Thursday, June 09, 2005


1) Top things to know

2) Are you ready?
Don't buy a house just because you can afford to do so. Let's start with lifestyle. Except in a roaring real estate market, it usually doesn't make sense to buy a home you'll own for less than three or four years. Reason: the high transaction cost of buying and selling property means you could lose money on the deal. If you do make money on the deal, you'll pay capital gains taxes if you're in the house less than two years.

3) Setting your budget
Your credit rating is the key to being able to get an attractive mortgage.

4) Picking a team
Start looking for a mortgage lender. Take your time, since you could be paying this loan for 30 years. Start on the Internet at places likeLendingTree.com and E-loan.com. You may also want to check out the rates at CNN/Money, Bankrate, or HSH Associates. These sites carry nationwide listings of mortgage interest rates and other related information.

5) The hunt

6) Closing the deal

7) For sellers only
Preparation and timing can help you get the best price. When you decide to sell, the first thing to do is investigate the local housing market.

Calculators - Home Affordability Calculator


MBA sees 30-yr fixed mortgages at 6 pct by end '05  

The Mortgage Bankers Association lowers prior forecast for 30-year mortgages for the end of 2005.
June 9, 2005: 11:03 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Mortgage Bankers Association's chief economist said Thursday he expects 30-year fixed rate mortgages to reach 6.0 percent by the end of this year, lowering his prior forecast.

Doug Duncan, MBA's chief economist and senior vice president, had said in May he expected long-term mortgage rates to climb to 6.5 to 6.6 percent by the end of 2005.

He said the new forecast reflected a decrease in 10-year Treasury bond rates which have kept mortgage rates low. Duncan said mortgage originations should total about $2.6 trillion by the end of 2005.

MBA sees 30-yr fixed mortgages at 6 pct by end '05 - Jun. 9, 2005


New and existing home sales expected to hit records in '05 

Realtors: Continued low mortgage rates should lift existing- and new-home sales to records in '05.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Home sales are poised to set their fifth straight annual record, according to the latest forecast from an industry trade group.

The National Association of Realtors said continued low mortgage rates have supported strong sales longer than it had previously forecast.
The use of nontraditional mortgages, such as interest-only loans, have grown in the last year and the realtors said those new mortgage products have also helped support sales. It did warn that the new products pose increased risk to home buyers.

New and existing home sales expected to hit records in '05 - Jun. 9, 2005


CNN.com - Philly schools to require African history class - Jun 9, 2005 

PHILADELPHIA, Philadelphia (AP) -- City high school students will be required to take a class in African and African American history to graduate, a move that education experts believe is unique in the nation.

The requirement in the 185,000-student district, which is about two-thirds black, begins with September's freshman class, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.

The yearlong course covers subjects including classical African civilizations, civil rights and black nationalism, said Gregory Thornton, the district's chief academic officer. The other social studies requirements are American history, geography and world history.

CNN.com - Philly schools to require African history class - Jun 9, 2005


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