A Quick Guide to Tax-Deductible Donations in Your Home

In the season of giving, many local organizations and businesses often accept donations of clothing, household goods, and other gently used items to help those in need. Homeowners looking to downsize or preparing for a move (or just clearing up some space at home) can not only pay it forward by donating to a local […]

Eleventh Hour Gifts Without Shopping

If you’re beginning to feel the pressure of running out of time to find the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions that may not be on their “list” but will certainly be appreciated. The gift of really listening without interrupting, daydreaming or planning your response can be exactly what people want when they have […]

Don’t Pat Yourself on the Back Just Yet

You’ve got $500,000 in liquid assets for your retirement and you’re still 15 years away. All your bills are paid; you have a small mortgage on your home; cars are paid for and great credit. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back yet. People think more about what they’re going to do when […]

12 Month-by-Month Goals for Your New Home

‘Tis the season — for goal planning, that is! Many people spend December reflecting on the year and creating a list of goals to aim for in the New Year, and recent home buyers are no exception. If you’re thinking about ways to preserve that “new-to-you” feeling in your home and keep the clutter at […]

FHA is a Good Option

FHA insured mortgages serve a sector of the market that is not necessarily being met by other loan programs. Securing an 80% conventional mortgage that doesn’t require mortgage insurance may be the lowest cost of financing but if the buyer doesn’t have 20% down payment, it isn’t really an option. Securing a 100% VA loan […]

Lighting Conversion Plan

In 2007, Congress passed an energy act that required new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs are being phased out and eventually will be unavailable. The alternative bulbs differ considerably in price. LED bulbs are the most efficient but they also cost the most. CFLs are a less expensive alternative. Interestingly, the […]

Holiday Travels

The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town. Ask a trusted friend – to pick up mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of being empty. […]

Transform Your Home with These Timeless Seasonal Color Schemes

Nothing can transform a home quite like a simple seasonal color palette. Whether you want to embrace the fall foliage, some holiday whimsy, or a little winter coziness, you can do all that with a few coats of paint and some well-placed splashes of color. The best part of all? Not only are these color […]

Cash-In Refinance

Would someone really refinance their home and not take money out of it? Certainly, if they could get a lower rate, build equity faster and pay off the home sooner. For people with extra cash available, this can be very attractive compared to the low savings rates being paid by banks. In the example below, […]

Up-front Points to Lower the Rate

When loans are quoted by lenders, most buyers pay attention to the interest rate but not so much to the points that may be charged along with the rate. A point is one-percent of the mortgage amount and considered pre-paid interest that affects the yield on the loan. Buyers or sellers can pay points but […]