Are you ready to take the next step toward applying for a reverse mortgage? Congratulations!
Whether you’re selling your home or refinancing your mortgage, your home’s value plays a big part. And in most cases, home values are determined through appraisals from state-licensed appraisers.
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and December is nearly here. As temperatures drop and snow begins falling in many US regions, home utility bills are about to rise.
In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting a 22% increase in energy bills this winter. To lower this cost that none of us enjoy paying, here are some steps you can take (while ensuring you stay warm):
Layer up while at home
One of the easiest and quickest ways to lower your winter power bill is wearing warmer clothes at home, such as a comfortable sweatpants and a sweater. Doing this will allow you to substantially lower your thermostat temperature. Consider this: the California Energy Commission estimates that every degree you drop your thermostat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range lowers your power bill by up to 5%. So make a goal to set your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower during the day and evening, health permitting, and dress accordingly. Set the thermostat back to 55 degrees or off at night or when leaving home for an extended time.
There are a variety of reasons to consider refinancing your mortgage. Some of the most common include reducing your payment, paying off your loan faster, converting between a fixed-rate and adjustable rate mortgage, and tapping into your home equity (also known as cash-out refinancing).
Regardless of the reason, everyone who refinances wants the lowest mortgage interest rate possible. A lower interest rate means lower monthly mortgage payments while increasing the rate you build equity (wealth) in your home.
But before you contact mortgage lenders, you should begin preparing your finances. Taking the following steps ahead of time can help you obtain the lowest possible rate when it’s time to refinance:
Thanksgiving is upon us (and Christmas is a month away), bringing us into America’s busiest travel season.
With AAA predicting 43.5 million Americans will travel over 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving (the highest amount since 2007), many Americans will be leaving their homes unoccupied.
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have. And it’s wonderful showing loved ones how much we appreciate them. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re trying to to get through the end of the year with your pocketbook intact!
Before the mortgage bubble burst in 2008, there was a saying in the industry: “All you need to get a mortgage is a pulse.” Sounds suspect, no?
The mortgage industry pre-2008 was the wild west of the lending frontier. Credit scores and debt-to-income minimums might as well have been suggestions, rather than guidelines. Even worse, mortgage brokers opened offices across the country and provided mortgages to people who couldn’t complete their payments—and had no clue their interest rate could suddenly double overnight.
Supplying unqualified borrowers with mortgages they couldn’t afford ultimately came to a head and tanked the American economy for years. This may sound far-fetched, but it is not. This occurred less than 10 years ago, and the general public tends to have a short memory. If you are a first time homebuyer, this may have passed you by because you were renting, leasing, or living in a dorm.
The US government created new mortgage industry guidelines and regulations
In an attempt to stabilize the economy and restore faith in the mortgage industry and lending institutions, the government instituted regulations. Lots of them. These regulations have transformed the mortgage industry into what it is today.
Do reverse mortgages have an undeserved bad rap? One of America’s leading retirement planning experts believes so.
Thinking about moving? Realtor.com recently ranked America’s hottest housing market ZIP codes for 2016. Their rankings are based on the most viewed ZIP codes on its website, and the time it takes properties to sell.