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April 13, 2018

Important Tips While Budgeting For a New Home

new home budgetingYou dream of owning a great home to suit your taste and needs. However, this may have to cost you quite a lot of money. It therefore means that there will be alterations in your current spending or savings. Well, the way you will budget for a new home is dependent on several factors. It will depend on whether you are planning to own the first home, meaning you want to move from a rented house to your own home, or if you want to move from a first house to a dream home.

Whichever level you are at, there are several factors that will determine how much you budget for a new home. These factors include;

• Your earning– It could be your personal earning, or yours and that of your spouse if you plan to jointly buy a home.

• The Location of your home – Where exactly do you want to live? Some estates are more expensive than others.

• The size of your dream home- This may also include the size of the house as well as the land on which the house will sit on.

• How long you want to pay for it – If you want credit for a shorter time, then you may have to choose a cheaper home and vice versa.

After considering these factors, then it is time to come up with a real budget for your home. Remember that it is your own home, a treasure for yourself to take pride and find comfort in. Therefore, take time to budget for the best. Below are basic steps towards getting a perfect budget for your home:

1. Get informed

Be sure to visit a real estate and property development company, to get the available options in terms of different properties available in the market and their value as they have a better understanding.

2. Timing

Decide the exact day that you want to move to your new home. Do not wish for a particular time span when you want to move to the new home, say like in the next three months, but rather set a specified target date.

3. Calculate how much you can afford

Use a mortgage calculator to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay monthly.

If you are cost sharing a mortgage;

• Open a money market account or an alternative of a high-interest savings account. Ensure the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guarantees your money.

• For every month, deposit the total money (two halves if you are two) to the savings account monthly. Deposit the money until the date for moving in is due. Spend the money to pay for your new home.

4. Reduce your spending

In order to do this, you need to be realistic by spending less than you earn. Make a plan and stick to it. For example, you may realize that you don’t need to live in that two bedroom apartment especially if you don’t have kids. Therefore moving to a one bedroom apartment may save up to around 30% of your expenses which you could channel towards home ownership.

5. Increase your earnings

While most people believe in spending less to save, I think working that extra job is a sure way of increasing your savings. Take up any money making opportunity that comes your way. You could also opt to get a second job as a side hustle to top up your main source of income.

Conclusion

To succeed in owning a new home, you may have to forego some expenses, however small they may seem. These may include your daily cup of coffee which may cost $5 but accumulates to $150 in a month.

As much as you are looking towards owning the best home, be careful so that you do not strain so much that you will have to compromise on basic needs such as food.

While owning a home may seem a hard process that requires a lot of sacrifices, at the end of the day, it is worth it, so go for it!

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September 5, 2017

Why property investment should be a key part of Estate Planning?

plan for your estatePeople underestimate the importance of property investments within estate planning until it’s too late. Estate planning is your declaration after you pass away. You may not want your family to receive money and other assets you intended for your wife and children. Molly McCollough found out how essential property investment within estate planning is the hard way.

Meet Molly

Molly McCollough is a 54 year old woman who is the founder of Theature Company. Molly thought she and her husband has everything figured out. They never thought they needed life insurance or a strategy for financial planning because they were married and didn’t have children, so everything would be left to Molly. After her husband, Joe died, Molly found out being his wife didn’t carry much weight in collecting his estate.

The Issue

Molly’s husband didn’t have a will, and the money he left behind was in a foreign bank account that did not have her name on it. Because Molly’s name was not on any of the accounts, she didn’t have access to anything.

Molly was afraid and mourning the death of her husband. Molly needed to figure out a way to gain access to his estate before his family tried to claim any part of the estate. Molly felt her husband was hiding secrets, and she didn’t know where to turn or who she could trust.

Molly said, “There’s just something about death and greed and money and long-buried resentment that bubbles to the surface when there’s any substantial inheritance. It tears families apart. People lie and steal and cheat.” In her situation, she was right. Joe’s family did just what Molly hoped they wouldn’t. They came and took all of his estate and left her with nothing. Inheritance drama is something no one wants to deal with and it can cause years of frustration, and put a rift between families.

Life insurance, financial planning, and estate planning are things you need to discuss with your partner before it’s too late. Make sure you and your partner have a will whether you have children or not. If these things are not in place before you pass away, the state will do what they see fit, and most of the time, it’s not what you wanted.

The Solution

At Unified Lawyers, we work tirelessly to help people who don’t understand wills, trusts, estate planning, and similar assets. We understand the urgency in these situations and always put our best foot forward. We are not a traditional law firm. We believe in helping people instead of collecting a check. All our fees and costs are straightforward so each of our clients know how every cent of their money was spent. We are here to help you get your situation resolved.

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June 29, 2017

7 Tips on How to Buy a Luxury Home

luxury home buyingLooking for a luxury home or condo? Don’t know how to find the best deal. The following 7 tips can help you buy your dream home.

1. Get familiar with the search process

Many luxury homes do not protect the privacy of their sellers. Those properties are quite often found later through the personal connections of Realtors. The large search engines don’t always cover everything you need. So, you may need to check a lot of online sources when searching for a real estate.

2. Go beyond the photos

Do not dismiss a real estate based on its front elevation photographs. The large homes and condos are often not photogenic. Your best bet would be to see a property in person. It’s also a good idea to do some search on Google Earth. This computer program can help you explore the property itself and its vicinity as well. This way you will be able to see what is around the home you’re looking for. You can also use the online search tools when searching for the luxurious properties. If you’re looking for a real estate within Hilton Head Island, make use of such a tool to find the best sea pines real estate.

3. Contact a local expert and reliable adviser

Once you’ve determined the location of your property, you should contact a buyer agent. A local expert can provide you with important info about the property you want to buy. Some high-end areas have a controlled access with the fewer open houses. Sometimes, you will have to make a few appointments to get access. Besides a local buyer agent, you should also hire a reliable Realtor for some suggestions.

4. Gather your financial documents

It is critical to document everything before heading to the high-end market. Pay attention to financial documentation in particular. People who are making a lot of money have an accountant or a manager to shelter their money.

5. Bank on your relationship

The banks keep the portfolios of their clients for many years. So make sure to go to the bank(s) you have the relationships with. It’s good to know the difference between the prequalification letter and pre-approval letter.

6. Don’t forget your title insurance

The title insurances ensure that you’re protected against possible issues that may occur. Before closing time, you need to take a look at the exceptions page. This page is included in the title insurance, but many people are not aware of it.

7. Get familiar with co-ops and condos

You need to know in advance what to expect with condominiums and cooperatives. Your attorney should represent you for condos and co-ops when you enter the field. The attorney should also do a thorough research on the financial viability of the real estate you are interested in. There is always a room to negotiate before you make an offer. Let your agent investigate the comparable real estates that have recently sold in that area. That will help you get the more affordable closing price.

Look into the future. Try to find out what buildings are planned around your property in the near future. And be aware of the timeline. Don’t tie your money up for an extended period of time. You may miss a good opportunity due to the construction delays.

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June 10, 2017

Time to Honor your Parents by gifting them a House

property to giftNo matter who you are and where you are, you can never fully repay your parents for all the care, love and sacrifices that they have made. Isn’t it?

But increasingly, many people who have already taken care off their financial responsibilities (like buying a house, paying for children’s education, etc.), are honoring their parents by gifting them a house. Also, father’s day is around the corner.

This is indeed a great gesture that shouldn’t be only evaluated from the financial angle.

Gift or not, there is no doubt that house purchases are major decisions. And they cost a lot of money. But if you too are planning to gift your parents a house, then it shouldn’t be a problem as home loans are easily available at very low rates. Ofcourse you need to have a good credit history and a reasonably good repayment capacity to avail home loans.

But even before getting into the financial aspect of the house purchase, you need to be careful before selecting a house for your parents. More so if they would be living in that house.

Any house that is to be occupied by senior people should be built keeping in mind the ease-of-use from seniors’ angle. Like if you are looking to buy a flat, then it should have the lift facility or it should be on the ground floor. To ensure proper ventilation and lighting, its better to opt for a house/flat that has more open windows/balconies.

Security is another factor while selecting a property for parents. If the flat being considered is in a residential society, then security aspect is taken care off. But if it’s a standalone house, then you need to think about how secure would the property be, if the parents were to live there alone. Of course all these factors will reduce the number of options (properties) that fit all your criteria. But that is necessary considering the limitations that seniors have.

So all in all, once you have taken care of most of your financial responsibilities, go ahead and surprise your parents with the biggest gift of their lives.

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November 8, 2015

How to Exit a Commercial Property Lease without Making Mistakes

Property lease agreementThe business environment in most cases is extremely dynamic and fiercely competitive. It is not unusual for business to fold up even after making a great start. Many retail businesses need to keep on experimenting with location, and hence may be found to be closing down one store only to open up another one somewhere else. The reason for wanting to terminate commercial property leases can be varied; the business at that location could be bleeding money, or the demographics may have changed substantially, or the competition may have been too hot. Businesses need to enter into commercial leases for property all the time and may also need to foreclose them a lot many times too. Before walking out of the lease, you should carefully consider a number of things:

What Do You Really Want?

Closing a business at a particular location could often be the solution that is obvious but one that is not necessarily always right. Before even attempting to discuss the lease termination, be sure that you have considered every option available to you. If the reason for moving out is a need for more space, then your landlord could come to your rescue with offer for a fresh space and facilitate the lease termination. It is also important to evaluate if the necessity of terminating the lease is born out of personal circumstances rather than commercial ones. It is important for you to understand the real reasons for the change as this will give you a platform for effectively negotiating with the landlord.

Quantify Lease Termination Benefits

The option of terminating your lease can only be beneficial if the savings you get out of it is more than the compensation required to be paid to the landlord. The only way you can arrive at a rational decision is if you can quantify the value accruing to you so that you do not end up paying more than what you are benefiting by. One way of calculating the benefit is by finding the difference between the net profits expected to be delivered by the new location over the old one. If the reason for lease termination is to get time to attend to personal issues, then you would need to establish if the monetary loss on account of the termination is more than offset by what you are trying to achieve after you close down your business.

Identify the Landlord’s Financial Impact

To ensure that you are able to negotiate to good lease termination it is also necessary for you to establish the impact of the termination on the landlord. The most obvious is that he would lose out on the lease rentals till such time he can get a new tenant to occupy the space and start paying the rentals. If the business environment is down, then he may not get the same rental as what you had been paying, however the opposite could be equally true if the space is commercially attractive. Lease termination negotiation goes better of you can get an idea of the redeployment opportunities available to the landlord.

Compensate Your Landlord

Among the ways you can add value to the solving the landlord’s predicament is find creative solutions to what the landlord could do with the space becoming available. If you have been able to assess the location constraints that led to your business failing and how other business can thrive in the same property, you may be able to convince the landlord to change the usage of the space and get a better income stream. You could also tap the local real estate brokers for market information, including the duration that the landlord is likely to take to find a new tenant and the sort of rentals he can expect to derive out of his property. You could also try and identify a prospective tenant for him who can take over your lease. There are a number of internet resources that you can take the assistance of to locate a prospective lessee.

Nancy Mulligan is the senior business reporter at one of the top financial dailies. She periodically writes on trends in commercial real estate and financing. She also consults for leasequit.com.

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