How to Buy a House

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

There has been a lot written about the mechanics of how to buy a house. You get prequalified for a loan, then perhaps preapproved, and then you look for a home, make an offer, have inspections done and so on. Many people can help you through the process. But what if you can’t get preapproved? What if you have little income, bad credit or other serious problems that prevent you from buying a home?

Mortgage loan requirements are being toughened up again now. Once again you might even need a down payment to get a loan. A bad credit rating no longer just means paying a higher interest rate – it can actually exclude you from obtaining a mortgage loan. But there still is hope. Let’s look at how to buy a house when it doesn’t seem quite possible.

How To Buy A House With Bad Credit

To begin with, if it is a slight credit problem, you may still be able to get a traditional loan. There are several ways to do this. The first is to correct any errors on your credit report, and challenge any entries you disagree with. You have a legal right to do this. Once changes are reflected in your credit score, you may be able to apply again and get a mortgage loan.

The other way is to go to local lenders which hold their own loans. Ask around to see which ones do this. Most lenders sell the loans they make, and so these loans have to meet the requirements of the secondary market. If they keep some loans “in house” they are not necessarily bound by rules or requirements other than those they have for themselves.

You can also buy a house with another person. Many people think that this is only for married couples, but any two people can buy a home together, and the lender will look at both credit histories to determine eligibility. It can be risky to buy a house with a friend, but sometimes it works out better for both compared to renting. If you had a down payment, for example, and he had good credit, you might help each other out, and sell the home five years later to recover your down payment and the respective shares of the equity you build.

You also can look to seller financing as a way to buy when you can’t get a loan. I have seen homes sold without credit checks and with nothing down by sellers who financed the deals. The usual motivation for them to do this is to get a higher price and /or to sell a problem property, but it still can sometimes be a good opportunity for a buyer. Even if sellers don’t offer terms, if you know they own their houses free and clear you can make offers that involve making payments to them rather than getting a loan to cash them out. Make it decent offer if you want it accepted, of course.

How To Buy A House When You Have No Money

If cash is your problem, you can start by making high offers on those houses that might be sold with zero-down seller financing, as suggested above. Teaming up and buying a home with a friend who has a down payment is another possibility. There are even a few mortgage lenders out there who are still offering zero-down loans. Check around.

One way that no one seems to like much is to save the money for a down payment. This means putting off owning a home for a while, but that may be a good thing at times. For example, in some areas in 2005 it cost $600 more per month to buy a house than to rent an apartment of similar area. Suppose you could have afforded the house, but had no down payment. You could have banked the $600 you were saving by renting each month, and three years later you would have about $23,000 for a down payment. Meanwhile home prices fell.

What if your problem isn’t just a lack of cash, but also low income? Then maybe this isn’t the right time for you to buy a house. This is especially true where the cost of buying is significantly higher than the cost of renting. On the other hand, if it will cost you about the same each month to buy as to rent, try everything above to get into a home. You’ll be better off in the long run.

You might want to consider cheaper options than the usual starter homes. My first home was a mobile home on a small lot, for example. It cost less than $20,000 and I sold it for $45,000 years later. The monthly payment? $257. That certainly beat renting, and you can see that the idea some have about mobile homes not appreciating is just plain wrong (the land is where the value is, of course).

There are other ways to buy a house when your income is low and you have no money saved. If you expect your income to rise, you might look for a lease-option deal. You rent a house with an option to buy it at a set price within a set time (often a year or two). This buys you time to save money, improve your credit, and increase your income, so you can get a loan.

Buying a small lot for now is another way. Sellers of small lots may not worry about credit ratings, and they often don’t need large down payments. They know you can’t damage a piece of land as easily as a house, so they feel secure selling it with little or nothing down and they enjoy the interest they make. Your goal here is to get your finances and credit in order as you make those payments, so you can get a mortgage loan in a couple years, and put a house on the lot.

Look at all the possibilities. There is usually a way to buy a house if you keep trying.

Copyright Steve Gillman. To see a photo of the house we bought for $17,500, get a free ebook on how to buy Cheap Homes, and a free real estate investing course, visit:

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Billy T. James – Buying a House

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

In this skit, Billy gives us some hints and tips on how to buy a house.


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Is it a Good Time to Buy a House?

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

It’s a constant question now in the real estate market: Is it a good time to buy a house? Of course it is difficult to answer in an article since you may be reading this years after it is written, when conditions have changed. But whenever you find this article, the following three crucial factors are what you’ll want to look at to answer the question for yourself.

Home Values

At the moment, the first thing most people are wondering when they ask if it’s a good time to buy a house, is whether prices have finally stopped falling. Since a home is seen as an investment of sorts, we all like the idea of buying when values are rising. I am writing this in early 2009, and no, home values not only are not rising in most areas, but they don’t seem to have stopped falling.

We just bought a home anyhow, and there are several reasons why we felt comfortable doing so. The first is that prices don’t seem to be falling much in our area (Canon City, Colorado). Apart from the various foreclosures that are dragging prices down a bit, the market here is much more stable than in other parts of the country. A stable job base and the fact that prices never rose too far too fast during the “boom times” helps.

The real estate market does not act the same everywhere in the country. So to see if a bottom is near or if prices are rising, pay close attention to what is happening where you are. On the other hand, we did not buy counting on rising prices, because that is not the only determining factor. In fact, it is possible that the problems in the country will get worse and drive prices down 10% or 15% even here. So what else made us decide that for us it was a good time to buy a house?

Interest Rates

At the moment you can get fixed rate 30-year mortgage loans at about the lowest interest rate in your lifetime (no matter how old you are). Our own rate is 4.5%. That’s not a variable or “teaser rate.” It is fixed for the thirty years of the loan.

Let’s look at why this matters so much – as long as you plan to stay in the house for a while, as we do. Suppose you pass on a house that is selling for $200,000 and waited a couple years while prices fall another 10%. But suppose that at that time interest rates were up around 7.5%. You buy the house for $180,000. The payment (assuming you have a 10% down payment and borrow $162,000) is $1,132 each month for principal and interest.

But what if you had bought at $200,000 and put 10% down? Then your payment on the $180,000 loan would have been $912. That’s right, you would be paying $220 more each month if you waited and bought at the lower price. That amounts to $77,200 more that you would pay over the thirty years if you stayed in the house that long ($79,200 more in payments, but you saved $2,000 on the down payment). This demonstrates the importance of the interest rate in determining your true cost.

Personal Situation

Is it a good time to buy a house, then? That depends not only on prices and their direction, and not just on interest rates, but on where you are financially. How secure is your income? If you lost your job, could you make the house payments for six months while you looked for another? Can you count on finding another job that will provide enough income to pay for the house? Are you going to be staying in the area long enough to justify buying (renting can often make more sense if you will be moving within a few years)? These are the more difficult questions to answer, but perhaps the most important in determining if it is a good time for YOU to buy a house.

Copyright Steve Gillman. For more on whether this is a good time to Buy a House, and for a free real estate investing course and ebook on how to buy cheap homes, visit:

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Richard Schulz | Donald Trump On Buying A House

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House



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The Crazy Way to Approach Buying a House in France

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

Buying a house in France is a serious business for anyone. Whether you’re selling up lock, stock and barrel and emigrating to France permanently, or you’re lucky enough to be searching for a French holiday home, the expense is still substantial.

So why do we notice so many folks treat buying a house in France with so little thought? It’s not a pair of shoes – you can’t take it back if it doesn’t fit right!

Yet too often we hear the same horrors. Someone who has bought a French house without thinking and is now beginning to find problems. Who are these individuals? They must be doing very well to just travel France buying French property as the fancy takes them.

The mad thing is, nothing could be further from the truth. Often – in fact more often than not – these are couples putting their life savings, their whole future, into their French dream house.

And a alarming number of them haven’t got the first idea. They’ve done very little research, they don’t speak any French and they’ve sought no professional advice.

Then when things go pear-shaped they start moaning about the system, the language, the French, the agent… just about anything and everything is to blame but themselves. They treated buying a house in France like getting a lottery ticket and now they’re complaining because their one-in-a-million gamble didn’t pay off!

Now perhaps you think I’m being a bit extreme. I’m not. I know a family who you would think of as very sensible and cautious who signed an agreement to buy a French property while on vacation. They weren’t even looking for a house when they left England but they fell in love with the house.

What they were unaware of was that by the time they got back to the UK ten days later, getting out of the contract would cost them 12,000 Euros.

I can give you another example of a couple who bought a French property to live in part and turn the rest into gites. They wildly underestimated the renovation costs (because they didn’t ask) and now live in a place that needs a new roof. They can’t finish the work so they’ve only got small pensions to live off. The house is in a bad way so they can’t afford to sell and return to England either.

It’s all very concerning, really. I hear one of these stories about every other month and it’s such a pity. Now I’m not perfect, I’ve made plenty of mistakes myself living over here and renovating an old French property, but fortunately my misjudgements have been quite minor because I’ve invariably checked and double checked the costly things.

Which is, when you strip it all back to basics, all anyone needs to do.

The French property market offers a wealth of opportunities and buying a house in France is neither particularly hard nor particularly complicated. The trouble is that unless you’re French or you’ve owned French property before it IS new to you. There will be things you haven’t met before. There will be things that don’t go quite as expected.

The essential thing is to get a degree of knowledge behind you. Search online, buy a book or two, ask questions – and don’t give up until you’re happy with the answers.

France is a great place to live but it’s not dreamland and miracles don’t happen just because you want them. If you crash around blindly in the French property market you will find trouble. Do your homework wisely and buying a house in France will be a delight – which is what it should be and what I wish for everyone who is looking.

Jeff Seems is an Englishman living in France. He is author of The French Property Buyer’s Guide which is vital reading for anyone thinking of buying a house in France.

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Income, Credit & Home Loans: Buying a House : Private Mortgage House Insurance (PMI) Tips

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

Private mortgage insurance (PMI) tips & how it can determine how much house you can afford. Find out how in this video on buying a home.Expert: Brett Staggs Bio: Brett Staggs has been working in the mortgage industry for the past 6 years. He has worked for a title company, a credit reporting company, and two major banks. Filmmaker: Dana Glover


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Renting vs. Buying a home

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

The math of renting vs. buying a home. Challenging the notion that it is always better to buy.


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Gilbert Homes For Sale – Five Helpful Tips Before Buying a House

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

For most, buying a house is a dream come true. Finally, they get the chance to have their very own place.

However, buying a house is unlike buying any commodity in the store. It does not only involve picking a brand, paying for it and taking it with you. Although the concept is the same, purchasing a house can be very difficult. You have to pay attention to details and make your research about the house.

To help you acquire one of those Gilbert Homes for sale with ease check out these tips:

1. It is important that you determine your budget first. How much are you going to pay for the house? How much mortgage are you going to get? Determining your financial capacity will prevent you from checking houses you cannot afford. You can rest assured that the houses you will see are within the price range suitable for the kind of income you are generating. This will also allow you to manage the expenses better to avoid foreclosure in the future.

2. Once you have your price range, you can consult a sales agent. Having a sales agent to assist you will make your search for a house easier. They are aware of various houses on sale and they can present you with the properties that are within your budget. If you are unsure with the first house, they can immediately present a new option for you.

3. When you finally see a house that you like and within your budget, do not get too excited and close the deal. Make sure that you check the neighborhood first. Will the neighborhood provide security? How long will it take you to reach your office? How far is it from the kids’ school? Is water a problem, how about power? It is important that you know these things because these factors will help you have a more comfortable life.

4. If the location appeals to you, ask a professional to inspect the house. Many skip home inspection because they say that it is just an added expense. However, inspecting the house can save you from a lot of trouble. The inspector will check all areas of the house. He will be able to uncover any problems. You can settle this with the seller by either adjusting the price or asking him to repair it. Home inspection is applicable even to new houses. Therefore, even if it were from Gilbert Homes for sale, it would be better to have a home inspector check it.

5. Finally, finish all the paper works needed for the transfer of ownership. You do not want to have problems concerning these documents in the future.

In order to avoid having problems when you purchase a house, make sure that you know what you are buying. Check the house that you can afford. You can ask a sales agent to help you find the right house however, do not forget to check its environment and the house itself before you close the deal.

Chris Turley is an expert and professional real estate agent that will help you to find the perfect home that better fits your needs. For more information on Gilbert homes for sale, please go to

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How to Buy a House – Avoid This Mistake by Asking 9 Important Questions While Previewing Homes

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

The secret to buying a house is knowing how to prevent this big mistake. Instead of relying on feelings, you should preview all homes using a home buyer checklist.

Everybody knows that buying a house is an emotional decision and why shouldn’t it be? Experienced and first time home buyers alike can feel both elated and discouraged during the home buying process.

Admittedly, one day a home buyer may feel depressed and anxious wondering if they will ever find the right house, at the right price, in the right location.

Another day they may suddenly feel exhilarated discovering the house of their dreams and make a sudden decision without adequately inspecting their future home.

Because buying a house can certainly be emotional it is important that a buyer be armed with a practical checklist. Making decisions based on intuition alone can cause a buyer to stray off course. After all, being prepared before you preview all homes with your Realtor will help keep your search for the perfect house on track.

Have you considered what an inspection checklist should cover?

Begin your home buyer checklist by writing down the minimum requirements you expect in a new home. You can also add some of the wish list items you would like to have but are not absolute necessities.

After listing your basic necessities and your wish list items, ask yourself the following questions. By asking these questions you can more easily zero in on whether a certain house meets your expectations.

1. Which obvious items require repair or even expensive updating? Write down concerns and talk them over with your real estate agent.

2. Will the size of the house be sufficient in the years to come also? For example, if you are planning on having children will there be enough space. Another example could be a parent or family member living with you in the future. Try to anticipate your future needs.

3. Are the number of bedrooms and bathrooms sufficient? Be sure you think about other uses for bedrooms such as a home office. If you intend to start a home based business or your employer allows you to work from home you may need that extra bedroom.

4. Is this house structurally sound? Be on the look out for red flags indicating physical problems. Doors not shutting well, windows that don’t slide open or standing water around the foundation are examples. It is recommended for every home buyer to shop safe and buy smart by hiring a home inspector.

5. Are the plumbing, heating and electrical systems in working order? As you walk through each house take note of any signs of leaky faucets, plumbing leaks under sinks or in laundry facilities. Turn on overhead lights and try plugging in a small appliance. Find out if heating and air conditioning systems are working properly.

6. Ask what appliances are included with the house and check to see if all are in working order.

7. Is the yard big enough? Or perhaps you prefer no yard at all? Whatever your intention regarding yard size be sure you consider whether it is suitable.

8. Do the dimensions of the rooms accommodate your furniture? If the house is smaller, will you need to store or sell some of your current furnishings? If the rooms are larger, you may have additional expenses in order to furnish them adequately. Jot down your thoughts.

9. Will there be enough storage space? Take note of cabinet space, number of closets, and other additional areas that can be used for storage. Also be sure to discuss lack of storage and how you will manage if you buy this home.

Always bring along these three things, a tape measure, flash light, and note pad.

For ease of comparison, keep an individual home buyer checklist for each house you walk through and create a method to score each item on the list. You may give certain items higher values than others or you can give them all an equal value. Regardless, be consistent so that after you have visited several houses you can go back and analyze the scores.

Use your home buyer checklist to discuss any concerns you have with your Realtor, your greatest ally when buying a house.

Clearly this article has detailed how to avoid a big mistake home buyers make when previewing houses by being prepared with a valuable checklist. Put simply you will accomplish two things. First your Realtor can suggest possible solutions to your concerns. Second your agent will better understand what you are looking for and show you properties that may be more to your liking.

Move at your own speed when buying a house and remember to preview all homes using care and good sense.

Kate Ford at Get Your Best Mortgage Rate is today’s mortgage translator on a crusade to help homeowners save money. For tips on how to get a mortgage and avoiding mistakes while buying a house, visit Kate today.

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How to Buy a House – Use This System to Compare One Home With Another

September 2, 2010 by admin  
Filed under Buying A House

Everyone experiences this common dilemma when buying a house.

We view houses without a system in place to compare one house with another. And it can cost us.

You probably know what follows. You walk through six or seven open houses. You return home to review your notes but suddenly you are confused. You can’t remember which house you liked and which ones you didn’t.

How can you keep track of the homes?

You will find buying a house is all about comparison. Most likely, you will have already narrowed down your search to homes that are similar in price. In fact if you have been preapproved by your mortgage lender, most of the homes you preview will likely fall into a similar price range.

It is becoming clear to you that further evaluation is necessary.

In order to compare homes it is wise to have a system. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD as it is commonly called, has created its own score card. However before I go any further, I strongly suggest adding a digital camera onto your home shopping procedure.

With this in mind, your real estate agent is going to take you to see several houses based on information you have provided. To remember each house, use a camera to photograph important attributes. This way you can analyze comparable pictures.

First, take a picture of the outside of each house. Then photograph the major rooms such as living room, family room, and kitchen.

Second take photos of the yards and any extra features about each house that you like as well as dislike.

Don’t forget problem spots too.

Keep in mind that if you are systematic in your approach, you will be able to easily compare pictures of the major rooms of each house, the yards, extra features you thought were beneficial, and potential problems.

Now you need the HUD Home Buying Scorecard. Print out the pictures for each house and attach them to your score card.

Have you heard of the HUD Home Buying Scorecard? It is a home buying checklist designed to remind you of important features in each home and to score each feature with a good, average, or poor score.

Before you go on tour with your Realtor, print out or copy several HUD Scorecards so that you have one for each individual house. At the top write the address and list price for each home you are previewing.

Basically the scorecard highlights features from 4 important categories that everyone buying a house needs to consider.

Briefly the first category includes attributes from the home itself such as square feet and number of bedrooms to roof age and condition of gutters and downspouts. Score each one.

The second category compares items related to neighborhoods and includes the appearances of nearby homes and businesses, traffic conditions, pet restrictions, and garbage service.

Perhaps of most importance, local schools comprise the third section reviewing teacher to student ratios, safety standards and test scores.

Lastly, buying a house should take convenience into consideration. Rank features such as parks, shopping malls, places of worship, and hospitals.

Now use this system to analyze. Clip the pictures to corresponding scorecards. Begin evaluating the houses using the photos and scorecard criteria. You will be able to easily analyze and decide which house is best for you.

Who says buying a house has to be confusing? Good luck and happy shopping!

Always consult your real estate professional before taking pictures within a private residence.

Kate Ford, author of Get Your Best Mortgage Rate takes the confusion out of previewing homes for sale. Get more of Kate’s tips for buying a house and quickly print your home buying scorecard here.

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