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November 17, 2015

Does it Pay to Remodel Your Home?

During the years after the housing crash in 2007, plunging home values erased millions of homeowners’ equity. Unable to refinance or take out home equity loans, homeowners postponed plans to remodel or launch major home improvements.

With the arrival of the housing recovery three years ago, equity began to recover. Projects shelved for six years were back on the table, and the remodeling industry boomed. Spending for home improvements has continued to accelerate, and the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies forecasts year over year spending on remodeling will reach 6.8% in the second quarter of 2016.

Investing in Discretionary Improvements

“Strengthening housing [...]

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October 27, 2015

Should You Hire a Lender Based on ‘Teaser’ Rates?

Once you begin home shopping you will see advertisements from dozens of lenders promoting the super low interest rates that they can get you. These “teaser” rates are very effective way to reach borrowers but the odds are slim that you will actually end up with one.

Teasers are rare in real life

Teaser rates are actual rates, but they are rates available only to the very best borrows under ideal conditions. Mortgage rates change constantly—sometimes several times a day– to reflect the cost of money to lender, like the way the price of gasoline at the pump changes with the cost the gasoline to the retailer. Location, the availability of credit and the size and type of [...]

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October 21, 2015

How to Save Money on Closing Costs

Home buyers can save hundreds of dollars, even thousands, on closing costs with a little time and effort. Closing costs are the fees associated with buying or selling a home, collected on the day you close escrow. For sellers, these are usually limited to real estate commissions and prorated taxes. For buyers, the list is much longer and includes costs where savings can be achieved.

Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure

Two new closing forms were introduced in late 2015 that make it easier for buyers to manage their closing costs, first to estimate their closing costs in advance and then to disclose in advance they actually will be at closing. Your lender will send you a Loan [...]

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September 22, 2015

Real Estate Expert Chris Leavitt on Closing Deals and His Palm Beach Retreat  

Last year audiences watched Chris Leavitt make deals on Bravo’s hit television show, Million Dollar Listing Miami, but that only scratches the surface of Leavitt’s accomplishments in real estate. A mega-producing broker for Douglas Elliman, Leavitt sold an excess of $120 million dollars in real estate in 2013 alone. He has held the position of Director of Sales for many luxe new developments from New York to South Florida, for which he sold out units in record time.

In addition to being one of the nation’s top real estate brokers, Chris Leavitt is an in-demand media personality, making frequent appearances on Mornings with Maria on FOX Business Network, and advising readers [...]

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