General Real Estate: March 2008 Archives
While I have been reading the site for about a year, I have tended to gloss over or completely ignore the posts regarding real estate and purchasing a home. That is, until about two weeks ago when I had a conversation with my parents and decided that I want to stop being a renter and instead purchase my first home this spring. I have tried to wade through your numerous posts on Home Buying and Real Estate but am having trouble finding a nice, organized timeline of posts to read. Could you perhaps help me by providing a suggested reading list of your posts for a soon-to-be first time home buyer, in the order that you think I should read them?
Thanks for your time. I appreciate all of the work you put into the site.
The organization on the site is not intended to be in any kind of order. Still, I'll go over a few of the most important ones that everyone needs to know.
Should I Buy a Home? series
Then read my basic series on loans: The Mortgage Loan Disclosure Statement, parts I and II, Truth in Lending, and HUD 1, and why you should ignore APR.
The California Mortgage Loan Disclosure Statement (MLDS) Part I, The California Mortgage Loan Disclosure Statement (MLDS) Part II, Truth In Lending, HUD 1, Why You Should Ignore APR
Now you're ready for the advice on shopping a loan, and dealing with agents. In no particular order:
Payment, Interest Rate and Up Front Costs: Choosing a loan Intelligently
Mortgage and Real Estate Red Flags
Levels of Mortgage Documentation, or, Why You Should Demand to Do More Paperwork
Questions You Should Ask Prospective Loan Providers
Available Real Estate Loan Types
Fixed rate, Balloon, ARM and Hybrid Loans
One Loan Versus Two Loans
The Best Idea About Applying for a Mortgage
Loan Rate Sheets: An example, and the games lenders play
Mortgage Loan Rate Locks
Loan Quote Guarantees
On dealing With Real Estate Agents:
Then then while the whole thing is in process, come back and read as much as you have time for.
I'm exploring book publication, organized in more or less the chronological order you need to know everything.
(If anyone has access to a good literary agent, I'm interested!)
How do you transfer house ownership after someone dies and leaves you the house in a will?
The will must be probated. Once all debts of the estate are paid and the court agrees to a final disposition of assets, the executor will then create a deed giving whoever it is title to the property. It may or may not be part of the executor's job to record the deed with the county - so make certain it gets done yourself if you are the inheritor. It may cost a little ($65 locally), but it prevents huge problems down the road.
Now if there's a loan or other liens in effect, the mere fact that your predecessor died does not render them in any way invalid. Most specifically, Trust Deeds have the power to foreclose if the payments are not made in a timely manner. Sometimes the estate has the money to pay them off; more often it does not and somebody better keep making those payments during probate, which lasts a legal minimum of 9 months, or the issue will be academic before probate is resolved. Nor can estates, in general, secure financing, so refinancing the loan can be difficult. Relatively few dead people earn significant amounts of money.
On the other hand, if your property is in a Trust, then there is no probate on that part of the estate. Title to the property passes basically immediately to the successor trustee, who must comply with whatever instructions are made in the trust with regard to the property, but is otherwise free to do with it as they will within the limitations of the law. Among other issues encountered in probate but not here, this permits refinancing in whatever name happens to have the income to keep making the payments.
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