House Money – Page 5
In 2015, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) commissioned an outside research firm to identify potential threats to the real estate industry. That study, titled “The d.a.n.g.e.r. Report,” asked real estate agents what they thought was the biggest threat to agents. Their answer, “The real estate industry supports a large number of part-time, untrained, unethical, and incompetent agents. This knowledge gap threatens the credibility of the industry.” I believe the industry has earned a marginal reputation over the past century.
House Money – Page 135
https://DearMonty.com/ My own nationally syndicated newspaper column Q&As and a description for navigating the twelve steps that consumers of real estate services encounter and property owners can use to improve their real estate outcomes. Additionally, your most pressing questions are answered, and if your circumstances are such that you need help picking a real estate agent when you are buying or selling a home, Dear Monty’s Pick My Agent™ service does the heavy lifting for you. Some of the reasons buyers and sellers use the Pick My Agent™ service are; inheriting a home in a remote city, no time to invest in the necessary vetting steps, or to save money by receiving referral credits in their transaction.
House Money – Page 136
Real Estate Inspection Flowchart download, www.wra.org/InspectionFlowchart, courtesy of the Wisconsin Real Estate Magazine online edition.
American Society of Home Inspectors, https://www.homeinspector.org/ One of several organizations that a home inspector may join to gain certification, education, and more. Use this site to find a home inspector.
Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (arello), https://www.arello.com/?SHOWNAV=1 This organization licenses, regulates, and enforces the law in the real estate industry by state. Check here to see if a prospective agent is licensed.
Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, http://us.spindices.com/indexfamily/real-estate/sp-corelogic-case-shiller. Tracks home prices and changes in home prices nationally and in twenty major metropolitan areas.
Environmental Protection Agency, https://www3.epa.gov/aircompare/ At this website you can find out if a home or property has been designated a Superfund site, meaning it is contaminated with harmful chemicals, may have been a chemical dump, or water is affected by a dump upstream. Avoid buying anything close to a Superfund site. Also a source for asbestos information can be found at https://www.epa.gov/asbestos/protect-your-family.
Check.org, http://www.factcheck.org/about/our-mission/ Politicians, bureaucrats, and government agencies often talk real estate–related subjects to the press. This unbiased fact checker finds truth.
Fax Zero, http://faxzero.com/ Many companies and individuals still rely on fax machines. This service allows you to send or receive faxes online, often at no cost.
House Money – Page 137
John T. Reed, http://johntreed.net/blogs/john-t-reed-s-real-estateinvestment. A real estate investor and writer who offers critique of the gaggle of better-known “how to get rich quick” authors and purveyors of real estate investment advice for a fee.
Online Conversion, http://www.onlineconversion.com/converts many units of measurement into other units of measurement. Real estate is described in acres, sections, square feet, linear feet, and other measurements. You can validate units that are new to you here.
Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/ generates facts that support sound decision-making. Unbiased information on a global or national scale can be helpful to understand larger real estate issues.
Speakeasy, https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/ Many of us need speed in our online habits and pay a great deal for the convenience. Use this site to test your Internet speed and relay sluggish connections to the service provider.
US Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/ You can learn about communities across the United States based on census data.
US Debt Clock, http://www.usdebtclock.org/ For a reality check on how our country is doing as a whole, view the debt clock in real time. The value of our real estate depends on our country doing well.
US Postal Service, https://tools.usps.com/go/ZipLookupAction!input. action Verify a property’s zip code. It is easy to get zip codes mixed up. There is much demographic information available by zip code that could affect a real estate decision.
House Money – Page 141
To find authoritative information about home mortgages in the United States:
Department of Housing and Urban Development (hud), https://www.fha.com/ Whether you need a home mortgage or a large apartment building mortgage, hud has a variety of types of mortgage loans.
Fannie Mae, https://www.fanniemae.com/singlefamily/mortgage-products One of the companies that purchases loans from mortgage originators such as banks, credit unions, and online lenders. You can search to see if Fannie Mae owns your mortgage.
Freddie Mac, http://www.freddiemac.com/ Similar to Fannie Mae with many similar programs. If Fannie Mae doesn’t own your mortgage, Freddie Mac likely does.
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, http://www.ffiec.gov/consumercenter.htm . A source to learn if the lender you are considering is licensed in your state. This could be helpful to know if you need a resource to help you if something goes wrong. They do not oversee state institutions, so you need to know which organization issued your lender’s charter.
Mortgage Bankers Association, https://www.mba.org/ Can be quite different from banks and credit unions in that they have access as originators to many loan products offered by different lenders that may have more variety and ways to make loans other lenders have declined.