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Home Ownership

Beware of Hidden Costs in Mortgage Deals

Whether you are buying your first home or have purchased and refinanced several homes over the years, you no doubt are making your best effort to budget and plan financially for your mortgage. The most obvious expense associated with a mortgage pertains to the regular monthly obligation of your mortgage payment. However, a mortgage also comes with various loan fees and closing costs. Some of these are required to be paid at the beginning of the loan process, and others will be paid at the closing table. While effort is made to fully disclose these fees and costs to a mortgage applicant, there are some hidden costs and fees that often take a mortgage applicant by surprise.

Taxes and Insurance

Many mortgage lenders require you to establish an escrow account when you open a new loan. This escrow account will be used to pay for property taxes and interest, and lenders generally prefer to keep approximately three to six months’ worth of property taxes and homeowner’s insurance payments in the escrow account. The actual amount collected from you, however, will vary based on the time of year it is and the lender’s requirements. A collection of several months’ worth of property taxes and homeowners insurance is a significant expense that is often overlooked.

Loan Origination Fees

A loan origination fee is a fee that a broker charges you to work on your loan, and some lenders will also charge this fee. Some may call it an origination fee, and others will call it a generic loan fee or a lender fee. In some cases, this is a flat fee that is easy to budget for. However, it is common for this fee to be listed as a percentage of the loan amount. A seemingly small percentage, such as one or two percent, may be overlooked by a typically borrower as a small fee. However, in reality, a one or two percent fee can be rather significant.

Loan Points

Loan points or “buydown” points are often tacked onto a loan in order to reduce the interest rate. Some lenders and mortgage brokers will advertise a very low interest rate that has several loan points tacked onto it. You may believe that you are getting a great deal on your loan request because of the unbeatable interest rate you are receiving. However, the loan points that are being used to buy down the interest rate will generally need to be paid at closing, and these typically will range from a half a percent to two percent or more. The cost of loan points coupled with other closing costs and fees can be expensive.

It is common for total loan costs on a typical loan to be approximately three to five percent of the loan amount. However, there is a great deal of flexibility and variation in this area. Some fees are negotiable, such as loan origination fees, and some borrowers have been able to reduce their closing costs through negotiation. Other fees may be needed. For example, mortgage protection insurance or a borrower may need to buy down the interest rate with a loan point in order to qualify for the loan amount needed. Regardless of the total loan costs, these expenses and fees ultimately can catch you off guard if you have not planned for them. With this in mind, ask your lender or mortgage broker for an estimated closing statement very early on in the loan process. If any factors change during the loan process, request an updated estimated closing statement. This effort can help you to better plan for the closing costs and fees associated with your loan.

Home Ownership

Real Estate Boom in India Reflects a Momentous Growth

Real estate demands have increased manifold in India. The population of India is a vast spread topic of discussion all over the world. With that there has been economic and social growth. Real estate business has also flourished and taken a total different shape altogether. From villages and a few houses in the city areas came in the flat or compound system. Too many developments in the small areas less free space has become a trend. The latest hot cake of the market is high rise sky scrapers. The country saw a sudden bloom in the real estate business just a few years back and now there is no looking back. Malls, office buildings, complex residencies, theme based residencies, theme parks and many such developments have occurred and are still continuing.

Properties in India are now the new investment area. Everyone is interested in investing in these sectors and making significant gains by re-selling them. The prices have been constantly on the rise and even suburbs of all metropolitans are developing in a huge way. Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad have seen a sharp rise in the prices of properties.

The cost of land is increasing in every part of the country. Owning property has become easy owing to the loan system that the banks are offering. The ideology of the youth is also at a huge turn point in the recent years. The youngsters are earning since an early age with the BPO trend setting in. Some are just completing their higher secondary and getting a job with a pretty good pay role. Their first target becomes to buy a car, sell house fast Miami and buy then a new house. Since the banks give a good EMI scheme, the process also gets easy and affordable. Young parents also want to invest into property to secure a good amount for the future of their children. The real estate business has really blossomed seeing such a good rise of properties in India. Many people are getting into the business as brokers and renters using The Scout Group. They earn quite a lump sum with each new buyer.

Nowadays, with the help of the internet one can even go through the developing or developed projects of the country. If you are interested in buying a place in any particular city you can simply log on to the net and search for sites which will help you locate the exact kind of property you are looking for. Everything has been made easily available and at one’s fingertips, owing to the advancements in the world of technology. Selling ones old property gives one a good amount which they can use for further investment or any other purpose. Properties in India have really been the most developing part of the country. The flow of economy is constant and it helps in the inflow of money from other sources as well. The sky-scrapers are coming up in a huge way now and very soon India will see a new phase with such new developments.

Also read: Finding a Home in Sea Pines Plantation, SC.

Home Ownership

Struggling With Property Taxes? Here’s What You Need To Do

As a homeowner, you have the responsibility to pay property taxes. Property tax rates vary depending on where you live, which means that the tax rates in one state could be much higher than in another. So citizens living in one area, could pay a different amount of tax to people living in a similar sized house in a different area.

Over the past few years, property taxes in the US have increased, leaving many homeowners struggling to keep up with their bills. As property tax prices have increased, more and more families have struggled to keep up with the prices.

If you are struggling with your property tax bills, then you may be feeling anxious or worried about how you will cope. But try not to worry, there are plenty of ways you can get your finances back on track.

Property Taxes

Image from Flickr

To help you get your property taxes and finances back on track, we have put together a handy guide below:

Know how much tax you should pay

The first thing you need to do is find out how much property tax you should be paying each month. You can do this by picking up the property card for your home from the assessor’s office, or can request having it sent in the post.

Once you have your property card, you can then start working out what you should be paying each month and how much you owe.

Ask for help

Once you know your debt sum, the next step is to ask for help. You might be embarrassed admitting that you can’t afford to pay your bill, but there is no need to be. At some point or another, most families have financial problems, so there is no need to feel ashamed.

If you are unsure who to contact for help, start off by contacting your local assessor’s office. They should either be able to give you the help you need or point you in the direction of someone who can.

Get a loan

When we say get a loan, we don’t mean the type of loan that goes through loan sharks, we meant a legal loan.

If you are going through a financial blip and are struggling to pay your tax, looking at the option of Reliance Tax Loans could be ideal. While it might seem like a backwards step, getting a loan can give you the boost you need to get your property tax in order.

Cut down on spending

If you are short of money for your property tax bills, it’s a good idea to cut down on your day to day spending. As this will give you a little extra money to use to cover your bills.

Just small things, like taking a packed lunch to work or shopping at a budget store, can make all the difference. Instead of buying a latte every morning, take a coffee to work in a heatproof cup. Instead of going to the gym every day, swap to three times a week and run on the other days.

It’s amazing how much of a difference just a few small changes can make to your wallet. Start slowly and begin to implement a variety of changes over the space of a few weeks.

Home Ownership

Avoid Mortgage Frauds – Protecting Your Money And Your Credit!

Buying your own property is one of the most exciting things you can do. It gives you the freedom you’ve always wanted, and provides a financial safety net for your future. Perhaps you already own your own home, but want to invest in more property to let out to tenants? It can be a lucrative source of income.

There’s never been a better time to buy real estate, but to get it you’re going to need to take a mortgage. There are some good deals to be had, but are some of them too good to be true? Too many property buyers are falling victim to property fraud. It can deplete your money now, and have a major impact on your future credit rating. Here are some facts about mortgage fraud, along with steps you can take to stop it happening to you.

Why Mortgage Fraud Is On the Rise

In these difficult financial times, people are looking for alternative sources to fund their home purchases. Unfortunately, professional fraudsters are exploiting this for their own gains. A study by the FBI shows that in a four year period, the amount of mortgage fraud cases they investigated rose by 176%, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg.

What are the Consequences of Mortgage Fraud?

If you become the victim of mortgage fraud it can have a devastating effect on your financial security now, and on your ability to obtain credit in the future. You may find that there are hidden debts that come with the home that you just purchased, or that the amount that you are expected to pay back is much higher than you expected. This can lead to foreclosure, where you lose your home as well as your money.

Another scam that mortgage fraudsters are happy to use is identity theft. They take the personal and financial details that you supply, and use it to open credit lines in your name which are then emptied. By the time you find out, the damage is done.

If you have to foreclose on a loan, or if fraudulent credit is taken using your details, your credit score will plummet. When you have a poor credit score, you may find it impossible to obtain loans, future mortgages, or even store cards.

How to Avoid Mortgage Fraud

Now you’ve seen the devastating consequences that mortgage fraud can bring, you need to know how to protect yourself from it. The most important thing to remember is that you can’t always trust your instincts. You need to use tools like the ir35 calculator to get a unbiased view on the facts. Experienced fraudsters know how to convey a professional image that will make them appear above suspicion. They’re experts at gaining the trust of honest people like you. Here are some steps that you should always take when applying for a mortgage:

  • Check the credentials and licenses of realtors and mortgage professionals
  • Be wary of ‘no deposit’ mortgages
  • Find out what other homes in the neighbourhood are selling for
  • Read all documents thoroughly, preferably with an attorney
  • Never sign an incomplete document
  • Never be talked into putting misleading information on your application

Following these steps may take you a little more time, but it can save you money today and in the future. Mortgage documents and application forms can seem confusing, that’s why it always pays to have an expert legal eye look them over.

Another potential scam to be aware of comes if you are in danger of foreclosure. You may be approached by a foreclosure assistance firm who say they can help you keep your home. Once again, make sure that you check their credentials thoroughly, or else you could find that they take your money and disappear.

By being vigilant, and checking both documentation and the licenses of everyone you deal with, you can protect you and your family from the effects of mortgage fraud.

Home Ownership

Transforming Your Window Dressings without Spending the Earth

The property television shows might be big on major retrofitting projects at the moment, but something that often goes unnoticed are window dressings. From the occupier’s perspective they not only shape the appearance of a room, but also control the amount of natural light and heat that comes into it. Then, from the outsiders, there’s that elusive curb appeal that we all seek to satisfy.

Fortunately, you don’t have to invest ridiculous sums into improving your window dressings. While some of the modern types can be costly, you can improvise and still net a window to be proud of, with really nice tips from agencies like Northern Lights Exteriors etc.

On some occasions, the industry itself helps you with this. It’s no secret that natural materials are, and always will be, big. Wood for example always has been in fashion, and always will be. It just looks classy and everybody knows that it’s a premium material that’s just appreciated.

The problem with wood and blinds is that they are expensive when combined. Genuine wood blinds are pricy and as this article is focused on budget action, we certainly wouldn’t advocate investing in a set. However, the industry has adapted and launched faux wood blinds, which look practically identical. They also offer the same durability benefits, so if you are looking to create that premium window dressing there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t opt for the little brother of genuine wood.

Another development in the blinds industry is insulated shades, or other forms that aim to effectively lock the heat in a room. Suffice to say, it’s pretty smart technology and you will be paying more for them than your standard set of blinds. Therefore, it’s time to improvise. In essence, all these shades are doing is layering up the room – using a cellular design to achieve this. While you can’t exactly mimic this exact shape, you can combine your blinds with curtains to enhance your room’s thermal properties. Curtains certainly don’t cost the earth and if done correctly, can fit perfectly with a set of blinds.

You don’t have to target blinds or curtains though – you can look to tinker with the glazing itself. This is more an appearance-related tip, whereby the purchase of decorative films really can make it look unique and perhaps quirky. These films are inexpensive to purchase and can again transform your window dressing without significant investment.

Already, it’s becoming clear that window dressings don’t have to cost the earth to fine-tune. While some technologies are priced extraordinary high, you don’t have to go the full length and can improvise to create a brand new dressing.

However, through all of these decisions you should take into account exactly what you are looking to achieve from your new-look window. If you are looking to boost its energy efficiency properties, it’s sometimes better to make that higher investment and experience the big savings for years to come. If it’s just the appearance you’re looking to influence, take short cuts as you please. Guess, time to find the best roof colors for any home now, another money-saving post coming.