Daily Archives :

October 30, 2015

Starter Home, or Dream Home?

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If you’re like most first-time homebuyers, you have a long list of must-haves and a tight budget. But while it can be tempting to hold out for a house that has everything you want (even if it comes at a price), there’s a lot to be said for the starter home. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re weighing the pros and cons. A starter isn’t…

4 Fast Solutions for Last Minute Mortgage Problems

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Getting a mortgage can be stressful, especially when last-minute issues crop up that can stop the process in its tracks. These surprises are unpleasant, but they don’t have to spell disaster for your mortgage if you act quickly. Problem: Additional Documentation is Needed Your lender calls you days before closing and requests additional documentation. This most often occurs when the lender needs to verify closing funds or requires proof that…

Should You Save for a Down Payment, or Pay Off Debt?

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These days, debt free is the end game for a significant chunk of the population. But if you’re still not quite there yet and you’re itching to start building equity in a new house, you may be wondering where exactly your priorities (and your savings) should lie: in an account marked “future down payment” or in your creditors’ pockets. The quick answer? It depends. If your debt is high interest,…

Five Ways to Lower Your DTI

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Your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is one of the three most important factors that lenders look at when deciding whether or not to approve you for a mortgage (the other two? Your FICO score and the loan-to-value ratio, which varies with the price of the house you plan to buy). DTI is considered especially important in determining your ability to repay the mortgage. It is computed with your total monthly debt…

Long Wait Ahead For HomeBuyers

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The notification of ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) on August 19, 2015, notified that the eco-sensitive zone around Okhla Bird Sanctuary was to be 100 metres from the eastern, western and southern boundary of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary and 1.27 kilometres from the northern boundary of the Sanctuary. Earlier, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had directed authorities not to issue completion certificates for construction projects within a…

Investors focus on the greenback as global stocks rally

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Global stocks rallied on Monday after a weaker-than-anticipated jobs report from the U.S., which swayed investors to rethink the timing of an interest rate rise, with a 2016 hike now looking more likely. Markets welcomed the worse than expected data, with many interpreting the news as a return to the rising trend in stocks after a terrible third quarter. But when planning a longer-term outlook for stocks as earnings season…

Did you land a new job? Don’t forget about that 401(k) plan

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During the excitement that comes with taking a new job, make sure you don’t forget about the retirement money you socked away in your former employer’s 401(k) plan. “People in their working years tend to switch jobs a lot and can lose touch with their [accounts],” said Kristi Sullivan, a certified financial planner and owner of Sullivan Financial Planning. “That can get messy after several job changes.” Although leaving the…

Serving as executor to an estate

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So, you’ve been asked to serve as the executor of a friend or loved one’s estate. It’s an honor, no doubt, but it’s also a significant burden. Before you consent, said Erika Safran, a certified financial planner and founder of Safran Wealth Advisors, consider the commission with care. Educate yourself on how much work is involved (it can take up to two years to settle an estate) and honestly assess…

4 things you need to consider before investing in art

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With major art fairs taking place across the globe from Chicago to Istanbul to Shanghai, art enthusiasts, collectors and sophisticated investors alike are questioning whether to acquire works of fine art as investments. And as significant appreciation emerges in some corners of the art market, we see growing interest from clients about incorporating art into their investment portfolios. Last year saw more than $60 billion in art sales, a 67…

Finding ways to provide better overall after-tax gains

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As investment advisors, we are constantly looking for ways to provide any additional performance in client portfolios. As a tax attorney, I know there are a variety of actions an investor can take during a tax year to avoid or defer—but never evade—taxable investment income. One such technique is called tax-loss harvesting, or maximizing losses to provide a better overall after-tax gain. In theory, it is quite simple. If you…