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For many families, their largest investment is their home. But home buying is extra complicated for military families, who tend to move frequently and sometimes with little notice. At the same time, service members have access to special mortgage programs and tax breaks to help them afford a home. Be sure you make the most of these special benefits and protect your investment.

Should you buy or rent? Members of the military receive a tax-free housing allowance to cover all or part of their monthly rent or mortgage payment. And if you own a home, you can deduct 100% of your mortgage interest, even if you're paying it with tax-free money. Nonetheless, it can still be tough to decide whether to rent or buy a house when you may only be stationed in an area

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A thorough home inspection is a critical step in the home-buying process, which is one reason that it's typically thought of as something the buyer has to do. There are, however, a few things that a seller can do to make the process smoother and ensure that a property gets flying colors during the inspection.
  What can sellers do to get ready for an inspection?


The first thing is make sure they aren't around during the inspector's visit, says Kenny Rhodes, a licensed home inspector with nearly 20 years experience. "It's really important that the seller not be here when we're being critical of his home," Rhodes says. If a homeowner does hang around, the potential buyer may not feel comfortable asking questions or discussing a property's

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We wanted to take some time to go over the short sale process with you. A short sale is a home that is in pre-foreclosure. The seller requires bank approval in order to sell the home. This can make the negotiation process longer and adds a certain amount of risk to you, the buyer. In a typical real estate transaction you would make an offer, and the seller would either accept or reject the offer. You would go through the negotiation process until an agreement was reached. You would put money in escrow ($500) which would be held by the Real Estate Group. With a short sale even if you and the seller negotiates a price that you both agree to, you also need the banks approval. Sometimes the bank requires that they hold your escrow payment. Let's say the bank…
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Information For Purchasing a New Home

When looking to buy a new home it is important to understand every step of the process.  This is why you need to work with an experienced realtor who can guide you through the steps to buy your home.  Don't forget to consider all the fees other than the actual cost of the home when deciding on your price range.  New buyers often forget to take into account down payment, insurance, and costs associated with closing the transaction.  A good step to start with is to decide the price range and features of your potential new home.  Also do your homework and take a look at different mortgage loan types.  Typically down payments range anywhere from three to twenty percent of the homes value.  Once you've

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Information on selling your home

  If you are looking to sell your home this year, there are certain steps you can take to improve your chances for a reasonable price in a reasonable amount of time.  As always get representation from an experienced Realtor so they can effectively guide you through the process.  One of the main factors affecting the sale of your home is the price.  Your Realtor can complete a comparative market analysis report (CMA) to determine the ideal price to list your home for.  Another major factor in the sale of your home is its condition.  Sellers commonly make the mistake of not painting or cleaning/replacing dated carpets because such upgrades do not directly add to the homes sales value.  However even if a

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When considering if the time is right to buy a new home, there are a lot of different factors to consider.  Home prices are different for each area of the country, but overall it seems to be an excellent time to buy.  The article focuses on seven factors to examine when making this decision.  The first is price.  You want to work with an experienced Realtor or Broker who can fill you in on what your local market is doing.  Nationally the average home price fell 19.2% over the last six years, so if you do your homework and get proper representation there are defiantly deals to be found.  You also want to take an equally close look at mortgage rates, which have now fallen to an historic low, at less than 4%.  You want to carefully consider

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Foreclosure Information

 The current real estate market has brought a lot of attention to investing in REOs (Bank owned properties) and foreclosures.  MSN recently did an article with five steps you should consider if you are serious about owning income property.  Their first suggestion was that if you are not experienced in buying foreclosures you should focus on REOs.  Foreclosures usually require all cash payments, and some cannot be inspected ahead of time.  Second make sure that you do have the right to get an inspection so you know how much of an investment the home is going to be after clean up and repairs.  Third have financing set up in advanced.  The transaction will not occur if you can't pay.  Fourth hire a qualified

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Learning about foreclosures can give a real estate investor a big edge.  However you need to get educated on what foreclosures are and how to effectively take advantage of the opportunities presented.  Typically a foreclosure occurs when a person fails to make a number of payments against their mortgage.  To make up for their loss, a bank or other lending institution will take the home.  Lenders want these properties off their books so that they can continue to make loans, so they often sell these homes at a reduced price.  As a real estate investor these homes can be a great buying opportunity, but only if you find the right foreclosure.  These homes have often been unoccupied for a year or more, and the home's owner has

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Although challenging, an investment in Real Estate can be a great long term investment.  The article reviews a few basic steps to get you started on the path of owning a quality rental property.  Educate yourself on the topic.  Use the serivces of a professional realtor to help you find a good property.  Make sure that your realtor is experianced in property management.  Your best bet is to hire a property manager to handle the day to day repairs and rent issues.  Use good judgement and do a lot of research before you commit to purchasing property. 

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Real Estate has always been an excellent long term investment.  Whether you manage the property yourself or use the services of an experienced property manager, an investment property is much less volatile that owning stocks.  The income you get from renting the property is more steady as long as the home stays rented.  These properties build up equity over time, and historically gain value over time.  Your are taxed more heavily for profiting from the stock market than for getting extra income from renting you properties.  So if you are looking for a stable, safe, long term investment income properties are a good option. 

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