Mortgage Guide 101 Blog

October 2005 - Posts

I've got friends who live on a lovely waterfront property. In the past 5 years, their taxes have gone up almost 500%. When we are thinking about our budget for a new house, we rarely think about the cost of property taxes. But we should. In areas where Read More...
Posted on October 30,2005

Perhaps you are like me -- I wasn't much of a saver before marriage. I spent what I made and I wondered how people saved. Oh, I was good at paying off a debt, but saving? Forget it. Then I met my wife, the professional saver. She always seemed to have a Read More...
Posted on October 29,2005

Here's a few tips I found on how to keep your heating costs as low as possible, without going out to buy a new high-efficiency furnace or completely renovate your existing home. 1. I've said this one before, but it's worth repeating: turn down your Read More...
Posted on October 28,2005

In this hot market, I see more and more signs saying "For Sale By Owner" on the homes in my area. Personally, I've always sold with a real estate agent, but frankly, have found it annoying to see how much the agent takes for what can be minimal work Read More...
Posted on October 27,2005

Is your home crammed with stuff? (My wife would like to commiserate.) I'm afraid my dumping ground of choice is the basement. And it's starting to get scarey down there. I just came across a nifty little company which sells garage storage that could be Read More...
Posted on October 25,2005

If we have learned anything from this year's hurricane season, it should be that it's not worth it to be without comprehensive insurance on our homes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: your 'basic' homeowners policy is woefully insufficient. It Read More...
Posted on October 24,2005

A nice green lawn adds to "curb appeal" for your home. And one of the best times to get it in great shape is the fall. The lawn is generally my job in this family. While my wife enjoys hanging out on it, I tend to do the maintenance work. Because the Read More...
Posted on October 22,2005

I just checked the figures for the last couple of years. The US interest rate has gone from a low of 1% at the beginning of 2004 to the current level of 3.75%. In the intervening months, we have had a series of small incremental increases without any Read More...
Posted on October 21,2005

Unfortunately, the high prices of both oil and natural gas are beginning to drive inflation. Even though prices have dropped since their high in the last month after the double punch of Katrina and Rita, there's the possibility that full production of Read More...
Posted on October 20,2005

It was with horror that we all watched what Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have done to the US gulf coast. Now it seems we have another "monster" hurricane on the way towards a possible US landfall. Wilma is the last named storm for our alphabet, before we Read More...
Posted on October 19,2005

Have you tried out our mortgage calculator? It can be quite an eye-opening experience, especially if you don't think that saving a little on your interest rate makes a big deal to your mortgage. Here's the scenario I worked with: my mortgage is about Read More...
Posted on October 17,2005

Did you know that the best earthquake proof structures are designed to move? I was surprised to learn that you do better with a home framed in wood than a home framed in more rigid material. In fact, the whole idea that the big bad wolf would blow down Read More...
Posted on October 15,2005

Well, first we had Katrina. Then Rita. The US gulf coast has seen more water than most of us can imagine. Now the remnants of Tropical Depression Tammy are submerging the northeast. And all this severe weather and storm devastation has me thinking about Read More...
Posted on October 14,2005

So, the domestic diva is now in the home-building business. Of course, she's not doing the actual "dirty work", but the homes are of her design. She's cut a deal with a builder to put her name on home designs going up in the north and east of the Read More...
Posted on October 13,2005

Well, I suppose you have to expect it, when the real estate market is so "hot" and so many people are getting into "house flipping" and other risky investment strategies. I saw a report just yesterday in my local newspaper that said the number of fraud Read More...
Posted on October 12,2005

I believe I've mentioned before that my wife and I are fans of touring homes. We find something that catches our eye in the local real estate ads and we either attend an "open house" for that property or actually call the listing agent to get a tour. Read More...
Posted on October 11,2005

Are you feeling a little panicky because interest rates are going up and you aren't locked in? Perhaps you just got that great home and your first adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and are thinking, "Oh, oh." Maybe you are even thinking about refinancing. Read More...
Posted on October 10,2005

Ever wondered how they manage to squeeze so much of your hard earned money out in interest? Here's a list of some factors, some surprising, which will affect your interest rate. First and most loved is the "prime rate". This is based on the US federal Read More...
Posted on October 8,2005

More and more analysts are starting to come to the conclusion that the US market is on its way to some sort of "correction". Here's an interesting statistic: In Manhattan, the average sale price of a home fell almost 13% in the third quarter of this Read More...
Posted on October 7,2005

Well, it looks as if the cost of heating our homes this winter will be higher than usual. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have had some impact on the US oil and gas economy, and while prices are currently coming down -- our demand will soon be going up. So, Read More...
Posted on October 5,2005

Well, after a nice long holiday and a chance to "decompress", I'm back in the saddle. I'm also happy to report that I just negotiated the lowest mortgage of my life so far. My wife and I decided we would gamble on a variable rate mortgage. It actually is Read More...
Posted on October 4,2005
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