How can owning a home pay off at tax time? A home provides many tax benefits, literally from the time you buy to the time you sell. The mortgage interest paid on a home loan up to $1 million for a primary residence or second...
Should I hire a home inspector for a new home? You would think not since it is new and the developer has to adhere to local construction guidelines. However, err on the side of caution – always hire an inspector, whether the home is old...
Can you negotiate the price of a new home? In real estate, almost everything is negotiable, so it is certainly worth a try. Now, this does not mean the builder will fall down and roll over. It is very common for builders to claim that...
Should I buy a vacation home? The second home market has more ebbs and flows than the primary home market. Sales are iffy in a bad economy except, perhaps, on the high-end. That said, there is a growing trend toward the purchase of vacation
What does homeowners’ insurance cover? It protects against disasters – whether natural, manmade or mechanical. A standard policy insures the home, as well as your possessions. Because this insurance is packaged, it covers liability for any
What does a home inspector do? A home inspector is a paid professional – often a contractor or an engineer – who checks the safety of a home. Home inspectors search for defects or other problems that could become your worst nightmare later
How do you determine how much a home is worth? The short answer: a home is ultimately worth what is paid for it. Everything else is really an estimate of value. Take, for example, a hot seller’s market when demand for housing is high but...
What causes a foreclosure? A lender decides to foreclosure, or repossess, a property when the owner fails to pay the mortgage. Unfortunately, thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year. Many people lose their homes due to job loss,
What is an impound account? It is a special bank account held by the lender to collect monthly payments from the borrower to pay property taxes, mortgage insurance, and hazard insurance. These accounts also are called escrow or reserve acco
What contingencies should appear in the offer? When you look to purchase a home, anticipate potential problems. But protect against them so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. This is what contingen
What is a condominium? Condominiums are buildings in which individuals separately own the air space inside the interior walls, floors and ceilings of their unit, but they jointly own an interest in the common areas that they share – such as
What are co-ops? Cooperative apartments – known as co-ops – are not really owned by people as real property. Instead, people own shares of stock in the company that owns the building in which they live. But for all practical purposes, the e
What are closing costs? Closing, or settlement, costs are expenses over and above the price of the property. Both the buyer and seller incur some of these expenses when transferring ownership of a property. Who actually pays, however, often
What are the advantages of owning a home? There are many. Among the most appealing: you own it, which gives you, instead of a landlord, control of your living space. Other benefits stem from potential tax savings and the build up of equity