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When is the right time to refinance? - 12/28/08 11:04 AM
Many borrowers wonder, "when is the right time to refinance"? A simple answer to this question is to take the total cost of the refinance and divide it by the monthly savings. For example if the total cost to refinance is $2000 and the monthly savings is $100 the break even is 20 months or nearly two years. In this case, if you are planning on staying in the property (or the loan) for more than two years you should refinance. But what if rates drop within that two-year break-even period? In many cases it is beneficial to look at a (1 comments)
Shopping For A Mortgage Loan - 12/28/08 11:03 AM
In today's sophisticated marketplace it is not uncommon for a prospective buyer to shop around for a mortgage loan. In fact, with so many companies and options available, it is important to shop for the best overall fit. Always begin by making sure you are working with an experienced, professional mortgage officer. The purchase of a home, one of life's largest financial transactions, is far too important to place in the hands of someone unfamiliar with the many nuances of modern day lending. Here are a couple of simple questions an experienced lender will be sure to know. What are (1 comments)
The Right Loan: More Than Just The Lowest Rate - 12/28/08 11:01 AM
It is always a challenge for homebuyers to select a suitable loan program that comes with a great interest rate. Rising real estate prices, a national shortage of housing and climbing interest rates has increased the pressure to make a quick decision about mortgage financing. But buyers who want the right loan with the best interest rate know that they cannot afford to hurry through the process. Make sure to work with an experienced mortgage loan professional at an established and reputable company. Ask other trusted professionals like your accountant, attorney or Realtor for a referral. Remember, you will be relying (0 comments)
Owner's Title Insurance- A Must? - 12/28/08 10:58 AM
Title insurance companies ensure that sellers have clear title tothe property they are selling. The title insurance company's agent performsa thorough search of the public records and certifies that the properparties signed the paper work, paid the taxes and discharged all liens eachtime the house changed hands. Why then, does a buyer need title insuranceif these searches are so meticulous?Public records can be incorrect if a mistake was made when the legaldocument was recorded. When you buy owner's title insurance, you areprotected against forgeries, misrepresentation and mistakes made at anypoint during the chain of ownership. Someone may have forged a deed,divorce (0 comments)
Are You Confused By Credit Scores? - 12/28/08 10:56 AM
Credit scores still confuse and frustrate many consumers, according to a study by the Consumer Federation of America. "Despite all the news coverage about credit scores over the past year or so, many consumers still do not understand important facts about these increasingly influential numbers," said Stephen Brobeck, CFA's executive director. To provide consumers with basic information about credit scores, CFA and Fair Isaac Corporation (developer of the FICO credit score) have prepared a brochure that is being distributed by the Federal Citizen Information Center. The brochure contains the most important information about the score most mortgage lenders and other businesses (0 comments)
Protecting Your Credit During Divorce - 12/28/08 10:55 AM
When a marriage ends in divorce, the lives of those involved are changed forever. During this time of upheaval, one thing that shouldn't have to change is the credit status you've worked so hard to achieve. Unfortunately, for many, the experience is the exact opposite. Unfulfilled promises to pay bills and a breakdown in communication can lead to unwanted credit issues. These issues may affect your ability to refinance your current loan or purchase a new home. The good news is it doesn't have to be this way. By taking a proactive approach and creating a specific plan to maintain your (0 comments)
Mortgage Rates Drop - 12/28/08 10:54 AM
Finally some good news among the endless news stories about the Financial Crisis. Conventional fixed rates dropped sharply after the Fed announced plans to purchase up to $600 billion of debt backed by Fannie Mae and others. This news caused mortgage rates to drop around .75% for a 30-year fixed 0 point loan. So when does it make sense to refinance? If your rate is 6.00% or above you should consider the benefits of refinancing. Also, if you have an adjustable rate mortgage or need cash for debt consolidation, college education or home improvement, now may be a good time. What (0 comments)
Low Cash, High Expectations - 12/28/08 10:52 AM
If you are saving for a new home, you may feel that it will take youforever to come up with the cash necessary for the down payment and closing costs. Before you delay your purchase any longer, make sure you check into the latest low down and no down mortgage products. You may find that your dream is much closer to a reality than you imagined If you have acceptable credit and a steady job, you may not need a lot of cash to purchase a home. Some loan programs still allow you to put as little as 0 down if (0 comments)
Fed Cuts vs. Mortgage Rates - 12/28/08 10:06 AM
You may have noted the many recent news stories regarding rates being down due to the recent 'Fed cuts'. Unfortunately, the press often misinterprets the facts regarding how Fed cuts affect mortgage rates. Here is the way things really work: Fed cuts and mortgage rates are not directly related. In fact, when the Fed cuts short term rates, mortgage rates frequently spike (as Fed cuts are used to stimulate the economy which often drives money out of lower yielding bonds and into stocks). Aggressive cuts can also spark the fear of inflation which eats away at the value of bonds (pushing rates even higher). (0 comments)
Financing Rental Properties - 12/28/08 10:04 AM
Are you thinking about becoming a landlord? Single-family and multi family homes are popular real estate investments. These properties can be an excellent source of income. The number one question for prospective landlords is how to finance such a purchase. Typically non-owner occupied one through four unit properties are considered ‘conventional' loans by most Lenders while five plus units are considered ‘commercial'. Conventional one to four unit properties are often much easier to finance. However, due to the recent financial and credit 'crunch', one and two unit investment properties now require a 20% down payment by many lenders. Three- four unit properties typically require (0 comments)
Having credit checked is an important and necessary step in the home buying process. However, very few people realize that each time their credit is checked, the "inquiry data" that the credit bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, Innovis or Experian) has on file has now become a commodity. This information is being sold by the credit bureaus to other lenders and also to companies that sell and resell the same names and personal information. These "inquiry leads" can include name, address, phone numbers (including unlisted), credit score, current debt and debt history, property information, age, gender and estimated income. Lenders that purchase these (0 comments)
New Loan Adjustments Affect Even Those With Good Credit - 12/28/08 10:01 AM
Earlier this year Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the agencies that provide the majority of the funding for mortgage loans) announced yet another layer of "loan level" price adjustments. These changes are making credit more expensive for both homebuyers and current homeowners looking to refinance- even those with near perfect credit. Now, if you're your credit score is 739 or below, you may pay a premium on your mortgage rate! Considering that the scoring model ranges from 300-850 and that well over 60% of the US population has a score lower than 739, these increased fees will have a major effect (0 comments)
Buying vs. renting a home is a big decision that takes careful consideration. Although there are many costs and responsibilities associated with home ownership, the rewards can be significant. Look at it this way: If you are paying $1,000 per month for an apartment, and your rent increases 5% every year, over the next five years alone you will pay your landlord over $66,000! Through home ownership you can minimize this huge expense by building equity and benefiting from the tax advantages of home ownership. In fact, depending on your tax bracket, the net monthly cost of owning a home (0 comments)
Seniors Can Benefit From Reverse Mortgages - 12/28/08 09:58 AM
Reverse mortgages are becoming more popular with homeowners over age 62. The number of these loans surged 39 percent last year and the number of inquiries about reverse mortgages jumped by nearly 30 percent, according to the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. Reverse mortgages are a special type of loan designed to boost the income of senior homeowners by tapping the accumulated equity in their homes. Instead of making monthly payments on the loan, the homeowners can receive a monthly check. This tax-free income continues as long as the senior owns and lives in their home. The amount of monthly income (1 comments)
Understanding The True Cost Of Mortgage Loans - 12/28/08 09:57 AM
Many borrowers are confused by the additional costs that are associated with mortgage loans. Federal law requires mortgage companies to disclose the loan's annual percentage rate (APR) in writing. The APR adds in the "other" costs of borrowing money. Unfortunately, these costs are not calculated exactly the same way by all mortgage companies. In general, the APR spreads out the up-front costs of points (if any), origination fees, pre-paid interest and application fees over the entire loan term. This produces the "effective annual percentage rate", also known as the APR. Although it can be useful to compare the APR of (0 comments)
Be Prepared When Applying For A Home Loan - 12/28/08 09:56 AM
With lending agencies scrutinizing your financial affairs, shopping for a mortgage loan can be an anxiety producing experience. Faced with the biggest debt you will assume in a lifetime, it is wise to do your homework when preparing to apply for a loan. Before you submit an application that will spotlight your credit history, make certain you can do so with confidence. Surprisingly, many people simply hope their credit scores are adequate without taking the time to make certain. Credit reports may contain inaccuracies that can affect your credit worthiness, so request a copy of your report and review it with (0 comments)
Home Insurance On Your New Purchase - 12/28/08 09:54 AM
When you obtain a mortgage to purchase a new home, the lender will require that you show that you have prepaid for one year of homeowner's insurance. In the past, insurance companies could provide such a policy on short notice. In today's market obtaining the appropriate coverage can take days, or even weeks. Advanced planning for this insurance requirement allows you to shop around for the best rate as well as the coverage that best suits your needs. Finding a good insurance agent is important. Work with a firm that has served you well in the past, or ask (0 comments)
Buying Points Rarely Pays - 12/28/08 09:52 AM
A recent report shows that borrowers tend to purchase too many points when selecting a mortgage. The study by Freddie Mac looked at points paid, interest rates and loan length. The results showed that those who paid points were drastically underestimating the amount of time they would hold their mortgage loans. In fact, the borrowers tended to pay off their mortgages over 3 years too soon for the benefit of the points to kick in. Unfortunately, many borrowers mistakenly focus on how long they plan on being in the home, rather than the loan, when calculating the break even point (the (0 comments)
Your mortgage as a financial tool - 12/15/08 06:34 PM
Most people view mortgage loans as a necessary evil. I am frequently asked about bi-weekly plans, 15 year mortgages and other ways to pay off the loan more quickly. What few people realize is that a mortgage is one of the most powerful financial tools we possess. Let's look at it this way, consider how much you would deposit in an investment account with the following features:
The customer can pay more than the monthly contribution but not less If the customer attempts to pay less the financial institution may keep all of the previous contributions The money in the (0 comments)
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.