The weather is starting to get chilly (if not downright cold) and you already have packed your bags to head south for the winter. Before you surrender to daydreams of sandals and shorts on New Year’s Day, here are a few smart tips to safeguard yourself and your property, if you plan to be away from your primary residence for the winter.
Conventional wisdom says that making extra payments toward your mortgage saves interest. True, but that’s not all. Increasing your mortgage payment also means larger equity value and more money in your pocket when you’re older.
Daydreaming of owning a second, seasonal home? A mountainside vacation house with a fireplace or two? Sounds enticing, but fulfilling this dream takes attention to detail and a firm vision of your long-term goals.
In a still-tight credit market, if the seller finances the buyer, home sales can happen faster. But in the long term, it is unlikely to be to your advantage as a seller.
Owning your home is fantastic — if you are financially ready. Here’s a quick checklist to help you determine if you can afford to be a home owner.
The first home purchase is not only a major life milestone, but it’s also a big financial commitment, a decision you should not take lightly. There’s a lot more to buying a house than just the price of it. Other items to factor in include mortgage origination fees, closing costs, interest, homeowner’s insurance and property taxes, which can fluctuate depending on the yearly assessed value of your property.
How often do you think about paying off the mortgage? Retirement may be harder if you still have debt. Ideally, you should enter retirement as free from a mortgage as possible. Here’s why and how.
Not having a mortgage reduces your overhead. That is to say, you need less money to live. You lower your personal break-even point. With limited income in retirement, this is always a good thing. Say your mortgage is $1,500 per month. If you pay it off before you retire, you have $18,000 more per year in your pocket.
The West African Ebola outbreak this summer generated fear and anxiety, particularly when two infected American aid volunteers were treated at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital. What does Ebola have to do with your personal investment policy and meeting your goals? Plenty: It provides a useful lesson in the psychology of fear.
Foreign buyers are increasing their purchases of U.S. real estate. That may cause some unease, but it's a good development. While our housing markets are improving, the boost from elsewhere is vital.
Seen The Money Pit? Tom Hanks and Shelley Long buy a $1 million distressed sale fixer-upper mansion for $200,000. What happens next? Maybe the same catastrophes you envision if you renovate your house while living in it. Is residing somewhere else for a while a smarter move and how do you pull it off?