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Is It Smart to Buy A Fixer-Upper as Your First Home?

Contributed by William Giakoumatos Buying your first home can be very exciting. Among all the decisions you’ll have to make when you seek that home is whether you want to buy one that’s ready to move into and live in as is, or one that needs a little work. Many people buy fixer-uppers because of [...]

The Student Loan Effect: How Debt Impacts Homeownership for Millennials

Freddie Mac’s Insight & Outlook report for September focuses on the challenges faced by three types of student loan borrowers, and how loan down payment mortgage loans could help, or not help, make homeownership possible. “The low homeownership rate among millennials is still something of a puzzle—it cannot be explained solely by the increase in [...]

How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck when Upgrading Your Rental Property

By Silvia Englert, General Manager at If you own rental property, you want to get the highest return on the money you invest in the property. Deciding on the rental price and what improvements to make to the rental all affect the ROI and can be a difficult task. The time period between one [...]

Know Before You Owe: More Homeowner Insights

By John Voket I am always thrilled to hear when folks make the jump to homeownership. And it’s important for prospective homeowners to know about all the resources available to them to help the experience go as smoothly as possible, especially when it comes to financing. In the first of this two-part report we clued [...]

Do You Know What Questions to Ask when Joining an HOA?

By John Voket It's been awhile since I reported about homeowner associations or HOAs. Neighborhood Link ( defines a HOA or Homeowner Association is a legal entity created to manage and maintain the common areas of a community. Typically these "common areas" consist of things like pools, clubhouses, landscaping, parks, streets and roads. HOAs are [...]

New Year’s Resolutions That Will Keep Your Home Warm and Happy

With the New Year upon us, many people are reminded of their resolutions from the past year. Many resolved to keep up with their home maintenance. How did you do? Was your New Year’s resolution to fix those air leaks in the window? If you haven’t done it yet, the time is now. The winds [...]

Is Your REALTOR® Sharpening an Axe?

By Lynn Pineda “If I had five minutes to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first three sharpening my axe.” -Abraham Lincoln Preparedness in anything can greatly increase our effectiveness and chance for success. In real estate, the same holds true. When the time comes to hire a REALTOR® that’s prepared to assist you [...]

Home Prices Rise in August

Home prices rose slightly at 0.2 percent in August, slower than the 0.6 percent rise in July, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite index released Tuesday. However, data through August 2014, released this week in the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, continue to show a deceleration in home price gains. The 10-City Composite gained 5.5 percent [...]

Real Estate FAQs: Should I Avoid an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

Financing Your Home Purchase   Q:  Should I Avoid an Adjustable Rate Mortgage? A:  Because adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, fluctuate with the market, they offer less stability than fixed-rate loans.  If an ARM is adjusted upward, monthly payments will increase, and for a lot of people that can be too big a risk to [...]

10 Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

By Dan Hechtkopf and Reid Heidenry 1. View the home as a form of recreation, not an investment. If you buy one, make sure, above all, that this is a house and an area you enjoy. It will be worth the cost if you spend as much time there as possible, put your heart and [...]

Q: How Do You Choose a Good Condo?

A: Seek ownership in a well-maintained building, and pay special attention to the financial health of the condo association. Lax maintenance may be a sign of financial trouble, which could result in higher maintenance fees and problems trying to resale the property later. Things to consider: Get a copy of the latest financial statement from [...]

5 Financial Risks to Consider in Retirement

Most people don’t know that 80 percent of mountain-climbing accidents don’t occur on the way to the summit – they happen on the way down, says financial expert and extreme sports enthusiast David Rosell. Although arriving at the top of the mountain is considered by many mountaineers to be one of life’s greatest accomplishments, I [...]

A Home Inspection Primer—Negotiating the Fixes

By John Voket In our last segment, I began reviewing the sometimes complex process of performing and utilizing home inspections as an important component of a home buying transaction. The site offers a wealth of information regarding home inspections. In this segment, we’ll take a look at negotiating home inspection issues using the site [...]