Property taxes are a part of the cost of owning a home. When you buy a home you not only have to consider the cost of the monthly mortgage payment, but you also need to consider property taxes, homeowners insurance, any HOA dues, maintenance, and utilities.
Many people wrongly assume property taxes are a fixed cost, and that whatever amount is billed when you first buy the house, is what the amount will be for the life of owning the home. However, property taxes can change quickly after buying a home. Most counties assess property value annually, and adjust the amount due annually. Read the rest of this entry »
If you own a business and have a loan for it, and you are planning on buying a home, you might be wondering if the business loan will affect whether or not you can get a mortgage. A business loan can impact your credit score if you are the sole proprietor of the business and take out the business loan in your name instead of the business’ name, or if you personally guarantee the loan. A lender will be looking to see if you and your credit are stable when they decide to give someone a mortgage loan.
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It is that time of year to give thanks. Some of us don’t give thanks, it’s just a time of year to eat a lot and take time off of work. I think many of us that do give thanks do so for varied reasons. I give thanks for many reasons to many things. I try and acknowledge the good, but also the bad. It is my Thanksgiving version of Santa’s naughty and nice list, as far as who deserves my thanks and who does not: Read the rest of this entry »
Title insurance is no longer issued on Washington DC Foreclosures of formerly owner occupied properties! What? A client of mine attempted to go to settlement yesterday on a foreclosed Washington DC property. Getting the loan through was difficult due to dealing with the bank and the delays, confusion and difficulties they caused. But then the client was told at the settlement table that First American and Fidelity Title Insurance have suspended issuing title insurance on Washington DC properties as a result of actions taken by the Washington DC Attorney General last week. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy new year to all! I want to close out the year 2009 with a few short thoughts and favorite quotes from people far smarter than me:
1. Never act on emotion, unless love is involved.
2. Get information from more than one source, and consider the source.
3. Buy a house as if you will live there a long time, you just may.
4. Big government has never solved any problem, big government only creates problems. Before the Civil War government in America was the highly decentralized, limited government established by the founding fathers. The Civil War (and further the New Deal) created the highly centralized state that America labors under today. The purpose of government was transformed from the defense of the individual, to the quest for an empire. Read the rest of this entry »
Streetcars are returning to Washington, DC, almost 50 years after the District shut down the old system in 1962 when DC Transit was ordered by Congress to switch to buses. Congress had forbidden overhead wires in the city as early as the 1880’s to preserve views of the White House and the Capitol.
At one time, there were almost 200 miles of tracks running through Washington DC and its suburbs. Read the rest of this entry »
The Washington DC government’s Office of Tax and Revenue has rescheduled its property tax sale for November 30th. Interested parties can register from Nov. 23rd – 25th.
The auction is not in fact a sale, as no property changes hands on that date. Auction bidders win a claim against the property, and may eventually begin a foreclosure process, for which they’d have to pay off the tax lien on the property to the Washington DC government. But the original owners retain the property in the short term and have a right to pay off the bidder and clear the title to their home. Read the rest of this entry »
Communities across the country are realizing more and more that the spread out patterns of growth (i.e. sprawl), which have shaped American communities for the past several decades, cannot be sustained. Last week, the Montgomery County Council approved the plan for the county’s 2009 – 2011 Growth Policy, which will become effective January 1, 2010. According to the Washington Business Journal, “Under the plan, all new projects near transit must be at least 50% residential and projects must be at least 75% of the allowed density under the zoning rules. Obviously Montgomery County wants development to be denser, Read the rest of this entry »
Dupont Circle is a vibrant, diverse neighborhood considered by many to be the heart of Washington, DC’s nightlife. It boasts some of the DC area’s finest historic homes, foreign embassies and museums. You will also find a large variety of ethnic restaurants, art galleries and bookstores.
The old Dupont Circle Subway Station lies below Dupont Circle and above the Dupont Metro Station. It was built in 1949 to relieve traffic congestion on Dupont Circle created by the old trolley system. In 1962 the station was closed when the trolley system was shut down. It remained closed for over 30 years.
Then in 1992, entrepreneur Geary Stephen Simon approached the city with a proposal to turn the space into high-end retail. Read the rest of this entry »
Eight years ago, Dr. Mark Bergel was teaching stress management, social connection, and other health topics at local corporations and universities. He began requiring that his American University students perform community service as part of their course work. Through this exercise he came into contact with people who had no basic necessities of life. They were sleeping on bare floors, living with no furniture or household goods, not even beds for the children. He gave up everything else in his life and founded his non profit organization in his own living room. Read the rest of this entry »