The beginning of a new year is when many Americans take stock of their lives. And with this being a housing column, I offer 10 New Year’s resolutions for homeowners, in no particular order:
1. If you have been stressing out about being “underwater” on your mortgage, now may be a good time to discuss your options (short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, walking away, staying put) so that you can make a final decision and be at peace with that decision.
2. If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments, call your lender and see if a loan modification may be available to you. Banks are still difficult to deal with, but the process is getting a little easier.
3. Check with your county property appraiser to make sure that you are getting all of your property tax exemptions and discounts you’re entitled to. Besides discounts on your primary residence, you may be eligible for discounts based on disability, spouse’s death, low income senior, disabled veteran, active-duty military and more. While you’re at it, make sure that the appraised value of your property is on target.
4. If you have not done so already, get a windstorm mitigation inspection done. It can save you significant money. But be informed about the process.
5. Make sure that your homeowner’s insurance coverage is correct. With declining home values, many people are now over-insured and paying for coverage they no longer need.
6. Check to see if you still need to maintain flood insurance because the flood zone maps have changed.
7. Make sure that the title to your home is properly vested to save money and troubles for your loved ones when you pass away. A properly drafted deed can save thousands of dollars in probate expenses after you’re gone.
8. Have your will checked if it is more than five years old. If anything has changed, have a new will drafted or your existing one amended. If you don’t have a will, get one. It isn’t as expensive as you might think — less than $500, in some cases.
9. Take a walk around your house with a pad and pen. Make a list of all of those small repairs that you have been meaning to do and then do them. It is much easier to accomplish chores if they’re written down and making small repairs now is much less expensive than making large repairs later.
10. Consider renovating your bathroom or kitchen. Home renovations cost a lot less now than just a few years ago. It may be a good alternative to moving.
April Partida is a Professional, Experienced and Results Oriented, Top Virginia Beach VA Realtor committed to meeting your needs.
April has distinguished herself as a leader in the Virginia Beach Virginia real estate market. April assists buyers looking for Virginia Beach VA real estate for sale and aggressively markets Virginia Beach homes for sale. April is also a Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Specialist (SFR). Avid foreclosure and short sale expert, committed to helping families in financial hardship find options to foreclosure.
You can reach April at 757-227-1777 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.