Escrow Accounts – Are You Paying Too Much?

Written by Yuri Szilasi

Continued from page 1

If you are required to escrow for taxes and insurance it is a very good idea to write to your lender annually, demanding proof of payment ofrepparttar real estate taxes and insurance premiums. Ifrepparttar 148945 lender does not respond promptly, contact your taxing authority to confirm payment ofrepparttar 148946 taxes, and complain aboutrepparttar 148947 lack of response to your state or local financial regulatory authority.

Home owners who have 20% or more equity in their property - that is, if they borrow or refinance 80% or less thanrepparttar 148948 value ofrepparttar 148949 property - haverepparttar 148950 right to receive a notice fromrepparttar 148951 lender that they may pay their own taxes and insurance without escrow. This is a wise thing to do as your money is better off working for you than sitting in a non interest bearing escrow account. This is of course providing that you haverepparttar 148952 financial discipline to haverepparttar 148953 funds available when it comes time to pay your taxes and insurance!

WARNING: Some lenders try to increaserepparttar 148954 mortgage rate whenrepparttar 148955 borrower opts to avoid escrow. You should talk to your attorney who will likely advise you it is illegal forrepparttar 148956 lender to do this. Again, MAKE THE EFFORT. It can be worth a great deal of money to you inrepparttar 148957 long term.

Unfortunately, escrow for taxes is a way of life inrepparttar 148958 mortgage industry. However, as a borrower, you haverepparttar 148959 right to review and analyze - and complain if you find that your escrowed funds are not being handled properly. After all, this money belongs to you until it is paid torepparttar 148960 taxing authority orrepparttar 148961 insurance company.

You can easily check your own escrow account.

To determine whether your escrow account balance is excessive, divide all annual expenses paid out of that account by 12.

For example, if your annual expenses are $1,200,repparttar 148962 lender would need $100 a month for payments.

If your monthly escrow payment is significantly higher than $100,repparttar 148963 lender may be overcharging. Some lenders establish separate escrow accounts for each item to be paid, rather than making all payments out ofrepparttar 148964 same fund. But regardless ofrepparttar 148965 method used, at some point inrepparttar 148966 year, there should be no more than two timesrepparttar 148967 monthly payment inrepparttar 148968 account (inrepparttar 148969 above example there should be no more than $200 inrepparttar 148970 account for at least one month ofrepparttar 148971 year), or a smaller amount ifrepparttar 148972 mortgage contract specifies one.

Should you find that you are being excessively charged you need to contact your lender for a satisfactory explanation because THIS IS COSTING YOU MONEY.

$500 in your escrow account is $500 that is not coming off your mortgage. You are paying interest on this which overrepparttar 148973 years can compound out to significant amounts of money. In fact over a 30 year loan at 8% this $500 will have cost you $5,431.92 in additional interest. Is that worth fighting for?

I encourage you to makerepparttar 148974 small effort required to monitor your accounts. It’s so easy to be complacent and assume that all is as it should be. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your finances. When it comes to your money, you arerepparttar 148975 only person you can really trust.

Yuri Szilasi is the owner of

a site dedicated to recouping mortgage overcharges from lenders. Mortgage overcharges are endemic worldwide and cost Americans alone over $8 Billion each year.

Building A Home? Want To Ask A Builder The Right Questions - Not The Dumb Ones!

Written by Cplm Dillon

Continued from page 1

Can you see how a sub could use this againstrepparttar builder when asked why he hasn't finishedrepparttar 148944 bathroom yet. "Wellrepparttar 148945 client told me two days ago that they were changingrepparttar 148946 tiles to another type." It doesn't matter that you did not say that - but it caused confusion and delayedrepparttar 148947 job by at least two days or more.

Instead of wanting access torepparttar 148948 subs, with whom you have no expertise, you should concentrate on ensuringrepparttar 148949 builder hasrepparttar 148950 proper permits and insurance for building. Especially for workman's comp and for liability.

Few clients realize that they can be held accountable, ifrepparttar 148951 builder doesn't haverepparttar 148952 correct insurance.

Let's say that a child comes on torepparttar 148953 site afterrepparttar 148954 builder has left forrepparttar 148955 day. Decides to climb torepparttar 148956 roof and jump. Guess who's liable? Checkrepparttar 148957 references of others clients he's built for.

A Final point on access to subcontractors.

Many house building clients have very poor spatial ability and cannot imagine an overview ofrepparttar 148958 space being designed for them - they just cannot imaginerepparttar 148959 finished house, never mind whatrepparttar 148960 finished colors and tiles look like.

Because of this, they feelrepparttar 148961 need to be able to make changes at any stage ofrepparttar 148962 project. This is what is behind this question of being able to speak torepparttar 148963 subs. You can make changes to your house design at any time as long as you realize that each change will cost you heaps and blow your budget sky high.

To make these changes you askrepparttar 148964 architect to request a cost estimate fromrepparttar 148965 builder for each change. You then can decide if you can afford it or not. If your request is made atrepparttar 148966 worst possible (most expensive) time, you will be told that as well.

What'srepparttar 148967 answer to all this? Make allrepparttar 148968 decisions about what you want and have them included in your plans and specifications.

Question 4.

What does a builder, expectrepparttar 148969 homeowner to do (other than to pay you as and when agreed).


A builder expectsrepparttar 148970 home buyer to be reasonable and realistic in their expectations. The time you spend in planning and thinking about what you want in you home is worth real money to you. If you are not good at planning, an Interior Designer will be critical to your final happiness.

If you can't make up your mind onrepparttar 148971 important aspects ofrepparttar 148972 design, go and inspect examples of what you do like and getrepparttar 148973 Interior Designer to incorporate what you want inrepparttar 148974 plan.

The biggest problems that most builders run into is home buyer who change what has been agreed to or is unrealistic in what they want. This is why we have our home buyers sit down with an Interior Designer.

The ASID can sit down with you and help you visualize exactly what you want and help you make any compromises you may have to make.

It is very expensive to make changes during a project. Let's say that you wanted a 17x20 kitchen. Sounds like a big kitchen. Probably too big. However, oncerepparttar 148975 cabinets and appliances start coming in you realize that it's too small and wantrepparttar 148976 kitchen to be bigger.

This may cost you an extra $50k to make those changes. You can save yourself a small fortune by first working with ASID on floor space, storage, placement, design, and style.

Author & $1.2 Billion Developer, Colm Dillon, Has Written The Best Selling 'How-To' E-book, "Residential Development Made Easy," With Readers In All States Of The USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Ireland and 79 Other Countries. His Independent Web Site is:

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