Real Estate

Going To A 15 Year Fixed Mortgage

by Ed on September 6, 2010

 With mortgage interest rates at amazing lows, I (Ed) figured now is the time for 15 year fixed rate refinance: I have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage with about 23 years and ~$156,000 left. With the 15 year fixed rate mortgages at about 3.7%, I have started to look into a refinance. My current mortgage 30 fixed Interest rate 5.875% Amount left $156,000 Years left 23 Monthly payment (principle & interest) $1010 Taxes 5k per year Total monthly payment (with PMI) $1,553 New mortgage 15 fixed Interest rate 3.875% Amount left $159,000 ($3000 for fees) Years left 15 […]

Read More

4 Real Estate Lessons For Sellers

by The Happy Rock on October 8, 2009

I think we finally have a buyer lined up for our condo which went on the market about 11 months ago.   We originally listed our 2 bedroom 1 bath 950 sqft condo at $169,000 but settled  $20,000 less than that at $149,000 almost a year later.   15% under our or original asking price isn’t all that terrible considering $170,000 – $175,000 was height of the market prices.  A 15% drop in real estate values isn’t terrible compared to some markets around the US. It was a rollercoaster year with probably close to 50 showings and even month stretches without any […]

Read More

If you were wondering when the New Jersey(NJ) 2008 Homestead Rebate application is due or if you are eligible for the property tax rebate you came to the right place. The deadline for filling the NJ Homestead rebate is September 1st 2009. The application packets were mailed the week of July 27th and everyone should have them by August 11th.  For those that didn’t receive a packet then go to How To File Section for more information. The easiest way to file is to use the NJ Homestead web filing application.  You will not need any other information than your […]

Read More

Quality home photos  wasn’t something that we gave much thought to when we were signing our first selling real estate agent, but it is something that we are keenly aware of now.  Our house has been on the market for over 6 months and we have since changed Realtors.  The amazing part is that it didn’t strike us that our pictures were not doing our house justice until a co-worker put here house on the market an had an amateur photographer shoot the pictures for her house.  The difference between her old pics and her new semi-professional pictures were night […]

Read More

A Simple Tactic To Delay Bank Foreclosure

by The Happy Rock on March 4, 2009

Predatory lending, dramatic home price increases, irresponsible lending, irresponsible borrowing, and the current economic climate is making foreclosures more common than ever.  Often people just walk away from their homes and let the banks easily assume control, but here is a way to help stall your foreclosure so that you can get back on your feet or renegotiate with the lender.   It requires just three simple words : ‘Produce The Note” This isn’t a magic phrase to help you get a free house from the bank, but an attempt to use the legal system to help put off your foreclosure […]

Read More

Our Rules For Buying A House

by The Happy Rock on November 6, 2008

The Rock Garden has been planning a move back to Pennsylvania for a long time now and the wheels are finally in motion.  The logistics of trying to sell our house, buy a new house, and deal with changing both our jobs is a bit scary at times, but it is something we both want(especially me). We have been talking about this move for years, so we have laid out some common sense principles that will help keep us on track when the house buying frenzy begins to cloud our thinking.  It is easy to get caught up in the […]

Read More

Now is the Time to Winterize Your Home

by Debt Destroyer on September 15, 2008

I live in an old home.  It’s in the historic district of my town.  In fact, when we converted it from a duplex back to a single family home, it was front-page news (tells you a lot about my town).   Another establishing detail you should know is that it gets rather cold in South Dakota.  How cold you ask?  So cold that by February everyone here starts to wonder why we live here in the first place. And according to several news sources the cost of heating your home this year is going to skyrocket (here is one source).    […]

Read More

The original filing deadline for the New Jersey(NJ) 2007 Homestead Tax Rebate was on Friday August 15th.  Fortunately New Jersey extended the Homestead Rebate filing deadline until October 31st 2008 for those that missed it.(1) Homeowners who owned a house in New Jersey before October 1st of the previous year, paid property taxes, and make less than $150,000 AGI are eligible for a tax rebate.   You can view the exact eligibility requirements here on the NJ Taxation website.  Also remember that the NJ State Budget requires that they use the 2006 property tax amount in order to help cut costs. The last […]

Read More

The Myth Of The Bi-Monthly Mortgage

by The Happy Rock on April 5, 2008

First things first, making bi-monthly payments on your mortgage WILL cut your mortgage repayment time down significantly. Using bi-monthly payments on a $200,000 mortgage at 6.0% you will have the mortgage paid off 6 years early and save about $50,000 in interest. What happens is that you are paying 26 bi-monthly payments which is the same as 13 monthly payments. In essence you are paying one more monthly payment a year. If bi-monthly payments can save you a lot of money, then why do I mention them as a myth? Well, most of the programs that banks offer their lenders […]

Read More

Our culture constantly bombards us with the message that home ownership is the pinnacle of financial maturity and success. The problem is that there are a lot of factors and costs that are hard to anticipate as a renter. Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous wonderful benefits to home ownership like tax breaks and the freedom to do whatever you want with the property, but it isn’t necessarily the obvious winner over renting. Below are my top ten hidden costs that I experienced since making the transition from renting: Property Taxes – They started at $190 a month and […]

Read More