Finance

Finance

Wise Tips for Avoiding Problems with Financing Down Payment in Real Estate

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One huge challenge when trying to purchase your own house is financing the down payment. To avoid struggling with this issue, here are some wise tips that you should pick up:

  • Make sure you have a good credit score.

Take note that credit will have a lot to do with getting a loan, whatever type it is. So, make sure that you have a good score to receive more options and even enjoy a lower amount of down payment.

  • Get your savings automated.

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Financial experts recommend that you should set aside a good portion of your paycheck to be automatically deposited into an account that is specifically reserved for buying your house. Remember that this savings account can also be used for closing, moving and buying items for your new place.

  • Compare your savings to your down payment.

This is very important when investing in real estate. You can use various resources on the internet where you can save money from matching the amount that you will save from the home purchase to the down payment that you are about to make. So, take time to check on these websites.

  • Take advantage of gift money.

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If you are a first-time homebuyer, it is most likely that you will seek help from your family to produce down payment for your new home. While this is a good solution, there are things that you should look into, such as the percentage of a mortgage that would be regarded as gift, though this would also depend on the lender. Remember that gift money should come from an immediate family member, so you need to present documentation to your lender to prove it. If you do plan to use such money, make sure to talk with your lender beforehand just to make sure you receive all the details.

By considering these tips, you will be off a good start in funding down payment in your real estate investment.

 

Big Move? Top Tips to Prepare for Moving House

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Moving house can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life, which is why it’s crucial that you’re adequately prepared. Here are some top tips designed to prepare you for the big move.

Get Rid of Clutter

You’ll want to reduce the cost of moving as much as possible, which is where a garage sale becomes particularly handy. Gather all the items you won’t be bringing to your new home such as unwanted furniture, clothing items and knickknacks and use it for the contents of your sale. When dealing with the items you’ll be bringing with you, establish what you’ll need immediately when moving in, and what can wait. While the storage units provided at Fort Knox can hold a significant portion of your belongings in between moves, you might consider hiring a furniture removalist for everything else. Not only can they provide assistance in the transportation department, but they’ll be able to assist you with unpacking and retrieving storage. Of course, if you’re on a budget, a DIY move certainly isn’t out of the question.

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Moving House

Check-off the Essentials

When you’re in the middle of a stressful move, you tend to forget about minute details. However, sometimes it is these smaller, particular demands that need the most attention. For example, questions you should be asking yourself before the big move are: How much stuff do you want moved? What size truck will removalists need to consider? Does your insurance policy cover your move? And you mustn’t forget that it’s also imperative to disconnect the utilities from your old home, and get the facilities such as gas and electricity running in your new home. Again, it’s a bit of a chore, but you won’t regret getting it over and done with before all the chaos begins to surface.

Leave House in Top Shape

As the soon-to-be former owner of your current house, it is your responsibility to obliterate any traces of you ever having lived there. New owners shouldn’t have to suspend their disbelief, but if you neglect your duty as a proof-eraser that is exactly what they’ll be forced to do. Give the walls and ceilings a fresh coat of paint, remove any unattractive wallpaper, and if your carpets have play dough stains, eliminate them as well. By moving day, the house should be absent of anything personal, or simply anything that makes it look worn. This way, the new owners can make it their own without any trouble.

Essentially, you want to make your move as easy as possible from start to finish. Ironically this means a bit of extra work, but it also means less work during the final stages of moving—the hours in which you will want to be relaxing with a good book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. This is a lot easier to do when you have the comfort of running electricity, hot water and zero complaints of a play dough stained carpet. Much easier.

Sneak Peek into the Year-End Spending Habits of Millionaires

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What would you buy if money were not a problem? The latest Benz or a castle estate? Well, here’s a peek into what millionaires have been busy buying last Christmas and how much they spent.

CNBC Millionaire Survey reveals that 50 percent of today’s millionaires spent $1,000 for the holidays, 30 percent spent at least $2,500. The Survey goes on to say that 75 percent of today’s millionaires spent the same amount as the past year’s Christmas, and only 15 percent spent less in 2013, and the remaining 10 percent increased their holiday spending.

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The Survey adds that millionaires weren’t buying much material things last Christmas. In fact, they invested more on family and experiences by spending more for gift cards, events and travel.

If you look at the report, you’ll observe that millionaires were quite frugal in that most of them spent a meager budget and chose not to increase their spending in Christmas 2014. And it might come as a surprise considering that these affluent individuals have all the money to buy so many or so much.

Middle-income earners and those earning lesser should take this report as a guide in managing personal finances. Christmas may offer lots of cash bonuses and rewards, but it’s never frugal to spend so much on fleeting things.

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Spend time and money with your family and friends, and create memorable moments together. You don’t have to spend a lot on Christmas. Even millionaires aren’t spending millions on Christmas, just a few thousand bucks. If you are earning only a few thousands, then spend just a few hundreds. But make sure that the money you spent leaves a memorable trail for your loved ones.

When the holidays end, you’ll have plenty of moments to cherish and you’ll still have plenty of money for whatever financial plans you may have. It’s ridiculous for people to spend everything they’ve got during the holidays – feast and party all they can, and then suffer considerably at the onset of the New Year. Be like today’s millionaires.

Building Credit – A Necessity for Every Citizen

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It may not be common for every individual to come face-to-face with credit, but it may come at some point in life nonetheless. Even those living entirely on cash basis will find it very challenging sometimes. Normally, citizens aiming to buy a home depend on credit.

Nowadays, even those who apply for a cell phone account or open a utility account simply require a credit check. That’s why it is important to start building your credit because you never know when you might need it. Here are a few tips that could enhance your understanding about this concept.

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Building Credit Fast

This is simply a way of borrowing money and eventually paying it back on the specified time. By doing this, you will be considered a reliable borrower. Otherwise, your negative attitude towards credit can show up on your credit report, thereby destroying your credit history.

Credit scores may include payment history, file age, debt utilization, credit mix, and inquiries. These factors should be able to build your credit history either up or downwards.

Ways of Building Credit

Keeping balances low – in order to gain the best credit score, it is important to note that your overall balances should not exceed the 30% of the total limit of your credit card.

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Payment history – make sure that you make your payments on time. This will ensure that your credit score will slowly but steadily go up.

Variety of credit products in your file – take note that a person with car loan, credit card and mortgage will get a good credit score compared to those with only a credit card in hand.

Age of Credit History – you will have a higher score with a long history of responsible credit use. In fact, if you have old accounts, you need not close them because they can aid you with their age.

What’s NOT Cool about Your Finances This Holiday Season

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In this website, we always talk about what’s cool, what’s hot, what’s trendy, what’s in. But right now, we’ll try to talk about the opposite – and this time, it’s to help you set your finances right for the coming year. After all, when you have lesser or no money problems in 2016 – that’s perhaps the coolest thing in the world!

  1. Buying Expensive Gifts

You might think that giving someone the most expensive gift is cool. But if it means maxing your credit card or getting a loan – that’s so not cool. A gift works both ways – it makes the receiver happy and the giver happy, as well. Don’t starve or deprive yourself in order to buy someone the most expensive present there is. People who truly care about you won’t be happy to get an expensive gift knowing how much it impacts your financial life.

  1. Having Wild Parties

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The holidays are a great time for merrymaking. But when you overdo parties, that would surely hit you like an earthquake – the first time can be devastating to your current finances and your health, and the aftershocks can be just as destructive, affecting your future. Parties are cool, but not if you end up wasted and broke.

  1. Stacking Personal Debt

Again, slow down on your holiday spending spree. Sure, there’s so many reasons to go shopping, dining at expensive restaurants, traveling luxuriously, etc. But always think twice when it comes to spending money. Again, if you’re spending on credit and loan for this brief stints of enjoyments – that’s not cool.

  1. Not Booking in Advance

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The holidays can be the busiest time of the year for travelers and travel vendors. Make sure to book tickets and hotels in advance, so you can enjoy discounted rates. You’ll also spare yourself from the trouble of not being able to travel because of limited flights and no vacancies. Paying for a plane ticket or hotel room that’s triple or quintuple the original price is never cool.

  1. Neglecting Your 401(k)

You might say you’re too young to build your retirement fund. But it’s never too early to do so. Start building your retirement savings plan, so that you can keep your cool and not worry about money even when you’re like 50 or 70 years old.

Apps to Help You Enjoy a Fabulous and Glamorous Life

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If you’re not lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of people struggle where their finances are concerned. But even if you have a hard time making ends meet, you can still live a fab life without spending more than necessary. All you need are apps that will help you live the life of the rich and famous.

Need a driver?

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Uber and Lyft will be more than happy to pick you up and drive you wherever you want to go. Sure you would need to pay for the fare, but you don’t need to hire a driver and pay for his salary. These apps make requesting, tracking and paying for a car service easier and more affordable. What is even better is that you can have a driver with just a few clicks on your mobile phone.

Need a personal shopper?

If you’re too busy to even squeeze in a few minutes of shopping, you can always send someone to do the chore for you. Unlike personal shoppers of the rich you can get the same level of excellent service without paying a penny. Through Fetch, you can purchase anything you want without spending a lot of time looking for it. Simply send a photo or type an item on the app and it will look for the best deals around so you can click to buy it.

Need a bookkeeper?

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You may not have accumulated a huge amount of wealth, but you probably have more paper receipts then dead leaves on your front yard. Since organizing your receipts help in creating a budget and monitoring your savings and spending, you should have a bookkeeper to help you out. Simply download Level Money from the web and get bookkeeping services in an instant.

An Insight Into Australian Financial Services

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Worldwide, there are so many different types of financing institutions that have made it possible to complete a number of tasks. Whether funding a project overseas or sending money to relatives, financing institutions around the world have made transferring money convenient and simple. The best part of today’s financial industry is you can literally begin a business with a great idea, an internet connection, and a device.

Like the rest of the world, Australia’s financial industry has found ways to bring an amalgam of financial services to its residents. In this current economy, Australians can fund private ventures or choose to purchase property. They can save through traditional means or open global funds that will mature and generate income for retirement or other projects. The financial landscape in the country is such that there are so many possibilities available to both consumers and businesses.

Keep reading for more information related to the Australian financial industry.

Traditional Banks

The banking industry has grown up, and in doing so, has created savvy, sophisticated consumers who are increasingly becoming aware of how to make their money make money. Traditional banks are of the old-time brick-and-mortar types that offer consumers a variety of financial services beyond just passbook savings accounts and check writing services to offering business accounts with all of the accessories that go with opening and managing a business. Many institutions include services related to home and car loans, credit cards, debit cards, and term deposit accounts.

In addition to traditional banks, credit unions are beginning to make up a good portion of the financial landscape. Credit unions operate a little differently in that you might see certain services while others offer very limited services. All credit unions have checking and savings accounts, which are typically tied together.

Depending on the size of the institution, you might see credit unions offering the types of investments seen in regular institutions. The benefit of going with a credit union is that checking and savings can be opened and maintained free of charge, as opposed to banks that typically charge a monthly fee for not maintaining a certain balance. Furthermore, their interest rates tend to be a little bit lower than your standard brick-and-mortar institutions.

Online Banking Institutions

While traditional banks and credit unions do offer online banking, a whole crop of financial institutions are offering Australian residents quick and easy solutions to a number of their issues. For one, online lenders make it possible for people to finance cars, homes, boats, and other vehicles through a streamlined, more efficient process. In addition, these same institutions can make it possible to take out personal loans and travel loans as well. While the interest rates on car loans typically tend to be less than through the dealership, the other loan types vary depending on the lender. In essence, these financing institutions have reduced the hassle and the complications that go along with applying for a loan today.

Investment Houses

Australia is still home to an amalgam of investment houses that provide consumers with a range of products. In addition to retirement and term deposit funds, these financial institutions offer consumers products that will allow them to open brokerage accounts and make deposits toward funding some goal, whether it is paying for a home or a child’s education. These funds usually come with assistance from a financial advisor who can counsel on strategies for reaching goals.

Financial Products For The Financially Fit Australia

The field of products available to consumers in this country has made understanding financial matters accessible. Consumers can access funds through a variety of sources outside of traditional banks while also accessing funding through online institutions. More importantly, the amalgam of choices that consumers have related to investment savings has provided everyday consumers with a platform for success.

Spruce Up Your Home With Simple Staging Tips

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When the vast majority of realtors tell you that home staging is essential for buyers to visualize their future in your home, you really have to listen. They know from experience exactly what works best. But what does it entail? Staging is the simple but effective process of cleaning, rearranging, and updating your home in small ways that can make a huge difference in perception.

Staging is all about the details, subtle things you might not consider. Furniture placement, cabinetry surfacing, and wall paint changes are some of the most obvious ways to spruce up your home, but there are many more ideas both large and small that will transform the way your home appears to potential buyers.

Whether you’re currently looking to sell your home or not, keeping this mindset is a great way to ensure that it always looks its best. When potential buyers enter your home, they see a welcoming space they can project themselves into, a clean slate where the future will be written.

Here’s a interesting infographic by Homestratosphere.com on Home Staging:

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Home Staging

Personal Finance Plan: Choosing the Right Life Insurance Policy

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Unlike other assets, life insurance directly provides financial security to your loved ones the moment your capacity to generate income ceases either by death or disability. Life insurance does more than providing the common death and/or hospitalization benefits. It actually becomes a reliable source of liquidity for your family for whatever needs they may have – education, business, retirement or emergencies.

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How Much Do You Need?

The best way to know how much coverage your family needs is to multiply your yearly income at least five times. The greater financial needs your family has, the bigger the coverage you need.

Types of Life Insurance

There are generally two types of life insurance – term life and whole life. Term life is cheaper but has a specific active period. If you die while the policy is active, your beneficiaries get the financial support, but if you do not die and the policy expires, you and your family get nothing.

Whole life insurance nowadays is the more preferred because although it has a higher premium, it offers your flexible options for withdrawal so long as the policy matures. A portion of the funds in a whole life insurance goes to tax-deferred savings, which you can cash out when you are older or retired.

Disability insurance, usually integrated in most life insurance policies, offers greater flexibility. This provides you and your family with financial coverage when you become unable to work. The premium usually depends on how risky your job and lifestyle are.

Apparently, the more flexible the policy is and the higher coverage it provides, the better.

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How Reliable Are Your Agent and Insurer?

Do not just look into the figures provided in the sample computation sheet; make sure that the agent and the insurer have solid record. Some agents work independently and carry various policies from various companies, while others work as employees solely representing a single insurer. Only transact with duly licensed and trained agents working for a solid company.

A reliable insurance company is one with excellent history of payouts. Steer clear from a firm that does not pay claims well on a timely basis. Life insurance is meant to lift the financial burden off your family’s shoulders when you are gone, transacting with a bad insurer is adding insult to injury.

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