Tony Economou - RE/MAX Advantage I



Posted by Tony Economou on 10/19/2017

The Massachusetts Homestead Law is a very useful law that was put into place as a protection of homeowners’ property. The law may protect your home against the claims of creditors. The act applies to your home if: 

  • You live in the home or plan to live in it
  • You use the home or plan to use the home as your primary residence 

Things To Know About The Law


It does protect manufactured and mobile home

Homestead protection does not stop your home from being foreclosed on in the event that you don’t pay your mortgage


Declaration Of Homestead


You must declare that your property is a homestead property in the state of Massachusetts. This declaration will protect the equity value of your home from creditors. The equity of your home is what the “fair market value” of the home is. To calculate this value, find out what the value of your home is, then subtract all home equity loans, liens, and mortgages that you have against the house. The number that’s left is what the equity value of your home is.


When a Declaration Of Homestead is in place, you’re protected from creditors who would otherwise force you to use your equity so that you you can repay the debts that are owed. Without this protection, creditors can foreclose on your home. The only creditors that a Homestead does not protect you from are home loan companies, the IRS and legal child support obligations. 


When the loan for your home is in good standing and a Homestead is in place in Massachusetts, the following applies:


A creditor cannot auction your home if you, other owners of your home, any family members, or any family members who move into your home at a future date live there. This means that even in the event of your death, these people will all be protected from creditors taking value from the property while they are living on the property. 


Key Points


Any family members who have debts and are living in the house are also protected under the Homestead Act in Massachusetts. 


$125,000 is automatically protected. 

A Homestead Declaration needs to be filed for up to $500,000 of protection to be initiated.  


How A Declaration Of Homestead Is Filed


You’ll need to go to the Registry Of Deeds in the county where the property is located in Massachusetts to file a Declaration Of Homestead. The document will need to be notarized and there is a fee associated with filing. You may be asked if you’d like to file the Homestead Protection during the purchase agreement signing for your Massachusetts home. Note that if a lien was put on your property before the Homestead Declaration is filed, you are not protected.


Talk to your real estate attorney and realtor for more details and information on how to file a Homestead Declaration when you purchase your Massachusetts home.




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Posted by Tony Economou on 8/3/2017

If you’re finding that your finances are a bit tighter these days, you might need to adjust your budget a bit. Have you ever thought about alternatives in helping you to pay your mortgage? There’s a few things that you might be able to do in your home to save a few bucks and be more comfortable with your budget and finances. 


Share The Space


This might sound crazy, but it works for many people. If you’re willing to share your living space with others, it could help you to make a dent in your mortgage. This works especially well if you have a home with a separate entrance like an in-law apartment or something similar. 


Make Adjustments To Your Expenses


There are many different costs that come along with owning a home. If you reduce some of these expenses, you’ll be able to cut your overall spending. You don’t need to completely adjust your entire way of living to do this. Some ideas:


  • Cut the cord on cable and install streaming devices
  • Go on a family cell phone plan
  • Skip the gym membership
  • Use public transportation
  • Cook at home instead of eating out
  • Use coupons


Put Tax Refunds To Good Use


If you normally get a tax refund, you can apply that money to your mortgage instead of using it to buy something else. You could also adjust your withholdings. This would allow you to get a bit more money in your paycheck each week. You’ll get less of a refund during tax time, but the extra money may help you to pay down bills throughout the year. 


Pay More Towards The Principal 


To make the most of your hard-earned savings, use your money wisely and pay down the mortgage faster. Just be sure that there’s no penalty for a prepayment of the loan. You can either make an extra loan payment each month or you can pay a bit over what you owe on the mortgage each month. If you pay the mortgage faster, you’ll save potentially thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the loan. You’ll need to check with your mortgage company to see what their process is for paying more towards the principal of the loan. Keep in mind that the first few years‘ worth of your mortgage payments will be going towards interest unless you specify extra payments to go elsewhere.


Whether you’d like a little more of a financial cushion or are just looking to get rid of all those pesky monthly bills, it’s never a bad idea to focus on paying your mortgage down as quickly as possible.




Tags: Mortgage   finances  
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Posted by Tony Economou on 4/20/2017

Owning a home seems like a logical step in the game of life that most people take. It’s a good investment and better for your finances than renting. Just because it seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t actually mean that it is the right thing to do for you and your situation. There are a few clear-cut signs that you’re just not ready to buy a home. 


Your Income Is Too Low


Even if you think that you make enough money to buy a home, you need to take a look at your own finances before you start looking. You’ll need a large sum of money upfront to buy a home, so saving will need to be our thing. Between closing costs and the 20 percent down payment that you should have to buy the home, you don’t want to spread your income too thin. Financial experts recommend that your monthly mortgage payment isn’t more than around 30 percent of your monthly income. 


Debt Has You Pinned Down


Even if you do have enough money to buy a home and make monthly mortgage payments without worry, you may have too many other bills to pay. If you have massive amounts of student loan debt, maxed out credit cards, or other large loans, you may want to think twice before you buy a home. Lenders will look at what’s called your debt-to-income ratio. Your load of debt should be 38% or less of your monthly income. If you have too much debt, it may not only strain you financially, it could prevent you from getting a loan altogether.


You Started A New Job


Lenders like income and job history to be consistent. If you are coming off a period of unemployment or have just started a new job, you could look like an unstable lender. Lenders typically like people who have been doing the same job for about two years or more. If the stability of your income looks uncertain, you may not just look bad to lenders, but you could put yourself at risk as well. 


Your Savings Is Depleted


You need more than just the down payment saved up to be in a good place to buy a home. There will be plenty of things that you’ll need once you move into a new place including furniture to repairs to renting a moving truck. You should have some additional money on hand in case of an emergency as well. 


Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. You should be absolutely sure that you’re ready for the commitment before you dive in.







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