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Cutting Costs

 

By Pete Chaison

We all have heard of or made New Years resolutions.  Of course the majority of them are relevant to your own health and losing weight.  They are two of the many good resolutions to make,  and for some people resolutions are a very good idea as it gives he or she an attainable and measurable goal to achieve.  Another good resolution is to make, which can be done with both your spouse and family, is to cut your homeowners costs.  Below are a few suggestions which can help you save money and make your goals attainable.

Refinancing your mortgage can be the biggest saving suggestion of them all.  Even if you purchased your home 3 or four years ago today might be a great day to “re-fi” Today rates for 30 year fixed mortgages can be as low as 3.25%.  Rates are all based on your current payments, credit score and loan to value. Perhaps this will cost you $3,600 to re-fi but you also may save up to $300 per month.  The payoff then would be 12 months to break even. If you plan on staying in the home for more than a year it makes sense.  Always check with your current lender or contact one of the many local and professional mortgage brokers in the Savannah area.  You might be surprised at what one percentage point can do to your amortization schedule.

 

Another good place to save is in your Internet and cable services.  Call your provider and ask for current specials or ways to save by bundling and combining your services. Then once you find out what may be the best package, negotiate.  Cable companies need your business and often will negotiate the price of a bundle or give you more for less.

Homeowners insurance can and should always be looked at too.  Prices can vary from carrier to carrier and also bundling your homeowners with auto and other insurance can save you money over the course of the policy.  It is not a good idea to shop for price alone, as you should get referrals from friends and feel comfortable with your agent and the answers which you receive.  

By making your home safer you can reduce your annual premium too.  Once you select a good and reputable insurance agent ask how you can further save money on your policy:  by installing an alarm system, dead bolts, storm windows.  Even replacing a worn or older roof can save you money in the long run.  Look at the benefits and the return on investment timeframe. And before doing any of these call your REALTOR and get his/her input and suggestions on what would be both more beneficial and economical.

Do not forget going green.  Toilets account for 30% of your annual water, according to the EPA. By installing lower flow toilets a typical family of four can save an average of $2000 over the lifetime of the toilets.  By installing an ENERGY STAR programmable thermostat, wrapping your hot water heater, caulking windows and doors and installing extra insulation can save you hundreds of dollars per year.  If you use your sprinkler system frequently look at the feasibility of a shallow well for irrigation.  You will save on water consumption and sewer service.

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope you can stick to your resolutions and remember to put saving money on that list too as the rewards can be substantial.

Pete Chaison is co owner of Savannah List for Less and can be reached at Pete@savannahlistforless.com or 912.313.2759.


   

Written by: Pete Chaison
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