Expired tax breaks for homeowners could be restored – retroactive to Jan. 1 – by this summer

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Though it’s not attracting much attention, the impending arrival of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., as head of the Senate Finance Committee could be good news for housing and real estate in the weeks ahead.  That’s especially true if you care about mortgage forgiveness relief and other tax code provisions that help homeowners, buyers and sellers.
Read article – Inman News


7 Common Home Buying Mistakes

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Even though each home and home buyer is unique, the same mistakes are made over and over again when making a purchase. This special report will point out seven of the most common mistakes made during home buying and how to avoid them.

Buying a home is one of the most exciting events in a person’s life, whether it’s the first home or the fifth one; however, it can also be one of the most stressful. Purchasing a home should be regret-free and anxiety-free.

Learning to avoid these 7 most common mistakes when buying a home can help lower your stress and help you focus more easily on possibly the single largest purchase of your lifetime.

Mistake #1 Not Being Prepared

When you consider the scope of the purchase, it’s surprising how many people haven’t done sufficient research. Research your buying power – It’s easy to get a cursory idea of what you can afford through some of the realtor websites. Many have calculators that allow you to input your salary and debts.

Better yet, sit down with a professional before you go house-hunting. You can find out exactly what you can afford in less than an hour with a qualified mortgage consultant (insert your name).

When it comes to making an offer on a home, sellers are far more interested in offers that come from pre-qualified buyers. They know that the sale will in all likelihood go through and that there won’t be any unforeseen problems at the last minute. (Insert Your Company) offers clients a loan approval letter to present to sellers to verify their ability to close a loan.

Mistake #2 Thinking Too Long Term

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How to choose the right real estate agent

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Published October 27, 2012

Choosing the right real estate agent, whether you are buying or selling a home, is important. Different agents have their own strengths and weaknesses, and you want the best representative possible for your needs.

Needs for buyers and sellers are different, and it’s important to think about that when you’re selecting an agent. In both cases you want someone who is committed to you, knowledgeable about the area, and ready to go to the negotiating table, but remember that seller’s agents focus on getting the best deal for sellers, while buyer’s agents are interested in negotiating an optimal price for buyers.

Look for agents with a lot of experience, particularly in the area and price range where you intend to buy. These agents will be familiar with what’s on the market and the history of the market in the area, and they can help you differentiate between good and bad options. Price range is important too; an agent who focuses on low-income housing isn’t a great choice if you’re looking to buy a luxury home, and vice versa!

Agents often have brief profiles on their websites so you can learn more about them, and you can also check out their listings to get an idea of the kinds of properties they work with.

A good agent will be happy to go over information you’ll need to make informed choices.

– S.E. Smith

You may also want to take a look at the qualifications an agent lists. A real estate agent has a license from the state allowing her to practice. Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors, a professional organization for real estate professionals that maintains high membership standards and promotes excellent in the industry. Working with someone more qualified may be to your advantage.

An agent with the most closings isn’t necessarily the best agent for you, so don’t be fooled by that. The most important thing is commitment to you as a client, which is something you can only assess in a personal meeting. As you narrow down your list, start contacting agents to meet with them. Ask them about their working hours to see if they’ll be able to work with your own schedule and determine if they’ll have time to really focus on your needs as a client. Find out more about how long they’ve been in the business, and take time to ask questions.

A good agent will be happy to go over information you’ll need to make informed choices. The agent can walk you through the buying or selling process, define terms, talk about contingency plans, and more. If the agent is patient, friendly, and informative, that’s a good sign. If you’re being pressured to list or sign immediately with the agent or she’s reluctant to take time to go over information with you, move on.

S.E. Smith writes for Networx.com.

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Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/10/27/how-to-choose-right-real-estate-agent/#ixzz2AXEcQJql

Home Improvements That Sell

Nearly 90% of real estate agents believe home improvements can help a home sell faster, and nearly 73% say home work can boost the price, provided the home improvements are the right home improvements.  Nearly three in four (71.4%) real estate agents say sellers too often underestimate the power of simple home improvements – repairs, painting and cosmetic upgrades.
Read article – Realty Times

10 home maintenance tips for spring

When was the last time you checked your foundation vents?

By Paul Bianchina
Inman News®

The sun is peeking out and the plants are starting to blossom, so it must be about time for spring chores again. Here’s my annual spring checklist of important issues to tend to around the house.

1. Roofing repairs: If you suspect winter storms may have damaged your roof, it needs to be inspected. (If you’re not comfortable with the height or steepness of your roof, hire a licensed roofing contractor for the inspection.) Look for missing or loose shingles, including ridge-cap shingles.

Examine the condition of the flashings around chimneys, flue pipes, vent caps, and anyplace where the roof and walls intersect. Look for overhanging trees that could damage the roof in a wind storm, as well as buildups of leaves and other debris.

If you have roof damage in a number of areas, or if older shingles makes patching impractical, consider having the entire roof redone. Also, remember that if the shingles have been damaged by wind or by impact from falling tree limbs, the damage may be covered by your homeowners insurance.

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Mortgages: 7 Things You Don’t Want to Learn the Hard Way

by PJ Wade

Experience is a good teacher, but when it comes to mortgages—whether you’re arranging a new one or renewing—learning by experience can be expensive.

The more you understand about mortgages and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) before you sign a mortgage contract, the more you can save in interest charges, lender fees, and other borrowing costs.

1. Consider the Source:

The internet is a great research tool, but separating unbiased facts from marketing and misinformation can be tricky.

Often we are most vulnerable when we are intent on learning about something important to us. Our guard is down. Be cautious about which content you act on, and where you share personal information. According to the recent 2011 Mortgage Consumer Survey, released by the national housing agency, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), the internet provided recent real estate buyers with on-line mortgage calculators (86%) and financial self assessments (54%). The most popular search-engine key words used by buyers included interest rates (86%), mortgage options (76%) andmortgage calculators (69%). This CMHC survey, and consumer information like it, is equally accessible to legitimate and not-so legitimate companies developing and selling financial services and products. Taking time to research and understand mortgage details is important, just remain sceptical of special deals and too-good-to-be-true offers. Print information you want to act on as proof of what a company is offering, so you can hold them to it.

Check out our Featured Properties of metro Denver houses for sale.

Make The Most Out Of Your Deck

Getting away from it all can be as easy as stepping out through your own back door. With a careful arrangement of furnishings and an eye for comfort and convenience, we divided this deck into activity zones that make the possibility of relaxed outdoor living a reality.

Find out why to make your next home in the metro Denver area

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