Five Ways To Lower Your Mortgage Payment
There are two kinds of homebuyers: those for whom the sales price is the main consideration, and those who are mostly concerned with what it will cost them per month. If youve already bought a house, there isnt anything you can do about the sales price. But there may be ways to lower what you shell out monthly.
Want to lower your mortgage payment? Here are a few ways to do it.
Get Rid Of Your Private Mortgage Insurance PMI
"PMI is the lenders banks protection in the event that you default on your primary mortgage and no longer make payments and the home ends up going into foreclosure," said Investopedia. "If the borrower is unable to put down 20 percent or more, or does not have the required funds to do so, then lenders will typically look at the loan as a riskier investment for their balance sheet and will require a PMI payment from the borrower."
That means you end up paying a premium above and beyond your principal, interest, and homeowners insurancecurrently about 1.35 percent. On a 200,000 loan, were talking about 2,350 a year. Remove your PMI, and thats 195 a month in your pocket.
If house prices have been rising in your area, youve been in your home for at least two years, and you think your equity in your home has increased, talk to your lender.
Lower Your PMI
If you cant yet get rid of your PMI, you may be able to lower it.
In January 2015, the government announced lower PMI rates for buyers taking out Federal Housing Administration FHA loans.
"This change is expected to save more than two million FHA homeowners about 900 a year and allow about 250,000 consumers to buy their first homes in the next three years, according to a news >
New homebuyers can take advantage of the lowered PMI; existing homeowners who want to lower their PMI will need to refinance.
Lowering your PMI is far from the only advantage of refinancing. Taking advantage of low rates means you could save substantial dollars on your mortgage payment.
"Depending on loan size, a rate reduction of as little as a half point can save some real money," said Fox Business.
If you are currently paying on a 15-year mortgage, switching to a 30-year loan can save you hundreds of dollars monthly. Check out this comparison calculator to see your particular scenario.
If youre in an area that is declining and cant refinance by traditional means, check out a HARP refinance. "The Home Affordable Refinance Program HARP through the U.S government may be the answer to your financial woes.
According to the HARP fact sheet, if you dont qualify for a conventional refinance, a program through HARP may help lower your mortgage payments through refinancing to a lower rate or a more stable mortgage product," they said
Check out the HARP website for qualification information.
Buy Down Your Rate
If youre just buying a home, your lender may have already talked to you about buying down your rate. If you can swing it, a little more money upfront for a lower interest rate can save you money. Sometimes, your lender might also be able to help you buy down you rate.
"You can typically purchase one discount point for one percent of the cost of your mortgage, with most lenders limiting you to the purchase of three points," according to U.S. Mortgage Calculator. "Each point will reduce your rate by 0.125 to 0.25 percent, for the life of your loan. That can mean some serious savings and a modest reduction in your monthly payment."
Monthly principal and interest on a 300,000 mortgage at a 4.27 percent conventional rate is 1479.34. Buying down the rate by one point to 4.02 percent lowers the payment to and the payment to 1435.70.
Get a Tenant
Have an extra room, preferably one in a private location with its own entry? Take on a roommate or a border and collect some rent.
According to US News, renting is an effective way to solve a cash flow problem. "When people cant afford to buy homes, they rent. More demand means you can get more for your spare room," they said.
To see more advantages, visit US News.
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A Clean Home Is a Happy Home: 5 Self-Cleaning Technologies For Busy Moms
Maintaining a clean and orderly home can seem like an impossible endeavor. Crumbs litter kitchen floors. Baby food and crayons stain clothes. Sticky little hands smudge windows. If youre a busy mom who feels like she cant keep up with her household chores, get some extra help with the following automatic self-cleaning solutions.
Children leave trails of particles practically anywhere that they go. In a home with little ones who drop cereal and make crumbs, vacuuming is essential. Fortunately, we can >
Tough Shower Scrubber
Cleaning a shower can be a nightmare hard water and soap scum dont come off easily. The experts at SC Johnson have created a Scrubbing Bubbles Automatic Shower Cleaner designed to separate cleaning times by 30 days. The dual electronic dispenser mists the entire shower with a penetrating cleaner, eliminating mold, mildew and soap scum. Dirt simply washes away during normal bath time use as the Fresh Clean formula deordorizes the space. And for that monthly big clean, the system is equipped with a booster button for extra cleaning power and built-up grime.
Smart Washer amp; Dryer
Whirlpool rolled out its new Smart Top Load Washer and Dryer designed with smart home functionality, expected to be available this spring. You can increase drying time and save energy by programming your Smart Top Load Dryer to run in EcoBoost mode. Just make sure to set your Nest Learning Thermostat to "Away." The Whirlpool app can direct you to troubleshooting tutorials and customizable downloadable cleaning cycles for laundry that needs extra care e.g. baby clothes and comforters. Youll also use the touchscreen panel to select what and how to wash, a quiet mode and other built-in tech features.
Electronic Pool Pro
You cant escape the chore of pool maintenance for a beautiful landscape. But for an on-the-go household, regular pool cleanings can drop on the priorities list of things to do. Leave it to technology. Pool robo-cleaning devices scrub away debris on the pools floor and walls without the hassle of maneuvering the machine yourself. Check out the aquadynamic design of the Polaris 8350 Sport from In The Swim that offers maximum suction, excellent navigation and a powerful rear water propulsion system for agile cleaning. The Pool Rover S2-40 vacuums leaves, dirt and algae, cleans in one hour and can filter up to 5,000 gallons.
3-Stage, 1-Touch Window Cleaning
Automate your window cleaning with the WinBot by Ecovacs, a home robotic window cleaning system featuring one-touch cleaning, remote control technology and quiet operation. Winbot offers an advanced suction system for high-to-reach spots and laser technology for trusted auto-navigation and optimal cleaning. The three-stage cleaning process produces spotless results by first spraying a cleaning solution, squeegeeing and then applying rear cleaning pads to dry the window, removing streaks and lines.
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Why Rates Remain Deliciously Low
The Mortgage Bankers Association announced in late February that housing is poised for stronger growth in 2015. Yet mortgage interest rates remain low. Should you lock in a rate now or see what happens?
That depends on your tolerance for risk. Despite a positive outlook for the economy, researchers say that worries over global economic weakness continue to attract investors to US Treasuries.
As investments, mortgages compete with treasury bonds. According to researchers, a 30-year fixed rate mortgage has a lifespan of about seven years, making the 10-year Treasury bond the closest comparable investment. Thats why mortgage rates tend to fall when the treasury rate falls, and rise when the rate rises.
Right now, the US economy is continuing on a path of steady growth. In 2014 payrolls grew at the highest rate since 1999. Low oil costs have lowered the import costs of goods and increased cash flow for consumers, which has helped drive economic growth for the past few quarters. All this good news should result in higher interest rates, but the MBA says global economic weakness and political unrest are putting downward pressure on interest rates.
Because oil prices are predicted to remain low for a long time, and the U.S. dollar is getting stronger, the MBA says consumer price inflation will be held to 1.4 percent for 2015. Thats a good thing because inflation is the enemy of mortgage interest rates. If inflation picks up, the government will raise rates on overnight borrowing rates to banks. The result will be higher lending rates to consumers.
In its latest weekly survey, Freddie Mac showed average fixed mortgage rates moved higher amid solid housing data on new home sales and home price appreciation. That said, fixed rates are still near lows not seen since May 2013.
The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage FRM averaged 3.80 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week. Compare that to a year ago when the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 4.37 percent.
Should you lock in? Heck, yeah.
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