Foreclosure Options

A foreclosure property is a home that has been repossessed by the lender because the owners failed to pay the mortgage. Thousands of homes end up in foreclosure every year. Economic conditions affect the number of foreclosures, too. Many people lose their homes due to job loss, credit problems or unexpected expenses. It is wise to be cautious when considering a foreclosure. Many experts, in fact, advise inexperienced buyers to hire an expert to take them through the process. It is important to have the house thoroughly inspected and to be sure that any liens, undisclosed mortgages or court judgments are cleared or at least disclosed.
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Begin the Buying Process

Start by thinking about your situation. Are you ready to buy a home? How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment? How much space do you need? What areas of town do you like? After you answer these questions, make a "To Do" list and start doing casual research. Talk to friends and family, drive through neighborhoods, and look in the "Homes" section of the newspaper.
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How Many Houses

There isn't a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you're looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.
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15 vs 30 Year Loan

A 15-year loan is usually made at a lower interest rate. Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal. In a 30-year loan, more interest is paid off than principal for the first 23 years, meaning larger tax deductions. As inflation and costs of living increase, mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.
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Choosing a Loan Program

Your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you. By asking yourself a few questions, you can help narrow your search among the many options available and discover which loan suits you best. Do you expect your finances to changeover the next few years? Are you planning to live in this home for a long period of time? Are you comfortable with the idea of a changing mortgage payment amount? Do you wish to be free of mortgage debt as your children approach college age or as you prepare for retirement? Your lender can help you use your answers to questions such as these to decide which loan best fits your needs.
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Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. It's required primarily for borrowers making a down payment of less than 20%.
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Warranty Information

If you're selling a house, consider leaving behind relevant warranty information, operating instructions, and any maintenance tips that might be helpful to the new owners. If you're buying a home, request that information, along with a list of plumbers, electricians, pool companies, and so on that have provided reliable service in the past.
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Foreclosure Types

Judicial foreclosure action is a proceeding in which a mortgagee, a trustee or another lienholder on property requests a court-supervised sale of the property to cover the unpaid balance of a delinquent debt. Nonjudicial foreclosure is the process of selling real property under a power of sale in a mortgage or deed of trust that is in default. In such a foreclosure, however, the lender is unable to obtain a deficiency judgment, which makes some title insurance companies reluctant to issue a policy.
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