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Underwater Loans In The U.S.


wealthymattersMore than nine million homes in the United States alone are deeply underwater as of Dec 2013. Homeowners living all across the country find that they cannot depend on their homes to retain the value given when originally purchased. Many Americans blame this trend on the recession that left millions of people out of work and thousands of U.S. companies closing. As the housing market fluctuates, it causes changes in the value of various homes.

An underwater mortgage is essentially a home that is worth less than the loan on the home. A mortgage is a natural part of buying a home today. Various lending programs let future homeowners make a small down payment and borrow money to pay for the rest of the balance. Some lenders also give borrowers the right to roll the down payment into the loan itself and pay little to buy the home. Other loans allow borrowers to borrow a larger amount that they need to cover the cost of repairs to the property, new furniture or closing costs. Read more of this post

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Home Loans In The US


wealthymattersHome loans are one of the most common types of loans in the United States today.The US has many home loan options which make home ownership and investing in residential properties easy.In addition to the conventional fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages found world-wide,there are VA Loans,FHA Insured loans and HomePath Mortgages that offer simpler and cheaper ways to purchase residential properties.

Lately refinancing has become a particularly popular option for homeowners in the US, struggling in the face of the economic recession, which has in part caused home pricing to rise despite poor sales in the real estate market. Refinancing helps  lower mortgage payments and allow a person to stay in their home after a financial setback.Refinancing is also an option exercised by savvy real estate investors who want to take advantage of the historically low interest rates in the US and use the bank’s money to grow rich.

When the mortgage balance exceeds the current property value we have an “underwater” mortgage. Refinancing options on such properties are limited because most lenders require some equity in the property ,ideally about 20 percent.However, borrowers can avail of the US government’s Making Home Affordable program(HARP) instead of going for a Short Sale.This program allows qualified borrowers to refinance a loan that is from 105% to as high as 125% of a home’s value.To qualify for HARP,a person must not be on the road to foreclosure.Any delinquent payments in the past 12 months will automatically disqualify a person from eligibility.Second, either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac must own the loan. Read more of this post

The Dhandho Investor


wealthymatters.com

This book is pretty small – just a little over 200 pages.And I love it.I am naturally a bargain hunter and love shopping in sales.I also love getting high quality goods at bargain-basement prices.So It’s small wonder that I am attracted to value investing.The danger of shopping in sales is that a person picks up things they don’t have any use for or items that are not a perfect fit just because they are cheap.Then there is a danger of buying poor quality stuff just because it seems to cost so little.The same applies to buying stocks cheap.Sometimes the whole market is beaten down and all stocks seem cheap, but if I buy stocks of companies I would not normally buy because of their poor returns to investors,just because they are cheap,I am left with the problem of selling them when the market and the stock recovers.This is a problem for me personally as I have a tendency to get married to my stocks.At other times a stock sells for low P/E multiples simply because there is something fundamentally wrong with the company. Stocking up on the shares and hoping for a turn-around is pretty foolish.But I am an optimistic type and I need to force myself to turn away from such situations.Over a period of time I have found ways to control my habits.When the markets are down,I first establish a budget and then try to make a list of likely stocks and arrange them in order of attractiveness depending on Buffett-style criteria and tell myself that I’m to invest over 80% of the budget on only the top 5 of my list.I find this stops me from stocking up on not so great businesses that I might find hard to sell later.Then I have accepted the fact that I am a speculator at heart.I no longer try to fight the urge but try to use the Dhandho Principles that come pretty naturally to me to gain out of my speculative tendencies.This is a book I recommend for all investors like me who like value investing but can’t overcome the urge to speculate.

Here is a round up chapter-wise of what is found in the book:-

Chapter 1

Pabrai starts the book by discussing the term “dhandho“which is a Gujarati word meaning “business”. Gujarat is a western coastal state in India that has served as a hotbed for trade with Asia and Africa. The Patels are a community of particularly entrepreunerial Gujaratis whose entrepreneurial ventures led to them forming a dominant part of the East African economy by the early 1970s. When Asians were thrown out of Uganda in 1972 on the basis of their race, a flurry of Patel immigrants landed in Canada, England and the United States. Read more of this post

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