Are You Paying Too Much in Property Taxes?

If you have a mortgage it is highly likely that your payment includes your property taxes.  The majority of mortgage loans have an escrow account where your payment includes not only the principal (the money you pay to pay back the money you borrowed) and interest (the money you are paying for the privilege of borrowing money), but also money to pay your taxes, insurance, and mortgage insurance. Your total payment is also referred to as your PITI payment (short for principal, interest, taxes, and insurance).

The old saying, out of sight out of mind pops up for me here. Since you pay your real estate property taxes each month you might just throw away your tax bill or not give it a second thought once you have mailed it to your mortgage company to pay.  This could be a costly mistake.

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Do you run out of money before you run out of month?

girl shaking piggy bank upside down

Twenty-nine dollars.  That was it – $29.  That was all I had left in my checking account and I was proud. It was when I first got married.  We had made it through the month and after everything was paid, we had $29 left.  We had paid the mortgage, set aside money for insurance, bought groceries, paid our utilities, had a little money for spending and even saved towards retirement (thanks Dad for teaching me to save early). And we had money left over.  It was a good feeling.

To stay in the black when it comes to your money takes a little work.  That elbow grease is certainly worthwhile.  I look back at the days when I felt rich when I had $29 and wish I spent a little more time these days budgeting and watching every penny so that I could save more.  Seems like money slips through your fingers like water.

Continue reading “Do you run out of money before you run out of month?”

10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (Part 3 – Final Installment)

kid sleeping with teddy bear

I was cruising around Facebook earlier and a Realtor® friend of mine posted that she nearly had a heart attack when driving up to a home inspection today. Her buyer had pulled up in a brand new car (I know she was thinking – clearly he hasn’t read about the 10 Ways to Lose Your Home).  She, and the buyer, will live to see another day as the new car was the buyer’s brother-in-law’s car.

In the last two posts we have learned that if you want to close on your home it is best to stay in your current job, not let your payments fall behind, and not to buy any new cars or furniture.  By now, you are probably catching on that it is best not to change anything in regards to your financial situation when buying a home. Just three more items to discuss before we move on to other topics.

Continue reading “10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (Part 3 – Final Installment)”

10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (Part 2)

car with tires spinning or burning rubber

Don’t tell me what to do. Tell me WHY I shouldn’t do it so I can learn.

 Last post we learned about why quitting your job, buying a new car or using your credit cards can cause you to lose your dream home (if you missed that post, look here).  Now let’s tackle a few more things you don’t want to do if you’re buying a home. Well you shouldn’t do if you actually want to close on that house you have under contract.

Continue reading “10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (Part 2)”

10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (part 1)

10 commandmentsI didn’t come up with the above “10 Commandments of Buying a Home”, but after over 20 years in mortgage lending I agree with these things completely. If you break one of these 10 commandments it is extremely likely that you could lose your dream home. For me, I don’t settle for just knowing what I should or should not do….I want to know WHY. I bet you feel the same way. You want to know why you shouldn’t do the above things.

Here is the WHY behind the WHAT NOT TO DO so you don’t lose your dream home! Continue reading “10 Ways to Lose Your Dream Home (part 1)”