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3 Reasons to Hit the Accelerator on Your Mortgage Payments – If You Can Afford It

August 9, 2017 Comments off

3 Reasons to Hit the Accelerator on Your Mortgage Payments If You Can Afford ItDoes the thought of repaying your mortgage for the next twenty-plus years leave you feeling a little down? Whether you’ve had your mortgage for weeks or years, accelerating your payments is an excellent option that can help get your mortgage fully paid off in a shorter time frame. Let’s explore three great reasons to accelerate your payments so that your mortgage debt is paid down faster.

You’ll Be Debt-Free That Much Faster

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth stating that you’ll be debt-free that much quicker if you accelerate your repayment schedule. Every extra payment you make against your mortgage debt builds the amount of equity you own in your home. So not only are you becoming more debt-free with each payment, but you’re also building your net worth. And while it’s true that you might only shave a year or two off of your 25-year mortgage period, being debt-free faster is still worth the effort.

You’ll Pay Less Interest

With most mortgages, any extra payments that you make will go straight towards your ‘principal’ balance. Getting the principal paid down faster means that you’ll end up paying less in interest than if you hadn’t. If you consider that every year you shave off of a 20-year amortization period is a full year of interest that you won’t have to pay, it adds up. Note that if you have an existing mortgage agreement, you’ll need to check the terms to determine the rules around extra principal payments.

You’ll Have More Financial Freedom

Finally, the faster you get your mortgage paid off, the more financial freedom you’ll have. The equity and credit you’ve built over time will also provide you with some options. You can invest in buying an investment property, or in taking out a line of credit to renovate and upgrade your current home. If the numbers make sense, you can also borrow against your home equity to invest in the financial markets. This will diversify your investment portfolio and expand your net worth.

As you can see, it’s well worth the financial investment to accelerate your mortgage repayment. If you can afford it and it won’t significantly lower your quality of life. If you have questions about a mortgage new or existing, contact our team of mortgage professionals. We’re happy to help.

Finding Your Latte Factor: 3 Ways to Find the Money to Make Extra Mortgage Payments

August 1, 2017 Comments off

Finding Your Latte Factor: 3 Ways to Find the Money to Make Extra Mortgage PaymentsIt’s not uncommon for a homeowner to want to pay more than the minimum monthly mortgage payment on their home. However, just because it can seem hard to come up with the funds on a monthly basis doesn’t mean it’s not possible to find the money for extra mortgage payments each year. If you’re wondering how you can pay down your mortgage debt much sooner with extra money, here are some tricks you may want to try.

Relinquish Your Refund

Many people look forward to tax time because it’s an opportunity to spend their refund on shopping, dining or a much-needed vacation. However, using your tax refund to pay down your debt can actually be a satisfying way to put more down on your mortgage and achieve something lasting from that extra bit of cash. While you may want to set some aside for an outing or a special treat, the amount remaining on your mortgage will seriously benefit from the extra payment.

Re-Tool Your Budget

If you’ve been successful at making your mortgage payments, it’s likely that you have a working budget that you stick to each month. But like any plan, a budget can change. If you haven’t done so in a while, it’s worth sitting down to re-calculate your monthly income and expenses. There’s a good chance that some expenses exist that you can pare down or get rid of entirely. While it may not make a significant difference in one month, small amounts will add up over time.

Plan A Yard Sale

It’s easy to acquire a lot of things that you don’t necessarily use, whether it’s technology or kitchenware or home decorations. Fortunately, planning a yard sale for your infrequently used items can be a great way to come up with a small fortune to pay off your mortgage sooner. Of course, you’ll need to be ready to haggle to get the prices you’re looking for. And don’t forget to get the locals involved and make it a neighborhood event for even more selling success.

It may seem nearly impossible to come up with the money to put more down on your mortgage, but using your tax refund and re-tooling your budget can easily add up to savings that make a difference! If you’re considering buying a new home in the future, contact one of our mortgage professionals for more information.

Recently Lost Your Job? 3 Tips for Managing Your Mortgage When You’re Out of Work

July 21, 2017 Comments off

Recently Lose Your Job? 3 Tips for Managing Your Mortgage When You're Out of WorkThe financial responsibility of a monthly mortgage payment can be stressful on its own, but you may be even more concerned about your home investment if you’ve recently lost your job. Fortunately, there are some things you can do and places you can turn if you’re not yet certain where your next paycheck will come from. If you’re struggling with newfound unemployment, here are some important steps to take.

Shake The Piggy Bank

Most people struggle to save and that means they don’t necessarily want to dip into savings when it comes to financial difficulties. Unfortunately, if a job does not appear quickly, you may have to rely on the money you’ve accrued to help you out. It’s important to take a look at how much savings you have and determine how long it will last. Instead of just calculating your monthly payment and leaving it at that, be realistic and include all of your applicable living expenses to see how much leeway you have.

Reach Out To Your Lender

It may seem like mortgage lenders will not be concerned with your plight, but it can be to your benefit to reach out as soon as you think there might be a lapse in payment. It’s possible your lender may be able to offer you some type of payment plan if they’re provided with a timeframe for payment. Plus, they will be impressed with your honesty and quick communication. If you have a solid credit history and have made all of your payments on time, contacting your lender may buy you a bit more time.

Contact Your Government Agency

If you’ve used a government agency to secure your mortgage, there’s a good chance there may be a program available that will assist you in getting through this financial time. Whether you’ve worked directly with the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, you may be able to find an opportunity in your unemployment that will cover your loan amount for you. It’s just important to be aware of any financial consequences once you’re back on your feet.

It can be very stressful to pay down your mortgage while you’re out of work, but you may be able to get through it by being aware of your financial picture and communicating with your lender. If you’re currently struggling with your mortgage, your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

Budgeting 101: How to Plan Your Budget Around Your Monthly Mortgage Payments

July 6, 2017 Comments off

Budgeting 101: How to Plan Your Budget Around Your Monthly Mortgage PaymentsIf you’ve decided to invest in a home, you might be wondering how to make all of the expenses work. From the groceries to your mode of transportation, all of those little things can quickly add up. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to ensure you have the money each month by carefully calculating your expenses and ensuring there’s a little wiggle room in case of leaner times. Here are the details on how to begin with your mortgage budgeting plan.

Calculate Your Monthly Payment

Whether you’ve just purchased a home or are trying to determine if your dream home is right for you, it’s very important to establish approximately what your monthly payment will be. It’s critical to have a mortgage cost that is sustainable, so add up your mortgage payment, home insurance, property taxes and any other required payments. While this should give you a ballpark figure, you’ll want to ensure you add a bit of extra room in case your taxes or interest rate should rise.

Determine Your Necessary Expenses

It’s easy to be idealistic and assume that you’ll be able to come up with the money for your dream home, but it’s very important to keep your feet on the ground and be realistic about your budget. Once you’ve determined your payment, calculate the average amount for your utilities, transportation costs and any debt you have. You’ll also want to add in groceries, toiletries, and extras like gym passes, meals or entertainment. By adding up your monthly payment and your expenses, you should be able to determine if a house is realistic for you.

Leave A Little Extra

If your expenses and your home costs add up to balance out, that’s great, but don’t forget to leave a little extra room in your budget for the other things you’ll need. While you’ll want to ensure you’re saving money for the future, if you have any short-term life goals like a travel destination or going back to school you’ll need to save for those. Also, the unexpected can occur at any time so you’ll want to have some cash stashed away for the times when the car breaks down or there’s a medical issue.

When investing in a home, you’ll need to feel confident that you can make your monthly mortgage payment and still have enough left over to pay your expenses and savings for down the road. If you’re currently preparing to buy, contact your trusted mortgage professionals for more information.

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.

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