Impress Your Mortgage Lender With 2 Incredible Moves

couple is having a meeting with their mortgage lenderIf looking to take a mortgage to fund your dreams of owning a home, you need to make a positive impression on your lenders. You want to prove to them that you’re indeed capable of living up to your word on repayments.

Whipping your finances into great shape is the key to successfully realizing your dream of owning a home, says, a provider of residential mortgages in Moses Lake. Given the average asking prices for a house are in the $200,000 range, you need a good source of credit to raise that much cash.

That’s where qualifying for a mortgage on good terms makes a difference. See, lenders are quite skittish about their money and often impose measures to help them safeguard their interests. They need to know that they can trust you to pay back the money when issuing a loan.

Put some skin in the game

Given that buying a home is a major, even life-changing decision, you shouldn’t rush into it. Rushing into it only serves to complicate matters, and your finances will suffer for it. As such, you need to prove your commitment to the lender when going about the process. One of the best ways to do this is to raise a substantial deposit. Usually, 20 percent of the home’s asking price is sufficient but don’t shy away from raising more.

Borrowing more than 80 percent of the loan comes with one disadvantage – private mortgage insurance. This legal requirement means that you will pay more each month and none of that money goes towards building equity in the home.

Prove you’re creditworthy

Depending on the plan you pick, a mortgage is a long-term relationship that spans for years, decades even. Hence, the lenders are going to dig deep into your financial history. You need to ensure they are pleased with what they uncover.

Ever the cautious bunch, lenders are delighted by people who pay their bills on time or in full each month and don’t carry too much of it. See, it would do to lend you more money if you’re already struggling to pay back what you owe. Such a finding only raises red flags, lowering your chances of qualifying.

If you’re hoping to use a credit facility to finance your dreams of buying a home, then you need to win over the lenders. You need to come off as a creditworthy borrower who poses little or no risk to their money.

Five Things to Consider When Choosing Windows for Your Home

Woman looking at big windowAre you planning home renovation that requires you to change your windows? You have to be careful when selecting the right one for your renovation. Companies like ITF Aluminium know that the windows you choose for your home can transform the look of your house. Here are five things to consider when choosing new windows for your home.

Your Budget

As with any significant project, the budget is always the first and most crucial part of the planning. You have to know which features you prioritise to know how much to set as a budget. Be sure to include an allowance for any sudden expenses during its installation, too.

Its Purpose

Different rooms may require different types of windows. A bathroom may need smaller windows compared to a bedroom. A living room window may be a floor-to-ceiling glass window so that more natural light can enter. Think about how you want the window to work for the room it’s going to be in.

The Orientation of the Sun to Your Home

The primary purpose of a window is to help your home gain more natural light. The central question is how much natural light do you want your home to have? Choose the right kind of windows for rooms that are hit by direct sunlight and those that aren’t.

Energy Efficiency

Windows save energy by how tightly they seal and how much sunlight they can let in or block. Choose the right material, glass type or design for each window in your home with energy efficiency in mind.

Home Security

Most residential break-ins happen through the window. Some windows are meant to have heavy-duty locks for better security. Choose these windows for rooms that are near the ground or that can be easily climbed into.

Be wise when it comes to choosing your home windows. It’s still best to match them with the design of your house as you consider these five things. If you do this, you’ll have windows that don’t only function well for your home but also keep you and your family safe at all times.

Avoid 2 Parenting Mistakes That Ruin Your Dream of Owning a Home

child and parent holding a drawing of a family in a house

child and parent holding a drawing of a family in a houseParenting is an exciting journey that spans both ends of the spectrum from the good to the ugly. There’s a considerable amount of pride and joy that comes with providing for your family and watching them grow. As much as you would like to give them the very best in life, it’s prudent to show some restraints when it comes to money.

Sparing no expense while running a lean budget can suck you up into a financial black hole. If you are in a financial mess, it ruins your credit score and creditworthiness. These two crucial elements determine your eligibility for a mortgage here in Sandy when looking to buy your dream home.

Spending too much on your children

While it might sound outrageous but splurging too much on the kids can prove ruinous in the end. Yes, it is nice to spoil your kids rotten but you can’t or shouldn’t do it at the expense of your financial security. See, lavish birthday parties, and designer clothes leave a gaping hole in your wallet.

Matters tend to compound if you must put these expenses on your credit card and you cannot service the debt without incurring hefty interest. High credit card debts mean that you must use a significant portion of your income to make the minimum payment.

Or else, you’ll incur the wrath of the card company in the form of hefty fines and penalties.

Picking the wrong schools for your kids

Sure, there’s a considerable amount of pride in taking your kids to a school in the upscale market. And you have every right to have your chest swell with pride. But the tuition fee in such schools is over the top. However, you should only choose such a school if your finances allow you.

School fee is a long-term commitment, and it is an expense that’ll stick on you like glue for a long time. While it is essential to ensure that your kids get a good education, it shouldn’t be at the expense of your financial stability.

It is only natural for a parent to want the very best for their kids but you need to strike a balance. Going over the top with your spending habits can leave you in bad financial shape.

What You Need to Know to Open a Second Branch

coffee shop

Cafe owner standing at counterYou’ve always wanted to open another restaurant, especially when your restaurant business has been doing well and attracting a lot of customers. If you think it’s time for another expansion, you need to consider several things, the first of which is funding for your expansion plans.

How Lending Companies Can Help

There are companies from which you can get a loan for your second restaurant.  They offer alternative lending schemes that can focus on staffing needs for your new branch. With experienced and qualified people working for your restaurant, your customers will keep coming back to enjoy your food and service.

You need necessary supplies like kitchen utensils and food supplies. These allow you to serve your customers well and alternative lending services can provide you with the money for these. Also, alternative lending services can provide you with money for marketing your latest restaurant.

What to Do to Get a Loan

So what do you need to do to get that loan? First, you’ve got to come up with a business plan for your new restaurant. Lending companies would like to see how you are going to use the loan.  Then you have to decide the best way to get your loan.

You may choose to apply for a small business administration loan (SBA) or find an investor to put his money into your new restaurant.  Just make sure you choose the right source for your loan.

If your problem is financing, that shouldn’t stop you from opening another restaurant. You can always find an investor or a lending company that can fulfill your dream of further expanding your restaurant business. When you find one that can help you, you will find your dreams of expansion come true.

Three Things You Need to Do First Before Buying a House

new house

new houseBuying a new home is everyone’s dream. It is just natural to harbour fears about making wrong decisions when looking for a new house. If only buying a home were easy — but it is actually a daunting task. The consequences of making a bad decision can leave you with regret for years.

So, when looking for the perfect house, you need to research, canvass and compare rates appropriately. For instance, when you do research on a property, make sure to use a UK stamp duty calculator so you can take all fees are into consideration.

Other than that, here are the three things you need to do before buying your first house.

1. Research is key

Research is an important step in buying your first house. It involves looking for the perfect location, the price of the property and mortgage options available. It is also important to take into consideration the tax fees and property transfer documents, in order to have a smooth transaction.

2. Get your finances in order

It is vital to make sure you have good credit score and history. You must prove to your bank or lending firm that you are perfectly capable to repay a mortgage.

This way, you could have the best deal before you buy your house. Moreover, you could even get bigger loans if the firm sees you are disciplined when it comes to your finances.

3. Take your time

Do not buy anything in a rush. You might end up regretting buying a house at the spur of the moment. It is better to take one step at a time. Take your time, particularly in the research process. Consider all options and weigh them against your preferences and needs.

Buying a house for the first time is not easy. You might feel overwhelmed with all the payments, information, and processes you need to go through. Just keep in mind the tips above as well as advice from experts, and you should do just fine.

Three 1031 Exchange Details You Should Know

Couple consulting a real estate professional

Couple consulting a real estate professionalMany people who know about Internal Revenue Code Sections never go past the 401(k). However, look a little deeper and you will come across 1031 exchange. A few who can navigate the complexities of the tax codes know that 1031 exchange is a tax deferment loophole associated with real estate investments. However, the scope is broader.

To put it simply, a 1031 exchange swaps investment assets or businesses, for others. Within 1031, you get limited tax or no tax at all. In effect, you change your investment’s form without the IRS recognizing it as cashing out. Nevertheless, there are some things you should bear in mind; companies such as 1031 Exchange Place provide guidance when pursuing a 1031 exchange, so you are not caught on the wrong side of the tax laws.

Considerations include:

Delayed exchanges

A traditional exchange is a simple swap of property between two property owners. However, the chances of finding someone willing to swap whose property is what you are looking are slim. Therefore, you can delay the exchange. Also known as a Starker exchange, a delayed exchange includes a third party who keeps the money after you ‘sell’ and then pays when a replacement property is found.

Designate replacement property

In a Starker exchange, if you receive the money, you spoil your 1031 exchange. The third party receives the money from the sale of your property. Within 45 days of that time, you must designate a property that you want as a replacement, in writing.

You can designate many properties

According to the IRS, you can select many properties, but you must close on one of them in the end. You can also do the same if the properties are a fair market value compared to the property you sold. The properties must not exceed 200% of the total market value of all properties involved in the exchange.

There is no limit to the number of times you can use 1031. You can use it to change real estate investments avoiding taxes until you eventually sell them. However, be careful to use the services of a professional who observes all the rules applicable to property that depreciates.

The 1031 exchange rule is a good way to get around tax commitments, but make sure you have good advice and guidance before you start.

3 Mistakes You’re Likely to Make When Taking a Mortgage

Rejected mortgage applicationHomeownership is a dream come true for everyone. It might, however, be a steep venture without the money to buy or build your house. A mortgage is the best solution to achieve your homeownership dream regardless of your income. Exercising caution, however, is essential to get the perfect Texas mortgage for your situation and to avoid some of the common mistakes borrowers make. A mortgage is, after all, a long-term commitment. Ensuring it fits various patterns and circumstances in your life is vital.

Here are some tips to help you avoid some common mortgage mistakes:

Being House Poor

This is among the most prevalent mortgage mistakes. Being house poor is a consequence of committing a significant amount of your monthly income to mortgage repayment, leaving you with little to no funds to sustain yourself. To avoid making this mistake, allocate not more than 30% of your pretax income to mortgage repayment.

Ignoring the Real Price of Homeownership

Varied costs come with homeownership. Without proper preparation, they might surprise you along the way and leave you disappointed. Property taxes and maintenance and utility costs are some of the expenses that come with owning a house. Ensure you factor these before picking your mortgage, so your costs and monthly mortgage payments fit your budget perfectly.

Ignoring APR

Most mortgage borrowers only focus on their advertised loan’s monthly interest rates. Some lenders will advertise low rates, but compensate with high loan fees that ultimately increase your yearly repayments. Base your choice on the annual percentage rate (APR) since it includes the lender’s fees and interest, and is the ideal reflection of your mortgage.

It’s possible for you to make a smart choice when taking a mortgage. Avoiding these common mistakes is a big part of a stress-free mortgage, though not the only one. Having a trustworthy mortgage lender is the other crucial part of a hassle-free mortgage.

Take Control of Your Finances with This 5-Step Monthly Spending Plan

Piggy bank, coins, and calculator on a tableHave you been on a tight budget for quite some time now? Do you find yourself scratching your head once your monthly bills start to come in? Maybe it’s time to sit down and sort out your finances like you should’ve done years ago.

Palmetto Citizens Federal Credit Union believes that a monthly spending plan can help you take control of your finances. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to start yours.

Step #1: Determine your total monthly income.

This is the amount minus taxes and any other company deductions you may have. If you have any other sources of income, include them as well. Use averages if monthly amounts vary.

Step #2: List down all your monthly expenses.

Then, subtract it from your income. This would include school tuition fees, groceries, date nights, and even ice cream weekends. You must include anything that you spend every month.

Step #3: Allot for unexpected expenses.

After Step #2, if you still have much left, set aside an amount for any unexpected expense. If you can’t come up with an amount on your own, 10 percent should be a safe amount.

Step #4: Work on your budget.

This is where your saving skills should come in. If you reach this step with a negative amount, go back to Step #2 and see where you can cut down on expenses. Then move on to the next step until you can work with enough money to continue.

Step #5 Invest.

No matter what amount you come up with by this point, you must still invest in yourself. The savings you set aside every month can be your lifesaver, your future, or your next business investment.

No two months are the same. Make sure you’re ready for any changes and adjustments your finances will need like emergency dental or medical appointments. It’ll only take you half an hour to come up with your monthly spending plan. Take control of your finances today, before it takes control of you.

What to Look for When Choosing a Bank

A man saving moneyThere are 70 banks in Connecticut, each having several branches in towns and cities across the state. Of the 70, 34 are state-chartered banks, three foreign banks, 20 national banks, four federal savings banks, one federal savings and loan association, and eight out-of-state banks. But which one should you choose?

When choosing banks in Connecticut, there are several things worthy to consider.

Acceptable rates and diverse banking products

It is typical that the bank you choose offers low loan rates and higher savings rates. It must also have several products that you can benefit from. If it is personal banking, you must find services like personal savings, eChecking, college-bound checking, health savings, youth savings, or credit services. If it is business banking, it must have options for small businesses, business checking and savings, money market, and growth capital finance, to name a few.

Quality technological infrastructure

Banks that offer technology features like electronic transactions and mobile services are more operationally well-rounded and market-oriented. They ensure new and current customers get the best banking services they need. This also accounts for a larger marketing base with which to advertise bank products; hence, inform customers. An online presence is also fundamental. Online banking, for example, is becoming a norm as physical banking transactions are getting less appealing.

Reliable customer service

A bank that cares about its customers also maintains a caring customer service department. More than pure advertising rhetoric, reliable customer service must serve and treat customers well. Serving over the counter must be consistent with serving beyond the counter since it shows that an institution is willing to protect and improve a customer’s finances.

When choosing a bank, critically examine the bank’s rates, products, technology, as well as its customer service.

Retirement Planning for Small Business Owners: 3 Things to Get Started

A retired coupleWorking for many years, especially if you own a small business, is no easy task. You have staggering responsibilities, from coming up with a business strategy and thinking about your employees to choosing the right equipment for the job and making sure your customers are satisfied with your work.

You deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor, which is why you need to start planning for the time when you hand over the reins to someone else. Having a good financial plan for retirement is important so you can make the most of your post-work years.

In addition, considering everything you will leave behind is a necessary step when planning for the future and securing the welfare of your employees. Here some things to think about before finally settling down into retirement:

Envision Your Goal

Setting the aim of your business and being able to identify your end goal is critical when it comes to planning your retirement. It’s your decision if you’re going to give the business to family members, sell it, or close it altogether.

Deciding on this will be the basis for how you’ll arrange your retirement. Once you have a goal in mind, you can consult a financial advisor and evaluate all of your personal savings, business savings, and how you can achieve a comfortable retirement life.

Be Wise When it Comes to Investments

It’s important to consider your investments once you have a strategy in place. Small business owners are reminded that investment portfolio diversification is important. Whichever forms of investment you choose, they should be able to provide you with a stable income during your retirement years. Once you have your retirement money, you will need to be careful with how and where to spend it.

Consider Organizing a Retirement Plan

Your age is a contributing factor on how big your savings should be. It’s important that you understand how to manage your money in retirement and how to liquidate your assets in the event that you choose to sell.

According to a survey, Millennials are more confident in retiring simply because they started early by having a business at around 26 years of age (on average). It has given them more time to expand their business and earn more, which is why they have created a more convenient retirement plan.

Now that you have considered all of these factors and started planning your retirement strategy, it is time for you to set it in motion. Once done, go ahead and take that long vacation you’ve always wanted.