Tornado Outbreak in Southern States Drives Home the Importance of Emergency Preparedness

A chain of deadly thunderstorms that spawned dozens of tornadoes across the southern United States has devastated communities throughout Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. This outbreak of catastrophic weather began last weekend in central Arkansas and continues to concern many as the tornadoes head northeast. At the height of tornado season, these storms demolished numerous homes and businesses and serve as a reminder of the importance of emergency preparedness. Emergency workers and volunteers are working tirelessly to find survivors and missing persons.
Continue Reading
Posted in News and Catastrophe

Insider Tips: Is Now a Good Time to Buy a House?

When the economy tanks, a common concern is whether you should buy a house or wait. Just about everything is affected when the economy begins to slow, from jobs to the demand for lower-priced groceries and gasoline. Unfortunately, a bad economy also negatively impacts the housing market. Whether the economy is good or seems to be lagging behind, you can still take advantage of what's for sale on the market. Depending on how the economy is doing, you can end up getting a great deal on a house, perhaps the home of your dreams. This guide will help you navigate the home buying process, whether the economy is doing well or not.
Continue Reading

How to Buy Home Insurance For an Autism Household

According to the CDC, Autism is a disorder affecting approximately one in fifty children in the united states. You will be hard pressed to find someone who is not, in some way, affected by autism. It has become an increasingly prevalent concern for families and with this diagnosis comes new responsibilities in term of the safety of our children and insurance for our homes. With so many families affected there are a number of resources aiming to help people on their journey of raising an autistic child. Trusted Choice can help you find a home insurance provider to help you navigate the concerns surrounding your child's diagnosis and answer the questions imperative to keeping your family and your home safe
Continue Reading

Home Owners Wary About Sprinkler Systems

Recently, the television program Shark Tank featured a new tool invented by a fire fighter after he observed the water damage resulting from fire sprinkler systems. As a greater number of townships and municipalities require builders to install fire sprinklers in new residential properties, homeowners are still wary of the water damage that may result from their activation. Yet, sprinklers have proven to be an effective away to save lives and limit property damage stemming from a fire.
Continue Reading

Malaysian Flight 370 Search Party Encounters Roadblocks

The search for missing Malaysian Flight 370 continues, despite several roadblocks. A small oil slick, not from aircraft hydraulic fluid or oil according to a report from USA Today, makes maneuvering the area difficult. The United States Navy's robotic search submarine, dubbed Bluefin-21, has performed several searches in the suspected area where the Boeing 777 went missing. Last week, Bluefin-21 completed its first full 16-hour mission. Previous searches were called off early due to hazards related to the depth of the search. However, the submarine is now attempting searches reaching 3 miles below the water surface, despite the possible safety risks involved.
Continue Reading
Posted in News

How Does Obamacare Affect Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals?

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, receives a lot of attention in relation to how it affects individual taxpayers. This law requires most Americans to obtain health care coverage, either through employment or through a private or network plan. While the focus is on the individual, there are other entities affected as well. How does Obamacare affect doctors? This new US law affects a variety of people and businesses and in several ways. Consumers are asking questions about whether they can keep their current doctors. Some doctors wonder what this means to their patient load, income, and overall general practice health. It's important to break down the various ways the law affects doctors and patients alike.
Continue Reading
Posted in Health

How Does Obamacare Affect Small Businesses?

As a small business owner, every dollar matters. There's no doubt then, that businesses want to know the answer to one question. How does Obamacare affect small business? Obamacare, a name used to describe the Obama Administration's Affordable Care Act, is a law that went into place requiring Americans to have health insurance. Prior to the law's implementation, many employers provided health insurance to employees. Yet, not all companies did so. This left many millions of Americans without the necessary health care coverage. Though the new law puts the emphasis on the employees themselves seeking out coverage when it is not employer-provided, there is still a significant impact on small businesses.
Continue Reading
Posted in Health

How Does Obamacare Affect Government-Funded Programs?

When news of passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, hit, many older Americans wondered about their benefits. So, how does Obamacare affect Medicare recipients? The new law requires that Americans maintain health insurance, whether through private plans, networked plans, or employer-sponsored plans. While rumors of what Obamacare would mean to seniors continued to make seniors worry about their benefits, now that the plan is in place we have a better understanding of what it means to seniors and other Medicare recipients.
Continue Reading
Posted in Health

Higher Tornado Risks for South, Midwest and Plains States

Most of us have heard the old adage "April showers bring May flowers." While this is true for many people throughout the United States, spring and early summer is also known as Tornado Season because there is a heightened risk for tornado activity throughout the south, Midwest, and plains states. According to Paul Martin, CPCU, "tornadoes are the most feared and most fascinating of weather events. They attack so unpredictably and with such speed and ferocity, that many are caught gawking, completely exposed or unprepared." In recent years, tornadoes have inflicted billions of dollars in property damage and injured thousands of people in Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma.
Continue Reading

City Living or Peaceful Suburbia: Expert Agent Lays Down Facts

Aside from price and square footage, one of the most common questions prospective home buyers will ask is where to buy a house. From city to suburbs, different places have their own pros and cons. For example, the suburbs may mean a longer commute to work, yet they provide more outdoor space and are generally quieter than cities. On the other hand, cities are full of entertainment and action, and many amenities are likely to be within walking distance. If you are considering buying a home but aren't sure where to begin, this guide can help you make an informed decision.
Continue Reading

Expert Advice: How Big of a House Do you Really Need?

"How much house should I buy?" is a common question for prospective home owners. The size of the family and the needs of the individuals who will be living in the home vary greatly, and can determine the size of the house you will move into. Just as you don't want to end up with a home that is too small and cramped, you also don't want to spend more money, and be stuck with more space, because you thought that you needed the extra space when you really didn't. When deciding on the size of the house, there are many factors to take into consideration. This guide will provide you with information and suggestions to help you make a more informed decision.
Continue Reading

Ask These 9 Questions Before Buying a Home

When you are buying home, there are many questions to ask. To determine what questions are the most important, you should consider a number of factors. From common questions to uncommon ones, knowing the right questions to ask, and what a good response might entail, will help you purchase the home of your dreams. You may think of other questions along the way, so be sure to have a real estate agent who is easily accessible, and who will provide you with useful information to make the buying process go as smoothly as possible. This guide details questions you should ask when buying a home.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

Should I Buy a House with Pool? Top Pros and Cons

Should I buy a house with pool? Answers to this question depend on cost, the location you are planning to live in, lifestyle needs, and much more. The thought of having a nice cool place to beat the summer heat can seem great at first, but before you take the plunge and opt for a house with a swimming pool, there are many other factors to consider. As with many other aspects of home ownership, including the house itself, maintenance is just one drawback of owning a house with a pool. This guide provides a closer look at the prices you can expect for houses with pools in every region around the country.
Continue Reading

What Is the Best Age to Buy a House?

A big part of home ownership is feeling independent and responsible, including a good age or the best age to buy a house. Questions of what age you should be, or if there is a good age to buy a home, will certainly come up, especially for young home buyers. Sonja Dalbey, real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Burnett, emphasizes that for adults of all ages, it is important to consider how long you will stay in the home along with the stability of your income. This guide offers a closer look at the various parts of home ownership, and how age might be a factor, along with financial stability.
Continue Reading

Home Buying Made Easy: 8 Step Guide

Every fist-time home buyer needs an easy home buying guide to make the ordeal just a little bit simpler from the start. A quick and easy home buying guide for any first-home shopper should contain expert advice and a big-picture overview of the whole process, from start to finish. The following are eight tried-and-true steps we put together to help you buy your first home smoothly and easily.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

How to Buy a House in Foreclosure: 5 Steps

In some parts of the country, the housing market is making a remarkable recovery, while other areas remain depressed. Even within states that are seeing sharp increases in property values, some towns and neighborhoods are still reeling with high numbers of foreclosed homes. The opportunity to find amazing deals on a foreclosed home remains readily available for many buyers. Purchasing a foreclosed home comes with trade-offs, however. Some aspects of the process make it easier for buyers that are purchasing a home from individual sellers, while other factors make the process more complex. How does one go about buying a foreclosed home?
Continue Reading

5 Things to Think About When Buying a Rental Property

There are currently more than 22 million landlords in the United States, and this number is growing rapidly. In fact, according to the Rental Protection Agency, more than 500 people become new landlords every day in this country. Perhaps you are considering joining them. Investing in rental property can be a lucrative venture, but it can also have its risks and drawbacks. Be sure to take the following five factors into consideration before buying a house to rent. That way, you can increase your odds of success.
Continue Reading

How to Buy a House When You Already Own One

Whether you are looking at purchasing a second home for investment purposes, as a permanent vacation destination, or as housing for an aging parent or grandparent, owning more than one home presents its own set of unique challenges and concerns. Some people own more than one home because they are waiting for housing prices to recover before putting their old residence on the market. Whatever your reasons, there is help in navigating these unknown waters. Life Changes Sometimes, families outgrow their primary residence, and need a bigger home. On the flip side, empty nesters and retirees sometimes look for a smaller home, but don't want to lose their primary home.
Continue Reading

Top 10 Easy Tips for Home Buyers

Buying a home is one of the most thrilling and frustrating experiences you're likely to encounter as an American. We've gathered 10 tips for home buyers to help make the home buying process go just a little more smoothly for you. 1. Prepare Your Credit in Advance – Far in Advance According to Bankrate, "The credit score of the buyer may be the most important factor when it comes to qualifying for a loan these days." You can make sure it's up to par by checking your free annual credit report months before buying a home. Lenders want to see that you have plenty of credit available to you, so make an effort to pay down your credit lines to a reasonable percentage of your income before applying for a loan.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

Seven Tips for Saving Money to Buy a House

For most first-time homebuyers, saving money to buy a house is the hardest part. Knowing how much you need is the first step. Accumulating enough money to use for a down-payment is the second; and though it can take years, it is not an impossible task. By making a few adjustments to the way that you are currently spending money, you can set aside funds every month and watch your savings grow until you have as much as you need to buy a house.
Continue Reading

Find Out How Much You Can Spend on a House

If you are preparing to purchase your first house, one of the first questions you may ask is “How much can I spend on a home?” Homeownership necessitates more planning and expenses than renting does, so it is important that you consider this question carefully. You do not want to end up house-poor or find yourself needing to take on a second job so that you can make ends meet. Take the time to think about the following seven questions. They may help you get a better idea of what you can reasonably afford to spend on your first house.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

What Should My Income Be to Buy a House in My State?

Homeownership has long been thought of as part of attaining “The American Dream.” However, in the wake of the housing bubble crash, many people are thinking twice before purchasing their first home. One of the most often asked questions is “How much money should I make to buy a house?” Of course, the answer to this query will vary according to where you live and the price of the house you wish to buy, but there are ways that you can calculate an estimate of what your income should be to buy a house.
Continue Reading

How Does Obamacare Affect Me?

Many people simply want to know: How does the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, affect me personally? The new health care system is likely to affect most Americans, but in different ways. It's important to note that if you have employer-sponsored health care, you may or may not see changes to your health care coverage, based on costs and coverage options. In some cases, your employer may make changes to policies to meet the Affordable Care Act guidelines. The ACA affects people differently, depending on their age and circumstances.
Continue Reading
Posted in Health

America's Best-Kept Secret About Business Insurance

The vast majority of successful business owners enjoy that status by working hard and making smart decisions. One of the best decisions any company can make is finding experienced, qualified people for key positions. One position that can greatly impact any business investment's chance of success is its insurance agent. Do you want an agent who works for your business, or the insurance company? To protect your investment and future, purchasing from a quality business insurance company is imperative for the long-term success of your business.
Continue Reading

How to Know if You Should Rent or Buy a House

In the 1980s, when the economy was strong and house values were appreciating rapidly, financial experts like Suze Orman strongly advised young people to buy a house as early as possible. At the time, it made economic sense. In today’s economy, however, many of these same financial experts, including Ms. Orman, are advising that you proceed with caution. So, what is the right move for you? When choosing between buying a house and renting, you may benefit from considering the following questions and information. There may be some factors you have not yet considered. Ultimately the decision is yours, but approaching the dilemma with as much information as possible can be very helpful.
Continue Reading

Buying a House in 2014 - Market Trends You Need to Know

The U.S. housing market recovered in 2013 better than most industry analysts expected. With the help of historically low interest rates, a tight inventory and rising stock prices, more people bought homes last year than they did in 2012. Some positive trends are expected to continue during 2014, while others are estimated to slow down, and still some factors will perhaps affect affordability for those bordering on so-so credit. The following are the 2014 housing market predictions from the experts:
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

How to Buy a House After Bankruptcy

In 2013, more than one million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy. Of these filings, about 706,000 were Chapter 7 bankruptcies and about 330,000 were Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In many cases, personal bankruptcies are the result of unsurmountable medical bills or result following long periods of unemployment, a common problem in the recent economy. If you are among the millions of people who have filed for personal bankruptcy in the past few years, you may think that your dream of homeownership is an unattainable one. But, believe it or not, you can still buy a house.
Continue Reading

The Only House Buying Checklist You Need to Read

Buying a house should be a time for anticipation and celebration of all the hard work and planning that have brought you this far. To keep things simple, we've compiled the only house buying checklist you're likely to need, as you prepare, shop for, and purchase the house you've waited for. Refer back to this house buying checklist whenever you feel a little lost, or just to track your progress. Remember that every house purchase is different, and some of these checklist steps may fall in a slightly different order for you than they do for your neighbor.
Continue Reading

6 Things You Should Look for When Buying a House

What things do you need to look for when buying a house? Before you walk into a deal that decides the next few decades of your financial future, know the warning signs you need to watch out for. Buying a house can be a process full of twists, turns, and pitfalls, and you'll want all your wits about you to keep your savings and your credit as safe from a money pit nightmare as possible. Warning Sign #1: The home is in short-sale or foreclosure. Yes, you can snag a great deal this way, but things can get complicated quickly. Many of these homes are not available to the average buyer, and are sold at auction to banks and investors.
Continue Reading

10 Things You Should Know About Buying a Condo

People choose buying condos over single family homes or renting an apartment for several reasons. Whether it's the convenience of a downtown location near shopping and cultural centers, the joys of home ownership without the headaches of yard work, or the affordability factor condos offer versus traditional homes, the factors are numerous. Is buying a condo right for you? That's a decision only you can make, but the following may help you be better informed. 1. Condos Mean Shared Responsibility One of the features of condo living that attracts people to this choice is the sharing of responsibility in terms of repairs and for insurance purposes.
Continue Reading

The First Time Home Buyer Grants You Didn't Know About

Buying a first home can be a stressful and frustrating experience. Assistance is available to help ease this process for those who qualify, however. National and state programs can offer grants to buy a home, mortgage interest rate guarantees and down payment assistance. These come in the form of first-time home buyer grants, grants to buy a home in rural areas and even grants to help you repair or make energy-use improvements to your new home.
Continue Reading

Buying a House After Foreclosure is Easier Than You Think

Buying a house after a foreclosure used to seem like a nearly impossible task, but now boomerang buyers are taking back their share of the housing market. Moody Analytics estimates that as many as 1.4 million formerly foreclosed households will be eligible for new FHA loans in 2014. This means that they have completed the necessary three-year hiatus following foreclosure, and can begin the process of securing a mortgage once again. However, buying a home after a foreclosure can present special challenges and pitfalls that previous homeowners may not expect. If you're one of the new groundswell of boomerang buyers, here are a few ways that buying a house after a foreclosure can differ from your first go-round.
Continue Reading

7 Things You Need to Know When Buying a House

Buying your first home is one of the most stressful, yet exciting, moments you can experience. But before you sign on the dotted line, find out what you need to know when buying a house. We've gathered a few of the top tips from the experts on preparing, financing, saving, shopping, and insuring your new home. So without further ado, here are seven things you need to know when buying a house. 1. Know your credit score. Your FICO credit score is a little like a report card. It takes into account your payment histories, debts, types and length of credit, and whether you have recently applied for new credit. The highest score possible is 850, but the median American score falls in the 720's, which can get you a great mortgage rate.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

The New Homeowner Tax Guide You’re Missing

It’s tax time, and for many first-time homeowners, the confusion is just settling in. When it comes to taxes, many homeowners throw up their hands in frustration and take the easiest way out. Whether this is dropping your papers in the mailbox to an accountant, or going through a DIY tax program, doing taxes as a homeowner can be overwhelming. Trusted Choice has compiled a list of deductibles that homeowners should know about – and take advantage of.
Continue Reading

Buying a House at Auction? 10 Things You Need to Know

Buying a home at auction can mean significant savings for potential bidders. Buyers are attracted to the opportunity to pay cents on the dollar for a home compared to traditional sales. But how does one go about buying a home at auction? What do you need to know? 1. You Haven't Missed the Boat Many buyers may think that since the housing market is in recovery, their chance at finding a home at auction has passed. While foreclosures are down from their record highs in 2009, they are still well above historic levels. Some areas are still quite depressed in terms of the housing market. According to real estate tracking data, states like California, Florida, Michigan and Ohio are still dealing with the housing fallout.
Continue Reading

Buying a Home with Bad Credit: 9 Steps

There are many reasons you might have a poor credit rating. Problems such as lack of gainful employment opportunities, expensive medical bills or other situations can lead you to have been late with bill payments or to have defaulted on loans. This all adds up to a low credit score which can create a host of problems for you, particularly when it comes to funding large purchases. If you are in such a situation, you may think that your desire to own a home is one that will never be realized. However, the following nine steps will show you how to turn your situation around and become a proud homeowner in a surprisingly short amount of time. Give consideration to the following nine tips, and you may finding yourself holding the keys to your new home before you know it.
Continue Reading

10 Tips for Buying a House on Contract

Many Americans choose to purchase their homes on contract. This sort of deal can be a good idea for those who want to be homeowners but lack the funds for a sizeable down payment or cannot qualify for financing through a bank or mortgage company. When you purchase a house on contract, the homeowner retains the title to property while you continue to make agreed-upon monthly payments. The title will not be transferred to your name until you have paid it off in full. While these deals can provide you with a great way to purchase an affordable property, there are a number of things that can go wrong. By using the following ten tips, you can avoid a lot of potential problems.
Continue Reading

How to Buy a House with Low Income

As available, affordable rental housing has become harder and harder to find since the housing market fallout of 2009, many low- to moderate-income earners are finding their lease has less value than it once did. Meanwhile, the credit crunch has put many more demands on low-income earners before they can qualify for a home loan or mortgage. It may be harder for modest earners to become homeowners, but not impossible. Help is still available for those who qualify. 1. Weigh the Pros and Cons of Homeownership vs. Renting In some areas, renting may still make fiscal sense. According to real estate agent Daryl Bronniche, it's important to compare your costs of continuing to rent to the costs of homeownership in your area.
Continue Reading

Should I Rent or Buy a Condo?

The decision of whether to buy or rent a condo depends on several factors. Finances are one piece of the puzzle, but not the only aspect you should consider. If you're struggling with which side of the buy versus rent fence you're on, considering the following pros and cons of each. 1. Calculate the Price-to-Rent Ratio The term price-to-rent ratio is one that real estate agents like Daryl Bronniche use to help his clients find affordable housing. "Basically, it tells you which option makes more fiscal sense," he said. It involves basic math and is less complex than it sounds. Simply find a condo in your area for sale and a condo for rent. Be sure they have similar features such as the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms and comparable square footage.
Continue Reading

9 Steps to Buying the House of Your Dreams

What are the best first steps to buying a house? We put together the answers and support you need to make the home buying process smooth and free of regret. Read on for a step-by-step guide that can show you how to buy a home that will meet your needs for years to come. 1. Fall In Love with Your Job and Your City First The days of flipping real estate are over in most areas. These days, if you want to own a home, you need to be willing to commit. From Forbes Magazine: "Are rents cheap and homes costly in your city? Are you planning to move in the next year or two? Is your job looking iffy? If any of these apply, buying might not be a good move." Once you know that your job and your hometown are set for the next five to ten years, you can move on to the first of the steps in the buying process.
Continue Reading

What You Didn't Know about Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a home is an adventure full of highs, lows and bewilderment. You could spend your whole life studying books and advice columns on how to purchase a house and still not know it all. So we've done a bit of homework for you and boiled down a list of five inside facts and tips on home buying that you may not see elsewhere. 1. The Competition Is More Fierce Than You Think Many home buyers are confused and frustrated when they find that their first offer on the house of their dreams was unacceptable. They are thunderstruck when it turns out that the seller accepted a bid $15,000 lower than their own. Is this favoritism? No. This is the power of a savvy real estate investor.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

How to Buy a House with No Money Down

The hard part of buying your first home may be coming up with a down payment. Learn more about the ways to buy a home without having a down payment ready.
Continue Reading

Secrets of Buying a House with Cash

There are a few ways you might find yourself in a position where buying a house with cash is an option. You may have saved up your money for a long time, you may have come into a large sum of money through an inheritance or prize winnings, or you may have built up enough equity with another home to be in a position such that buying another house outright is possible. Whatever the reason, if you have the cash to do it, you may be wondering if purchasing a house outright is a wise decision. Buying a Home with Cash Has Obvious Advantages Two of the main advantages of buying a house with cash are apparent, but bear mentioning.
Continue Reading

How to Buy a House with No Credit

If you are considering buying a house but have not yet built up a credit history, you may find it very difficult to find a lender who is interested in working with you. This is because lenders use your credit history to determine what kind of a financial risk you pose to them. No credit usually means no loan. So what should you do if you really want to buy a house? The following tips and information may be able to help you understand how to buy a house with no credit. First, Are You Sure You Have No Credit? You may think that because you have no credit cards and have not made any large purchases such as a car, that you have no credit. You may, however, be wrong about that.
Continue Reading

How to Get Help Buying a Home

Many people put off purchasing their first home because they do not feel comfortable navigating through the process of buying a house, or perhaps because they feel they will not qualify for home financing. However, whether you are confused about the process, uncertain about what type of home is right for you, or unsure that you can meet financial requirements, there is plenty of help available to you. You just need to know where to look. What Kinds of Help Can a Real Estate Agent Provide? When you work with a real estate agent, you can obtain a great deal of assistance with buying your house. These agents are typically familiar with home prices, crime rates, schools and other neighborhood concerns in the areas in which they sell homes.
Continue Reading
Posted in Buying a House

What You Need to Know About Home Buying Programs

Do not give up on your dream of buying your first home just because you feel that you have a problem, such as a disability or poor credit, which can make homeownership impossible. A number of home buying programs available on the federal, state and local levels can help you when you are trying to buy your first home. Sometimes, you just have to know where to look.Credit Counseling Programs Poor credit is the most common hindrance to would-be homeowners. A bad credit rating can make it hard to get approval for a loan, and if you do get approval, the interest rate may not be a favorable one. Fortunately, you can find ways to improve your credit through credit counseling.
Continue Reading

The Easy Guide to Renting Your House

In today's real estate and job markets, more homeowners are turning to the business of becoming landlords. Whether they are holding on to a property until home values regain their losses, or they are taking on basement tenants to help with their mortgage payments, more and more people are renting out their homes. It is certainly not a light decision to make, and much thought should be put into becoming a landlord. Once you've reached the conclusion that renting is the way to go, however, there are many factors to keep in mind.
Continue Reading

8 Home Buying Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

If you are planning to buy your first home, this is an exciting time in your life. Here at Trusted Choice®, we want to help you avoid those house buying mistakes that people often make. We want to see you move into a great home, one that will not cause you to feel buyer’s remorse. For this reason, we have compiled a list of the top 8 mistakes that first-time homebuyers tend to make, as well as advice on how to avoid them. Also, while you are looking at homes, you may want to speak with a Trusted Choice agent who can advise you about approximate insurance costs for houses in different neighborhoods.
Continue Reading

The First-Time Home Buyer's Credit Explained

Buying a home often involves additional, unexpected expenses. First time homeowners sometimes wonder why they have to make so many trips to the hardware and general goods stores during the first few months of home owning "bliss." With so much of the monthly income going out, most new homeowners are looking for ways to cut back and save. Following the housing crunch of 2008, the IRS issued a first time home buyer credit to shore up the dismal housing market. The purpose was to assist home buyers with a substantial tax break as an incentive to home ownership. This was one way new homeowners could get a break.
Continue Reading

8 Tips When Buying a House "For Sale by Owner"

When you are looking to buy a house, you are likely to come across an occasional “For Sale by Owner” sign. If one or more of these houses strongly appeal to you, you may be wondering how to go about looking at and purchasing this type of home. Buying a For Sale by Owner house can present a few risks and challenges, as you will not have the benefit of working with a real estate agent, but it can be done if you know what to watch out for and how to go about making the transaction go as smoothly as possible.
Continue Reading

Should You Buy a Condo or a House?

Making a significant purchase such as a house or condominium is a major decision. While no one but you can tell you which is best for your situation, it does help to learn the attractive features -- as well as the setbacks -- of owning a home versus condo living before you start looking for realtors. For Amelia Starr, a 30-year-old career woman with an active social life, living in her L.A. condo overlooking downtown was a no-brainer. "I love the convenient location and not having to worry about lawn care or any of the other hassles of traditional home ownership," Starr said.
Continue Reading

When to Buy a House: How Seasons Affect Home Prices

If you are wondering when to buy a house, and whether there is an ideal season or time of year to do so, it's important to know the facts and figures. Real estate may be cyclical, with sales taking place around the year, but some times of the year may be better than others. Houses are a big investment, and you don't want to miss out on your dream home just because you think that one part of the year is better for buying a home than another. Timing is essential, and good timing can be the difference between securing your home and losing it to another prospective buyer. Take a look at the following guide to figure out when you should really be considering making a purchase.
Continue Reading