Janice Walker's Blog
You may have heard about home warranties, but are unsure of what they are. A home warranty is an excellent addition to your home insurance and has a particular function. When you buy a home, the last thing you want to worry about is things breaking or malfunctioning in the house after you buy it. Buyers fear the expenses they may incur if items in the home start to break down shortly after the property becomes theirs. As a first-time homebuyer, a home warranty can be incredibly helpful since you may need a crash course on home maintenance.
Depending on what’s the norm for homebuyers locally, either the buyer or the seller will pay for the home warranty. Some sellers pay for warranties up front as an extra assurance to the buyer of the property they’re about to purchase. Sellers also use this as an excellent tactic to “wash their hands” of the property. The buyer won’t need to contact the seller if something goes wrong with the property. A home warranty is a fairly inexpensive way to show buyers that appliances and the home itself have been well taken care of. Occasionally, real estate agents will give buyers a home warranty as a gift for their business. Usually, this is done for higher-end homes.
Home warranties aren’t very expensive. They usually range in price around a few hundred dollars in cost. The cost is based on a yearly rate and can be renewed each year at a slightly higher premium.
How Do The Warranties Work?
The warranty provider works with specific companies for different purposes. When the homeowner calls the warranty provider to let them know there’s a problem, the service provider will call the homeowner to make arrangements to fix the problem. If an appliance cannot be repaired, the warranty company may replace the item. There are usually small service fees associated with these repairs and replacements.
Is Anything Not Covered?
A home warranty will not cover numerous items around the house. These items include:
Outdoor fixtures and plumbing
Indoor plumbing fixtures
Some appliances may not be covered
Home warranty plans can vary based on your location and the type of policy. Make sure you review what’s covered before you finalize any home warranty. It’s an individual choice that homeowners make to have a peace of mind when moving into a new place.
If you’re retired, own your own home and have trouble making ends meet, a reverse mortgage may seem like the answer to prayers. You get to stay in your house and you’ll have some extra cash to see you through. Before you run to the nearest lender, however, consider the downside as well as upside to these instruments.
What is a reverse mortgage?
A financial institution lends you money, either a lump sum, a stream of payments or a line of credit, against the equity in your home. Unlike most loans, however, you’re not required to pay it back on a regular basis. You can let the loan ride until you die, move or sell the home, at which your home is sold and the proceeds pay off the loan.
While there are several flavors of reverse mortgage, most are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) under a program called the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM).
Am I eligible for a reverse mortgage?
Everyone on the title must be 62 or older. The home must be your primary residence, and your equity needs to be at least around 50 percent. Also, you have to attend consumer counseling before signing up.
What are the pros of a reverse mortgage?
You stay in your home. You keep the title until you sell, move or die.
There are no required monthly payments. Any previous home loans are paid before you receive your proceeds.
If you choose to make payments, there’s no prepayment penalty.
The money you receive is not taxable, nor does it affect your Social Security or Medicare eligibility.
The loan is non-recourse. Regardless of your loan balance, you'll never have to pay back more than the house is worth.
What are the cons of a reverse mortgage?
Unless you make payments, the loan amount will continue to increase. It’s unlikely you’ll pass the home on to your heirs.
You must continue to pay taxes, insurance and necessary maintenance and repairs. Failure to do so can lead to foreclosure.
There are upfront and ongoing mortgage insurance premiums as well as a loan origination fee. These (and interest rates) trend higher than for other mortgage loans.
Your favorite bank may not offer reverse mortgages. Most issuers are small banks, credit unions and online lenders. Some lenders have made misleading claims that understate the risk.
If you go into a nursing home you will have to sell the home and pay off the loan.
While Social Security and Medicare are not an issue, reverse mortgage income can affect your eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
Should I apply for a reverse mortgage?
If you plan to stay in your home well into retirement and are having trouble with ongoing expenses, it may be right for you. However, if you aren’t cautious about what you’re getting into, or if you’ll have trouble paying taxes, insurance and upkeep even with the extra money, it isn’t a wise choice.
Changing your furnace air filter at the right time is vital when it comes to the quality of your indoor air. However, choosing the right furnace filter might be confusing because there are lots of options in the market. Therefore, consider the factors below before you purchase a furnace air filter.
Consider the type of HVAC unit
The first step towards getting the right furnace air filter is that you need to know the kind of your HVAC unit. You should note that high-efficiency HVAC unit that is modern will require an air filter size that is different from that of the older ones. Before shopping for a new air filter, note the model number as well as the size of the old one.
Take note of the medical requirement and specific allergy
You may need an air filter with a higher level of filtration if you or your family members suffer from asthma or allergies. So, look for an air filter that posses this level of superior performance to safeguard your health and that of your family.
Consider the climate
Mold and mildew problems are common in humid weather. When you live in an area that is hot or cold, you are likely to run your HVAC unit more than those in a temperate region, and there will be a need to replace your air filter regularly. All these factors should influence your choice when picking the right air filter.
Local air condition
The quality of outdoor air is essential when choosing an air filter. It has a significant impact on the efficiency rating requirement of your furnace air filter. Those living in a heavily polluted area or those that do not live close to a city where the air is fresh and less polluted need to consider this factor. These categories of people must make think about the quality of their indoor air when next they are replacing their air filter.
Presence of pets
Pets are friendly and a source of joy to many, but they can contaminate the air in the home with hair and pet dander. If you have pets at home, look for air filters that are ideal for homes having pets.
Once you consider the following factors, it will be straightforward to choose the right air filter from the overwhelming options available. By so doing, you are making sure that you and your family members are safe from any cough, asthma, allergies and any other health issues that an old or incorrect air filter can cause.
4 Longmeadow Road, Hingham, MA 02043