Volunteer FAQ Editor Needed

gwannouncementsNovember 8, 2010

We are looking for someone to help create an FAQ for this forum. While compiling information should be a group effort, one person would be charged with pulling it together into useful FAQs. This could mean a new document OR just pointing to helpful posts that are already on the forum. A good example of a helpful FAQ can be found here: Winter Sowing FAQ.

If you have a desire to make this forum even better, have good writing skills and work well with others, please reply to this thread or send us an email --Letters to Garden Web.

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dave_donhoff

I'd be a lousy compiler.... but I'm willing to launch the 1st response with a beginning skeleton of FAQs (sans answers... just to get the ball rolling);

BUYING A HOME:
Why use a Realtor® Can't I save money by DIY?
If I buy w/o a Realtor® how do I get the seller to reduce their price?
How can I be sure of the best price/value of a home?
Should I buy the biggest home I can afford? Why, or why not?
How can I shop for a home most effectively?
What is the purpose of a Listing Agent Realtor®?
What is the purpose of a Selling Agent (Buyer's) Realtor®?
How do I find the BEST Realtor®
How should I negotiate with the Realtors®?
How should I negotiate with the sellers?
How much earnest money is appropriate?
What is a lease-option contract? Land contract? Other seller financing?
What are inspections? Surveys? Easements?
Can I dispute or negotiate property taxes? How?
How should I deal with the seller after they have moved out?

FINANCING A HOME PURCHASE:
How can I figure out what the bank will lend to me?
How can I figure out what I can afford?
How can I get the best rates in the market at no costs?
What's the best kind of mortgage to use?
Should I raid my retirement account for down payment?
Pre-Approval vs Pre-Qualification; what's the difference?
Appraisal vs Assessment; what's the difference?
Retail bank versus Mortgage Broker; what's the difference?
How do I find the best loan officer?
If I can pay cash, why should I use a mortgage?
What are normal closing costs?
How do avoid paying closing costs?
What are legitimate line items on closing costs?
What does an underwriter do? What does a processor do?
What is escrow? What is Title Search? Title Insurance?
What is Mortgage Insurance?
How can I avoid Mortgage Insurance?
What is tax servicing?
What is reconveyance?
Can I use gift money for down payments? From whom? How much?
Can a seller lend me money or gift me money from the sale as well?
What is seller financing?
Can I borrow from a credit card for my down payment (I have zero APR credit cards ;~)
Can my spouse be on the loan but not on title? Or vice versa?
Can we change that later on, after closing? How?
If I have good credit, and her credit is lousy, can we borrow with just my credit?

OPTIMIZING, REBALANCING, or REFINANCING HOME EQUITY:
Should I raid my retirement money to pay off my mortgage?
Should I do a cashout refinance to build my retirement accounts?
Should I pay extra money each month, or bi-weekly, to accelerate my mortgage?
Should I refinance to a shorter amortization loan? Which... 10 year, 15 year, 20 year?
Should I buy a lower rate by paying points?
Should I reduce my closing costs by taking rebate for a higher rate?
What affect does mortgage interest tax deductibility really play?
How does a rate lock work? When should I lock?
What is a HELOC?
What is the differences between Fixed Rate and Adjustable mortgages?
Which is better... when... for what?
What is a Good Faith Estimate? How do I read it, understand it, benefit from it?
How come mortgage rates don't drop when the Fed announces rate drops (and vice versa)?

SELLING A HOME:
When should I put the home on the market?
Should I stage it or no?
Should I DIY, use a flat fee listing, or full service Realtor®?
Should I replace carpets/paint/etc. or offer buyer's allowance so they can choose their preferences?
If I paint, what colors? Carpet?
How do I handle a lowlife cheeseball neighbor?
Should I be present for showing? Or scarce?
Should I use air freshners, fresh bread, cookies, flowers... or clean/neutral smell?
How should I deal with lowball offers? Isn't that insulting? (grrrr!!!)

OK... there's a starter... I am sure the crew can double or triple the size of the questions... and then we could begin digging in to answer them! ;~)

Cheers,
Dave Donhoff
Leverage Planner

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 11:38PM
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ncrealestateguy

How much does the position pay?

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:31AM
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cordovamom

Volunteer usually means unpaid.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 7:53AM
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Gina_W

Where's TriciaE? She would be good to fill in a lot of those, Dave. And don't we have some realtors around here?

"lowlife cheeseball neighbor" = LOL!!!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 4:31PM
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ncrealestateguy

People can search the forum for FAQs. Most people come to forums to discuss... not to get directed to one person's compilation of answers.
I must be missing something.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 4:04PM
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classicalone

I think lots of people come here to find an answer to a specific question. Then many stay to discuss. a FAQ would be great on this and many other forums here.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 5:03AM
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dave_donhoff

ncreguy,

MANY brand new visitors get a bit intimidated by the free flow of the community (you have to admit, those of us who are old hands can be extremely comfortable & sometimes a little "strong" in our correspondence ;~)

Newbies often like to search FAQs to figure out what they actually WANT to ask... and at the same time get more of a flavor for what the community is actually like.

Having a FAQ is good. Finding a way to keep it relatively updated is better. Using the search function for dynamic answers is best (but requires a really functional search feature, which is not always the case.)

Cheers,
Dave Donhoff
Leverage Planner

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:11PM
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Billl

The best FAQ's tend to be short and too the point. They also should be fact-based and not opinions.

eg A FAQ should have definitions and examples of fixed rate vs adjustable rate mortgages. A discussion of the relative merits and suitability of each is best left to discussion threads.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 1:45PM
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ncrealestateguy

Dave, Bill's response was what I was getting at exactly. He just explained it better than I did.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 4:24PM
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