Month : November 2011

Guest Post

Is it better to buy small?

New homebuyers are confronted with a large selection of homes for sale. Traditionally, smaller homes have always been less expensive than bigger homes. 

This has helped narrow down the selection for new buyers since they usually have to stick within a limited budget. The fluctuating mortgage rates in the past few years have added a new dimension to home buying. 

In recent years many large homes have been built. Due to the economy these homes have now become far less valuable than they used to be. This has forced homeowners to put them on the market for much less than they paid for them.

The low price of large homes is encouraging many new buyers to jump into the market at the higher end of the spectrum.

Mortgage rates are favorable at the moment and are making this leap into the higher end of the market much more affordable for the average buyer.

New buyers should be aware of the extra costs that bigger homes bring with them before they jump at the chance to buy a big home. Homes have to be regularly maintained and repaired to keep their market value.

Owning a large home means that the repair costs will be bigger than for a smaller home. Replacing carpets and roofing the home will cost more because of the larger spaces involved.

There are more rooms to heat or keep cool and if the house needs to be repainted there is more area to cover with paint. Large houses tend to have big yards that need to be maintained.

Monthly utility bills are higher for large homes and if the home regains some of its former value the tax bills will also go up. Big houses have more rooms to clean and keep tidy.

Working families may have to hire a cleaning company to keep a large home clean. Living in a small home allows people to spend less money on furnishing the home.

A large home usually has rooms that no one uses but these are often kept furnished anyways. Many people with big homes gather a large amount of useless items in their home so that the home will not look so empty.

Small homes encourage a simpler lifestyle where life is not ruled by all the stuff that is owned. When kitchen counters and cabinets need to be replaced in large homes it can cost a fortune.

Small homes are much cheaper to upgrade and buy quality replacement parts for. As energy costs rise small homes will continue to be affordable to heat.

Selling a small home is a lot easier than selling a large home because more people can afford to buy smaller homes. Mortgage rates may rise making big homes even harder to sell.

Buying a large home may be a good choice for some, especially those with large families, but it is not necessarily a good deal for the average buyer when all costs are added up.

Guest Post

Advantages of an Injury Lawyer

First of all, let’s see what a personal injury lawyer is. An injury lawyer is a lawyer specialized in processing cases of injury caused to a person due to wrongdoing or negligence on the part of another person or entity. The injury thus caused may be psychological or physical and may damage the victim’s rights, reputation, or property in a financial or non-financial way. These lawyers are especially capable of helping with medical claims like in cases of neck injury caused by whiplash due to accident (in fact, automobile cases are the most common type of case injury lawyers solve), injuries suffered at work due to adverse work conditions, and in injuries caused by slipping and falling due to exceptionally slippery conditions on a surface of a person’s property.

Your personal injury attorney will begin by negotiating with the other party’s insurance to achieve a reasonable compromise between the two. If this fails, the case will proceed to courts and your attorney will stay on to assist you in obtaining rightful compensation for all the damages and inconveniences (including compensation for the injuries themselves and any wages missed from the inability to work because of the injuries) inflicted on you.

It’s very beneficial to have continued access to a personal injury lawyer’s service even if the case doesn’t reach the courts. Especially if the other party (the party you are holding responsible for your injury) can call on a good injury lawyer themselves. Injury lawyers are capable of constructing a labyrinth of lawful trickery around you leaving you helpless and further mentally injured as you- unless you work in this field- will not possess the skills or knowledge to face someone like an attorney aptly armed for their job. Competent injury lawyers are capable of clearing a path for you out this maze the other side drops you into. Some highly adept injury lawyers are even capable of claiming with no win no fee cases- a type of case in which all your efforts are refunded if you lose, creating a situation in which you “win” either way the case turns.

When you sustain injury from any situation, keep your calm and visit a personal injury lawyer as soon as your medical examination is complete. Until then, don’t speak to anybody else about the problem. The lawyer will first help you decide whether you can make claims for the injuries received by you. Then he will assist you in making those claims. The most significant thing that you should remember is to trust your injury attorney and readily and quickly provide the information that they request. Most cases of this type fail not because of the lawyer’s incompetence, but the client’s inability to provide him with what he needs, in time.

This post was brought to you by www.medicalsolicitors.co.uk

Guest Post

Green Cars – A Good Way to Save?

Everyone knows that there are environmental benefits to be had from green cars (green as in ‘environmentally friendly’, that is, not green as in… green), but what about the monetary side of things? There are often conflicting reports given as to whether green cars save or cost you money – reports that usually vary according to whether the person making the claims is a fan of green cars or not. But which side has the better argument? For instance, do green cars lead to cheap car insurance, as some have suggested? 

Well… yes and no. The current state of affairs and the green car market suggests that these cars help you save in some ways but can cost more in others. Largely this is because it’s still a relatively young market, and so the benefits of going green in your choice of vehicle are only just starting to become apparent. As more green cars come into circulation (with the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt being two recent examples) and the infrastructure to support them becomes more comprehensive, it should be easier to save money with this type of car. 

Different shades of green

Much of the contention also occurs because there are different types of green car available. For instance, the Prius is probably the best known example of a ‘green’ car. This type of car is a hybrid and, while it is better for the environment than a big gas guzzler, it doesn’t currently save you a huge amount of money – if anything at all. 

However, electric cars such as the Volt and Leaf, which are designed for the mass market and are being supported by developments elsewhere, arguably have more potential to save you cash in the long run. For instance, schemes are being set up in places such as Houston to support people who buy the Nissan Leaf by installing charge ports in their homes. 

Insurance

This is another area where there are conflicting reports as to whether green cars help you save money. Currently, there are no clear trends to suggest that having a green car will get you cheaper car insurance. However, reports from Canada suggest that generally, car insurance companies quite like green car drivers, perhaps because there’s a perception that they’re safer than the average driver. This has led some companies to offer discounts on insurance for green car drivers, which suggests that if you know where to look, you can save money on insurance. 

Development of infrastructure

Arguably, one of the biggest challenges for saving money on green cars is that the infrastructure simply isn’t there yet. It’s definitely on its way, and there are charge points for electric cars appearing all over the place now, but the system is still very much being developed. Until all of the infrastructure is in place, however, and drivers have stopped worrying about not being able to charge their car when they need to, it’s probably going to be quite hard to persuade skeptics to adopt green cars to help promote the benefits of them. 

When they do, however, there are potentially some great savings to be made, so this is certainly one market to watch.

This is a guest post

Guest Post

Why now is a good time to buy your new home

Experts agree. Now is the time to buy a home. With so many homes being foreclosed on and people forced into bankruptcy, it may not seem like it, but savvy real estate investors have always taken advantage of downturned economic climates. 

Right now, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage comes with less than a five percent interest rate. That’s astounding, considering how high rates have been over the past couple of decades. 

The real estate market hasn’t seen this kind of interest rate low since before the 1980s and that’s something to take advantage of. 

Homeowners in a financial bind are more motivated to sell their house than they would have been a few years ago, which means they’re selling for much less than they’d like. This automatically makes it a buyer’s market. 

There is also a surplus of homes on the market right now, so much so that it’s practically flooded. Houses are being listed and merely sitting on the market and buyers have their pick among the competitive home prices. 

The cost of renting has also skyrocketed. With so many people forced into foreclosure and unable to qualify for mortgages, investors and landlords are upping the costs of apartment homes. 

Chances are you’ve already seen the rental price hike if you’re currently renting and you’ve probably looked into buying just to get out from under the rising costs. That’s a smart move. 

Even though the housing prices have declined dramatically and interest is at an all-time low, it won’t stay there. 

Potential homebuyers should act quickly to get the best prices and lock in that low interest rate. Nobody knows when prices will go up again, but they most likely will not go any lower than this. 

Aside from a cheap, 5% 30-year interest rate, the 15-year mortgage is enjoying less than a 4% interest rate, but it won’t stay there. The interest rate in 2012 is already projected to be 5.7%, which is one full percentage above where the interest rates are today. 

The government intends to shift mortgages into the private market, which means that qualifying for a home loan will only get more difficult. If you qualify for a mortgage now, it’s time to take advantage of it. 

Holding off to see where the market and interest rates head may mean that you’ll have a harder time qualifying for the same mortgage you could easily get today. 

Attending open houses today is also less stressful because there’s less competition. Plenty of people may be showing up for a peek at these homes, but most aren’t in the market to buy. 

With few buyers and countless sellers, you’ll have your pick of homes. This also means you may have more wiggle room to put in lower bids.

Maybe you’re not sure whether or not you can afford a monthly mortgage repayment. If so, punch the numbers with a handy mortgage repayment calculator

A mortgage repayment calculator will let you see your prospective repayment amount based on the current interest rates. You can even figure the difference based on next year’s prospective rates.

This is a guest post

Guest Post

Refinancing your Home Loan when it makes the Most Sense

Whenever your life is changed by a major event, it is important to determine what it will affect.  For instance, an upcoming home renovation or the prospect of an investment property could be indicators to refinance your home loan if interest rates have dropped.  If you review your mortgage regularly and perform a home loan comparison, you’ll know when refinancing could be a great idea for you.

Long Term Savings

Refinancing your home makes a huge impact on the overall cost of a home.  For example, a $200,000 loan for 30 years at 5.5% would cost $408,808 over the 30 year term.  But if that loan was refinanced 15 years in at 4.5% for the remaining 15 years, the overall cost of the home would drop to $387,440.  That’s more than $21,000 in savings minus the cost of the refinance without ever paying additional principal to the loan.  $21,000 could be used for something as big as a down payment on an investment property.

On a side note, the same family could easily save tens of thousands more if they paid additional principal the entire time.  Additional principal payments can be the key to shaving years off of a home loan and can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

Short Term Savings

Home refinancing seems like a major hassle, so people tend to concentrate on it only to save tens of thousands over time.  But if you can refinance at a significantly lower interest rate, you can save real money each month right off the bat.  In the example above, refinancing the remaining $133,000 after being 15 years into the loan dropped the $1135 payment to about $1020.  That an extra $115 every month could be put aside for short term savings goals like a home renovation or anything else that floats your boat.

On another side note, that monthly extra could also be diverted towards principal reduction.  That would lead to shaving months or years off of the end of the loan.

In short, home refinancing is always a good idea if you can get a significantly lower interest rate and if you have enough principal left for the refinance to be worth the closing costs.  A great refinance helps you whether you are looking at the short term or long term savings benefits.

This is a guest post