Saturday, December 24, 2011

An Inspiring Christmas Story (The Gold Wrapping Paper)

Here is a wonderfully inspiring story I wanted to share during this love-filled Christmas season.  

Once upon a time many years ago, there was a gruff man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his wife and children. This particular year just days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.
As money was so tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper just to decorate one large shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also wondered where she had gotten the money to buy whatever was in the shoebox.
Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”
As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.
But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”
The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”
The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.
An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.
In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Should You Purchase or Rent?

There are many factors to be considered when deciding to move to a new location with the first critical decision being whether to purchase some property or rent. Depending upon your circumstances, it may either be a clear-cut decision or one that requires a more thorough analysis to make that determination.
Factors to Consider
Career - For some individuals, it may not be practical to purchase property if their career will require them to relocate frequently. Although some people have the resources and inclination to accumulate property each time they move, for most of us that is either not an option or would be an undesirable outcome to find ourselves in the role of landlord. For the majority of us, that means we need to sell property each time we move, so careful analysis is required to determine whether it is better to buy or rent property for the duration of the assignment. One item to consider is that it generally takes 3 - 5 years under average real estate market conditions to reach the breakeven point for recouping the closing costs incurred at the time of purchase. Individual situations will vary, but in a stagnant real estate market it will take longer to realize enough in property appreciation to cover the transaction costs related to acquiring and selling property.
Property Resale - Not all properties or real estate markets are equal when it comes time to sell property. Factors to weigh include the typical length of time it takes to sell property in your area or the area you are interested in which you are interested, and if there is something unique about the property (price range, location, size) that you are interested in that would make it either easier or harder to sell. Whether or not you have relocation benefits available to you through an employer if you are unable to sell your property may also be a factor.
Finances - The purchase of property typically involves significant upfront cash outlays: pre-purchase inspections, a down payment and closing costs. Equally important is whether or not sufficient income is available to cover the mortgage/escrow payments while still having enough income to adequately take care of other living expenses, car payments as well as saving for retirement. The lack of sufficient funds may quickly eliminate any thought of purchasing property and dictate that in the interim renting, living with family members or some other living arrangement will be required until enough funds can be saved.
Relationship Status - Personal relationships can play an important part in deciding to purchase property. Engaged or newly married couples often are looking to establish a single common property on which to build their future together. Single or newly divorced adults may not be ready or interested in making a long-term obligation to a specific location and prefer to leave their options open as they pursue relationships, careers, other interests and hobbies.
Personal Preference - While some people feel a strong need to own property, others don't want the responsibility of maintaining property and prefer to simply pick up the phone at the first sign of any possible trouble and have someone else be responsible for remedying the issue at hand.
Benefits of Purchasing a Home
Ownership - For most people, owning their home is a key element of attaining the American Dream. And there is nothing quite like buying your first home and realizing it is all yours (provided of course that you continue to make your mortgage payments on time). Homeowners also tend to view their purchase an investment and have incentive to keep their property in good repair.
Building Equity - Obviously the largest benefit is that you are now building equity in your own property instead of contributing to the equity in someone else's property via rent payments. Historically, home ownership has been a long-standing means of building long-term wealth.
Decorating Without Limitations - As an owner, you have the freedom to personalize your property to your heart's content, subject only to local code and any applicable Homeowners' Association rules, unlike when you rent and experience many restrictions as to what you can and cannot do to the rental property. No need to get approval to paint interior walls, change flooring, install custom closet organizers, or complete minor home improvement projects. Although larger remodel projects may require getting permits, other than meeting code requirements, you are limited only by your budget and creativity when making changes to reflect your personal tastes and style.
Financial Stability - Fixed rate mortgages result in both greater financial stability and predictability. Assuming a fixed-rate mortgage, over time your housing costs should become a smaller percentage of your monthly budget as your income continues to grow while the mortgage remains constant. Additionally, fixed mortgages offer a great deal of predictability when preparing long-term budgets. Although repairs and maintenance will need to be factored in, there will be no surprises with unexpected hikes in rent.
Personal Benefits - Owning property frequently allows you a greater opportunity to meet neighbors and develop friendships with others that hold values similar to your own. And unlike apartment dwellers that tend to be more nomadic and view their unit as just a place to sleep at night, homeowner's tend to move less often and view their homes as investments. It is also not uncommon to find neighbors that were drawn to the area for many of the same reasons that caught your attention - good reputation of schools, easy access to public transportation, close proximity to outdoor activities, the architecture of the homes, or the availability of shopping, dining and entertainment within walking distance - giving you something in common right from the beginning to build upon.
Limited Commitment - Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of renting is the limited commitment that is required of tenants allowing, them more flexibility to relocate as circumstances change. Leases often only require an initial six-month or one-year term, allowing a lot of flexibility for tenants. At worse case, if something unexpected comes up and you need to move before the initial lease is up you are frequently out a deposit for breaking the contract, but you don't need to sell a house before you can move or to free up your cash.
Repairs and Maintenance - In many circumstances, a tenant needs only to contact the property owner or manager to have repairs taken care of. And for those who don't have the time or inclination to keep up a yard, renting a property where the upkeep is taken care of can be a real plus.
Roommates - Many people choose to have roommates to help defray housing costs by splitting the cost of rent as well as utilities. Although this tends to appeal more to young adults, it is not limited exclusively to the younger crowd. As the economy has created new challenges, some homeowners have begun seeking roommates to ease financial burdens by filling empty rooms in their homes.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Federal Reserve and Mortgage Rates Understanding What Causes Interest Rate Movement

Image via Wikipedia
Consumers are often misled when it comes to the subject of the Federal Reserve and how it affects mortgage interest rates. Often the media is the culprit causing the confusion. Many times, the Fed has taken action that caused mortgage interest rates to move in a direction other than what consumers expected, because the media provided weak reporting on the subject.

The Federal Reserve affects short-term interest rate maturities, the Fed Funds rate, and the Overnight Lending rate. These factors have a direct impact on the Prime rate. If you took only this into consideration, you may mistakenly conclude that changes made by the Fed will cause a similar movement in mortgage interest rates. However, mortgage interest rates are dictated by the trading of mortgage-backed securities, which trade on a daily basis. The real dynamic at the heart of interest rate movement is the relationship between stocks and bonds.

Stocks and bonds compete for the same investment dollar on a daily basis. There is literally only so much money to be invested. When the Federal Reserve feels that interest rates need to be decreased in an effort to stimulate the economy, this reduction in rates can often cause a stock market rally. When the market becomes bullish, the money to invest in stocks comes from the selling of mortgage-backed securities.

Unfortunately, selling mortgage-backed securities to fuel stock market rallies causes interest rates to go up, not down.

Historically, there have been many times when the Federal Reserve has increased interest rates. Stocks then sell off in fear that the increase will affect corporate profit margins, and the liquidated stock assets need a place to park until the next rally comes along. The safe haven is found in mortgage-backed securities which cause mortgage rates to drop.

The daily ebb and flow of money is what matters most when it comes to the movement of mortgage interest rates. I make it a point to continuosly monitor interest rates for my clients, and advise them of opportunities to manage their mortgage debt at a better rate. This is the foundation of my business model as a Trusted Advisor.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Guidelines On How To Reduce Home Insurance Costs

All people know that homeowners insurance is an excellent move for financial protection against unfortunate events. However, it is considered a costly brand of risk management.

Slashing expenditures and being pennywise is crucial in today’s struggling economy. There are various methods that a homeowner can carry out to lessen the cost of their South Jersey Homeowners Insurance rates.

Here are some ways to slash homeowner’s insurance fees:

1.    Improve the actual state of home security. You can accomplish this by setting up security pieces of equipments, from plain deadbolts to buglar alarm or motion detectors, to hinder housebreaks in your homes. For fire prevention, set up fire alarms and smoke detectors.

Most insurers will bid discounts even if you only have one or two of these preventive safety devices. However, you may have to inquire purposely for a discount to be sure.

2.    Having a high credit report is also one of the ways of reducing the cost of insurance. So, it is imperative that you pay attention to your credit score since excellent credit reports denote that an individual is responsible. Insurance providers greatly consider this correlation and consequently, give the homeowner they see as responsible lower insurance costs.

3.    Combining all of your policies into a single package can significantly lower your insurance costs. Yet this may mean extra study and research. Keep in mind that most insurance companies have packages and plans to provide. For example, a package deal for home and auto insurance. These plans will notably cost less than acquiring the insurance policies separately.

4.    Owners of up to the minute and well preserved homes are likely to get discounted homeowners insurance costs. Therefore, as much as possible, keep your house up to date and in excellent form. Many insurers will willingly reduce your insurance rates for having new plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems. Having a new roof will also qualify for discounts.

5.    You may lessen your insurance rates by making sure that you’re receiving the right amount of coverage. Having covered more than you need is not good because, as a rule, the amount of insurance that you have to pay should not be the matching amount as you paid for the home.

If you perceive that the amount you’re paying is curiously high, you should inspect and attempt to find out the causes that make your fees high and then, adjust accordingly. Through this, you will also demonstrate to the insurance company that you are conscious of your insurance condition and willing to alter things if they are not going properly.
You can go and visit Salt Lake City Insurance and get free Utah insurance quotes.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

House Flipping Fundamentals: Boost Your Profits With 3 Hints

A great way to earn a living is by acquiring an income generating asset then rapidly selling for double the initial selling price. No real estate trading experience, no worries; you can earn through this industry even when you're a newbie. Find a good house being sold for cheap, then resell it after you’ve spruced it up a bit. That's all there is to it. The truth is, you can learn how to flip a house. While the idea is simple enough, you will need a few tips to really improve your earning potential.

1. Always Evaluate the Property

Unfortunately, unless you’re a housing or building expert, you can’t tell whether the home is built well or not. You need to look at the house yourself, with someone who knows how to evaluate a property. Once you've done this, you'll have a clearer picture of how much you want to pay for the house.

You can do this yourself without an expert's help, by checking for obvious signs of structure damages. More importantly, check for molds. Walk around the house and find out if there is a rotten smell. You may need to pay more for repairs if there is mold inside the house.

2. The Value of the Property

One thing you need to figure out is if a family would want to live in the location. Is a school accessible from where the neighborhood is? How many bus stops is the supermarket? Check the lifestyle of the people living in the general area. If the place is a joy to live in, then you can definitely sell the house fast.

3. Sell Aggressively

Marketing a house once you're ready to sell is crucial. Selling fast is important, especially if you have loaned the money you used to purchase the house. If the property piles up on interest rates, you may be hard pressed to sell the house when you can no longer afford to pay for the loan interest. Find potential buyers to sell the house to even before you've completely finished the renovations.

Whenever you can, don’t live in the house you plan to sell. If you are emotionally attached to a property or home can be a pain if you know you have to sell it in the near future. These basics should get you moving in your business of flipping houses.
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Picking a real estate agent: what to look for!

Whenever you buy or sell real estate, you may be like millions of other people out there, in thinking that you don't need a real estate agent.  Most people who buy or sell homes, generally think that a real estate agent is a waste of money.  Those who choose to buy a new home, think that real estate agents only add to the cost of purchasing the home.

What most people aren't aware of, is the fact that real estate agents are normally paid by the seller, not by the buyer.  This is true if you are shopping for South Jersey Real Estate for sure.  The only time you are at risk for paying the buyer's agent is if you sign an exclusive agreement for them to work on your behalf.  As a buyer, you'll get to work with a professional real estate agent without really having to pay for it yourself.  The policies can vary greatly from state to state and company to company, which is why you should always check any paperwork or contracts that are provided to you to ensure this is the case.  When you are interviewing agents, make certain to ask about any type of fees as well.

A lot of real estate agents out there may work with both buyers and sellers, although most specialize in working with either the buyer or the seller.  If you are buying South Jersey Real Estate or other properties, make sure that the agent you choose has prior experience of working with buyers and transactions that involve no money down.  This way, you can count on your agent to be there when you need him the most - especially if you don't have a down payment.

If you are interviewing a real estate agent and he or she isn't familiar with down payment assistance programs, you shouldn't hire their services.  Agents who aren't familiar with these types of programs generally aren't on the level, or they may lack the experience necessary to help you purchase the home of your dreams.  There are lots of programs that would be beneficial to you as a buyer and the agent's knowledge of them is going to be a good signal to you of their experience.  Agents who have been in the field for many years will have seen lenders come and go and will have filtered out the shady programs and should be able to point you in a safe direction.  While they typically cannot "direct" you to a lender, they can at least be educational and informative.

You can also make a list of real estate agents that you can interview based on referrals from friends, lenders, and even family. Lender referrals are Typically a great choice as most lenders have worked with their recommendations in the past and both are already familiar with each other.  Choosing a lenders referral can also prevent you from encountering any obstacles or surprises.

When you interview a real estate agent, make sure that you have the agent explain his fees.  This way, you'll know exactly how much he will be getting from the purchase.  You should also find out how much experience he has in the field, and how long he has been working with real estate.  You can also inquire about sample contracts for South Jersey Real Estate as well.  If you are buying a home, you should make sure that the agent works with buyers.  If you happen to be selling your home, then you''ll want to make sure that the agent works with sellers. Agents that are dedicated to one or the other are the best to choose, as they will have more experience than agents who work with both buyers and sellers.
Find a real estate agent is an easy task - providing you know what to look for.  If you take things one step at a time and meticulously make a decision, chances are that you'll end up with an agent who has the experience you want.  You should always be careful when you choose, and in no way rush the process.  Real estate agents are easy to find, although finding one who fits your needs and has your budget in mind is a little tougher to locate.  When you make that final decision, you really should always choose an agent who has your best interest in mind - and isn't just after the money.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Five Things First Time Homebuyers Must Know

For a first time homebuyer, the process of purchasing a home is usually both exciting and confusing at the same time. At times, the process can seem a bit overwhelming and you may feel like you are in the middle of a whirlwind. With the help of a skilled real estate agent and by keeping a few important things in mind, however, you can be certain to have a great experience and to find the home of your dreams. To that end, here is a look at a few of the things you can expect as a first time homebuyer, as well as a few tips to make the process easier on you as well as your agent.

Committing the Time
If you are certain you are ready to purchase a home at this time, you should be able to find the right home within a couple of weeks. If it takes longer than a couple of weeks, chances are that you aren't really committed to purchasing a home or you have very specific needs and wants that can't be met by the houses that are currently available. If this isn't the case, then you might need to find a new agent, as a good agent will listen to your needs and should only be showing homes to you that fit within your parameters.

Viewing the Homes
While it is certainly possible to view dozens of homes while conducting your search, most buyers do not see more than 20 or 30 homes before they make a purchase. Furthermore, most will not show more than 7 homes in a day, as seeing more than 7 homes within such a short timeframe can make it difficult for you to keep each home straight in your mind.

Buy It When You Find It
Some first time homebuyers exhaust themselves by looking at several more homes even after they find the "perfect" home that is priced just right. Don't put yourself through this added aggravation. Once you find the home that is right for you, make an offer. Otherwise, you will likely waste your time looking at several other houses, only to return to the one that you knew you loved in the first place.

Keep Records
Whether you look at one house per day or 7, it is easy to get the homes confused over time. Therefore, it is a good idea to take notes at each home you visit. Be sure to write down any unusual features that the home has as well as the colors and design elements that really stand out to you. You should also take notes regarding the outside of the home, including information about the homes or other structures that are located next door.
When visiting homes, it is always a good idea to bring a digital camera with you as well. This way, you can take numerous photos of the homes, which will make it easier for you to go back and compare them to each other later.

Revisit Your Top Choices
After you have narrowed down your options to those homes that you liked the most, ask your agent to take you back so you can view them again. Be sure to pay attention to those features that you might have overlooked the first time around so you can more effectively determine which house is the right one for you.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

What to Watch for with a Rent-To-Own

Most of us are very familiar with the term"Rent to Own".  Places such as Prime Time and Rent A Center have built an empire with rent to own merchandise, although the buyer normally ends up paying double what the merchandise is actually worth.  While this may be great for those who have bad credit, most of us prefer to avoid going this route.  Homes are no exception, especially if you are considering buying South Jersey Real Estate on a rent to own basis.

Even though rent to own may be good for a short period of time, it proves to be an expensive way for someone to buy something they intend to keep.  Rent to own merchandise for example, may sound quite compelling at a few dollars a week.  The agreement is normally for around 15 - 20 months, which is where the company makes their money.  Although you may be paying just a few dollars a week, the total amount quickly adds up to nearly twice the cost of the item.  This service has its place and certainly serves a purpose.  If it did not, it simply would not exist.  There are times when obtaining a mortgage or even a few hundred dollars for a couch, are simply too much of an uphill battle if possible at all!  RTO can be a viable option.

So, if you decide to head down this road for a home, along with paying rent, you'll often have to pay applicable sales tax as well.  Like merchandise, rent to own real estate has it's disadvantages.  Even though it can be great for those with not so great credit, you'll normally end up paying back a lot more than you would with a mortgage.  You'll still have to pay back your lender with a mortgage, although that amount won't be nearly as high as it would if you decided to get a house on a rent to own basis.
In most cases, rent to own houses are put up on the market by the owner.  This way, you'll deal directly with the owner.  It will start out as a traditional lease, then proceed to a rent to own basis if you decide you want to keep the home.  You and the owner will then work out an arrangement, which will normally be quite a few years.  Some owners are very flexible and will work with you just to get the price they want for their home, while others will charge you quite a bit more, in order to make a hefty profit.  Often times the owner will even apply some of the money you have paid in rent over the years, to the principal of the loan.  This is a nice gesture and should be appreciated.

If you have bad credit and can't get approved for a mortgage, then rent to own would be your next best option.  Although some don't like to do it due to the price, for many it's a better alternative than an apartment.  With rent to own houses you are paying money towards the home, instead of just paying rent.  In some cases this is fine, although you should make sure to double check with the owner of the South Jersey Real Estate before you agree or commit to anything.  This way, you'll know how much you'll be paying for the home - and for how long.
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Are You A First Time Home Buyer?

The main reason why a first time home buyer needs to find a trusted real estate agent is because the entire process of buying South Jersey homes for sale for the first time can be awesome but knotty.  Home buying process entails a lot of things to do especially the paperwork, the rules and the terms that can sound greek. Even after you have finally bought a home, there are still so many things to do and consider. Home buying is a wonderful experience. But what makes it annoying is the fact that it eats up most of your time because there are so many things to do. Don't let this kind of feeling ruin the excitement of home buying, hire a real estate agent.

1. A real estate agent is your trusted partner. He is with you from before the start of the deal up to the end of of the transaction.

2. A real estate agent is a faithful mentor. He is fully aware of the legal aspect of home buying. He doesn't just convince you to buy a property, rather s/he tells you why the property is good or bad even if it's cheap.

3. A real estate agent is a faithful rep. He is your representative to the seller. Likewise, he does all the paperwork on your behalf.

Thus, a South Jersey real estate agent plays a crucial role in every real estate process. Maybe you already have the idea about the the qualities of a good real estate agent, but the question is how do we find them? Or how would we know if this agent is a trusted one.

There is no easy way  to know. The surest way to know if the agent is a good one is through conducting an interview or asking a few questions. The first thing that you need to find out is his/her number of years in the real estate business. Take note that the longer the person works in a particular field, the more knowledgeable and experienced the person is. You may want to ask about his/her previous clients to give you a glimpse of what kind of agent he is.
You have to be serious when it comes to buying a property. Homes for Sale at Reisterstown MD can be a very expensive investment that involves great risks. Therefore, every first time home buyer as well as all property buyers must exercise careful judgement especially for this very cost intensive decision in this unstable real estate market.
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Home Staging: The Effective and Practical Way to Sell Your House

As a home seller, how do you make your property stand out from the rest of the competition?
For one, you can remodel it, in order to increase your home value. Normally, people spend a big amount just to remodel bathrooms and kitchens, etc.  But what are your other options if you don't have the money, normally if you're ready to sell?

You can make your property also stand out from the rest of the competition by pricing your home cheaper. Obviously, this approach has its glaring advantage like you don’t have to exert some effort of “dressing up” your house. Since they don't have to pay for a big amount, you can manage to make your home look worn or in bad condition in parallel to its price. Most home buyers would merely purchase the most terrible house they can find not only to save up on some cash, but also thinking that they could improve it so that they could profit from it later. However, the downside on this style, naturally, is that you slash off the amount you eventually forked out over the property.

Good thing, there’s another easy strategy in making your home stand out from the rest of the competition.
Have you considered home staging? This is actually quite a novel approach for private sellers. This concept is to make a different and brand new home experience to lure the buyers. This involves bringing over interior designers and home stagers to craft a wonderful home, giving a new dimension to experience living in style. This is another great strategy in making your property stand out from the rest of the pack. Home staging is by far the most efficient and logical choice instead of cutting down the price or remodeling the property.   Home staging generates a fantasy that your house is perfect — complete with all the new furnitures, striking landscaping with matching interior paint schemes to entice the buyers. Though indeed this can be misleading, but this is selling and it works everytime because buyers will be so taken with the house that they give down payments for that! But in reality, they’re jusrt buying the bare house without furniture, no landscaping and only flat white walls all throughout.   As for the developers? Nope, they couldn't care less since a sale was already made.
See the power of home staging? Not only you will be amazed by how it transforms your house--buyers particularly, will fall prey on this strategy.
Make your homes stand out from the rest! Visit us at Gilbert AZ Homes for sale and Homes for sale in Gilbert.

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Are the Holidays a Good Time to Sell

Sixty percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because it’s a good time to sell, according to a new survey conducted by

Why are the holidays such a good time to sell? Seventy-nine percent of the agents surveyed said that more serious buyers come out during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties make it a great time to sell. Plus, 17 percent of agents say the cold weather is actually a benefit, making homes feel more cozy.

But online listing photos become even more crucial during the holiday season, according to the survey. Slightly more than half of agents say that the photos are more important because sellers tend to offer less open houses around the holidays, and so the online photos help buyers decide the properties to see and which ones to possibly bypass.

The biggest hurdles sellers face during the holidays, however, are keeping a home ready to show (clean and staged) as well as winter weather conditions and buyers’ vacation schedules, the survey found.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tax Deductions to Squeeze In Before 2012

Pay real estate taxes
In some states, real estate taxes are billed once a year, with perhaps separate billings for municipal, county and school taxes. In others, inlcuding my home state of New Jersey, the taxes are combined but you are billed quarterly.

Make payments due early in 2012 before the end of December. In New Jersey, the first-quarter payment for the year is due Feb. 1, so I tell clients to send their check before Christmas.

Pay mortgage interest early
In most cases your monthly mortgage and/or home equity loan payments are due during the first week of the month. Make the January payment(s) before the end of the month and make sure the bank or mortgage company gets the payment in December so the additional interest payment will be reflected on your 2011 Form 1098.

Make your home more efficient
Have you taken steps to make your home green? If so, this credit is for you. The IRS considers qualified energy-efficiency improvements to be insulation, energy-efficient exterior windows and doors and certain roofs, though the cost of installing these items does not count and the deduction for windows is limited to $200. The credit also applies to the cost, including installation, of residential energy property such as high-efficiency heating and air conditioning systems.

If you haven't already claimed at least $500 in energy tax credits on prior years' tax returns, you can claim a credit of 10% of the cost of qualified energy-efficient purchases and improvements to your principal personal residence. The maximum credit is $500.

Also important: When buying, be sure to get a "Manufacturer's Certification" from the seller.

Make needed repairs to income properties
If you own rental real estate, such as a two-family home or vacation property, make needed repairs, buy supplies and make payments for the property this month and fill up the oil tank before year-end. You can also prepay real estate taxes, utility bills, insurance premiums and any January 2012 mortgage payment.

Things To Bear In Mind During The Moving Day

moving day -- the booksImage by miss_leslie via Flickr

As of the moment, maybe you are packing your things in preparation for the moving day. What and how do you feel? Do you experience anxiety, excitement, and the feeling of enthusiasm? Are you excited for the day that you are waiting for? Are you prepared to move to your new house?

For sure you are so excited to move to your new house and to start a new and fresh way of life. Surely you have so many plans to your new home. But have you already made the plan on how you will be doing on the moving day? Have you already put into your mind the things you need to consider and not to forget during the moving day?

You are likely to feel excited as the moving day is approaching. You are excited to start anew, yet you are unsure on the day of moving up. To lessen the hassle and buzzle when the moving day comes, here are the things that you need to remember or just to bear in mind during the moving day.

The moving day may seem a hectic day for you. For the meantime, the house that is being packed is not an appropriate place for kids and pets. If you have kids and pets at home, be sure to keep them away from the house during the moving day in order not to disturb the movers as well as not to pose danger to them. In order not to disturb your packing activities on that day, you need to have your kids stay in your relatives and place your pet in the kennel.

Don’t wait for the moving day to pack up all your things. Be sure that three days before the moving day, you have already started packing your things. This will ensure that no single item will be missed out. Spend enough time to pack your items so that you could properly put them in appropriate boxes. Bear in mind not to leave packing until the last second. You may forget something essential.
Make sure to load everything in to the truck. Before you leave the house, make sure to take a look again through the house to ensure that everything is on the moving truck. Take a look on the closets and cabinets to make sure all the things has been loaded. Avoid the situation wherein you forget to load something important and you have to spend a hundred of dollars just to ship them to your new place.
Important documents, the list of your items as well as their conditions, and your cash are the most important things you should not forget in the moving day. Be sure that important documents are within your reach. Moving can be a stressful activity. To lessen the stress when moving make sure to pack the things before the moving day and eliminate the hindrances that could the smooth process of moving.

You might probably wish to view some sort of affordable houses in Arizona.  Just visit the websites Phoenix House for Sale and Homes for Sale in Buckeye AZ for the listings of houses.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time Saving Tips In Finding Your Dream Home

Most of us are working hard to achieve the American dream of owning our own Real Estate in South Jersey.  But with the current economic situation, most families may find this dream quite unreachable for the mean time.  While waiting for the economy to remain stable, jobs to flood the country and mortgage rates to remain steady, you can do some very useful things to prepare for the biggest purchase in your entire life.

Talk with your family about your decision to buy a home especially if you are renting an apartment now.  Ask yourself whether or not you can afford to buy a house now or in the future.  Honestly consider questions that talks about your current financial situation and make appropriate plans on how you can come up with a specific budget for the purchase.

You may explore different ways on how to save up for your home.  You can invest on something, put up a business or save in the bank.  Consider South Jersey Homes that are 'fixer upper' in order to save some money in your plan.  Take into consideration the type of house, the number of rooms, the location, the amenities and so on.  Look for homes for sale in the areas where you want to live in the future through visiting real estate websites, reading magazines and newspapers or simply just by roaming around to look for homes with 'for sale' signs.

You may also visit open houses in order to find your dream home.  Attending open houses will give you opportunities to look around for a home the you can buy in the future as well as build your network so that when the time comes that you have to buy a property, you already have a real estate agent to guide you in your purchase.

Another tip to consider when preparing for your biggest purchase is your credit score.  Make sure that your credit score is strong enough that is with a the score acceptable to make a home purchase.  Try to secure a copy of your credit score by requesting one.  Although you may have to pay a few dollars for the copy, it's still worth it because you'll know how much you still have to work on your credit score to be able to get qualified for a mortgage loan.

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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Calculate The Value Of Your House

Are you thinking of buying or selling your home?  In order to determine the fair market price of a property, you need to establish first its market value.  Appraising the market value of a home is imperative in buying and selling properties as well as in tax deductions.  To determine the market value of a residential property, sales comparison approach is the most common way and the primary method used by appraisers.

By definition, market value or market price is the value of a business, property, etc., in terms of what it can be sold for on the open market. Moreover, it is the likely price a property should command in a competitive and open market. It is actually the price at which any given property or product is carried out between a buyer and a seller who knew all the relevant information of the property.

Real estate professionals accomplish a CMA or a comparative market analysis to figure out the value of South Jersey Homes and they also acknowledge important factors that affect the value of a property like the external and internal characteristics, supply and demand, and location. The curb appeal, lot size, home condition, architectural style, sidewalk, water or sewage systems, and so on constitute the external characteristics. Internal features are consists of Construction quality, size and number of rooms, energy efficiency, and a whole lot more. How quickly the homes in your area sell is what supply and demand is all about. It also takes into consideration the number of homes for sale versus the number of buyers. And lastly, the appeal or the popularity of the area for a particular school, neighborhood, etc. These factors play a significant role in determining the market value of your property and crucial in setting business budgets, managing taxes, as well as in making successful real estate deals.

Generally, it is hard to find an exact comparable sale so what appraisers do is they make adjustments for differences between the property being valued and the comparable properties that are sold. The recent sales of at least three properties in a similar neighborhood are examined. These properties must have an equivalent building style, size and construction, lot sizes, square footage, home style, age, and location.
You can acquire the sales history and appraisal information of  homes in the local assessor’s office, municipalities, or even in some private companies and local newspapers. You can also solicit some help from a real estate agent who can prepare a CMA report for you.
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Friday, December 2, 2011

Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent

Home buying or selling could be one of the most important financial decisions a person can make. As a home buyer or seller, it is always necessary to find a real estate agent that will address to your needs. This will make sure that your home buying or selling process will be as easy as possible. Having a great marketing plan and is willing to give you pieces of advice is something that a good real estate agent must possess. They’re maybe a lot of agents represents themselves but you must choose the one who can be trusted and is willing to work on you hand in hand. Here are ways of determining that you are hiring a good real estate agents

Most good agents do not spend their time in their offices but most of them work in their working environment. It is important that you communicate with your agent in order for you to discuss related matters.

Make sure that your agent has closed property deals and has worked for years. Always remember that the more closed deals, the more experience.
It is also a good sign if your friend or one of the members of your family referred a real estate agent for you. This means that they have seen a good performance to that agent and has given them a positive result.

Looking for the right real estate agent is always important. Having an interview to two to three agents can help you decide which one is right for you. Building your trust before signing everything is essential.
Another thing is you have to make sure that you are looking for an agent who can accommodate you. Better find an agent whose time is available at your most convenient time. It’s helpful that you know each other’s transaction schedule and the span of the process.
An agent who works at an agency can also be a good agent. Agencies may have agents who are experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the complexity of the real estate process.
These are just some guidelines in finding a good real estate agent.

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Harnessing The Power of Solar Energy

Solar technologies tap into the infinite power of the sun and use that energy to produce heat, light and electricity. Individuals have utilized the sunlight to heat up and light their homes for centuries. Ancient Native Americans built their houses directly into south-facing cliffs walls simply because they believed that sunlight travels low across the southern sky within the Northern Hemisphere throughout winter months.One of the modern trends and reasonably priced options of independent power supply is power plant rental it might be gas power plant or diesel power plant. More and more corporations are transitioning from building their own power plants to simply leasing them for long-term.

They also understood the huge rock of the cliff might absorb heat in winter and safeguard from wind and snow. At the same time, the cliff-dwelling style blocked sun light during the summer, once the sun is higher in the sky, keeping their dwellings cool. The modern version of this sun-welcoming design is called passive solar since no pumps, fans, or other mechanical devices are used. Its most basic functions include large, south-facing windows that fill the house with natural sunlight, and dark tile or brick floors that store the sun’s heat and release it back into the house at night.

Throughout the summer, once the sun is higher in the sky, window overhangs block sunlight, which keeps the house cool. Tile and brick floors also stay cool during summer. Passive solar style combined with power efficiency will go further. Energy-efficient features such as energy-saving windows and appliances, together with good insulation and weather-stripping, can make an enormous distinction in energy and cost savings. Solar energy may be utilized to heat water for your house or your swimming pool. Most solar water-heating systems comprise of a solar collector and a water storage tank.
Solar water-heating systems use collectors, usually mounted on a south-facing roof, to heat either water or a heat-transfer fluid, like nontoxic antifreeze. The heated water is then stored in a water tank comparable to 1 utilized in a standard gas or electric water-heating program. The quantity of warm water a solar water heater produces depends on the type and size of the program, the amount of sun available in the site, correct installation, and the tilt angle and orientation of the collectors. But if you’re presently using an electric water heater, solar water heating is really a cost-effective alternative.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Quick Tip For Selling Your Home

Selling home tips are a dime a dozen these days. Seems like everybody and his virtual assistant has a long list of ideas about how anyone can sell a house in this market. Well, I'm here to tell you it isn't all that easy, in fact it takes considerable time and attention to position your home to attract the perfect buyer as quickly as possible.

I am not just writing a list of tips to fill up space, but I am telling you the most important tip of all. In fact, it's number one on my own list of selling home tips, my short list of things that really work in the real world. My top tip is to scroll back the videotape in your mind to the day you bought your home and replay it again to remind yourself why you fell in love with it in the first place. That is really a powerful exercise that prepares you to stage your home and to write your classified ads with the fresh, enthusiastic mindset you had when you were the buyer once upon a time. Writing ads to attract buyers works like magic when you are speaking their language.

There are so many distressed and extremely motivated sellers these days, it only stands to reason that buyers will pick up on their anxiety and either offer less than the asking price or simply walk away. Buyers have some kind of subtle radar that tells them a seller is over-eager to sell, and no matter what the real reason it leaves an impression on the buyer that there might be something wrong with the home itself. That's the last thing you want your prospective buyers to feel about your home for sale. What you want them to feel is that they are darn lucky to have a chance to see and perhaps purchase such a great house that you still love so much!

That's why this whole idea is at the top of my selling home tips, it is the most important thing you can do to sell your home in any market. It's all about your attitude and how it comes across in the way you stage your home for showings with little details that show you care, and how you write classified ads to post online and in the newspaper that include lots of details that attract buyers who might be looking for a home exactly like yours. Your attitude matters and it can work like a magnet to attract your perfect buyer when you sell a home.
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