Is now the time to buy a home or keep renting?

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This is a common question no matter what the real estate market looks like, and one that doesn’t always have an easy answer. With today’s seller’s market white hot and little inventory to choose from, it has many potential buyers wondering if it’s the right time to buy.

One of the biggest benefits to being a homeowner is building equity with each mortgage loan payment that you make vs. just giving money to a landlord for rent. However, that doesn’t mean buying is always the best choice. As a renter, you have more flexibility and can avoid many costs that come with owning your own home.

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Tips to Winning a Bidding War When Buying a Home

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Today’s housing market is tough – many potential sellers are feeling uncertain about listing, while buyers are motivated to look for new homes. With limited inventory and a surplus of buyers, it can often lead to a multiple bidding situation.

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How to Lose Your Earnest Money Deposit and Ways to Avoid It

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There is a lot of terminology that you hear during the home buying process, and if you plan to purchase a home in the near future, you may have heard the term Earnest Money Deposit. If you haven’t or don’t quite know what it means, you’ll want to read on because it’s pretty important.

Most people must put some amount of money down on a home as a deposit when they submit a bid or offer for the home they want to buy. It’s typically written into the purchase agreement as an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD), or referred to as a good faith deposit, and it lets the seller know you are serious about your bid. This can also make your offer more attractive if there are multiple offers in place.

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How to tell when refinancing your home makes sense

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Refinancing your home is a major financial move that could result in some significant savings for you OR it could make your situation worse. There are typically 2 types of refinancing options:

  1. A rate and term refinance with a goal to save money. You refinance your remaining balance for a lower interest rate and a term (number of years it takes to repay the loan) that you can afford.
  2. Cash-out refinancing, where you take out a new mortgage for more than you owe and take the difference in cash, for example, to pay off existing debt.

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How to financially prepare for buying a new home

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The home buying season – typically Spring to early Fall – will be upon us shortly, and if you are in the market for a new home – either as a first-time buyer or seasoned veteran – there are some steps you need to take now to financially prepare. Many people get caught up in just finding the right home without doing the legwork needed to ensure a smooth and swift purchase. Here are a few tips to get you ready for those three lovely words – “Clear to Close”. Continue reading “How to financially prepare for buying a new home”

How to save for your first home down payment

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Buying your first home is a very exciting time, but it can also be stressful when you think about saving for a down payment – no one wants to live on Ramen Noodles for 3 years! Aside from dealing with realtors, trying to keep up with lingo, and not becoming emotionally attached to your dream home before your offer is accepted, you should be making sure your finances are in order and you have money saved for the down payment. Continue reading “How to save for your first home down payment”


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For most borrowers PMI (or Private Mortgage Insurance) is just one of the many mysterious charges that get folded into their total monthly mortgage payment.  But anyone in the market for a new home, and the inevitable mortgage that comes with it, needs to understand how it works, and how it can be avoided.  Simply put, PMI is an insurance policy that your lender takes out as protection against the possibility that someday you will no longer be able to make your mortgage payments, except that it is your responsibility to pay the monthly premiums.  Also, the lender is typically the beneficiary, not you or your heirs. Continue reading “PMI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”

5 tips for first time homebuyers

House Hunters and other HGTV shows can make home buying seem so breezy. Spend the day with a fun, sassy real estate broker, check out a few fabulous properties, relax with a glass of wine, and decide on your dream home.

But for first-time homebuyers who aren’t living in a “reality TV” fantasy, the process can be stressful and overwhelming. So much to think about and so many options!

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