Do you know if your HELOC is about to reset?

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If you don’t, you should look into this sooner rather than later.     During the housing boom of the mid 2000s many people took out home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) for greater financial flexibility, to have as a safety net, or as a means to avoid property mortgage insurance (PMI) by enabling them to make a 20% down payment on a home purchase.     And why not? Interest rates were very low and the process for getting approved was fairly easy for many consumers.     Many of the HELOCs opened at this time featured an interest-only period of 5,7 or 10 years followed by either a balloon payment at maturity or an amortization period requiring monthly payments of principal and interest.     What this means “in plain … [Read more...]

10 Tips for Real Estate Auctions

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This article originally appeared on HSH.com.   The traditional idea that real estate auctions are only for bargain-basement foreclosures or million-dollar mansions has changed in recent years. These days, all types of homes are sold at auctions.   No matter what type of property you buy at an auction, you need to be aware that you're purchasing "as-is, where-is," without the option of asking the seller to make repairs or wait while you sell your current home, says Fontana Fitzwilson, executive vice president of Williams, Williams and McKissick in Tulsa, Okla.   "Buyers may not always get a bargain at an auction, but auction sellers are often willing to sell at or below market price in exchange for a non-negotiable, non-contingent contract from a highly … [Read more...]

Unscheduled Home Repairs: Are You Financially Prepared?

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By Michele Lerner   No matter how well you maintain your home, it's inevitable that eventually either age or a manmade or natural disaster will damage some part of your property. Whether you need to pay for something as simple as replacing your water heater or as a monumental as installing an entirely new roof, your wallet will be impacted. Developing a plan to be prepared for these financial disasters can minimize the damage.   Financial experts recommend that homeowners set aside from one to three percent of their home value every year to pay for routine maintenance and as a reserve fund for an emergency repair. For a $300,000 home, that means you should have savings of $3,000 to $9,000 that you can access for home projects. You can estimate how much you may need … [Read more...]

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