6 Creative Ways to Afford a Home

If your income and savings are making homebuying a challenge, consider these options. 1. Investigate local, state, and national downpayment assistance programs. These programs give loans or grants to cover all or part of your required downpayment. National programs include the Nehemiah program (http://www.getdownpayment.com) and the American Dream Downpayment Fund from the U.S. Department of […]

10 Questions to Ask Your Lender

Be sure you find a loan that fits your needs with these comprehensive questions. 1. What are the most popular mortgage loans you offer? 2. Which type of mortgage plan do you think would be best for us? Why? 3. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable? 4. Will I have to buy […]

5 Things to Understand About Homeowners Insurance

1. Look for exclusions to coverage. For example, most insurance policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage as a standard item. These coverages must be bought separately. 2. Look for dollar limitations on claims. Even if you are covered for a risk, there may a limit on how much the insurer will pay. For […]

7 Reasons to Own Your Own Home

1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes you pay, and some of the costs involved in buying your home. 2. Gains. Between 1998 and 2002, national home prices increased at an average of 5.4 percent annually. And while there’s no guarantee of appreciation, […]

7 Reasons to Own Your Own Home

1. Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes you pay, and some of the costs involved in buying your home. 2. Gains. Between 1998 and 2002, national home prices increased at an average of 5.4 percent annually. And while there’s no guarantee of appreciation, […]

10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership

1. Decide how much home you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income. 2. Develop a wish list of what you’d like your home to have. Then prioritize the features on your list. 3. Select three or four neighborhoods you’d like to […]

5 Reasons You Need a REALTOR®

5 Reasons You Need a REALTOR® 1. A real estate transaction is complicated. In most cases, buying or selling a home requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page government-mandated settlement statements. A knowledgeable guide through this complexity can help you avoid delays or costly mistakes. 2. Selling or buying a […]

Tips on Buying in a Tight Market

Increase your chances of getting your dream house instead of losing it to another buyer, with these easy steps. 1.Get prequalified for a mortgage. You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and make your offer more desirable to the seller. 2. Stay in close touch with your real estate sales associate to […]

Tips for Finding the Perfect Neighborhood

The neighborhood you choose can have a big impact on your lifestyle—safety, available amenities, and convenience all play their part. 1. Make a list of the activities. movies, health club, church—you engage in regularly and stores you visit frequently. See how far you would have to travel from each neighborhood you’re considering to engaging in […]

8 Steps to Getting Your Finances in Order

1. Develop a family budget. Instead of budgeting what you’d like to spend, use receipts to create a budget for what you actually spent over the last six months. One advantage of this approach is that it factors in unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, illnesses, etc., as well as predictable costs such as rent. […]