Pave the Way You Pay Your MortgageFebruary's Home Value ImproverAbout Us

Pave the Way You Pay Your Mortgage

How do you want to pay your mortgage? You are in the driver's seat (for a change) on this one. There are a few different ways to pay your mortgage and they are as individual as the houses themselves.

Traditional monthly payments.

Pros: Many people who are paid monthly love this option. They pay their most important bill first and know they can divide up the rest of the money for remaining monthly expenses. You should know the date of your last mortgage payment and how much interest you'll pay over the life of the loan.
Cons: If you are paid bi-monthly, it can be hard to budget. And you're not paying off the mortgage any faster than your mortgage lender originally laid out.

Automatic bi-monthly or semi-weekly payments.

Pros: If you are paid twice a month and your mortgage is your biggest bill, it can be easier to take less out of each check than a gigantic sum out of one. Plus, you'll end up making one extra month's mortgage payment a year, shaving years off the life of your mortgage and saving significantly in interest.
Cons: You really need to read the fine, fine print. Banks will credit the payment first to interest then toward principle unless you specify "principle only" on your payment.

Do-it-Yourself Biweekly

If your mortgage lender doesn't offer flexibility like the bi-weekly payments, you can always set something up on your own. Open a bank account and arrange it so that it pays your mortgage every month, but deposit half the payment into it every two weeks. (You'll have an extra payment at year's end, so you can write a check to the bank in the amount of a whole month's payment. Just be sure to write that you want it applied toward principle.)

Pros: You've created flexibility for yourself where there was none. And, you're still making one extra mortgage payment a year, which will save you lots of money in interest and time on the life of your mortgage.
Cons: Since the money is sitting in your account for the first couple of weeks, the mortgage is still compounding. So, you're not saving any interest month to month - even though you will for the life of the loan.

Third Party Involvement

There are companies out there who will deduct the money from your bank account and pay the mortgage at the end of the month.

Pro: Like the twice monthly payment, you will pay your mortgage off faster than if you did it monthly.
Con: The company will charge you a fee, and why pay for something you could do yourself?

February's Home Value Improver

5 Steps to Protect Your House from Burglars

One of my favorite clients recently experienced a rash of housebreaks in her neighborhood. The neighborhood was up in arms, and she saw more than a few alarm companies doing installations. Without the budget for an alarm, she looked into some ways she could keep her and her family safe.

  1. Secure your front door.
    The majority of house thieves walk right into your front door. So, keep your door locked with a bolt that can't easily be picked. If you have windows right next to the door, try putting a lock somewhere that a burglar won't think of or reach.

  2. Put outdoor lights on sensors.
    The local police department told her that they get plenty of calls from someone who "heard something," looked out the window and saw someone outside their house -- leaving.

  3. Jam your sliding glass doors.
    Burglars love sliding glass doors. Stop them from getting into your house through your doors by placing an adjustable metal bar along the edge.

  4. Lock the garage with a bolt, not the door opener.
    Don't rely on your garage door opener to keep you save. There are side bolts for the door, and don't forget to lock the door from the house to the garage, too.

  5. Make it look - and sound-- like someone's home.
    Keep a TV or radio on if you are out, and put lights on timers. There are even timers you can buy that will put the lights on and off randomly so it won't look like they're on timers.

Westchester Mortgage

February 2012

The term "mortgage" has been in the news more in the past five years than ever. We've heard "crisis," "bail-out," "mortgage-backed securities," "declining rates," and more. You may have decided to just tune it all out. But it's more important now than ever that you pay attention to the details of your mortgage - and more than just your rate.

This month we're helping you decipher the various ways you can pay your mortgage.

If you have any questions about this or any other home financing question, I am always here to help!

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

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