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Understanding Home Insurance Coverage

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or someone looking for different home insurance coverage on the house you’re already in, comparison shopping is key to getting the homeowners insurance at a fair price. After all, insurance adds to the monthly cost of home ownership and needs to fit comfortably within your overall budget. Here are some basics for anyone seeking home insurance coverage. If You Have a Mortgage, Home Insurance is a Must When you buy a new house, your lender will require home insurance to complete the loan. As long as your lender holds the title on your home (i.e., until you pay off your mortgage) insurance needs to stay current. You can change providers, but you need to keep your home insurance coverage up to date to protect your lender’s investment. Homeowners Insurance Coverage Basics Insurance policies involve painstaking detail that can leave anyone feeling lost. Here are some…

Personal Finance Habits for Your 50s

After reaching important financial milestones in your 20s, 30s and 40s, things should calm down a bit in your 50s. If you followed good financial practices, you should have sizeable and growing retirement savings, shrinking debt and a clear path to retirement. And if you are off of your ideal plan, be sure to put the right habits in place right away to get yourself on the right track. While you can’t go back in time and change past spending and savings habits, you can start the right habits today. Start with these five personal finance habits for your 50s to get started. Pay Off Non-Mortgage Debt While the average debt for American households overall is on the rise, you should be working hard to fight that statistic for your own family. In your 50s, you should be saving and swelling credit card debt loads can crush those savings rates…

Are You Ready for Home Ownership?

Maybe you still consider home ownership the fastest path to the “American dream.” Maybe you’re fed up with increasing rent rates and think paying a mortgage every month could actually be cheaper. Maybe you think buying a house is the best way to get enough room for your growing family or your best (furry) friend. There are many wonderful reasons to take on home ownership, but just as many to avoid it … at least for now. Trying to decide whether you’re ready to buy a house? If any of these seven bullets apply to you, you should wait before putting in an offer: You Don’t Have Enough Saved for a Down Payment Technically you can purchase a home with much less than the suggested 20 percent down. But you shouldn’t. Primarily because a down payment of less than 20 percent requires the buyer to also pay private mortgage insurance,…

Buying a Home? 5 Steps to Avoid Surprises

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial transaction of your life. With so much on the line, it is important to take the right steps to prepare for the home search and buying process. From figuring out how much home you can afford to signing your closing documents, follow these steps to prepare to buy a home and avoid unpleasant surprises. Calculating Your Home Purchase Budget Before you start looking for homes, it is important to understand how much home you can afford. There is nothing worse than going house hunting, finding a dream home and figuring out you can’t afford it. Rather than set yourself up for disappointment, do the math to figure out what you can afford as the first step of your home buying process. There are two main factors that determine what you can afford, the down payment and the monthly payment. The two are…

Housing Season and the Perfect Home Team

Housing season has officially begun. As anyone in the real estate business will tell you, spring is when most people buy, sell and renovate their homes. Whether you’re in the market, on the market or getting ready to remodel your kitchen, you need a home team you can trust. These tips from SelectQuote Auto & Home will help you pick the right realtor, contractor and mortgage broker for your needs – and save you money in the process. How to Choose a Realtor The purchase or sale of a home is one of the most significant financial decisions you can make. That’s why it is so important to pick a realtor who’s right for you, as opposed to just going with a friend who happens to be in real estate. Here are three criteria to help you find the right realtor for your needs. Use an Actual Realtor. The terms agent, broker…

Mortgage Insurance Versus Term Life Insurance

To anyone in the process of buying a home for their family, the concept of mortgage insurance makes a lot of sense: If something happens to you, your family will have enough coverage to pay off the mortgage. However, it may make more sense to purchase a term life insurance policy instead. In order to compare term life insurance and mortgage insurance, we must first define the two main types of mortgage insurance. The first type is called private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you buy a home with less than 20 percent down, you are usually required by law to have this coverage. PMI protects the lender, not you. Let’s say you default on your home loan. Your PMI will reimburse the lender if he or she is unable to re-sell your home for the amount of your mortgage. Because PMI is expensive, most people cancel it once they’ve paid…

New Year’s Resolutions That Really Pay Off

If you’re tired of making the same New Year’s resolutions every January (and breaking them all by February), then this is the list for you. Not only are these five resolutions easy to keep, they can substantially improve your financial situation – not to mention your health!  Spend Less Than You Make Think about it: You can’t save money if you spend more than you earn. Spending less than you make on a consistent basis is the key to financial fitness and stability. So long as you’re outspending your income, you can forget about increasing your savings, making investments, or reducing your debt. Not only will living within your means give you more options, it will give you peace of mind – and a reprieve from stress. Invest in your health When it comes to your health, spending money now can save you big bucks in the future. Gym memberships,…

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