House Buying Hidden Fees – What You Need to Know

It can be costlier to purchase a new home than what you can expect. You can come across many hidden expenses that can add over 10% to your final costs, and you should know about the same and take it into your budget considerations. In case this is your first home purchase after having been in rental units for a long time, the additional expenses of maintenance can be very shocking. Find out about the hidden fees involved before buying a new house.

Mortgage

You should pay for a mortgage deposit and the monthly expenses following it. A mortgage valuation should be conducted to ensure that the property offers enough security for the home loan. Generally, you are expected to pay for the same although a few mortgage agencies offer to cover these expenses today in order to attract new clients. The mortgage arrangement fees frequently charged by brokers or mortgage agencies can be up to 1% of your mortgage, and can be a hefty amount.

Surveys and Conveyancing

Valuations or surveys can be quite costly, and can be more than 1,000 pounds in some cases based on your survey type and property value. The costs of Conveyancing, a legal procedure involved in property purchase that includes Land registry and different types of search fees, can be in the range of 800 – 1,500 pounds and even higher for leasehold properties.

Stamp Duty

It could make you several thousand pounds poorer, as up to 7% of the cost of home purchase. SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) is the tax that you pay while buying a new home. Remember that it is you and not the seller has to bear the stamp duty costs. The cost is calculated exactly similar to how income taxes tend to work.

Insurances

You will need to show a copy of Buildings Insurance to your lender for your new house. Other than this, you have to obtain Contents Insurance for keeping other items in your new home protected. The cost can be as much as 1,000 pounds every year, based on what you are actually insuring, your profession, types of door locks, rebuilding expenses, building material for your home etc.

Service charges

In case you are going to reside in a serviced apartment, you will have to pay a regular service charge. In many cities and towns, you need to pay a yearly fee for keeping your vehicle parked on the street and for purchasing extra permits for guests or visitors to your home.

How to Cut Spending and Reduce Your Cost of Living

Everyday spending quickly adds up – sometimes eclipsing household income. As a result, most consumers share a desire to cut their cost of living. And though each person’s circumstances are unique, tried and true money-saving approaches yield gains for individuals and families of all sizes.

Frugal methods apply to various aspects of personal money management. Under some conditions, cost-cutting targets specific spending, in an effort to trim the cost of a particular item or service. In other cases, frugal philosophies are generalized, extending over widespread household spending decisions. When it comes to reducing your cost of living, each approach is valid, carving-out savings wherever they appear. If you are committed to reduce spending, use the following strategies to cut costs at home.

Change Household Habits to Reduce Spending

When it comes down to it, your personal habits have a tremendous influence on overall household spending. Once you resolve to improve your financial security and maintain a reasonable cost of living, look to your own behavior for savings opportunities. You might be surprised how much money you currently leave on the table.

Find Ways to Conserve – Household waste accounts for financial inefficiency, draining your budget with each ill-conceived spending decision. To make the most of your income, look for ways to conserve resources and reduce waste.

Energy and Utilities – Utility bills represent a significant share of household expenses, so efficient energy use is a hallmark of consistent savings. To get a handle on utility costs, start with the most expensive energy-user in your home, its heating and cooling system. Generating heat requires substantial energy input, so your winter heating bill is among the most expensive costs of living managed during cold weather. Likewise, air-conditioning draws significant electricity, so the cost of cooling your home can rise quickly in the summertime. Increased efficiency starts at the thermostat, where minor adjustments yield sizable gains. Without sacrificing comfort, it is now possible to use programmable thermostats to dial-in heating and cooling needs – even when you are not home to manually change settings.

Gasoline – The price of gas goes up and down, but mindful motoring yields savings, regardless of what it costs to fill your tank. To start saving money on gas, evaluate your current driving habits, with an eye toward efficiency. Do you make frequent short trips, which could be grouped for better fuel efficiency? Do you drive a gas-guzzler, setting you up for high fuel costs? Are ride-sharing opportunities available, to spread the cost of gas between like-minded travelers, headed in the same direction? For consistent fuel savings, plan your travels to avoid wasting gas and save money using public transit or carpooling.

Modify Expensive Behavior – Vices typically come with a price tag attached, so your bad habits may be draining your budget. In addition to the health-related costs of smoking, for instance, cigarettes themselves cost money. If you are a smoker committed to bringing down your cost of living, nixing tobacco provides an immediate source for savings. Similarly, drinking alcohol can be a costly pastime, so giving it up can spark financial gains.

Evaluate ‘Fixed’ Costs – Household spending most often falls into two categories. Discretionary purchases are those informed by a great deal of flexibility, prompting personal preference and consumerism to influence spending. Fixed costs, on the other hand, represent monthly sums owed over time, based upon prior purchasing decisions. Mortgages, car notes and other instalment loan payments typically fall into this category. Although ‘fixed’ by the conditions of each debt, the term can be misleading. These are not immovable sums, so it pays to periodically assess fixed costs, which may be refinanced or renegotiated to reflect better interest rates and repayment conditions. Closing costs and other expenses may cancel-out savings, so each financing opportunity must be evaluated on its own merits.

Household spending falls across wide-ranging consumer segments – each marked by money saving opportunities. If you are serious about reducing your cost of living; conserve, modify and evaluate personal spending. With a discerning eye and disciplined approach, you’ll quickly find “extra” money each month, accelerating your journey to financial security.

Things You Should Know Before Purchasing A Home.

When purchasing a home, all the various rules, the searching, and the financing can make you crazy. Take the time to learn more about real estate to make the best decision possible.

If you are a real estate agent, you should seriously consider sending out cards during the holidays and on anniversaries you share with your clients. If you stay in contact with them, you will be reminding them how much you helped them with the buying or selling of their real estate. Consider reminding them that you are always available to help their friends and relatives purchase their next home, as well.

Do you have children, or do you plan to? If so, you should consider a home that has adequate room for the entire family. Be mindful of safety issues as well, such as swimming pools, other bodies of water close by, and steep stairs in the home. A house that was previously owned by a family with children might feature a lot of built-in safety devices.

The Internet can be your best friend when house hunting, so remember to use the net to check out homes and neighborhoods. Even the smallest towns have information shown for them when you do this. Consider all of the area’s demographics: population, unemployment rate, median salary, the number of households with children and the average age of the residents, before committing to a real estate purchase.

Reduced prices usually go together with lots of repairs and updates. This can be a money-saver in purchasing the home, with the ability to make improvements as time allows. You will be able to design a home that you want to live in, and build equity with every improvement that you make. Try to envision what the house might look like once all the improvements are made rather than dwelling on its current condition. Ignore the surface imperfections and see if your dream home is peeking out from behind a worn facade.

When you decide to purchase a new house, look at the long term potential. You may be child free now, but sometimes people change their minds. So a look at the local schools can’t hurt.

You probably will not be able to find the exact property you want so learn to be flexible. You may not be able to afford the perfect house in the perfect community, but you may be able to afford one or the other. Sometimes the perfect home is not in the perfect neighborhood, or vice versa, being flexible will allow you more choices.

To get the best deal on real estate, do some repair and remodeling work. You’ll have a rapid return on investment, thanks to a little elbow grease. Your value might well rise more than your initial investment.

Buying a new home? Here are some things you should know before you get started. You will be able to avoid the most common pitfalls if you apply these tips during your next real estate transaction. Best of luck with your search, and be sure to enjoy your new house.

Can Banking Kiosks Come to Rescue of Customers in a Hurry?

As the rain pours down and the winds blows every direction, instead of spending your lunch hour in the warmth of your centrally-heated office, you’ve got to go to the bank.So you trudge out into the cold, your umbrella turns inside out immediately, and by the time you arrive at the bank you are a soggy mess.

Can you get your transaction done quickly and return to work in time to dry out and have something to eat within the hour? No chance: the queue is enormous and every single person seems to either have a lengthy problem or wants to pay in the contents of their child’s piggy bank.

Welcome to the world of traditional banking – even though you pay a small fortune in interest charges, you’ve got your mortgage, life and home contents insurance with this bank, you still have to stand in line.

The New and Improved Kiosks

In other parts of the world, there are banks who are more enlightened and tuned in to the needs of their loyal customers. MISYS, the financial software company, says that the Bank of the Philippine Islands (PBI) have recently introduced kiosks called BEA, into their branches and it has revolutionised the queuing system.

You still have to wait, but not as long. You simply key in your account details and what you need done that day into BEA, the system produces a number, and when that number flashes up on the system, you are ready to be served. When your turn comes, the transaction has already been processed: all you do is take the cash if you are withdrawing money or give the money to the cashier to pay in if you are making a deposit.

This method would no doubt be popular with business owners who prefer delivering their money themselves, as it would save them a significant amount of time without having to sacrifice the security of a person-to-person interaction.

Time is Money

Another innovative service using BEA is its appointment system. For those that want to schedule their bank visit in advance, you can arrange an appointment online, get a number, and simply turn up at the bank at the stated time – yet another way to ensure your transaction gets dealt with even faster.

An added bonus about this type of kiosk is that it gives the bank a chance to do some marketing. While you’re waiting for your number the bank can flash up information about their services and products on the big screen, which if you’ve forgotten your phone at the office, you might find yourself browsing to help pass the time.

In the UK there are already self-service kiosks in many bank branches. It’s not the same as the BEA system in the Philippines, but it does speed up the time you spend in the bank.  These kiosks allow you to withdraw cash, pay bills, view transactions, transfer money and deal with direct debits.

Get Money Anytime, Anywhere

The money transfer company Western Union already has payment kiosks in many US cities and also in the United Arab Emirates, which allows their customers to quickly send and receive money all over the world hassle-free. They also have kiosks in various locations – not just outside the bank branch – such as inside supermarkets, hospitals and petrol stations.

Whilst people will still find the need to visit a bank branch, customers today are demanding a better customer service experience and if they don’t get it they will go elsewhere. Nobody wants to spend more time than they have to in the bank and kiosks provide an efficient alternative to traditional cashier desks.

Time is Money, so Let’s Not Waste It

The use of kiosks also enables bank staff to give a more personal service as they can concentrate on customers who want their personal attention, as people in a hurry or with no need to speak to a cashier can use the kiosks for their everyday transactions.

Going back to the MISYS article mentioned earlier, it also points out that kiosks are a cheaper to run and transactions are more accurate as the human error factor has been eliminated.

Branches in the future should be places where technology and traditional methods of dealing with customers flow seamlessly and kiosks will definitely provide customers with a better service.

Seller Tips: How To Make Your Home Irresistible

Your net worth is most likely made up of the real estate you own. Therefore, you must ensure you get the ultimate deal when it is time to sell. In the following paragraphs, you’ll find tips that will make selling your property a little less overwhelming, and a lot more profitable.
 
Empty your home, as much as possible, before showing it. When you keep your home open and airy for prospective buyers, it makes it easier for them to imagine their own furnishings in the space. Additionally, if you pack and store a lot of your belongings in advance, it will be easier to vacate when the time comes.
 
Little kitchen updates can create big returns with the appeal and value of your home. You may want to think about updating one appliance to update the look. Add hanging storage or a new fixture to make your kitchen look more modern. Replacing the cabinets is costly, so give thought to refinishing or refacing instead.
 
Have your heating and air conditioning serviced before putting your home on the market to make sure everything is in good working order. Buyers will shy away from a home with a damaged AC unit.
 
Seasons influence the housing market in certain areas. Fall decorations can make your home appear more welcoming to prospective buyers. Also attend to seasonal considerations such as keeping fallen leaves from littering the yard.
 
Don’t be afraid to get into a bidding war, because it may be your best option for selling high. Setting a listing price that is competitive for the neighborhood in which the home is, will likely bring many interested buyers to your home. In the end, having different buyers bid on your house will result in a much higher profit for you.
 
Clean windows inside and out to give your home a fresh, updated feel. The natural sunlight really opens up dark spaces, and clean windows can hide the fact that the actual hardware may be a little outdated. Potential buyers won’t directly notice that you scrubbed down the windows, but they will subconsciously feel the difference.
 
Do not limit yourself to only one search avenue when selling real estate. If you use industry professionals, newspaper listings and online resources, you will stand the best chance of reaching a broad buyers market to sell your own property. The idea is to sell in a timely fashion and for a good price, so considering multiple avenues for outreach to local area buyers is in your best interest.
 
When you decide to sell your home, make sure you carefully choose a real estate agent you can trust. Selling and buying of properties are very important transactions and can be very complicated, so be sure that the agent you link up with knows the real estate business very well and can explain it to you easily. Use an agent that has a good reputation to make sure your sale goes smoothly and to help you understand what is going on.
 
Selling real estate is a challenge. What makes it especially hard for the novice is the fact that real estate sales are rare in person’s lifetime. Any transaction involving real estate can be risky, most especially if not done properly. With some luck, you’ll be able to maximize your profits and minimize risks by following the advice in this article.

Smart Tips For Securing A Home Mortgage – Part 2

You should learn as much as you can about the type of mortgage you will need. There is more than one kind of home loan. Understanding their differences makes it simpler to figure out what you really need. Consult your lender regarding your personal mortgage options.
 
Think beyond banks in terms of mortgage opportunities. For instance, your family might help you out, even if it’s just with a down payment. Check the credit unions for some better rates on your loan. Make sure you carefully consider every option available to you.
 
You need to fully understand how much you will be spending on mortgage payments and other fees before entering a mortgage agreement. Expect to spend money on closing costs, commissions fees and other expenses. You may be able to negotiate with the lender or the seller to reduce the closing costs.
 
If you don’t mind paying more on your mortgage payment, consider taking out a 15 or 20 year loan instead. With the shorter loan term you get reduced interest rates that allow you to pay it down much quicker. Over time, though, you will save a great deal as opposed to using a 30-year mortgage.
 
If your credit score isn’t ideal, save up extra so you can make a bigger down payment. While most home buyers make a three to five percent down payment, you may need to increase your down payment to twenty percent to guarantee approval for a mortgage.
 
There are several factors to consider when mortgage shopping. Obviously, a good interest rate is where you want to start. Also, take note of the wide variety of loans available to you. From closing costs to requirements for down payment amounts, there is a lot to consider.
 
Think about getting a loan that permits bi-weekly payments. This will let you make an additional two payments every year and reduce your overall interest. It’s also ideal if you’re getting income every other week so that you can just get the payment taken from your bank.
 
Set a solid relationship with your bank or lender in the year preceding applying for a mortgage loan. Take a loan out for a small purchase, such as furniture, and then pay it off in full before you apply. This places you in a better situation with them beforehand.
 
Move on to another lender if you are denied. Avoid making any changes. It’s very possible that there’s nothing wrong with your paperwork. Unlike in the past, some of today’s home lender’s are rather picky. The next lender might think you’re a low risk and take a chance on you.
 
Better Business Bureau is a good place to check out a mortgage broker before you make your final choice. Brokers that are out there to rip people off may try to make you pay fees that are too high or just generally rip you off to make money. Avoid lenders who charge excessive points and high fees.
 
Getting a new home is something to be proud of. But, the road to home ownership often comes with obtaining a mortgage. Because of this many people are afraid to take the first step toward home ownership. Take what you have learned here to get yourself ahead of the pack in the world of home mortgages.

Smart Tips For Securing A Home Mortgage – Part 1

Most people must take out a loan in order to own their own home. They are confusing sometimes, especially if you do not have enough information. Go to the bank prepared with the knowledge you need about mortgages by reading this article. You will certainly benefit from all of the great information below.
 
Start preparing for home ownership months before you are ready to buy. Buying a home is a long-term goal that requires tending to your personal finances immediately. This means building upon your savings and organizing your debts. Lack of preparation could prevent you from being able to purchase a home.
 
Before you try to get a loan, consider your credit score and make sure you do what you can to make sure it’s good. In 2013 they have made it a lot harder to get credit and to measure up to their standards, so you have to get things in order with your credit so that you can get great mortgage terms.
 
Always talk openly with your mortgage lender, no matter your situation. There are far too many people who give up and do nothing when they’re underwater with their loan. The smart thing to do is call the lender to renegotiate the terms. Instead, be honest with your lender to see if there are any options available.
 
Now is the time to try refinancing your home even if you are upside down on the mortgage. The federal HARP initiative has been adjusted to permit more people to refinance when underwater. Speak to a lender now since many are open to Harp refinance options. There are many lenders out there who will negotiate with you even if your current lender will not.
 
Make sure you aren’t paying any more than 30 percent of your salary on your loan. Paying too much of your income on your mortgage can lead to problems should you run into financial difficulties. Manageable payments are good for your budget.
 
If your loan is denied, don’t give up. Just try with another lender. Every lender has different criteria that you need to satisfy to qualify. This means that it can make sense to apply at several places to get optimal results.
 
Locate the lowest rate for interest you can find. The bank’s goal is to get you to pay a very high interest rate. Do not be their next victim. Take the time to compare the interest rates offered by different banks.
 
Go through your loan documents and make sure you understand every fee. This should have all of the closing costs as well as any other fees. If the company isn’t honest or forthcoming, they aren’t the one for you.
 
Before you apply to any mortgage lender, cheek around for rates from several different sources. Know what these lenders are all about, and check with family and friends to get a good picture on what they will charge you. After you have all the information, you can make a smart choice.

8 Best Tips For Selling Your Home Fast

If you are a property owner, it will be representative of quite a bit of your financial worth. Because of this, when you make the decision to sell it, you must seek the highest selling price you can possibly obtain for your property. Increase your profit potential while alleviating the stress and worry of real estate sales, by following the wise advice in the following article.
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]If you’re selling your home, you can make it more appealing to potential buyers with the addition of some energy-efficient products. These additions can be very economical like LED light bulbs or they can be more costly like energy monitors. Choose additions with high energy ratings and you’ll capture the potential buyer’s interest.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Put your home on the market for a reasonable price. Look for recent home sales in the area you live that are comparable to your home. Set a price that is somewhere around the average of these sales. If you set your price too high, you may have to reduce the price of it.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Even if you still need to remain in your home, empty out as much contents as possible. Potential buyers have to mentally put themselves in the home in order to seriously consider buying it. Of course, doing this also makes it easier to pack once it comes time to move.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Just doing small updates to your kitchen can have a big impact on the value of your home. You may want to think about updating one appliance to update the look. A wood block center island with a hanging storage rack is a very popular kitchen upgrade. Instead of changing out old kitchen cabinets, consider giving them a fresh coat of paint.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Have your furnace and air conditioner serviced before listing a home. Typically, buyers don’t like purchasing a house that requires having to spend lots of money on having to purchase a new furnace. Therefore, if your AC and heater are in good working order, this appeals to possible buyers more.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]You should always maintain a list of facts that prospective buyers may want to know about your home. Create a list of all the contractors who have worked on the house and all the work they’ve completed. Doing this will allow potential buyers to see how much effort was put into maintaining the property while you owned it.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Housing markets are season-driven in many areas of the country. Take advantage of seasonal colors and decorations in order to make your house feel cozy and comfortable. Rake your leaves if you’re selling your home in late autumn.[/list]
 
[list icon=”moon-arrow-right-7″ color=”#330066″]Sometimes creating competitive bidding wars can really pay off. If you set the price a little below average, potential buyers may just start to bid on it. Of course, as more people bid and become invested in your home, the true bidding war can begin. A bidding war between multiple buyers could result in a higher selling price for you.[/list]
 
If you are like most people and do not have a significant amount of experience in real estate, venturing into the market can feel confusing and frustrating. You will need to minimize your risk by becoming properly informed about selling your home. Hopefully, this article’s advice will reduce errors so you can make the best sale possible.