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How To Improve Your Home For Little Money

May 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Home improvement can be costly. If you are not careful in your home improvement projects, you can actually take away from the value of your home rather than add to it. If you do improvements that prospective buyers see as something they will have to undo, then you lower the value of your home.

If you plan to live in your home for many years, then the ability to recoup your costs does not really matter. If, however, you plan to live in your home for just a short while and then you will need to budget carefully the plan that you have for your home.

One thing that you can do to improve your home on a budget is to paint. If you are able to do this project on your own, you can make a real difference in the appearance of your home and can save a large amount of money. Paint in itself is relatively inexpensive. The project may require that you do some scraping of loose paint and priming to prepare the surface for painting. Be sure to invest in drop cloths and to wipe up any spills immediately.

When choosing paint colors, be sure to keep them in light colors. The prospective buyer of your home not going to be willing to pay as much for the house if every room is Harley Orange. While it may have been your favorite color, all he will see is three to four coats of paint in every room in order to cover up what he sees as a horrid color.

For a flooring improvements, choose neutral colors that will not have to be upgraded by the next homeowner. Choose flooring that is long wearing and this upgrade becomes a great asset to your home. Many of the new laminates will do this job very nicely.

Although the following improvements may have little effect on the resale value of your home, they can add greatly to your comfort and enjoyment of the home.

First, upgrade the insulation to the minimum requirement. While this improvement is not visible, it will do much to add to the comfort of your home. The savings in heating and cooling bills will help you to quickly recover the cost of your investment and may even be enough that you can afford other improvements in time.

A second upgrade that may cost a bit more is to replace older windows with new ones. Older windows allow cold air to enter your home during the winter. They add to the draftiness of many older homes. Replacing those windows with newer vinyl double pane windows can once again save money in heating and cooling.

A home is a large investment. Carefully choosing the improvements you make will help your home to retain its value.

April Kerr owns website Finer Living which has details of garden landscaping pavers, bamboo flooring and other home improvement topics.

What You Need To Know About Fixed Rate Mortgages

May 3rd, 2018 Comments off

For those of you who are new to mortgages or new to the process of applying for a home loan, this article will be a valuable resource to introduce you to the basic fixed rate mortgage. This is one of the easier mortgages to understand and also relatively easy to calculate. A basic understanding of the fixed rate mortgage will help you understand how other mortgage products may differ from the fixed rate, but also help you to ask intelligent questions when speaking with and evaluating a loan officer you may potentially be working with.

The fixed rate mortgage is by far the most common type of mortgage. When new homebuyers begin pricing loans, these are typically where people will start. Most fixed rate mortgages advertised also usually talk about the rate for a 30 year “fixed” rate. When people talk about their mortgage, there is a very good chance that they are referring to their 30 year fixed. A little less common are the adjustable rate mortgages. Of course there are dozens of different mortgage products available based on the needs you have. Interesting that the selling of “money” is basically packaged in different forms just like any other product or service.

The most common fixed rate mortgage is a 30 year mortgage. There are also other options including a 15, 20 and even a 40 year mortgage product. This may change in the future as well, but these are the most typical offers you’ll see when evaluating your options. The longer the mortgage term, the lower your interest rate may be, but you’ll typically pay more in interest over the life of the loan. This is why you’ll see a 15 year mortgage with a higher rate than a 30 year mortgage typically. The payments for a 15 year are higher as well simply because the loan amount may not change and to pay off your home in a shorter period, it will require higher monthly payments. Simple math I know, but better to not assume too much.

One of the main advantages to the fixed rate mortgage is that the rate doesn’t change. This can be great as your payment may stay low for the duration of the loan even if inflation or other financial considerations may change over that same period of time. Some mortgage programs also have a bi-weekly payment option where you’ll pay your mortgage every two weeks. Assuming your monthly mortgage was $2000 per month, this is broken down to about $1000 every two weeks which is nice because it has two benefits, one benefit is that it matches some pay structures, i.e. many companies in the US typically pay your salary every 2 weeks. Of course this also means that instead of 12 payments of $2000 or $24,000 per year, you’ll pay $1,000 every other week which would be 26 payments (52 weeks per year / 2 (every other week)). The total amount of funds that would then contribute to your loan amount would be $26,000 which would pay down your loan more this way or reduce your overall payment amount. Consult your loan officer for details on the bi-weekly payment plan.

With a fixed rate mortgage, at the end of the term, your home will be paid off completely. Several mortgage products have a balloon payment at the end of the term which means you’ll have a larger lump sum, usually a multiple of 10 to 20 times your monthly, or in the event of some interest only products, the principal would be due at the end of only a couple years into the mortgage product which would either require you to pay off the home completely or refinance the balance.

On a typical 30 year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll pay your monthly payment of which a percentage of that amount would go toward the principal and the other percentage goes towards interest. This is done on a sliding scale, so the first years of the mortgage, you’ll be paying more in interest to the bank than paying down your loan. This is as designed by the banks who fund these mortgages. Their expectation is that they get their interest paid to them before you’re “allowed” to use more of your regular monthly payment to go towards the principal. This is all done behind the scenes, but it is interesting to know that you won’t start paying more towards your principal than interest until year 22 of your mortgage. There isn’t anything to prevent you from paying down your mortgage early, however, and may be a very good idea depending on your life situation.

Establishing your first fixed rate mortgage or even refinancing for the 10th time shouldn’t be a complicated process. The key to getting this done is to find a loan officer you can trust who will work with you and educate you as needed so that you understand what you’re paying for. Because this is such a large dollar amount that you’ll typically be paying for a home, there are ways that you can get caught paying more than you should and even small percentage changes over the life of the loan may result in you paying thousands of dollars more in interest. There are a lot of mortgage calculators out there as well you can use to give you some rough estimates.

Did you find this article interesting at all? If so, I have a website that is dedicated to mortgages in Utah that covers not only the basics for the state of Utah, but mortgage information in general as well. You can also review additional information about mortgages from Brian’s other website about Salt Lake City Mortgages.

New Home Buyers 101

April 30th, 2018 Comments off

Buying a new home is an exciting time in ones life. Because it is such a major purchase, you want to make sure that you have the knowledge to make the right decisions. It will make the home buying process much easier and will ensure that you have provided the best home for you and your family.

The following is a list of a number of tips that will help make your new home buying experience a pleasant one:

1. Make a list of what type of home will meet your current and future needs. This can include: the location, size of the property, number of bedrooms, size of the rooms, and proximity to schools, work, parks, stores, and other amenities. This will help you narrow your search. You should consider enlisting the services of a real estate agent who can help you find the right home at the right price.

2. Before you purchase a new home, you should decide if you can afford to take on such a big investment. You will be required to make a down payment. There are now 5% down payment deals available. Remember, the less money down means the higher your monthly mortgage payments. You will also be responsible for fees such as attorney fees, taxes, registration fees, closing costsetc. You also have to make sure you can afford the monthly mortgage repayments. In order to secure a good mortgage, you must make sure you have a good credit history. Check your credit history to see if there are any errors or outstanding loans that should be paid. It is essential that you purchase a home that you can afford. There are online mortgage calculators that will help you determine how much you can afford. It is also recommended that you get pre-approved for a mortgage before you actually start searching for a home. You will then not waste your time looking at homes you cant afford.

3. If you have children or are planning to have children, research the schools in the area where you are interested in living. You want to make sure your children will get a quality education. As well, living in an area with good schools increases the value of a home.

4. Before you make an offer on a home, make sure you hire a building inspector to inspect the home for any problems. An inspector should look at the foundation, plumbing/septic system, the structural integrity of the home, roofetc. The home inspection fee will can range from $300-650 depending on the type of house and its features.

5. It is important to have an attorney represent you for the closing. You will want to make sure that you are protected. .

Purchasing a new home is a big life investment so it is important to make sure that you are familiar with all that goes into the purchase. This will help make the process run much smoother and less stressful allowing you to focus on starting a new life in your very own home.

We commit to high quality services that offers a uniquely designed home that is tailored to your tastes. Ranging from luxurious interiors to fresh exteriors, our service is dedicated to providing a warm home for families and individuals. Asides from home building, home improvement is also highly emphasized. If you are looking for greater detail.

Types of Car Insurance Policies

April 13th, 2018 Comments off

The law requires that anyone who drives a car must have car insurance. Purchasing car insurance involves buying a policy from an insurance provider. The premium you pay depends on a number of factors such as age, gender, and the make, model, and year of the car. When you look for an insurance policy that will provide you with appropriate coverage, it is important to understand the types of car insurance policies that are available.

The most common car insurance policies include:

Liability Coverage: This type of insurance is a must-have for every driver. It provides coverage for accidental physical injury and damage to property caused to another person. Physical injury damages can be pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and rehabilitation. Property damage can be damage caused to another driver’s car. State laws determine how much liability coverage you must purchase. States provide a minimum set coverage that one must have, but most people protect themselves by purchasing more liability, however you can always get more coverage. The law requires liability coverage because most people do not have the money to compensate another person for an accident.

Most insurance companies will provide coverage for a maximum limit as outlined in the insurance policy. The liability coverage limit can be anywhere from $50,000 to $1,000,000. The amount of liability coverage you acquire will determine how much your premium will be. The higher the liability coverage, the higher the premium will be. Most experts recommend coverage of 1, 000,000 to ensure that you are fully protected. It is best to have at least $500,000 or $1,000,000 liability. This will make certain that you will be able to cover all damages and expenses that you may be responsible for paying.

Comprehensive Coverage: This coverage will cover any damage to your car that is not caused by another driver. Examples include fire, theft, (including car parts) weather damage such as hurricanes, floods, hail, ice storm, vandalism, hitting a object such as a deer, etc. Comprehensive Coverage is optional and is usually purchased for vehicles that are worth more than $1000. Deductibles can range from $250, $500, and $1000.

Collision Coverage: This type of coverage covers your car if it is damaged from a collision. For instance, you are covered if you crash into a fence or another car. This policy provides coverage for all damage minus the deductible up to the set maximum limit. It has to be an accident such as a collision caused by slippery roads. Deductibles range from $250, $500, and $1000. You should get this policy if you have an expensive car.

In order to ensure you are fully protected in the event of an accident or another car related mishap, you need to understand the details of each car insurance policy. As well, you must comply with state law regarding the type of insurance that they mandate for all drivers. To avoid unnecessary financial and emotional hardship, choose the policy that best meets all of your needs.

Auto Club Organization serving in the areas of travel, roadside assistance, and Ontario region car insurance

Property Management Help: Finding A Property Management Company

April 2nd, 2018 Comments off

Should you need to hire a professional property management company then the profitability of your property boils down to whether you hire a good or bad company.

If you pick a good property management company, your rental home will make you a good amount of money. If you pick a bad company, you could lose thousands of dollars a year on your rental home.

One of the biggest mistakes owners make is that they just pick a property management company out of the phone book without first doing research on the company.

Watch out for those big “we do it all” real estate firms that span across the country. They only offer property management services because they want to be the first company you think of when you go to sell your home. That’s where they make the money, is on the selling of your home and not the property management side. As a result many of these nationwide companies lose money on their property management divisions because they are run so poorly. It is hardly ever a good idea to go with a property management firm that also sells homes. There has been many accusations that these companies will purposely let your home sit vacant while they hit you with sales pitches about how it is better to just outright sell your home. You want to find a company that specializes exclusively in property management. If possible, you want a company that operates exclusively in your area so much so that they have become experts and specialize only in your local markets.

Check references, particularly the management companys other clients. Make a few phone calls to check references. Do not sign any agreement with the property management company until you know they have a good track record. Now here’s where owners blow it. They contact a property management company on their high up pedastool and they demand to see a list of all the property management’s clients so they can call them for a reference. Don’t do that. Humble yourself. Your home will only make about $50 a month for the property management company. If you are a pain, they will simply tell you to take your business elsewhere. The property management company will not release a list of “all” their clients. Not to you. Not to anyone. That is confidential and internal information. Think about it. Anyone could get a list of clients and then contact those clients and offer a slightly lower management fee and take all their business away. You would be hard pressed to find any business that would be willing to give you a list of “all” their clients. Just chill out. Ask for three references that you can call. Call the references and ask if they work for the property management company or know someone who does. Ask the references how long they have had their properties managed by this company, and just go from there.

Go online and check the company out. Do they have all the necessary licenses to do business in your area? Are they in good standing with the DRE? Most states require a property manager to also have a real estate license if they are dealing with single family homes.

Check the company’s insurance. If they are not insured, stay away from them. The company should have general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and workers’ compensation. Remember, the management company will be collecting deposits and rent so they should have a bond on their employees to protect you in case of employee fraud.

Another big mistake owners make is that they do not ask the right questions when hiring a property management company.

Ask the management company the following questions when you are interviewing them:

1 – Can you show me a list of what management services you provide?

2 – Do you sell homes?

3 – Can you provide a list of exactly when I will receive income checks and reports?

4 – How do you market properties?

5 – How quickly do you, and what is your procedure for, handling maintenance requests from renters?

6 – What is the name of the person who will be managing my property? What are their qualifications? Are they legally licensed? How many properties does this person currently manage?

7 – Can I have three references? Specifically, can I have the contact information for three clients of yours with rental properties that are managed by the same person who will be managing my property and that is similar in type, size, and location to mine?

8 – If maintenance is provided in-house or by an affiliated firm, do you only charge the actual cost of labor and materials without any surcharges, markups, administrative fees, or other such add-ons? Can I opt out of your in-house maintenance division and have repairs done by external companies only?

9 – Do you get volume discounts with your vendors and do you pass on that savings to clients without any markups?

10 – How do you handle late charges? Who gets to keep the late charges? If you keep the late charges, will you come down on my monthly management fee? If I get to keep the late charges, are you charging me a higher monthly management fee?

11 – Do you have insurance on employee errors and theft? Specifically do you have an Errors and Omissions policy that covers at least $500,000? On your general liability policy does it cover at least $2,000,000?

12 – Do you have at least a $500,000 bond and a forgery and alterations insurance policy of $25,000 or more for all your employees?

13 – Do you meet all DRE standards for what is considered acceptable and not acceptable regarding the co-mingling of owners’ funds? How do you keep my rental income separate from John Doe’s rental income? If money is not in my account to pay for a repair, do you contact me and ask that I send you the money or is the money taken from another owner to pay for my repairs until I can pay you. (The answer you want to hear is that the repair is not made until the money is in your account to pay for the repair).

Written by Steve Guy. This article will help you should you choose to hire a professional property management company to manage your rental home. If you are a property owner in California’s Central Valley and want to hire a licensed and professional property management firm, go to Madera property management