2020 Home Design Trends Wrapped

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on how we live our day to day lives. And one place where we can see a lot of the change happening for ourselves is within our home. From the way we work, to the way we exercise, to the way we recreate. Our homes have had to adapt in ways that we never thought possible resulting in some pretty unique trends in design and functionality both inside and out. That’s why we’ve reached out to the experts in home trends from Dallas to Sacramento to help our readers reflect on some of the best and worst design trends of the year. So sit back and enjoy 2020 design trends wrapped.

Board formed concrete

PIP concrete with wood boarding applied during the curing process adds texture and interest to a rudimentary/industrial building material, and adds a unique custom detail to the space. – Citron Design Group

Cane furniture

Why? Because sustainability is important – especially at home. Not to mention the look of cane furniture and accents provides an element of a tropical oasis and who doesn’t want to feel like they are on vacation while at home. It’s also a very durable product and can be done in a variety of ways making it accessible to many different types of people. – Styled Out West

Dual Master Suites

One trend we are seeing more and more of is the dual master suite which is located both on the first floor and second floor, giving the home the type of versatility buyers crave. With so many first-floor bedroom master suites being built, it was clear that builders were targeting the type of buyer who wouldn’t want to walk up the stairs. This became a problem for a lot of buyers who didn’t want their master on the first floor. Builders began introducing the Dual Master Suite ensuring that no matter the buyer’s preference they had the opportunity to choose which Master Suite they wanted to use. – Raleigh Realty

Biophilia

A holistic design approach that promotes wellness and sustainability.  This trend focuses on the human connection to nature and features elements of the natural world into built spaces.  Greenery, water, light and natural local materials can be used to bring this trend to life.  This design aesthetic can be used to reduce stress, expedite healing and improve cognitive function – areas of much need as we move forward! – Kingdom Construction & Remodel

Multi-functional outdoor spaces

Multi-functional outdoor living spaces are becoming a popular design staple in homes across the globe. More homeowners recognize that the spaces they live in do not need to be restricted to the walls surrounding them. Creating an outdoor living space provides a change of scenery while bringing the comfort of an indoor setting right to your backyard.  Outdoor living spaces allow you the freedom to be creative in setting the scene for the ideal atmosphere that suits your lifestyle. Enjoy preparing family meals on the outdoor grill, get lost in a good book in your reading nook, or set a serene space for meditation and yoga. – New Homes Directory

Unique “eye-catching” elements

2020 was a year we found ourselves spending a lot more time at home staring at our four walls. Maybe that’s why most new design trends helped end the grey on grey color palette that’s been so popular for the past decade. Adding unique elements to a space helps reflect the homeowner’s personality, and we embrace these interesting new trends. Wallpaper is now able to be printed on a variety of materials creating an endless variety of patterns and textures, florals being dominant in 2020. Tactile accessories stimulate multiple senses: bold patterned pillows in plush fabric, art pieces in soothing mixed metals, light fixtures with glittery crystals, and faux fur throws for a luxurious wrap, were just some of our favorites. – Annie Santulli Designs

Extra storage space

COVID has made all of us appreciate being home and thus there is more cooking and exercising at home. More cooking means more small appliances and more need for food. This in turn leads to a big need for storage solutions. Storage not just for food but for dumbbells and any workout equipment purchased to make way for homer workouts.

2021 is going to see a surge in requests to find ways to better store and put away our new tools and equipment so our spaces feel more fluid and multi-functional for our needs. – SeaCoast Construction

Natural wood finishes and darker tones

Two of the biggest design trends we saw gaining momentum in Los Angeles in 2020 were black exterior houses and natural wood cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms. We have to say, we love both and expect to see both a lot more in 2021. The black exterior paint instantly makes an older home more modern and it really stands out! We also really love the light-colored wood cabinets versus painted cabinets as we have seen the paint chips and don’t hold up as well for re-sale. – Doug & Ashley, Redesign Residential 

windows-house-features

windows-house-features

Coffee-stained wood tones, matte black finishes, and metals are emerging as the next big trend in kitchens. We’ll begin to see wood finishes on islands and cabinet boxes framing contrasting door faces, blurring the line between distinct combination looks. Cabinet doors and entire cabinets will also emerge in dark, matte metal and become huge in the kitchen. A warm crafted feel will be dominant in this modern Scandinavian look. Expect to see more aluminum, stainless steel, and matte black metal. – LuxePros

Smart Furniture

One of the notable trends we saw in 2020 was the adoption of ‘smart’ furniture; items with integrated technology and features. With the pandemic driving a huge increase in home working, this was especially true for home office desks. Helpful features such as wireless phone charging and integrated Bluetooth technology to connect devices all helped to bring the home office into the 21st century, making working from home easier than ever. We predict this trend will become mainstream as the shift from office to home working continues into 2021 and beyond. – Wooden Furniture Store

Integrated hardware

2020 has become a year of home. People had to spend a lot of time at home which resulted in a significant increase of attention to home interior. Staying at home helped people to notice a lot of things they would never see in the rush of a “normal” home-to-office routine. The main change is related to the free space we have (or haven’t) in our homes. Integrated hardware, as one of the examples, helps to remove unnecessary elements and allow this space for humans, not items. The integrated kitchen is an obvious trend in 2020. – Planner 5D

Sustainability

2020 was really a year of sustainability and respect for nature, Interior design trends have followed the same theme and it will continue to gain momentum in 2021. Things like minimalism in design, clean straight line finishes, wooden textures & furniture and design that enhances our connection with nature and the earth will be in vogue in the new year. – The Studio Bangalore

Functional spaces

2020 saw our homes increasingly become part of our professional space, whilst simultaneously also supporting our emotional need to unwind and relax. We saw a significant increase in multifunctional spaces that support working from home, and also noted an upturn in highly considered home cinemas. The spaces that we used to occupy outside of our home now need to form part of our homes. With this renewed focus upon in-home diversification, we predict that 2021 will see a return of more contrasting zones including formal dining rooms. 2021 will see open plan spaces giving way to multifunctional, and multi-zonal living which allows us to create alternative moods for different in-home experiences. – Rachel Usher Interior Design

Being at home through most of 2020 has confronted everyone with the reality of how the function of their space (or more often, don’t function) for themselves, their family, and/or their lifestyle. I think what’s OUT for 2020 is designing spaces with aesthetics as the primary concern. What’s IN for 2021 (and hopefully forevermore) is designing spaces from a humanistic perspective that puts an emphasis on user experiences like excellent space planning and appropriate material selections for ease of maintenance, and allowing the design to take shape ergonomically in a way that also highlights the client’s aesthetic tastes. – Shana Cunningham Designs

As we transition out of 2020 into 2021, multifunctional spaces will continue to be a trend. However, I would not recommend placing a television above a fireplace in order to save space and transform your living room.  Not only is it a neck bender, but a television is also a distraction from such a charming focal point and defeats the relaxing and soothing effects a fireplace offers. A fireplace provides the intimate, warm, and friendly experience we all are craving in these unprecedented times. – Romanza Interior Design

Charcoal gray tones

In 2020, we saw charcoal gray become a popular paint color for home interior use. It’s an unexpected neutral that makes a stronger statement than the usual beiges and whites, and in addition to practicality–it hides stray scuffs and marks!—it serves as an elegant backdrop for gold or brass, pops of color, or lighter neutrals. For the coming year, we foresee globally-inspired decor becoming a major trend. As people get excited to plan travel again after the pandemic, they’ll be similarly moved to decorate their homes in the styles of far-flung locales—and that fresh coat of charcoal gray paint will serve as the perfect backdrop! – Blissful Interior Design

Source: redfin.com

Homie’s Boise, Idaho Housing Market Update December 2020

The real estate market is getting hotter and hotter. The local Boise market is no exception. Here’s your monthly update on what’s happening.

Data from Intermountain MLS from December 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

Monthly Sales

According to data from the Intermountain MLS, Boise home sales are dipping monthly but higher year-over-year. At 1,245 units sold, there were 91 fewer monthly sales in December than in November, a 6.8% decrease. This follows seasonal real estate trends. Looking at yearly changes, there were 28 more homes sold in December 2020 than in December 2019. That’s an increase of 2.3% from last year.

ID Monthly Sales Dec 2020

Data via Intermountain MLS.

Sale Price

At $452K, Idaho’s average sale prices continued to rise last year. The average home price in December 2020 was $87K, or 23.7%, higher than in December 2019. The monthly trend follows the yearly move upward. Average home sale prices were up by $3.7K, or .8%, from November 2020.

Idaho Sales Prices Dec 2020

Data via Intermountain MLS.

Days on Market (DOM)

Homes in Boise are going off the market faster than ever. December’s average number of Days on the Market was 18. The previous month’s average DOM was 17, so the average DOM has stayed steady with a one day, 5.5% increase. The average DOM in December of 2019 was 48. That means a 30-day (a whole month!) decrease year-over-year–a staggering drop of 61.9%. Homebuyers will need to jump to make an offer quickly when they find a home they like.

ID DOM Dec 2020

Data via Intermountain MLS.

Analysis from Max Coursey, Homie Head of Idaho Real Estate

“Boise is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Since COVID-19, this trend has only accelerated. There are roughly 2,000 (79%) fewer houses on the Boise market now than there were last year, and we already had a housing shortage a year ago. I have personally never seen numbers this low in my 18-year career in the Treasure Valley. This lack of homes for sale and tremendous population growth has led to a very strong seller’s market. It’s not unusual to hear of a seller receiving 20 offers on a property.

Because of the fierce competition and lack of inventory, many homes are selling significantly above the asking price. To sweeten the pot further, buyers often waive inspections and appraisals and offer generous seller leasebacks and other concessions. Sales price data typically lags, as it usually takes 30 days for a home to close after listing, and reports come out monthly. I believe Boise’s median average home prices are actually higher than the numbers stated in the reports.

The good news for buyers is that interest rates are at or near their lowest levels in the last 40 years. This has made home buying more affordable. Buyers can procure a strong hedge against future inflation by securing low interest rates that are fixed for 30 years. If inflation ever comes back, these buyers will be repaying depreciating dollars. In other words, they get more bang for their buck.”

Turn to a Homie

Homie now has local real estate agents in Idaho. These agents are pros in everything they do, including understanding the local real estate market. Click to start selling or buying and to get in touch with your dedicated agent.

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Source: homie.com

Money Market Vs Savings: What’s The Difference?

Money market accounts and savings accounts have a lot of similarities than you may think. Among other things, both allow you to achieve your saving goals risk-free or very low risk.

However, the choice between money market vs savings accounts often boils down to interest rates and fees. So, before you decide on which account to open, it’s important to compare many of their features.

Money Market vs Savings: Overview

Money market accounts and savings accounts have a lot in common.

Both types of accounts allow you to deposit a certain amount of money with a bank and you get some type of interest on your money in return.

Your money in a savings account and a money market account are FDIC insured. There are some key differences, though. Money market accounts offer a higher interest rate than savings accounts.

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Minimum monthly deposit of $100 OR minimum balance of $25k.

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Most savings accounts require no minimum balance, while money market accounts usually require a high minimum balance–around $1,000.

Savings accounts are very liquid, meaning that you can easily transfer money between checking and savings accounts.

On the other hand, money market accounts, while also liquid, will penalize you if you fall below the minimum required deposit.

Money market accounts have check writing privileges, while savings account have none.

Click here to open a money market account today.

Money Market vs Savings: Table

This table below compares some of the features found in savings and money market accounts. 

Money Market Accounts Savings Accounts
FDIC-insured Yes–up to $250,000 Yes–up to $250,000
Checks 6 check per month No
Minimum balance Yes –usually $1,000 None
Transactions 6 per month 6 per month
Interest rate Yes Yes
Best Account CIT Bank Money Market Account CIT Savings Builder
Money market vs savings

What Is A Money Market Account?

A money market account or MMA is a type of bank savings account, but with some additional and different features than a regular savings account.

The interest rate on money market accounts are better than that of savings accounts. Moreover, they offer check-writing privileges.

That means you can write checks to 3rd parties, typically up to 3 per month, against your balance. They even offer debit card privileges as well.

Lastly, the FDIC insures MMA up to $250,000, just like a savings account.

One thing to note is that you should not confused MMAs with money market funds.

While they are great place to park your money as they invest in short-term investments such as certificate of deposit, treasury bills, and other government securities, they are not the same thing.

Pros & Cons of Money Market Accounts

Pros

1) Interest rates

One of the reasons most people prefer an MMA is the fact they offer a much higher interest rate than savings accounts.

2) Check writing and debit card privileges

MMAs offer check writing and debit card privileges. But there is a limit. You can only write six checks per month against your balance.

So, MMAs are best for those who do not need to write more than six checks. Also, there is no penalty when withdrawing your money.

3) FDIC insured

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC),an independent federal agency, insures money market accounts, just like savings accounts, up to $250,000. 

Cons

1) Account minimums

MMAs generally require a deposit minimum amount to open the account and requires you to maintain a minimum balance to receive the best interest rate.

So MMAs are a good choice for those investors and savers who can maintain a high daily balance in the account.

2) Account fees

Another drawback of MMAs is the fee. If you don’t maintain the required minimum balance, a fee will apply.

So, maintaining the minimum balance is important because any fee will eat out your interest or earnings.

What is a savings account

A savings account is a deposit account that you can open at a bank or other financial institution. This account pays very little interest.

However, it is very safe and it is a good option to save your money.

Savings accounts are generally good for students or those with very little money and those who want easy access to their funds without penalty.

They are a good place to save money for short-term goals such as saving money to buy a house, or building an emergency fund.

You have unlimited money withdrawals. However, you can only make six withdrawal transactions.

Click here to open a savings account now.

Pros and Cons of Savings Accounts

Pros

1) FDIC insured

Savings accounts are FDIC insured-or NCUA insured (if offered by a credit union)

2) Liquidity

Savings accounts are very liquid. That means you get quick access to your funds at any time without any penalty.

3) Minimum balance

Unlike money market accounts, savings accounts typically have no initial deposit or minimum balance requirement.

However, a high-yield savings account may require a minimum balance. And a maintenance fee or a penalty may apply if your balance falls below the required minimum.

Cons

1) Interest

A regular savings account pays interest just like a money market account, though the interest paid by a savings account is very, very low.

Money Market vs Savings: which one should you choose?

Best Money Market Accounts

CIT Bank Money Market Account

The CIT Bank money market account is one of the best ones out there. Currently, the money market account offers a 1.0% APY.

This is very competitive comparing to other MMAs.  Moreover, CIT Bank’s MMA has a required account minimum of only $100.

Open a CIT Bank Money Market Account.

Best Savings Accounts

CIT bank Savings Builder

SAVINGS ACCOUNT

The CIT Bank Savings Builder is among the best savings accounts where you can a very competitive interest rate.

In fact, you can earn a better rate with CIT bank Savings Builder than most money market accounts. The Savings Builder is currently offering a 0.95% APY.

To get this competitive rate, you can 1) open the account with a minimum of $100 and deposit at least $100 per month afterwards.

Or, (2) open an account with a minimum of $25,000.

Open a CIT Bank Savings Builder today.

What should you use a money market account and savings account for?

Both MMAs and savings accounts are great places to park you hard earned cash safely. Indeed, they are great places for short term goals like:

Emergency fund: If you’re saving money for a rainy day such as a loss of job, paying medical bills, major car repairs, an MMA or savings account is a good place to do it. The reason is because the money is safe there and you have quick and easy access to it. According to experts, you should have at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in that fund.

Down payment: Savings accounts and money market accounts are great places for a down payment on a house.

Other popular reasons for saving money in a savings accounts and MMAs are for large purchases such as a car or vacation.

Money Market vs Savings: the bottom line

Deciding on a money market account and a savings account depends largely on what is important to you. For example, are you looking for a better interest rate? If so, an MMA is a better choice.

However, if one of your concern about whether you choose an MMA or a savings account is liquidity, then a savings accounts may be appropriate.

Another factor to consider is how frequently you will need to access your funds. Both accounts however are safe. They are both insured by the federal government up to $250,000.

One thing to keep in mind, however, these accounts generally offer interest rates that are inferior to other investments such as mutual funds or stocks are offering.

For that reason, use these accounts for short-term solutions.

Related:

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

  • If you have questions about your finances, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc).
  • Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

The Best Money Market Mutual Funds To Consider

The best money market mutual funds are a good place to keep your cash while earning interest. Bank checking and savings accounts and money market accounts are good alternatives for your cash.

But money market funds offer a higher rate of return than these other short-term investments.

One of the best money market mutual funds is the Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund. This fund has a current yield of 1.69%. That is way more than any checking and savings account are offering.

Money market funds are considered very safe. However, they are not FDIC insured. If the lack of FDIC insurance concerns you, you may wish to invest in online savings accounts, money market accounts, or certificate of deposits (CDs).  

In this article, we will define what a money market fund is. We will list the cons and pros of those funds. We will address the main situations you will need these type of funds. Finally, we will list the best money market mutual funds to choose from.

What are money market funds?

Money market funds are a type of mutual funds. They were launched in 1975 as a way to provide investors quick liquidity to their cash, provide current income and protect the investors’ principal.

Since then, they have become extremely popular. Unlike other mutual funds which focus on other securities such as stocks and bonds, they invest in “money market” securities.

Large companies and corporations, financial institutions and the U.S. government borrow money by issuing “money market” securities as promises to repay the debts.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTCIT Savings Builder – Earn 0.85% APY. Here’s how it works: Make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Or Maintain a minimum balance of $25k. Member FDIC. Click Here to Learn More.

For instance, the U.S. government borrows money by selling bonds or Treasury bills or notes. Banks borrow money by selling certificate of deposit (CDs).

Big companies borrow money by issuing IOUs called commercial paper. These money market securities make up the money market fund.

Mutual fund and investment companies such as Vanguard and Fidelity offer these investments. They are low risk and they provide high yield.

Some funds are intended for retail investors. Retail investors are natural investors like you and me.

On the other hand, there are funds that are intended for institutional investors. Those funds usually require high minimum investments.

Money Market funds vs. Money Market Accounts

The names may sound the same. But, they are two different types of investments.

To recap, a money market fund is a type of mutual fund. A mutual fund company such as Vanguard or Fidelity offers this type of investment. These funds invest in short-term debt. They offer higher returns than money market accounts.

On the other hand, a money market account is a type of savings account. Banks offer them.

But the rates of return are typically higher than that of a typical savings account. Unlike money market funds, they are insured by the FDIC.

Money market fund advantages:

Money market funds are one of the best and safest places to invest your hard-earned money. You will earn more interest than in a regular savings or checking account. Here are some of the advantages of these funds.

They are very safe. Money market funds are not FDIC insured, like savings accounts and CDs are. But, they are very safe.

Since they were launched, only 2 out of hundreds have run into trouble. If you concerned about the lack of insurance, you may wish to consider an online savings account or a money market account.

They are liquid and easily accessible. Another advantage of money market funds is that you have immediate access to your money.

You may withdraw your money anytime you wish without incurring penalty. Also, you can cash in your shares by phone, online, by mail or through your broker with relative ease.

You may write checks. Another positive aspect of a money market fund is that you can tap your money by writing checks against your account with no charge.

And some funds allow you to write checks for any amount for free.

They provide higher yields. They pay higher yields than a traditional savings account.

The reason is because the borrowers, i.e., the US government and big corporations are solid institutions and they agree to repay the debts at high interest rates.

Tax advantages. Some funds invest in securities where the interests are exempt from federal taxes, and in some cases state income taxes.

All of these factors make money market funds popular with people who want to invest for their short term goals.

Disadvantages:

While there several pros to investing in money market funds, there are some cons as well.

Lower return. Because access to your money are relatively easy in a money market fund, they have lower returns than other investments such as stocks, bonds and index fund.

They are not FDIC insured. As mentioned earlier, the federal government does not insure these funds .

Other investments such as online savings accounts, money market accounts, certificate of deposits are. But again they are very safe.

However, if the lack of FDIC insurance bothers you, stick with bigger mutual fund companies.

Situations when investing in money market funds makes sense?

You have a short-term investment goal. You may want to invest in these funds for short-term goals.

If you’re planning on buying a house in the next year or so and looking for safe place to save for the down payment, then they’re a good place for your cash.

You’re saving for a rainy day. If you’re saving for an emergency fund, a money market fund is also a good place to park your cash.

You certainly don’t want to invest in the stock market, because you can lose money within a relatively short period of time due to market volatility.

You want to diversify your portfolio. Money market funds are not aggressive investments such as stocks or bonds.

That’s why these funds are safer and very conservative. When the stock market plunges, these funds can balance your portfolio out.

So, you can use this type of investment as a complement to your other and riskier investments.

The best Vanguard money market mutual funds:

Fund name Fund Ticker Min.
Investment
Expense
Ratio
Vanguard Prime Money Market VMMXX $3,000 0.16%
Vanguard Treasury Money Market VUSXX $50,000 0.09%
Vanguard Federal Money Market VMFXX $3,000 0.11%
Vanguard Municipal Money Market VMSXX $3,000 0.15%
List of best money market funds

1. The Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund (VMMXX).

This Fund is perhaps one of the best out there.

However, this fund requires a minimum deposit of $3,000 just to open an account. This can be steep for a beginner investor with little money. The expense ratio is 0.16%.

There is no purchase or redemption fees. The fund has a total asset of $127.5 billion as of January 2020.

The Vanguard Prime Money Market primarily invests in foreign bonds, U.S. treasury bills, and U.S Government obligations.

2. The Vanguard Treasury Money Market Fund (VUSXX).

As the name suggests, this Vanguard money fund only invests in U.S. Treasury bills. However, the fund has a minimum initial investment of $50,000.

It may be out reach for beginner investors with little money. But the expense ratio is 0.09%.

The current yield is 1.58% while the 10 year yield is 0.55%. If you are a wealthy investor, you should consider this fund.

3. The Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX).

This Vanguard money fund is perhaps the safest and most conservative of all funds, simply because they invest in U.S. government securities.

U.S. guaranteed securities are considered risk-free investments. It intends to provide current income while maintaining liquidity.

This Vanguard fund requires a $3,000 initial minimum investments. It has a 0.11% expense ratio.

The current yield is 1.58% and a 10 year yield of 0.55%.

So, if you have a short term goal and are interested in a Vanguard fund that invests in U.S government securities, you may wish to consider this fund.

4. Vanguard Municipal Money Market Fund.

This Vanguard fund invests in short-term, high quality municipal securities.

What makes this fund a great one is that it provides income that is exempt from federal personal income taxes.

If you are in a higher tax bracket and are looking for a competitive tax-free yield, you should consider this fund.

Similar to other funds, the initial minimum investment is $3,000 with a 0.15%. This fund has a current yield of 1.20% and a 10 year yield of 0.44%.

Overall, you should consider investing in these best money market funds, because they generally pay you better than bank savings accounts and money market accounts.

But the FDIC does not insure you. However, they are very safe. If the lack of FDIC insurance does not bother you, you should try them.

Decide whether investing in money market is best for you

While a money market fund may sound great, it’s not for everyone. It won’t help those with a long term investment strategy, such as retirement.

For those with a long term focus, investing in individual stocks, real estate, or index funds may be an option instead.

Moreover, younger and aggressive investors should keep less money in money market funds than older investors who are approaching retirement.

However, if you’re looking to make a purchase soon (in the next year or so), such as buying a home, these funds make sense.

In addition, investors who want to diversify their portfolio may find that money market funds are great investments as they are very safe when compared to risky alternatives such as stocks and bonds. 

Work With A Financial Advisor Near You

If you have questions beyond the best money market mutual funds, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

CIT Bank Savings Account: How Much Can You Earn

A CIT Bank Savings account will help you boost your savings, earning 20 times more than what a traditional bank account will offer you.

If you have a regular checking and savings account at your local bank, you may notice that your rate on the savings account is less than a tenth of a percent.

You can keep your savings account at your local bank if you choose to. But you don’t have to.

Instead of getting crummy interest rates, you can switch to or open a CIT Bank savings account.

CIT Bank savings accounts are offered online, where you can earn a competitively high yield.

CIT BANK: AN OVERVIEW

In brief, CIT Bank is an online-only bank. That means, there is no local branch.

There are no ATMs. You will perform every transactions online. However, the bank does not charge its customers when they use another bank’s ATMs.

And if the bank charges you a fee, CIT will reimburse you up to $15 every month.

The bank currently offers some of the highest interest rates on its savings accounts and its other products, such as CDs, checking account and money market account.

Lastly, there no are no account maintenance fees on any of the bank’s products.

HOW MUCH CAN I EARN WITH A CIT BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNT?

With a CIT Bank savings account, you will earn a 0.95% APY through the Savings Builder option and 1.00% APY through Premier High Yield Savings account.

But certain conditions will apply (more on this below).

CIT Bank Savings accounts offers interest rates that are 20 to 25 times higher than what a traditional, brick and mortar bank is currently offering.

Because of that big difference between CIT Bank’s high-yield savings accounts between a traditional savings account, you’ll earn more money.

For example, if you have $5,000 in a traditional savings account with a 0.10 APY%, you would get just $5 in a year.

But if you have that same amount of money in an account earning 2%, you return will be $100.

CIT Bank offers two savings accounts options: 1) the Savings Builder and the Premier High Yield Savings account.

Both accounts require a minimum opening deposit of $100. But neither has monthly maintenance fees.

Here’s a quick table of CIT Bank two savings accounts.

CIT Bank
Savings Account
Minimum deposit APY
Savings Builder $100 or $25,000 0.95%
Premier High Yield Savings $0 1.00%

The Savings Builder:

The CIT Bank Savings Builder will allow you to earn 0.95% APY, but only if you make at least one monthly deposit of $100 or more.

Or, if you keep a balance of at least $25,000. Interest in this high-yield savings account compounds daily to boost your earning.

Click here to learn more about CIT Bank’s Savings Builder.

The Premier High Yield Savings account:

With this account, you will earn 1.00% APY regardless of your account balance or monthly fees.

Interest in this savings account is also compounded daily to maximize your earning.

PROS AND CONS OF CIT BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

Pros:

  • No monthly fees on deposit accounts;
  • a minimum deposit requirement of $100;
  • Refunds ATM fees — because the bank does not have ATMs, it does not charge customers who use another bank’s ATMs. And if there is a fee, CIT will refund you up to $15 per month.

Cons:

  • No bank branches or ATM;
  • No 24/7 customer support — as with all high yield savings accounts, most inquiries are handled online. While live telephone is available, hours are limited.

HOW TO OPEN A CIT BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNT?

To open an account, simply go to the CIT Bank homepage, and create the account online.

You’ll need to provide your name, address, phone number, and ID. You’ll also need to provide your social security number.

Note that CIT does not have any branches. Everything must be done online.

If you’re opening a CIT Bank Builder Savings account, you will need to make an initial minimum deposit of $100.

You will also need to make monthly deposit of $100 to take advantage of the 0.95% APY. Or, you will need to have a $25,000 balance.

If you’re opening the Premier High Yield Savings account, you’re not required to make any initial minimum deposit.

So, you can open the account first and fund it later. 

HOW MUCH TO KEEP IN YOUR CIT BANK SAVINGS ACCOUNT?

How much should you keep on your savings account will depend on your savings goals.

If you’re opening the account to serve as an emergency fund, experts have recommended to keep at least three to six months of living expenses.

That money is reserved in case of an emergency like a loss of job, you fell ill, or need money for a major car repair.

But one thing you should know is that deposits at any banks are covered by the federal government up to $250,000.

So if you have more than that, you should split your money into multiple accounts.

WHO IS A CIT BANK ACCOUNT GOOD FOR?

A CIT Bank savings account is good for anyone who:

  • Wants to earn a higher yield on the savings accounts;
  • Does not mind having their banking online;
  • Can commit saving at least $100 every month; or
  • Can carry $25,000 balance.

WHAT OTHER PRODUCTS CIT BANK OFFERS?

In addition to the two savings accounts, the bank also offers a checking account, money market accounts and Certificate of deposits (CDs).

The checking account is called “eChecking.” It is the only account the bank offers. There is no monthly fees and you can open the account with as little as $100.

Note that CIT Bank does not have ATMs. But the bank does not charge you for using another bank’s ATM.

And CIT will refund you for ATM fees other banks charge you.

CIT bank also offers one money market account. This money market account has no monthly fees and requires an opening minimum deposit of $100.

CIT Bank has several terms CDs, which range from 6 months to 5 years.

There is also a no penalty 11-month term, where customers can withdraw money with no penalty.

CIT Bank also offers jumbo CDs, ranging from two to five years. You can open a term CD, including the no-penalty CD, with a minimum of $1,000.

The Jumbo CDs require a minimum of $100,000.

Click here to learn more about CIT Bank CDs.

THE BOTTOM LINE

A CIT Bank savings account, is a high yield savings account, where you can a higher yield than regular savings accounts.

You will earn a 0.95% APY through the Savings Builder option and 1.00% APY through Premier High Yield Savings account.

So, whether you’re saving money for an emergency fund, saving money to go on a vacation, or saving money to buy a house in the next few years, CIT Bank is the right bank for you.

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

If you have questions about high interest savings accounts, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

5 Best Short Term Investments to Grow Your Money

Short term investments are those investments that can yield their returns within a short period of time — usually within 1 to 3 years. (contrary to a long term investment such as saving for retirement).

In other words, short term investing are typically used to meet short-term financial goals (such as buying a house or go on a vacation).

A bank checking account is one of the best known and popular ways to save for such a goal.

But your traditional checking account only pays a meager return, if at all.

If you can’t find an alternative to a checking account, no need to fret.

There are plenty of short term investments that will help keep your money safe and earn a good return at the same time.

Below, we’ve curated the best short term investments to help reach your investment goals.

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Things to consider:

First thing first, before you make any short term investments, you should know about the risk, return and investing time frame of short term investments.

  • Average return to expect: 1 to 4% per year;
  • Risk: very low to low risk of losing money;
  • Time frame: 0 to 3 years

Best short term investments:

If you’re saving and investing money for the short term, i.e., to use it as a down payment on a house, you will not invest that money in stocks or mutual funds, right?

That’s because, stocks are high risk investments. And if you need the money for a certain time, it might not be available due stock market volatility.

Instead, a smart choice is to save that money in a low-risk investment where you can protect the capital invested and earn interest/income at the same time.

If you have a different investing goal, such as saving for retirement, it’s best to look at stocks or mutual funds. Investing in stocks or mutual funds is considered a long term investment as opposed to short term investing.

If you’re interested in investing for the long term, here’s how the stock market works.

So, what are your options? Here are some of the best short term investments to consider to earn some interest on your money. 

1. Savings account.

A savings account at a bank is an excellent choice. And they usually pay more interest than a regular checking.

They are quite safe. Savings account are insured by the FDIC, but only for up to $250,000.

That means if a bank goes bankrupt, the government will step up and give you your money back.

In addition, they are very liquid. You have access to your money fairly easy.

SAVINGS ACCOUNTCIT Savings Builder – Earn 0.85% APY. Here’s how it works: Make at least a $100 minimum deposit every month. Or Maintain a minimum balance of $25k. Member FDIC. Click Here to Learn More.

2. Certificate of deposit (CDs).

If you want a good rate of return on money that you don’t plan on using within the next couple of years, CDs is a safe place to do invest it.

Banks sell certificate of deposit for a specific dollar amount and length of time. As an investor, you agree to leave a certain amount of money with the bank for a specific time.

When the time is up, the CD matures. Then, you get your money back, plus interest.

CDs are also FDIC insured for up to $250,000. They provide a safe and competitive yield. That makes them some of the best short term investments to consider.

The minimum deposit requires to open a CD depends on the bank. But it usually ranges from a few hundred dollars to thousands.

The CIT Bank is paying 1.30% for an 11-month CD. There is an opening minimum of $1,000. With most CDs, if you tap into your money before maturation, you will get hit with an early withdrawal penalty.

However, with this CIT Bank CD, there is no penalty if you withdraw early.

CIT Bank has various types of CDs. If you prefer longer terms CDs, check them out now at the CIT Bank website.

3. Money market fund

While you can keep your cash at a bank in a savings account because they’re safe there, you don’t have to.

You can try a money market fund. They are safe as well.

A money market fund is a type of mutual fund (but thy don’t focus on stocks or bonds).

Mutual funds companies such as Vanguard offer money market funds.

Money market fund is not insured by the government, so there is a possibility you can lose money. However, they are quite safe.

They’re safe, because they have a dollar invested in securities for every dollar you deposit in your fund.

The principal money you invested does not change in value. When you invest in a money market fund, you earn dividends. That’s a good advantage.

Another advantage of a money market fund as a short term investment is that it provides higher yield than bank savings account.

It also allows you to write checks without incurring any charges.

So, if you’re saving money for a home that you’re going to buy soon, a money market fund is a safe place to grow your money.

4. Short-term corporate bond funds.

Bonds, in general, are similar to CDs. An exception is that they, just as stocks, are securities that trade in the market.

So, they may fluctuate in value, but not as much as stocks.

Bond funds are a collection of bonds from companies (large, medium, or small) from different industries. Hence, the name “corporate bond funds.”

Investing in bond funds can be used as a short-term investment. Sometimes, investors consider corporate bond funds to diversify their investment portfolio.

Just like a money market fund, corporate bond funds are not FDIC insured. But they are just as safe as a money market fund.

Plus, you don’t just invest in one bond or two bonds. If one bond in your investment fund takes a hit, it only affects a small amount of your money.

So while they are riskier than money market funds saving accounts, CDs, short term corporate bonds pay you more. That makes them one of the best short-term investments out there.

5. Treasury bonds.

One of the best ways to invest money in the short term is to buy treasury bonds. Treasury bonds are issued by the U.S. government.

There are three types: treasury bills, treasury notes, and treasury bonds. They are like CDs. Once the bond matures, you get the full money invested, plus interest.

Treasury bonds may provide the same or a better interest rate than CDs. But a big advantage is that, while they’re not FDIC insured, they are backed by the U.S. government.

In other words, the government promises to repay your money, which is considered to be very safe.

So if you have more than $250,000, you should consider a treasury bond.

Another advantage is that while interest on a CD is fully taxable, Treasury’s interest is state-tax-free.

In conclusion, short term investments are those in which you make for a certain and short period of time for a specific goal.

Short term investments aren’t the best if you’re seeking high returns.

But if you’re a beginner investor you should consider placing some of your money into these best short term investments.

Remember: don’t invest your money in stocks when you plan to use it within the next five years, because a stock market drop can dry out your investment portfolio.

Read more:

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

If you have questions beyond short-term investments, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

How to Create Your Own Retirement Plan

January 16, 2021 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: Financial Advisor

One of the good things of working for a company is that they create a retirement plan for you. As an employee, you don’t have to do anything else but to participate in the plan. However, when you’re self-employed or a small business owner, you’re responsible of setting up your own retirement plan.

When it comes to operating your own business, time is of the essence. However, even if you’re crazy busy, saving for retirement should be a priority. Indeed, a retirement account allows you to contribute pre-tax money, which lowers your taxable income.

Luckily, a financial advisor can help you save time and help you choose the right plan that is best for you. Below are four retirement saving options you can create as a self-employer individual.

1. Solo 401k

A solo 401k is for small businesses or sole proprietors who don’t have any employees other than a spouse working for the business. The solo 401k mirrors a typical 401k plan that most companies offer. The main difference is that you can contribute as an employee and employer.

In other words, because you’re both the boss and the worker, you get to contribute in each capacity. That in turn allows you to contribute a higher amount each year. However, your total yearly contributions cannot exceed $58,000 or $64,000 for individuals age 50 or older as of 2021. To set up a solo 401k, you have to get in touch with a financial institution.

2. SEP IRA

If you’re an independent contractor, self-employed, or has a small business with 25 employees or less you can set up a SEP (Simplified Employee Pension). It’s very easy to establish and don’t even require you to incorporate your business to qualify.

In a SEP IRA, the employer alone contributes to the fund, not the employees. You can contribute up to 25% of your annual salary or $58,000 in 2021, whichever is less.

3. Keogh Plan

Keogh plans are available to self-employed people, including sole proprietors who file Schedule C or a partnership whose members file Schedule E. This type of plan is preferable among those who have a high and stable income.

But the main advantage the Keogh has is the high maximum contribution you can make. In 2021, you can contribute up to $58,000. To set up, you will need to work with a financial institution such as Charles Schwab. 

4. Simple IRA

The Simple IRA was created by the Small Business Protection Act to help those who work at small companies to save for retirement. The small business can offer the plan if it has 100 or fewer employees.

Both the employer and the employee can contribute up to $13,000 in 2021, plus an additional catch-up amount of $3,000 if you’re 50 or older. If a company offers a Simple IRA, it must match an employee’s contribution dollar for dollar, up to 3% of each participant’s annual salary or make a nonelective 2% contribution to all employees.

Where to Invest Your Keogh, SEP IRA, Solo 401k, Simple IRA

As a small business owner, there is always an investment program that suits your needs for your IRA, SEP, Keogh and solo 401k. Places such as banks, brokerage firms and mutual funds institutions such as Vanguard, Fidelity, Charles Schwab are great options. But before opening account, make sure you consider how much money you have, your appetite for risks, the annual fee, etc.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a small business owner or self employed, you should take advantage of the tax benefits offered by these plans mentioned above. Creating a retirement plan is important, because not only will you be able to grow your retirement savings faster but also no one is going to do it for you. 

Related:

Tips on Retirement Planning

Retirement planning can be a major challenge, but you don’t have to go in it alone. Speak with a financial advisor who can help you come up with a unique plan based on your circumstances and situations. Use SmartAsset advisor matching tool to get matched with fiduciary financial advisors in just 5 minutes.

Source: growthrapidly.com

CIT Bank CD Rates: How Much Can You Earn

CIT Bank CD rates are competitive compared to other Banks’ CDs.

For instance, a 6-month CIT Bank CD has a rate of 0.50%, which is way higher than the national average rate of 0.25%.

How much you will earn depends on the length of the term.

But one thing for sure is that the longer the term of the CD (certificate of deposit), the more money you will make.

CIT Bank offers CD terms ranging from 6 months to 5 years. The 5-year term CD has an applicable yield of 1.05%.

The minimum investment requirement is $1,000. But their jumbo CD’s deposit requirement is way much higher, $100,000.

CIT bank also offers a no-penalty 11-month CD (more on this later).

Click here to open a CD with CIT Bank.

See below a table of CIT Bank CD Rates that are available to you:

CIT Bank Term CD Minimum Deposit APY/Rate
6 Month $1,000 0.50%
11-Month $1,000 0.75%
1 Year $1,000 0.75%
13 Month $1,000 0.75%
18 Month $1,000 0.75%
2 Year $1,000 1.00%
3 year $1,000 1.00%
4 year $1,000 1.05%
5 Year $1,000 $1.05%
All CIT bank CDs are FDIC insured up to $250,000.

CIT Bank CD Rates: an overview

CIT Bank CD rates are very impressive out there.

When compared to other CDs, such as Vanguard CDs, they compete at a similar or even better level.

CIT bank CDs, as all certificate of deposits, produce a higher rate than savings accounts, money market funds, etc.

But not as much as a short-term bond.

The minimum deposit for CIT Bank’s standard CDs is very reasonable, $1,000.

The bank’s Jumbo CDs, while produce a higher rate than a standard CD, has a much higher minimum of $1,000 (more on this below).

What is a certificate of deposit (CD)?

CDs are certificates that banks or credit unions sell to you.

Banks issue them to you for a specific dollar amount for a specific length of time.

The time period could be anywhere from 1, 6, 12 or 24 months to several years.

The bank pays you some interest. You get your full principal back plus interest you earn once the CD matures or “comes due.”

If you want your money back before it matures, you can withdraw it.

But you will get hit with a penalty for early withdrawal. But some banks like CIT Bank, that offer CDs with no penalty.

CDs are very safe, because they are FDIC insured for up to $250,000.

See: Grow Your Money: Mutual Funds, Index Funds & CDs

Are CIT Bank CDs the right choice for you?

CDs is one of the best short-term investments you can have. Given that their rates are very impressive, CIT Bank CDs may be right for you.

Therefore, you should consider investing in them:

  • You don’t tend to tap into your money at any moment.
  • You’re saving money for a down payment to buy a house in the near future.
  • You want an investment that provides a higher yield than a regular savings account, money market fund.
  • You’re looking for a safe and low-risk place for your hard-earned money.

What are the CIT Bank CD rates?

CIT Bank provides CDs ranging from 6 months to 5 years. The longer the term of the CD, the higher the interest rate.

For instance, CIT Bank’s 5-year term CD currently has a rate/APY of 1.05%.

CIT Bank 5-Year CD Rates

The applicable rate for a 5-Year CIT Bank CD is currently 1.05%. And it requires a minimum deposit of $1,000.

This is the longest CIT Bank CD term out there. And its interest rate exceeds most CD rates you’d get from banks.

Learn more about this product and apply on CIT Bank’s secure website

CIT Bank 4-Year CD Rates

This 4-year CIT Bank CD also requires a minimum deposit of $1,000.

This CD’s yield is the same as the CIT Bank 5-year CD. It is also higher than most bank CDs. The yield is currently is 1.05%.

CIT Bank 3-Year CD Rates

The applicable yield for a 3-Year CIT Bank CD is still very competitive. It’s 1.00% and requires a $1,000 deposit.

CIT Bank 2-Year CD Rates

The rate for a 2-Year CIT Bank CD is 1.00% and a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required.

CIT Bank 18-Month CD Rates

For an 18-Month CIT Bank CD, the yield is 0.75%. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

CIT Bank 13-Month CD Rates

For an 13-Month CIT Bank CD, the yield is 0.75%. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

CIT Bank 1-Year CD Rates

The yield for a 1-Year CIT bank CD is 0.75% and a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required. 

CIT Bank 11-Month CD Rates

For an 11-Month CIT Bank CD, the yield is 0.75%. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

However, the CIT Bank 11-month CD is a no-penalty CD. That means CIT Bank will let you withdraw your money at any time without incurring a penalty.

This is good for those faced with an emergency situation and need quick and easy access to their money.

CIT Bank 6-Month CD Rates

Lastly, for a 6-Month CIT Bank CD, the yield is 0.50%. The minimum deposit is $1,000.

See: 6-Month CD Rates: Earn More Money

CIT Bank’s Jumbo CDs.

CIT Bank also offers Jumbo CDs. They offer a much better interest than CIT Bank’s standard CDs.

However, they require a much bigger minimum deposit. For example, you will need a minimum deposit of $100,000 to start with.

Here is a table of CIT Bank’s Jumbo CD rates:

CIT Bank Jumbo CD Minimum Deposit APY/Rate
2 Year $100,000 1.00%
3 Year $100,000 1.00%
4 Year $100,000 1.05%
5 Year $100,000 1.05%

How to open a CIT Bank account.

To get access to the best CIT Bank CD rates, you must be eligible to open an account.

To be eligible, you must be a US citizen or resident alien. You must be 18 years old or older, have a a US address, a social security number, a driver’s license or state issued ID.

You also need to have a bank checking account to transfer money to your CIT Bank account.

CIT Bank CDs Alternatives

If CIT Bank CDs do not do it for you, or you’re looking to get more interest on your money, then try to invest in the best Vanguard mutual funds out there.

That way your money is still safe and you get more return on your money.

Mutual funds are some of the best ways to invest your money.

One thing you should know, however, is that mutual funds invest in stocks and bonds.

These securities tend to be riskier. Therefore, you might lose some or most of your investment if the market goes down.

So, beginner investors wishing to invest in these mutual funds should also consider learning how the stock market works.

Bottom line

CIT bank CDs might be appropriate for you if you are not going to use the money for a certain period of time.

They can be a great choice if you are saving your money for a down payment to purchase a house in the next few years or so.

Indeed, CIT Bank CDs provides a better yield than bank savings accounts and money market funds. But the money is only available after the CD becomes due.

So, if access to your money at anytime is a priority, you’re better off save your money in a high yield savings account or the best Vanguard Mutual Funds.

Tips for Maximizing Your Savings

  • Open a Chase checking account. You will get a $200 bonus when you open a new Chase Total Checking account and set up a direct deposit. And it’s easy to find a Chase ATM just about anywhere. Get started Now.
  • If you have questions beyond CIT Bank CD rates, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?

If you’re planning to buy or sell a house or a rental investment property, you might consider hiring a real estate attorney.

A real estate lawyer can provide legal protection. They can help you navigate the home-buying process, which can be complex.

In fact, many states require a real estate lawyer to be present at closing. 

Even if you live in a state that doesn’t require you to have a real estate attorney, it’s important to have one by your side.

But it’s also important to know who you’re dealing with, what they can do for you, and what’s in it for them.

Real estate attorneys can help structure transactions and closing. They will review documents well in advance before the closing to make sure there are no errors.

Real estate lawyers, however, can only represent one of the parties. The buyer and the seller’s interests can often be in conflict. Therefore, the attorney should never represent both parties. 

Besides representing you in sales transactions, real estate attorneys can represent you in a courtroom as well.

During the home-buying process, disputes between the buyer and the seller may arise that will have to settle in court.

The real estate attorney’s qualifications

A real estate attorney, just as any lawyer, has attended 3 years of law school. In law school, they take courses in law in general, including real property and other real estate classes.

During law school, they may do internships at law firms which specialize in real estate law.

Once they graduate law school, they take to bar exam in the state they want to practice in.

Once they become licensed to practice, they can work in a law firm specializing in real estate law.

The real estate lawyer’s fees

A real estate attorney can charge by the hour or a fixed fee. How much their charge for their services depends on their reputation, their level experience, the level of complexity.

Regardless of the fee, your attorney will discuss it with you. Their hourly fee is typically between $150 to $350.

They’ll draft a retainer agreement and make the necessary disclosures before you can retain them.

The attorney’s role in real estate transaction

Real estate attorneys can have many roles. Their roles will vary depending on whether it is a simple transaction or a complex one, and whether a real estate broker is involved.

In some cases, a real estate broker can handle many aspects of real estate transactions. If that case, the real estate attorney’s role is often limited.

In other instances, the real estate lawyer plays a crucial role in all phases of the real estate transaction.

Nonetheless, a real estate attorney’s roles include acting as a legal counselor, negotiator, advisor and coordinator.

Real estate attorney as a legal counselor

A real estate attorney acting as a legal counselor can handle drafting the proposed contract. If there is a broker involved, the broker will prepare the contract.

But, your attorney will review it for any proposed changes. Your lawyer can also draft the deed and examine title documents.

If you retain a real estate agent or broker, your attorney may also review the broker’s agreement before you sign it.

Real estate attorney as a negotiator

If you hire a real estate lawyer before you sign a contract or before engaging in any contract negotiations, your attorney will assume that role. All communications from the other party or his or her attorney will be directed to your lawyer.

Your attorney will negotiate proposed changes to the contract, including the price of the house. They will review any mortgage contingency clauses.

In addition, your real estate attorney can negotiate the following matters:

  • Personal property to be included;
  • Repairs before closing;
  • The closing date;
  • You may not get a mortgage commitment within the stipulated date in the contract. So, your attorney may negotiate an extension of time to obtain the mortgage;
  • You may need an early possession of the house. Your lawyer can negotiate that.

Real estate attorney as an advisor

You, as a client, may not need strict legal advice. You may just want your lawyer to be present for general advice. If you’re a first time home buyer or an elderly buyer, your attorney can also act as an advisor.

Real estate attorney as a coordinator

Your attorney can also act as your coordinator. Residential closings involve a lot of steps. And not everyone involved will follow them.

So, one of your real estate lawyer’s role is to contact the brokers, the title insurers, the mortgagees. They will also monitor the progress of obtaining financing, title policy, etc.

They will also contact the other attorney to make sure all parties are ready for the closing.

Your attorney’s responsibilities before closing

If you hire a real estate lawyer to represent you either as a seller or buyer, his or her responsibility before closing include the following:

  • Make sure you, as a buyer or seller, can fulfill the requirements imposed by the real estate sale contract
  • Review the title insurance;
  • Check the mortgage commitment;
  • Monitor status of the contract contingencies;
  • Examine closing documents for accuracy;
  • Coordinate closing date and time with the mortgage lender, seller and buyer’s broker;
  • If buyers will not attend the closing, obtain power of attorney for property to cover documents to be signed at closing;
  • Get wire instructions for payment of balance due at closing

In case a dispute arises between the parties, the real estate attorney can represent you in court.

Issues that might arise include damages and earnest money forfeiture, specific performance, misrepresentation, etc.

Do I need a real estate attorney?

Some states require a real estate attorney to be present during closing. They include Massachusetts, Maine, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, North Dakota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

If you don’t live in any of these states and the District of Columbia, it’s really up to you if you want to hire a real estate attorney. If you’re just trying to save money and can barely afford to buy a house, you’re probably don’t need a real estate lawyer.

But if your real estate transaction is complex, a good real estate attorney can be an asset.

The bottom line…

Some states do not require you to have a real estate attorney during closing. However, it’s worth the cost hiring one especially if you’re buying a house in foreclosure.

Work With A Financial Advisor Near You

If you have questions beyond hiring a real estate attorney, you can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals. Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goalsget started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com

What Is “Accessible Income” on a Credit Card Application?

November 14, 2020 Posted By: growth-rapidly Tag: Banking

If you’re applying for a credit card, you might stumble upon this term “accessible income.” In fact, that’s the only situation in which you will come across the term: on a credit card application. So, you need to know what it is.

Accessible income is not just income you earn from your regular job. Rather, it includes much more than that. It includes income from a wide variety of sources, like retirement savings accounts, social security payments, trust funds, just to name a few.

Accessible income can work in your favor because not only you can list income from your job, but also all types of other money you receive in a given year. This in turn will increase your chance of getting approved for the credit card, simply because you can list a higher income.

It also can get you approved for a higher credit limit, which in turn can help your credit score and allow you more spending freedom. In this article, I will explain what accessible income is and the types of income you need to include in your credit card application. Before you start applying for too many credit cards, consult with a financial advisor who can help you develop a plan.

What is accessible income?

Accessible income means all of the money that you have accessed to if you are 21 years old or older. According to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, lenders are required to offer you credit if you are able to pay your bill. If you do not make enough money and do not receive enough income from other sources and cannot make payments, they can reject your application. That is why they ask for your accessible income.

If you are between the age of 18 and 20, your accessible income is limited to income for your job, scholarships, grants and money from your parents or other people.

However, if you are 21 and older, your accessible income involves way more than that. It includes income from the following sources:

  • Income paychecks
  • Tips
  • Bank checking accounts
  • Savings accounts
  • Income of a spouse
  • Grants, scholarships, and other forms of financial aid
  • Investments income
  • Retirement funds
  • Trust funds
  • Passive income
  • Checks from child support and spousal maintenance
  • Allowances from your parents or grandparents
  • Social security payments or SSI Disability payments

To report that accessible income, just add them all up to arrive at a total and submit it. The credit card companies will not ask you to provide the specific source of each income

What does not count as accessible income

Loans including personal loans, mortgage, auto loans do not count as accessible income simply because they are borrowed money. So, do not list them when submitting your credit card application.

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Accessible income on the credit card application

Accessible income is only associated with credit card applications. In other words, you’re only asked that when you’re applying for credit cards. When applying for a credit card, you should take advantage of all sources of income and not just the income from your job.

So, you should make sure to gather all of the money you have accessed to that year. Not doing so means that you’re leaving other income that is just as important. As mentioned above, you should not include loans or any borrowed money.

When reporting your accessible income, be as accurate and truthful as possible. While some credit card companies may take your word for it, others may ask you to verify your income. In that case, you will need to provide hard proof like pay stubs, bank statements, statement from your investments accounts, etc…

Why providing accessible income important?

Your credit score is the most important factor credit card companies rely on to decide whether to offer you a credit card. However, your income is also important. The higher your income, the better.

A high income means that you’re able to cover debt that you may accumulate on your credit card. And the higher your chance is that they will approve you. The opposite is true. If you have a low income, some credit card companies may not approve you even if you have a good credit score. So, in order to increase your chance, you should take advantage of accessible income.

The bottom line

The only situation where you will find “accessible income” is on a credit card application. Accessible income is all income you have access to in any given year. That includes much more than your paychecks from your regular jobs.

But it also includes all types of money including checks from child support or alimony, allowances from your parents or grandparents, money in your retirement and investment accounts, etc. So, you should take advantage of it when applying for a credit card.

Speak with the Right Financial Advisor

You can talk to a financial advisor who can review your finances and help you reach your goals (whether it is making more money, paying off debt, investing, buying a house, planning for retirement, saving, etc). Find one who meets your needs with SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service. You answer a few questions and they match you with up to three financial advisors in your area. So, if you want help developing a plan to reach your financial goals, get started now.

Source: growthrapidly.com