Paying Rent And Mortgages With A Credit Card

Using a credit card for mortgage or rent

When people purchase a house, they usually set up their mortgage payments as a direct draft out of a checking account. The same is typically true of rent payments; however, many people have wondered if there was another way to pay rent or mortgage. After all, there are credit cards out there that have fantastic rewards. It would be great to take advantage of these rewards by placing rent and mortgage payments on a card.

Sadly, there is no way to pay rent or mortgage with a credit card without a fee. There are bank interchange fees that would lead to a surcharge for banks and landlords. This prevents them from readily accepting credit cards without a fee. What if there was a better way?

Possibilities For Credit Card Payments

It is rare to find an apartment complex that accepts a credit card. It is even harder to find a bank that does this. It is helpful to ask about the different ways to pay rents and mortgages when talking to banks and landlords. It can be helpful to do the math on any fees that are charged and compare them to rewards. For example, if a credit card gives five percent cash back on rotating categories, it might be beneficial to take advantage of this five percent back and pay a two percent fee to use the card. This would still net three percent in savings.

Using Third-Party Payment Options

There are also third-party service providers that will allow someone to pay nearly any bill online with a debit or credit card. This includes rent and mortgage payments. These third-party sites still charge fees. Sometimes, it is a flat rate. Other times, it is a percentage of the total.

When To Use Credit And Debit Cards

The most appropriate time to use a credit or debit card to pay this bill is when a minimum spending requirement is needed to trigger a significant bonus. For example, if a card requires someone to spend $5,000 to trigger a bonus, it is easier to reach this number by using the card to pay rent. Otherwise, it is better to calculate the fee versus and points and see which option makes the most sense.

More Than 25% Of Millennial Homebuyers May Be Financially Unprepared

More Than 25% Of Millennial Homebuyers May Be Financially UnpreparedMillennials are the first generation in America that will probably not be able to do as well as their parents. In the United States, there is not as much upward mobility as there was in the past. What is the cause of this?

CNN reports that Millennials have more college degrees than their parents. They also have an enormous amount of student loan debt. Many millennials have lower-paying jobs than their parents had at the same age when adjusted for inflation. Spending patterns changed as well, due to the high cost of living.

Finding The Money

Saving is not easy. The net worth of Americans, who are from 18 to 35 years old, decreased by 34% since 1996. Even though millennials are financially savvy, the 2008 global financial crisis made it difficult to find jobs and made saving for many nearly impossible. Those who have been able to put aside some money in the last ten years are lucky if they have $8,000 in savings, which is the average for those millennials trying to save for a home purchase.

Soaring Home Prices

By 2018, the real estate market recovered from the 2008 collapse. In most American cities, housing prices are going up significantly. The home prices surpassed pre-crash levels and now continue to rise. Soaring home prices make buying a home very challenging.

What To Do?

For most millennials, the best choice is to continue to live with their parents and use the lower cost of living as an opportunity to put away enough money for the required down payment to buy a house. Many plan to live very frugally and to save for up to five years if they want to buy a home of their own.

For others, they are developing co-ownership plans, where millennials plan to share home buying with more than one person. In these deals, they become the landlord and the tenants of a multifamily property that they buy together.

The Math

The median home price in America is $226,800. First-time buyers, who qualify, can get FHA-backed mortgage financing with as little as 3.5% down. Still, that is $7,938 just for the down payment. There is also the need to have 2% to 5% of the loan amount for closing costs, which can add up to $10,943.

Financial prudence recommends having at least three months of living expenses in savings to cover any unexpected temporary emergencies, like losing a job. Add another $12,000 for this contingency. This means to safely buy a home at the median price, with a low-down-payment loan, a millennial may need to have as much as $30,881.

For conventional financing, with 20% down, the numbers are much higher. For that type of financing, a millennial needs about $66,432!

Summary

Millennials face significant challenges in homeownership that are unique to their generation. For these reasons, many are delaying homeownership for at least five years and living with their parents longer, to save more money, to make their dream of homeownership come true in the more distant future.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional.

How to Buy An Investment Property

How to Buy An Investment PropertyIt is important for everyone to take steps to diversify their assets. While many people take this to mean holding multiple stocks, bonds, and mutual funds in the market, this also includes branching out into the real estate industry. The real estate industry is far more stable than the stock market and provides a fantastic opportunity to generate reliable returns. At the same time, there are lots of options to choose from when it comes to investment properties.

Here are a few tips everyone should keep in mind.

Buying And Renting

One option is to purchase a single-family home as a second building and then rent it out. On the other hand, it is also possible to purchase a multi-unit property and rent out each individual unit. One of the biggest factors to keep in mind is that the owner is going to be responsible for collecting deposits, checking the backgrounds of potential tenants, conducting repairs, and completing maintenance tasks. 

If the property is located in a desirable area, it is possible for someone to collect enough rent to cover the cost of the mortgage and more. At the same time, it is also possible that someone might end up spending a considerable amount of time managing the property. It might be a solid idea to hire a property management company; however, this will eat away at the revenue. These are a few of the key factors to think about.

Flipping Houses

Another option real estate investors can consider is flipping houses. In this process, someone buys a home (which is often in a state of disrepair and inexpensive), repairs it, and then sells the home for a profit. It is also possible that someone might end up spending a significant amount of time and money renovating the home, which might eat away at any financial gains. Be sure to know exactly what repairs and renovations the home is going to need before buying.

A Real Estate Investment Trust

Sometimes, it might be too much for someone to buy individual properties. One possible option is called a real estate investment trust (REIT). This is a company that owns numerous big properties that generate incomes. Therefore, these trusts are often compared to mutual funds in the stock market but for real estate. Different REITs specialize in different areas, so there are lots to choose from.

If you are interested in buying a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 17th, 2020Last week’s scheduled economic reports included readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation Holds Steady in February

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.10 percent in February and matched January’s reading. Analysts expected no inflationary growth for February and noted that the Coronavirus had not yet impacted national inflation.

Higher rents and grocery prices caused inflation to rise in February. Year-over-year, the Consumer Price Index rose 2.30 percent in February after posting its highest reading of 2.50 percent in January; analysts expect inflation to decrease in the coming months.

The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy sectors, grew by 0.20 percent and matched expectations and January’s growth rate.

Mortgage Rates Mixed as New Jobless Claims Fall

Freddie Mac reported that the average rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose seven basis points to 3.36 percent last week after posting the lowest rate on record the prior week. The average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages fell two basis points to 2.77 percent.

The average rate for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages dropped by 17 basis points to 3.01 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims fell to 211,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 215,000 first-time claims filed. Consumer sentiment dropped to an index reading of 95.90 in March as compared to February’s reading of 101.00; analysts expected consumer sentiment to fall to an index reading of 95.00.

The March reading was the weakest in five months and was attributed to fears of the Coronavirus. The current consumer sentiment index covered data through March 11 and index readings are expected to fall lower as impacts of the Coronavirus unfold.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions, sales of pre-owned homes reported by the National Association of Realtors® and Commerce Department readings on housing starts and building permits issued.

The Federal Reserve will issue its post-meeting statement of its Federal Open Market Committee and Fed Chair Jerome Powell will give a press conference after the FOMC statement. Additional economic news and policy announcements related to the Coronavirus may also be released.

How To Finally Become A Real Estate Investor This Year

How To Finally Become A Real Estate Investor This YearInvesting in real estate remains one of the best ways to accumulate wealth in America. There are six ways to get started in real estate investing. One way does not require any investment capital, just an investment of your time. Ways to get started include investing in a REIT, buying an incoming-producing property, using a buy-and-hold strategy, flipping houses, crowdfunding, and wholesale deals.

Investing In A REIT

A real estate investment trust (REIT) is an investment instrument that offers a proportional ownership interest in a real estate portfolio that follows a particular investment strategy. A private REIT has a minimum investment that could be $1,000 to $25,000. A publicly-traded REIT sells in shares, just like stocks on the stock exchange. The investment minimum is just one share and some REITs have share prices under $100.

Income-Producing Property

Buy a home and rent it out. For this strategy to work, you do have to deal with the tenant headaches, unless you can afford to outsource the landlord’s work to a property management company.

Buy-And-Hold Strategy

Buy raw land for cheap on the outskirts of a growing town and wait the time necessary for the town to overtake your land for the opportunity to subdivide and develop it for a high price.

Flipping Houses

For those who like doing contracting work, or who partner up with a contractor, there may be profit in buying some fixer-upper homes to renovate and sell for more than the acquisition price plus the renovation costs.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a way to participate as a small investor in real estate deals and also to fund your own deals.

Wholesale Deals

Wholesale deals can be accomplished with no money down. You work for other investors and secure properties at lower than market prices by controlling them with an offer that is accepted and then assigning the deal to the investors for a fee.

Summary

If you have been thinking about becoming a real estate investor, now is the time to do something about it. Even if you start with only $100 by buying shares in a REIT, at least you got started. Once you get your real estate investment strategy going, you will find it to be a very rewarding experience, if you are careful and make wise decisions.

Be sure to associate with an expert REALTOR® in your marketplace area to get sound advice and information.

If you are in the market for an investment property or interested in refinancing your current home, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss financing options.

The Long-Term Toll Of College Costs

The Long-Term Toll Of College CostsTaking out enormous student loans to get a college degree may be a terrible idea for some. The burden of paying off this debt can make it far more challenging to do other important things like buying a home.

Here are some common problems that come from taking out large student loans:

  • Not Worth It: The college degree may not help you land a high-paying job. Even high-paying jobs like being a dentist have extremely high educational costs as well. Aspiring dentists borrow, on average, over $500,000 to go to dental school and spend multiple decades paying it back.
  • Tuition Hyper-Inflation: Colleges and universities saw the easy money from student loans as a great reason to increase tuition. In many institutions, tuition increases, over the past 42 years, went out of control, especially for trade schools and private universities. College costs rose by 1,400% since 1978. That is five times more than the inflation rate over the same period.
  • OverBorrowing: The easy ability that students have in many cases to over-borrow for living expenses on top of college costs means that they take bigger loans than they need and wastefully spend the money.

In the olden days, they had a phrase for a person who sold themselves into a kind of work-slavery. They called these people “indentured servants.” By taking out student loan debt that may take decades to pay back, this is a form of indentured servitude, especially because it is difficult, if not impossible to get out of paying the student loans back. Even bankruptcy does not discharge student loan debt.

If your student loan goes into default, there is the possibility of a wage garnishment, which means up to 25% of your take-home pay will be deducted from your checks and used to pay off the student loan debt. This is like a modern version of being an indentured servant.

But You Need A College Degree To Succeed, Right?

For many, earning a college degree that teaches skills and knowledge, which help get a high-paying job, is a reasonable idea. However, not all degrees are equal in their influence over getting a job. Many degree certificates are not worth the paper they are printed on. Moreover, some do better than those who have degrees.

Conclusion

What do Bill Gates, Coco Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Rachel Ray, Mark Zuckerberg, Sean “Diddy” Combs, James Cameron, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, Larry Ellison, Ted Turner, and Wolfgang Puck all have in common? They all do NOT have a college degree and still became immensely successful. Many are billionaires, who simply started their businesses and did not have time to finish college, so they dropped out.

Before you saddle yourself with student debt for a huge portion of the rest of your life, think carefully about the ramifications. Then, if you must borrow, borrow as little as possible and make sure you get a degree that helps get a high-paying job.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional.

Wealthy Seniors Can Benefit From Jumbo Products

Wealthy Seniors Can Benefit From Jumbo ProductsIndividuals who own their homes with a considerable amount of equity should consider looking into proprietary jumbo reverse mortgages. These can be helpful tools that may allow seniors to either pay down an existing mortgage or fund their retirement. 

These tools are particularly helpful in areas of the country that have high property values, such as California and New York. In these states, jumbo reverse mortgages may provide seniors with up to $4 million in potential loan proceeds. These funds can be applied to a variety of possible purposes.

A Changing Thought Process Surrounding Reverse Mortgages

In the past, mentioning reverse mortgages was seen by many as an option of last resort; however, it seems like this reputation was largely gained because they were new and unfamiliar to most people. Over the past few years, financial experts have done a tremendous amount of research into reverse mortgages and have uncovered their potential to help someone’s financial portfolio.

There are numerous ways that reverse mortgages can help someone’s retirement portfolio ride the ups and downs of the market. Reverse mortgages can even be used to help someone postpone the claiming of Social Security benefits. 

A Potential Use Of Reverse Mortgages

One potential use of reverse mortgages follows a simple formula. The goal of this formula is to buy low and sell high. When the market goes up, draw on the retirement account for income. After all, the market is high, so shares of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are going to be at their greatest value.

When the market starts to drop, avoid using the assets in the retirement account. Wait for those assets to come back up before using them. During this time, it is better to use a reverse mortgage and draw on the equity in the home instead.

A Mountain Of Untapped Equity

Proprietary reverse mortgages are becoming more popular in locations that have high housing values. In these locations, retirees might be sitting on a large amount of equity and might not even know it. In these locations, jumbo reverse mortgages can help individuals and families who might be short in their incomes. For this reason, retirees should consider using a jumbo reverse mortgage to help cover their living expenses and long-term care needs.

If you are interested in refinancing your property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options.

5 Benefits of Using A Real Estate Agent When Buying Or Selling A Home

5 Benefits of Using A Real Estate Agent When Buying Or Selling A HomeIt may come as a surprise for some people to learn that not everyone uses a real estate agent when buying or selling a home. Whenever someone is looking to move, it is critical to rely on the experience of a real estate agent. There are a few benefits that everyone should keep in mind.

Tips For Price Guidance

The price is one of the most challenging aspects of either buying or selling a home. A trained real estate agent spends his or her days looking at the prices of homes that are bought and sold in the local area. 

Therefore, real estate agents can help someone sell a home both quickly and at the right price. If homes are left on the market for too long, prospective buyers might think that something is wrong with the house. This may make the home harder to sell.

Networking In The Real Estate Industry

Next, hiring professional real estate agent is important for accessing the professional network. Real estate agents typically have access to appraisers and inspectors who will be able to do a quick, easy, and cost-effective evaluation of the home. This will help the homeowner determine whether or not any repairs are necessary to get the house ready to sell.

Appropriate Financing Options

A real estate agent can also guide a prospective buyer through the financing options. There are lots of options when it comes to purchasing a home. A real estate agent can help someone review his or her options, helping a client find the right financing option for them.

Exposure For A Home Sale

One of the major benefits of working with a real estate agent is access to something called the Multiple Listing Service. This is a service where the vast majority of real estate agents list homes that are for sale. This will help any house being sold gain more exposure. The more exposure, the more potential offers, helping a house sell for a higher price.

Handling The Paperwork

One of the most often overlooked benefits of working with a real estate agent is help with the paperwork. The paperwork required to buy or sell a home can be significant. A real estate agent knows how to get through this paperwork quickly, efficiently, and accurately.

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to consult with your trusted home mortgage professional.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 9th, 2020

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week -March 9th, 2020Home mortgage rates slipped to their lowest rates on record as uncertainty over the coronavirus continued to impact financial markets. Freddie Mac reported lower average mortgage rates for fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages.

Rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 16 basis points to 3.29 percent; the average rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages was also 16 basis points lower at 2.79 percent.

Mortgage rates for 5/1 adjustable-rate mortgages were two points lower on average at 3.18 percent. Discount points averaged 0.70 percent for fixed-rate mortgages and 0.20 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. The 10-Year Treasury Yield, which tracks with mortgage rates, slipped to 0.90 percent last week; this was the first time the yield rate fell below one percent.

Homeowners rushed to take advantage of low mortgage rates through refinancing, but homebuyers could not gain the same benefits from record-low mortgage rates due to persistent shortages of available and affordable homes for sale. Analysts advised against waiting to refinance as home mortgage rates aren’t expected to fall much lower.

Construction Spending Rises, Fed Cuts Key Rate as National Unemployment Rate Falls

Analysts have long relied on home builders to ease chronically short supplies of homes for sale. Construction spending rose to 1.80 percent in January as compared to December’s rate of  0.20 percent. Analysts expected January’s construction spending to rise to 0.90 percent.

The Federal Reserve cut its target federal funds rate range by 0.50 percent to 1.00-1.25 percent.in a move to relieve the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy. The Fed may cut its key rate by an additional  0.25 percent  when the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee holds its scheduled meeting on March 17-18th.

Labor-sector reports showed mixed results for job growth. The government’s Non-Farm Payrolls report showed 273,000 public and private-sector jobs added in February, this pace was unchanged from January. ADP reported 183,000 jobs added in February as compared to 209,000 jobs added in January.

First-time unemployment claims fell to216,000 claims filed from the prior week’s reading of 219,000 new claims filed. Analysts expected 217,000 new claims filed. The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.50 percent in February as compared to January’s reading of 3.60 percent.

What’s Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic news includes readings on inflation and consumer sentiment. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims will also be released.

Coping With Relationships During The Moving Process

Coping With Relationships During The Moving ProcessHeading to a new place can be an exciting time; however, this is going to have an impact on someone’s relationships with family members and friends. The idea of relocation can be stressful for these emotional attachments. This can cause some hesitation as individuals and families adjust to living in a new place.

These are a few tips that everyone should keep in mind.

Keep In Touch

Of course, one of the most important tips for coping with the move is to keep in touch. This doesn’t mean that these relationships need to die. Simply arrange ways to talk with each other.

This starts with phone calls, video chats, and emails. This is a great way to stay involved in the lives of close friends and family members. Once the move has settled, invite them out to take a look at the new place. It is exciting to move to a new city and this is an opportunity to share some hospitality with loved ones.

Memories Of Loved Ones Are Important

Be sure to take souvenirs, mementos, and reminders of the old home. Pictures are the easiest way to do this. Be sure to display these photos in conspicuous places in the new home. This will ensure that these relationships aren’t forgotten.

In addition to pictures, paperweights, trinkets, postcards, and other items make great mementos and can serve as decorations in the new home. Display these on a shelf or ledge where they can be seen. This will help someone adjust to living in a new place.

Explore The New City

It is important to move forward. In order for someone to truly be happy in a new place, they need to give this location a chance. Get out of the house and explore everything the new city has to offer. Check out the bars, shops, restaurants, community spaces, and people. This is extremely important. Try to make new friends and create a solid support structure in a new place.

While it is important to maintain old relationships with family members and friends, they will want you to be happy in your new home as well. Therefore, branch out and explore. This will make coping with the move easier. 

If you are in the market for a new home or interested in refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional.