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Showing 9 posts in Homebuyers.

Is An Interest-Only Mortgage Right For You?

Posted In Homebuyers, Lenders, Mortgage, Real Estate Law

There are a number of financing options to consider when purchasing a home, one of which is the interest-only mortgage. This type of mortgage requires a homeowner to pay only the interest that accrues on the loan each month. None of the principal is paid off until the interest-only period expires. The length of the interest-only periods can vary, but payments are relatively low during this time. After expiration of the interest-only term, the buyer is then required to make monthly payments for the principal. More >

LBAR Launches App, Just As Industry Giants Merge & New Concerns Arise

Posted In Homebuyers, LBAR, Mortgage, Real Estate Law, Trulia, Zillow

Zillow and Trulia, the two largest sites in the home listings game, are merging. These sites enable buyers to navigate an online map to find a home’s value, look at available listings, and connect with local real estate agents. And while the companies, nearly a decade old, have somewhat helped to streamline the home buying and selling process, real estate deals remain a transaction that largely require professional assistance – from agents, to bankers, to attorneys. Even with online assistance from sites like Zillow and Trulia, most homebuyers prefer one-on-one guidance and advice from a trusted professional.

The merger, which will result in the two companies becoming by far the biggest online portal in the industry, has caused concern throughout the residential brokerage business. Some are worried that the merger will result in the company having too much power over listings, possibly raising associated fees. There has even been talk that the company might now break into the brokerage business itself, something that the separate companies have not done to date.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has its own consumer website, realtor.com, which is operated by Move Inc. and ranks third behind Zillow and Trulia in terms of popularity. In July, a new NAR marketing campaign emphasized the accuracy of realtor.com listings and the role of realtors in buying and selling homes. The long-standing critique of both Zillow and Trulia has been the accuracy of their services’ listing information. Realtor.com, on the other hand, gets listings directly from most of the nation’s more than 800 multiple listing services (MLSs).

Local MLS associations should not worry about the merger too much, as there is still very much a need for professionals in the world of real estate transactions. Associations, should, however note that they must make more of an effort to reach consumers in the online environment and offer value-added services that the industry behemoths do not – such as proving local expertise or always having the latest listings.

Taking a page from this playbook, the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors (LBAR) just announced the launch of their mobile app, LBAR Homes, which allows users to view all homes for sale or rent in the Bluegrass Region. Users can search by address, city, or zip code to see property details for all homes for sale or rent in a specified area, including price, square footage, estimated mortgage, taxes, features, maps, pictures, and more. A contact feature allows users to connect with respective listing agents by phone or email. The free app can be downloaded from an app store or at app.lbar.com, or by texting LBAR to 87778.

Once you find your home, you’ll want to contact a closing attorney to assist in the legal aspect of the purchasing process. Contact McBrayer's real estate group if you're ready for this exciting step in the process!

BMacGregor

  Brittany C. MacGregor is an associate attorney practicing in the Lexington office of McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland, PLLC. She is a graduate of Transylvania University and the University of Kentucky College of Law. Ms. MacGregor’s practice focuses on real estate law, including title examination, title insurance, clearing title issues, deeds, settlement statements, preparation of loan documentation, contract negotiation and preparation, and lease negotiation and preparation. She may be reached at bmacgregor@mmlk.com or at (859) 231-8780.

This article is intended as a summary of federal and state law activities and does not constitute legal advice.

Mortgage Prequalification versus Preapproval

Posted In Closing, Homebuyers, Lenders, Mortgage, Real Estate Law

First time home-buyers are often under the impression that mortgage prequalification and preapproval are interchangeable terms, but they are actually two separate steps in the financial process and it is important to understand the difference between them. More >

Not So Fast On Your “No Pets” Policy

Many landlords enforce a “no pets” policy in their rental units – and for good reason. Pets can be destructive, frighten other tenants, and increase landlords’ liability exposure. Such a policy, however, can be discriminatory to those with disabilities. While most landlords understand their obligation to make an exception for service animals, not all know what to do when a tenant requests to keep an emotional support animal (“ESA”) in their unit.

More >

Lenders: Are You Using Electronic Signatures?

Earlier this year, the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) announced that they would begin accepting electronic signatures on documents associated with mortgage loans. FHA already allows e-signatures on some third party documents, outside of the lender’s control. The announcement, which became effective immediately, expanded the documents for which e-signatures are acceptable and now includes: More >

Beyond the Commercials: Understanding Reverse Mortgages

You have likely seen the commercials for reverse mortgages. While the advertisements urge viewers to “call now to secure you reverse mortgage today” and make them seem risk-free, obtaining a mortgage of this type is a serious decision that should not be made without fully understanding its pros and cons. More >

A New Beginning for Closings

Currently, under federal law, within three business days after receiving an application, mortgage lenders must deliver two different disclosures to the applicants: an early Truth in Lending Statement and a Good Faith Estimate. At closing, two more disclosures are required: a final Truth in Lending Statement and a HUD-1 settlement statement. Starting Aug. 1, 2015, that long-established process will change. The forms will be reduced to two and simplified so that consumers will be able to mortgage shop more easily and understand their mortgage terms and costs more thoroughly. More >

Buying a Home? Do This First!

Potential home buyers can spend years saving for a down payment, months creating a budget, and weeks looking at properties before making the plunge. Too often, though, they overlook a crucial step on the path to purchase: checking their own credit report and credit score. Your credit report and credit score could be the keys to unlocking that white picket fence to your new home. Let’s take a look at why this is so important. More >

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