Terry Lohrbeer's Blog
Most homeowners would love to be able to pay off their mortgage early. However, few see it as a possibility when they take into account their earnings and other bills.
There are, however, a few ways to pay down your mortgage earlier than planned. But first, let’s talk about when it makes sense to try and pay off your mortgage.
When to consider paying off your mortgage early
If you recently got a promotion, have someone move in with you who contributes to paying the bills, or recently got a secondary form of income, you might want to consider making extra payments on your mortgage.
However, having extra money doesn’t always mean you should spend it immediately on your home loan.
First, consider if you have a large enough emergency savings fund. It might be tempting to try and throw any extra money at your mortgage as soon as possible, but there are other financial commitments you should plan for as well.
If you have kids who will be applying to college soon, remember that student aid takes into account their parents’ finances. If your children plan on applying to institutions with high tuition, then your equity will be counted against you.
Refinancing to pay your mortgage early
Refinancing your home loan is one option if you’re considering increasing the payments on your mortgage. If you can refinance a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan with a lower interest rate, you’ll save money in two ways--your lower interest rate and the fact that you’ll be accruing interest for less time.
There is a downside to refinancing. Once you refinance, you’re locked into your new payment amount. So, if your higher income isn’t dependable, it might not make sense to commit to a higher monthly payment that you aren’t sure you’re going to be able to keep paying.
There’s also the matter of refinancing costs. Just like the costs associated with signing on your mortgage, you’ll have to pay closing costs on refinancing. You’ll need to weigh the cost of refinancing against the amount you’ll save on interest over the term of your mortgage to see if it truly makes sense to go through the refinancing process.
Paying more on your current loan
Even if you aren’t sure that refinancing is the best option, there are other ways you can make payments on your mortgage to pay it off years sooner than your term length.
One of the common methods is to simply make thirteen payments each year instead of twelve. To do this, homeowners often use their tax returns or savings to make the thirteenth payment. Over a thirty year mortgage, this could save you over full two years of added interest.
A second option is to make two bi-weekly payments rather than one monthly payment. By making biweekly payments you have the ability to make 26 payments in a year. If you were to just make two payments per month then you would make 24 total payments. Over time, those two extra payments per year add up.
Does your real estate agent have what it takes to help you streamline the process of buying or selling a home?
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing a real estate agent, it pays to hire a housing market expert. With this real estate professional at your side, you can accelerate the homebuying or home selling cycle and improve your chances of achieving your desired results.
There are many signs that a real estate agent is a housing market expert, and these include:
1. A real estate agent keeps you up to date about the housing market.
Ideally, you should be able to find a real estate agent who will go the extra mile to keep you up to date about housing market trends. This housing market professional can help you make informed decisions throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.
In addition, the right real estate agent should have no trouble differentiating between a buyer's market and a seller's market so you can plan accordingly. He or she will assess housing market data regularly, and as such, be better equipped than other housing market professionals to help you stay ahead of the competition.
2. A real estate agent possesses extensive industry experience.
If you're on the lookout for a real estate agent, it certainly is beneficial to hire a housing market expert with comprehensive industry experience.
A real estate agent with extensive industry experience will know how to handle tough homebuying or home selling situations. That way, he or she can help you identify and overcome myriad hurdles as you try to buy or sell a house.
Furthermore, a real estate agent who possesses in-depth experience likely has plenty of confidence. This housing market professional should be able to help you alleviate stress and remain calm, cool and collected at each stage of the homebuying or home selling journey.
3. A real estate agent can answer any of your housing market questions.
Navigating the homebuying or home selling journey can raise many questions. Fortunately, the right real estate agent will be ready to answer your housing market questions at any time.
A real estate agent who knows the ins and outs of the housing market can provide you with the insights that you need to succeed, regardless of the current real estate sector's conditions. Plus, he or she will listen to your homebuying or home selling concerns and offer honest, unbiased recommendations to help you accomplish your goals.
Lastly, it may prove to be worthwhile to hire a real estate agent who is a great communicator. This housing market professional will be able to explain complex real estate concepts in simple terms, making it easy for any homebuyer or home seller to make the best possible decisions.
Ready to buy or sell a house? Collaborate with a real estate market who is a housing market expert – you'll be happy you did. This housing market expert can help you proceed with confidence and accomplish great things throughout the homebuying or home selling journey.
Whether you’re an empty nester, or just feel that you have too much “stuff” in your house, many people can stand to downsize. If you are planning on moving to a smaller home or if you want to get your family’s amount of “treasures” reduced, it’s not an easy task. We can promise that it will be a worthwhile one!
Just how can you downsize when you have a houseful of stuff? There’s a few rules of thumb that you should follow in order to keep your downsizing process streamlined and stress-free.
Don’t Try To Do Everything At Once
The more stuff that you have, the more overwhelming your project will be. You may want to be very efficient and try to get everything cleaned out as soon as possible. It’s probably not feasible to get it all done at once. You’ll stress yourself out both physically and emotionally. Think of a realistic time table for you based on how much time you hope to clean over a certain period and how much stuff you actually have. It’s best if you plan to tackle one room and one area at a time.
If You’re Helping Someone Else, Ask Yes Or No Questions
When you’re in the process of moving or even just getting rid of stuff, the people you’re helping will thank you if you’re direct. Ask yes or no questions about things as the whether it’s being donated, tossed, or saved. This will be especially helpful when working with children and older people.
You can also expedite the process of cleaning things just by sorting them out. Keep piles of clothing, kitchen items, tools and toys separate. This process works best with items that are numerous like clothing. Once the items are separated, they may be much easier to tackle.
Know How Much Space You Have
If your goal is to empty out one closet in your home, then you know that space will be unavailable for storage. If you’re moving from an 8 room house to 5 room condo, you may have a bit more purging to do! Just remember that there’s no point in hanging onto things that won’t be used or that have no place to be stored.
Don’t Have An Undecided Pile
Don’t start an undecided pile of stuff. It will just end up back in your pool of things that will need to be cleaned out at a later time. Make sure that you make a clear decision on what you’re doing with each item in the process of sorting. One exception to this rule is paperwork. If you need to sort through a lot of it, place it in a box to go through at another time, preferably once the rest of the house is settled.
If you focus on sorting and seeing what your most used items are, downsizing should be a less overwhelming task. Once you clean, you can focus on more important things like moving!
Applying for a mortgage is one of the biggest decision that an individual can make in his or her lifetime. As such, it is important for a first-time homebuyer to dedicate the necessary time and resources to employ the best mortgage lender – without exception.
So what does it take to hire the ideal mortgage lender? Here are three tips to help a first-time homebuyer quickly and effortlessly choose the right mortgage lender.
1. Consider a Variety of Lenders
There is no shortage of top-notch lenders in cities and towns across the United States. Thus, a first-time homebuyer can meet with a variety of credit unions and banks to explore all of the mortgage options at his or her disposal.
Spend some time learning about lenders in your area. Look at each lender's experience and reputation, and you may be better equipped than other homebuyers to select the ideal lender based on your individual needs.
Furthermore, conduct face-to-face meetings with lenders. These meetings will allow you to learn about a wide range of mortgage options and will make it easy for you to make an informed decision.
2. Ask Plenty of Questions
When it comes to getting a mortgage for the first time, there is no need to leave anything to chance. Instead, ask plenty of questions as you consult with assorted lenders, and you can gain the insights you need to pick a lender that matches or exceeds your expectations.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "bad" question, particularly when it comes to mortgages. If you meet with various lenders, you can get all of your mortgage concerns and queries addressed without delay.
A first-time homebuyer who asks lots of questions may be able to avoid potential financial pitfalls down the line too. In fact, this homebuyer should have no trouble selecting a great lender who can fulfill his or her mortgage needs for years to come.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
Let's face it – selecting a lender may prove to be exceedingly difficult. Fortunately, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased advice to help you find the right lender in no time at all.
A real estate agent understands the challenges of obtaining a terrific mortgage, and as a result, will do everything possible to help a homebuyer discover a lender that can provide outstanding support day after day. Plus, a real estate agent can even help a homebuyer alleviate stress as he or she searches for the right lender.
Let's not forget about the support that a real estate agent can provide throughout the entire homebuying journey, either. Typically, a real estate agent can keep a homebuyer informed about new residences as they become available, set up home showings, negotiate with a home seller on buyer's behalf and much more.
Get the right mortgage any time you choose – use the aforementioned tips, and a first-time homebuyer can streamline the process of selecting the ideal lender.
Especially if you’re starting in a room from scratch, it can be hard to figure out where you should place everything in a room. Your bedroom can be one of the most challenging rooms of the house to decorate. If you break down the room into small pieces, you can create a bedroom that’s right for you. Bedrooms need to hold more than just a bed. In today’s world, a bedroom can become a very multipurpose room.
Think Of The Components Of The Room
Bedrooms tend to be more of a multi-functional in a home due to the shifting nature of families. You do everything in there from sleep to watch television to get dressed in the mornings and evenings. This means that you’ll need some or all of the following in your bedroom:
- Storage for clothing
- A comfy bed
- A media Center
- A chair
- Home office supplies
- Television stand
Whatever purpose that your bedroom has to serve is what you’ll need in the room. This all depends upon the size of your home. You’ll have to arrange the room accordingly after these parameters are set. Your bedroom should feel personal; a place of self expression and comfort. Your bedroom is the place where you can display little pieces of your life. These should include personal photos, antiques, and all of your favorite things. This helps to make your bedroom your own. It will become a peaceful sanctuary that you love.
Focus On Function
If your bedroom is well-lit and well arranged, the room undoubtedly will be more comfortable. The easier it is for you to find things and use the room the way it needs to be, the more comfortable you’ll be. While your bedroom should look nice, it’s yours to use. Your bedroom is the room of the house that should provide the most comfort for you.
When it comes to the way that you arrange your bedroom, you can get as creative as you want. If you’re short on space, don’t hesitate to push the bed against a window. If you’re tired of the same old same in the bedroom, shuffle the furniture around. If you ensure that you have adequate lighting and seating in the room, you can do anything with it!
Don’t Multipurpose The Room If You Don’t Have To
Although it’s nice to have access to everything in one room, bedrooms work best when they are singularly purposed. You’ll sleep better and get more rest if you keep things like computers and televisions out of the bedroom. You can easily arrange a bedroom when you keep your own desires at the heart of the design.