How To Save Towards A Down Payment For A House

In order to buy a house, many individuals need to come up with a substantial down payment. Fortunately, there are numerous ways that they can come up with the money they need. Here are four ways to save for a down payment for a house.

Get Rid Of Unnecessary Expenses

Many of us have a lot of unnecessary expenses every month. For those that are trying to save for a house, they need to get rid of these expenses. Things like gym memberships, cable or eating out can all be gotten rid of. These expenses may not seem like a lot, but they really can add up over the course of several months. To determine what can be cut, it’s necessary to have a thorough budget. In order to determine exactly where a household’s money is going, several months’ worth of bank statements should be gone through.

Temporarily Stopping Retirement Savings

Retirement is important to most individuals. However, for those that are saving for a down payment, they can temporarily halt those retirement savings. This will allow them to reach their savings goals quicker. If they aren’t comfortable completely stopping their retirement savings, they can simply lessen the amount they save every month. Once they purchase a house, they can continue to save for retirement.

Find A Second Job

It may be necessary to get a second job in order to save for a down payment for a house. Fortunately, there are all sorts of things that an individual can do. Ride-share and delivery drivers tend to be able to set their own schedules, and they can work as little or as much as they want. For those that have a passion for children, they can babysit or offer tutoring services.

Sell Unwanted Items

Many individuals accumulate a lot of stuff throughout the years. Extra cash can be brought in by selling some of their unwanted items. They can make some extra money by having a yard-sale or posting items online. While they probably won’t be able to get all of the money they need for a down payment, it will definitely give them a good boost to their savings. It will also allow them to not have to move these items to their new home.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.org

Effective Ways To Grow Your Real Estate Business

There are many opportunities in real estate, especially if you’re someone that enjoys engaging with people. Real estate is often worthy of consideration as a career choice because everyone needs a place to live. If you currently have a real estate business and you’re looking for ways to grow it, the following tips will provide guidance for your journey.

Expand Your Professional Network

It’s always prudent to expand your professional network, especially if you have a real estate business. You can establish a business page on LinkedIn that enables you to connect with more professionals. While networking online is valuable, it’s also important to go out into the community and connect with other professionals.

Create a Strategic Plan

Strategic planning is important for business growth. This enables you to make an assessment of your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats through a SWOT analysis. You can use this planning tool to figure out what’s working and what isn’t working so that you can make the necessary adjustments.

Establish Partnerships

As a business owner, one of the best things you can do is develop professional relationships. This will give you a greater opportunity to establish partnerships that can offer win-win opportunities. For instance, you can collaborate with an interior designer or others in your industry with a different focus.

Hire an Assistant

Sometimes it can be difficult to expand your real estate business if you have too many responsibilities. This issue can be mitigated by outsourcing certain functions or hiring an assistant to reduce your workload. If you don’t have the physical office space for another person, you can try a virtual assistant. This has proven to be effective in recent years because of technological advancements.

Increase Your Marketing Efforts

Growing your real estate business requires you to increase your marketing efforts to drive more people to your online assets. That can be through a more comprehensive social media marketing campaign or by hiring experts to assist you with search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

Which of these business growth tips is right for you will depend on your unique situation. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, you can hire a consultant to provide the guidance needed to achieve your desired outcomes.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net

What To Ask Before Refinancing Your Home

You’ve heard the news that refinancing your home can save you a ton of money in the future. It’s likely that you’ve even heard some of your family and friends talk about how they’ve been redoing their mortgages. If you’re considering refinancing your home, here are some necessary questions you’ll want to ask before signing on the dotted line.

What’s Your Reason For Refinancing?

Homeowners can have many reasons for considering refinancing their home mortgage. You may want to take advantage of a lower interest rate, you may want to pull equity out of your home, or you may want to lock in a fixed rate instead of keeping a variable one. Each one of these goals can be achievable with a refinance. However, you should have a clear idea of what your desired outcome is going to be before you start the loan process. This way, you can be assured that the refinance terms you get fit your overall desired outcome.

What’s Your Credit Like?

Before you try to take advantage of better interest rates, you’ll need to assess your credit score. That pesky little score can alter your ability to get the best financing options out there. You’ll want to aim for a score that’s in the excellent range. If you can enhance your score in the short-run, you should do so before applying. There are various ways to quickly improve your score. The most obvious is paying down credit cards.

Know Your Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

Refinancing a home doesn’t come free. The new lender is going to charge you fees to set up your new loan and assess things like your credit score. It’s a good idea to talk with the lender before starting the loan application process to become aware of the fees that you’ll need to pay to complete the refinance. In some cases, you may not be able to wrap in closing costs into your loan amount. This means that you’ll be responsible for paying them out-of-pocket. This can get pretty costly depending on the amount of your loan.

When it comes to refinancing your home, it can be a great option to help you achieve your financial goals. This holds true when you take the time to consider how the refinance is going to assist you and verify that you can afford to do it. The above are three of the many questions you’ll want to consider before you agree to a home refinance.

This article was originally published on JasonCohenPittsburgh.net

Beginner’s Guide to Property Tax in Pennsylvania

Buying a home may be the biggest investment many people will ever make. In the United States, achieving home ownership represents success and an improved quality of life for many people. Owning a home, or any property, however, comes with the added costs of a mortgage, insurance, maintenance and property taxes.

When calculating the total cost of home ownership, it’s important to account for the expense of property and other local taxes, and to know you are getting the best services for the amount you pay. Property taxes pay for public education, libraries, transportation, road construction and maintenance, emergency services, parks and recreational facilities. While low taxes are appealing, excellent services are also important for maintaining quality of life and preserving real estate values.

Property taxes in Pennsylvania, as in most states, are determined county by county, and include county, municipal, and school district taxes. In Pennsylvania, homeowners are assessed property taxes that range from 1 to 2 percent of the assessed value of their residence, with an average effective tax rate of 1.55%. Tax assessors determine the tax burden for each property by assessing the value of the land and any buildings on the property. Pennsylvania uses a system called the mill levy for calculating property taxes, which assesses $1 in taxes for each $1,000 of property value.

For my full blog, please see http://jasoncohenpittsburgh.org/a-guide-to-property-tax-in-pennsylvania/.