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Home insurance premiums can make up a big chunk of the annual expenses of a family. Insurance rates change every year, and in many cases the premiums go up. We all know that there are several variables that determine which banks will lend us money, how much insurance companies will charge us for coverage, and what qualifies a buyer. There are four main variables that may affect your home insurance rate:
There are several ways to pay off your mortgage faster and save on interest payments. Even better, not all methods require spending a lot of extra money! Take a look at the list below: Make extra principal payments. You can pay extra money toward your mortgage balance each month or make a larger, lump sum payment on your principal each year. This reduces the amount due on the mortgage as well as reducing the amount of interest that will accrue. Extra money can also be added to the principal payment from bonuses, gifts, savings and extra earnings. Just remember to make a note on the check for the money to go towards the principal! Make one extra mortgage payment per year. One of the easiest ways to make an extra payment each year is to pay half your mortgage payment every other week instead of paying the full amount once a month, otherwise known as “bi-weekly payments.” With these payments, an extra payment is made so that the total number of payments that one makes adds up to 13 payments in a year rather than the 12 that would have been made with monthly payments. This adds up to significant interest savings over the duration of a mortgage. You also want to make sure that if your lender accepts this kind of payment they will not charge you a prepayment penalty. Also verify that the bi-weekly payments are being applied to the principal amount and not the interest. Otherwise, you won't notice the savings. Reduce your balance with a lump-sum payment. Have you inherited money, earned a bonus or commission, or sold a large item? You could apply that amount to your mortgage’s principal balance. Another option is any time you have a month where you have that third paycheck, apply that to the principal on your mortgage. This will happen twice a year, adding an extra principal payment to your mortgage loan. While paying down a large debt is nice, it's not a requirement. Consider making sure you have enough to work toward other financial goals, such as an emergency fund, before paying more on your mortgage. However, there are many options you can explore that best fit your budget. You can learn more about buying your first home with our Get Mortgage Ready Guide below.
Adding value to your home can be a great thing. You don’t need to completely renovate your property to improve your return on investment (ROI). In many cases, smaller upgrades can increase the value of a home by thousands of dollars! Let's take a look at a few of the home improvements you can make to add instant equity to your home.
Everyone knows that moving to a new home or apartment is an aggravating, tedious chore, but once you have a family, moving can become a truly daunting task. Obviously, there is a lot to be excited about with any move – more space in a new neighborhood, a new job or just a change of scenery. For young children, however, it can be a serious disruption.
If you’re getting ready to buy a home, you’ve probably heard someone talking about closing costs. But do you know what they are, when they’re due, how much you’ll have to pay, and most importantly, where the money will come from? There’s a lot to learn, but you’ve come to the right place for all the answers!