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Take Advantage of Real Estate Buyer Tax Perks ASAP

Just as homebuyers scurried to buy homes before the end of the year in order to qualify for a special $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, Congress decided to extend it a little bit longer. The program has been very successful at encouraging sales, and many housing industry observers credit it with helping the housing market rebound. Now first-time buyers have until the last day of April, 2010 to get purchases under signed contract in order to enjoy the big tax perk. (more…)

HELOC Loans

A HELOC or home equity line of credit is a kind of second mortgage that behaves much like a credit card. The line of credit is established based upon the value of your home, so the more equity you have in the property the more money you can borrow. You borrow what you want, when you want it, and pay interest on your outstanding balance. After repaying the balance your line of credit is reinstated so you can borrow it again in the same way. Usually HELOC loans carry not extra fees and they offer rates that are cheaper than those associated with credit cards.
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Micro Lending

Micro lending – which involves loans of small amounts – got its start as a research project meant to study the possibility of designing a credit delivery system targeted to the rural poor. In 1983 the project – created by Professor Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, India – was transformed into the Grameen Bank.
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ING Direct rates drop again!!!

ING Direct, one of the high yield saving accounts have dropped their interest rates a second time in 10 days to 3.40% APY. This is down from 4.20% APY in November, 2007. The two interest rate drops seem to be in proportion with the Federal rate cut which means a lot of other high yield savings accounts will be following suit or have already reduced their interest rates.

Update: 3/19/08 rate drops again to 3.00% (Did anyone say we are near a recession?)

Update: 10/09/08 rate drops to 2.75% (Without any notice of the exact date of the rate drop in the statement.)

Update: 01/20/09 rate drops to 2.40%

Update: 02/18/09 rate drops to 1.85%

Update: 03/21/09 rate drops to 1.50%

Update: 06/09/09 rate drops to 1.30%

Update: 01/08/10 rate drops to 1.25%

Update: 02/04/10 rate drops to 1.20%

Update: 02/18/10 rate drops to 1.15%

Update: 03/02/09 rate drops to 1.10%

Condo Buying Tips: Condo ownership differs from regular home ownership in important legal and financial ways.

On the surface, condos may appear to be no different than other homes or apartments. But the legal definition of a condominium is significantly different from that of a typical single-family home, and buyers should be aware of these differences before buying a condo.
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REO Listings: A safer, easier way to buy foreclosures.

Most people know that foreclosures are the bargain basement buys within the real estate business. But buying a foreclosure can also involve huge risks, especially for those who are not knowledgeable about the process and the major legal responsibilities that taking ownership of a foreclosure entails. REO properties, however, offer many of the same discounts without the inherent risks, and you can buy them just as you would any property listed with a real estate broker. You don’t have to show up at an auction with a cashier’s check; you have a chance to conduct inspections, and you can pay for an REO with a regular home mortgage.
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The ROTH IRA: Easy money for retirement.

The Roth IRA was first established in 1997, and for those who qualify for a ROTH it has become of the one most widely used and popular types of individual retirement accounts.
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REIT – Real Estate Investment Trust

A Real Estate Investment Trust or REIT is to real state what a mutual fund is to stocks. REITs generally invest into multiple types of real estate like apartment homes, condominiums, high rises, etc. There are three kinds of REITs:

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