Should You Buy That Short Sale Home?

If you’re in the market for a new house, you may already know that purchasing from a standard seller isn’t your only option. Many homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments and end up forced to sell the house for less than it’s worth.

This can be devastating for the fledgling homeowners, but it presents a unique buying opportunity for you. A short sale in particular is a common type of transaction that allows a homeowner to avoid foreclosure while also giving a buyer a great deal on a valuable home.

If you’re considering a short sale, these tips will help you have the best experience possible.

Remember the Home Inspection!

A home inspection occurs before a home is sold in order to examine the condition of the home and identify any problems. While a home inspection doesn’t cover every single source of potential issues, it does allow for a visual evaluation of a property from top to bottom, including all main systems. The most important items include structural components, exterior features, the roof, plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and insulation and ventilation.

You want to tag along for any short sale home inspection so that you can learn about any problems and gain a realistic understanding of what it might cost to fix everything. If termites, mold, or structural damage are common in your area, it is also a good idea to hire a specialized inspector to check for those more expensive problems. Once you have all of the facts, you can make an informed decision. Continue reading “Should You Buy That Short Sale Home?”

What Happens To Your Family Home After a Divorce?

Most people associate divorce with the emotional implications of separating from a partner or splitting a family, but there are financial implications to consider as well. How are assets split? How much spousal support needs to be paid? And, most importantly, what happens to the family home?

This is a difficult question that often causes conflict in divorce proceedings. Here’s what you should know about the guidelines regarding home ownership options during a divorce.

Option 1: Select One Spouse to Keep the Home

Some divorces are surprisingly friendly. If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can agree together on just one of you keeping the house, you can begin to make the many arrangements required for that plan to become a reality.

You will need to begin with an appraisal – or three. By ordering three appraisals, you can fairly determine the value of the home. Then, it’s a matter of determining if you can afford the property, buy out your ex, and refinance the property in just your name. Don’t forget to consider property tax and insurance payments in addition to the mortgage itself. Continue reading “What Happens To Your Family Home After a Divorce?”

3 Steps to a Smooth Home Closing

The process of purchasing a home is exciting yet stressful. To enjoy a smooth and successful buying experience, it’s helpful to plan ahead for every part of the purchasing process.

Closing, also known as settlement, is the final hurdle before your new home officially becomes yours. It requires a meeting between the home sellers, buyers, and lawyers in order to sign documents that transfer property ownership. It is also the time to pay closing costs and escrow payments. These tips will help you enjoy a simple and stress-free closing on your new home.

Keep A List and Check It Twice

Since there are countless steps that must occur before closing day, such as a title search, home inspection, and document approval, and each component needs to be confirmed and approved before closing day arrives. Something as simple as one single missing document can delay or even cancel a closing, so cross every task off your list twice.

This includes reviewing loan documents in advance. You have the legal right to review your closing settlement statement at least one day before closing, which gives you the chance to ensure your settlement matches the good faith estimate you received at the start of the loan. If you will need to sign it on closing day, it’s wise to read it the day before and ensure that everything meets your expectations. Continue reading “3 Steps to a Smooth Home Closing”

How You Know If a Debt Collector is Harassing You

Debt is easily created, but not easily remedied. Medical bills, college loans, and credit card bills hang over the majority of Americans like a black cloud. If you’re in debt but struggling to pay your bills, you’re probably already receiving calls from debt collections. These creditors are required to stay within the legal limits of debt collection, but if they become to aggressive it is considered creditor harassment, and you have legal means to put a stop to it.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The FDCPA regulates the behavior of debt collectors in order to protect customers in precarious financial situations. Under FDCPA rules, a debt collector must identify himself during every phone call, notify you that you’re speaking with a debt collector for the purpose of collecting money, provide the name and address of the original creditor, and provide verification of the debt if requested. Continue reading “How You Know If a Debt Collector is Harassing You”

Don’t Make These Mistakes After Your Auto Accident

The minutes and days after a car accident are stressful, chaotic, and surreal. You may not be thinking clearly or realizing the full implications of your actions, but it’s important to act with purpose. The decisions that you make following your auto accident with largely influence your ability to pursue compensation for the damages you experience. Above all else, avoid the following mistakes.

Mistake #1: Being Too Active on Social Media

If you are involved in an insurance claim or lawsuit relating to an auto accident, chances are that your social media accounts will be combed for any signs of dishonesty or inconsistency. Even a neutral post has the potential to be manipulated into proof against your injuries, so it’s best to simply stop using social media while your case is pending. Continue reading “Don’t Make These Mistakes After Your Auto Accident”