Cathy Lomasney's Blog
Wanting to add some vintage metal to your décor? An aged silver-framed mirror, glossy wall plate, or glowing trio of candlesticks might be just the thing to pull it all together. Silver tableware adds an elegant touch to a party and a beautiful silver tray on the entry table is perfect to collect your mail.
Beautiful silver pieces of all kinds show up in vintage and antique stores to catch your eye. Sometimes the distraction of the shine hides its true self, so use these suggestions to help you find the real deal.
Silverplate versus sterling silver.
Silverplate, a thin layer of silver applied as a coated or electroplated over a base metal, was popular over the past couple centuries and allowed folk to obtain silver's elegant look at a lower price Sterling, on the other hand, is 92.5 percent pure silver.
Sterling silver holds its value and stands up to the rigors of aging much better than silver plate, which can wear through to the base metal and require re-plating to bring back its original beauty. Sterling silver lasts for generations when cared for properly.
How can you tell?
When shopping in antique malls, flea markets, and vintage stores, bring a small magnet with you. Sterling silver is not magnetic, and therefore, the more silver the object contains, the less likely your magnet sticks. When a magnet adheres, the likelihood of base metal under a silver coat is high.
Look for silver marks too. In the United States, both sterling silver and silver plate usually bear identification markings. Sterling carries the numbers 925, meaning ninety-two and a half percent silver and just seven and a half percent of some other metal. English sterling, on the other hand, frequently shows the image of a lion along with markings specific to the city of origin, the year of crafting, and the king or queen in power at the time.
What should you pay?
Silver's value fluctuates based on the current metals market, so its price rises and falls frequently. Since markets post the price of silver daily, use this to your advantage as you bargain on the amount of your piece of sterling silver.
The price for plated silver depends more on the design and quality of the underlying piece and the amount of silver remaining in its surface. If you like the piece and it fits in your décor, then, by all means, offer the dealer a price befitting your budget.
Most homeowners would love to be able to pay off their mortgage early. However, few see it as a possibility when they take into account their earnings and other bills.
There are, however, a few ways to pay down your mortgage earlier than planned. But first, let’s talk about when it makes sense to try and pay off your mortgage.
When to consider paying off your mortgage early
If you recently got a promotion, have someone move in with you who contributes to paying the bills, or recently got a secondary form of income, you might want to consider making extra payments on your mortgage.
However, having extra money doesn’t always mean you should spend it immediately on your home loan.
First, consider if you have a large enough emergency savings fund. It might be tempting to try and throw any extra money at your mortgage as soon as possible, but there are other financial commitments you should plan for as well.
If you have kids who will be applying to college soon, remember that student aid takes into account their parents’ finances. If your children plan on applying to institutions with high tuition, then your equity will be counted against you.
Refinancing to pay your mortgage early
Refinancing your home loan is one option if you’re considering increasing the payments on your mortgage. If you can refinance a 30-year loan to a 15-year loan with a lower interest rate, you’ll save money in two ways--your lower interest rate and the fact that you’ll be accruing interest for less time.
There is a downside to refinancing. Once you refinance, you’re locked into your new payment amount. So, if your higher income isn’t dependable, it might not make sense to commit to a higher monthly payment that you aren’t sure you’re going to be able to keep paying.
There’s also the matter of refinancing costs. Just like the costs associated with signing on your mortgage, you’ll have to pay closing costs on refinancing. You’ll need to weigh the cost of refinancing against the amount you’ll save on interest over the term of your mortgage to see if it truly makes sense to go through the refinancing process.
Paying more on your current loan
Even if you aren’t sure that refinancing is the best option, there are other ways you can make payments on your mortgage to pay it off years sooner than your term length.
One of the common methods is to simply make thirteen payments each year instead of twelve. To do this, homeowners often use their tax returns or savings to make the thirteenth payment. Over a thirty year mortgage, this could save you over full two years of added interest.
A second option is to make two bi-weekly payments rather than one monthly payment. By making biweekly payments you have the ability to make 26 payments in a year. If you were to just make two payments per month then you would make 24 total payments. Over time, those two extra payments per year add up.
32 Ferncroft Court Lot 43, Methuen, MA 01844
27 Elane Ave Lot 29B, Methuen, MA 01844