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Why is taking out an Aussie Personal Loan a Smart Choice?

We ask John Symond why taking out an Aussie Personal Loan is a smarter choice for managing larger loan amounts than common alternatives such as a ...

10 Tax Moves to Make Before 2018

2017 is rapidly coming to a close, and there are some things you really need to do with your taxes before the year ends. With tax reform efforts ongoing in Washington, there's a high likelihood that 2017 will be the last year you'll be able to take advantage of some key tax breaks.

If you think that Republican lawmakers will succeed in passing a bill that includes most of the provisions that they initially proposed, then considering some of these tax moves before Dec. 31 is a must. Below, we'll first look at some possible moves that you should consider as "use it or lose it" items, and then turn to more general year-end tax tips.

1. Take full advantage of state and local tax deductions while they're still available.

One likely casualty of tax reform for taxpayers will be the itemized deduction for state and local taxes. This provision includes not only a choice between deducting income or sales taxes at the state and local level, but also your property tax payments to government entities. If you've already paid the bills that were due in 2017, consider whether you can make early payments toward your future tax liability. It's when you make the payments that matters for purposes of deductibility, so if the deduction goes away in 2018, then paying sooner than you otherwise would have to could be the only way to get a tax break at all.

Latest Cost Study Stacks Brick Homes Against Competitors

RESTON, Va./ Dec. 3, 2017 ( StlRealEstate.News ) — An updated study comparing the installed cost of fired-clay brick to six common home exteriors shows that brick costs about half as much as manufactured stone—and just a third more than fiber cement before considering fiber cement’s lifetime maintenance costs.

Developed by RSMeans for the Brick Industry Association (BIA), the independent study compares the installed cost of total house construction for brick veneer over wood framing with the cost of adhered manufactured stone, stucco, horizontal wood siding, wood shingle, fiber cement and vinyl siding in major U.S. metro areas.

For a 2,700-square-foot, two-story house, an RSMeans chart shows the national average for the installed cost per square foot of cladding is $19.34 for adhered manufactured stone, $9.45 for brick, $8.96 for stucco, $7.61 for horizontal wood siding, $6.10 for wood shingle, $6.24 for fiber cement and $3.24 for vinyl siding.

Of course, the exterior cladding is only a small portion of the total cost of a house. On average, the total cost of a 2,700-square-foot, two-story, all-brick house costs only 3.6 percent more than a comparable fiber cement house. That equates to a $35 increase in the monthly mortgage payment before taxes.

Can I still Refinance If I'm Self Employed? I have an Option ARM mortgage and am afriad of rising rates!?

I JUST started my own business and bought a new house and between the two I'm kinda broke. Started the business about 6 months ago and I've been moved in here now for about 12 weeks now.

First of all, don't worry about your ARM going up unless you are getting close to the adjustment date. If you have a 3-year ARM and you just go it, you have 3 years to not worry. Make sure you understand the terms and dates of your ARM.

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