Trends.

In Five 2017 Home Trends, I detailed likely buyer housing wants. Here are 5 more: 1. Wellness systems. Healthful features like lighting systems that utilize sunshine (such as clerestory windows and skylights), swimming pools without chlorine, and vegetable gardens. 2. Specialized storage. Storage where it’s needed, such as reducing the size of an adjoining bedroom […]

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A Great Month to Buy.

In February, the average home sells for 6.1% less than the rest of the year, according to a recent study by real estate research firm Attom Data. One reason is that there aren’t a lot of buyers looking for homes at this time of year, but there are plenty of sellers who put their homes […]

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You Already Have A Down Payment, Part 2.

In part 1, I showed how lack of awareness of low-down-payment mortgage options can discourage potential buyers from trying to purchase a home. Historically only 5% of the purchase price is enough. And one way to get there is a government sponsored down payment assistance program, such as the AzHFA Home Plus Mortgage Program. Home […]

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How Much is Solar Worth?

Part 3.  A study conducted by appraisers between 2010 and 2013 in six states (Arizona wasn’t one of them) found that solar homes with a typically-sized system sold, on average, for around $14,000 more. With our lower than average energy costs, metro Phoenix area solar owners may not realize an equivalent value boost. But as […]

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Five Home Trends for 2017

1. Open spaces. An open floor plan may feel like old hat, but use of this layout will accelerate in both condos and single-family homes. Eliminating walls and barriers provides greater access to the kitchen – the room most buyers feel is the most important space in a home. 2. Multiple master suites. Having two […]

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Buyers Want More Bathrooms.

In the last several years, the share of new single-family homes with 3 or more full bathrooms has increased and those with less have edged downward. Census Bureau data shows 27% of new single-family homes started in 2015 had 3 full bathrooms and 10% had four or more. In the Mountain West the percentage of […]

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