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 the first part of the loss. In the process of managing insurance premiums, policy holders […]

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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 their home and all the necessary paperwork is signed to authorize the loan. The line […]

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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 seller can agree upon assuming both are knowledgeable, willing and unpressured by extraordinary events. This […]

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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 equity much faster. Let’s look at an example of a $300,000 mortgage with the choice […]

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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 power adapters are spinning your electric meter even when they’re not being used. Even though […]

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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: Everyone loves an inviting home including burglars. Make sure it looks occupied and is difficult […]

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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 investment into a mutual fund paying 5% would earn $1,250 in the first year. Alternatively, […]

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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 if a person has to qualify, they might as well do it on a new […]

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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 a business-like manner with a written note specifying the loan amount, interest rate, term and […]

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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 buyers feel they cannot buy a home today but a large part of those decisions […]

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