First Time Home Buyers Book

Finally, I’m not a ghost!  While I’ve ghost written several books, I’m pleased to announce a book of my own for Turner Publishing Company that presents tips for first time home buyers.  The title is “70 Things First-time Home Buyers Need to Know.”  It’s detailed, taking the first time buyer from the decision to rent or buy, through the search for properties, then through the steps and documents in the transaction.

The book was released September 28th, and is available for sale at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble,  and Borders.com.

eBook Project – New Lease-To-Own Program for Homes

lease to ownI’ve just completed an eBook ghost writing project about a new concept in lease-to-own for the purchase of homes. The Realtor® eBook is about 52 pages, while there are ancillary reports for Sellers, Buyers and Investors, each averaging around 19 pages.

I used photos, screen shots and did the cover design for this eBook, targeted at real estate professionals to get them to sign up and participate in the program. Approximately 65,000 words.

Business Management and Growth Articles

When it comes to entrepreneurship, starting, growing and managing a business, I’ve done it several times.  I’ve been my own boss my entire adult life.  Writing about business and how make it successfully are my specialty.

Whether it’s starting up, customer development, marketing, advertising, technology, and so much more, get a thorough look at my knowledge and writing ability by checking out the many articles I’ve placed (all are mine) at the About.com site.

Consumer Real Estate Articles on Constant Content

Though I don’t get to place an article up on Constant Content very often due to time, it is a site for writing articles on speculation, and buyers find them and make a purchase. Now and then, I misunderstand what a client desires, and my article misses the mark. It’s no problem, as we clarify the project and I write another one for them.

When I have an unsold article, I place it up on Constant Content with the pen name RealEstateWriter. Here is a link to the articles I have up that are available for purchase.

Reverse Mortgage and FHA Loan Articles

A regular client sends requests for articles monthly. Most are on mortgages, financing, the FHA and reverse mortgages. Here are a couple of excerpts of the latest:

What Is a Reverse Mortgage?

Homeowners are familiar with how a normal mortgage works. If you own a home, you have likely paid monthly payments on a mortgage, or more than one in your lifetime. The characteristics of the normal type mortgage include:

· You pay a monthly payment.

· The lender takes out interest and some is applied to your growing equity.

· Your equity builds up over time as you continue your payments.

· Your payoff amount to fully end the mortgage goes down over time.

· If you sell, you normally would pay off the balance on the loan, leaving your equity minus selling expenses.

Now there’s a new mortgage out there called the “Reverse Mortgage.” We’re going to turn the normal mortgage on its head and you get paid instead of the lender. It’s a mortgage whose time has come with the maturing of the Baby Boomer generation, and its characteristics include:

FHA Loans – Multiple Solutions to Mortgage Needs

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures mortgages made by qualified lenders to people purchasing or refinancing a home of their own. Lenders can expand home loans to many more individuals because they can rely on the FHA insurance in case of a default. Of course, there are minimum requirements, but there are also several different types of loans that make home ownership available to many. Let’s look at the types of loans, and the situations in which they apply.

FHA Fixed Rate Mortgage (Section 203b) – This mortgage provides funds for either purchase or refinance of one to four family housing units. The fixed rate feature means that the interest rate remains stable at the initial rate throughout the loan period.

· Down payments can be lower than conventional mortgages, sometimes as low as 3% of the appraised value of the home.

· Many of the closing costs related to a mortgage loan can be financed in this type of FHA loan. That even includes the initial loan insurance premium.

By limiting fees that lenders can charge for certain items and services, the FHA fixed

Consumer Home Sale Articles

One client who would never divulge their company, nor where they intended to use the 100+ pages of web material I wrote for them, wanted extensive detail to instruct homeowners in every facet of the home sale process.

I wrote about everything from choosing a Realtor to preparation of the home, marketing, contracts, negotiations, and closing.  Here’s one short excerpt:

Condition and Home Preparation

Selling your home can be an exciting and profitable process. Or it can be disappointing when you see the bottom line on the settlement statement at closing. You have some control over that bottom line. Selling a home is a competitive process. There are other homes out there, possibly even on your street, that want those buyers as much as you do. If you can make your home more desireable than others around you, it’s possible to generate better offers or possibly even competition among buyers.

Marketing, web sites, and advertisement is important. But they won’t help a bit if buyers arrive and are turned off by the condition of your home. Consider the preparation for sale a three step process:

  • The Plan – Gather information and compare your home to the competition.
  • The Inspection – You or professionals determine what the problems are.
  • Getting it Done – Get repairs and improvements done well and economically.

Real Estate Investing Articles for Print and Web

Dean Graziosi, a real estate investment guru,  has been working with investors for many years.  He has multiple books and websites with detailed information about buying and selling real estate as an investment.  I have written some background articles for his organization.  I don’t know where they ended up, but here are some excerpts:

It’s Not About Motivation – It’s Mindset and Knowledge

Most of us know someone who just seems to be successful, no matter what they try to do.They can start a business and make it grow into something bigger than themselves, realizing wealth along the way.These same people can hit a snag, or a large setback can befall them.Perhaps their business even fails completely.Then, a little while later, they have bounced back.Another successful enterprise is up and running, and they’re financially well-off again.

One might assume that they’re just lucky, or perhaps they have been to numerous motivational seminars on being successful in business.The problem with motivation for motivation’s sake is that it works for a tiny minority of seminar attendees, and the rest try and fail yet again.Why is that?Dean Graziosi, the author of Totally Fulfilled doesn’t want to pump you up with pure motivation.These successful people, even after previous failures in business, are that way because their mindset simply will not accept any other outcome.And it isn’t about being motivated as much as it is about confidence and knowledge.

Real Estate Investment – Don’t Discount the Simple Solutions

When real estate was appreciating at a rapid rate everywhere, investment gurus popped up almost daily.And, this being America, there seems to be a need to come up with a newer and better mousetrap to prove value.The problem comes when the fundamentals of investment are ignored or replaced by so-called sophisticated strategies that multiply risk to achieve dubious rewards.

The funny thing is, now that appreciation has stopped or dramatically slowed in many markets, the gurus still keep popping up.And, the better and newer methods some are pushing are just new packaging on old ideas that didn’t work in the first place.Sometimes getting back to the simple is the solution.

An investment story that illustrates complexity and risk is a very true experience of a stock market options trader.He studied options trading and read books until he knew more than most stock brokers.There wasn’t a sophisticated strategy that he hadn’t used multiple times….though results weren’t always as planned.One day, one of his market tracking software packages produced an alert on a well known bank stock.There was a heavy spike in the purchase of options, possibly indicating something in the wind for this stock.

Consumer Real Estate Articles for Realtor Sites

A Canadian consulting and web design company hired me to do 1000 word articles for the websites of their Realtor clients. As they resell these articles, I cannot place links or content here, as I’m not sure where they ended up. Titles were as follows:

Here are some titles and excerpts:

Why Buyers Need a Real Estate Professional

With the Internet providing huge amounts of information about homes listed for sale, it is easy to get the idea that an enterprising person can go it alone in locating and purchasing a home. Let’s work our way through some information and situations and see what a buyer will encounter in the real estate market.

The Internet is a great tool for home buyers. There are not only a great number of sites with home listings, some of them even offer valuation estimates and comparisons. What could be the problem with this information glut? Briefly, there is just too much, and much of it cannot be verified for accuracy.

· A real estate professional will help you to weed through the massive data available out there.

· Your real estate professional will have access to some resources not available to you.

· Sold property data is just one small piece of the valuation puzzle.

· Experience in the local market adds invaluable insight into hard numbers from a computer.

How Do Real Estate Pros Price a Listing?

A very accurate saying is that “Any home will sell once you get the price right.” Of course, this is usually said from the perspective of dropping a price until it’s too attractive to pass up. Actually, the accurate pricing of your home prior to listing is as much an art as it is a science.

The Science:

Computers have helped a lot in the data and science aspects of pricing homes for sale. The real estate professional looks at many data sets in the process, including:

· Records of recent sales in the neighborhood or area.

· Currently listed comparable homes.

· Historical trends in price appreciation.

· Feature comparisons for mechanical value adjustments for differences.

Real Estate Consumer and Investment Articles

Though this client at http://acepropertyinvestments.com is in site redesign, with my content not yet up, I have done multiple small writing projects for them. The general focus is on Rent to Own and Lease Purchase as a viable option for all involved, Buyers, Sellers and Realtors.

Here are a couple of titles and excerpts:

The Buyer’s Guide to Home Purchase Negotiations

Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines “negotiation” as “a conferring, discussing or bargaining for an agreement.” Turning a negotiation into a battle of wills is rarely a strategy of value.

As a buyer in a real estate negotiation, you are making the first contact with the seller via your purchase offer. This is a defining moment, and how you craft your offer often sets the tone of the entire negotiation process. The most successful negotiations almost always end with all parties feeling like winners. Don’t let your offer create ill will with a seller, as this will usually result in a difficult proces

Does this mean that a buyer shouldn’t make an offer significantly lower than the asking price? This will depend on the current market, as well as property condition and perceived seller motivation.

Understanding Title Insurance

Most homeowners are quite careful to examine their homeowner insurance policy for the dollar amounts of coverage, as well as the damage and events that are covered and which aren’t. There should be even more attention focused on the coverage provided by title insurance.

In most real estate purchase transactions, a document called a “title insurance binder” is issued to the buyer. This document “binds” the insurer to the issuance of a policy of title insurance with certain exceptions and requirements.

Title insurance provides protection to a property owner for possible future actions of others, or information discovered, that damages the property owner’s benefits of ownership. It does not cover restrictions or other limits on use that already exist