Many homeowners are surprised to receive a letter stating that their mortgage servicer has changed. Financial institutions that issue mortgages are permitted to sell loans or to transfer the rights to service mortgages to other financial institutions without borrowers’ consent. That doesn’t mean the homeowner has done anything wrong or that there is anything to worry about.
How and Why Mortgages Change Hands
A mortgage originator works with borrowers to set up a mortgage, while a mortgage servicer takes care of administrative tasks, such as collecting payments and handling escrow accounts. Many mortgage originators don’t service loans. In those instances, after a borrower has obtained a mortgage,...
For many homeowners, utility bills are much higher than they should be due to wasted energy caused by drafts and inefficient appliances. If you spend more for heat and electricity than your neighbors do, or if your bills skyrocket at one time of the year and you aren’t sure why, a home energy audit can help you identify the reasons and make changes to reduce your energy usage.
What Will Happen in a Home Energy Audit?
A home energy auditor will conduct a room-by-room inspection to find out where your house is losing energy. Depending on the size of your home and the scope of the audit, this may take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours.
The auditor will check the outside of the house for damage, holes, and gaps in and around the windows, walls, and roof that...
Moving at any time of the year is stressful. But moving during the holiday season when you’re also juggling entertaining, decorating and gift-giving can raise that stress to new levels. Balancing the needs of packing up your home and family with the often frenetic pace of the holiday season can be a recipe for stress overload.
Here’s some great advice from JK Moving Services to help make moving during the holidays easier and less stressful:
- Rethink gifting: Instead of packing up all your holiday decorations, consider giving some away. Pass select pieces on to family members and friends, and donate bulky items, like lights and garlands, to local schools, community centers or...
Any time you move to a new home, things change. A new neighborhood, new people to meet and a new address. With the stress of a big move and the excitement of starting the next chapter in life, there are important tasks that need to get done, but are inevitably put on the back burner.
Once your boxes are unpacked and you start to settle in, the next step is to identify any and all places where your address needs to be updated. Trying to figure out every company, account or personal document that needs to be updated can be just as stressful as move-in day. So, instead of digging through your mail and potentially missing a bill, check out this master list of all necessary (and possible) places you may need to update your address.
Ready or not, we are fast approaching the season for holiday entertaining – but no matter how much you enjoy the season, it can come with a level of stress. To ease the burden, home economists advise you to do as much as you can in advance. Prep for cold weather:
- Ready the plumbing – Drain the water from outdoor faucets and garden hoses and minimize the prospect of frozen water pipes in the house by using heat tape on potentially problem pipes.
- Prep for warmth – Have the chimney inspected and cleaned, and have a professional check your home’s heating system. Replace the furnace filter and consider installing an energy-efficient thermostat.
- Seal off drafts –Install...
There’s something awesome about buying a fixer-upper and doing the renovations yourself. Some people fix them up a bit at a time, using cash as they have it available. If you want to make a big impact by doing small things, here are five projects you can tackle:
1. Paint. You’ll be amazed at what some paint can do to your home. A new hue can cover imperfections and give a room the blast of color it needs. For example, painting old cabinets will save you the cost of buying new ones and give the kitchen a facelift. Forget drab, white walls that are lackluster. Give your home an inexpensive color makeover.
2. Replace Old Fixtures. Nothing says outdated like an old-fashioned gold chandelier. Lighting is something that can be updated...
If, as is often the case, your home is your biggest investment, it stands to reason you want to protect it against damage, theft or other disasters. Your lender, who also has a stake in the property, wants to protect it, too. In fact, they will require proof of insurance coverage before you can close on the purchase.
If you are ready to purchase homeowners insurance, here are six things you need to know:
1. There Are Different Types of Policies.
Policies differ in terms of what they cover, so be sure you understand what you are buying. Does the policy protect you in case of any disaster except those omitted in the policy, such as flood damage? Does it include total replacement coverage? Coverage if someone is hurt on your property, and/or loss of personal belongings?...
Electrical fires and accidents can result in property damage, shocks, burns and even death. Many tragedies can be prevented by using electrical outlets, cords and appliances correctly.
Use Plugs and Outlets Safely
Plugs should fit snugly into electrical outlets. If a plug is loose, it or the outlet is likely damaged. Have a broken outlet replaced by an electrician. If a plug is damaged, you may need to have the appliance repaired or replace it. If a plug has three prongs, never try to force it or alter it to make it fit into a two-pronged outlet.
When you unplug an appliance, hold the plug securely. Pulling on the cord could wear it out and cause damage to the appliance or outlet, an electrical shock, or a fire.
Young kids are often fascinated by electrical outlets and have been known to insert...
There are many ways to finance a remodeling project. If you have equity in your home, a good credit rating and steady income, you can refinance your mortgage and borrow a percentage of the equity to cover remodeling costs. Refinancing is a good option if you can get a mortgage interest rate at least two percentage points below your current home loan rate. Other options include a second mortgage, a home equity loan or an unsecured loan. Less popular options: margin loans, which are taken against securities you own, and loans from retirement plans, life insurance policies and credit cards.