Showing posts with label Home Owners. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home Owners. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2016

5 Must-Know Steps to Financing a New Home

Applying for a loan is just one step of many involved in financing a new home. There are several other steps you should take before you sign your loan documents and decide on a lender. Let's look at five of those steps. 

Make a Budget

You don't want to leave it up to a bank officer to decide how much house you can afford. Instead of letting them tell you how much you're approved for and then finding a house that's within that range, you need to create a budget that shows you exactly what you spend each month on bills, groceries, fun, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses. 

Then, start adding in house payments, savings for repairs and maintenance, home and flood insurance, property taxes and revised utilities. 

Then start tweaking your other spending categories until you find a manageable amount for your house payment based on your income. This will give you a guideline for the total amount you can finance. 

Compare Rates

Homeowners need to focus on getting a monthly payment they can afford, but they also want to get a good interest rate in order to keep the overall cost of the house low. Compare rates with local banks, national lenders and credit unions until you find the best deal. 

Check Your Credit

Your credit report and FICO score is going to dictate how low an interest rate you qualify for. 

Before you get financing, check your report for any black marks against you and any incorrect information. Then, work to get your information corrected and your score improved. 

Get a Home Inspection

When you're financing a home, you're making a huge commitment that you're not going to be able to back out of without some devastating consequences. 

Getting a home inspection will not only prevent you from buying a home in bad condition, it can also give you leverage to negotiate the cost down. 

Finance as Little as Possible

When you finance your new home, you will have the option to make a low down payment and wrap your closing costs into the loan. This will essentially increase your loan amount, interest charges and the overall cost of the home.

Financing your home is one of the biggest financial steps you'll take in your entire life. Take on the process carefully and thoughtfully, consult with a professional from an agency like Florida Lifestyle Realty, and remember -- it's up to you to protect your own best interests, not the lender's.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

3 Tips to Make Filing a Home Owners Claim Easier

Filing a home owners claim can protect you against paying for damaged or stolen property out of your own pocket. As long as you have adequate coverage, you may be able to receive a pay out that covers all of your expenses while you’re putting your home back together. Whether you’re the victim of a home invasion or experience some sort of natural disaster, home insurance can be a saving grace. In order to make the process run as smoothly as possible, follow these three tips.

Understand What Your Policy Covers

Read your policy now and take some notes, so that when and if you actually need to file a claim you will have an idea about what your coverage dictates. Being educated on your policy can stop you from filing a claim that is sure to be rejected, or failing to claim damage that you would have been reimbursed for. Make a note of which property can be replaced, the financial limit of your claims, and the time frame during which your claim must be submitted after the damage occurs. Talk to an insurance agent if you have questions about your policy so you can purchase additional coverage now if you need to do so.

Report the Damage in a Timely Manner

Reporting damage right away may be within the terms of your contract, but even if it’s not required it’s still a good idea. The more time that goes by after a break in or disaster, the more difficult it will be to prove exactly when the damage occurred. Your insurance company could claim that it looks suspicious that you filed a claim so long after the damage happened, and it will be harder for you to prove how and when the events occurred as time goes on. Always report your damage within one week whenever it’s possible.

Take Photos

Having photos of the damage will help your insurance adjuster determine how much damage occurred and it will also provide proof about when the incident happened. You may be required to submit images for larger claims, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and capture pictures of the damage right away to keep for your records. Sometimes submitting a photos is easier than trying to explain to an insurance adjuster what was broken or the nature of the accident. Take more images than you think you’ll need, and save them online for safe keeping.

Filing a home insurance claim can involve a lot of paperwork and red tape, but the better prepared you are the less painful the experience will be. The most important step you can take now is to research the process for filing a claim so it won’t seem so overwhelming when the time comes. Keep a file with your policy and the instructions for claim submission. If you can file a claim online, it may expedite the process, so find out how to do that in advance and save any appropriate URLs into your browser bookmarks.

Barry Johnson is a personal finance consultant. He enjoys passing on his insights through blogging. Check out the website for more information.

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