The best way to end 2023 is with a gift to you!
Just one more payment to save thousands. Sitting at the closing table with buyers-turned-homeowners, it can be an exciting time after a long journey of inspections and financial requests to hand over the keys. The other highlight is when the settlement attorney reminds them that if they make at least one additional mortgage payment toward the principal each year, it can save them thousands of dollars in interest as well as cut that 15 or 30-year mortgage down a few years. Don’t fret if a whole additional mortgage payment seems overwhelming. Any additional funds paid toward the principal will help!
Remember 80 percent. There are different financing types, including cash, and if you used FHA, chances are you have PMI (private mortgage insurance) as part of your monthly mortgage payment. Once your loan-to-value ratio falls below 80 percent of the home’s original appraised value, you can request the PMI to be canceled. Even better news: if the value of your home appreciates prior, you may be able to cancel sooner.
Create a home journal. Think diary, but with a financial benefit. Whether you have lived in your house for one month, one year or a decade, eventually you may decide to sell your house. Most REALTORs® will ask you to share information about the property when it is time to list your house. While Virginia is a “buyer beware” state (well Commonwealth, to be exact), sharing your home’s story is an effective way to bring in the most amount of interested buyers. It can also give them peace-of-mind as they are submitting their offer, which may yield you increased profits. So make sure to keep those receipts and other vital notes as you make improvements to your property.
Fill the gaps. Especially in the wintertime, cold air can seep in through small gaps around windows and doors. Even the smallest amount of air is forcing your heating system to work harder. And the opposite is happening in warm months by pushing your A/C to its limits. Seal and caulk these drafty spaces to insulate your home and make it more energy-efficient. This also puts a little more money in your pocket instead of the heating and cooling bill.