How to Sell a House - Best and Worst Improvements to Make

Here are the best and worst improvements to make when you are preparing to sell your house.
Best Improvement: Clean Up
Cost: Negligible
Give your home a top-to-bottom cleaning or, better yet, hire a pro to do a deep clean. Do it even before you hiring a real estate agent. If you don’t have a regular cleaner, hire

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Your Lifestyle is the Most Important Consideration When Deciding Whether to Rent or Buy a Home

When deciding whether to rent or buy a home the most important criteria to consider is lifestyle.
If you’re traveling a lot, you may not want to be tied down to a house. Even if you tend to stay close to home it’s likely you’ll begin to tire of home maintenance chores within the next decade

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Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Cost

Here are ways you can lower your homeowners insurance costs.
Just as with real estate values, location rules when it comes to homeowners insurance costs.
From the most expensive state to the cheapest, home insurance premiums vary by more than $1,000 per year. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average annual U.S. premium was

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Homeownership: Your Mortgage and Other Financial Goals

If you’re buying a house, never let a mortgage lender tell you what you can afford.
A lender makes more money when you borrow more money. And most lenders don’t really know everything about your finances. They just look at your income and do a quick calculation to tell you what they think you can afford. They

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Mortgage Debt: Before You Buy a Home If FICO Score Not in Top Range

This is a smart home-buying move that can save you big-time money on your mortgage debt if your FICO score is between 700 and 760.
Your FICO credit score plays a major role in determining the interest rate on your mortgage. If your score is 760 or higher, you’re in line for getting the lowest rate. But

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Mortgage Debt: How to Handle the Private Mortgage Insurance if You Don’t Have the 20 Percent Down Payment

Many home buyers when they’re taking on mortgage debt don’t have the full 20 percent down payment that lenders want to see. That means more home buyers are getting stuck paying “Private Mortgage Insurance,” an added monthly charge that protects the lender if you ultimately can’t keep up with your mortgage payments.
Traditionally, lenders would just

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Housing and its Effect on Retirement

When it comes to planning for retirement, there are many, many questions to answer. But to Anna Rappaport there are just three that matter and perhaps one that doesn’t get enough attention: When should you retire? When should you collect Social Security? And what should you do about the equity in your home?
If you get

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Reduce Home Renovation Costs

Reduce your home improvement costs by keeping some useful tips in mind. There are things you can do to realize your renovation goals and save money.
Home Improvement Tips
You can save substantially if you don’t change the structure of your home. Stay within your home’s footprint. If you make structural changes costs go up dramatically.
Focus on

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Housing in Retirement

Retirees have housing issues that all households face and they have unique housing issues that pertain to health care and estate considerations.
The most fundamental housing question is whether to rent or buy. There are factors that always apply to this decision. These include the cost to rent and these costs to buy:
purchase

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Housing Resources

Services
Mortgage Lenders
Visit Smart Hippo to review and rank lenders and compare mortgage rates with rates that other people with similar risk profiles have obtained.
Information
Advice on the Best Neighborhoods
Visit Neighborhoodscout.com to narrow down your house hunt by clicking on the site’s Find tab. You’ll get an interactive map that lets you compare neighborhoods by factors such

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Prepaying Mortgage

An investment perspective of prepaying your mortgage is its “opportunity cost”.
A recent study by several economists published in the Journal of Public Economics found that 38% of households making effort to make extra mortgage payments did not fully take advantage of 401(k) and 403(b) retirement plans at work. For these households their mortgage focus

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Mortgage or Rent

A big housing decision is whether to have a mortgage or rent. There is a tendency to think that your money is being thrown away if you rent. And there is no denying a sense of pride at being a homeowner. Let’s discuss some of the considerations.
You will never borrow money as

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Lower Your Home Maintenance Costs

You can do home maintenance cheaper by combining the use of self-help, informational guides and preventative maintenance to save money on home maintenance.
Look for opportunities to do things yourself that you used to hire out. For example, instead of hiring a lawn maintenance service begin to cut your lawn yourself. In addition to saving money

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Raise Your Deductible to Lower Home Insurance Costs

Raise your deductible to self-insure and get the cheapest insurance you will find.
You are probably reluctant to file a home insurance claim. So why not increase your deductible? By doing so you will reduce your premium and improve your cash flow.
Only insure for the losses you can’t self-insure for. Determine what

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