Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lower Your Mortgage Payment! [Making Home Affordable]

If you currently own a home, this post is for you!!

Would you like to lower your mortgage payment?
Would you like to reduce your interest rate?
Are you trying to avoid foreclosure?

You might be eligible for the official program of the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development called Making Home Affordable!

Find out if there is a Making Home Affordable program for you here:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

9 Ways To Save on Moving Expenses

9 Ways To Save on Moving Day Expenses

Moving Day
Summer is a time when many of us move, an experience most people find painful -- often in the lower back -- and definitely in the wallet. Whether you are buying or selling a home, moving out of your parents house or finding a new place to rent, what people usually dread most is moving.

Maybe you're doing the heavy lifting yourself or maybe hiring a team to pack and move you, there are important rules of thumb to keep in mind.

1. Pull your friends and family together.

Assess whether you really need a moving company. You might do quite well asking your friends and family to help you move, particularly if someone you know has a truck. Sami Cone, a savings pro, says getting people together might be easier than you think. "Just make sure to show plenty of gratitude during and afterwards and free pizza doesn't hurt either," says Cone.

2. Seek free boxes.

Those professional moving boxes look nice, but they can add up quickly. You would be surprised at how many boxes stores, particularly liquor stores, throw out each week. Many times, managers of these stores are happy to hold them for you. Cone says that restaurants and coffee shops are also prime places for sturdy boxes. Where Can I Get Moving Boxes?

3. Do some packing yourself.

If you are using movers, ask if you can save on their estimate by packing and doing at least some of the work yourself. Cone says you would be surprised at how much you can save if all they have to do is send two people out to pick up boxes already packed.

4. Shop around for movers and deals.

Sometimes there is no getting around movers. If you have to hire them, look around at the local newspaper and daily deals sites, says Cone. You may even find some deals on moving trucks and storage facilities.

5. Tip well.

Aimee Elizabeth, author of "Poverty Sucks! How to Become a Self-Made Millionaire," says that she loves to move and has come up with a sure-fire way to make the movers move faster while saving money. Elizabeth calculates their hourly rate vs. the cost of an incentive for them to finish early. She then tells the movers that if they have the move completed by 2 p.m., for example, she will tip each of them $20.

6. Don't overlap residences.

"Don't overlap residences more than a month, so you don't have to carry two house payments," says Cone. Same goes for rentals. If you found that perfect next home and your lease isn't quite up on your current rental, ask the landlord if he will accept a deposit to hold it rather than having to put up a month's rent. You would be surprised how many will hold it a month for you, especially if your credit is good and you appear to be the perfect tenant.

7. Start over.

Depending on where you're moving, you might be ahead of the game by packing only things that you can take in your vehicle and selling the rest. Bonnie Russell with Personal Public Relations says that when her father retired from Oregon to a village for members of the Air Force in California, he gave heirlooms to his family, sold the rest, and purchased only what he needed -- some of it used -- for his new, smaller digs.

8. Look for tax deductions.

Tony Aguilar, founder of Amiti Advising, notes that if your move qualifies for tax deductions (talk with your tax accountant), make sure you keep all of the necessary receipts.

9. Retrieve utility and other deposits.

It may have been years since you last saw the money you put down as deposits on a rental home or apartment or utilities, but the money should still be there. Howard Dvorkin, author of Credit Hell: How to Dig out of Debt, says many people forget these, as well as pet deposits. Make sure to leave all of the property you're leaving behind in good working order and clean and you will get that money back.

Read More: Five Must Have Moving Supplies

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