Homebuyer's Blog

PMI is private mortgage insurance. It’s often required by conventional mortgage lenders to finance loans for individuals who do not have the traditional down payment of (at least) 20 percent. It’s a helpful way to purchase a home with a smaller down payment, but it’s also an expensive option. Learn more, before deciding if PMI is right for you.

One of the hardest parts of buying a home is understanding real estate terminology. It’s not just a matter of learning new words. You may also need to unlearn a few things you thought you knew. For example, did you know that “REALTOR®” is a trademark denoting membership in the National Association of REALTORS®, and cannot be used synonymously with “real estate agent?” Here’s how it works:

Interested in creating a little outdoor living space on a shoestring budget? Instead of hiring someone to pour concrete or pour a concrete patio, consider one of these DIY options. Either one makes a great weekend project!

If you are planning to buy a house, your credit score can make a huge difference in the overall cost of your home. Before applying for a mortgage, make sure you’ve done everything you can to get your credit score as high as possible!

Your credit score is a three-digit measurement of your creditworthiness. By summarizing your prior history of paying off your debts, your credit score tells potential lenders how much risk they will assume if they grant you a loan.

Selling your home while buying another one introduces unique challenges. In addition to preparing for a move, you also need to get your current house ready to show to potential buyers. If you’re trying to accomplish these two big goals at the same time, a storage unit may sound like a helpful way to work through the transition. But is it?

It's summertime! Now is the time to enjoy the great outdoors, leave the indoors behind, and start living and entertaining outside. Creating an outdoor “living room” is one of the best ways to extend your living and entertaining space. Here are a few tips to get started!

Swimming, boating, and other water sports are among the great joys of summer. However, on the home front, summer is a time when water bills can spike! It’s a good time to think about ways to reduce your usage.

Buying your first home is a big step! It’s wonderful to dream dreams, and it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of searching property sites like realtor.com. Before going too far, however, it’s a good idea to hit the “pause” button and consider these more serious points.   

Papering walls is a trend that comes and goes. That’s not a problem. Paint is currently more popular than wallpaper, and that’s not a problem either. The problem occurs when the two trends intersect, in the wrong order. It’s okay to place wallpaper over paint, but not paint over paper.

If you have a green thumb, you want to let it show. After all, it’s not only your personal passion, but it’s also a skill most people envy because so few of us have one! Having a beautiful yard full of landscaping and color is a good thing, right? It improves the value of your home as well as the beauty of the neighborhood, right?

Smart home technology keeps getting smarter and increasingly popular. Devices like smart thermostats, security cameras, and programmable locks are now found in many homes. But what about other devices, largely flying under the radar? Here are five new, but less familiar options: 

So you want to carve out space in your home to work, think, and create, but try as you might, there doesn’t seem to be any room for an office or a workspace? Creating some personal space doesn’t have to require a home addition or a change of address. Sometimes you just need to reimagine the space you already have.

Would you like a simple, no-nonsense way to handle your monthly bills? Do you HATE balancing your budget every month and reviewing multiple account statements? Do you have arguments with your significant other (or your roommate) because you thought THEY were paying the electric bill this month? Do you get hit with late fees because you are so busy you forget to pay until a second notice arrives?

There are a few steps you can take that will help streamline your household expenses, save more money, and spend less time dealing with your bills and other debts!

Saving up for a down payment on a house has always been one of the biggest challenges for first-time homebuyers. Owning a home, and budgeting for additional expenses usually doesn’t make money management any easier.

Removing “dated” wallpaper from your home can be a real chore, but there are a few ways you can make it a bit easier. This DIY project is a great way to help update your new home’s appearance without investing a great deal of money.

When you are buying a home, there are so many things to remember. Property taxes are a big one!

Local governments rely on taxes to fund various community services. Tax revenues come from several different sources, including property taxes on all homeowners in the community. (Note that some areas also assess a transaction tax on the purchase/sale of properties, although this is uncommon.)

If you’re buying a home, here’s what you need to know:

What is escrow? This is when a third party holds onto money during a real estate transaction. You can’t touch this money and neither can the seller. However, having these funds in a neutral account protects both sides, by making sure the property transaction happens “all at once” at the closing table.

For most people, buying a home doesn’t happen very often. By definition, first-time buyers don’t have ANY experience! Even seasoned homeowners easily forget the details, many of which may have changed since they last purchased a home.

Buyer’s agents get it. They completely understand that buyers have lots of questions and need lots of assistance. That’s what they do.

There are, however, a few things buyer’s agents wish you DID already know…their “secret” wish list for helping you work together, as a team, to find the perfect home.

If you’re interested in buying a home that requires significant repairs or upgrades, you may need help financing these additional expenses. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers a unique program that may be a good fit for your needs, called Section 203(k) Rehab Mortgage Insurance.