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Buying Real Estate Successfully in Phoenix, Arizona


If you want to purchase a home in the Phoenix area, a skillful Phoenix real estate agent can make your goal so much easier to achieve. A knowledgeable Phoenix realtor knows the steps to take to make sure that you are successful in buying Phoenix real estate.

The first thing to do is find a realtor who focuses solely on buying homes. With nothing else to distract him or her, your agent can focus on finding you the best home to meet your needs. You agent should consult with you to determine what you need and want in a home. Then your Phoenix realtor should help you with all of the different loan options that are available to you from your lender, and answer your questions. You will also expect your agent to position your offer for success, and thus he or she should assist in getting your loan pre-approved and obtaining a Loan Status Report, a required report for your Arizona Purchase Contract.


After your agent has determined what kind of house you would like and what the price range is, he or she can then begin to search for the perfect property. New properties are listed daily, and so you will want an agent who is on top of the search and daily checks the new listings, matching them to your desired criteria, in order to focus the search and find your dream home. Your real estate agent should also set up tours for you of prospective properties, and help save you time by previewing properties for you, reporting back to you often.


Finding a perfect home is only half the story. In order to live there, you need an experienced Phoenix realor who knows how to negotiate so that you can obtain the property. You need someone with a clear understanding of the Phoenix home market in the area where you want to buy, and can use this information to come up with a successful offer on the home. Your agent will then negotiate the offer with the seller. You want someone with your best interests in mind when it comes to this important stage in home buying, and an experienced agent you can trust is crucial.


Once your offer has been accepted, you want an agent who still stays in the game, because there is a lot that has to happen before closing. You want a realtor who will be there to make sure all of the inspections and repairs get done properly, and that the paperwork with the lender and the title company is proceeding smoothly, so that your interests are protected all the way through to closing and even beyond. A good realtor means successful home buying.

Domain Name Appraisals: How Valuable is Your Domain Name?


Fifteen years ago, your assets might have included your home, your beach house and even your office building, but not we’re talking about Internet real estate. Millions of people have registered domain names, many of which are growing in value every day. Just how valuable is your domain name? And how do you get a domain name appraisal?

Just because you have a valuable domain name doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to profit from it in the future. For one thing, we don’t know how the landscape of the Internet will change over the next decade or two, and for another, what’s valuable now might not be worth pennies in just six months. So don’t count on domain name purchases to make you rich, but guard your Internet real estate just in case. It might also be a good idea to get your domain name appraised every once in a while.


The first thing that is considered when appraising your domain name is the extension. A .com domain name is going to be decidedly more valuable than a domain name with a .net or .biz extension. Some people contend that .org and .net extensions are just as valuable as .com, but you’ll automatically make more money selling a .com name.


The next thing that helps determine the appraisal of your domain name is the commercial value of the name itself. For example, a domain name like is going to be more commercially relevant than In the first example, the domain name is specific but can also be used by a wide variety of owners. In the second example, the domain wouldn’t make much sense unless someone named Steve was running and operating it.


The commercial aspect of your domain name appraisal should also involve the commercial appeal of the name. How many people are searching for the subject matter of your website each month? For instance, far more people search for information on weddings each day than on plumbing or Bermuda grass. Knowing this, a domain name having to do with weddings will be instantly more valuable than one about buying, selling or growing grass. It’s just common sense.


Another factor in domain name appraisals is the length of the domain name. It is much easier to remember a website with the URL than it is to remember However, length should not be sacrificed for logic, as a domain name that doesn’t make sense isn’t worth it. You might be able to get fairly easily, but it won’t be valuable because the name doesn’t make sense. The same goes for domains with numbers; they are significantly less valuable than domains without numbers.


Hyphenation is another factor that you should consider when determining the value of your domain name. is going to fetch far more money than, simply because most people can’t remember the hyphen and will wind up at a competitor’s site.


Knowing this, then, how do you find out how valuable your domain name really is? One way is to put it up for auction and see how high the bids actually get. This is dangerous, however, because if you decide to auction your domain name, you’ll usually be bound to selling it to the highest bidder, even if no one wants to pay more than $20. Another way is to use one of the numerous domain name appraisal sites on the Internet. Here are a few examples:







You can usually get an estimated domain name appraisal for free, but if you want a scientific value, you’ll need to pay anywhere from $20 to $200. You might be surprised how much your domain is offered, however, which is definitely a plus., for example, is estimated to be valued at more than $833,000 by

Could You Have a House Loan Modification After Bankruptcy?


The newest real estate foreclosure trend was the reason why millions of American home owners scrambled for extra inexpensive terms for mortgage loans . Whether it is an increasing adjustable rate, failure of equity, diminished earnings, or simply a bad method to lend cash, people will need revising of loans. Sad to say , that there are only few people who capable to accomplish the loans using the usual method of refinancing the mortgage loan .


House loan modification occurs the mortgage company consents to switch the terms in agreement with demand of the debtor . Most of loan modifications come about once the borrower desires a decrease in payment and the minimization and loss division from the lender accept to the conditions . Loans modification turned out to be an important tool employed to avoid foreclosures .


Bankruptcy is an essential lawful action filed every time a customer will not be capable of give his/her monthly amortization. All civil procedures contrary to the defaulter while in insolvency is formally stopped by declaring bankruptcy . As stated from the Bankruptcy Law, lenders should suspend any law suit from the consumer which entails foreclosures. But the lender has still the alternative of filing exemption from instinctive stay. When the request is awarded the mortgage lender is approved to continue using the property foreclosures act.


Bankruptcy does not continuously delay or stop foreclosure. It does not essentially permit the homeowner to stay in possession of the house until they pay the debts payable for the lender. However, in most of cases, bankruptcy will deter the foreclosure.


Delinquency with your home loan can not be prevented particularly you suffer economic crisis in your life. The foreclosure break out has formed a notable power for homeowners considering that lending institutions do not desire for more houses. Liquidity started to be a serious matter with bank facilities; thus they are giving and settling for house loan modifications with lesser costs for homeowners. When you have filed bankruptcy, the lending bank will help you get the home loan modification and will also be given lower monthly obligations .


Do not get in despair after bankruptcy because home loan continue to be probable. Just try to find the best possible bank or any home loan company that can assist you that line of hope. Mortgage modification after bankruptcy is actually possible because there are plenty of finance companies that can help you with your problem .

Writing a Business Plan Free to Develop Real Estate Investing Success


Writing a business plan free is the first step in developing a successful real estate investing business. A variety of business plan tools are available at no cost via the Internet. Some focus specifically on the real estate industry while other programs provide templates that can be customized to suit the requirements of your business.

Writing a business plan free allows real estate investors the opportunity to establish business objectives. One of the primary objectives of any business plan is to develop a roadmap for success.


Strategic planning helps investors establish goals and develop a plan of action to achieve those goals. Real estate investors uncertain of their course can utilize strategy planning software to help determine the most profitable niche.


Most real estate software includes questionnaires about various types of real estate investments. Answering these questions can help investors determine if they are best suited for retail or commercial investments such as rental properties, wholesaling or house flipping.


Business plan software helps business owners stay focused on requirements of the business. For example, a startup company has different needs than an established enterprise.


Developing a real estate investing business plan requires time and commitment. This is of particular importance when establishing a plan to obtain startup capital or financing for expansion.


The average business plan consists of 20 to 30 written pages and includes financial projection charts and graphs. Most plans focus on seven topics including:


  1. The Executive Summary – The summary is a crucial element of any business plan. It is the first thing lenders, investors and potential business partners will review. The executive summary needs to be concise, while summarizing the overall plan. This section should include attention-grabbing information which entices the reader to review the remainder of the plan.


  1. Mission Statement – This section is reserved for presenting the focus of the business, what it stands for, the target market, and what sets this business apart from other real estate investing companies.


  1. Products and Services – Real estate investors should include detailed explanations of products and services offered. If you buy houses in a niche market, explain how these houses are purchased and the benefits offered to tenants or home buyers. If you specialize in helping homeowners facing hardships such as foreclosure or short sales, explain how your business solves their problem.


  1. Market Analysis – This section focuses on present and future real estate trends and should describe how the business will capitalize on those trends. Graphs and charts can be included to emphasize market analysis.


  1. Strategy and Implementation – Use this section to explain investment strategies and steps required to achieve them.


  1. Management Team – Whether your real estate business will be established as a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation or limited liability corporation, it is important to include a resume of each management team member; even if you are the only manager. Include each management team member’s qualifications, experience, and duties they will perform.


  1. Financial Projections – Since real estate is an unpredictable market, making financial projections can be challenging. Use information provided in previous sections to project future financials. If the business plan is used to obtain financing, include sales projections for a minimum of three years.


Writing a business plan can seem like a daunting task. Experts suggest working on one section at a time to make writing the plan more manageable. Real estate business plans are intended to provide insight for creating and expanding your business. They are not written in stone and should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure you stay on track.

Interest Rates: Home Equity Lines of Credit No Longer Simple


Not long ago economists were recommending that homeowners should tap their equity to buy stocks. This is not a very good practice because if you risked your house before the dotcom crash you may have lost your home. For most everyone our home is our biggest cash reserve. It is like piggy bank and dipping into made financial sense when interest rates were at historic lows and home values were appreciating at double digit rates. This appreciation refilled the piggy bank. Now the market is soft and interest rates are up. With that being said is there any reason to dip into home equity?

Home equity lines of credit or HELOC is no longer cheap money. Rates may drop this year but recently the interest rate on this type of loan has been going up. At the avg. rate of 8.7% the interest only monthly payment on a $100,000 dollar HELOC loan is $725 vs. $387 when rates hit their lowest point almost 3 years ago.


You may end up owing more than you own. Lenders have made it possible for you to borrow 100% of your homes value. For example, during the housing boom home buyers that were stretching to afford a home financed the down payment with a HELOC. If you do this today and prices fall, your home loan could add up to more than what your home is worth. What happens if you have to sell for some reason? For starters you will have to pay a realtor 6% unless you are one yourself or a FSBO (for sale by owner). Then you will have to pay the difference out of pocket.


During the housing boom, homeowners financed luxurious upgrades with HELOC loans. Borrowers were confident that the run-up in their home’s value would outstrip the cost of upgrades. Now that appreciation has returned to normal or single digit appreciation you may not recoup everything you put into your home. You’re paying nearly 9% to make an investment that is not a sure thing.


Even though these facts are present you may want to tap your equity for the right reasons. It is simple to do and interest on any loan that is as much as $100,000 is tax deductible. If you are during renovations on a home you plan on staying in for a while or indefinitely then a HELOC loan is good. If you want to costs of high interest credit cards then again a HELOC isn’t bad.


Don’t be pressured by a lender or mortgage broker who says that waiting to take out a loan or line of credit will hinder you from borrowing as much.


Be a smart shopper. You can eliminate rate worries by locking in a fixed rate. Rates on old fashioned home equity loans are lower than what HELOC rates are today; 8.1% on average.

If you prefer the flexibility of a HELOC then take advantage of all competition among lenders. If you get HELOC payments debited from your checking account then this can lower payments by lowering the interest rate by half to a full percentage point.



First Person: The Pros and Cons of ‘Strategic Foreclosure’


*Note: This was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Do you have a real estate story that you’d like to share? Sign up with the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own finance articles.

“Strategic foreclosure” is a term you’re likely to hear a lot about in the coming months. If reports are true that housing prices will continue to fall throughout the year, chances are homeowners will elect to walk away from their underwater mortgage even if they have enough money to pay loan installments.


Strategic foreclosure has been a hot topic of conversation within the real estate networks I participate in. It’s a controversial subject and responsible for plenty of forum flame wars. Some investors feel it is a brilliant financial strategy. Others think it is financial suicide, immoral, and unethical.


Until recently, strategic default has been used primarily by homeowners and investors with stellar credit who are fully capable of paying their mortgage. Instead of continuing to pay on real estate that is no longer worth the paper it’s written on they choose to stop making payments and force the bank to provide options. Banks aren’t willing to work with homeowners who can afford their payments. You can’t just call up the bank and say, “Hey, my house is worth $50,000 less than I owe you. Will you write that off and reduce my payments?” Instead, you have to stop paying before the bank will negotiate.


Many of the real estate investors I know are using this strategy to force banks into short sales, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or mortgage principal reduction. This can be a risky proposition, so those who elect to go down this path need to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.


While it may seem logical to voluntarily default on an underwater mortgage, take time to calculate the true costs. If it works and the bank offers a foreclosure prevention strategy that either allows you to short sale, return it using deed in lieu, or reduce the principal balance it might be a smart move. However, if the bank calls your bluff and commences with foreclosure it will tarnish your credit for quite some time. Anyone who has engaged in credit repair will tell you it’s a painfully slow process to boost FICO scores. Not only will you be unable to buy a house for at least a few years, you’ll pay through the nose when you do qualify for credit.


Lenders assess interest rates based on credit scores. The lower the score, the higher the interest. FICO scores can plummet by 100 points or more once foreclosure is reported to credit bureaus. Chances are insurance premiums will rise. Interest rates on credit cards will go up and credit limits reduced. It might be challenging to find a landlord willing to rent unless you pay first, last, and security deposit.


Subprime lending is a major player in the foreclosure fiasco, so banks have tightened lending criteria. In fact, a mortgage standards reform proposal is in the works that will make qualifying for a home loan even more difficult in the near future. While reduced FICO scores might not seem like an overwhelming challenge, they can become a mountain if your mortgage lender holds you responsible for monetary deficiencies. Most banks require homeowners to pay the difference between their loan balance and sale price. If you owe $200,000 and the house sells at auction for $170,000 you might be holding the bag for thirty grand.


When banks issue deficiency judgments they can take action to collect the debt. Usually this in the form of garnished wages. At minimum, the judgment remains on credit reports for up to 10 years after the debt is paid. Judgments can reduce credit scores that won’t rebound until removed.


A final consideration of strategic default is that of morals. Even when it makes perfect sense to go forward, most homeowners feel an ethical obligation to make good on their promise. They understood when they bought the property it carried risk. So, they are willing to ride it out and hope the market eventually turns around.


Only you can decide if strategic foreclosure is in your best interest. It may provide the mortgage relief required, but not without financial consequences. If you can afford the payments, you’ll have to search your moral database to decide if you can walk away guilt-free.


More from this contributor:

Is the Las Vegas Real Estate Market the Greatest Sin of All?

Improper Foreclosure Could Cripple Major Banks

ForeclosureGate: The Fed Investigates Wrongful Foreclosure


How to Reach Chinese Investors in Canada & United States?


Chinese speaking investors are the fastest growing investor communities in Canada  amp; United States. Increasing number of companies such as fund managers, real estate companies and mining companies are interested in reaching these communities.


You can observe this by looking at how many financial services companies are adding a Chinese language website as a way to attract customers. This ranges from HSBC, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada to organizations like Toronto Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.


How do you reach Chinese investors in these markets?


Newspapers ‘” The main challenge for newspapers is duration. Advertisements can only last for a very short period of time, but advertorials can sometimes generate good level of interest on particular products.


Banners ‘” It may work sometimes, but usually only have limited exposure period, it is good for branding, but may not be the best way to promote certain investment opportunities.


Google Ad word ‘” Google Adword did not work well in the Chinese market, but in the English market.


Articles Marketing ‘” This is definitely the most active web marketing technique, we send out regular company updates, articles and this has generated significant number of responses; you can reach Chinese investors by posting on various Chinese language websites and forums based in North America.


Blogs ‘” This is also very cost-effective, I now write daily or at least weekly diaries ‘” and publish them on Chinese website, this has generated consistent traffic ‘” you may not get instant hits, but it will build up loyal subscribers over time. If you combine with Blog marketing, you can post articles on related financial blogs, and add comments on financial blogs. We had implemented this for some mutual funds and IPOs, and it has increased their traffic by more than 10 times in some cases.


Videos and Audios ‘” These are also very effective ways especially if you are conducting webinars or specific courses like investment strategies. One way to maximize this tool is to upload them on popular Chinese language news websites. You should also produce videos  amp; audios in Chinese language instead of having them in English.

Stanley NC Real Estate and Homes

For sale

Prior to the famous California gold rush, Stanley, North Carolina was populated with these seekers of quick fortune. Gold was discovered in a creek that feeds the Catawba River and the rush was on. These miners where the first to claim Stanley, NC properties in hopes of striking it rich. The gathering of these residents began the small Stanley’s Creek Community. The coming of the railroad cemented the settlers upon their Stanley real estate. With the rails comes prosperity. Despite the fact that the gold has “played out”, 3000 residents still reside in Stanley, NC homes.

Stanley, North Carolina homes for sale are still rich with history and stories of the past. One such event that placed Stanley on the map happened when France sent a famous botanist, Andre Michaux, to the area during the late 1700’s. During Michaux’s repeated visits he discovered and named the large leafed Magnolia tree, which has the largest leaves and flowers of any native Magnolia tree in North America. The leaves reach three feet long and one foot wide, and the flowers can be 18 inches in diameter. While searching through Stanley, NC homes for sale, ask if you have one of these rare beauties in your yard!


Stanley, North Carolina real estate was also home to the first man to fly an airplane at supersonic speed. Hubert Henry Hoover was the first to pilot the prototype Bell X-1 supersonic airplane, before Chuck Yeager was awarded with this achievement. Another famous moment in Stanley history came when a young girl was televised having open-heart surgery – in 1960! A Charlotte television station was experimenting with the early concept of reality TV and filmed and aired the procedure. Stanley, NC homes have been the residences of some amazing people. These and other stories can be experienced at the Brevard Station Museum where a collection of Stanley artifacts, photos and memorabilia are housed.


This small town in the southwestern part of the state has a varied geography of rolling hills typical of the Piedmont of North Carolina. Your Stanley real estate agent can match you with just the setting you are looking for from the available Stanley, NC listings. If you enjoy living in town and walking to the library or the café for lunch, there are Stanley houses that fit the bill. If you would like to try your hand at farming or gardening the fertile soil on the outskirts, Stanley homes for sale have this option. Regardless of your choice, you are sure to feel welcome in this friendly community rich with the history of its past.

Hickory NC Real Estate and Homes


The wood of the grand hickory tree is prized for its strength and flexibility. It has been the choice of wood for centuries in the making of tool handles, bows, wheel spokes and sporting equipment. It the premier choice for burning in fireplaces and wood stoves due to its high energy content, and is the favorite flavoring for smoking food. What has this to do with Hickory, North Carolina, you ask? The parallels are clear! This town is one of great strength of character and flexibility of spirit. The residents of Hickory properties display versatility and adaptability in their homes and community. They apply “high energy” toward the preservation and celebration of the Hickory real estate.

The remarkable and attractive town of Hickory, NC real estate is a feast for the eyes of those desiring the beauty of historic preservation. There are structures and landscapes dating back to the 1700’s. There are Empire, Federal and Victorian style homes standing as proudly today as they did over a hundred years ago. Contact your Hickory, NC real estate agent about touring the Waldensian Trail of Faith fortress, Murray’s Mill, Quaker Meadows and Bunker Hill Covered Bridge. The latter is the only remaining covered bridge in the world with the General Herman Haupt truss design. There is a very active Historical Association that is always looking for volunteers!


Among the Hickory, North Carolina homes in 1944, a miracle occurred. The deadly disease of polio had found its way into the town, and escalated to one of worse outbreaks ever recorded. The Hickory residents demonstrated their strength of character by building, staffing and equipping a children’s hospital in the short space of 54 hours! The residents occupying Hickory properties did not hide in their homes – they faced the problem head on with the community spirit that stills resides in the town today.


Interestingly, the wood found in Hickory (the town) plays an important role in the commerce. For centuries, the finest furniture makers and cabinetmakers have resided in Hickory, NC homes. One of the oldest and most respected furniture makers in the country, founded in 1902, still operates there today. The Hickory, North Carolina region produces an astounding 60% of the furniture made in the US. Also, 40% of the fiber optic cable production for the US comes from this region. From practical uses to artistic design, Hickory, NC homes for sale offer you the chance to be a part of this amazing town!

From Homeless to Homeowner: Buying Real Estate in Marietta, GA

Real estate

The first Molotov cocktail exploded into the neighbor’s front yard. Two gray figures swept across a ditch behind the house and disappeared into the thick smoke as the sky turned black. Two more yards had burst into flames. I ducked back into my car. People were screaming as the day turned to night-black darkness. War had started.

Pregnant and scared, I did not want this to be my daughter’s life. I wanted out. My fiance and I had been living in a rental house that we were renovating and house-sitting for a local landlord that we both worked for on our spare time in return for free living space. It was a great location for us to live in and it was great security for his expensive construction materials, but some of our neighbors really hated each other, and the situation was growing worse with each passing day.


My fiance and I fled to a friend’s apartment. She had recently lost her job and needed to take in boarders to help pay the bills, and we needed a safe haven. We stayed in her apartment while I worked and my fiance sifted through the local real estate listings and worked with a local real estate agent who was also a trusted friend of ours.


The first stumbling block was the real estate market itself. I was buying cheap real estate in some of the hottest markets in the country; the Marietta and Atlanta real estate markets were brutal to navigate because some houses were on the market for less than two hours before being sold. We would also mention our finds to local mortgage brokers during the financing process only to find the houses snapped up the next day. Sometimes we would inspect a house on my day off only to discover that it had gone under contract that very morning at 6 am or even earlier. We went through at least twenty of these frustrations. I learned not to disclose the address to anyone other than my own trusted real estate agent until the property is officially under contract.


Several mortgage brokers we visited had their own preferred real estate agents in the Marietta and Atlanta areas who would then try to sell us their properties, all of them more expensive than I could afford. It took us at least two months to find someone who we could work with. The hard part was finding someone who would not try to poach our real estate finds out to their own friends and family. Cheap Marietta and Atlanta houses were increasingly hard to find as time passed on. The baby was due in mid-December, and it was September. The clock was ticking.


Another hindrance was our credit and financial statements – I had barely acceptable credit scores while his was poor, and we both had almost no money in the bank. So it was determined that I was to get the loan and we would work on getting a zero down loan while enforcing Georgia’s custom that the seller pay closing costs. It was October. I went to the doctor, who determined that my official due date was December 23.


We both were looking at potential properties, inspecting them, and going over contracts. More houses disappeared the days that we looked at them. Things were looking grim. A plague of roaches took over our friend’s apartment and her son was causing problems. Her son had broken our fax machine in a fit of anger at having us living in ‘his’ living room. We fled back to our landlord friend’s property because things had quieted down in the neighborhood and the conflicts had stopped. We felt that we were finally in a safe place again.


It was November, and our friend had stumbled upon a great one-story house that she did not want to buy. It was priced below market value by at least thirty thousand dollars and the price was something I could afford. We ordered inspections and had our real estate agent produce a contract. We offered several thousand less than what the house was priced and required that the seller pay closing costs. We hoped for the best and waited for the response. Meanwhile, I went to work and told my co-workers to wish me the best of luck – my American Dream finally seemed to be within reach.


The seller accepted our offer, and closing was set for the last week in January. But things took a turn for the worse; people were burning garbage off a waterway near our renovating house, and a cat died underneath the house, causing a terrible stench. A hole that we had cut in the concrete in the garage to repair some piping had become an entryway for rats. One of them leaped at my fiance and snapped its jaw shut, catching on his pants leg. I watched as my fiance beat it away and ran from a large group of running rats that had exited the garage. We spent several days and nights living out of my car. I was determined not to have to go back to our friend’s apartment until the cockroaches were gone, but our patience was wearing thin, and the weather was getting cold. We went back to the apartment.


It was now December and we were in the process of securing financing. The company, not named, suddenly required more proof of my income. I called the personnel department of my work and had them send out more copies of my W-2 and income statements to a local PO Box of ours. We went to my bank and requested more statements to fax to the financing company. I took up some of my computer tools and fixed our fax machine. We were faxing documents and securing quotes on loans.


Things seemed to go well, except the roaches were getting to be a problem. In the middle of the night, I woke up to a large,one inch long, black roach scurrying up the inside of my right leg. I woke up later, early in the morning and slapped another huge roach off my face. My patience was wearing thin again, but we had no place to stay, as rents were rising in all the apartments because of the increase tenants available from foreclosures.


I continued to go to work, nervous about my due date. It was the second week of December. I stood in the office at my desk and turned to a co-worker and announced that something was leaking. I went to the restroom to take care of the ‘problem’ and my water broke as I sat on the toilet. Approximately thirteen hours later, my daughter was born in a hospital room full of cheering people. My parents arrived at the hospital and offered to let my fiance and I stay at their house. I quickly agreed.


My daughter and I were discharged from the hospital. My mom picked us up and the arguments started almost immediately upon our arrival ‘home.’ The third day that we were there, my fiance was ordered to leave and my parents then tried to convince me to cancel the purchase of the house. I refused, and left my parents’ house with the new baby.


My fiance took us over to our friend’s apartment. Our stay there lasted two days – her son was upset that we were there with our daughter. So we were ordered to leave and our things were thrown out onto the street. We spent a tense two days out in the winter’s cold, living out of the car. The only decent place we could think of was at one of the landlord friend’s empty houses, but there were no working utilities. So we parked the car at the driveway and slept in the warm car, bundled together in heavy blankets that we pulled out of a storage unit we rented for our things as we waited for Closing Day.


A mean neighbor called the police on us in the middle of the night, and the police officer on dispatch to our location asked us to leave. We started calling on all of our friends to find a place to stay. One person agreed to take us in. Our friend lives out in the countryside in a rented double-wide trailer with his wife and three children. Our daughter finally had a warm place to sleep at night. I returned to work from maternity leave in mid-January.


Closing Day approached, and we continued to work with the financing company. We had been told that our note would be a zero-down loan with 6 percent interest. Twelve hours before the closing was scheduled, the Federal Reserve Banks declared a nationwide immediate end to zero-down loans. Three percent down was suddenly required. We asked our families for the money. My fiance was able to come up with most of the money and my grandparents helped me out with the rest of what was needed.


The seller and I went into a local real estate office and signed a mountain of documents. They consisted of the contract and copies, finance documents and copies, HUD statements and copies, and various legal documents written up by a Marietta real estate attorney. I hugged my real estate agent and thanked her. After it was all said and done, a few pictures were taken and we left the office to get started on moving everything into our new home.


As a first-time buyer, I never cease to wonder how we coped with rats, roaches, a fire, evictions, and all the other stresses that we were forced to endure. My co-workers will never find a better story to re-tell. Even though I bought the house in January, I consider my success to be a Christmas-time miracle.


So many things could have stopped us. We had nothing but our faith. In retrospect, buying real estate in Marietta, GA has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was worth it, though, because my children will have a wonderful place to live and are free of the violence that plagued our old neighborhood.


From homeless to homeowner, I am a success and I invite  amp; encourage anyone else to try to succeed as well.