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Thanks for the timely reply...I may need to quit my job so I can take full advantage of all The Fool has to offer! Better cogitate on that brillian idea for a while...could be a flaw in my thinking...


1) Though I've entered "combo loans" in the Fool search engine and in google, I'm not finding the information I need. The likely reason is that I'm too dumb to parse, but since you are there...How does the combo loan work? Lets say I have a $300K house and I go with a 80-15-5:
a) 5% is $15K and that is our down payment.
b) We finance 15% of $300K at (for sake of argument) 6.5% and the remaining 80% ($245K) at 7.5%--right?
c) What are the durations of those two loans? Can they both be 30 year fixed? Can I mix an ARM and a fixed? Would I want to?

2) Can you recommend either an on-line calculator that could help me figure the monthly payments under varying conditions (optimal for a lazy guy like me) or a reference that gives me the formula(s). I'm as good as the next hack at torturing Excel!

3) WRT the contingency offer being made by the builder, I'm (naturally?) suspect. Here is my fear: The realtor has no incentive to sell my property while I still own it. He/she could set the price too high and then ignore their responsibility to market my property until I have to sell it to them. They buy it for rock-bottom price, then get into gear and sell it for "rock-bottom + something" Lets say that rock-bottom is $180K (what I paid) and that "something" is $30K. Good faith notwithstanding, the realtor has @ $15,300 more incentive to buy the house from me at rock-bottom. My (likely distorted) distorted logic is this:
a) If the realtor sells my propert for $210K while I own it, she gets a $14,700 commission (at 7%).
b) If the realtor doesn't sell while I still own, but buys it from me at $180K and then sells for $210K, they make $30,000--right?
c) The difference between the commission they make if the house sells while I own and the profit they make if they own and sell the house is $30k - $14,700 or $15,300.

Thanks for the other tips--no need for me to comment given my propensity to confuse!

Finally, I did look at RayVT's post some time back--pretty cool. However, I'm confused about the white stuff on the that some kind of extended concrete slab or what?!? As displaced northerners (by choice), my wife and have undergone years of therapy to remove all memory of snow from our consciousness ;)--Jake
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