Martocchia Realtors®'s Blog
Having equity in your home is an incredibly valuable thing. It allows you to borrow against your house and shows that the value of your investment is rising. Equity defined is the difference between your home’s value and the amount you still owe on the home. Equity allows you to move forward with other properties and sell your current one.
As you pay down your mortgage, your equity increases. There is, however, always a risk of an equity slide where values drop a bit. There are a few ways that you can help your home’s equity value to increase faster.
Pay Towards The Principal
The first few years that you’re a homeowner, you’ll be paying a lot towards the interest and only a little towards the principal value of the loan. The quicker you pay down your home loan, the faster you’ll increase the equity of your home. Check your budget and see how much extra you may be able to pay. Then, talk with your lender to see if there are any pre-payment penalties.
Complete Home Improvement Projects
You may not know that many home improvement projects can increase the value of your home substantially. There are many projects that you can complete in your home that won’t break the bank yet will give you a significant return. You can start simple, or think big. Some of the best home improvement projects that will add value to your home include:
- Complete kitchen remodel
- Replacing countertops
- Refinishing cabinets
- Installing new appliances
- Replacing garage doors
- Bathroom remodel
- Putting on addition
- Landscaping renovations
Any of these home improvement projects can add value to your home, bringing the equity value of the home up. Even if you’re not planning on taking out any equity in your home for some time, any improvement projects that you choose to do are beneficial for both you and how your home affects your finances.
Increase The Amount Of Your Downpayment
You can increase the value of a home before you even buy it. If you put the traditional 20% down on a house, you’ll build equity a bit faster than if you put down a lower amount such as 3% or 5%. If you have already purchased your home, you can ask your lender to do what’s called a cash-in refinance. This type of refinance is where you bring cash to the refinancing closing table in order to lower the balance of your mortgage.
Like most Americans, you probably carry some debt. Reaching your dreams such as saving for a down payment or registering for a class takes longer when you're also paying on money you owe. Paying it off might seem daunting when the only way you know is to either make more money or reduce expenses. There are other ways, though, to tackle debt. Here are three.
When using the avalanche method to pay off debt, organize debt by the highest interest rate to the lowest. Any extra funds you can come up with go toward the debt with the highest interest rate until it is paid off. Then, move to the debt with the next highest interest rate. Take the whole payment amount of the first debt and add it to the payment of the second highest debt, paying it much more quickly. As each debt is paid, move to the next highest interest rate until all debt is paid. Proponents of this method believe your debt is paid off faster with the least amount of interest paid.
This popular method to pay off debt focuses on paying off the smallest debts first, then taking that payment and adding it to the payment for the next lowest debt. As you pay each debt, add that payment amount to the next smallest debt's payment. Each time you pay off one debt, the amount you can throw at the subsequent debt increases in the same way a snowball rolling down a hill gets bigger and bigger. Eventually, you can apply the final amount to your last debt and pay it off more quickly. Champions of this method believe paying off smaller debts first provides a psychological boost, encouraging you to stay on track.
Both the avalanche method and the snowball method rely on your coming up with some extra cash in your monthly budget to throw at the first debt. But what if your budget is so tight that you can't add a regular amount to your monthly outgo? The snowflake method is different. Always pay minimums on all your debts, but whenever you have random cash, apply the extra to the smallest bill. So, if you sell something online or if a friend pays you back for dinner from a month ago, apply that extra to your smallest debt. Use birthday money, the five dollars you found in a coat pocket, or your tax refund to pay toward debt. Even though you’re not adding a regular amount to your debt payment, you can still reduce the balance and pay off your debt more quickly than by just making payments.
Reach your dreams
Once you’ve paid off your debt, continue to pay the final payment amount into a savings account toward a down payment or some other goal.
148 Cypress St, Watertown, MA 02472
146 Cypress St, Watertown, MA 02472
Let's face it – if you plan to relocate, you may need to reserve a moving truck. However, many moving truck providers are available, and finding the right one may prove to be a long, arduous process.
Lucky for you, we're here to help you streamline the process of evaluating moving truck companies so that you can make the best possible decision.
Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider before you book a moving truck.
1. How much stuff do I need to move?
If you own a wide range of antiques, books, DVDs and other items, you may need a medium or large moving truck to transport all of your belongings from Point A to Point B. Comparatively, if you rent a studio apartment, you may only need a small moving truck to help you bring your items to your new house.
Take a look at all of your belongings and put together an inventory. Then, you'll be better equipped than ever before to select a moving truck company that provides a vehicle that matches your moving needs.
2. How far do I need to go?
Distance is an important factor to consider as you evaluate moving truck providers, as most of these companies will require you to pay for the fuel costs associated with a moving vehicle.
For example, if you need to move out of state, you may need to account for the cost of renting a moving truck, along with several hundred dollars in fuel charges. Or, if you are moving just down the road from your current address, the fuel costs associated with a moving truck probably will be minimal.
When it comes to determining which moving truck company to use, it pays to look at how these businesses account for fuel expenses. By doing so, you can budget accordingly.
3. How long will it take to complete my move?
In many instances, a moving truck provider will bill you based on how long you keep a vehicle. This means someone who needs a moving truck for just a few hours may pay significantly less than someone who requires a moving vehicle for several days.
Plan ahead for moving day as much as possible. That way, you can find ways to streamline the moving cycle and cut down on the amount of time that you will need a moving truck.
Lastly, if you need help finding the right moving truck company, you may want to consult with a real estate agent. This housing market professional is happy to provide recommendations about various moving truck companies in your area. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can take the guesswork out of buying or selling a house and ensure you can enjoy a seamless move.
Make an informed decision about a moving truck provider – use the aforementioned tips, and you can select a moving truck company that will meet or exceed your expectations.