What Are the Pros and Cons of Life Insurance?

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com. Purchasing life insurance is a big decision and is not to be taken lightly. If you’re considering life insurance to protect your family if you die or as a savings vehicle for retirement, it’s essential to compare your options. As you do your research, you should consider the benefits of life insurance and investigate any disadvantages of each life…

Source: moneytalksnews.com

What Are the Pros and Cons of Life Insurance?

This story originally appeared on SmartAsset.com. Purchasing life insurance is a big decision and is not to be taken lightly. If you’re considering life insurance to protect your family if you die or as a savings vehicle for retirement, it’s essential to compare your options. As you do your research, you should consider the benefits of life insurance and investigate any disadvantages of each life…

Source: moneytalksnews.com

3 reasons I loved my Marriott Platinum status last year — get yours now with a credit card

Having elite status levels in the various airline and hotel programs may not mean as much for most travelers right this second as it usually does. It’s been understandably hard to care about that triple-diamond-platinum-zinc-oxide level elite status card when you haven’t used it in almost a year. But, I trust that travel will return …

Source: thepointsguy.com

TPG reader credit card question: Is it time to switch cards?

Editor’s note: This article is part of our weekly column to answer your credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.  New year, new credit card strategy? Now that we’re starting a new year, many people are taking …

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If a Sale Doesn’t Go Through, Who Pays the Appraisal Fee?

home appraisal Zinkevych / Getty Images

If you’re buying a home, one of the (many) things you must check off your list is hiring a professional to do a home appraisal to assess the property’s value. But what if you check it off your list and then, for whatever reason, the home sale falls through—who pays the appraisal fee then?

Let’s take a look.

What is a home appraisal anyway?

A home appraisal is a professional assessment of how much a property is worth. Unless you’re paying for your home in cash, it’s a non-negotiable in the process. Most lenders require an appraisal before they’ll grant you a mortgage. Your home is their collateral, and if you can’t pay your mortgage, they want to make sure they can get back as much of their money as possible. An appraisal also helps protect you from buying an overpriced property.

The appraiser will take an unbiased look at a home, the condition it’s in, any repairs it needs, and other factors, and will also likely compare it to other similar properties in the area before providing an estimate of what they think it’s worth. An appraisal goes deeper than the comps your real estate agent likely gathered and presented to you when you were first considering the property—but not as deep as a home inspection, which you’ll also want to have completed in most cases before the sale is final.

If the appraised value is higher than the cost of the home you want to purchase, good for you! You’re making an investment that’s paying off from the get-go. If, however, the appraised value is lower than the price of the house, then you have a variety of options—including negotiating with the seller, challenging the appraisal, and/or getting a second one. Or, of course, you could walk away from the deal completely.

The cost of a professional appraisal varies depending on where you live; but in general, you can expect to pay somewhere around $300 to $400 for one.

Who pays the home appraisal fee when a deal falls through?

In most cases, even though the appraisal is for the benefit of the lender and the appraiser is selected by the lender, the fee is paid by the buyer. It may be wrapped up into closing costs, or you may have to pay it upfront.  There are some cases, however, in which a seller will offer to pay the appraisal fee to make the deal more attractive.

So, back to the original question: When a sale falls through, who’s on the line for the fee? In most cases, it’s still going to be the buyer.

“The buyer is usually required to pay the appraisal fee upfront, and it is owed even if the lender does not move forward with a loan,” says Lee Dworshak, a real estate agent with Keller Williams LA Harbor Realty in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. “While the seller may have agreed to pay all closing costs, if the closing does not occur and the property is not conveyed, the seller is not required to pay your appraisal fee.”

If a buyer doesn’t pay the appraisal fee upfront and instead rolls it into the rest of her closing costs, that doesn’t mean she’s off the hook if she doesn’t close.

“It has nothing to do with the seller; it is ordered by your lender, and payment is due regardless of the outcome,” says Maria Jeantet, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker C&C Properties in Redding, CA. “It is typically paid by the buyer unless specifically negotiated ahead of time to be paid by the seller.”

Having a home sale fall through is usually a bummer for both the seller and the buyer, and having to pay for an appraisal on a home you’re not going to buy adds a bit of insult to injury. Just know that while the appraisal fee can sting, it can save buyers from a much bigger financial wallop that comes with buying an overpriced home.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s a small price to pay when it comes to finding the right house at the right price.

The post If a Sale Doesn’t Go Through, Who Pays the Appraisal Fee? appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

Source: realtor.com

Your Top 5 Social Security Questions of the Year

Social Security benefits are crucial to the finances of most retirees, with some seniors relying on benefits for at least 90% of their income. At the same time, determining when to claim Social Security benefits is one of the most complicated retirement decisions. That’s why we started our “Social Security Q&A” series, which brings you expert answers to Social Security questions. It'

Source: moneytalksnews.com

Hoping for Student Loan Forgiveness Won’t Pay the Bills

Federal student loan borrowers are waiting with bated breath to see whether loan forgiveness — which President-elect Joe Biden says he’ll make a priority — becomes a reality. Industry experts say borrowers shouldn’t count on it. “I think we’re closer to loan forgiveness than we’ve ever been before, but that doesn’t mean I think we’re…

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