Italian Real Estate

Property And Casualty Insurance – We All Wish We Didnt Need It

Posted on | May 24, 2011 | No Comments

Let’s face it, insurance is one of those things we wish we didn’t have to buy. After all, it’s easy to think nothing will happen, and that you will somehow be lucky enough to never need insurance. However, no matter how careful and conscientious you are, the world is filled with people that are not. And that doesn’t take into account natural events that affect us on a regular basis. Property and casualty insurance is made to protect the things you own if something should ever happen. Here are some things you should know before you get a new policy.

Property insurance itself covers a wide range of options; however, as the name implies, it is made to cover your property. Fire insurance, earthquake insurance, flood insurance and home owner’s or renter’s insurance all cover property against loss, damage or theft. As you can see, all of these are external events caused by things that you have no direct control over.

Property and casualty insurance will cover you against damages to your belongings, but casualty insurance can cover consequential damages that straight property insurance may not. For example, if someone breaks into your home through a window and steals your jewelry; the property insurance would pay to replace the items stolen, but the casualty insurance would pay for you to replace your window.

Not all property insurance is the same, so it’s important to understand what each policy offers and how it compares to your particular needs.

The first type will give you the full replacement cost for any property you lose, regardless of how much it has depreciated. So, if you have a high definition television that cost $1,500 but it is now only worth $500 due to depreciation, a full replacement policy would pay you the full $1,500.

An extended replacement policy will pay you more than the actual value of the property being replaced. This typically applies to homes that need to rebuilt, and the idea is that construction costs are always going up, so replacing a home will also cost more. Of course this kind of coverage comes with a cost in the form of a higher premium, but it could be well worth it if you ever have a catastrophic loss that.

A cash value property insurance policy is the most affordable, and most common. These are the policies that pay out based on what your property is worth now. In other words, they take depreciation into account and pay you accordingly.

Casualty insurance is a bit different, and will cover damages to both people and property. It may not cover natural disasters such as fires or floods, but it will cover you against things like terrorist attacks, fraud and burglary. It also has a liability component which protects you if anybody gets hurt on your property.

Property and casualty insurance each complement one another, so getting both policies makes a lot of sense. Having both will protect your property against most potential losses, and knowing you’re protected can give you something money can’t buy: peace of mind.

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Reverse Mortgage Lenders A Great Option For Older Generation

Posted on | March 29, 2011 | No Comments

In recent years, the economy has hit many homeowners hard, especially elderly people who are on fixed incomes. To make ends meet, many are looking for a way to bring in more money without having to return to work. One way to do this is to talk to some reverse mortgage lenders.

A reverse mortgage can be a great option for elderly homeowners who have substantial equity in their home, or if it is paid for. The program works by allowing the homeowner to against the equity in the home. The plan is only available for homeowners who are 62 years of age or older, but it can be just what is needed to bring in some extra money on a monthly basis.

There are many advantages to utilizing this program. First, the money that is paid is tax-free. Second, it allows the equity to be liquidated without the need to sell the home, or take a mortgage out against it. And third, the homeowner is not required to give up the title to the property.

The amount of money that can be received is dependent on the age of the homeowner, or in the case of a couple, it depends on the age of the youngest spouse. There are also other factors that are considered such as the appraised value of the home and what the current interest rates are. If you are going to be utilizing the government program, then it will also take into account what the loan limits are for your area.

Money can be withdrawn in a number of ways. The most common way to receive it is as a line of credit. But the borrower can also choose to have it paid out in equal monthly payments or to receive it as one lump sum. The line of credit is popular because it allows you to take the money only as you need it, which means that the money can be dispersed at any time, or increment.

Another reason that these plans are so popular is that there are no guidelines as to how the money can be spent so you can do with it as you wish. And there is no need to pay the money back. The debt is settled only when the home is sold, the borrowers decide to permanently move out or if all borrowers were to pass away. At that point it would be settled in their estate.

Using reverse mortgage lenders to set up this program will give homeowners the chance to withdraw cash that they would otherwise not have access to unless their home were sold.

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Bad Credit Mortgage Rates – Own A Home Again

Posted on | March 29, 2011 | No Comments

Credit is a huge part of our culture, both in acquiring it and keeping it. But often, there are circumstances beyond our control that cause our credit to suffer, and in some cases, even result in something as severe as losing our homes. But there are bad credit available for these people, that will allow them to one day own a home again.

The concept isn’t new, but in recent years has drawn some criticism due to the dealings of some less than scrupulous lenders. However, when pursued with the right intentions, this can be a great building block for individuals looking to get back into home ownership.

It is still critical that individuals do their homework before they start working with one of these lenders. As always, anytime you are involved with something that will impact your credit in such an extreme manner, it is essential that the proper due diligence is exercised. Even though you might think that your rating cannot possibly sustain any further damage, there are still ways that you can be coerced into a bad deal, or even lose money.

The right lenders are great at offering programs that are specifically designed to help individuals rebuild their rating and qualify for a home. It is true that the rates are not quite as attractive as normal rates, but in the end, it does result in home ownership, and that is, after all, the end result to be achieved.

With these programs come certain guidelines that have to be followed exactly as they are dictated in order to benefit from the program. Trying to alter the rules will only result in damaging what you are trying to accomplish. By following the program, it can be possible for people who have experienced bad credit, bankruptcy, and even foreclosure to step back into home ownership.

The time limit for this to take place will take some time and also some work on your part, but it will be well worth it. Not having to rent and being able to reap the benefits of owning a home again, as well as taking advantage of the tax benefits, is very appealing. The lender that you end up working with will determine the length of time that it takes.

When you first hear bad credit it might not sound like good news, but working your way out of a bad situation and into your own home again is always good news.

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REIT Mutual Funds

Posted on | March 1, 2011 | No Comments

If you have been thinking about investing in real estate but do not like the idea of managing actual properties then real estate investment trusts or REIT mutual funds would be perfect for you. You can hold shares in commercial or residential real estate and never have to hassle with collecting the rents or having to maintain the properties. You can research these funds online then send away for the prospectus for each one that interests you but then call and talk to a financial advisor to get your questions answered.

To understand how REIT funds work, the best thing you can do for yourself is to talk to a financial advisor so you make the best investment decisions based on your retirement needs. REIT funds do not pay corporate income taxes and for this privilege they are required to disperse 90% of their profits to their investors in the form of dividends. Dividends can be used to increase your holdings in your portfolio or you can invest in other ways with the money you get.

There are two REIT mutual funds investment styles you should concern yourself with: Actively managed REIT funds and passively managed REIT funds.

Actively managed REIT funds buy and sell shares of real estate throughout the year according to an investment strategy based on research of the market. Due to all the buying and selling going on actively managed REIT funds naturally incur higher maintenance fees and higher expense ratios. Expense ratios on actively managed REIT funds are typically over 1%.

Passively managed REIT funds buy and hold shares according to a REIT index so very little buying and selling takes place throughout the year. Conversely, passively managed REIT funds have lower maintenance fees and expense ratios due to the fact that once the shares are purchased they are held long term. Expense ratios can be as low as 0.26%.

Redemption fees are something else you need to ask your financial advisor about. Redemption fees are charged to discourage investors from selling their shares often. Not all REIT fund managers charge redemption fees but the ones that do charge up to 1% if you hold your shares for less than a year.

You know that diversification is key when having a balanced portfolio. You and your financial advisor should plan on allocating 10 to 20 percent of you total holdings to REIT funds. While real estate can make you a lot of money, it is still a very tight market and should not be over invested in. Your portfolio should reflect this. Your financial advisor should ensure you are well diversified to minimize risk and loss.

There are also different types of accounts to hold your REIT fund in. Some pay out dividends that can be reinvested and won’t have tax implications and some pay out dividends quarterly. These accounts will have tax implications and you will have to report your capital gains on your tax return.

REIT mutual funds that hold these shares provide the diversification and income stability you need to secure your financial future.

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Reverse Mortgages Pros And Cons Tips To Avoid Mistakes

Posted on | February 23, 2011 | No Comments

Let’s talk about reverse mortgages pros and cons. Everyone knows a reverse mortgage is for homeowners who are 62 years old or older. A reverse mortgage allows the homeowners to remain in their home and is a loan with an interest rate that is taken against the equity in their home. The interest rate is somewhat lower than on a normal home loan and the closing costs remain the same, the fees the lender’s charge can be as much as double as when purchasing a home with a regular home loan.

The loan can be used to pay off any mortgage that may be left on the home and can be given out as a lump sum payment, a line of credit or the homeowner may choose to receive monthly payments or the homeowner can also choose to receive any combination of the line of credit and monthly payments. This may be a better choice if some work needs to be done on the house you can use the line of credit to get the work done and have the monthly payment as well.

Some choose the monthly payments to increase the amount of monthly income they have to live on. We all know that sometimes the income we have to retire on is a paltry sum compared to some of our counterparts, or our portfolios have taken a hit especially in this bad economy and there isn’t as much as there once was so a monthly payment can come in handy.

Reverse mortgages pros and cons mean as long as you live in your home you do not have to repay anything. The loan gets repaid when ever the home is sold and the amount owed is never more than the house is worth. Those exorbitant lender’s fee get rolled into the loan or will be taken out of the proceeds of the loan so the only upfront cost will be the appraisal fee.

As the homeowner you will be required to attend a HUD counseling session to close the loan. Pay attention because if you receive too much money in a one month period you may adversely affect your Medicaid eligibility. So structure the payments you get so that doesn’t happen. This is to your benefit.

Qualifying for a reverse mortgage is easy, all you have to do is meet the age requirement. Your present income or credit score do not come into play at all. You only have to have enough equity in your home and be 62 years old. You would have a much more difficult time getting a traditional mortgage at the age of 62 and are about to retire. As retirement nears your monthly income will no doubt go down and you will be less like to make the payments required on a traditional mortgage so if you are in your home is would be your best bet to apply for a reverse mortgage.

Do some homework, so to speak, when considering applying for a reverse mortgage. Find an agent who knows all the ins and outs of reverse mortgage pros and cons and not someone who has an agenda. You do not need high pressure when looking for a reverse mortgage and is the agent you find has an interest in getting you to sign with them or they will benefit from selling you the loan then you need to find someone else. You should make sure you do not have to pay more for less service.

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