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How to's and money-saving tips from resident homeowner and mortgage professional, Cathy West

Easy ways to boost the value of your home

,  Posted in - ( Helpful Homeowner Hints )

Make remodeling this weekend's project.
Improving the value of a home doesn't always require thousands of dollars and countless hours of sweat equity. In fact, it can be a lot simpler and less taxing than that. Whether getting ready to sell or just looking to increase the value of their property, homeowners can tackle these simple project ideas to spruce up their homes.Ready, set, garden!The first thing a potential buyer sees when checking out a property is the exterior of the house. To make a great first impression, owners should give their property a facelift by cleaning up the yard, fertilizing the grass and adding a fresh layer of mulch to garden beds. Simply...

What’s the right number for a down payment?

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Down payments can be hefty. Here are important things for any homebuyer to keep in mind when choosing a down payment amount.
Homebuyers have a lot to consider when searching for a home and deciding how to finance it. Between lenders and loans, mortgages, interest rates and down payments, things can seem overwhelming.Here are the most important things for homebuyers to keep in mind when settling on how much to lay down for their down payment.Think about the futureBuying a home is a long-term investment. Though the excitement of relocating life to a new space can cause homebuyers to rush through the process, the financing of a home will significantly affect a homebuyer's fiscal future. In essence, the higher the down payment, the lower the associated mortgage cos...

Improving your credit score in just a few months

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Bring your credit score from low to excellent with these quick tips for improvement.
When considering buying a new home, it is important that homebuyers understand how significantly their credit score may affect mortgage rates. If potential homebuyers are in a bit of a pinch with credit as they look at committing to a new mortgage, it is important to be efficient and effective in improving their credit score as much as possible before committing to a rate.These helpful tips can assist anyone in raising their credit score in a short period of time.First thing's first: pay off those billsThe truth of the matter is that unpaid cards and bills are the most basic factor in anyone's credit score. Completing late payments an...

Tips for finding the perfect neighborhood

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Consider these tips for buying a new home.
While searching for a house can be difficult, many new homebuyers agree that finding the right neighborhood can be just as overwhelming. There are various factors to consider when deciding where you want to move. Do you want to live on the countryside, far from the grocery stores and other establishments? Would you like to find a community that's in walking distance from your children's high school? Beyond personal preference, you need to consider safety, accessibility and affordability.Before looking for your dream home, you have to find your dream neighborhood. Here are a few tips for searching for the best place to live:1. Do your ...

Where are millennials purchasing homes?

,  Posted in - ( kb2 )

Where are millennials purchasing homes?
Millennials today make up a large and seemingly growing share of the mortgage market, as more young adults gain the financial power to make a home purchase. While there are significant forces at work that could continually impact their abilities to make a home purchase, they are nonetheless not being dissuaded from their goals, but have had to become more adaptable.Today, millennials seem to be shying away from more expensive, busier housing markets and focusing on secondary large metro areas instead, according to the latest data from LendingTree. In February, the three cities where millennials made up the largest share of people submitting p...

How to avoid purchasing a home with declining value

,  Posted in - ( kb1 )

How to avoid purchasing a home with declining value
While the housing market today is more or less guaranteed to keep home values rising for potentially years to come, there are certain things that would-be buyers will be wise to watch out for. Over a long enough time period, issues can arise that hinder a home's value, or at least slow the rate at which it rises relative to the properties around it, so knowing what to look for is vital.For instance, if homes are relatively close to high-tension power lines, they are less likely to see their value increase at the same rate as similar homes in their areas, according to Max Real Estate Exposure. While there is no definitive li...

Mortgage applications can vary for self-employed shoppers

,  Posted in - ( kb4 )

Mortgage applications can vary for self-employed shoppers
The mortgage process can be difficult for many people to navigate, but for the self-employed it can be even more of an issue. When shoppers don't earn salaries in the traditional way - that is, simply receiving a paycheck from an employer on a regular basis - financial institutions will often institute some rather stringent income verification requirements that can complicate the mortgage application process.It's worth noting that from their side of the transaction, it makes sense for lenders to be a little cautious when dealing with mortgage applications from self-employed individuals, according to U.S. News and World Report. Th...

Which personal finance best practices yield the best results?

,  Posted in - ( kb3 )

Which personal finance best practices yield the best results?
When people are looking to buy investment homes, they will typically need plenty of capital to start turning their dreams of a personal real estate empire into reality. And because investment buyers typically face a much different mortgage process than those who are purchasing a property simply to live there, it's vital that they have their finances in order.Perhaps the biggest impediment to buying a home that anyone - resident or investment buyer - will face is the amount of debt they carry apart from the mortgages they're hoping to obtain, according to Refinery29. People typically have student loans, auto financing and cre...

Why it’s important to get into the market now

,  Posted in - ( Purchasing a Home )

Why it's important to get into the market now
The housing market has largely returned to pre-recession levels, making now a great time to begin searching for a home and applying for a mortgage. Especially if you are looking to purchase your first property, a range of conditions are yielding positive trends for both homebuyers and sellers, and there is no sign they will end any time soon, especially given the widespread health of the economy at present. Let's take a look at why it's important to get involved in the housing market now, and the best ways to do so. Rising valuesPerhaps the most important reason to start searching for a home now is that prices are start...

Understanding options in the housing market

,  Posted in - ( kb5 )

Understanding options in the housing market
When people are thinking about getting into the housing market - especially for the first time - they likely have a large number of questions. Issues such as how much house is reasonably affordable based on an individual's financial situation, how to get a mortgage that makes sense and the process of shopping for a property are all pressing.Many of these problems can be exacerbated for those who are self-employed. They may run into far more stringent financial checks put in place by lenders wary of unpredictable income and, therefore, how likely such a person will pay mortgage bills each month.Nonetheless, fo...