DEAR BOB: you recently suggested that a potential home buyer contact a real estate agent who would "help find and finance the right home." I am a new real estate agent who would like to learn more about helping buyers finance their home purchases. Please give me finance ideas for home buyers, especially those with little cash. Ron M., Washington.
DEAR RON: You're smart to realize that financing is the key to success in real estate sales. To learn more about realty finance, take a course in real estate finance at your community college or university. Good realty finance books include David Sirota's "Essentials of Real Estate Finance" [Real Estate Eduction Co.] and William Atterberry's "Modern Real Estate Finance" [Grid Publishing], available at libraries and bookstores.
Here are 2o home finance ideas to get you started:  borrow all or part of the down payment unsecured from relatives, friends, or life insurance cash value,  borrow on security of an auto, boat, trailer, stocks, bonds, or other assets,  get the home seller to take back a first or second mortgage,  get a no down payment, VA home loan,  FHA small down payment loan,  5 or 10 percent down payment PMI [private mortage insurance] mortgage,  assume existing mortgage,  take title "subject to" existing mortgage,  lease with option to buy later,  cash down payment to new conventional mortgage,  state veteran's or low income mortgages,  in rural areas, FmHa mortgage,  co-singer on new mortgage,  create mortgage on property already owned,  land contract of sale,  trade property already owned,  wrap-around mortgage,  seat equity for down payment,  raise price, lower down payment, and  second mortgage from credit union or other lender.
DEAR BOB: You are very enthusiastic about homes and investment properties as inflation hedges. While you've been right so far, i'm wondering if you think we are in for a bust in property values soon, say, within the next 12 months. With high mortgage interest rates, how can anyone afford to buy a home today? Jen M., Washington.
DEAR JEN: Your question is often asked. Due to limited supply and strong demand, however, all the indicators point toward continued inflation and continued rising market values for homes and other realty investments.
But today's high mortgage interest rates are slowing the home-buying fever that drove prices up so rapidly in 1978. Until March, home mortgage money was easily available. Then the Federal Home Loan Bank Board cut off the savings associations' 1/4 percent advantage over banks on the money-market Treasury bill certificates. The result was to dry up savings inflows and drive home mortgage interest rates up to record levels.
White some areas are seeing a plateau in home price increases, most are still experiencing value appreciation exceeding the inflation rate. There seems to be no other safe investment than good real estate that keeps pace with or exceeds the inflation rate in value appreciation.
As for your question on how anyone can afford to buy a home today, the answer is that people are stretching their budgets to do so. Many two income families, where husband and wife both have jobs, can easily afford the down payments on a home mortgage even at today's interest rates. One way or another, a family that is motivated to buy a home will find a way to do so.
DEAR BOB: Please give me information how to buy FHA- and VA- forclosed homes. Mrs L.D., Annandale.
Dear mrs. L.D: Contact the nearest district office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the current list of FHA and VA- foreclosed houses in your area. In many towns, however, there are a few such foreclosures because house values have been going up so fast that a defeating owner can sell before foreclosure becomes necessary.
DEAR BOB: I will sell my home in a few months. After pying off the mortgage, my net profit should be about $55,000. Can I buy another home within the 18 month replacement time for about $45,000 and $10,000 in capital improvements and still qualify for profit tax deferral? Beverly g., Bowie.
DEAR BEVERLY: No. Don't make a move until you talk to your tax advisor so you don't make a costly mistake. To qualify for the "residence replacement rule" [Internal Revenue Code Section 1034] to defer paying profit tax, you must buy a principal residence replacement within 18 months before or after the sale costs at least as much as your old home's adjusted sales price [thats gross sales price minus selling expenses]. The amount of your profit and the amount reinvested in the new home are irrelevant. Just the old home's sales price and the new home's purchase cost, including capital improvements added in the replacement period, are important.
DEAR BOB: How many years is the $100,000 home sale tax exemption good for? Mrs. P.D., Laurel.
Dear Mrs. P.D: The $100,000 home sale tax exemption has no expiration date. It is valid until revoked by Congress, of course, onece you use your $100,000 profit tax exemption, you can't use it again.
To qualify you  must 55 or older on the date of transferring title to your principal residence,  must have lived in it at least three of the five years before sale, and  never have used this tax break before. See your tax adviser for further infromation.
DEAR BOB: I sold my former home and bought a condo that cost about $10,000 less the the nest sales price. Can I include in the purchase cost my expenses for carpets and major repairs to reduce my sale profit tax? Norris Y., Alexandria.
DEAR NORRIS: Yes. The costs of capital improvements made within the 18-month "residence replacement rule" time period are includable in the replacement home's cost basis. Your tax adviser has full details.