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Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation
Aug 07

Expensive Consequences of Not Having the Dreaded Inheritance Conversation

“Let’s talk about sex” — it’s not just a hit song by rap group Salt-N-Pepa, but it’s also a topic that families are more comfortable talking about compared to, say, money. Many people find it easier to discuss their weight or age than credit card debt or bank account balance. And when it comes to

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How a Medical Expense Tax Shelter Can Become an Investment Gold Mine
Aug 06

How a Medical Expense Tax Shelter Can Become an Investment Gold Mine

High income earners who’ve maxed out their retirement accounts are following a lucrative strategy to boost returns from their Health Savings Accounts (HSA). The trick is to treat an HSA as another retirement account, like an IRA or 401(k) plan, and forgo withdrawals until retirement. In practical terms, when you do incur medical expenses you

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This FHA Loan Packs Twice the Punch of Your Average Loan So You Can Finally Fix Your House

This FHA Loan Packs Twice the Punch of Your Average Loan So You Can Finally Fix Your House

Chad Smith couldn’t have been happier with his new home in Southern California. It faced the glorious San Gabriel Mountains. A canopy of alders shaded his street and his backyard backed up to an elementary school and Little League baseball field, giving him and his children access to their own field of dreams. What he

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Why You Should Fight a Market-Driven Impulse to Move or Refinance
Aug 05

Why You Should Fight a Market-Driven Impulse to Move or Refinance

A siren’s song seems to be calling to established home owners. It speaks to the inner financial gambler. It tempts with the allure of interest rates that continue to hover near bottom; rates which won’t last because they’re sure to rise dramatically next week, or next month, or next year; generous tax benefits for buyers

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Beating All-Cash Offers on a Home Requires This Great Game Plan
Aug 04

Beating All-Cash Offers on a Home Requires This Great Game Plan

You can hardly go to a party or stand in line at Starbucks anymore without overhearing how somebody’s bid on a house got beat out by an all-cash offer. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room, and the last time you checked, this popular primate in the hands of cash-rich real estate buyers has been

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How to Snatch Up Your Dream Home With a Zero-Down Mortgage

How to Snatch Up Your Dream Home With a Zero-Down Mortgage

How much cash should you push across the table for a down payment on a house? The answer may be as close at hand as the latest interest rates on mortgages. If current rates are low enough, a zero-down mortgage may be something to consider. Financial advisors will warn you that by making a down

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Master These 10 Strategies to Score a Great Real Estate Bargain in Any Market
Aug 02

Master These 10 Strategies to Score a Great Real Estate Bargain in Any Market

We all love great deals. There’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. We’re irresistibly attracted to signs that read, “75 percent off,” “everything must go,” and “buy one rack of baby-back ribs, get the second rack free.” If only there were real estate bargains the way there are department store sales. Believe

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15 Sneaky Ways Borrowers Fudge on Mortgage Applications In the Hopes of Outsmarting Lenders
Aug 01

15 Sneaky Ways Borrowers Fudge on Mortgage Applications In the Hopes of Outsmarting Lenders

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” Spoken by Strother Martin to Paul Newman in “Cool Hand Luke” (1967), it’s one of the most iconic lines in film history. If applied to borrowers and lenders, the famous phrase would be only slightly altered: “What we’ve got here is a failure to disclose.” That’s

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What You Should Worry About If Your Lender Sold Your Mortgage to Another Bank

What You Should Worry About If Your Lender Sold Your Mortgage to Another Bank

Have you ever taken out a loan from a mortgage company or bank only to find out a few months down the road that it’s been sold? Don’t be surprised if this happens to you — multiple times — because it’s common that lenders sell mortgages. Federal banking laws allow financial institutions to sell mortgages

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You Finally Have a Better Shot at Landing Your First Home, Thanks to Some Good News
Jul 31

You Finally Have a Better Shot at Landing Your First Home, Thanks to Some Good News

Frustrated potential home buyers may have some reason for optimism. A number of economic trends are beginning to coalesce into what could be the beginnings of a far better market environment for first-time and low to moderate income home buyers. Do keep in mind, however, the important caveat that real estate is one of the

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