what works now - Articles

Real Estate Commission: How Much Should You Pay?

In today's turbulent housing market, where supply outstrips demand and strict lenders hobble buyers, it pays to have an expert guide you through your home sale. But when the ink dries and the deal is closed, just how much of your hard-earned money should go toward the agent's commission? Not as much as you might think. Continue Reading »

Mortgage Shopping: What You Need to Know

While it's true that interest rates are near historic lows, not all home loans are created equal. Depending on the lender you choose, the type of mortgage you apply for, even the time of day you approach your lender, you could be quoted a different price for your mortgage. If you don't compare the rates of at least 3... Continue Reading »

How Much Down Payment Do Homebuyers Need?

As the obstacles to owning a home become more pronounced in the wake of the housing bust, how much money should homebuyers set aside for a down payment? Unsurprisingly, cash is still king in today's market, especially as mortgage lenders raise the bar for credit worthiness. That said, down payment options range from zero... Continue Reading »

Is That House Worth the Asking Price?

With home values all over the map and local markets faring very differently in the wake of the housing bust, how do you know if the seller's list price is on the money? For most buyers, it starts with what's known as comparable properties, or comps. In theory, a seller could price their home however they please -- but... 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 »

Home Inspections for Sellers: Prepping for the Sale

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... 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 »

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 »

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 First impressions are everything in real estate -- a fact Paul Isolda, an appraiser with 22 years of experience, knows all too well. Isolda has seen every home staging disaster under the sun, from tacky cabinetry to dingy flooring. One discerning glance from him could mean a final appraisal worth... 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 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 »

After the Homebuyer Tax Credit: Mortgage Tax Deductions

Are you ready to celebrate the return of the Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit? Unless you're one of the 180,000 Americans with a pending sales agreement in contract by April 30, 2010, a celebration is probably out of order. While Californians and military personnel can still get state and military tax... Continue Reading »

Debt to Income Ratios, Diving Deeper

Of all the important numbers to consider when applying for a home loan, one should be known at the start by homebuyers: your debt to income ratio. Debt to income ratio, or DTI, is actually two numbers: a front-end ratio and a back-end ratio. These practical, helpful numbers are a dependable guide to helping you understand... Continue Reading »

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