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February 7, 2020

Homeowners…Spend Your Tax Refund Here!

Happy tax season, homeowners! Although you have until April 15th to file your taxes, more and more homeowners are hitting the pavement running as soon as their W-2’s and 1099’s are safely in hand. The earlier you file, the more quickly you’ll get your refund. And the team at Ernest Homes is here to give you some of the best recommendations on how to “dispose of” that fortunate windfall. You’ll be amazed at the difference your refund can make!

Bulk up your emergency fund – or start one

Financial experts say a sufficient emergency fund should cover six to eight months’ worth of living expenses. According to the IRS, the average tax refund for homeowners is about $2700. This chunk of change can go a long way toward getting you started or making your goal. Just make sure you keep your emergency fund liquid enough that you can get to it if and when you need it. 

Take care of a true need

And by this we don’t mean put down a deposit on a new boat or a Maserati. But the annual tax refund is an ideal way to buy a new washing machine, fix the air conditioning, upgrade your insulation or take care of home safety items such as new fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, security systems and first aid kits.

Refinance your mortgage

The fees associated with refinancing your mortgage may be holding you back from saving thousands – or tens of thousands – on your mortgage over the life of your loan. The refund you’ll get can erase the cost, and you can come out ahead in the long run.

Upgrade your home

Think about the eventual day you may want to sell your home. What add-ons or upgrades will make it more appealing to buyers? You may want to consider high-end cabinets, counters or appliances in the kitchen, attractive landscaping or even a swimming pool. Your refund could pay off big time in the next decade.

Pay off lingering debt

If you want to reconfigure your mortgage, take out a home improvement loan or buy the lot next door to enlarge your yard, you’ll want to have as little debt as possible. The better your credit rating, the better interest rate you’ll get. 

Take a gamble

Who says gambling is a waste of time and money? Splurge and put $50 toward the Save Your Refund Lottery and earn the chance to win $10,000! The lottery is the brainchild of the AARP Foundation and Commonwealth, and rewards people who put at least $50 into a savings account, IRA, bond, CD or Treasury Direct account. Each time you make a qualifying deposit, you get an entry into their weekly drawing for $100 – and this drawing will be done 100 times! If you take a photo of your ultimate savings goal and submit it, you’ll get an entry into the grand prize drawing – with two separate chances to win $10,000!

Give the gift of a home

There are several worthy charitable organizations that set out to provide opportunities for the mortgage-challenged to receive a home of their own. The most famous is Habitat for Humanity, but there are others such as Home for our Troops, The Fuller Center for Housing and Building Homes for Heroes. There is also a tiny house movement right here in the Savannah, GA area! The great feeling you get from paying it forward is worth its weight in gold – all the money in the world can’t buy the warm glow you get knowing you’ve helped others find a house of their own!

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