Oct 13

Real Estate Investing from an expert – Anthony DiDonato

Is real estate investing  right for ME?

For many real estate investors, the deals they make are about a lot more than building profits or increasing cash flow.  Many real estate investors love what they do because they can and do help people.  You can structure deals that earn you income while helping a family with little, bad or no credit achieve the dream of owning a home. As a real estate investor, you can help people facing foreclosure get their lives back by creating a deal that stops the foreclosure while earning money for you, the investor.  By coming up with creative solutions, you can help people solve their problems while earning excellent returns from your real estate investments.  These are real win-win situations for all involved. There is no better feeling than knowing you are able to meet your own dreams and goals while helping other people solve their problems. People just like you are helping solve problems for others while achieving their own financial freedom all the time.

Where do I start if I am new to real estate investing?

If you are new to real estate investing you may be overwhelmed by the options you have seen or heard about. You may be concerned that you do not have the money or credit to get started with investing. You may even wonder if real estate investing is right for you.  There are proven real estate investment methods where no credit or cash is needed, such as flipping houses, lease options, “subject to” transactions, and other “no money down” options. These methods are low-risk and can net you many thousands of dollars with each successful investment.  You may be thinking that this is not possible, or that there is a catch somewhere. The only catch is that you need to educate yourself about these investing opportunities. When you learn how to structure these scenarios, you can not only get started with no money down, you can earn serious money on your investments.

Strategies that make you money in real estate with little or no risk.

There are a number of real estate investment strategies that will get you started on the road to financial freedom with little or no financial risk or outlay on your part. These strategies include:
•Use a lease options. This allows you to make a commitment to buy a property with almost no money down and with an extended period of time to arrange financing.
•Quick flipping houses. This strategy allows you to make money by finding sellers who need to sell the property quickly. They are willing to sell for way less than what the home is worth. Then “flip” your contract to a new buyer who will pay you more than what you agreed to pay. In most if not all cases you never put a dollar at risk.
•Taking “Subject-To”. This mean taking title to the property subject to the existing mortgage that is already in place on the home. The terms of the note that were initially created with the lender stay the same, including the name on the loan. Simply put, you are not assuming the loan.

Profitable investments for more experienced investors.

Investing in commercial real estate can be the most profitable option for experienced investors. Just be aware that higher profits may and usually do carry a somewhat higher risk. Diligence is a mandatory.  Investing in foreclosures and bank foreclosed real estate (REOs), either with or without a short sale, usually will also produce substantial profits on investments.  Rehabbing a home is also for more experienced investors. If you know what you’re doing, you can make bigger profits than with flipping houses or lease options, but you also have more potential risk. The most important rule here is: Do not be the handyman! Hire a professional who knows what their doing.  Many investors enjoy buying and holding single family houses as rental properties. That way you can get a cash flow every month, decent tax deductions yearly,  and the possibility of a large profit when you decide to sell the investment. If you’re interested in rental property, be sure to learn everything you can about landlording before jumping into this type of investment.  Experts in discounted mortgages, trust deeds, and other “paper” understand the power of coupling real estate transactions with real estate paper. By combining the two, you have the ability to out-negotiate, out-maneuver, and outsmart your competition.

Broad real estate expertise from Anthony DiDonato you can depend on to take your investing success to its maximum potential!

•Investing in commercial real estate
•Make more cash flow as a real estate landlord
•Leveraging retirement funds for real estate investing
•Investing in rehab properties
•Strategies that allow you to profit from properties that have no equity
•Methods to improve your monthly cash flow
•Strategies to profit from foreclosures and short sales
•Ensuring you know how to protect your hard earned assets
•Creative (and traditional) ways to fund your deals

Contact Anthony DiDonato for help or advice on any of the above information at:

Anthony DiDonato
Associate Broker

CENTURY 21 All-Elite Inc.
3900 Edgmont Ave, Brookhaven, PA 19015Office Number: (610) 872-1600 Ext. 124
Fax: (610) 771-4480
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Oct 13

Anthony DiDonato a “Short Sale” Expert

Buyers pursue short sales to get great deals on distressed properties. So when you see a low price listed for a home that you think is too low for the neighborhood, before you jump on that price, ask your agent to call the listing agent to find out if the home is a short sale.

You might want to think twice about making an offer on a pre-foreclosure, short sale home. It’s not as simple as you may think, and very few if any can close in 30 days or less.

Many of my Delaware County PA  home buyers have waited 4 to 6 months to close on a short sale, a lot of times much longer.

What is the definition of  a Short Sale?

A short sale means the seller’s lender is accepting a discounted payoff to release an existing mortgage on a home. Just because a home is listed with short sale terms does not mean the lender will accept your offer, even after the seller accepts it.

Be aware that the seller need not be in default,  to have stopped making his  mortgage payments, before a lender will consider a short sale. A lender may consider a short sale if the seller is current but the value has fallen. The seller may have over-encumbered, owe more than the home is worth, so a discounted price might bring the price in line with market value, not below it.

Check the Public Records

Do your research before making an offer to purchase a short sale home. Your agent can find out who is in title, whether a foreclosure notice has been filed and how much is owed to the lender(s). This is important because it will help you to determine how much to offer.

If there are two loans, you could have a problem. The first mortgage lender’s position is protected by the second lender, unless the second lender does not want to foreclose. If a seller owes $160,000 on the first and $40,000 on the second, offering $160,000 leaves nothing for the second. The first will need to give something to the second to gain its cooperation.

Hire an Agent with Short Sale Experience

It’s one strike against you if the listing agent has never handled a short sale, but it’s even worse if your own agent has no experience in that arena. You need an experienced short sale agent.

An agent with experience in short sales will help to expedite your transaction and protect your interests. You don’t want to miss any important detail due to inexperience or find out your transaction is not going to close on time because no one has followed up in a timely manner.

Qualifying the Property and Seller for a Short Sale

A lender is unlikely to agree to a short sale unless the seller has no equity and is unable to repay the difference between your sales price and the existing loans. Sellers need to provide a hardship letter to the lender. Sellers may also owe taxes on the amount of debt that is forgiven.

A seller I know once demanded that the buyer slip the seller $1,000 to be given the right to purchase the seller’s property. We said no. This is fraud. The lender legally pursued that seller. Do not be lured by sellers who suggest this practice. In a short sale, the seller receives no money because the lender is losing money.

Submit Documentation and Purchase Offer to Lender

Once the seller has accepted your offer, send it to the lender for approval. You do not have a deal until the lender accepts. Also, send the lender a copy of your earnest money deposit. Do not be astonished if the lender asks you to increase it.

In addition, the lender will want to see that you have your own loan available and you are preapproved. Send a preapproval letter to the lender. It will help if your agent sends a list of comparable sales that support the price you are offering to pay for the home.

Give the Short Sale Lender Time to Respond

Make your offer contingent upon the lender’s acceptance. Give the lender a time frame in which to respond, after which, you will be free to cancel.

Some lenders submit short sales to committee, but most can make a decision within two to three months. Get a name and phone number for the appropriate contact at the lender. Don’t send an offer blindly to a department.

Understand Short Sale Commissions

Regardless of the commission the seller has agreed to pay, the lender is actually the entity paying the commission. The reason is the seller is not receiving any money with which to pay a commission. Since the lender is losing money, the lender will likely negotiate the commission directly with the listing broker, who will then share the commission with your agent.

If you have signed a buyer’s broker agreement with your agent, ask if the agent will waive the difference due or you might have to pay it out of your pocket. Some brokers feel it is unfair to penalize the agent, but the lender is calling the shots.

Reserve the Right to Conduct Inspections

Generally, the lender will not pay for customary items that a seller would pay. These include home protection plans for the buyer, buyer credits of any kind and pest / termite inspections. A buyer will be asked to purchase the property “as is,” which means no repairs. It is extremely important that a buyer obtain a home inspection.


Here are 11 Reasons Why Buyers Might Not Want to Buy a Short Sale:

1) Sellers Paid Too Much.  If a home sold for $500,000 a few years ago and is now for sale at $400,000, that doesn’t mean the buyer is picking up $100,000 of equity for free. It means the seller paid too much in a rising market and now the market has fallen. It means the seller has no equity.

2) Sellers Borrowed Too Much.  Banks that were eager to lend money in appreciating markets sometimes allowed borrowers to over-mortgage the home, meaning the borrower’s loan balance exceeded the value of the property. Appraisals are subjective, and not all appraisers will place the same value on a home. Although against the law, some appraisers are pressured by banks to appraise at the amount the home owner wants to borrow.

3) Stringent Qualifications.  Inexperienced or unethical real estate agents might push a seller into considering a short sale when the seller does not qualify for a short sale. Sellers must prove a hardship and submit evidence of the hardship to the lender for approval. Some agents list homes as short sales without ever talking to the lenders or pre-qualifying the sellers.

4) Homes Sell at Market Value.  Lenders aren’t naive or unaware of the value of a home. Lenders will insist on a comparative market analysis, known as a CMA, or broker price opinion, known as a BPO. If a lender believes a better price can be obtained by taking the property in foreclosure over a short-sale offer, the lender may hold out for a higher price. That price will be close to market value. Lenders accept short sales when the home is worth the short-sale price, which means market value.

5) Homes Sell “As Is”.  If a mortgage company agrees to a short sale, it is most likely also paying the closing costs in the transaction. Lenders ask buyers to purchase the home in its present condition. Lenders typically will refuse to pay for:
• Suggested repairs disclosed on a home inspection.
• Pest inspections or work necessary to issue a clear pest report.
• Roof certifications or roof repairs.
• Home protection plans for the buyer.
• Deferred maintenance.

6) Length of Time to Close.  Depending on when the Notice of Default was filed, the lender’s back-log of foreclosures and how much paperwork the seller has already submitted, it could take anywhere from two weeks to two months to get a response on a purchase offer from a lender. In addition, if two lenders are involved because there are two loans secured to the property, it could take longer to satisfy the demands of the second lender.

7) Lenders Can Change Conditions.  Some lenders reserve the right to renegotiate the terms of the short sale at the last minute. If the market changes, new laws pass or new information crosses the lender’s desk, the lender can attempt to change the terms of the contract. Lenders generally have lawyers at their disposal, and ordinary buyers do not.

8 ) Lenders Discount Commission.  Generally, only lenders who have sold loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are paying traditional real estate commissions to real estate agents. The rest may want a discount. Moreover, agents end up doing two to three times the work of a conventional transaction and don’t appreciate getting paid less to do more work. If you have agreed to pay your agent a certain percentage under a buyer broker agreement, you could be liable for the difference between what the lender will pay and what your contract stipulates, if your agent refuses to waive the difference.

9) Higher Buyer Closing Costs.  Because lenders rarely will pay for any extras, like a seller would be willing to do, if you want any of those extras, you will pay for them yourself. Sometimes lenders will refuse to pay for standard seller closing costs such as transfer taxes, too. If you want specific inspections, you will probably pay for them out-of-pocket.

10) Lose Control of Transaction.  If you need to close escrow by a specific date, lots of luck with that. A short sale home closing process takes an indefinite amount of time. The seller’s lender calls the shots, not the buyer nor the buyer’s lender. If you are trying to close escrow concurrently with the sale of your home, it might not happen.

11) Little Seller Motivation.  When the seller discovers that the short sale effect on credit is close to that of a foreclosure, there is little incentive for a seller to cooperate with a short sale. Although sellers may qualify to buy another home in 2 years after a short sale versus 5 (with restrictions) on a foreclosure, some have no intention of ever buying another home again.


Finding Short Sale Listings

Most short sales are listed by real estate agents. You will find these listings on local web sites and in MLS feeds. Some lenders have complained about advertising that identifies the home as a short sale, because the lenders feel it puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to home pricing. They are right. A buyer generally offers less when it’s advertised as a short sale.

If you have access to search terms, first look where the term short sale appears. It might be under “status modifier” or it might be contained in the marketing comments. Choose that field as your search term.

Read the listing carefully. Agents slip in words that identify the listing as a short sale. Look for the following terms:
Subject to bank approval.
Notice of Default
Give the bank time to respond.
Pre-approved by bank.
Headed for auction

Above all, hire an agent who is well versed in handling short sales and can advise you of the procedures. If you have legal questions, please ask a lawyer for advice and guidance.


Here are some of the common mistakes sellers make with short sales:

Short Sale Mistake #1: Priced Wrong.  Short sale prices remind me of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Some are too high, some are too low and some are priced just right. Short sales that sell are priced appropriately. The price should be attractive to the following parties:
The Short Sale Bank
The Buyer
The Buyer’s Agent
The Seller
The Buyer’s Lender

Appealing to all five of these entities may seem impossible to do, but it is possible. There is an art to pricing a short sale. I can honestly report that all my short listings in Sacramento — in our soft market — receive multiple offers, and they close.

Short Sale Mistake #2: Inexperienced Listing Agent.  Particularly in falling markets, agents who have little business are attracted to short sales like moths to a flame. Sellers should find out how many short sales a proposed short sale listing agent has actually closed apart from the number of short sales the agent has listed.

If many of the agent’s listings have been on the market for more than 90 days without an offer, something is seriously wrong. Agents who succeed in this business have a minimum of two years of experience negotiating with short sale banks.

Short Sale Mistake #3: Bad Marketing.  Some agents believe pricing alone will sell a short sale, and they persuade sellers to place a ridiculous price tag on the home. Then the agent purposely refuses to adequately market the home. Not only does the price need to be reasonable, but the home deserves the same type of treatment as any other listing.

Short sales should be exposed to the widest possible pool of buyers, which means plastering that listing on all the major web sites, and includes doing direct mail marketing and networking.

Short Sale Mistake #4: Showing Restrictions.  Buyer’s agents, bless their overworked and tired hearts, will sometimes take the path of least resistance. If the listing requires an appointment, a buyer’s agent might pass over that home in favor of a listing without appointment restrictions.

When a buyer’s agent calls to announce a showing, the response should be, “Come on over. We’re ready!” Short sale listings that restrict activity such as no showings on Sunday, for example, may never get shown at all.

Short Sale Mistake #5: No Photographs.  Submitting a listing to MLS without multiple photographs — or worse, no photograph at all — is like slamming the door in the face of buyers. Buyers aren’t likely to return. A listing with missing photographs sends messages that say nobody cares if the home sells and there’s probably something wrong with it.

On some web sites such as Realtor.com, listings with the most photographs are ranked higher, and those without drop to the bottom.

Short Sale Mistake #6: Poor Property Condition.  Short sale homes benefit greatly from home staging. Sellers need to prepare the home for sale and keep it in pristine condition. If beds are unmade, toys are scattered about and the kitchen sink is filled with dishes, buyers can’t see past the mess. Moreover, some buyers are worried that if the home is in disarray during a showing, the sellers may trash it upon vacating.

Short Sale Mistake #7: Uncooperative Sellers.  Sellers need to submit required documentation to the bank in a timely manner. If the package is incomplete, the bank won’t process the file, and that will delay approval.  If a seller refuses to submit personal financial information and a reasonable hardship letter, the seller will not qualify for a short sale.


If you’re looking to buy or sell “short sale” real estate in Broomall, Media and surrounding areas in Pennsylvania and in New Castle County Delaware,  Contact Anthony DiDonato Call 610-659-3999 {Smart Phones Click to Call}

Anthony DiDonato
Associate Broker

CENTURY 21 All-Elite Inc.
3900 Edgmont Ave, Brookhaven, PA 19015Office Number: (610) 872-1600 Ext. 124
Fax: (610) 771-4480
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Oct 12

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer

Most buyers do not have enough cash available to buy a home, so they need to obtain a mortgage to finance the purchase. Since you will probably make your purchase contingent upon obtaining a mortgage, the seller has the right to be informed of your financing plans in order to evaluate them. That is one of the major reasons that financing details are included in your offer.

Down Payment

As part of your offer, you will need to disclose the size of your down payment. Once again, this allows the seller to evaluate your likelihood of obtaining a home loan. It is easier to get approved for a mortgage when you make a larger down payment. The underwriting guidelines are less strict.

Interest Rates

Another reason for including financing information in your offer is to protect yourself. If interest rates suddenly become volatile and rise quickly, as sometimes happens, you may looking at a mortgage payment much higher than you anticipated. By putting a maximum acceptable interest rate in the offer, you are protecting yourself from such an occurrence.  At the same time, the seller will probably want to see that you have some flexibility in the financing terms you are willing to accept. If interest rates are currently at eight percent and you indicate this is the highest rate you will accept, you would be able to cancel the contract without penalty if interest rates rose past that point. The seller would suffer because they have lost valuable marketing time and may have made their own plans based on successfully closing the transaction.

Closing Costs and Financing Incentives

There may be times when, as part of your offer, you request the seller to pay all or a portion of your closing costs, or provide some other financial incentive. One common request is asking the seller to provide funds to temporarily buy down your interest rate for the first year or two. Such incentives can be especially effective if a buyer is tight on money or pushing their qualifying ratios to the limit.  Whenever you ask for incentives such as these, you will probably find the seller less willing to negotiate on price. After all, what you are really asking for is to have the seller to give you some money to help you buy their house. The end result is that, for a little relief in the beginning, you are willing to pay a little more in the long run.

Seller Financing

Another occasional request is to have the seller “carry back” a second mortgage to help facilitate your purchase of their home. In cases when the seller does not need all the proceeds from their sale in order to purchase their next home, this is an option. The advantage to the buyer is that by combining your down payment and the second mortgage from the seller, you may be able to avoid paying mortgage insurance and save yourself some money.  If such a carry-back is part of your offer, you should include the terms you wish to pay on such a second mortgage. Keep in mind that your first trust deed lender needs to know this information so they can underwrite your loan, and they have certain minimum requirements. The minimum term of the second mortgage can be five years. The minimum payment can be “interest only.” Longer mortgage terms and payments that also include principle are also acceptable.

Cash Offers

If you are one of those rare individuals making a cash offer to buy a home, it makes sense to provide some documentation with your offer that shows you have the funds available. A bank statement would be fine. If you have to liquidate stock or some other asset, your offer should give a timetable on when you will provide proof you have converted the asset to cash.

Other Financing Details in Your Offer

Your offer should also contain information on whether you are obtaining a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage. It should also state whether you are obtaining conventional financing or obtaining a VA or FHA loan.

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Oct 11

Home for sale in Delaware County, 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

Home for sale 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

Home for sale 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

Home for sale 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

MAGNIFICENT 3 Story, 4 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath Twin situated on the most Grandiose street in the quaint area of E. Lansdowne at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050! This largest of the area model twins, albeit an older home, is LIKE NEW CONSTRUCTION as it has been completely & totally renovated from top to bottom, inside & out! Please see the list of Renovations attached to the Seller’s Disclosure Statement as there are too many to list here and they wouldn’t fit in this space!! Enter into the lovely front porch w/ new windows, C/F, W/W & French Doors leading to spacious & incredible Living Rm w/ NEW windows, walls, tall baseboard & natural cherry laminate flooring! Dining Rm w/ NEW…Everything!! NEW Kitchen, Breakfast rm & powder rm w/ NEW…EVERYTHING (must see that Renovations List for this one!!) & O/E to spectacular, breathtaking rear patio & fenced yard with…NEW..see that list..PLEASE!! The 3 bedrooms & full bath on the 2nd floor, as well as the 4th bedroom suite on the 3rd floor & the Basement Family Room also have NEW…Everything!! SEE LIST!

57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050

This home for sale at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050 features:

Utilities: Oil Heat, Hot Water Heat, Radiators, Gas Hot Water, Wall / Window AC, Public Water, Public Sewer, 100-150AmpEl
Parking: No Garage, 2-Car Parking, Street Parking, Driveway Parking
Exterior: Sidewalks, Street Lights, Lawn Sprinkler, Fencing, Exterior Light, Vinyl Ext, Level Lot, Front Yard, Rear Yard, Side Yard(s), Shingle Roof, Patio, Porch, Breezeway, No Pool
Basement: Full Basement, Finished Basement, Out Side/Walk Out
Interior: Walk Up Attic, Finished Attic, No Fireplace, Finished Wood, W/W Carpeting, Tile Floor, Ceiling Fan(s), Cable TV Wired, Water Treat System, Wet / Dry Bar, Replacement Windows, No Modifs/Unk, Basement Laundry
Kitchen: Kitchen W/Breakfast R, Gas Cooking, Built In Dish Washer
Possession: Negotiable
Finance: Conventional Fi, FHA, VA
Condition: Average+
Show: Call To Show, Combo Lock Box

TAX Information for Home at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050:
RE Taxes / Yr: $3513 / 2011
Assessment: 62460

Lot information for real estate at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050:
Acre/ SqFt:0.07 / 3,125
Lot Dim: 25X125
Land Use: R-10
Waterfront: N
Zoning: residential

Room Dimensions for real estate at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050:
LR / GR  15 x 15
Dining 13 x 12
Kitchen 9 x 8
Master Bedroom 12 x 15
Second Bedroom 12 x 9
Third Bedroom 12 x 9
Fourth Bedroom 30 x 12
Family Room 20 x 14
Front Porch 7 x 15
Breakfast Room 12 x 10

General information about this great home for sale at 57 Penn Blvd, Lansdowne, PA 19050:
[schoolsearch city=”Lansdowne” state=”PA” zip=”19050″ groupby=”gradelevel” output=”table”]
[yelp lat=”39.9414637″ lng=”-75.26005090000001″ radius=”2″ sortby=”distance” term=””]

PLEASE NOTE: Some properties which appear for sale on this website may no longer be available because they are under contract, have sold or are no longer being offered for sale.  Please Contact Me for more information about this and other properties in the Lansdowne Area:

Anthony DiDonato
CENTURY 21 All-Elite Inc.
3900 Edgmont Ave, Brookhaven, PA 19015Office Number: (610) 872-1600 Ext. 124
Fax: (610) 771-4480
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Oct 10

Home for Sale in Delaware County, 201 Golf Rd, Darby, PA 19023

Home for Sale, 201 Golf Rd, Darby, PA 19023

201 Golf Road, Darby, PA 19023

Home for Sale 201 Golf Road, Darby, PA 19023

Come see one of the nicest homes on the best lot in Lansdowne Park in Darby, PA 19023.  This lovely 3 bedroom Brick End Townhouse is situated high on an awesome, large & private lot with nicely landscaped front & side yards, Flagstone Patio in front, additional double patio(front) & 2 car parking in rear (adjacent to storage shed). This move-in-condition home offers: New: Front Storm & Decorative Doors(2010), C/T Kitchen Floor & Gas Range(2009), Bathroom tub enclosure & vanity(2009), newly coated roof(2009)…and Much More!! Enter into Spacious Living room which leads to Dining room w/ ceiling fan and into Modern Eat-In Kitchen w/ lovely Oak Cabinets and new C/T floor & gas range. The 2nd floor has 3 spacious bedrooms, each w/ ceiling fan & closet, and Modern C/T Hall Bath. The Full Finished Basement offers addt’l living space, lots of storage & O/E to rear driveway w parking, shed & converted garage for even more storage! Convenient to major roads, public transportation, hospitals, shopping, the Airport & Downtown Philly!!

Home for Sale 201 Golf Road, Darby PA 19023

Home for Sale 201 Golf Road, Darby PA 19023

This Home for Sale at 201 Golf Rd, Darby, PA 19023 FEATURES:

Utilities: Gas Heat, Hot Air Heat, Gas Hot Water, Wall / Window AC, Public Water, Public Sewer, 100-150AmpEl
Parking: No Garage, 2-CarParking, Street Parking, Driveway Parking
Exterior: Sidewalks, Street Lights, Exterior Light, Brick Exterior, Concrete Foundation, Corner Lot, Front Yard, Rear Yard, Side Yard(s), Flat Roof, Shed(s), Patio, No Pool
Bsmt: Full Basement, Finished Basement, Out Side / Walk Out
Interior: No Fireplace, W / W Carpeting, Tile Floor, Ceiling Fan(s), Cable TV Wired, LR / GREntr, No Modifs / Unk, Basement Laundry
Kit: Eat In Kitchen, Gas Cooking, Built-In Dish Washer
Poss: Negotiable
Finance: Conventional Fi, FHA, VA
Show: Call To Show

TAX Information for Home at 201 Golf RD, Darby, PA 19023:
RE Taxes / Yr: $3123 / 2010
Assessment: 52950

Lot information for real estate at 201 Golf Rd, Darby, PA 19023:
Acr / SqFt:0.07 / 3,049
Land Use:R-10
Lot Dim:24X111

Room Dimensions for real estate at 201 Golf Rd, Darby, PA 19023:
LR / GR  16 x 15
Dining 15 x 8
Kitchen 15 x 7
Master Bedroom 12 x 12
Second Bedroom 12 x 8
Third Bedroom 12 x 7

General information about this great home for sale at 201 Golf Road, Darby, PA 19023:
[schoolsearch city=”Darby” state=”PA” zip=”19023″ groupby=”gradelevel” output=”table”]
[yelp lat=”39.9276538″ lng=”-75.26392620000001″ radius=”2″ sortby=”distance” term=””]

PLEASE NOTE: Some properties which appear for sale on this website may no longer be available because they are under contract, have sold or are no longer being offered for sale.  Please Contact Me for more information about this and other properties in the Darby Area:

Anthony DiDonato
CENTURY 21 All-Elite Inc.
3900 Edgmont Ave, Brookhaven, PA 19015Office Number: (610) 872-1600 Ext. 124
Fax: (610) 771-4480


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Oct 07

Writing an Offer – Safeguards Regarding the Property

Writing an Offer – Safeguards Regarding the Property

Disclosures From the Seller

Although you have toured the property, looked at the walls and ceiling, turned on the faucets and played with the light switches, you have not lived in it. The seller has years of knowledge about his or her home and there may be some things you want to find out about as quickly as possible. For this reason, you will require certain disclosures as part of your offer.  Basically, you want the seller to disclose any adverse conditions that may have a substantial impact on your decision to purchase the home. This would include any problems with the house, whether the property is in a flood zone, a noise zone, or any other kind of hazardous area.  If you have an agent representing you, this is almost automatic, but many states do not require individuals selling their own home to provide you with this information. Often they do not require banks selling foreclosed property to provide these disclosures, either. Obtaining these types of disclosures should always be a part of your offer, and time is of the essence.

Condition of the Property

The last thing you want when you assume possession of your new home is to find it in a total mess. Therefore, you should make it clear in your offer that certain minimum standards are required. If you do not, you might find out the seller or neighbors have begun using the back yard as a trash dump, or something worse – and you would not be able to do anything about it.  Some of the requirements you might want to include in your offer are that the roof does not leak, the appliances work, the plumbing does not leak, that there are no broken or cracked windows, the yard has been kept up, and any debris has been cleared away.

Inspections You Should Require

Besides appraisal and the termite inspection, you should also have a professional go through the house and seek out potential problems. Of course, you will have inspected the home, but you are not used to looking at some things that a professional will find. Even if they are not things the seller is expected to repair, at least you will have foreknowledge of any potential problems.  The seller will want this inspection performed quickly, so that you can approve the results and move forward with the purchase. Once you receive the inspection, you will want to allow yourself sufficient time to review and approve the report. If you do not approve the report, you may negotiate with the sellers on which repairs should be performed and who should pay for those repairs. Otherwise, you can cancel the purchase without penalty, provided you have included timetables in your offer.  Allow a maximum of ten to fifteen days to receive the report and five days to review it.

Final Walk-Through Inspection

Before closing, you will want to revisit the property to ensure it is in the condition you have required in your offer, and to inspect that any required repairs have been performed. You should do this no sooner than five days before you intend to close. Make sure this right to do a final inspection is included in your offer to purchase the home.

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Oct 06

Offering to Purchase Real Estate- the Basics

Writing an Offer to Purchase Real Estate

Once you find the home you want to buy, the next step is to write an offer – which is not as easy as it sounds. Your offer is the first step toward negotiating a sales contract with the seller. Since this is just the beginning of negotiations, you should put yourself in the seller’s shoes and imagine his or her reaction to everything you include. Your goal is to get what you want, and imagining the seller’s reactions will help you attain that goal.  The offer is much more complicated than simply coming up with a price and saying, “This is what I’ll pay.” Because of the large dollar amounts involved, especially in today’s litigious society, both you and the seller want to build in protections and contingencies to protect your investment and limit your risk.  In an offer to purchase real estate, you include not only the price you are willing to pay, but other details of the purchase as well. This includes how you intend to finance the home, your down payment, who pays what closing costs, what inspections are performed, timetables, whether personal property is included in the purchase, terms of cancellation, any repairs you want performed, which professional services will be used, when you get physical possession of the property, and how to settle disputes should they occur.  It is certainly more involved than buying a car. And more important.  Buying a home is a major event for both the buyer and seller. It will affect your finances more than any other previous purchase or investment. The seller makes plans based on your offer that affect his finances, too. However, it is more important than just money. In the half-hour it takes to write an offer you are making decisions that affect how you live for the next several years, if not the rest of your life. The seller is going to review your offer carefully, because it also affects how he or she lives the rest of their life.  That sounds dramatic. It sounds like a cliché. Every real estate book or article you read says the same thing.

Contingencies in a Purchase Offer

In most purchase transactions there may be a slight challenge or two, but most things will go quite smoothly. However, you want to anticipate potential problems so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. These are called “contingencies” and you must be sure to include them when you offer to buy a home.  For example, some “move-up” buyers often agree to purchase a home before selling their previous home. Even if the home is already sold, it is probably a “pending sale” and has not closed. Therefore, you should make closing your own sale a condition of your offer. If you do not include this as a contingency, you may find yourself making two mortgage payments instead of one.  There are other common contingencies you should include in your offer. Since you probably need a mortgage to buy the home, a condition of your offer should be that you successfully obtain suitable financing. Another condition should be that the property appraises for at least what you agreed to pay for it. During the escrow period you are likely to require certain inspections, and another contingency should be that it pass those inspections.  Basically, contingencies protect you in case you cannot perform or choose not to perform on a promise to buy a home. If you cancel a contract without having built-in conditions and contingencies, you could find yourself forfeiting your earnest money deposit.  Or worse.

Earnest Money Deposit

After you have come up with an offer price, the next step is to determine how large a deposit you want to make with your offer. You want the “earnest money deposit” to be large enough to show the seller you are serious, but not so large you are placing significant funds at risk.  One recommendation is to make sure your deposit is less than two to three percent (depending on your location) of your offered price. The reason for this is that if your deposit is larger than that, the lender will pay particular attention to how you came up with the funds. You might have to provide a copy of a canceled check along with a bank statement showing you had the money to begin with. Normally, this is not a problem, but if you have a short escrow period or are barely coming up with your down payment, it could pose an inconvenience.  Another reason to limit your deposit is “just in case.” Although significant problems are the exception and not the rule, they do occur. “Just in case” there is a nasty or prolonged dispute between you and the seller, the less money you have tied up in a deposit, the fewer funds you have placed at risk.  As with practically everything in real estate, there are exceptions to this rule, too. During a hot market there may be multiple offers on the property that interests you. A large deposit may impress a seller enough so they will accept your offer instead of someone else’s, even when your unknown competitor is offering the same price or slightly higher.  Since large deposits do impress sellers, you may also find that by making a large deposit you can convince the seller to accept a lower offer. More money up front may save you money later.  There are also times when closing can be delayed by weeks, through no fault of your own. Have back-up plans prepared for such a contingency.

The Closing Date

It is absolutely essential that you include a closing date as part of your offer. This way both you and the seller can make plans for moving, and the seller can make plans for buying his or her next home. Though most transactions actually do close on the right date, do not be so inflexible that a delay creates insurmountable problems.  For example, if you are renting and need to give the landlord notice that you are moving out, you may want to allow a little flexibility. Otherwise, if your purchase closes a few days late you could find yourself staying in a motel with your belongings packed in a moving van somewhere while you pay storage costs.  There are also times when closing can be delayed by weeks, through no fault of your own. Have back-up plans prepared for such a contingency.

Transfer of Possession

A transaction is considered “closed” once the deeds have been recorded. Then you own the home. However, it is not always possible for you to occupy it immediately. This can happen for several reasons, but the most common is that the seller may be purchasing a home, too. Usually, it is scheduled to close simultaneously with your purchase of their home.  It is sort of like being at a red light when it turns green. Although all the cars see the light change at the same time, the guy at the back of the line doesn’t begin moving until all the cars ahead of him have started.  As a result, it has become customary to allow the seller up to a maximum of three days to turn over actual possession and keys to the home. When transfer of possession actually occurs should be clearly laid out in your offer to prevent confusion later.

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Oct 05

Major Factors Influencing your Offer Price for the home you wish to purchase.

How Property Condition Affects Your Offer

Since you have toured the property you are interested in, you should know how it compares to the general neighborhood. All you have to do is put the home in one of three categories – average, above average, or below average.  When evaluating a home’s condition, there are a number of things you should consider. Structural condition is most important – items such as walls, ceilings, floors, doors and windows. Then paint, carpets, and floor coverings. Pay special attention to bathrooms and bedrooms and whether the plumbing and electricity work efficiently. Look at the fixtures, such as light switches, doorknobs, and drawer handles. The front and back yards should be in reasonably good shape.  The missing ingredient will be information on the condition of the homes from your comparable sales list. Provided you chose the right agent to represent you, they will have actually visited most of those homes and be able to provide key insights.

How Home Improvements Affect Your Offer Price

Even when comparing exact model matches within a tract of homes, you should note whether the previous owners have made any substantial improvements. Cosmetic changes should be largely ignored, but major improvements should be taken into account. Most important would be room additions, especially bedrooms and bathrooms. Other items, like expensive floor tile or swimming pools should be taken into account, too, but should be discounted. A pool that costs $20,000 to install does not normally add $20,000 in value to the home. Rely on your agent to give you guidance in this area.

How Market Conditions Affect Your Offer Price

A hot market is a “seller’s market.” During a seller’s market, properties can sell within a few days of being listed and there are often multiple offers. Sometimes homes even sell above the asking price. Though most buyer’s want to get a “deal” on a home, reducing your offer by even a few thousand dollars could mean that someone else will get the home you desire.  A slow market is a “buyer’s market. During a buyer’s market properties may languish on the market for some time and offers may be few and far between. Prices may even decline temporarily. Such a market would allow you to be more flexible in offering a lower price for the home. Even if your offered price is too low, the seller is likely to make some sort of counter-offer and you can begin negotiations in earnest.  More often than not, the market is simply “steady,” or in transition. When a market is steady, no real rules apply on whether you should make an offer on the high end of your range or the low end. You could find yourself in a situation with multiple offers on your desired house, or where no one has made an offer in weeks.  Transition markets are more difficult to define. If the economy slows unexpectedly, as it did in the early nineties, people who buy on the high end of a seller’s market (like the late eighties) could find their home loses value for several years. So far, no one has proven reliable in predicting when markets change or how good or bad the real estate market will become.

How Seller Motivation Affects Your Offer Price

Truthfully, it is rather rare that a seller’s motivation will dramatically affect the price of a home, but it is often possible to save a few thousand dollars. The most common “motivated seller” is someone who has already bought his or her next home or is relocating to a new area. They will be under the gun to sell the home quickly or face the prospect of making two mortgage payments at the same time. Since that can drain a bank account quickly, most sellers want to avoid such a situation and may be willing to give up a few thousand dollars to avoid the possibility.  There are also family crises that can motivate a seller to make a quick deal. However, when you see a real estate ad that mentions “divorce,” “motivated seller,” “relocation,” or something to that affect, beware. Although the facts may be true, that does not necessarily mean the seller is motivated to make a quick and costly sale. Most likely, the ad is more designed to generate phone calls and leads rather than sell the home.  However, there are times when a seller is truly distressed, willing to make a quick sale and sacrifice thousands of dollars. With the seller’s permission, the listing agent will post this information along with the listing in the Multiple Listing Service. They may also inform other agents during office and association marketing sessions or by flyers sent to other real estate offices. Provided this information has been made generally available to Real Estate Professionals, your agent should know when a seller is truly motivated and when it is just “puff” designed to elicit interest in a property.  The exception is when an agent is selling a home they have listed themselves or selling a home that was listed by another agent from their own company. In such a situation, the agent may be acting as an agent for the seller, or as a “dual agent,” representing both you and the seller. In such a situation, they cannot legally provide you with information that would give you an advantage over the seller.

The Final Decision on Your Offer Price

Comparable sales information helps you to determine a base price range for a particular home. Adding in the various factors like property condition, improvements, market conditions, and seller motivation help determine whether a “fair” price would be at the upper limit of that range or the lower limit. Perhaps you will feel a fair price is outside of that price range.  The “fair” price should be approximately what you are willing to agree on at the end of negotiations with the seller. The price you put in your offer to begin negotiations is totally up to you and depends on your negotiating style. Most buyers start off somewhat lower than the price they eventually want to pay.  Although your agent may provide advice and guidance, you are the one who makes the decision. The price you put in the offer is totally up to you.

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Oct 05

Comparable Sales and Your Offer Price of the Home you want to buy

Determining Your Offer Price

When you prepare an offer to purchase a home, you already know the seller’s asking price. But what price are you going to offer and how do you come up with that figure?  Determining your offer price is a three-step process. First, you look at recent sales of similar properties to come up with a price range. Then, you analyze additional data, such as the condition of the home, improvements made to the property, current market conditions, and the circumstances of the seller. This will help you settle on a price you think would be fair to pay for the home. Finally, depending on your negotiating style, you adjust your “fair” price and come up with what you want to put in your offer.

Comparable Sales

The first step in determining the price you are willing to offer is to look at the recent sales of similar homes. These are called “comparable sales.” Comparable sales are recent sales of homes that compare closely to the one you are looking to purchase. Specifically, you want to compare prices of homes that are similar in square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage space, lot size, and type of construction.  If the home you are interested in is part of a tract of homes, then you will most likely find some exact model matches to compare against one another.  There are three main sources of information on comparable sales, all of which are easily accessed by a real estate agent. It is somewhat more difficult for the general public to access this data, and in some cases impossible. Two of the most obvious information sources are the public record and the Multiple Listing Service.

Comparable Sales in the Public Record

The most accessible source of information on comparable sales is the public record. When someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to the buyer. In most circumstances, this deed is recorded at the local county recorder’s office. They combine sales data with information already known about the property so they can assess property taxes correctly. Provided there have been no additions to the property, the information available from the public record is usually correct regarding sales price, square footage, and numbers of rooms. This makes it easy to use the public record as a source of data for comparable sale information. Accessing the data is another matter, at least for the general public. Real Estate Professionals can generally look up this information through title insurance companies. The title companies either compile the data directly from the county recorder’s office or purchase it from other companies. One problem with the public record is that it tends to run at least six to eight weeks behind. Add another four to six weeks for the typical escrow period and you can see the data is not current. The most current information is the most valuable.

Comparable Sales in the Multiple Listing Service

Most of the public is aware that the Multiple Listing Service is a private resource where Real Estate Professionals list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has been able to access some of that information on such sites as Realtor.com, MSN HomeAdvisor, and others.  Once a property is sold and the transaction has closed, the selling price is posted to the listing in the Multiple Listing Service. Over time, it has become a huge database on past sales, containing much more information on individual homes than can be gleaned from the public record. This information is only available to real estate agents who are members of the local Multiple Listing Service.  Your agent will provide you with this data to help determine your offer price.

Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions

The most valuable information would be the most current, of course. A sale last week has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is completed. The information is not available in the public record because no deed has yet been recorded.  Neither is the information available in the Multiple Listing Service. Once a property is sold, it becomes a “pending sale” and all pricing information is removed from the listing. Prices are not posted until it becomes a “closed sale.” This protects the seller in case the transaction falls apart and the property is placed back on the market. It would give an unfair advantage to future potential buyers if they already knew what price the seller had been willing to accept in the past.  However, if a Real Estate Professional has a reason to know the sales price, they can usually find out through professional courtesy. Also, some real estate brokerages post sales information on a transaction board in their office.

Other Factors Influencing Your Offer Price

Gathering and analyzing information from comparable sales helps to establish the range of prices you should consider when making an offer to buy a home. More weight should be given to the most recent sales, but even so, you need to do a bit more analysis before setting upon the price you will offer. That is because you also need to consider the condition of the property, improvements, the current market, and the circumstances behind the seller’s decision to sell.

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Oct 04

The Business Cycle and Buying a Home

The Business Cycle and Buying a Home

Recession and Expansion

There are times when the economy is brisk and everyone feels confident about his or her prospects for the future. As a result, they spend money. People eat out more, buy new cars, and…they buy new homes.  Then, for one reason or another, the economy slows down. Companies lay off employees and consumers are more careful about where they spend money, perhaps saving more than usual. As a result, the economy decelerates even further. If it slows enough, we have a recession.  During such a time, fewer people are buying homes. Even so, some homeowners find themselves in a situation where they must sell. Families grow beyond the capacity of the home, employees get relocated, and some may even find themselves unable to make their mortgage payment – perhaps because of a layoff in the family.

Supply and Demand

When the supply of available houses is greater than the supply of buyers, appreciation may slow and prices may even fall, as happened in the early eighties and the early to mid-nineties.  If you are lucky enough to purchase a home during a slow period, you can be reasonably certain the economy will begin to show strength again. At times, real estate values may even surge drastically. In many regions of the country, this is precisely what occurred in the late eighties and nineties.

Should You Try to “Time the Market”?

One problem with attempting to time your purchase to the business cycle is that no one can accurately predict the future. Another challenge is that interest rates are generally higher during a depressed market and income may not be keeping up. For that reason, fewer people can qualify for a home purchase than in more prosperous times.

Why You Should Not Wait

Plus, this strategy generally works best for first-time buyers. People who already have a home usually need to sell it in order to buy their next one. If a “move-up” buyer wants to buy a home during a depressed market, that means they usually have to sell one during the slow market, too. If a seller wants to sell his home to take advantage of a “hot” market when prices are fairly high, they generally have to buy their next home during that same hot market.  It tends to equal out.  Finally, the business cycle can change over time. Since 1983, we have had two fairly long expansions with only a slight recession in between each. You would not want to wait nine years to buy a home, would you? You could miss out on a substantial amount of appreciation by waiting, and end up paying much higher prices.

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Oct 03

Don’t Buy a Car – or Did You Already Buy One?

Don’t Buy a Car

When an individual’s income starts growing and they manage to set aside some savings, they commonly experience what may be considered an innate instinct of modern civilized mankind.  The desire to spend money.  Since North Americans have a special love affair with the automobile, this becomes a high priority item on the shopping list. Later, other things will be added and one of those will probably be a house.  However, by the time home ownership has become more than a distant and hopeful dream, you may have already bought the car.  It happens all the time, sometimes just before you contact a lender to get pre-qualified for a mortgage.  As part of the interview, you may tell the loan officer your price target. He will ask about your income, your savings and your debts, then give you his opinion. “If only you didn’t have this car payment,” he might begin, “you would certainly qualify for a home loan to buy that house.”

Debt-to-Income Ratios and Car Payments

When determining your ability to qualify for a mortgage, a lender looks at what is called your “debt-to-income” ratio. A debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income (before taxes) that you spend on debt. This will include your monthly housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and homeowner’s association fees, if any. It will also include your monthly consumer debt, including credit cards, student loans, installment debt, and…car payments.

How a New Car Payment Reduces Your Purchase Price

Suppose you earn $5000 a month and you have a car payment of $400. At current interest rates (approximately 8% on a thirty-year fixed rate loan), you would qualify for approximately $55,000 less than if you did not have the car payment.  Even if you feel you can afford the car payment, mortgage companies approve your mortgage based on their guidelines, not yours. Do not get discouraged, however. You should still take the time to get pre-qualified by a lender.  However, if you have not already bought a car, remember one thing. Whenever the thought of buying a car enters your mind, think ahead. Think about buying a home first. Buying a home is a much more important purchase when considering your future financial well being.

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Sep 30

Important Things To Avoid Before Buying a Home

Other Things to Avoid Before Purchasing a Home

Don’t Move Money Around

When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any of your liquid assets. This includes checking accounts, savings accounts, money market funds, certificates of deposit, stock statements, mutual funds, and even your company 401K and retirement accounts.  If you have been moving money between accounts during that time, there may be large deposits and withdrawals in some of them.  The mortgage underwriter (the person who actually approves your loan) will probably require a complete paper trail of all the withdrawals and deposits. You may be required to produce cancelled checks, deposit receipts, and other seemingly inconsequential data, which could get quite tedious.  Perhaps you become exasperated at your lender, but they are only doing their job correctly. To ensure quality control and eliminate potential fraud, it is a requirement on most loans to completely document the source of all funds. Moving your money around, even if you are consolidating your funds to make it “easier,” could make it more difficult for the lender to properly document.  So leave your money where it is until you talk to a loan officer.  Oh…don’t change banks, either.

The Effect of Changing Jobs

For most people, changing employers will not really affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if you are going to be earning more money.  For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to your loan application.

How Changing Jobs Affects Buying a Home

Salaried Employees

If you are a salaried employee who does not earn additional income from commissions, bonuses, or over-time, switching employers should not create a problem. Just make sure to remain in the same line of work.  Hopefully, you will be earning a higher salary, which will help you better qualify for a mortgage.

Hourly Employees

If your income is based on hourly wages and you work a straight forty hours a week without over-time, changing jobs should not create any problems.

Commissioned Employees

If a substantial portion of your income is derived from commissions, you should not change jobs before buying a home. This has to do with how mortgage lenders calculate your income. They average your commissions over the last two years.  Changing employers creates an uncertainty about your future earnings from commissions. There is no track record from which to produce an average. Even if you are selling the same type of product with essentially the same commission structure, the underwriter cannot be certain that past earnings will accurately reflect future earnings.  Changing jobs would negatively impact your ability to buy a home.


If a substantial portion of your income on the new job will come from bonuses, you may want to consider delaying an employment change. Mortgage lenders will rarely consider future bonuses as income unless you have been on the same job for two years and have a track record of receiving those bonuses. Then they will average your bonuses over the last two years in calculating your income.  Changing employers means that you do not have the two-year track record necessary to count bonuses as income.

Part-Time Employees

If you earn an hourly income but rarely work forty hours a week, you should not change jobs. There would be no way to tell how many hours you will work each week on the new job, so no way to accurately calculate your income. If you remain on the old job, the lender can just average your earnings.


Since all employers award overtime hours differently, your overtime income cannot be determined if you change jobs. If you stay on your present job, your lender will give you credit for overtime income. They will determine your overtime earnings over the last two years, then calculate a monthly average.


If you are considering a change to self-employment before buying a new home, don’t do it. Buy the home first.  Lenders like to see a two-year track record of self-employment income when approving a loan. Plus, self-employed individuals tend to include a lot of expenses on the Schedule C of their tax returns, especially in the early years of self-employment. While this minimizes your tax obligation to the IRS, it also minimizes your income to qualify for a home loan.  If you are considering changing your business from a sole proprietorship to a partnership or corporation, you should also delay that until you purchase your new home.

No Major Purchase of Any Kind

Review the article title “Don’t Buy a Car,” and apply it to any major purchase that would create debt of any kind. This includes furniture, appliances, electronic equipment, jewelry, vacations, expensive weddings…  …and automobiles, of course.

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