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Warren Buffett Says Buy Homes Now!!

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

In a recent interview on CNBC which aired on Monday 2/27/12, Warren Buffett spoke about a lot of topics, from stocks to housing. The information below is what Mr Buffett said about the current opportunities existing today as it relates to housing. In true Warren Buffett style, he spoke quickly and directly about this issue and then moved on to the next topic. Here's the portion about housing:

By: Alex Crippen
Executive Producer

Warren Buffett says along with equities, single-family homes are a very attractive investment right now.

Appearing live on CNBC's Squawk Box, Buffett tells Becky Quick he'd Buy up "a couple hundred thousand" single family homes if it were practical to do so.

If held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates, Buffett says houses are even better than stocks.  He advises buyers to take out a 30-year mortgage and refinance if rates go down.

As I mentioned above, quick and to the point. If you have any questions about getting involved either as an investor, or as a person looking to Buy a home to live in, please let me know. I am here to help! 

Why You Need A Will

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

 

 

Estate planning is not just for the rich or elderly. If you have a house and a family, you should absolutely have a will.

 

Unfortunately, approximately 70% of adult Americans have no current will. It might be because some people don’t think they have enough assets or that the costs of having a will drafted are too high. The truth is that you can have a will drafted by an attorney for typically $250 to $1,000. However, many legal clinics can draw up a simple will for as little as $75.

If you have a family and a home, having a will is imperative. Assets aside, in the event that you and your spouse both die without a will, a probate court judge will be responsible for assigning a guardian for your children. While it most likely could be a family member, will it be the family member you want to raise your children? Also, if you don’t name a guardian, it can potentially cause significant conflict among family members who may want custody. It’s crucial to name a guardian you trust to raise your children with values you would raise them with. You should also name an alternate guardian in your will as well.

If you die and do not have a will, the state has the ability to decide what happens to your assets. Every state has laws that direct what happens to property when someone dies without a valid will and the property was not left in some other way (such as in a living trust). Generally, only spouses, registered domestic partners (in states where that's an option), and blood relatives inherit any assets under intestate succession laws. Unmarried partners, friends, and charities get nothing. If the deceased person was married, commonly the surviving spouse gets the largest share. If there are no children, the surviving spouse often receives all the property. More distant relatives inherit assets only if there are no surviving immediate family members. In the rare event that no relatives at all can be found, the state takes the assets.

If you and your spouse have assets in excess of $1.5 million, estate planning is essential to lessen the impact of estate taxes, which in some states can be as high as 55%.

Once you decide to begin your estate planning, the first thing to do is to determine a guardian for your minor children and discuss that with the potential guardian. Then, tally up your assets. These include your house, investment portfolio, the value of your retirement plan, and your insurance plan payout.

Once you’ve determined what your assets are, you can decide how to divide them. You’ll also want to name an executor of your estate. Make sure that the beneficiaries listed in your will match the beneficiaries on your insurance policy and 401(K).

You will need to update your will if your family’s circumstances change (i.e. a birth, death, divorce, marriage, etc.).

Start your estate planning now. It may seem like a hassle, especially if you are young and healthy or have few assets, but it’s nothing compared to what your children and other beneficiaries may endure if you die without one.

 

Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

One of the first things you think about when deciding to Buy a home is applying for a mortgage loan. Many people wonder if it’s better to work with a mortgage broker or a bank.  The differences are bigger than you think.

Banks, Credit Unions, and Similar Lending Institutions

Lending officers at a bank or credit union Sell and process mortgages originated by the institution they work for. Any of the types of loans banks have will originate from one lending institution.

Banks are generally more conservative in their lending process. If you don’t fit the profile in credit, job, and income, you will likely get declined or you won’t get the rate you could possibly get somewhere else.

Sometimes you can get a better deal with a bank, but they usually only offer a few loan programs, so you’ll either be approved, declined, or counter-offered. Their loan process is also very lengthy and bureaucratic.

While a bank may be more familiar with your particular financial situation than a mortgage broker, you are ultimately limited to the types of loans you can get.

Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers

Mortgage brokers and loan officers usually work with a variety of lenders. They evaluate each person’s credit situation, job, and income to determine which loan will best fit that person’s needs. Mortgage brokers can often find a lender who will provide loans that a bank refuses. If your credit is less than perfect, a mortgage broker can still likely find a loan for you; whereas, you probably won’t get the same loan from a bank with less than ideal credit.

Unlike banks, mortgage brokers are professionals that deal with mortgage loans day in and day out. Buying a home can be stressful and complicated at times, and a mortgage broker’s professional experience is often worth paying for.

If you are self-employed or if you recently switched professions, mortgage brokers may be a better option for you as well.

Pricing with mortgage brokers can be just as competitive as a bank. Wholesale rates are generally much cheaper than retail interest rates you’ll get with banks.

When applying for a mortgage loan, you’ll want to shop around to find the best option for you. If you are seriously looking to Buy a home, contact me today to discuss your options.

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