Advice

When to Call A Plumber

Plumbing is often a household chore that isn't thought about until it's obvious it needs to be done. Your basic homeowner can operate a plunger and some drain cleaner, but that's usually about as far as their skills go. 

When you know what warning signs to look for, you can save yourself some money and some major hassle, not to mention the mess.

  1. Gurgling

Can you hear gurgling when you run the dishwasher, laundry, or toilet? It could very well be clogged! If it's gurgling when you're not using it, it's trying to find air because the pipes are backed up. 

If you can hear it when you are using it, turn it off immediately because it's on the way to the top! It's backing up!

  1. Hearing water in your pipes 

If you can hear water chugging on through your pipes when there's no water being run in the house you probably have a leak.

Look up, look on the walls, and look on the floor. You were looking for water stains if the spots are warm the leak is in your hot water line. Knowing where the leak is coming from is excellent information to pass on to your plumber. 

Having the problem identified before the plumber comes over could save you some money too!

Look at your water meter, and if it's running when no water is in use, there's a problem.

If you can hear water running in your toilet, these are usually simple fixes. All you may need is a simple flap replacement. If you can hear a hissing noise your internal tank is probably old and needs replacing.

  1. Low water pressure

Low water pressure is often a result of calcium buildup in your faucet's aerator. 

A simple remedy for this is to unscrew the aerator and clean the residue and placing it back. If this doesn't solve the problem you may have a bigger one. 

  1. Slow drainage

Are the sinks taking a little bit longer to drain?...

How to Handle A Home Left in A Trust

If you're lucky enough to inherit a house from my home trust it will no doubt be a tricky situation. No matter if it's from a parent, sibling, or other benefactor you will need to know the ins and outs of this situation so you can best serve yourself. Most likely somebody has passed away and left you their property. This will not be an easy time and judgment can be clouded as your personal and financial life will be trying to make sense of everything that's going on.

If you and your co-beneficiaries decide that one person will keep the home and pay the others off you'll want to know how to do this right so you don't cost yourself in the long run. How does a person pay the others off? 

The perfect scenario is win the entire party agrees that one of them will pay the others off. Rarely is it this mood; everybody usually has their best interest in mind and is looking out for themselves. Someone may have an emotional attachment to the property, while another sees it as pure dollar signs. 

A lot of the time it is just like a divorce, both parties are fighting for the property and a settlement is not the easiest to obtain. Because this is a trust, lawyers and or a mediator will be necessary. Mediation is always the first option and if that does not find a solution then lawyers will battle it out in court.

Paying off the others

If everyone can agree that one person will pay off everybody else the situation needs to be looked at as an "arms length transaction", which is when the property needs to be sold for fair market value and not include any emotional attachment. This is business, and it should be treated as such.

An appraisal of the property will be the first thing that is done, and if for whatever reason the party won't agree to that, then a real estate agents opinion will suffice. Everybody in the party should have a real estate agent to represent their interest during the process. This way nobody gets...

Foreclosure Alternatives

Let’s say you’ve missed a few mortgage payments and your lender finally sends a notice of default. Times are tough and you’re growing desperate. You fully understand that you’re about to lose your home and take a huge hit on your credit. If foreclosure seems like your only option, think again. 

The absolute very first thing you should do when facing foreclosure is contact your lender. This will make them want to fight with you because they know you are willing to fight for a solution. The earlier you ask for help the greater your chances of winning are. 

Once you tap to your lender, you will have a few options before you. Yes, one will be the foreclosure opportunity, and it could work in your favor if done correctly. 

  1. Sale or rent

If you are in line to pay your mortgage off traditionally, but anticipate there could become a problem you can hold on as long as possible for a buyer. 

You can also rent their home to pay for your mortgage until the home sells.

  1. Short sale

This usually happens when the value of a home is lower than the equity, and there's not enough to cover the mortgage. This is also known as being underwater. The lender will agree to accept less than the amount owed by the borrower by the sale of a third party. 

A short sale will work Like this. A deal will be brokered so that the lender can sell the property for what they can. If the sale amount is less than what is owed, the money goes to the lender and the remaining is relinquished. Typically the lender will pay the seller's closing costs. Expect this process to be about 90 to 120 days. 

The One thing the seller must prove is there a hardship. This means the loss of income, death of a spouse, etc. the point is they must explain why they cannot pay their mortgage anymore. 

  1. Deed in lieu of foreclosure agreement

What...

How to Best Work With An Agent

If you’re looking to be an active participant in the real estate market today, chances are you will be dealing with a realtor. What are their hours though and will they be flexible enough to work with yours?
We all have cray schedules between work, kids, family and friends plans, gym, etc. so when are a real estate agent’s hours available for you!

An agent’s hours depend on the individual. It depends on how committed they are to their clients. Will they open their schedule at a moment’s notice to show you a new house. They may work on certain days and not on others, or they may be available 24/7. It’s best to check with them to see their normal hours to best align your schedules. 

THere’s a thing called an 80-20 rule, and it indicates that 20% of the agents in the market and handling 80% of the sales. But what about the rest of the field? These agents mostly work part time around their home-life. This means they are taking kids to practice rather than showing you a house. Regardless, it’s always worth the ask to see which agent you get. 

If an agent is truly motivated they will always have open schedules for their clients. They should be working around their client’s schedule instead of their own. IT’s the mindset, of whatever it takes to get the sale.

Before you choose the agent you are going to be working with, it would be wise to communicate with them if you have a crazy-busy schedule. Let them know your day-to-day activities and when you can give your time. This will keep expectations at a certain level while avoiding any frustration. 

Sometimes emergencies comes up and can’t be predicted. In this case, the best thing you can do is give as much advance notice as possible. At times, an agent won’t always be available, but if they have a little lead time, the better your chances are. 

It’s also important to keep others’ schedule...

What To Ask Before You Buy A Home

Everyone wants a nice house, and one of the best ways to get that is buying a flipped house. It's an exciting time, because the home is either brand new or gently used. There are risks involved with buying a flipped home though. The repairs and renovations need to be done correctly. So before you buy be sure to ask these questions.

  1. Who's selling it?

Is the seller a person or an LLC? Everyone needs to ask this question. It's happen that a renovator makes himself an LLC and right after the sale, he immediately liquidates the LLC. This is in hopes to get themselves off the hook in case any defects come up shortly after the sale. If the seller is an LLC, take some time to probe into how long the business has been around, and their reputation. 

  1. Whats the scope of the renovation?

This question will get the owner or agent talking. You'll find out if there were any walls removed, major plumbing or electrical work done. How long ago, etc. the smaller renovation jobs are usually bathroom jobs, new paint and floors, mostly cosmetic work. The bigger jobs are much bigger, and the new buyer needs to know what was done. 

  1. Did they get permits?

If there was any major electrical, plumbing, or structural work they need to have permits. Ask for a copy of them. You can also check the city records to see if permits were filed. If there aren't any permits this may mean the work could have been less than professional. 

  1. Who was the last owner?

There's always records of home ownership. If any issues are popping up, it's completely appropriate to ask the previous owner about them. Questions worth asking: when did you put on a new roof? Have there ever been any leaks anywhere? Has there always been this part of the home?

It's important to know every change that was made in the house because flippers get in a hurry sometimes and don't finish certain...

First Time Landlord Woes

Homeowners have a lot to keep up with, but landlords have even more. If you own a home and are thinking about renting it out, you should definitely read the common mistakes most first-time landlords make. Learning by trial-and-error could cost you dearly and make want to get out of the business altogether. 

  1. Live near the rental property

Living close to the property allows you to check on it occasionally, fix any problems yourself, and show it often when it's time to find new renters. Look for the best investment areas, and if it's in your long-term budget you can hire a property manager to handle the daily details.

  1. Know the landlord-tenant law

Majority of states have strict landlord-tenant laws that cover issues like security deposits, certain access times to the property, and how much notice you give the tenants before you ask them to leave.

A few laws to know are the "Habitability" and "anti-discrimination" laws. Most landlords scrim over this and tell themselves they'll be fine as long as they don't say or do anything racist or sexist. If only it were this easy. Many strange situations can arise so familiarize yourself with the law so you won't be caught in a stick situation. 

  1. Enforce timely rent payment 

This does not seem like a big problem, but if you get too friendly with your tenants they may start thinking it's okay to be late on rent. And if it continues they might skip or give partial payments when they are in between work. Eventually this might put you several months behind on rent and your mortgage has become a burden. Be firm with your tenants and foster a good relationship with them, and rent should never be an issue.

  1. Interview potential tenants

Online tenant screening services are well worth your time, money, and effort to screen who will be living in your properties. You may look at their credit score and...

Saving Money In Summer

Well summer is officially here and you know what that means, high electric bills to keep your house cool. If you're worried about the money you're shelling out over energy bills, just relax. Here's a list of ways to reduce your monthly energy bills. 

Stop running appliances during the day

Instead of running your appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine during the day, run them at night so the heat they generate won't be noticed. You can also ask your utility companies if there are certain times to use your appliances that can earn you discounts.

Have your ceiling fan moving in the right direction

Ceiling fans help circulate Coulier throughout your home, but only if they are to turning counterclockwise. All it takes is the flip of a switch or simply flipping over the blades.

Cool your lights

Change out your incandescent lightbulbs which emit heat with cooler compact fluorescent lightbulbs.

Lower your water heater temperature to 120°. 

When your water heater is set to the regular 140° there's a large amount of waste that can range from $30-$60. Once you tweak it you won't even notice the temperature change. 

Clean your AC

Clean your air conditioner unit by removing all the dead leaves around it and the encroaching shrubs by your unit. Turn it off completely and spray the coils with the hose. Take a vacuum and clear out the vents and make sure none of them are blocked. If you have window units simply just them inside and out and replace them if they are older than 10 years. 

Replace your filters...

Important Contingencies

When markets are competitive, a buyer should do their best to make their offer stand out. They may offer significant down payments, strategic offer letters, or leave a fancy bottle of wine on the doorstep. 

Some sellers receive several offers that are similar, but very different in the contingencies field of the contract. It isn't uncommon to waive contingencies, which allows buyers to back out if they need. 

Hold on! Waving a contingency may speed things up and entice the seller even more, but you could find yourself paying for the black mold treatment in the basement, or things of the like. Keep in mind if you write in too many contingencies in your offer it may discourage the seller for potential contract delays, risks, or the cost they could incur.

Some contingencies are needed, like the purchase agreement contingency which protects buyers from unexpected fees. There are also things called two-tier contingencies, which protect the buyer if they want to pull out after finding they cannot paint their house because of the HOA rules. 

Pretty much you want to keep your offer protected from the unpredictable and you can walk away from a deal without losing a penny. However, when the market is competitive, you may want to take out the smaller ones. Below are the four most important contingencies you'll want in your offer.

Inspection contingency

The home inspection contingency is wet any decent real estate agent will recommend. This ensures you get a licensed home inspector to view the property within a week of signing the purchase agreement. After the inspection you may request the seller to make repairs of your choice. At this point the seller may make the repair, or counter offer. If an agreement cannot be reached, the buyer is allowed to back out of their purchase agreement with their deposit back.

Financing...

Build Your Credit Right After Graduating

Graduating from college is a big step in your life, but the rest of your future is ahead of you. What should you do now that your an "adult"? Build your credit and get ready for the next big life event; buying a house! Here's what you need to know about building your credit score.

It really does matter

If you want to qualify for a loan, or even rent an apartment, your credit history will be looked at without question. 

Know where you stand

The first thing you want to do is know exactly where you stand. Get a copy of your credit report by visiting your local bank, or one of those credit viewing services. Look over it carefully to make sure the information is correct, because mistakes are very possible. If there is a problem, report it and get it fixed immediately.

Build your credit history

Your credit history is an important factor in determining your credit score. That three digit number has a lot of power in determining you the rates you will pay. 

When you're young it's important to build your credit history because that's when you have plenty of time to do so. Getting a credit card is one of the most common ways to build your credit history, but it comes with a catch. You must be responsible!  Failing to pay your credit card balances will take your score the opposite way you want to go. 

If you choose not to get a credit card, there's no way for financial institutions to track you. It's almost as if you aren't even on the radar, show you appear as a credit risk.

Know your credit card options

With all the credit card offers flooding your mailbox, you may be better off getting one with a credit union. Do your...

Why Renters Shouldn't Reconsolidate Their Debt

Like most Americans, we have bills to pay and balance loans to meet. With debts coming in from almost every direction, consolidation of those debts may appear to be a smart move. It's looked at as one payment instead of several, and even perhaps get yourself a better deal. This works for some of us, but not all.

It typically doesn't work for those who rent. If a renter wishes to consolidate their debt, a lender will group your debts into one pile and now you owe them, instead of multiple different companies. Here's why it's a bad idea.

1. Consolidating debt affects your credit score

Let me guess, you're renting now to save up for a down payment on a house soon. Oh, and you'll also need a new car in the future, and you plan on going back to school. 

Getting a debt consolidation loan will show a huge red flag on your credit report, which also takes two years to be removed. This will hurt your credit score, and that's a fact. That will probably push your future plans of getting a house and a new car back a ways. 

Having a less than desirable credit score will impact your interest-rate's, potentially costing you way more than you originally planned. 

2. Consolidation can be expensive

While it seems like a great idea to have one payment instead of me, it will do you no good if you can't make the payments. Missing payments can increase your interest rate, as well as incur additional fees. 

Renting is a different game. Landlords and lenders sometimes are very unforgiving. Don't put yourself in the position to have to choose which payments will be made this both. Missing either one can be costly.

3. Consolidation isn't going to help your bad financial habits. 

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge a spending...

3 Things You Never Tell A Seller's Agent

When visiting an open house and you begin talking to the seller's agent, it's important to say as little as you can, while still being charming. Less is always more. The buyer's agent is the light to guide you through your real estate purchase. They should know your needs, wants, and how much house you can actually afford.

When it comes to the seller's agent they are a completely different story. You won't be in contact with them much because that is your agent's job, but if you are in contact just lay low. Play it cool and do not talk about these three things.

1. How much you like or dislike the house

Here is where you want to show the seller you are interested, but not too interested. They don't need to know you're jumping at the bit to make an offer, or that this is your dream house. 

You also don't want to open your mouth too much and be too critical of the house. By having too many harsh comments you could place yourself in a shady light and you become a less-than-viable buyer. When markets have become as competitive as they are, you need to show the image that you are rocksolid.

2. How much you are willing to spend

It's always taboo to talk about your finances. By talking about the money you can and may spend, you might dig yourself into a hole and place your offer at a disadvantage. The first thing you want to do is have your offer accepted, and the second would be at the best price.

You won't be doing yourself any favors by giving the sellers an idea of your financial limits. A little mystery can go along way. As a seller, they should feel they set a fair price for the home they're offering and if you think that house is worth that price, but it may just be the house at the right price for you.

3. Use your head and let your agent do the work...

Underwater Mortgage Options

And astounding 3.2 million households in America cannot afford their monthly mortgage payments. This is often referred to those in the industry as an underwater mortgage. 

What are underwater mortgage is is when the balance of your mortgage loan is greater than the fair market value of your home. This often happens when there is a downturn in the market or flat out crash and home prices.

Let's say four example you buy a $300,000 home in 2006, and you still owe $250,000. If you tried to sell your home in the current market you may only get $230,000, leaving you still owing $20,000 and no downpayment on your next home. The advice here is to wait it out. But what happens if your family is growing too fast and waiting isn't a viable option?

Here's what to do:

Getting out of an underwater mortgage will hurt, there's no two ways about it. Prepare yourself to feel a little sting, because it is coming.

1. Short sale

Short sales always hurt because they come up as a little mark on your credit history. Yes you've had a short sale in the past few years, all lenders are awfully hesitant to loan you money. The strategy of hurry up and wait is the one that you may have to take.

2. Take a little from savings

To make up the difference you may have to cash out a retirement fund or use your rainy day money. What's worry some about this is you may have nothing left over, or not enough to keep you afloat if a tragedy were to happen. If you skimmed too much out of your savings and don't have enough for a down payment on your next home, your best bet is to find an experienced loan officers who know where they can get you good deals in Fannie Mae.

3. Rent your home

To meet the needs of your growing family you may have to rent out your home while...

Why Your Neighbors Matter

It's always in the benefit of everyone to be on the good side of your neighbors. There is a smart strategy to be played when selling your home, and that is thinking of your neighbors home. If their house is in poor shape then it could impact what your home sells for. Hopefully they take good care of their property, because it could help your bottom line if they do.

Picture a scenario where you spent hours working on your curb appeal and even renovating a few rooms in your house, but when you step in the street to look at it all you can see is your neighbors disaster of a home. You can put a ton of money into sprucing up your home, but if your neighbors property doesn't look pleasant, then it will surely lessen your value.

But there is a way around this! Here's what you need to do to make sure you were on your neighbors good side. 

Build strong relationships

If you are planning on selling in the near future, it's still important to have good relationships with those around you. Who knows you may need them at the least unexpected time. 

It's somewhat common for issues to spring up in the middle of a sale. Sometimes the problems involve retaining wall's, fence repair, and matters of the lake will often bring your neighbor into your sale.

Being on good terms with your neighbors almost ensures their cooperation when you need them the most.

Keep them in the loop

If you do plan to sell in the near future, it's a courteous thing to do to inform them in advance. Yes, sometimes neighbors are nosy, but it's considerate to keep them current with a process like this.

Maybe you need their help for a small project and if they know you plan on moving they could be more than willing to help. 

Offer to pay for improvements

It...

Listing Photos, How Crucial They Really Are

When selling your home the first metaphorical cast of the fishing line is your pictures. Having he right pictures can attract the right buyers which could earn you extra bucks. All potential buyers look at the listing pictures online first and foremost. They then decide if the house is worst a visit or not. 

It’s important to take quality listing photos, because of they don’t grab the attention of buyers, they will never step inside. The photographer will do most of the work, but it is up to you to prepare your home for the photo shoot. Your agent will have a detailed list of what to do with all the stuff laying around the house. 

Never list online without photos

A lot of buyers get alerts through text or email whenever a new house gets to market; and nothing is more frustrating than to see a house with a great address and not a single picture. 

Agents will never put the listing up without any photos, and they’ll scold the seller for listing it without pictures. If it’s listed without photos, they may come back to look again another day, or not at all. 

Clean, organize, and declutter

The first thing your agent will tell you to do is to clean and organize your home. This is putting away all the personal items like photographs, putting away pet bowls, fluffing the pillows, and making sure the house is now completely neutral. Also, it won’t hurt to clean the hell out of it so it really shines. 

The beauty of an online listing is house shoppers can zoom-in on photos. If the photos posted don’t give the buyer a good idea of what your home is like, they’ll believe you don’t care and aren’t serious about selling your home. 

Crappy photos won’t do

Photos that are blurry, crooked, cropped, just aren’t going to sell your home. It’s...

Staging Your House Like A Pro

When you decide it's time to sell your house there's one thing you must do, and that is stage your home. If you stage it just right, potential buyers will see themselves comfortably living in the space they're looking at. 

Any room they can't see themselves inhabiting is a roadblock to a potential sale. A general rule to go by is to make them fall in love right when they walk in the door, without being too distracting. Follow the simple rules to stage your home properly and you're practically be pushed out of your house by the buyers!

No huge projects

A big fallacy sellers sometimes succumb to is they have to redo a certain part of the house. Your remodel for somebody else to live in may not fit their taste. So let them remodel if it's necessary. Instead of spending the money to remodel just give them a price reduction. This could save you a ton of trouble and time.

Paint in neutral

The quickest and most effective improvement a home can undergo is a new paint job. Having a fresh coat of paint stripes for a good first impression, and not to gross anyone out stick to the neutral colors like creams whites and a pale apricot.

Gray has been pretty hot lately however it does not always match everyone's furniture.

Throw power

A cheap way to stage your home is to get yourself a few throw pillows it doesn't have to be anything fancy, just something to spruce up the furniture will do. 

The room really starts to flow when the throes match the furniture in colors and patterns. 

Easy on your own tastes

If your personality is very neutral you're in luck, but if it's not then it needs to come down.

Often times buyers get distracted by your personal photos and art pieces so much they don't see themselves living there. If your lifestyle of messiness is on display that will surely turn off any onlookers.

It's not a bad idea to put away your jewelry and...

Proper Paint Disposal

Painting is a messy ordeal no matter how small of a space there is to be painted. At least a little paint will always be left over when the job is finished. And according to a nonprofit company, Paintcare.org 70,000,000 gallons of paint go on used each year.

Eventually the paint must be disposed of, and disposed of properly. If the lazy route is taken, it can be an environmental hazard and nobody wants that. So here's what you need to know about disposing paint properly.

Paint goes bad

Check and see if the paint is still good. If only the can is left you can throw it away or donate it to Habitat for Humanity. If the paint is in fact bad there's no reason to low let it take up space on your shelf.

To make paint last it's all about ceiling. Water-based paint, if sealed correctly, will last up to five years; and oil based paint will last up to ten years. You will know if the paint is bad by the foul smell, or it's a hard texture. Stirring it a little bit will indicate whether it's still good or not.

Proper disposal

Never ever pour paint down the drain or throw in the trash. It really matters where you live because different states and cities have different regulations regarding paint disposal. Check with your local waste disposal companies first.
Here are some basics to begin

Water-base: put them in a well ventilated area without the lid to let the paint Harden. This may take a few weeks depending on the weather. To speed up the process kitty litter or paint hardener may be added. Once the paint is solid place it in the trash and recycle the can.

Oil-base: Federal and local regulations designate oil based paints as hazardous waste. They have strict procedures for disposing of this material paint.
Never let them dry like water based paints because they will email it dangerous fumes....

Ways to Finish Winter Strong and Save On Energy

Louisville has had some crazy weather lately, from 60's and 70's mid week to 30's and 40's the very next day. It's been quite unpredictable and we really don't know what next week will hold. If you are a precautionary type of person you'll be ready for winter to finally appear as it should in February. Finish the winter season strong by saving what you can on your heating bill.

Insulate your doors and windows

Weather stripping your doors and windows is a simple project with wonderful benefits. It's easy to install and easy to remove.
Get yourself some transparent weather sealant tape, and apply it to windows and glass doors. A simple YouTube should answer any questions you have about application.
Another cool use for this tape is placing it on your cracked windows. When it's placed on the trip drafty parts of the window it keeps out the unwelcome elements from the outside.

Door sweep

Whether you know it or not of lot of cold air comes in under your exterior door. These door sweeps heart symbol tune install by just nailing them to the bottom of your door, or with some sort of adhesive.

Reflective insulation

Some of the most expensive rooms in your house can be those not used like your crawlspaces and attics. Reflective insulation is less expensive and easier to install then normal fiberglass filled, itchy insulation. A staple gun is all you need.
This product is $20 a roll and it can be used on several rooms in the house. They can keep your pet’s house, the chicken coop, or most other small places warm.

The garage door

Garages are usually always cold, unless it is insulated. A Good way to keep it warm is to weather strip your garage door. Just like weather stripping...

Can You Get A Mortgage After You Foreclose? Yes!

Going through foreclosure is one of the worst experiences a homeowner can ever have. As brutal and demoralizing as it is, it doesn’t mean homeownership is gone forever.

Truth be told, it’s actually easier to qualify for a mortgage after a significant credit event than originally thought. It will have a lot to do with the circumstances of your foreclosure and how you’ve managed your credit since then. So if you want to try the real estate market again, here’s how to get a mortgage after a foreclosure.

What’s the minimum amount of time to apply after foreclosure?

Every mortgage program is a little different regarding the waiting period between foreclosure and applying for a new loan. However, there are some general rules.

Ray Rodriguez of TD Bank says the waiting period is seven years for a conventional mortgage.  Other programs offer significantly less waiting times. The Department of Veteran’s Affairs requires a two year wait, the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Housing Administration require three.

How can you speed up the process?

The way to reduce the waiting time for acquiring a new mortgage is to prove your foreclosure was a result of a substantial financial hardship that you have overcome.

Now there’s a fine line between significant hardship and recklessness. Saying you forgot, or took too many vacations won’t cut it. Legit hardships are major health problems, divorces, a layoff, or a business failure.

Another part of the legitimacy is proving this happened by providing the necessary paperwork like paid hospital bills.

It’s important you write an explanation letter which needs to be short and sweet. Get to the point of your hardship and follow up with how you have recovered.

An important note to remember is that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all...

Tips For Buying Furniture On A Budget

It takes a special type of person to absolutely love furniture shopping, but for the rest of us, we hate to love it. Through all the prep work like looking through magazines, browsing online, and measuring them to see where pieces fit in your home, there’s still the part of actually going to the store. This is the part that can be a hassle.

First you deal with pushy salespeople, and then you get to try out the pieces you like, and eliminate the ones you don’t. After what seems to be forever just browsing for furniture, the time to actually pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars is fast approaching.

It’s no secret furniture is expensive, but what is a secret is you don’t have to spend a fortune on all new pieces. Furniture stores have secrets of their own they don’t want you to know about. These secrets once known can end up saving you big bucks.

Call the stores before you go

Furniture stores always have bargains going on. They want to get rid of their inventory as quickly as possible, so they incentivize buyers through constant bargains. Comparing prices in different stores and calling ahead you will surely find a bargain.

Some stores price the exact same piece of furniture significantly higher because they think someone will pay that much, and most of the time they will.

Knowing what you want and calling ahead to several stores will end up saving you time and energy in the long run.

Walk a little farther

Walk the entire perimeter of the store. Hiding in the open, back corners of stores are where the real discounts are. These items have minor imperfections like scratches, rips, etc. Others can be floor models they just want rid of, and are willing to sell it at a huge discount. This is where mega-savings will happen.  

...

Promissory Note vs. Mortgage

Buying a home often times requires a mortgage (unless the buyer pays with cash), and when the buyer gets a mortgage, they sign a promissory note. A promissory note is a legal document state the buyer “promises” to pay back the lender.

Promissory notes are a usual part of a real estate transaction. The information they include includes:

  • The amount owed
  •  The terms of repayment (i.e. Principle, interest, etc.)
  •  The terms of the interest rate, fixed or adjustable
  • Possible penalty for failing to repay
  • The maturity date of loan
  • The names of parties involved

These notes are some of the most important parts of buying a home, but are often made light of and misunderstood. It would truly be a mistake for buyers to not read and fully comprehend what the document they signed details.

What’s the difference between promissory note and a mortgage?

 A good number of American’s think the mortgage is the promise to pay back the loan. They are sadly wrong. The promissory note is exactly that, while the mortgage is the contract that takes effect when payments are long overdue.

Another name for the mortgage is a deed of trust. It basically makes you put your property on the table as collateral in case the borrower defaults on the loan.

When people default on the loan, the lender is legally able to seize the property and sell it as a “foreclosure” in attempt to regain money they lost from lending to the original borrower.

Another difference between the two is the lender physically holds the promissory note until the loan amount is paid off. A mortgage is part of the county land records and remains at the local clerk’s office.

What are the similarities between the two?

Sometimes the terms in the promissory note are also in the mortgage, like the amount...