Ways to Hold a Title

How to Hold a Title

A title provides proof of ownership on a property, in addition to a physical description of the property. It will also have any liens that are on the property in certain situations. There are four different ways that you can hold a title.

  1. Sole ownership

There are a few ways that you can hold a sole ownership title. They are:

  • If you are an unmarried man or woman, your title should read single man or single woman
  • If you are a man or woman who has been married but is now legally divorced, your title should read unmarried man or unmarried woman
  • If you are married but wish to be the sole person on a title, your spouse needs to consent and relinquish all rights. Your title should ready a married man/woman, as his/her sole and separate property
  1. Joint Tenancy

There are two main forms of joint tenancy. They are:

  • Community property. Under community property, a property is acquired by either the husband and wife during the marriage. The property can be received through a gift, devise and descent, by bequest to them, or as a separate property of either. Either spouse can have the right to dispose of their half of the property or will it to another person.
  • Traditional Joint Tenancy. A traditional joint tenancy occurs when there is a joint and equal interest in land owned by two or more individuals. This is created under a single instrument with the right of survivorship. Under traditional joint tenancy, your title will read joint tenants.
  1. Tenancy in Common

Similar to joint tenancy, tenancy in common occurs when co-owners have an undivided interest or have equal rights to the property. However, where is differs is that tenants in common hold title individually for their share of the property. Additionally, there is no right of survivorship and no other tenants can receive a person’s share of the property. Instead, the property goes to the owner’s heirs. If you choose to have a tenancy in common, your title would read tenants in common.

  1. Trust

A living trust holds legal title to the real estate. A trustee holds the title for the trustor or beneficiary, while they retain all management rights and responsibilities.

The Garden State Home Loans Team Tries Their Hand at Axe Throwing

On Wednesday, September 12th, the Garden State Home Loans staff took on Bury the Hatchet. Bury the Hatchet is a fun-filled group activity, that allows you to throw axes at a target! After the workday, the staff took off to Bury the Hatchet. After a safety talk and a few practice throws, we started our competition. Each person went head-to-head with another person on staff, throwing ten throws at the target for an attempt to get one, two, three, four, or six points. This gave us our base points to create a bracket to find out who would be the ultimate winner. Needless to say, we all had a great time.

If you are interested in taking on the axe throwing challenge, we highly recommend it. There are many locations all over the map! Look it up and see where the closest place to where you live is. Still aren’t convinced? Here are some great things to come out of axe throwing.

  1. Team building

Just like the Garden State Home Loans team, axe throwing is a great team building exercise. It’s a new challenge that can get everyone engaged. Not to mention the fun behind the group tournament to discover who the ultimate axe throwing champion in your office is.

  1. A fun workout

Not every bit of cardio needs to be in the gym. Each axe weighs about 3.5 pounds, so it’s a great way to get that heart rate pumping!

  1. Stress relief

What’s not relieving about throwing an axe at a target? Get out all that pent-up stress by aiming right for the bullseye!

  1. Do it for the ‘gram

If for nothing else, axe throwing makes for a great Instagram photo!

 

 

The team at Bury the Hatchet!

 

How to Clean Your Ceiling Fan

Cleaning Your Ceiling Fan

One thing that often gets forgotten about during the home cleaning process is the ceiling fan. Many people are too focused on collecting dust on the ground that they neglect to clean up the dust above their heads! Here are two easy ways to get your ceiling fan cleaned fast.

Using a Vacuum Cleaner

  1. See if your vacuum has a dusting or ceiling fan attachment

Many vacuums come with the attachment that is specifically for dusting. This gets placed over the vacuum’s hose and makes it easier to dust surfaces. If you don’t have one, you should consider getting one. A vacuum attachment typically costs around $10. The attachment you use should be wide and flat.

  1. Extend

Extend the vacuum handle so that it can reach the ceiling fan. If you have high ceilings (or you’re too short!) you may need to get a step stool or ladder to give you the elevation you need. Make sure you can reach the full length of the fan’s blade from where you are standing.

  1. Clean

Run the vacuum cleaner over the blades. The attachment will loosen the settled dust so the vacuum hose can suck it up. Go back over each blade after each swipe to make sure that you’ve picked up all the dust.

  1. Look for stray dust

Look around the surrounding area to see if any dust is on the floor or the furniture. If there is, the dust can be vacuumed up!

Cleaning by hand

  1. Use a cloth or a dusting glove

Dusting gloves slip onto your hand to let you wipe away dust. If you don’t have a dusting glove and don’t want to go out and purchase one, a cloth works just fine! If you’re using a cloth instead of a glove, dampen the cloth slightly before dusting. This will let the cloth hold more dust while cleaning.

  1. Get closer to the fan

Position yourself just under or slightly to the side of the fan. Cleaning your fan by hand makes it easier to stabilize the blades. When cleaning by hand, you will need to get up on a ladder or step stool to get closer to the fan. Be careful when using a ladder. You may want to have someone hold the ladder to prevent it from rocking.

  1. Dusting spray

Using a dusting spray, such as Pledge, will help get the best clean. However, some dusting sprays may contain wax, which isn’t good for certain surfaces. Look into what’s in your dusting spray and make sure that it reacts well with what material your fan is made of.

  1. Wipe clean

Spray the dusting spray and go over each fan blade with the cloth or dusting glove using straight strokes. If there is a lot of dust, you may need to go over the spot more than once.

What is Verification of Income and Assets?

In order to get pre-approved for a mortgage, a mortgage lender will need to verify your income and assets. This will help to determine how much of a mortgage you can afford. It will also help determine what your interest rate will be.

What is Verification of Income?

A mortgage lender requests verification of income to see if you have the means to pay your mortgage payments each month. To confirm your income, a mortgage lender will request a few documents. Typically, you will need two years of W-2s, two years of tax returns, both federal and income, and two of your most recent pay stubs. In addition to this, you should also have ready:

  • Most recent checking account statements
  • Current savings account statements
  • Monthly debt obligations
  • Other loans in your name, including personal, student, and auto loans
  • Most recent credit card statement

To verify your income, the lender may contact your employer directly to confirm your employment. This gives the lender the opportunity to verify the information on your W-2 and pay stubs to ensure it reflects your income amount.

If you are self-employed, you’ll need to show the lender proof of a steady income. This can be shown through a quarterly or year-to-date profit/loss statement and at least two years’ worth of your business and personal federal and income tax returns.

It’s possible that forms of income verifications and document requirements can vary depending on your financial situation, so be sure to confirm with your lender what you will need to provide.

What is Verification of Assets?

Lenders will also want to verify that you will be able to pay the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance in the case of a financial emergency. This is determined by your assets. Liquid assets are those that are easily converted to cash, such as savings accounts, checking accounts, and stocks. Examples of documents you might have to submit to verify your liquid assets are:

Cash can be considered a liquid asset, but it must be seasoned. This means that the cash has been in a checking or savings account for a longer period of time, typically at least two months. Most lenders will want to see at least six months’ worth of liquid assets to plan for an unforeseen financial issue.

You can also submit non-liquid assets, which are assets that are harder to convert to cash, such as property, self-owned businesses, or artwork. However, these might be harder to liquidate in an emergency.

Eight Uses for Aluminum Foil

Aluminum Foil Uses

Aluminum foil doesn’t just need to be regulated to wrapping leftovers. There are several other ways that aluminum foil can be used around the house. Here are a few examples.

  1. Sharpen dull scissors

Believe it or not, you can use aluminum foil to sharpen your scissors. Simply fold up a strip of aluminum foil several times until it’s a few layers thick. Then, cut through the layers a few times with the scissors to sharpen them.

  1. Keep clothes static-free

Don’t have dryer sheets? Use aluminum foil instead! Ball up the foil and throw it into the dryer with your clothes. It’ll keep your clothes from getting static-y!

  1. Iron your clothes faster

Place a sheet of aluminum foil on top of your ironing board, underneath the garment. The heat of the iron will be reflected from the foil, so it’s like ironing both sides of the garment at one time.

  1. Shine jewelry

Line a glass bowl with the foil, and fill the bowl with water and laundry detergent. This cleans your jewelry, such as rings and necklaces, and brings back their shine.

  1. Clean up pans and glassware

First things first, make sure your pan is not a non-stick pan. Using aluminum foil on a non-stick pan can scratch the finish of the pan. You can use a wad of aluminum foil to get off stuck on food off the pans or glassware simply by scrubbing at it.

  1. Protect from paint

If you don’t have painter’s tape on hand, try using aluminum foil. For fixtures such as doorknobs, drawer pulls, and other such fixtures, wrap them in aluminum foil to protect from paint getting on them.

  1. Soften brown sugar

Does a recipe call for brown sugar, but yours is hard as a rock? Aluminum foil can fix that! Wrap a bit of the sugar in a piece of aluminum foil and stick it in a 350-degree oven for five minutes.

  1. Keep your garden bug-free

Aluminum foil has a few benefits for your garden. Mixing in cut up strips of foil in with mulch can keep bugs away from your plants. In addition, the foil will also reflect light back to your plants, helping them to grow.

How to: Deep Clean Your Bedroom

Deep Clean Your Bedroom

Your bedroom tends to accumulate a lot of stuff. As a room gets more cluttered, the less relaxed you feel in the room, and that’s the exact opposite of how you should feel in your bedroom. Here’s how to deep clean your bedroom to get your sanctuary back.

Pre-clean

  1. Take the sheets, pillowcases, and blankets off the bed and throw them into the washing machine.
  2. Take your curtains down. They’ll go in your next load of laundry! If you have blinds, wipe them down with a damp cloth.
  3. Place a flat sheet from your linen closet over the best. This will protect the bed from dust and dirt, and help make the bed into a large working surface.
  4. Fill up a bucket with warm, soapy water. Bring it into your room with a rag. You should also use a window cleaner and paper towels.
  5. Take everything off your dressers and end tables and put these items on the bed.

Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere

  1. Use a damp cloth to clean all surfaces in your room, including the window sill, bed frame, lamps, clocks, door handles, light switches, and end tables.
  2. If you have a ceiling fan, wipe it down.
  3. Go through the items on your bed and determine which you will keep and which should be thrown away or given away.
  4. Dust and clean the remaining items and place them back where they belong.
  5. Wash down windows, mirrors, and other glass surfaces with window cleaner and paper towels.

Bed time

  1. Take the mattress off the bed. If possible, turn over the box spring and vacuum underneath it.
  2. This is a great time to rotate your mattress. You should do this twice a year.
  3. Place the bed and mattress back in place and put the sheet on top again.

The floor

  1. Remove small and medium items from your floor and put them on the bed. If there are items on your closet floor, put them on your bed as well.
  2. Go through the items to see whether, if they are clothes, they are clean or dirty. Put the dirty clothes into your laundry basket. If they are other items, go through them to see which are trash and which should be put into storage.
  3. Take dirty clothes to the laundry room.
  4. Vacuum the floor.

Dressers and closet

  1. Empty your dresser drawers and closet shelves and go through your clothing. Rule of thumb: if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in the past year, odds are you won’t wear it again. Instead of keeping it, consider donating the clothes to charity.
  2. Seasonal items can be stored in large rubber bins or on to a top shelf of the closet.
  3. Before returning clothes back to the drawers or shelves, wipe down the inside of the drawers and/or shelves.

Six Ways to Ace Your Job Hunt

Perfect the Job Hunt

No matter what, job hunting is difficult. The stress and time associated with the job hunt can be overwhelming at times. However, there are a few things you can do to get more prepared. Here’s how to ace the job hunt.

  1. Fix up your resume

Make sure your resume is up to date and free of grammatical errors. To avoid errors, have another person read through your resume. New eyes may be able to catch errors that you have passed over a hundred times. You may also want to adapt your resume to whatever job you are applying for. Research the format resumes are for the field you are applying in.  Make sure you know your resume well so that you are prepared for any questions the interviewer may ask you about your previous experience.

  1. Check your social media

With social media becoming more and more popular, job recruiters are using it as an opportunity to get to know their candidates better. With that being said, many potential candidates are passed up every day because their online personas don’t match with the company’s values. It is important to know where to draw the line when it comes to what you post on social media.

  1. Research

Before your interview, fully research the company. Look at their company website, their blog, social media accounts, and any articles written about them. Knowing more about the company, their values, and how they operate helps you understand if you truly mesh with the company.

You should always be fully aware of the job description you are paying for. An interviewer may ask you specific questions based on the job description, so you’ll want to be prepared in that case.

  1. Be professional, but be yourself

Prior to your interview, practice answering some common interview questions. However, when it comes time for the interview, don’t sound too rehearsed. Make sure your personality comes through in your answers.

  1. Body language

During your interview, your body language is extremely important. Make sure to sit up straight and do not slouch. This shows that you are alert and paying attention to what the interviewer is saying. In addition, eye contact is very important. Maintaining eye contact throughout the interview creates a connection with the interviewer and shows that you are listening to what the interviewer is saying.

  1. Follow up

After your interview is over, make sure to follow up with an email or a thank you not. This acts as a last point of contact and keeps you in the mind of the interviewer.

10 Types of Trees to Avoid Planting in Your Yard

Types of Trees Not to Plant

Your yard is just as important to your home’s appeal as the inside is. When decorating your lawn, here are ten trees to avoid.

  1. Silver maple

The silver maple tree roots spread fast and shallow. They can easily bust underground pipes, especially if they are old and/or rusty. The tree itself is brittle. Wind or severe weather can snap the tree’s branches or knock down the trunk. If you still decide that you want a silver maple on your property, place it far away from the house, so damage can’t be down if/when it topples.

  1. Yellow poplar

For the first 50 years, a yellow poplar grows strong and tall. However, after this time, the yellow poplar stats to decline fast. Quite like the silver maple, the yellow poplar becomes brittle and becomes victim to winds and severe weather. If you decide to plant one of these, keep it far away from the house.

  1. Princess tree

A princess tree is also known as an empress tree. The princess tree grows rapidly. The seedlings can get spread all over your lawn and need to be pulled out by hand.

  1. Bradford Pear

While most people love the look of the Bradford pear tree for its spring blossoms, the blossoms don’t smell as good as they look. They produce an odor that’s been described as rotten fish, and they attract flies.

  1. Black walnut

Black walnut trees release a chemical called juglone, which is toxic for some other plants, especially for vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers. Their leaves can kill turf if not raked quickly and the green husks of the nut can stain clothes.

  1. Cottonwood

Cottonwood has very shallow and soft roots. In addition to their root system, the wood is prone to rotting, making it unstable in areas that have frequent severe storms. The cottonwood tree can also be damaged by insects and diseases.

  1. Mulberry tree

The mulberry tree produces a large amount of pollen. If that wasn’t enough of a reason to keep the tree out of your yard, it also attracts numerous insects, silkworms in particular.

  1. Ginkgo

The female ginkgo tree produces a fruit that smells like dog poop. Once the fruit drops to the ground, it becomes sticky. You can still buy a male ginkgo, which doesn’t have the same issues. However, it’s hard to tell the difference between the sexes when the trees are young.

  1. Sweetgum

Sweetgum trees have large surface roots which can take a toll on your home’s foundation, lawn, pool, patio, and any other nearby structure. The tree also produces fruits that are difficult to remove from the ground.

  1. Weeping willow

There’s no doubt that weeping willows are beautiful. However, its roots suck out all the water from the soil, making it difficult to plant anything else besides the willow. In addition, they grow really tall. On average, a weeping willow is 75 feet tall but can grow up to 100 feet.

How to Start Saving For College

College Savings Accounts

College is expensive, even with loans. So, why not start the saving process early?  There are a few different ways that you can start saving early on that aren’t just a separate bank account. Here are three ways to start saving for college.

  1. 529 plan

Almost every state has its own 529 plan, also known as a Qualified Tuition Program, each coming with their own annual fees and operating costs. The great thing about a 529 plan is that you can put your money into any state’s plan. Spend some time looking around choose the state plan that you like best. The 529 plan also has tax advantages, the main one being that earning aren’t subject to federal taxes. You can usually begin with contributing small increments of cash. However, some state plans only allow for one adjustment to the account per year. When using this plan, you typically invest after-tax money. You can withdraw the money for qualified education expenses, such as tuition or textbooks. If your child ends up not going to college, you will face possible fees and tax penalties when withdrawing the funds.

You can also consider using a 529 college prepaid plan. For this plan, you can choose a college in your state and buy tuition credits and the current tuition rate. That way, you will not have to wait until your child is preparing to go to college and pay the going rate then. However, if your child does not want to go to the school you’ve chosen, you can get your money back, but it may not have grown as much as it would have in a different account.

  1. UTMA and UGMA account

UTMA and UGAM accounts are custodial accounts that act as a trust for your child. Assets like annuities, stocks, bonds, or cash can be put on reserve into one of these accounts. However, your child’s college of choice will take the amount of money in these accounts when considering financial aid. If you have a lot of money in one of these accounts, the school may not offer you a lot of financial aid. However, if you have a lot of money in the account, you may not need financial aid.

Before opening a UTMA or UGMA account, discuss it with a financial advisor. These accounts are considered your child’s asset, not yours. This means the money belongs to your child. Once your child turns 18, they can use the money for college or for something else.

  1. Coverdell Education Savings Account

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts are used specifically for your child’s education. However, the main downside of this type of account is that you can’t put more than $2,000 a year into one or multiple education savings accounts. The money in the account is typically tax-advantaged if the money is used to pay for educational expenses. If the funds are not used by the time your child turns 30, they may be subject to taxes.

A Coverdell education savings account is considered your asset, not your child’s. This means that it will have less of an impact on their chance at getting financial aid. In addition, the money in these accounts can be used to cover any educational expenses, including private school tuition for grades K-12.

Living a Cash-Only Lifestyle

How to Live a Cash-Only Lifestyle

If you have a habit of overspending, living a cash-only lifestyle may be a good option for you. Living within a definite budget helps you towards a debt-free lifestyle. If you would like to live a cash-only lifestyle, here are a few steps to follow.

  1. Categorize your spending

The first thing you need to do is determine what you’re spending and where. Divide all your expenses into categories and see how much of your paycheck is going towards those areas. If you don’t know how much you are spending, track your spending for a month using a notebook or a note taking app each time you go out to shop. The most logical categories to go cash-only on are those where you are consistently overspending. This may include groceries, entertainment, or clothing.

  1. Leave the debit card behind

Stop using your credit card for any of the categories that you determined in the step above. If you think you won’t be able to resist the temptation of the plastic, consider leaving your debit card behind for a few weeks to break the habit of using your card.

  1. Track your purchases

One way to track your purchase, or keep allotted cash separate from each other, is to use the envelope system. For each category, put a certain amount of money into the envelope and then put the receipts into the envelope so you can see what you spent at the end of the month.

  1. Take out cash only at a specified time

Limit the number of times you withdraw money from your bank account. Consider making the trip to the bank on payday. You can also ask your teller to give you your money in the correct denominations for each of your categories.

  1. Plan

It’s never a good idea to carry around a huge wad of money with you. Figure out where you are going for the day and plan out approximately how much money you are going to need and bring just that amount with you. This will also cut down on impulse purchases.

  1. Limit yourself and adjust accordingly

Don’t continue to spend money once you have gone through your allocated money for a category. If you find that you always have money left over in one category and always run out in another, adjust your money accordingly to fit your spending habits.