Answers in Real Estate

Real estate investing involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental and/or sale of real estate for profit. Should I refinance now or later? Should I invest in real estate backed securities? Read on for popular real estate questions.
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It is called a Good Faith Estimate. It will show all costs involved with the loan which will be mostly accurate while some costs are in fact estimates. It is however a very good guideline for which the lender will be held to.
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Rose, it is best you seek legal counsel from a licensed attorney in your state. Each state has different rules on the division of assets, especially when it comes to real estate. Considering the investment you have made in the home, hiring and attorney ...(more)
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Edwin, Some states, like Maine, have first time homebuyer grants (Maine's gives $3,500). You may want to look into whether or not Florida has such a program. Even though you own a house, if you spouse does not appear on the deed or it has been 5-years ...(more)
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John Essigman Level 17
Hi Colin, I would agree with Curtis … you can always pay more on your mortgage if you choose to do so. However, should some emergency or calamity befall your family, you will not be able to pay less if you are locked into the 15 year mortgage payments. You ...(more)
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Hello Colin, Congrats on the impending home purchase. If I were in your shoes I would consider a couple of things before making my final decision. Can you afford the 15 year payment currently, if one of you lost employment, became disabled etc.? Are ...(more)
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I don't understand, if it is a second home, how would you be a first time homebuyer?
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Hi George, Your first question: 1) Can I use the proceed from the sale to invest in the other property. I recommend confirming it with your tax preparer but my understanding of 1031 exchanges is that it cannot be used to improve an existing property ...(more)
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Hi George, Rental property can be somewhat tricky. For starters, have you checked comps for similar properties in the area? You may find that this site can provide you with more insight into homes in the neighborhood where your rental property is located: ...(more)
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Cyril, you've received some outstanding advice from the advisors above. You can always view a house purchase as investment diversification away from the stock market also, and historically a fair inflation hedge too. Good luck.
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Hello Mike, I concur that the 401(k) loan is probably the better of the options. Check with HR before you get too far ahead of yourself, though, because every plan document is different and your 401(k) may or may not allow loans. Also, beware that you ...(more)
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Mike - it is important to note that if you want the $10,000 exemption you must roll the money from your 401k plan TO an IRA and then take it out...no home-purchase exemption applies to 401k withdrawals. Regarding a loan...first of all, not all plans ...(more)
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Mike, You can withdraw up to 10,000 from a 401k or an IRA and not be subject to the 10% penalty for an early distribution if you are purchasing a home , however you would be subject to ordinary income tax on that withdrawal . You may want to consider ...(more)
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It is not a very good place to get money to buy a home. For some strange reason, the IRS allows first time homebuyers to withdraw up to $10,000 without penalty - but this exception does not apply to qualified plans such as your 401k. This means you ...(more)
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John Essigman Level 17
Hi George, Before we inquire about capital gains… do you have a long-term gain, short-term gain, and how large is it? When did you buy the rental property and what is your cost basis. There has not been much noise recently about 1031 exchanges given ...(more)
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Thomas Larsen Level 5
The answer to the question is not either/or. It is both, if you are talking about your primary residence. The home should be a place to cook, sleep, and tuck kids into bed first, and an investment second. If you have a down payment shortfall for your ...(more)
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