Hi Jake,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:If you were too dumb you wouldn't be here!!! But self-deprecating humour CAN endear you as a Fool if you don't overdo it ;~)a) 5% is $15K and that is our down payment.That would be correcket, sir!b) We finance 15% of $300K at (for sake of argument) 6.5% and the remaining 80% ($245K) at 7.5%--right?... as rain! (Well, rates may vary... a 15% Loan-To-Value HELOC might currently come in at Prime Plus 0% - 1 7/8%... depending on the lender, which depends on which 1st you choose, which depends on a bunch of other schtuff.)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?It depends on your choices, yes, yes, maybe!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!Excel has a built in ammortization formula. I've got so many "pro" tools I'm rather lazy with Excel... so to 'splain it I'd have to fire it up & stumble through from scratch like I do each time I use it for ammorts... but trust me when I say ANYBODY can run an ammortization calculation in Excel.If you're as lazy as me and have lightening quick broadband, you could use this instead;http://www.interest.com/hugh/calc/You will doscover, however, that there aren't any calculators that help with the considerations of STRATEGY, in comparing future scenarios... still gotta use the carbonic processor for that.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.Indeed, you see the conundrum! There is no free lunch... in order to assume the risks of the market they make it worthwhile by making sure they either profit quickly because folks knock down your door to buy, or they profit handsomely by the spread... or both!If your market is anything better than slow (likely,) it might make sense NOT to take the "guaranteed sale" and just amrket it yourself (with the MLS, through a relitter, if you choose.)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 ground...is 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 ;)--JakeNo, it's special reflective coating required by community standards. It's been decreed that we've selfishly accepted WAY too much moonlight, and since it originally came from the Sun and we're receiving it as a 3rd party benefit, undisclosed, we're now required to send it back into space!Hope that helps!Dave DonhoffFoolish Mortgage SpaceMonkey
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