mortgages http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7866/all en-US 5 Things a Homebuyer Shouldn't Say to a Seller's Agent http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple_buying_a_house.jpg" alt="Couple buying a house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're touring an open house and the real estate agent running the event walks over to say hello. What should you say in return? Well, you can say hello right back. But other than that, it's best to stay pretty much mum.</p> <p>The agent at an open house is a seller's agent. This individual is paid to represent the best interests of the people selling the home &mdash; not yours. If you say too much, you run the risk of accidentally providing them with information that he or she can use against you if you make an offer and eventually enter negotiations to buy their client's home.</p> <p>What should you never say to a seller's agent? Here are five conversation gaffs to avoid during an open house.</p> <h2>1. How much you love the house</h2> <p>You might think it's natural to tell the agent at an open house how much you love the home you are touring. This, though, can be a big mistake when it's time to negotiate a final sales price if you decide to make an offer.</p> <p>Think about it: If the seller's agent knows that you absolutely love the home, they might be less willing to advise the current owners to lower their asking price. After all, you've already told the agent that the home is a great fit. They might even figure you'll be willing to pay <em>more</em> because you like the home so much.</p> <p>Don't say anything to the seller's agent about how much you like the home, even if you really do love it. Don't confess that the backyard is perfect for your children. Don't say how much you love the renovated kitchen. And don't mention that you can already imagine relaxing in the spacious living room. Keep these thoughts to yourself to avoid giving your seller's agent any extra ammunition during future negotiations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-questions-to-ask-during-an-open-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">20+ Questions to Ask During an Open House</a>)</p> <h2>2. How soon you need to move</h2> <p>Never let a seller's agent know that you're getting desperate to find a home. This, too, can give an agent inside information that could be used against you.</p> <p>If you tell an agent that you absolutely need to move in the next month, that agent might tell his or her clients that they should hold out for a higher final sales price. After all, you're desperate to move. The seller's agent might rightly assume that you'll be more likely to accept a higher sales price if it means getting into a new home quickly.</p> <h2>3. How much you're willing to spend</h2> <p>You likely have an upper limit for how much you can afford to spend on a home. Keep that limit to yourself. Absolutely never share it with a seller's agent.</p> <p>Say you can afford to spend up to $300,000 on a home. Don't comment to the agent that you're excited the house is listing for $290,000 because it's $10,000 under your budget. If the sellers know that you can afford to spend more, they may not be as willing to lower their asking price during negotiations.</p> <p>Share your budget with the agent representing <em>you &mdash;</em> your buyer's agent. But make sure it's a secret that the seller's agent never learns.</p> <h2>4. Personal details</h2> <p>Maybe you're looking for a home because your company transferred you to a new location. Maybe your family is growing. Maybe you've gone through a divorce and you need to downsize.</p> <p>Keep these personal details to yourself. If you share them with the seller's agent, the information you've spread might once again come back to haunt you during negotiations.</p> <p>For instance, maybe you need to move because you're having a baby and once that baby arrives, you won't all fit in your current home. Armed with this knowledge, the seller's agent might advise his or her clients to hold firm on their asking price. They know you're backed into a corner. You need to move to find space for your expanding family, and they have the space you need.</p> <h2>5. Any financial problems you're having</h2> <p>You want sellers to view you as a serious buyer. If you share financial struggles with the seller's agent &mdash; a past bankruptcy, a low credit score, mounds of credit card debt &mdash; you might do the opposite. If the home's sellers think you have financial problems that might prevent you from qualifying for a mortgage (assuming you haven't prequalified), they'll be less willing to enter into serious negotiations with you.</p> <p>If you've had financial hiccups in the past, keep them to yourself. You don't want sellers to think they'll be wasting their time by accepting an offer from you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-a-first-time-home-buyer-needs-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything a First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Buy a House</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F5-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520a%2520Homebuyer%2520Shouldn%2527t%2520Say%2520to%2520a%2520Seller%2527s%2520Agent.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20a%20Homebuyer%20Shouldn't%20Say%20to%20a%20Seller's%20Agent"></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%20Things%20a%20Homebuyer%20Shouldn%27t%20Say%20to%20a%20Seller%27s%20Agent.jpg" alt="5 Things a Homebuyer Shouldn't Say to a Seller's Agent" 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-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent">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-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</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/how-to-house-hunt-without-leaving-your-couch">How to House Hunt Without Leaving Your Couch</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/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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-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-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-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a home mortgages negotiations offers open house real estate agents seller's agent Wed, 06 Jun 2018 08:30:23 +0000 Dan Rafter 2146550 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Things to Consider When Buying a Larger Home http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_holding_keys_to_new_home.jpg" alt="Family holding keys to new home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>That two-bedroom home near the heart of the city was perfect when you and your partner first bought it. But ever since you started a family, that once quaint home feels crowded. It's time to upsize to a larger residence. This is a big move with plenty of factors you need to consider before you make an offer on a sprawling home in the middle of the suburbs.</p> <p>Are you financially ready for the extra expense that comes with a larger home? And what are you willing to sacrifice to get that extra square footage? If you want that new home purchase to be the right one, you need to consider some key questions.</p> <h2>1. Can you afford it?</h2> <p>Bigger homes come with bigger price tags. But the sales price isn't the only inflated cost you'll face when upsizing.</p> <p>Bigger houses come with bigger property tax bills. You'll also have to spend more in homeowners' insurance to protect that home. Then there are the utility bills. A larger home costs more to heat and cool than a smaller one. If your big home comes with a sprawling front and backyard, will you mow the grass yourself or pay for a landscaping crew?</p> <p>Before making an offer on an upsized home, consider all the extra costs that come with it. Study your existing household budget and determine if the actual costs of a bigger home fit in. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</a>)</p> <h2>2. How much space do you really need?</h2> <p>You might just need an extra bedroom or two, but not a three-car garage or an added office space. If you'd never use that extra room or space, it'd just be a waste of money.</p> <p>When looking at homes for sale, consider the way your family lives. If you don't do much cooking, you probably don't need a huge, state-of-the-art kitchen. If no one works from home, you likely don't need a home office. You can save money by buying a home that only includes the space your family needs, or will need as you add children. If your family is growing, having extra bedrooms is key. If you have young children, extra outdoor space is another plus. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-neighborhood-features-for-new-families?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Best Neighborhood Features for New Families</a>)</p> <h2>3. What are you willing to give up?</h2> <p>You might love living in or near the city, but finding larger homes in an urban neighborhood can be difficult. And when you do find a bigger home in the city, it's likely to come with a sky-high price tag. You might have to move to a new neighborhood in a more suburban area if you want to find a bigger home that fits your budget.</p> <p>Are you willing to make that trade-off? Moving farther from the city could mean a longer daily commute to work. It might also mean you spend more time in the car to get to your favorite restaurants and shopping centers.</p> <p>Extra space often comes with trade-offs. You might gain extra bedrooms, a luxurious bathroom suite, and a bigger backyard, but you might lose the convenience and excitement of living in a big city. Be sure to consider those compromises before you move. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-research-a-homes-location-before-you-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Research a Home's Location Before You Buy</a>)</p> <h2>4. What happens when it's time to sell?</h2> <p>You may plan on living in your bigger house forever, but plans change. Your family might continue to grow. Your employer might transfer you to a new city. You might want to downsize as you age and your children move out. When it's time to sell, will your bigger home be attractive to potential buyers?</p> <p>You always need to keep resale value in mind when shopping for a new home. Yes, you want a home that's big enough for you and your family. And, yes, you want one that you will enjoy. But if you buy a house with features that might turn away a high percentage of potential buyers &mdash; maybe it boasts a large theater designed exclusively for cinephiles or an extravagant indoor pool that costs money to maintain and clean &mdash; you'll struggle to sell it for the price you need to turn a profit.</p> <h2>5. How long will you need that extra space?</h2> <p>Your home might be cramped now, but is this a permanent or temporary condition? Say your oldest children are only a few years away from heading off to college. Could you live with the crowded conditions until they move out? That way, you won't have to bother with shopping for a new home, applying for a mortgage, and hiring a mover only to find that your new, larger house feels empty once your older children are out of the home for good.</p> <p>What if your home feels small because in-laws are living with you, or your adult children have moved back home? If both of these situations are temporary, you can again save plenty of stress and money by waiting them out.</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-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F5%2520Things%2520to%2520Consider%2520When%2520Buying%2520a%2520Larger%2520Home.jpg&amp;description=5%20Things%20to%20Consider%20When%20Buying%20a%20Larger%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/u5180/5%20Things%20to%20Consider%20When%20Buying%20a%20Larger%20Home.jpg" alt="5 Things to Consider When Buying a Larger 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/5-things-to-consider-when-buying-a-larger-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-added-costs-that-come-with-a-bigger-house">7 Added Costs That Come With a Bigger House</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/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</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/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</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/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing bigger house expenses extra space family homeownership mortgages property taxes upsizing Fri, 01 Jun 2018 08:30:20 +0000 Dan Rafter 2144958 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked http://www.wisebread.com/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/our_first_house.jpg" alt="Our First House" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You're ready to own a home. And you think you know the basics involved in finding one, working with a real estate agent, and applying for a mortgage. But buying a home for the first time can be a confusing process. This is especially true if you believe certain myths about searching for and making an offer on a house.</p> <p>If you want to alleviate some of the uncertainty that comes with buying your first home, it's time you learned the truth about the homebuying myths too many consumers still believe.</p> <h2>1. Working with a real estate agent is expensive</h2> <p>Actually, if you're working with a real estate agent to buy a home, it's free. Buyers usually don't pay for the work their agents do in helping them find and make offers on homes. When you buy a home, the <em>sellers</em> typically pay the commissions of both your agent and theirs. The funds for this come from the proceeds of the home sale.</p> <p>You will have to pay plenty when you buy a home, including the many fees and costs that go with taking out a mortgage and hiring inspectors. But you won't pay anything to your real estate agent. So there's no good reason to skip working with a real estate agent if you are a buyer. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-your-real-estate-agent-wishes-you-knew?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Things Your Real Estate Agent Wishes You Knew</a>)</p> <h2>2. You need a down payment of 20 percent</h2> <p>Applying for a mortgage is another nerve-wracking part of buying a home. You'll pay thousands of dollars to your lender and other third-party providers to close the loan that allows you to buy your new home.</p> <p>But you probably don't need to come up with as big of a down payment as you think. Many buyers mistakenly think that they need to come up with a down payment equal to at least 20 percent of a home's final purchase price. That can be intimidating: A 20 percent down payment on a home costing $200,000 comes out to $40,000 &mdash; a lot of money.</p> <p>Fortunately, you can buy a home with smaller down payments. FHA loans, for instance, often require down payments as low as 3.5 percent of a home's final purchase price. You can also qualify for conventional loans with down payments as low as 3 percent.</p> <p>Remember, though, that you must pay for private mortgage insurance &mdash; better known as PMI &mdash; if you don't come up with that 20 percent down payment. This can add extra costs to your monthly payments until you build up at least 20 percent equity in your home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-you-really-need-a-20-percent-down-payment-for-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Do You Really Need a 20 Percent Down Payment for a House?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Spring is the best time to look for a home</h2> <p>Traditionally, buyers have flooded the housing market in the spring, when the majority of single-family homes and condominiums go up for sale. However, there really is no one time of the year that is &quot;best&quot; for buying a home. You might even find better bargains on homes if you start your search before or after the spring.</p> <p>Say you start looking in the summer. There may be fewer homes available, but you'll also find buyers who are willing to negotiate on their asking price as they become more desperate to sell. The same goes for winter, when sellers may be looking to relocate quickly. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-fall-is-a-great-time-to-house-hunt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons Fall Is a Great Time to House Hunt</a>)</p> <h2>4. The best mortgage is a 30-year, fixed-rate loan</h2> <p>The traditional 30-year, fixed-rate loan comes with two big positives: The monthly payment will only fluctuate slightly over the life of the loan, and the monthly payment is relatively low because the loan term is so long.</p> <p>However, this doesn't mean that this loan is right for every buyer. If you take out a 15-year, fixed-rate loan, you'll have a higher monthly payment, but you'll also pay tens of thousands of dollars less in interest. If you plan on spending five years or less in the home you are buying, an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) might even be a better choice because it comes with lower initial interest rates.</p> <p>Your best move is to work with a mortgage lender who can help you determine which loan product is best for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <h2>5. Once a seller accepts your offer, your worries should be over</h2> <p>There is a big potential pitfall that could scuttle your purchase even after you and a seller sign a sales contract: The home you are buying might not appraise at a value that is high enough.</p> <p>After you and your seller sign a contract, your lender will require that you pay for an appraiser &mdash; about $400 to $500 &mdash; to determine the current market value of the home you are buying. If that market value isn't at least equal to the money your lender is giving you, your deal could flop.</p> <p>For instance, if your appraiser judges that the home you want to buy is worth $150,000 and you've agreed to purchase the residence for $225,000, your lender might agree to only loan you $150,000. That means you'll have to come up with the remainder out of your own pocket or convince the seller to lower the asking price. If these solutions aren't available, your deal could fall through. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-home-sale-could-fall-through?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons a Home Sale Could Fall Through</a>)</p> <h2>6. The value of the home you buy will always appreciate</h2> <p>We all hope that the home we buy will be worth more when it's time to sell. And often, it is. But there are no guarantees that the home you buy will appreciate in value, no matter how long you hold onto it.</p> <p>Don't believe anyone who tells you that housing prices only go up. Those buyers who purchased in 2005 or 2006, at the height of the residential real estate boom, know that housing prices can go the other way, too. Many of those buyers are still living in homes that are worth less today than they were when they first bought them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Common%2520Homebuying%2520Myths%252C%2520Debunked.jpg&amp;description=6%20Common%20Homebuying%20Myths%2C%20Debunked"></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%20Common%20Homebuying%20Myths%2C%20Debunked.jpg" alt="6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked" 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-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">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/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</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/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy 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-respond-to-house-shaming">How to Respond to House-Shaming</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-questions-to-ask-before-selling-your-house">6 Questions to Ask Before Selling Your House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing down payments home loans homebuying homeownership mortgages myths real estate agents value Mon, 28 May 2018 09:00:17 +0000 Dan Rafter 2143648 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Respond to House-Shaming http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/two_female_friends_sitting_on_sofa_and_arguing.jpg" alt="Two female friends sitting on sofa and arguing" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've heard it at the dinner table when visiting Mom and Dad. You've heard it from your cousin Phil. You've heard it from friends out at Happy Hour. &quot;Why are you renting a home when you should be buying? Don't you know you're just throwing your money away?&quot;</p> <p>There's a lot of pressure to buy a home instead of paying rent. And, yes, there are some very valid financial arguments for homeownership. But buying a home isn't the best choice for everyone, and there are many reasons why it may not make sense for you. Unfortunately, shaming people into feeling bad about renting has become a real thing.</p> <p>How can you respond to these people? Here are some retorts for those house-shamers in your life. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-moves-to-make-even-if-you-dont-plan-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Money Moves to Make Even If You Don't Plan to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2>1. Renting is cheaper</h2> <p>This is not always the case, but is often true, especially when you factor in things like property taxes, association fees, and maintenance. NerdWallet last year reported that the median monthly cost of homeownership was 54 percent higher than renting nationwide &mdash; and higher than 90 percent in some states.</p> <p>Many families choose to stretch their budgets when they buy a home, and that's not always the wisest choice. If you are able to live within your means while renting, but aren't sure if you could make ends meet if you bought a home, don't feel pressured into buying.</p> <h2>2. There are multiple ways to build net worth</h2> <p>Owning a home can be a great way to build your overall net worth, but it's not a requirement. As long as you are saving more than you are spending, you're increasing your net worth. And you can give that a boost through a variety of other means, including investing in stocks, bonds, or collecting rare baseball cards. You have the right to choose your own methods for building your net worth. There is no magic formula. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-increase-your-net-worth-this-year?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Ways to Increase Your Net Worth</a>)</p> <h2>3. A mortgage is still debt</h2> <p>Unless you are swimming in cash, you're likely going to have to borrow money to purchase a home. In fact, most homeowners are dealing with mortgage loans of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars that will take decades to pay off.</p> <p>Taking on a mortgage loan is nothing to take lightly, especially if you already have debt from student loans, credit cards, or automobiles. You have a right to decide what debt load you are comfortable with. Some people choose to live 100 percent debt-free, and that's perfectly fine. You should resist any pressure to go beyond the debt load you're comfortable with.</p> <h2>4. You need to get your financial house in order first</h2> <p>It doesn't make sense to try and buy a house if your financial situation is a mess. Perhaps you have a low credit score or big loans to pay off. Maybe you've been dealing with inconsistent income due to a job loss or struggles with your business. Or maybe you are just learning to get your own personal spending under control in order to save money.</p> <p>If your finances aren't in good shape, it may be hard to buy a home in the first place and any home you do buy may just place additional stress on your money situation. If you feel the need to respond to a would-be house shamer, a simple reply of, &quot;We need to get our financial act together first&quot; is a reasonable response.</p> <h2>5. You simply may not want a house</h2> <p>The bottom line is that you may not want to own a home in the same way you have no interest in owning a dog, a fur coat, or a herd of alpacas. People can make all kinds of financial arguments in favor of homeownership, but they are meaningless if you don't actually want a house. A house comes with work and responsibilities that you may not have interest in. You may not be drawn to the idea of settling into a single place. Homeownership just may not be your thing, and that's fine! If you don't want a house, don't buy one. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a>)</p> <h2>6. You have other priorities</h2> <p>You may one day like to own a house, but choose to use your time, energy, and money on other pursuits at this point in time. Perhaps you'd like to finish graduate school or pay off student loans first. Maybe you want to focus on building your business or your career. Perhaps you want to focus on your health after recovering from a long illness. Maybe you'd like to spend a few years with your new spouse before taking on the responsibilities of homeownership. There are a million things you can do to better your life at any given time, and buying a home is just one option.</p> <h2>7. It takes time to save for a down payment</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways to get into financial trouble is to purchase a home with little or no down payment. The less money you put down, the more money you have to borrow, and the larger your monthly mortgage payments will be. Putting less than 20 percent down on a home might mean you'll be required to buy private mortgage insurance, and that adds cost to your loan. The sensible way to buy a home is to save as much as you can and put down a healthy down payment, thus keeping your monthly payments low and putting you on the fastest path to building equity and wealth. (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>8. You're not settled on where you want to live</h2> <p>It takes time to get a strong sense of whether you want to settle down in a specific community. Maybe you aren't quite settled in your career. Maybe you or your spouse are in the military and know you may have to relocate within a year or two. If you buy a home and decide to move within a few years, you could be faced with the pressure and work of selling the home. If you have not had time to build equity in the home, you may not make much profit on the sale and may even lose money. This also comes down to comfort level. If you simply don't feel right buying a home in a community you don't plan to settle into, renting is perfectly fine.</p> <h2>9. It's nobody's business</h2> <p>Look, you're going to get all kinds of advice on how to best manage your money. A lot of that advice is great. Some of it is not. But ultimately, the decisions you make with your money are yours and yours alone. The choices you make with your money should be based on your own personal situation and values. The next time someone questions why you haven't purchased a home, it may simply be best to say, &quot;None of your business.&quot;</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-to-respond-to-house-shaming&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Respond%2520to%2520House-Shaming.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Respond%20to%20House-Shaming"></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%20to%20Respond%20to%20House-Shaming.jpg" alt="How to Respond to House-Shaming" 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/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming">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/4-home-buying-habits-we-can-learn-from-millennials">4 Home-Buying Habits We Can Learn From Millennials</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/how-to-build-equity-in-your-home">How to Build Equity in 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/rent-your-home-or-buy-heres-how-to-decide">Rent Your Home or Buy? Here&#039;s How to Decide</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/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house">4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing apartments down payments homeownership loans mortgages renting saving money shaming Fri, 25 May 2018 09:00:16 +0000 Tim Lemke 2142938 at http://www.wisebread.com This Is the Difference Between a Loan and a Line of Credit http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-the-difference-between-a-loan-and-a-line-of-credit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/this-is-the-difference-between-a-loan-and-a-line-of-credit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_looking_at_paper_and_tablet.jpg" alt="Woman looking at paper and tablet" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you need some money to fund the renovation of your home's 1970s-era kitchen. Or maybe you need a quick chunk of cash to pay down high-interest credit card debt or help pay for your kid's college tuition. Should you get that cash from a loan or a line of credit?</p> <p>You may wonder what difference it makes, but there actually <em>is</em> a difference. And both forms of borrowing come with positives and negatives.</p> <p>Before you take out either a line of credit or a loan, it's important to understand the key differences between the two.</p> <h2>Loans give you a single lump-sum payment</h2> <p>The main difference between a loan and a line of credit is in how the money is dispersed with each option. In a loan, you'll receive a single lump-sum payment. You pay back the money you've borrowed, with interest, each month over a period of years.</p> <p>Taking out a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home is a good example. Your lender provides you with a single payment that you use to buy your home. You then send a check to your lender each month, paying back the principal balance of that loan along with interest.</p> <p>Other common types of loans include auto loans, student loans, and personal loans. In all of these products, you're given a big chunk of cash that you steadily pay back with regular payments.</p> <h2>Lines of credit act more like credit cards</h2> <p>With a line of credit, a lender approves you for a maximum amount of dollars that you can borrow. But you don't have to borrow up to the maximum. You can instead borrow whatever you need to pay for home improvements, paying off other forms of debt, helping your children with their college tuition, or whatever other expense you need the money for. With a line of credit, you only pay back what you borrow.</p> <p>A home equity line of credit, better known as a HELOC, is a good example. Your lender will approve you for a maximum amount that you can borrow based on the equity you've built up in your home. Say you have $100,000 of equity in your home. Your lender might approve you for a line of credit up to $80,000.</p> <p>If you want to borrow $20,000 to remodel your bathrooms, you borrow that amount, leaving $60,000 still available for future projects. Once you borrow that $20,000, you have to begin paying it back in monthly installments, with interest. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-to-ask-before-applying-for-a-heloc?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Questions to Ask Before Applying for a HELOC</a>)</p> <h2>With loans, your payments are (mostly) fixed</h2> <p>With a typical loan, you usually know what your payment will be each month. If you borrow $20,000 to buy a new car, you'll make the same payment each month &mdash; a payment in which your dollars will go toward paying down your principal balance and paying off interest &mdash; until you've repaid the loan.</p> <p>With a line of credit, your monthly payment will vary depending on what you've actually borrowed. If you've only borrowed $10,000, your monthly payment will be smaller than if you've borrowed $50,000.</p> <p>The exception with loans, though, can come with a mortgage. Even if you take out a fixed-rate mortgage in which your interest rate remains the same over its life span, your monthly payment could fluctuate. That's because lenders usually require borrowers to also include payments for homeowners' insurance and property taxes with their mortgage checks. If your taxes or insurance costs rise or fall, your monthly payment might fluctuate.</p> <p>Your mortgage payment could also change if you take out an adjustable-rate mortgage. With these loans, also known as ARMs, your interest rate will change during the repayment period, causing your monthly payment to rise or fall accordingly.</p> <h2>Interest rates are higher on lines of credit</h2> <p>Loans tend to come with lower interest rates than lines of credit. As an example, Freddie Mac, in its primary mortgage market survey, said that the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage as of the week ending April 26 stood at 4.58 percent. For a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, the average rate was 4.02 percent.</p> <p>At the same time, home equity lines of credit are currently averaging interest rates of over 5 percent.</p> <h2>Closing costs are higher with loans</h2> <p>You'll usually spend more upfront to take out a loan than you will to originate a line of credit.</p> <p>Loans typically come with higher closing costs &mdash; fees that lenders and third-party providers charge to create your loan. A good example is with mortgage loans: You can expect to pay about 3 percent of your total loan amount in closing costs and fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fthis-is-the-difference-between-a-loan-and-a-line-of-credit&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FThis%2520Is%2520the%2520Difference%2520Between%2520a%2520Loan%2520and%2520a%2520Line%2520of%2520Credit.jpg&amp;description=This%20Is%20the%20Difference%20Between%20a%20Loan%20and%20a%20Line%20of%20Credit"></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/This%20Is%20the%20Difference%20Between%20a%20Loan%20and%20a%20Line%20of%20Credit.jpg" alt="This Is the Difference Between a Loan and a Line of Credit" 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/this-is-the-difference-between-a-loan-and-a-line-of-credit">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/5-surprising-ways-revolving-debt-helps-you">5 Surprising Ways Revolving Debt Helps You</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/3-sources-of-fast-cash-besides-your-401k">3 Sources of Fast Cash Besides Your 401K</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-ways-to-pay-off-high-interest-credit-card-debt">5 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Card Debt</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/15-personal-finance-calculators-everyone-should-use">15 Personal Finance Calculators Everyone Should Use</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-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance borrowing money differences HELOC home equity line of credit interest rates lending lines of credit loans mortgages student loans Mon, 14 May 2018 08:31:14 +0000 Dan Rafter 2138248 at http://www.wisebread.com Why You Should Call Your Mortgage Lender Every Year http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-call-your-mortgage-lender-every-year <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-call-your-mortgage-lender-every-year" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/she_is_devoted_to_her_career.jpg" alt="She is devoted to her career" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us don't think too much about our mortgage lender once we've moved into our new home. We might complain about how much interest we're paying on our mortgage each month, but that's about as deep as it gets. This attitude, though, could be costing you money.</p> <p>Your mortgage payment probably ranks as your biggest monthly expense. So why wouldn't you reach out to your lender, at least occasionally, to see if you can somehow reduce it?</p> <p>It makes sense to contact your mortgage lender at least once a year to ask about lowering your interest rate, adjusting the term of your loan, or maybe even refinancing into a different loan type. Doing so could save you a significant amount of money each year.</p> <p>Here are five questions you should call and ask your mortgage lender each year.</p> <h2>1. Is there a way to lower your monthly payment?</h2> <p>Mortgage interest rates have been rising since the middle of 2017. But this doesn't mean that the rate you have with your mortgage loan now is as low as it can ever be.</p> <p>If you applied for your mortgage five or more years ago, was it at a time when you were saddled with thousands of dollars of credit card debt? Did you have late or missed payments on your credit reports? If your financial situation has improved since then, you might now qualify for a lower interest rate. And that lower rate will save you money on your monthly payment.</p> <p>Consider this math: Say you are paying off a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 5.25 percent. Your monthly payment, not including taxes and homeowners' insurance, will be about $1,104. If you now owe $180,000 on that same loan, moving to an interest rate of 4.25 percent would knock your monthly payment &mdash; again, not including taxes and insurance &mdash; down to about $885 a month. That's a savings of about $219 a month.</p> <p>To get to that savings, you will have to refinance, replacing your existing loan with a new one with a lower interest rate. That will cost you some money upfront &mdash; often as much as $3,000 or more. But it's worth it to call your mortgage lender. First, ask if you might now qualify for a lower interest rate. Then ask yourself if the monthly savings from the new rate will be high enough to justify the cost of paying for a refinance. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-take-break-even-with-a-home-refi?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Long Does it Take Break Even With a Home ReFi?</a>)</p> <h2>2. Can you refinance to a shorter loan?</h2> <p>Refinancing isn't just a way to lower your monthly mortgage payment. You can also reduce the amount of interest you will pay over the life of your loan.</p> <p>It's no secret that a good chunk of your monthly mortgage payment goes toward interest. If you are paying off a $200,000 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with an interest rate of 4.25 percent, you'll pay more than $154,000 in interest if you take the full three decades to pay off that loan.</p> <p>But if you refinance to a shorter-term loan, you can dramatically reduce the interest you pay over the life of your loan. Say you owe $185,000 on that same loan. If you refinance to a 15-year, fixed-rate loan with an interest rate of 3.8 percent, you'll now pay just more than $57,000 if you take the full 15 years to pay off the loan. Just be aware that because your loan term is shorter, your monthly payment will be higher.</p> <p>Again, it's worth a call to your lender to determine how much you could save in interest by refinancing to a shorter-term loan. If your budget can handle the higher monthly payment, this move can save you plenty of money in the long run. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?</a>)</p> <h2>3. Can you pay more toward the principal?</h2> <p>Refinancing does come with financial rewards. But it's also costly and time-consuming. If you can't drop your interest rate by enough, you won't reap enough monthly savings anyway.</p> <p>But there is a way to reduce the amount of interest you'll pay over the life of your loan and shorten the number of years it will take you to pay it off: You can pay a bit extra with each mortgage payment.</p> <p>Say you have 25 years remaining on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loan of $200,000 with an interest rate of 4.5 percent. If you pay an extra $100 toward your loan's principal balance each month, you can reduce the time it takes you to pay off that loan by three years and nine months. You can also save nearly $21,000 in interest payments over the life of the mortgage.</p> <p>If your budget can handle the extra $100 a month, this could be a smart financial move. Ask your lender how paying a bit extra each month can shorten the term of your loan and lower the amount of interest you pay. You might be surprised at the difference these small payments can make. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-mortgage-off-early?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Should You Pay Your Mortgage Off Early?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Is it time to move to a steadier mortgage type?</h2> <p>You might be paying off an adjustable-rate mortgage. As the name suggests, the interest rate with such mortgages doesn't remain fixed, but instead adjusts according to whatever economic index your loan is tied to on a regular schedule.</p> <p>Most adjustable-rate mortgages, better known as ARMs, start with a fixed period of five to seven years during which your rate won't change. After that fixed period ends, your rate will adjust on a regular schedule, usually once every year or once every two or five years, depending on the type of ARM you are paying off.</p> <p>The attraction of ARMs is that you often start with an interest rate that is lower than what you'd get with a more traditional fixed-rate mortgage. The risk is that when that rate adjusts, it could rise far higher, bumping your monthly mortgage payments up with it.</p> <p>A way to avoid the adjustment is to refinance to a fixed-rate mortgage with a rate that stays in place throughout the life of your new loan. If you are nearing the end of your ARM's fixed period, give your lender a call. You might qualify for a refinance to a fixed-rate loan that comes with an interest rate that while higher than your current rate, will be lower than the new rate you'd soon face with your current ARM. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fixed-or-adjustable-choosing-the-right-mortgage-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Fixed or Adjustable? Choosing the Right Mortgage Loan</a>)</p> <h2>5. Can you make your monthly loan payments less of a burden?</h2> <p>Are you struggling to make your monthly mortgage payments on time? Are you worried that you won't be able to make your payment next month? Then it's definitely time to call your lender.</p> <p>Your lender, for instance, might be willing to reduce your interest rate temporarily or lengthen the term of your loan so that your monthly payment is lower. Be prepared to prove to your lender that you can no longer afford your monthly mortgage payments. If you've lost your job, show the paperwork proving it. If you've taken a pay cut, send your new paystubs.</p> <p>There's no guarantee that your lender will help you. But you'll never know if you don't call. And ignoring the problem won't help. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-signs-youre-paying-too-much-for-your-mortgage?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Signs You're Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhy-you-should-call-your-mortgage-lender-every-year&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhy%2520You%2520Should%2520Call%2520Your%2520Mortgage%2520Lender%2520Every%2520Year.jpg&amp;description=Why%20You%20Should%20Call%20Your%20Mortgage%20Lender%20Every%20Year"></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%20Call%20Your%20Mortgage%20Lender%20Every%20Year.jpg" alt="Why You Should Call Your Mortgage Lender Every Year" 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-call-your-mortgage-lender-every-year">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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-valuable-rights-you-might-lose-when-you-refinance-student-loans">8 Valuable Rights You Might Lose When You Refinance Student Loans</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/quicken-loans-review-competitive-rates-and-good-customer-service">Quicken Loans Review: Competitive Rates and Good Customer Service</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/is-a-15-year-mortgage-a-good-idea">Is a 15-Year Mortgage a Good Idea?</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-smart-ways-to-lower-your-monthly-mortgage-payment">4 Smart Ways to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing adjustable rate mortgage interest rates lower monthly payments mortgage lenders mortgages refinancing Mon, 30 Apr 2018 08:30:17 +0000 Dan Rafter 2131786 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Vet Your Mortgage Lender http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/applying_for_morgage.jpg" alt="Applying for mortgage" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases most consumers ever make. And yet many of us put little to no thought into getting a mortgage loan or the lender we'll work with during the process.</p> <p>This attitude can cost you. In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 47 percent of mortgage borrowers didn't shop around for lenders. The CFPB also found that those applying for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage could qualify for interest rates that varied by more than half a percent. This may not sound like much, but the CFPB noted that the difference between 4 percent and 4.5 percent could result in savings of $60 per month, or $720 per year.</p> <p>So how do you make sure that the mortgage lender you choose will offer you the best deal and the best service? You need to vet these financing professionals.</p> <h2>1. Ask your real estate agent, but also shop around</h2> <p>Real estate agents work with plenty of lenders and should be able to recommend a mortgage loan officer. Because they want their clients to refer them to other buyers and sellers, they tend to recommend loan officers and lenders who provide good service and prices.</p> <p>But don't automatically take your real estate agent's recommendation. Talk to friends and family members who recently took out mortgage loans. Did their lender do a good job for them? Do they wish they'd worked with a different one?</p> <p>Search mortgage comparison sites such as LendingTree, too. LendingTree lets you put in your basic financial information and receive preliminary offers from lenders seeking your business. Just be aware that there is no guarantee that these preliminary offers will match the final offers lenders make should you formally apply.</p> <p>Once you have a list of lenders and loan officers, contact them. It's now that you can ask them questions to help determine if they are worth working with.</p> <h2>2. Do some rate and fee comparisons</h2> <p>When interviewing lenders, ask them how much their borrowers typically pay in closing costs. These are the fees that lenders and other third-party providers, such as real estate attorneys and title insurance companies, charge to originate your mortgage loan. These fees can quickly add up, often totaling 3 percent or more of your loan amount. Ask the lenders you are interviewing, too, what interest rate someone with your finances can expect to be charged.</p> <p>Be careful, though: Some lenders might quote you a lower interest rate, but charge you a higher closing fee at the same time. Make sure to consider both the rate and fees. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</a>)</p> <h2>3. Ask about closing times</h2> <p>Originating a mortgage loan takes time. You can expect to wait 30 days or more between the moment you apply for a loan and the day you sign the papers. But some lenders are faster than others. Ask your lender how long it takes borrowers on average to get to the closing table. If most lenders say 30 days, but one says 60? You might want to skip working with the outlier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House?</a>)</p> <h2>4. Ask your lender to explain the entire lending process</h2> <p>Most of us aren't familiar with how the mortgage-lending system works, so it's important to work with lenders who can explain this often-complicated process clearly. If the lenders you are interviewing can't or won't do this, find a new one to vet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homebuying-questions-youre-embarrassed-to-ask?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Homebuying Questions You're Embarrassed to Ask</a>)</p> <h2>5. Ask to speak to past clients</h2> <p>Ask your lender to provide you the names and contact information of at least three past clients. When you get a hold of these referrals, pick their brains. Ask if the lender responded quickly to phone calls, if the closing costs they charged were higher than expected, and if they fixed any problems that popped up during the lending process. If lenders balk at providing referrals, don't work with them.</p> <h2>6. Do your online research</h2> <p>Once you've found a lender you like, do some online research. Check out sites such as Yelp or Zillow to find online reviews of the lenders you are considering. If a lender has an overwhelming number of negative reviews, you might want to steer clear.</p> <h2>7. Get preapproved</h2> <p>During the preapproval process, a lender will run your credit and verify your income. You help the process along by sending copies of financial documents such as your recent paycheck stubs, bank account statements, and income tax returns. Your lender will use this information to determine how much loan money they are comfortable giving you, and will send you a letter stating the results.</p> <p>The best thing about preapprovals is that they are free. If you find three lenders you like, get preapproved with all three. You aren't obligated to work with any lender that preapproves you. But you might discover that one lender approves you for $200,000 while two others approve you for loans as high as $250,000. This could influence which lender you finally choose.</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%2F7-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Vet%2520Your%2520Mortgage%2520Lender.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Vet%20Your%20Mortgage%20Lender"></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%20Ways%20to%20Vet%20Your%20Mortgage%20Lender.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Vet Your Mortgage Lender" 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-ways-to-vet-your-mortgage-lender">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/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/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs">Here&#039;s What&#039;s Included in a Home&#039;s Closing Costs</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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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/stop-believing-these-5-home-refinance-myths">Stop Believing These 5 Home Refinance Myths</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/yes-you-need-home-title-insurance-heres-why">Yes, You Need Home Title Insurance — Here&#039;s Why</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing costs fees home buying interest rates lenders mortgages realtors reviews screening vetting Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 2131426 at http://www.wisebread.com Paying Your Debts in the Wrong Order Could Be Costing You http://www.wisebread.com/paying-your-debts-in-the-wrong-order-could-be-costing-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/paying-your-debts-in-the-wrong-order-could-be-costing-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man_shopping_online.jpg" alt="Man shopping online" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've resolved to pay off your debt, that's good. But how do you determine which debts to pay off first? The answer can be different for everyone.</p> <p>There's no doubt that Americans have a lot of debt. The Center for Microeconomic Data found that U.S. household debt reached a new peak in the fourth quarter of 2017, rising to $13.15 trillion. The CMD said that balances rose 1.6 percent on mortgage loans, 3.2 percent on credit cards, and 1.5 percent on student loans during the quarter.</p> <p>The odds are high that you, too, are dealing with plenty of debts each month. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which ones to attack first.</p> <h2>When to attack unsecured, high-interest debts first</h2> <p>For most people, it makes sense to attack the highest-interest debts first. These are usually unsecured debts such as credit cards and personal loans. With an unsecured debt, there is nothing for the lender to repossess if you don't make payments.</p> <p>Student loans are another example of an unsecured debt, but they generally don't come with sky-high interest rates. You'll save more money by paying down a $5,000 credit card balance at 18 percent interest than you will a student loan with an interest rate of just 4.5 percent. Debt with higher interest rates grows much faster. If you only make the minimum payments on your credit cards, it could take you years, and loads of interest, to pay them off in full. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-ways-minimum-payments-are-evil?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Ways Minimum Payments Are Evil</a>)</p> <p>But sometimes you'll hear different advice. Namely, some experts say you should pay off cards with the <em>lowest balances</em> first, even if they don't necessarily have the highest interest rates. The theory is that paying off a debt in full provides an emotional lift that can inspire you to continue attacking your other debts.</p> <p>This is commonly referred to as the debt snowball method. It isn't the approach that will save you the most money &mdash; but it may still be the best choice if it helps you stay motivated and therefore ensures you don't give up before you've paid off all your debts. If you know you need small victories to stay motivated, the debt snowball method may be right for you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-secrets-to-mastering-the-debt-snowball?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Secrets to Mastering the Debt Snowball</a>)</p> <h2>When to attack secured debts first</h2> <p>Secured debt is tied to some kind of asset. Your auto loan, for instance, is secured by your car. If you don't make the payments on your auto loan, your lender can repossess your car. Your mortgage loan is secured by your home. If you stop making payments on your mortgage, your lender could foreclose on your house.</p> <p>If you fall behind on your credit card payments, the financial institution behind the card can't seize any of your assets. It can hit you with late payment penalties, of course, and cause your credit score to plummet. Debt collectors can even garnish a portion of your wages if you fall far enough behind in payments and they win a court judgment against you. But that's not as bad as losing the roof over your head or the vehicle you need to get to work.</p> <p>If you are extremely behind on mortgage or auto loan payments and worried about defaulting, make those payments your priority, even if the interest rates on these loans are much lower than those on your credit cards. It may not be the cheapest method of paying back debts, but it's better than losing the roof over your head. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-need-to-know-the-difference-between-secured-and-unsecured-debts?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debts</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" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fpaying-your-debts-in-the-wrong-order-could-be-costing-you&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FPaying%2520Your%2520Debts%2520in%2520the%2520Wrong%2520Order%2520Could%2520Be%2520Costing%2520You.jpg&amp;description=Paying%20Your%20Debts%20in%20the%20Wrong%20Order%20Could%20Be%20Costing%20You"></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/Paying%20Your%20Debts%20in%20the%20Wrong%20Order%20Could%20Be%20Costing%20You.jpg" alt="Paying Your Debts in the Wrong Order Could Be Costing You" 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/paying-your-debts-in-the-wrong-order-could-be-costing-you">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/what-to-do-if-youre-retiring-with-debt">What to Do If You&#039;re Retiring With Debt</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/why-you-need-to-know-the-difference-between-secured-and-unsecured-debts">Why You Need to Know the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Debts</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/are-you-paying-off-credit-card-debt-the-wrong-way">Are You Paying Off Credit Card Debt the Wrong Way?</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-one-couple-paid-off-147k-of-debt-even-while-unemployed">How One Couple Paid Off $147k of Debt (Even While Unemployed)</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/whats-better-less-debt-or-more-savings">What&#039;s Better: Less Debt or More Savings?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management credit card debt high interest rates mortgages secured debt snowball method student loans unsecured debt Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2125055 at http://www.wisebread.com How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a House? http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_financial_Planning_financial_analysis.jpg" alt="Business Financial Planning Financial Analysis" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a new home is an exciting process, but there are also a lot of challenges and frustrations that came along with closing on a mortgage. Even when you and seller can agree on a closing date, this date is not set in stone and can change for many reasons.</p> <p>Closing on a home purchase can take anywhere from four to eight weeks. The answer to how long your particular home will take depends on many things &mdash; you, the seller, the house, and the professionals behind the closing process. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-whats-included-in-a-homes-closing-costs?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's What's Included in a Home's Closing Costs</a>)</p> <h2>Possible delays to the home closing process</h2> <p>There are several things that can delay the closing of a new home purchase. While most can be resolved quickly, here are the more common causes to be aware of.</p> <h3>Questionable items on your credit report</h3> <p>Your credit report is checked a couple of times during the home buying process. If your report shows new debts, mistakes, a sudden drop in your credit score, or even a recently reported late payment, you might have to fix things in the underwriting stage of the loan before you can close.</p> <p>Other life major life changes with financial impact, such as a job loss or change of marital status, can also cause a delay right before closing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-a-home-sale-could-fall-through?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Reasons a Home Sale Could Fall Through</a>)</p> <h3>Low appraisal</h3> <p>If you need to finance your home, the lender will request an appraisal of the property. If the appraisal comes back lower than the seller's asking price, the lender will refuse your loan. In order to remedy this, you will need to renegotiate terms with the seller or pay the difference with cash before the loan can go through.</p> <h3>Home inspection problems</h3> <p>A negative finding during the home inspection, such as a leaky roof or faulty wiring, will need to be repaired before you can close on the house. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here's What It Will Cost You</a>)</p> <h3>Additional documents needed</h3> <p>Once your home buying process begins moving forward, your finances and financial history will be looked over closely. This can result in the need for several documents and letters of explanation for certain aspects of your finances. For example, if your bank account has your maiden name on it, you'll need to explain the discrepancy.</p> <h3>Title problems</h3> <p>An issue with the title, such as a lien, will delay the home sale.</p> <h3>Slow professionals</h3> <p>Sometimes a closing delay has nothing to do with the buyer or seller, but instead with the professionals who are handling your loan. You'll work with many different people throughout the homebuying process, so if any one of them delays turning in their portion of the documents for the next step, that delay will be felt by you and the seller. The delays can come from your own real estate agent or the buyer's, as well as the lender, the bank, and even the underwriter.</p> <h3>Problems with the final walk-through</h3> <p>There is always the possibility of something going amiss during the final walk-through. The home you looked at and had inspected could suddenly have plumbing or electrical issues the day of the final walk-through. Any issues will need to be resolved before the home closes.</p> <h2>How to close on a home quickly</h2> <p>You can't control everything in the closing process as the buyer, but you can manage your responsibilities in a way that speeds up the process. Here are a few things that you as the buyer can do for a quicker home closing.</p> <h2>Keep a clean financial record</h2> <p>Even though you are excited to purchase a home, don't celebrate by spending a lot of money or opening a new line of credit. Wait until your mortgage clears before you buy furniture or a new car.</p> <h2>Be quick to communicate</h2> <p>During the home buying process, you will be asked to answer a lot of questions, provide a lot of documents, and attend several meetings. Being readily available and getting documents to the agent and lender quickly will speed up the process. Schedule the home inspection as soon as possible to ensure there is enough time for quick repairs.</p> <p>A delayed home closing can be frustrating, but many of the possible delays that happen are actually to protect the buyer. Buying a house is a large investment, so it is crucial that all of the paperwork is done correctly so that you don't endure problems later.</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-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520Long%2520Does%2520It%2520Really%2520Take%2520to%2520Close%2520on%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=How%20Long%20Does%20It%20Really%20Take%20to%20Close%20on%20a%20House%3F"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20Long%20Does%20It%20Really%20Take%20to%20Close%20on%20a%20House.jpg" alt="How Long Does It Really Take to Close on a 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/ashley-eneriz">Ashley Eneriz</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-long-does-it-really-take-to-close-on-a-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-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/6-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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/the-only-5-rules-of-home-buying-you-need-to-know">The Only 5 Rules of Home Buying You Need to Know</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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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-things-a-homebuyer-shouldnt-say-to-a-sellers-agent">5 Things a Homebuyer Shouldn&#039;t Say to a Seller&#039;s Agent</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-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> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing closing credit history delays home selling homebuying inspections lenders mortgages real estate agents Mon, 09 Apr 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Ashley Eneriz 2119034 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Get Financially Fit for Homebuying Season http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-get-financially-fit-for-homebuying-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-get-financially-fit-for-homebuying-season" 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_1.jpg" alt="Happy woman holding keys to her new house" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The housing market is a competitive one right now. The National Association of Realtors reported that there were 1.52 million existing homes for sale at the end of January 2018. That might sound like a lot, but that figure is 9.5 percent lower than it stood a year ago, when 1.68 million homes were for sale.</p> <p>What does that mean for you? It means that if you're planning on buying a home this year, you need to be financially fit and ready to act fast. Here are the steps you can take to get ready for homebuying season.</p> <h2>1. Check your credit reports</h2> <p>When you apply for a mortgage to finance the purchase of a home, your lender will check your credit reports. You have three of them, one each maintained by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. These reports list your loans and credit card accounts. It also lists any financial missteps you might have taken, such as missed payments, late payments, bankruptcy declarations, and foreclosures.</p> <p>You can get one free copy every year of each of your three reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you get your reports, look them over carefully. You want to know what lenders will see. If you spot any mistakes &mdash; such as a late auto payment that you know you paid on time &mdash; correct the mistake with the offending credit bureau, either by phone or email. Finding and correcting incorrect information can provide an immediate boost to your credit score, which will set you off on the right foot for buying a home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-read-a-credit-report?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Read a Credit Report</a>)</p> <h2>2. Check your credit score</h2> <p>Your credit score is a key number when you're ready to buy a home. Your lenders will study your credit score to determine how likely you are to pay your mortgage on time each month. Most lenders consider credit scores of 740 or higher to be strong ones, while scores under 640 make them nervous. If your score is too low, you probably won't qualify for a loan. If you do, you'll be charged higher interest rates.</p> <p>It's important to know your credit score before you apply for a mortgage. You can pay to receive your score from any of the three credit bureaus, which will cost you between $10 and $15. Your credit card provider or bank might provide you with a credit score for free, but be careful: This free score might not be an official FICO score, and might not be the same one that lenders see when you apply for a loan.</p> <p>Once you know your credit score, you can determine if you need to take steps to improve it. If your score is too low, it might make more sense to wait until it rises before you start hunting for a new home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-increase-your-credit-score-quickly?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Increase Your Credit Score Quickly</a>)</p> <h2>3. Start a new history of paying all your bills on time</h2> <p>The best way to build a strong credit score is to pay all your bills on time every month. If you pay certain bills late &mdash; credit cards, mortgage, auto loan, student loan, and other forms of installment loans &mdash; your credit score could drop by 100 points or more. A bill is considered officially late and reported to the credit bureaus if you haven't paid it by 30 days or more past its due date.</p> <p>Rebuilding your credit this way takes time. Depending on how weak your score is, it could take months or more than a year of on-time payments to increase it to a level that will qualify you for lower interest rates. The work, though, will pay off in the form of lower monthly mortgage payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/all-the-ways-minimum-payments-are-evil?ref=seealso" target="_blank">All the Ways Minimum Payments Are Evil</a>)</p> <h2>4. Pay down your credit card debt</h2> <p>Another way to boost your credit score and gain approval for a mortgage loan is to pay off as much credit card debt as possible. You'll know you're ready to take on the homebuying process when your credit card balances take up no more than 30 percent of your available credit.</p> <p>Paying down your debt is important, too, after you buy a home. Your mortgage payment is a big financial responsibility. Having as little additional debt as possible will ensure that these new payments are not an overwhelming burden. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-fastest-method-to-eliminate-credit-card-debt?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Fastest Method to Eliminate Credit Card Debt</a>)</p> <h2>5. Build up your savings</h2> <p>Buying a home is expensive. You'll have to come up with a down payment, of course. But you'll also have to pay for closing costs on your mortgage loan, and don't forget the added expenses of paying for movers, new furniture, and any repairs that your new home might need.</p> <p>Build up your savings <em>before </em>you start searching for a home. This will also help you when it's time to apply for a mortgage. Lenders usually want to see that you have enough in your savings accounts to pay for two to three months' worth of mortgage payments. That way, you can still make your mortgage payments if you hit a financial crisis.</p> <h2>6. Get preapproved for a mortgage</h2> <p>Looking for homes is fun. Getting a mortgage loan is not. But before you start searching for new homes, make sure to get preapproved for a mortgage.</p> <p>To do this, you'll meet with a mortgage lender. This lender will run your credit. You'll also have to provide this lender with copies of your last two months of paycheck stubs, last two years of W2 forms, last two years of income tax returns, and last two months of bank account statements. Lenders will study these forms to determine how much of a monthly loan payment you can afford.</p> <p>Once it analyzes your financials, your lender will provide you with a preapproval letter stating how much of a loan it is willing to give you. You won't have to waste your time searching for homes that are outside this limit. You'll also be a more attractive buyer. Sellers prefer working with buyers who already have qualified for mortgages. Deals with such buyers are less likely to fall apart because of mortgage issues.</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-ways-to-get-financially-fit-for-homebuying-season&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Get%2520Financially%2520Fit%2520for%2520Homebuying%2520Season.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Financially%20Fit%20for%20Homebuying%20Season"></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%20Ways%20to%20Get%20Financially%20Fit%20for%20Homebuying%20Season.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Get Financially Fit for Homebuying Season" 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-ways-to-get-financially-fit-for-homebuying-season">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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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/everything-a-first-time-home-buyer-needs-to-buy-a-house">Everything a First-Time Home Buyer Needs to Buy a House</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-reasons-you-shouldnt-buy-a-house-yet">5 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Buy a House (Yet)</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-times-you-shouldnt-rush-to-pay-off-your-mortgage">5 Times You Shouldn&#039;t Rush to Pay Off Your Mortgage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing credit report credit score debt financial readiness home buying mortgages on time payments preapproval savings Mon, 02 Apr 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2118490 at http://www.wisebread.com It's Your Last Chance to Claim These 8 Tax Deductions http://www.wisebread.com/its-your-last-chance-to-claim-these-8-tax-deductions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/its-your-last-chance-to-claim-these-8-tax-deductions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/a_clock_with_tax_time_sticky_note.jpg" alt="A clock with tax time sticky note" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The deadline to file your tax return is quickly approaching, so it's a good idea to wrap things up and double check for any deductions or credits you might have missed.</p> <p>It's extra important to pay close attention and make sure you're getting the most of deductions this year. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminates several popular deductions for the 2018 tax year, which means this is the last chance you'll have to claim them on your return.</p> <p>To minimize your tax bill and increase your chances of getting your refund, make sure you take advantage of your last opportunity to claim these deductions. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law</a>)</p> <h2>1. Unreimbursed work expenses</h2> <p>If you were not reimbursed for required work expenses, such as a job uniform, work-related education, business travel, or union fees, those costs are tax deductible for tax year 2017. The new tax law eliminates this deduction.</p> <h2>2. Job-related moving expenses</h2> <p>If you've moved in the last year for work, you may be able to deduct certain expenses like hiring movers or renting a truck. To qualify under the current rules, you must have moved at least 50 miles from your previous address, your moving date must correspond to when you started your new job, and you must work full-time for at least 39 weeks during the first 12 months after your move. This deduction will no longer be available for the 2018 tax year and beyond.</p> <h2>3. Tax preparation</h2> <p>The new law eliminates your ability to deduct tax preparation expenses, such as the cost of using software or hiring someone to do them for you. If you spent money for tax preparation in 2017, this will be your last year to claim that deduction.</p> <h2>4. Casualty and theft losses</h2> <p>Under the current tax law, you can deduct any casualty and theft losses that you experienced during the tax year. For individual taxpayers, you can deduct losses due to a fire, storm, or from theft. Under the new law, you will only be able to deduct casualty losses if the loss is attributable to a disaster as declared by the president, such as a hurricane.</p> <h2>5. Alimony deductions</h2> <p>If you've gone through a divorce and you pay alimony, the money you pay your former spouse under a divorce or separation agreement is currently tax deductible. Depending on how much you pay in alimony, the tax deduction can be significant.</p> <p>Under the new tax plan, alimony payments will no longer be deductible. The change will apply to any divorce or separation that occurs after December 31, 2018.</p> <h2>6. Personal exemptions</h2> <p>With the current tax structure, you can claim a personal exemption of $4,050 for yourself, your spouse, and each of your dependent children. The new tax plan eliminates personal exemptions.</p> <p>Instead, the plan increases the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for single filers, from $12,700 to $24,000 for married filing jointly, and from $9,350 to $18,000 for heads of household. Although some people will benefit from the change to a higher standard deduction, the elimination of the personal exemption could hurt families with multiple children, lower incomes, or single parents.</p> <h2>7. Mortgage interest deduction</h2> <p>Currently, you can deduct the interest you paid on a mortgage or home loan balance as large as $1 million. For mortgages that originate after December 15, 2017, the limit is lowered to $750,000. Although that number is still high, it could affect homeowners in areas with sky-high real estate prices.</p> <h2>8. State and local tax deductions</h2> <p>Current law allows you to deduct the full amount of either your state income taxes or state and local taxes. You can also deduct property taxes. For those in areas with a high cost of living, this deduction is a significant help.</p> <p>The new tax law merges the three taxes together and caps the deduction at $10,000. With a smaller deduction available for state and local taxes, some families could face a higher tax bill.</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%2Fits-your-last-chance-to-claim-these-8-tax-deductions&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FIt%2527s%2520Your%2520Last%2520Chance%2520to%2520Claim%2520These%25208%2520Tax%2520Deductions.jpg&amp;description=It's%20Your%20Last%20Chance%20to%20Claim%20These%208%20Tax%20Deductions"></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/It%27s%20Your%20Last%20Chance%20to%20Claim%20These%208%20Tax%20Deductions.jpg" alt="It's Your Last Chance to Claim These 8 Tax Deductions" 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/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/its-your-last-chance-to-claim-these-8-tax-deductions">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-last-minute-ways-to-cut-your-2016-tax-bill">7 Last-Minute Ways to Cut Your 2016 Tax Bill</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/3-tax-deductions-you-can-never-take">3 Tax Deductions You Can Never Take</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/20-amazing-outrageous-and-just-plain-weird-tax-deductions">20 amazing, outrageous and just plain weird tax deductions</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/12-things-you-should-know-about-the-new-tax-law">12 Things You Should Know About the New Tax Law</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-things-every-small-business-owner-needs-to-know-about-employee-retirement-accounts">5 Things Every Small Business Owner Needs to Know About Employee Retirement Accounts</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Taxes alimony business expenses last chance losses mortgages personal exemptions tax cuts and jobs act tax deductions tax reform Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:30:24 +0000 Kat Tretina 2122418 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Warning Signs You Can't Afford That New House http://www.wisebread.com/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/invest_in_real_estate.jpg" alt="Invest in real estate" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a home is one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. A new home can provide a solid foundation for yourself and your family, and it also plays a big role in your financial health.</p> <p>Ideally, a home will help you build net worth and achieve a level of financial freedom. But if you buy a larger home than you can afford, it can become a major burden and source of stress.</p> <p>How do you know if you can't afford a house? Here are some key signs:</p> <h2>1. It's outside your budget</h2> <p>This may seem obvious, but you'd be stunned at how often homebuyers set a budget and allow themselves to go beyond it. A budget exists for a reason! Going beyond the budget means you are stretching yourself past where you previously felt financially comfortable.</p> <p>To determine your budget, calculate your current income and expenses on a monthly basis. Add in some cushion in case your expenses rise, but don't assume your income will go up. Factor in how much you'd like to actually save and invest each month. When looking at mortgage payments, any figure higher than this will place a strain on your finances and put you at risk of not being able to make ends meet. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-ends-meet-when-youre-house-poor?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Make Ends Meet When You're House Poor</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're making assumptions about future income and expenses</h2> <p>I've heard people say, &quot;We're getting a larger and more expensive house because we'll probably make more money in the future.&quot; This thinking is foolish and possibly disastrous. You or your spouse may never get that raise you were counting on. You may lose your job entirely. And that baby on the way? Well, you just found out you are having twins.</p> <p>It's impossible to predict your future income and expenses with any real accuracy. So when budgeting for a home, take a conservative approach based on your current income, and assume that expenses will rise if you plan to start or expand your family. Taking a conservative approach will give you wiggle room to save money, invest, and eventually pay off that house completely.</p> <h2>3. You're unable to put 20 percent down</h2> <p>There are some key advantages to putting a sizable down payment on a home. For one thing, the more you put down, the less you'll have to borrow, so you'll start off with a larger piece of equity in the home. Putting more money down also likely means a lower interest rate, and less in interest payments overall. In addition, if you don't place 20 percent down, most lenders will require you to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI), thus adding to the cost of your loan.</p> <p>If you weren't able to save 20 percent for a down payment, ask yourself why you think you'd comfortably make the mortgage payments now. Rather than jump into buying, consider saving more for a larger down payment. Your future self will thank you. (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>4. Your interest rate is high</h2> <p>Interest rates are still quite low by historical standards, but you can end up with higher rates if banks think you are a risky borrower. If you have high debt, a low credit score, or both, you may end up with a higher-than-average interest rate, and that likely means your monthly mortgage payment will be higher.</p> <p>If your interest rate seems high, it's time to take a step back and examine why. It could be that your finances aren't in good shape, or you could be trying to buy a house that's too costly.</p> <h2>5. Your decision is heavily guided by emotion</h2> <p>It has the perfect yard. It's on a perfect street at the end of a cul-de-sac, and the school district is great. It's even got a breakfast nook. It's expensive, but it's your dream home.</p> <p>Your dream home could become a nightmare if you allow your emotions to be your only guide. Buying a home is ultimately a financial decision, though we often turn it into an emotional one. The finished basement, the two-car garage, and the granite countertops aren't going to seem so special when you have trouble making the monthly payments.</p> <p>It's perfectly fine to have certain criteria in mind when searching for a home. But affordability should be a big part of that criteria.</p> <h2>6. You have unusual mortgage terms</h2> <p>There are many different mortgage products out there. The most common type of mortgage is one in which you place a certain amount of money down, and obtain a loan with a fixed interest rate, paying it back over an agreed upon term (usually 15 or 30 years).</p> <p>But sometimes, you may not qualify for a fixed-rate mortgage. When this happens, banks will often offer different kinds of loans. These can include adjustable rate mortgages, in which interest rates may start low but increase at a later date. Or they may be negative amortization loans, in which the amount owed actually grows larger over time instead of shrinking.</p> <p>These different kind of loan products were popular about 15 years ago, but were a large driver of the collapse of the housing bubble because they allowed people to purchase homes they ultimately could not afford.</p> <p>If you are buying a home with a nontraditional mortgage &mdash; or if you don't understand the mortgage terms to begin with &mdash; you may be taking on more house than you can handle.</p> <h2>7. You are nearing the maximum mortgage that you qualify for</h2> <p>When you are applying for a mortgage, banks will often tell you that you've been approved for a mortgage up to a certain amount. It's important to remember that this is the maximum amount that you can borrow, not a guideline of what you <em>should</em> spend. In fact, the actual amount you borrow should never be close to that maximum.</p> <p>Banks are more conservative now than in the past, but still are likely to approve you for a loan that is larger than what you can comfortably afford. Don't get too excited about what the bank says. Just set your own budget and stick to it.</p> <h2>8. Your payments exceed 30 percent of your monthly income</h2> <p>For nearly 50 years, the U.S. government has suggested that renters and homeowners pay no more than 30 percent of their income in housing costs. This is not a requirement or law, but it is a helpful guideline for determining if you may be overburdened by a mortgage or rent payment.</p> <p>For people with average incomes, 30 percent is a good target to stay under, because anything higher begins to strain your ability to meet other expenses and save for the future.</p> <p>If you have a high income, you may be able to afford to spend more than this. But for most of us, 30 percent is a good rule of thumb. If you find that buying a home would put you over this threshold, consider looking for a cheaper house.</p> <h2>9. Your debt-to-income ratio is approaching 43 percent</h2> <p>In addition to the 30 percent guideline, the federal government also looks at another figure to determine your worthiness for a loan. When banks examine whether to approve you for a loan, they will add up all of your debt (including credit cards, auto loans, etc.) and compare it to your income. If that ratio is more than 43 percent, you may not be approved for the loan. And if you are close to that threshold, you are truly living on the edge financially.</p> <p>If you find that your debt-to-income ratio is on the high side, consider backing away from buying a home immediately. Take time to pay off your other debts and boost your income, if you can. By entering the home buying process with a lower debt-to-income ratio, you'll be less likely to find yourself in a house you can't handle financially.</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%2F9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F9%2520Warning%2520Signs%2520You%2520Can%2527t%2520Afford%2520That%2520New%2520House.jpg&amp;description=9%20Warning%20Signs%20You%20Can't%20Afford%20That%20New%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/u5180/9%20Warning%20Signs%20You%20Can%27t%20Afford%20That%20New%20House.jpg" alt="9 Warning Signs You Can't Afford That New 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/tim-lemke">Tim Lemke</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-warning-signs-you-cant-afford-that-new-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-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/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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-you-shouldnt-buy-a-house-yet">5 Reasons You Shouldn&#039;t Buy a House (Yet)</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/its-now-easier-to-get-a-home-loan-even-if-you-have-student-loan-debt-should-you">It&#039;s Now Easier to Get a Home Loan Even If You Have Student Loan Debt — Should You?</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-times-buying-a-home-with-cash-is-bad-for-your-budget">5 Times Buying a Home With Cash Is Bad for Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing debt to income ratio down payments home buying house poor mortgages private mortgage insurance Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Tim Lemke 2085303 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Worst Reasons to Buy a House http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/little_house_with_defocused_street.jpg" alt="Little house with defocused street" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Each month you send a rent check to your landlord. Meanwhile, every homeowner you know insists that you're wasting that money. They say that you should buy a home and that owning is a smarter financial move.</p> <p>But are they right? Not necessarily.</p> <p>There are good reasons to buy a home: You get a place to call your own and raise your family. You get more space. You'll gain more &mdash; but not complete &mdash; control over your monthly housing payments.</p> <p>This doesn't mean, though, that owning is always the better financial choice. In fact, there are many myths about homeownership that could persuade you to buy for the wrong reasons. Here are four of them.</p> <h2>1. Owning a home is a great investment</h2> <p>It might seem that purchasing a home, holding onto it for years, and then selling it for a profit is a great reason to buy. But the truth is, homes aren't good investments for most owners.</p> <p>Robert Shiller, a Yale economist, has long studied the housing industry, and ranks as a true expert when it comes to real estate and economics. Speaking to <em>The Motley Fool</em> in 2014, Shiller unveiled the numbers proving that housing historically has not been a good investment.</p> <p>Shiller found that from 1890 through 2012, home prices when adjusted for inflation did not grow one cent. Homeowners would have made significantly more money by investing in the stock market during this same time. Shiller reported that the value of the S&amp;P 500 increased more than 2,000 times from 1890 through 2012. Shiller also found that from 1890 through 1980, the real value of home prices actually fell by about 10 percent.</p> <p>Don't buy a home thinking that it's a smart financial investment. It's not. A home is a place to raise your family and retreat to at the end of a long day. It's not supposed to be a moneymaker. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-why-your-house-is-not-an-investment?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Stop Thinking of Your House as an Investment</a>)</p> <h2>2. You're tired of throwing away your money on rent</h2> <p>Advocates of homeownership often tell you that you're throwing away your money every time you pay a rent check. What they don't say is that this doesn't change much after you buy a house &mdash; at least not initially.</p> <p>Most of us take out a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of a house. The bank behind your mortgage will technically own most of your house after you close on it. And in the earlier years of owning a home, the vast majority of the money you send toward the bank goes toward paying off interest. Only a small amount of each monthly payment goes toward paying down the principal of your balance.</p> <p>So, you're still throwing your money at someone with nothing concrete to show for it. You're just throwing it at your bank instead of your landlord. And if you don't hold onto your house long enough &mdash; say, more than seven years &mdash; you'll have paid far more in interest than in reducing your principal balance by the time you sell. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-i-choose-to-rent-instead-of-buy?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Why I Choose to Rent Instead of Buy</a>)</p> <h2>3. You can build equity</h2> <p>Earning equity is one of the most popular reasons for people to buy a home. Say you owe $150,000 on your mortgage and your home is worth $220,000. You now have $70,000 worth of equity. You can borrow against that in the form of a home-equity loan or home equity line of credit to pay for everything from a child's college education, to major home improvements, to reducing credit card debt. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-smartest-ways-to-use-a-home-equity-loan?ref=seealso" target="_blank">4 Smartest Ways to Use a Home Equity Loan</a>)</p> <p>You earn equity in two ways: First, every time you make a payment, you are reducing your mortgage amount. Second, if your home increases in value, your equity will grow automatically.</p> <p>The problem is that home values can fall, and building equity when that happens is a true challenge. Say after three years of owning your home, you've reduced your mortgage amount to $200,000. If home values have fallen since you purchased your residence and your home is now worth just $190,000, you don't have any equity. Instead, you are underwater &mdash; meaning that you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is worth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-its-actually-okay-to-be-underwater-on-your-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Times It's Actually OK to Be Underwater on Your Home</a>)</p> <p>You can't control whether the value of your home falls or rises. Millions of homeowners discovered this in 2007 and 2008, when home values across the country plummeted. Many of the owners who bought in 2005 and 2006 still owe more on their mortgages than what their homes are worth. Building equity isn't a guarantee.</p> <h2>4. Owning a house comes with big rewards at tax time</h2> <p>Advocates of buying a home point to the deductions that owners can take come tax time: Owners can deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages, as well as their property taxes.</p> <p>But these deductions are becoming less valuable to some people. First, the new tax reform law says that owners will only be able to deduct the interest on their mortgage loans up to $750,000, rather than the $1 million that it was previously. Federal tax reform will also limit the amount that taxpayers can deduct in state and local property and income taxes on their federal returns to a maximum of $10,000.</p> <p>The biggest change, though, might be the new standard deduction. Taxpayers filing their federal returns can either itemize their deductions or take the standard deduction. Tax reform will boost the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals. It will increase the standard deduction for couples filing jointly from $12,700 to $24,000.</p> <p>There is no financial reason for taxpayers to itemize their deductions if they aren't greater than the standard deduction. As the standard deduction increases, a greater number of taxpayers will take it instead of itemizing. This means we'll see fewer homeowners taking advantage of the property tax and mortgage interest deductions.</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%2F4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-house&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F4%2520Worst%2520Reasons%2520to%2520Buy%2520a%2520House.jpg&amp;description=4%20Worst%20Reasons%20to%20Buy%20a%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/u5180/4%20Worst%20Reasons%20to%20Buy%20a%20House.jpg" alt="4 Worst Reasons to Buy a 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/dan-rafter">Dan Rafter</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-worst-reasons-to-buy-a-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-11"> <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-common-homebuying-myths-debunked">6 Common Homebuying Myths, Debunked</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/how-to-respond-to-house-shaming">How to Respond to House-Shaming</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-worst-reasons-not-to-buy-a-house">7 Worst Reasons NOT to Buy 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/why-you-should-be-saving-big-with-bi-weekly-mortgage-payments">Why You Should Be Saving Big With Bi-Weekly Mortgage Payments</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 buying a house deductions equity homeownership investments mortgages myths renting taxes wasting money Wed, 31 Jan 2018 09:30:09 +0000 Dan Rafter 2086754 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Good Credit Is Better Than a Boyfriend http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kissing_piggy_bank.jpg" alt="Kissing piggy bank" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Having good credit may not sound like much when compared to romance. After all, there aren&rsquo;t many candlelit dinners, vases overflowing with roses, or long walks on the beach with good credit.</p> <p>However, while having a significant other is a wonderful thing, a strong credit history can enhance your life in ways romance can't quite match. Here are some things that your love life can&rsquo;t always promise you &mdash; but good credit can.</p> <h2>1. Good credit is always there for you</h2> <p>No matter when you need it &mdash; whether it&rsquo;s the middle of the night, or the middle of the workday &mdash; good credit is always there for you. Even if you just want to check it again, one more time to feel more secure, good credit doesn&rsquo;t think you're being clingy.</p> <p>Good credit doesn&rsquo;t require anything special to keep it happy: Simply keep up with smart money habits, and it will show up wherever and whenever you need it, whether it&rsquo;s for a car loan, a home loan, or that new apartment you&rsquo;ve been wanting. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-life-is-better-with-good-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Ways Life Is Better With Good Credit</a>)</p> <h2>2. Good credit comes through in an emergency</h2> <p>Do you need to move across town quickly? Good credit will help you land an awesome new apartment. It will also help get your utilities set up without any deposits or letters of guarantee, making the whole process quick and painless.</p> <p>Maybe your car got totaled and you need a loan for a new one, fast. Good credit will come through for you there, too, giving you a better chance of getting the best terms on the loan for your new ride. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-improve-your-credit-score-fast?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Fast</a>)</p> <h2>3. Good credit rewards you every day</h2> <p>When you have a solid credit score, you stand a much better chance of qualifying for the best rewards credit cards that fit your needs and lifestyle, and at a much lower rate. This means that every time you swipe, you&rsquo;ll earn bonuses, miles, or cash back that will make your life a little sweeter. And it&rsquo;s all thanks to good credit, who helped you land the cards in the first place.</p> <p>A romantic partner might reward you on occasion, but there will undoubtedly be some rocky times. That high credit score, however, is committed to making your life a little better every single day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-for-people-with-excellent-credit?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The Best Credit Cards for People With Excellent Credit</a>)</p> <h2>4. Good credit saves you money</h2> <p>Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries: Significant others can be expensive! Good credit, on the other hand, helps keep your money in your pockets. You&rsquo;ll pay less in deposits for things like utilities and mobile phone contracts. You&rsquo;ll pay less in interest on loans and credit cards. Your auto insurance rates will be lower, too. Every day, you&rsquo;ll have more money to spend on the things that make you happy, all courtesy of good credit.</p> <h2>5. Good credit helps you get a home</h2> <p>Buying a home with your significant other can be pretty scary. Buying a home with good credit, though, is easy. You'll get preapproved in a snap, and your mortgage payment will be lower thanks to a better rate. This will leave you with more room in the budget for things like decorating, dining out, and &mdash; most importantly &mdash; savings. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-is-a-good-credit-score-range?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What Is a Good Credit Score and Why Is It Important?</a>)</p> <h2>6. Good credit helps you get your way</h2> <p>There&rsquo;s no partner on earth who will let you have your way all the time &mdash; but good credit will. Maybe you need a small loan to cover an unexpected home repair. If you harness the negotiation power of a sky-high credit score, you can ask for a lower interest rate or a more attractive repayment plan. You can also shop around for the best quotes from different lenders, and leverage them to get an even better deal.</p> <p>Romantic relationships make life worthwhile and so does having strong credit. Sometimes, romance is better &mdash; but other times, a good credit score is more comforting, reliable, supportive, and helpful than a boyfriend.</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-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520Good%2520Credit%2520Is%2520Better%2520Than%2520a%2520Boyfriend.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20Good%20Credit%20Is%20Better%20Than%20a%20Boyfriend"></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%20Ways%20Good%20Credit%20Is%20Better%20Than%20a%20Boyfriend.jpg" alt="6 Ways Good Credit Is Better Than a Boyfriend" 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/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-good-credit-is-better-than-a-boyfriend">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/why-you-shouldnt-panic-if-your-credit-score-drops">Why You Shouldn&#039;t Panic If Your Credit Score Drops</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/why-the-age-of-your-credit-history-matters">Why the Age of Your Credit History Matters</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/4-surprising-things-lenders-check-besides-your-credit-score">4 Surprising Things Lenders Check Besides Your Credit Score</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-surprising-ways-revolving-debt-helps-you">5 Surprising Ways Revolving Debt Helps You</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/debunking-8-common-credit-score-myths">Debunking 8 Common Credit Score Myths</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance credit history credit score emergencies good credit humor interest rates loans love life mortgages rewards romance Thu, 18 Jan 2018 09:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 2086758 at http://www.wisebread.com Yes, You Still Need an Emergency Fund in Retirement http://www.wisebread.com/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/donation_jar_overflowing_with_american_money.jpg" alt="Donation jar overflowing with American money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You know how important it is to build an emergency fund while you're working. But here's what you might not know: You need to keep that emergency fund well-stocked with savings even after you retire.</p> <p>An emergency fund might be even <em>more</em> important once you leave the working world. You won't have a regular salary to fall back on in retirement if an unexpected expense pops up. One costly car repair or medical bill can set you back and cause a lot of financial problems.</p> <p>While you're working, you should keep anywhere from six months' to a year's worth of daily living expenses in this fund. That way, if you lose your job, you'll have money available to pay your daily living expenses while you search for a replacement. You need to do the same during your retirement.</p> <h2>How an emergency fund changes in retirement</h2> <p>Social Security payments often complicate the emergency fund equation in retirement. That's because you are guaranteed these payments each month. When you're working, there is always a danger that you'll lose your job and your paycheck will disappear. That won't happen with your Social Security benefits. An emergency fund won't ever have to replace this source of income.</p> <p>By the time you reach retirement, you should also know how much other income you can rely on each month. Most of this will probably come from the retirement savings you've built up over time. You should have created a retirement budget listing how much money you'll have available each month when factoring in withdrawals from these savings and Social Security payments. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</a>)</p> <p>What you might not be as certain about are your monthly living expenses. Retirement isn't cheap, and that's where an emergency fund comes in. This liquid savings can help you cover unexpected emergencies that could otherwise break your monthly budget.</p> <p>The challenge, of course, is in estimating how much you should keep in that fund at any given time. There is no magic formula. And how much you'll need depends largely on your health and your housing situation.</p> <h2>The costs of retirement</h2> <p>The most recent Merrill Lynch <em>Finances in Retirement Survey</em> says that the average cost of retirement is $738,400.</p> <p>A good chunk of that cost can be attributed to health care. A recent report from Fidelity found that a healthy 65-year-old couple retiring in 2017 could expect to pay $275,000 throughout their retirements in health care and medical expenses. That figure is rising, with the number 6 percent higher in 2017 than it was a year earlier. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-far-1-million-will-actually-go-in-retirement?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Here's How Far $1 Million Will Actually Go in Retirement</a>)</p> <p>The challenge with health care costs is that you can't control them. You might be healthy when you hit retirement, but there's no guarantee that your health won't decline. Without an emergency fund to cover unexpected medical bills, you risk wiping out a huge chunk of your retirement savings that may be budgeted for other things.</p> <p>Then there's housing. You might have paid off your mortgage and plan to remain in your home. That's ideal &hellip; for now. As you age, you might need assisted living, which certainly isn't inexpensive. And if you enter retirement with a monthly mortgage payment, that can be a huge expense.</p> <p>Even if you do live in your current home without a mortgage payment, you can still expect to pay for property taxes, repairs, and maintenance. And if your home has aged along with you, chances are it may take some extra TLC (and cost) to be maintained. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-unexpected-expenses-for-retirees-and-how-to-manage-them?Ref=seealso" target="_blank">9 Unexpected Expenses for Retirees &mdash; And How to Manage Them</a>)</p> <p>This is why it's so important to maintain an emergency fund in retirement. Much like when you were working, your goal should still be to keep that fund stocked with enough to cover six months' to a year's worth of daily living expenses in case the worst should happen.</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%2Fyes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-retirement&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FYes%252C%2520You%2520Still%2520Need%2520an%2520Emergency%2520Fund%2520in%2520Retirement.jpg&amp;description=Yes%2C%20You%20Still%20Need%20an%20Emergency%20Fund%20in%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/Yes%2C%20You%20Still%20Need%20an%20Emergency%20Fund%20in%20Retirement.jpg" alt="Yes, You Still Need an Emergency Fund in 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/yes-you-still-need-an-emergency-fund-in-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-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/heres-how-you-should-budget-your-social-security-checks">Here&#039;s How You Should Budget Your Social Security Checks</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/why-retiring-with-debt-isnt-the-end-of-the-world">Why Retiring With Debt Isn&#039;t the End of the World</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-ways-to-build-retirement-stability-in-your-50s">5 Ways to Build Retirement Stability in Your 50s</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-myths-about-money-in-retirement">5 Myths About Money in 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/5-american-cities-where-you-can-retire-on-just-social-security">5 American Cities Where You Can Retire On Just Social Security</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Retirement emergency funds health care housing costs income maintenance medical bills mortgages social security Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:00:06 +0000 Dan Rafter 2085674 at http://www.wisebread.com