I’m Nearing Retirement. Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?

When you’re nearing retirement, is it a better idea to pay off your mortgage or invest that money?  Q: Greetings! I’m a long-time listener to your radio show and read your free weekly newsletter. You even gave me good advice nearly 10 years ago when I called your show about my real estate in Georgia. But I have another question and hope you can help. Would you advise to pay off the house? The mortgage loan balance is $100,000. I have $120,000 in cash in the credit union, another $13,000 stuffed under my mattress (that’s my “world is coming to an end” cash stash) and more than $350,000 in my retirement account. My mortgage payment is $564 per month.

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Condo Declarant Should Pay Expenses For Units They Own

When a condo declarant still owns unit in the building, they’re responsible for ongoing maintenance expenses in the building. Q: We bought into a condo development five years ago. The condo documents said the declarant didn’t have to follow the condo rules or pay dues on his units until the last unit was sold. We didn’t worry because the declarant control had expired and developer was paying a reduced agreed amount each month for upkeep. We figured it would all shake out once all units were sold. We are about 65 percent sold and there is a shortage of condos in our city. However, the developer decided to turn the last 35 percent of his units into rental units, and since he no longer plans to sell them, refuses to pay into the reserve fund or full condo dues. The owners are concerned because renters move in and out more frequently and cause more wear and tear on the building. The developer claims he is still the declarant and so does not have to abide by rental rules like having dogs of a certain size, lease details and providing renters’ contact information to the management company. Worse, we are short over $3,000 each month because of the previously agreed-upon reduced payment (we agreed to give developer a break to help sell the condos).

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Condo Declarant Should Pay Expenses For Units They Own

When a condo declarant still owns unit in the building, they’re responsible for ongoing maintenance expenses in the building. Q: We bought into a condo development five years ago. The condo documents said the declarant didn’t have to follow the condo rules or pay dues on his units until the last unit was sold. We didn’t worry because the declarant control had expired and developer was paying a reduced agreed amount each month for upkeep. We figured it would all shake out once all units were sold. We are about 65 percent sold and there is a shortage of condos in our city. However, the developer decided to turn the last 35 percent of his units into rental units, and since he no longer plans to sell them, refuses to pay into the reserve fund or full condo dues. The owners are concerned because renters move in and out more frequently and cause more wear and tear on the building. The developer claims he is still the declarant and so does not have to abide by rental rules like having dogs of a certain size, lease details and providing renters’ contact information to the management company. Worse, we are short over $3,000 each month because of the previously agreed-upon reduced payment (we agreed to give developer a break to help sell the condos)

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How to Save More Money in the Country’s 5 Most Expensive Cities

It’s hard to find ways to save more money, and living in one the country’s most expensive cities makes that goal even more difficult. The good news? I’ve got three tips that can help you save more money without having to pack up and flee the neighborhood. Last month, a GoBankingRates study looked at the 60 largest cities in the country in search of the most and least affordable places to live. The study scored each city on seven factors: median household income, unemployment rate, median home list price, median rent price, average gas price, average monthly cost of groceries and sales tax . Surprise, surprise, the most expensive cities were on the coasts

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7 Quick and Easy Ways to Save More Money in 1 Hour

Everyone could use some money help, but it seems like there’s never enough time to get started. But what if you could save more money each month and learn how to budget in just one hour? In honor of Money Smart Week, I’ve compiled 7 quick and easy ways to save more money in just one hour. That’s right: You can tackle all of these budgeting tips in just a few minutes each day. By the end of the week, you’ll be well on your way to a stronger financial future. Here are 7 easy ways to save more money each month and learn how to budget during Money Smart Week. Be sure to check back each day and mark off the steps you’ve accomplished! 1. Monday: (5 minutes) Write down what you spent today. It’s as simple as that

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Should I Buy a New House Before I Sell Mine?

Many homeowners ask if they should buy a new house before they sell their current home. Most people can’t afford to own two homes at once, but there are many variables – such as your financial situation and housing needs – that can affect this answer. Q: I’m wondering if I should buy a new house before I sell mine? Is this ever a good  idea?

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Rising Home Prices Might Be Unsustainable In 2017

Home prices are rising fairly dramatically, but those eye-popping increases could be unsustainable in 2017. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index , home prices rose 5.8 percent annualized gain in December, a pretty dramatic increase, even as mortgage interest rates rose. Housing experts say that as the cost of buying a home accelerates, you shouldn’t be seeing home prices rise – at least not over a long period. “Rising mortgage rates should not be boosting home prices, yet home values accelerated with a 5.8 percent annual gain in December (according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price measurement). Price gains had been a tad lower in the prior months,” said National Association of Realtors  (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun

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A Valentine’s Day Surprise for Home Buyers, Owners and Sellers

It turns out that Valentine’s Day isn’t the only good thing about February. The spring homebuying season has kicked into gear and it turns out that this month is actually the best month to buy a home. Homebuyers looking for a deal should act fast. According to data compiled by ATTOM Data Solutions, February is a great month for home buyers, sellers and owners, which translates into it being a better time for home bargains than the so-called “traditional” homebuying seasons of spring and fall. A combination of fewer buyers competing for homes (and the resulting lower home prices) often mean that some of the best homebuying days of the year occur this month. In these days of low inventory and lots of competition, finding a homebuying edge is even more important.

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A Valentine’s Day Surprise for Home Buyers, Owners and Sellers

It turns out that Valentine’s Day isn’t the only good thing about February. The spring homebuying season has kicked into gear and it turns out that this month is actually the best month to buy a home. Homebuyers looking for a deal should act fast. According to data compiled by ATTOM Data Solutions, February is a great month for home buyers, sellers and owners, which translates into it being a better time for home bargains than the so-called “traditional” homebuying seasons of spring and fall. A combination of fewer buyers competing for homes (and the resulting lower home prices) often mean that some of the best homebuying days of the year occur this month. In these days of low inventory and lots of competition, finding a homebuying edge is even more important. So here’s the full scoop on why February is such a great month to buy a home and what prospective homebuyers should look for. February discounts on homes According to the ATTOM data, the month of February had the fewest homes sold compared to the rest of the year over the past 16 years – just over 3 million homes were sold in that month (over 16 years) compared to more than 4 million in most of the other months of the year. The data shows that those homes that did sell were bought at just over a 6 percent discount

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Our Top Tax Articles just in Time for Tax Season

Tax season is officially here and we’ve rounded up our most popular (and useful) tax articles to help you file and get your full refund. Whether you have questions about your children’s taxes, your tax documents or home-related tax issues, we’ve got answers. Here are our top 10 tax articles to simplify this year’s tax season. 1. Tax Mistakes: What to Do When Your 1099 or W-2 is Wrong Do you know what to do if your 1099 or W-2 has a mistake and the employer who issued it won’t help

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