Real Estate

U.S. Housing Bulwark: Abroad

Foreign buyers are increasing their purchases of U.S. real estate. That may cause some unease, but it's a good development. While our housing markets are improving, the boost from elsewhere is vital.

Preparing for the Unexpected

You probably go through many days feeling invincible. Bad things – or even just the weird and unexpected – happen to other people, not you. Wrong. When life throws you curves, almost always when you least expect, you need ready cash.

One possible curve: You come home to a wild turkey in your living room. A few months ago, one of my clients took a weekend trip with her boyfriend. On Saturday, they got engaged. On Sunday, they received a call that the patio door on their apartment “blew out.”

Asset Caregiver Guides (Pt. 1)

We almost all seem to know someone who helps older family members with financial affairs. If legally appointed to help someone with their money, find out all you can about the potentially confusing role.

To help fledgling financial caregivers, the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) publishes four guides for “Managing Someone Else’s Money.” Each guide addresses a specific role:

Assessing Real Estate Agents

Selling or buying a home can come with a lot of confusion. If you’re in the market for a real estate agent, ask these questions to find the best fit.

Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

As you pursue the American Dream of buying your first or next home, is it a good idea to pay down your mortgage – depleting part of your investment portfolio to eliminate the debt – or keep making the normal monthly loan payment and have more money in a stock market that offers potentially higher long-term returns? Both moves offer advantages depending on your unique situation.

3 Worrisome Global Problems

The U.S. economy has plenty of weaknesses. But compared to elsewhere, we are doing pretty well. The downside is that, in a global economy where everyone is connected, trouble in one spot can spread rapidly over borders. That’s why weaknesses in China, Japan and Europe are worrisome.

Homeowning for the Young

Your time has come to grow beyond renting a home. What now?

Gen Y, those born in the 1980s and early 1990s, look today to build equity and save on rent by researching the benefits of owning versus renting. Whether married or single, when it comes to renting and owning, you must consider these questions:

Do Your Homebuying Math

The biggest purchase you likely ever make comes with many potential pitfalls. Here’s how to dodge some.

Home sales do remain sluggish. The number of contracts Americans signed to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly fell in October for the fifth consecutive month. The gauge of pending home sales decreased 0.6% after a 4.6% drop in September, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Buy Commercial Real Estate?

Want a good way to build wealth? Own commercial real estate. But only if you are willing to undertake due diligence that may not be readily available online, make a big hands-on commitment to mind the investment and exercise enormous patience.

Real estate is one of the largest asset classes in the world. The family home is the largest asset many middle-class Americans own. And real estate makes up a significant portion of the net worth of many wealth accumulators.

Use Some Tax Breaks Now

Every year we say goodbye to certain things we may love, hate or at least depend on. Here are some tax breaks to cash in on before they evaporate at the close of 2013.

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