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A Writer's Den: June 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Residential Real Estate 101

credit: SteveLuker © istockphoto.com/SteveLuker

A Modern Day Breeding Ground for Your Everyday Hustler

The housing boom not only increased the number of first time homebuyers, it created a breeding ground for your "everyday hustler". From your overnight investors to flippers and equity skimmers, all qualify as hustlers. Now that the housing boom is over, the housing burst has revealed the innocent homeowners that fell victim to the everyday hustler. So before you even think about purchasing a home, you need to learn the ins and outs of the everyday hustler.

There are two different kinds of flippers. The legal flippers that actually fix up houses and sell the homes at a profit based on the improved value. And then there is the illegal flipper, which you should be wary of. The illegal flipper makes no improvements to the property, but falsifies an appraisal by stating that the subject property is worth far more than the actual value. READ FULL ARTICLE: Residential Real Estate 101: A Modern Day Breeding Ground for Your Everyday Hustler

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Potty Training 101

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Does Your Toddler Need a Theme Song?

Most toddlers begin potty training between eighteen and twenty-four months according to The American Academy of Pediatrics. There are tons of reference materials available to parents on the steps they should take in transitioning their toddlers from the world of diapers to big kid training pants. Many parents will research everything on potty training including what kind of potty to buy and the best pull-ups to purchase. But when parents find out that the two year old next door is already fully potty trained, they will even hurry their toddler off to the pediatrician to find out why in the heck their three year old is not potty trained yet. Of course the pediatrician will have to break the seemingly good news to the parents that their toddler is perfectly fine. That is when every parent looks their pediatrician in the eye and asks, “If my toddler is perfectly fine, why isn’t she using the potty?” As a parent, I suggest that instead of concentrating on what’s wrong with our toddlers, we should ask ourselves “Is it possible that we should re-evaluate the training methods we are using?” The answer is a resounding YES! READ FULL ARTICLE: Potty Training 101: Does Your Toddler Need a Theme Song?

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Believe in God Because I Have a Praying Mother

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With the faithfulness of a child, she falls to her knees.

And with the selflessness of a mother, she prays for me.

If I asked my mother when did my journey in Christianity begin, I am certain that she would say that my journey begin before I was even born. My mother prayed to God for my safe passage into the world, and I was the blessing that she was granted. As a child, I learned to pray as my mother prayed by watching her. In fact, the most memorable moments that I have of my mother is seeing her on her knees, eyes closed, head bowed, and hands clasped firmly together in prayer. Sometimes I would sit beside her on my knees, head bowed, and hands clasps. But my eyes were not closed, and I wasn't praying because I was peeking at her out the corner of my eye wondering "what does she pray for?" Sometimes after she would put me to bed, I would sneak out of my room, then crack open the door to her room and watch her on her knees, eyes closed, head bowed, and hands clasps firmly together. Then one day as we were on our knees, eyes closed, head bowed, and hands clasps firmly together, my mother taught me how to pray my first prayer: READ FULL ARTICLE: I Believe in God Because I Have a Praying Mother

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

So You Want to Rent to Own a Home?

credit: Alexsl © iStockphoto.com/alexsl


With the current state of the economy, many people are opting to rent-to-own a home. Credit issues including bankruptcies and foreclosures, or a lack of sufficient credit history are all reasons to consider renting
before purchasing. Another reason, beyond credit concerns, may be your ambivalence towards purchasing a home in a market where houses are losing value everyday. However, if you are thinking about renting to own, the best advice is to treat your rental as if you were actually purchasing it with cash.

Conducting a Title Search

In a purchase sales agreement, purchasers are given a specified period of time, usually a 7 day window to provide proof of financing, conduct an appraisal, obtain a home inspection, and amongst other things conduct a title search of the property. A full title search is a detailed background of the history of the property including the chain of title which details the current and previous homeowners, a lien search to ensure no current liens are attached to the property, and a tax search to determine that all taxes are current on the property. The title search is the most important part of the home buying process because even if you obtain financing, the home appraises at the purchase price or higher, and the home inspection goes perfectly; if the owner does not have valid title to the property, then you can't buy it. And if you can't buy a home due to a title issue, why would you want to rent to own that same home? That was exactly the situation Cameron faced when he jumped head first into renting to own his first home.

Cameron's Story

Failing to conduct a title search was the biggest mistake that Cameron made when he decided to rent to own his brand new $305,000.00, 4-bedroom, 2 ½-bath home. Cameron rented the house directly from the builder through a three year lease with a one year option to purchase. Per the terms of their agreement, Cameron also paid a non refundable security deposit in the amount of $10,000.00 that would be credited towards the purchase price if Cameron chose to exercise the option to purchase. READ FULL ARTICLE: So You Want to Rent to Own a Home?

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