Making a budget is a lot easier than actually sticking to it–we know. But when you become a homeowner, it’s even more essential that you make an effort to live within your means. Your house is not only your biggest investment, it’s also the place you and your family call home.
One nearly effortless way to live within your means is to make your home more energy effecient and this post will show you how to get started. These ideas will add up to savings little by little but one will add up to BIG savings, fast.
How to Save Money with Energy Efficiency
Energy-efficient upgrades save you money by reducing the energy you use. Consider these simple energy efficient options :
Energy Efficient Appliances: If you bought your home with appliances included or your current appliances are more than 7 years old there’s a good chance your appliances are outdated and may not be as energy-efficient as they could be. When shopping for a new appliance, look for the cost savings estimate. You’ll typically see this tagged right on the appliance. Don’t forget to sell your older appliance and use that money toward the new one! If nothing else, donate it and write it off your taxes.
Get a Programmable Thermostat: This is a relatively low-cost, DIY project. Heating and cooling the home can be a big drain on your budget. By installing a programmable thermostat, you’ll be able to control the heating and cooling, making sure the system only runs when necessary. Savings will likely be immediate and adds up over time.
Change the Light Bulbs: If you have any incandescent bulbs home’s light fixture, you’ll want to change them to energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs. They cost a bit more initially, but they pay for themselves pretty quickly and save you quite a bit over time.
Lower Water Heater Thermostat: Water heaters are typically set at 140 degrees by the manufacturer. However, you may find that find 120 degrees works just as well. Lowering the temperature is also safer for children and can help prevent injury.
Unplug Appliances: When an appliance is plugged in, it uses energy –even when it’s turned off! Save yourself some money and unplug any appliance that isn’t being used or used regularly. That tip requires no investment and starts working right away.
Seal Gaps: Gaps around windows and doors can lead to energy loss by letting your heat and cold air escape. The result is that you run you thermostat longer. Seal those cracks and gaps to have more control over the temperature in your home and use less energy. Weatherproofing sealer readily available at your local hardware store and can be installed in one afternoon!
Refinancing helps you to save money by lowering your mortgage payment or sometimes by adjusting it so that more goes toward the principle. Interest rates change often, plus, there may be loan programs that you qualify now for where you didn’t with your original loan.
If there’s a way to save you money on your mortgage with a refinance, we’ll find it. Remember, your home is your biggest investment. If there’s a way to save money on payments, why not find out?
Here’s another idea: you could refinance to save money AND take out some equity to make those larger, energy efficient upgrades.
Our office is always looking out for you and your money. That’s why we’ve made it easy to apply for your refinance right from your home, office, or anywhere else you might be. Visit Tara Mortgage Services today to fill out our online application, or contact us at our office!
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Zero Money Down is not Impossible
Saturday, Sep 8, 2018, 10:00 AM
Hampton Inn Bridgeville 150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa
28 Members Attending
I know it sounds too easy to be true and I often preach that if it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. In this case I am confident saying that this can be done regardless if you have been in the business as long as I or if you are new to the business of Real Estate Investing. I am going to show you the step by step process to start your…
Do any of these 7 financial situations sound like you? If they do, then you might be ready to refinance your mortgage!
Top Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage
1. Your Interest Rate is Higher than Current Mortgage Rates
Interest rates change, and in recent years, have adjusted in your favor! If your mortgage closed more than 5 years ago, the chances are that your rate is higher than current mortgage rates. Refinancing to lower the mortgage interest rate is the top reason that clients contact our office.
2. Looking To Lower Monthly Payment
When you refinance into a new loan, not can you get a lower interest rate but it also adjusts your monthly payments. For example, if your original loan was for 300k with a 30-year term and you’ve paid off 60k since then, your new mortgage will be for only 240k. What’s more, the clock for paying off the loan in 30 years restarts!
3. You Want to Make Home Improvements
A cash-out refi, home equity loan, or HELOC gives you access to the equity of your home. Each of these refinances options are different and one might be better suited for you than the other. Call our office for help deciding which refi is right for you.
4. You’re Nearing Retirement
If you’re approaching retirement age, a refi can lower your monthly payment into one you can afford more comfortably. If you’ve already paid off your loan, consider a reverse mortgage to help supplement your retirement income.
5. You Want a Fixed Rate
An adjustable rate mortgage starts low but eventually changes after a certain number of years, and usually, the rate goes up. Getting into a fixed-rate avoids these drastic changes and locks in a low rate for the life of your loan.
6. You Want to Pay Off Your 30-year Mortgage Sooner
Refinancing your 30-year fixed rate mortgage into a 10-year or 15-year mortgage will help you pay off your home sooner. Interest rates on 15-year loans can be as much as a full percentage point lower than a 30-year loan. This means that more of your payment goes toward the principle plus you also save money on interest!
7. Your Credit Score Has improved Since You Last Closed
Remember that your interest rate is largely dependent on your credit score. If it’s gone up since your closed your loan, that means that you likely qualify for a lower rate today! How low? Apply to find out! Use our free online application and we’ll let you know what rate you qualify for now.
There are many more reasons why people come to see us about refinancing their current loan. Want to find out if refinancing can help you out in your financial situation? Contact Tara Mortgage Services today for a no-obligation refinance consult!
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Saving for making improvements to your home is often the least expensive route, but it’s not always possible. Thankfully, you have other options for financing! Our business is in home loans, so you might already guess, that’s the option we recommend, but you don’t have to take our word for it.
Read about all your home improvement financing options –from traditional home improvement loans to peer-to-peer loans to cash out refinancing –and decide which is best for you!
Traditional Home Improvement Loans
These loans are financed by banks, credit unions, and a few online lenders. You’ll get a lump sum to pay for all the labor and materials for your home improvements, such as replacing your HVAC system or putting in a new pool.
Though the name implies that it’s a home loan, it’s not –at least not in the typical sense of the term. It doesn’t consider your home equity nor does it require your home as collateral.
A home improvement loan is unsecured so you can expect a higher rate than you would with a secured loan.
Personal Line of Credit
This loan is also an unsecured loan and is collateral-free. You can use the lump sum however you wish. You can upgrade your home and set some money aside for a vacation too. Or maybe pay down some debt. They are funded reasonably fast and don’t require any equity in your home either.
However, a word of caution: the repayment period is usually shorter. This means that your monthly payment will likely be high. If you cannot afford to make high monthly payments, a personal line of credit may not be for you.
These loans are funded by a group of investors rather than a bank or the government (we’ll talk about government loans below). They go by different names, and you may have even received a flyer in the mail from these non-traditional lenders.
On the upside, these loans are also funded quickly, and you can use the money however you want. The downside, however, is that these loans have some of the highest interest rates out there.
Home Equity Loans
Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) have longer repayment periods with lower interest rates than the above-mentioned loans. That means your monthly payments will be small and more of the payment will go toward the principle.
Another big bonus is that the interest is tax deductible!
The biggest risk to this loan comes with defaulting. If you’re unable to repay the loan, you put your home at risk for foreclosure.
A home equity loan lets you borrow a lump sum, while a HELOC acts more like a line of credit.
With a HELOC, you have a “draw period” during which you can withdraw money. During this time, you only have to repay interest so your initial monthly payments will be quite low. When that draw period ends, your payments will then also include the principle. A HELOC typically has a variable interest rate, so your monthly payment could still be low even after the draw period ends, but it may also increase significantly.
If you prefer a fixed rate, then you’ll want to look at interest rates of a home equity loan or ask about our fixed-rate HELOCs.
A cash-out refinance replaces your current mortgage with a new one, but this time you’ll borrow extra money to finance your home improvements. Borrowing more money means it will take longer to pay off your home, however, your new home loan may have a lower rate than your current one.
This option often requires you to have about 20% equity as well as meeting all the typical requirement of a home loan such as employment and good credit score.
FHA Title I Property Improvement Loans
If your equity isn’t high enough for a cash-out refi, consider an FHA Title I loan. This government-funded loan is for specific home improvements such as energy conservation. They cannot be used for “luxury improvements” such as swimming pools or outdoor patios. This loan caps at $25,000 with a 20-year repayment period. These loans are not widely available, so you’ll want to contact us to see if you qualify.
Want to know precisely how low your payment can be to fund your home improvement? Apply today! Use our digital home loan application and upload your docs securely in between shopping for floor tile and a new kitchen countertop!
RSVP TO ALEX DEACON’S FREE JUNE REAL ESTATE INVESTING WORKSHOP!
Where to spend your construction dollars, staying on budget and on time
Saturday, Jun 9, 2018, 10:00 AM
Hampton Inn Bridgeville 150 Old Pond Rd Bridgeville, pa
18 Members Attending
I get asked at every workshop to do another bus tour. The hurdle of that is finding the time. Plus we can only handle about 20 people per tour to do it right and I end up turning down a dozen or more. I thought that this month we will tour a bunch of my projects and use technology and do it in a nice climate controlled facility. We will tour each r…