By Leah Napoliello Published 12:00 am, Sunday, May 13, 2018 Whether you are buying or selling property, a real estate agent or Realtor can assist in either side of the sale. Buying and selling a home is a major decision and it is beneficial to hire someone who is familiar with the housing market and the process. When hiring a Realtor, it is imperative to find someone who has your best interest in mind. The Better Business Bureau of Greater Houston and South Texas offers the following tips as a guide when hiring a real estate agent or Realtor. Do your research. In Texas, real estate agents and brokers must be licensed with the Texas Real Estate Commission, and you can verify licensing at trec.texas.gov. Also, check if the business has any complaints or customer reviews filed with the BBB by visiting BBBHouston.org. Local Channel Now Playing: Now Playing Julian Castro addresses graduating class of New England College Paul Steinhauser, For the Express-News … [Read more...] about BBB on Homes: It’s best to hire a Realtor when buying, selling home
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With the home prices down 35 percent since their 2006 peak and mortgage interest rates at record lows, purchasing a home may be more affordable than ever for first-time buyers. It also may be time for some renters to consider buying a place of their own. Whatever the situation, here are some guidelines to keep in mind when deciding between renting and buying. When to buy or rent. Renters weighing whether buy a home should meet the following criteria: They should be committed to living in the same location for a few years, have a secure job and income, and have saved up enough money for a down payment. Home prices have improved in some regions, but are still declining in many others. Some prospective buyers are still anxious about the continuing fall in home prices and are jumping into home ownership too early. Also, buying a home before you are financially ready can put a strain on your finances. When housing costs exceed 35 percent of gross income, you'll have to make … [Read more...] about Why renters should consider buying a home
Last Updated May 10, 2010 7:35 PM EDT Dear Ali: I am 60 and would like to buy a $100,000 condo, which I plan to sell in 10 years when I retire. I am going to pay all cash. I have $40,000 in my bank account, so I would withdraw $60,000 from my 401(k) for the balance. My question for you: is this a good investment? The condo would save me $1,000 a month on rent. A: Don't do this! You don't mention why you want to buy without a mortgage. Maybe it's to avoid taking on more debt. Maybe you're buying a foreclosure and you can get a faster and better deal as a cash buyer. However, I would never advise you to crack into your 401(k) nest egg to do so. The reason is simple: by putting money into your 401(k), you've put it in a place where it can grow tax-deferred. If you take the money out and put it into real estate, you're going to have 20 percent of your withdrawal held as a reserve against future taxes. It's probably a better investment to buy a home with a mortgage (even if it's a … [Read more...] about Your 401(k): Should You Make a Withdrawal to Buy a Home?
Nate Lowenstein has been shopping for a home in Los Angeles, on and off, for more than a year. His search has been stymied by a stubbornly low roster of homes on the market and the hurdles that come with it: multiple competing bids and higher prices. “It’s not a great market, from a buyer’s perspective,” said Lowenstein, a lawyer. “The one good thing is that interest rates were quite low.” As recently as this summer, homebuyers had ultra-low mortgage rates on their side. Good news for any borrower, but especially for those in expensive housing markets like Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. But that was then. While mortgage rates remain low by historical standards, they’ve risen sharply over the past couple of months, pushing the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage to 4.32 percent this week. That’s the highest level since April 2014 and well above the year’s average of 3.65 percent. Economists predict mortgage rates will … [Read more...] about Buying a home in 2017? Here’s what to expect
If you’re thinking about buying a home this year, arm yourself with cash -- and gird for an aggressive, nasty and stressful battle in many markets. You may also need to up the price you’ll actually pay well beyond your planned budget, according to a survey by website Owners.com. “Home buying is about substantive economics, but it’s also got an element of ‘animal spirits,’” said its President Steve Udelson. “In some of the hottest markets, we’ve seen a double-digit run-up in prices.” The website surveyed 1,289 prospective buyers nationwide, and its findings suggested that most prospective homeowners already had their feet in the starting blocks for the spring selling season. More than half were willing to go beyond their budget -- by an average of nearly $38,000 -- to get the property they desired. And like most competitive athletes, they were hopeful as well as scared. Not surprisingly, about 60 percent of those surveyed … [Read more...] about Buying a home in 2017? Prepare for battle