Albany, NY Real Estate News

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This money should be kept separate. Your going to need to set up a separate account for your down-payment funds, so the money doesn't get intermingled with other savings and so you can keep track of how much you save. This would probably be a taxable account at a bank or brokerage firm. Setting up regular automatic deposits from a checking account into the down-payment account to force regular savings. You want to be moving money to this account before you spend it.
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Go for 20% down Putting 10 percent down may get you by, as long as you are sure that your income will remain steady or grow and you plan on keeping the home at least five years. Buyers should try to aim to save up 20 percent or more of the price. The risk of putting down too little: If the home falls in value and you sell at a loss, you'll owe more to the lender than you receive from the buyer. In addition, many mortgages require buyers who put down less than 20 percent to get private mortgage insurance, which can add $80 to $100 to your monthly bill. And the less you put down, the higher your loan balance and therefore your monthly payment will be. A buyer who puts down 5 percent on a $300,000 home with a 5.88 percent 30-year fixed-rate mortgage might pay $2,133 a month, including fee...
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Are you trying to sell your Albany NY home during this bad economy? First look around your home decide what necessary repairs need to be done. Sometimes it's easier to break this down room by room, making a list as you go. Focus on carpets...can it be cleaned or does it need to be stretched or replaced. Are there cracks or holes in the walls? Does it need a fresh coat of paint? Painting alone can do wonders for eye appeal...light neutral colors can make the room feel bigger and brighter and new! A newer...roof, heating/air and appliances will always bring up the value of your house but, stay in mind with the sale/profit you want from your home. Your plan is not to go out and buy everything brand new, but to evaluate what your home needs to be the best in your selling market range. Resea...
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With inventory piling up and home buyers now faced with multiple home choices in the same neighborhood, the first impression your home makes is more important than ever. It's no longer acceptable to pass off unfinished projects to home buyers in hopes that the buyers will overlook the flaws in favor of your home's more positive characteristics. Today's home buyers care about two things: location and price. To offset tough competition and make home buyers fall in love with your home, check out the top seven home staging secrets of the pros: How are your floors? - The very first thing every home buyer will do is watch their step as they enter the doorway of your home. If you have dingy, wet dog looking carpet or severely worn hardwood floors you should replace your carpet/refinish the flo...
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The cold season can pose a few challenges when trying to sell a home. Cold weather and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can keep would-be buyers at bay. That's why it's especially important to maintain strong curb appeal throughout the winter months. Curb appeal, of course, is the first impression one gets from simply viewing the outside of the home. Just as many folks judge a book by its cover, homebuyers draw certain conclusions about a home just from what they've viewed outside. Here are some easy tricks to entice buyers to stop by your home and actually step inside. First, start with the home itself. Remember that all the upgrades inside the house are useless if you can't get buyers inside. Giving the house a fresh coat of paint or repainting/staining the front door can b...
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In many parts of the country, selling a home during the winter months can be a challenge. Dreary, cold weather and the end-of-the-year holidays can keep buyers away and heighten fears of your home staying on the market longer than expected. However, there are a few things you can do to enhance "curb appeal." And when that happens, buyers will take notice. For example, if your home has been on the market for more than six months, its probably time to change the sales approach. There are several factors that could be reviewed with your real estate agent to determine improvements that can be made. Ask for a reassessment of the sales price; it may be too high for the current market. Also, ask the agent for a new or updated marketing plan and ask for a specific explanation of each activity. ...
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Did you know that if you are an American buying your first Albany NY home between April 9, 2008 and July 1, 2009, the U.S. government will give you up to $7,500 in the form of a federal tax credit? The tax credit is part of recently-enacted legislation to help the nation recover from the recent mortgage crisis. Basically, the first-time home buyer tax credit is designed to keep Americans buying homes. This tax credit, along with soft real estate prices, make it an excellent time to buy a first home in Albany NY. How does the tax credit work? The tax credit is basically an interest-free government loan of 10% of your home purchase price, to a maximum of $7,500, to help defer the initial costs of buying your first home. Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with...
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A down payment between 10 and 20% on your first home is more important today than ever before. Following the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, lenders are more cautious with mortgage applications and borrowers have (hopefully) learned some lessons about risky home loans. Of course, socking away $20,000 or more isn’t easy, especially in your twenties. Here are five steps to take to save up your down payment in record time. Determine how much you need, and when you need it. Tying an exact amount to your down payment savings goal will help keep you motivated and allow you to track your progress. Get a sense of how much your target home will cost, and try to save 20% for a down payment. Next, set a deadline. You may discover you need to save more each month than you thought, but that’s okay— th...
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Mortgage pre-approval a powerful tool, but it also can make your mortgage a nonevent in the home buying process. Pre-approval vs. Prequalification The first things we need to understand are the differences between a pre-approval and a prequalification. Prequalification (the pre-qual) Prequalifying before you start looking for a home gives you a general idea of the price range you can afford. The process involves a consumer authorizing the lender to pull a merged credit report from the three major credit bureaus. Some companies order only single bureau reports, however, and in some cases they do not order a credit report at all. It is important that you make sure your potential lender orders a full tri-merged credit report, because this is the best way to obtain an accurate credit profi...
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Once you know how much money you can borrow and have an estimate of your closing costs, you'll know the price range you can afford. You might already have your "dream home" in mind. Perhaps you want to settle down in a particular neighborhood, or maybe you just need more space for your growing family. Even if you know exactly what you're looking for, the house hunting process can be overwhelming. It takes time. Reality Check - the First Step It’s fun to look at houses. And this part of the process is very exciting, but don't let your excitement rule the house-hunting process. Stick within your budget – don't look at homes above what you can afford – even if it's "just a little" more. Don't let your heart rule over your head. You may fall in love with a property, but if it is beyond your...
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Take a look at houseing prices. This advice is old hat, especially now that we’ve learned quite a few property market lessons: get a feel for prices before jumping in. Check out sales comps data and price per square feet. Talk to real estate brokers about where the values are. Timing the market, should we try? Is it time to buy? I’m going to say ‘it depends’. If you’re buying a home as your primary place of residence, market timing isn’t as big an issue as it is when you fancy yourself as a real estate investor. It’s not that difficult to recognize if we’re in a bubble or in a bust; the signs are everywhere - the state of the market is like the elephant in the room that we giddily talk about and which we respond to with a herd-like mentality. When the bubble was going on, we all wanted...
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The City of Albany has numerous resources to assist home buyers in making the dream of owning your own home a reality. The Albany Community Development Agency is responsible for administering and distributing community development funds received annually from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, NYS Affordable Housing grants, City of Albany and other resources. In addition, the office oversees the Mayor's comprehensive new strategies for homeownership in the City, including the opening of a new HomeStore to assist new and existing homeowners to buy and maintain a home. The Albany Community Development Agency is located at 200 Henry Johnson Blvd. The phone number is 434.5240. The Albany HomeStore, a department within the Albany Community Development Agency, is a central...
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When it comes to securing a quality mortgage loan, it is important to look beyond the interest rate to the true cost of the loan, both now and in the future. Read the paperwork, including the fine print, carefully, especially if the interest rate is below market rates. Upon closer inspection you may find that the interest rate is guaranteed for only a short period of time, or that it is subject to rise sharply in the future. Your mortgage loan may be the most important contract you will ever sign, and it is essential that you understand your rights and your responsibilities before signing on the dotted line. In many cases it will make sense to hire a lawyer to review the mortgage paperwork for you. Many communities provide some sort of first time homebuyer program designed to help rent...
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Some homeowners may plan to move in a year or two, and they may be able to benefit from a variable rate mortgage. Every homebuyer will have a different set of circumstances, and it is important for the lender to consider those factors. Others will plan to remain in their home for decades, and those home buyers may benefit from the stability of a fixed rate mortgage and its predictable and stable monthly payment. It is also important for those buying a first home to factor in the additional costs of the mortgage when deciding how much they can afford to pay. Things like closing costs and the high price of private mortgage insurance can drive up costs and eat into funds that would otherwise be available for home improvements, furnishings and other essentials. In some cases sellers may be...
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When in the home buying process, do we have to disclose a parent's gift? Having generous parents is nothing to hide. An estimated one-third of first-time buyers purchase their home with a loan or a money gift from their parents. Lenders will ask for a gift letter stating that no repayment of the "gift" is expected. In addition to the letter, a lender can ask for two or three months' worth of statements for the account where the down payment funds are located. If the money was recently placed into that account, the lender may ask where it came from and request verification of that source as well. Resources: "The Homebuyer's Survival Guide," Kenneth W. Edwards, Dearborn Financial Publishing, Chicago; 1994 Sometimes lenders will ask for a gift letter: If someone is willing to make a gift ...
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Is PMI always required on low-down home loans? A growing number of private lenders are loosening up their requirements for low-down-payment loans. But private mortgage insurance, or PMI, usually is required on loans with less than a 20 percent downpayment. The Homeowners Protection Act states PMI must be dropped on any loan originated after July 29, 1999 IF it has a 78 percent loan-to-value ratio. What is PMI? Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, insures the lender against a default. It is required when the borrower is making a cash down payment of less than 20 percent of the purchase price.PMI costs vary from one mortgage insurance firm to another, but premiums usually run about 0.50 percent of the loan amount for the first year of the loan. Most PMI premiums are a bit lower for subseq...
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What are the benefits of pre-paying the mortgage? By making additional payments that go toward the principal balance, you can save thousands of dollars and shave years off the length of your loan. Principal payments over and above the minimum monthly amount required by the terms of the mortgage constitute partial prepayment of a mortgage. Each mortgage will have terms describing how and when prepayment may occur. Refer to the note to see if there is any penalty incurred for prepayment.The total savings potential also depends on how long you want to stay in the house. Borrowers who plan to move in the near future should not expect to realize as significant a savings as people who pay ahead of schedule until they own the home free and clear. Check with your lender, who should be able to ...
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Where do I get information on who regulates lenders? The following regulatory bodies oversee lenders: Comptroller of the Currency, Compliance Division, Washington, D.C., (800) 613-6743. Office of Thrift Supervision, Consumer Affairs, Washington, D.C., (202) 906-6237. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Consumer Affairs, Washington, D.C., (800) 934-3342. Your state departments of real estate or commerce also may regulate the lenders in your area. Where do I get information on finding the best loan? For information on how to find the best home loan for you, check out this booklet: "How to Shop for a Mortgage," by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, 1125 15th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20005; call (202) 861-6500. Where do I get information on correcting loan payments? The following a...
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  Where do I get information on IRS publications? The Internal Revenue Service publishes a number of real estate publications. They are listed by number: 521 "Moving Expenses" 523 "Selling Your Home" 527 "Residential Rental Property" 534 "Depreciation" 541 "Tax Information on Partnerships" 551 "Basis of Assets" 555 "Federal Tax Information on Community Property" 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property" 590 "Individual Retirement Arrangements" 908 "Bankruptcy and Other Debt Cancellation" 936 "Home Mortgage Interest Deduction" Order by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM. How do I reach the IRS? To reach the Internal Revenue Service, call (800) TAX-1040.  
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How do you clear up bad credit? There is no fast and easy way to repair damaged credit that took months or years to occur. The law allows negative information to appear on an individual's credit record from 7 to 10 years. Now, many states have specific timeframes if you challenge a credit blemish. The first step is to check your existing credit record. Anyone can obtain copies of their own credit report free of charge if they have been turned down for credit recently. For a fee, people can request copies of their own credit report from the three major credit reporting agencies: Experian at (800) 311-4769, Equifax at (800) 685-1111 and Trans Union at (312) 408-1077. The bureau also should provide instructions on how to read the report and how to dispute any inaccuracies it contains. If ...
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