They’re not exciting, and they’re certainly not the first thing people see when they enter your home, since they are often obscured with drapery, shutters, or blinds. Your windows. When do you really need to replace them and what are the telltale signs it’s time to save up for this sizable investment? Homeowners with older varieties of windows might think about how newer, more energy-saving windows can reduce energy costs as well as enhance the beauty of their homes. Newer windows (which now have high tech UV protection — like having sunglasses for your home) can save your expensive furniture, cabinetry and carpeting from fading, crunching, and deteriorating. They also have noise abatement qualities people rarely consider. But windows aren’t inexpensive. And there are other, less expensive solutions than replacement. Nothing in a home is built to last forever, and windows are no exception. Daily exposure to weather and sunlight affect any window’s efficiency toll; the gas-filled seal on dual pane glass can leak, clouding up windows on the inside, but you may be able to get the seal fixed without replacing the window. If the seal fails repeatedly, however, it could be that the frames are warped and continuing to fix it repeatedly could present a case of diminishing returns.
Another reason to not replace a window is breakage. If your home backs up to a golf course, baseball diamond or some spunky Little Leaguer’s backyard and you find a hole in a window when you get home from work, don’t panic. Usually you can simply replace the glass, which is known as reglazing, saving some serious money. Weather-stripping and storm windows may also help hold off the expense of replacing your windows. Replacing windows may sometimes be your only option, however. What if they no longer open? That can happen due to your home’s foundation shifting, the frames deteriorating or the windows being painted shut by some former homeowner (never you, of course). On the other hand, you may have tried to close your windows as tight as possible to prevent a cold winter draft or dust cloud from seeping in, only to become frustrated that it doesn’t seal completely anymore. This can affect your monthly energy bill as well as eliminate an emergency escape route in case of a fire or break-in. Replacing them with new windows that are custom-built to fit the opening has the potential for saving you money every month.
A good test to see if your windows are transferring heat or cold is to hold your hand against them during both winter and summer. If you find the window slightly warm is direct sunlight, no big deal. Hot? Chances are good that you are overworking your air conditioner on a daily basis. Also check for drafty air leaks and water condensation around not only the window itself, but around the frames and surrounding drywall. A ton of mold problems begin with leaky windows and that can affect your family’s health. Cold air infiltrates and heat pours out through the same weak seals, finding you pouring money into overly-high utility bills. Older (single-pane) windows are especially prone to leaking and do little to block incoming light, heat and cold. If you don’t want to trust yourself to determine what’s going on with your windows, it’s easy to find someone for an evaluation. Look online for local energy auditors, independent contractors, or window manufacturers, all of whom can inspect your home and make recommendations to improve your home’s energy efficiency. It has been determined that windows are the source of up to 25 percent of energy loss. An auditor's report should tell you how well your windows maintain proper energy and moisture control.
If you find it’s time to replace your windows, then it’s also time to become the savvy consumer. In all but the most egregious of cases, you may not have to do it all at once. Replacing a few windows at a time may help you with budget concerns. However, it’s important to look up the different types of windows and frames you will use since this may become a long-term investment. All new windows have energy-saving qualities due to stricter building codes these days, but it’s important to get the facts on the different types of frames available to you. Aluminum frames are rarely used these days, but may be the least expensive. If you are not staying in your home for long, however, and the rest of the windows have such frames, there may be no need to go hog-wild on fancier varieties since you would never see a good return on the investment. Fiberglass (vinyl) are the most common and are used on most newer (many tract) homes. Some manufacturers have their own patented materials made to look like wood and can be outrageously attractive and long-lasting. Real wood, however, is the most costly (and some would argue, the most beautiful) varieties of frames. Wood frames are often used in custom home builds. Look up the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) for more detailed information on windows and be dubious of opinions and promises made by people showing up at your doorstep. Do extensive research on consumer review web sites such as Yelp! and AngiesList, both on the window manufacturers themselves as well as local installers.
What To Bring to A Mortgage Application
- Photo ID and Social Security card
- Provide a detailed work history for 24 months preceding mortgage application including start and end dates as well as any gaps in employment.
- One month consecutive pay stubs (most recent)
- Two years W-2’s and/or 1099’s (most recent)
- Most recent two years Federal tax returns with all schedules if self-employed or more than 25% income from bonus or overtime (a year to date profit & loss statement may be required if self-employed)
- Most recent two years Federal tax returns with all schedules if owned rental property(s) and lease/rental agreements
- Divorce/separation/child support papers and proof of receipt of child support for 12 months, if disclosing as monthly income
- Two months most recent bank statements or most recent quarterly statement including checking, savings, investment, brokerage and retirement accounts (provide all pages, even if some pages seem irrelevant)
- List of all creditors including name, account number, current balance and payment
- Bankruptcy papers including petition, list of debtors and discharge of debtors
- Copy of the executed purchase contract including all addenda
- Plans and specifications for new construction if applicable
- Estimates for any construction costs not included in purchase contract
- Copies of deed, real estate tax receipts and survey map if available
- Landlord’s name(s) and telephone number(s) (covering 2 year history)
- Attorney information and real estate agent information including names, telephone numbers and fax numbers
- Copy of sales contract and listing agreement for sale of current residence or copy of HUD-1 if sale of property has already closed
- VA Certificate of Eligibility
- A check a for credit report and appraisal fee
Zesty Pineapple Lemonade
This unique drink combines traditional lemonade with the juicy addition of sliced pineapple for a delicious spring beverage. Treat you and a group of friends to zesty pineapple lemonade that yields up to 6 servings.
What You Will Need:
- 4 cups hot water
- 4 lemons
- 1 whole pineapple
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
How It’s Made:
- Start by cutting your pineapple in half. Slice the first half of the pineapple into slices. Take the other half and press the juice into a pitcher.
- Press the 4 lemons into the pitcher.
- Now pour 4 cups of hot water with the 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar and stir thoroughly.
- Put the pitcher of lemonade in the fridge to cool down.
- Serve the zesty pineapple lemonade chilled over ice with a slice of pineapple.
The answer is, not at all! The Federal Housing Administration was formed in 1934 to provide financing for low- and moderate-income buyers, and there is no requirement that they are first-time buyers. There is also no maximum income for buyers. FHA has become a useful choice for many buyers whose credit situation might make conventional financing more difficult and more expensive.
FHA loans require a minimum down payment and mortgage insurance for the life of the loan. Although it is not a first-time buyer program, it is very popular with these buyers, partly because many communities offer down payment and closing cost assistance for qualified first-timers whose income falls beneath certain limits. FHA is also an excellent choice for those buyers whose credit scores are at the lower end of the scale. While conventional loans require a minimum FICO score of 620, FHA generally accepts much lower scores.
FHA does have a potential disadvantage, and that is the way mortgage insurance (MI) is handled. Lenders require mortgage insurance to limit their risk any time the loan is for more than 80% of the property's value. With a conventional loan, a borrower can ask the lender to remove the MI once they can demonstrate that the loan is less than 80% of the property's value. With FHA, the mortgage insurance will be in place for the life of the loan. Borrowers pay MI in two ways: an up-front premium that's added to the loan and a monthly premium that is also added to the payment.
If you would like more information about FHA loans or you know someone who is shopping for a home loan, contact your Loan Originator today.
Homestead Funding would like to welcome Melissa Cappelli to our Albany, NY sales team. Melissa joined the processing /underwriting department at Homestead Funding in 2015. She learned various aspects of the residential mortgage industry while working closely with top producers, who emphasized the importance of customer service, managing client expectations and effective communication. Melissa says, “being able to work on a large quantity of files helped me to think outside the box and come up with creative strategies to make the mortgage process as simple, well communicated and stress free as possible for my clients.” Melissa is excited about this new journey in her Homestead career as it allows her to work with creative, fun, and a dedicated group of professionals who promote a positive and caring atmosphere.
Melissa’s a Syracuse native who grew up playing sports and watching Syracuse University. Melissa graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BA in Psychology. She moved to the Albany area in 2008 and purchased her first home in Schenectady in 2012.
Melissa recently became a member of the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure Planning Committee and at Christmas time she sponsors a child with the Chamber Angels of Southern Saratoga County. Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, volunteering and cheering on SU…GO ORANGE!
To Learn more about Melissa visit her webpage.
Good luck in your new position, Melissa!