Nikki Carter's Blog
Two thirds of American homeowners are somewhere in the process of paying off a mortgage. It may seem like common sense that everyone should try to pay off their mortgage sooner rather than later. However, there are circumstances when it benefits a homeowner more to hold onto their mortgage longer.
In this article, we’ll offer some tips on paying off your mortgage, when you should refinance, and offer some tools that will help you along the long road to debt-free homeownership. If you’re a homeowner and find yourself asking these questions, read on.
I can afford to pay more each month on my mortgage, but should I?
In many cases, paying off your home as quickly as possible saves you money in the long run. A shorter loan term means less interest applied to your loan which could save you thousands of dollars in accrued interest.
What many people don’t think about is whether that money could be better spent elsewhere. If your mortgage interest rate isn’t too high, you might be better off allocating that extra income toward investments or retirement funds where they could earn you more in the long run.
This technique is typically most beneficial for younger homeowners. In your 20s and 30s you stand the most to gain from long-term investments, especially tax-benefitted retirement funds. Ultimately you’ll have to do the math, which is tricky because circumstances change; markets vary, our income goes up and down, etc. However, a good starting place is to determine whether you could earn more in retirement and investments than you could by paying off your mortgage sooner and therefore saving on interest.
I’ve owned my home for a few years now, should I refinance?
One way this can be accomplished is by refinancing to a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage which often darry slightly lower interest rates. This option is designed for people who have improved their credit and increased their income since signing their first mortgage.
Math isn’t my strong suit. How can I figure out my finances?
Use this mortgage calculator for determining how much you would save by making extra payments.
This refinance calculator will help you understand the potential benefits of refinancing your mortgage.
To determine how much you could earn through investments (rather than paying more toward your mortgage) use this helpful tool.
You might be able to increase your savings by creating a better budget for yourself. This website will help you make a detailed budget and hold yourself accountable each month.
118 South Orleans Rd Road , Orleans, MA 02653
American homes have been growing larger for decades. This trend is partly due to personal preference for more space, and partly caused by local laws mandating minimum square-footage of all new properties.
Owning and maintaining a home is a huge expense. Especially if you’re heating and maintaining parts of your home that you don’t really need.
As a result, a growing number of people are renting out parts of their home in various ways. From Airbnb to subletting, and all the way up to renting out their basement as a separate apartment, there are a number of ways you can earn money on your home.
The appeal is obvious. However, there are a number of factors you should consider before renting out part of your home. After all, your home is the place you and your family spend your days and nights, and sometimes the idea of having a stranger in your midst can be frightening to some homeowners.
For others, however, welcoming people into their home is a fun way to meet new people, help someone find affordable housing in a place they otherwise wouldn’t, and earn some extra money.
Know your local laws
It should be noted up front that not everyone can just legally rent out a portion of their home. Whether it is due to local laws, building code requirements, or homeowners association rules, there are a number of reasons you might not be able to rent out part of your home.
Before you consider listing a room or portion of your home, read up on the landlord-tenant laws in your area to make sure you’re comfortable with your legal obligations.
Make the necessary preparations
Renting a room in your home isn’t just a matter of giving someone the key to the front door. You’ll have to plan to install deadbolts, remove doorknobs with inside locking mechanisms, make repairs to the room and any amenities the tenant will have access to and document the state of your home.
Make a clear renter’s agreement
Would it make you uncomfortable to have a dog or cat in your home? Does your home have a smoking policy?
There are a number of things you should think about and add to your renter’s agreement and any online listing you post. This will help you narrow down your renter options and give you a better chance of finding someone right for your home.
Finding a tenant
There are a number of ways you can find people to live in your home. Most homeowners list their spare room or apartment online, but it can also be a good idea to reach out to people you know and trust.
Once you have interested parties, you might want to purchase a background check and determine if you’ll require certain documents (proof of income, credit score, etc.).
There’s a reason you have to do so much paperwork when you rent an apartment--the landlord wants to make sure they are covered in case anything goes wrong.
Before signing an agreement with your new renter, make sure it covers all of the “what-if” scenarios that could happen. There are several sample lease agreements online that you can use as a template.
Furthermore, once the tenant moves in, be sure that your discussions and agreements are documented. If the tenant denies you access to perform a check for pests, make sure you have some documentation that shows this denial.
118 South Orleans Rd Road , Orleans, MA 02653