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Posts tagged ‘Rates’

Get the very best Rates on Hotel Rooms

It can be fun to go on a trip and enjoy staying in a luxurious hotel room. Yet many people have to pass up that option and go for a more moderate hotel because of the expense involved. There are some good ways to get the hotel you want at a price you can afford though. It does take some research and planning but it can be done.

Regardless of the hotel you are looking at, weekends are generally their busiest time. Planning your stay during the week will help you get a much lower rate. You also need to do research to find out the slowest time of year for that given hotel. They will offer lower prices during that time period so that they can sell rooms rather than leaving them empty.

If you have any type of membership such as AAA or military, you may be eligible for discounts on various hotels without even knowing it. Call the hotel and ask them what discounts they offer. While you have them on the line ask them to quote you the very lowest price they can offer. Then compare this price to different online sites.

Sometimes the hotel offers the best price and other times you will find it online. If you are more comfortable booking with the hotel directly, ask them to honor a price you found somewhere online. Many hotels offer discounts for people who have stayed with them before, even free nights or upgrades after you have stayed with them a set amount of times.

If you will be staying at the hotel for several days at a time you will likely get special treatment. This could be a room close to the elevator or with the best type of view. Make sure you mention the length of your stay and what you are interested in when you make the reservation. There is generally no extra cost for such features but make sure you ask before you agree to the reservation.

When you arrive at the hotel you can ask them for a free upgrade. If they have the room available they may be able to honor your request. There is no guarantee that it will happen though so be prepared that you will be in the type of room you paid for. If you are visiting the hotel on the off-season or during the week you are more likely to get such an upgrade at no extra charge. You may mention that you would really love one of the balcony rooms if they could offer you an upgrade if you want a specific type of upgrade amenity.

Many people plan their hotel arrangements way in advance. This is good so that you are guaranteed a room. However, if you can get away with flexible days to stay then you can keep a watchful eye on the very best prices. You can grab some great last-minute deals on hotel rooms online at different travel sites. You have to be careful though because you don’t want to end up with no hotel room at all.

You can try to work out a deal by simply walking into a hotel in the late evening to see what is still available. You have a good chance of working out a good deal since the room may go unused if they don’t offer it to you. However, they may be viewing it as a chance to get more money for the room since you are looking for one at the last-minute. Don’t be afraid to say no to their offer and try to renegotiate it. Too many people simply walk into a hotel, as the price, and then pay for it without any negotiating taking place whatsoever.

If you know several other people who will be staying at the same hotel you can ask for a group discount rate. In some cases the rooms all have to be paid for together but the majority of hotels will accommodate individual billing.


Mortgage Costs to Watch Out For

Faced with plunging property values and rising defaults, lenders are charging borrowers higher mortgage rates and adding fees. Not all of these added costs are set in stone, however. If you’re looking for a loan, vigilant shopping and a little haggling can go a long way toward landing a better deal.

Here are some fees you need to watch out for:

Application Fees

Just because an ad says “no application fee” doesn’t really mean there’s no fee to get the loan. Fees paid outside of closing typically include an application fee, an upfront property appraisal fee, and a credit check. They might be disguised as something like a “document processing fee” or “doc fee.”

Risk Adjust Rates

Getting deemed a risky borrower is no longer just a matter of a low credit score. Lenders now consider other risk factors. Buy in an area that has seen values drop precipitously and you can expect a higher interest rate.

Down Payment Penalties

The days of zero down on a mortgage are over. Without a down payment of at least 20%, prospective homebuyers will undoubtedly get hit with a higher interest rate and need to pay for more points. (Each point usually amounts to a fee of about 1% of a mortgage.)

Also, if buyers can’t put 20% down, they’ll need to get private mortgage insurance, which typically costs 0.5% of the loan. Shopping around for lenders with more-favorable points and insurance charges can help lessen the blow.

Closing Costs

Closing fees amount to 2% to 5% of a home’s price. Location plays a big role, as taxes and other requirements vary by state. Some states require expensive attorneys to oversee the closing process, while others allow a title agent or escrow officer.

Ask potential lenders for a good-faith estimate of closing costs. Then check in weekly with whoever is handling the closing to see whether there are any changes in either lender or third-party fees.