Monday, November 25, 2019 / by John Briley
As you make payments against your mortgage, you build equity in your home. This equity can be used to secure future loans, making it easier to refinance your home or cover certain other expenses. Depending on your needs, you might consider taking out a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The question is, which one is the better option for your current situation?
This is actually kind of a tricky question. Let’s look at what the differences are between these two ways of using equity and the situations that each is best for. That should give you a good idea of exactly how well each option fits your needs so you can choose the home equity solution that’s best for you.
What Is a Home Equity Loan?
As the name implies, a home equity loan is a loan that uses the equity you’ve built in your home as collateral. As with other standard loans, when you’re approved for the loan you receive the entire amount of the loan as a lump sum pay ...
Thursday, November 21, 2019 / by John Briley
Thanksgiving is on its way, and for most of us, that means turkey. In recent years, fried turkey has grown significantly in popularity; this has led to a lot more people deciding to pick up a large fryer and try their hand at frying their own at home. Unfortunately, this has led to a sharp increase in fryer-related accidents as well. Nothing can ruin a Thanksgiving faster than fryer incidents that result in burns, fires or other serious problems.
To that end, let’s look at a few ways to keep your turkey-frying adventures safe. Whether you’re a first-time fryer or a seasoned turkey-frying pro, here are some things to keep in mind to help keep your holiday safe.
Picking the Right Fryer
There are a few different options available when it comes to turkey fryers. You can opt for a propane fryer that heats with a burner or an electric fryer that you need to plug in. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure that it has temperature controls so that you can ke ...
Monday, November 18, 2019 / by John Briley
As winter slowly approaches, it is time to give some thought to your homes heating system. While we are fortunate in the Upstate area to not have long periods of bitter cold, the last thing you want as a homeowner is to have your heat go out for a cold snap. If you haven't given it any thought, it is time to get moving before old man winter arrives.
New owners and seasoned owners alike may have little knowledge of home repairs and routine maintenance. There are plenty of easy tasks to complete that will help to improve your heating system's performance during the colder months. Below are some easy DIY items to complete this weekend:
Change your air filters. Your HVAC system will do its best when your filters are regularly replaced. The filter gets dirty over time and will have a harder time filtering the air and allowing your system to breathe. When this happens, the air being pulled through th ...
Thursday, November 14, 2019 / by John Briley
You’ve most likely heard the rule: Save for a 20-percent down payment before you buy a home. The logic behind saving 20 percent is solid, as it shows that you have the financial discipline and stability to save for a long-term goal. It also helps you get favorable rates from lenders.
But there can actually be financial benefits to putting down a small down payment—as low as three percent—rather than parting with so much cash up front, even if you have the money available.
The downsides of a small down payment are pretty well known. You’ll have to pay Private Mortgage Insurance for years, and the lower your down payment, the more you’ll pay. You’ll also be offered a lesser loan amount than borrowers who have a 20-percent down payment, which will eliminate some homes from your search.
The national average for home appreciation is about five percent. The appreciation is independent from your home payment, so whether you ...
Monday, November 11, 2019 / by John Briley
Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:
Low-ball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer. In a seller's market, this tactic is usually a recipe for a rejected offer.
Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
“Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand ...