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How to Quickly Build Equity in Your Home

How to Quickly Build Equity in Your Home

As a homeowner, you may want to build equity in your home sooner rather than later for a variety of reasons. For example, you might want to build equity if you didn’t make a down payment of 20% of the home’s value. If that’s the case, you may be stuck paying for private mortgage insurance until you reach 20% equity, like I am. But no matter the reason, there are several ways you can quickly build equity in your home. 1. Use Your Tax Refund Did you get a tax refund this year? If you did and you haven’t spent it yet, you could apply that money toward your home mortgage. By paying down the loan against it you can increase the equity in your home. 2. Increase Your Monthly Payment If you have extra room in your budget, use the money to make larger payments toward your outstanding home mortgage. Make sure the extra money you pay each month goes straight toward the principal on your loan. With some companies this is automatic, but with others you have to specify how you want the extra money you’re paying to be used. If you don’t specify, they may apply it toward ...

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Renting V Owning: Which One Is Best For You?

Whether to buy or rent a home is a decision very specific to individual circumstances and considerations. Generally, many younger people start independent living by renting – possibly due to moving around to establish their careers, and also due to hefty upfront costs ruling home ownership out until their salaries rise. Conversely, some older people may choose to sell their homes to release capital, in the process becoming renters again. As a result, according to this source, US home ownership fell in 2015 to its lowest level since 1967 at 63.4%, compared to the ownership boom of 2004 when home ownership was at 69.2%. The pros and cons So which is best for you – renting or buying? As said above, it will depend on the individual but the advantages and disadvantaged might help clarify things. Financial – many focus on the idea that you’re investing when buying as opposed to renting, but the overall costs of servicing a mortgage and maintaining a property need to be taken into account. A good starting point in calculating costs is this online housing calculator. How settled are you? – are you likely to move in the short term or does it look ...

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4 Ways to Know When to Buy or Sell a Property

4 Ways to know when to buy or sell a property

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional renovator or a young couple about to purchase their first home, buying or selling a property is a big deal. Aside from the financial investment, generally people are emotionally attached to their properties. Whether you are in the market for a new house or feeling ready to sell off an investment property, it is all about timing. So how do you know when the time is right? Read on for some ideas on how to spot the opportune moment! 1. The market is favorable If you are already planning on buying or selling and there are no urgent factors affecting your decision, be sure to do your research. While this may seem obvious, a favorable market can be more difficult to take advantage of than you expect. There are many factors to consider: do you have to sell your existing property and look to purchase at the same time; is location a key contributor to market forces; and are you buying and/or selling in suburbs that take advantage of these forces? Do you understand the current market in depth and how it will affect your position? Of course, a reliable real estate ...

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5 Best Ways to Invest Your Money

This post was submitted by a guest author. If you would like to contribute a guest post, please contact me.  Investing wisely is the best way to increase your net worth over time. On the other hand, investing poorly can result in a significant loss of money for you. Most financial experts recommend diversifying your investments by distributing money into a variety of assets. No matter how promising and profitable a new company might seem, it’s never wise to invest all your money in one place. Having multiple streams of income is always better than having just one, because if an investment of yours fails and you’ve got others to back it up, you can cover the losses with one of these additional investments. While nobody can guarantee that an investment will pay off, there are basic investing dos and don’ts that everyone can benefit from. Here are the five best items to invest your money in: 1. Certificate of Deposit (CD) If you have a specific amount of money that you know you won’t be needing for immediate expenses, invest it in a CD. When you invest money this way, you are basically loaning it to a bank or ...

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How Often Should You Rebalance Your IRA And What Funds Do You Choose?

Hopefully everyone reading this already has some form of retirement account set up or is planning to get started in the near future. I began contributing to my retirement plan as soon as I had a real job, which wasn’t until I was 26 (it takes a long time to get through optometry school!). I didn’t know anything about the stock market or planning for retirement. I only knew that my employer was offering a match up to 3%,  and I am not one to pass up free money. While I wish I had started saving a higher percentage of my salary from the beginning, hindsight is always 20/20, and I can only go forward. Now that I have been saving and slowly increasing my contributions, I always run into the dilemma of when to rebalance my IRA and what funds to invest in. Since I could never find the perfect answer, I have never really rebalanced. Knowing I should have done this a while ago,  I’m finally taking action, and October 2012 seems like the perfect time. While there are tons of ideas and formulas, it comes down to a few simple steps. As a disclaimer, please remember, I majored in science, not finance. What is your risk tolerance? If potential declines in ...

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