Housing

The 4 Best Colorado Homeowners Insurance Companies

Living in the Centennial State definitely has its benefits — from the beautiful Rocky Mountain landscape to over 200 craft brewery locations, it’s no wonder Colorado residents report higher satisfaction levels than nearly everyone else in the country. That is, however, despite Colorado’s high insurance prices. The average annual premium for homeowners insurance in Colorado is …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best Florida Homeowners Insurance Companies

Finding affordable homeowner’s insurance in Florida is no easy task: With an average annual premium of $2,084 (nearly double the the national average of $1,034), Florida has the highest home insurance rates of any state in the United States. This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise considering Florida’s coastal geography and the increased likelihood of property …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

Ceiling Fan Hacks to Save Energy (and Money)

Summer’s just about here, and you’ve probably had to kick on the air conditioning a few times already. For some people, that’s the beginning of a series of very big electric bills. But while a typical central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running, the average ceiling fan uses only 60 watts — even when …

Best Home Warranty Company for 2015

If you’re considering a home warranty to help protect you from costly home repairs, there are several companies that want your business. Unlike the big insurance companies that provide home, life, and auto policies, home warranty companies aren’t household names. For that reason, you may feel like you’re starting from square one in your search. …

The 4 Best Texas Homeowners Insurance Companies

In the second-largest state in the U.S. by both size and population, it’s no wonder that insurance costs are “Texas-sized” as well. Annual premiums average $1,661 statewide — roughly $600 above the national average — making Texas the third most expensive state when it comes to home insurance rates. However, because of its size and population distribution, there are huge disparities among …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 4 Best California Homeowners Insurance Companies

The California home insurance market is the largest in the country, with over 50 providers competing for customers. As a result, the average rate for homeowners insurance is pretty low, despite an otherwise expensive housing market — quotes for annual premiums averaged just $980 in 2012, which is lower than the national average for that year. California’s enormous …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

The 5 Best New York Homeowners Insurance Companies

Home to one of the world’s largest cities as well as over 36,000 farms, New York is a diverse state of skyscrapers and silos, with varied insurance needs. While the average annual premium for homeowners insurance in New York State is pretty pricey — $1,158 compared to the national average of $1,034 — shopping around will …

Categories: Housing, Insurance

Will Mortgage Rates Go Up if the Fed Raises Interest Rates?

By Peter Miller There’s a widespread view that if the Fed ultimately raises interest levels then mortgage rates will also rise. Financial history shows that’s not the case — and it can be argued that mortgage rates might actually fall. Let’s start with the first idea. All over the Internet it’s been suggested that borrowers …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Real Estate

10 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

In the summer of 2007, my wife and I purchased our first home. As a first-time home buyer, I knew we needed to spend a considerable amount of time researching our purchase. So that’s exactly what we did – we read as much as we could, educated ourselves on the local real estate market, and …

Can Alternative Credit Scoring Help You Get a Mortgage?

By Peter Miller Lenders have an ongoing problem: No matter how many loans they create, they want to make even more. And that brings us to the 67 million people who lack the credit needed to borrow in today’s tough lending environment. What if we changed credit standards so that more people could qualify for …

Using the HARP Program to Refinance an Underwater Mortgage

Just a few weeks ago, reader Sarah wrote in for advice on how to handle her underwater mortgage. Like many people who bought homes at the peak of the housing market in 2006 and 2007, she and her husband still owe significantly more than their home is worth. Her note describes her thought process as she considers how …

19 Things a New Homeowner Should Do Immediately to Save Money

So you’ve just moved into your nice new home. You’ve unloaded the boxes and started to unpack your life. Right now is the perfect time to walk through a checklist of ways to save money on your home for years to come. Starting on these things as early as possible will allow you to start …

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ve probably wondered at least once whether it would be worthwhile to pay it down ahead of schedule. And if so, you’re not alone. The debate over whether to prepay your mortgage has persisted in the personal finance world for some time now, and it’s not going away any time …

Best Home Equity Loan Rates for 2015

If you’re looking for the best home equity loan rates, you’re in good company. Home equity loans hold undeniable appeal for many homeowners. They’re a convenient way to unlock some cash by tapping the value built up in your home — money you otherwise won’t see unless you sell your home for a profit. Though …

Buying a House? How to Save for a Down Payment

By Peter Miller Saving for a new home has just become easier. Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac say they will now buy mortgages with as little as 3% down, a big drop from the old 5% minimum. Even though conforming loans are now easier to get because down payment requirements have been reduced, there’s …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Saving Money

Why the Fed’s New ‘Rate Checker’ Doesn’t Check Out

By Peter Miller The government is out with a new mortgage rate site, a resource that’s been greeted with cries of outrage from many within the mortgage industry. So what is this site, does it help borrowers save money, and why has there been so much controversy? The government routinely posts information regarding just about …

Why You Should Buy Less House Than You Can Afford

When it comes to real estate, the more you spend, the more money everyone makes. And it happens on every level of your home purchase. The costs start adding up once you find the perfect place. According to the National Association of Realtors, real estate agents get paid by taking a percentage of the purchase price of your …

Categories: Housing, Loans, Real Estate

Should You Live at Home to Save Money During College?

What would you say to shaving off about $10,000 a year from your college expenses? The average college graduate leaves school with more than $29,000 in student loan debt, but one common option to reduce that figure by thousands of dollars is to live at home instead of on campus. The average annual cost of room and …

Categories: Education, Family, Housing

25 Simple Ways to Cut the Cost of Moving

Let’s face it: Moving can be a pain in the rear end. My first few moving experiences were horrific. But after that, I was much more prepared, made arrangements well in advance,  and things went smoothly. Planning to relocate in the near future? Whether near or far, here are some hacks to streamline the process: …

Categories: Home and Life, Housing

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