Clever crooks in Ohio, Maine, and many other regions are swindling people out of their homes by recording fraudulent quitclaim deeds. They’re doing it now, and they’ve been doing it for years. But now, property values have exploded. The stakes in real estate are higher than ever before. That makes the abuse of quitclaim deeds extremely appealing to house thieves.
Quitclaim deeds are documents that don’t require a seller’s warranty of title. Often, quitclaims are used to a house title between co-owners or people who trust each other and know the history of the title.
But there are shady characters out there who seize upon the quitclaim deed to sign vacant property over to themselves. And we all need to be aware of how they work.
If you’re a homeowner, or you’re in the market to buy a home, the last thing you want to hear about is rising property taxes. But check those bills.
Even though we expect a slowdown throughout the rest of the year and beyond, the 2022 real estate market is still going strong. And the sky-high real estate values mean taxes are up — again.
Nationwide, many people have recently received their appraisal notices in the mail. What they see will vary by location. Many local tax officials discount their property assessments, so the homeowner may not be taxed on the full market value. Yet tax bills can be in the thousands yearly in some areas.
A homeowner’s hardship affidavit or hardship letter is a formal request to modify a home loan, to assist the mortgage borrower through financial problems.
Some lenders don’t require the document. Their websites guide the borrower through the loan change request without asking for a form or letter. But many lenders, including those backed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, publish an official form.
We’ve witnessed astounding high-tech changes in our lifetimes so far. The internet, and then the phones and apps people have invented for it, all jump to mind. Indeed, technology is considered the main growth sector powering today’s financial systems.
What’s next? Here are some fantastic — and reportedly possible — elements of our future lives at home.
The closer we get to retirement age, the more we start thinking about how to avoid pulling from our retirement accounts too early or too much. For many homeowners, home equity is starting to look like a key retirement planning resource.
What’s the best way to tap into it? Selling for a profit and downsizing is one way. But when home prices are high, it’s not easy to buy another home.
In a reverse mortgage, the lender releases monthly payments to the homeowner. This can keep owners in their homes, free up spending money, and preserve retirement accounts. The homeowner is borrowing the money with the property value as collateral. This means receiving a sum of money or a fixed monthly payment. The full payoff is due at the time of the borrower’s death or at the time the house is sold. As the homeowner doesn’t pay it back monthly, what happens is the home’s value is coming out to the owner in cash that the owner’s estate will address after death. At that time, the beneficiaries will refinance or sell the home to pay off the reverse mortgage.
We’re not going to hide the ball — the short answer is yes. Buying a home is a very good way to build a store of potentially lifetime value and stay a step ahead of inflation.
Inflation refers to the way a dollar buys less as time goes on. Home prices outpace the purchasing power of dollars. Rental prices, too, suck up more and more money. And now, we’re seeing inflation in the interest charges on mortgage loans.
But a home’s property value can offset those higher costs. Here’s how the offset works. With interest rates still relatively low (around 5% is still low!), a buyer can get a mortgage and cancel out the interest paid as the home value rises. In that sense, home buyers put inflation on their side.
And that’s why buying a piece of property is called a hedge against inflation. As inflation keeps rising, and mortgage rates follow that upward climb, buyers who get a set mortgage rate today can both (a) avoid paying higher rates tomorrow, plus (b) avoid rent payments, which (in most cases) are regularly adjusted upward for inflation. And that’s not all. The owner gets to claim mortgage interest deductions on federal taxes, too.
When the mortgage company rep says your credit check went well and your loan application is pre-approved, it’s a great day. You can go out into the world knowing just how much house you can buy. You can make offers a seller will take seriously.
As hopeful buyers are sometimes startled to learn, though, a final approval isn’t a sure thing yet. In the process of underwriting your loan, a number of things can come up to derail the closing.
Final approval doesn’t occur until you’ve found a specific home to buy. When a seller accepts your offer, you apply for a specific loan, and the underwriter gets to work.
Bitcoin hit a $68K+ high in November 2021; it’s just under 40K today. But something is going on with digital assets that should be on everyone’s radar. They are part of the property system in 2022 — in a way they weren’t before.
This week, mortgage rates averaged five percent for the first time in over a decade. As Americans contend with historically high inflation, the combination of rising mortgage rates, elevated home prices and tight inventory are making the pursuit of homeownership the most expensive in a generation.
With prices so high, buyers may be tempted to consider adjustable-rate loans with bargain rates.
Wondering whether an alternative to a fixed-rate mortgage could be worth it? Read on.