|What The Economic Stimulus Package Means To You|
Since passed by overwhelming Capitol Hill majorities in January, there has been much talk regarding the economic stimulus package. Yes, it will cost $168 billion, but what does it actually do for individuals?
The stimulus package is designed to help the country moderate the worst effects of a slowing economy and perhaps even avoid a recession. The idea is to encourage spending and with more spending to increase economic activity. While the theory looks good on paper, it will likely take months or years to know if it actually works.
From a personal perspective the
|Mortgage Rates |
U.S. averages as of March 27, 2008:
30 yr. fixed: 5.85%
15 yr. fixed: 5.34%
1 yr. adj: 5.24%
<!-- <B>30 yr. jumbo: 6.98%</B>-->
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January stimulus package has five major components that will immediately impact individuals with an interest in real estate.
1. Checks from Uncle Sam: According to the White House, taxpayers can receive rebates of up to $600
Is Your Credit Score As
High As You Think?
It is common to assume that paying bills on time automatically means having a high credit score. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. There are many misperceptions about how scores are calculated -- and yours could be lower than you might expect.
Credit scores are used by financial institutions to determine whether they should lend money to a potential borrower and, if so, what interest rate should be charged. A higher score means an applicant is statistically less likely to default on the loan so they get a lower interest rate.
Ignoring your credit score could be a costly mistake. As an example, let's say you bought a $400,000 house with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 6-percent interest rate. Over the term of the loan, you would pay interest charges of $463,354. If, however, you had a lower score and your bank bumped your interest rate up to 8 percent, you would pay interest charges of $656,619. That's a hefty difference of $193,265. CONTINUED >>>
Property Tax Bill
If your property tax is aligned with or assessed based on the value of your home, a swing in property values could warrant close scrutiny of your property tax bill.
Some more progressive tax jurisdictions will make the adjustment for you -- up or down -- but most only move your rate up or they'll wait for the property to change hands before adjusting the tax. Even where adjustments are automatic, you still may not be satisfied and will need to appeal the deal.
Over valued or over assessed property is perhaps the most common and successful grounds for challenging your tax bill.
When the economy is faltering and spawning foreclosures, short sales and homeowners otherwise bailing out of homeownership, consider it a red flag -- it's time to scrutinize your property tax bill.
Many homeowners bailout, accept the foreclosure or take the short sale way out because their mortgage is more than the value of the home, which may have fallen for a variety of reasons.
The incidence of incorrectly calculated property tax bills may also warrant a close inspection of your property tax bill or an appeal.
Many errors in calculating your property tax bill also stem from clerical CONTINUED >>>
You can find great local Charlottesville, Virginia real estate information on Localism.com - CHARLES McDONALD - REALTOR® - Charlottesville and Albemarle's Agent! is a proud member of the ActiveRain Real Estate Network, a free online community to help real estate professionals grow their business.
The Ins and Outs Of
Painting Your House
Putting a fresh coat of paint on your home will prolong the life of its skin, pump up the value, and revive its curb appeal, all important additions, especially when it's time to sell.
The benefits you'll get assumes, of course, the job of slathering on the latex or oil-based paint is professionally performed.
The pros make it look easy, but that's because they've been at it for quite a while. Painting your home isn't a do-it-yourself job unless you've got the know how, the proper tools and enough time off from painting the town red.
When hiring a professional, ask relatives, friends, co-workers and others you trust -- and who've recently enjoyed a
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