Tag Archives: taxes

You can afford to buy a home: Here’s how

Between down payments and closing costs, many would-be homeowners become frustrated with the process and put off their dreams of buying a home. But homeownership can be more affordable than you think. If you’re looking for ways to save on your home purchase, you may want to:

Explore other property options

When it comes to buying a home, a traditional listing may not always be your best bet if you’re looking to save some dough. Ask your real estate about potential foreclosures and short sales in your area, or look online if you’re tackling the home buying process on your own. These bank-owned homes cost significantly less than comparable properties, but just be prepared, because it can be a lengthy and complex process. But if you’re up for the challenge and you’re flexible with your closing date, purchasing a foreclosure or short sale can save you a lot of money on your home purchase.

 

See the potential in a fixer-upper

The neighborhood’s ugliest house is for sale and you laugh to yourself, wondering who would actually want to live in a place that looks like it’s ready for Halloween year-round. But don’t just see it for what it is: see past that, and picture what you can turn it into. Fixer-upper homes are usually priced accordingly, which can mean getting into a home that you may not have been able to afford otherwise. Sure, it may need some (or a lot) of TLC, but if you’ll still make out ahead in the end, it can be a project worth taking on. And as an added bonus, you can customize the home to your liking.

 

Lower your housing budget

This may seem like an obvious one, but it’s an important one worth pointing out. A lot of people will pull up a mortgage calculator and base their home purchase budget on what kind of monthly payment is affordable. Then they realize most mortgages require at least 10 percent down, and then there’s closing costs on top of that. Frustrated, some will just give up on buying a home completely. But if you have your heart set on a $200,000 home, yet only can afford a $10,000 down payment, why not explore what $100,000 can get you? Although you won’t want to make too many sacrifices—after all, a home purchase is a big one and you want to be happy in the end—if you can lower your budget and find something that meets your needs just fine, homeownership can become a realistic possibility much sooner than you imagined.

 

Compare property taxes

A good chunk of your monthly mortgage payment will usually go towards property taxes. Depending on where you’re looking, this can make or break your decision to buy a home, and can mean the difference of affording the type of home you want. By simply looking into neighborhoods that are just a few minutes away, it could mean different counties and possibly lower property taxes.

 

Avoid HOAs

Another way to save money on those housing expenses is to avoid buying property that’s part of a Homeowners Association, or HOA. Being part of an HOA can certainly offer its perks; a lot of stuff could be taken care of for you, such as landscaping, but you’ll pay extra for this convenience. Depending on what the HOA will include, this might just be a couple hundred extra each year, or it can be a few hundred every month. If you’re looking to save as much as possible, scratch HOA homes offer your list completely.

 

Do you want to buy a home, but need the money for your down payment and closing costs? J.G. Wentworth may be able to help if you’re receiving structured settlement payments. Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn more about selling some or all of your future payments for a lump sum of cash.

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7 tips on finding the most cost-effective ways to move

The decision to move out of your home or apartment is rarely an easy one, and it’s only made more stressful by the costs associated with transferring all of your possessions from one place to another. Here are seven tips to keep these costs as low as possible and save as much money as you can on that dreaded Moving Day:

Contact moving companies in advance for rate estimates and moving terms

The first thing you need to do is get a fair and reasonable estimate on how much moving is going to cost you. You should get at least three estimates from different companies to narrow down this cost to a reasonable price range, then consult a wide range of reviews to see which moving company has the best reputation. There’s no sense simply going with the lowest estimate if the moving company has poor customer reviews regarding handling other people’s possessions or getting it to new locations on time.

Make the tough decision to get rid of the things you do not need

Want to save money moving? – Here’s a simple idea: move less things! Now is the time to do an inventory of what you truly need in your new home, and to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter you’ve amassed. And if you do find things you can live without, consider the next step:

Sell your unwanted possessions

Facebook, Craigslist, a garage or yard sale, word-of-mouth… The avenues through which you can sell your unwanted items nowadays are wide ranging. Assign a reasonable but fair cost to these items and then use that money towards the move.

Carefully consider the Do-It-Yourself route

How far are you moving? How many friends or relatives would be willing to donate their time – and their backs! – to help you lug your possessions up and down staircases? You still might have to rent a truck and purchase some packing materials, but you’ll also save substantially on moving costs if you can make the move without hiring professionals.

Find your own boxes

While you can certainly spend money buying boxes, a more cost-conscious move would be to visit places in your area that day in and day out clear out hundreds of boxes of merchandise to and from their stores. Consider clothing stores, supermarkets, and bulk stores, to name just a few places.

Ship things ahead of time to your new destination

Sending heavier items by ground mail ahead of time to your new address can also save you money when compared to having professionals transport these items for you.

Don’t forget to deduct moving expenses come tax time

You should definitely keep track of all your moving expenses, especially if you are moving a distance that is far away from your original home. Under certain conditions you’ll be able to deduct some of these expenses at tax time.

Moving is always arduous, but knowing the smartest and most cost-effective ways to move should ease your stress and decrease your moving day costs. We hope our list of seven tips to move on a budget will help you keep your costs as low as possible. If you still need extra cash to move, or need money now for any reason out of your structured settlement or annuity, we encourage you to call J.G. Wentworth anytime to discuss your options at 877-227-4713.

From tears of joy, to just…tears: 20 tweets expressing the different feelings we have during tax season

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J.G. Wentworth understands that waiting for money, in general, can be frustrating. If you’re waiting on structured settlement payments to arrive and you have bills to catch up on, why wait if you don’t have to? Contact J.G. Wentworth today to learn how you can sell future payments and receive one lump sum sooner.

4 overlooked benefits of owning a home

Many people don’t need to think twice about the benefits of owning a home, because there’s one huge advantage that’s pretty obvious: It’s your home. Even if you’ve financed your purchase, a chunk of your monthly payments puts equity in your home and brings you one step closer to owning it free and clear. When you rent, your monthly payments put a roof over your head, but you never see that money again. After all, you’re really just living in someone else’s home, and simply “borrowing” it for a little while.

But the advantage of owning your home doesn’t just end there, and there are so many other benefits that are often overlooked, including: 

Bigger home, smaller monthly payments

If you’ve crunched some numbers, you may have discovered that you could purchase a home in the same area you’re living in at a monthly rate that’s much lower than you’re paying in rent. But a lot of the time, you could also get much more space and for less money. This could mean living in a larger house, as opposed to a smaller apartment, and for less. In other words, the homes that might not be affordable to rent, can actually become affordable when you purchase—especially if you have a large down payment.

You can customize your home to your liking

Whether you’re in the mood for an extreme home makeover or you just want to paint a room, you’ll need permission from a landlord when you’re renting. For obvious reasons, major changes aren’t usually allowed. Expensive upgrades may or may not be, but who would want to spend money to replace old carpet with new hardwood in a home that isn’t even their own? Some landlords are really against any changes, and won’t even allow you to paint. But when you own your own home, you can practically do whatever you want and you don’t need to ask anyone for permission. The only exception could be when it comes to certain outdoor projects—you may need to follow county regulations, apply for permits, and/or receive permission from your HOA. But as long as your request is reasonable, it probably won’t get denied.

Tax benefits

When tax season rolls around, there are a lot of things you can write off as a homeowner, which can help you save money. This includes things like your mortgage interest, property taxes, PMI, and so on. Until you become more familiar with what you can and can’t write off, you might want to meet with an accountant during your first year as a homeowner. 

Protection from inflation

When you rent a home, it’s not unusual for your lease renewal to also come with an increase in monthly rent. It’s almost always unavoidable, especially as the years pass—the cost of most things, especially rental housing, will just continue to go up. But assuming you purchased your home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you’re locked in with that monthly payment for the life of your loan. That means that 10, 15, 20 years from now when average rent prices have gone way up, you will still be paying the same monthly mortgage payment from when you initially purchased your home.

Do you want to buy a home, but need cash for your down payment and closing costs? If you’re receiving annuity payments, J.G. Wentworth may be able to purchase some or all of your future payments and provide you with a lump sum of cash. Receiving your money sooner can make it easier to make a large purchase, such as a home. In addition, J.G. Wentworth can help you with financing. With the mortgages offered through our J.G. Wentworth Home Lending program, we can find a home loan that best suits your needs and budget. Contact J.G. Wentworth today!

 

January purchases: You won’t believe how much money you can save this month!

January offers its own share of unique goods and services you can find at reduced prices. Here are just a few:

That one has the best display!

Television sets

With Christmas sales over, and Super Bowl Sunday just around the corner, January brings some great deals on big-screen TVs.

US Tax Form 1040

Discounts on tax return filings

While most folks won’t even begin to think about filing tax returns yet, big tax assistance companies like H&R Block will offer some of their best discounts of the year for early return filers.

Gym and fitness room.

Health club memberships, and other fitness-related products

January, of course, is the time to make fresh New Year’s resolutions, and many folks naturally resolve that this is the year they will finally get into shape. Companies specializing in health club memberships and offering other fitness-related products will attempt to capitalize on these resolutions by providing sign-up bonuses and other discounts.

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign

Las Vegas vacations

Following the New Year’s holiday, prices for rooms at Las Vegas hotels typically drop through the month of February. Check out special package deals in the weeks ahead that could also include flights.

Couple Placing Sofa In Living Room Of New Home

Furniture

February is the month when many manufacturers introduce their furniture for the upcoming year. That means retailers will be looking to clear their stores of last year’s items in January.

Shopping at the supermarket

Pork and beef

It may at first seem odd to find reduced prices for pork and beef, but considering the winter holiday celebrations have officially concluded, it’s no surprise that many supermarkets will now offer low prices on these products!

We hope this list of discounted January items jumpstarts the savings side of your brain, and gets you thinking about all the ways you can stretch your hard-earned dollars in the weeks ahead. And always remember that J.G. Wentworth, the nationwide leader in purchasing future structured settlement and annuity payments for cash, is available anytime to discuss the specifics of your financial situation. Call us today at 877-227-4713.