Planning To Get A Mortgage? Here Are Tips You Must Know

Mortgages are important, they present the common route to owning a home in today’s world. Here are major tips you can use.

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Ah, a mortgage. Few economic contracts are so constantly heard of, yet so poorly understood. We all know they’re used to get houses and, judging from TV shows, we also know they take long to pay and stress you out.

In theory, that should be enough. A longer description could simply say “A mortgage is a loan you get from the bank to buy a house. Essentially, the bank buys the house and lets you live in it while you pay for it. Once you’ve paid it all (as in, the mortgage,) the house is yours.”

But while that description does get the gist of it, there’s more. There’s always more. There are details, tricks, and small print to take care of. Here are some things you should also know before getting one.

The Requirements

Because if you don’t fulfill these there’s no way you’re getting one. In general, the amount of money a bank will be open to lend you via a mortgage will be directly tied to your credit score and your monthly finances.

A person with really bad credit score won’t even qualify for one, while people with a decent score but low monthly earnings won’t be able to apply for a mortgage on a mansion.

The types of mortgage your bank offers

Not all mortgages are the same. The differences between them even go beyond just the numbers, since numbers are something you can actually negotiate.

The type of mortgage refers to the agreement that will rule the whole process. One could divide it in two large groups, being fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages. Fixed rate ones have set monthly payments and interests, while adjustable ones are often recalculated based on several indicators.

There’s more, however. The mortgage you get will often depend on what you’re purchasing real estate for (mortgages for a personal home offer lower interests than mortgages for rentals, or for second properties) so making it clear what you want the property for can go a long way.

If you can’t pay your mortgage it’s not the end of the world – as long as you act quickly

Second mortgages are even more misunderstood than regular ones. The wording itself for the term doesn’t even make much sense, leading homeowners to be puzzled about them.

The actual term behind the “second mortgage” nickname is refinancing, which is what happens when for whatever reason your economic situation changes and you find yourself unable to make your regular mortgage payments.

It is, in essence, a renegotiation of the mortgage contract, usually made to help you keep your house because, believe it or not, banks usually aren’t interested in keeping real estate properties. The trick to get a good refinancing deal is to act quickly.

Don’t wait until you have several months of unpaid bills and an eviction order. The sooner you act, the better a deal your bank will offer you. Many people fail to explore making hay while the sun shines. But, it is the better route to take in this scenario.

Shop around before committing

Don’t just take the first deal you’re offered, or go with the first bank or financial institution you see. Ask around – ask friends and coworkers about their experiences, but also inquire in different places in your own.

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This is important because different institutions will offer you different mortgage terms, and some will be better suited for you than others – in fact, some might even be flat-out superior than others by offering lower interests or smaller payments.

Just as you wouldn’t just buy the very first house you see, don’t take the very first mortgage you’re offered. Wait a bit, think it over, and see what else others can offer. The more the merrier applies in this case and you lose nothing for nosing around for the best deals.

Conclusion

The present depressed economic state of many nations holds some promise to get a good bargain for mortgage in most cases. Though many people are just angling to survive, there is room to go beyond just that.

So, if you have got some mileage, go ahead, and apply the tips above to strike a deal. When the storms of the present settle, you will enjoy the bottom-line.

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With Companies Investing In Bitcoin, Here Are The Likely Areas of Impact You Need To Know

Companies have turned to bitcoin investment to boost their balance sheet and returns. Here is the picture so far

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With companies investing spare cash in Bitcoin, how will their asset size and return jump look like?

The recent rush of Bitcoin investments by economy giants has unleashed a wave of speculation both over the cryptocurrency market and the traditional one. Many takes have been written about why companies are doing this and what it means for crypto, but there’s been far fewer opinions issued on what this means for traditional markets beyond “companies hedging their bets.”

And yet, it’s understandable that traditional markets wouldn’t know what to do with this information. Until now, economy has always moved around goods and production.

Everything traded in stock or commodity markets had a use, a supply, and a reason to be. Even arguably superfluous items, like jewelry, still have a use (in this case, looking good.) The appearance of bitcoin is not entirely speculative and should have been expected to shake the market.

Why does this new market matter?

As stated above, because it’s entirely speculative. Bitcoin, and its value, isn’t based on anything other than supply and demand for an entirely useless good. There is a world of good to Bitcoin and this can be seen in the huge amounts of money so obscene used in its daily trades that the GDP of several countries is dwarfed in comparison.

Why are companies buying it?

To hedge their bets against a recession, plain and simple. Bitcoin could be thought of as virtual gold (minus the actual, real life uses of gold,) and when markets expect an incoming recession it’s quite common for investment in stocks to drop and investments in certain goods to rise.

While several governments in the world keep acting like nothing is going on and there’s no recession whatsoever, large companies aren’t buying it. They know we’re in the middle of a recession. They know the more than a million deaths from COVID (and counting) plus countless people left with long-term illnesses will take a toll on the worldwide economy.

We just haven’t seen it. So many companies are taking steps to minimize the effect of the recession on their balance sheets.

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Should companies then be recession-proof this time around?

Well, so far, fiat money printers have been hard at work with as much as 23 percent of USD ever printed rolled out just in 2020 alone. What this means is that the real value of fiat currencies has nose-dived while that of Bitcoin has remained intact.

Bitcoin cannot be over-minted over night as its block difficulty cannot be overridden by any legislation. In a sense, bitcoin is recession-proof and companies can boost their asset value by investing in bitcoin.

But the price is going up…

Yes, it is. But only because many companies are buying every Bitcoin on the market.

Being entirely speculative, the value of Bitcoin depends exclusively on supply and demand, and we’ve seen a hugely increased demand for the last few months. But that may or may not last.

Why would it last?

Because once the recession is over and economies start growing again, some of these big players on the Bitcoin market might want to cash out and return their liquidity to fiat currency. Not all will, of course, but here’s the detail with the Bitcoin market: It’s made up of very few people hoarding the vast majority of the supply. The recent uptick in USD value for instance led to a mild drop in BTC trading price.

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So companies will lose? Returns will go down?

Depends on when they buy and when they sell.

Companies that started buying Bitcoin months ago naturally have an advantage, since they bought the tokens at much lower values than the current. This means they have a much bigger space to maneuver in case the market crashes.

Companies that have entered later, however, are taking risky positions because there’s no telling when one of the large players might want to cash out, potentially flooding the market and crashing it.

What if they don’t, uhm, cash out?

It’s also possible. Most companies will likely want to keep a percentage of their holdings in Bitcoin if their current gamble pays out, which would in turn give the Bitcoin market some stability.

But once again, the problem is how few players actually are controlling the Bitcoin economy. It might take just one company deciding to convert all its Bitcoin to fiat to send the price crashing. That company would, then, report a huge return. Any other holders who sell immediately might, too. But anyone else who takes too long to act, or anyone who buys tokens too late in the curve, will face huge losses.

So the result is…

Some companies will likely win big with this Bitcoin gamble. Others might lose big, and some might choose to invest in the crypto market in the long term, to the point where it won’t matter to them if the price goes crashing in the short term.

As with all recessions, it’s impossible for a market or company to completely assure they won’t be hit by the dip. What companies here are doing is trying their best not only to remain unscathed, but to also make some money along the way.

Will it work? It will, for some. It won’t for others. In general, companies that jumped in earlier have a head start. Since the stock market upheavals have yet to make companies exit global bourses, you can be sure BTC investing will likely endure as well.

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As Blue Chips Acquire Bitcoin, Here Is The Pathway To The Future

AS big companies move part of their equity into bitcoin, here is the path to the future!

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What the big-ticket financial companies buying into Bitcoin could mean in 2021

Bitcoin is having much of a renaissance.

While the cryptocurrencies like bitcoin were never properly considered dead, over the past few months we’ve seen their prices steadily increase, and as of the time of this writing, the value of Bitcoin has broken into a new high of $24,000.

For regular people, it’s easy to read this as a comeback: The strong, unstoppable bitcoin many economists predicted three years ago before the value suddenly crashed is finally coming true. Bitcoin is, then, poised to become the de-facto currency of the future, and everyone should rush to purchase all the tokens they can.

There is certain logic to this reading, and in all honesty if you saw the price data without getting any extra information you wouldn’t be wrong to expect so.

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But we do have extra information. Not long after Bitcoin’s value spiked, data was released pointing out a single company, in this case, PayPal had made purchases equaling all of the tokens that had been created over a month.

Financial data from other companies shows that financial giants like Square, Stone Ridge Holdings, and MicroStrategy have also invested millions of dollars in Bitcoin recently. But what does this mean? Does this mean they’re preparing for a cryptocurrency-fueled economy?

Hedging their bets – or why simpler answers are better

No, it doesn’t. While certainly having a large amount of Bitcoin would give these companies a boost if cryptocurrencies were to suddenly move our global economy, there’s no expectation that such a thing will happen in the short-to-mid term. Crypto adoption has grown steadily, and there’s a decent chance we’ll see cryptocurrency transactions as a regular thing… by 2030 or so. Not by 2022.

What these companies are doing instead is an old, common practice for financial giants: They’re buying gold. Only, it’s digital gold.

And they’re doing this because… well, because they don’t trust the economy.

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The recession hasn’t hit in full force… yet

Economists have been predicting a major economic recession for years, partly thanks to historical data that shows the economy works in cycles, and the longer a period of growth and stability lasts the more imminent a recession becomes. Warnings had been written since 2015, arguing that the correct thing to do would be to get ready for a recession.

And then the recession hit, during March 2020. Stock markets went down.  The Dow Jones wiped all of its earnings from the previous year in a single day. Chaos ensued, at least among certain circles.

But soon after, the markets recovered. Taking a look at them today, and it’s almost like nothing happened. Many stocks are at all-time highs. Indicators went back up. Was it the shortest recession in history? No, it wasn’t.

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A variable called Coronavirus

The Coronavirus pandemic played a part in the express recession we saw back in March. As it turns out, it’s also part of the reason the apparent recovery was so quick.

The truth is, we’re still in a recession – it’s just not noticeable because economic indicators have shifted due to the pandemic. The economy is currently working at half of its capacity, but we don’t notice it because most of us have been locked up, or nearly locked up, for too many months.

With a vaccine approved, however, the pandemic won’t last much longer – although it won’t be gone in just a couple months either. And once that happens, tens of millions of people will have to face the harsh realities of workplaces closing, unemployment soaring, and the largest number of evictions we’ve seen since the housing bubble burst.

All those things are actually happening as we speak, but we don’t see them, or feel them, because of lockdowns and protections that have been put in place… but will be lifted soon.

Bitcoin is the new gold

Companies have been buying Bitcoin largely because they know this. As it stands, the world is on the brink of a huge recession, and we’ll see it unfold sooner rather than later. While that doesn’t mean the economy will inevitably shatter.

From the above, governments still can do a lot to minimize the impact – having an impending recession doesn’t precisely fill people with hope and trust in fiat currencies.

So they turn to values as a way to hedge their bets. They buy precious metals. They stockpile goods. And, in 2020, they also buy Bitcoin – a largely speculative virtual currency that many have predicted will withstand a recession.

That’s why companies are investing. It’s not because the Bitcoin future is coming, but because they believe Bitcoin will hold its value better than the USD in case of a recession. And they may be right, or they may be wrong – but the risk is worth taking nonetheless.

Should I run and invest, then?

Hold on, you should first slow down a bit.

Investing right now might be a good move. Or it might be a bad one. Investing six months ago would’ve been a brilliant move, but then again hindsight is 20/20.

How the Bitcoin market develops from here on isn’t clear, because it depends largely on how those huge companies act in the future. As long as they keep holding, and investing into, Bitcoin tokens, the price should remain stable and even go higher.

But as soon as one of these companies decide to cash out? A huge influx of offer vs stagnant demand will spell a price crash. On top of that, this price crash happening is a matter of when rather than if – because it will happen.

However, we don’t know when. It could take two years. Or it might happen next week.

Shall you invest in Bitcoin right now, then, you should see it as playing the lottery. Variables entirely outside of your control will dictate whether you win or lose, and every day you’ll face the question of whether you want to jump off the ship now, or risk another day.

You may win big. But you may also lose big, if you are nit timing the market.

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The Big Lure Of Crypto Airdrops And The Headliners of 2021

Airdrops are novel to cryptocurrencies and they have become a fortune boost for savvy investors. Here is how they lead into 2021.

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The world of airdrops, leading projects, and what to expect in 2021

Airdrops have long been a controversial subject in the cryptocurrency market. While they’re often touted as a great way to get users for a blockchain, detractors argue they weaken the value of the very crypto being airdropped, thus defeating the very reason to run them. Others see them as cheap ploys to attract users, and in anyway, it is a world of the good, the bad, and the ugly!

However unpopular, airdrops are still a thing in the market – and they’re considered a very useful tool, if properly handled. That’s why, even when some people really dislike them or even consider them “dead,” they still are happening. They just have changed. They’re no longer free-for-all extravaganzas, instead becoming focused events.

What this means is that Airdrops haven’t disappeared, and they aren’t expected to. These days, you just have to look a bit deeper than otherwise to find them.

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But first… What is an airdrop?

An airdrop is the name given in the cryptocurrency scene to wide, usually free, distribution of tokens on a blockchain. The most recent celebrated airdrop was for Flare Network, and it helped give XRP a leap since it was predicated on exosting XRP in circulation. Bitcoin Cash AB was also recent and it is holding its place as a crypto of note.

That failure notwithstanding, crypto projects kept offering them, even if in less wide modes. The most common mode of airdrops, known as ICOs (for Initial Coin Offering) were extremely common as ways for projects to obtain early funding, although their popularity has greatly waned over the last two years.

Still, free airdrops have been shown to work in several occasions – and as long as they’re well designed, there’s no reason they shouldn’t work in the future.

Which airdrops have seen success?

Perhaps the largest airdrop to see success comes from Stellar. The then-new blockchain gave away 20% of its token supply to people who owned BTC. The airdrop was deemed a success, enough so that Stellar has in several occasions reactivated the airdrop, letting people sign up for free Lumens tokens.

Decred is another blockchain that hosted a massive airdrop with success, with 285,000 tokens distributed in 2017. While the token saw a price crash in 2018, its value is still close to the pre-airdrop value.

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What do I need to do to get into an airdrop?

It really depends on which airdrops you’re looking to get into. Registering for the airdrop is, of course, a mandatory step for all of them, but some also have other requirements. In some cases, as happened with the XRP airdrop, you need to own another cryptocurrency. Other airdrops require you to sign up for email advertising or even advertise the token yourself via social media.

The latter is more common than you might expect, and makes sense: Airdrops these days are largely used as advertising, and thus the social/viral element of them is expected. In many cases, these airdrops don’t assure you’ll receive tokens, instead giving you what could amount to entries for a raffle. With the recent market leap in prices, it is perhaps worth the effort.

Which airdrops are yet upcoming?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of upcoming airdrops, as they’re still used in many crypto projects to attract attention. Several websites were set up specifically with the goal of keeping a list of upcoming token airdrops and their requirements, and they have since become the best tool for airdrop hunters.

As you can likely notice, most free airdrops these days are for low-value tokens, which makes sense considering it’s essentially free money. More serious airdrops have larger requirements, one of them being holding a minimum amount of another cryptocurrency to be eligible. These airdrops, known as Holder Airdrops, are the most commonly successful ones.

Watch Out For Symbol

Perhaps the largest upcoming airdrop as of this writing comes from the Symbol blockchain. An already successful blockchain, known as NEM, is staging a migration towards a newer system that’s considered superior to the current one.

To entice users to migrate, all users holding 100 or more NEM tokens will by early January receive an equal number of tokens in the new blockchain, deemed XEM tokens. Some exchanges are supporting the airdrop alongside some wallet serbvice providers. Coming from an already-established blockchain, this airdrop is expected to be a success and is for now the largest foreseen airdrop for 2021.

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How Staking Works With Ethereum 2.0

Ethereum 2.0 was long awaited and now it has arrived with a promise. Here is how staking works on the new platform.

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After a long time and repeated delays, Ethereum has finally moved away from its proof-of-work model to validate transactions into the cutting-edge, less resource intensive proof-of-stake model that most new blockchain projects over the last couple years have adopted.

Along with this change has, as one would expect, come many questions from Ethereum’s own users, particularly those who mined Ethereum either as a hobby or to make ends meet, about how the system works, or why it is any better. In some cases, when people only mined and invested in Ethereum and no other tokens, they genuinely don’t know anything about the proof-of-stake mechanism that has become commonplace.

So what’s this proof-of-stake?

Proof-of-stake is the now preferred method of assigning transaction blocks for validating transactions in blockchain environments.

The older system, called proof-of-work (and more commonly known as “mining,”) tasked participants (that is, miners) with solving an extremely complex mathematical problem via brute force. Whoever solved the problem first was assigned the block for validation along with the reward, which was the cryptocurrency that was “mined.”

This system is extremely wasteful, because said mathematical problems have no actual use other than help the system decide who gets what. In the end, they proof-of-work model leads to huge losses in energy and processing power. To deal with this, the proof-of-stake method was created.

In a proof-of-stake environment, you don’t need to dedicate your computer’s processing power to solving repetitive problems. Instead, in order to establish your credibility with the network and ensure you’ll authenticate transactions properly, you put some of your cryptocurrency at stake, hence the term “staking”.

If your authentication is considered correct (that is, if you’re not trying to meddle with the blockchain,) at the end of the process you’re given back the crypto you staked plus extra crypto rewards. If it isn’t, the system takes the crypto you staked, or a part of it, as a fine of sorts.

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What do I need to stake?

Staking is a much easier process than mining, because all you need is to have some cryptocurrency at hand. For the ETH network, said currency is naturally ETH tokens. If you want to operate your own node, which will net you full rewards from staking, you’ll have to stake a minimum of 32 ETH. That’s about $20,000, which is pretty much pocket change and an amount so small people have asked Ethereum to raise it, lest the have-nots start staking too.

Alright, joke’s over. It’s a huge amount. More money than most people have ever held in their lives, or will ever hold. Luckily, you only need such a monstrous amount of Ethereum if you want to run a full node yourself. For people who don’t have massive amounts of money invested in crypto, staking pools exist.

Staking pools work in the same way mining pools did: They allow many people to chip in with whatever they can, in this case to reach the minimum 32ETH or surpass it so the node can be run. The rewards for staking are then divided among all people staking, proportional to how much they staked and for how long.

How do I set up a stake? Can I just jump in and out?

While some systems using proof-of-stake allow individuals to jump in and out, it’s a bit more complicated with the Ethereum network. Every time you choose to run a staking node or join a staking pool, you should think of it as a timed deposit – meaning you shouldn’t expect to be able to take back your staked Ethereum before the time is up.

Certain staking pools can allow you to retrieve your ETH, although usually this will imply forfeiting any earnings, and some will not allow you to retrieve it at all until your agreed upon time is over. As such, you shouldn’t stake any crypto you might soon need. The feelers from Binance-supporetd pools is that you must leave your stake untouched for at least one year.

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What are the risks in staking?

From a general point of view, staking is risk free as long as you’re not trying to cheat the system. You deposit your crypto, wait a set time, take earnings based on how many blocks you were assigned. The higher your staked amount is, the more likely you’ll be to be assigned blocks. It’s simple and relatively direct.

However, we did mention that staking should be treated as a timed deposit – meaning in many cases you won’t be able to withdraw your staked crypto at a moment’s notice. In a stable or bullish market that’s not a problem, since you won’t need to cash out unexpectedly. But in a bear market, or an outright market crash, staking can mean you won’t be able to react to market movements, and thus will have to soldier through it all.

Now, Ethereum is usually stable, so it’s not a particularly risky move since even when prices crash it recovers relatively quickly. However, the risk still exists – so it’s not an entirely risk-free process.

Is staking good?

The proof-of-stake consensus algorithm has existed for years, and it is generally considered superior to proof-of-work algorithms. On that degree, considering anyone can stake and the carbon footprint of staking is minimal when compared to that of mining, staking is the best model we currently have to assign blocks for authentication.

However, since it has inherent risks not existing in mining, some people stay away from it. This in the end creates a system that’s much greener, much more open than the older one, but that some people who are extremely protective of their investments might wish to stay away from.

Conclusion

The traditional finance options in deposits and financial papers allows for long periods in tenor before rewards are accessed. Same works here for staking except that this platform is a decentralized one. With traditional finance undergoing rejuvenation, staking and its ilks seem to lead the way to a newer frontier.

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