Monica’s Blog

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Balancing Risk and Deductibles

By on January 15, 2018

The benefit of insurance is to transfer the risk of loss to a company in exchange for a premium. The deductible is an amount the insured pays out of pocket before the insurance starts covering the cost of the loss. The challenge is to balance the risk an insured can accept with the premium being…

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Homeowner Tax Changes

By on January 8, 2018

The new tax law that was signed into effect at the end of 2017 will affect all taxpayers. Homeowners should familiarize themselves with the areas that could affect them which may require some planning to maximize the benefits. Some of the things that will affect most homeowners are the following: Reduces the limit on deductible…

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Surprise When Renting Your Home

By on January 1, 2018

Planning to go to the Masters next April 2-9th and don’t have a place to stay. Each year, there are homeowners who rent their home for a big premium during the Masters because hotels are in short supply and demand for private homes is up. Homeowners go on vacation and make tax-free income while temporary…

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Prevent False Home Security Alarms

By on December 25, 2017

Some police departments report as high as 98% of calls are false alarms. Not only is this an incredible waste of police resources that could be available for legitimate emergencies, it annoys neighbors, startles pets and results in expensive false alarm fees. Know your codes – entering an incorrect keypad code is a common mistake…

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FHA is a Good Option

By on November 27, 2017

FHA insured mortgages serve a sector of the market that is not necessarily being met by other loan programs. Securing an 80% conventional mortgage that doesn’t require mortgage insurance may be the lowest cost of financing but if the buyer doesn’t have 20% down payment, it isn’t really an option. Securing a 100% VA loan…

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Lighting Conversion Plan

By on November 20, 2017

In 2007, Congress passed an energy act that required new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs are being phased out and eventually will be unavailable. The alternative bulbs differ considerably in price. LED bulbs are the most efficient but they also cost the most. CFLs are a less expensive alternative. Interestingly, the…

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Holiday Travels

By on November 13, 2017

The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town. Ask a trusted friend - to pick up mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of being empty.…

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Cash-In Refinance

By on November 6, 2017

Would someone really refinance their home and not take money out of it? Certainly, if they could get a lower rate, build equity faster and pay off the home sooner. For people with extra cash available, this can be very attractive compared to the low savings rates being paid by banks. In the example below,…

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Up-front Points to Lower the Rate

By on October 30, 2017

When loans are quoted by lenders, most buyers pay attention to the interest rate but not so much to the points that may be charged along with the rate. A point is one-percent of the mortgage amount and considered pre-paid interest that affects the yield on the loan. Buyers or sellers can pay points but…

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Debt Relief May Trigger Tax

By on October 23, 2017

The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, originally passed in 2007, was extended three times to protect homeowners from paying income tax on debt that was relieved due to foreclosure, short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure. The law expired on December 31, 2016 and unless it is extended again, homeowners with debt relief in 2017…

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