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Monday, March 10, 2014

Other real estate topics that you may have Questions about –

The 10th in the series of 10 posts answering Frequently Asked Questions from Buyers. Mostly links to interesting articles and posts about the topics that weren’t covered in the first 9 posts.

The real estate process is never the same twice and not all of these topics would come up in a typical purchase; but they do come up. I’ve compiled a list of other questions or topics that come up and links to answers or readings from various sources. Being a Realtor® means always having to deal with something new, something that hasn’t happened before or that I haven’t encountered before. That’s what keeps it interesting.



Where can I get help with my down payment? There is a State Government program available in Michigan (there are probably similar programs in other states) under MSHDA (Michigan State Housing and Development Authority). This response is from their site.

Is there any way to buy a house these days for zero down? - There are at least two programs available in Michigan in which you might qualify for a zero-down loan the USDA Rural Development Program and under your VA Benefits. There are special VA programs for disabled vets.

PMI – What is it and do I have to have it? From Zillow Under FHA, VA and USDA this would be called MIP and here’s an article on MIP and how to cancel it.

Land Contracts – What are they – good article by Elizabeth Winetraub

Rent-to-Own – What’s that all about – from the How stuff Works site


Fair Housing Act – The HUD site that explains what your rights are under the Fair Housing Act

Home Warranties - Do I need One? – From Angies’ List

Wells and Septics – I’ve never had a well or septic before, what should I know about them? – a good read on the topic from the Barrington Area Council of Governments

Where can I find a map of the lake that the home I’m considering buying is on? – In Michigan the DNR maintains these maps of inland lakes

Should I consider a fixer-upper house? – Some advice from MSN Real Estate. First-time buyers should be particularly cautious about buying a fixer-upper.

A Real Estate Glossary – this is a Web site that seems to have a relatively complete glossary of real estate and mortgage terminology

Home Buying Articles and Advice – the same Web site as the for the glossary above has a good collection of articles on home buying to read

Home remodeling – How much is too much? – from Yahoo’s Finance section – this is a common mistake that homeowners make  

Divorce and Real Estate – a link to DivorceNet.com – there’s a lot involved in unwinding the co-mingled assets in a divorce; make sure that the house you are buying from a divorcee is free and clear of any residual encumbrances

Who owns the fence - an interesting article on the issue of shared fences

What is a 1031 Starker Exchange? – from the Federation of Exchange Accommodators (I’ll bet you didn’t know that existed)

Of course there are many more questions that can come up, but I hope these FAQ questions and answer posts have given you a better understanding of the real estate process and some of the things that are important within that process. The fact is that not every Realtor will know all of these things either; however, they will know a lot more than you about the process and be able to find answers when they need them; plus, they guide you through the purchase of your most important asset – your home.

Thanks for taking the time to read through this series of posts. If you have questions that were not covered here, please post a comment and ask your questions. I’ll try to answer and you’ll be helping not only yourself, but others who probably are hitting the same things that you are.


I’ll be starting a series of posts on the real estate process from the seller’s perspective next. Sellers see the same process from a different point of view and have different things to be concerned about.

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