The Pro’s and Con’s of Hiring a Real Estate Lawyer

While purchasing a property is often a huge investment, purchasing a property in another country can perhaps a much bigger and riskier investment. So while you might understand your local property market, and are able to constantly monitor the latest happenings and trends in that market, it is not so easy to do so in the international property market, hence the risk. 

Real Estate lawyer

With all the aforementioned risks involved with investing in a property, it is a safe assumption to make that such risks can often be greatly mitigated by seeking the services of a real estate or property attorney. And in situations where this property is part of a larger portfolio of properties that forms the core of what your business is about, in other words, a property business, then it is vitally important to make sure that the law firm you hire, also has a team of business lawyers, so that you can marry their expertise, with that of the property attorneys, to get the best possible value for your investment.

When considering purchasing property in another country it is important to seek the help of a real estate lawyer.

Perhaps the single most important value a real estate lawyer can bring to your real estate or property business, is the fact that they have likely studied and are well versed in the practice of property law, and are therefore better able to guide you in all legals related matters concerning your property purchases. It will therefore be wise of you to be very careful while making such property purchasing or investment, and ensure that you have the right representation.

Real estate lawyers do not only handle all the admin involved in purchasing your property, but they will also handle all the necessary legal documents that need to be signed in order to make the sale valid. Because of their vast knowledge in such matters, they are likely to be more thorough than a non-legal person will be, and you can therefore trust that you and your business are in safe hands.

Additionally, real estate lawyers can also help you look into the future with regards a possible sale of your soon-to-be-purchased property, which you might want to sell at some point in time. This forward looking and thinking lawyer can therefore make sure that appropriate clauses, are incorporated in any contracts that you sign, to take care of any possible future sale of the property, whether it be for tax or other purposes.

While it is a given that lawyers can often command a rather high price tag, the same can be said of property lawyers, and in their case, because of the huge sums often involved with properties, chances are that a property lawyer is likely to cost even more. But given all the advantages and other value add that they bring to your business, it is easy to come to the conclusion that it will be money very well spent. However, there are of course several tactics you can employ to try and reduce the cost of hiring a lawyer, one of them being to make sure you speak to and compare several lawyers and their fees, and where necessary, “play” them against each other until they are willing to drop their fees to the lowest possible rate, all in a bid to keep you from taking your business to their competitor.

If You have been Thinking about Refinancing

If You have been Thinking about Refinancing

Refinancing is a term used to denote a new loan that incorporates a person’s other debt responsibility, but with new terms. The term ‘refinancing’ may also be referred to as restructuring a debt. When considering a refinancing home loan it’s important to make sure you have the answers to a few important questions beforehand.You’ll want to know what current interest rates are; do you expect them to rise or have they fallen? How is your current credit score? Consider that it should have improved if you want to be eligible for a refinancing home loan. The answers to these questions and more will help you better determine whether to refinance or not.

Since your home is probably one of your most valuable assets, it’s vital that you have a solid financial advisor whom you can trust to counsel with. Refinancing costs, therefore your choice in lending institution and /or mortgage broker will be the next most important decision to make. Refinancing allows you to pay off your existing home loan, or mortgage, while creating a new one under different loan terms and conditions.

What to Consider When Refinancing

If market conditions are such that interest rates have dropped, and you have a higher or better credit score, it could be a good time to reconsider the possibility of a refinancing home loan. Refinancing with a lower interest rate can help you build up equity in your home more rapidly, but it also means you’ll have lower monthly payments as your loan is refinanced using current lower interest rates. But you will need to have good credit to do this.

You can adjust the terms of your mortgage, such as increasing or decreasing the length of your term. Increasing your loan term, such as choosing a 30-year loan, means you will end up paying more interest in the long-term, but your monthly payments will be lower. If you decide to decrease the length of your loan term, such as choosing a 15-year loan, you will have lowered interest rates, the loan is paid off quicker, but the monthly payments will be significantly higher as the principle is being paid off at a higher percent each month.

Another option that many home buyers can consider, if they want to lower the length of their home loan is that they can pay off more of the principle per month instead of having to refinance.

What about ARMs? Adjustable Rate Mortgages means that monthly payments can fluctuate according to current interest rates. This may be great when interest rates are low, but if you suspect interest rates will climb again, fixed-rate mortgages will guarantee stable interest rates during the life of the loan which means monthly payments remain the same. It’s good to know that even ARM loans can be refinanced using the lower interest rates.

Another important point to consider is that deciding to refinance a home loan toward the end of your mortgage term might not be the best idea. Since considerable equity has already been built up in your home, the refinancing home loan mean the amortization process begins again. Monthly payments usually end up paying interest and do not continue to build equity. Considering all the available options, in addition to seeking advice from a financial advisor will help you understand the best choice for you.

Protecting your Home for Times of Uncertainty

Protecting your Home for Times of Uncertainty

In today’s economy, people are concerned about losing their investments. No one knows what the future holds and they want some sense of security. Protecting your home should be high on the list of financial priorities.

Whether you plan to live there temporarily or you plan to use your home as part of your retirement plan, there are steps you can take to make sure that this investment stays secure. If you have concerns about the stability of your mortgage, don’t be afraid to compare loans.

Damage to the Property

No matter how well you take care of your home, sometimes the problems you face are completely out of your control. In the case of damage, whether by weather or faulty equipment, you need to be protected. Repairing parts of your home or replacing your valuables can be expensive and easily break the bank.

If you aren’t sure whether you have the right amount of coverage or you don’t know what your policy covers, it is time to make an appointment with your insurance agent. While you don’t want to think about bad things happening to your home, your property, or your family, you need to plan for the worst. You have the ability to compare policies just like you compare loans. Look at all the options and see which one best suits your needs.

Financial Woes

Times of uncertainty often center on financial issues. The harsh reality is, if you don’t have enough money to make the mortgage payment every month, you can’t keep your home. Unfortunately, every day, more people are struggling to come up with that payment. If you are in a secure place right now, start saving.

A financial safety net consists of easily accessible funds that you can use in case of emergency. Different financial advisors will tell you different things as far as the amount that you need to save is concerned. Some suggest that having six months’ worth of living expenses will be enough while others encourage people to save between ten months’ and a year’s worth of expenses. Keep this in mind as you compare loans and try to find the best interest rates.

Personal Circumstances

If you lose your job and you don’t have a security net, what happens? It is possible to protect your investment with mortgage insurance. For a monthly fee, usually added onto your mortgage payment, you are covered if certain events or circumstances take place. When you compare loans for your home, take the time to look into companies that will offer you this type of protection.

With mortgage insurance, when one person on the loan passes away, the insurance company takes care of the home loan payments. If someone experiences a serious accident or becomes terminally ill, the payments are taken care of. You don’t want to think about these things happening, but if you want to protect your home in uncertain times, this is an option.

Real Estate Investment Trust: Enabling you to be a part of the party

Real Estate Investment Trust: Enabling you to be a part of the party

Real estate is a big business and everyone seems to want to invest in real estate. You keep hearing a lot of stories about how people made a quick buck by investing in real estate. There are stories about people who made $50000 in a fortnight by making the right kind of investment in real estate. Every now and then, newspapers keep coming up with statistics about the appreciation in the real estate prices. There seems a mad rush for investing in real estate (and this gets even bigger when the mortgage interest rates are falling). However, not everyone has the time, money and expertise to be able to profitably invest in real estate. So what does one do? Is there any other option?

Yes, there is another way of investing in real estate and that is through Real Estate Investment Trust. Real Estate Investment Trust is an organisation that invests in real estate as a full fledged business. By investing in a Real Estate Investment Trust, you can become part of the real estate investment party and enjoy profits (of course, the assumption here is that the Real Estate Investment Trust is good and professionally managed).

Investing in Real Estate Investment Trust is very easy too. You can just buy Real Estate Investment Trust shares which trade on all major exchanges. There are certain laws governing the Real Estate Investment Trusts that help them avoiding the tax at corporate levels e.g. it is mandated that Real Estate Investment Trust’s portfolio has 75 percent of investment in real estate. Moreover, 75% of the income of Real Estate Investment Trust must be from rents or mortgage interest.

There are various types of Real Estate Investment Trusts. Some Real Estate Investment Trusts own properties themselves and hence feed on the rental income from those properties. Some others indulge in providing only mortgage loans or go for mortgage backed securities. Then there are Real Estate Investment Trusts which do both i.e. rental focused investments and mortgage based investments.

There are a number of Real Estate Investment Trusts operating in the market and a lot of these Real Estate Investment Trusts are doing good business. By investing in Real Estate Investment Trust you are basically investing in real estate without actually buying a property yourself. This is one easy way of investing in real estate (and much safer too). You must surely evaluate this option for your real estate investments.

Home Loans – A Basic Introduction

Home Loans – A Basic Introduction

During the recent span of years, it has been observed that the demand of home loans has increased. The main reason being, the availability of loans in market has increased too. Home loans are now a days available in the market at pretty low and attractive rates.

Home loans are recent craze in the loan market now days. The reason being the fact that, home constitute out as the largest asset that usually people have. While purchasing a home, the person has to invest a very huge amount of money. Some people face trouble, paying out the whole money together for the house, while some can’t even afford to invest money for the home of their choice. Home loans, this way have turned out to be a boon for people, who want to have a home of their choice, but cannot afford it at the moment concerned.

Buyers now days don’t have to think about the source of money for their homes. Home loans have made the life of a lot of buyers very easy. But, the buyers should be careful while opting or going for a home loan. They should first, make a thorough research of the prevailing interest rates in the market, and then opt or go for any home loan. Borrowers can even go for home loans, by undertaking mortgages. In this, the borrowers take a loan after pledging or securing any asset or securities of theirs, against the sum borrowed by them.

While going for a home loan, the individuals should take care of the other various aspects relating to the home loan. An individual before going for a home loan should take care, before deciding the principal amount that he is going to borrow as a home loan. Otherwise the person may end up taking a loan with a higher principal amount and then end up paying more interest for the amount that he had borrowed unnecessarily.

The second aspect that the borrower should consider is the interest factor associated with every home loan. Interest is an unwanted burden that comes attached with the home loan. Interest is the extra amount that the borrowers have to pay, for taking the loan from the lender. The borrowers motto should be take a loan which carries the lowest interest rates.

For this, the borrower should make a complete research of the prevailing interest rates in the markets so that he does not get cheated by the home loan lenders. Borrowers should also consider the aspect of the term associated with the loan that he has undertaken, otherwise they may end up paying or repaying the loan for 30 to 35 years, just because of the fact that the loans conditions had stated that the principal amount has to be repaid on fixed amount over 30 years instalment basis.

Home loans are a boon for people, but they should be careful before opting for a home loan.

Home equity loan

Home equity loan

In simple terminology, a home equity loan is a loan taken against your house. A home equity loan is also called a mortgage or a second mortgage. Another synonym for home equity loan is equity release schemes.

While taking a home equity loan you are actually borrowing the worth of your house. If the house is completely owned by you, then the term used for home equity loan is “mortgage”, otherwise if your house is not fully paid off but has equity, it is called a “second mortgage”. From now on we will use one term for both to facilitate better understanding. We will call them Home Equity Loans.

A home equity loan is an extra loan that you take against your home in addition to your mortgage; hence this is called a second mortgage. This enables a home owner to encash equity without refinancing the first mortgage. Most people are under the impression that the only way to raise cash is by selling their homes. However reality differs and factually one can take a second mortgage to free up the first mortgage also.

Equity is the difference between the amount you owe on your current home mortgage and the current value of your home. Furthering this definition, suppose you sell your home, the amount of cash left in your pocket after paying off the mortgage is called Equity. This equity when taken as a loan from a lender, without actually selling your home comes to be known as home equity loan.

Many lenders or loan companies allow you to borrow bigger amounts calculated by subtracting the balances of outstanding mortgages from 125% of the market value of your home. However the actual equity is the difference between appraised worth of your home and the balances of your outstanding mortgages.

There is no bar on how you can use the home equity loan. You can use it for any purposes as it suits you. A home equity loan is usually a one-time fixed interest rate loan, which is paid out at one go.

The rates of interest or the cost of the loan will depend on options you choose viz. the term of the loan and the amount; of course another important factor has always been your credit rating. The longer the term of the loan, the more you pay out as interest, also if the amount is more, the more interest you pay.

As always with any liabilities one undertakes certain words of caution are advised. Check all your options thoroughly before making a decision. Choose the amount carefully and take only what you need and specify the term which you think would be comfortable for you to repay in. No point accumulating liabilities in exchange for spending on pleasures or acquiring unnecessary assets.

Home equity loans are easily accessible to people with poor or bad credit rating since the lender is taking a lesser risk as the loan is secured against their home.

A Home Equity Loan usually means that you get the best interest rates on the loan, i.e. you get the loan at a lesser cost compared to other loans because of assured security, but one should always remember that the house is at risk lest you fail to repay the Home Equity Loan.

Recommended Sites
Equity release guide by ERS – You may not be in the know of the term ‘equity release’. Log on to and get a free equity release guide to know how it helps the retired people stand on their feet without depending financially on others.

Choosing the Right Home Owners Insurance for Your Situation

Choosing the Right Home Owners Insurance for Your Situation

Buying a home is more than just walking into a house. Not only do you want to make sure that you have the right investments set in place, but you also want to make sure that you have the right things to protect you in case something happens. Having home owners insurance is an important part of investing in real estate and into moving into a home.

With most lenders, it is required that you have home owners insurance. This is because some of the property that you will own on the real estate home is also theirs. Most home owners insurance is chosen during the final closing of your home in order to protect all of your assets as well as pieces of property that belong in the home. By finding the right home owners insurance, you will be sure to be protected against any accident or natural disaster that may happen.

Home owners insurance will be divided into a variety of categories, all which will beneficial to different situations. The best way to decide on home owners insurance is to first add in how much you own and the value of the home. You will want to make sure that you are able to cover as much as possible and are able to get returned on everything that you are able to own.

Another factor to consider with home owners insurance is the type of coverage that is offered. Some companies will have different categories according to the types of things that you own and how this relates to what you will need replaced. After you have assessed the value of everything, you will also want to add in what you know you will want covered and which category of insurance this will put you into.

Home owners insurance is one of the ways that you can ensure that your real estate and property investments stay covered. If anything happens, you will want to be assured that you have lost little to nothing in the process. Home owners insurance is one of the ways that you can keep cover with your investments and out of the damage.

Financial guide to real estate investments

Financial guide to real estate investments

Real estate investments are often treated as one the best ways of investing money. However, what you are looking for is not just any real estate investment, but real estate investment that can give you good returns. By real estate investment we mean investing money into property i.e. buying property at a low price and selling it at a higher price so as to make a profit out of it. So the most important part of good real estate investment is to get hold of such properties which can give you good returns.

Now, how can you get these potential profit-making deals?
Your first avenue for finding good deals is the local newspaper (the property newspaper). Just search for Las Vegas real estate properties that are listed directly by the owners who want to avoid paying commission to the real estate brokers. Since the owner is saving on the commission that they would otherwise have to pay to the broker, they would probably be able to offer a lower price to you and be more open to negotiations. You could also place your own ‘wanted’ ad in the local newspapers. On the same lines, you could use internet to search for the real estate investment avenues. In fact, you would be astonished by the number of real estate investment opportunities you are able to locate on the internet. Not only that, searching for real estate investment opportunities (i.e. property for sale) is much easier on internet than anywhere else.
Another good way to hunt for real estate investment opportunities is by using the services of real estate brokers. Some people use real estate agents as their first (and maybe the only) touch point for getting real estate investment opportunities. The real estate agents act as information hub for people looking to buy property. In fact, a lot of sellers find it much more convenient to sell their properties by listing it with real estate agents.

Multiple listings service is another good way to find real estate investment opportunities. Since the multiple listing book is provided only to the real estate agents and not to the general public (unless you are very lucky), all the cream (good real estate investment opportunities) would have already been taken before you get to see the book. The key here is to look for expired listings that didn’t get converted to a deal.

Another good way to get a property, that is a good real estate investment, is to look for foreclosures by banks/ VA/ FHA or to visit public auctions. You can generally get a good deal here. Divorce settlements are another good real estate investment opportunity.

When you are looking for a loan to invest, please don’t forget to visit this great source for mortgage quotes

Mortgage Deals Start To Come Through

Mortgage Deals Start To Come Through

At last borrowers are seeing some lower fixed rate mortgages deals as lenders finally see fit to reduce rates more than a month after the Bank of England lowered the base rate. Lenders have placed the blame on the high swap rate – used for money banks lend to each other – brought about by the credit crunch.

Last week swap rates came back to normal levels as the base rate was expected to come down again in February, and fixed-rate deals have begun to appear for new borrowers. Leeds, Skipton, Norwich and Peterborough, Stroud and Swindon and Yorkshire building societies as well as Cheltenham & Gloucester, First Direct, Giraffe, Halifax, the Post Office, Woolwich and Mortgage Express all had new deals on offer.

As many other providers are now expected to follow suit, Richard Morea at independent mortgage broker London & Country in Bath, Somerset, said: “Lenders have been incredibly slow to cut fixed rates this time. The cost of borrowing has come down for lenders. Yet until last week we had seen little evidence of this being passed on in the form of new mortgage deals. The credit crunch has no doubt made lenders nervous about their funding and more acutely aware of their margins.”

Melanie Bien, director at broker Savills Private Finance in central London, said that although she expected more attractive fixed rates to be launched in the coming days, the best rates wouldn’t be around for long, so borrowers should act swiftly.

Last week First Direct launched a two-year fixed rate at 4.75% with a £1,498 arrangement fee, for borrowers with a minimum 20% deposit or equity in their home. Alternatively, borrowers can get 4.99% fixed for five years with the same lender with a more manageable £598 fee.

Despite fixed rates starting to look more attractive, experts are suggesting that borrowers should consider tracker mortgages, which will follow the base rate. Mortgage broker Hamptons says that more borrowers are choosing variable rates over fixed rates compared with a year ago – from 22% to 52% – as people anticipate interest rates falling.

With Scottish Widows borrowers can pay 0.34% above the base rate, currently 5.5%, for two years with no arrangement fee. This offer is for a maximum loan to value of 80%. At 95% LTV, borrowers can get 0.01% below base rate for two years with a £999 set-up fee.

Northern Rock Still Borrowing From The Bank

Northern Rock Still Borrowing From The Bank

The Northern Rock borrowing total from the Bank of England continues to rise, as the Bank’s ‘other assets’ – where the Rock loans appears – went up by £2.2bn in the last week. That is the amount Rock sold its Lifetime Portfolio of mortgages to JP Morgan a fortnight ago, so it ‘other assets’ are all Northern Rock for last week, that sale has been wiped out.

Northern Rock shares have increased in value as hopes of a private buyer have gone up, but MPs are set to launch an attack on the way regulators – in particular the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – have handled the situation. Earlier in the week shares in Northern Rock soared by almost 50% as the City looked well on the Government’s private sector rescue plans.

The Treasury says it will underwrite more than £25bn of bonds issued against Northern Rock’s mortgage books, which makes the ailing bank more appealing than at any time since it went to the Bank of England for emergency funding on 12 September. Within two days the UK had its first run on a British bank in living memory.

The Government brought in Goldman Sachs to come up with a financing plan for the rescue of Northern Rock.

Cerberus from the US is back in the frame after dropping out in December, having been prompted back into consideration by Goldman Sachs’ proposals to convert Northern Rock’s emergency loans into bonds. With loans form the Bank still going up, it is nobody’s interests to delay the sale a moment longer than necessary. The deadline for bids is 4 February.

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin bid is still considered to be top dog. However, Olivant’s plan is likely to receive more backing from shareholders. A number of funds have said they would support Olivant’s large rights issue.

JC Flowers is another US group re-considering its position, having dropped out some months ago.

The House of Commons Treasury Select Committee is set to publish its first report on the handling of the Northern Rock affair soon, and it is expected to be critical of the FSA for failing to spot the flaws in the bank’s business model.