The Section 8 Housing Act

The Section 8 housing action is more formally referred to as the Housing Choice Voucher Program. It was authorized under Section 8 of the U.S. Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. It’s aimed at procuring housing for low-income households as well as people. The two HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) and the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) have particular Section 8 programs meant to get home vouchers to veterans who are homeless or vulnerable.


Government-backed housing plans go back to the Great Depression of the 1930s. Back then, the issue was a housing crisis. Great numbers of people found themselves without work or a means to afford housing. The government renewed its attempts in the 1960s. Programs at the time were created to help with the construction of low-income home. The 1970s saw a shift toward subsidizing rents rather than building home projects.

Types of Programs

The first 1974 law comprising the Section 8 application comprised three separate sub-programs inside that section, which dealt with brand-new structure of low-income home. They also addressed substantial rehabilitation of such housing as well as getting qualified people into existing habitable home. Later additions to Section 8 comprised the actual voucher program that subsidized rents. It was added into the authorities in 1983. The voucher program is currently the main program within Section 8.

The Voucher Program

Subsidies for rent have always been part of Section 8, and Congress has taken good care to renew them whenever required. Under the program, eligible voucher recipients pay as much as 30% of their income for rent. The rest comes from federal dollars appropriated for these voucher programs. Vouchers can also be handled by municipal public housing authorities, or PHAs. All these PHAs follow regulations issued by national housing agencies like HUD.

Types of Vouchers

Section 8 vouchers come in two different types. The first is reserved to be used in specific apartment complexes managed by PHAs. They are referred to as project-based vouchers. The next are tenant-based, and they can be used anywhere in the private sector the tenant can find a landlord willing to take them. No private landlord is obligated to accept Section 8 vouchers.

Section 8 Asset Test

HUD looks at a Section 8 applicant’s earned income after making a decision of eligibility. The agency looks at bank accounts and any attention from these accounts in arriving at an income figure. This can sometimes increase the applicant’s share of the rent paid to your landlord or apartment complex. HUD also uses a reasonable market rent (FMR) standard. Landlords accepting Section 8 vouchers can not charge more than the FMR to the area.

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How Do I Search Public Records for Home Ownership?

Property transactions are public record, available to anybody needing information on a parcel. Available information includes worth, sales history, square footage, ownership and improvements. The county recorder and the county tax assessor’s offices assert real estate databases. The county recorder’s database includes all listed transactions, such as mortgages and other liens, while the tax assessor keeps a listing of appraised and assessed land values and taxes paid and expected. The tax assessor’s records are generally available online, at no cost, but the recorder database usually must be searched in person.

Visit or call the office of the county tax assessor or visit its site. Give a clerk the property address if you are calling or visiting in person, and ask for the owner’s name. Enter the address at the appropriate search box if you are searching online. The person or entity listed in the tax assessor’s system is usually the property owner, but not always. Look for the database to validate your findings of the recorder.

Input the title supplied by the tax assessor’s office into the”Grantor/Grantee” search box of the county recorder’s system. In case you do not have an owner’s name, search by property address. Look for the list of transactions for the most dated deed.

Open the deed and find the grantee. This is the owner of the property.

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How do I Find an Exclusive Buyer Agent?

An exclusive buyer broker is a real estate agent who functions only for buyers. The concept is to eliminate the prospect of a conflict of interest which may result from a broker representing both the buyer and seller. It is very important to note that typically, the private buyer broker is paid by the vendor’s broker, who collects the full commission from the vendor and shares it with the broker that actually made the sale.

Contact the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), a national organization that sets standards of practice and ethics for exclusive buyer representatives, to get a listing of members who are employed in the area you’re considering moving to.

Contact the local real estate board at town or region you are considering moving to and ask a list of Accredited Buyer Representatives (ABRs). Agents that possess the ABR designation are not necessarily exclusive buyer brokers, but they do possess specialized training in representing buyers and they have completed a number of transactions.

Write a list of interview questions to the prospective brokers. They ought to be ready to have an exclusive relationship with you and not work for the vendor of a home you attempt to buy. Ask about their experience, including how long they have been selling real estate and transactions they have completed in the past year. Whenever you can, find you need to purchase. Also, ask how they will compile listings to show you. There are various sources besides the multiple listing service (MLS). A fantastic buyer agent additionally hunts newspaper classifieds, Craigslist and”for sale by owner” sites for properties not listed in the MLS.

Several agents in the association membership lists from phone or email. The brokers will have questions for you, also. Be honest about where you are in the process of purchasing a home. Inform them whether you are prepared to purchase today or planning to buy in the foreseeable future. They have got mortgage pre-approval will have to know whether you are currently working with another broker, or can show evidence of funds for a money purchase. Explain exactly what you need in a home and how much you are able to pay.

Note dates and the times of your calls and emails, and the brokers for. Cross brokers off your list who don’t respond to email or your voicemail within 24 hours. They might not work hard to keep it, if they don’t work hard to get your company.

Narrow the list of agents according to your impressions of their answers they gave to the questions, and to your queries you were asked by them. Make your decision from this list. Consider if you”clicked” with a single agent particularly, or believed that one was more knowledgeable than the others. If your mind keeps coming back to the same broker, that the right broker for you. If not, list their qualifications and choose the one with the credentials.

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Down Payment Assist for a Mortgage

When you secure a mortgage to purchase a house, your lender will likely ask that you set up 20% of their cost in cash as a deposit. This not only shifts some of the lender’s risk onto you, but also shows an attempt of”good faith” for your lender–if you can save up enough cash to cover the down payment, then you’re dependable enough to afford a mortgage. Unfortunately, millions of Americans may never realize their dream of being a homeowner since the sheer price of a deposit is much too prohibitive. For those who are ready to take on the responsibility of a mortgage, however, who just cannot afford the high cost of a 20 percent down payment, then there are other options.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is the most common kind of down payment assistance for mortgages. With PMI, your lender agrees to give you more than the traditional 80 percent by insuring the remaining percentage for you. This comes at a premium, which typically equals three to six months of your mortgage payment up front. After you secure your mortgage, then you continue paying an extra PMI fee on top of your mortgage payment every month. Once you develop 20 percent equity in your house, your lender will probably drop your PMI.

Piggyback Loans

A”piggyback” loan is a secondary loan secured on top of your principal mortgage loan. Instead of financing the whole cost of your house with one mortgage, you can fasten two loans–one each to cover the deposit and your actual mortgage. The piggyback loan will probably come at a high interest rate (on average, 1.5 to 2.5 percentage points greater ) and last for an average of 10 years, versus the average 30 years to get a traditional mortgage. Nevertheless, your payments toward the piggyback loan are significantly less, as you’re paying back just between 5% and 20% of the cost.

FHA Loan

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) provides government-insured financing for lower-income home buyers. You can procure an FHA loan via any FHA-approved creditor, and the FHA will guarantee your loan to reevaluate some of your lender’s risk at no expense to you. The FHA permits you to borrow up to 96.5% of their total cost of your house, reducing your down payment to as little as 3.5 percent. The property you select does have to satisfy the FHA’s eligibility criteria, however you can borrow up to an extra $35,000 through the FHA to put money into repairs if the house falls below the minimal requirements.

HUD Down Payment Assistance Program

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides additional deposit assistance for home buyers through the Down Payment Support through Secondary Financing Providers (DAP). DAP connects home buyers with secondary lenders, who provide financing to cover some or all of the expenses of your deposit. The concept resembles a piggyback loan, but the prices are lower and you can combine payments with your principal mortgage loan. However, you need to have an FHA-backed mortgage loan to qualify for DAP.

Down Payment Assistance Bond

A deposit assistance bond, also referred to as a DAP bond, is a government-issued grant which covers a part of a house buyer’s deposit. Many states now offer DAP bonds to non – and – middle-income families through their state housing authority. Grants are distributed according to economic need, however certain people –including military service members or law enforcement officers–may be given special consideration. DAP bond recipients can use just the money to cover the down payment on a single-family residence, but they don’t have to pay the bond back. Contact your state housing authority to find out whether your state provides a DAP bond and also to learn more about the app.

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Mortgage Foreclosure Advice

For it can be among the most stressful experiences of their lifetime. Their single biggest investment is in danger of being removed from them. If you face foreclosure, you ought to be aware that there are things you can do until it gets that far. In addition, after in foreclosure, there are things you can do along with people you can speak to so as to ensure your rights are protected during the process.

Talk with Your Bank

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Trade Commission recommend talking to your mortgage lender as soon as you fall behind on your housing payments. HUD urges opening all email and accepting all phone calls from your creditor, especially if your house ends up in foreclosure, because at that point important legal information will be coming your way. As most lenders are willing to assist you work out payment plans that will help you make the mortgage current, but, before foreclosure begins, opening up a dialogue with your creditor can be helpful.

Talk to a Counselor

HUD offers a database of foreclosure counselors that are licensed through a link on its website and trains foreclosure housing advisers nationally. These advisers are certified to provide you advice on a selection of housing problems, including foreclosure. Plus, there are counselors specifically certified to offer advice. The Home Ownership Preservation Society is one association with HUD certificate. HOPS cited a 2009 Urban Institute Study that found that are 60 percent more likely not to lose their property.

Hire a Lawyer

Depending foreclosure is a judicial or nonjudicial process. In California, the majority of foreclosure cases are nonjudicial. Either foreclosure is a process and it can be hard to comprehend. Hiring an attorney can be a valuable asset during the foreclosure process. Your attorney will help make sure your rights are respected and that your creditor follows the principles during the foreclosure process. Check to find out if your local, county or state government offers legal solutions for homeowners in misery.

Determine Your Choices

You might determine that you have more choices than just letting your house, by talking to an attorney or to a housing counselor. Read your whole financing agreement to find out what your creditor can do if you do not make payments. Talk with your lender about repayment choices like forbearance — as you catch up in which payments have been suspended for a time and loan restructuring. See if purchasing the house is an alternative. You could also surrender the house, transferring the deed instead of foreclosure. Lenders will accept short sales, or revenue that don’t pay the whole quantity off. If your foreclosure is due to unpaid bills, job loss or other problems bankruptcy might be an alternative.

Avoid Scams

The FTC warns that there are companies out there willing to make the most of homeowners facing foreclosure. Anyone calling himself a foreclosure prevention specialist and calling you ought to be thoroughly checked out, especially before you provide him any details. He could use that personal information to steal your identity. A clear warning sign is if he asks for money for his or her services. The two HUD and FTC recommend. Another scam includes selling your home to someone who offers to let you rent it, and then buy it back, and then evicts you. Also, some scammers will change what you think is loan paperwork along with the title of your home, tricking you.

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How Often Can a Prime Rate Change?

The prime rate is an integral interest rate that’s published daily from the pages of the”Wall Street Journal,” an authoritative resource for financial news, stock exchange prices and financial statistics. Banks, credit-card companies and other lending institutions use the prime rate as a benchmark for the interest rates they charge clients. As a result, the prime rate is among the most important indicators of the cost of borrowed money.


The prime rate represents a survey of prices charged by lending institutions to their credit-worthy clients. The speed was initially published in 1947, as it stood at 1.75 percent. Since that time, the accumulative average prime rate has attained 9.842 percent. The maximum value was 21.5 percent, attained Dec. 19, 1980.


The”Wall Street Journal” conducts periodic polls of 30 large banks to achieve the”consensus” prime rate. In general, the prime rate changes with all the federal funds rate ascertained by encounters of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Board. The fed funds rate is the rate charged by the Federal Reserve to banks for short term borrowings, and it’s corrected as the market contracts or expands.


FOMC meetings take place every six weeks. If the FOMC decides on a rate increase, the gain in the prime rate published by the”Wall Street Journal” will follow, as the prime rate normally monitors the fed funds rate at 3 percentage points over that speed. This is a guideline that has been used for some time by important U.S. banks.


In August 2010, the prime rate stood at 3.25 per cent, a relatively low amount in its history. The fee is used to determine interest charged on credit cards, for home-equity loans and lines of credit, unsecured loans, car loans and a few adjustable-rate mortgages. Lenders charge a”margin” over and over the prime rate to arrive at the prices they charge customers.


An increasing prime rate makes it more expensive to borrow money and thus more difficult to qualify for a consumer loan or credit card. It also tends to slow company for companies which need to extend credit on a regular basis to their clients. Nevertheless, the prime rate also functions as a control on the growth of consumer debt and a shield against”bubbles,” by which paying goes out of control due to easy borrowing and positive market conditions. The FOMC has an interest in keeping interest rates stable and low so as to encourage companies to invest and consumers to spend, but in addition it increases interest rates once the economy begins growing at a fast pace.

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Guest Picks: Entertaining With Lamp Finials

Lighting is a designer’s best friend. It may make a room feel cozy, romantic or energetic with the twist of a switch. However, function is only part of their allure of proper lighting, as a fantastic lamp should also be a beautiful one. Recently, I have been adding classic finials in addition to all my lamps. They are a perfect finishing touch and come in so many unique shapes and substances: think Lucite, brass, natural and acrylic stone. Hilary Thomas’ colorful collection may be my new favorite, but there are plenty to pick from in this ideabook. — Shannon from I Love Your Own Crazy and Poplin & Queen

Hillary Thomas

Claudia Finial – $40

This Hilary Thomas finial provides a pop.

High Street Market

Brass Asian-Style Lamp Finial – $15

Each time I see this one in a home, I grin. Someone went the extra mile simply to add it.

Furbish Studio

Double Happiness Finial – $12

I would add this little guy to some navy ceramic lamp to get a classic touch.

High Street Market

Brass Pineapple Lamp Finial – $14

Interesting fact: Pineapples were placed on Colonial fenceposts when sailors would come home from sea for a indication of welcome.


Hillary Thomas Designs Lucky Madame Chiang Enchant Lamp Finial – $65

There is a set of brass lamps on the market just begging to get a pretty topper like this one.


1-Inch Cube Finial, Brushed Nickel – $27.99

I would use this one.

Lamps Plus

Greek Key Brushed Nickel Finial – $11.99

A hint of geometric lines may immediately create a modern feel.

High Street Market

Brass Anchor Lamp Finial – $14

Anything nautical motivated always has a spot in my home.

Hillary Thomas

Dorothy Finial – $75

Envision this malachite finial in the conclusion of a brass traverse rod.

Lamps Plus

Solid Brass Polished Urn Lamp Shade Finial – $12.99

Following is a classic urn shape for the traditionalists.

The Home Depot

Cal Lighting Brown Deer Antler Resin Lamp Finial – $11

An antler has its place. I’d love to see it in a masculine office.


B&P Lamp Black Ceramic Finial – $5.44

Black is a bold and edgy option, yet it’s still amazingly refined.

Hillary Thomas

Kiss the Sky Finial – $55

Would you have too much turquoise? I would really like to bring them in a room with coral throw cushions.

Pier 1 Imports

Tortoise Glass Lamp Finial – $16

Tortoiseshell — I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Lamps Plus

Solid Brass Ideogram Table Lamp Finial

This brass finial would appear incredible with a glass lamp.

Hillary Thomas

Blue Velvet Finial – $55

I am not one to have random vivid rocks laying around, yet this finial is a great addition.

Hillary Thomas

Jolly Finial – $55

Even people who can’t commit to bold colors can appreciate a small pop of crimson.

The Home Depot

Mario Industries Asian Design Brass Lamp Finial – $6.97

Hello, Home Depot locate!

Horse & Hound Gallery

Labrador Retriever Lamp Finial, Brass – $18

I have no idea where this would match (maybe a boys’ room?) , but a laboratory finial is cute.

Colors of Light

Solid Polished Brass Laurel Finial – $11

This one includes a colonial vibe to it that makes it perfect for a research.

Next: How to Get Your Own Window Treatment Right

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