• Pros and cos of getting a reverse mortgage

    A reverse mortgage is a type of loan that allows homeowners to receive payments on their house as opposed to them making payments to the lender. At first glance, this option seems too good to be true. But, before committing to it, there are some nitty-gritty details that people must consider when opting for this type of financing. So, here is some information regarding the pros and cons to consider when getting a reverse mortgage.

    Advantages

    • Multiple options of disbursement
      One of the biggest advantages of opting for reverse mortgages is that you can choose your payment method: whether it is in the form of monthly payouts, or receiving it in bulk.
    • You retain ownership of your home
      As opposed to other mortgages where you have to vacate your house, in a reverse mortgage, you can continue to own and live in your house without any interruptions. It is a great way to improve your immediate finances and is preferable to moving or selling the property.
    • No tax liability
      The payments that you receive as a part of a reverse mortgage are not considered to be taxable by the IRS since it is considered to be a loan advance instead of taxable income.
    • Retirement safety
      These mortgages are actually a great option for retired and senior citizens, since it allows them to have access to funds, which might otherwise be stuck in the form of a fixed asset like a house or a property.

    Disadvantages

    • The property must be occupied
      For properties that have been reverse mortgaged, it is important that it remains occupied at all times. Lenders visit the houses from time to time to verify that the house is occupied throughout the year.
    • Risk of foreclosure
      If you fail to pay your property taxes, HOA fees, homeowners insurance payments, and other costs on time, your house is at a risk of being foreclosed for violation of tax laws.
    • High fees
      When signing up for a reverse mortgage, information you must know is that there are several expenses involved in completing the entire procedure, which may include the mortgage fees, FHA insurance charges, as well as closing costs.
    • Accumulation of interest
      Since there is no monthly payment plan or schedule involved in a reverse mortgage, the amount that you borrow incurs interest over time. As a result of this, one needs to be careful to not default on any payment to avoid accumulating further debt.
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  • 4 basic questions answered about reverse mortgages

    A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows individuals older than 62 to improve their financial well-being. They can convert part of their home equity into lump sum cash, fixed monthly payments, or line of credit, according to their preference. The money can be used to pay for medical bills, in emergencies, or to pay off a mortgage. Here’s what you should know about reverse mortgages in case you’re looking for one.

    How much can you borrow?
    For reverse mortgages, the loan amount can’t exceed the value of the property against which it is borrowed. Federal regulations require lenders to ensure that the loan amount doesn’t exceed the value of the house by structuring the transactions accordingly. Additionally, these regulations state that the owner/borrower is not liable to pay off the balance amount in case it exceeds the property value.

    How are reverse mortgages paid for?
    A reverse mortgage is payable when the borrower sells the house, relocates permanently, or dies. Unlike forward mortgages, reverse mortgages don’t need the borrower to make any monthly payments. They are only liable to pay interest on the money received, which is rolled back into the loan balance. While the owner gets to keep the title to the home, their home equity reduces over the loan tenure.

    Who can take a reverse mortgage?
    This type of loan is ideal for seniors and retirees whose net worth comes mostly from the value of their home. Seniors who don’t qualify for a home equity loan or can’t refinance due to limited cash flow or poor credit can opt for reverse mortgages. Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) for purchase is a reverse mortgage that allows seniors to buy another property. That said, it is complex, and you should study the risk factors before getting one.

    What are the risks associated with reverse mortgages?
    Reverse mortgage scams are not unheard of. Unreputable vendors could offer to help seniors secure reverse mortgages by undertaking house repairs. They don’t provide quality results and get away with the homeowner’s money instead. For spouses living together in a home with only one spouse named as a borrower on a reverse mortgage, the other spouse can lose the home if the borrowing spouse dies first. Besides, reverse mortgage lenders charge fees and closing costs and may also charge mortgage insurance premiums for federally-insured HECMs.

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  • Factors to consider before signing a timeshare contract

    Timeshare is a unique concept that lets vacationers own a fraction of a property anywhere in the world instead of buying or renting the entire property. You simply pay for the duration of the vacation while exploring your favorite destinations. With timeshare, you can own multiple properties in some of the most exotic vacation destinations around the world. It is the most economical way to own a vacation home. You get to enjoy the entire home for the allotted time, but you pay only for a fraction of it ownership and simply share the available space with the co-owners for the rest of the year.

    Here are a few things you must know to make the most out of your timeshare purchase.

    Types of timeshare
    Fractional ownership is the cheapest and easiest way to enjoy accommodation rights to a vacation property without having to outrightly buy it. But you can also check out timeshare resale offers that let you own the entire property for a lower retail value than the market price. Alternatively, you can own the place for a fixed week each year (like for Christmas or Thanksgiving) or opt for floating week ownerships during a season (say summer or winter). A biennial ownership lets you use the property every alternate year if you’re not a frequent traveler. However, these ownerships don’t generate any income and are merely a cost-effective way to partially own a place.

    Charges and fees
    The cost of the property is not the only expense, as you will also have to pay for the maintenance and bear the fees and services chargeable for the duration of the ownership. These costs can easily sum up to a couple of hundred dollars and may cut into your vacation budget, so assess the total cost of ownership of the property. Note that these costs vary depending on the type of timeshare, size of the unit, and the location, among other factors.

    Point-based ownerships
    Popular vacation destinations and resorts also offer a points-based system to let you own a timeshare property if you’re not keen on owning a unit. You can always convert these points to book a suitable unit for a specific period. Plus, you can choose to use all your points at once or split them up and use them to vacation at different destinations at different times of the year.

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  • Top 3 benefits of timeshare ownership

    After months of working tirelessly, everybody deserves a vacation. And one of the best money-saving ways to experience a classy holiday is timeshare ownership. For many good reasons, this is one of the most preferred options in the world today. For example, one is offered enjoyable accommodation facilities in the most desirable holiday destinations across the globe. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of timeshare ownership that you can enjoy.

    Plenty of accommodation options

    When you’re selecting a timeshare, you can choose from a studio apartment to a huge multi-bedroom unit. Many timeshare units are spacious and offer a fully equipped kitchen, living room, and bedroom. And this is not something you’ll easily get if you compare this to hotels. Moreover, you can get these apartments with amazing amenities like hot tubs, entertainment centers, and fireplaces to make your stay memorable. With many options, you’re more likely to feel at home even when you are at the other end of the country.

    Luxury brands at your disposal

    One of the greatest benefits of timeshare is that there are big brands and timeshare resorts across the globe. This means you can own a timeshare unit at any place you desire. Some of the top brands that offer timeshare resorts include Marriott, Hyatt, Disney, Club Casa Dorada, Club Intrawest, Westgate, and Wyndham Resorts. Also, when you’re selecting a hotel or resort brand that you love, you don’t need to worry about the quality of your vacation spaces.

    Great value and flexibility

    Planning even a single vacation in a year can be costly, and last-minute bookings can significantly increase overall expenses. But with timeshare ownership, you don’t need to worry about this since you can book your future vacation at today’s prices. Also, you can rent out your timeshare unit or share it with your friends. There is also the flexibility to decide when and where you want to travel. Since these units belong to a hotel or resort chain, they can swap their units with their hotels at different destinations, and help you explore those places too. But you must know that timeshare owners are required to pay a yearly maintenance fee to enjoy all these benefits.

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  • 3 Questions to Help You Pick the Best Apartment for Rent

    When you are looking at apartments for rent, you either look for a specific type of house and adjust with it or pick an apartment based on the pricing and compromise on amenities. All renters face this dilemma, and being unprepared during an apartment hunt can cause regrets that will last through the entire duration of your stay at the apartment you pick. Some of the essential factors that almost all individuals look for are size, pricing, amenities, pet friendliness, etc. While these may be your immediate needs, you need to analyze some other critical aspects to ensure that you have a comfortable stay in the apartment for a longer duration of time. Here are three questions that you need to ask yourself:

    • What sort of a sleeper are you?
      Each of us has a sleeping pattern. Some of us are light sleepers while others could sleep through all disturbances. You also need to consider your work schedule. If you are looking at apartments for rent, here are some of the most common questions that you need to look at — Which floor you are picking? What kind of locality is it? Is there too much hustle and bustle or is it quiet? Who are your neighbors? Are there many children in the building or are they mostly adults? All of these questions will affect your quality of sleep.
    • Are you new to the area where you are looking at apartments for rent?
      When you are new to a city, you might need to get the lay of the land and ask your friends for some advice as well. In these cases, instead of looking for standalone apartments, you can opt for community housing structures so that you get to be a part of local events, celebrations, make new friends, and most importantly, you do not feel lost or lonely in a new city.
    • Are you someone who enjoys entertaining?
      If you enjoy hosting family and friends, you must look at the floor plan of the apartment because a congested house would be stuffy for you as well as for your guests. In case you are picking a community housing structure, you can also look into the common areas such as dining rooms, pools, clubrooms, etc., among other amenities.

    Most often, we only look at the price and size of an apartment for rent and take it for granted that we can commute comfortably using our own or public transport. Ensure that you factor in the commute time because down the line, commuting should not turn out to be a chore.

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  • A Guide to Low Income Apartments

    Some of the most common terms that you come across when searching for apartments are – Section 8 housing, low-income apartments, affordable housing, etc. While we have heard of these terms frequently, there is more to the meaning of affordable housing. Moreover, one has to meet some qualification parameters to get a low-income apartment. The primary term that one has to be aware of on their low-income housing search is AMI or Area Median Income. It is a measurement that determines the amount of rent that you can afford for an apartment. It is based on the location you live in and other local parameters. The HUD sends out an annual AMI determination report for each region in all counties. Once the median income is determined, all households that earn below 80% of the listed amount are considered as low-income households. Those families with less than 50% of that amount fall under the very low-income category, and those earning less than 30% fall under the extremely low-income category.

    Out of your whole income, your rent amount should not be more than 30% of it. Let’s say the average income is around $80,000 in your area, and you make only $35000 annually; in such a case, you would qualify for low-income apartment rental schemes that will help you and ensure that your rental costs are covered within 30% of your income. However, there are more qualification parameters that one needs to consider. The income cannot be too low or too high above the line. Only people whose income is within the stated parameters will qualify for these schemes.

    One common fear for those who seek out low-income apartments is to how these affordable housing structures look like and what condition are they in. Every developer receives perks in the form of low-income housing tax credits that can help them save on their taxes by setting aside a small percentage of housing units exclusively for low-income families. The developers are required to ensure that the rent stays within the affordable limit at all times, failing which they will lose their tax credits. Some exclusive public housing structures only have low-income apartments for rent. A simple way to hunt down these types of houses is to inquire with the management offices of the different housing developers in your area. They are sure to provide you with the required help.

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  • How to Find an Apartment on a Budget

    Looking for an apartment is a daunting task on any given day. When you are on the hunt for a cheap and affordable house, then finding the right one with the best amenities is even more challenging. It is not easy to take time off and go apartment hunting every single day until you find the right one. Given the time constraints that you have to find apartments, using digital tools can be quite helpful. Let’s say you are looking for apartments under $400, you see a house and discover that it is within your range. However, after you shift, you gradually realize that your home has numerous flaws that make your life difficult. At that point, you not only get frustrated but also lose your sleep over your decision, and then you’re off on another round of apartment hunting. External help can surely come to your rescue while searching for a new apartment. Thanks to the advent of technology, there are lots of websites and other tools available online that make your search for a new apartment easier.

    Most websites have a database-like design, and all that a person has to do is sit and search using keywords like “apartments under $400” or even better, they can use the filter tools to customize their search based on their specifications and needs. First, you need to first the location that you want to search for, and if you have any idea about a particular locality, then starting out there can be highly beneficial. You can pick your budget range so that instead of a specific number or price, you can find a variety of apartments that all fall under $400.

    When you set a budget range like $400, you cannot expect a posh neighborhood or all the best amenities that a luxury apartment has, but you can surely find a decent place that has good structural integrity and some amenities that can help you live comfortably.

    The best tip is that you can start your search for apartments under $400 online. Then, as you find the area or locality with the maximum number of homes, you can do a local search and find better options for a lower price. Being strategic in your apartment hunt can be really fruitful, and can also help to cut down on exhaustion.

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  • Learn About Cheap Mobile Homes

    Mobile homes are popularly called trailers. They refer to prefabricated structures that people originally used as temporary accommodation. However, in recent times, a lot of people prefer manufactured homes, whether it is senior citizens who are living on their retirement funds or young couples who do not wish to lay down their roots in one place. A significant advantage of such properties is that the owner does not have to spend extensively on the maintenance of their property, or pay high taxes.

    Affordability is the key word here. Gone are the days when people thought that living in cheap mobile homes was an option for only the poor. Today mobile homes are specially designed and set amidst rolling hills and green fields. They can have 1-5 bedrooms, there are two or three bathrooms, open floor plans, beautiful kitchen islands, and all of this is in the latest style. Home seekers can look at options ranging from basic narrow structures to double wide spaces. Customization is also possible with the new mobile homes on sale. Walk-in closets, spacious bathtubs, flooring types, blinds, lights, heaters and cabinet finishes, just about everything can be tailor-made to satisfy a customer’s specifications. Owners of mobile homes also have the freedom to move their house, although there is a cost involved in this.

    Cheap mobile homes for seniors are available on sale in several parts of the country. Most of them restrict the age of ownership to people over 55 years. Senior citizens who want to enjoy their retirement in peace and solitude can invest their retirement funds in cheap mobile homes with small yards and scenic views. With minimal maintenance, low cost of purchase, absolutely no property tax, the freedom to paint or remodel at any time, access to amenities like swimming pools and fitness centers, and invitations to participate in community activities, mobile homes undoubtedly attract a lot of people.

    There are single, double, and triple wide mobile homes. Single wide mobile homes range between 600-1200 square feet and come with two bedrooms, one or two bathrooms, a living space, and a kitchen. The price of these cheap mobile homes starts at around $45,000. Double wides have a floor space of at least 2000 square feet and include three bedrooms, two or three bathrooms, a combined kitchen and dining space, living room, and a washing room. It costs around $80,000. With 4500 square feet of space, triple wide mobile homes cost over $100,000 and may even go up to $300,000.

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