Who was Smoking What When They Came Up with Montgomery County’s Real Estate Tax System?

PropertyTax_jpg_800x1000_q100Welcome to Montgomery County.  A beautiful County filled with great people, tons of things to do, a perfect location close to the hustle & bustle of Philadelphia, weekend hikes & winter skiing in the Poconos, & a short drive to the beauty, peacefulness & tranquility of the Jersey Shore.  It really is a great place to call home.  However, Montgomery County has one of those black sheep, also shared with its neighbors in the Commonwealth.  Real Estate taxes.  What were they thinking when they came up with this system?

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I am approved for a mortgage, why can’t I buy any house in my price range??

confused womanSo you did the right thing.  You were able to get pre-approved for financing and everyone tells you it is as good as buying with cash.  Then you start looking at houses and your agent tells you that the property you want to see is ineligible for the type of financing you are approved for.  What gives???
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Give me a seller assist to pay for my closing costs, please!

Closing-CostsIt’s smart, it’s legal, it varies with loan products, but a full seller assist (seller credit, seller concession, etc) may not be possible with certain properties.  Before they met me, a client wanted to purchase a foreclosure in Montgomery County, PA.  They were approved for a mortgage, they had the down payment, but their real estate agent said the bank would not provide a seller assist greater than 3% of the sale price, and they needed a 6% seller assist to cover their closing costs.  The agent stated that that was out of the question and they could not make the numbers work.  Well, they lost out on that opportunity and were referred to me by a past client of mine whom they had been complaining to about the scenario.  So what can be done to overcome this problem in the future?

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surprised babyA Reverse Mortgage is one of the best financial tools out there today.  It is amazing what you can do with them and the quality of life that can be had once they are put in place.  There are many misconceptions that we will clear up and to start, here are some actual stories to review.

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16 W. 6th St, Bridgeport, PA 19405

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Michael Torres
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16 West 6th Street
Bridgeport, PA
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Fixer upper offering sweat equity!

$ Click for current price
1 BATHROOMS (1 full)
1747 Square Feet

Fixer upper offering sweat equity in Upper Merion School District! Opportunity knocking! Large, solid twin in Upper Merion School District ready for modernization. Perfect candidate to move in and fix it up for a ton of sweat equity. Great room sizes, hardwood flooring under carpet throughout the home. Large kitchen can be remodeled into something spectacular. Potential for a powder room on the first floor. Large bedrooms, updated windows, clean and dry basement, newer furnace, fenced in rear yard, cozy front porch. Exterior has been taken care of and is solid, tight home, no leaks, aluminum capped, etc. Now just put your touches inside. Perfect candidate for the FHA 203k program where you can finance… the purchase price & the repairs into one, low rate mortgage!! Contractor`s estimate available so you can renovate this home to your liking & include that in the mortgage!

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The Importance of Real Estate Photography – From Clicking to Closing

Ashlee Hall ext picAt least 88% of prospective home buyers use the internet as an informational resource during their real estate search (Realtor.com). With popular real estate syndication sites such as Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com as well as social media networks, consumers are able to proactively find properties on their own.  It doesn’t stop at the computer. 63% of online searches result in a property walkthrough.

What do these developments mean for real estate photography? The pressure is on. Real estate agents need photography that stands out and appeals to the ultimate decision makers, home buyers. [Read more…]

Montgomery County Town House, Row Home, Condo. What’s the difference?

HousesWhen you are clicking through real estate web sites, real estate magazines, flyers and other ad mediums looking for Montgomery County homes for sale, I am sure you have come across many different styles of homes.  Single family, town house, row home, twin home, carriage home,  condominium, etc.   You may have even come across town homes listed as condos, or even single homes as a condo.  So what exactly is the difference?

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Montgomery County’s BEST mortgage program changes October 1st, 2012

changes-comingChange, the one constant in life.  Especially in the world of mortgages!  I remember when we had “mirror-test” underwriting.  Hold a mirror up to the borrower’s nose & if it fogs up, they get a loan!  Well, those days are gone, as they should be.  But unfortunately, certain regulators feel the way to correct things of the past are to make it more expensive.  Makes sense, right?  (sarcasm) [Read more…]