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February 23, 2018 in Blog

Is Now the Time to Seek Out an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage Loan?

Since 2009, annual mortgage rates have been below 5 percent, and demand for adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) has been in the single digits. Ellie Mae reports that ARMs comprised just 5.6 percent of the marketplace in December 2017, up from 3.9 percent in November 2016. Why the new interest in ARM loans? There are few financial products that are easier to understand or a better deal for... Read more
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February 22, 2018 in Blog

Five Reasons Why Buying a House Is a Much Bigger Commitment Than Marriage

Some couples might not be ready for marriage, but they are happy to join together in buying a house. Here, Realtor.com discusses why purchasing a home is much more of a commitment than walking down the aisle. 1. You can return a ring—but not a house There are almost always clauses that allow at least a 50 percent refund from wedding vendors if someone gets cold feet. There is no such... Read more
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February 5, 2018 in Blog

Five Sure-Fire Ways to Get Acquainted with Your New Neighborhood

1. Make the first move It can be intimidating to approach a new next-door neighbor and introduce yourself. However, your new neighbors might be equally hesitant to disturb your family, especially if you seem busy moving boxes and unpacking. So, take the initiative and look for an opportunity when the neighbors don’t look rushed or preoccupied. A wave or hello can open the door without being... Read more
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January 29, 2018 in Blog

How to Find Your Ideal School in a New Neighborhood

Schools often are the most important deciding factors for a family seeking out a new neighborhood to call home. While there’s no single solution to finding the right one, there is more to consider than test scores alone. Think commute times, the school’s PTA scene and your child’s classroom experience. Here, Trulia offers six steps to choosing a school that will fit your family. 1. Ask... Read more
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January 29, 2018 in Blog

Five Ways to Come Out on Top if You’re Buying a Home in 2018

Buying a house can be difficult, especially when the rules keep changing. When it comes to purchasing a home, the methods that worked in the past now no longer apply. Today, there are new tax codes, tougher competition and more that will require you to be on top of your game. To help you prepare, Realtor.com offers five tips to buying a house in 2018. 1. Know the new tax codes Recent tax... Read more
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January 17, 2018 in Blog

Busting Some Common Home-Buying Myths

Busting Some Common Home-Buying Myths   Dreaming of buying your first home? Here, Realtor.com dispels a few common home-buying myths and offers some tips to help you purchase the house of your dreams.   Myth No. 1: “I’m too young to worry about buying a house right now; there’s plenty of time” The fact is, 40 percent of all homebuyers are 34 years old and younger... Read more
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January 8, 2018 in Blog Uncategorized

Mortgage Rates Drop

Freddie Mac’s most recent Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that treasury yields fell from a week ago, helping to drive mortgage rates down to begin the new year. “The 30-year mortgage rate is down a quarter of a percentage point from where it was a year ago, and the spread between the 30-year fixed and 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage is the lowest since 2009,” says Len Kiefer, Freddie... Read more
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January 2, 2018 in Blog

Homebuyers are Bringing Cryptocurrency to the Housing Market

Bitcoin—the first digital currency that works without a bank or middleman—has risen 183.6 percent during the previous month, from $5,870.37 per coin on Nov. 12 to $16,650.01 on Dec. 12, according to Bitstamp data. Its market cap is more than $293 billion, and although some analysts warn of a crypto bubble, others say Bitcoin could eventually compete against the gold market. Redfin has seen... Read more
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December 28, 2017 in Blog

Deed Versus Title…What’s the Difference?

Most people use the terms deed and title interchangeably, but there’s a significant difference between the two—a distinction that’s important to understand when you’re preparing to buy a home. Here, Realtor.com examines what distinguishes a deed from a title. The difference between the two real estate terms A deed is a legal document used to confirm or convey the ownership rights to... Read more
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December 19, 2017 in Blog

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a House Without a Home Inspection Checklist

A home inspection checklist is a rundown of features throughout a house that might be faulty or need fixing. Home inspectors use these lists while inspecting homes, which prevents them from accidentally overlooking small things and thereby guarantees that their inspection is thorough. Getting a good home inspection is crucial, since it can help you root out potentially costly problems... Read more
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December 11, 2017 in Blog

Seven Home-Staging Secrets That Can Make a Small Living Room Look Huge

When it comes to home staging, the golden rule is to make a space look bigger to prospective buyers. And perhaps nowhere is that concept more vitally important than in the living room—the place where homeowners tend to spend most of their time entertaining and relaxing, and where potential buyers will be placing extra scrutiny. Here, Realtor.com offers a few quick and relatively affordable ways... Read more
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December 4, 2017 in Blog

Five Tips That Can Help Sell Your House Fast

Looking to find a buyer as fast as possible? There’s good news: It’s possible to sell a home fast by taking care of a few key tasks before your home hits the market. Although these tips from Realtor.com can’t guarantee a speedy sale, they definitely won’t hurt your chances of securing a buyer. 1. Tidy up to make your house stand out Pristine houses are much more attractive to a buyer,... Read more
Five Signs That You Need to Upgrade Your Kitchen Before Selling Your Home
November 27, 2017 in Blog

Five Signs That You Need to Upgrade Your Kitchen Before Selling Your Home

The kitchen is one of the most beloved rooms in any home. So, when it comes time to sell, you’ll want to make sure it’s not only functional but appealing as well. Here, Zillow offers five signs that scream for a kitchen upgrade. 1. Outdated appliances If you still have the same appliances as you did when you first moved in to your home, they likely are outdated. This means they usually are... Read more
What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?
November 27, 2017 in Blog

What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?

Sometimes when you’re shopping for a home, you can come across one that truly stands out for some reason. Maybe it’s architecturally significant or in some way conveys a “different” attribute—it might be a castle, church or a fire station that has been converted into one or more living spaces. With an unusual home, pricing and marketing can be a challenge, but Zillow offers three... Read more
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November 13, 2017 in Blog

Check These 12 Items Off the To-Do List Before Selling Your Home

Getting ready to put your house on the market? It involves a lot more than just placing a “For Sale” sign in your yard. Before you sell your home, Realtor.com suggests that you make sure you’re prepared by completing these important tasks that are sure to pay off once potential buyers begin looking at your property. 1. Find a great real estate agent In a hot market, it might be tempting... Read more
Six Things You Should Know Before Buying a Condo
November 6, 2017 in Blog

Six Things You Should Know Before Buying a Condo

A condominium allows you to wade into homeownership without adopting the responsibilities of a single-family home. You pay dues to a condo association, which typically handles exterior building maintenance and landscaping. So, you may find you don’t have to worry about painting your window frames or mowing a lawn. But you also could find trouble if you don’t ask the right questions. Here,... Read more
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October 30, 2017 in Blog

Seven Steps to Take Now if You’re Considering Buying a Home in 2018

If you’re thinking about buying a home in 2018, November and December are the perfect time to “warm up” for the house hunt so you can hit the ground running in the new year. No matter where you’re looking for a home, the prep work is relatively the same. From organizing your finances to save money to finding a real estate agent and mortgage lender, Trulia offers seven steps prospective... Read more
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October 23, 2017 in Blog

Six Steps for Selling a Home with Pets

Just because you love your pets—whether that be dogs, cats or hamsters—it doesn’t mean that potential buyers want to see those pets (or any evidence of them, for that matter) when they’re looking at a home they’re thinking of buying. Here, Realtor.com offers tips on how to “pet-proof” your place when preparing and showing it for sale. 1. Check your insurance Although you... Read more
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October 17, 2017 in Blog

How to Use Music to Sell Your Home

Can music really get a buyer in the mood to seal the deal? According to Adrian North, Lorraine Sheridan and Charles Areni, a trio of Australians who tested this theory in 2015, hearing music makes people want to spend more money than if tunes were not present. In other words, music adds more perceived value to the product being offered. Toward that end, Realtor.com offers some insight into... Read more
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October 10, 2017 in Blog

Five Surprising Benefits of Buying or Selling Your Home in the Fall

Are you seeing less for-sale signs now that summer is over? That can be great news for both buyers and sellers. Don’t think you’ve missed the boat on making your move this year. Here, RealtyTimes offers five ways that buying and selling in the fall can reap big benefits. 1. Less competition While there might be fewer homes on the market, there also are fewer buyers out there competing... Read more
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October 2, 2017 in Blog

West Coast Home Sellers Cashing in on Record Home Values

Staying in a home longer can net a serious return on investment, especially in some of the nation’s hottest housing markets. That finding comes courtesy of a new Zillow analysis, which shows that U.S. homeowners who lived in their homes for about seven and a half years gained almost $40,000—or almost 24 percent—more than they originally paid upon selling their properties in 2016. “The... Read more
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September 27, 2017 in Blog

Five Ways to Make Your Home Look Larger

When selling a home, décor choices can impact how large or small a residence appears to potential buyers. Here, the National Association of Realtors offers some simple tips from professional home stagers on how to show off square footage, even when space is tight. 1. Remove heavy drapes Leave windows bare or hang sheer linen curtains. The space will feel brighter, and the view will be... Read more
Four Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Buying a Home Together
September 19, 2017 in Blog

Four Questions to Ask Your Partner Before Buying a Home Together

Buying your first home is exciting, but there’s also some stress that comes with it. A house is a big purchase, and it brings a host of new hurdles beyond the initial price tag. If you’ll be purchasing your first house with your significant other, one way to avoid some of that stress is to have a few important conversations before you even start your house search. Here, Trulia.com suggests a... Read more
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September 12, 2017 in Blog

Are You Paying Too Much for a House in Your Neighborhood?

Sometimes determining how much you should pay for a home can be as simple as looking at the recently sold homes in the neighborhood and considering how your specific lot compares. But if the home you want doesn’t compare so easily with its neighbors—maybe it’s larger or custom-built—figuring out how much to pay can be trickier. Here, Trulia offers six things to do before deciding if a... Read more
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September 5, 2017 in Blog

Why Are You Selling? Ten Answers You Should Never Give

“Why are you selling your house?” might seem like a perfectly innocent question for home buyers to ask, but watch out: If you’re the home seller they’re asking, this is one of the most complicated questions you can answer. The reason? Pretty much any explanation you give is bound to contain revealing info that these home buyers could use against you, thereby compromising your... Read more
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August 28, 2017 in Blog

Five Ways to Prepare for an Appraisal and Showcase Your Home at its Best

Determining a price for your home can be stressful, especially if you don’t know how to prepare for an appraisal. If the home’s appraised value is too far from the listing price, it can make or break the deal. In addition, although appraisers are subject to strict regulations, much of their job is subjective, which means it’s crucial for your home to make a good impression on them. Here,... Read more
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August 23, 2017 in Blog

Eight Outdoor Trends That Attract Buyers

Thinking about putting your home on the market? Don’t neglect your outdoor space while making improvements indoors as well. Your home’s exterior and the backyard are important in drawing the eyes of potential buyers and making your home as appealing as possible. Here, RISMedia suggests some modern trends in outdoor living that will entice today’s buyers. 1. Outdoor structures Outdoor... Read more
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August 14, 2017 in Blog

The Facts (and Myths) on Down Payments and PMI

Thinking about buying a home and worried about your down payment? You’ve likely heard the rule of thumb about not purchasing a home unless you can put 20 percent down. Before accepting this myth, Freddie Mac suggests doing your homework, weighing the pros and cons regarding your down payment options, and separating the facts from the myths. Fact or myth? The more you put down, the lower your... Read more
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August 8, 2017 in Blog

Cut Back on These Seven Outdoor Trends to Help Sell Your Home

If you’re planning to place your home on the market, you’ll want to make sure prospective buyers can picture themselves enjoying the great outdoors. From the wrong trees and shrubs to poor patio lighting and pools, realtor.com offers seven outdoor trends that experts say you should avoid in order to sell. 1. Landscaping laid out with a ruler Nice, neat lines used to be the trend... Read more
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July 31, 2017 in Blog

Three Tips for Selling an Eco-Friendly Home

Eco-friendly features can help a home stand out in a competitive real estate market, especially to environmentally conscious homebuyers. In addition to the promise of lower electric bills, green upgrades such as installing a solar energy system on the roof actually can increase the resale value of a home. According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, part of the U.S.... Read more
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July 24, 2017 in Blog

Seven Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas That Will Pay Off Later

A home with a gorgeous yard isn’t just easy on the eyes. According to research conducted by Virginia Tech, well-landscaped homes also sell for 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent. The only problem is, professional landscaping costs an average of $3,219, according to HomeAdvisor.com. But pros aren’t the only way to go. Here, Realtor.com offers seven inexpensive landscaping ideas. 1. Show your... Read more
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July 17, 2017 in Blog

Six Ways to Win a Bidding War

A hot spring market fueled by high demand and low inventory has emerged in 2017. Buyers are doing their best to stay ahead of rising interest rates, but often are confronted with short time frames to view properties and end up competing against multiple offers. Here, U.S. News & World Report offers six strategies for creating the strongest offer in a competitive home-buying situation. 1.... Read more
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July 10, 2017 in Blog

Home Staging Decreases Time on the Market

Sixty-two percent of sellers’ agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2017 Profile of Home Staging. “Realtors know how important it is for buyers to be able to picture themselves living in a home and, according to NAR’s most recent report, staging a home makes that process much easier... Read more
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July 5, 2017 in Blog

Best Home-Improvement Investments

Renovating your home is a numbers game. How much do you have to spend to fix up your home and what will it get you in return? When is it worth it to spend more on high-end finishes to get a better return on investment (ROI)? What are the best renovation projects and features that will appeal to the widest range of buyers when you decide to sell? Home buying and design style are intensely... Read more
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June 27, 2017 in Blog

Seven Steps to Help Choose a School That Fits Your Family

When searching for a new home and neighborhood, school often is one of the most important deciding factors for a family. And there’s more to choosing the right school than test scores. Other considerations also include your child’s overall education experience and commute times. Here, Trulia offers seven ways to evaluate schools in your new neighborhood. 1. Ask yourself these important... Read more
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June 21, 2017 in Blog

Four Ways Every Homebuyer Can Save on Title Insurance

You’ve found your dream home, made an offer and applied for a mortgage. But have you given any thought to the cost of title insurance? This all-important policy usually is purchased as part of closing costs and defends buyers and lenders from future property ownership claims, surprise liens and other potentially costly complications with property titles. It can be costly, however, with the fees... Read more