Category: Budgeting Your Project

When Do You Get Escrow Refund Checks?

Many homeowners with active mortgage accounts have an escrow account with their lender. Your lender quotes how much you have to pay into escrow monthly at the beginning of each year. Sometimes the lender can overestimate your entire costs for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. If this occurs, the lender owes you a refund at the end of the year or beginning of the following.

Works

As a homeowner, you have the responsibility to pay real estate taxes and homeowner’s insurance as well as your monthly mortgage payments. If you do not pay these punctually, the tax collector can record a lien against your property or even the insurance company could drop coverage. Your mortgage lender doesn’t want either of those situations to occur, because it has an interest in your house before the loan is paid in full. Many lenders require their borrowers to utilize an escrow account. Every month you pay into the account. The money is saved before a tax or insurance payment is due. At this time, the lender pays the invoice directly on your own behalf with the money from the bank account.

Calculations

Your mortgage lender calculates how much you must pay into your bank account each month. It takes the total annual amount owed for taxes and insurance and divide by 12, to reach the monthly payment. It can get the billing information in the tax collectors and insurance companies to produce a good estimate of the grand total. Most lenders will collect additional to save in case the invoices tend to be more than anticipated. However, by law it’s only allowed to accumulate to two month’s worth of additional payments.

Escrow Adjustments

Your escrow account is reviewed to year to find out whether any adjustments are necessary. At this time, the lender also complies a report on the entire activity for the past year. This will include payments into and out of the accounts. The lender sends you a copy of the statement each year.

Refunds

If the lender overestimated your annual bills, an overage will occur in the accounts at the time of the annual adjustment review. Your lender is required by law to refund the amount. If the overage is less than $50, it can be used as a credit on the following year’s escrow payments. If the overage amount is over $50, the lender should issue you a check for the entire amount. You should also keep track of your escrow account. If your records do not match the annual statement, contact your lender to discuss the discrepancy.

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Kitchen Workbook: Planning Your Remodel's Scope of Work

Arranging a kitchen remodel involves finding your style, looking for a professional and determining the range of work and your budget. This ideabook focuses on this last element.

Scope of job is the term used to describe the basic parameters of a project. Are you planning an addition or would you like to move the kitchen completely, for example? Are you going to need new electric, plumbing and floors in the procedure? Begin with budget and your wish listdecide the range of work.

Mark English Architects, AIA

A designer, architect or contractor you like and trust can help you develop your range of work and be sensible in what your budget can achieve.

Keep in mind there is generally not one right answer, therefore obtaining a couple of remarks is a good idea.

Karen Viscito Interiors

Some kitchen remodel considerations:
Are you remodeling your kitchen within the existing footprint? Do you wish to relocate the sink or stove, which would mean moving the plumbing or gas lines? Are you planning on opening up to another room and you are not sure when you’ve got a load-bearing wall? This may call for structural work and unforeseen costs. With new building, you may have already heard prices referred to as the price per square foot, but this formulation rarely works with remodeling. Every home has unique requirements because of age, construction type (masonry versus framework, for example) and layout.Detailed pricing information up front can help you meet your budget. Where to start? Listed below are a few suggestions.

1 2 S T U D I O . C O M

1. Come up with a rough budget of what you want to spend on the overall project. Consider if it is going to involve related projects like new walls or painting the entire house. Discover how to avoid “scope creep”

2. Come up with a wish list of everything you desire. That implies new appliances, cabinets, countertops, tile, flooring, light and so on. The more detailed you are, the better you’ll be when speaking to professionals. Do you want professional-grade appliances or is the next level down OK? If you’ve got a $30,000 budget and you desire a built-in refrigerator and a 36-inch professional-grade selection, any professional will tell you that your budget will be challenging to meet.

3. Pull tear sheets and make ideabooks of your eyesight. This can help a professional get an idea of the level of anticipation and finish detail required in your undertaking. It’s hard to convey needs obviously, especially about visual things like endings. Showing professionals photographs of kitchen designs you like can help them determine your preference degree and prompt them to ask the correct questions.

4. Get referrals for designers, architects and contractors. Ask friends and family members for referrals and look at professional portfolios on to see if their aesthetic suits your own. Call experts to establish phone interviews and see if they’ll come meet you in person. Ask if you can go to a few of their job sites or other endeavors. This really makes it possible to see the caliber of their job.

5. Check references and inquire about charges. Some homeowners begin with selecting a contractor, and others begin with a designer or architect and use contractors known by them. Others hire design-build firms that do all of it. Remember, you are not comparing apples to apples here, therefore it is going to require a while to work out who is the ideal fit.

6. Meet with the experts at your home and begin seeing who you like, who asks the ideal questions, who is prepared to give you some rough numbers, and what he or she needs to achieve that. Some firms don’t work this way; they may have showrooms and you need to meet them in their possessions. Many contractors need a full drawing set before they will bid on work. Others will be inclined to do a walk-through and give you some rough numbers, nothing line-itemed or detailed.

I suggest doing this with an experienced contractor; a novice may underestimate or overshoot the budget by a wide selection. Ideally, having some simple space, electric, mechanical and lighting plans will help a contractor get you a more accurate estimate.

This is merely the first phase of pricing. You will want to reestimate based on detailed, finished plans before signing a contract. If you run the risk of getting those dreaded altered orders in the future.

Next: How to Plan Your New Kitchen

More:
What You Get for 3 Basic Kitchen Budgets
How to Remodel Your Kitchen
Locate Your Kitchen Design

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