Your guide to the HUD-1 settlement statement

Read the missing manual to the 3-page form you receive when you buy, sell or refinance.

By Marcie Geffner of Bankrate.com

A pile of paperwork thuds onto the table at the closing of any home sale or refinance. One of the key documents is the HUD-1 (PDF), a government-mandated settlement statement that dissects the costs of the deal. It also assures borrowers that they are receiving the loan upon which they agreed.

The form’s name refers to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which introduced its current version in January 2010. (Bing: What is a Federal Housing Administration loan?)… Continue reading

August home-maintenance checklist

Fend off pests outdoors, pamper lawns, keep drains flowing, clean grout and maintain water heaters this month.

By Marilyn Lewis of MSN Real Estate

Remove pest magnets
There are many reasons – fire protection, air circulation, drainage, attractiveness and safety — to keep the outside walls of your home clear and free of debris. One more compelling reason is that piles and stacks of tools, lumber, ladders, yard waste and toys create a haven for spiders, rats, mice and wood-boring insects. Take an hour to circle your home outside, removing anything touching the siding. Donate, discard or store what you’ve… Continue reading

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