Need a little extra cash month to month? The answer may be as close as your own home. With rates at historic lows and new programs for home owners coming out on a regular basis you may be able to refinance your home and save hundreds. FHA home owners who purchased prior to June 2009 may be eligible for a streamline refinance without an appraisal. The process is quick and simple and involves very little paperwork. The good news for those with rental properties is that there are programs now to refinance them as well. Your home is the biggest asset you will ever own, see if you can put it to work for you.
If a tree from your yard falls on your neighbors house, who is responsible for the damage? That is actually covered on the neighbor’s home owners insurance as many people found out after damaging storms rolled through the Baltimore and DC area on Friday night. The horrible sight of trees that had fallen through roofs and damaged homes was prevalent in many neighborhoods. Having proper coverage is key for situations like this, and unfortunately many home owners aren’t aware of how their coverage works or what they have until a catastrophe happens. And while paying less per year to have a higher deductible may sound like a good plan, when something unexpected like this happens, how easy is it to actually come up with that money, or have it taken out of what you are getting back to pay for the repairs. In most cases the smartest move is to go with the lowest deductible possible and pay a little more month to month. You should also shop your policy every year to make sure you are getting the best deal and the lowest rates.
Another option many people don’t know about when something happens to their home is the option of using a public adjuster. A public adjuster works as a liaison between the home owner and the insurance company to get the home owner the most money possible for repairs. Public adjusters can be beneficial because they know what is covered and what isn’t and what the insurance company looks for and will negotiate with them, rather than just accept the first offer. Nine times out of ten the public adjuster will get a higher settlement for the home owner.
Home owners insurance protects your biggest and most valuable asset. When shopping for insurance, price is important, but the right coverage and good service is even more valuable.
The media is full of negative things to say about the current housing market. Words like “foreclosure” and “short sale” are constantly being thrown
at the public. However, a closer look actually shows that now is a great time to become a home owner. Rates are low and there is a lot of affordable inventory on the market to choose from.
The word “starter home” doesn’t even need to be in a 1st time homebuyers vocabulary these days because it is easy to find lower priced larger homes that leave enough room for a family to grow. Think about it, low rates mean a buyer never has to refi and low prices on larger homes means they never have to move. There are still programs out there to help first time homebuyers with down payment assistance, and believe it or not you do not have to have a 720 credit score to buy a house, there are programs for that too. Banks are lending money; they are just doing it smarter.
The key is that homebuyers have to get out of “rental” mentality. Buying a home is a long-term commitment, and if you are truly committed to your house, you can make it work no matter what the economy. Before you purchase consider what you would be willing to do to keep your home. Would you work a part-time job if need be? Take on a roommate? Give up Saturday nights out? And do your homework, find out about different mortgage programs and rates and what they mean to your bottom line. Learn about what the lender uses to qualify you and what ratios they are looking at.
The other reason why now is a great time to buy is because the market is cyclical and won’t stay this low forever. The great deal you are getting today will pay
you back in the future as long as you hold onto it long enough. Remember, buying a home is a long-term commitment and like any relationship you will get out of
it what you put into it.