Importance of Mortgage Protection Insurance

morYour house is a big investment – probably one of the biggest you’re every likely to make. It is also the place that you and your loved ones call home; a shelter and haven from the outside world. That’s why it is so important to ensure that your home and family are protected in the event of your death. It’s not a topic that any of us like to dwell on, but the sad fact is that should you die and the family are no longer able to afford repayments on the house, they will lose the property and the roof from over their heads.

Having a good life insurance policy in place to protect your property in the event of your death is vital. When you die, your family will have enough to worry about without the added stress of how they are going to hold on to the family home. Your life insurance policy will ensure that this problem is eliminated, with the mortgage balance being paid in full upon your death.

The main types of mortgage life cover

The type of mortgage life insurance cover that you require will depend upon what type of mortgage you have, a repayment or an interest only mortgage. There are two main types of mortgage life insurance cover, which are:

  • Decreasing Term Insurance
  • Level Term Insurance

Decreasing term insurance

This type of mortgage life insurance is designed for those with a repayment mortgage. With a repayment mortgage, the balance of the loan decreases over the term of the mortgage. Therefore, the sum of cover with a decreasing term insurance policy will also go down in line with the mortgage balance. So, the amount for which your life is insured should match the balance outstanding on your mortgage, which means that if you die your policy will hold sufficient funds to pay off the remainder of the mortgage and alleviate any additional worry to your family.

With the decreasing term insurance, the cover is usually taken out over the term of the mortgage, and payment is made should you die during the term of the policy. Once the policy has expired, it becomes null and void, so you will receive nothing at the end of your policy if you are still living. There is no surrender value on this type of cover, but it does provide a cost effective means of protecting your home and family during the life of your mortgage.

Level term insurance

This type of mortgage life insurance cover is for those that have a repayment mortgage, where the principle balance remains the same throughout the term of the mortgage and the repayments made by the property owner cover the interest payments on the mortgage only.

The sum for which the insured is covered remains the same throughout the term of this policy, and this is because the principle balance on the mortgage also remains the same. Therefore the sum assured is a fixed amount, which is paid should the insured party die within the term of the policy. As with decreasing term insurance, there is no surrender value, and should the policy end before the insured dies no payout will be awarded and the policy becomes null and void.

Terminal illness benefit

Both of the above types of cover normally include terminal illness cover, which means that the mortgage is cleared should you be diagnosed with a terminal illness rather than waiting until you actually die. This helps to ensure that you do not have the additional worry of trying to meet repayments when a terminal illness takes away your ability to work and earn money, and at a time when the whole family has enough to worry about without having to stress about meeting mortgage repayments.

Critical illness cover

Critical illness cover is another type of insurance policy that can be added on to either of the above mortgage life insurance polices and provides an extra element of protection and peace of mind. This type of cover can also be taken out as a stand-alone policy, but usually proves much better value if simply added on to a main insurance policy.

With critical illness cover you will be eligible for a payout in the event that you are diagnosed with a critical illness. If you then go on to recover from the critical illness, the payout is yours to keep but the policy becomes null and void following your claim. The illnesses that are covered by this type of policy are defined by the insurer so you should ensure that you check the terms when taking out critical illness cover.

Adding critical illness cover to your policy will only increase your repayments by a small amount, but can provide valuable protection if you are diagnosed as critically ill and are therefore unable to work. With your mortgage repaid from the payout of this policy, you will not have the additional worry of trying to keep a roof over your head at a time when you should be concentrating on trying to make a recovery.


As indicated by the features of the two main types of mortgage life insurance cover, the policy you go for will depend largely upon the type of mortgage you have. Both types of cover offer value for money, with some really low cost deals available. Of course, the amount that you pay will ultimately depend upon the level of cover you require. For total peace of mind it is always advisable to go for a policy with critical illness cover incorporated into it.

Having some form of mortgage life cover is essential to protect your home and your family. After working hard to buy your own property, the prospect of it being repossessed in the event of your death can be worrying both for you and for your family. A mortgage life cover policy will ensure that this does not happen, and will give your family the security of knowing that whatever happens they will still have a roof over their heads.

Buying Land and Real Estate in Midland,TX

Back when I was a young buck, trampling through the snow during Utah’s cold winters was something I enjoyed. But then, one day, I grew up and realized that driving in the stuff when you’re late for work wasn’t so much fun. Then, as I aged a bit more, I found myself staying indoors as much as possible when the white stuff hit the ground. My temperament for cold days was growing short, and I longed for warmer times. And that’s what brought me to find Midland, TX real estate as being so attractive.

In my search for a better climate, I studied all the cities with well known Mediterranean-style climates, such as San Diego and Los Angeles, and even the more tropical ones such as Miami. The big disadvantages of these big cities is that everybody else likes the climates there as well, creating a supply and demand situation that puts the real estate in those towns out of reach for your average American.

Midland’s Climate

And that brings me to Midland, TX real estate. Midland might not have the much sought after Mediterranean or tropical climate, but it does have very mild winters with average highs in the mid-50′s during January (the coldest month), but can often climb into the 60′s or even 70′s. This is a far cry from Utah’s harsh winters and freezing temperatures which can last for months on end.

In fact, you’ll typically only get below freezing temperatures overnight in Midland during two months of the year. And unlike the dry desert climate of Utah, Midland’s summers receive about seven inches of precipitation — accounting for half the annual average — helping to bring in some humidity and keep the air clean.

But what good is living somewhere if there’s nothing to do?

Things to Do in Midland

Midland has a rich culture that dates back to Texas’ frontier days where many of the old western tales originate. A popular attraction is the George W. Bush childhood home which was dedicated in 2006.

A symphony and Chorale as well as a community theater have been performing music, musicals, comedies, dramas and more since the middle of the 20th century. And, of course, Texas is well known for the oil it produces. Museums revealing Texas’ oil history are a popular stop of the tourists, as are the oil fields.

Midland also sports a minor league baseball team, an affiliate to the Oakland Athletics.

The Price of Midland Real Estate

I’ll be honest. If I were a multi-millionaire, I’d pack up and head for San Diego today. But, since I’m not, I’ve got to take into consideration the price of homes and figure out a way to live within my means.

This is where Midland, TX real estate shines. With a Midland home costing half the national average, you’ll find some of the most affordable homes in the nation.

Is It Worth Getting a Property Mentor?

If you speak to any successful person you will find that he has or has had great mentors to get him to where he is today. If you want to become successful in property, I would advise you to find someone you can learn from and who can help you to take that first step. If at all possible, find a mentor you can speak to personally, rather than someone who will only speak to you if you are part of a group in a seminar-style setting.

A mentor will be someone whose work you admire. He will be someone who has achieved what you want to and is in a position to get you where you want to be quickly. A mentor will also have access to a network that you may wish to be part of.

For example, your property mentor will have a team of property finders, solicitors, financiers, surveyors, architects and builders etc who he uses in his daily business. Good professionals often take years to source. However, you could greatly enhance your chances of success by tapping into the same team that your mentor uses.

As a property entrepreneur, I have several mentors who have helped me to achieve quick results that would otherwise have taken me several years to attain.

A good mentor will
-Coach you
-Guide you
-Nurture you
-Challenge and criticise you to get the best results possible
-and much more until you succeed

So how do I find a mentor?

There are several methods you should be using to find your ideal mentor. Ive listed a few here:

By attending networking events and meeting other successful property investors, you should very quickly be able to pick out a couple of people you think could help you in your property career.

Its then a question of approaching them and asking them if they offer any mentoring. If they dont, ask them if you can help them in their business for free in return for some general guidance. This normally works quite well.

-Surf the internet
Use the internet to research existing property entrepreneurs in your area. Again, look for someone who has achieved what you wish to achieve and looks like someone you could work with.

-Ask a friend

If you have any successful property investor friends, you could ask them to guide you. Alternatively, ask them if they have any mentors that they wouldnt mind you working with.

-Source authors of property books and courses

If there is any book or programme that you have bought in the past and learnt from, you may want to approach the author and ask him if he offers mentorship. This is a great way to find an established and recognised expert.

Once you have chosen a mentor, you will be spending a lot of time with him so please ensure he is someone you are comfortable working with him. Good communication is essential. Common goals and similar interests will definitely help here.

Real Estate Vibrations:

For the last around two quarters the booming real estate sector has been facing tremors of government policies as a result of which this sector has faced a sluggish growth. On top of it the RBI has once again recently announced increase in bank home loan interest rates consequent upon which the progress interalia, of real estate sector has been thrashed to the maximum as the actual users, who are supposed to be the driving factors of real estate market, have run away from the market deferring sine die their home requirement.

However, to revive the real estate market, need of the hour is to make such a policy which may really be favorable to the actual users of lower level, middle class and upper class. Some suggestions are, however, given below:-

1.       Reduction in home loan interest rates for first time actual user. This should be strictly based on an affidavit followed by an enquiry.

2.       No reduction in home loan interest rates for second home buyers

3.       Full income tax rebate on interest amount to the first home buyers.

4.       To control strictly the cost of various inputs such as cement, steel & bricks etc. so that the construction cost is reduced to the maximum to attract the lower and middle class actual buyers.

5.       Financing problem of big builders be solved through Real Estate Investment Trust like autonomous body at reasonable rate of interest so that they can complete their projects as per stipulated time schedules.

6.       While permitting CLU/environmental clearance and any other permission/license to the builders, concerned governments should impose mandatory conditions for construction of specific percentage of homes for EWS, LIG, MIG & HIG i.e. say in the ratio of 20%, 25%, 30%, and 25% respectively so that lower income group people may also join the main stream of the nation.

7.       The regulating authorities may also consider to increase FAR which will provide more number of house in the sanctioned plan which will help in solving the housing problem to some extent.

8.       Since more than 20 million houses may be required in the near future, the government concerned must be ready to augment the necessary infrastructure compatible with the urgent need of ever growing housing requirement so that inhabitation may not suffer from the basic requirements such as roads, water supply and transport facilities etc. etc.

9.       Stress should be laid to develop infrastructure facilities on priority in Tier-II and Tier-III cities so that the pressure of Tier-I cities could be diverted to Tier-II & Tier-III cities on economic ground itself as the plots/ flats including industrial & commercial properties will be available at comparatively cheaper rates than Tier-I cities with similar facilities.

10.   Government should provide special incentives or subsidised schemes to both builders as well as home/plot/commercial property buyers in Tier-II & Tier-III cities so that more and more people can opt for their future homes there.

How to Sell Your House by Lease Options

Many people buy a house then have to move within a few years, due to divorce, relocation or financial difficulties. Without any equity though, it can be nearly impossible to find buyers and you still have realtor fees to contend with. There is a simple, easy way to have your payments taken care of for you and find a buyer, so that you can move onto your new life quickly and easily.

Homeowners can sell their homes by lease option.

What are the benefits of selling my house on a lease option?

When you lease option your house, you sell the right to purchase your home at a set price within a predetermined period of time. During that time, the purchaser of the lease option pays you a set monthly fee. They pay what amounts to their “rent” to you with the provision that they can purchase your house within a certain period of time and have part of the rent that they have paid you applied to their final purchase price.

Q What are the advantages of selling my home by lease option over listing it with a Realtor?

By selling your home in this way, you avoid realtor fees and some other closing costs. You also have a tenant who intends to purchase your property. They will take better care of the home than a renter would and may even fix it up a bit for you. You also, naturally, have your payments taken care of and keep the tax benefits of owning your home, until the final sale.

Q How long does it take before your tenant/buyer cashes me out?

A That depends on a number of different factors. Many people with less than perfect credit can rebuild their credit and receive a mortgage from a mortgage broker within 6 consecutive payments.

Q Why don’t I just sell the house myself?

If you have little or no equity in your home, it will not be considered a good investment by most buyers.

Q What if my tenant/buyer doesn’t buy the house?

A It is important to pre-screen buyers to make sure that they want to buy the house and are able to buy it at some point in the future. However, circumstances can change in someone’s life, such as an unexpected job transfer, that make it necessary to move. In situations like that, a new tenant buyer would have to be found.

Important Information For Condo Buyers

- When purchasing a condominium make sure that you ask for the last three to six months of the condominium minutes. This infomation will provide you with alot of insight into what is happening in the building.

- Obtain a copy of the Declaration, the bylaws, and any rules and regulations from the Condo Association.

- To make sure you are buying into a financially sound building, it is also advisable to find out if the building has any outstanding loans with a bank. Some buildings may take out loans instead of doing a special assessment as a way of doing major work such as new elevators or the exterior facade of the building.

- Make sure you obtain a statement from the Condo Association of any capital expenditures anticapted by the Board within the current or succeeding two fiscal years.

- Find out from the Condo Association if there are any pending suits or judgements in which the Board is a party.

- If the building is newer, find out if the parking is deeded or assigned and whether you can sell it to a purchaser outside the building .Also, make sure you see the exact location of the garage spot before you write a contract to purchase the property.

- Buildings with substantial reserves and lower assessments tend to appreciate at a faster rate than other buildings in a similiar location. Keep in mind that assessments are based on how many amenities are in the building.

- Resale in six flats tend to have better resale value than three flats. The rationale is that a six flat unit is a wider unit since it is constructed on a 50 x 125 foot lot.

- The more horizontal a unit is the more apt it will have better resale value. Vertical units tend to have more hallways and typically do not have split bedrooms.

- The higher the ceilings in a unit the larger the unit will feel. Most people typically prefer 9 foot ceilings or higher hence the height of the ceilings will usually effect resale.

Prime Meat in Real Estate

Most people have never set foot on a 29 000 square foot piece of real estate. This is roughly the size of 3 and a half football fields. Imagine a mansion that spans as far as the eye can see, and you’ll get the picture. Prime real estate is spread out on Biscayne Bay, Florida. If you can afford the land, you can probably afford to build a state of the art mansion to go with it, and that is what Thomas Kramer did. The 48-year-old real estate developer has created the ultimate trophy home. The property has 13 bedrooms, an odd number but still a large one. For security purposes, a fingertip identity scanner has been installed and for privacy there is a mist machine that clouds the backyard from the ogling eyes of those passing by on boats. High tech indeed. How much does something like this sell for in the market? The current asking price is a massive $50 million and after several years on the market, no one has been bold enough to take up the offer. Thomas Kramer isn’t in the business of accepting anything less than his asking price.

Such property is definitely going to be an attraction and many celebrities have viewed the place. Sears Chairman, Edward Lampart as well as the singer Enrique Iglesias have both viewed the house. Hollywood director, Michael Mann has used the house to film scenes for the ‘Miami Vice’ movie that was released in 2006. It’s become more of a show house rather than residential property.

But Thomas Kramer’s place isn’t the only one that is making eyes pop. The real estate market is expanding rapidly and many homes are going for $30 million and more. There are currently about 60 of these mini-castles for sale in the United States alone. Here are some of the homes that have been trying to find a new owner for close to a year or more.

    • Location: Wildeat Ridge, Snowmass, Colorado
      Owner: Leon Hirsch (pioneer in surgical stapling)
      Asking price: $35 million

      This piece of property is located in the Rocky Mountains and the location itself probably increases the value of the land by 8 figures or so. This home has seen more than a dozen prospective buyers but so far, the asking price has not been met. It sits quietly on a ridge 300 meters above a ski resort, the Snowmass Village. There are 11 bedrooms in the 14 300 square foot home, and a view to die for. The interior itself has a very modern feel with designers such as George Nakashima and Charles and Ray Eames contributing to the décor. Get this; the hydraulic garage door used is actually taken from an airplane hangar.
    • Location: Mercer Island, Washington State
      Owner: Chuck and Karen Lytles (retirement-community developers)
      Asking price: $40 million
      Now what are retirement-community developers doing with a $40 million dollar home? The Lytles actually put their home on the market in 2004 when a mutual friend introduced a Saudi Sheik to the home. The Saudi Sheik expressed interest in purchasing the property after a tour but he never did. Since then, the house has been on the market and has been viewed by a dozen people. The property isn’t exactly large in size but it is the interior that marks up the price. It only has 5 bedrooms and is a Mediterranean-style home. Recent improvements to the home have been made but it is all for aesthetics. A 12 meter saltwater indoor pool was installed and it is surrounded by 10 columns that have been fashioned in Egyptian style, complete with hieroglyphics. An Asian garden courtyard gives it a touch of Asia and a Medusa-like chandelier enhances the Mediterranean décor.
    • Location: Penthouse Apartments, Trump World Tower, New York City
      Owner: Donald Trump
      Asking price: $58 million

      Can you imagine a penthouse selling for $58 million? The infamous Donald Trump is the owner of this piece of real estate that is perched on the top of Trump World Tower in New York City. The massive 22 000 square feet penthouse is spread over two floors and hasn’t seen any new owners for the past 6 years. It is housed in a 72-storey tower and is actually four apartments being sold as a single unit. There are 16 bedrooms, 24 bathrooms (one wonders why there are more bathrooms than bedrooms) and have windows that climb up to 5 meters high. Such a place would only rack up thousands of dollars in fees and taxes and its not surprising that the total comes up to $30 000 a month. The man himself can probably afford to maintain it but he is considering renting out the penthouse at $200 000 a month. A pretty absurd number and the more logical option would be to rent out all four individually at $50 000 a month which by the way, is still a bit extreme.
    • Location: Locksley Hall, Belvedere, California
      Owner: Robert Friedland (mining executive)
      Asking price: $65 million
      This 0.5 hectare piece of property was bought at $5.5million in 1995. After a decade and a lot of renovations, it is now valued at $65 million. The 12 000 square foot home is a designated historical landmark and is owned by Mr. Friedland. Some of the fascinating points of this house include an indoor and outdoor sound system, as well as a panic room. Its location probably ups its value by a mile considering that an acre of land is valued at $10 million. The panoramic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Fransisco Bay area is definitely a plus point whether it is worth $65 million is another issue. Being a designated historical landmark also has its perks as tax benefits are given. Property taxes for a place like this is currently $28 000 a year.
    • Location: The Ranch, Brenwood, California
      Owner: Ken Roberts (former radio station owner)
      Asking price: $60 million
      This is possibly one of Los Angeles’s largest estate on the west side. It sits in the Santa Monica Mountains, prime real estate in the ever popular California state. Since there are no willing buyers, the owner often opens his home for fund raisers that is attended by many celebrities. It has 17 bedrooms in a ranch compound that was originally designed in 1956. The property has seen many major developments since the current owner, Ken Roberts purchased it for $900 000 in 1975. $20 million has been spent on renovations alone. The main residence is 11 000 square feet and only consists of one floor. The place is great for entertaining as it also has a hot tub, a small outdoor pool as well as screening and casino rooms.
  • Location: Rio Vista, New Jersey
    Owner: A Manhattan Business Executive
    Asking price: $40 million
    If you thought 29 000 square feet was large, this will definitely make your eyes pop. This mansion is set on a 60 000 square feet piece of land with the main residence running more than 55 meters from one end to the other. Think Richie Rich and Bruce Wayne. The house has a two-lane bowling alley, a dark room and an art gallery with solid steel security doors. The closet itself is larger than many houses with 4 000 square feet of storage space. The garage has enough space for a whopping 19 vehicles. The real kicker is the 7 500 liter aquarium that is filled with tropical fish. The 2.8 hectare piece of land itself is worth about $14 million and the 13 bedroom home cost more than $28 million on its own. So at a price of $40 million, this place is actually quite a steal.

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