Friday, 25 April 2008


everal factors should be taken into consideration when you are looking to find the right real estate agent. This will provide a better idea of the agent’s effectiveness and the convenience of working with him or her. Here are some tips on how to find the best real estate agent for your needs.

1. Location: Is it convenient to visit the real estate agency’s office when necessary? If the office is located nearby, the agent is also more likely to know about the local area and can easily answer a potential buyer’s questions about it. It is beneficial if they have a local or toll-free telephone number as well.

2. Advertising: Look through local newspapers and real estate advertising publications to find out if the agent has many homes advertised in them. How attractive or large are the advertisements, and what sort of information do they provide about each property?

3. Person: When meeting the real estate agent, do you find this person friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, and non-pressuring? This is of importance because not only will you have to work with him or her until the contract expires, but the agent will also have an impact on potential buyers’ decisions.

4. Internet: Does the real estate agency have a web site, and is it well-designed? Are appealing photographs and thorough details displayed for each home? Also check to see if you can find properties listed with the agent on or other sites which display properties from multiple real estate agencies.

5. Promotion: Is the agent willing to offer any special promotional features to help sell your home, such as a “Talking House” transmitter or an online “virtual tour” of your home’s interior? These methods enable potential buyers to conveniently find more information about the property without having to schedule a showing or contact the agent.

6. Commission: Although the commissions charged by real estate agents do not vary greatly, even a slight difference considerably affects the cost. 1/2 percent of a $240,000 sale price produces an increase or decrease of $1,200. You will find that some realtors are willing to negotiate on this percentage.

Additionally, try asking friends who have sold (or are trying to sell) their homes as to what real estate agents they would recommend or discourage you from using. This can provide valuable information to help you find the best realtor in your area.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

With the news that Americans' percentage of equity in their homes has fallen below 50 percent, homeowners are looking for ways to increase the value of their properties. The methods that are most popular are cost-effective home improvements.

The erosion of home values has produced yet another troubling statistic. The Federal Reserve recently indicated that the percentage of equity in an average American home has slipped below the 50 percent mark for the first time since 1945. Declining home values throughout the country have sent prices in a downward spiral, and many homeowners have seen their home equity dip into negative numbers.
To help restore some home equity, many people are performing smart, cost-effective home improvements. Here are some top methods for improving the pricetag of your property:

Kitchen and bathroom renovations

If you're looking for the biggest bang for your buck, consider remodeling either your kitchen or bathroom. These tend to result in the biggest return-on-investment for homeowners. Unfortunately, they're also the costliest parts of the home to remodel. Start with simple cosmetic upgrades to these rooms, especially if you're looking to sell your home in the near future. Complete overhauls can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and will take years to recoup your investment.

Don't go overboard

Naturally, you'll want to keep your home well-maintained and problem free. If you have exposed wood on the exterior of your home that appears to be rotting, for example, replace it or wrap it with siding. Letting bad conditions deteriorate will only cost you more money in the long run.
However, when it comes to older appliances, don't upgrade unless it's absolutely necessary. Your old air conditioner might be a bit of a clunker, but if it's doing an adequate job, stick with it-especially if you're planning to sell the house in the near future. A prospective buyer won't place a premium on new appliances, so don't overspend in this area.

Be frugal with big renovations

If you'd like to make some large-scale renovations to your home, make sure that they won't hurt the long-term marketability of the property. Keep your improvements within the character of your house and neighborhood. For example, don't install a $75,000 home theater in your basement if your place is only worth $150,000. You'll never recoup the costs. Be careful that your improvements don't make your house the most expensive one in the neighborhood. It's better to be in the middle of the pack so that it's easier for you to sell.
The sharp decline in the level of home equity is both a reflection of our sagging economy and the recent housing market slump. If you need to sell your home in the short-term, consider using some of these tried and true home improvement tactics. Because the market is jittery, this is the time to make level-headed home improvement decisions. In the long run, they'll add value to your property, and dollars to your wallet.

By: Greg Mischio

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Secured Loans-Maybe A Risky Last Resort

A secured loan, or a loan where the borrowers home is held as collateral, should usually be used as a last resort when all other options have been ruled out. The reason secured finance should usually be reserved as a final option is because a secured loan is a large risk for the borrower. In the case that secured finance is unable to be repaid according to schedule, the borrower will lose his or her home.

There are quite a few borrowing options that can be pursued before secured finance is considered. Instead of a secure loan, borrowers would be well advised to first seek an unsecured loan. An unsecured loan may be more difficult to receive, because a secured loan is much less risky for the lending institution. However, an unsecured loan might be an option before a secure loan if the borrowers credit is in good standing, and if the amount of money needed is not too high. Large amounts of money will normally require a secured loan.

Rather than going the route of a secured loan, another option borrowers can consider is the use of low interest or no interest credit cards. If a borrower has a good credit rating, instead of pursuing a secure loan, he or she can carry a balance on a credit card.

Another option a borrower can consider instead of using a secure loan is financing himself or herself through money that is saved in a savings account. This is not always advisable, since it is wise to keep money saved in case of emergency. However, it may be safer for some people in the long run, because it does not pose the same risks and losses that a secure loan does.

Finally, rather than pursuing a secured loan, it is always important to ask if the secured loan is absolutely necessary. If there is any way to wait for a few months and save some or all of the money needed instead of pursuing a secure loan, it would be a good option. Also, it would save a lot of money, because a secured loan would charge interest, but saving, rather than borrowing, would not include any payments of interest.

In some cases, the borrower may review these choices and decide that he or she has absolutely no other option than to pursue a secure loan. If this is the situation, it is important that the borrower find a secured loan with a good interest rate, as the secured loan will most likely be paid over a long period of time. Also, it is wise to look for a secured finance repayment plan that is very manageable. This will give the best odds of being able to repay the secured loan in a timely manner, as well as with as little interest paid as possible.

Although a secured loan should not be the first choice for most borrowers, if the secured finance is pursued in a wise manner, it can be very helpful, especially for those lacking good credit james copper

Choosing a Mortgage Types

Choosing a mortgage loan should seem like a straightforward process..yo borrow some money from the bank for a specified amount,for maybe a period time n if you already have some money you pay it back.But however getting a loan you feel comfortable with -- one that’s flexible during good times and bad -- can be a challenge.
Mortgage loans basically fall into one of two categories: government or conventional.Government loans are normally insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or the Veteran’s Administration . Some offer lower down payments and most offer favorable terms.

Conventional loans can be either conforming or non-conforming. Conforming loans follow the guidelines set forth by the Federal National Mortgage Administration (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac). These types of loans can be either fixed or adjustable. Each is tied into a specific rate, term and limit which can vary from lender to lender. Non-conforming loans, on the other hand, do not adhere to any strict guidelines.

How do fixed-rate mortgage work? Fixed-rate mortgages retain the same APR throughout the life of the loan. However, the property tax and homeowner’s insurance, if built into the cost of the loan, may change over time. The most popular type of fixed loan is a 30-year term.

For those who prefer a shorter timeframe, a 15-year fixed mortgage may be a better option. While the amount of time it takes to repay is shorter, you can usually secure a better interest rate (.25-.50% lower than a 30-year fixed). Besides a 15- and 30-year term, fixed loans are also available in 40 and 50 year terms.

How do adjustable rate mortgages work? Unlike fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgage (ARMs) are based on shorter term securities that fluctuate upward or downward based on today’s leading indexes (e.g., Constant Maturity Treasury (CMT), London Interbank Offering Rate (LIBOR) or Treasury Bill. A margin is added on top of the index rate by the lender to calculate theinterest rate.

Because ARMs are adjustable, they go up and down at pre-set intervals during the duration of the loan. Some offer a low teaser rate to qualify potential buyers which accelerates to a higher rate thereafter. ARMs can adjust once a year, every month, or three to five years, and are typically amortized over a 30 year period. Some offer a lifetime cap which sets the maximum rate that can be charged during the life of the loan with some states having their own percentage limits.

Lower your payment with an Interest-only ARM loan Another variation of the ARM is the Interest-only adjustable rate mortgage. This loan makes it affordable for borrowers to qualify for a loan by giving them the option to pay only the interest (not the principal) for the first 3-10 years of the loan. Monthly payments are usually more affordable. Afterwards, the mortgage rate adjusts to a traditional ARM at the current indexed interest rate with new principal and interest payments calculated for the remaining term of the loan.

Example A 30-year ARM loan of $250,000 at 7.50% APR has interest-only payments for 5 years. The payment during this time would be $1,522 per month. After 5 years, the payment would increase to $1,816 per month.

Sub-prime loans Borrowers who have a low FICO® score will usually fall into the sub-prime mortgage category. As a result, they’ll qualify for a loan but at a much higher rate. Lenders may apply stiffer pre-payment penalty fees in the form of interest payments to dissuade borrowers from building up any equity in their home. Some lenders may require a “balloon” payment to pay off the remaining balance of the loan after a fixed period of time. This article i read from n i post to you all i hope it's uselfull for you..

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Bad Credit Loans: Make Your Fund Raising Easy

Your credit is your asset – the asset worth with you can secure further financial support. If your credit rating is well enough to the expected, lenders do not bother offering you with the finance required. Or if you are just falling short of the anticipated, your chance of loan securing goes dim. CCJs, IVA, defaults, bad debts, arrears, bankrupts etc., come in the category of poor credit. Through the financial vagueness, bad credit loans have shown a glittering borrowing hope for individuals having bad credit.
A research is essential to finding a company that would not rip you off. Above that, it is important to use a little bit of your common sense. If at any point in your dealing with these loan companies, you feel like something is fishy, and then discontinue the transaction. These folks should be asking for a good bit of information, but there are certain things that each legitimate company needs. If they are not asking for your financial capacity, previous employment record or your current employment status, then there is a chance you might be getting scammed. So, you need to be cautious.

For all of your money provisions, you have options of secured and unsecured. Secured form of borrowing wholly depends upon your worth placing of asset. This pledging placing procedure is almost absent when you apply for unsecured form of loan accessing. You have different range of accessing opportunities. You can apply for these loans through online and offline, though processing online is preferred.
Provisioning such loans get a little costlier to other forms of borrowings. Since you have an adverse credit, finding a lender of your choice happens to be very difficult. Nevertheless, there is a great flood of lenders out there in the money market. These lenders are going in for competing one another fiercely for their lending businesses. You can access these lenders through online too. Online processing is simple and convenient. You do not have to leave cozy comfort of your home in order to get into financial zone.

by: Carmen Cortez

Monday, 3 March 2008

Home Equity Borrowing - Keep Your Powder Dry

It's trite to say, but it's true that a person's most important financial asset is usually his or her house.
Over time it has proven a formidable weapon to increase the asset of the owner since it's both used as a shelter to live-in, and as a nearly recession proof security that, like fine wine, gets better with age.

But, and there is always a but, to succeed in amassing a net worth, one needs a minimum of discipline.
Because real estate has a tendency to follow and surpass the inflation rate it is easy to fall for the siren songs of financial institutions who offer ready and sometimes needed cash in exchange for a mortgage on the property.

Why pay exorbitant credit card interest rates when one can borrow on the equity on one's house, and pay sometimes a third of the interest that the shylocks in the credit card business charge? True, but one will not increase his or hers' net worth by piling on mortgages on the property. There will always be people who will try to entice you to live better now, to live it up and tap your equity so you can pay for the doctor, for a trip or a car, and keep your credit card credit for unscheduled expenses. It's true, it can be done and it's easy but one has to realize that a mortgage should be used for long term asset building projects, not to pay the groceries.

So be careful with your lifestyle and if you decided some time ago to invest into real estate make sure that you end up building a nice nest egg that will increase your security and not an anchor that will sink you rapidly if you lose any margin of financial maneuvers.
These are trying times in the real estate world for those who have overextended themselves. Sometimes the net worth is just not there and the financial institutions have thousand of units that are so heavily mortgaged that the owners don't see any point in continuing to pay for the cost of the loan. Those poor souls simply end up giving the lenders the keys to their homes. Sad, Sad.
But it happens all the time, and years of efforts sometime go whiff into the air and there is little precious to show for the struggle to purchase and upkeep and devote oneself to making the house a home.

So be vigilant and keep your powder dry!

By Gilles Martin
How Does a Fed Cut Affect Home Mortgage Rates?

You hear quite a bit lately that "the Fed is cutting the interest rate." Maybe you've been considering a refinance, and you're waiting to move forward till the Fed takes action again. But be smart about waiting and watching. A Fed cut doesn't directly affect long term rates (for instance a 30 year fixed mortgage), but it does impact long term mortgage rates. The problem is the impact might not have the result you've been waiting for.

Who is the Fed? Well, it's really the Federal Reserve. And when the Fed cuts rates, it usually cuts the Fed Funds Rate, which is the rate banks lend each other money. However, when the Fed lowers the Fed Funds Rate, Prime Rate, the rate banks give their best customers, usually drops as well. Ok, that's great. But what does that really mean to the average person on the street? It means that anything that has an interest rate tied to Prime is directly affected by the Feds' rate cut. Typically, these are short term loans. For instance: a credit card or a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). In general, these rates decline when the Fed lowers rates. On the flip side, a Fed rate cut means your savings will perhaps not yield as much interest and your CD (certificate of deposit) won't be at such a great rate. So, it's not all good.

Why aren't mortgages directly affected? Because mortgage rates are typically longer term rates and are influenced by buyers and sellers in the bond market. Daily movements in the bond market cause mortgage rates to change. That's why you might get a quote from a loan officer on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, your quoted interest rate has increased .125%. The Fed lowers rates to help stimulate the economy. Ultimately a healthy economy is good for the real estate market. Jesse Lehn, Senior Vice President for Mortgage Investors Group, believes, "...a liquid real estate market is beneficial for the mortgage market and that keeps rates competitive." So, when the Fed lowers rates, indirectly it can help mortgage rates, but there is no direct correlation.

Another misconception is that mortgage rate changes occur in direct relation to when a Fed rate cut happens. In actuality, most mortgage rate changes, positive or negative, occur regardless of whether the Fed is actually meeting. That's because the mortgage market anticipates what the Fed is going to do.

A good loan officer should have their finger on the pulse of the market, but again it's a gamble. Remember to have a target interest rate in mind if you want to lock a loan but are watching the market. Trying to lock an interest rate on the day the mortgage rates have reached their lowest point in a year is like trying to get a royal flush in poker. It happens, but it's not a realistic goal. It just means you were lucky. Just stick to your home financing goals and consider the big picture, and you'll be fine.

By Kristin Abouelata
Reasons Why Home Refinancing May Be for You

If you financed your home some time ago, you may have realized that interest rates have dropped significantly in the interim. In this case, it really does not make much financial sense in most circumstances to continue paying a high interest rate when you can refinance for a lower interest rate. This will allow you to take advantage of a lower monthly mortgage payment and pocket more money each month. Usually, the only good reason for not refinancing when interest rates have dropped considerably is when you know you will not remain in the home long enough for the cost of the home refinancing to be offset by the savings.

Another good reason to consider home refinancing is to take advantage of the opportunity to change from an adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed rate mortgage. In the event that you financed your home with an adjustable rate mortgage and then realized later that your APR had increased, a fixed rate mortgage can provide you with security and stability. This can be quite important if you value the security in knowing that your mortgage payment will remain the same from one month to another with no changes.
Many homeowners are also considering home refinancing as a way to fund a home improvement or in some cases to fund some other purchase or cost. In the event you have accumulated quite a bit of equity in your home since you purchased it, either through the home appreciating or through paying down the mortgage, you may wish to refinance and cash out some of the equity in order to pay for a home improvement project.
Another option would be to refinance and use the cash you obtain from cashing out your equity to pay for the purchase of a new vehicle or something else. This home refinancing option makes good financial sense when the interest rate you are able to obtain on the refinance is lower than what you would be able to obtain by obtaining a new loan to cover the cost of the purchase.

The same is also true of refinancing your home to pay for college education or medical costs. Many parents have recognized that it is far easier and cheaper to refinance their home and use the cash they receive from the equity to fund the cost of their children's educations rather than taking out a higher cost parent-student loan.
Regardless of why you choose to refinance your home, it is important to keep in mind that there are costs associated with home refinancing. These costs are usually quite similar to the closing costs you paid when you obtained your first mortgage and may include application fees, a title search, filing fees, etc. Today many lenders make it available to obtain what is known as a no-cost refinancing. This usually means that you can roll the cost of the refinance in with the new loan. If you are short on cash for closing costs, this can be a good option if you have decided that refinancing is for you.

By Alan Lim

Getting a Better Home Loan Rate - The General Tips

Home loan rates are currently lower than they have been in quite some time. The large inventory available in the housing market combined with these low interest rates have inspired many individuals to purchase a home; either their first home or to upgrade to a better home.

In order to save the most money possible on your home mortgage; however, you will need to make sure that you obtain the lowest home loan rate possible. Fortunately, today that is much easier than in the past when our parents and grandparents were purchasing homes. While they typically only had local financing options available to them, today we are able to go online and research home loan rates to find the best rate and terms to suit our needs.

Besides shopping around for the best home loan rate, it is also important to make sure that you have taken the time to have your credit in order before you actually begin the process of shopping for a home mortgage. This is a common mistake among many first time home buyers. Even if you are certain that you have made all of your payments on time and have not missed any payments at all, it is still a good idea to check your credit report at least six months before you plan to purchase a home to make sure that there are no mistakes reported on your credit report. Notices of late payments and delinquencies could result in a higher interest home loan rate on your mortgage. Ensure there are no mistakes ahead of time and be sure to correct anything that has been inaccurately reported before you apply for a mortgage.

If you happen to find something on your credit report that is inaccurate, write the credit reporting bureau and inform them of the mistake. Provide supporting documentation to prove your case such as canceled checks or receipts showing the debt was paid in full. Follow-up to be certain the derogatory item has been removed from your credit report.

When possible, try to make as large of a down payment as possible on your mortgage in order to obtain a lower interest rate. While it is possible to purchase a home with only a small percentage down payment, you will generally be considered a lower risk if you are able to make a larger down payment. This can translate to a lower home loan rate. Making a down payment of at least 20% will also help you to avoid private mortgage insurance, or PMI, which will also help you to save on your overall monthly mortgage payment.

Also, it is important to be sure you understand the difference between the different mortgage loan options. An adjustable rate mortgage will typically offer you a lower home loan rate than a fixed rate mortgage. An adjustable rate mortgage is subject to fluctuation over the term of your mortgage; however, so it is important to keep this in mind when choosing which mortgage option will best suit you.

By Alan Lim

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Buying Your First Home - A Guide for the Beginner

Becoming a first-time home buyer is a tremendous step in life. The sense of personal accomplishment, pride, satisfaction, and joy is irreplaceable. It is not without it's challenges, though. Because of the huge number of options available to you as a potential buyer, you need to take the time to become familiar with an overview of the buying process, the terminology used, and how to best approach buying your first home.
My strong suggestion to you as a first-time home buyer would be to seek competent, professional financial guidance. It is relatively inexpensive, and could save you from making a costly mistake. Buying a home is not right for everyone. Even if it is a good choice for your financial future, you may need to take the time to save money for a down payment, or to fix any issues with your credit. Be patient, and make your preparations carefully...
Below is a list outlining the buying process. Review it to become familiar with the steps involved. Oh, and one last, very important bit of information before you get started...Everything, and I do mean everything, in real estate is negotiable. Repeat that over and over to yourself and never forget, everything is negotiable...


After making the commitment to buy a home and getting your finances in order, it is time to speak with a professional in the mortgage business. Ask your friends and family for referrals. Take the time to ask questions and get familiar with the basic terminology used, plus to discover any pitfalls. The terms of your mortgage will have a lasting affect on your financial well-being, so make sure you fully understand what you are being offered. Ultimately, you want to become pre-qualified for a reasonable, affordable amount of money with which you can purchase a home.

I personally recommend speaking to at least three mortgage brokers or banks to get your best deal. Also, I would avoid having your credit run during this process until you are ready for the next step. Most good mortgage brokers should be able to estimate your buying power from a short interview.


Prior to beginning an in-depth search for a home, I would suggest going beyond pre-qualification and getting fully pre-approved. In this step, the mortgage lender will take a detailed look at your credit, finances, income, and other factors to solidify the amount of money available to you for a home. The primary difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval is you are shopping for a mortgage lender and getting educated about the loan products available during pre-qualification, but you have decided to commit to a lender and submit to the complete application process during pre-approval.

List of Needs & Wants

Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

Representation by a Professional

It is very important that you can communicate clearly, honestly, and openly with any person who will directly affect your decision-making process. I know it is better to work with a real estate professional because of personal experience, plus feedback I constantly receive from clients and customers, so I highly recommend carefully choosing a representative to help you complete this important transaction.
A quick word about buyer representation. In a great majority of situations (95%+), a buyer's agent is compensated out of the seller's equity. In plain English, this means unless your agent requires a small administration fee for services, you will not be responsible for compensating your agent at all for their services. It is very important you fully discuss this with your Realtor®, as there are simple contracts available that will put this information in writing and help protect your interests should a dispute arise.
Also, just to anticipate and answer a question you may have on this topic, these costs are not passed back to the buyer through the sales price of the home. The reason for this is because the market, combined with a ready, willing, and able buyer sets the price for the home. The seller decides on an asking price, and may have a bottom line price, but you as the buyer ultimately decide what the home is worth. So, get a good Realtor®, study the market thoroughly, and make a fair offer based upon the comparable homes in the market. If the seller decides to accept your offer, you will have purchased the home at a fair price, and not one inflated to pay for the seller's costs or Realtor® fees.

Meeting with your Real Estate Agent

Come to the first meeting with your agent with an open mind and lots of questions. You should be doing a majority of the talking and your agent listening to gather all of the information necessary to help you find your ideal home. Make sure you share your list of wants and needs, plus the information you learned from the mortgage broker. Your agent should be taking notes and reiterating accurately whatever is discussed.

I want to talk briefly about the importance of effective communication with your real estate agent. Buying a home should ultimately be a fun, rewarding, educational, exciting experience. It will not be free from challenge, though. You will at times find yourself frustrated, discouraged, and confused. This is completely normal, especially considering the magnitude of the transaction. Your Realtor® needs to know this information, both good and bad. Without knowledge of your feelings and concerns, the usefulness of your agent can be nullified. Make sure you are comfortable enough with your Realtor® to tell them 'no', or to be completely honest with your needs and wants. Make sure your communication is effective by listening to what your agent says and ensuring it is what you are expressing.

Focus & Organization

In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:

1. One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest highlighted.

2. A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper.

3. Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.

4. A camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings.

5. Location: It can be beneficial to look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive (shopping, parks, freeway access) and negative (abandoned properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?

Visualize the House Empty & With Your Decor

Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light? Will the home require any updating? Are the mechanicals in good shape? What about the roof? Try to keep accurate notes on both your feelings regarding the home, plus objective features that may or may not be positive. Keep in mind that it is always an option to ask the seller to gives allowances for updates or changes as part of the negotiation process, or to make the changes yourself for the right home.

Be Objective

Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

It is important to know your personal strengths and weakness in the home buying process. Some people love the thrill of the hunt and seeing lots of homes looking for a positive feeling, while others are just interested in the facts and objective features the home offers. Some people are a combination of the two. Whatever your style or technique happens to be when searching for your new home, you must be honest with yourself and emphasize your strengths while seeking help with your weaknesses.

I recommend in the initial phases of the home buying process that you try to keep your time in any home you view short and focused on finding positive first impressions. There really is a difference between finding a house and discovering your new home and I believe emotion and feeling plays a role in the process, but don't let emotions cloud your judgment. Be relaxed and aware of your emotions in this initial phase.

Once you have narrowed your choices and become comfortable with the buying process, it is time to schedule second showings and to put on your objective hat. Now you are looking at the details from an investment standpoint, a functionality perspective, and determining whether or not there are any faults that would negate the viability of the home. It is here your Realtor® can be invaluable. Use your Realtor®'s experience and knowledge to help you step back and look at the home through the eyes of an investor. You may be surprised at what you find!

Make an Offer

Once all of the research is complete and you are certain you have found your new home, it is time to put together an offer. Again, the competent guidance of your Realtor® is critical at this point. Together, you must determine a fair amount of money to offer for the home, plus you must complete an accurate, comprehensive, legally-binding Sales and Purchase Agreement. Any mistake, error, or omission at this stage can become very costly in both dollars and emotions later. If you are at all uncertain or uncomfortable, seek professional legal advice before you sign any agreement.

A word about market perceptions. Today, we hear constant talk about it being a "buyer's market". What does that mean to you on the buyer's side of the transaction? I wish it meant that you could offer 15-20% below the asking price of the home and the seller would gladly accept, but that is rarely the case. Very simply, we find ourselves in a buyer's market due to an over-supply of homes and a lack of qualified, motivated buyers. It will affect prices in most areas, but the adjustment will be more in the neighborhood of 1-3%, if anything.

That being the case, what are the advantages of being in a buyer's market? Let me just name a few and you should be able to see many others. Besides the possibility of a reasonable savings on price, sellers are more willing to provide allowances for closing costs, updates, or other incentives to get you to purchase their home. In addition, you have a tremendous variety of homes from which to choose. Plus, fierce competition for the best homes is reduced, thus allowing you a greater chance of not paying an inflated price for the home of your dreams. When you hear talk that we are in a buyer's market, just imagine yourself in the seller's shoes...Most people are not going to give away their home for less than a fair market price, so look to negotiate other benefits from the deal.

Be Thorough

A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long run. Your real estate agent should competently guide you through this phase, but you should be aware that after you have an accepted offer, you still need to perform due diligence to ensure you are making a sound investment. Don't forget such essentials as:

1. Having the property inspected by a professional inspector.

2. Requesting a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing to ensure the home has been left in the agreed upon condition.

Congratulations on your decision to educate yourself thoroughly regarding one of the largest financial transactions you will ever undertake! While the process may seem daunting and a tad overwhelming at first, with the help of a competent Realtor®, plus other industry professionals, you should be well on your way to a satisfying, positive, purchase of your new home. Good luck, and remember... This is supposed to be fun!

by: Joe Hayden
Even with Credit Problems... You can get a Loan within 30 Days, If You're willing to work at it.

A wise friend once told me that *extraordinary people* are just *ordinary people* who do extraordinary things.

It's the same way with loans. People that get loans after being turned down are not extraordinary people, they are ordinary people who do extraordinary things to get their loan.

Here's an example of what these extraordinary things could be for those that may have been previously turned down for a loan or that may have credit problems:

  • Correcting incorrect credit issues
  • Getting good advice and sticking to it
  • Not giving up if the first lender says "no"

Keep in mind that this article is not designed to replace financial or legal advice. If you need financial or legal advice, you should seek the services of a competent professional.

There is a lot of information about personal loans that is just plain ... wrong! It is our desire to set the record straight here.

We are also sick of how the credit bureaus seem to think that they are the ultimate authority as to who can get a loan. If you don't agree with the credit bureau--you can forget about any chance of getting a loan--or so they say.

There has to be a solution somewhere.

Some of you reading this have more extended credit problems that you have to deal with every day. I know that it is not fair that you are continually punished with excessive interest rates and loan turndowns.

Why Credit is So Important Today

If you have good credit, it seems that you can walk into any store and say *charge it* and walk out with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars of merchandise.

For millions of Americans, good credit like this seems so hard to attain. Many of us are able to start off with credit cards and loans--but over time, an emergency comes up and causes us to get behind on a payment.

In many cases, we find a way to financially recover, but the credit damage lingers on for a long time. Once this happens, everything you purchase on credit costs a lot more.

If you have ever desired to be debt free, it is important to have the best credit possible. That way you do not have to pay extra for everything and the money you spend goes to pay down debts as quickly as possible.

If you have credit problems and are applying for a loan, one of the best things you can do is prepare a list of the loans and credit cards you have paid off in the past. Give this list of good credit references to the lender when you submit your application.

This will help the lender in the loan decision because many credit reports do not list your good credit or *on-time* references. However, when you are late with a payment that information shows up quickly.

More and more lenders are finding ways to help people that don't *fit in the box.* But there are still millions of people that are turned down for a loan each year. It is those people that we want to help by giving them the ability to get a fair shot at rebuilding their credit and getting loans.

The first thing to do in rebuilding your credit is to get a credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian (TRW), Equifax and Trans Union. Check each report carefully for errors and any derogatory information.

Do not get a tri-merged report where all the information is combined from these three credit bureaus. A tri-merged report makes it hard to distinguish which credit bureau reported which individual item.

If you tell one credit bureau about a disputed item that is on a different credit bureau's report, you may now find that both credit bureaus will report it--leaving you worse off than before.

When you get your credit report, you will also receive paperwork that will allow you to dispute incorrect information. Fill it out and send it to each credit bureau for any inaccurate information being reported.

The following list shows the rank of derogatory information in order of damage caused. The hierarchical ordering, from most damaging information to least damaging, is as follows:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Tax Liens
  • Defaulted Loans
  • Repossessions
  • Judgments
  • Collections
  • Late mortgage payments
  • Late revolving credit payments
  • Credit Rejections
  • Inquiries

When you get credit reports from each of the three bureaus, you will find that some of the questionable information is duplicated on one or both the other credit reports, but not all will be.

It is very important that you dispute each questionable item individually.

If you try to dispute *several items* at the same time, the credit bureau may claim that your request is frivolous and refuse to investigate it.

Creditors do not have to report to the credit bureau. So if you dispute an item and the creditor does not verify it, then the item will be removed from your report. The credit bureau has 30 days to verify the information.

Personal Loans Defined

You see the term personal loans used by a lot of different lenders. Each lender may have a different idea of what a personal loan is.

Some lenders define it as a small loan secured by real estate. Some lenders define it as a small loan secured by an asset. Some look at it as a loan only secured only by your promise to repay (a signature loan).

When working with a lender, you need to decide what it is that you will use to reassure the lender you can repay the note.

Keep in mind that it is easier to get a loan secured with real estate if you have credit problems, than it is to get an unsecured personal loan.

Once decided, you need to only work with lenders that handle the type of loan you are looking for.

For Credit Problems

If you have credit problems, your choice of lenders is very narrow. Your best bet is to contact lenders and explain your situation, then see what they say.

Also ask your friends who they have gone to for loans, you might find a good introduction to a loan officer that way.

Getting Personal Loans
The application process for personal loans is fairly simple and you can usually have an answer within minutes of applying.

Be sure you bring the following information with you (or you may already have some of it memorized):

  • Current and Previous Address
  • Social security number for yourself and spouse
  • Salary information & paycheck stubs
  • Two years' tax returns (if self-employed)
  • Drivers' license and vehicle information
  • Employer address and length of employment information

Applying for a Personal Loan if you Have Credit Problems
If you have credit problems, you may already be aware that the process becomes more complicated.
You'll have to explain what the situation was that caused the credit problem and then see if the lender will go for it.

If you have credit problems, do not apply for a loan until you get your credit report into the best shape possible. Otherwise, what happens is that when you apply, it creates an inquiry on your credit file and when subsequent lenders see that inquiry it makes it harder to get a loan. In other words, each lender will think, "why should I give you a loan when XYZ company down the street turned you down?"

If you need the loan quickly, and have credit problems, you are limited in what you can do. One of the best things we have found is to go to lenders that you have loans with currently and ask for an increase in the credit line you have. This works best for lenders where you have an *on-time* payment history.
Explain the situation to your lender and that you want to try to keep any credit problems from getting worse.
If this doesn't work, your next move is to go to lenders that you had loans with in the past. Ask them if they can reopen a line of credit. Many lenders prefer to work with previous customers than having to find new ones.

If you have credit problems, getting any type of loan becomes very difficult. That is why we created because we believe everyone has a right to borrow money.

Common Problems in Applying for a Loan

The most common problem when people are turned down for a loan is from credit related items.
For example, one of our members had someone else's bad credit on his report. He did not find out until he went to apply for a loan and was surprised. In his first dispute, the derogatory information was not removed. Afterward, he checked with us. We told him that he needed to send a dispute to both the creditor and the credit bureau and that he needed to send copies of proof of payment. We also showed him what to do if that did not work. Fortunately, it was removed by following our advice and at last report he was approved for a $4,000 computer purchase.

Another problem is in verifying income. Many lenders will only consider income coming from a source that is at least two years old. What you can do to overcome this is to show paycheck stubs and bank statements covering several months.
Another problem is in understanding exactly when it is that you are applying for a loan. I know this sounds funny, but many lenders have made it look like you are preapproved when in fact, you are not.

For example, one nation-wide loan company is known for sending out letters stating that you are *pre-approved* for $3500-$5000. When you go in to get the loan check, they tell you that they will need some verification information so they know who they are giving the check to. They then ask you enough information to run a credit check (without telling you) and decide how much you can borrow. This is different than what many people would *expect* for a pre-approved offer.
Because they do not tell you about running a credit check, it can hinder your ability to get a loan somewhere else--because of the added inquiry.
If you have credit problems and still want to try for a loan like this, insist on seeing the manager before applying and tell the manager your situation and ask what options are available.
Don't let anyone run a credit check if you do not have a chance for approval-any more than 5-6 inquiries in a 6 month period will hurt your chances of getting a loan.
If these sources don't work, try the bank where you have your accounts. Some do loans, some only do credit cards, and sometimes you can use a credit card in a manner that you would with a loan. Your local bank may be willing to overlook a few problems, in order to keep your business.

Poor Credit Loan: Monetary Assistance Without Any Hurdles

You avail loans which in turns provide finances to fructify your needs. But repaying the loans availed is quite a different entity. If somehow you fail to repay the debts, they you are tagged with poor credit. This tag creates a lot of obstacles which makes your life a bit difficult. Now, with the introduction of poor credit loan, you can emerge unscathed in spite of the hurdles.

A poor credit loans is a specialized financial help meant for those borrowers who cannot avail any financial help due to credit problems. Every major bank, financial institutions, lending companies is offering this loan. Along with it, lenders based in the online market are also offering these loans at competitive terms and conditions. With the assistance of these loans, you can easily fulfill the needs like home renovation, purchasing a car, education, wedding or business at relative ease.

Just like other conventional loan, there are two ways of availing it, either in secured or unsecured form. Secured form of the loan can be availed by pledging any property such as home, real estate, etc against the borrowed amount. The amount approved is based on the equity value of collateral and is in the range of £5000-£75000 which can be repaid in a period of 5-25 years.

Unsecured form of the loan is designed to get approved without any collateral. The amount approved under this loan is in the range of £1000-£2500 for repayment period that stretches for 6 months -10 years. Tenants, non homeowners, students are the major beneficiaries of this loan option.

Interest rate for the loan is slightly higher compare to other loans available in the financial market. This is done to cover the risk factor involved. However a thorough research of the market may yield lenders offering competitive rates on the loan.

Poor credit loan helps serves two purposes which is very much essential. It provides you ample finances which enable you to overcome financial hurdles. And secondly by repaying the loan amount you can improve the tattered credit score. However, before availing the loan it is necessary to understand your repayment capability. By doing so, it will help you to avail the required amount and repay it easily without any question of further debts.

by: Carmen Cortez