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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/frequently-asked-questions-vers-10-16650331.aspx

Subject:  Frequently Asked Questions vers 1.0 Date:  2/6/2002  12:33 PM
Author:  Dwdonhoff Number:  35813 of 127777

OK Fools;
(Drum Roll please, with a grand trumpet flourish!)

After endless newbie confusion and frustration, and limitless requests in vain for the veteran Fools to deliver a FAQ page...

WE HAVE CREATED FAQ'S! (Think of Tom Hanks & "I HAVE MADE FIRE!")

Actually... assembly credit goes to Ganado (for starting the project,) and AJ (sinical) for doing the huge task of searching & finding posts to answer most of the questions.

Of course, bylines go to all the Fools in the community who've asked and answered these questions (especially the "frequently" asked ones!)

<Disclaimer!> A LOT of the answers are mine... and I KNOW there's a LOT more wealth of knowledge on our boards than what I bring... so;
A) This is just Version 1.0
B) Please review... and those who find appropriate posts from archives for unanswered questions, send them to me at Dwdonhoff@hotmail.com... and in another 3 or 4 years we might get Version 1.01! As you'll see, there are PLENTY of empty questions that we KNOW have been well answered... but we need the greater community's search power. (There's an obvious gaping lack of great posts by bigtime givers Liz & Ray & JAFO, and many others who've made great contributions... so this is a call to arms (or search engines) for all Fools to pick a question & find where it's been eloquently answered.)

<Further Disclaimer!> Whew... after previewing the links, I'm a bit overwhelmed at HOW MUCH is my stuff... VERY SERIOUSLY hoping you'll cut me a little slack... I'm probably slightly less egotistical than I appear (well... maybe!)

And now, without further ado... I present to you;
Buying or Selling a Home FAQ'S

******************************************************************

BASIC STEPS FOR BUYING A HOME

1) Get financing so you know your price range for a home.

2) Find a home within your price range

3) Research the home and area
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15386263
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16554722

4) Make an offer for the home
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15637886

5) If accepted go directly to closing, if not accepted make a new offer or start shopping for another home

MORTGAGE LOAN OR LENDING PROCESS

Diary of a home-buyer
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15192468
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14885725

When should we start looking to pre-qualify?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16545266

What is a pre-approval vs. a pre-qualification?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15115899
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16438881

Is it worth it to buy a home outright if it's a possibility?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15297096
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15637802
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14865492

Where do I start when shopping for a mortgage?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16419634
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16313285

How do I find a good mortgage broker
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16534757

What is the function of a “good” mortgage broker (and all the monkeys in his zoo)?

Are there any laws regulating what must be disclosed to buyers by their lenders/brokers?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15788411
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16510860

How do I let a mortgage broker know I will not be using them?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15496636

How can I determine if my lenders or brokers are honest and on the up & up?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16557819
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16243708

Compare/contrast to bankers, credit unions, etc. What's diff between bankers, credit unions, brokers?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14983721
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15558887

What do lenders look at
How can I get a free loan
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14760238

What are some online loan sources I can check out?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15672895
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15638283

Lending/Mortgage Fees

How can I figure out how much I can afford for a mortgage payment?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15258321

What are some good financing options?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16538818

What if I don't have 20% down?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15688341

How can I cancel PMI?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15471191

How can I avoid PMI?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14541485
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14899733
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14635207

Online loan brokerages? Deal or devil?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15573121

How do I know if my loan has actually been locked?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16459168
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15878719

Can I borrow my down payment?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16256051

What about gifting?

Can I borrow money on a loan/CC for my down payment?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14760238

Can I get cash-out from a purchase mortgage?

How do I purchase on a mortgage and then get money for improvements or remodels?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16268141 (Thread)

When can I take advantage of my appreciated equity?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16561773
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16365203

What's underwriters, processors, tax services, etc., etc.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16270750

How can I get a copy of my credit report and how do I read it?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15496238

What is a good way to build credit?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16375648

When can I switch loan officers? Realtors? Mother-in-laws?

What type of loan/agreement for purchasing house with a friend?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14613363

Can I add my spouse after the deal? Can I nix my spouse at will?

Can we use my credit but not my spouses?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14592081
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16194755

Does the interest rate on 2nd mortgages matter? How do they compare to 1st's with PMI?

How can I calculate which would be better for me?
http://www.decisionaide.com/mpcalculators/MIPvs80PercentLoanPlus2nd/MIPvs80Percent.asp

What to do if lender switches rates or programs last minute?

Why do loans get sold?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14687113

Is a “Zero Discount Point Loan” a loan without points?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14589496

Am I locked into my lender?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14468210

What is the COFI Index?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14533508

What is a HELOC?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15881440
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16459105

What is the difference between fixed and adjustable rate mortgages?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15084858

What's the difference in the adjustable loan programs?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16527593

How can I calculate the APR?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14573008
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14779389
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15543306

Which is better a balloon loan or an ARM?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15217370

What are some ARM rate definitions?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16527593

Is it ever better to take and adjustable loan over fixed?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15084858
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15223863
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16034399
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16378345

15 year fixed, or 30... which is better?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15345470

What about 10, 20, 40 year fixed loans?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16414969
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16591553

What are some pros and cons to getting an interest only loan?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16522378
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16505473
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16510211

Is it wise to pay down my mortgage early?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14589100

Should points always be avoided?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15252631
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14805315

What the hell ARE points?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14805315
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14800771

What are the advantages/disadvantages to using cash to pay points?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14917201

Can I lower my interest rates by using points? Can I use them as a write-off?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14870817
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15524024

What does a Good Faith Estimate really mean?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15878719

What is all this other crap on the Good Faith Estimates?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16310549

What has to be disclosed by the property seller?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15500413

What is seller financing?

What is down-payment assistance programs?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16417215

What are prepayment penalties on loans? How are they calculated? How long are they for? How to take advantage of them? How, if, why, and when to avoid them? How valid are they? For what purpose? For how long? For whom do they matter?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15939174
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16010557
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15821644
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15762807

How can I get the absolute, without-a-question, guaranteed to never ever be better possible interest rate with no fees paid?
What's the best way to shop financing?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14805315
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15847054


INTEREST RATES & FEES

How come the Fed's interest rate drops aren't showing in the mortgage rates?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14824954
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15665562

Why am I getting quoted such a range of rates?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15487418

When should I lock rates?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16365313

MAKING AN OFFER, REALTORS & NEGOTIATIONS

How can I shop for a home most effectively?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15386263
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16554722

How can I determine a real-market fair price?

What is the function of a seller's (listing) Agent/Realtor?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16208099

What is the function of a buyer's Agent/Realtor?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16262133

How do I find a good Realtor?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15637802

How should I offer and negotiate?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15637886

What's reasonable Realtor commissions?

Can I go it alone, w/o Realtors?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16554722

Small realties vs large chains?

What's appropriate earnest money amount?

When can I walk away without losing my earnest money?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16448686
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16566613

When am I S.O.L.

What is a lease-option contract? Land contract? other permutations?

Are HUD's a good investment option?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15637802

Can we take advantage of rates and not move ourselves or sellers for a few months?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16540084

INSPECTIONS, APPRAISALS, SURVEYS, EASEMENTS

What should I look for when examining my home?

Why appraisal? Why inspection? Why survey? aren't they all the same thing?


CLOSING & TITLE INSURANCE

When should I close?

What's reasonable closing costs?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15471307
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15152604
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15468378

Should I pay document fees?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=14800771
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15658792

Why do I have to pay title insurance?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15468670
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15658792

Title Company & Mortgage Lender up-charges per 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15788411

Why do I have to pay for escrow/closing services?

Is there any benefit to including the closing costs with loan?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15386383

What is seller contribution to closing?

AFTER YOU MOVE IN, THE FUN STUFF

Yard gear
www.homedepot.com

Curtains, Furniture
www.ikea.com

DooDads
http://www.keepsakeexpressions.com/

LYING, THE UNEXPECTED, CAVEAT EMPTOR

Do I have recourse if my loan broker (Realtor, the other Realtor, the seller, etc.) makes a mistake? Outright lied? Intentionally lied, and can be proven?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16598622 (Thread)

Who can I turn to for regulatory safety?

MISCELLANEOUS

What are some loan factors when considering building a house?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15488955
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15488962

What to do if selling house and living rent free for a period of time?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15718307

What to do if seller/buyer defaults on agreement,

What to do about oil tanks? e.g. environmental concerns

What to do about septic systems?

What about property line disputes?

What about tax assessment disputes?

Does it matter if I hear voices saying "get out" and black water comes out of the faucets when I tour the house?
http://www.mgm.com/jeeperscreepers/

Should we changing locks, exterior & interior locks

How can I free-up cash flow to give me options and eliminate unsecured debt?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15332079
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15517620
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15276342

How can I send someone that has posted my email address privately?
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=16583102


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