Buying a House: A Checklist

A Budgeting Checklist for Buying Your First Home When the time comes to buy your first house, there's a lot to think about. Will you plant rose bushes or an apple tree? Should the living room have a red or blue accent wall? Do you really want to hold on to that couch? However, before you can have the fun of landscaping and decorating your first home, you need to figure out how to pay for it.... Continue reading

Real Estate & Personal Finance: Will I Save Money if I Buy a Short-Sale Home?

Why Lenders Agree to Short Sales By definition, a short sale means that the lender isn’t going to get back all the money it loaned for the property's original purchase, because the home is no longer worth that much. If the lender fronted Joe Homebuyer $300,000 to purchase the property and then the economy hit a rough patch, Joe might still owe $275,000 while the home's fair market value has... Continue reading

What Do You Need to Buy a House?: 5 Key Requirements

5 Primary Financial Requirements for Purchasing a Home Getting a home inspection prior to closing can reveal hidden problems with the home. Owning a home gives you freedom, privacy and tax deductions for your property taxes and mortgage interest. According to Habitat for Humanity, the children of homeowners do better in school, have fewer discipline problems and go on to earn more money than... Continue reading

Should You Withdraw Funds from Your 401k to Buy a House?

Access to Funds One circumstance in which a 401(k) loan might benefit you, according to Joseph A. Cannova, a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Public Accountant practicing in Toms River, New Jersey, is if you have bad credit. With a 401(k) loan, there's no credit check because you're borrowing your own money: there's no lender to deem you a bad loan risk or to charge you a higher... Continue reading

Budgeting Conundrum: Is It Smarter to Rent or Buy a House?

Budgeting Conundrum: Is It Smarter to Rent or Buy a House? Home ownership is often touted as the American Dream, and there certainly are plenty of benefits to owning your own home. You get a tax write-off for your property taxes and mortgage interest, and you don't have to ask anyone if you can paint your bedroom a different color. On the down side, the maintenance and upkeep on the place is on... Continue reading

Property Management Software for Landlords

Ease of Use Property management software , like Quicken's Home & Business, allows users to merge their personal and business accounting in a single place. For individual landlords, this means convenience and savings. Newer versions of these packages can be placed on a mobile or tablet platform and accessed online, a feature that "allows users to log in from anywhere," as Joe Sidebotham of... Continue reading

Real Estate & Personal Finance: How Do Mortgage Brokers Help in the Home-Buying Process?

Many mortgage brokers are experts at getting you ready to buy a home. In fact, some real estate agents require that you talk to one before you even start looking at houses. “For many borrowers, the work gets done before they ever apply for a loan. Between getting the information they need to apply for a loan and cleaning up credit issues, there's a lot to do,” explains Jonathan Mosca, a seasoned... Continue reading

6 Costs That Await New Homeowners

nthusiastic first-time homebuyers frequently gloss over costs that gobble budgets and overwhelm paychecks. Don’t set yourself up to watch TV on your laptop on the floor after you move in. To enjoy your new home from day one, be sure to count all the costs that go along with it. Here are six important ones.   Continue reading

Real Estate & Personal Finance: Can I Buy a Home While on a Debt Management Plan?

A debt management plan helps you get your personal finances under control through a carefully structured action plan based on your income, assets and liabilities. If you're considering a debt management plan or if you're already enrolled in one, chances are you've found yourself in a challenging situation regarding your expenses and you're looking for a solution to overwhelming debt. Continue reading

3 Options for Making Home Improvements

Your home may be the most significant investment you’ll ever make. During the course of owning it, home improvements will comprise a sizeable portion of your household budget. Over time rooms will need fresh paint or you may need more living space for a growing family. Whether it’s a small fix or a major renovation, there’s a key decision to be made with a big impact on your budget: Do it... Continue reading