The US population is aging, and as it does, older Americans want to age in their homes but need to access the equity for home improvement or other bills. Reverse mortgages were created as a way to convert a portion of an owners home equity into cash. While it is similar to a home equity loan, no monthly payment is required until the borrower no longer lives in the home as a primary residence or fails to meets the obligations of the mortgage (i.e. paying taxes). It’s important to know more about reverse mortgages in order to determine it is an option for you.
Monthly Archives: May 2013
Qualifying for FHA
The FHA loan program is a government loan that was designed to increase home-ownership. Its guidelines allows for lower down payments than what is referred to as a conventional loan. It can be less expensive than other types of real estate mortgage home loan programs and have credit guidelines that include more people, however it does have strict mortgage amounts and documentation rules. This is a loan program that has specific rules and requirements. Its eligibility requirements are well documented; here are the basics of what is needed to know:
Lower Your Tax Bill
Death and taxes, right? With state and local municipalities in dire fiscal straits, higher property tax bills can be expected. Any change in a home’s assessment goes though a tax assessor’s office. This requires homeowners to document and request a reduction. Just calling in to yell that your bill is too high will not cause the tax assessor’s office to make a change to a bill. Here are some tips that will help you understand and perhaps lower your tax bill.
Home Improvement That Adds Value
The real estate market is a fickle lady these days. Homeowners are continuing to take on home improvement projects to enhance their living space. If you hope to recoup all the dollars spent on home improvements, pick projects wisely. Prioritize projects that will add value to a home without adding to monthly costs and most of all determine how far to take a project. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) conducts an annual survey reports what home projects add the most value to a property. For instance the number one ranked project is upgraded siding which is reported to increase value by over 100% of what it cost to complete.
Financing a Second Home
Second homes are often the place for furniture you no longer need and dishes from your first apartment. A second class citizen of sorts. The same theory applies when trying to get a loan on a second home. Statistically if a borrower comes under tight financial strains they will keep current on the primary residence leaving the second home to fall into default. All is not lost; there are two main financing techniques to acquire a second home. Before jumping into the second home market take a strong look at your what your long term goals are, this will be an important part of the picture. For instance if this second home will eventually be a primary residence using a mortgage instrument that has lower payments may suite the situation better knowing that the loan may be refinanced or paid off when the other residence is sold.