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Deal Savers

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You would totally appreciate your mortgage advisor if you knew all that goes into getting a mortgage loan today. There are numerous programs, underwriting guidelines, processing strategies and systems, rate-lock strategies and, last but not least, working with and coordinating the many professionals involved in a deal to...

Mitzpe Ramon: Not Just a Resort Town

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When I mention the name Mitzpe Ramon to most people, the first thought that comes to mind is either the Ramon Crater or the luxurious Beresheet hotel and spa. Undoubtedly, these attractions deserve all their accolades.

Clients who have visited the Beresheet spa, an ultramodern, pampering, five-star resort hotel perched on the lip of the Ramon Crater, cannot stop gushing about their memorable experiences. I have been told that a few days spent relaxing in Beresheet is the perfect antidote to all of life’s stresses.

The other extraordinary attraction in this southern Negev town is the Ramon Crater, known to Israelis as the Machtesh. The Machtesh—a valley surrounded by steep...

Title Insurance

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Title insurance is used to protect homeowners as well as to protect lenders when a mortgage is involved in a purchase. It is also used when a property is refinanced. There are two components of title insurance: the title search and its underwriting. Title insurance protects owners and lenders against property loss or damage due to defects in the title. Examples of defects are fraud, forgery, improperly recorded documents, liens, easements, encroachments, encumbrances, claims of ownership by other persons, and any other items that are specified in the policy.

In the search process, property records are examined in order to verify that the person or people who claim to own the property...

Real Estate Scams

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Real estate scams have been proliferating all over the country, and even the most astute and vigilant among us can fall prey to the scammers. From young people, seeking their first rental in Manhattan, to older folks facing foreclosure—all are potential victims. Never assume that you are too smart or too experienced to fall into a trap: There’s always a new scam and a new twist on an old scam to ensnare the unwary. Here are some commonly occurring scams.

One of the oldest tricks in the book, which still exists because people continue to fall for it, is the fake listing. Often appearing on Craigslist, its genesis is often a legitimate ad, posted on another website by a legitimate...

Is Now the Time to ARM Yourself?

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An Adjustable Rate Mortgage is a perfect solution for borrowers who are interested in saving money with a lower interest rate. In the past, the adjustable rate mortgage was the topic of many articles. Those articles pointed out the negatives, but overlooked the positives. Proper up-front analysis is the key. Some borrowers bought houses they couldn’t afford using exploding ARMs—a 2 percent teaser rate could jump to 8 percent within two years, even if market interest rates didn’t change. Today ARMs are only a small part of the market, but here’s the surprise: Most don’t adjust for five, seven or ten years and can make sense for homeowners with lots of equity if they plan to...

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