Latest Articles

VA Appraisal Process

U.S. Veterans have access to exclusive home loan options with a variety of perks including $0 down payment, no PMI, and no prepayment penalties just to name a few. One VA home loan perk that is particularly useful in today’s hot housing market is the unique appraisal process. For details on what an appraisal is […]

Homestead Tax Exemption

A homestead tax exemption or relief program is a program generally run by state or local municipalities that decreases the amount of property tax owed by a homeowner. While rules and eligibility vary from municipality to municipality, a standard requirement is that the homeowner must use the property as their primary residence (aka homestead).   […]

Can I Afford a Vacation Home?

  The sun warms your head as your feet sink into the sand and you realize you want to make this slice of heaven yours. So, how do you decide between renting or owning your vacation home? Here’s some vacation home math to help you run the numbers: STEP 1: CALCULATE YOUR “NET HOMEOWNERSHIP COST” […]

What is in a Credit Report?

A key item in any mortgage process is a credit report. It examines the financial health of a borrower. The components of a credit report combine to generate that all-powerful number, the credit score. Lenders use this information to measure potential risk. Generally, a stronger credit score has a lower risk of the borrower defaulting […]

Rebounding from a Bidding War

Rebounding from a Bidding War You found that perfect house, got preapproved for a mortgage, and put in an offer. You anxiously waited for the seller’s response only to be declined. Yes, it is disappointing. It is okay to feel frustrated. You put a lot of time and planning into your house hunt. You likely […]

What is escrow and do you need it?

What is an Escrow Account? An escrow account is an account set up with monthly payments to fund a home’s recurring costs. The most common recurring home costs are homeowner’s insurance premiums and property taxes. An estimated annual amount is generated and divided up into twelve monthly payments. The annual amount is reviewed each year […]

Home Appraisal Under Asking

Home Appraisal Under Asking Price With low interest rates and low home inventory come higher home prices but what happens when a home is appraised lower than asking price and why does the appraised value matter? What is an appraisal? Lenders use appraisals to assess the fair market value of a home and affirm it […]

Selling In A Seller’s Market

While it is a great feeling to be selling a home in a seller’s market, there are still a few things to avoid to ensure a successful closing.    1. Asking the right questions. Even if the buyer claims to be pre-approved, the deal might fall through due to financing conditions unrelated to the property. […]

Home Improvements That Increase Value

As the weather warms up, many homebuyers contemplate improvement projects both indoors and outdoors. It is important to identify why you are making changes. Is it for personal comfort or increased home value? Often the answer will be both. So how do you identify what will give you the greatest return on your investment? Consider […]

Landscaping Upgrades and Home Value

Spring is right around the corner causing many homeowners to contemplate landscaping updates. What project will  get  you the most return on your investment? According to a study from the National Association of Realtors, the top four landscaping projects that add the most value to your home while providing the most impact on your happiness are: overall […]