5 Mortgage Misconceptions Set Straight

Looking for a home loan? Get your facts straight so you can proceed with confidence. Getting a mortgage can be a breeze or a slog, depending on what you know about the process. To get organized and set your expectations properly, let’s debunk some common mortgage myths. 1. Lenders use your best credit scores If you’re applying for a mortgage jointly with a co-borrower, logic suggests that your lender would use the highest credit score between both of you. However, lenders take the middle of three credit scores (from Equifax, TransUnion and Experian) for each borrower, and then use the lowest …

Buying Your First Home? Plan for These Hidden Costs

Get those rainy day funds in order — you’re going to need them. You’re excited because you just found the perfect home. The neighborhood is great, the house is charming and the price is right. But if you’re a first-time home buyer, you might find out that the price is pretty far from perfect. If you’re shopping for your first home, prepare for additional — and often unexpected — home-buying costs. They catch many home buyers unaware and can quickly leave you underwater on your new home. Expect the unexpected For almost every person who buys a home, the spending doesn’t stop …

Everything You Need to Know About Employer Relocation Packages

Moving for work? Make sure you know exactly how much help you can expect from your employer. If your company has asked you to move to a new city or state for work, you’re not alone. Each year, nearly seven million people in the United States relocate because of their jobs. Before you start packing boxes, it’s important to know what your employer will and won’t offer in terms of relocation assistance, and how that could affect both your move and your pocketbook. Make no assumptions Approximately 70 percent of U.S. companies offer relocation incentives for employees or new hires. …

6 Smart Ways to Build Home Equity

Want to create wealth through homeownership? Build equity. Home equity is the percentage of your home’s value that you own, and it’s key to building wealth through homeownership. Let’s take a closer look at how to build home equity without blowing your budget — and how to access it when you need it. How much equity do you have? Equity is easy to calculate when you first buy a home because it’s basically your down payment. For example, if you put $11,250 down on a $225,000 home, your down payment is 5 percent and so is your equity. From 2016 to …

10 Ways to Make Sure You Get Your Security Deposit Back

Nothing eases the pains of moving like a fully refunded security deposit. Make sure you get your cash back with these expert tips. Getting your security deposit back after you move may feel like an impossible feat, but it isn’t. Remember that your security deposit is essentially your money, so not all hope is lost when it’s time to move out. “It’s the landlord’s obligation to return [the deposit] at the end of the lease,” says Abbie Philpott with move-out company Pleased to Clean You. Here’s some expert advice for making sure your security deposit money goes back into your wallet …

The Counteroffer: Negotiating a Real Estate Deal

A lot can happen between an initial offer and closing day. Meet the counteroffer … Buying a home is rarely as simple as making an offer and paying that offer out. Negotiations can go back and forth for weeks before the seller and buyer are both satisfied. The vehicle for this negotiation is the counteroffer — a vital and complex rejection and counter to an offer made by either party. Counteroffers are typically handled between real estate agents and are time sensitive. Selling or buying a home is more of a process than a transaction, so it’s important to understand counteroffers …

The Hidden Costs of Moving: 11 Extra Fees to Watch For

While some extra services are optional, other charges are out of your control. Know what to expect when you get the final bill. Besides shipping your household items, most moving companies offer additional services for an extra charge. But it’s not always a matter of choice. Often, the circumstances of your move will necessitate a specific service, such as carrying your belongings upstairs if you move to a building without an elevator. Each moving company specifies the extra services it offers and sets the rates. While shopping around for movers, see which companies offer additional services that meet your needs and budget. When you …

Getting and Staying Organized Through the Summer

Between vacations, barbecues and pool parties, we can lose track of routines, projects and “stuff.” Sometime about now in mid-summer we begin asking ourselves, “Why do things seem to be out of control? I planned on organizing my photos, painting that cute dresser I picked up at the yard sale last fall, and waking up without an alarm clock on Fridays. None of it has happened!” This scenario is all too common — and yet there is good news. It’s never too late to get and stay organized for the remainder of the summer. People tend to get busy with outdoor activities and become distracted by vacations, plus …