The Wall Street Journal recently (3/17/14) did a special report on “Big Issues” with advocates squaring off on six different personal finance issues. In today’s post I’m going to give my perspective on one of these issues, “Paying Tuition: Is That the Responsibility of the Student or the Parent?”
To refinance your existing mortgage seems to be an inalienable right. Do not listen to the “experts” that will tell you once the prevailing mortgage rate falls .50 – 1% below the rate on your current mortgage you should refinance. Running off to refinance your mortgage when headlines announce mortgage rates are falling is not the best of ideas.
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.
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.