Tim Houghten

Freelance Writer & Mortgage Expert

With over 11 years of experience in the real estate and mortgage industries, Tim brings a unique perspective to his writing gained from hands on experience and knowledge of many facets of the lending business. Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, a banker from Michigan, Tim launched his career in mortgage lending in 2000. Within a year he opened his own brokerage in South Florida, eventually expanding to multiple branches throughout the state. As the cracks appeared in the housing bubble, Tim received his Certified Mortgage Advice and Practice certification in the UK and became instrumental in pioneering international mortgage financing for overseas buyers in over 52 countries as well as harnessing the power of cloud computing for companies seeking enhanced and more profitable business models. In addition to writing for leading real estate portal RealEstate.com, Tim enjoys consulting for real estate and mortgage related businesses all over the world - from Australia to Dubai and the U.S. In his writing Tim aims to bring real value to all readers, which cuts through many of the misconceptions and misinformation out there today so that they can make truly informed choices of their own.

income based apartments

There has been a lot of buzz about multifamily properties recently between agents urging owners to sell while the market is ripe and investment firms promoting them as the best option for more sophisticated investors. Is this a great time to invest in multifamily housing, are income based apartments the best option, and what are the real pros and cons? . . .

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home hurricane safety inspections

When you buy a home, have a professional home inspection performed. As part of this inspection, the inspector can alert you to items that could pose issues if a hurricane comes your way. If it has been awhile since you moved in, then you may want to get a new inspection to alert you to any pending threats or deferred maintenance, which could eventually leave your home vulnerable to . . .

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usda home loans

While the USDA Rural Development Department offers a direct mortgage loan, they also offer a guaranteed loan, backed by the U.S. government, similar to FHA or VA loans. Originally designed to help rural Americans realize the dream of homeownership, these mortgages can also be used to finance a wide array of properties from single-family homes to multifamily properties and . . .

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tax and credit implications of short sale

Is this really the ultra-savvy financial move it is made out to be, or are real estate agents and foreclosure rescue firms glossing over the ugly tax and credit implications of a short sale? If you have already taken some hits to your credit score from late mortgage or credit card payments in the last couple of years, all is not lost. It is still wise to do everything in your power to minimize . . .

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financing new construction homes

It’s an incredible time to get a sweet deal on a brand new house, but are there any good loans for new home construction left, and where will you find the best options? Building a dream home on a dream lot overlooking the ocean or with a spectacular mountain view may be everyone’s fantasy, but you had better check out your financing options before you break out the shovel. . . .

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credit unions and home loans

With many banks losing their credibility by the day, and loans continuing to evaporate, could a local credit union be the answer for finding a great deal on your next home loan? Credit unions are similar to banks in that they accept deposits, offer checking and savings accounts and provide credit for a wide range of needs including auto loans and home loans. . . .

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how to compare lenders

Shopping for a home loan but not sure who to trust or how to make sure you are getting a good deal? One of the biggest misconceptions borrowers have when it comes to how to compare lenders is that the loan with the lowest advertised rate is always the best choice. There are three major problems with this assumption: . . .

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truth about foreclosures

Whether you own a home and think you can just stop paying your mortgage and escape foreclosure for the next three years without consequences or are hoping to buy a foreclosed home and make off like a bandit with tens of thousands in profits like you see on reality TV shows, you could be in for a rather unpleasant wake-up call! . . .

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what does buying a house on contingency mean

Is your offer to buy a home missing critical contingencies which could cost you your deposit? Is accepting an offer with contingencies a bad move as a seller? Should buyers even bother looking at homes marked as having contingent contracts on them? When it comes to real estate contracts for buying or selling a home, . . .

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good faith estimate

A Good Faith Estimate is one of the most important yet confusing mortgage documents buyers and those refinancing their homes will encounter. They may also be one of the most powerful negotiating tools you have on your side to hook the best deal on a home loan. But, is there any reason to have good faith that you will wind up with the same terms you are quoted at the closing table? . . .

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