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New Year's ResolutionsFor The Home Whether you're a new homeowner or you've been in your house for years, why not resolve to make 2007 "the year" you whip your house and household finances in top shape? It could prevent you from encountering costly problems down the road - and assist you in getting top dollar when it comes time to sell. The first thing you should do is develop and then implement a maintenance plan. "A homeowner who makes the necessary yearly investment will end up saving in the long run because routine
Mortgage Rates U.S. averages as of December 28, 2006:30 yr. fixed: 6.18%15 yr. fixed: 5.93%1 yr. adj: 5.47%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
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maintenance can help avoid larger, more expensive repairs that can add up to the tens of thousands of dollars or more," said Mike Kuhn, director of technical services for Housemaster, a New Jersey-
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?Let me show you.
Mortgage Insurance SlatedFor Tax Deduction Years in the making, a federal tax deduction for mortgage insurance is all but assured after bills which include the provision were passed last month by both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Only borrowers who close loans during and after 2007 and make less than $100,000 a year will be eligible to deduct all the private or government mortgage insurance paid for the year. A tax deduction reduces taxable income, leaving less income to tax. The new break with result in an average tax savings of between $300 and $350, according to Howard Glaser, a Washington lobbyist and former senior official in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. During the past five years, about one in five new loans have included mortgage insurance, according to Jeff Lubar, a spokesman for the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, a trade group for private insurers, but the number of new policies has fallen.
The Art of House Hunting: 8 Tips to Help in Your Search Armed with your down payment and your pre-approved mortgage loan, the next step is finding the house that will best meet your family's needs. With realistic expectations, patience, and plenty of research, you'll be well on your way. Once you narrow it down to the neighborhoods you like, you'll want to determine the maximum house price you can afford. Even though you're pre-approved for a set loan amount, it doesn't mean you can afford it. You'll want to factor in other expenses, including retirement and college savings, vacations, and home maintenance and repairs, when you calculate how much you can afford for a monthly payment. And don't forget to budget for homeowners insurance and property taxes. Next, differentiate your needs versus your wants. You need three bedrooms, but a fourth room would be nice for a play room or guest room. You need a two-car garage, but a larger one would be nice for storage. You need a functional kitchen but want hardwood floor. You need two bathrooms but want a luxurious master suite. You get the picture. As you begin on your house-hunting venture, you may want to prepare a checklist, perhaps in a table form on your
Putting Condo Myths to Bed What do you think of when you hear the word "condominium?" If you're like most people, you'll visualize either a high-rise apartment or a row of low-slung, garden-style walk-ups. And you'll be wrong. Of the nation's nearly 6 million condominiums, only 28 percent are in buildings with five or more units, according to a profile of the nation's nearly 6 million condominiums by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The profile is based on data from the Census Bureau's 2005 American Housing Survey. Truth be told, the condo market is as varied as it is large, the study found. And because the term condominium refers to a type of ownership rather than a type of dwelling unit, a condo can have any number of characteristics, including tenure, type of structure and location.
CONTINUED >>>Local Market Conditions
Daily News and Advice -->Read about the events shaping the Real Estate market today, find current interest rates, or browse the extensive library of advice and how-to articles written by some of the top experts in Real Estate. Updated each weekday.
December Roundup: Mortgage Rates Tick Up
Choose Your Method of Profit
Getting Organized for Tax Time
Sellers Could Lose Waiting for Buyers to Make Offers
Bonnie Fagoh E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.tampacoastalhomes.com Cell: 813-390-7606
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