Working From Home Could Mean A New Home

Working From Home Could Mean A New HomeThere are a lot of people who are working from home for the first time. There are a lot of advantages that come with working from home, such as the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with family members, the chance to save money on gas, and more autonomy over the work schedule. In addition, this could also mean a new home.

With many people spending more time at home than they did in the past, they might be thinking about investing in new floorplans, renovating cabinets, and adding a dedicated home office. This could also provide the opportunity to move.

Why People Are Thinking About Upgrading Their Homes

For those who continue to commute to work, they might not spend that much time in their homes. As a result, they may not be that invested in the overall layout of the home. As long as the home meets their needs when they are present, this is enough.

On the other hand, when people work from home, their needs change. For example, many people have their kids home from school right now. Their kids might distract them when they are trying to work. By renovating the home and creating a dedicated space for a home office, this could allow someone to be more productive. Renovating the home is about meeting people’s needs as they change.

The Prospect Of Moving Entirely

On the other hand, some people might be thinking about moving to a new home entirely. The vast majority of people end up purchasing a new home because they have recently obtained a new job and need to live close to work. When someone works from home, they can live just about anywhere they choose. While many people still choose to live relatively close to their current location, working from home provides people with more flexibility than they had in the past. Therefore, many families are taking advantage of it.

Working From Home Will Become More Common

In the future, working from home is going to become more common. As technology continues to improve, people are going to have the opportunity to work from home for the foreseeable future. This represents a lifestyle shift that many people are going to embrace.

Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A Refinance

Getting A Lower Interest Rate During A RefinanceThere are a lot of people who have spotted the record-low mortgage rates right now and are wondering if they can refinance successfully. While many people apply for a refinance of their current home loan, not everyone will be approved. Furthermore, a home refinance is not the best option for everyone. Those who want to qualify for record-low refinance rates need to keep a few key points in mind.

Be A Strong Refinance Candidate

First, homeowners need to make sure that it is actually worth their time to refinance to a lower home mortgage rate. In general, homeowners want to make sure they are able to save at least three-quarters of a percentage point when compared to their current home loan to make a refinance worth their while. If they cannot save this much money on their home loan, then they may end up spending more money on the refinance in closing costs.

Act Quickly

The real estate market is volatile right now. Therefore, home refinance rates are often moving targets. As a result, the interest rates that are published this week could change in the span of a few days. By the time loan packages are returned to the lender, the rates might not even be accurate anymore. Therefore, all homeowners need to be willing to act fast. Have pay stubs, bank statements, and tax returns ready to go when the lender asks for it.

Have The Money For Closing Costs

One of the most common reasons why homeowners lose out on the best interest rates is that they do not have the money ready to pay closing costs. By the time the homeowners get the money together, the refinance rate might have passed them by. Usually, closing costs fall somewhere between two percent and five percent of the total loan amount and this amount is usually due at signing.

Qualify For The Best Mortgage Rates During A Refinance

With mortgage rates falling to record lows, now is a good time for many homeowners to refinance. On the other hand, homeowners need to set themselves up to qualify for the lowest mortgage rates. Following these steps can place homeowners in a position to be successful when they apply for a refinance.

Purchase The Right Amount Of Home Insurance

Purchase The Right Amount Of Home InsuranceFor most people, their home is the most valuable investment they will ever make. Therefore, it needs to be protected. This is where homeowners’ insurance is critical. At the same time, buying the right amount of homeowners’ insurance can be a bit of a challenge.

A home that is underinsured leaves the homeowner vulnerable to situations involving fires, floods, and theft. On the other hand, nobody wants to throw away money unnecessarily by over-insuring the home. How can everyone purchase the right amount of homeowners’ insurance?

Review The Coverage Every Year

First, people’s needs are going to change from year to year. Therefore, everyone should review their policy annually. For example, actual cash value only reimburses someone based on the current condition of the home. For example, if a home was built ten years ago, the actual cash value will only provide someone with the depreciated value of the home and not the original value. While this might be enough at the beginning, it may not be enough ten years from now. Everyone has to make sure they purchase enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding the home, excluding the cost of the land.

Overlooking Valuables And Liability

Another common mistake that people make when it comes to homeowners’ insurance is overlooking issues such as valuables and liability. Most people have enough insurance for the structure of the home. Most people do not have enough insurance to cover liability claims and valuables. Liability claims might arise if someone gets hurt on the property and the homeowner gets sued. Valuables are important if the home burns down or if someone steals something from the home. All homeowners must have enough homeowners’ insurance to protect themselves against potential liability claims (such as someone slipping and falling in the home) and the loss of valuables (such as electronics and jewelry). Everyone has to make sure they document these valuables appropriately.

Purchase The Right Amount Of Homeowners’ Insurance

Make sure you include everything to purchase the right amount of homeowners’ insurance. Review current construction costs as part of the process. Finally, review the fine print of the homeowners’ insurance policy every year to avoid being underinsured or over-insured.

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?

Home Values Are Impacted By School Zones: Is The Move Worth It?If you are looking for a home, then you probably have a budget in mind. You also need to know about the most common factors that influence the price of a home. One factor that always seems to play a role in the price of a home is the quality of the school system. This makes sense. After all, a lot of people who are looking for a home have children (or are planning on having children) and want to make sure they have access to a quality education. At the same time, is it truly worth the price increase to have access to a better school district?

The Quality Of The School District And The Price Of The Home

Numerous surveys have consistently shown that the majority of homeowners are willing to go over their budget price for the perfect and home and the location certainly plays a role. In this manner, the quality of the school system absolutely factors into the right location.

When people think about going over budget, they often think about a higher monthly mortgage payment; however, other costs are going to increase as well. For example, you might need to pay a higher down payment, pay more in home insurance to protect the home, and pay more in property taxes. Therefore, is this truly worth it?

This Is A Subjective Decision

In the end, the answer to this question is always going to be subjective. Therefore, you need to decide what matters most to you and your family and compare this to the premium that is put on the home. For example, the school rankings and test scores are certainly important factors. At the same time, they only tell one small part of the story.

For example, you also want to see how much money the school district spends on each of its students. The more money they spend, the more they care about their students. You also want to think about the diversity of the school district as well, as this is closely correlated to the overall quality of the education each student receives. Compare these factors to your budget to see if it is worth the price of living in that school district.

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down payment

Home Expenses Include Far More Than Just the Down paymentIf you are thinking about purchasing your first home in the near future, then you need to be aware of the costs that you are going to take on. When you are looking at the cost of a home, it is very tempting to focus on the sticker price of the home. Even though the down payment is going to be the largest check you are going to write, this is not the only cost that you are going to pay.

There are numerous other costs for which you need to budget as well. By thinking about all of these costs ahead of time, you can make a smart financial decision for you and your family.

Think About The Real Estate Taxes

Depending on the part of the country in which you live, real estate taxes can be significant. For example, it is not unusual for even a modest home to cost thousands of dollars in real estate taxes per year. Therefore, even though you have budgeted for your monthly mortgage payment, make sure that you have budgeted for real estate taxes as well. Usually, your mortgage lender is going to hold your real estate taxes in escrow for you so you don’t end up having to write a large check at the end of the year.

Homeowners’ Insurance And Utility Costs

In addition, you also need to think about homeowners’ insurance and utility costs. Some of the utilities that you have to pay for include internet, phone, cable, gas, electricity, and water. When this is added to your homeowners’ insurance expenses, this can also add up to several hundred dollars per month. Therefore, make sure that you can afford not only the mortgage payment but these recurring monthly expenses as well.

Budget For Your First Home Accordingly

Some of the other expenses that you might have to incur when it comes to your first home include maintenance and repair bills. Therefore, you should make sure that you sit down with an experienced planner and ensure that you can afford the combined expenses. Otherwise, you might end up being priced out of your first home before you realize it.

 

A Late Payment: Credit Score Impact

A Late Payment: Credit Sore ImpactThis has been a difficult year for everyone. There are a lot of people who are worried that they might not be able to keep up with their mortgage payments. Small businesses have had to close their doors and numerous individuals have been laid off from work.

It is important for homeowners to understand that banks do not want people to foreclose on their homes either. Therefore, they are often willing to work out an alternate payment plan with homeowners who are struggling due to dire financial situations. Those who are late on a mortgage payment might be wondering how this is going to impact their credit score. The answer is that it depends. 

How Does A FICO Credit Score Work? 

Someone’s credit score is a conglomeration of multiple factors including payment history, the amount of money owed, the length of the credit history,  and new credit. A late or missing mortgage payment is only going to impact one of these categories. Unfortunately, this also happens to be the largest factor, making up more than a third of the total credit score. 

A Late Mortgage Payment

First, it is important for everyone to know that a late payment is not going to impact someone’s credit score until it is late by more than a month. At the same time, people need to remember that the lender can still access a late fee. If someone has a high credit score with a long credit history, this late payment is not going to hurt as much. On the other hand, someone with a poor credit score and a short credit history might feel the sting a little bit more. 

Furthermore, it is important for people to note that a payment that is late by 60 or 90 days is going to hurt someone much more than a payment that is late by just one month. Therefore, even if a payment is going to be late, people should still try to pay it as early as possible.

Protect The Credit Score

It is important for everyone to try to do everything they can to protect their credit score. If they are worried they are not going to be able to make a mortgage payment, they should let the lender know and see what their options are.

 

The Required Steps For A Smooth Mortgage Refinance Process

The Required Steps For a Smooth Mortgage Refinance ProcessThere are lots of people who have heard that one of the top ways to ensure the best mortgage rate possible is to refinance. At the same time, it is critical to make sure that this process is planned out accordingly.

Therefore, there are a few steps that everyone has to follow to make sure they are able to handle the mortgage refinancing process in a smooth manner that leads to the best rate possible.

Ask If A Refinance Is The Right Step

There are a lot of people who assume that a mortgage refinance is a financial win; however, it is important to keep the added costs in mind. For example, the refinancing process is going to lead to another closing. When this happens, there are going to be closing costs that must be considered.

Therefore, the refinancing process could lead to a higher mortgage payment if the money saved on interest payments is not enough to offset these costs.

Check The Credit Score First

Many people get lured into the refinance process by looking at low mortgage interest rates and assuming they are going to qualify for them; however, this is not always the case. Only the people with the top credit scores are able to qualify for these low rates. Therefore, everyone needs to take a look at their credit score and make sure that their credit report has been cleaned up. This is the only way that people are going to be able to qualify for these low rates.

Talk To A Trained Professional

Finally, many people are going to be going through the refinance process for the first time. It is important to work with a trained professional who can walk everyone through this process, ensuring that they know what they are doing as the process unfolds. This can go a long way toward ensuring that everyone has a successful refinancing experience.

Go Through The Right Steps

Following these steps can maximize everyone’s chances of making sure they end up with a refinance that works for them. By planning out the process ahead of time, everyone can go through the steps they need to make sure that the refinancing process proceeds as smoothly as possible.

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage Rate

How To Negotiate A Better Mortgage RateFor those who are thinking about buying a house in the near future, they want to make sure that they get the best mortgage rate possible. At the same time, if people who want to reduce the interest rate on their mortgage, then they need to do everything you can to make yourself as attractive as possible to lenders. When they are negotiating for a better rate on your mortgage, they need to keep a few important points in mind.

Make A Larger Down Payment

If people want the lender to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, then borrowers need to think about making a larger down payment. By doing everything they can to reduce the risk they present to the lender, they will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. If borrowers are willing to put more money down, then that is less money that the bank has to lend out. Therefore, the risk the bank takes on is going to be reduced and borrowers will be rewarded with a lower interest rate. Make a larger down payment to reduce the interest rate on the mortgage.

Improve the Credit Score

Another way that people can reduce the risk that they present to the bank is to improve their credit score. What can borrowers do to make this happen? They can check your credit report first and correct any inaccuracies that might be present. After this, they should take a look at any existing debt they have and try to pay down as much of it as possible. By reducing the amount of debt they owe, the credit score will improve, helping them qualify for a lower interest rate on their mortgage.

Take Advantage Of Discount Points

Those want to reduce the interest rate on your mortgage, could use something called discount points. These are points that the borrower will pay directly to the lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. By providing the lender with more money up front, they can secure a reduced payment over the life of the loan.

Reduce the Interest Rate

These are a few of the fastest ways that people can secure a lower interest rate on their loan. This can save them a tremendous amount of money.

The Ultimate Payoff: Getting Debt Free Before Retirement

The Ultimate Payoff: Getting Debt Free Before Retirement

Try To Keep Housing Costs Low

First, it is important for everyone to try to keep their housing costs as low as possible. Housing is one of the major sources of death of people have when they retire. This could come in the form of a mortgage that has been stressed out for a longer period of time in order to send kids to college.

At the same time, as people start to approach retirement, they should try to attack this debt as much as possible. Remember that cash is king. Paying off a mortgage before retirement can really help people improve their quality of life on the other side.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

Ideally, individuals are able to pay their credit card bills in full every month. Yes, it is great to take out credit cards because of the rewards that they provide and the positive credit history this can create. At the same time, if individuals end up carrying a lot of credit card debt, this can end up hurting them in the long run. In addition to damaging someone’s credit score, this can also take money away from retirement. Therefore, it is important for everyone to try to pay down their credit card debt as quickly as possible. That way, they do not have to worry about this when they retire and have more money they can spend every month.

Get Ready To Retire Debt Free

By following these tips, everyone is able to enjoy their retirement just a little bit more. By trying to find ways to retire without any debt, everyone is able to set themselves up for success. That way, they will be ready to take advantage of everything that retirement has to offer.

 

A Few Simple Ways To Upgrade The Kitchen Pantry

A Few Simple Ways To Upgrade The Kitchen PantryDuring the past few months, people have been spending much more time at home than usual. Therefore, many people are looking for ways to upgrade their homes. A common area of focus is the kitchen.

Even though many people are thinking about upgrading cabinets and countertops, the kitchen pantry should also be a target for home improvement. There are a few simple ways that everyone can improve their kitchen pantry. 

Use Vertical Storage

One of the top tips for everyone to follow is to use vertical storage capacity. It is a smart idea for everyone to build in a few extra storage areas by thinking about under-shelf baskets. These baskets can help people instantly create space for various items and ingredients. Furthermore, think about using the insides of cabinet doors to create some extra shelves, walls, or baskets. This can significantly add to the storage space of a pantry.

Think About Specific Needs For The Pantry

When looking at a kitchen pantry, it is a great idea for everyone to think carefully about specific needs they might have. Consider what items need to be stored in the pantry. Then, shop for the right items. For example, many people like to store wine bottles in the pantry. These are awkwardly shaped items that might not fit on typical shelves. Therefore, thinking about a wine rack that will fit in the pantry is a great way to create some extra, specific storage.

Relocate Bulk Items Somewhere Else

Too often, people end up trying to store bulk items in the pantry. While it is true that shopping in bulk is incredibly cost-efficient, bulk items can also take up valuable space in the kitchen pantry in the blink of an eye. Think about finding alternative locations for paper goods, canned items, and other large, non-perishable items. This will instantly open up some more storage space in the pantry.

Upgrade Storage In The Kitchen Pantry

Upgrading the kitchen does not always have to be expensive. There are simple ways that everyone can create extra storage space in their kitchen pantry by simply moving some other items around. Consider adding storage baskets to the kitchen pantry to create some new storage space.