Blog :: 09-2017

Private Mortgage Insurance

Martha Mullins, Realtor, Litchfield County, CT

If you took advantage of some great mortgage deals buying your home, you most likely also had to purchase Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Most lenders require PMI if the buyer pays less than 20% of the purchase price at closing.  The purchaser must carry this insurance until 20% of the sale price of the home has been reached.  This could take five to eight years, depending on the terms of the mortgage.

Lenders are required to remove PMI when the property reaches 22%. So just keeping an eye on your payments and being proactive about notifying your lender can save you money.

If you make significant improvements that alter the value of your property, you may reach the 20% value mark faster than scheduled. An assessment would be necessary, but the savings would justify that cost.

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    34th Annual Northwest CT CROP Hunger Walk

    Mary Taylor, Realtor, Litchfield County, CT

    Sunday, September 24th is the 34th Annual Northwest CT CROP Hunger Walk. Registration and check-in begin at 1:00 pm in the parking lot of Housatonic Valley Regional High School (246 Warren Turnpike, Falls Village, CT). At 1:30 pm, walkers will begin their journey.

    The Northwest Connecticut online team page can be found at crophungerwalk.org/fallsvillagect/. On that page, you can create your own team or join an existing one, register as an individual walker, sponsor a walker, and make a credit card donation.

    CROP Hunger Walks support grassroots hunger-fighting efforts around the world. Up to 25% of the funds raised from the NW CT Walk is allocated to hunger-fighting programs in our own local community via the Northwest Connecticut Food Bank. The Food Bank provides food vouchers and gift certificates to area grocery stores for those in need.

    In the past 30 years, participants have raised more than $732,000 with about $200,000 allocated to our local area.

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      Celebrating Salisbury's Own

      Patricia Best, Realtor, Litchfield County, CT

      The biannual benefit that supports our wonderful Salisbury Family Services (SFS) is coming up on September 23, 2017.   

      This year, SFS will honor extraordinary photographer Anne Day with an exhibit of her photos and cocktail party at the Tremaine Gallery at the Salisbury School. A post-exhibit dinner will be held at a private home. Information about both events and tickets are available at the SFS website: salisburyfamilyservices.org.    

      Salisbury Family Services is a not-for-profit, charitable organization that offers support for residents of Salisbury, Connecticut, who are struggling with financial or other difficulties, offering invaluable assistance at critical times.

      I am honored to chair this event this year. Please come out and support this great organization!

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        Conservation Easements

        Christine Bates, Realtor, Litchfield County, CT

        When considering the purchase of a house with acreage, buyers should ask whether there is a conservation easement on the property itself and also on surrounding land. Conservation easements are permanent, recorded on the deed, and restrictions may prohibit certain uses. Every easement is very specific and is monitored by a local land trust.  If there is an existing easement, the buyer needs to understand the limitations on building and future use. Where can you build? Could you subdivide?

        Having an easement on the land will not affect your ownership or necessarily decrease your property taxes, but may reduce future resale value. Being surrounded by other properties, which have been put into conservation, will protect your views and privacy.

        Any property owner may consider placing a conservation easement on their land to prevent future development, and also to benefit from what can be substantial federal income tax deductions.  The process can be complicated and expensive. Be sure to consult first with your tax attorney.

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