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Lending / Financial

Buying real estate is even more challenging for those of us whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of decimals, percentages or anything else that even hints of mathematics.


The financial aspect of purchasing the largest investment of your lifetime, though, is the most important. Nobody wants to lose money. Nobody wants to leave money on the table.


If you're in the market for information on mortgages, credit scores and interest rates, you've come to the right place. The financial and mortgage pros here at ActiveRain even tell you how to shop for and compare lenders, how to raise your credit score, how to get a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure and how to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Even Mom and Dad can't give the great advice you'll find here at ActiveRain.


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Recent blogs on Lending / Financial
By Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist
(KW Elite )
   This is an oldie but goody , but it is something that not many people accomplish . I am always shocked when someone on the other side of65 still has a substantial Mortgage ( and mortgage pmt.) . This is reallytragic and didn’t have to happen ( in most cases ). Please take time to read this post and remember having at least One Property Free & Clear is crucial to a successful Retirement Strategy !  There was comment made on a blog post recently about how it is great if the end of mortgage payments would coincide with retirement.  Thanks Wendy Neugent Hayden for that comment (comment  # 5)  By the way, the ability to be free and clear with no additional mortgage payment due is one part of the rent vs. buy decision where buying has the clear advantage. So what would it take?  If you hav...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Last week, the largest report was the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, leading into chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell speaking on the current state of the economy and the stance of the Federal Reserve. While the Beige Book has indicated some positive movement towards a strong economy, there have been many indicators from all inflation data that inflation has yet to be tamed to the standards of the Federal Reserve.This was punctuated by Jerome Powell, as he discussed at length the Federal Reserve has yet to feel inflation is under control. This has dispelled all notion there will be a rate cut in the future and likewise a strong reaction from lending partners and markets across the economy.Beige BookThe U.S. economy grew slightly faster in the early spring and businesses added m...
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By Eric L. Green, Your IRS Tax Litigator
(Tax Rep LLC)
Recently, the IRS and United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) have been criminally prosecuting more payroll tax cases than ever before.  Several years ago the decision was made to focus on payroll tax cases for both civil and criminal enforcement, given the importance of payroll taxes to the federal income stream.When it comes to charging taxpayers criminally for the failure to account and pay over payroll taxes there are three main statutes the IRS and DOJ use: IRC § 7202 (the felony statute for payroll tax violations), IRC § 7215 (the misdemeanor statute for payroll violations) and IRC § 7201 (Tax Evasion).IRC § 7202 - Willful Failure to Collect or Pay Over TaxIRC § 7202 makes the failure of an employer to account and pay over the payroll taxes a felony.  IRC § 7202 was designed p...
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By Eric L. Green, Your IRS Tax Litigator
(Tax Rep LLC)
Businesses that fall behind with payroll taxes are the number one source of new clients for most tax rep professionals.  The IRS takes payroll tax debts very seriously, as it is a double whammy on the government: it does not receive the tax money, and yet it will be issuing refunds to the taxpaying employees when they file their 1040 tax returns.So the IRS has a letter it sends to employers, Letter 903, that outlines the number of enforcement actions that may occur if the employer does not change course and pay the taxes.  These include any and all of the following: File a Notice of Federal Tax Lien (NFTL) to protect the government’s interest. By filing this notice, we are making a legal claim to your property as security for the payment of your tax debt. An NFTL is a public notice to y...
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By Eric L. Green, Your IRS Tax Litigator
(Tax Rep LLC)
Businesses that fall behind with payroll taxes are the number one source of new clients for most tax rep professionals.  The major issue many of these clients has is confusion about what to do first.  Often we hear “I should make a payment against the oldest period first, that way the IRS knows we are serious.”No they don’t!The IRS does not think that way.  The first step to do anything with the IRS is to get into tax compliance first.What is “Tax Compliance”?In order for the business to have any chance of surviving the tax debt issue is being able to get back into tax compliance, meaning it is filing and paying the payroll taxes on time.  If the business is unable to do this, then it needs to shut down, or the IRS will force the issue by levying the bank accounts and effectively making...
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By Eric L. Green, Your IRS Tax Litigator
(Tax Rep LLC)
Businesses that fall behind with payroll taxes are the number one source of new clients for most tax rep professionals.  The first three issues that must be dealt with are: Can the business get into and maintain tax compliance? Is this business viable in its current form? If the business is not viable in its current form, can it be restructured to be a viable ongoing concern? Tax ComplianceIn order for the business to have any chance of surviving the tax debt issue is being able to get back into tax compliance, meaning it is filing and paying the payroll taxes on time.  If the business is unable to do this, then it needs to shut down, or the IRS will force the issue by levying the bank accounts and effectively making it impossible to operate.  The reason is that, if the business is not ...
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By Eric L. Green, Your IRS Tax Litigator
(Tax Rep LLC)
We frequently have taxpayers arrive in our office with collection notices for an IRS balance due that they believe they do not owe.  Whether due to not receiving the notice of proposed changes (CP-2000), or because they submitted records that were ignored by the IRS, these taxpayers are now facing balances with penalty and interest they should not have to pay.More often than not it is the Final Notice of Intent to Levy and Your Right to a Hearing (CP-90) that gets them to act and contact us.  Other times it is the Notice of Federal Tax Lien being filed that triggers the response. In either case, the first move is always to request the Collection Due Process hearing (“CDP”) and prepare for the hearing.  This will prevent any levy from being issued and allow us to work out a collection al...
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By Leanne Smith, The Grit and Gratitude Agent
(Dirt Road Real Estate)
Honest people are honest people and hence why they continue to be victims of wire fraud. Currently during the first quarter of 2024, 1 out of 10 real estate transactions encountered wire fraud. Additionally, nearly half or 48% of the loans processed ($65 billion) were vulnerable to both wire and title fraud. (Source: Funding Shield)And the news continues to trend toward the negative side with wire fraud issues increasing over each quarter.Please as sellers and buyers follow the wire fraud advisory given by your title firm, your lender and your real estate agents if they are involved.Dirt Road Real Estate does not handle any funds. However, as a licensed local professional real estate agent, I do include a Wire Fraud Advisory in all my presentation packets. Additionally, the local title ...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is showing higher than expected inflation, and the Producer Price Index (PPI) is showing lower than expected inflation. The two are in conflict with each other; however, the Consumer Price Index is still the far greater indicator for inflation as it directly impacts the cost of living for everyone, not just production assets. Given the Federal Reserve’s recent speeches it would seem that there is very likely to be a delay in the rate cuts this upcoming quarter. They have stated numerous times they are driven largely by data and that data has proven that inflation is still not as quite under control as they had anticipated moving into Quarter 2. Lending partners have been responding in kind to the news as they have had strong rate increases across the board...
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By Laura Sellers, www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com)
Boost Your Home Buying Fund with HYSAsLearn about the secrets to fast-tracking your down payment for a mortgage. Discover smart strategies, explore the impact of inflation, and delve into the realm of high-yield savings accounts for enhanced financial growth.As a first-time homebuyer, you may be racking your brains trying to figure out how to make more money quickly for a down payment to qualify for a mortgage loan. You need to have cash tucked away that’s hopefully building interest, yet it also needs to be accessible in case the right home comes along and you need to act fast.Thanks to low interest rates for over a decade (that disappeared with the rise in inflation after the pandemic), it’s been easy to put savings accounts out of your mind. Who cares about a yield of .03%? But as in...
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By Michael Elliott, Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales
(Fathom Realty)
No one likes paying taxes.   Most people don't like to even discuss the process of filing their return.   While I don't like it either, I have become much more organized, which is paramount when you are an independent contractor.  These are my suggestions from what I have leaned, somewhat painfully over the years:1.  Hire a tax pro.   Yeah, you're great with math.   And yeah, you are super smart.  I'd be willing to bet that the cost you are saving would be more than covered with the deductions a tax pro would "find".2.  Learn the allowable deductions, then save receipts for everything!  Medical, home office, business meetings, lunches, whatever.   I mean, if you mail your tax return in, save the postage receipt.  If the IRS is going to tax you like crazy,  save your allowable deduction ...
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By Joseph Lorenzo, Your Law And Order Realtor
(Frank Rubi Real Estate LLC)
Hey there, fellow real estate aficionados! Welcome back to another uproarious edition of "The Real Deal with Joe Lorenzo," where we mix real estate wisdom with a generous dose of humor and charm. Today, we're diving deep into the world of pre-approval. Get ready to laugh, learn, and maybe even gain some insight into this essential aspect of the homebuying process!So, what in the world is pre-approval, you ask? Well, imagine you're at a fancy restaurant, eyeing up the mouthwatering menu. You know you want to indulge in that decadent dessert, but before you can dig in, you've got to get the green light from your waistline (or your conscience, if you're feeling virtuous). That, my friends, is the pre-approval process - it's like getting the thumbs-up to treat yourself to that dream home!In...
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By Laura Sellers, www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com
(Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Preferred Real Estate, Inc.; www.AuburnOpelikaALRealEstate.com)
Should You Tap into Your Home Equity?Uncover the potential risks and rewards of tapping into your home equity. From understanding the best times to use your equity, to the pitfalls of other borrowing methods, it’s a nuanced exploration of financial decisions that shape homeownership. When you put 20% down on a home using a mortgage loan, you own 20% and the lender owns 80%. As you make payments, most of the money goes to pay interest while some goes toward reducing your principal. Meanwhile, favorable market conditions may be increasing the market value of your home, giving you instant equity. Equity is the amount of the home that you own, much like a savings account that pays interest on money you want to keep growing. After a few years, you may want to tap into that money to carry out...
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By Joe Jackson, Clintonville and Central Ohio Real Estate Expert
(Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty)
Inspirational topic! Savings are a crucial step toward achieving financial freedom. This blog likely offers insights and strategies for saving effectively to reach your goals. Looking forward to learning more about unlocking financial freedom through savings!Have a super fantastic week!Joe Jackson, Realtor-KWCP In times of inflation, it’s crucial to come up with a more solid saving plan to counter the decreasing spending power of money we keep experiencing day by day. Generating additional income can be tricky when the interest rates on savings fail to match the inflation rate. Navigating the money market in times of inflation is not always so simple. Still, it is possible to thrive in the current economic conditions too, but adjustments must be made to our strategies. It has never been...
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By Theresa Hus, The Official Real Estate Agent Directory
(RealEstateAgent.com)
In times of inflation, it’s crucial to come up with a more solid saving plan to counter the decreasing spending power of money we keep experiencing day by day. Generating additional income can be tricky when the interest rates on savings fail to match the inflation rate. Navigating the money market in times of inflation is not always so simple. Still, it is possible to thrive in the current economic conditions too, but adjustments must be made to our strategies. It has never been so important to stay informed about changes. Understanding interest rates and investment opportunities can help you decide which option is best for your short-term goals and make decisions that will have a return on the investment.   This article will uncover effective strategies for optimizing your savings and...
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By Keith Dean, Fast Cash Offers
(Digital Bullet)
This article will explore the benefits of passive income, why you should use a passive income investment calculator, and how it can help you achieve your financial goals. Are you looking to secure your financial future and create a steady stream of income that doesn't require constant effort? Passive income may be the solution for you. But what exactly is passive income, and how does it differ from active income? With Money Ripples' expertise in financial consulting, we will guide you through the effective use of the passive income calculator to harness your assets and plan for a comfortable retirement. Key Takeaways: Understand the difference between active and passive income to build a solid financial foundation. Gain clarity and make informed decisions using a passive income calculat...
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By Thomas Santore Lic Associate Real Estate Broker, Realtor®-ABR-Land, Residential & Commercial Sa
(Coldwell Banker Realty/Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT)
We all use this term "Pre-Approved" But some Mortgage people use it with out actually doing the work that should go into a "Pre-Approval" Read Below to get a good insite into this!!! Original content by Lenn Harley 303829;0225082372 What's the most over-used term in the land of real estate sales?? PRE-APPROVED!!!What's the term most used by home buyers in real estate transactions?I UNDERSTAND!!! Shucks.  If a home buyer can be Pre-Approved, why not issue a LOAN COMMITTMENT letter??? That would at least identify the price of the house, interest rate and length of the commitment. What most home buyer/borrowers don't usually understand is the conditions identified in that Pre-Approval, if they are, in fact listed. A Pre-Approval letter is quite worthless unless it lists those items requir...
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By Bob Elliot, 30+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
With the upcoming CPI and PPI reports this week, last week still had a number of important data points to consider. First, the non-farm payroll data, helping reveal the situation of pay versus inflation data giving an overall description of the state of the economy in the future. Among that, the manufacturing data has shown to be contracting the past year, with the first signs of relief this month. Lastly, trade data has shown that the trade deficit has grown bigger than expected with Q1 coming to completion. All of these are broader indicators of the state of the economy and the most important data is to come this week, as inflation data will firmly decide when and where rates may be cut in the future. It appears to be becoming increasingly unlikely we will see a rate cut decision by t...
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By Charles Stallions, 850-476-4494 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.
(Charles Stallions Real Estate Services )
Did you know a temporary buydown could reduce your client's mortgage interest rate? A temporary buydown is a lump sum paid by the builder or seller to reduce the mortgage interest rate for the first 1, 2 or 3 years. Since the buydown lowers the interest rate, it will effectively reduce the overall monthly mortgage payment for the first few years of their mortgage.However, when the buydown period ends, the rate returns to the initial fixed rate. I can walk you through this and other strategies to make homeownership more affordable for your clients. Contact me to learn more.Unlocking Homeownership: Understanding Mortgage BuydownsIn the vast landscape of real estate transactions, one term that often arises but remains mystified to many is "mortgage buydown." For those navigating the labyri...
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Introduction to Mini GPS TrackersAre you tired of constantly misplacing your valuables or worried about the safety of your loved ones? Look no further than mini GPS trackers! These compact devices offer a world of possibilities, from tracking luggage during travel to ensuring the well-being of children and pets. In this ultimate guide, we'll explore everything you need to know to choose the Best Mini GPS tracker for your specific needs. Let's dive in and discover how these little gadgets can make a big difference in your life!Common Uses for Mini GPS TrackersMini GPS trackers are versatile devices that can be used for a variety of purposes. One common use is tracking your valuable possessions such as cars, bikes, or luggage. By attaching a mini GPS tracker to your belongings, you can ea...
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