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Buying or Building a Green Home

Buying or Building a Green Home

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Published by: api-3708315 on Oct 14, 2008
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Is it worth my while to pay
off my 30-year loan early?
Q:I\u2019ve heard about various ways

to pay off a 30-year mortgage in 12
or 15 years. Do such programs make

A:A shorter loan term means a bor-

rower will pay far less interest and get
the advantage of greater monthly cash flow once the
loan ends. For instance, a $100,000 loan at 6.7 percent
over 30 years will have a monthly payment of $645.28.
The potential interest cost is $132,300 \u2013 more than the
original loan amount.

To pay off the same amount at the same rate in 15
years, just increase the monthly payment to $882.14.
The total potential interest cost for the loan is $58,785
Thus, the idea of a shorter loan term \u2013 with reserva-

tions \u2013 is attractive.
What are the reservations?

First, before making accel-
erated payments, always
make sure you have the right
to prepay your loan in whole
or in part at any time and
without penalty. Note that
even when loans have pre-
payment penalties they often
allow for accelerated pay-
ments.Your lender can explain your prepayment rights
in detail.

Second, if you have the right to prepay some or all of
your loan without penalty, you should not pay anyone
other than your lender for prepayment programming.
Paying several hundred dollars to set up a prepayment
program, or paying $20 or $30 a month for \u201cadministra-
tion,\u201d simply means fewer dollars are available to pay
down your debt.

Third, never give mortgage money to anyone except
your lender. If a third party does not make your pay-
ment or if they do not pay on time, it\u2019s your credit
report that will show the late or nonpayments, and
your credit costs will rise.

Fourth, beware of plans to automatically withdraw money from checking accounts.The problem here is the conflict between an automated payment and an account with insufficient funds. Protect yourself and always get overdraft protection.

Three basic acceleration programs look like this:

\u2022 Biweekly Payment Plans. Instead of 12 monthly pay-
ments you make a mortgage payment every two weeks,
or 26 times a year. If we say that each biweekly pay-
ment is equal to half the value of a regular payment,

Ask Our Broker
CTW Features
oving, along with death and divorce,
is considered one of life\u2019s three

biggest stress producers.And the
increased difficulty of selling a home today in
many parts of the country only compounds the
stress that moving causes. Homeowners, of
course, could wait out the downturn before
putting their home on the market, but there\u2019s
no indication of when that might be, and wait-
ing is not an option if they\u2019re in a must-sell,

must-move situation.

Frayed nerves may come with the territory,
but they don\u2019t have to sabotage the selling
process. Here, some real estate experts, and a
psychologist, offer their tips for keeping stress
low and optimism high during a tumultuous
selling process.


De-clutter and purge belongings so the
house looks its best and you don\u2019t have to
scurry and put away furnishings, clothing,
books and toys each time there\u2019s a showing.

Denny Grimes, owner and broker of Denny
Grimes & Co. in Fort Myers, Fla., suggests put-
ting away or eliminating 50 percent of what
you own, either by selling, donating or plac-
ing items in a garage or storage facility. It\u2019s
also important, he says, particularly in a
buyer\u2019s market, for owners to consider having
their homes staged and professionally cleaned
and for brokers or salespeople to hire profes-
sional photographers for listing photos.

Kalia Rork, a saleswoman with RE/MAX
Don\u2019t Let Selling Leave You Stressed
Worry-free: Don\u2019t let a long selling period derail your life. \u2018If people have proper expectations ... they\u2019re more likely to reach their goal,\u2019 says one real estate expert.
Make the most of your home investment

Yes, they save money and
are energy efficient, but
there\u2019s a lot more to know
about buying or building a
green home

CTW Features
envious and save a lot of money

in the process? Then go green
when you decide to buy or build
a new home, and consider one
that is energy-efficient, Earth-
friendly and environmentally

\u201cBuying or building a new
green home is a wise choice
right now because doing so
meets the needs of the present
without compromising the abili-
ty to meet the needs of the
future,\u201d says Monica Higgins,

founder of Renovation Planners,
a Culver City, Calif.-based remod-
el consultancy.According to
Higgins,\u201cgoing green\u201d encom-
passes maximum use of renew-
able energy, minimal production
of pollution and minimal energy
consumption without sacrificing
comfort, health and safety.

According to the Center of
Excellence for Sustainable
Development, today there are
more than 76 million residential

buildings and nearly 5 million
commercial buildings in the
United States consuming one-
third of all the energy and two-
thirds of all the electricity.These
buildings also significantly dam-
age urban air quality, accounting
for 49 percent of sulfur dioxide
emissions, 25 percent of nitrous
oxide emissions, 10 percent of
particulate emissions and 35 per-

How to Go About Going Green
Never give

money to
anyone except
your lender

No one said finding a buyer was easy, but keeping your stress level low will make the process all the more manageable

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