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Archive for: Real Estate & Renting

What Your Mortgage Interest Rate Really Means

With mortgage rates so low right now, it seems everybody is talking about what a smoking hot mortgage rate they got on their new house. But mortgage rates are tricky. It's easy to look at a 3.75 percent APR mortgage rate and say "holy cow" when, 25 … [Read more...]

When To Refinance: 3 Steps to Deciding Whether to Refinance or Not

Deciding when to refinance your home loan depends on several factors besides whether you can get a better mortgage rate than you already have. And though there are many reasons people refinance their mortgage, some are smarter financial moves than … [Read more...]

How to Hire Contractors who Won’t Blow up Your House

Thinking about adding some weather-stripping to your house this winter? Need roof patching or a furnace tune up? Do not try to save money by hiring a non-licensed contractor or someone who is not qualified for the job. Even licensed contractors … [Read more...]

Your First Home: What Can You Get for $200k?

As if I don’t get enough real estate as a full-time broker, I spend what little time I take off from work watching the HDTV show “House Hunters.” Why watch something I see day in and out? For the same reason anyone does — to compare. I sit there, thin … [Read more...]

Q&A: Can We Get Approved For A Mortgage With $109k In Student Loan Debt?

Q. My wife (28) and I (27) just got married and we are hoping to buy a small starter house sometime in the next three years. We’ve discussed finances [a lot] so we feel ahead of the curve there. I make $65,000 a year as an engineer and she makes $ … [Read more...]

So, You Want a Mortgage? What You’ll Need to Get Approved Fast

There’s no question, it’s a good time to get a mortgage. Average rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans are around or under 3.5 percent, according to BankRate.com. Although a couple years ago when 30-year mortgage rates were around 4 or 5 percent, we al … [Read more...]

How Lease Options Work When You ‘Rent To Own’ A House

We spend a lot of time debating when you know it's a good time for you to buy a home and, sometimes, offering gentle reminders that it can be smart to rent. But there's another option: One that melds the pros and cons of both home ownership and … [Read more...]

Moving Sucks, So Don’t Miss These 5 Money-saving, Stress-reducing Moving Tips

What qualifies me to give moving advice? Well, since graduating from college, I’ve moved four times. (In my entire life, make that 10 moves.) Some of my friends have moved twice as much or more in their lifetime. And if you’re in a military family, yo … [Read more...]

How Do You Know When You’re Ready To Buy A Home?

Sibling rivalry doesn't end at childhood; just ask my sister. Amber bought her home at 25 years old, almost immediately after I purchased my house. She couldn't let her baby brother be the only homeowner in the family. After all, owning a home is … [Read more...]

A Home Buying Checklist: Organize Your Wants and Needs

If you came to me as a prospective home buyer and asked to go out shopping for houses, there are two things I would ask you: What do you want in a house and What do you need in a house? To many people, this subtlety is lost. If buyers tell … [Read more...]