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Liens and Home Buying: Factors to ConsiderWhen people incur debts and own a home, it is possible that they could have a lien placed on the property. A mortgage is a type of lien that uses the home as a guarantee that the homeowner will make timely payments. There are other, less-common types of liens people might encounter, as well. Home buyers should understand how liens work before they start looking for homes or applying for a mortgage. This guide explains what a lien is, what it does, common types of liens, and how they affect homeowners.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with an attorney or financial advisor or before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

1. What Is a Lien?

A lien is an outstanding debt that uses an asset, like a home, for collateral.

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Which One? An Adjustable Rate Mortgage or a Fixed Rate Mortgage?At some point most home buyers must decide whether a fixed rate or adjustable rate mortgage is the right mortgage for them. Understanding the differences between these two types of mortgages can help home buyers decide what kind of loan they'd like to get. If you're a home buyer trying to decide on a mortgage, here's what you need to know about fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Difference Between an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) and a Fixed Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage is a mortgage with a rate that will never change over the life of the loan. Fixed rate mortgages typically come in 15

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Red Flags to Watch For When Buying A HomeMost home buyers only see a home once or twice before they make an offer on a property. Home buyers who know what to look for find it's easier to identify which homes are a good deal and which homes should be avoided. The following red flags are an indication that something could be wrong with a house.

1. Rooms You Can't Get Into

Sellers who close off parts of the house could be trying to hide something, or they could be making an innocent mistake. Either way, home buyers should never make an offer on a property without having seen the entire house. If some rooms are unavailable for home buyers when they make their initial inspection, it's important to gain access to those rooms before making an offer.

2. Cracks in the Foundation

Cracks

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Should You Choose a 15-Year or 30-Year Mortgage?A person's mortgage can have a big impact on their quality of life while they're living in their home. A mortgage that is too expensive can put the homeowner in a precarious situation, leading them to bankruptcy or mortgage default. Meanwhile, home buyers who choose not to pay off their mortgage in a timely fashion may find themselves paying more interest over time. These tips can help buyers decide whether or not a 15-year or 30-year mortgage is right for them.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What's the Difference Between a 15-Year and 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage?

The most obvious difference between a 15-year mortgage and a 30-year

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3 Must Use Photography StrategiesFirst impressions are everything when it comes to selling a home, and that means listings need to be the best they can be in order to draw buyers in. One of the best ways to ensure a listing is effective is to include photographs of the home and all the rooms. However, it’s important for sellers to note that not all photographs are made equally, and in order to get the best results, homeowners need to know the best strategies. Here are four ways to help take high quality photos that impress buyers.

1. Stage the Home Before Taking Photos

Homeowners who have already looked into different selling strategies are likely already familiar with staging, which is the arranging of furniture to  make a home to make it as appealing to buyers as possible.

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How to Write a Home Purchase OfferA good home purchase offer can be an excellent way to secure the Rolling Hills home or property a buyer wants under terms they can live with. However, the offer can also alienate sellers and compromise the purchase before it even has a chance to progress past the first round. Because each home sale is different, buyers need to learn the underlying principles of a purchase offer before they begin to structure the right offer for each one.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Start Strong

The stronger the offer, the more likely it is the seller will take the buyer seriously. This doesn't mean that buyers have to offer the listed price, but

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What You Should Know Before Constructing a Home AdditionHomeowners who aren't looking to move anytime soon or who want to increase the value of the Hermosa Beach property may consider a home addition as a way to add some extra character to their home. And there's no doubt that this is a certainly a fun project to think about. Residents picture what an extra bathroom would do for the wait times in the morning, or how they could use a sunroom to enjoy their evening glass of wine. However, there are a few questions to answer before accepting bids from contractors.

Analyze the Space

An addition should usually be considered as a last resort for homeowners. The more cost-effective alternative will always be to rearrange or upgrade the space a homeowner already has:

  • Is there a basement or garage
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How Debt-to-Income Ratio Affects Your Ability to Get A MortgageDebt-to-income ratio is an important factor to consider when trying to buy a home and obtaining a mortgage. A person's debt-to-income (DTI) ratio can affect their ability to qualify for a mortgage. People who have a high DTI may not be able to get a large mortgage, or may not be able to get a mortgage at all. Knowing the DTI threshold and what can be done to reduce the DTI ratio can help home buyers to get the home they want.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed mortgage professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

What Is Debt-to-Income Ratio

Debt-to-income ratio is the amount that a home buyer makes every month versus the amount that they pay in debts every month. A buyer who wants to get a

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Should You Refurbish or Replace Your Cabinets?Refurbishing kitchen cabinets is a common practice among homeowners who are trying to improve their home's value without breaking the bank. New kitchen cabinets are a big attraction for home buyers, so this is a good project for homeowners who want to sell their property. This is also an excellent project for a homeowner who wants to upgrade their kitchen without getting involved in an extensive remodeling project.

When To Refurbish?

It's time to refurbish when the kitchen cabinets are starting to look their age, the kitchen is out of date or the cabinets have sustained cosmetic damage. Many homeowners decide to refurbish their cabinets when the cabinets have become scratched, stained, yellowed or are simply very dated.

Paint or Stain

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The Importance of Getting a Home SurveyWhen buying a home, it's important to consider whether to get a survey or not. Home surveys are a way to find out the details of the property lot or land, and diving beneath the surface to uncover potential problems before they crop up at a later date. Some states require surveys whenever a home or land is sold, while other states make a survey optional.

There are several types of surveys a home or property buyer could choose, depending on the age and condition of the home. However, they're all designed to specify the boundaries of a property and list any hazardous conditions on the property. Home buyers should learn more about surveys and why they might be a good idea for a home or land purchase.

Asking the Questions

A Palos Verdes home

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