3 Tips for Finding the Best Mortgage Lending

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial investments the average American will make in their lifetime. Therefore, it’s important to find a lender that you trust and feel good about working with now and in the future. Mortgage lending in Catlin, Illinois, is not a one-size-fits-all process. Buyers who go into the lending process with their eyes wide open will score the best deals.

Here are 3 tips to help you find the best lender for your situation.

Avoid Short-Term Lending
Short-term lending isn’t the same as a 30-year mortgage versus a 15-year mortgage. Short-term lending refers to loans that start out with a great rate, but have a clause that states within so many months your rate could go up. These loans are typically called adjustable rate mortgages (ARM). Only consider a short-term, adjustable rate mortgage if you know you are going to be in a position to refinance before your rate goes up.

Say No to Interest-Only Loans
An interest-only loan may seem like a way to save money because you’re not paying principal, but it’s really a money trap. Remember that at the beginning of the loan, you always pay more in interest than principal. Also, if you’re only paying interest, you’re really not paying down the mortgage and still further away from actually owning your home. Interest-only loans are best for short-term new construction projects that will convert to regular payments once the construction process is complete.

Bad Credit? Shop Around for the Best Loan
Don’t think that a bad credit score means you have to settle for the first lender who will give your application a second glance. Sub-prime lenders were in short supply shortly after the Great Recession, but that was several years ago and the market has turned around. This means that there are more bad credit loan products available for less-than-perfect buyers.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all these products have your best financial interests at heart. While bad credit buyers will pay more in interest and likely be required to pay points, be wary of lenders who want to exploit your situation. Take your time to weigh all your options. Also, consider taking a couple of years to build your credit and saving money for a generous down payment. These two actions, alone, will put you in a better position to find a loan.

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3 Benefits of a Parcel Insurance Plan for Your Business

With the massive closures of retail stores throughout the U.S. at an all-time high, it’s safe to say that if your business doesn’t ship its product, you may be out of business soon. People buy everything online these days, including their food and medications. You need to ship to appeal to today’s target demographic, and you need a parcel insurance plan for protection. Here are three reasons why.
1. Damage

One disadvantage of e-business is product is still your responsibility when it leaves your door. A brick and mortar store hands a good over to its customer and the transaction is complete. If the customer breaks the good on the way out to his or car, that’s his or her problem. When you ship your product, if it arrives to a customer damaged, it’s your problem, and that can be costly unless you have insurance.

2. Loss

Another disadvantage is loss. Again, when a customer leaves a store with product in hand, it is out of your hands should he or she lose it. If a customer’s package gets lost in the mail, it is your problem. Depending on your business policy, you will be responsible for replacing the lost item and possibly even paying to ship the replacement good yourself. A parcel insurance plan will help cover those costs.

3. Shortage

Finally, it’s easy to catch a shoplifter in a brick and mortar store; it isn’t easy to catch a shoplifter when you transport your product. Anyone could have opened the package and taken some of the goods out, or the warehouse personnel did not pack the correct number of goods. Either way, your insurance coverage will help cover the replacement costs of shorted parcel.

These are three reasons why you need a parcel insurance plan for your business. Gone are the days of the product becoming the customer’s responsibility right after purchase. Now, you must ensure the good makes it to your customer unscathed.

See South Africa on These 2 Superb Road Trips

South Africa is home to some stunningly diverse landscapes, languages, and cultures. This makes it the ideal destination for your first (or next) road trip. The country’s sprawling territory will invite you to discover amazing tropical beaches, extraordinary mountain ranges and a plethora of interesting creatures. The country is vast, making it ideal for a road trip. However, with size comes the inevitable compromise of where to start and how much to see. Below are two of the best road adventures South Africa has to offer. Both will leave you with a taste for exploring more of this colourful country.
Durban to Clarens

Start your adventure in the bustling urban city of Durban; home to a number of vibrant cafes and bars that will keep you entertained before you begin. When you’re ready to start, take the N3 up through the Midlands (they’re slightly different to the UK version) to the spectacular MidmarDam and Howick Falls. The latter is a stunning backdrop for a spot of food to replenish yourself before moving on. Prepare yourself for a step back in history as nearby Howick is the site where Mandela was captured by police in 1962 after a year on the run. To commemorate this tragic day, an exhibition is located nearby in honour of Mandela’s struggle.

From here the Midlands Meander gets into full swing with cafes, shops and microbreweries lining the road. Nottingham Road Brewing Company is one such watering hole that offers a selection of unique beers for visitors to sample. It will be hard work restraining yourself from the required minimum to drive! After this, the 3000m high peaks of the Drakensberg mountain range come into full view offering jaw-dropping vistas. Continue to the Free State and you will be on the way to the delightful destination of Clarens where you will find cosy restaurants and lively events in the public square.

Johannesburg to Pilanesberg

Johannesburg is the kind of bustling urban sprawl that one can expect from a vibrant fast-growing country. Despite this fact it is surprising just how quickly you can leave this all behind and find yourself immersed in nature and ancient culture. For example, the Sterkfontein Caves are nearby and contain findings of some of the oldest human skeletons in the world. The Wonder Cave is South Africa’s third largest and well worth a look. To add historical context to these fascinating sites the Maropeng museum offers an interactive experience for visitors eager to learn more.

When you’ve had enough of the sprawling caves rev up the engine to seek out the Big Five. This journey will take you through the phenomenal forest-covered mountains of Magaliesberg. If you’re looking to get out of the car seat, then a heart-racing zip wire course is available through the treetops. After this, briefly join the N4 highway before taking the R565 towards the Pilanesberg National Park, in the words of your Sat Nav, “you have reached your final destination”. And what a destination this is. The 550-sq-km park is a safe haven for hippos, rhinos, elephants and much more. From the safety of your car, you will get unprecedented views of some of the world’s most majestic animals.

Drive with Peace of Mind: Car Hire Excess Insurance

These car journeys are just two of countless motor adventures to be had in South Africa. Whilst you’re there enjoying the sites give yourself peace of mind with car hire excess insurance. This will let you concentrate on the beauty knowing that the detail is sorted.

Author Plate

Ethan Bailey is an experienced adventure traveller and insurance expert with the team at Let’s Go Insure. Ethan’s passion is to inspire his clients to go just that little bit further, deeper and higher on their travels and his expertise in providing the ideal insurance cover allows them to do just that. If you’re looking for the best car hire excess insurance Let’s Go works with the most experienced underwriters, intermediaries and insurers to offer a range of competitive insurance without compromising on cover.

5 Bathroom Remodeling Tips

Bathroom remodeling in Marietta is a sure way to increase your home’s value. Unfortunately, many homeowners dive into a remodel without thinking the process through and end up with an expensive mess on their hands that never meets their expectations. Here are 5 tips to help you get through a bathroom remodel without losing your mind or all your money.
Don’t Cut Corners

A well-designed plan is one that goes off without a hitch. The biggest mistake you can make is not designing your new bathroom on paper from start to finish. Layout and functionality are the two aspects you want to focus on. These are the things that can’t easily be changed at the end of a project. If you don’t like your paint color, that’s an easy fix. What isn’t an easy fix is swapping out vanities or adding a shower/tub combo.

Consider Your Skills

Are you thinking of tackling the remodel yourself? That’s a wonderful idea and it can save you money, but only if your skill set matches the project. You may be a great painter, but are you an expert at construction and plumbing? If not, consider hiring a pro to help you with framing or plumbing installation. In some areas, you may not have a choice. Depending on local building codes, you may need to hire a licensed plumber or electrician to help you with lighting and water hook-ups in order for the remodel to be legal.

Avoid Trendy Materials

That trendy bathroom may look great now, but what’s it going to look like 5 years down the road? Trends don’t last forever and your new bathroom can look dated within a few years if you stick with the trends. A good rule of design is to stick with classic fixtures for items that can’t easily or affordably be changed. For example, choose a classic tile design for the shower while selecting a trendy faucet for the sink. Faucets can be changed for a couple hundred bucks or less, but a new tile job can run into the thousands depending on the material you choose.

If It’s Not Broke, Don’t Fix It

The easiest way to bust your remodeling budget is to start messing with moving plumbing and ventilation. You may think it looks better to have your sink relocated to the other side of the bathroom, but is it worth the extra money? When you start to re-plumb a bathroom or begin moving air vents, that is when remodeling costs get out of control. Think long and hard if relocating a toilet or sink is worth the extra money. Will your new bathroom look any less cool if these fixtures stay where they are?

Hire Licensed Professionals

Once you decide to hire someone to help you with your bathroom remodeling in marietta, make sure you choose a contractor who is licensed and insured in your city, county, and state. Hiring a professional without the proper credentials can leave you with less than desirable results. Don’t let your home be someone’s practice job.