Ways to Cut Expenses

Ways to Cut Expenses

COVID-19 has many Americans wondering how they can save money. There are many going through a tough time financially during this season, and you are not alone. Whether you’ve been effected by the hot and cold market days or you’re laid off during this time, we are here for you. Here are some ways to take this time with stride as the days come. Refinance your home. We cannot stress this enough! With mortgage rates at an ALL TIME low, your home payment can lower and your quality of everyday life can improve. Consolidate debt and lower all interest fees. Get rid of multiple credit cards! You can also consolidate insurance premiums, cell phone plans within the home, or even cable and internet packages! These are necessities in this day and age, but maybe try the switch from a cable company to a streaming service. Or, check the difference in price offered by your phone company to package internet with your phone costs. Eat at home! Purchasing meals and preparing for the work week ahead will save you more than you know. This is a major money saver for Americans.Additionally, see where you can stand to purchase generic on groceries. We love Aldi for this! They have great options for shelf stable foods and low prices of meats and dairy. When you shop, go with a list prepared and DO NOT DEVIATE!Buy bulk! Speaking of groceries, try this. It’s an upfront cost, but saves money in the long run. Paper products, detergents, and bulk baking goods such as flour, peanut butter, sugars, oils, and more are all great to...
Fire Safety Tips

Fire Safety Tips

“Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape?” With this statement, The American Red Cross gives some perspective on just how fast a home fire can impact our lives. Having the correct fire safety precautions and plan can make all the difference for just a couple of minutes. We absolutely hope that day never comes for you and yours, but the Romanski Group is here with just a few tips to prepare you for an emergency if you have to face one! These tips come from the American Red Cross. Install Smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas. Test those once a month, and if they’re not working, change the batteries. Click here to purchase smoke detectors.Keep a fire extinguisher inside the home! To operate a fire extinguisher, just remember “PASS: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep nozzle side to side.”Communicate! Talk with anyone living inside your home and form an escape plan. Then, practice the routine. Click here for a print out to draw your floor plan and plot an escape. If a fire occurs in your home, get out and stay out! Do not go back inside the home for anyone or anything. Call for help! Your local fire department will know what to do and are trained for any fire situation, big or small. Other resources: Click here for a Fire Safety Checklist created by FEMA or here for one from Prevention 1st. Both are great...
Low Mortgage Rates

Low Mortgage Rates

The recent drop in mortgage rates may have you dreaming of buying a new home or refinancing your current house. You’re not alone. Today’s low interest rates are providing a break to new homeowners, making homeownership more desirable and achievable at the same time. Freddie Mac explains, “The combination of very low mortgage rates, a strong economy and more positive financial market sentiment all point to home purchase demand continuing to rise over the next few months.” There’s a current narrative that owning a home today is less affordable than it has been in the past. The reason some are making this claim is because house prices have substantially increased over the last several years. It’s not, however, just the price of a home that matters. Homes, in most cases, are purchased with a mortgage. The current mortgage rate is a major component of the affordability equation. Mortgage rates have fallen by over a full percentage point since December 2018. Another major piece of the affordability equation is a buyer’s income. The median family income has risen by approximately 3% over the last year. The chart below is featured from FRED Economic Research. It shows the 30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage in the United States from 1980 to current times. Look at that drop, how crazy! In just 40 years, mortgage interest rates have dropped almost 15%! What an incredible cost savings! The National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases a monthly Housing Affordability Index. The latest index shows that home affordability is better today than at almost any point over the last 30 years. The index determines how affordable homes are based on the following: “A Home Affordability...
10 Things to Avoid Before Closing on Your Home

10 Things to Avoid Before Closing on Your Home

So you’ve been pre-approved for your first mortgage loan, and you’ve found the perfect starter home. Your offer was accepted, the home inspection has been negotiated and your loan officer locked you in at a competitive rate. You likely think you’ve all but sealed the deal. You won’t officially be a homeowner for maybe another 20-30 days, give or take, so don’t get careless. Because guess what? Your lender will check your credit again just before your closing date, prior to granting you the funds. Your lender might also need additional information from you while processing your loan application. That means that keeping your finances stable and being readily available to answer any questions over that 30-day time period is pretty important. Here are 10 things you should avoid doing before closing your mortgage loan. DO NOT…. Buy a big-ticket item: a car, a boat, an expensive piece of furnitureQuit or switch your jobOpen or close any lines of credit (NONE!)Pay bills lateIgnore questions from your lender or brokerLet someone run a credit check on youMake large deposits to your accounts outside of your paycheckCosign a loan with anyoneChange bank accountsTake out any payday loans Depending on your personal situation, you might want to take some time to get comfortable with your new mortgage payment — and after that, it’s probably okay to splurge on that new kitchen table, go on a long vacation or open a new line of credit. But doing so before you close could potentially put getting your home in jeopardy.  Bottom Line It’s now more difficult to get a mortgage loan. As a homebuyer, you don’t want anything...
Property Tax Exemptions

Property Tax Exemptions

The Property Tax Exemption Deadline in Indiana is Approaching! Are You Entitled to a Property Tax Exemption? If you purchased a house, changed the deed, or refinanced on your mortgage, you should make sure the correct exemptions are filed on your home. The Romanski Group of Keller Williams Realty wants to remind you to file your property tax exemptions by the end of the year!  If exemptions aren’t filed or confirmed by December 31 your taxes could go up substantially.  Below is a summary of common exemptions along with contact information for each county below. Homestead Deduction – If you own a home or are buying on a recorded contract, and use it as your primary place of residence, your home could qualify for a homeowner’s deduction. A taxpayer cannot receive the Homestead Deduction in multiple states as the homestead is considered the “principle place of residence”. The deduction is either 60% of your assessed valuation or a maximum of $45,000. Mortgage Deduction – If you are buying property on a recorded mortgage or a recorded contract, and you are a resident of the State of Indiana, you could qualify for a mortgage deduction. The value of the deduction may not exceed the amount of the indebtedness. The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $3,000, whichever is less. A person owning more than one property may not receive mortgage deductions totaling more than $3,000. There are several other property tax exemptions that may be available to you as well which you may want to inquire about. Please find your county below and file your homestead...
#1 Reason To List Your House In Winter

#1 Reason To List Your House In Winter

There’s a myth many home sellers believe, and that is you should wait until Spring to put your home on the market. In fact, you should do the opposite and list in the Winter. Selling in the Winter have a greater advantage in terms of the type of buyers they attract, marketing and more. Here are the top 10 reasons that debunk the myth to wait to list for warmer weather and why Winter is the time to sell in Lafayette Indiana! The #1 reason to list your house in the winter: Less competition. Housing supply traditionally shrinks at this time of year, so the choices buyers have will be limited. As you can see, the ‘sweet spot’ to list your house for the most exposure naturally occurs in the late fall and winter months (November – January). Here are the other 9 reasons to list your home in winter…. 2. Corporate transfers. Statistically, January & February are the highest months of the year for corporate employees transferring and relocating. This makes listing during the Winter months and opportune time. 3. Non-contingent buyer. If you’re looking to buy, then you’d want to be able to sell now because by the time Spring arrives you have the opportunity to be a non-contingent buyer. Which means that if you find the home you love, you’ve already sold your current home and you won’t have to wait until you find a Spring Buyer. In addition, because more homes are for sale during the Spring, this could drive down market prices meaning you have the ability to sell high and buy low. 4. Low interest rates. Interest rates...