Real Estate Article

A crucial step in starting your search for a new home is having a clear idea of your financial situation. By getting a handle on your income, expenses and debts, you’ll have a much better idea of what you can afford and how much you’ll need to borrow.For lenders to verify this information, though, they’re going to need to look at your financial records. It is also important to remember that you should include records for each person who will be an owner of the house. So before you even visit the bank, make sure you’ll be able to provide copies of these important documents:


Paycheck Stubs

Remember that lenders are most interested in your average income. Not only will they want to see this month’s paycheck, but also how much you’ve been making for the past two years. Steady employment is also more attractive to lenders, so if you’ve been hopping from job to job, be prepared to discuss the reasons why.


Bank Statements

In order to qualify you for a loan, most lenders will also ask you for copies of your bank statements. Ideally, they’d like to see a steady history of savings–or at the very least, that you’re not bouncing checks every month.


Tax Records

It’s always a good idea to save copies of your tax returns, especially if you’re self-employed. If you own your own business, it’s important to note that lenders generally consider your income as the amount you paid taxes on–not the gross income of the business.


Dividends & Investments

Lenders will usually consider long-term investment dividends, as well as your investment portfolio, when evaluating your income.


Alimony/Child Support

If you receive steady payments as part of a divorce settlement or for child support, you can also include this as part of your gross income. Just remember that lenders will want to see a copy of your divorce/court settlement verifying the amount of the payments.


Credit Report

Virtually every lender will want to see a copy of your credit report as part of the loan application process. The report lists all of your long-term debts, as well as your payment history. In general, they will require you to pay for the credit report (approximately $50), but if you have a recent copy, they may accept that instead.

Short Sale Hardship Letter – Real Estate Short Sales

No down payment program availible on first come, first served How to Write a Hardship Letter The hardship letter sets the tone for the rest of the short sale process. The hardship letter should be written in a clear, concise and convincing way. While it should, to some degree, provide the human side of the story, it should frame the personal circumstances with cold, hard facts about the borrower’s financial situation. The ultimate goal of a hardship letter is to show the bank or lender why a foreclosure could be imminent, and to demonstrate a borrower’s willingness to seek out other options that are more appealing to all involved parties. When a lender finishes reading a hardship letter, he should be convinced that the borrower has no other resources available to him.
Right off the bat, the hardship letter should make it clear that a borrower is suffering from some kind of hardship. I don’t know about you, but because of the costs of gas has increased up to 100%.  Has the cost of gas increased monthly expenses every month? The letter should put that assertion out there immediately. Soon after that point is made, the borrower should explain the changes in their life that have wrought the current crisis. For instance, perhaps the borrower has lost his job; maybe the borrower’s spouse has passed away or been laid off from work. Reduced hours and pay cuts should also be mentioned at this point. In other words, the borrower should show that they are financially unable to fulfill the terms of the mortgage loan.
After explaining why he or she may be unable to make his monthly mortgage payments now or in the near future.  The borrower should outline the results of his property/loan evaluation. In plain terms, he should explain what the current value of his house is. At the same time, he should emphasize how much is currently owed on the mortgage loan. The contrast between the value of the house and the amount that is owed should clearly show the underwater, or upside-down, nature of the situation.
Finally, the borrower might want to include other alternatives that he has considered. By doing so, he will show the lender that he has earnestly been looking for other ways to handle his financial responsibility, such as refinancing, getting personal loans or attempting to sell the home. Ultimately, however, he should show that he has two options left: a foreclosure or a short sale. As the letter wraps up, the reader should be left with a clear understanding about why the borrower needs to pursue a short sale. While writing the hardship letter, the borrower needs to remember that all of his points must be backed up by proper documentation; everything will be sent to the lender as a part of the short sale package.

Roof Replacement Considerations

Roof Replacement

When replacing a roof, there are things that you need to consider. However, know that you do not have to consider these things on your own. You do have the help of a qualified  roofing company to help you make the right decisions regarding your roof replacement and do so according to your particular budget. So what are these considerations?

The type of roofing that you want on your home. The type of roofing is going to coincide with your budget and/or the type of curb appeal you want your home to have.  roofing also needs to be strong because of the different types of weather that occurs throughout the year.


Look at the warranty. The warranties on  commercial roofing has been extended over the past few years. There are some warranties that will last as long as fifty years. However, there are certain stipulations put in place for each warranty, so you need to review those terms.

You need to evaluate the life-cycle cost. What this means is you need to learn about the life-cycle of the roofing that you are interested in. Is it going to last a long time? Are you going to have to have your roof repaired every single time the wind blows or a hail storm comes through? What kind of energy savings are you looking at? Don’t let low initial costs fool you because your long-term investment could exceed the actual quality of the roof.

Lower Life Cycle Cost

A roof with a lower life-cycle cost and a higher initial cost can actually save you money over time.The longevity is also an issue. The longer the roof will last, the better. You can invest in a roof that is designed to last 30 years or you can have a roof that is designed to last 15 years. Although the 15 year roof is cheaper, you will be replacing it for more money in 15 years than what it would cost you to replace in 30.

Initial Cost Vs. Eventual Cost

All of these areas touch on the main thing to consider and that is the cost. Whether the impact is on the initial cost or the cost over time, you will be paying more or less money based on your decisions. That is why it is good to consult with the  roofer about what you need to do. They do not want to lose your business because they cannot work with your budget. They would rather have your business and provide the best for your budget rather than lose it completely.

A thorough evaluation of your roof can be done and that evaluation will reveal what the next steps need to be in making sure your home is protected from the weather. When you have high quality roofing that is installed correctly, that next hail storm may not seem so bad. When your roof is the one standing up to the elements, then you’ll know that you made the best investment for you


Cost of Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement

Roof Damage Happens

When damage has been done to your roof, you are faced with a tough decision. That decision is whether or not you should simply have your roof repaired or if you should have it replaced. In many cases the extent of the damage may help make this decision for you and in other cases cost will dictate your decision. Most of the time cost rules a person’s decision because they’re working with a tight budget.

So what is the difference in cost between roof repair and roof replacement? Obviously replacing an entire roof may be more costly than repairing because replacement involves replacing the entire roof…Or could it be the other way around?There are different techniques that may be used to fix your roof.

Repair Approach

For instance:
A “tear-off” may be more costly than re-roofing your home. The fact is that this task involves removing the old shingles and the underlayment from your roof. The roofer may also provide haul away and disposal services of the old roofing materials. The reason why a tear-off costs more is because the roof deck can be inspected thoroughly and the rotten parts replaced; those high risk areas such as eaves, outside rakes, valleys, and inside rakes can also be inspected and rebuilt from scratch if they need to be; and you receive brand new underlayment and a variety of other fixes to your roof that can make your roof last longer than ever.

A “re-roof means that new shingles are applied over the old shingles. Most building codes will allow a re-roof if there is only one existing layer, but will not allow for a third layer because of the weight. Re-roofing means that the decks and valleys cannot be seen, no new underlayment is applied, more moisture may be held by a 2 layer roof, and any damage done to the existing shingles can bleed through to the new shingles over time.


Although some roofing contractors will suggest that a tear-off be done rather than a re-roof, there is concern that you do what you can afford. Some individuals are suspicious when a roofer suggests a tear-off because of the higher cost, but a tear-off is better for the overall well-being of your roof and of your home. According to Jody Kriss ( )It is important to note that a tear-off is recognized and approved by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and by manufacturers.


Nevertheless, what you do is up to you. You can review the costs with your roofing contractor and see what your options are. For some homes, a re-roof may be a valid option. Ranch style homes tend to be the best candidates for re-roofing because the valleys are small or they don’t exist at all. A re-roof can be risky for those homes with multiple or long valley assemblies.

As for the actual cost, the cost will depend on the roofing contractor you use, the size of your roof, and the extent of the job. And although using a licensed contractor will cost you more, you will receive a much higher quality of work that will last for years to come.