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Showing posts from January, 2014

Personal Finance Review

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You’ll need to earn $2.00 for every $1.00 you want to spend assuming you pay 50% of your earnings on income tax, social security and Medicare.  On the other hand, you get to keep 100% of every dollar you save on your personal expenses because the taxes have already been paid.Periodically, review your expenditures with the diligence of an exuberant IRS agent on commission.  It’s an exercise that most people don’t feel they have time to do but the rewards make it entirely worthwhile. Get comparative quotes on insurance – car, home, other  Review and compare utility providers  Review plans on cell phones  Review plans on cable TV, satellite for unused channels and packages or receivers  Review available discounts on property taxes  Consider refinancing home – lower rate, shorter term or cash out to payoff higher rate loans  Consider refinancing cars Call credit card companies to ask for a lower rate  Review all of the automatic charges on your credit cards – consider no-fee cards Search …

Interviewing a Mover

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“I’d wish I’d know that before I made a decision.”  If you’ve ever regrettably said this to yourself, having a checklist might have prevented the issue in the first place.  This list of questions can provide you with things to discuss when interviewing a moving company. Fees What is the charge for packing? Does it include boxes? If not, what do they cost and will you deliver them? Is there an additional charge to deliver some items to a storage unit? Insurance How is a damage claim handled? What insurance do you provide and is there a cost? Does the insurance cover items packed by the owner? Can additional insurance be purchased? If items are covered by my Homeowner’s insurance, whose insurance pays first? Unusual Items Can you ship my car(s)? Will they be in the moving van or towed? What are the charges for shipping cars, lawn tractors, etc? What items cannot be shipped? If a shuttle truck is needed because of the location of my house or size of the drive way, …

What Can You Expect?

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The two most frequently quoted constants in life are death and taxes.  Two more things would-be homeowners can expect in the near future are increases in mortgage rates and housing prices.Interest rates have been kept artificially low for several years by the Federal Reserve in an effort to strengthen the economy. Policy is shifting to allow them to seek their own natural level and that will surely result in higher mortgage rates.  Rates on 30 year fixed mortgages are up over 1% from January, 2013. Foreclosure activity is down, new home starts are up and prices have been increasing in most markets for two years.  Most experts agree that the cost of housing is going up. If the price were to go up by 2% and the mortgage rate by 1% while a buyer is “sitting on the fence” making a decision, the payment would go up by almost $175.00 each and every month for the term of the mortgage.  Even if a person can afford to make the higher payments, what could they have done with that extra $175.00 …

What Kind of Showing Was It?

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One of the most frequent calls from homeowners to their agents is about the listing’s inactivity due to the lack of showings.  The homeowner commonly believes that the home is shown only when a buyer walks through the house with an agent.Today’s buyers are more sophisticated than in the past due to the abundance of information available to the public on the Internet.  There are seemingly inexhaustible sites with homes for sale, valuation estimates and virtual tours.  There are extensive mapping sites with satellite images, traffic conditions, entertainment, shopping and other points of interest. There are actually three legitimate types of property showings.  A knowledgeable buyer can view a home for sale online and make a reasonable determination of whether the home will fit their needs.  Occasionally, buyers will drive by a home to get a feel for the home and also the neighborhood which might cause them to eliminate any further examination or consideration. The third type, the physi…