Simple Tips for Better Home Showings
Simple Tips for Better Home Showings
April 30, 2015

Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of…

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5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market
5 Things to do Before Putting Your Home on the Market
April 30, 2015

Have a pre-sale home inspection. Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin. Organize and clean. Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such…

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Why You Should Work With A REALTOR
Why You Should Work With A REALTOR
April 30, 2015

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process.…

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What's A Home Warranty?
What's A Home Warranty?
April 30, 2015

A home warranty is a service contract, normally for one year, which helps protect home owners against the cost of unexpected covered repairs or replacement on their major systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear. Coverage is for systems and appliances in good working order at the start of the contract. Check your home warranty…

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What Not To Overlook On A Final Walk Through
What Not To Overlook On A Final Walk Through
April 30, 2015

It’s guaranteed to be hectic right before closing, but you should always make time for a final walk-through. Your goal is to make sure that your home is in the same condition you expected it would be. Ideally, the sellers already have moved out. This is your last chance to check that appliances are in working condition and that agreed-upon…

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What A Home Inspector Should Cover
What A Home Inspector Should Cover
April 30, 2015

Home inspections will vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing. A large historic home, for example, will require a more  specialized inspection than a small condominium. However, the following are the basic elements that a home inspector will check. You can also use this list to help you evaluate properties you might purchase. For more information, try…

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Take The Stress Out Of Home Buying
Take The Stress Out Of Home Buying
April 30, 2015

Buying a home should be fun, not stressful. As you look for your dream home, keep in mind these tips for making the process as peaceful as possible. Find a real estate agent who you connect with. Home buying is not only a big financial commitment, but also an emotional one. It’s critical that the REALTOR® you chose is both…

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Common Closing Costs For Buyers
Common Closing Costs For Buyers
April 30, 2015

You’ll likely be responsible for a variety of fees and expenses that you and the seller will have to pay at the time of closing. Your lender must provide a good-faith estimate of all settlement costs. The title company or other entity conducting the closing will tell you the required amount for: Down payment Loan origination Points, or loan discount…

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17 Tips For Packing Like A Pro
17 Tips For Packing Like A Pro
April 30, 2015

Moving to a new home can be stressful, to say the least. Make it easy on yourself by planning far in advance and making sure you’ve covered all the bases. Plan ahead by organizing and budgeting. Develop a master “to do” list so you won’t forget something critical on moving day, and create an estimate of moving costs. (A moving…

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10 Questions To Ask Home Inspectors
10 Questions To Ask Home Inspectors
April 30, 2015

Before you make your final buying or selling decision, you should have the home inspected by a professional. An inspection can alert you to potential problems with a property and allow you to make an informed decision. Ask these questions to prospective home inspectors: Will your inspection meet recognized standards? Ask whether the inspection and the inspection report will meet…

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7 Reasons To Own A Home
7 Reasons To Own A Home
April 30, 2015

Tax breaks. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, as well as some of the costs involved in buying your home. Appreciation. Real estate has long-term, stable growth in value. While year-to-year fluctuations are normal, median existing-home sale prices have increased on average 6.5 percent each year from 1972 through…

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5 Things To Know About Title Insurance
5 Things To Know About Title Insurance
April 30, 2015

Title insurance protects the holder from any losses sustained from defects in the title. It’s required by most mortgage lenders. Here are five other things you should know about title insurance. It protects your ownership right to your home, both from fraudulent claims against your ownership and from mistakes made in earlier sales, such as mistake in the spelling of…

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5 Things To Know About Homeowners Costs
5 Things To Know About Homeowners Costs
April 30, 2015

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

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What You Can Do To Improve Your Credit
What You Can Do To Improve Your Credit
April 30, 2015

Credit scores, along with your overall income and debt, are big factors in determining whether you’ll qualify for a loan and what your loan terms will be. So, keep your credit score high by doing the following: Check for and correct any errors in your credit report. Mistakes happen, and you could be paying for someone else's poor financial management.…

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Tips For Lowering Homeowner's Insurance Costs
Tips For Lowering Homeowner's Insurance Costs
April 30, 2015

Review the Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange (CLUE) report on the property you’re interested in buying. CLUE reports detail the property’s claims history for the most recent five years, which insurers may use to deny coverage. Make the sale contingent on a home inspection to ensure that problems identified in the CLUE report have been repaired. Seek insurance coverage as soon…

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Tax Benefits Of Homeownership
Tax Benefits Of Homeownership
April 30, 2015

The tax deductions you’re eligible to take for mortgage interest and property taxes greatly increase the financial benefits of homeownership. Here’s how it works. Assume: $9,877 = Mortgage interest paid (a loan of $150,000 for 30 years, at 7 percent, using year-five interest) $2,700 = Property taxes (at 1.5 percent on $180,000 assessed value) ______ $12,577 = Total deduction Then,…

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Budget Basics Worksheet
Budget Basics Worksheet
April 30, 2015

The first step in getting yourself in financial shape to buy a home is to know exactly how much money comes in and how much goes out. Use this worksheet to list your income and expenses below. Income  Take home pay (all family members)  Child support/Alimony  Pension/Social Security  Disability/Other Insurance  Interest/Dividends  Other  Total Income  Expenses  Rent/Mortgage (include taxes, principal, and…

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8 Tips For Your Home Search
8 Tips For Your Home Search
April 30, 2015

Research before you look. Decide what features you most want to have in a home, what neighborhoods you prefer, and how much you’d be willing to spend each month for housing. Be realistic. It’s OK to be picky, but don’t be unrealistic with your expectations. There’s no such thing as a perfect home. Use your list of priorities as a…

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6 Creative Ways To Afford A Home
6 Creative Ways To Afford A Home
April 30, 2015

Investigate local, state, and national down payment assistance programs. These programs give qualified applicants loans or grants to cover all or part of your required down payment. National programs include the Nehemiah program, www.getdownpayment.com, and the American Dream Down Payment Fund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, www.hud.gov. Explore seller financing. In some cases, sellers may be willing…

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Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes
April 30, 2015

They don’t ask enough questions of their lender and end up missing out on the best deal. They don’t act quickly enough to make a decision and someone else buys the house. They don’t find the right agent who’s willing to help them through the homebuying process. They don’t do enough to make their offer look appealing to a seller.…

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