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Showing posts from November, 2016

It Isn't Final Until It's Funded

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Mortgage approval isn’t final until it’s funded.  Things can change prior to the loan being closed that can affect a pre-approval such as changes in the borrowers’ financial situation or possibly, factors beyond their control like interest rate changes.Good advice to buyers is to do nothing that can affect your credit report until the loan closes. Opening new credit cards, taking on new debt for a car or furniture or changing jobs could affect the lender’s decision if they believe you may no longer be able to repay the loan. The benefits of buyer’s pre-approval are definitive: it saves time, money and removes the uncertainty of knowing whether the buyer is qualified. The direct benefits include: Amount the buyer can borrow - decreases as interest rates riseLooking at “Right” homes - price, size, amenities, locationFind the best loan - rate, term, typeUncover credit issues early - time to cure possible problems Bargaining power - price, terms, & timing Close quicker - verificati…

Gift or Inheritance - Does It Matter?

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A person called into a radio talk program with a situation that was troubling to the caller and disturbing based on the potential tax liability that may have been avoided.The caller’s elderly father had deeded his home to his daughter a few years earlier because in his mind, his daughter was going to get the home eventually and this would be one less thing to be taken care of after his death. The daughter didn’t really care because the father was going to continue to live in the home and take care of it so that it would be no expense to her.Obviously, unknown to either the father or the daughter, transferring the title of a home from one person to another could have significant tax implications. In this case, when the father “gave” the home to his daughter, he also gave her the basis in the home which is basically what he paid for it. If she sells the home in the future, the gain will be the difference in the net sales price and her father’s basis which could be considerably higher…

It's the Principal of the Thing

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Most people think they’ll have a house payment and a car payment for the rest of their lives but it doesn’t have to be with a plan and a little discipline. The plan is to make additional principal contributions to a fixed rate mortgage to shorten the term and save tens of thousands in interest. If a person were to make an additional $100 payment each month applied to principal on a $175,000 mortgage, it would shorten the loan by five years six months. If the person were to make $200 a month additional payments, it would shorten the loan by 9 years. $459 additional payment would shorten it to 15 years.If a person does make a decision to regularly pre-pay their mortgage, it will be their responsibility to verify that the lender is applying the money to the principal each time as opposed to being placed in the reserve account for taxes and insurance.

In today’s market, a savings account pays around 0.5% or less. Even with the low mortgage rates available, there is still a considerab…

A Cost to Consider

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Homeownership, part of the American Dream: a home of your own where you can feel safe, raise your family, share with your friends and enjoy life. The benefits are easily recognizable but maintenance is just as real and should be considered.Property taxes and insurance are two of the largest expenses homeowners have aside from their mortgage interest. But, as any homeowner knows, there will be occasional expenses for repairing toilets, faucets, windows and other things. There are also the significantly larger expenses that arise like replacing a water heater or HVAC unit. And don’t overlook the periodic maintenance like painting or floor coverings. Financial experts suggest that homeowners save one to four percent of the home’s value per year for repairs and maintenance. Two to eight thousand dollars a year may sound like more than you’ll need but the cost of an air conditioning unit can easily be $6,000 and some homes have more than one unit, which hopefully, won’t need to be rep…

Dial Down Risk for Retirement

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There is certainly no shortage of retirement planning strategies available to individuals who actually take the time to consider them. What most financial experts do agree on is that the closer you are to retirement, the less time you have to recover from a loss. For that reason, many people start dialing down their risk factors as their age increases. One way to minimize risk is to invest in things that you know and understand. For the majority of homeowners, their largest asset is the equity in their home which they generally have more familiarity than other types of investments. Buy the home you’d like to retire to today and use it as a rental property. Finance it with a 15 year loan so it will amortize quickly and possibly be paid for at retirement. Continue living in your current home until you’re ready to move into the home you’ve designated at your retirement home which will not create a taxable event. Prior to moving in, you can rehab the home so that it fits your styl…