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The real estate market is still hot, and now, interest rates are going up again. It is more important than ever for those looking at homes to have a substantial down payment ready. (This is particularly true for new home buyers who won’t have proceeds from a house sale to start with.) Not only will this lessen the amount a buyer needs to borrow, but a good down payment makes buyers more attractive to lenders. 

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As we write this, real estate is experiencing a strong seller’s market. Not only is it easy to find a buyer in almost every part of the country, but bidding wars are also common. But before sellers get too excited about their profits, they need to remember that they won’t simply walk away with the sale price minus the balance left to pay on their mortgage. They must also consider seller closing costs. 

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(TNS)—The Fed lowered rates by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday, for the third time this year, in an 8-2 vote. Citing “global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures” in a statement released by the Federal Reserve, policymakers dropped the target range for the federal funds rate to 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent.

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Whether buying or selling a home in St. Louis, finding the best realtor will involve some work. You’ll want to ask people you know for referrals, do some research, and finally, interview the best candidates. (Read Follow These 3 Steps to Find a Real Estate Agent.) Sales statistics and experience are important, but you need to feel confident in your decision on a more personal level, too.

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After the real estate bubble burst in 2008, it seemed like foreclosed houses could be found in almost every neighborhood across the country. The number of foreclosed homes reached an all-time high in 2010 but has steadily decreased each year since. Nevertheless, as long as there have been mortgages, there have been people unable to pay them. Buyers can get a bargain buying a foreclosed home. But if they’re not cautious, they can get more than they bargained for.

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