Joyce Crommett's Blog
The lifetime warranty. We’ve all heard about the wonders of owning an item with a lifetime warranty, but few of us actually own such products. Well, few of us are aware of it anyway.
The home is where we pour most of our money into. It seems like things are constantly breaking and needing to be replaced or repaired. But few of us check to see if the item has a manufacturer’s warranty. Nor do we remember if we bought an extended warranty.
In this article, we’re going to give you some tips on how to take advantage of warranties you may not know that you have, and how to shop wisely for warrantied products in the future.
But first, we’ll impart some general warranty knowledge.
Understanding the warranty
A warranty is a written guarantee provided to the purchaser of an item that they will repair or replace the item if it isn’t functioning as intended.
In most cases, there are time limits and exceptions to a warranty. Manufacturers know that their products won’t really last forever, so they plan for the eventual breakdown of the product from wear and tear.
Similarly, manufacturers don’t want you to misuse the product and then ask for a replacement, so they list exceptions to their warranties. To find out if one of your household items is under warranty, you can often check the manufacturer’s website.
To ensure you’re eligible for a warranty or replacement, it’s often necessary to have a copy of your purchase receipt which shows where and when you bought the item.
We know--keeping track of receipts is an annoyance few of us want to participate in. So, an easier solution is to keep an app like Google Drive or Dropbox on your phone with a folder called “receipts” or “warranties.” Then, the next time you make a purchase, simply snap a photo of the receipt and keep in in your drive.
Extended warranty warning
Many retailers will pitch you an extended warranty when you buy a product. Some of them are worth it, but most of the time you’re better off foregoing these add-ons.
Oftentimes, products are already covered by a manufacturer warranty. And, in some cases, the cost of the item is so low that owning a protection plan isn’t worthwhile.
Warrantied items you may not know about
Now that you know how to keep track of your warranties, let’s talk about some important items that you may not know has a warranty.
Roofing. Roofs are expensive and don’t last forever. However, many manufacturers promise 20 years of good service from your shingles.
Vinyl siding. Another expensive exterior item, siding is often warrantied by common manufacturers, including several “limited lifetime warranties.”
Tupperware. If there’s one product on this list you’ve probably heard of, it’s Tupperware. They’ve been famous for their lifetime warranties for decades.
Pampered Chef. This company makes an array of kitchen related products. Many of their items come with lifetime warranties.
Craftsman. Their power tools are affordable and include a lifetime warranty.
Missing a mortgage payment is not the end of the world. Many lenders are more than ready to work out a payment plan if you’re going through a rough patch or budgetary crisis. However, you may end up doing more harm than good to your credit and home ownership if you don’t contact your mortgage lender as soon as the financial need arises.
Below are things to remember about a late mortgage payment.
1. Mortgages Come with a Grace Period
Even if you pay one day or five days after the due date, it still might not be considered late since many lenders offer a grace period of about five to fifteen days. If you want to know about your specific grace period, contact your lender for grace period information.
2. A Late Fee Will Appear
If your payment is delayed, then it will most likely incur a late-payment fee. You can expect to pay the late fee in your next mortgage payment. Work with your lender to see if you can avoid a late fee by setting up an automatic payment method or if there are other clauses in your contract to have the fee waived in extreme circumstances.
3. Damage to Credit Score
A damaged credit score is one of the adverse effects of a late mortgage payment. Your payment history is of uttermost importance as it can affect your ability to secure financing of any sort in the future. Your lender usually reports your payment history, and if you are thirty days behind, your credit score may feature “late 30” next to the loan. This mark could drastically hurt your overall FICO® score.
4. Suffer Drastic Measures
When you suffer delinquent payment beyond 90 days, your lender automatically considers you in default on your loan. If left without a written waiver or payment arrangement, they may start to take foreclosure actions against you, which could lead to more public actions and eviction from the home. There are other things that can be done to retain your home, however. Bankruptcy affords the ultimate protection until your debts can be assessed and discharged by the government but should be a last option since it can remain on your credit report for ten years.
5. The Account Goes to Collection
Your account can go into collection if you are behind your mortgage payment. In that case, you will receive a phone call or a letter from your lender about the late fee and that your account is being sent to a collection agency.
Every borrower’s situation is different, depending on credit score and payment history. If possible, avoid falling short of your mortgage payment. The earlier you make the due payment, the better it is for you, but if you’re unable to, set up an arrangement with your lender.
Still have more questions about mortgages and how to successfully nail down the right price for you? Contact me, and I’ll point you in the right direction.
Believe it or not, the costs associated with selling a house can add up quickly. If a home seller fails to budget accordingly, he or she risks costly, time-intensive home repairs following a property inspection. Perhaps worst of all, this scenario may force a home seller to miss out on an opportunity to get the best price for his or her residence.
With a home selling budget in place, you can increase the likelihood of a profitable home selling experience. If you know what it takes to set up a home selling budget, you may be better equipped than ever before to streamline the home selling process.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish a home selling budget.
1. Assess the Condition of Your House
Before you list your house, it helps to perform a comprehensive home assessment. That way, you can identify potential upgrades both inside and outside your house and evaluate the costs associated with these home improvements.
Typically, a home inspection enables you to learn about your house's strengths and weaknesses. This inspection requires a property expert to assess your house and may take several hours to complete. Then, once the inspection is finished, you'll receive an inspection report that you can use to determine which home improvement projects that you may need to complete sooner rather than later.
2. Establish Home Improvement Priorities
Although you might want to give your residence a complete overhaul, there may be only limited time and resources at your disposal. Thus, you'll want to establish home improvement priorities to ensure you can maximize your time and resources.
Think about which home improvement projects are necessary. These projects should rank at the top of your list of home improvement priorities, as failure to complete them may prevent you from optimizing the value of your house.
As you establish home improvement priorities, don't forget to assess the costs associated with various home upgrades. This will help you achieve the best-possible home improvement results without spending beyond your means.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. In fact, this housing market professional can make it easy to map out a successful home selling budget and ensure you can quickly and effortlessly navigate the home selling process.
With a real estate agent at your side, you'll receive expert support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent will learn about your home and help you identify ways to enhance your residence. Plus, a real estate agent will offer recommendations to ensure you can upgrade your house on a budget.
If you're getting ready to sell your house, it helps to collaborate with a real estate agent. Reach out to local real estate agents in your area, and you can get the support that you need to establish a home selling budget.
Let's face it – buying a home in a hot housing market is no easy task. For example, if you wait too long to submit an offer on a house, you risk losing this residence to a rival buyer. On the other hand, if you rush to submit a home offer at or above a seller's initial asking price, you risk spending too much to acquire your dream residence.
Clearly, there's a lot to think about as you search for a home in a hot housing market. Lucky for you, we're here to help you overcome myriad homebuying hurdles and acquire your dream residence, even in a hot housing market.
Let's take a look at three tips to help you succeed as a homebuyer in a hot housing market.
1. Narrow Your Home Search
You know that you want to live in a specific city or town, but you still are uncertain about what type of house that you want to purchase. However, if you create a list of home must-haves and wants, you can narrow your house search and speed up the homebuying process.
Once you have a homebuying checklist in hand, you should have no trouble evaluating residences in a hot housing market. Then, you can check out these houses in person and move one step closer to submitting an offer to purchase your dream house.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
To acquire a home in a hot housing market, you'll likely need a mortgage. Thankfully, lenders are available that can teach you everything you need to know about a wide range of mortgage options.
Lenders can explain the differences between adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgages, describe exactly how a mortgage works and much more. That way, you can assess many mortgage options and select one that matches your finances.
After you obtain a mortgage, you can enter a hot housing market with a homebuying budget. This will enable you to further accelerate your home search and ensure you can quickly submit an offer as soon as you discover your ideal residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
Navigating a hot housing market sometimes can be tricky, particularly for a homebuyer who is competing against dozens of rivals. But if you hire a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you pursue a home in a hot housing market.
A real estate agent is ready to assist you in any way possible. This housing market professional will offer insights into the real estate conditions in a particular city or town and help you map out your homebuying journey accordingly.
In addition, a real estate agent understands exactly what it takes to buy a residence in a hot housing market. He or she will help you put together a competitive offer on any home, at any time. And if your offer is rejected, a real estate agent will help you regroup and reenter a hot housing market so you can find your dream home.
Ready to buy a home in a hot housing market? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can accomplish your homebuying goals faster than ever before.
With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, keeping up with maintenance can be a serious challenge. But by focusing on simple maintenance tasks, you can put your best foot forward as you’re trying to improve your home and keep it lasting for many years to come.
Keep Up on Plumbing
Your plumbing system is one of the most important aspects of your home. This system deserves a high level of care. In order to ensure your pipes are running smoothly, keep the following considerations in mind:
Plumbing pipes tend to go bad because homeowners aren’t aware of what they shouldn’t put down their drains. When our drains accumulate fats and oils, clogs and other serious damage can occur. That being said, never pour fats for oils down your drains to limit the chance of any clogs.
While oils and fats are common culprits for clogs in kitchen drains, hair does the harm in the bathroom. But if you use a hair strainer for your bathroom drains, you can easily avoid these clogs.
Maintain that AC Unit
Our home’s air conditioner tends to be the most overlooked appliances in our home. That is mostly due to the fact that our units are typically hidden outside. Without proper care, you could be dealing with a broken AC unit sooner than you anticipated. Be sure to frequently inspect the condensation hose on your unit and always check the areas around your system for mold growth or leaks. It’s also important to ensure that the screen around your air conditioner is clear of debris. This debris can cause your unit to overwork, which shortens its lifespan.
Many homeowners neglect to change their air filters, which leads to many problems throughout the home. Forgetting this important maintenance task can lead to poor indoor air quality, an overworked system and an uncomfortable home. It’s vital to change your filters often. For months where your HVAC system is constantly running, you should never go more than thirty days without changing your filter.
Fix Those Drafts
Drafty windows are another huge culprit to high energy bills. That being said, you should periodically check the caulk line that holds your windows in place. If they appear cracked, dirty or weathered, then be sure to remove the damaged caulk and add a new application. For more savings, you could try to add an insulation film over your windows. This helps to save on utility bills and extends the life of your AC and heating systems.
Examine the Roof
The roof is another location that doesn’t get much attention from homeowners. However, by periodically checking your roof, you can notice damage early on before it becomes a more extreme, higher-priced repair. Be sure to inspect your roof for damaged, discolored or gravel-less shingles, and replace them if needed. This can help to prevent the need to replace the whole roof.