Real Estate: Three Key Actions to Consider in Today's Market

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1: Your Primary Residence – Rent vs. Buy? 
For those who are confident in their job and have their personal finances in order now is the time to buy. The combination of home prices reduced drastically from their highs and interest rates hovering near 4% for a 30 year mortgage make this one of the most affordable times to own a home or apartment. Buyers will be surprised to find their monthly payments including tax deductions (not to mention future appreciation of the property) will most likely show buying a property to be the right choice. An article mid October 2011 in the Wall Street Journal entitled It’s Time to Buy That House told readers “It’s an excellent time to buy a house, either to live in for the long term or investment income…Houses aren’t the magic wealth creators they were made out to be during the Bubble. But when prices are low, loans are cheap and plump investment yields are scarce, buyers should jump.

2: Check if you can refinance your current mortgage.
Call a mortgage professional to see if you qualify for refinancing and what the monthly savings will be. If your current rate is at least 1% higher than today’s rates then refinancing would definitely be worthwhile. Consider closing costs and length of time you plan to own the property to fully understand if refinancing makes sense. If you already have an FHA insured mortgage you may be qualified for a special program which will reduce your monthly payments with minimal documentation required. New legislation will be voted on in November to help homeowners refinance whose home values has fallen below their outstanding mortgage.

3: Consider Owning Income Producing Property
As prices on multi-family homes have come down and rental apartments in demand, owning a rental property makes more sense than in years past. This type of asset can help balance your volatile stock portfolio and low-to-no-income producing bank or money market accounts. Speak to a real estate professional so you fully understand what being a landlord entails and how to choose a good investment property.

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