29 03, 2019

Things to Look For During an Open House

2021-09-28T16:51:44+00:00March 29th, 2019|Buying a home|

You’ve been shopping for homes online and found some of them have upcoming open houses so you can actually see what the property is like in real life rather than looking at images online. It’s an exciting time! The pictures online make it seem like it’s the right home for you but, seeing the home in real life may change your perspective. Here are some aspects of an open house that you should be mindful of when viewing a prospective property for the first time.

Surrounding Homes

When driving to the home for the first time, take note on how many other homes are for sale nearby. If there are other homes for sale on the same street, this could be an indication that the area is undesirable or possibly becoming unsafe. If you are still interested in the property after the open house, drive by the home at different times of the day to get a feel for the neighborhood and what your possible new neighbors are like.

Roof Condition

Another one of the first things you should be mindful of is the roof. If there are missing shingles or it looks like repairs were not done correctly, it may lead to leaking which could be a costly expense when dealing with other new home expenses. Once inside the home, ask the agent if there have been any roofing issues and examine the ceiling for any signs of leaks.

Smell of Home

If you smell any kind of musty or mildew smell, this could be a sign there is water damage or mold in the home. Mold and water damage can also lead to a hefty expense if they are not taken care of right away. In addition to health problems […]

18 03, 2019

Is Spring The Best Time of Year to Buy A Home?

2021-09-28T16:51:47+00:00March 18th, 2019|Tips & Advice|

Deciding when to buy a home is all based on personal preference and the best timing for you. However, there are certain times of the year that it is better to buy or sell, like early spring. Below are some pros and cons to buying and shopping for a home in the spring rather than other times of the year.

More Houses Go on the Market

When early April comes around, many property listings start popping up. The main reason for this is that homes tend to look better in the spring. With blooming flowers, green grass, and fresh landscaping makes a house more attractive rather than being covered in snow. Sellers and buyers alike become more motivated when the market is active. On the other hand, with more properties available, means more competition. If you find a home you love, get the buying process started sooner rather than later or it could be gone.

Spring is a Better Time to Move a Family

Without a doubt, moving your family at any time of the year can be stressful. But the plus side of finding a home in early spring and closing right before or a little after school gets out, you won’t have the stress of coordinating how kids will get to and from school or missing out on other end of the school year activities. Also, moving into your new home during the summer will give you time to get settled in before the school year starts so you can start planning your new routine early.

You Might Have Some Extra Money in Your Pocket

By the time early spring rolls around, you’ve likely paid off Christmas bills and got a nice tax refund. Having a little bit of extra […]

15 03, 2019

What Makes Up A Mortgage Payment?

2021-09-28T16:51:51+00:00March 15th, 2019|Mortgage 101|

Buying a home can be one of the most rewarding investments you will ever make. However, it can also be one of the most costly. Estimating your monthly mortgage payment well in advance of purchasing can help you make smart decisions with your budget and knowing what you can and can’t afford.

Your monthly mortgage payment is made up of several components. This housing expense is commonly referred to as a “PITI” or principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.


The principal is the amount you actually borrowed from the lender which excludes interest. When you first start making mortgage payments, a majority of your payment will go towards paying the interest. However, the amount of principal you pay off will increase each month. This puts you one step closer to owning the home. In the final years of a loan, you will primarily be paying down the principal.

For example, if you are purchasing a home that costs $100,000, and you are putting down 10%, or $10,000, then the principal is $90,000. If you are not putting any money down and are financing the entire purchase, then the principal is $100,000.


The interest is what the lender charges for loaning you the money. The higher the interest rate on a mortgage, the higher the monthly payments will be. Since interest rates are a major component of affording a home, homebuyers are typically able to borrow more when there is a low-interest rate.

Using the same hypothetical loan calculation as above, the total interest on a $100,000 30-year mortgage at 5% interest rate is $93,255. It drops to $83,930 with the $10,000 down payment.


A portion of your mortgage payment will go toward real estate […]

11 03, 2019

Smart Ways To Use Your Tax Refund

2021-09-28T16:51:54+00:00March 11th, 2019|Tips & Advice|

It’s tax refund season! If you are one of many that received a tax refund check, you are probably thinking of ways to spend this new found cash. While you may be dreaming of booking a beach vacation, there are some ways to better spend this money that you’ll thank yourself for in the long run. We’ve put together a list of smart ways to spend your tax refund this year.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Lowering your debt means you’ll pay less in interest charges every month, leaving you with smaller payments. Getting rid of all your high-interest debt is a smart goal that can help you reach long-term goals like increasing your credit score.

Build Up Your Emergency Fund

You never know when your heating and cooling system will go out or when an appliance will need to be repaired. It’s a good idea to set some of your tax refund money aside for when these things do happen so you don’t have to put the costs on a credit card.

Make Home Improvements

If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, use your refund to get a head start on home improvements. Adding a fresh coat of paint or making upgrades to appliances can help increase the value of your home when you list your home.

Save For a Down Payment

If one of your goals is to stop renting and buy a home, you’ll need to save up for closing costs and a down payment on the mortgage. An ample tax refund can give you a nice start on the road towards owning a home. Use this fund as motivation to contribute a little more to this fund each month. By the time […]