Real Estate and Housing http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/4810/all en-US 9 Things Sellers Should Watch Out for During Escrow http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-sellers-should-watch-out-for-during-escrow <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-things-sellers-should-watch-out-for-during-escrow" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-505598422.jpg" alt="making it through escrow" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When selling real estate, such as a home or condo, you'll have to go through escrow &mdash; a process in which a third party holds your property and the buyer's funds until both you and buyer meet your contractual obligations.</p> <p>While waiting for your home to close can feel like forever (average escrow time ranges from 30 to 40 days, depending on the state and type of sale), escrow is a necessary process to make sure that your buyer is capable of making payments and your property is thoroughly inspected. Here are some key things you should do to make sure that your escrow period goes smoothly.</p> <h2>1. Fine tune your property's description</h2> <p>When you receive a first offer from a buyer, you'll notice that the offer will include a clause with a description of your property. It's best practice to add to the description, &quot;Exact legal description to follow in escrow.&quot; This is to cover the possibility that some material changes are found during the escrow process and to set the expectation that such changes could happen. For example, an escrow officer may uncover clerical or filing errors that could affect the deed or survey of your property. Once the full legal description of your property is set by your escrow company, the company will include that lengthy description in the title report.</p> <h2>2. Limit additional prorations and closing adjustments</h2> <p>During escrow, you should continue paying all obligations related to your property, such as mortgage payments, insurance premiums, taxes, and homeowner's dues. However, your costs will be prorated once you close, usually based on a 30-day month. (The terms of the proration are usually spelled out in the purchase contract.) For example, if you were to close your sale on the ninth of the month, you would be responsible for the first nine days of the month and you would receive a refund for the other 21 days in your final payment.</p> <p>Watch out if a buyer sneaks the words &quot;any other acceptable to buyer&quot; into the list of prorations and closing adjustments. This would open the door for a buyer to include expenses that aren't really your responsibility, such as the installation of a central air conditioning unit or keyless entry system not discussed prior to sale. If you see the phrase, &quot;any other acceptable to buyer,&quot; include an instruction in your counteroffer to delete that description and replace with &quot;none.&quot;</p> <h2>3. Keep the definition of your title objective</h2> <p>In your offer, you'll find a section that describes all aspects regarding the title of your property. In there, a clause will state that you agree to convey your property to the buyer free and clear of all liens and encumbrances save for some exceptions, such as an easement (somebody having the legal right to cross your property without owning it) or a rule from a homeowner's association.</p> <p>Under this clause, again look out for a buyer including &quot;any other acceptable to buyer&quot; in the list of exceptions, which could cause delays in escrow. It's best to delete those words and replace them with &quot;exceptions of record.&quot; Examples of exceptions of record are the discovery that a third party, such as a mortgage lender or the federal government, have a monetary claim to your property or a neighbor has invaded your property without you realizing (such as with a misplaced fence). This way, title exceptions will be set objectively and not be subject to opinions.</p> <h2>4. Tighten time frames for buyer's obligations</h2> <p>During escrow, it may seem that the seller has a long list of obligations to meet. In reality, the buyer also has several obligations, such as acting in good faith to obtain a mortgage loan, if applicable; delivering an approval letter of the mortgage; and providing actual payment.</p> <p>Ask your agent what time frames are appropriate for a buyer to complete these and other obligations. Use those benchmarks to evaluate the number of days presented by your buyer to complete those tasks. Depending on your scheduled closing date, you'll often find that those time frames can be shortened.</p> <h2>5. Shorten time for review of seller's disclosure</h2> <p>As part of the escrow, you'll have to fully and accurately disclose in writing to your buyer any fact, defect, or condition that would be expected to measurably affect the value of your property. Some examples include water damage to a wooden floor, a nasty carpet stain, or termite damage. The rule of thumb is that the more you disclose, the better. It demonstrates that you're acting in good faith and accurately describing your property.</p> <p>Since you put so much time and effort into this long list of disclosures, you want your buyer to review it and commit to it within a short period of time. Talk with your agent about what is an appropriate review time for the seller's disclosure in your local housing market.</p> <h2>6. Budget for buyer's contingencies<strong> </strong></h2> <p>During the inspection, a buyer will go beyond the items that you disclosed and will also focus on his or her own checklist. Here are some examples of items that your buyer could be on the lookout for:</p> <ul> <li>Installation of smoke detectors.</li> <li>Inspection of moisture in a bathroom, kitchen, or other room.</li> <li>Proper grounding of electrical outlets.</li> <li>Installation of a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) near a bathroom sink.</li> <li>Replacement of broken faceplates at outlets.</li> </ul> <p>Plan ahead for such expenses and build a cushion in the original listing price and counteroffer price, if applicable, to cover for such contingencies. While you want to sell your property sooner rather than later, you also want to make sure that you settle on a price high enough to cover these and all other expenses involved in the sale. Most real estate agents can show you a list of preferred contractors who can provide you quotes at reasonable prices.</p> <h2>7. Take out clauses to deliver existing warranties and plans</h2> <p>In the spirit of knowing what they're really getting themselves into, a buyer may include a clause to bind you to submit at closing all warranty documents covering improvements of the property, instruction booklets for included appliances, original blueprints of architectural or engineering drawings, and other types of documents.</p> <p>Save yourself a headache and mark such clauses as &quot;not applicable.&quot; When you're in the process of emptying your home, chances are you won't be able to find those documents or will misplace them. Don't commit to delivering those documents in writing, but feel free to provide them if they're readily available.</p> <h2>8. Limit scope of last-minute cleanings</h2> <p>When you got your property showing-ready, you probably spent big bucks in getting carpets professionally shampooed, windows professionally cleaned, and bathrooms scrubbed down. Keep all receipts for those expenses and don't budge at requests to repeat cleaning services a couple of days before closing. As long as you've done a good job to maintain the cleanliness of your home, especially if you already moved out before listing, there's no real reason to do a deep cleaning again.</p> <h2>9. Double check for addendums</h2> <p>In addition to combing through the contract, you'll also want to read through any addendums made by the buyer that could replace the rules of the contract in case of a conflict. Here are three addendums to watch out for:</p> <ul> <li>Request to remedy unpermitted work: In this scenario, a buyer would ask you to get permits for any renovations completed without one. You shouldn't agree to this type of addendum because there are many instances in which you can complete renovations without a permit. Depending on homeowner's association bylaws, some renovations may not require a permit at all, such as the installation of a bathroom sink or replacement of kitchen cabinets. Other type of work completed before a bylaw being introduced may be exempt of a requirement, such as noise proofing of a wooden floor.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Concession: Reject clauses that allow the buyer to submit a repair or credit request in writing. While the buyer has the right to inspect your property in different ways, you should be the one deciding on how to procure acceptable ways to comply with the buyer's requests.</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Timeline contingency: The longer the escrow process lasts, the greater the chance for a sale to fall through. Delete in its entirety any timeline addenda requesting if a deadline falls on a weekend or federal or state holiday that it be moved to the next business day.</li> </ul> <p>Escrow is the final stretch of a home sale. Keep a positive attitude and stay in touch with your escrow officer and agent. You got this!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-sellers-should-watch-out-for-during-escrow">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast">6 Tips to Sell Your Condo Fast</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-home-sale-could-fall-through">5 Reasons a Home Sale Could Fall Through</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/youre-ready-to-make-an-offer-on-a-house-now-what">You&#039;re Ready to Make an Offer on a House: Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buyers clauses contingencies escrow expenses home ownership inspections real estate agents selling a home Mon, 13 Nov 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Damian Davila 2051607 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Ask for a CLUE Report Before Buying a Home http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-ask-for-a-clue-report-before-buying-a-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-ask-for-a-clue-report-before-buying-a-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/real_estate_agent_showing_house_to_a_couple.jpg" alt="Real estate agent showing house to a couple" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That renovated Victorian home looks like the perfect fit for your family. But even though it may <em>look</em> like your dream home, how do you know there aren't expensive, hidden problems lurking beneath the surface?</p> <p>This is where a CLUE report comes in.</p> <p>The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, database lists insurance claims on a property for the last seven years. Most home insurers participate in the database, reporting claims that homeowners file for everything from water damage, to fire loss, to break-ins.</p> <p>If a CLUE report indicates a chronic or repeat problem, that's a red flag. If you buy that home, and the owners didn't do anything to resolve the problem, you&rsquo;ll be the one paying for future repairs or filing future insurance claims. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/23-hidden-costs-of-buying-an-old-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">23 Hidden Costs of Buying an Old House</a>)</p> <h2>How a CLUE report works</h2> <p>When homeowners file an insurance claim, most insurers report that claim to the CLUE database. The CLUE report lists the dates when claims were made, the type of loss that a home suffered, and the amount that the insurance company paid out. The CLUE report also lists when insurers deny homeowners' claims.</p> <p>All claim information, though, drops off a CLUE report after seven years.</p> <p>Some CLUE reports will be blank. That can happen if homeowners haven't filed any claims in seven years or if the owners' insurance company is one of the few that doesn't report information to the CLUE database.</p> <p>Homeowners can get a free CLUE report for their residence once a year from database company LexisNexis. The easiest way to do this is by <a href="https://personalreports.lexisnexis.com/fact_act_disclosure.jsp" target="_blank">ordering the report online</a>. Consumers can order CLUE reports for their homes, their cars, or both. Those ordering a report for the first time must open a new account with LexisNexis to access their documents.</p> <p>You can also order reports by mail or by phone at 1-866-312-8076.</p> <h2>The catch</h2> <p>For homebuyers, there is a catch: They can only order CLUE reports on the properties they already own. They can't order a report for a residence they are considering buying.</p> <p>Buyers must ask the current owners of the properties they want to buy to order the CLUE reports and share the documents with them. Of course, owners don't have to provide this information. Those who have filed plenty of insurance claims, especially if these claims were for a chronic problem, might not be eager to share their CLUE reports.</p> <p>Buyers, though, might get a sense of relief if they do request CLUE reports and homeowners are happy to provide them. This is one piece of evidence that owners aren't hiding anything.</p> <h2>The benefits of a CLUE report</h2> <p>Homebuyers should carefully search a CLUE report for indications of a recurring problem that could make living in the home a financial struggle.</p> <p>For instance, if a CLUE report on a particular property lists five burglaries in the last seven years, that's a sign that a home could need an alarm system. It might also mean that you don't want to live in that neighborhood.</p> <p>If a homeowner is making frequent claims for water in the basement, that might be another warning sign. Unless the homeowners did something to resolve the issue &mdash; such as waterproofing &mdash; you might not want to invest in a home with a basement that suffers frequent water damage.</p> <p>Insurance claims, though, don't always mean bad news. Maybe the owners of a home filed a claim for a roof that was damaged in a severe hailstorm. If the insurance company paid out for a new roof, that's proof that you won't need to invest in a new roof of your own for several years.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-you-should-ask-for-a-clue-report-before-buying-a-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520You%2520Should%2520Ask%2520for%2520a%2520CLUE%2520Report%2520Before%2520Buying%2520a%2520Home.jpg&amp;description=Why%20You%20Should%20Ask%20for%20a%20CLUE%20Report%20Before%20Buying%20a%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Why%20You%20Should%20Ask%20for%20a%20CLUE%20Report%20Before%20Buying%20a%20Home.jpg" alt="Why You Should Ask for a CLUE Report Before Buying a Home" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-ask-for-a-clue-report-before-buying-a-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-pros-and-cons-of-paying-cash-for-a-house">The Pros and Cons of Paying Cash for a House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a home claims clue report Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange damages homeowners insurance new homeowners Mon, 06 Nov 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Dan Rafter 2045807 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Tips to Sell Your Condo Fast http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/real_estate_agent_with_couple_in_luxury_home.jpg" alt="Real estate agent with couple in luxury home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This year is turning out to be a great market for home and condo owners. Despite the consistent rise in home prices across the nation (prices saw a 5.8 percent increase in 2017), buyers are still rushing to take advantage of the lowest mortgage rates in history.</p> <p>If you have been thinking about selling your condo, now may be the one of the best times. Take it from me; I was able to get the right offer for my apartment in just 21 days. Here are the key strategies to keep in mind when selling your condo.</p> <h2>1. Review the DOM range for comparable condos</h2> <p>Short for &quot;days-on-market,&quot; DOM measure the days that a real estate property is on the market before a seller accepts an offer from a buyer, or the agreement between real estate broker and seller ends. Search online for real estate agents specializing in your building and look for a listing of the units that have been sold and are currently in escrow. That list will include the DOM for each unit.</p> <p>Look at comparable condos to yours (similar square footage, floor location, and type of unit) to determine a reasonable time frame for your condo to sell. The definition of<em> fast sale</em> varies from property to property, but this range will provide you a better benchmark.</p> <h2>2. Decide what improvements are worthwhile</h2> <p>It takes money to make money. Before officially listing your condo, you'll need to prep it. Depending on the condition of your unit, it may just need a fresh coat of paint, or it may need a total makeover. There are several ways that you can go about deciding how much money to put into renovations.</p> <p>First, attend open houses of comparable units, also known as &quot;comps,&quot; currently listed in your building and review the listing pictures of comps currently in escrow. This will give you a sense of what caught the eyes of buyers and what type of inventory you're competing against. Put yourself in the eyes of potential buyers and think of improvements that will make your unit stand out from the competition or compensate for less desirable features (perhaps there's no ocean view, but your unit is the only one with new cabinets).</p> <p>Second, review the <a href="http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2017/" target="_blank">2017 Remodeling Cost vs. Value report</a> from the National Association of Realtors to find out the average value that a renovation project adds to properties in your region. In 2017, a minor kitchen remodel recouped a national average of 80.2 percent of its cost while a bathroom addition only recouped 53.9 percent. Choose projects that don't break your budget and have a higher chance of boosting your asking price. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-are-pricey-home-upgrades-really-worth?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Much Are Pricey Home Upgrades Really Worth?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Gather documentation and review any HOA rules</h2> <p>The more you know about your condo, the more prepared you'll be to address questions from buyers. For example, the presence of asbestos in the popcorn ceilings in older buildings can be more common than you think. However, your building's homeowner association (HOA) may have already done a study to find out the percentage of actual asbestos in the ceiling. If the survey reveals that the actual percentage of asbestos in the ceiling falls within acceptable standards, you don't necessarily have to remove it and can include the survey in your disclosure statement to the buyer.</p> <p>Also, HOA rules can help you determine what improvements are worthwhile. Let's imagine that you have a wooden floor with partial water damage due to an open window during a storm. You're trying to decide whether to replace the floor entirely, lay down additional flooring on top, or leave the floor as is. Depending on the rules of your building, you may or may not be required to also soundproof your wood floor, which can add hundreds to thousands to your quote. Always check with your HOA before starting any work on your unit.</p> <h2>4. Look for ways to minimize listing costs</h2> <p>Skipping the standard real estate agent's commission of 5 to 6 percent sounds like an awesome idea in theory. While pocketing an extra $15,000 to $18,000 on a $300,000 condo is enticing, make sure to understand just how much easier a real estate agent can make the selling process. Even worse, you may dramatically reduce the number of potential buyers by going the &quot;for sale by owner&quot; (FSBO) route. Many buyer's agents won't show your property to their clients at all or strongly discourage those clients from making an offer, citing the risks of closing without a professional representing you.</p> <p>Still, there are plenty of ways that you can save on listing costs while working with a real estate agent.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Ask if the commission is negotiable. Don't assume that a 6 percent commission is the default. With the rise of low-fee real estate brokerages, such as Redfin charging only a 1 to 1.5 percent listing fee, some agents are more open to negotiation in some markets.</p> </li> <li> <p>Stage your home yourself. According to Realtor.com, a staged property sells an average 88 percent faster and for 20 percent more than one that hasn't been staged. But professional staging can be expensive: Realtor.com estimates an initial design consultation with a professional stager ranges from $300 to $600, and actual staging ranges from $500 to $600 per month per room. Staging is one area in which going DIY can help you keep costs down. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro</a>)</p> </li> <li> <p>Your real estate agent can be a useful resource to shop around for contractors for small fixes. In case a buyer were to ask for proper grounding of electrical outlets, replacement of broken faceplates, or other type of work, your agent may be able to hire a contractor at a much lower rate than one you'd find on your own.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>5. Screen the clauses in your buyer's initial offer</h2> <p>Receiving your first offer is very exciting! Still, take a step back and thoroughly review the clauses included in that buyer's offer. Here are some things to keep an eye on. (See also: 9 Things Sellers Should Watch Out During Escrow)</p> <ul> <li> <p>&quot;Acceptable to buyer&quot; prorations and closing adjustments. If you were to submit a counteroffer, request to delete such verbiage from the offer. &quot;Acceptable to buyer&quot; adjustments are subjective and can open the door for a buyer to include unnecessary items or requests.</p> </li> <li> <p>Tighten the time frames for any buyer's obligations. The longer that an escrow process takes, the higher the chance of the sale not going through. So, shorten review times, such as review of seller's disclosure and inspection after completing buyer's contingencies requests, whenever possible.</p> </li> <li> <p>Watch out for additional addendums. Here's where knowing your HOA rules comes in handy. Depending on when certain work was completed on your unit, some work may not have required a permit or certain additional requirements. Going back to the example of the wooden floor, if the floor was installed before the year in which the soundproofing requirement went into effect, you wouldn't have to remedy the situation. Pay close attention to addendums requesting to remedy unpermitted work or allowing the buyer to submit a repair or credit request for repairs.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>6. Understand your BATNA</h2> <p>Short for Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement, BATNA is a key concept in any negotiation. Here's why: This is the price point at which you can't do better than accepting your buyer's offer. When listing your home, you'll have to decide on the initial price. Most of the time, you want that first price to be above the lowest price that you'll accept for your condo. That way, you'll be more willing to lower the price to make a sale happen.</p> <p>Pricing your home too close or exactly at your BATNA will work against you because you won't have any wiggle room to work with a buyer. Unless you're in a red-hot seller's market, you can't take an all-or-nothing approach to your condo sale. Would you be willing to go down $1,000 in price to sell your condo today, or stick to your guns and wait an extra three months? Once your condo has been on the market for a few months, your agent may ask you to lower the price. Knowing your BATNA will help you negotiate your condo sale more efficiently and potentially lower the DOM of your unit.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Tips%2520to%2520Sell%2520Your%2520Condo%2520Fast.jpg&amp;description=6%20Tips%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Condo%20Fast"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Tips%20to%20Sell%20Your%20Condo%20Fast.jpg" alt="6 Tips to Sell Your Condo Fast" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/damian-davila">Damian Davila</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-to-sell-your-condo-fast">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-sellers-should-watch-out-for-during-escrow">9 Things Sellers Should Watch Out for During Escrow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-questions-real-estate-agents-hear-most-often">8 Questions Real Estate Agents Hear Most Often</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homebuying-questions-youre-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Homebuying Questions You&#039;re Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments clauses condos escrow homeowners association listing costs real estate agents renovations repairs selling a home Wed, 01 Nov 2017 08:30:09 +0000 Damian Davila 2045381 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Waterfront Property http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-before-buying-waterfront-property <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-need-to-know-before-buying-waterfront-property" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/holiday_on_beach.jpg" alt="Holiday on beach" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people, picturing their dream home &mdash; maybe a two-story Cape Cod on the shores of a lake, or a small ranch overlooking the ocean &mdash; involves a stunning waterfront view. They dream of long summer days spent swimming, fishing, surfing, or just relaxing on the shore, all a short distance from their doorstep.</p> <p>If you're one of these people, you should be careful before taking the plunge into buying waterfront property. These properties come with a unique set of challenges you must prepare for. Here are six questions to ask yourself before buying any home on the water.</p> <h2>1. Do you need flood insurance?</h2> <p>Water is pretty to look at from the comfort of your front porch. It's not quite as enjoyable when it's swamping your basement or pouring into your backyard. Before you purchase that waterfront property, find out if your potential new home sits in a flood zone. And start investigating flood insurance.</p> <p>Flood insurance, made available through the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program, protects you if those lake or ocean waters flood your property. How much you'll pay will vary, but you can expect to spend about $700 a year for this protection.</p> <p>You might not like that extra expense. But a single flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars' worth of damages to your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-flood-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. What can you build?</h2> <p>Part of the fun of owning waterfront property is, of course, enjoying all that water. You might want to build a pier, boathouse, or dock along your shoreline. Be aware, though, that many municipalities impose a list of regulations that homeowners must follow before building out into the water.</p> <p>Before building that pier or dock, you'll almost certainly need a permit. In some areas, you might not only have to follow regulations set up by the local municipality, but also rules from the county, state, or in the most heavily regulated areas, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.</p> <p>Before plunking down your dollars to buy that lakefront or beach home, do your research on what you can and can't build along your shoreline.</p> <h2>3. Are you responsible for maintaining a bulkhead?</h2> <p>Many waterfront properties are protected by a bulkhead, which is a barrier wall &mdash; often made out of rock and stones &mdash; that separates homes and property from the water. Depending on your community, the care of this bulkhead might be heavily regulated.</p> <p>The rules in some areas will state that homeowners are responsible for maintaining their bulkheads. This can be pricey. Before buying your waterfront home, it makes sense to hire a specialist to inspect your bulkhead. A specialist can tell you if your bulkhead will need expensive repairs and how much it might cost you to maintain this barrier wall each year.</p> <h2>4. What improvements can you make?</h2> <p>Maybe you want to convert that waterfront ranch home into a two-story with expansive views of the water. You better make sure you can actually do this before buying it.</p> <p>Many communities have strict restrictions on what improvements you can make to a waterfront home. You might not be able to build past a certain height, use certain building materials, or build as close to the shoreline as you might like. There are usually sound reasons for these restrictions. Other property owners, for instance, don't want you to build a three-story home that would block their view of the lake or ocean.</p> <p>Before you buy, make sure the dreams you have for your waterfront property are actually allowed.</p> <h2>5. What can you do on the water?</h2> <p>Local regulations can again play a role in what you're allowed to do on the water. You might dream of zipping around on a jet ski, but local regulations might not allow these water vehicles on your lake. Maybe the lake isn't clean enough to swim in, or the water isn't deep enough for your boat. Don't buy waterfront property only to learn that what you bought it for isn't a possibility.</p> <h2>6. Will your new home be part of a homeowners' association?</h2> <p>Many waterfront homes are part of homeowners' associations, or HOAs. In an HOA, board members are elected to oversee a cluster or neighborhood of homes and impose certain restrictions.</p> <p>These rules can severely curtail any changes you plan to make to your property. An HOA might vote, for instance, that you can't use a certain color when painting your home, even if you think that color would be perfect for your property. An HOA might forbid certain types of plants outside homes in the association. They might even specify exactly how tall the grass can grow on your property. Don't buy a home within an HOA if you're not ready to abide by its rules.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-things-you-need-to-know-before-buying-waterfront-property&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Things%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520Before%2520Buying%2520Waterfront%2520Property.jpg&amp;description=6%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20Waterfront%20Property"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Things%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20Before%20Buying%20Waterfront%20Property.jpg" alt="6 Things You Need to Know Before Buying Waterfront Property" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-need-to-know-before-buying-waterfront-property">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing building flood insurance flooding floodplains lakes oceans recreation regulations waterfront property Mon, 30 Oct 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2039977 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/senior_black_couple_standing_outside_a_large_suburban_house.jpg" alt="Senior black couple standing outside a large suburban house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The goal is a simple one: You want to enter your retirement years without monthly mortgage payments. Unfortunately, not everyone meets this goal. According to Voya Financial, 26 percent of current retirees still have an outstanding mortgage balance.</p> <p>If you're one of these retirees, don't despair. It's not ideal, but leaving the working world with monthly mortgage payments doesn't have to be a financial disaster. There are some benefits of carrying a mortgage into your retirement years. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why Retiring With Debt Isn't the End of the World</a>)</p> <h2>1. It's better than credit card debt</h2> <p>Mortgage debt comes with low interest rates. That makes it much less painful than credit card debt, for example. While your mortgage loan might come with an interest rate of 4 percent or even lower, you'd be lucky if the interest rate on your credit card was only 15 percent.</p> <p>So if you are nearing retirement and you have both mortgage and credit card debt, it makes more sense to devote any extra dollars to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fastest-way-to-pay-off-10000-in-credit-card-debt?ref=internal" target="_blank">paying off your credit cards</a> first. You can start worrying about your mortgage after you've eliminated your debt with the highest interest.</p> <p>Of course, it's best to enter retirement with neither mortgage nor credit card debt. If this isn't possible for you, do the smart thing and tackle those cards first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What to Do If You're Retiring With Debt</a>)</p> <h2>2. Sometimes it's better to invest</h2> <p>You might be able to pay off that mortgage loan before retirement if you sink enough of your extra dollars into it. But it might make more sense to place those same dollars into the stock market or other investment vehicle.</p> <p>The average annual return for the S&amp;P 500 since it was first launched in 1928 has been about 10 percent. And that's factoring in both great years and terrible years. So instead of pouring more money into your mortgage, you might do better financially by investing your extra dollars and enjoying the higher returns. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-invest-in-stocks-past-age-50?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Reasons to Invest in Stocks Past Age 50</a>)</p> <p>This only holds true, of course, if you can actually afford your mortgage payment once you move into retirement. If you're worried that you won't have enough monthly cash flow to make these payments on time, do everything you can to pay off that mortgage first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-you-can-cut-costs-right-before-you-retire-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways You Can Cut Costs Right Before You Retire</a>)</p> <h2>3. Paying rent can be risky</h2> <p>Your retirement plan might involve selling your home, paying off your mortgage, and downsizing to an apartment. But be careful: Renting comes with plenty of risk.</p> <p>If you have a fixed-rate mortgage, your payment will remain mostly constant until you pay it off. If you're renting, though, your landlord can raise your monthly payment every time your current lease agreement comes to an end.</p> <p>When living on a fixed income, certainty is good. The life of a renter doesn't have as much certainty. Again, if you can afford your monthly mortgage payment, you might want to keep it and avoid the uncertainty of rent that could fluctuate from year to year.</p> <h2>4. You won't lose the tax deduction</h2> <p>Homeowners with mortgage payments do receive a tax deduction every year. Each year, they can deduct the amount of interest they pay on their home loans. If you pay off your mortgage loan, you'll lose this deduction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a>)</p> <p>It's important to note, though, that this deduction might not be particularly large by the time you're nearing retirement. That's because you pay far more interest each year during the earliest days of your mortgage. By retirement age, you'll probably be paying far less in interest with each monthly payment.</p> <p>Again, though, if having a mortgage payment fits comfortably in your budget, you might want to keep that deduction. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-real-estate-cuts-your-taxes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Surprising Ways Real Estate Cuts Your Taxes</a>)</p> <h2>5. You keep your dream home</h2> <p>Most retirees who need to pay off a mortgage do so by selling their homes. But what if you love your home? What if it's located in the ideal location near family members and friends? You might not want to sell.</p> <p>And what if selling your home won't generate enough income to allow you to move into an assisted-living facility, downtown condo, or smaller suburban home? There's no guarantee that you'll fetch the dollars you need in a home sale.</p> <p>Keeping the mortgage &mdash; if you can afford the payments &mdash; could allow you to stay in a home that already fits your needs.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Benefits%2520of%2520Carrying%2520a%2520Mortgage%2520Into%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=5%20Benefits%20of%20Carrying%20a%20Mortgage%20Into%20Retirement"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Benefits%20of%20Carrying%20a%20Mortgage%20Into%20Retirement.jpg" alt="5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-moves-to-make-the-moment-you-decide-to-retire">12 Money Moves to Make the Moment You Decide to Retire</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing Retirement benefits debt homeownership investing loans low interest rates monthly payments mortgages tax deductions Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2039415 at http://www.wisebread.com Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_young_family_0.jpg" alt="Happy young family" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Talk to anyone who bought a house in the mid-2000s and they'll probably relate a painless, smooth process. It was a period of easy lending. Whether a borrower had bad credit, good credit, or no credit (am I starting to sound like a used-car salesman?), mortgage lenders handed out no-money down mortgages like they were going out of style &mdash; even qualifying some borrowers without verifying their income and assets. As we know, these loose lending standards helped cause the housing bubble to burst which led to the financial crisis.</p> <p>More than a decade later, mortgage lending standards have tightened, with lenders putting a lot of emphasis on creditworthiness. This isn't an issue for borrowers with good credit. But if your credit score isn't up to snuff, you may have to delay your homeownership dreams.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast" target="_blank">Repairing a low credit score</a> is obvious fix in this situation. This involves paying your bills on time, correcting errors on your credit report, and keeping your debt to a minimum. But what if you're in the process of repairing your credit? It takes time to build a low credit score back up. So while your payment history for the past six to 12 months might be excellent, your credit score could still struggle.</p> <p>No worries. If your recent credit activity demonstrates a pattern of responsibility, it is possible to get a mortgage with weak credit &mdash; even with strict lending requirements.</p> <h2>Learn about FHA home loans</h2> <p>Conventional home loans are a popular choice because they require as little as 5 percent down and include temporary mortgage insurance. Lenders charge private mortgage insurance (PMI) when conventional borrowers put down less than 20 percent (and then cancel premiums once the property has 20 percent equity). The downside of a conventional loan is that lenders typically require a minimum 620 credit score.</p> <p>A 620 credit score is lower than the loan's previous minimum of 680. Even so, you could find yourself several points shy of the minimum guideline. If that's the case, check out FHA home loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.</p> <p>This is an affordable alternative to a conventional loan, particularly if you have a weak credit score. Whereas a conventional loan requires a 620 credit score, an FHA loan allows for much lower credit scores &mdash; as low as 500 to 580. This is ideal if you've made a few credit mistakes in the past, yet you're on track to improve your credit score.</p> <p>Anyone can apply for an FHA loan, but it's certainly a fitting solution if you've filed for bankruptcy or experienced a past foreclosure. Currently, borrowers are eligible for an FHA home loan one year after a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, two years after a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, three years after a foreclosure, and three years after a short sale (one year in cases of extenuating circumstances, such as a job loss or illness). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-an-fha-home-loan-right-for-you?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is an FHA Home Loan Right for You?</a>)</p> <h2>Prepare for a higher down payment</h2> <p>Be prepared to fork over a larger down payment if you're buying with weak credit. Even though 20 percent down payments are no longer required by lenders, an FHA home loan does require a minimum 3.5 percent down &mdash; but only if your credit score is 580 or higher. If you apply for an FHA loan with a credit score between 500 and 579, your mortgage lender will require a minimum 10 percent down.</p> <h2>Choose a portfolio lender</h2> <p>Using a portfolio lender is another option with a low credit score. Because many banks sell their mortgages to investors, they have to ensure these loans meet the requirements set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored entities that buy most of the home mortgages in the U.S. This limits the number of bad credit score loans approved by mortgage lenders.</p> <p>But if a mortgage lender or bank doesn't sell a percentage of its loans, they have the freedom and flexibility to approve riskier loan applicants &mdash; but only if the borrower has compensating factors to offset weak credit like a higher down payment, high income, or substantial assets. These loans are known as portfolio loans because the lender retains the loan as part of its own investment.</p> <h2>Expect a higher interest rate</h2> <p>Even though some mortgage lenders and loan programs accommodate weak credit, there's no escaping a higher mortgage rate. A low credit score and higher rates go hand-in-hand. Because the size of a borrower's down payment and credit affects mortgage rates, people with the lowest credit scores usually pay the highest rates. A higher rate increases borrowing costs and monthly payments, which makes homeownership more expensive in the long run.</p> <p>Of course, as your credit score improves, so does the opportunity to refinance your mortgage loan. If you refinance down the road and snag a lower rate, you'll reduce the amount you pay in interest and potentially lower your mortgage payment.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fweak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWeak%2520Credit-%2520You%2520Can%2520Still%2520Get%2520a%2520Mortgage%2520Despite%2520Tough%2520Lending%2520Standards.jpg&amp;description=Weak%20Credit%3F%20You%20Can%20Still%20Get%20a%20Mortgage%20Despite%20Tough%20Lending%20Standards"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Weak%20Credit-%20You%20Can%20Still%20Get%20a%20Mortgage%20Despite%20Tough%20Lending%20Standards.jpg" alt="Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-money-moves-before-applying-for-a-mortgage">Make These 5 Money Moves Before Applying for a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-consider-before-buying-a-home-when-youre-single">5 Things to Consider Before Buying a Home When You&#039;re Single</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-a-20-percent-down-payment-for-a-house">Do You Really Need a 20 Percent Down Payment for a House?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bad credit buying a home credit score down payments equity fha loan home loans homeownership interest rates mortgages portfolio lenders Thu, 05 Oct 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 2030975 at http://www.wisebread.com How Your New Job Might Affect Your Mortgage Application http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-new-job-might-affect-your-mortgage-application <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-your-new-job-might-affect-your-mortgage-application" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_stylish_paperwork_635876724.jpg" alt="Woman learning how new job might affect mortgage application" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You just got a new job. Congratulations! New beginnings are an exciting part of life. If you're in the market to qualify for a new mortgage, your new beginning could have an impact on your mortgage application. Here's what you need to know. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-that-will-ruin-your-mortgage-application?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves That Will Ruin Your Mortgage Application</a>)</p> <h2>Continuity of some kind is key</h2> <p>Lenders like to see financial and career stability. If you've recently changed jobs, that's OK, provided that lenders see some kind of continuity.</p> <p>For example, if your new job is in the same field that you've been in for the past two years, the lender would probably be comfortable with that. This is especially true if your new job is a promotion in title, responsibility, or salary. If you took a pay cut, but stayed in the same field, the lender would also likely find that acceptable, as long as your new income is at a level that is appropriate for the size of mortgage you want.</p> <h2>Stability and history in your field matters</h2> <p>Lenders start to get uncomfortable when you move into a brand-new field because they view that as a less stable work situation. That said, this is not an insurmountable problem. Be honest and upfront with your lender. Explain how your previous experience is applicable to your new field. This could take the form of your responsibilities, or similarity in the fields themselves.</p> <p>It is also helpful if you can show that your education and any other training you've received aligns with your new role. You could secure a reference letter from your new employer, too.</p> <p>Remember, getting a mortgage with a lender is a conversation. You aren't putting in an application as a faceless entity. The lender wants to know who you are, what you do, and, most importantly, how you will repay the mortgage. You need to paint a picture of yourself as a responsible professional on a stable career path.</p> <h2>The paperwork you need</h2> <p>In addition to a letter or contract, the lender will also need other paperwork to verify your income. If you have all of this paperwork together before going to the lender, your sense of organization and preparedness will work in your favor. You will need:</p> <ul> <li>Your job offer letter with the details of your start date, title, and compensation. This letter should be on official company letterhead.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>At least two pay stubs, though I have recently heard of lenders asking for three or four pay stubs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The contact information for your human resources department. The lender will eventually need to talk to someone at your company to confirm the information you've provided is legitimate.</li> </ul> <p>A new job and a new home are exciting prospects. Though continuity of employment eases the path to a new mortgage, many people buy a new home in conjunction with a new job. Be prepared with a solid, concise explanation of your decision to change jobs and have your paperwork in order. Also remember to shop around for a mortgage with a few different lenders to secure the best terms and rates. Happy house hunting!</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-your-new-job-might-affect-your-mortgage-application&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Your%2520New%2520Job%2520Might%2520Affect%2520Your%2520Mortgage%2520Application.jpg&amp;description=How%20Your%20New%20Job%20Might%20Affect%20Your%20Mortgage%20Application"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Your%20New%20Job%20Might%20Affect%20Your%20Mortgage%20Application.jpg" alt="How Your New Job Might Affect Your Mortgage Application" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-your-new-job-might-affect-your-mortgage-application">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-freddie-mac-and-fannie-mae">Everything You Need to Know About Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-buy-a-house-without-a-mortgage">4 Ways to Buy a House Without a Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Real Estate and Housing approval home loans income lenders mortgages new jobs paychecks stability Mon, 02 Oct 2017 08:30:16 +0000 Christa Avampato 2029141 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy_woman_holding_keys_to_her_new_house.jpg" alt="Happy woman holding keys to her new house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You bought your first home. This is an exciting conclusion to what was likely a long and winding road. As you are unpacking your boxes, settling in, and decorating your new digs, there are some smart money moves you should make immediately to keep the good times rolling.</p> <h2>1. Adjust your last will and testament</h2> <p>Now that you have a new home, you need to update your will. In this time of excitement, updating a will might feel like putting a damper on the fun, but it's critically important. You need to be responsible for protecting the future of your loved ones and your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-make-these-5-common-mistakes-when-writing-a-will?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Don't Make These 5 Common Mistakes When Writing a Will</a>)</p> <h2>2. Get rid of PMI as fast as you can</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-anyway?ref=internal" target="_blank">Private mortgage insurance</a> (PMI) is a necessary fee for most people who buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment. This can be a significant expense, sometimes costing thousands of dollars each year. Do whatever you can to get to that 20 percent equity mark so that you can drop the PMI payments.</p> <h2>3. Make a plan to pay a little extra every month</h2> <p>At the beginning of a mortgage, you are mostly paying interest and very little principal with every monthly payment. That ratio of interest to principal will decrease eventually, but it will take a few years.</p> <p>To more quickly pay down your mortgage, set aside a little extra every month for your mortgage payment. Why? Anything you pay above your monthly payment goes directly against the principal. (Just be sure those extra payments are going to principal; check with your mortgage lender.) The faster you reduce your principal, the faster you will pay off your home. A lower principal will also make it easier to refinance the mortgage down the line if you choose to do that in the future. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-faster-for-mortgage-payoff-100-month-extra-or-1-payment-year-extra?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What's Faster for Mortgage Payoff: $100/Month Extra or 1 Payment/Year Extra?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Replenish your emergency funds</h2> <p>Many people use a substantial part of their cash savings, if not all of it, when they buy their first home. It&rsquo;s crucial that you begin to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency?ref=internal" target="_blank">rebuild this emergency fund</a> as soon as you can.</p> <p>An emergency fund is necessary if you lose your job for any reason, have unexpected bills, or if you need to do emergency repairs on your home. Experts in the consumer finance field have varying opinions when it comes to how much to set aside in an emergency fund, but many suggest having three to six month's worth of expenses saved. Some more conservative advisers even suggest saving up enough to cover one year of expenses. Consider your lifestyle and personal risk profile to find the best target amount for you.</p> <h2>5. Reconsider your life insurance policy</h2> <p>Now that you have this beautiful new home, you will need to make sure the mortgage can be covered by your life insurance. You don&rsquo;t want your heirs to struggle to figure out what to do in the event that an unforeseen circumstance occurs.</p> <p>How much insurance do you need? Generally, the guideline for life insurance is 10 times your annual income plus any large debts like a home mortgage. Talk to your insurance company and/or financial adviser to get their perspective, and make any necessary adjustments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-why-life-insurance-isnt-just-for-old-people?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Why Life Insurance Isn't Just for Old People</a>)</p> <h2>6. Change your locks and install deadbolts</h2> <p>Safety is a huge part of homeownership, and it has financial implications. As soon as you have the keys in your hand, contact a locksmith to get all of the locks on your doors and windows changed, and install deadbolts on doors where you currently don&rsquo;t have them. The previous owners likely gave copies of their keys to neighbors, friends, family members, the dog walker, or people who did work on the home. You don&rsquo;t want those people to have access to what is now <em>your </em>house. You may also want to consider a home security system.</p> <p>All of these safety measures may provide a financial deduction on your homeowners insurance. Contact your insurance company to find out if you qualify for a reduction in your rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a>)</p> <p>There is a desire to rest on our laurels after completing the purchase of a home. You should definitely bask in the glow of new homeownership, but this is also a time to remain financially vigilant. Remember that when it comes to your personal finances, remaining responsible and forward-thinking is the key to lasting success.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Money%2520Moves%2520to%2520Make%2520After%2520Buying%2520Your%2520First%2520House.jpg&amp;description=6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Buying%20Your%20First%20House"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Money%20Moves%20to%20Make%20After%20Buying%20Your%20First%20House.jpg" alt="6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/house-hunting-these-features-will-save-you-big-over-the-long-haul">House Hunting? These Features Will Save You Big Over the Long Haul</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fair-way-to-split-up-your-familys-estate">The Fair Way to Split Up Your Family&#039;s Estate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-dropping-your-life-insurance-is-the-right-decision">When Dropping Your Life Insurance Is the Right Decision</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-benefits-of-carrying-a-mortgage-into-retirement">5 Benefits of Carrying a Mortgage Into Retirement</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing emergency fund estate planning first house homeowners insurance homeownership last will and testament life insurance new house private mortgage insurance safety Thu, 28 Sep 2017 08:01:06 +0000 Christa Avampato 2027477 at http://www.wisebread.com Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea? http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coins_stack_in_columns_with_saving_book_and_paper_home.jpg" alt="Coins stack in columns with saving book and paper home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to buy a home, and it's time to choose a mortgage. Mortgage loans come in a wide variety of options, including everything from a standard 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, to loans with interest rates that adjust every year.</p> <p>Then there's the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage. It comes with an interest rate that doesn't change and is lower than the one you'd get with a 30-year loan. But because this loan has a shorter term, it also comes with a higher monthly payment.</p> <p>Should you consider a 15-year, fixed-rate home loan? Maybe. There are pros and cons to this type of mortgage.</p> <h2>The pros</h2> <p>Let's first look at some of the upsides to a shorter-term mortgage loan.</p> <h3>You'll pay a lot less interest</h3> <p>Say you take out a mortgage loan for $200,000. If you take out this loan as a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.10 percent, you'll pay more than $140,000 in interest if you take the full three decades to pay off your loan.</p> <p>Say, instead, you take out that $200,000 as a 15-year, fixed-rate loan with an interest rate of 3.25 percent. You'd pay just under $53,000 in interest if you paid off this mortgage over its full term.</p> <p>That's a savings of about $87,000 in interest.</p> <h3>Your interest rate will be less</h3> <p>You pay less in interest on a 15-year, fixed-rate loan for two reasons. First, because the loan is paid back in half the time, you pay off a greater amount of its principal balance with each monthly payment. Secondly, 15-year loans come with lower interest rates than 30-year versions because you aren't holding the bank's money for as long.</p> <p>According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan stood at 3.78 percent as of September 2017. The survey showed the average rate on a 15-year, fixed-rate loan was 3.08 percent during the same time frame.</p> <p>If nabbing the lowest possible interest rate is important to you, a 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage is a good choice.</p> <h3>You'll free up your money faster</h3> <p>Because the term is cut in half, you'll pay off your mortgage faster if you go with the 15-year version. Once you've paid off your mortgage loan, you'll be able to spend or invest the dollars that once went to your lender.</p> <p>Just be aware that many homeowners never pay off their loans in full. You might refinance your 15-year loan to another type long before you pay it off. Or you might sell your home and move before you reach the end of your term.</p> <h2>The cons</h2> <p>Here are the downsides to a shorter-term mortgage.</p> <h3>Your monthly payment will be higher</h3> <p>Because you pay off a 15-year mortgage in half the time as you would a 30-year version, your monthly payments will be higher.</p> <p>How much higher? If you take out a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.10 percent, your monthly payment, not including property taxes and homeowners insurance, would be about $966.</p> <p>If you take out that same $200,000 in the form of a 15-year, fixed-rate loan with an interest rate of 3.25 percent, your monthly payment would be about $1,400, again not including property taxes and insurance.</p> <p>That's a big difference. Yes, it might sound good to eliminate all the extra interest payments that come with a 30-year loan. But if you'll struggle to make the monthly payments that come with a 15-year loan, the shorter-term mortgage is not a good move.</p> <h3>There's less flexibility</h3> <p>If you're worried about the higher monthly payments of a 15-year mortgage, but also concerned about paying too much interest over the life of your loan, you can take out a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage and pay a bit extra toward your loan's principal balance every month.</p> <p>Doing this often enough will put a dent in the amount of interest you pay. And if there's a tighter month in which you don't have as much extra money, you can simply make your required mortgage payment without sending along a bit of extra cash toward principal.</p> <p>However, if you take out a 15-year mortgage, you must make the higher mortgage payment each month. You don't have the option of paying less. If your budget is already tight, or if you're struggling with high amounts of other debt, the smaller payments of a 30-year loan might make more sense.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fis-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIs%2520a%252015-Year%2520Mortgage%2520a%2520Good%2520Idea-.jpg&amp;description=Is%20a%2015-Year%20Mortgage%20a%20Good%20Idea%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Is%20a%2015-Year%20Mortgage%20a%20Good%20Idea-.jpg" alt="Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-mortgage-details-you-should-know-before-you-sign">5 Mortgage Details You Should Know Before You Sign</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-it-safe-to-re-finance-your-home-close-to-retirement">Is it Safe to Re-Finance Your Home Close to Retirement?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-consider-an-adjustable-rate-mortgage">Why You Should Consider an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-a-home-refi">How Long Does it Take Break Even With a Home ReFi?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing 15-year mortgage home loans interest rates monthly payments mortgages principal pros and cons short term loan Tue, 26 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2025923 at http://www.wisebread.com Buying a House? Here's Where to Keep Your Down Payment http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/saving_to_buy_a_house_or_home_savings_concept_0.jpg" alt="Saving to buy a house or home savings concept" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I am in the market to buy my first home in the next few years. I have been saving and researching for a long time, and have learned many of the ins and outs of home buying, thanks to real estate agents, financial advisers, and friends who have generously shared their expertise with me.</p> <p>Living in New York City, the trickiest part of the process is saving up for a down payment. I have been diligently stashing money away for the past two years, and have become curious about whether or not I am parking my funds in the best place. Here is what I discovered. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a>)</p> <h2>The definition of a near-term purchase</h2> <p>The time horizon of your home purchase can dictate where to place your down payment savings. A near-term purchase is one that will occur in three years or less. If that fits your time horizon for buying a house, the best thing to do is to save your money in high-yield savings, money market, and CD (certificates of deposit) accounts. For near-term purchasers, the critical point of consideration is keeping your money liquid. Of course, you'll still want to compare interest rates from different banks, but keep in mind that you won't be earning a whole lot from these types of accounts.</p> <h2>There is a strategy to using CD accounts</h2> <p>If you decide to use CD accounts for your down payment savings, you will want to use what is known as <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-basics-of-cd-laddering" target="_blank">the ladder method</a>. Let's say you have $10,000. The ladder method instructs you to place $2,500 in a three-month CD, $2,500 in a six-month CD, $2,500 in a nine-month CD, and the final $2,500 in a one-year CD. Here's why: If rates go up, you can quickly take the money returned to you each quarter and place it into the higher-yield account.</p> <p>Unlike savings and money market accounts, there are penalties for early withdrawals from CDs. If you think there is a chance that you may need your funds for emergency purposes of any kind, it is best to skip CDs and just place the money into a savings or money market account that you can withdraw from at any time without penalty.</p> <h2>There are additional options for longer-term home purchase plans</h2> <p>If you have a longer-term plan for your new home purchase, there are some additional vehicles that may be worth your consideration. Bond funds can sometimes provide a return of 2 to 4 percent, which is significantly higher than savings, money market, or CD accounts. If this option interests you, there are a few points to keep in mind.</p> <p>Bond funds lose value if interest rates rise, so it is best to consult an experienced financial adviser to get a sense of what is likely to happen to interest rates in the next few years. That said, no one has a crystal ball &mdash; so while a financial adviser can make a very educated guess, they cannot guarantee what will happen with interest rates. Risk is a part of investing. Also, unlike savings, money market, and CD accounts, bonds are not insured by the FDIC and you could lose money by investing in them.</p> <h2>The bottom line on down payment savings</h2> <p>Retirement savings can afford to be invested in vehicles like stocks and bonds because we often have decades before we will use the funds. That long time horizon means retirement accounts can weather the risks of a fluctuating market. Down payment funds usually do not have the luxury of time, so investing them in stocks or bonds carries a higher risk.</p> <p>If you are considering uninsured tools such as bond funds for your down payment savings, know and understand your time horizon, risk profile, and the likely trend of the market rates. That combination of factors will determine the best place to save your down payment funds, and eventually, buy the place you will call home.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fbuying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FBuying%2520a%2520House-%2520Here%2527s%2520Where%2520to%2520Keep%2520Your%2520Down%2520Payment.jpg&amp;description=Buying%20a%20House%3F%20Here's%20Where%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Down%20Payment"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Buying%20a%20House-%20Here%27s%20Where%20to%20Keep%20Your%20Down%20Payment.jpg" alt="Here's Where to Keep Your Down Payment" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/buying-a-house-heres-where-to-keep-your-down-payment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/weak-credit-you-can-still-get-a-mortgage-despite-tough-lending-standards">Weak Credit? You Can Still Get a Mortgage Despite Tough Lending Standards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-putting-off-these-9-adult-money-moves">Are You Putting Off These 9 Adult Money Moves?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-private-mortgage-insurance-anyway">What Is Private Mortgage Insurance, Anyway?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-qualify-for-a-mortgage-with-a-small-downpayment">5 Ways to Qualify for a Mortgage With a Small Downpayment</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-easy-ways-to-start-saving-for-a-down-payment-on-a-home">4 Easy Ways to Start Saving for a Down Payment on a Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bond funds CDs certificate of deposits down payments ladder method liquid money market accounts saving Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:00:05 +0000 Christa Avampato 2023544 at http://www.wisebread.com What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flooded_street.jpg" alt="Flooded street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The worst has happened to your home: a tornado, hurricane, or other natural disaster has damaged or destroyed it. Now it's time to rebuild. But what steps do you need to take when filing an insurance claim after a natural disaster? How can you increase the odds that your insurer will pay out as much as possible to help you rebuild not only your home, but your life? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-you-arent-prepared-for-an-emergency?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You Aren't Prepared for an Emergency</a>)</p> <h2>Call right away</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute recommends that you call your agent or insurance company immediately after a disaster. You need to determine whether the damage to your home is covered under your policy, how much time you have until you must file a claim, and how long it will take to process the claim.</p> <p>You might want to talk about your deductible, too. If your home is destroyed by a natural disaster, the costs of rebuilding will certainly exceed your deductible. But remember that you'll have to pay your deductible amount first. If you have a deductible of $1,000, you'll have to pay that amount before your insurer starts kicking in its payments to help you rebuild your home.</p> <h2>Re-educate yourself on what your policy covers</h2> <p>Hopefully you understood the amount of coverage your homeowners insurance policy provided when you signed it. But if you've since forgotten, make sure to ask your insurance agent how much coverage you can expect to rebuild.</p> <p>Some policies provide what is known as replacement-cost coverage. This means that your insurer will pay the current value of a damaged or destroyed item even if you've owned that item for several years. Say your home's furnace is destroyed, for example. A replacement-cost policy will cover the cost of that furnace today, even if you bought it 10 years ago.</p> <p>An actual-cost policy isn't quite as good. Under such a policy, your insurer will pay for only a portion of the replacement costs of a new furnace because your 10-year-old furnace isn't worth as much as a new one.</p> <h2>Prevent more damage, within reason</h2> <p>The Insurance Information Institute also recommends that homeowners, once they set the claims process in motion, take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to their property. You might, for instance, pump water out of your home's basement. Or maybe you can cover or board up broken windows.</p> <p>Just be careful not to make more extensive permanent repairs. The temporary work you do &mdash; such as boarding up windows or doors &mdash; will be covered by your insurance company, if you provide receipts of this work. But hiring a contractor to make more extensive repairs before getting the OK from your insurer is a mistake; the odds are this work won't be covered.</p> <h2>Always keep receipts</h2> <p>If you have to move your family into temporary shelter such as a hotel, be sure to keep receipts. Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the costs of these additional living expenses if your home is destroyed. But you need to keep a record of what you're spending if you want to receive full coverage.</p> <h2>Make an inventory of damaged or destroyed items</h2> <p>Your insurance company will send an adjuster to your home to determine the damage and the costs of rebuilding. Your insurer might also send you a proof-of-loss form to fill out, either before the adjuster shows up or after.</p> <p>You'll use this form to list all of the items that were damaged or destroyed by the natural disaster. You should also gather any receipts you have for the items that were destroyed. You'll give this sheet to your insurance company's adjuster.</p> <p>It's also smart to take photos of damaged or destroyed items. These images can provide more evidence to adjusters looking to determine how much money is needed to rebuild your life.</p> <p>Do not throw away damaged or destroyed items until after the adjuster's visit. It helps for them to see the damage in person.</p> <h2>Make a list of the damage to your home's physical structure</h2> <p>List individual damages such as cracked walls, lost roof tiles, damaged electrical systems, broken windows, and demolished chimneys. Again, the more information you can provide to an adjuster about the specific damage to your home, the more compensation you are likely to receive.</p> <h2>Answer questions promptly</h2> <p>If a natural disaster hits your area, be aware that it might take insurance companies longer to process claims and sign proof-of-loss statements with homeowners. To avoid further delays, make sure to answer any questions that your insurance company has as quickly as possible.</p> <p>If your insurance company needs a document, send it as quickly as possible. Any delay on your end will only lengthen your wait for payment.</p> <p>In these times, you might not feel up to dealing with insurance process, but the longer you delay, the longer it'll be before you can start rebuilding. It must be done, so try to find a way to get it done now.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520You%2520Need%2520to%2520Know%2520About%2520Filing%2520an%2520Insurance%2520Claim%2520After%2520a%2520Natural%2520Disaster.jpg&amp;description=What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20You%20Need%20to%20Know%20About%20Filing%20an%20Insurance%20Claim%20After%20a%20Natural%20Disaster.jpg" alt="What You Need to Know About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Natural Disaster" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-filing-an-insurance-claim-after-a-natural-disaster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-you-shouldnt-file-an-insurance-claim">7 Times You Shouldn&#039;t File an Insurance Claim</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-reasons-you-should-buy-the-rental-car-insurance">6 Reasons You Should Buy the Rental Car Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-ask-for-a-clue-report-before-buying-a-home">Why You Should Ask for a CLUE Report Before Buying a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-definitely-need-renters-insurance">5 Reasons You Definitely Need Renters&#039; Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing claims damage deductibles hurricanes natural disasters rebuilding receipts storms tornadoes Wed, 13 Sep 2017 08:30:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019384 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/beautiful_couple_relaxing_at_home_and_loving_their_pet.jpg" alt="Beautiful couple relaxing at home and loving their pet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When you took out your mortgage loan, your lender required you to sign up for a homeowners insurance policy. Chances are, you haven't thought much about this policy since.</p> <p>That might be a mistake. You should review your homeowners insurance policy whenever you make changes to both your home and your lifestyle. Doing so could save you money in the form of valuable discounts. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-surprising-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Surprising Things Covered by Homeowner's Insurance</a>)</p> <p>And not reviewing your insurance policy when you make these changes might leave you with inadequate financial protection should a fire or other disaster damage your home or a thief steal your valuables.</p> <p>Here are the times when it's wise to review your homeowners insurance policy.</p> <h2>1. You've remodeled your home</h2> <p>If you've updated your 1970s-era kitchen, added a master-bedroom suite, or completed another large remodeling job, it's smart to call your homeowners insurance agent. That's because a major remodeling job could increase the value of your home. And this could make it more expensive to rebuild your home should disaster strike.</p> <p>You might need additional coverage after a remodel to make sure that your policy will pay for the entire rebuild of your now more-valuable residence.</p> <h2>2. You've purchased big-ticket items</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the loss of valuables inside your home if a thief steals them. But if you've recently purchased big-ticket items such as pricey artwork, jewelry, furs, or electronics, it's time, again, to call your insurance agent.</p> <p>You'll want to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover the replacement value of these expensive items. If you don't update your insurance policy, you risk coming up short.</p> <h2>3. You've stopped smoking</h2> <p>Kicking the smoking habit is a smart move for your health. But it can also save you money in the form of lower homeowners insurance payments.</p> <p>Most insurers will reduce the premiums of your policy &mdash; at least by a bit &mdash; if you don't smoke. Smokers are riskier to ensure. The chance of a fire damaging or destroying your home is higher if you smoke. If you've stopped, contact your insurer to see if you're eligible for a reduced premium.</p> <h2>4. You've retired</h2> <p>Retirement might come with an insurance discount, too. The Insurance Information Institute says that some companies offer discounts of as much as 10 percent to retirees who are at least 55 years old.</p> <p>Why? Retired people usually spend more time at home. They're more likely, then, to spot the signs of a fire before it gets out of control. They're also less likely to be burglarized and have more time to spend on maintaining their homes. If you've left the working world, it's time to call your insurance agent.</p> <h2>5. You've added an alarm system</h2> <p>Adding an alarm system makes it less likely that a thief will break into your home. It can also bring you a lower homeowners insurance premium. After installing your system, call your homeowners insurance company. The Insurance Information Institute says that a new alarm system can usually save you about 5 percent in premiums each year.</p> <h2>6. You've added a swimming pool</h2> <p>Some changes can actually increase the cost of your homeowners insurance policy. One of these is adding a swimming pool. You'll be liable if someone is injured or drowns while using your swimming pool. This holds true even if the person using your pool didn't get your permission first. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-surprising-things-your-homeowners-insurance-doesnt-cover?ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Doesn't Cover</a>)</p> <p>Insurance companies take on more risk when insuring homeowners with swimming pools, and will often increase their premiums.</p> <p>You might be tempted to keep your swimming pool a secret from your insurer. Don't. If someone is injured in your pool and sues you, your insurance company won't pay out if you added the pool without its knowledge.</p> <h2>7. You've bought a dog</h2> <p>Your homeowners insurance policy will most likely cover you if your dog bites someone on your property. But, again, you'll have to inform your insurer about your new pet to guarantee this protection. Again, your rates might rise, but keeping your new pooch a secret could cost you in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/beware-your-insurance-may-not-cover-these-8-losses?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Beware: Your Insurance May Not Cover These 8 Losses</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Times%2520to%2520Update%2520Your%2520Homeowners%2520Insurance.jpg&amp;description=7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Times%20to%20Update%20Your%20Homeowners%20Insurance.jpg" alt="7 Times to Update Your Homeowners Insurance" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-times-to-update-your-homeowners-insurance">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-a-house-with-a-pool-until-you-can-answer-these-7-questions">Don&#039;t Buy a House With a Pool Until You Can Answer These 7 Questions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-other-kinds-of-insurance-you-may-need-to-buy-for-your-home">7 Other Kinds of Insurance You May Need to Buy for Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-unexpected-things-covered-by-homeowners-insurance">11 Unexpected Things Covered by Homeowners Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-let-your-bank-pick-your-homeowners-insurance">Don&#039;t Let Your Bank Pick Your Homeowner&#039;s Insurance</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-money-moves-to-make-after-buying-your-first-house">6 Money Moves to Make After Buying Your First House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Insurance Real Estate and Housing big purchases big ticket items homeowners insurance new dogs pools premiums remodeling retired security alarm Tue, 12 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Dan Rafter 2019187 at http://www.wisebread.com Make These 5 Fixes After a Home Sale Falls Through http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/housing_market_risk_0.jpg" alt="Housing market risk" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The news is exciting for anyone selling a home: After months of staging and cleaning, after debating the perfect asking price and holding dozens of showings, you've finally received an offer. After you and the buyers negotiate on the final sale price and closing date, it's time to celebrate, right?</p> <p>Maybe not. The truth is, your home sale isn't safe until the moment you sign the papers closing the deal. A home sale can fall through for several reasons. And if it does, that's a tough blow for any seller to take.</p> <p>But a busted sale doesn't mean that you'll never sell your home. Instead, it's time to consider these key steps to landing another buyer.</p> <h2>1. Fix any problems</h2> <p>The home inspection is one of the most common causes of a broken real estate sale. The inspector hired by your buyers might have discovered a problem so serious that it caused them to walk away from the deal. It could be anything from foundation problems to a severely damaged roof.</p> <p>To prevent this from happening again, fix the problems found by the inspector. When you get your next offer, you won't have to worry that they'll scare off any new buyers, too.</p> <h2>2. Adjust the sales price</h2> <p>Another common reason for a home sale to fall through is a low appraisal. The lender working with your buyers will order an appraisal of your home to make sure that it is worth what the buyers have agreed to pay. If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon sales price, your housing sale can collapse.</p> <p>If this happens to you, it's time to discuss lowering your asking price. Yes, this is painful. Even more painful, though, would be having another buyer walk away because your home appraises too low for their lender.</p> <p>If you can't afford to lower the price, you might have to take your home off the market until its value rises again.</p> <h2>3. Take a break</h2> <p>There are two times when taking your home off the market for a brief period makes sense. First, if it's approaching winter, it might make sense to take your residence off the market and re-list it after the coldest months pass. It is possible to sell your home during the colder months, but there tend to be fewer buyers in winter.</p> <p>You might also want to take a break if your home has been for sale for several months. Buyers often look at homes that have been on the market for a long time as being stale. They immediately wonder why these properties haven't sold and what problems are keeping other buyers away. By taking a home off the market and then re-listing it a month or so later, you'll have a fresh listing. Potential buyers won't look at your house with as skeptical an eye.</p> <h2>4. Redecorate, repaint</h2> <p>If you've been offered any consistent feedback about the appearance of your home, take it into consideration. Maybe you've been told that the bright colors of your kitchen or bedrooms were a turnoff, and it might be time to repaint those walls a neutral gray or beige. If buyers consistently say that your home's hardwood floors look damaged and dull, refinishing them could spur greater interest from potential purchasers. Look at your failed home sale as a chance to refresh your home, making it even more attractive to potential buyers.</p> <h2>5. Hire a new agent</h2> <p>Your agent isn't usually at fault for a busted home sale. If your buyers didn't like what they heard during the inspection, for example, that's not something you can blame on your real estate agent.</p> <p>But what if your agent pushed you to accept an offer from buyers who weren't pre-approved for a mortgage loan? What if that deal fell through because those buyers weren't able to qualify for a mortgage at all? You might wonder how many potential offers you missed out on because buyers didn't want to bother with a home that already had an offer on it.</p> <p>If you think your agent pushed you into accepting a bad offer, you might consider making a break. You'll have to read the contract you signed with your agent. Usually, the contract will say how long you and the agent must work together before you can break off the relationship. But even if that time period hasn't passed, you can tell your agent you want out. Most will agree to break the contract rather than work with a buyer who isn't happy with them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fire-your-real-estate-agent?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Fire Your Real Estate Agent</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fmake-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FMake%2520These%25205%2520Fixes%2520After%2520a%2520Home%2520Sale%2520Falls%2520Through.jpg&amp;description=Make%20These%205%20Fixes%20After%20a%20Home%20Sale%20Falls%20Through"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/Make%20These%205%20Fixes%20After%20a%20Home%20Sale%20Falls%20Through.jpg" alt="Make These 5 Fixes After a Home Sale Falls Through" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-these-5-fixes-after-a-home-sale-falls-through">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-sell-a-home-without-a-traditional-agent">How to Sell a Home Without a Traditional Agent</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/does-your-house-suck-heres-how-to-sell-it-anyway">Does Your House Suck? Here&#039;s How to Sell It Anyway</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-your-home-isnt-selling">7 Reasons Your Home Isn&#039;t Selling</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing failed sale home sale homebuyers listing real estate agent redecorating sale falling through selling a house Mon, 11 Sep 2017 08:30:08 +0000 Dan Rafter 2016672 at http://www.wisebread.com The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/getting_sorted_the_new_apartment.jpg" alt="Getting sorted the new apartment" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Breaking a lease is usually an expensive proposition, but it's a situation that may be necessary for a number of reasons. A new job, moving in with a partner or spouse, or the need for more space are all scenarios where you might need to break a lease. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a>)</p> <p>If you find yourself in any of these situations, the best option may be to sublet the apartment. Someone else gets a much-needed place to live without committing to a full-term lease, you don't waste money paying a penalty to your landlord, and your landlord doesn't have to scramble to get the apartment filled before the end of your lease. Everyone wins.</p> <h2>First things first</h2> <p>Check your lease. Is subletting specifically prohibited? If so, approach your landlord. How you approach your landlord will depend upon your existing relationship with him or her. If you can just be honest and explain what you want to do, great!</p> <p>Assuming that you decide to proceed with subletting, here are a few steps to make the process as smooth as possible.</p> <h2>1. Ask friends and family members first</h2> <p>Before putting the apartment on a listing site, check with your friends and family members. Would one of them be interested in subletting from you, or do they know someone who would? A personal connection and referral almost always beats a random subletter, provided your friends and family members are responsible and respectful of the space.</p> <h2>2. Set boundaries</h2> <p>Are there certain rules that someone who sublets your apartment needs to follow? These could include no smoking, sorting the trash, collecting your mail, pet policies, or taking care of your belongings for an extended period of time. Make sure you're clear and upfront about these types of expectations so there are no gray areas down the road.</p> <h2>3. Have a proper sublease in place</h2> <p>Subletting an apartment shouldn't be done on a handshake, even if it is between friends or family members. To protect both parties, draft up a simple lease. There are a number of free templates available online. <a href="https://www.rocketlawyer.com/form/sublease-agreement.rl#/" target="_blank">Rocketlawyer</a> is a popular option for this, as is <a href="https://www.lawdepot.com/contracts/sublet-agreement/?loc=US#.WXJY_9PysY0" target="_blank">LawDepot</a>. The lease should include the monthly (or weekly) rate for the sublease, the beginning and ending dates of the lease, the name of the person (or people) who are going to be living in your apartment, and any of those boundary specifics mentioned above.</p> <h2>4. Collect a security deposit</h2> <p>It's a smart idea to collect a security deposit from the person or people who sublet your place. This can be helpful if the renters need to break their sublease or if there is damage done to the apartment. Remember, even though you're subletting, you are still legally responsible for the condition of the apartment when the lease is up, and if there are damages, your landlord may charge you for the repairs.</p> <h2>5. If subletting isn't an option, consider a swap</h2> <p>A few years ago, I wanted to try living in California for the summer. Rather than sublet my place in New York and find a sublet in California, I arranged a swap. A mother and daughter stayed in my apartment while I lived in their condo in Santa Monica. We followed all of the same steps above that I outlined for a sublease and we both got a summer experience we would never forget.</p> <p>In my situation, I wrote a post on my blog and someone found the post. It all worked out in a pretty magical way. If I tried this again, I would work through my network first to see if I had any friends, family members, or friends of friends who would be interested. If that didn't work out, I would try one of the new housing swap services that have popped up since I did my home exchange.</p> <p><a href="https://www.homeexchange.com/en/" target="_blank">HomeExchange.com</a> has more than 65,000 homes in 150 countries. Members pay $9.95 per month to list their property with the service. They facilitate over 120,000 swaps per year.</p> <p><a href="https://www.lovehomeswap.com/how-it-works" target="_blank">Love Home Swap</a> is another site with a few different swap models. You can do what they call a &quot;Classic Swap&quot; in which you go to someone else's home and they go to yours for a specific amount of time. They also have a &quot;Points Swap.&quot; Rather than having to agree on dates and location, you rent out your place whenever it's available for points instead of money. Then you can use those points to make a reservation for an available property on the site when you want to travel.</p> <p>Before you use a service to facilitate a swap, make sure the site is secure, that it verifies each user's identification, and the service has legitimate reviews on sites like Yelp. With any swap, have a legal agreement in place between you and the other party to make sure there are no surprises and that all terms are clear.</p> <p>If life leads you in a direction away from your current lease, don't resist that call. There are numerous ways to manage a lease rather than have it manage you.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthe-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThe%2520Easy%2520Way%2520To%2520Sublet%2520Your%2520Apartment.jpg&amp;description=The%20Easy%20Way%20to%20Sublet%20Your%20Apartment"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/The%20Easy%20Way%20To%20Sublet%20Your%20Apartment.jpg" alt="The Easy Way to Sublet Your Apartment" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-sublet-your-apartment">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-moves-to-make-if-you-need-to-break-your-lease">8 Moves to Make If You Need to Break Your Lease</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-landlords-cant-ask">10 Questions Landlords Can&#039;t Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space">The 11 Best Websites for Renting Your Extra Space</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-rent-an-apartment-with-bad-credit">7 Ways to Rent An Apartment With Bad Credit</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing agreements apartments contracts house swap landlords renting sublease subletting Fri, 08 Sep 2017 08:30:10 +0000 Christa Avampato 2016671 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting on Airbnb http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/when_the_party_is_over.jpg" alt="When the party is over" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Renting out your spare room or property through Airbnb can be a great way to supplement your income. For example, New York City hosts earned a median income of $5,474 from the service from June 2015 to June 2016, according to Airbnb data. Other home-sharing services such as VRBO, HomeAway, and FlipKey all work in a similar way to connect property owners with renters through an online platform. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-11-best-websites-for-renting-your-extra-space?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Websites for Renting Out Your Extra Space</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, hosting on Airbnb or one of its competitors isn't just puppies, rainbows, and profits. While there is money to be made, renting out a home, an apartment, or even a room requires a lot more skill &mdash; and patience &mdash; than many realize. There's a lot that can go wrong any time you're working with the public at large. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-things-i-learned-from-renting-out-my-home-on-airbnb?ref=seealso" target="_blank">13 Things I Learned From Renting Out My Home on Airbnb</a>)</p> <p>We reached out to several Airbnb hosts to find out the biggest hassles, the most annoying downsides, and the worst things that can go awry. Their insights provide some valuable lessons on what you should really expect if you get into this business.</p> <h2>1. Rude and unruly guests</h2> <p>Renting a home or room to an Airbnb guest is a lot like running a hotel. You'll get your share of polite and courteous renters who want to enjoy themselves without making their presence a hassle. But you'll also get people who will never be happy no matter what you do.</p> <p>Airbnb host Zeona McIntyre owns properties in Boulder, Colorado and St. Louis, Missouri, and says she's experienced both the good and the bad. Some have even made her cry.</p> <p>&quot;Most guests are friendly, excited for their vacation, and really grateful that you are opening your home to them.&quot; says McIntyre. &quot;A very small group of them are entitled, rude in exchanges, and unrealistic.&quot;</p> <p>&quot;I have had guests message me at all hours of the night, expecting an immediate response and I've had guests make me drive over in a snowstorm to change a light bulb.&quot;</p> <p>If you ask any Airbnb host, you'll find that none of this is rare. In fact, dealing with an occasional bad egg is really just par for the course for any Airbnb host or landlord. Before you decide to rent a room or your home, make sure you're prepared to deal with whatever &mdash; or whoever &mdash; comes your way.</p> <h2>2. Bad reviews</h2> <p>One of the major components of any Airbnb business is customer reviews. While good reviews can help attract new renters, bad reviews can cause the opposite reaction. Either way, the review system is an integral part of the equation since it's the only way for new renters to learn what your rental experience is actually like.</p> <p>As McIntyre notes, however, the review system can be a tough pill for a new owner to swallow &mdash; especially if you're transitioning a long-term rental into an Airbnb. With a long-term rental, your tenants tour the property ahead of time and know what they're getting into. With Airbnb, this is not the case.</p> <p>&quot;People all of a sudden feel empowered to critique your design sense, mattress choice, and even cleaning products,&quot; notes McIntyre. Occasionally, even simple choices like these cause renters to leave bad reviews when it's completely unwarranted.</p> <p>&quot;Constructive criticism makes us better, but it does not need to be hurtful or exaggerated,&quot; says McIntyre. But whether you like it or not, becoming an Airbnb host means learning to deal with negative feedback. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-rent-your-place-on-airbnb-and-succeed?ref=seealso" target="_blank">This Is How You Rent Your Place on Airbnb &mdash; And Succeed</a>)</p> <h2>3. More work than people realize</h2> <p>Too many people jump into their new Airbnb business with the false idea they're going to have it easy. List your Airbnb property for a profit, hire staff to keep it clean in between renters, and you can sit back and collect the checks, right?</p> <p>Wrong. According to Airbnb host and real estate expert James Carlson, renting a home or even a room can be a lot more work than people realize. And, Carlson should know. Not only is he a realtor, but he runs several properties of his own and teaches classes on becoming a profitable Airbnb host.</p> <p>Unless you hire out all the grunt work, you'll be doing laundry, cleaning kitchens, and making beds every few days. Not to mention being responsive to future guests and to your current guests' needs. &quot;Remember, they don't have a concierge service,&quot; says Carlson. &quot;You're it, so you need to be available.&quot;</p> <p>Depending on the number of units you have, you end up putting fires out a lot, says McIntyre.</p> <p>&quot;If a unit is not as clean as it needs to be, you need to get another cleaner there right away. If a toilet plugs up and a guest is only in town for the weekend, they need it to be functioning,&quot; she says. &quot;The key is not to lose your head.&quot;</p> <p>Most of all, be prepared for an array of inconvenient situations. It's not a matter of &quot;if&quot; they'll happen, only &quot;when.&quot;</p> <h2>4. Basic logistics</h2> <p>While unruly tenants and late-night calls can put a damper on your experience, sometimes it's the normal everyday logistics of running an Airbnb that cause the most hassle and stress.</p> <p>Landlord and Airbnb host Elizabeth Colegrove, who owns multiple properties and blogs at TheReluctantLandlord.net, says some of the hardest problems to solve are the ones that should be simple but aren't.</p> <p>&quot;One of the biggest pains in the beginning was figuring out trash,&quot; notes Colegrove. &quot;Tenants don't take the trash out to the curb and get really upset when there is trash left over from other people.&quot;</p> <p>But, since her properties are mostly single family homes, there's no dumpster and turnovers aren't always around the time of trash day. To avoid miscommunication with tenants about the trash, Colegrove added a notice to her welcome packet so tenants knew they were required to take trash out to the outside bin. She also upped the fee she paid her cleaning company so they would take the trash to the curb on trash day.</p> <p>Then, there are logistics that have to do with tenants themselves &mdash; for example, some tenants want to stay a single night but need to check out at 6 p.m. &quot;Basically they want to pay for one night but get two days, which does not work for same-day turnovers with cleaning,&quot; says Colegrove. &quot;We have had to get very strict on turnover and are even thinking about imposing a fine if not out by turnover.&quot;</p> <h2>5. Tax consequences</h2> <p>Abby Eisenkraft of Real Life Tax Advice is a tax professional who helps new Airbnb hosts prepare their taxes every year. She says that, especially the first year, Airbnb hosts are rarely prepared for the tax implications of running their business.</p> <p>Eisenkraft says she's seen a few different scenarios play out over and over. First, many Airbnb hosts never set aside money to pay taxes on their Airbnb income. Unfortunately, this can mean owing more in taxes than they planned for. &quot;They are always surprised &mdash; and many are tearful &mdash; when they see their tax bill,&quot; she says.</p> <p>Second, new Airbnb hosts tend to be confused about what they can write off, so they try to write off personal expenses that have nothing to do with their Airbnb. Eisenkraft's job is explaining what they can and can't write off, and her answer doesn't always please her clients.</p> <p>Lastly, new Airbnb hosts are typically surprised when they receive a Form 1099K in the mail showing their Airbnb income. Many falsely assumed their Airbnb business was &quot;under the radar&quot; and thus, not subject to taxes.</p> <p>Obviously, assuming any of these things can be costly. Knowing about them in advance can help you decide whether you really want to have a short-term rental on your property, with your eyes wide open to both the costs and benefits.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Costly%2520Pitfalls%2520Of%2520Hosting%2520On%2520Airbnb.jpg&amp;description=5%20Costly%20Pitfalls%20of%20Hosting%20on%20Airbnb"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/5%20Costly%20Pitfalls%20Of%20Hosting%20On%20Airbnb.jpg" alt="5 Costly Pitfalls of Hosting on Airbnb" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holly-johnson">Holly Johnson</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-costly-pitfalls-of-hosting-on-airbnb">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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