aol original - Articles

Buy $18M Mansion, Get Royal Treatment for Free

An $18 million Hollywood Hills mansion just sold in one week, thanks to some very clever marketing--buy the house, and live like royalty at no extra cost. Known as the Oriole House, the property belonged to nightclub impresario and mega financier Sam Nazarian, CEO of the high-end hospitality company SBE. To help pique... Continue Reading »

The Rise and Fall of Fannie Mae: A Timeline

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in the news a lot this year. For starters, there was the presidential summit in August, to solicit ideas for what to do with the ailing government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs for short). That was followed by midterm-election wrangling over whether to replace the struggling mortgage giants... Continue Reading »

Foreclosure Help: What a Housing Counselor Can Do

In 2010 an estimated 4 million homes will be slapped with foreclosure notices, making it the worst year yet for foreclosures during the housing crisis. And without a strong economic recovery the numbers could continue to escalate, leaving more Americans unable to afford their homes. One way to turn back the tide is with... Continue Reading »

With the available inventory of homes in today's market, you might want to take a look at "new construction", which is a new property being offered by a home builder. Wondering if one of these is right for you? Here are some pros and cons you should consider. Continue Reading »

Can Fixer-Uppers Work for First-Timers?

Buying a first home is a complex process. Fortunately, in today's market there are ways to find a home that you can comfortably afford. One common way that buyers often find a good value is by buying a fixer-upper, which is basically an existing home that needs some work.... Continue Reading »

Home Improvement: Top Projects for Under $2,500

A price tag of $2,500 is in the sweet spot for many home improvement projects. It represents a little more than two weeks' salary for the average U.S. household. It's also about the amount of the average federal tax refund. Projects paid with Uncle Sam's givebacks may not be game-changers, but they can still have a... Continue Reading »

Top Questions to Ask a Real Estate Agent

After her home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula sat on the market for a year without an offer, Rita Gordon and her husband, Bill, were determined to hire a new real-estate agent. "The first time, our family and friends said, 'Go with this person.' We did no due diligence," says Gordon, who has since relocated to Rocky Point,... Continue Reading »

Common Mistakes Homebuyers Make

Buying a home is a thrilling experience. But it can also be a complex one. The good news is that if you can avoid a few common mistakes, you should be able to prevent some headaches and find yourself enjoying your new home a lot sooner. Here are some common pitfalls and some... Continue Reading »

Moving Cost: Ways to Budget Your Move

Sharmaine R. has moved three times within Los Angeles in the past year and a half. In the three years before that, she moved five times -- including to and from another city. "I've learned that planning is key to keeping your moving costs where you want it to be," she says. Sharmaine has completed all types of moves and... Continue Reading »

Every house tells a story--if you know how to listen. Kenny Rhodes, a licensed home inspector for nearly 20 years, has a finely tuned ear for the messages a house is trying to send. That's why buyers hire him to give their potential new digs a thorough once-over... Continue Reading »

When buying a house, it's a very good idea to get a home inspection before you close your purchase and take possession of the home. It's not uncommon for a lender to include a home inspection as a condition in your purchase agreement. AOL Real Estate's What Works Now... Continue Reading »

Video Transcript Today we hear more and more about appraisals as part of the real estate process. Tough markets, like the one in which we find ourselves today, bring the subject to the forefront more so than in times of booming sales and bidding wars. In fact, these days, more often than not appraisals... Continue Reading »

Key Video Takeaways One thing's for sure - today's housing market is confusing. Each day consumers are bombarded with new information and it can be difficult to get a sense of what's important. Mixed in with statistics about waning home sales, we hear sound bytes like "historically low interest rates,"... Continue Reading »

Key Video Takeaways Anu and Michael are young and their lives are still very much in transition. Michael is making his way through medical school -- and taking out a lot of student loans to do it. Anu is just starting her career, not making as much as she would like, and unsure how quickly her salary will grow... Continue Reading »

Should you buy that first home or remain a renter? It's a classic question made much more complicated by the housing market's recent crash. How do you know if you're ready? Will you be able to afford a mortgage, and all the fees associated with securing a loan and closing? And how can you tell if the local market has... Continue Reading »

Key Video Takeaways Renada, a New Yorker ready to make the switch from renter to owner, thought she'd sailed through the home buying process. She was approved for a loan, found a condominium in Hell's Kitchen and signed a purchase agreement, all in a relatively short period of time. She expected more of the... Continue Reading »

Key Video Takeaways Evan, who hopes to buy a home one day, is getting conflicting information about how much of a down payment he'll need. Whether or not he has enough money might have an effect on when he'll be ready to purchase a home. He's heard that down payments can range from 5 percent to 20 percent.... Continue Reading »

Key Video Takeaways Just one look at Dan and Barbara Nostros' Ridgewood, N.J. home tells you that the last thing this couple ever thought they'd do is downsize to a smaller house. Nearly 3,500 square feet with four bedrooms, the Nostros' home has the feeling of a warm cocoon that's slowly expanded over the 12... Continue Reading »

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