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10 Tips For First-Time Sellers At first the task seems daunting: You haven't sold a home before, the market looks complex, and what worked for owners 10 or 20 years ago seems inappropriate today. What steps should you take? Here's a baseline list to get you started:
You Can Do It. Some 5.25 million existing homes were sold in 2001, more than 14,000 a day. Other owners have done it and so can you.
Define Your Goal. Do you want the highest sales price -- or the biggest check at closing? They're not necessarily the same. Imagine that two homes sell for $300,000, but one owner pays 2
Mortgage RatesU.S. averages as of January 31, 2002:
30 yr. fixed: 7.02%15 yr. fixed: 6.51%1 yr. adj: 5.12%30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%-->
Get today's rates
points and agrees to replace the roof. The owner who sold without such costs got a bigger check at settlement. The bottom line: To have a successful sale you need to look at both price and terms -- you
Wondering What Your Home Is Worth?Let me show you.
What Will Be Hot For New Homes In 2002? When it comes to new homes, what will be hot in this year? Deborah Rosenstein, with Rosenstein Research Associates, keeps an eye on what's hot by talking to consumers, focus groups and forecasting organizations, and touring 500 to 600 model homes a year. One of the most obvious patterns of years past has been the move toward increasingly-larger homes, a trend that may be slowing. While "the market truly likes a big home," Rosenstein says there's a limit to how large they can be because lots are smaller and you just "can't get as much ground." The emphasis this year will be increasingly on quality, rather than quantity. In her words, buyers will be "getting well defined spaces, sort of jewel box spaces." Rosenstein says, "You're getting all the functions that you had in a much larger house, but the finishing package is
How Stocks & Bonds Impact Fixed-Rate Mortgages It happened eleven times last year: The Federal Reserve reduced short-term interest rates in an effort to stimulate the economy. It's often thought that there's an immediate connection between short-term interest rate changes and fixed-rate mortgage interest levels. That's not the case, instead fixed-rate interest costs are largely related to long-term investment alternatives. The short-term Funds Rate and Discount Rate controlled by the Fed are designed, among other things, to stimulate the economy by making it less expensive to borrow money in the short term. If it costs less to borrow, then it's hoped that companies will use cheap money to expand, produce more, and hire additional workers. As a result, unemployment will fall, people will increase purchases, and investors will buy stock with an expectation of higher values. Of course this is all theory: Whether shares values will rise generally, or whether the value of a particular company will rise or fall in the future, cannot be known in advance. If investors are moving money into the stock markets, they're probably taking that same money from some other
Don't Let Insurance RatesGo To The Dogs By keeping your dog in line you can prevent your insurance company from taking an extra bite out of your wallet -- or potentially withdrawing coverage altogether. Dog bites account for one-third of all liability claims stemming from homeowners insurance policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute, a non-profit association. Insurance companies paid out about $310 million in property and casualty liability claims in 2000, according to Alejandra Soto, spokesperson for the group. In 1996, the figure was about $250 million. "The primary reason for the increase is higher jury awards and increased medical costs," Soto said. Dog bite treatment payments are typically higher than average emergency
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