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The Top Smart Home Products You Should Know About

The Top Smart Home Products You Should Know AboutTechnology has come a long way, and you might be thinking about turning your house into a smart home. Now, there are a lot of smart home products available, and you may have a difficult time keeping track of which ones are best for you. What are some of the top smart home products you need to know about?

A Smart Lock

If you are tired of misplacing your keys, you should consider investing in a smart lock. Smart locks come in many shapes and forms, and many of them allow you to program multiple combinations into them. This means that you can give different combinations to different people, keeping track of who comes into your home based on the combination that is entered. This is particularly helpful if you want to allow your kids to enter the house when you are not home. You may even want to invest in the smart lock that comes with Bluetooth connectivity. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting locked out of your house ever again.

A Video Doorbell

If you don’t want to deal with solicitors anymore, you may want to invest in a video doorbell. With a video doorbell, you can see who is on the other side of your door when he or she rings the doorbell. You can even communicate with these people when you are not home. You can give instructions to food and package delivery personnel, or you can ignore the doorbell if there is someone outside you do not want to talk to.

A Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat can help you save money on your utility expenses. Using a smart thermostat, you can place the HVAC system on a predetermined schedule, ensuring that it does not work as hard when you are not home. A smart thermostat can also give you access to detailed analytics, helping you figure out what you can do to reduce your utility expenses. You can even control your HVAC system remotely when you are not home.

Upgrade Your House With Smart Home Products

These are just a few of the many smart home products that can help you upgrade your standard of living. Consider taking a look at how these products might work with your home.

3 Reasons to Avoid Giving Wrong Information on Your Mortgage Application

3 Reasons to Avoid Giving Wrong Information on Your Mortgage ApplicationA mortgage application is typically several pages in length, and it requires you to provide a considerable amount of information about your personal, professional and financial life. Some mortgage applicants may not have access to all of the information when completing the application, and others may simply skim over the form and provide incomplete answers. These are only a few of the reasons why information on the mortgage application may not be accurate, but there are several key reasons why applicants should avoid giving inaccurate information.

Loan Approval is Based on It

The initial loan application will usualy serve as a basis for the pre-qualification of the mortgage request. The applicant may make a decision to move forward with an offer to purchase a home based on this pre-qualification, but the pre-qualification is based on the accuracy of the information that is initially provided to the lender in the loan application. If the information is incorrect then an applicant may not be able to qualify for the loan and the deal could fall through. 

Information Will Be Verified

The majority of the information that is provided by the applicant in the loan application will be verified at various points throughout the loan process. For example, a credit report may be pulled very early on in the loan process, and it may be used to document the accuracy of the debts and monthly payments that the applicant wrote on the loan application. Tax returns, pay stubs and other related documentation may also be required. Essentially, the lender will eventually have access the accurate data, so there is little benefit to provide inaccurate information up-front on the loan application.

It Is Against the Law

A final reason why it is not advisable to provide inaccurate information on the application is because this is illegal. There is a disclaimer on the standard mortgage application that goes into detail about the law regarding providing false information on a loan application. There are also disclosures that are signed before and during closing that relate to this.

Completing a loan application is among the first steps mortgage applicants take when applying for a loan, and it is easy to overlook the importance of providing accurate and detailed information at this stage in the process. It is best to take time complete the loan application as thoroughly and accurately as possible since it is a legal requirement and because of many other negative consequences. Those who have questions about how a loan application works or who would like to begin the loan application process can reach out to their trusted mortgage professional for assistance.

Understanding The Difference Between A Co-Borrower And A Co-Signer: What Do They Mean?

Understanding The Difference Between A Co-Borrower And A Co-Signer: What Do They Mean?There is a lot of jargon that comes with purchasing a home. Even though this could be confusing, purchasing a home is also a significant decision. Therefore, it is critical for everyone to understand exactly what they are signing before they scribble their name on the dotted line. In some cases, a co-borrower or a co-signer (also called a non-occupying co-borrower) could be needed to strengthen the application. What is the difference between these two terms? 

What Is A Co-Borrower?

First, a co-borrower is simply a co-owner. Both names are on the title of the home. The co-borrower also shares the responsibility of the debt. This arrangement is typically used when two people are purchasing a home together. Usually, the primary borrower is going to be the person with the higher credit score. At the same time, the credit scores of both owners will be taken into consideration. 

What Is A Co-Signer?

Also called a nonoccupying co-borrower, a co-signer is similar to a guarantor. Legally, a cosigner will not have any claim on the home. They will not take possession of the home and their name will not go on the title. On the other hand, they are still financially responsible for paying back the loan. In the event the primary borrower is unable to meet the monthly mortgage payments, the financial responsibility will fall on the co-signer. 

Choose The Right Co-Borrower Or Co-Signer

It is critical for everyone to make sure they choose the right co-signer if they need one. Ideally, a primary borrower will be able to file a successful home application on his or her own. On the other hand, if the bank or credit union says that a co-signer or co-borrower is needed, it is critical to find someone who is reliable and trustworthy. Remember that they are going to be responsible for paying back a loan in the event the primary borrower cannot make the monthly mortgage payments.

3 Easy Ways to Put Aside a Bit of Extra Cash So You Can Pay off Your Mortgage Faster

3 Easy Ways to Put Aside a Bit of Extra Cash So You Can Pay off Your Mortgage Faster If your personal budget is similar to many other people’s budgets, your home mortgage payment is by far the largest expense that you pay for each month. In fact, this payment may easily account for 20 or 25 percent or more of your take-home income.

Understandably, you may be focused on trying to pay this expense off early. By focusing on this payment, you can build equity and may be able to achieve financial security more quickly. You simply have to find a way to put aside a bit of extra cash regularly so that you can make extra payments, and there are few easy ways that you can consider.

Use Your Tax Refund

First, if you are one of the many taxpayers who receives a refund each year, consider setting aside some or all of this refund to reduce your outstanding mortgage balance.

Some taxpayers may have such a sizable refund that it can account for two or more mortgage payments each year. However, even a few hundred dollars extra put toward your principal balance will save you a considerable amount of money in interest charges over time and will have a wonderful effect on your balance.

Earmark Your Annual Bonus

If you are lucky enough to receive an annual bonus each year, you may consider using this to pay down your principal balance. While you may usually spend this money on extra holiday gifts or just add it to your spending cash, you can benefit more substantially when you contribute it to your effort to pay down your mortgage.

Use An Automated Draft To Create a Fund

Another great idea that will work well for all individuals is to create an automated draft from your checking account each month. You may set aside the funds in a special account, and you can make an extra mortgage payment from this account periodically. Another idea is to set up auto payments for your mortgage that are higher than the amount due. For example, you may establish auto payments that are $50 or $100 more than your scheduled payments.

Paying off your mortgage earlier can be a life changing event for you. Simply imagine how different your life would be if you were not responsible for this payment each month. The fact is that this could be your reality sooner than you think if you follow these tips. For the best results, apply two or even all three tips to your efforts.

Buying a Home? 4 Steps You Can Take to Ensure You Start out with a Low Monthly Mortgage Payment

Buying a Home? 4 Steps You Can Take to Ensure You Start out with a Low Monthly Mortgage PaymentAre you thinking about buying a new house or condo? If so, you’ve likely given some thought to your mortgage and as to how you can pay as little as possible in order to own your new home.

Below we’ll share four easy steps that you can take to ensure you start out with an affordable monthly mortgage payment.

Make A Large Down Payment On Your Home

The easiest way to reduce your monthly payment is to invest as much as possible in your down payment. The less you have to borrow, the less you’ll be required to pay back.

If you can put a sizeable amount down on your home you’ll find that your monthly payments are going to be very manageable. You’ll also save a lot of money in interest.

Maintain A High Credit Score

When a lender assesses your financial history they’ll take an in-depth look at your credit score in order to determine how much risk you present to them. If you’ve kept a clean credit rating and have a high score, it’s likely that you will qualify for a lower interest rate than someone with a lower credit score – even if you both have the same monthly income.

Buy A Smaller, More Efficient Home

When you’ve made your short list of homes and you’re scheduling your viewings, ask yourself – do you need a home this big, or this expensive? If you can do with a smaller, more efficient home you can reduce the amount of mortgage financing that you require and this will in turn reduce the amount that you need to pay each month.

Consider A Longer Mortgage Term

Finally, if you need to reduce your monthly payment at any cost you can stretch out your mortgage repayment period by a few years. Note that while this can reduce your payment amount it will actually increase the total amount that you end up paying back as you’ll pay more in interest.

While the above are general tips for reducing your mortgage payment, it’s likely that there are other strategies that are unique to your financial situation. Contact your local mortgage professional at your convenience and they’ll be able to share insights that are relevant to your income, your credit and the price range you’re looking to buy into.

You Ask, We Answer: What is Private Mortgage Insurance or ‘PMI’ and How Does It Work?

You Ask, We Answer: What is Private Mortgage Insurance or 'PMI' and How Does It Work? For many homeowners, their mortgage payment contains more than just principal and interest. A little something called PMI could be representing a significant portion of that payment, and it’s important for home buyers to understand this cost.

What Is PMI?

PMI stands for private mortgage insurance, or sometimes just mortgage insurance. However, it isn’t intended to mitigate risk for the homeowner, but rather the bank.

Statistics show that when a home buyer puts less than 20% down on a home, he/she is much more likely to default. So, requiring these buyers to carry PMI helps the bank hedge their losses in the event of a default.

It’s important to note that the home buyer doesn’t shop for PMI; this is all taken care of by the lender. However, the cost of PMI should be calculated out well before closing to help the home buyer be aware of his/her final mortgage payment.

Who Needs PMI?

Who will need to carry PMI depends on factors like the credit rating of the buyer and the exact mortgage being sought out. However, it’s safe to say that most home buyers with less than a 20% down payment will be required to carry PMI.

Does PMI Ever Go Away?

Eventually, PMI can be removed from a mortgage once enough of the principle has been paid down or enough years have passed.

It’s important for home buyers to fully understand the terms of their PMI requirement. Sometimes, it will be automatically removed once 20% of the house has been paid off, while other times, refinancing may be required.

Should Those Who Cannot Put 20% Down, Not Buy A House To Avoid PMI?

Unfortunately, this is not an easy question to answer. Yes, PMI is an extra cost that needs to be calculated into the cost of the home – but putting off a home purchase isn’t necessarily the right course of action.

For many families, it’s financially challenging to save up 20% of the cost of a home. After all, in 2010, the median home price of new homes sold in America was $221,800. A 20% down payment on such a home would be $44,360.

However, many find that it’s still cheaper, or just financially wiser, to buy a home with PMI than to continue renting. Each potential home buyer should call their real estate professional to get more information about market trends in their area and to decide the appropriate course of action.