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Showing posts from February, 2015

Home is Worth the Sacrifice

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There are many reasons people want a home with the most frequent responses being a place of their own, to raise their family, share with their friends and feel safe and secure.  These are all strong motivations fueling the American Dream of owning your own home.The motivation is so dominant that buyers are willing to make sacrifices to have their dream come true.  According to the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyers and Sellers Survey, 72% of first-time buyers cut spending on luxury or non-essential items.  They also cut spending on entertainment, clothes and even cancelled vacation plans. The value of getting their own home is more important than the immediate gratification of things that are considered less important.  While qualifying guidelines were increased last year, there are still more buyers purchasing homes at near record-low mortgage rates.

Save on Homeowner's Insurance

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Insurance is a way to hedge the risk of a possible loss on an asset that a person or entity cannot afford.  The cost of the coverage is determined by risk and exposure to the insurer and reflected in the premium. Another way to say it is: don’t buy insurance when you can afford the loss.  If you have a mortgage on your home, you must have insurance.  It is probably prudent for most people to have property insurance but certain coverage might be avoided because you can afford the loss if you were to have an occurrence.Call your current agent and review your insurance coverage.  Ask if there are any available discounts whether your property qualifies for now or after certain improvements are made.  Monitored alarm systems, dead bolts, smoke detectors, updated electrical, certain types and ages of roofs among other things may be eligible for individual discounts. Compare the newly revised coverage and premium with other reputable agencies and insurers.  Shopping can be time consumi…

Homeowner Tax Tips

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Even if you’re having a professional help you with your income tax return, you need to provide them with information on the money you spent that might be deductible.  Look at the following list to see if any of these things need a little more investigation to determine if they apply to your situation. If you refinanced your home for the second or subsequent time in 2014, there may be points that can be taken as an interest charge. Compare mortgage interest, property taxes and other eligible itemized deductions to your standard deduction to see which will give you a larger deduction. If you’re paying mortgage insurance premiums with your payment, you may be eligible to deduct them. If you purchased a home in 2014, there may be some deductions found on the HUD-1 form you received at closing. If you purchased a home in 2014 and the seller paid points on your behalf in order to get a mortgage, you may be able to deduct them. If you purchased and installed in 2014…

1/2% Could Make a Big Difference

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Over 50% of homebuyers don’t shop to find the best interest rate for their mortgage.  While a buyer would rarely purchase the first home they look at, they will accept the rate and terms offered by only one lender. While the borrower and the property affect the rate and terms that a lender may offer, it is not to be said that all lenders will offer the same terms and rates to the same buyer.  Credit score, home location, home price and loan amount, down payment, loan term, interest rate type and loan type all affect the interest rate but different lenders can interpret this information differently. Shopping around to compare rate and terms for a mortgage is a reasonable exercise considering that a half percent lesser interest rate could not only lower the payment but the cumulative interest that is paid while that loan is outstanding. Some borrowers don’t shop the mortgage because they are concerned that having their credit checked multiple times could adversely affect their cred…