Tag Archives: finance

First Time Buyers Stamp Duty: All Important Questions Answered

Two men handshakingUnderstandably, most people have been having some questions on what the reduction on the stamp duty means, and whether it is of help to them in any way. This article expounds on questions and answers surrounding this topic.

In a bid to use and take advantage of the reduction in stamp duty for the first-time buyers, you first need to understand what it is. With the purchase and selling of properties and the jargons involved in its taxation and fees, you need a professional who can hold your hand.

What are the qualifications?

For you to qualify to be a first-time purchaser, you should not have any records of ownership for any residential property whether abroad or in the UK. These properties also include any interests on leaseholds as well as freehold property. Additionally, the property you are purchasing should be your main or only property. That means, even if you are a first-time buyer, you cannot get the relief on a buy to sell or lease the property.

What does the change mean?

A first-time buyer should no longer pay this duty on the purchase of property whose worth is £300,000. If you are buying for the first time and your property exceeds this amount, you will pay 15% stamp duty on the excess amount.

If you inherited a home, do you still qualify?

The idea behind this duty is not based on purchasing but rather ownership. That means, if you inherited a house, you own it now, and thus you are not a first-time purchaser. That means, it is possible not to qualify, even though you have never bought a property.

Money matters and property purchase can make the difference between a comfortable financial life, or ever ending debt and poverty. As such, use a professional where taxes, costs, rates and other property related transactions are related. As such, you can take advantage of the available resources without risking penalties and property loss.

What to Do First Before Viewing Potential Homes

A couple looking to get a mortgageIf you’re thinking of buying a home, you probably have an idea of what you want. You’d love a home with a large kitchen, a spacious master’s bedroom, or a large backyard for the kids. You may even have a list of what qualifies as “the one” or the perfect home. Viewing homes is an exciting process and it’s easy to fall in love with a house that is beyond what you can actually afford.

The First Thing to Do

VIP Mortgage and other mortgage companies in Tempe note that before you start looking for a house, it is best to get prequalified first. This is to know how much you can afford and start looking for houses within that price range. Doing so can avoid disappointments and financial difficulties in the future. The best part is, it is easy to get prequalified, as you can do it with a single meeting with a lender or over the phone.

With mortgage prequalification, you can:

  • Know how much loan you can afford or borrow (an estimate) and plan accordingly.
  • Determine if you qualify for certain mortgage programs.
  • Know the requirements or the things you can do qualify for a loan and better rates.
  • Stick to properties that meet your needs and current finances.

Making Sure You Can Afford

It is common for many first-time homebuyers to get so preoccupied with finding a house that meets all their needs. They overlook this important process, which is crucial in buying “the right one.” Note that buying is a major financial commitment (which can be an investment or debt), so you need to make sure that you can afford paying for it and all the associated mortgage costs.

If you have a serious intention of buying, you can proceed with loan pre-approval. This is more detailed than prequalification, as you need to submit certain financial documents to a lender. This is to assess your credit history and current financial situation. Based on these details, your lender can tell you how much you can borrow. A pre-approval can give you an edge over others when making an offer or a bid.

What Are No Income Proof Secured Loans?

Loan on the monitor of a macbookIn today’s modern world of entrepreneurship, more and more people are finding satisfaction in operating their own businesses as opposed to seeking employment. Such self-employed individuals often require an extra source of income for financing the day-to-day operations of their business. This often prompts them to seek financial loans from lenders.

However, accessing loans is not always a walk in the park, as most financial institutions require proof of income to substantiate your claim for a loan. This is where no income proof secured loans come in handy.

What is a secured loan?

A secured loan denotes a contract in which a borrower commits a collateral like their car or home to acquire immediate cash. For instance, if you name your car as collateral, you will agree that the lender may gain legal ownership of your vehicle if you fail to repay the loan fully.

How do secured loans work?

If you are looking to borrow a secured loan, the lender will require you to have collateral that has greater value than the loan amount. For example, you might be able to get a loan of $1,000 if you offer your car that is valued at $2,000 as collateral. If you default in payment, your lender could always sell your car and make a profit from the deal.

Since no borrower desires to lose their collateral, they are always willing to work hard towards repaying their loans. Lenders charge lower interest rates because they know that the borrowers have huge incentives to repay what they owe them. Secured loans in Ogden, including title loans, therefore, are often easier on your pocket. The interest rate for these kinds of loans is partly dependent on your ability to pay on time and the value of the collateral you commit to this purpose.

It is no secret that the majority of conventional lenders grant loans based on your income. Most business entrepreneurs lack sufficient proof of income, which renders it a daunting task to access loans. Luckily, you can rely on secured loans that typically don’t require you to have proof of income, allowing you to solve urgent money issues conveniently.

No Money, No Problem: How Declaring Bankruptcy Can Help Solve Your Financial Woes

Businessman closing his businessThey say that money can solve all of your problems, but what if the problem is the loss of money or the lack of it? Anything can happen, and that includes events that would make you lose all of your money. By then, you — or the company using that money — go bankrupt. That’s the time you declare the appropriate bankruptcy chapter, for all intents and purposes.

Bankruptcy: Good or Bad?

Contrary to how things may turn out for you, bankruptcy can and will have effects on your financial standing. It could become the chance for you to re-write your financial status as a fresh start or it could also be a source of problems.

Utah Bankruptcy Professionals and other experts explain that you have two options — either talk to a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney in Utah or whichever state you live. Alternatively, you can also:

  • Review. There is more to learn before deciding to file for bankruptcy. Are you truly bankrupt? Are there debts that would be erased and what would happen to your properties? It isn’t as simple as just getting help — there are conditions to the help that would be given to you, and to what extent you are saved from.
     
  • Learn. You can learn, after filing bankruptcy, whether you will lose some properties or you’re going to get them intact. Filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy depends on your immediate financial situation.
     
  • Save. Bankruptcy is a nasty business, and you will inevitably get people involved. To make sure that you’re going to leave them out of it, you can opt for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, as Chapter 7 does not allow that kind of liberty.
     
  • Get Help. To learn more about Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy laws, lawyers can give you a free initial assessment to weigh your options. Inevitably, you will lose something whichever you choose.

Losing money and going bankrupt doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world for you. There are ways to get back on your feet. Even if you find yourself facing a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can still recover. All it takes is a good lawyer who will guide you every step of the way.

What’s the Most Sensible Mortgage Option for Me?

Mortgage in UtahThere are literally hundreds of mortgage products you can choose from so it can be somewhat daunting to find one that best suits your requirements. So before you even approach potential lenders you have to figure out what you can afford and what you really need.

According to AmericanLoans.com, to start, answer the following…

  • Where do you picture yourself in the next five to 10 years?
  • How long are you planning on living in your home?
  • Do you need to have money on hand for future investments?
  • Do you want or need to make improvements on your home?
  • Do you want to remain debt-free?
  • Can you really afford financial risks?

Once you’ve answered these questions, consider the following when evaluating your mortgage options:

A Longer Term for Your Loan

This means a term of 30 years and above. Put simply, the longer term equals lower monthly payments, but higher interest.

An ARM or Adjustable Rate Mortgage

This is ideal if you need to have some on hand cash or want a lower interest rate. For the first several years, your rate will be fixed and then start to float. Know however that your payments will increase or decrease according to market conditions, once floating starts. This option is sensible for those who relocate every few years since if rates increase, they can sell and if rates drop, they can refinance, adds a mortgage officer in Utah.

Consider an 80-20 Home Loan

The average loan finances the initial 80% and a second mortgage with increased interest funds a 20% down payment. You also do away with PMI or private mortgage insurance, which is a standard requirement for properties purchased without the 20% down payment.

Consider Skipping Principal Payments

You can reduce your payments each month by as much as 20% to 25% in the initial years — usually five to 10 years — and likewise qualify for a larger loan. However, know that you get a huge jump in monthly payments when this period of interest-only payments concludes because you then start repaying the principal payments you skipped for the first several years of your loan term.

Keep in mind that taking out a mortgage is a big financial decision. So give yourself sufficient time to compare your options, mull over the pros and cons of each, do the math, shop around, and formulate a plan before you apply for a mortgage.

Improve Your Credit Score and Lower Your Mortgage Rate

Credit Score in Salt Lake CityWhen you embark on the homeownership journey, you need to impress upon the mortgage lenders that you are creditworthy, faithful, and committed to the financial relationship that spans more than a decade. Your credit score offers profound insights into your financial habits, temperament, and capabilities.

Without fail, every mortgage lender Salt Lake City residents approach will dig into the credit history as well as the credit score. Lenders view you favorably if your credit score is high, preferably over 700 points. If your current credit standing is not outstanding, follow these steps.

Check your credit report

A credit report contains your entire financial history, and it forms the basis for calculating your credit score. If it contains errors, they could count against you and lower the score. Carefully examine the contents and note any incorrect information such as late payments and debt amounts. Dispute these anomalies with the credit bureau and have them rectified.

Pay your bills on time

Altiusmortgage.com, a mortgage lender in Salt Lake City, says timely payment of your credit card bills significantly boosts your score and attests to your commitment to meeting your financial obligations with the least amount of fuss. Set up automatic payment reminders such as text or email alerts to ensure you are up to date with your payments.

Keep the debt balances low

Although the limit on your card may be high, low credit card utilization, preferably below 30 percent, improves your credit score. Using a small portion of your credit results in a low utilization ratio and keeps your balances low. The monthly balances count towards calculating your score and offers insight into your spending habits.

Your credit score determines mortgage loan eligibility and plays a significant role in deciding your interest rates. Remember, a high score corresponds to lower interest rates.

Top Factors to Consider Before Investing in Commercial Property

Commercial PropertyReal estate investment is a great way to earn revenue for years. Like other investments, if you don’t start it right, you will find it hard to go on. Consider crucial factors before stepping into the murky waters of buying commercial property.

1. Property location

A prime location today may turn out to be a detestable one tomorrow. While you can’t tell the future of any place, you can make an assessment based on the past performance of businesses in the location you intend to invest it.

Moreover, ensure that people can easily connect to the place using rail, water or road transport. Is the location near important amenities such as schools, hospitals, shopping malls and recreational facilities? Proximity to such environments can attract more customers.

2. Costs

Although you need to consider how much the property will cost, don’t forget to factor in expenses you may need to address before and after completing the transaction. Examples are water and power charges, levy, repair costs, improvement costs and municipal fees. A look at these expenses will show you the property’s total cost and the possible returns if you choose to sell it.

3. Allowable property uses

Sentinelpg.com.au says your commercial property investment may be used for varying purposes depending on its location. While assessing the property, find out its current uses and know the businesses you can or can’t carry out in a particular area.

4. The reason for sale

Find out why the property owner wants to sell it. For example, if the seller is in dire financial need, you will be in a better position to negotiate and close the deal. If the seller can’t handle major repairs on the property, use this to know whether the suggested price is plausible.

These are among the main factors to keep in mind before purchasing commercial property. Remember them and you will reap the profits from your investment.

Costly Mistakes: Refinancing Blunders You Should Avoid

finance

financeMany homeowners rush to refinance their homes, especially when interest rates go down. Blinded by low rates, they forget to evaluate the real consequences of their actions. They also fail to realize that mortgage refinancing can sometimes be a bad move.

If you’re considering refinancing, it is important to remember that it can only benefit you if you intend to stay on the property for the long-term. Direct Mortgage Loans shares the refinancing blunders you need to avoid.

The Wrong Loan

Your priority when refinancing should be lowering your overall payment regardless of the length of the loan. Sometimes, even with a low rate, you end up with higher payments because you have increased the size of your mortgage. Evaluate the cost of refinancing and its financial benefits before deciding on a loan. Don’t forget that switching into another 30-year mortgage adds more years of payment, particularly if you have been paying the existing loan for a long time.

Failing to Shop Around

One great way to save money when refinancing is by comparing loan offers from lenders or title companies before choosing. You may enjoy benefit sticking with the same lender, as they may require less paperwork, but it’s better to consult others to compare fees and rates. Get quotes from at least three lenders or mortgage companies to help you make a sound decision.

Wrong Timing

If you refinance and don’t stay in your home for years, your decision can be a mistake. It is important to decide how long you intend to stay in the property and know the point when savings outweigh the cost before deciding to refinance. If you’re not planning to stay for more than a few years, the cost of a new loan may negate possible savings. You have to make sure that your decision will have a net tangible benefit.

Refinancing can only be a great financial move if it lowers your monthly payment, shortens the term of the loan, and builds equity more quickly. Use it carefully so it can be a valuable tool to get your debt under control.