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Pay down Your Mortgage Faster by Eliminating These Five Unnecessary Household Expenses

July 29, 2016 Comments off

Pay down Your Mortgage Faster by Eliminating These Five Unnecessary Household ExpensesThe monthly mortgage payment can be one of the most significant household expenditures for a family. However, while it can be a sizable amount, there are certain household things you may be able to eliminate that will help you put down more money and pay your mortgage off a little faster. If you’re interested in ways to save, here are some expenses you may want to consider cutting out.

Giving Up The Cable

Television is an important de-stressor for many people, but it can also be a considerable monthly expense that is often unnecessary. With borrowing materials available at the library and many videos available for streaming online, you can cut your cable cost and may be able to save more than $100 a month.

Coffee On The Go

It may not be a household expense, but the average person can rack up a lot of expenditures each month on caffeine alone. Instead of stopping at the local cafe for a quick fix, consider trying the office coffee or taking a thermos in the morning for savings that will add up by the week’s end.

Dinner On The Town

Going for dinner or getting take-out on the way home can be a great way to finish off a day, but it can also add up to huge monthly expenditures if you’re doing it frequently. While you shouldn’t cut out trying new restaurants altogether, ensure that it’s not something you’re indulging in all the time.

The Grocery Bill

You’ll be able to save a lot of money easily if you’re not buying lunches or dinners, but bargain shopping is still important when it comes to household staples. While this may not make a difference on each bill, it can add up to a considerable dent in your monthly payment overtime.

Saving On Your Smart Phone

Nowadays, most people have a smart phone and have exhausted their need for a landline, but phones can still be quite a money drain when it comes to extra data and an expensive plan. Instead of accepting your bill as is, talk to your provider about deals they can provide so you can save the difference.

The monthly mortgage payment can be a financial burden, but there are many simply ways to save through the year that will add up to big savings and a faster pay-off date. If you’re planning on putting your home on the market, you contact your trusted mortgage professional for more information.

Recent College Grad? Learn How to Successfully Juggle Student Loans and a New Mortgage

December 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Recent College Grad? Learn How to Successfully Juggle Student Loans and a New MortgageIf you recently graduated from college and are about to become a homeowner, you’re in a somewhat unique position. You’re about to embark on a great journey, but at the same time, you’re also taking on an awful lot of debt. That said, it is possible to successfully manage a high debt load if you’re careful.

So how can you make sure you can pay your mortgage, your student loans, and your mortgage expenses – all without losing your mind? Here’s what you need to know.

Make Sure You Have An Emergency Fund

Managing a high debt load isn’t necessarily a challenge if you have a consistent income stream. But if interest rates rise on your floating mortgage, if your portfolio doesn’t do as well as expected, or if you lose your job, you may find yourself unable to pay your expenses without dipping into your savings. That’s why you’ll want to establish an emergency fund – a spare supply of cash you can live on for 6 months or longer, if necessary.

Extra Cash At The End Of The Month? Attack High-Interest Debt

Mortgage rates are at a historical low right now, which makes now a great time to become a homeowner – but if you’re going to carry a mortgage and student loans, you’ll need to be smart about how you repay your debts. High interest rates can quickly add up and eventually crush you, which is why your debt with the highest interest rate should be your primary priority. This is most likely your student loan – so if you have some extra money left over at the end of every month, put it toward your student loan first.

Never Roll Student Loans Into A Mortgage

Some young people seem to think that getting a mortgage is the answer to student debt. By rolling your student loans into a mortgage, you can worry about just one monthly payment instead of two. The problem with this thinking, though, is that your student loan is probably the size of the principal on a mortgage – and you’ll have to stretch your loan term out farther in order to afford the monthly payments.

This means that you’ll pay more money in interest over the long term. Your mortgage loan is also a loan with more severe consequences for missing a payment. If you miss a mortgage payment, you can get evicted from your home – but if you miss a student loan payment, they’ll just take your tax return.

Paying off a student loan and a mortgage at the same time is a daunting task, but it is possible. Talk to a mortgage professional near you for more repayment strategies that work.

How to Give the Ultimate Christmas Gift: Paying Off a Family Member’s Mortgage

December 1, 2015 Comments off

How to Give the Ultimate Christmas Gift: Paying Off a Family Member's MortgageChristmas is just around the corner, and if you’re in a position to do it, paying off a family member’s mortgage is one of the biggest gifts you could give this holiday season. A mortgage can be a heavy burden on a young homeowner, which is why paying it off is the ultimate act of charity. But when it comes to paying for someone else’s mortgage, the process isn’t entirely straightforward.

So how do you pay off a family member’s mortgage? Here’s what you need to know.

Be Wary Of The Gift Tax

Under US law, you can provide a cash gift to someone else – entirely tax-free – as long as it doesn’t exceed the annual limit for that calendar year (for 2015, the annual limit is $14,000). If the gift amount exceeds the annual limit, you’ll need to pay tax on the difference or tap into your lifetime exclusion.

The IRS gives all citizens a unified credit/lifetime exclusion, which allows the transfer of up to $5.43 million – tax-free – over the course of your lifetime. If you exhaust this amount, you’ll need to pay taxes on all financial gifts you give thereafter.

Make Sure You Write A Gift Letter

If you plan on paying off a family member’s mortgage, you’ll want to include a gift letter with the payment – otherwise, the bank and the government may believe the money is a loan. A gift letter clearly states that you are giving money to a relative to assist them with a mortgage. In your gift letter, you will need to plainly state that you have no intention of ever seeking repayment and that you claim no ownership stake in the property in question.

Remember: You Don’t Get To Claim Mortgage Interest

Mortgage interest payments are usually a tax-deductible expense – if you’re the homeowner. But if you’re paying someone else’s mortgage, you’re not eligible to deduct the interest on your taxes – only the homeowner can do that. Even if you feel a personal obligation to assist the homeowner in paying the mortgage, it’s not your debt to pay – and that means you can’t claim interest on your taxes.

Paying off a relative’s mortgage is a fantastic gift that will help your relatives to get out of debt and pursue their life goals. And although it’s a fairly straightforward process, you still need to take the time and care to ensure you process the gift properly. Contact your local mortgage professional to learn how you can give the gift of a mortgage.

The Pros and Cons of Paying Your Mortgage off Biweekly Versus Monthly

October 7, 2015 Comments off

The Pros and Cons of Paying Your Mortgage off Biweekly Versus MonthlyIf you have a mortgage, you’re probably looking for the best option to pay it off. Monthly mortgage payments are an easy-to-manage way to pay for your house – in fact, they’re the most common form of mortgage payment  but now, many homeowners are discovering that biweekly payments offer them better results.

So is a biweekly payment the better option for you? Which payment strategy best fits your individual circumstances? Here’s what you need to know.

Biweekly Payments: Pay Off Your Mortgage Faster and Save on Interest

Biweekly payments are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons. With a biweekly payment, you’ll pay less money in total interest payments over the course of the whole mortgage, and you’ll pay your mortgage off faster. Biweekly payments also make it easier to budget for your mortgage because they coincide with your paycheck, and the biweekly payment system forces you to make extra payments toward your principal.

That said, biweekly payments also have some disadvantages. If you’ve bought a home at the very top tier of what you can afford, you might not have the budget flexibility for extra payments. Your lender may also force you to pay a $300 setup fee or a processing fee for each payment.

Monthly Payments: Easier to Afford for Large Homes

Paying your mortgage off on a monthly basis has long been the standard, for a variety of reasons – for instance, most homeowners are typically more comfortable with monthly payments as they were the norm during the owner’s years as a renter. It may also be easier to manage monthly payments if you work as an independent contractor and don’t always get paid every two weeks.

Monthly mortgage payments are more affordable for owners of larger homes, which typically come with larger mortgages. A monthly payment schedule also means you make one less payment per year, and for those on a strict budget, this can help to make the daily necessities of life more affordable.

Monthly mortgage payments were once the expected norm, but now, a lot of homeowners are choosing to make biweekly payments in order to pay off their mortgages faster and better budget their money. Monthly payments still remain popular, though, for a variety of reasons.

So which one is better for you? A qualified mortgage advisor can help you determine your best course of action. Call your local mortgage professional to learn more about your mortgage payment options.

First-Time Home Buyer? 3 Budgeting Tips to Help Make Your Mortgage Payments Easier

September 17, 2015 Comments off

First-Time Home Buyer? 3 Budgeting Tips to Help Make Your Mortgage Payments EasierBuying a new home is an exciting time, but excitement can easily turn to stress if there isn’t enough money to pay the monthly mortgage bill. The added expense can take some time to get used to, but there are ways to make the payments easier, especially in those first few months when money is the tightest.

Prioritize The Mortgage Bill And Pay It Immediately

This may seem like a counterintuitive tip for anybody looking for help making mortgage payments, but it is easily the best one and the one that provides the most trouble for homeowners.

Late mortgage payments come with hefty fees that make it harder and harder to pay the next mortgage bill in full and on time. It’s a slippery slope that can end in foreclosure if the mortgage bills go unpaid for too long.

Don’t Get Carried Away With Household Spending

What’s the first thing most couples do after finally purchasing their first home? If they moved in from a smaller apartment then filling in the empty space will probably be at the top of their list.

Spending sprees are all too common after moving into a new home. There are extra rooms that need to be furnished and extra space that needs to be filled in with a larger television or another sofa.

These purchases will severely limit the mortgage budget and could lead to late payments right from the start for anybody who gets carried away. Put a budget in place for new furniture and stick to it so that there is always money for the mortgage.

Limit Spending In The First Few Months

The biggest change for anybody moving into a new home is the extra expenses they aren’t used to paying. Water, power, heat, air conditioning, internet and cable are all things that could be included when renting and once those bills start coming in it can be alarming.

It doesn’t matter how careful they are, budgeting can take a huge hit if new homeowners are expecting to pay the same as they were in their previous home. Always wait the first few months before making any purchases to get used to the new monthly bills that will be waiting.

Making mortgage payments starts with getting a mortgage you can actually afford. Make sure you consult with a professional who will be able to help you find the best deal and get a mortgage that won’t break the bank each month.

Understanding the “Adjustable Rate Mortgage” (ARM) and How This Type of Mortgage Works

August 18, 2015 Comments off

Understanding the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)When applying for a new home loan, there are several different types of mortgage programs available to most applicants. While there are various home loan programs to choose from, the most significant difference between the various options relates to a fixed rate mortgage or an adjustment rate mortgage. Understanding what an adjustable rate mortgage, or ARM, is in comparison to a fixed rate mortgage can help applicants make a more informed decision about their mortgage plans.

What is an Adjustable Rate Mortgage?

A fixed rate mortgage is one with an interest rate fixed for the entire term length. This means that a home loan with a 30-year term has an interest rate that will remain the same for the full 30 years, and this also means that the mortgage payments will remain the same over 30 years. On the other hand, an ARM will have an adjustable rate that will fluctuate periodically over the life of the loan, and the mortgage payment will also fluctuate as a result.

How is an ARM Beneficial?

There are several benefits associated with an ARM. For example, the initial interest rate and related mortgage payment are typically lower than with a fixed rate mortgage. In addition, if rates decrease over the life of the loan, the mortgage payment will lower as a result without the need to refinance to take advantage of the lower rate.

Before Applying for an ARM

Before applying for an adjustable rate mortgage, there are a few points that the applicant should keep in mind. Just as the interest rate may go down over the life of the loan, the rate and the mortgage payment may increase. The loan applicant should ensure that the upper limit for the interest rate and mortgage payment will be affordable for their personal budget before applying for this type of loan.

Each loan program available to a mortgage applicant has its pros and cons, and this holds true for an adjustable rate mortgage as well. Understanding how each loan program works and what the benefits and drawbacks for each are can help an applicant make an informed decision when applying for a mortgage. Those who are interested in applying for a new mortgage for a purchase or a refinance in the coming days or weeks may reach out to a mortgage broker to inquire about the different loan programs available.

The Pros and Cons of Paying Your Mortgage Bi-weekly Vs. Monthly

July 9, 2015 Comments off

The Pros and Cons of Paying Your Mortgage Bi-weekly Vs. Monthly When applying for a new mortgage or after closing, many may have the option to choose between a single monthly mortgage payment or smaller bi-weekly payments. There are benefits and drawbacks associated with both options, and some personal financial considerations may need to be reviewed in order to make a decision that is best for the individual. With a closer look at the pros and cons of both options, homeowners or home mortgage applicants can make a more informed decision.

Easy Budget Management For Some

With a single monthly mortgage payment, there is often a need for those who get paid two or more times per month to properly budget so that they can comfortably manage the large mortgage payment with all of their other expenses throughout the month. With bi-weekly payments, the two smaller payments may be easier for some who are paid multiple times per month to manage and budget for. When an individual gets paid one time per month, the individual pay prefer to make the single payment each month.

Faster Debt Reduction

With a monthly payment schedule, 12 full payments will be made per year, and this is in contrast to a bi-weekly schedule which will result in the equivalent of 13 full payments being made per year. Essentially, the extra full payment that will be made with a bi-weekly payment schedule will result in faster debt reduction and in greater accumulation of equity over time. This can improve the homeowner’s financial standing over time.

Lower Interest Charges Over The Life Of The Loan

Because the principal balance will be reduced at a faster rate over time with bi-weekly mortgage payments, the total interest that is assessed on the loan will be reduced in comparison to monthly payments. Depending on the size of the loan and the interest rate on the loan, this may equate to a savings of tens of thousands of dollars or more in some cases.

Each homeowner’s or home applicant’s financial situation will be unique, and factors related to income, payment schedule, the desire to increase equity quickly and more should all be carefully considered. Bi-weekly payments often can be established during the loan application process, but they may also be set up after closing. Those who are interested in establishing affordable mortgage payments can speak with a mortgage representative about some of the different options available.

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