Buying a home

The Homeowners Association-Tough love

Beverly HillbilliesIt’s about time someone stood up for the issuer of tough love: the HOA.  Lovers of the right to own property in a free society will screw up their faces at the mention of a Home Owner’s Association. Who needs someone telling you what 12 colors of dirt you can use to paint your house, and then charging you for the privilege?  Maybe I want to paint my house purple, or never weed the yard, or leave my car in the driveway since I have exercised my right to exercise and my garage is a gym.

One of Home Owner’s Associations greatest values is they help the homeowner maintain the value of their property.  A healthy HOA, with reasonable by-laws and competent leadership can add great value to your investment.  Those home buyers who don’t want to be told what to do have the option to live in another area, and those who want a consistent experience should not fear the HOA.

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Buying a home

Taking Title to Real Property in Arizona/Look before you leap

Home ownership!  You have found your dream home, and before you close the Title Company calls to ask you how you would like to take title.  What?  How can you know!  If this is your first home, or your first in Arizona, this question may be puzzling.   What are your choices?  What can happen if you die?  What about your heirs?  What about estate taxes?  What if you own a home with someone you are not married to?  What if you and your neighbors want to “go in” to buy the vacant lot behind your houses to preserve your view and privacy?   Taking title may have significant legal, estate planning, and tax consequences.  You should seek legal and tax advice from qualified professionals.

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Buying a home

New guidelines change the loan process

Oh no, not a dry article about getting a loan.  I promise to keep it short, and lay out the important changes to Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. Yes, the government that brought you regulations to govern your purchase of light bulbs, the EPA and Obamacare has actually brought a new regulation that may actually be helpful!  But it may take some getting used to.

There is evidence to support that borrowers who are not presented with clear and understandable information about their mortgage loans may not understand the risky business of taking out a home loan.

In leading up to the financial crisis, many consumers took on loans that they could not afford, and confusion about terms (when your adjustable rate mortgage adjusts sticker shock for example) piled on the risk. To add even more confusion,  mortgage lenders would provide two different documents, the early Truth in Lending Statement and a Good Faith Estimate.  At closing the title company provides a final Truth in Lending and HUD-1 Statement.  Four different documents from two different agencies with overlapping information.

Starting August 1, 2015 here are a few of the changes:  Continue reading