Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for you?

Seniors are living longer than ever before. Medical advances and a focus on healthy living have dramatically improved longevity, but living longer presents a complication: the potential to outlive savings.
Older adults often do not anticipate the high costs of health and long-term care, or the uncertainty of Social Security and Medicare. As a result, many are exploring reverse mortgage loans.A reverse mortgage, also referred to as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), enables homeowners 62-years and older to convert part of their home equity into tax-free cash.
If you or a family member are considering a reverse mortgage, it’s important to first evaluate the following:

Loan fees: Borrowers are tasked with paying upfront mortgage insurance, origination fees and closing costs. It’s critical for seniors to read the fine print and understand the fees they’re paying.
Taxes and insurance: With a reverse mortgage, seniors borrow money against the equity of their homes and are not required to make loan payments. However, they still must pay property taxes and homeowners insurance, or they risk foreclosure.
Home maintenance: Seniors are responsible for home maintenance, but cannot take out a home equity loan or second mortgage to cover repairs.
Home equity: The borrower’s home equity is reduced by the amount of the reverse mortgage. The estate will receive whatever equity hasn’t been borrowed.
Loan repayment terms: The loan is due when the borrower sells the home, lives away from the home for 12 consecutive months, fails to pay property taxes or insurance, or passes away. The principal, interest and closing costs are repaid from the proceeds of the sale of the house. If the heirs elect not to sell, the money is paid from the estate.

To obtain a reverse mortgage, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requires seniors to undergo reverse mortgage counselingfrom an approved third-party organization.
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How to get Out of a Timeshare

Timeshares can be a convenient, cost-effective vacation option. But as your life changes, you may find yourself making payments on a timeshare you never use and you’d probably rather be rid of it. Getting rid of a timeshare, however, may turn out to be more complex than you anticipate. Take a look at these tips for getting rid of a timeshare, as well as red flags you need to watch for during the process.
Determine Its Value- Check out dedicated timeshare websites such as RedWeek or Sharket to research the value of your timeshare. Keep in mind that current asking price doesn’t guarantee you will be able to sell for that price.Find an Agent Who Specializes in Timeshares- Even if you have a real estate agent who has helped you buy or sell your home, you’ll want to find an agent who specializes in timeshares. Ideally, it should also be someone who knows the resort well. Visit the Licensed Timeshare Resale broker Association website to find a qualified agent.
Check into Buyback Programs- Many timeshare resorts have buyback programs in place. If yours does, it’s likely the easiest, most straightforward way to get out from under your timeshare. Even if they don’t have a formal buyback process in place, it’s worth asking the resort if they will take over your timeshare. 
Sell it Yourself- You also have the option of selling your timeshare yourself on RedWeek or eBay. Use photos that highlight the unit’s unique features and be sure to write a thorough description that answers common questions. 
Rent Out the Unit- Selling your timeshare is just one option. You can also rent it out to cover the costs. You’ll probably have an easier time finding renters than a buyer, especially if your timeshare is in a high demand area. 
Give it to Family, Friends or Charity- If you’re having trouble selling your unit, you can try giving it away. You won’t make back any money, but you will at least be out from under paying monthly and annual fees. Be aware that not all charities accept timeshare donations; you might have to do some research to find the ones that do. 
Beware of Scams- As with most financial transactions, selling a timeshare comes with its own set of scams to look out for. Be wary of mailer or phone calls claiming to have an immediate buyer for your unit – provided you pay hefty upfront fees. There is, of course, no buyer. And you could be out thousands of dollars and have little chance of recovery.

How to Spot Work-From-Home Scams

The idea of working from home is certainly appealing, which is why it is the perfect environment to breed schemes and scams designed to drain your bank account and steal your identity. That’s not to say there aren’t legitimate opportunities to work at home, but have you done your research and know how to spot the scams masquerading as opportunities?  Here are several things that may indicate a work-from home scam:
A Lot of Money for A Little Work- The old adage- if it seems too good to be true, it probably is- definitely applies to work from home scams. If an ad promises you to make thousands of dollars a month in your spare time- pass it by and keep looking.
You Have to Pay for Training or Equipment- If the employer presents you with an ‘opportunity’ that involves you paying for equipment and or training up front, there is a good chance it is a scam. Legitimate employers will provide you with the tools and training you need to get the job done, at no cost to you.Unsolicited Job Offers- If you received a job offer for a work from home position you haven’t applied for, think twice before responding. Chances are it is a phishing scam designed to you to hand over personal employment data such as date of birth and Social Security Number.
High- Pressure Timelines- When it comes to work from home jobs, the words “limited time offer” should raise a red flag. If an employer is pressuring you to make an immediate decision or telling you there is only one spot left, it is probably not a legitimate opportunity.
Reluctance to Answer Questions- If a prospective employer is unwilling to answer your questions or offer vague responses with little detain, end the discussion and move on. A legitimate business will have no problem answering questions and offering as much information as you need to make a decision.
Before agreeing to any work from home opportunity, research the company with your local Better Business Bureau and the state Attorney General. If you think you have spotted or been a victim of a work from home scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission.
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10 tips to Save on Thanksgiving Dinner

If you have ever hosted Thanksgiving for friends and family, then you know how easy it is for costs to spiral out of control. Turkeys, pies, casseroles and cakes can all add up to an enormous grocery bill. And if you decide to decorate, well… you see where this is going. It can get expensive. 
To help you out this Thanksgiving, here are 10 tips for saving money. 

Make a list- It is easy to overspend when shopping for a much anticipated holiday dinner. make a list of what you need and exactly how much, and be sure to stick to it when you are in the store. 
Don’t forget store promotions and coupons- Keep an eye out for special coupons and promotions around Thanksgiving. Some stores offer a free turkey if you spend a certain amount of money.
Know price matching policies- Find out if there are any stores nearby that will match advertised prices from competitors. Do the bulk of your shopping there – just don’t forget to bring your coupons.
Choose one meat- For many, turkey is obligatory on Thanksgiving. What isn’t essential, however, is ham, lamb, and prime rip. Save money by simply choosing turkey or another type of meat for your families feast. 
Buy the right amount of meat- Consider one pound per person. If you want some leftovers, calculate more than 1 pound per person. Also, remember that if you load up on side dishes, you can probably get away with less turkey.
Consider a frozen turkey- Buy a frozen turkey, and you could save 30-40% more than you would if you bought a fresh one. Just be sure to follow through with the necessary preparation. You will need 3-5 days to let it thaw. 
Balance your side dishes and deserts- Whipping up a bowl of mashed potatoes is cheaper than cooking a seven-layer sweet potato casserole. Serve the essentials (green beans, stuffing, and cranberry sauce), and go light on the most expensive dishes that require several ingredients. Of course desert is just as important as the dinner itself. Luckily, pumpkin pie and cookies are a crowd pleaser, and they are inexpensive to bake. 
Be smart about beverages- Visit a wholesale liquor store, and take advantage of sales. Don’t overlook boxed wine either – on average, one box of wine is equivalent to four bottles. Boxed wine often costs $20 or less, which is equivalent price for $5 per bottle. Serve it in a decanter, and no one will ever know the difference. For the non-alcoholic drinkers and little ones, serve coffee, tea or Kool-Aid, which are all cheaper than serving soda. 
Have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Dish) party- Asking friends and family to bring a dish is a great way to mix things up. Plus, it relieves some of the meal’s financial burden on the host. One way to go about this is asking guests to bring a type of dish, rather than a specific one. For example, you can suggest that some guests bring appitizers, while other contribute side dishes or desserts. Of course, there is no shame in asking a guest to bring their legendary apple strudel, either. 
Use DIY decorations- If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll inevitably want to decorate. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to splurge on decor. Instead, make use of everyday items in your home or shop at the dollar store. Consider using drinking glasses as candle holders, or dress up a pitcher with a simple cloth napkin. Also, go outside- there are plenty of red and orange leaves and acorns in the backyard. 

Money-Saving Tips for Renters

Whether you are rending your first apartment, renting while saving up for a home or simply prefer the convenience and freedom of renting where you live, you are in good company. According to the National Multifamily Housing Council, more than 100.8 million American Households rent their primary residence. If you are among that group, check out these money-saving tips for renters:
Negotiate- Before you sign a lease, see if the landlord is willing to negotiate the monthly rent. Quite often, committing to a longer lease (12 months vs 6 months, for example) can be enough to get rent reduced. If they are absolutely not willing to budge on the monthly rent, ask if there is a chance to receive free utilities, additional storage space or garage parking.Split the Costs- One tried-and-true method to reduce rental costs is to split them with a roommate (or two). Having roommates can yield huge cost savings, but it wont be worth it if you have completely dissimilar lifestyles or different expectations of the roommate partnership. Interview potential roommates much the same way you would interview job applicants, including asking for references from past roommates and landlords. Also be sure to check the terms of your lease to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum number of residents allowed.
DIY Décor- Since any rental situation is ultimately temporary, you don’t want to spend a fortune decorating your place- and you don’t have to. Check Pinterest for easy and cool decorating ideas you can replicate for next-to-nothing. Keep any eye out on Craigslist and Facebook for freebie hand-me-downs and scout local thrift stores for deals on furniture, wall art and knick-knacks. Sometimes all it takes is some sandpaper, spray paint and a Saturday afternoon to transform cheap finds into one-of-a-kind treasures.
Get Renter’s Insurance- While it is an additional monthly expense, it is a small one, and well worth it. In fact, many landlords now require proof of renters insurance before allowing a renter to even sign a lease. According to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, the average cost is only $12 a month for $30k of property coverage and $100k of liability coverage- That is just $144 per year. It is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Take Advantage of Amenities- Whatever you can do or get as part of your monthly rent, stop paying for it elsewhere. For example, if your complex has workout facilities and/or a pool, quit paying for a gym membership and use the one in the community instead. If they host movie nights, pizza parties or other community activities, attend those and skip spending the money on a night out.
Refer Friends- Check to see if your complex offers renters credits for bringing in qualified new renters and if they do, start referring friends! You will not only get a nice break on rent, you will start to build a community of people you already know and like.
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Getting a Loan for an Investment Property has Become easy for Individuals with an Unstable Job

Getting a loan for investment property has become easy for individuals with unstable job
People with unstable jobs face a lot of difficulties to get their loan approved for rental property or purchasing a new home. Their proof income is not strong enough to get their loans sanctioned. Thanks to the new investor loan program that doesn’t ask for any income proof of the investor. Here is your chance to bag the loan for your property.
Don’t you wish to have your own home? Does the dream of having your own home fades away due to your low income and poor job stability and the huge repayment loan plans? You don’t have to worry anymore regarding the approval of your loan for investment property. The new Investor Loan program gives you ample opportunities to either rent a home or purchase a new one without the need to show your proof of income or submitting your tax returns.Get your loan approved within 3 business days
Buying a new home or investing in a rental property has become an easy and less challenging task due to the easy availability of the investment property loans. Your loan gets sanctioned within 72 hours time and you don’t have to undergo the time consuming and the complicated conventional underwriting and also submit the tax returns of the current two years.
The loan program is beneficial for those with unstable jobs
The new loan for investment property program has proved to be beneficial for all those individuals who don’t have a stable job and are unable to provide any definite tax documents but still wish to get a good rental property or purchase a home. There are no heaps of paperwork and you don’t even have to stand in queue for hours to get your loans approved.
What are the requirements?
There are certain necessary requirements that you need to abide by in order to get loan for investment property. They are:

The FICO score should be at least 600.
30 % down payment must be initiated.
Refinancing also requires 30% equity payment
The property should be occupied by a non-owner.

No proof of income and work history required
The best part about the loan for investment property is that they will provide you with a minimum loan of around $125,000 million and the upper range limit is $3 million. Isn’t this a huge amount for a loan to get sanctioned for investing in real estate property? Your work history, job stability, current salary and tax returns will not be asked for the loan approval.
The whole context of the investment properties loans can be handled efficiently and in a more organized manner by a trusted and reputed service provider, Your loan will get approved quickly without any hassles.
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Easy Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Summer

Summer is officially here. You have probably gotten yourself ready with a new swimsuit, sunglasses and a stockpile of sunscreen, but what about your home? If you haven’t already, it is not too late to prepare it for the warmer months to come. Here are several easy, money saving tips to get your home ready for summer.
Service Your AC- Keeping your home cool and comfortable starts by keeping your air conditioning in tip-top shape. Paying for an inspection and routine maintenance now will save you from a breakdown and expensive repairs later. Help ensure it runs smoothly all summer by regularly clearing away leaves and other debris from the outdoor unit and changing all air filters in the house monthly (this is a good habit to have year round).Repair and Prevent Water Damage- A wetter-than- normal winter and spring in many parts of the country means your home could have water damage you don’t know about. Start by checking the foundation for cracks and leaks; also check the gutters for damage or low spots that could allow water to pool. Check the downspouts, too. Be sure they are pointing away from the home and keep them free of debris throughout the summer to ensure they function correctly.
Set Up a Clothesline- Using the dryer during the summer causes a double hit to our utility bill, both for running the dryer itself and having to cool down the heat it generates in the house. Take advantage of abundant summer sunlight and hang clothes and linens outside to dry. You will probably save energy and they will smell fresh and clean.
Fix or Replace Screens- Check window screens and screen doors for damage and repair or replace them if needed. This not only lets you enjoy cool morning and evening breezes, it helps keep out summertime pests like mosquitoes. Be sure to check the screen frames, too and if they are bent or warped, replace them to ensure a snug fit.
Find and Fix All cracks and Leaks- Carefully check around all windows, doors, light switches and outlets for any small cracks or leaks and use caulk or foam to seal any that you find. Doing so keeps your cool air from escaping and is another important step to keeping the summer pests out.
Fire Up the Grill-  Whether you use a charcoal or gas grill, ensure it is in good working order and clean as a whistle before using it the first time. Grilling food outside during the summer isn’t just a tasty tradition, it can actually help save on cooling costs since you are not heating up the kitchen by using the stovetop every night.