Moving can be a stressful experience but hiring the right moving company can ensure a smooth transition. Check out the tips below on how to select the best company for you.
1. Do your research. Talk to friends and neighbors for recommendations and warnings. Research prospective moving companies on the Better Business Bureau's website. Call and ask how long they have been in business, how much experience their packers and drivers have, and, if necessary, if they're licensed for interstate transport.
2. License to drive. Verify the status of the moving company's licenses with the US DOT and State DOT (as appropriate). Check their credentials and make sure they offer liability insurance.
3. Get an in-home quote. A company that provides an estimate over the phone may then charge more on the day of the move by claiming that there was more inventory than expected. The Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires an interstate mover to give you an in-home estimate if your current home is 50 miles from the mover’s (or the agent’s) place of business. You’re entitled to get the full quote in writing, which should itemize all charges associated with the move.
4. Compare and save. When it comes to getting a fair quote, let market competition work for you.
5. A picture is worth a thousand words. A legitimate mover should inventory your property before the move to make sure nothing is lost, but photos of all valuable property provides extra protection if you need to file a claim.
During the summer months, homeowners across the country host yard sales. Our tried-and-true tips will make your summer sale a financial success!
1. Advertise. Hang brightly colored signs around your neighborhood and remember to display signs in high traffic areas, even if it is a few miles from the actual sale. Revisit the signs the day before the sale and add balloons to attract attention. Don't forget to advertise on Facebook, Craig's List or even in a newspaper ad.
2. Plan ahead. Make your sale as convenient as possible for shoppers, this means a prompt start, plenty of change, even light bulbs, power strips and batteries on hand to assure customers electric items work properly.
3. The price is right. Realistically price your items, remember, it's a yard sale. Visit other sales prior to your own to get an idea of how to price your items.
4. Sell what sells. Sporting goods, toys, games and kitchen tools are popular buys, donate outdated clothing and discard any recalled items.
5. Curb appeal. Make your sale efficient and inviting. Everything should be clean and orderly with prices conveniently placed on the top of all items.
1. No new debt! Delay large purchases, this includes jewelry, vacations, appliances and especially vehicles. Hold off on buying a new vehicle, as a sizable monthly car payment can push the debt-to-income percentage over what lenders feel is a safe limit, and you may be denied the loan or have to settle for a smaller loan.
2. Do not co-sign on a loan for anyone else. Although you will not be making the payment, the lender still views this as your debt.
3. Don’t move money around. A lender will require you to supply bank statements for all your accounts during recent months. Any large deposits or withdrawals will be red flags to the lender, and may slow or inhibit the escrow. Changing banks is also unadvisable. Remember, the simpler your finances are, the better.
4. Avoid changing jobs. When you change jobs, it can be difficult for lenders to predict future earnings. Any major career changes, such as corporate employee to self-employed, should also be delayed. Remember, the lender will look two years back and average your income. Anything that will make that process difficult is a bad idea.
For more tips on the home buying process, please contact me.
I found myself in a very upbeat, and excited mood and I was raving about the real estate market and what I see happening over the next few years. I was particularly excited, because for the very first time in my entire career, I signed 30 closings in one day the day before the cruise and had in fact signed almost 60 closings that week.
Our business in March was up 31% over February and by April 9th, we had already passed the halfway mark of what we did in March. The real estate industry is heating up and will only continue to heat up. Needless to say I ended up surrounded by several members dying to hear the good news.
“I’ve been through about four refinance crazes in my career, and this is the most significant I’ve seen,” said Marshall Boyd, co-president of Southwest Bank Mortgage and a founding and managing partner of Williams Trew Real Estate Services.
“The No. 1 reason is that rates are lower this time,” Boyd said. “I never dreamed we would be refinancing people with loans in the 5’s to loans in the 4’s.”
Linda and Jeff Hochster watched rates for several months before refinancing their home in Fort Worth’s Mira Vista neighborhood. “We started doing research and reaching out to brokers. We just kept watching as the rate was falling over the last 45 days,” said Linda Hochster, a retired public relations manager for Southwest Airlines.
Mount Hope, $1,050,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2217 SqFt
Crimson Dr., $950,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2008 SqFt
Delight Way, $899,995, 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2356 SqFt
Weeping Oaks Ct., $879,950, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2357 SqFt
Paso Los Cerritos, $775,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1796 SqFt
Cloverbrook Dr., $759,950, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2205 SqFt
Montalban Dr., $699,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 2033 SqFt
Minoru Dr., $639,888, 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms, 1538 SqFt
Inspector s in the House
Q: Our house is on the market. We're waiting for offers and wondering if we should hire our own home inspector or let the buyer hire the inspector once we are in escrow. Our agent advises against hiring our own inspector. What do you think?
A: Some real estate agents are in favor of pre-sale home inspections and some are not. Here are the reasons why I favor them:
Randolph Dr., $483,600, 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 2197 SqFt
Kring Dr., $471,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1760 SqFt
Glengarry Dr., $449,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1407 SqFt
Merrill Lp., $444,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1221 SqFt
Parvin Dr., $434,900, 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 1942 SqFt
Destino Cir., $421,900, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 1954 SqFt
Azule Ave., $414,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1208 SqFt
Ralene Pl., $409,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1041 SqFt
Kimball Dr., $404,900, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1618 SqFt
April 12, 2009
The Smiths are among the first seniors in the country to close on a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for Purchase, a form of federally insured reverse mortgage authorized in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The law took effect Jan. 1.
While you're not allowed to deduct principal payments on loans, there are a few tactics you can try to reduce your tax liabilityMy vacation rental business owns 23 properties on which we make over $200,000 in principal payments annually. Since we make $195,000 in annual profit, every year we end up in the hole financially. We take depreciation on the properties, but it doesn't offset our taxes by much. Is there a way to deduct the principal payments we're making on our properties? —D.P., Cartersville, Ga.
No. "You cannot deduct principal payments on loans," says Bill Fleming, a tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "This is a typical issue with any leveraged investment—especially real estate, since that is nearly always leveraged."
Falling housing prices, historically low interest rates, and tax credits are creating an enticing environment for renters to convert to homeowners.
"We are still going to have a tremendous amount of foreclosures, price declines, and best opportunities to buy properties at amazing prices," says Bruce Norris of The Norris Group.
If that sounds like a mixed bag of bad and good, indeed it is. Consumers have been inundated with news about a troubled real estate market. "If you look at the closings for California, 55 percent or more closings every month are lender-owned properties; that ratio has never existed before. So, the lenders are really dictating the prices at this point and there are so many [lender-owned properties] that the appraiser almost has no choice but to give that comp a lot of credence," says Norris. But the good news, especially for those who have been wanting to take the plunge into homeownership is that markets across the country are ripe for choosing the most suitable home.
The savings is net of borrowing 100% of the $5,000 in closing costs, so there will be no up-front cash out of pocket. The original loan was for $143,500 and has a balance of $131,500. By refinancing, the $1,250 payment would be reduced to $1,080 on a new loan balance of $136,500. E.L.
Answer: To make the right choice, at least arithmetically, you gotta run the numbers. Here's how:
- Figure out what you are going to spend by refinancing. In your case, that would be $5,000 plus, since you are going to roll that amount into the loan's principal, whatever your interest costs will be.
Many investors have asked what exactly is a 1031 exchange, what are the guidelines and timelines, and can you legally defer your capital gains taxes? I thought it would be beneficial to answer some of your most common questions in this article.
What is a §1031 Exchange?A §l031 Exchange is a transaction in which a taxpayer is allowed to exchange one investment property for another by deferring the tax consequence of a sale. The transaction is authorized by §1031 of the IRS Code.
The IRS Code actually reads: "No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment, if such property is exchanged solely for property of like kind, which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment."
Regnart Rd., $1,548,000, 6 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bathrooms, 3765 SqFt
Canyon Vista, $990,000, 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2119 SqFt
Scotland Dr., $899,000, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1190 SqFt
2nd St., $389,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1246 SqFt
Omira Dr., $389,900, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1400 SqFt
Alderwood, $375,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1399 SqFt
S 9th St., $374,900, 6 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1700 SqFt
Story Rd., $369,000, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1476 SqFt
Eulalie, $344,900, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1232 SqFt
Turley Ct., $324,900, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, 1479 SqFt
N 17th St., $314,000, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1260 SqFt
Dixon Rd., $312,900, 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom, 1085 SqFt
Fremont Bank said Friday that it has made $800 million in home mortgages in the past 90 days.
The loans went to 3,600 borrowers and the bank expects to provide an additional 15,000 to 20,000 homeowners the ability to refinance by year-end.
The figures show that community banks are participating in the mortgage lending boom as mortgage rates fall to the lowest levels in years. Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) said Thursday that it expects record first-quarter profit resulting from its purchase of Wachovia and its brisk mortgage business.
In other neighborhoods, a foreclosed home might be boarded up and plastered with large signs advertising bank-owned or REO. Some of those homes might remain in an abandoned condition for years. The weeds grow high enough to cover sidewalks, pranksters throw rocks through second-floor windows, and the home becomes an eyesore, a dumping ground for used mattresses and automobile parts.
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