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How to buy a home while selling another (without going crazy)

Which came first, the chicken, or the egg?

What comes first: the chicken, or the egg?

What comes first: buying or selling?

When you are buying a home, and you have another home to sell, you’ll find yourself in the “chicken or egg” predicament:

  • Should you buy first, and then sell?  or,
  • Should you sell first, and then buy?
Many people sell a home and buy a new one, so it shouldn’t be too complicated…

And it isn’t complicated, especially if you know the options that you have at your disposal. Let’s look at the first option: buying first Continue Reading…

How to minimize the concerns about buying a home via Skype

How to minimize the concerns about buying a home via Skype
(i.e. without having seen it “in person”)

This is the second in a series of posts about Buying a Home via Skype. The first post is here.

On the first post, we followed Tita and Tony through preparing for their home-buying adventure while they were mostly out of town.

Picture of a virtual home

How to ensure you’re buying a Real Home

Since Tita and Tony were out of town, we toured the homes via Skype.  At the end of the tour, they chose one to make an offer on.

Thankfully, we agreed to certain conditions that would help minimize their concerns about not being physically present to buy their next home. Continue Reading…

Would you buy a house via Skype?

Or via Facetime or a Google Hangout?

On one hand, to buy a house via Skype would be very convenient, especially if you’re out of town.

On the other hand it could be nerve-wracking

  • “What if I what I thought was a beige wall turns out to be a bright orange wall paper?”
  • “What if I don’t like it when I see it in person?”
  • “What if there is something seriously wrong with it and I didn’t see it?”
Kids Skyping

Should we buy this house, or should we keep looking (via Skype)?

Well, I’m sure that these were a few of the concerns that Tita and Tony had when they were looking for a home via Skype.

How Tita and Tony started the process Continue Reading…

How Do Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Affect Your Home Purchase?

Last weekend, I was helping a buyer make an offer on a lovely home.

The only problem was that it was a multiple offer situation and we had to have the strongest offer possible.

The buyer, Ana, was very excited about making an offer and she was ready to make an offer for a higher amount than the list price, in order to out-bid other potential purchasers.

But when we started looking at the details, we realized that Ana’s lender’s pre-approval letter was dated four weeks earlier.

Mortgage Interest Rates affect your buying power

Mortgage Interest Rates affect your buying power

Normally, a 4-week old letter wouldn’t be a big problem

Normally, a 4-week old lender letter wouldn’t have been such a big issue, but since the mortgage interest rates have been going up in the last two weeks, this could be a real factor.

The Lender letter indicated that Ana was pre-approved for a sales price up to $400,000, with an interest rate of 3.50%. That would have given Ana a monthly payment of $1,436.

But now that the interest rates were at 4.50%, to keep the same payment of $1,436, Ana’s pre-approved purchase price would have to be about $355,000.

Ana and I promptly got on the phone with her mortgage lender to review her options and to get her pre-approval letter updated reflecting the new interest rates.

Why did mortgage interest rates suddenly rise? Continue Reading…

How Title Insurance can Protect You from Losing Thousands of Dollars

Recently, there was a bit of a scandal in the local real estate scene.  A few individuals figured out a scheme to sell vacant properties to unsuspecting buyers.

The problem was that these people weren’t the rightful owners of the vacant properties.  Instead, they faked death certificates of the real owners, and even appeared at settlement to sign as if they were the rightful sellers of these homes.

Title Insurance can protect you from losing lots of money

Title Insurance is the way to protect yourself from hidden title issues on a home

The good news is that these “enterprisers” got caught and are now facing several years in jail for fraud.

But… what happened to the poor buyers of these homes?

Well, to start with, the homes went back to their rightful owners.  So the buyers ended up with no home.

Losing the home they thought was theirs is bad enough… but surely they might have gotten their money back?


Getting their money back depends on whether they got the right title insurance policy

An Owner’s Title Insurance policy would have covered the buyers for an issue like this one.

How can a buyer purchase a Title Insurance Policy? Continue Reading…

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