Photo: tishamp What better time could there be than St. Patrick’s Day to raise the topic of greenness? Going Green Means Saving Money Whether your motivation is saving a polar bear cub from drowning as her ice floe melts, or saving money on heating and cooling during extreme weather, greening your home can make you wealthier and a lot more comfortable. Not only can it drive down your bills, but it may also — if you’re eligible, and depending where you live — open up opportunities for grants, subsidies, preferential loans and tax breaks from utility companies, mortgage lenders, and state and/or federal governments (see below). However, you have to be smart about choosing what improvements to make. Your goal is probably to maximize the return on investment you make.
Peter G. Miller is a nationally-syndicated columnist, speaker and writer whose work appears in a variety of outlets online and off. He is the author of the Quick & Dirty financial eBooks (SilverSpringPress.com) and operates the consumer real estate site,OurBroker.com. More than 250,000 Miller books are in print. Real estate purchasing and financing is so paperwork-burdened and full of middlemen that many would prefer to conduct their transactions with a form of secure digital currency outside the orb of traditional banking, a form of finance that can be used worldwide without steep transfer fees. Manhattan-based real estate firm, Bond New York is among those forward-thinking firms that accept Bitcoins for real estate transactions. Oops The idea had been gaining momentum until it was recently discovered that Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox lost artificial currency
If you’ve got a home purchase in escrow or are contemplating a refinance, interest rate movements are a big deal. And the decision to lock or float your loan can have long-lasting implications. Because knowledge is power, we’re offering a quick rundown of the factors driving mortgage rates today and what you need to know to make your lock / float decision. Mortgage rates are selected from LendingTree’s Loan Explorer – representing rates for applicants with excellent credit. Your offers depend on individual lender pricing and your borrower profile. Rates move with financial markets and are subject to change without notice. * These APRs include mortgage insurance for FHA loans but assume at least 20 percent equity for other products. Program APR* 30 Year FRM 4.163% (- .029%) 15 Year FRM 3.125% (unchanged)