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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Property Devastation: Don't Let It Mean Financial Devastation

One of the most important questions I should probably get from my clients at loan application would be, "How much homeowners insurance should I get on my home?".  I don't get this question.  As I read the article in my YOU Magazine this month, I wondered why. 

It's more than likely that there are other more pressing questions on my clients minds; interest rate, closing costs, what are closing costs, what amount do I need at closing, but how much insurance coverage is not even on their radar.  

This article is an excellent discussion of WHY it should be at the top of mind when getting your mortgage loan in order.  It's also a great discussion to spur on analysis of how well or how poorly insured we are on other important things: life, auto, disability, health, retirement home, etc.  

Enjoy this great article and click here if you would like to receive YOU Magazine for yourself each month:

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10 Common Errors Home Owners Make When Filing Taxes

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: January 25, 2011
Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary—know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.  Here's 10 "sin's" that will rouse the IRS...

Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes
You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind—that is, you’re not billed for 2010 property taxes until 2011. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.
Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2010, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

FHA Loans vs. Conventional Loans: Which is better?

Conventional loans increasingly slipping away

4-FHA-logoIf you want to know the difference between conventional mortgages and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) financing, the first item up for discussion is typically the cost of each loan.
For instance, the Wall Street Journal tells us that “conforming mortgages, or those that can be bought by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, commonly require higher down payments than FHA loans require. The catch to an FHA-insured loan is that you’ll pay more in fees.”

Later the Journal explains that “borrowers don’t face those costs on a conforming mortgage with 20% down.”
Well, sure, but how realistic is this comparison for most borrowers?