For most people, being a homeowner is the ultimate milestone, but is your loan really working for you? Banks are creating new innovative home loan options constantly, and with these tempting offers, it can be easy to slip into a mortgage trap. If you have had your current home loan for a few years, it’s very possible your circumstances or needs (or both) have since changed. You may even be considering completely refinancing your home loan. While your current mortgage may still fit into your budget, you could now be finding that you require some flexibility, or you’re looking to incorporate new features into your home loan that were not available before. Whatever the reason, a home loan repayment calculator can provide great insight into your potential repayments if you refinance. The following are important points to consider when using an online calculator.
Use a Calculator from a Reputable Online Lending Institution
When it comes to making a decision about your home loan, it’s important to know the calculator you’re using provides estimates that incorporate the most up-to-date information on rates and other fluctuating market figures. Use an online calculator provided by a reputable lender or mortgage broker you trust to ensure all estimates are as accurate as possible. Banks must provide clear and honest information, and their mortgage calculators should reflect this.
Be Aware of Hidden Loan Costs
Loan calculators are online tools to help buyers be aware and fully informed of estimated financial repayments to their lenders. There are so many home loan options available, that it is almost impossible for a calculator to offer a precise figure. Most provide estimates on borrowing capacity, loan repayments and even stamp duty, however fail to incorporate other potential hidden fees.
When comparing home loans and researching potential repayments, don’t forget to factor in any upfront and/or ongoing costs that you may incur when you make a loan switch. This can include settlement fees, mortgage registration fees, loan establishment fees and exit fees. Taking this into account will better prepare you for making the change.
The Calculator Is NOT A Broker
Don’t get too carried away using a mortgage calculator online, as it’s easy to take its word as gold. If you’re looking for real advice that fits your real-world situation, talk to a mortgage broker or lending institution for advice tailored to your unique needs. Figures provided by a calculator should be taken as an indication only, and are not indicative of professional advice or quotes. If unsure, talk to an experienced professional.
Reviewing your home loan periodically is a great idea and may be very beneficial for you long-term, especially if you discover a loan that is flexible to your unique needs. Mortgage repayment calculators are fantastic tools for providing insight into potential repayments on other loans, and are useful when comparing. However, if you are seriously considering making a switch, talk to an experienced home loan professional. Being fully informed of all your options and any extra charges ensures you make a knowledgeable decision for the future.
Buying and maintaining a home is an expensive venture. From finding the perfect mortgage with the appropriate fees, to the year round upkeep and maintenance, this “investment” requires a lot of time and capital. That being said, if you do it right, owning a home can be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. Eventually you will presumably own the house debt free, and have made many lasting memories within those four walls.
Most people are going to need to take out a loan to buy a house, but not all companies and loans are the same. Often times too much emphasis is paid on the interest rate, and not enough on all the fees that are tacked on to obtaining a mortgage. For instance, NPBS mortgages online can come with lower fees than your typical brick and mortar lenders. A brick and mortar lender comes with a lot more overhead, and they build that into you loan origination fees.
Homeowners insurance is expensive and complicated. The more your house costs the more the insurance to cover the dwelling will cost. You need to make sure that you look online and shop insurance companies, bounce their rates and fees off each other and don’t just go with the first one you find. One caveat, make sure you purchase enough insurance to cover not only the cost of repairing the house, but to rebuild it from the ground up, this is a common mistake that many homeowners fail to recognize until it’s too late.
Keep an emergency fund on hand for general maintenance throughout the year. Things like your air conditioner, furnace, and water heater are going to go out eventually. I should know, I have had two of the three fail on me in the past couple years and they aren’t cheap replacements. Also, you want to make sure you have annual maintenance done on your appliances. This will insure that they last longer.
Lastly, don’t forget all the extras like lawn maintenance and utility bills! The bigger the piece of property the more lawn and garden there is to maintain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t exactly have a green thumb. I pay a lawn care company weekly to keep up my yard, and while it’s fully worth the price, it can be costly over an entire summer season. Utility bills vary by season and by size of the home. A nice big house can be a great thing, but it will also cost you more to heat and cool it. Keep that in mind when shopping around for a new home!
If you’re taking your very first steps as an online trader then you’ve probably already come across trading platforms, but you may be wondering exactly what they are and how they work. A trading platform is basically a software program enabling users to place futures trades through their broker online. Once upon a time trades had to be done by traders calling their brokers who then called their people on the exchange floor. However online technology now makes it possible to do all of this from behind your laptop. This is how it works…
When you open your account with a commodity broker, you’ll start by downloading their trading platform. Then when you have it downloaded you can log in with your user name and password after which you can view your account and place trades provided you have the necessary funds. As soon as you get online you’ll see for yourself just how quickly and efficiently the platforms work. Most of them are easily navigable and usable, but they may differ in their presentation with variable quotes and charts available from one to the next.
Some platforms for instance offer simple daily charts with limited indicators, while others let you see all the info you could possibly wish for — though maybe too much for some users. You may be able to download some of them for a trial period to trade with play money, which will allow you to get used to the system and see which one is right for you.
When you get stuck into trading you’ll start to work out what suits you best. You should be able to get real time account information whichever platform you opt for. This will give you current positions along with the profit or loss on them all, not to mention your account balance and how much you have available to use for futures margin when you trade. Some brokers like offer free real time quotes on futures and options markets, like Sucden Financial on their Smart platform, which may suit you more if you want all the info. Others only offer them for a fee. Some also let you back test trading strategies, while others have only limited capabilities.
So test drive them all and find out which works for you, so then you can get on with trading and earning a nice profit whichever platform you go with.
Employing a sound investment strategy is mission critical in order to one day retire comfortably. Retirement is something near and dear to my heart, I put in a lot of hours at work and I’d like to reward myself with as many years of a work free life as possible. The sad truth is that many people nearing retirement age do not have adequate savings, which means they have to continue to work for several more years, if not the rest of their lives. By saving and investment your money at an earlier age you can take advantage of dollar cost averaging and compounded interest to really build up your retirements. Just make sure you pay attention to a few simple rules along the way.
First and foremost, take advantage of employer sponsored retirement plans. These could be 401k’s, IRA’s, or some sort of defined pension plan. Regardless of what they offer it is vital that you are contributing (at a minimum) enough of your own money in order to take advantage of any match the employer offers. Even if they don’t offer a match chances are they are paying most of the plans fees, which can still add up. Too often I hear about people who don’t feel they have the ability to save any money, thus losing out on the employer match and the compounded earnings on all of that money.
Diversification is very important to any investing strategy. You know that old saying “don’t put all of your eggs in one basket”, well that applies to your nest egg as well. Make sure you have a blended strategy that takes advantage of cash savings, mutual funds, and blue chip stocks.
Dollar cost averaging can be an investors best friend. Timing the market is just too risky, and quite frankly nobody knows where it’s going to end up each day. A smart investor will continuously invest their money into similar stocks and funds over a period of years. In doing so, you are able to weather the highs and lows of the market since you keep buying more stock at different prices. Some people want to wait on pullbacks, or perhaps sell stock when it’s high. The truth is that nobody knows where a stock price will end up day to day, so your best bet is just investing money at the same time each month.
Regardless of your investing prowess it’s important that you have some sort of strategy employed. Pay attention to the tips above and it will be a huge help in getting you started.
With the housing market looking troublesome and many people still tightening their budgets in the economic recession, finding the best buyers for your house can be tricky. Depending on the type of house you have and the area it’s situated in, it can either be tough to sell your house or it might be snapped up quickly depending on the demand for it and whether people can afford your asking price. Here are a couple of tips to bear in mind if you want your house to be gone before you know it at the best price possible.
1. Prepare Your House
The preparation and presentation of your house is absolutely key for its market value. This doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of pounds fitting it out with fabulous hi-tech features and expensive décor but it’s worth freshening it up a little so that it is clean and appealing. Be sure to de-clutter it of any unnecessary or extremely personal items so that viewers can imagine themselves living there and hopefully feel like they would really want to!
2. Viewing Strategy
Make the property available for viewing at very flexible times as you want to bring people in to see the place at a time that is convenient for them. It’s crucial to have a list of dos and don’ts for when you or your agent is showing people around. Don’t apologise for how the house looks or draw attention to less appealing features. Instead, be patient, give them plenty of time and space and highlight the positive features in a natural way. It’s also worth commenting on areas for potential conversions or extensions to get their imagination flowing and encouraging them to think of making the place their own.
3. Get a Good Agent
A good estate agent is well-practiced at sealing the right deal with potential buyers so the better agent you have, the more likely you are to sell your home quicker. Don’t just go for the agent that charges the lowest fees but choose one that has a great track record of selling homes and one that you feel you can trust. This will make it easier to take their recommendations on the best way to sell your house. A good agent will also have a wealth of knowledge about the competition that you’re up against and will be able to offer you sound advice on a reasonable sale price to set.
4. Consider Your Options
If you’re really struggling, you might have to lower your asking price or postpone selling your house until the market gets better. Other options are selling it to a trusted house buyer like House Buyer Bureau or even putting it on for rent. There are plenty of options that your estate agent would be able to advise to about to take steps in the right direction.