Winterize your home now before the cold weather is here.
Once the temperatures start dropping, you’ll be glad you performed these quick and easy procedures to help winterize your home. Not only will you save time and money, but your house will feel more comfortable, as well. Read more
Note: Your agent and lender will help you through all these steps!
Step 1: Start Searching Early—Homes frequently appear very different in person than they do on line.
Step 2: Find the right real estate agent and lender: We can help at LDSAgents.com
Step 3: Determine how much you can afford by getting “Prequalified” for a home loan. See our video on “Prequalification”
Step 4: Shop for your home with your agent – This is the fun part!
Step 5: Get an Inspection – Your agent will help select a local inspector.
Step 6: Work with your lender to select the best loan for you. See our video on “Conventional, FHA, and VA loans”
Step 7: Have the Home Appraised—Your lender will normally take care of this (the appraised value must exceed the loan amount by certain criteria).
Step 8: Wait for funding to be approved by the “underwriter”.
Step 9: Meet with the title company or with the closing agent (depending on your state) to close the loan and the purchase. We recommend that you watch our video on “Closing Costs”
The Timing of Certain Financial Decisions Can Hurt Students’ Eligibility for Assistance
Most families know the basics of college financial aid: Several months before school starts, students apply for assistance, parents detail their financial situations, and then everybody waits for the powers that be to tab the bill.
What many don’t know—or at least, don’t realize until it’s too late—is that the timing of certain financial decisions made well before and even during college can significantly alter a student’s eligibility for aid from both the federal government and the university itself. This has been quite an eye opener for several families. Read more
How old will you be when you finally pay off your student debts?
Rosemary Anderson, from Watsonville, California, took out two student loans in her thirties when she earned her bachelor’s degree, and her master’s, totalling $64,000. She has worked at least one job most of her life, in addition to raising her two children.
But after health complications from lupus, and expenses from a divorce, Anderson, 57, fell behind on her payments eight years ago. With compound interest, the loans have ballooned to $126,000. With payments of $526 a month, she will be 81, she estimates, when she pays it down.
A growing percentage of aging Americans struggle to pay back their student debt. Tens of thousands of them even see their Social Security benefits garnished when they cannot do so. Read more
A study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis explores the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints culture and explains LDS members’ volunteering and charitable giving-habits.
It is the first study focusing on giving and volunteering practices of Latter-day Saints that has been carried out within LDS wards by a non-church-affiliated university.
“Called to Serve: The Prosocial Behavior of Active Latter-day Saints” is the largest and most detailed study of its kind. Researchers surveyed 2,644 active Mormons in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Michigan, Utah and California.
Overall, researchers found that members of the LDS Church are the most “prosocial” members of American society. Read more
A Short Sale may be an alternative when you can’t pay your mortgage.
It is called a short sale because you do put your home up for sale, but the mortgage bank agrees to accept a buyer that will not be paying the full loan amount, an amount “short” of what is owed on the loan. The bank is “shorted” After the sale the Seller is usually able to walk away from the home without owing the bank the difference.
There are occasions where the bank will seek a deficiency judgment against the former owner, so be sure to have this discussion with your agent and work to include language in your closing that protects you against deficiency judgments.
Why would you opt for a “Short Sale” versus a “Foreclosure”?
Title insurance protects you against losses arising from problems with your property title that were unknown to you when you bought the property. As a buyer you want a clear or clean title — one that doesn’t have liens for unpaid taxes against it, or claims of ownership by a faraway aunt or uncle, or a surprise easement through the backyard to reach power lines or a cell phone tower. As for your lender, he wants to know that the loan is going to a legitimate transaction — the seller really does own the property and therefore can sell it to you. The only time you can purchase title insurance is at closing. Read more
You have many options for home improvement projects that add value to your home. If you plan to remodel, concentrate your efforts on smaller projects that make your home more appealing to budget-minded buyers. Focus on energy efficiency and small upgrades that add character and comfort to your home.
1. Remodeling the Kitchen
Most people consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and because of this, updates in this room pay off. According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard. You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house, or the neighborhood. Read more