September 2009 Archives

September 17, 2009

House-Shopping as a Couple: Easier or Harder?

It's the biggest purchase of your life, wrapped up personal aesthetics and visions of how you'll live, now and in the future. So is it any wonder some couples find it difficult to agree on a house, or get annoyed at the other one's approach to the hunt?

Click here for an interesting analysis in the Boston Globe's real estate blog of how to make the most of different personality styles.
September 14, 2009

First-Time Homebuyers: Get Sensible Financial Advice Here

Where were the voices of wisdom in the media a year or two ago? Anyway, Ron Lieber of The New York Times offers these "Seven New Rules for the First-Time Home Buyer."

And sensible rules they are, too -- reflecting an underlying theme that we've always stressed in our real estate books here at Nolo, namely that no matter what the bank or abstract percentages say about how much house you can afford, you need to look at your own income, expenses, and financial future before buying.
September 1, 2009

Average Mortgage Closing Costs Survey Published

Bankrate has just issued its annual survey of mortgage closing costs across the U.S. -- in other words, the amount that you can expect to pay for mortgage origination and title fees in each of the 50 states.

(Note that this doesn't include other home purchase closing costs, such as insurance, taxes, inspection fees, homeowners' association dues, and so forth.)

After a detailed analysis of the data, my conclusion is that you're much better off buying in Nevada (where average costs for a $200,000 home loan are $2,276) than in Texas (average costs = $3,855)!
September 1, 2009

Home Prices Are Down; So Buy a Castle!

As long as you're house hunting, how about a little house dreaming? Prices on those luxury properties are lower than they've ever been, which can make the dreams seem almost real.

Fancy a castle? Check out www.castles-for-sale.com/buy/. Some of them cost less than a two-bedroom, one-bath house in San Francisco did just a couple of years ago! (But the heating bills will kill ya.)

Or how about your own island? See Private Islands Online. I see a little one in Scotland for only 65,000 Euro. (Then again, it looks like one wave could wash away anything you build there.)

And for general luxury everywhere, don't miss www.luxuryrealestate.com/. Let's see, should I search for "chateaus" or "estates?" What I could do with a few million dollars . . . .