Category / Home Ownership

Home Ownership

Solve Your Financial Worries with a Home Equity Release

Financial worries are something which plague many of us. This is particularly true at the moment, when the housing market is struggling, employment opportunities are still low, and borrowing is at an all time high. Many people are finding it hard to make ends meet, with some fearing that they may lose their homes.

Even those who own their own homes are worrying, with many fearing that they will not be able to keep up with their mortgage repayments or utility bills. But for these people, help is on hand. If you own your own home, even if you still have an outstanding mortgage, you are what’s known as ‘asset rich’, no matter what your income.

Making the Most of Your Assets

If you are ‘asset rich’ – that is, if you are a homeowner, rather than a renter, then you may be able to convert your property into much needed cash. This is known, in the broadest sense of the term, as an equity release.

Strictly speaking, anyone who decides to release equity from their home will continue to live there afterwards. Equity can be released by taking a second mortgage, or by any other route whereby the value of your home is used to generate income.

However there is another way to release equity from your home, and that is to sell your property outright.

Selling Your Property in a Stagnant Market

Whilst selling your home may sound like a great idea, many people have already tried to do so and have come up against the problems inherent in a stagnant housing market. These include, falling prices, a lack of buyers and undesirable / unobtainable mortgages.

Luckily, there is a solution on hand. The House Buyer Bureau – – can buy your house quickly, and for cash, no matter what state the market is in.  

What Is a House Buying Bureau?

A reputable property buying bureau, such as The House Buyer Bureau, is a professional organisation with experience in buying properties in many locations, and in varying conditions. The main benefit of using a bureau, rather than an estate agent, is that there are no fees to pay, and no waiting around. So if you need to sell your property quickly, in order to free up some much needed cash, contact The House Buyer Bureau today to find out how they can help.

Home Ownership

The Hidden Costs of Buying a Home

First-time home buyers are often unprepared for the hidden costs of buying a home. After they have negotiated with the seller and agreed upon a purchase price, and have received verification from their lender for a mortgage, they are hit with a variety of other expenses that will likely increase their costs by an average of 3 to 6 percent of the home’s value.

For the uninitiated, here’s a list of some of the extra expenses you can expect when buying a home:

Points or Loan Origination Fees – These are upfront payments of the interest that you owe your lender for providing your mortgage. They can range up to 3 percent of the loan amount.

Broker Fees – If you acquired your mortgage through a broker, you will have to pay a fee for the service.

Home Inspection – It’s very risky to buy a home that hasn’t been professionally inspected for any potential problems or defects, and most lenders require an inspection. That cost accrues to you.

Appraisal – Your lender will typically expect you to have the home appraised to ensure that the property value and selling price are correct.

Survey – Many lenders will require you to pay for a survey to determine if there are any inconsistencies in the property’s boundaries.

Credit Report – You will have to pay for a credit report so that your lender can determine your credit worthiness, and to set the loan’s interest rate. You may want to have your credit card debt resolved at this time.

Title Search and Insurance – You will have to pay a title company to examine the ownership records of the property in order to discover any outstanding liens. You will also have to pay for a policy to ensure against errors in the title search.

Private Mortgage Insurance – If your down payment is less than 20 percent, you will have to pay private mortgage insurance as an added cost to your monthly mortgage payment.

Home Insurance – Your lender will require that you purchase a homeowner’s insurance policy that is sufficient to protect its investment in your property.

Document and Recording Fees – In order to properly record the transfer of real property, you will have to pay a variety of fees to local, county and/or state municipalities.

Escrow Fees – These fees are charged to process the paperwork and keep your money in a safe place while you and your seller negotiate final details of the sale.

Real Estate Taxes – You will be liable for taxes on your new home to be paid either yearly or as part of your monthly mortgage payment. You will also have to pay prorated taxes upfront before you can claim title.

Junk Fees – Don’t be surprised at a variety of “junk fees” that can show up on your closing statement. Courier service, wire transfers, credit insurance, inflated recording fees, underwriting and processing fees can all add hundreds of dollars to the cost of buying a home.

Move-In Costs – Don’t forget that you will also need to hire a moving company to move your belongings. You may also need to purchase new carpeting, furniture, appliances, etc.

While some fees can be waived or negotiated, others cannot. So before signing on the dotted line, make sure you understand all the hidden costs of buying your home.

Also, be prepared that you may have to return to your lender at some point in the near future, either to refinance your home or to modify your mortgage. And be sure to look into the hidden costs of those options, as well, before committing to them.

Home Ownership

The True Cost of Home Security

Home security is a sound investment for those that want to ensure their dwelling, and all of the items housed within, is protected to the fullest. Unfortunately, security is one of those items of owning or renting a house that comes secondary to other important costs until the owner gets a shock to the system such as when they read of a burglary within the neighborhood; then they scramble to get something installed and running.

Home security has gone down in price, but up in technology. The combination of falling prices of digital cameras and other electronics associated with security means a homeowner can make the solid investment in security without breaking the bank; you can see for yourself at

There are added benefits that come with modern home security systems such as lowered home insurance premiums, ability to monitor the dwelling from mobile devices, remotes, and a multi-point system that aids in the prevention of faults in the system.

ADT is one of the leading home security companies in the United States which define the market and pricing for the industry which makes their offers a great foundation for understanding the costs involved with the installation and regular maintenance of a security system.

Many features and items offered through major services like ADT have become commonplace with other companies, as well, so here is an overview and breakdown of what it may cost on your end:

  • Base installation – $99 is the basic and $199 for premium packages
  • Monthly costs: $36.99 – $53.99

The basic package comes with all the bells and whistles you’d want to cover home security (this is the $36.99 a month package):

  • Monitoring
  • Digital keypad
  • 3 entryway contacts
  • Keychain remote
  • Pet detector
  • High-decibel alarm
  • Backup battery
  • Yard sign and decals

Anyone that have entered a house that has a keypad will immediately understand what type of protection it brings though you may want to expand on some of the features depending on your neighborhood and whether you want that stress on mind.

Here are some of the extras that come with loftier packages:

Essentials Plus ($42.99/mo)

  • Everything from the basic package but with the ability to contact a professional through an intercom on the wireless keypad (Two-Way Voice).

Total Protection ($44.99/mo)

  • Everything in the basic but you won’t need a phone line to send a signal to the security office (Cellguard).

Total Protection Plus ($47.99/mo)

  • The basics but also the Cellguard and Two-Way Voice features

Premium Protection Plus ($53.99/mo)

  • All of the benefits and features before but now with advanced elements such as remote arm/disable, web & mobile access, email & text alerts, and event history (ADT Pulse).

There are some additional options for video cameras and a lamp module which will come dependent on ones need and number of locations required for monitoring.

Consider the cost of a burglary. Your home houses not just its physical items but loved individuals. Physical and psychological damage may come as a result of a burglary even if an individual merely smashes a window or makes an attempt at the door. The basic package will costs just under $500 a year to provide the essential security services.

Owning a home is a big deal, but it’s about what assets it houses that makes it truly a worthwhile investment. Protect those that dwell in the living space and the previous, irreplaceable items by consider home security – it’s worth the peace of mind even if you never need to use it.

Home Ownership

Earn Income From Your Own Property The Easy Way

When you are looking for a way to secure a good income without having to rely on an employer, working for yourself can seem like a good idea. The trouble is, there is a constant demand on your time and resources to deliver goods or services to an ever-changing market place. Instead, think about investing. If you have some money or property behind you, investing is a way to make that cash work hard for you. After years of careful saving and sacrifice, now may be the time to see what that hard earned cash can get you for the future.

Property will always be a good thing to invest in because the global population continues to rise. Housing will always be required, and home builders cannot keep up with demand. This pushes the price up on properties, making them a good investment. Because the cost of buying a home is so high most people under forty cannot afford to buy. Therefore, rental property is desperately needed. If you have any property, now is the time to look at becoming a landlord.

Even if you do not have a property to rent out, you can buy property to let. You don’t need to be a cash buyer either. Mortgage lenders are happier to lend on a buy to let than for a first home because they know you are generating income to repay the mortgage. Rates are quite favorable at the moment too. There will always be a need for rental property, so consider building a portfolio. If you like DIY, you could buy doer uppers and make a profit from selling on if you needed to raise some cash.

Earned Income

Thanks to Flickr for this pic

As a landlord, you will need to protect your home and yourself. Have a look at or other insurance websites to find out what level of cover you may need. Your property will need to be protected against damage, and you will need some personal liability cover too. Take some time to find the right cover for the kind of properties and tenancies you are expecting to be dealing with.

If you prefer not to deal with the occupants of your properties, you can leave the advertising, property management and tenancy agreements to a letting agent. They work on your behalf. Some take a fixed fee while others will take a percentage of the income derived from the agreement. This will reduce your income but will take a lot of the hassle of letting your house off your hands.

Many landlords find they can pay their mortgage and still have enough rental income left to live comfortably. Investing in property this way can be very satisfying, as you get to keep the property as part of your portfolio for as long as you like. If you have good tenants, you should find your property in the same good condition when they leave as when the tenancy started. Most importantly, you will be helping people live in a good quality property they can call home.


Home Ownership

Savvy Ways to Manage Your Mortgage

A mortgage is an excellent way to invest for your retirement. But, up until the point that the term ends and you have paid off what you owe, there are times where it can be an economic struggle. You need to make sure that you are managing your debt in a more robust way. This ensures that you don’t face financial hardship during the term of your mortgage.

For many, getting to grips with their mortgage can be a positive thing. It allows a greater degree of financial control. For others, just having a basic grasp on their monthly outgoings can restore peace of mind.

Here are some savvy ways that you can ensure that you are managing your mortgage.


Image has been provided by 401 (K) via Flickr

Planning Your Income and Expenditure

There are some great ways that you can take the helm of your finances once again. One of the best ways to keep on top of your cash is to make sure that you compile an effective monthly budget. Planning is important when it comes to financial matters. This means that you can have a tighter control over your incomings and outgoings.

Plan for all eventualities as well as what you actually spend on your day to day living expenses. Include bills, utilities and petrol. Council tax can be subject to increases too, so doing be aware of this when you are budgeting.

Try to keep a list of what you spend and where it goes each month. An easy way to do this is in the form of a spreadsheet. This way you can quickly retrieve the data and add up the information as you go along. Use an online budget calculator to help you if you get stuck.

If your mortgage is likely to go up soon as a result of the end of a fixed term, you may want to assess your income and expenditure to ensure that you are not faced with monetary problems.

Getting the Best Deal on Your Mortgage

Many people believe that they don’t have to check their mortgage rates during the loan term. But, it’s vital that you do if you want to become the master of money management. Always check what you are paying. Do you need to reassess your finances? If your current mortgage deal is coming to an end, it’s time to start finding out what your options are. If you are concerned about the value of your property and your mortgage deal find out more about an instant quote for surveyor services. Many people fall into the trap of going for the lowest possible interest rates. This can be dangerous territory for many. You need to make sure that you consider the ongoing costs and whether you will pay your mortgage off in time. What is more, you should always aim to pay your mortgage off early. This can ensure that you are paying less interest overall, which can see a significant saving in the long term.

Before you commit to any major decisions, you should always check out the competition too. But, do ensure that they don’t charge ‘swap over’ fees. These costs can be rather high and can see you with something of a substantial shortfall.