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Refinance, Buy and Lease

With rates as low as they are right now, it is hard not to jump at the opportunity to refinance your home mortgage. Of course, the question will be whether to opt for a lower monthly payment, or take a cash-out option. You could use that money to pay off old debt, do a remodel on your current home or invest in a more secure future. Alternatively, you could always refinance, take the cash and buy a second home to use as a rental property. Surely you could do something with a little extra cash coming in every month?

Saturated Market

This is a buyer’s market. There is an endless supply of homes that are priced well under average market value. You can get a pretty nice house for very little money. There are always people looking for a decent rental house. Some want to get out of their apartment while others have been forced to get out of their high mortgage. Rental houses do not stay empty very long.

This is just a smart investment all the way around. Not only will you make money every month, the house will appreciate when the market turns back around again.

Since you are paying a good price for the house and securing an attractive rate then the payment will be quite low. You will be able to rent the home out for far more than you are paying every month. What would you do with a few hundred extra dollars every month?

Refinance Options

If this is something you are interested in then you have a few different refinance home mortgage options. First, you can take advantage of a lower rate and the equity you have in your house by refinancing for a significantly lower monthly payment. You can also take a cash-out option, and receive that amount of equity you have and put it down on the new house. This will ensure that the payment for the rental house is low.

Of course, you do not have to put all the money down on the rental house. You can always keep some and save it for emergencies, pay off old debt or even invest it. It does not really matter what you do, you come out a winner.

Add a Third House

You do not have to stop with just one rental home. You will find this to be very rewarding, when you have a few houses. Wouldn’t it be nice to quit your job and live off your rental income? You may not be in the position to buy a third house now, but in the future you could always refinance again and repeat the process. You could refinance either your primary home again or the rental, or you could do both of them and combine the mortgages to one.

Although, since houses are cheap right now and rates are low, if you play your cards right, you may be able to buy two new homes, refinance the one you live in and still come out with about the same payment. Of course, this will give you two rentals to supplement your income with, not just one. Surely you can see the value in this?

What Type of Homeowners Insurance Coverage do You Need?

Believe it or not, coverage amount and premium costs are not the only element to become familiar with when shopping for homeowners insurance. There are different levels of coverage, but there are also different types a well. It is important that you become familiar with these different types to make sure that you are actually receiving the level of coverage you need.

HO-1 Policy

Also known as basic homeowners insurance, HO-1 policies generally inure a home and its contents against fire, vehicles, aircraft, hail, explosion, theft, smoke, civil, unrest and vandalism. This means that flooding, plumbing-related perils, damage from frozen pipes, etc., are not covered. These are basic policies, but also the least expensive.

HO-2 Policy

It is almost always worth the extra expense to upgrade to an HO-2 policy. These policies include everything listed above in HO-1, and a whole lot more. Weather-related perils are expanded considerably to cover damage caused by sleet, ice and snow. An HO-2 policy can also include damage to sprinkler systems, heating and cooling units and home appliances. Cracked or broken pipes that are resulted because of hard-freeze condition are included, and some perils may even include damages or losses due to power surges.

HO-3 Policy

Most people find these homeowners insurance policies to be well worth the money spent because they never have to question or wonder if something is covered. This all-peril policy includes everything listed above a well as wars, nuclear accidents, floods, earthquakes, mudslide and sinkholes.

Earthquake and Flood Insurance

Many people just assume that they really do not need flood or earthquake insurance. Unfortunately, many other people have felt the same way too and regretted not having the coverage when they really needed it. Flood coverage is only included in some policies however, it can be easily added on through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by FEMA. Natural disaster can strike anywhere and cause flooding, but it should be noted that flooding can also be caused by non-environmental issues. In case you do not know, flood damage can be extremely expensive. You don’t need to be swimming in several feet of water either; a couple inches can do about $20K in damage to a 2,000-square-foot home.

Earthquake insurance may not seem quite as important to you unless you live in an area prone to their house being shaken by the earth’s vibrations. Many insurance companies don’t sell this coverage, but those in high-risk areas typically do. However, it is up to you to make sure that it is actually included in your homeowners insurance policy.

If your insurance company does not offer it, government agencies in high-risk areas have coverage available. The California Earthquake Authority is a prime example. Years ago, earthquakes were primarily associated with the East Coast, but they are being felt in unexpected areas more and more. If you think there is a slight chance that your home could face damage from an earthquake then this insurance is worth having.

8 Reasons to Get a Home Security System

8 reasons for home securityIf you are like many others, you have probably considered a security solution for your home, but you just might not be sure if you really need one. You may question whether you need to have valuables for a system to be worthwhile, or you might assume that they are far more expensive than they actually are. Some people are intimidated by the technology, but rest-assured that home security companies have truly come a long way in recent years; they are extremely user-friendly. Below are just a few of the many reasons why people every day are adding these systems to their home.

1. Deterrent: Every home is at risk for a break-in, regardless of neighborhood, city or state. It doesn’t matter if you have expensive jewelry, antiques or electronics, burglars do not know what you have behind these doors. It also does not matter if you live in a city or out in the country; a home anywhere can be a target. Sometimes all it takes is seeing an alarm sticker on a window, or for a motion light to go off to deter a thief away.

2. Fast Response: One of the greatest benefits to having home security is the fast response you get. Even if you are home, grabbing a phone and making a call is not necessarily possible, and if you are not there then thieves can walk away with whatever they please. Many security companies offer 24/7 monitoring, and will notify the police the second a break-in alerts them.

3. Reduced Insurance Premiums: If you pay homeowners or renters insurance you may be interested to know that many insurance companies offer reduced premiums for home security systems. If you opt for video surveillance, this will often give you even more savings.

4. Peace-of-mind: You can’t imagine how much peace-of-mind you will enjoy when you know your house is secure. It does not matter if you are single or have a large family, when you know that someone is watching your home whether you are there or not, there is a lot of comfort that comes with that.

5. Easy to Install: Although there are some that demand installation, there are also plenty that don’t. Some you can order right online and do an easy self-installation.

6. Selection: If you haven’t shopped for home security systems yet you can prepare to be pretty blown away. The selection of packages available is far more extensive than most people expect.

7. Easy to Use: Don’t let advances in technology worry you. Just because many security systems for the home can be controlled by a smartphone or tablet does not mean they are not easy to use.

8. Affordable: Many people are under the assumption that a decent home security package will run them hundreds or thousands of dollars, this i not the case. Although there are custom and advanced systems that can be costly, there are also some incredibly affordable ones that are priced just right for nearly any budget.

Term Policies Explained by Colonial Penn Life Insurance

Term policies are a choice that can be considered by people who are looking for flexible premium options. Term policies are of several different kinds, allowing individuals to select from a number of premium payment options that they find more suitable. Colonial Penn is one insurance provider worth looking into.

The most common types of term policies are the increasing and decreasing term policies. In the decreasing term policy, the premium you are required to pay stays the same throughout the term of policy, but the face value of the policy keeps decreasing with time. These types of policies provide extra financial cover in case of premature death. The increasing term policies on the other hand have a constant face value but the premiums required to be paid are quite low initially and then go up with time. For people who are expecting to grow financially in the future, these policies can be quite flexible.

Other types of Colonial Penn Life Insurance term polices are the 5 year, 10 year and 20 year term policies that can be quite helpful for people who need to pay off their policy in a specific time period. Both the face value and premium for these policies are level, however upon death or once the term is completed, the face amount of the policy is paid back to you. You can opt for getting this payment at once or you can receive it on a monthly basis.

These types of term policies are a fairly simple way of protecting your family from facing any financial crisis in case of a premature death. You can be completely assured that you can get back your entire premium paid once the term of the policy is over. However, the premiums for these types of policies are usually quite high, even in the increasing term policies, and should only be undertaken after careful consideration.

Helpful Home Shopping Tips for a First-time Buyer

It does not matter how many primary or vacation homes you buy in your lifetime, the first one will always be the most special. Of course, as exciting as it is, it is also the most stressful purchase you will make because you don’t really know what to expect. Regardless if you haven’t even gotten started by using a home mortgage calculator yet, or if you are to the point where you have already attended a few open houses, below are some times that anyone can use, no matter where you are in the shopping process.

Choose the Right Realtor

Don’t be afraid to meet with a few realtors before you decide on one. This is a huge purchase. You want to feel comfortable with them. If you are in a hurry to buy, then choosing a realtor who is only available a couple hours a day because they only do this part time is not a good idea. Make sure you know how busy they are, what hours they are available, and if they really have time for you.

Create a Budget

Before you start going to open houses, you should have an idea of how much you can afford to spend every month. You will need to figure out how much all of your bills are, and how much money you need to live on. Make sure you leave a little for savings to cover those unexpected emergencies.

Determine How Much House You Can Afford

Some people try to guess at the price point they should be looking at. There is nothing more frustrating and disappointing than finding the house of your dreams only to discover you can’t afford it. Use a home mortgage calculator that lets you figure tax, insurance and mortgage rates into the equation, so you have a good idea of what home you should be looking at.

Make a List of Wants and Needs

It is really easy to get wrapped up in the thoughtful staging of a home at an open house, and forget all about those must have elements you are looking for. You walk into the kitchen and see a breathtaking view from the bay window, but then forget to check for pantry and closet space, or look for condensation on the windows. Take your list with you, and make sure your needs are met. The extras are just all great benefits.

Get Acquainted with the Neighborhood

Don’t assume that because the neighborhood is quiet when you go to an open house Sunday morning that this is the way it always is. There could be kids everywhere screaming when the school bus rolls through or loud parties going all night on the weekends. Drive through at various times of the day and make sure this is where you can see yourself living for many years to come.

Hire a Home Inspector

Aside from using an accurate home mortgage calculator and hiring the right realtor, having a home inspection done is one of the most important things to do. You may look at a home and think everything looks to be in good shape, but they may find cracks in the foundation, problems with electrical work or costly repairs that will need done in the near future. Home inspectors are worth every penny they charge.

Refinance Home Mortgage – Steps to Ensure Best Deal

refinance your home mortgage for the best dealWhen considering refinancing a home mortgage, everyone wants to get the best deal that includes low interest rates, closing cost and lender fees and a flexible loan structure. But the question is how?

If you are in a similar situation, here are some steps to help you get the best deal.

Do Your Homework

To find the best refinance mortgage loan provider, you need to conduct thorough market research. This includes finding the best refinance home mortgage lenders in Houston. You can do this by logging on to different refinance websites and comparing them. This will help you screen out a handful of lenders that meet your mortgage needs.

Request for Quotes

Now request for quotes to simplify the process of finding lenders for refinance home mortgage further. Once you get the quotes, evaluate them to see which one is better.

Read Refinance Loan Terms and Conditions

The next step is to read loan terms and conditions. Many people don’t find it necessary and only skim through it which is why they end up regretting their refinance home mortgage decision.

A thorough read through of terms and conditions is important as you can spot hidden provisions that the lender usually does not disclose at the time of the loan agreement. For example, variable interest; lenders usually don’t state it verbally but it is included in the agreement. You realize it when the economy takes a downturn and the lender all of a sudden decides to increase the interest rate which leads to high installment payments which often gets difficult for the borrower to pay due to a tight budget. Therefore to avoid this, it is recommended to read the loan conditions properly.

After comparing quotes and reading terms and conditions from a potential lender, you will be able to evaluate the loan providers better and make an intelligent Houston refinance home mortgage decision.

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