Fatten Up Your Wallet This Summer

Zillow

Money in wallet
As you finalize your pricey summer vacation plans, you may be looking for ways to put money back in your pocket to help subsidize the costs. Here are some suggestions that you likely haven’t considered.

Refinance

Still haven’t gotten around to doing a refinance? What are you waiting for? To see how much you could save, firsthand, use Zillow’s refinance calculators on the Web, or use the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. The numbers will likely inspire you to take action!

Appeal property taxes

According to the National Taxpayers Union, between 30 and 60 percent of taxable property in the U.S. is over-assessed. And get this: Middle- and lower-income taxpayers’ properties are among the most often over-assessed, yet fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers challenge their assessments. Appeal and you could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars a year.

Make energy-efficient improvements

Make energy-efficient improvements — new doors, new windows — and you’ll not only save money over the long term, but you might additionally qualify for a tax credit that’s worth up to $500. This credit is due to expire at the end of the year.

Become a landlord

Whether you’re not quite ready to sell your home (waiting for prices to go even higher?!), or a job opportunity has taken you to another city, you might find yourself interested in becoming a landlord to make financial ends meet. When done the right way — you’ve crunched the numbers, estimated your carrying costs, priced it right, found a decent tenant and taken into consideration all the responsibilities that come with the territory — it can be a win-win for all. You can post your home on Zillow for free.

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Vera Gibbons is a financial journalist based in New York City and is a contributor to Zillow Blog. Connect with her at http://veragibbons.com/.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

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