Posts filed under: Uncategorized

Balancing Risk and Deductibles

The benefit of insurance is to transfer the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. The deductible is an amount the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance starts covering the cost of the loss. […]

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Homeowner Tax Changes

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits. Some of […]

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Surprise When Renting Your Home

Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply and demand […]

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Prevent False Home Security Alarms

Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys neighbors, startles pets and results in expensive false […]

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ATM Safety Tips

During the holidays as throughout the year, getting cash from an ATM is normal for many people. ATM’s are available 24 hours a day and they’re located in bank branches, convenience stores, grocery stores, malls, airports, sports venues and on […]

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Eleventh Hour Gifts Without Shopping

If you’re beginning to feel the pressure of running out of time to find the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions that may not be on their “list” but will certainly be appreciated. The gift of really listening without […]

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Now Is The Time

Every year I’m surprise to hear, “I’m going to wait until spring to put my house on the market.” In some cases this is for convenience. But in most cases it is because of a myth I have been hearing […]

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Don’t Pat Yourself on the Back Just Yet

You’ve got $500,000 in liquid assets for your retirement and you’re still 15 years away. All your bills are paid; you have a small mortgage on your home; cars are paid for and great credit. Don’t break your arm patting […]

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Lighting Conversion Plan

In 2007, Congress passed an energy act that required new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs are being phased out and eventually will be unavailable. The alternative bulbs differ considerably in price. LED bulbs are the most […]

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Holiday Travels

The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town. Ask a trusted friend – to pick […]

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Cash-In Refinance

Would someone really refinance their home and not take money out of it? Certainly, if they could get a lower rate, build equity faster and pay off the home sooner. For people with extra cash available, this can be very […]

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Up-front Points to Lower the Rate

When loans are quoted by lenders, most buyers pay attention to the interest rate but not so much to the points that may be charged along with the rate. A point is one-percent of the mortgage amount and considered pre-paid […]

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Indecision is Not a Decision

There could be some legitimate reasons for not buying a home but indecision is not one of them. Indecision is rooted in not having enough information to move forward to own a home or continue renting. If you keep renting, […]

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Risk Rate Relationship

Regardless of what a lender quotes on mortgage rates, the actual rate a borrower pays is based on a number of variables. Lenders determine whether to loan money and at what rate based on the risk involved with the transaction. […]

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Pre-approval is Good for Everyone

Buyer’s mortgage pre-approval is good for everyone in the transaction. It saves time, money and removes the uncertainty of knowing whether the buyer will be qualified after negotiating a contract. The direct benefits include: Looking at “Right” homes – price, […]

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Easier to Play the Game

It’s much easier to play a game when you know the rules so you can avoid mistakes that may keep you from winning. Homeownership isn’t a game but there are some rules that will protect your investment and increase your […]

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Protecting Your Credit

One of the “big” three credit bureaus recently announced that a massive hack has exposed the personal information of up to 143 million people. To add perspective to that statement, that is about two-thirds of American credit card holders or […]

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Investing on Your Side of the Fence

The grass tends to look greener on the other side of the fence. Maybe that’s why some people invest in things they don’t understand. It has been said that the grass is just as hard to mow on the other […]

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Deductible Dilemma

The purpose of insurance is to shift the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. Most policies have a deductible which reduces the amount of the claim that is paid by having the insured share in […]

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Your Home’s Equity Could Be the Answer

A home equity line of credit, HELOC, is a mortgage loan made to homeowners to be used on an as-needed basis. A lender, such as a bank, will approve a borrower for a specified amount based on the equity in […]

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Which Value Do You Want?

What your home is worth depends on why you ask the question. It could be one value based on a purchase or sale and an entirely different value for insurance purposes. Fair market value is the price a buyer and […]

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Shorter Term – More Savings

Whether you’re refinancing your current home or buying a new one, something worth considering is a 15-year loan rather than a 30-year term. The payments will be a little higher but you’ll get a lower interest rate and you’ll build […]

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Home Energy Aware

After the mortgage payment, the largest homeowner expense is for utilities and the major component is energy. Contributing factors include air leaks, insulation, heating and cooling equipment, water heaters and lighting. Computers, monitors, TVs, cable and satellite boxes, DVRs and […]

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Home Safe Home

Home is a place you should feel safe and secure. Sometimes, we take it for granted and unfortunately, we do need to remain vigilant about things we do that could compromise our safety. Here are a few tips to consider: […]

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Other People’s Money for College

Consider the goal of funding a child’s college education in the future. If “other people’s money” in the form of a scholarship is not a possibility, there still may be another way to use some “other people’s money.” A $25,000 […]

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Assumptions are an Alternative

In the late 80’s, both FHA and VA began requiring buyers to qualify to assume their mortgages. The main reason there haven’t been many assumptions in the past 25 years is that interest rates have been steadily going down and […]

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Family & Friends Mortgage

Anytime a lender and borrower can agree on rates and terms, it can be a good match but IRS has specific rules that govern the transaction especially when the parties are family or friends. The loan must be done in […]

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Down Payment Problem – Are You Sure?

There is increasing difficulty for first-time home buyers to save for their down payment as indicated in the graph. Several factors that contribute to this trend include rising rents, rising home prices, student loan debt and flat wages. Some would-be […]

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Don’t Have a CLUE?

If you haven’t heard of a CLUE report, it has nothing to do with the table game searching for a murderer. It is a report showing the insurance claims on your home and car for the past five to seven […]

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Emergency Kit for the Car

Mickey Mantle said “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” Similarly, if people planning their summer travel knew they were going to have an emergency, they would have the right […]

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What Can You Expect?

Businesses must treat customers fairly if they expect to do business with them again or get recommendations to their friends. Customers of stores like Nordstrom’s understand that a salesperson is an employee and represents the company. The line becomes less […]

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Hands-Only CPR

Hands-only CPR can save lives. The American Heart Association states that “Almost 90% of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, can double or triple a person’s chance […]

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Must Be This Tall to Ride

Surely, you remember being a child at an amusement park when after having stood in line with your friends and family, waiting to get on a terrific ride, you discovered the sign that read, “you must be this tall to […]

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Would-be Buyers with Student Debt

59% of non-owners are not comfortable taking on a mortgage with their student debt according to the Aspiring Home Buyers 2017 survey. It is estimated that the college graduates have an average of $37,172 in student debt. Fannie Mae, who […]

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Good Info – Good Decisions

While low inventory is certainly challenging buyers, not having a clear understanding of mortgage financing is also causing issues. By having good information, they are able to make better decisions as well as compete favorably. Most buyers don’t realize how […]

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Reasons to Refinance

Regardless of the reason to refinance a home, the basic question to ask is: “Do you plan to live in the home long enough to recapture the cost of refinancing?” There are always expenses involved in refinancing which can be […]

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Indecision May Cost More

“More has been lost due to indecision than was ever lost to making the wrong decision.” Interest rates have as much effect on housing costs as price and when they are both trending upward, it can be very expensive to […]

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Would-be to Should-be

Some would-be buyers have emotional reasons to own a home like having a place of their own where they can raise a family, feel safe and secure and enjoy their friends’ company. Other buyers’ dominant reasons might be financial in […]

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An Alternative to Paying Tax Today

The cartoon character Wimpy would say that he’d gladly repay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Some real estate investors say a similar thing to Uncle Sam to be able to hold on to their proceeds from the sale of […]

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Lower the Rate – Deduct the Interest

Credit card debt in America is back to levels prior to the recession. The average credit card APR is just under 16% according to CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Report. Homeowners have an advantage over renters when it comes to getting […]

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Rentals are IDEAL

Rental homes are the IDEAL investment because they offer a higher rate of return than other investments without the volatility of the stock market. With certificates of deposit and bonds at less than 2%, people need an alternative investment that […]

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Save the Cost of Mortgage Insurance

During the banking crisis in the Great Recession, certain types of mortgages were unavailable that are once again being offered. Fortunately, the 80-10-10 mortgage is one of those making a reappearance and it can save borrowers a considerable amount of […]

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Important Estate Documents

An estate plan is a collection of documents to ensure that your wishes are carried out because of death or incapacity to make decisions for yourself. Spouses, minor children, adult children, property and investments can all be factors that should […]

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Tax Benefits of Home Ownership

U.S. taxpayers have enjoyed specific tax benefits for home ownership since personal income tax was introduced by the 16th amendment in 1913. While these benefits may not be the primary reason that motivates a person to buy a home, they […]

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Before You Pay Cash for a Home

The National Association of REALTORS® reports in its 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers that 12% of all buyers paid cash for their home. Before paying cash for a home, a buyer should decide if they might put a […]

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Not Available for All Buyers

Lenders regularly publish mortgage rates but they may not be available for all buyers. Imagine that the mortgage payment based on an advertised rate influenced a buyer to make an offer on a home. After negotiating a binding contract, this […]

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Six Reasons to Consider Rental Homes

Single-family homes offer an investor the ability to borrow large loan-to-value amounts at fixed interest rates for long terms on appreciating assets, tax advantages and reasonable control. Some of these characteristics are not available through other investments. 75-80% loan-to-value mortgages […]

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What Would You Give?

Yogi Berra said he’d give his right arm to be ambidextrous. While most first-time home buyers are not going to that extreme, it is interesting to see what sacrifices are being made according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2016 […]

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Attracting Buyers

There is a common body of knowledge among real estate professionals that indicates that the longer a home is on the market, the lower the price will be. Many sellers discount this belief in the beginning because they feel confident […]

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Rent or Buy – You Pay for the House You Occupy

The ironic thing about people who think they can’t afford to buy a home for themselves, end up buying the home for their landlord. There are several facts that support this notion. Mortgages, whether held by an owner-occupant or an […]

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