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Don't Leave Home Without...

DontleavehomewithoutPlanning a summer trip is usually focused on what you’ll do, see and experience.  Enjoy it even more by spending a little time before you leave to make sure your home is safe while you're gone.

Consider these suggestions along with your other normal efforts:

  • Tell your neighbors you’ll be out of town and to be aware of any unusual activity.    
  • Notify your alarm company    .
  • Discontinue your postal delivery.
  • Use timers on interior lights to make it appear you’re home as usual.    
  • Don’t make it easy for burglars by leaving messages on voice mail or posting on social networks.    
  • Post on social networks about your vacation after you’ve returned.    
  • Remove the hidden spare keys and give one to a trusted neighbor or friend.    
  • Lock everything, double-check and set the alarm.    
  • Take pictures of your belongings in case you need them.    
  • Disconnect TVs and other equipment in case of unexpected power surges.    
  • Adjust your thermostat.    
  • Arrange for lawn care.    
  • Consider disconnecting the garage door opener.    
  • Put irreplaceable valuables in a safety deposit box.

 It’s nice to go out of town on a well-deserved trip and it’s always nice to get back home…especially when it is just the way you left it.

Real Estate 411

When you’re buying or selling, the obvious source to get your real estate question answered is your agent, but where do you go the rest of the time?  As a homeowner for many years to come, you’ll need reliable help and solid suggestions.

Read more: Real Estate 411

Who's Paying Your Mortgage?

As a homeowner, you obviously pay for your mortgage, but as an investor, your tenant does.  Equity build-up is a significant benefit of mortgaged rental property.  As the investor, collecting rent and paying expenses, the principal amount of the loan is reduced which increases the equity in the property.  Over time, the tenant pays for the property to the benefit of the investor.

Equity build-up occurs with normal amortization as the loan is paid down.  It can be accelerated by making additional contributions to the principal each month along with the normal payment.  Some investors consider this a good use of the cash flow because interest rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposits are much lower than their mortgage rate.

Read more: Who's Paying Your Mortgage?