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If you are buying a home for the first time, you might not be aware that you need to put down a deposit when you make your offer as a sign of your seriousness. While this good-faith gesture portrays your intention to purchase the home, it also comes with the risk that you can lose this money if you decide not to follow through with your offer to buy. If you do decide to purchase the home, your escrow funds become part of your down payment.

Once your money is in escrow, you cannot get it back unless the seller agrees to let you do so. This means that in many cases, the money won’t be returned to you if you decide not to make the purchase, unless you’ve arranged one of the following three contingencies ahead of time.

1. Do Your Research before You Place the Offer

Typically, the seller must disclose existing problems with the property. Some of these disclosures might be directly connected to the house, while others might arise from the property’s location. For example, structural changes that do not meet state or local codes will require modification until they do. These changes might end up costing you thousands of additional dollars. Likewise, the presence of noisy or argumentative neighbors, particularly those individuals who dispute property lines, could be reason enough to look at a different home.

Read through the list of disclosures before you disclose your intention to buy the property if you live in a state that requires their submission prior to a formal offer. Get the answers to any questions you might have before you make the offer and include a contingency that you get the escrow deposit refunded if the sellers were not completely honest in their disclosures.

2. Link Your Escrow to Mortgage Approval

While it makes perfect sense that you should receive your escrow deposit back if you do not obtain the approval to borrow money, you should make sure that this contingency is listed along with your offer. If the unexpected happens and the bank, credit union, or mortgage lender denies your request for a loan, you should be entitled to get your escrow deposit back. Make sure this option is listed in any documentation that you sign.

3. Link Your Escrow to a Home Inspection

Ask your real estate agent to include a contingency that you receive your escrow deposit back if any expensive problems are discovered during the home inspection. Areas to focus on include the roof, heating and cooling systems, plumbing, electrical system, and foundation of the home. Minor problems shouldn’t be a concern, but anything major should deter you from the buying the home unless you can afford the added expense to remedy problems.

The size of your escrow deposit depends on your state’s regulations regarding this aspect of a home sale. However, even if the amount you must put down with your offer is only three percent of the purchase price, you will want the money back if you decide not to go forward with the purchase. Take a few moments to ensure this option is possible so that you don’t lose your hard-earned money.

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Aging Gracefully: Top Beauty Tips for Women Over Forty

Mature women are sexy as well as wise due to their years and confidence. But sometimes the changes that we see on our faces and skin make us lose sight of how awesome we are. Physical changes in hair color, skin texture and tone make us feel like we’re getting old ungracefully. It doesn’t have to be that way! Your skincare regimen and style does need to change, though, to accommodate your beautiful, changing form. To that end here are a few top beauty tips for women over forty.

Change Your Wardrobe Color Palette

Your skin and hair are probably changing. As such, clothing colors that suited you before may not look as good now. Try adding a little warmth to the color scheme of your wardrobe. Women over forty often play it safe, selecting beige and cream garments. Unfortunately, pale colors detract from mature beauty, leaving you looking washed out. Bring back that healthy glow with rich, warm shades. If you have silver hair, then warm reds like mulberry, burgundy, or auburn often accent well with your “new” hair color.

You can wear a wide array of colors, but go for high pigments and richly colored fabrics. Don’t feel like you’re stuck with autumn colors either. There are plenty of bright colors that look fantastic on women of your age. Turquoise, sunflower yellow, and lavender are examples of energizing colors that enhance your appearance.

Beauty Tips For Older Skin

As you know, your skin becomes drier as you get older and requires extra moisture to stay supple. However, don’t forget to exfoliate dry skin to aid absorption and get rid of flaky dry patches. A dab of bicarbonate of soda mixed with water will do the trick. Or, you can opt for a luxury scrub from a beauty shop.

Once flaky areas are gone, your skin will be ready to soak up moisturizer. There are many commercial varieties, but you’ve probably been exposed to their chemical content over the years. Perhaps you’ll enjoy natural ways of adding moisture.

Remember to hydrate by drinking water, and consider using natural oils to keep your skin smooth and supple. Add essential oils to argan oil or sweet almond oil for a great natural moisturizer. Rose geranium or lavender are good choices. Otherwise use them alone, and they will still be effective.

Hair Care Tips for Aging or Damaged Hair

Your hair is dry, and perhaps brittle if you’ve not added moisture or had trims. As a rule of thumb cut off split ends every four to six weeks. Otherwise, they spoil your appearance. Regular shampoo and conditioner might not repair your hair’s condition. Use a deep oil treatment monthly. Alternatively, add a tablespoonful of coconut oil to your regular conditioner or, before drying, rub it into the ends of your hair. Next, smooth the surplus of the oil, left on your hands, from the top of your hair downward.

You’re over forty, and it’s your turn to shine. You can look better than ever by following some of these beauty tips, and restoring the lost moisture of your hair and skin. Also select rich, or highly pigmented bright colors when deciding what to wear for an attractive appearance.

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