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Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Choose Your Facebook Friends Wisely!

Dec. 27, 2011
Categorized in: Mortgages

Time to cut off your friends who are deadbeats, at least on Facebook?

According to an article in the New York Observer banks are beginning to look at your social media interactions as one piece of your credit-worthiness.

If your bank asked for your Facebook login info as part of the loan application process, how would you react?

I think my friends make me look pretty good, but I'd still be tempted to take my banking business elsewhere. At least, assuming there will be banks who don't go down this road!

Pulling Equity Out

Feb. 16, 2007
Categorized in: Mortgages

There's a new company out there called Real Estate Equity Exchange that will help you pull equity out of your home without all the downside of taking on more debt or having to make payments. Or, at least that's what they advertise!

They will give you cash representing up to 15% of the value of your home. In exchange for this cash you give them up to 52.5% of the capital appreciation when you sell your home. In addition, you pay a service charge of $15,000 when you sell the house.

This does not seem like a good deal to me. That seems like potentially a lot of equity to give up for what you get.

This is likely to be most attractive to older owners who would otherwise be looking at a reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage carries a service charge of $17,000 and current interest rates are somewhere around 6.5%.

The company says one of the reasons that it doesn't sound as attractive is that they are sharing the risk with the homeowner. So, if there's very little appreciation in your home, they make very little money.

While I'm skeptical of this deal it's apparently a big hit in the investment community with people lined up to throw money at the company and invest in these mortgages.

One thing is for sure, the financial options available to consumers are growing increasingly complex and "buyer beware" is definitely a good principle to apply. If you're contemplating any reverse mortgage or utilizing this new offering, make sure you do your homework! AARP has some good information on reverse mortgages. And you'll find some resources on this topic on my web site as well.

If you're unsure, don't hesitate to seek professional guidance from someone who isn't trying to sell you something!

Piedmont Real Estate Blog

Blog by Julie Emery
Amissville, Virginia

An ongoing dialog on real estate news, opinion and trends in Northern Virginia and the greater Piedmont area. Julie is an Associate Broker at Frankly Real Estate Inc, 6304 Crossroads Circle, Ste 102, Falls Church, VA 22044

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