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Showing posts from 2015

Private Mortgage Insurance

Are you paying private mortgage insurance?Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is usually required when homebuyers have a downpayment less than 20% of the sales price or appraised value of a property. This is money you don't have to pay once your principal balance of the mortgage reaches 80% of the original value of the property. If you have paid extra toward your principal you might be eligible to terminate the mortgage insurance.
Lenders are legally required to automatically terminate mortgage insurance when the principal balance of the loan reaches 78% of the original value of the property. However, lenders sometimes inadvertently collect money after the termination date, so it's important for homeowners stay aware of their payment progress even if they aren't trying to speed up the process. As noted, in addition to reaching the 80% loan-to-value (LTV) threshold, the borrower must meet certain other requirements for borrower-requested cancellation:  • The borrower must have…

Green Living - Rain Barrels

With all this recent rain I have seriously been considering installing a rain barrel. I love the idea of collecting rainwater for future use and minimizing our water bill so I started to do a little research.
Overall it is very affordable. You can purchase one ready to be installed for less than $100. In fact the city of Houston sells them once a year for $69 (
I will probably go that route but it looks like it quite easy to make one as well. The EPA provides step-by-step instructions:
There are quite a few benefits to installing a rain barrel. One of the biggest one for us is minimizing erosion near the foundation. It’s better to collect the water and not have it sit or erode the soil around your foundation.

1. Rainwater is better for your plants and soil. Rainwater is highly oxygenated, free of the salts, inorganic ions, and fluoride compounds contained in …