Our Best 2018 Mortgage Tips

Our Best Mortgage Tips For 2018

Are you purchasing or refinancing a home in 2018? Check out our mortgage tips to help you have an awesome mortgage this year!

Tip #1 – Build up your reserve savings

You may have enough for your down payment and closing costs but if the payout depletes your savings, you could still run into some issues. Typically, mortgage companies want you to have a savings fund in case unexpected expenses occur, so your house payment won’t be affected.

Tip #2 – Consider refinancing into a 15-year loan

This is dependent on a number of factors and you should seek financial advice before making this decision, but if circumstances make financial sense, a 15 year mortgage may be right for you. 15-year mortgages usually have lower rates than 30-year mortgages. Although monthly payments will be higher, you’ll be paying more to principal right away than you would with a 30 year loan, and you’ll pay significantly less interest over the life of the loan.

Tip #3 – Live within your means

A good rule of thumb is to buy the home that you can comfortably afford now, not the home that you can afford in the future. What that means is even though your future financial earning potential looks bright, you should still borrow what you can afford based on your current earnings. You can always upgrade your home after your income increases!

Tip #4 – Take advantage of a cash-out refi

A cash-out refi is a home mortgage refinance for more than the amount owed where the borrower is able to keep the difference. This can be a way to consolidate high interest debt with the goal of saving you money in the long run.

Top 3 Reasons To Consider Buying A New Home During The Holidays

Holiday gifts, dinners and traveling are the typical money guzzling purchases families expect, and plan for, during this time of year, but maybe they should add buying a new house to the list.

The holiday season may turn off many from purchasing a new home, but should it? It turns out, buying a new home during the holiday season can come with a few benefits.

1. Deals

For many homeowners looking to sell their homes this time of year, there is usually a sense of urgency as they want to sell quickly. With the winter months being notoriously known as the real estate slow season, sellers may be more willing to negotiate.

2. Use your holiday vacation time

Before you buy a new house you have to find one first. The house hunting process can be time consuming. Use your time off to go visit homes you might not have time to see otherwise. A little extra time goes a long way in the home purchasing process!

3. It’s a savvy financial move

As the feds prepare to raise mortgage rates, now’s a great time to shop and lock-in a great rate. Consult a financial advisor, but under certain conditions, homeowners are allowed to itemize and deduct interest paid on their mortgage

Saving Money During The Holidays

The most wonderful time of year can also be the most stressful. Between making holiday travel plans, and finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, saving money can feel impossible. However, putting aside money and taking care of holiday expenses is still doable with a bit of preparation and serious discipline. Check out our 10 tips on putting aside extra cash during the chaos of the holidays.

1. Set a spending limit

This is the key to not overspend when doing your holiday shopping. Sales tags and great deals can fool you into thinking you’re actually saving money, but after adding up your holiday haul, you may be shocked at just how much money you’ve spent.

2. Create a gift list

Between family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. you may feel like your gift list is endless. Sit down and write out a list of everyone you want to give a gift to this season, and then, with your budget in mind, start making cuts. This may sound harsh, but you might not be able to realistically buy gifts for everyone on your list, and that’s ok.

3. Grab Some Cash

After creating your budget, take out the amount of cash you will need to purchase gifts. This prevents you from overspending. Once the money is gone, the holiday shopping is over!

4. Put away the credit cards

Many individuals tend to get swipe happy around the holiday shopping season, and before they know it, they’ve racked up a bill that seriously sets them back. Stick to your budget and say no to the plastic.

5. Avoid express shipping costs; buy gifts early

We’ve all been in the unfortunate situation where Christmas is around the corner, and you’re scrambling to purchase gifts that you’ve put off buying. Around the holidays, those express shipping costs are extremely high. Make your purchases now, and use regular business shipping.

6. Consider baking

The way to just about anyone’s heart is through their stomachs. Skip out on buying expensive holiday presents this year, and give the gift of baked goods! Holiday specific goodies are not only festive, but they are pretty frugal option when trying to save money.

7. Teach kids financial boundaries

Your kids have probably been inundated by commercials selling them all the latest toys and gadgets. Instead of buying them every toy on their wish list, explain to them that gifts cost money and money doesn’t grow on trees. Even Santa has a Christmas budget to adhere to.

8. Pay attention to sales

Discounts are everywhere during this time of the year. Hit them up and save a small chunk of change. Nothing wrong with purchasing last year’s hot ticket item at a discount!

9. Hit up holiday freebies

There are plenty of things to do around the holidays. Get creative and meet up with friends for ice skating, or take your family on a drive to see Christmas lights. Not everything worth doing cost money.

10. Remember the spirit of the holidays

Savings Tips For Black Friday Shopping

The holidays are some of the most festive and financially stressful times of the year. Between travelling, purchasing gifts, and feeding a ton of hungry family members, you may find yourself strapped for cash.

Have no fear, Black Friday is here. OK, you may be wondering why would I mention savings and the biggest holiday shopping day of the year in the same blog post?

Well as hectic, and expensive, as the holiday season is, there is one place we know you can save some serious cash: your holiday shopping list!

Getting the most out of your Black Friday Shopping day takes strategic planning. Unfortunately, many store offers and “deals” aren’t deals at all. A study done by Nerd Wallet found that many major department stores have been running the same ads for the past 3 years. However, if you’re in the market for videogames and technology, black Friday, as well as Cyber Monday, are truly the best times of year to score big!

For years shoppers have been flocking to major retailers in search of the latest technologies for the best prices. TVs, cameras, video games and systems, laptops, phones and tablets have consistently topped the list when it comes to the best sales, and this year is no exception.

If you want to have holiday shopping success this Black Friday, then follow our list of shopping strategies to make the most of your time and money.

  1. Do your Research – If you’re not following your favorite stores on social media, now’s the time. Retailers will begin posting their deals on their Facebook and Twitter, to create buzz and hype around their products. Also, pick up a local newspaper the day before and scope the sales ads. Websites such as blackfriday.com are also great sources of information for insider tips on special promotions.
  2. Have a Plan in Mind – Black Friday isn’t really the time to wander the aisles aimlessly hoping to stumble upon something interesting. It happens, but for the most part, everyone shopping on the busiest shopping day of the year has a purpose, and really great deals can be sold out within a blink of an eye!
  3. Scope Out the Playing Field – The night before sales, take a trip to the store. Many businesses begin setting up and taping off aisles where in demand products will be staged. A quick walk through of the store will help you know exactly where the inventory you’re after will be located, so that you can make a bee-line directly to those items.
  4. Be on Time – As a seasoned Black Friday shopper, I can attest to the craziness and frenzy surrounding a highly anticipated sale. Shoppers will begin lining up outside of stores hours, and even days, before the sale even begins. Prioritize which items and stores you will hit up first and stay on your timeline.
  5. Stay at Home – Ok, I know I’m calling an audible here, but give me a chance to explain. Stores have created an unsavory trend of starting sales on Thanksgiving day, and as great as some Black Friday deals are, spending time with family is even more important, so stay at home during family time. Plus, its 2016 and we’re in the age of technology. Skip the lines and do your shopping on Cyber Monday!