Wednesday, October 17, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
In today’s real estate market, with low inventory dominating the conversation in many areas of the country, it can often be frustrating to be a first-time homebuyer if you aren’t prepared.
In a recent realtor.com article entitled, “How to Find Your Dream Home—Without Losing Your Mind,” the author highlights some steps that first-time homebuyers can take to help carry their excitement of buying a home throughout the whole process.
1. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Before You Start Your Search
One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing whether or not your dream home is within your reach.
This step will also help you narrow your search based on your budget and won’t leave you di ...
Wednesday, June 13, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
A recent survey conducted by Harris Poll and released by SunTrust Mortgage found that “55% of homeowners with a child under the age of 18 at the time when they purchased their home said that the opinion of their offspring played a major role in their home buying decision.”
When the results were broken down by the parent’s age, millennials (those 18-36) led the way with 74% of homeowners saying that their child’s opinion was a factor in choosing which home to buy. Eighty-three percent of renters believe that their child’s opinion would be a deciding factor when looking to purchase a home.
So what features in a home are most important to kids?
Coming in at 57%, it should come as no surprise that gaining their own bedrooms was the top most-desirable feature of any home for kids, followed by a large back yard to play in at 34%.
Todd Chamberlain, Head of Mortgage Banking at SunTrust explained the re ...
Wednesday, June 06, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
There's a reason so many landscape painters seem to focus on rolling, emerald-hued hillsides: That lush, green look can seem magical.
Which is probably why we, as homeowners, try to re-create the magic in our own yards. But going from "Hey, I have a yard" to "I have a yard that will knock your socks off" takes some hard work. It goes beyond mere maintenance and mowing. It requires a bit of landscape and garden design know-how and a heavy dose of patience. It even requires some science.
Luckily, we have some insider secrets to get it done. These six landscaping and lawn care tips promise to transform your own personal patch of dirt into a lush, verdant lawn that'll make your neighbors green with envy.
1. Scratch the thatch
Over time, your yard accumulates a layer of dead or decomposing stems, roots, and other detritus near the surface. This is called "thatch." If you care about having your neighborhood's No. 1 lawn, it needs to go.
Picture your yard like a cit ...
Monday, April 02, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
Owning a home has great financial benefits, yet many continue to rent! Today, let’s look at the financial reasons why owning a home of your own has been a part of the American Dream for as long as America has existed.
Realtor.com recently reported that:
“Buying remains the more attractive option in the long term – that remains the American dream, and it’s true in many markets where renting has become really the shortsighted option… as people get more savings in their pockets, buying becomes the better option.”
What proof exists that owning is financially better than renting?
1. In a previous blog we highlighted the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership:
Homeownership is a form of forced savings.
Homeownership provides tax savings.
Homeownership allows you to lock in your monthly housing cost.
Buying a home is cheaper than renting.
No other investment lets you live inside of it. ...
Wednesday, February 07, 2018 / by Amy McLeod
There are some people who have not purchased homes because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize, however, that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.
As Entrepreneur Magazine, a premier source for small business, explained in their article, “12 Practical Steps to Getting Rich”:
“While renting on a temporary basis isn’t terrible, you should most certainly own the roof over your head if you’re serious about your finances. It won’t make you rich overnight, but by renting, you’re paying someone else’s mortgage. In effect, you’re making someone else rich.”
Christina Boyle, Senior Vice President and head of the Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management organization at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage as opposed ...