Everything’s bigger in Texas…except the cost of winterizing your home, says the team at TexasLending.com. Here, the Dallas-based mortgage provider answers questions about getting ready for the big chill.
Q: How should I prepare my appliances for potentially freezing weather?
TexasLending.com: The majority of your home’s appliances are located in the finished areas of your home, so there’s no special preparation necessary. However, a garage-based hot water heater should be insulated and flushed to remove any sediment.
Q: What causes burst pipes in homes?
TexasLending.com: As water freezes, it expands. If enough water collects inside of pipes, the pressure brought about by this expansion can cause sudden and costly damage. Pipe insulation is an extremely affordable way to prevent busted pipes. It is available at most hardware stores and is easy to install without special tools, experience, or equipment.
Texas is leading the nation in growth with half of the top 16 fastest growing cities in the United States. Here, TexasLending.com speaks about the booming economy of the Lone Star State.
Q: What Texas city has seen the greatest economic growth?
TexasLending.com: Midland saw a substantial growth spurt between 2013 and 2014. With a median household income of nearly $56,000 and a $250,000 median list price for residential real estate, Midland has definitely become a city replete with jobs and well-priced housing.
Q: What city is considered the best value in Texas?
TexasLending.com: Depending on your definition of value, San Angelo, Texas, may fit the bill. In this charming town, a four-bedroom 2200 ft. home will average less than $200,000. The area has a respectable median income of $43,000 per year and is located within driving distance of some of the area’s best manufacturing jobs.
By now, 1099s and W2s should be in the hands of American taxpayers. However, before filing taxes you may want to know about the newest tax scams to watch out for. Scammers are looking for ways to steal money, especially during the tax season, says TexasLending.com.
Many citizens have reported receiving a call from con artists who pretend to be from the IRS and tell them they have to pay up right away or else. Don’t believe it. The IRS has formal processes in place for people with tax issues, and manipulative calls like these run contrary to IRS protocol. According to TexasLending.com, an IRS agent will not call about taxes owed without first mailing the taxpayer an official letter.
Other tax scammers try to rip off their victims by making them file false scams for nonexistent rebates, phony tax credits, or even refunds based on their social security benefits.
According to the team at TexasLending.com, you may physically recover after a hospital stay, but medical emergencies can really harm your financial health. A 2012 study found 75 million Americans had trouble paying their medical bills, damaging their credit scores. In 2014, the credit tracking agency announced a new plan (FICO Score 9) to lessen the impact medical debt has on its credit scoring. Outstanding medical bills no longer lower a credit score. TexasLending.com says the move makes it easier for consumers to borrow money and banks to lend. FICO even assigned a new number to the improvement. As of 2012 the FICO score was 689. Fico Score 9 could increase this score by 25 points, bringing it to 714. But why treat medical debt differently?
First, says TexasLending.com, medical debt is unpredictable, often causing short term problems, even for financially responsible people. Second, the consumer protection collection bureau says billing problems and confusion about what’s covered by insurance often mean that patients don’t know they owe money until the collection agency holds the debt and the credit score is impacted, adds TexasLending.com.
Seven years after the economic crisis of 2008, the United States has finally brought the unemployment rate back under 6 percent. The U.S. is now posting solid monthly job gains, and the economy is on much more solid footing than it was just a few years ago, according to the experts at TexasLending.com.
Although the economy is in recovery, it hasn’t made finding a job easier for millions of unemployed Americans. But if you’re thinking of relocating to find employment, the job market in Texas is nearly as hot as the weather. Many corporations are relocating to Texas, bringing new jobs with them. With no corporate or state income tax, Texas is able to attract big companies and create a strong work force, says TexasLending.com. There are 118 of the largest companies in the United States based in Texas, including Dell, AT&T and Exxon Mobil.
TexasLending.com says Texas can achieve even greater job growth by controlling state spending, keeping regulations reasonable and taxes low.
According to the team at TexasLending.com, a good credit score can save you hundreds, even thousands of dollars. On the flip side, a bad credit score can cost much more than higher interest rates – it could eliminate you as a candidate for a job.
You may not know how your credit score is calculated, but you actually have more control over this number than you realize, notes TexasLending.com. Here’s some essential information on how a higher credit score works in your favor.
Your credit score is a number between 300 and 850 that measures how creditworthy you are. The lower your score, the higher the bank’s risk in lending money, so the more you’ll pay. For example, a person whose score is 570 typically pays higher percentage points for a mortgage than someone with a score of 730, says TexasLending.com. Paying higher percentage points can cost you hundreds of dollars extra each month.
It’s true, we all need a little bit of color in our lives. Color sets the tone and mood of the home. If you are a homeowner and not sure how to go about selecting color, TexasLending.comoffers a few tips to help get you started. Whether you want a pop of color here and there, or you want a colorful punch, below you’ll find some creative ways to add a little more color to your life.
Paint the front door
Wow your visitors before they even step inside your home. A freshly painted front door is welcoming and suggests a home that is well kept, says TexasLending.com. Painting the front door is a simple and easy way to add color to your home.