Top Ten Pitfalls for Homebuyers

1. Don’t be dazzled by new construction. Remember that you’ll pay a premium of about 15-20% for the gleaming newness of kitchen cabinets, countertops, and bathrooms. But like a car leaving the showroom, your brand-new house depreciates fast.

2. Condos. The value of your condo is unlikely to rise as reliably as a single-family home.  You may also be handcuffed to other owners in the complex price-wise, and forced to shell out for high maintenance fees.

3. The importance of a neighborhood. Choose the nicest, most conveniently located neighborhood you can afford.  Consider the reputation of the town school system, even if you will never have a child boarding those yellow buses.  Parents pay more than other home buyers, because they have so much at stake in choosing the place to raise their family.

4. Buying

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Restoring Tucson’s homeownership rate is pilot project’s goal

Tucson was chosen as the pilot city for a community program to help more people become homeowners.

Ready, Set, Own was created to provide potential homebuyers with information and resources they need to start the process of buying a home, says the program™s sponsor, Philadelphia-based private mortgage insurer Radian Guaranty Inc.

Participants will be paired with local credit counselors and mortgage lenders to create a personalized step-by-step plan to purchase a home. Assistance will be provided with the qualification process, credit and debt issues, and with establishing a downpayment savings plan.

So far, local partners of the program ” which will serve as mentors ” include Primavera Foundation, Habitat for Humanity Tucson, Family Housing Resources, Chicanos por la Causa, Nova Home Loans and V.I.P. Mo

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‘Disorderly behavior’ eviction could cause problems

‘Disorderly behavior’ eviction could cause problems  

NORRISTOWN, Penna. – Oct. 3, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it reached a Conciliation Agreement with Norristown, Pennsylvania, settling allegations that the municipality violated the Fair Housing Act when it enacted ordinances that held landlords responsible for evicting tenants cited for “disorderly behavior.”

The order included domestic violence incidents, and threatened landlords who didn’t comply with the loss of their rental license.

Norristown’s City Council repealed the original law but passed a similar ordinance the same day that charged landlords mounting fines for tenants that display disruptive behavior.

“It’s discriminatory to deny housing to a woman for violence committed against her,” says Gustavo Velasquez, HUD’s Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity. “To face

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Foxtons shares slump 15% as London property slowdown hits profits

A recent sharp slowdown in the London property market has led to a profit warning from estate agency group Foxtons, sending its shares slumping more than 15%.

The company, known for its aggressive sales tactics and fleet of branded Mini cars, said third quarter turnover was down 3% to £39.3m as property sales commissions fell 7.8%.

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Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio: Six Flags Fright Fest

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Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia

Both tricks and treats await visitors at Six Flags Fright Fest, today’s guest on Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio’s Around Atlanta segment. As Halloween quickly approaches, Gary Petriello, the communications manager for Six Flags’ Atlanta properties, is on hand to discuss all of the attractions that can be enjoyed during Fright Fest.

During the Halloween season, visitors can enjoy thrills by day and frights by night at Six Flags Fright Fest. The Harvest Festival is perfect for children during the day, complete with a corn maze, pumpkin painting, arts and crafts and trick-or-treating. In ad

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Rising Tampa Bay apartment rents a good economic sign

Enlarge Photo Alexis Muellner

Crescent Bayshore sold in early October for $111.5 million.

Rising apartment rents in Tampa Bay are tracking right along with the rest of the nation’s major metros.

The effective annual rent growth for the entire MSA was 4.86 percent in September, just above the nationwide figure of 4.3 percent, according to data firm Axiometrics Inc.

Effective rent is the amount landlords collect after concessions, like free rent promotions, are accounted for. That dynamic in Tampa is validated by several recent sales — the $111.5 million sale of Crescent Bayshore and the $57 million sale of NoHo Flats, for example — and plans to develop more luxury high rises, which are expensive to build and demand higher rents to justify those costs.

“Generally, when landlords are comfortable pushing rents, they understand that the demand is there, and the economy is positive,” according to Axiometrics.

Within Tampa Bay, central St. Pet

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