What Does Flipping Houses Mean?

June 1, 2012 by  
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To maximize your profit potential when buying a home, you may want to flip it. Flipping a home is a phrase that is used more often now in the real estate industry. Flipping a home occurs when a person takes over a house, remodels it with various strategic changes, and then turns around and sells the house for a potential profit. If you can purchase a property for a reduced value and fix it up prior to selling it, – you can make a pretty nice profit from it for a modest investment – and it is a great means of beginning your career as a real estate investor.

The house flipping process starts by locating a property that is below market value. Often these homes are called fixer uppers due to the initial work involved in bringing them into livable condition. This type of house can be readily found in any geographical real estate market. They could be a house for auction, a foreclosure, or a house that has been run down with little or no money put toward upgrading it through the years. These houses are prime properties for house flipping since they can usually be purchased for a reduced price.

Once you locate your target house to flip, you follow through with the offer to purchase as you would any other house. You will take care of the mortgage details and closing costs as you would normally and when doing so be sure you take possession of the property as a business and not as a sole individual owner. When the property close and you have possession of the place, you can either move in and begin the redesign and upgrade or live off property and fix the house as it sits. This latter method of flipping means you will need to pay attention to carrying costs that will eat into your profits so a fast flip is conducive to making a profit and listing at a higher price.

House flipping is an art unto itself and not everyone is cut out for the challenge. If you are handy with tools and have renovating experience you will be a good house flipping candidate. You can also hire professional contractors but again your profits will be reduced because of labor costs. You can make a decent living by simply house flipping a few properties each year. You should enlist the aid of a competent realtor with excellent market knowledge and the ability to lead you to good properties with house flipping potential.


House flipping is a wonderful way to make a great deal of money in the real estate game. Potential house flippers would be wise to enlist the help of property inspection experts to aid in the first few flips so you can minimize your chances of buying a property with expensive hidden damage since this can kill any profits quickly. If you like taking a risk for a reward, house flipping may be just right for you.

Deciding On Your First Home

May 30, 2012 by  
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Ready To Leave That Apartment?

Now would be the absolute best time to find your first home. Starting your search as a first time homebuyer is a vital part of growing a financial base and credit rating as well as moving you into a comfortable space you will love. If the time is right for you to find your first home, there are a number of things to consider before you pull the pin on that first contract.

Prior to viewing any new home, make sure you begin looking at the process carefully and with a sharp eye. Learn what the mortgage rates are and how the general home financing scene is fairing at that time. Know what other buyers are paying for mortgages monthly and decide what an affordable monthly number is for you and yours. You need to understand the real estate market for the kinds of property that interest you and determine if you can afford these or look at something less expensive.

When you learn the basics of your market and what is for sale in the district you desire, your search will be adjusted in your favor considerably. Make certain of what your credit rating will look like to a lender and you better ask yourself are your paychecks going to be secure for a time. Biting off more than you can chew for your first home can be a disaster and lead to unexpected hardship at closing or some point thereafter and put you back financially for years.

At this stage of the first home buying process the situation widely depends on the professionals you line up as allies to your cause. The biggest decision is finding the best realtor for you. Having a good agent can make all the difference in the way your transaction turns out, the style of home you buy and the home financing you receive. A good realtor will find you the absolute best home in short order after determining your resources and living needs. Ask your agent if they have links to home inspectors and mortgage lending institutions. The professionals you recruit to help you find your first home can decide if problems will develop and mean the difference between a poor deal and a great deal.

Prior to or during the process of looking at homes, be sure you understand what is being discussed around you – learn the terminology in finance and real estate. Real estate market terms and mortgage language can be tricky so ask as many questions as you need to – there is no such thing as a stupid question. This is a big step in your life so understand each step of the experience.

Buying your first home can be a real trip, it should be an adventure and a bit challenging, but not a hardship. Be confident in your actions and understand all of the procedures as you encounter them. Knowledge is power so empower yourself before you even begin your first home hunt and get precisely what you are looking for.

Expert Answers Your Real Estate Questions

James asks…

Can you find homes for sale in Pittsburgh on Realtor.com?

I am just curious… I have been trying for several days to find listings of homes for sale in Pittsburgh, PA, but the site says there are only 30 or so homes for sale. I know there are thousands. When I search other cities, the site is fine. I am not changing any search options. If you try to search for Pittsburgh, are you coming up with a small #, or the full list? Thanks.

The Expert answers:

Hi,

Get filtered homes for sale in Pittsburgh or any province of US or any region of the world right here http://realageads.com/free-ads/

Realageads focus is to give exact information to the world Real Estate market. We research and get you news, articles, rebates, offers from creative service providers to the Real Estate Industry. You can find us for latest trends in anything around real estates and property

All the best

Betty asks…

I just listed my house on the MLS service, How long does realtor.com take to pick up the MLS? ?

I just listed my house on the MLS service, How long does realtor.com take to pick up the MLS?

The Expert answers:

I was just looking thru realtor.com to see who the agent was on a house i am looking to buy and it wasnt even on there. Although i looked through another MLS site and the homes been listed on that site for 5+ months!!

Laura asks…

What is a website that I can look for houses for rent in Beckley WV I tried realtor.com and craigslist.com ?

I need some other websites so I can look for rental properties I have already tried Realtor.com and Craigslist.com is their any other websites that I can go to and look

The Expert answers:

Here’s a couple links that may help you.

Http://www.rentals.com/West-Virginia/Beckley/

http://www.rentalads.com/rental-properties/West-Virginia/

Depending on the size of Beckley, you may need to look in other towns/cities that are close by in order to find something at first. Hope this helps you. Good luck!

David asks…

Is there a better website to access houses for sale in southern california than realtor.com?

I noticed realtor.com has lots of outdated and missing houses for sales. Is there a free website I can access that’s close to MLS? I need a link please.

The Expert answers:

Do not go to a discount brokerage of any kind to get information. Look at it this way, the sellers are represented by a professional negotiator who specializes in real estate. You want a professional negotiator who specializes in real estate working for you. The best way to find a home is to contact a Buyer Specialist at a reputable real estate brokerage.

I do not know what area of So. Cal you are talking about, but as a Realtor myself for 16 years, (yes I am a professional negotiator) I would contact a specialist in the area I was moving to.

By the way…Realtor.com is pathetic. There is one heck of a lot of outdated listings. It is not as automated as they tell us Realtors it is. Bag it. It is a waste of time.

Maria asks…

I have an excel doc with thds of addresses is it pos to set up excel to go to realtor.com and bring back data ?

The only data I want to search is zip code and property square feet and bring back the first five prices and put the into excel. is this possible.One problem I see is in realtor.com the square footage is a drop down menu.

The Expert answers:

It may be but more amd more sites are making it difficult to extract data from their web sites to prevent copyright infringement. You need to consider first whether your intended activity would violate such rights of realtor.com for two reasons.

The first and it should be the most important is the question – is what you are doing legal and ethical.

The second is the question of consequences. There is a small chance that you could be discovered and taken to court. There is the chance that the time you spend trying to download the data will just be wasted. There is a chance that after you have spent hours developing a working solution, the web site will be changed in a way that completely stops it from working.

Be aware that the last chance exists even where what you want to do is completely ethical and legal.

If you decide that what you want to do is ethical, legal and worth the risk then you can

Start macro recording to capture what you are doing.

Select Data > Import External Data > New Web Query

Navigate in the browser that pops up to the information you want to capture and see if you can select it for import. If you can, then complete the import and look at what shows up in your Excel worksheet. If that is usable, then continue developing and testing. If it is not usable, you can retry until you decide that it is very unlikely that you will be able to get what you want.

Another option you should consider would be to contact realtor.com about how they could make the data you need avaialbe at a reasonable cost.

Good Luck

Sandra asks…

what is the best website (except for realtor.com) to look for homes for sale?

The Expert answers:

Theres yahoo real estate. Its about the same as realtor.com.

Lizzie asks…

Does anyone know any websites other than realtor.com that has rental properties on it?

I am looking for rental houses in maryland and I found a website called realtor.com and I am trying to find others if anyone knows any please tell me and thank you them

The Expert answers:

Try craigslist, rent.com, apartments.com…. There are also search engines on MSN and Yahoo for rentals across the country.

Daniel asks…

where is the realtor.com for biddeford, maine?

my daughter is buying one of the houses on this realtor’s city

The Expert answers:

You question isn’t really clear, but does this help?

Http://www.realtor.com/FindReal/WhichPages.asp?mls=maine&st=me&poe=realtor

Carol asks…

Where can I find out the MLS# for a home for sale(other than realtor.com) if I provide the street address?

The Expert answers:

Call an agent in your area… They can probably look it up for you.

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The Importance of a Home Building Plan

May 29, 2012 by  
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Your home is not some abode that you hang your hat in or a place to stay dry when it rains. Your house puts your entire lifestyle and personality on display for the world. The thing is; your home has also become the largest investment in your life to this point – and perhaps for all time. Many people spend any future investment capital on their home – and plenty of it as a source of keeping their investment viable over time.

Building a home as an investment is fine and you will need a building plan for your new home. Prior to that discussion though, let us talk about what that home building plan really is. Sure, it’s something you need to construct the actual building, it is also an opportunity to pick and choose exactly what you want to have in your home and place it exactly where you want it. It can also be complicated so working with a professional home designer is recommended, but these days there are software programs available so you can have some fun experimenting with these. Just remember that this a time when you should let your imagination run wild – you can rein it in later.

Start with making a list of the things you definitely want in your new home building plan and these need to be part of regardless of the cost. You could also devise a list of those things you do not want. This aids in keeping both spouses on track and the same page. You also need to ask yourself if you are planning to sell the home at some time in the future. If the answer is yes, your home building plan should reflect that by having features built in that are popular for the majority of homebuyers.

Do not be afraid to add energy efficiency into your home building plan, for example making sure you have top grade insulation throughout, high energy heating and cooling and use building materials that promote energy savings. Will your home be a one story or a two-story home – obviously these needs to be outlined in your home building plan? How many rooms are you going to have in your new home? What about the number of bathrooms and the size of each? Once you have these questions answered you will be able to begin calculating square footage costs to determine costs and pare away what you cannot afford – there is no rush for firm numbers at this time.

Assuming you still need to purchase a lot for your new home, you need to consider the location you desire and its affordability. Once you determine where you want to live, your home building plan should be designed to fit suitably in that area. Many developers have regulations and standards in place that maintain the “look” of a neighborhood as it develops. This could also determine how unique your home building plan will be. Even if your choice of home building plan is acceptable, it should be attractive to the masses and be easy to turnover in the event of a forced sale in the future so keep it buyer friendly.

Prior to starting your home building plan, you should familiarize yourself with home designs and basic construction so drive through new areas and attend a few open houses of brand new home for ideas. Also buy some design magazines and troll the Internet for design ideas and home building plans – there are literally thousands of them online. There are also many cool online tools available to assist with your home building plan and as I mentioned earlier, some software programs available to aid in your home building plan design.

Your new home will reflect your personality and that of your family. You want to take your time and design something you can feel great about for years to come. Your home building plan is where it all begins so focus your attention to this important aspect of a new custom home purchase.

First time buying a house…need advice from home owners.

April 29, 2012 by  
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Lisa asks…

First time buying a house…need advice from home owners…?

OK. Im trying to purchase a home, i’m scared and VERY CONFUSED!! i have been pre-approved for a loan and have looked at several houses. I have placed offers on three homes but nothing has happened. This is the deal: I have an realtor (who is suppossedly representing me) and I feel that she’s not doing her job, I feel that she wants to sell the houses she likes not the houses im interested in. Now my question is I want to change agent and cancel her out…however, I have given her the 1000 deposit which she said was going into “escrow” …if i cancel and decide to look with someone else will i lose that money??? Please help with any advise…i really dont want to be screwed over….I feel sooooo ignorant…and really frustrated because i’ve read soo much information on first time home buying tips etc etc …and it’s just not clear to me…Thanks.

The Expert answers:

Did you sign a document stating that you would employ this real estate agent for a certain length of time.

If you did the agent might demand that the time expire on the contact before she quits.

If you just want to get out of the contract simply write letter to her broker and send her a copy indicating that you are not pleased with the real estate agent and no longer desire her services nor the services of the real estate broker service, and to please return my $1000.00 deposit.

The $1000.00 was for a deposit on a propeprty and not for her personal use, so she should return this without fail.

Make sure you put this in writing and not verbally. You might need proof that you displeasure was of a certain date.

She still might be in a position to collect a commission from you if you purchase a house she has shown you or introduced you to an agent that might sell you a house down the road.

So you want to make sure that you use none of her properties she introduced you to nor any agent she introduced you too.

You may look for a property on your own, why do you want a real estate agent to show you houses that are available on the Internet and other places.

Find an area that you want to reside, check the cost of houses in this area and see if you can afford this neighborhood, if not then you will have to lower your expectations.

Attend open houses in the neighborhood you want to reside in after you have decided that you can afford to reside there. Your pre-approval should tell you how much house you can afford.

When making an offer don’t feel bad about making an offer less than the asking price.

If you still want to use a real estate agent check with your mortgage broker that pre-approved you and see if he can give you a referral for a real estate agent. That is unless he recommended your current agent.

Check with other professionals you know to include family and friends to see if they can recommend a good agent they have used in the past.

Friends are not good people to use, even if they are in the real estate field.

I hope this has been of some use to you, good luck.

“FIGHT ON”

Helen asks…

Buying a home in cash… tips on how to get approved?

Hey, well my parents have been looking into buying a house in cash for about 6 months now, in fact my parents have in the past, submitted 3 different applications to buy a house in cash fully but they always end up being “out-bought” by some other person who takes out a loan….how is this possible? My parents currently have 3 new pending applications for great homes all 3 of those homes cost around $90K and my parents are offering the banks around $6- 10K more than the house actually costs is this a good way of convincing banks to let us buy the house? Because i mean we will pay fully in cash and we even offer more money than the house is worth and yet the banks approve people who take out loans and don’t offer more than us, why is this? are banks just stupid or is it a matter of luck? Any tips on how to seduce banks into approving us (aside from offering even more money in cash)?. Thanks in advanced!

The Expert answers:

That’s very stranege, usually cash offers get top priority.

However, maybe those properties were priced hot and got offers even 10K higher than asking.

George asks…

im looking into buying a spin bike for home use? any tips?

I am tyring to buy a spin bike that is relatively cheap. I found some on ebay but does anyone else know where to look? and what does the weight for a flywheel mean (im checking out a model that is made by gymtronix with a 40lb flywheel) thanks!

The Expert answers:

Invest in a small TV….it’s boring!!

Paul asks…

My client wants to withdraw funds from his 401k to buy a home. Any tips on getting Prudential to release funds?

We have an accepted offer on a bank owned home, and banks typically are slow to release signatures on documents if at all. To be conscious of the deadlines, we need the funds to pay for inspections and so forth. Prudential said they wouldn’t release funds unless we gave them all the documents signed by the seller. Banks typically give verbal responses and agreements, and I might have a challenge getting our documents returned before the deadlines pass.

The Expert answers:

Ah yes, dealing with funds. I’ve used my self-directed IRA in a similar situation. Ask Prudential if your client can pay for it upfront then get reimbursed at closing. It’s for the same purpose you are just keeping within the deadlines to streamline the process.

I guess the risk would be that your buyers may fork out the $$ and then deal doesn’t go through and that money doesn’t get reimbursed from the 401K. Good luck!

Nancy asks…

Anyone have any good tips or questions to ask when buying/looking at a home?

The Expert answers:

It is too warm in the afternoon? Does the sun come in from the front or back? For flats, back is better if you are hanging your laudry there. Second handed —–> drainage system, air-conditioning system, flushing system, which part of house needs repairing or upgrading? Next door neighbours? Schools, recreational activities in the vicinity? Transportation system? Security? And of cos, lower prices?

Sandy asks…

i’m buying my first home…what are some easy, inexpensive decorating tips to spruce it up?

The Expert answers:

Paint it.
Cheap easy and a huge difference!

Donald asks…

How can i dye my bottom tips of hair at home without buying hair dye? (:?

The Expert answers:

When I was in High School kids used kool aid to color there hair, .89 cents for a small pack at walmart. Good luck

Charles asks…

1st time buyer and planning on buying a home with KB Homes. I need tips, suggestions, precautions..?

Ok I’m a first time home buyer and I’m also in the process of buying a brand new home from KB Homes in Lancaster,CA. The total cost for the home is $137,000 and I have been pre-aproved but I wasn’t told for how much the loanwould be. I was told that my total downpayment would be between $10,000 to $12,000 I have given my information and also just recently gave $3000 to start the process of the paperwork and etc I was also told that if I decide to stop the paper work or just cancel everything I would loose my $3000, but heres what I found “fishy” from them I wasn’t told about programs that they are for 1st time home buyers, loan options,.Now heres were I need help from you guys or tips, suggestions or precautions that I should know or do before signing the closing papers.

1. Is there any possible way that I can bring a RE agent to help me with the closing papers and tell me whats right or not right for me?
2. Do I have an option to shop for a Loan from another lender besides Countrywide?
3. Has anyone purchase a home form them and had any bad or good experiences?

Every response, tips, suggestions will be helpful..thankx

The Expert answers:

KB Homes is one of the bottom 10% of the builders. I would NEVER buy a KB house.

Junk. Google them and see all the problems and “fishy” stuff that happens.

Sandra asks…

how can I make my hair glossy and make it grow faster AT-HOME without buying any products?

I want to make my hair grow faster and make it glossy without spending any money… are there any AT-HOME tips?
can your details be a bit more specific please thanks

The Expert answers:

Mayo will make your hair very shiny……just get a jar and put it all over your hair and then wrap a plastic bag around your head and let it set for about ten minutes or fifteen……you’ll have to wash it 2 or 3 times with dish soap (depending on how long and thick your hair is)…..oh, and I must warn you, you won’t be able to eat mayo for a while because its not the best smelling on your head. A few more tips for healthy hair is to use a soft bristle brush when your hair is wet to reduce in breakage, when you are towel drying your hair don’t be a maniac..just gently pat it. If it is possible you should use olive oil shampoo, its organic and very good for your hair though it costs about $4. Be sure to get it trimmed every month or 2 to keep the dead ends away because dead ends stop hair growth. When you are washing your hair in the shower massage your head for a good 2 minutes, this stimulates hair growth. Try not to wear the pony tail holders that have the metal thing on them because that also breaks your hair and if you use heat stylers (curling iron, blow dryer, straightener…) spray your hair with a heat protectant that you can get pretty cheap at Wal-Mart to keep your hair from getting damaged. Good Luck!

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Your Questions About Real Estate

April 26, 2012 by  
Filed under Real Estate Expert Answers Questions

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Daniel asks…

Can a foreigner become a real estate agent in California?

I want to become a real estate agent in the state of California.
I want to take the course and pass the exam.
I meat all the requirements including education.
I hold a Bachelor in Commerce and a Master in Business Administration – Marketing.
But it’s not clear to me if a non citizen can become a real estate agent.
Somebody please explain, 10 points to the best answer.

The Expert answers:

If you have the proper work visa you might work in the United States.

In California, with the degrees you have, if they are from a recognized college you might apply for a real estate brokers license. With the real estate broker license you would be able to open your own real estate office or work under a current real estate broker.

You should check with the local immigration office and apply for a work permit. There are several that you would be able to apply for.

I hope this has been of some benefit to you, good luck.

“FIGHT ON”

Steven asks…

What does anyone think about becoming a new real estate agent?

Someone with experience to speak from only please…

I have been approached by a very large real estate company with the opportunity to become a real estate agent. Considering the investment required and the current economic and market conditions, what does anyone think about beginning a career in real estate right now?

The Expert answers:

If its a big company, probably you should go along.
The property cycle is normally of 7 years duration. There will be a property boom again. Good agents are making a lot of money even now.

Donald asks…

What if I use a real estate agent for new home builder on contract?

We are in the process of writing a contract / signing a contract on a new home, from a decent size builder. I have heard a good tactic is to go in with a real estate agent I trust, and then have an agreement to split some of the profit with the agent, since as the buyer the price of the home wouldn’t increase, but the seller (builder) would be out 5% or so of the home cost.

Can someone confirm what an agent would get going into this contract with me (house is in IL and worth $307K)?

Also, if I asked the builders in advance if they could make it worth my wild to NOT come in with an agent on the contract, what do you think is fair to ask them to do for me? Example I am thinking is to have them come down on the price of the home by 5K, or ask for them to stay at 307K, but throw in 5K in options free.

Thoughts?

The Expert answers:

Always use an Agent you trust and a Broker is even better (he is the boss).
The housing tract does not want you to use an Agent and they in many cases do not want to pay them a fee. But it is for your protection to have someone with much knowledge to review the contracts.
You can hire a Buyers Agent to help you through the contracts. You pay them a flat rate fee, generally $500 or so.
They will make sure you understand all the paperwork and that it is only in your best interest.
The builders agent wants what is best for his client, the builder.
You need to review the HOA’s, and CC&R’s too. Find out about all warranties, and insurance costs.

Work with a Broker or Agent, it is worth it in the end.

John asks…

How much did my real estate agent make?

I just bought a house for $420,000 and I want to know how much my real estate agent and the sellers real estate agent made on us, and how much did my loan agent make? Any ideas? I just want to know if the service I got was worth the money I paid.
Living in California.

The Expert answers:

Look at ur agreement w/ the agent or ur contract. Everyone’s fees are noted. My agent received 7%. But fees are negotiable and there are many other factors that could affect the amount they receive. If u dont want to look at ur contract…just call them. They would have no problem telling u or letting u know what page to find the info.

Mary asks…

How can I get my real estate agent to drop the commision for selling my house?

I am trying to sell my parents house NY. How can I get the real estate agent to drop the commision from %5 to something lower.

The Expert answers:

Once your boss is successful in telling you that he’s going to pay you less for doing your job, then you can approach the Real Estate Agent.

I personally want to be paid for my work.

William asks…

How do I choose a real estate agent in another state?

I’m planning a very long distance move (Arizona–>Missouri) For this move we will be purchasing our first home. How do I choose a good real estate agent who knows the area, and type of property I want from so far away?

The Expert answers:

Best is to find property & real estate portal in your area. Hopefully you will get some good agents through this. Good Luck

Resources:

http://www.manezil.com/

Helen asks…

What to look for in a good real estate agent?

My dad is a public school teacher but he became a millionare investing in real estate. His advise is to hire the “youngest and hottest real estate dame in town”. He says they get more people interested in their properties and they are harder to say no to when working through a deal. He sounds like a pig to me on this one but it has worked for him. Any one with experience on this one because I need to find a good agent.

The Expert answers:

I do not have experience in this… But I read a book entitled Feakonomics by Steven Levitt an Stephen Dubner. In this book it explained why we should have an agent like you father had.

Here are the basics of earning a few extra dollars on the purchase of a home. (sounds strange: but on any investment, the profit is made on the purchase of a deal).

Work to find an agent who is an excellent salesman/woman.
—-like your dad mentioned.—

Then write up a contract on the side that states that if they get you into the home for 20K less than the asking price you’ll give your agent an extra 5k. If he/she get you in for 40K less you’ll give him 10K. Etc. Etc. (make it realative to the ammount you save) Because you are going to pay him/her anyway… This will have to be done on the side so that they will work hard for you and not their realtor. This process will save you 15K or 30K and give the agent more will power to work to get YOU that great deal.

Be sure you write this up outside of their contract with their Realtor, just to insure that your agent gets the full 5K or 10K and not just the typical 2%.

I hope this works for you.

Sandy asks…

What does it mean if a real estate agent is encouraging us to let her act as an intermediary?

My husband and I live in Texas and we think it’s time for us to finally buy a home. Our busy schedules keep us from being able to really search the marker and we have realized that we need a real estate agent but I am not sure if I should sign a contract with her. She would like us to let her act as a intermediary agent and I am not sure if that is on best interest. Please advice!

The Expert answers:

NEVER ever accept anyone as a “legal” intermediary. Know that the duties of a broker depend on whom
the broker represents. If you are a prospective
seller or landlord (owner) or a prospective buyer or
tenant (buyer), you should know that the broker who lists
the property for sale or lease is the owner’s agent. A
broker who acts as a subagent represents the owner in
cooperation with the listing broker. A broker who acts as
a buyer’s agent represents the buyer. A broker may act as
an intermediary between the parties if the parties
consent in writing. A broker can assist you in locating a
property, preparing a contract or lease, or obtaining
financing without representing
———————-

http://www.habitathunters.com/services/IBS.pdf

———–
a buyer should never ever accept anyone but a buyer’s agent.

A buyer’s agent acts like an attorney, ADVISING and negotiating. [paid for by the seller]

an intermediary is a totally neutral party–WORTHLESS when buying real estate.

[fact; in the past 40 yrs, buyers have overpaid by 15% average, on properties
bought when dual agency OR intermediaries was/were accepted by the buyer
because NEITHER one is permitted by law, to negotiate for the buyer!!!

Paul asks…

How do you become a real estate agent in Florida?

I would like to become a real estate agent, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is giving me the straight answer. I live in Florida and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. What do I need to do?

The Expert answers:

You sign up for your license at http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/re/LicensureInformation.html.
After you take your pre-license class you sign up to get fingerprinted. Then after you are fingerprinted you can sign up to take your licensing test. You find out if you passed your test right at the testing center afterwards. Then you give them the info for where you will be working and they send you a license. I would go talk to real estate agencies in your city to get an idea of where you want to place your license before you take your class. It is quite frankly a pain in the butt to get through the licensing process in Florida. The application process was a whole lot harder than actually taking the test. If you are having trouble they have numbers posted on the website and they can help you. They were very friendly and helpful to me when I went through it.

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Your Questions About Real Estate

Donald asks…

I have a real estate license. Do I qualify to be an apartment leasing agent?

To qualify for a leasing agent job, is a real estate license required?

The Expert answers:

If you are paid a salary from the property owner on an hourly rate, probably not. If you are paid a commission based on sales, probably yes.

Donna asks…

What do you have to do to be a Real Estate Agent?

My dream job is to be a real estate agent. I’ve heard that I should go to college, or that I should just take many business classes. What should I do?

The Expert answers:

You need to have done a short course which is specific for real estate agents and then register yourself as an agent.

Lisa asks…

What are some good jobs in real estate that are not being an agent or broker?

The Expert answers:

Stop representing others and you are set;

appraiser
builder
inspector
repair person
roofer
a lot more

Mary asks…

Job as a real estate agent?

I’ve heard that in their first year that real estate agent‘s don’t make very much and I was wondering if any agents out there can give some advice on whether I should get my license and maybe share their experiences of how their careers started and maybe give some tips to me. Thanks.

The Expert answers:

My dads a real estate agent and does well hes been doing it for quite a few years. I am also in the real estate business, I remodel homes. You just have to get used to being paid in big chunks, and making it last. I think the biggest thing i have learned from his career is that he always looks out for his clients, and makes sure that they don’t get into a home they can’t afford. Also, different areas have different markets, which go up and down. It really all depends on the job market in your area, what the housing market will be like.
He also supplements his real estate income by buying homes and fixing them up for sale (like what i do for work). Its a great way to make some extra money and can far out way the amount of commission you earn in a year.

I would say that in your first year you will probably be spending most of your time learning about what the market is like in your area, and what is a fair price for a property and what is not. Networking is probably the most important part of starting your career. A lot of my fathers clients have been with him for years.

Once you network and get clients who trust you, and get your name out, learn the market, and always do the best for your client it can be a great job.

Paul asks…

What are the pros and cons of the profession of real estate agent?

There is almost no need for education to be a real estate agent. For how long can this job survive before becoming obsolete?

The Expert answers:

Yes, the training required to get a real estate license is ridiculously low in most (all?) states. This may (in part) explain the outrageous turnover in this business, where more than half of all newly licensed agents do not survive long enough to renew their licenses (two years max).

(The real estate salesperson exam is a joke, and the courses needed to take it are simple to the point of being insulting, even though Washington has a reputation of being one of the tougher states.)

Most successful agents either voluntarily complete additional training, work with a mentor in an “apprenticeship” situation, or both.

The large, chain brokerages tend to operate on a volume basis, where they have lots of agents, most of whom are just doing very little, if anything other than paying brokerage fees. They’ll have five agents doing well, maybe ten that are making a living, and a hundred that are only doing one or two transactions in the entire time with the agency.

The agents in that last group come in for a year or so, and then get discouraged and leave, but since it’s so easy to get a licence, and since so many folks are convinced that it’s easy money, there are always more people ready to take their places.

This works well for the big agencies, not so well for the average agent, as the client base is diluted, and all those newbies give all of us a reputation for not knowing our business.

Eventually there will be some series of scandals, caused by the lack of training of the vast majority of new agents, and the states will finally start requiring at least as much training to advise people on what is often their largest single asset as they require in order to cut hair.

Hours of training required – Washington

Real estate salesperson – 60 hours
Barber – 1,000 hours (no, I’m not exaggerating)

In the mean time, many of us will continue to voluntarily get additional training in order to do a better job for our clients. A lot of that “alphabet soup” after the word “Realtor” indicates extra training and qualifications.

Laura asks…

How to become a real estate agent in Indiana?

My wife wants to get into real estate. what does she need to do and how much does it cost. I think their is a test involved and if so how much is it and how long does it take to get your license? Also after you get your license how do you go about getting a job at a real estate business. Also what is the average salary for someone in the real estate market for their 1st year and with the way the economy is? is this a good career move for her?

The Expert answers:

In order to become a realtor, you need to take a course which is two weeks in duration. You can find a list of approved schools on the Indiana Professional Licensing website at:

http://www.in.gov/pla/bandc/estate/preedproviders.html

After that she would take a test (there is a fee for that, not sure how much probably around $100). It is easy to find a job as a realtor since they do not pay you. Most agencies will take you on and some even will reimburse your cost of schooling. As for income in the first year, most realtors will tell you that the first few years are very lean. You have marketing expenses, gas, etc. It is a business in some ways just like any other business. You have to build for the future. If you do it properly and are good at it you can build a successful business. Many fail at it just as any other business. Some tread water for many years just making enough to get by. It varies. When you look at real estate magazines you will see realtors with multi-page ads of listings, with a full staff. These are the people that are making a lot of money. You will not see the people that have one or two listings and that drive buyers around town all day long.

Sandra asks…

i want to become a real estate agent?

What are the pros and cons of being a real estate agent these days. i heard the market is not good right now. After doing some research i know a few things about the annual fees and the fees to join the top 3 organizations. What hours do realtors normally work? Is it good to work a full time job and do real estate part time? How do people work from home doing real estate? These are my top questions i have. Feel free to add more information too. I live in oklahoma if that helps.

The Expert answers:

This is a very bad time to choose to go into real estate. Sales are off on both new and existing homes.

Realtors do not work set hours, but may be required to put in phone time at the agency they’re affiliated with.

Some RE agencies will not mind if you work part time. Others will not take you on unless you work full time.

To work from home, you need a computer with an Internet connection, a telephone, and a lot of drive.

Steven asks…

Is estate agent a real job considering no skills are needed?

The Expert answers:

I’m not an Estate Agent but they do have a whole lot of skills – at least the good ones. Just a few are;

- legal knowledge about what you can and can’t do when selling a House
- sales skills – able to highlight the features and benefits of a house
-communication skills
- interpersonal skills
-knowledge of the area and prices

Nancy asks…

What route would one take to become a real estate agent or broker and possibly more in the future?

I would like to futher my education in college with a base in business b/c I hope and plan to own a business one day. I have always been interested in Real Estate and I love architecture, design, traveling etc and enjoy working with people. What route should I take if I want to go to college but at the same time I know I dont need college to become a real estate agent. AND are their other professions dealing with real estate that in fact need a higher education to qualify for those jobs?

The Expert answers:

Seems like I’ve answered this a few times. I’m a Realtor who used to work in Architecture. I would recommend a study in business or marketing if you want to go to school but want something that will give some flexibility down the road. Their are careers in real estate where a real estate focused degree can help. Usually they involve pushing developments through local city governments for approval. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Also, some commercial real estate jobs require schooling but you’ll find they don’t pay as well as being and agent or broker.

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Your Questions About Real Estate

Joseph asks…

If I have a non occupant co-signer for an FHA loan, will I be approved for a higher amount?

I am trying to buy my first home with my boyfriend of 6 years. His credit rating isn’t very good, so I want to purchase the home myself. Using a loan calculator, I figured out that on my own I won’t be approved for a reasonable amount. If I have a co-signer, will the amount of the loan increase? How much will it increase?

The Expert answers:

If your mortgage allows for a co-borrower, how much the loan amount will increase will depend on the strength of your co-borrowers credit score and resources.

George asks…

Can I buy a home if i only earn $23k a year?

I am a 25 year old single mother and have always planned on “someday” buying a home. I make around 23k a year and going by those mortage calculators online, the amount of loan I would qualify for wouldnt even buy me a decent mobile home!! Recently, my grandpa shocked me by telling me he would help me get my not-so-great credit fixed up and see if he could also help me get a house. I’m not sure how much he will help, but says he has some money saved to help me. Also, a friend of mine who made less than I do bought a house for $112k (brand new HUD home) through various government loans. Should I just forget about buying a home or what? I do have a stable job with steady income and have had no problems paying my rent. Any advice?
I mean, can I buy a DECENT place? Is there a chance I can qualify for more than I think?

The Expert answers:

That depends on the price of your home, and how much you can save a month pt pay the mortgage

talk to your grandpa to see how much he can help u towards the purchase

Nancy asks…

When calculating tax savings from mortgage interest, should you use your marginal tax rate or average tax rate

The TurboTax and HR Block quick calulators appear to use average tax rate to determine tax savings. Our average tax rate was 15% this year. Most other calculators specifically designed for calculating mortgage interest tax savings use marginal tax rate, which for us is 25%. Which are we supposed to use for an accurate estimation of our tax savings? We’re thinking of buying a home and this weighs heavily in our decision process.

The Expert answers:

Compute your tax with out a home then add the home and see how much it changes.
If you get the standard deduction for a couple it is over 10,000 so that part is no savings. When you have a house you have property taxes and interest to deduct plus then your state income or sales tax and charity is deductable.
If you aren’t doing charity and pay $3,000 for property tax only any interest over about 6K will reduce your tax and it will reduce it at your marginal rate so you will save 25% of 6K or about 1,500 maybe 2,000 if you have high state taxes.

Thomas asks…

What is the best way to measure my body fat?

I’m looking for something I can do at home and buy with out needing to be an expert. BMI calculators are absolutely wrong I would like to shoot the person who invented this system. Are Electronic Bodyfat Analyzer pretty reliable? Also how can I find a place that does the flotation thing in the tank to analyze body fat near where I live. I live in Connecticut if that helps. Sorry for the mouthful thanks.

The Expert answers:

The best thing is to…

…get over it.

If you are fat, get fit. If you aren’t, get on with your life.

You don’t need a precise measurement of body fat to be healthy. The only purpose for it is vanity.

Daniel asks…

Can you buy a home with 10% down?

I noticed that all the real estate mortgage calculators default to 20%, is this because you can’t typically only put down 10%? My fiance has perfect credit (we’ll be buying after we’re married). My credit isn’t so perfect, but it can go in his name I assume. Also, by the time we buy, our combined income should be around 75k/year.

Thanks!

The Expert answers:

No matter what you’ve heard, you can still buy a home with no money down, and you can do it regardless of your credit or your income situation. For details, go to http://tinyurl.com/NothingDownLoans

Maria asks…

I lost my calculator?

I borrowed my sister’s TI 84 plus graphing calculator to do my PSAT’s. I GUARANTEE I did not leave it at school. When I got home, I put my calculator on my car’s windscreen because I had to help my dad put my ladder in my backyard. I semi-remember bringing it back up to my house. But I searched everywhere for my calculator and cannot find it. My family is mad at me and the calculator was expensive when we bought it, which was a few years ago.I’m not sure if I left the calculator on my windscreen or not. But I DO remember me placing my pencils I used during the test on my desk, not really sure about the calculator. My car was parked onto my driveway. I’m probably suspecting the mailman took it since I got home before I got the mail, or a passing by pedestrian took it. After i walked into my home I placed my pencils and maybe my calculator on my desk. Went into my small bedroom and changed. thats about it.

The point is, i want you to be in my shoes and suggest where the calculator might be. I search everywhere inside my car and no luck.

Thank you

The Expert answers:

I lost mine too!!! And it’s the property of my school’s D: I am positive that someone stole it… Because I had it in my backpack and went on a fieldtrip. I came home for homework and it was GONE.. Maybe someone stole yours? D:

Betty asks…

How is new, client-based income used in home finance pre approval?

My brother and his wife both just got new jobs. His is salaried. But hers is with a medical private practice where she will be paid based on the number of clients she sees. At first, as she builds up her client-base, her income will be lower. But, likely within six months to a year, she will have full-time clients. At only a 50% client load, she will already be earning over $100,000/yr. And she intends to work full-time as soon as she can build up the clients, at which time she’ll be earning over $200,000. So, she’s in a great field, in a great location, with huge income potential.

They are interested in buying a home within the next few months, and based on some online calculators (which I realize are not going to be 100% accurate), the pre-approval they’ll get from my brother’s income alone is slightly less than they’ll need to buy the home they are aiming for. But with only an additional $25,000/yr, they will earn enough to qualify for the loan. So, doing the math, to earn $25,000/yr, his wife would only need about one-tenth of a full-time client load… around a 4 hour work week! So, definitely an easy, attainable goal.

They both have excellent credit… above 800. But, my brother called a Chase bank and inquired how they pre approve home buyers for financing, and they said that at their bank, they would only consider his salary. They would not consider hers unless she showed pay stubs from at least two months at the new job, and then they would only consider the sum of what she made in those two months as her entire yearly salary. So, even if they wait a couple months, those first couple paychecks are going to be much lower than she will be earning after that and will be a incredibly poor representation of what she will be earning.

Is this common procedure with all banks now? The bank claimed it was. My brother knows they could rent for a year and wait for his wife to have a much higher income before applying, but they were hoping to capitalize on the current home market and low interest rates. I know banks have to be tighter these days with their lending practices, but that seems like overkill. Any insights?

The Expert answers:

Mortgage lenders generally want to see 2 years of stable income minimum before they will consider a loan. If it’s not with the same employer it should be in the same field. With 2 earners they will generally want to see 2 years from one and at least 6 months from the joint borrower before they will consider the joint borrower’s income.

Any on-line calculator is just going to be a guess. Try applying at local credit unions and community banks first. They have more of a vested interest in the local area and are more likely to be flexible for local borrowers.

Linda asks…

First time home buyer?

I am looking into buying my first home in about 7 months. I was wondering how much I can afford. There are mortgage calculators that help you do so, but they do not take into affect the extra costs of buying a house. Is there an easy way to get a realistic estimate of monthly payments related to the cost of the home itself?

To make it more clear, I need to know what price range to look into.
Should I speak to a mortgage lender at a bank or elsewhere?

The Expert answers:

If you get pre-qualified then they will figure out what price range you can afford and that will be the amount of the pre-qualification letter. They let you use up to 47% of income for the house and alot depends on debt to income ratio and credit. I would speak with a mortgage company, call any realtor in your phone book and they will give you the name of a lender you can call.

Sharon asks…

First time home buyer… Best Loan?

My fiancee and I are deciding to buy a home basically because we pay 975 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment in Virginia. We are sick of spending that much money on something we will never own and feel like we are thrwoing it away and could be investing in something like a home. The only thing is that realty is really expensive in VA and we are not in the position to move out of the state. I go to school here for nursing and he just relocated here for his job (not military). I work only part time and make just a little over 700 a week after taxes and he makes a little over 2300 a week after taxes. We are looking at homes in the nicer parts of Norfolk, which is VERY limited!!!! We we interested in buying a home last year and got pre-qualified and was told we we pre qualified for somewhere in the 180,000 range. But then I was working full time makeing about 1200 a week and he was making 2300.

For some reason he seems to think that we still qualify for 180,000 range and has been looking all over for homes in that range, but I don’t think we do. I have done the mortgage calculators and it says we qualify for like 150,000… but that will get you nothing now a days.

We lost contact with the person who we got pre qualified with last year, and we met her through a friend that we lost contact with, so we are on our own and don’t know what the hell to do first!!!! He seems to think that if we buy a home for 180,000 that our mortgage payment will only be around 900-1000 a month (30 yrs.) but I think he is sadly mistaken and any time I try to tell him this is causes a HUGE fight. There is no way that we are gouing to get a home for 180,000 and only pay 1000 a month for a mortgage… maybe I am wrong?

He thinks that the first time home buyers program will cover all closing costs and things like that, and also is planning to only put down like 5,000… and still only pay 1000 a month on a 180,000 mortgage note!!!!

What loan should I get that would have the best rate and one that will not require me to put a bunch of money down??? Who should I go through?
Sorry all!!! I meant a 700 a month and 2300 a month!

The Expert answers:

You seem to have a much better idea of real life than he does. However you both need to learn a lot before you buy.

Ask friends or family that have bought homes in the area recently who they used to get a mortgage and if they were happy with the way things were done. Go visit the loan officer (in person) that they recommend. Ask what kind of programs are available for first time home buyers- ask what you can qualify for. Ask what your total payment will be including your payments for property tax and homeowners insurance. Only buy a place that you can comfortably make the payments on and leave some money for additional expenses like repairs or mowing lawns or stuff you want to furnish the home with.

Buying a home right now could the the greatest thing you ever did. In many parts of the country the prices are very low and the interest rates are extremely low. But you want to enjoy living there and that means you don’t want to get in over your head.

Also you only want to buy if you intend to stay in this area at least three to five years- because of the cost of buying and selling real estate.

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Your Questions About Real Estate

Michael asks…

How do I get out of being the primary co-signer on a house that I co-signed for my brother-in-law?

I co-signed for my wife’s brother to get his first home at the beginning of this year. Basically he put $25,000 of his girlfriends money down on the house. The real estate agent wrote up a form saying that the money was given as a gift to me. My brother in law went through the entire searching for a home, he did most of the talking and negotiating with the agent and just brought the papers to me to sign. I reviewed everything to make sure everything was legit and reluctantly signed everthing. My wife kind of convinced me to do it. I have never bought a house for before so they had to use the FHA LOAN to get it approved. Basically my wife is now saying that she never should have made me do it, because how are we supposed to get our own house now. My credit wasn’t even that good at the time I signed, but some how the real estate agent got it approved, probably because of the amount of money Down. Is there a way for me to get out of the house or put it into his name? My brother-in-law has only been at his job at Lowe’s for a little less than 1 year. His girlfriend also works, but I don’t know how much she gets paid. I don’t think he will have very much money to put down if he were to try and buy it from me because he already put money down “through me” to get this one. I know I shouldn’t have use my FHA to get someone else a house, but I need out of this soon, so I can get my own wife and kids a house.

The Expert answers:

The only option is to sell to him, for the balance owed, since you are not really talking about your investment anyway.

Chris asks…

can i still be evicted form my rental property?

we were behind in rent. it was due jan 23 but we ran into difficulties, got the 14 day notice etc. my partner went to the hearing in which tribunal gave us till 25th feb to pay or notice of posseson will be done. we paid jan 23rd rent AND feb 23rd rent on the 4th of march (late but still paid) it was recieved late but we let the real estate agent know and she said it wasn’t really ok but she’ll let us pay it on the 4th as we were trying to get the money organised. police came on the 4th with a notice saying they have applied for possesion, i explianed we were about to pay the rent and he said it would probably be thrown out in that case. didn’t hear from real estate, didn’t think to call to make sure all was good (she is been nothing but nasty to us, calling my partner a liar about his work calling us both liars about why we couldn’t pay etc) got a phone call on the monday from the polive infoming us that the landlord wanted us out anyway even though we paid. now i’m PANICKING; as you do. our lease only started on november 23rd 2010, we’re upto date, we know we will never have trouble again with the rent but the real estate doesn’t believe me!. i have applied to VCAT for a review becasue i was sick and so was my 7 month old so we stayed home. my hearing is on the 22nd. i plan to bring this months rent with me to prove that we will from now on be paying on time, and was wondering if anyone knew my chances of the tribunal letting us stay? if they do i’m sure it’ll be one of those “if you do it again your out immediately” kind of things but….. does anyone know? i’m terrified beyond belief. i dont know what to do i’m so scared to be kicked out right at the BEGINNING of my lease. any help would be appreciated.

The Expert answers:

Sure you can. The judge said 2/25. It wasn’t paid by then. Look to move.

Linda asks…

Quitclaim Deed question?

I am buying a house with my fiance. we are already out of attorney’s review and during the whole process we’ve been told i can be put on the deed and not the mortgage( i have no credit score or 20 percent to put down) by our lawyer, real estate agent, and mortgage person. Today is the second day out of attorney’s review and they tell us i can’t be on the deed anymore because they just don’t “do that anymore” can anyone tell me what my options are? i was told potentially using the quitclaim deed
i didn’t ask for judgement but thanks for your input, the details are none of your bussiness, if you know anything about my question and want to elaborate, thank you.

The Expert answers:

Since you are not helping to pay for the property you should leave it alone. Worry about the deed after you are married.

Steven asks…

How much should we pay for house?

My b/f and I put an offer of $300K on a house and it was accepted. We had the inspection and discovered that the house needs a new roof and has some other minor issues.
We asked seller’s to drop price by $5000 but they refused to. The real estate agents involved ended up cutting their commissions by $2500 each to lower the price of the house to $295000.
The appraisal was done a few days ago and it came in at $285000 meaning we would not be able to secure a loan w/the bank because it was appraised too low.
We just found out today that the appraiser sent over a new appraisal to the seller’s agent of $293000.
I’m wondering which appraisal will be used. I think the bank has to review both appraisals but not sure.
Anyways I’m just not sure how we should renegotiate based on these low appraisals, knowing that the sellers are very stubborn and wouldn’t even lower the price for the roof.
Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated.
I forgot to mention the agreement is subject to appraisal, inspection, and mortgage.
I was also wondering if the amount of the appraisal is reflective of the roof needing work or if we should have more money taken off of the price of the house.

The Expert answers:

You may not be able to get them to budge – some people are just stubborn and believe everyone else is wrong in their assessments. If your bank won’t appraise it for their asking price, chances are, no one’s will. They will be faced with either having to lower the price or letting it sit on the market (which I have seen to ridiculous extents.)

Joseph asks…

Rental Business: I viewed a property and AWARE OF issues seller does not think I am aware of?

Hi,
I know seller has issues with current tenants because I stayed and spoke with them after real estate agent left. I have an accepted offer subject to a few conditions including seller giving me permission to view cases of tenant against him with the landlord and tenant boards.
I know some tenants took him to court. However I still might be interested in the property.
The seller now does not want to give permission saying he has no issues with any of the tenants!
As mentioned, I know he is lying but will not tell him “liar” in order not to jeopardize the deal, which might otherwise be good!
so.. my question is:
Should I just tell him the truth -I spoke with the tenants and I know there are cases against you in court so i must review them before releasing the conditions!?

OR was it unethical to speak with his tenants before buying the property? and therefore should I not tell him I know that from the tenants because it might really upset him?

THANKS.

The Expert answers:

Leave the tenants out of it, you never know anyway, they could be lying to you. They are renters, they tend not to be all that honest about anything.

Just pull the public records. If there are in fact open cases against him they are open to the public, you can get copies of the records without involving any one else.

Richard asks…

PLEASE CLICK HERE. IMPORTANT QUESTIONS HERE [CLICKY CLICKY] =]?

I’ve been thinking really hard about which college I want to go to. I really want to go to RIT- Rochester Institute of Technology. I’m also a hard of hearing high school student so I get good review from teachers saying that it’s a great school for me.
But the thing is I don’t know what to be. When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet, then a doctor, then a cop, then a CSI, then a teacher, then a wedding planner, to interior designer or real estate agent. They changed when I got older.
I don’t really know what to major in if I decides to go there or not.

In school I make average grades, I’m pretty socialble, and a hard-worker. Should I just be undecided or what?

What do you know about RIT, I’ve checked out the sites and everything but I want your opinion. I heard there are racial tension, is that true? I’m mixed, filipino/black but i’m tan. So would I face discrimination or what?

Confused. Thanks for your help =]

The Expert answers:

Be undecided.
I’m a Senior in college…my friends have obviously all declared their majors (they have to by now) but no one really knows what they want to do. No one EVER really knows. Go in undeclared; take classes to see what you like. You have so much time–you have no idea how much time you have to figure this out!

Charles asks…

FHA Loan – HUD 1 and Fee’s Worksheet – Am I being overcharged?

I have received the preliminary HUD1 and Fee’s Worksheet for an FHA loan I am getting. My mortgage broker and real estate agent both said the title fee’s look high, but I was wondering if any one familiar with this area could review the following docs to see if anything looks suspicious or anything.

Fee’s Worksheet
http://screencast.com/t/n8MPMWYaMC (top)
http://screencast.com/t/0mdPrinEu (bottom)

HUD 1
http://screencast.com/t/FujiIfqJ4f (page 1)
http://screencast.com/t/19sUsNmTV (page 2)

Thanks so much!
Loan is for Florida. You should be able to see images if you go to those 4 links I put. Thanks.
You should be able to open these (I think you may have been copying the part in parentheses)

Fee’s Worksheet

http://screencast.com/t/n8MPMWYaMC

http://screencast.com/t/0mdPrinEu

HUD 1

http://screencast.com/t/FujiIfqJ4f

http://screencast.com/t/19sUsNmTV

The Expert answers:

I can’t open either.

The Loan Officer should know what the attorney or title company charges to close a loan. If he thinks they look too high he should be calling them. The LO should also know what title insurance costs for lender’s ins & owner’s ins. These are fees he is bound to & now (since 1-1-10) has only a 10% aggregate tolerance. That means if certain fees are 10% more than what he disclosed, he has to pay the overage. Look at the third page of the HUD1, almost half way down. This is where it is shown.

Robert asks…

Is this a good movie summery of “the haunted mansion”?

okay so i have to do a movie review fo english on this movie.
i started with this introduction to the movie.

The Haunted Mansion, starring Eddie Murphy, is full of surprises, ghosts, zombies, and every once and a while, a floating marching band. The Evers, consisting of Jim, Sara, and their 2 kids, Michael and Megan, are supposed to be going on a “family adventure” to the lake. But when the selfish real estate agent (Jim Evers) gets an opportunity to sell an old beautiful mansion that could be worth half a million dollars, he goes for it. The family adventure turns out to be more of an adventure than they would have ever imagined. They knew the mansion would have spiders, but ghosts, they had no idea. Mr. Gracey, who you meet about 30 minutes into the movie, is enamored with Sara and they discover that Sara looks like Mr. Gracey’s old girlfriend who died young. Throughout the movie, the family is in a race against time to save Sara who is in trouble with Mr. Gracey. He is fully convinced that she is or was his girlfriend.

is it a good start?
if not, please share what you think should be added, or taken outl.
by the wayy;; this is just the introduction into the movie review. you have to give a summary of it first.

The Expert answers:

Yes i think that is a very good summery of the movie i saw it once and that is what happened!!!!!!

GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!

Daniel asks…

Click here please! MUCHO IMPORTANTE! ?

I’ve been thinking really hard about which college I want to go to. I really want to go to RIT- Rochester Institute of Technology. I’m also a hard of hearing high school student so I get good review from teachers saying that it’s a great school for me.
But the thing is I don’t know what to be. When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet, then a doctor, then a cop, then a CSI, then a teacher, then a wedding planner, to interior designer or real estate agent. They changed when I got older.
I don’t really know what to major in if I decides to go there or not.

In school I make average grades, I’m pretty socialble, and a hard-worker. Should I just be undecided or what?

What do you know about RIT, I’ve checked out the sites and everything but I want your opinion. I heard there are racial tension, is that true? I’m mixed, filipino/black but i’m tan. So would I face discrimination or what?

I know, wrong category but it seems like a popular spot to put it lol.

Confused. Thanks for your help =]

The Expert answers:

Racial discrimination in school really isn’t around in college. At least all the schools where I go. Start out undecided. If you know you want to do a 4 year program then i would basically just take generals at a tech school. MUCH CHEAPER. Only you can know what you want. Good Luck in your Future.

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Your Questions About Real Estate

Helen asks…

Where can I find a good, aggressive real estate agent who specializes with investors?

I am a real estate investor and am looking for a experienced real estate agent as well as a real estate broker who specializes with investors. Can anyone please tell me how to find one, I have googled, ect and haven’t come up with much.
Thank you.

The Expert answers:

You have to join a real estate investment group AND BE ACTIVE!

In your areqm there may be a landlord association or a real estate investment group.

Its up to you to do your homework.

You cuold call a few offices to make an appointment to look at some property OR tqke one or two out to breakfast or lunch.

OR you could go for a little ride in your neighborhood or area. Look for complexes and the names of those offices managing them.

Thanks for asking your Q! I enjoyed answering it!

VTY,
Ron Berue
Yes, that is my real last name!

James asks…

How hard is it to get into real estate? How do you become a certified real estate agent?

I was interested in the real estate field. What steaps do i have to take to become a real estate agent?

The Expert answers:

Study and pass the state test

Mary asks…

Which national real estate broker do you think is the best real estate company to work for?

I’m curious to hear from real estate agents and brokers on reasons why you like your real estate brokerage company. Why do you think your broker is the best real estate company to work for? Are there any things you would change about your broker if you could? Are you happy with the fees you are charged and your commission splits? I’m wondering what broker offers the highest commission splits for agents with the lowest fees with the most amount of training, support, and resources.

The Expert answers:

There are several factors to consider before selecting a real estate agent or broker like one must be well-aware of real estate market, must have a significant experience in real estate, must be a good forecaster and most importantly a real estate must be reliable and sincere with his customers.

John asks…

What real estate software requirements do you have?

If you are a real estate professional, read on.

What features are you missing in your current real estate software for publishing properties in your portfolio, or what software features would allow you to boost your business or productivity?

What software do you currently use to publish your properties on the internet, and how do you make sure that the correct audience gets informed about your new property?

The Expert answers:

If you’re thinking of breaking in to the industry, then you’re up against some very, very stiff competition.

Most web hosting services (Ubertor, MyRealPage) etc have set themselves up for a huge following. There’s different layouts to choose from, functionality varies etc and the prices are tiered and reasonable. If you have the manpower and the advertising dollars to afford to start a new one, go for it!

Each service isn’t perfect. I hate the way photos are displayed on one service. I also hate the way the information is displayed. On the other hand, showing a “walk score” of the building/unit is great for people who want to know what’s around the area for convenience purposes. The most annoying thing is how difficult it is for 90% of programmers/web designers to use the service. In fact, the service has a list of approved vendors it works diligently with. If you’re not one of those vendors or use one, then good luck trying to design the pages without running into major issues. I hired my own designer who I work well with and he could only manage to do 30-40% of the design work because the programming and functionality was limited to those who know the service well and how to work around it – monopoly much?

As for “software”, it’s not called software. It’s not a program you have on your computer. You go to a link, log in to your site and manage your listings from there. If you want, they’re linked to your board number so when your listings pop on MLS, you can download it directly to your site so you’re not manually re-entering stuff. There’s no magic or additional charge etc. Flat rate fee for usage.

There is no way to get your listings or properties to the “correct” audience. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have so many search engines, MLS.com etc and there would be just a magical way to have flyer drops to specific buyers etc – dream on!

Most agents will agree that real estate software is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. People have their own databases managed via Excel or Access or Maximizer etc. Actual software like Top Producer has been, in my opinion, an absolute waste of money and a complete money grab.

Richard asks…

What should I do to become a real estate developer or investor?

Im a senior in high school and plan on going to a community college for 2 yrs.and then 2yrs. at a university and major in bussiness administraion. I think while Im doing that I should intern for a big real estate place like Remax or something because I would like to learn the different areas of real estate like being an agent or flipping houses.I don’t know if I should go to Real Estate school after college or what.Any suggestions on what I should do?

The Expert answers:

I recently graduated college and I am employed as a commercial real estate appraiser. It is pretty funny; I went to a community college for my Associates and went 2 more years to a university for business as well. I think working in any aspect of real estate is good especially for you and your age. I think working for a brokerage is good because money is not a big object yet and you can work part-time as you go to school. Also, you will get a feel of the business and you will see the different avenues it can take you such as sales, financing, construction, appraisal, commercial/residential investing etc. As an agent you will be exposed to different dimensions of the business. My suggestion is to find yourself while you are in community college and then make a decision in to what major you will be in before entering a university. Good Luck!

Donald asks…

How do part time real estate agent make money when their not selling homes?

I’m freshly into real estate. I’m curious as to how other people make a living when the market is down and you have no homes listed with you being sold. Even full time agents also. What type of ways do you find income rather than selling a home. I would like any EXPERIENCED real estate person to answer. I know everyone says don’t get into real estate becuase its 100% commission, but I love it. But I need some good advice. Please help. Thank you.

The Expert answers:

I have been a Realtor for 22 years and have worked full time and it is my primary source of income. Through the slow times I have built houses, bought and remodeled homes and sold them or kept as rental, worked for appraisers, and anything I can do to offset the lack of income. If being in real estate is what you enjoy…find something that you enjoy but involves the business. You might think about doing some property management. I recommend that if you have not been in the business very long….get involved in everything you can to socialize and widen your sphere of influence. Charity work will payoff in your heart and you will be amazed at the customers you can reach. You may have to find a part time job to get you through the lean times….I know people that substitute teach, clean houses, work at tax offices, etc. But if you stick out the first 5 years it is a great career. It takes time to establish yourself and your will work long hours. It is true that most real estate agents to not make a living selling real estate, but if they don’t it is because they did not do what it takes. Another option is to look at your listings and figure out another seller that may take their home in on trade or they could trade each other. It sounds crazy, but we did a lot of it back in the mid 80s. Good Luck to you!

Steven asks…

How do I become a real estate developer?

I want to break into the real estate developing field. I have a 4 yr college degree in political science. Please tell me any sites or real estate developing firms in tampa, florida where I can apply? I also bought some land and want to build on it someday. How and where do I get started?

The Expert answers:

You first need to decide if you are going to do commercial or residential development.

Http://www.ripatampa.com/

is a ‘site’ developer – they can assist in getting your property ready for your plans.

Depending on what you want to develop, depends on who you would use for assistance. I am located in Tampa, FL as well and know several professionals that may be able to point you in the right direction.

Stick with the names in the area that have been around for a bit and trusted community participants. You will be better off in the long run.

Feel free to drop me an e-mail with your number, I will give you more direction then. As it does depend on what type of development you plan to undertake on the property.

Hope this helps,

Joseph asks…

How do real estate people seem to be so safe in showing homes to strangers?

You see so many pretty real estate women, but it’s rare to hear of crimes against them even though they walk strangers through homes alone. I’m going to guess that they get identification of people via their license, but is that enough or do they use other methods too? I kind of doubt that all of them are carrying guns.
I hear you Lord, but how many fake IDs are out there too?
Wow, Janet.. Michigan?

The Expert answers:

Rapists and murderers seldom make appointments and give identification to the colleagues and company of their intended victim.

Daniel asks…

What is the difference between Real Estate tax and regular tax on a house?

Why is the real estate tax higher? Why do I have to pay real estate tax? I’m inheriting my grandmothers house. Is there any reason why I can’t pay regular tax? What are the laws about this in Manatee county, FL? Sources?

The Expert answers:

What are you talking about?
Each county assesses property taxes based on the value of the property, if that’s what you mean by real estate taxes.
What could you possibly be referring to when you say regular tax?
Do a little research; if you are inheriting this house, there must be an executor of the estate who can explain it to you.

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